Really… We Must Be Going …

Art Class Cake and Afterschool Study parties… the Jameses starting early on the debs date hunt… graduation mortar boards… one last classic Classics picnic.. and some artsy filters: all part of the Class of 2022’s rather clingy (but reciprocated) good-bye hug to St. Conleth’s!

J’ai La Gnac!

We told you previously about all the tongues with which we speak and the resultant cornucopia of LC language mocks… well here is the next crop getting ready: Ms. Crowley’s and Mr. Baneham’s Fifth Years are chatting up a storm en français in preparation for their oral exams!

Choices, Choices, Choices!

Junior School Principal Brian Nolan reports on one of the many bridges between St. Conleth’s Junior and Senior Schools.

This week our Sixth Form Transition Action Plan saw Phase 1 of our ‘Making Informed Choices’ session take place. Students heard from our resident experts Ms. Killen, Ms. Crowley and Mr. Latvis about all things Modern (and Ancient) Languages. The enthralled crowd peppered the teachers with questions related to French, Spanish, Latin and Classics and were left with a lot to consider before making their choices next month. A follow up session in March will focus on STEAM subjects. The Senior School teachers were very impressed with the maturity of the Sixth Formers and the quality of the questions: seems like we have more true scholars on the way!

An Offer We Couldn’t Refuse

St. Conleth’s a Gaelscoil? Well, the other Modern Languages also lay claim to our turf, including a recent arrival: gli azzurri! Ms. Crowley has brought Italian into Transition Year and last week they indulged in a stereotypical but delicious mainstay of Italian culture: homemade pizza. Yes we enjoy using and celebrating the Irish language but as now Italian is also la cosa rostra, we had better share the spotlight with our cugini… or else!

Au Revoir: Maître, Ami et Collègue!

Conleth’s loss is certainly Connacht’s gain: the West of Ireland just got a whole lot calmer and cooler with the arrival of Julien Porzadny and we, at St. Conleth’s, will have to console ourselves with some wonderful memories of a much-loved teacher, colleague and friend. But we also have Julien’s legacy to which to cling: we cannot think of another teacher who has brought so many positive changes and innovations to the school, both curricularly and in our community and culture. We fully understand why Julien is looking for new places and spaces for his beautiful, young family but he also knows that he will have another family waiting eagerly for his visit: the family of colleagues and students at 28 Clyde Road.

It is quite fitting that we are bidding farewell to Ann Sheppard and Julien at the same time: they are forever linked, not just by their subject and friendship, but by the integral part Françoise Brotelande played in both their Conleth’s stories. We wrote below of Ann and Françoise’s closeness but Julien was also part of that camaraderie. Julien first arrived in Ballsbridge as Françoise’s protégée and our jokes about the French Department’s beau jeune homme were supplemented by an appreciation for the burst of energy Julien brought both into the classroom and the staffroom and the close friendships he established with Françoise and Ann and the staff as a whole. And when we tragically lost Françoise, it was Julien who kept her spirit and warmth alive, for both his colleagues and the students.

Yes, Julien is always warm and passionate and that is what we will miss most but, as you can see from the photos above and below, he also accomplished a heck of a lot in his time at St. Conleth’s. In partnership with Chiara Crowley, Julien formed a duo dynamique which, to be honest, were the envy of the other academic departments for their close working relationship, spirit of innovation and endless energy. From visiting troupes of Théâtre Français to Chanson Française competitions, from French board games and Kahoots to cuisine Française in the classroom, from Les Joutes Oratoires to becoming the first DELF school in Ireland to the famous (and infamous) Bundoran trips, Julien and Chiara were the epitome of the teaching partnership and friendship which truly enriches a school… especially when the lawsuits over the Bundoran midnight POW frog-marches fail in the courts!

Julien will also be remembered for forever changing (and improving) the mental health and inner life of St. Conleth’s staff and students. We may make jokes about Julien’s ‘guru’ status (to be honest, the goatee made it particularly tempting!) but we all honestly appreciate Julien being ahead of the curve in his determined and ‘single-minded’ drive to get Wellbeing and Mindfulness on the curriculum and in our thoughts. The whole staff and all our students, both Junior and Senior, have benefitted from having Julien calmly but passionately show us that ‘This is the way’ to having a happy and healthy school community, which in the end, is for what we are all here.

Julien has a new addition to his family, and, with this move, a new chapter to his story opens with fresh adventures on the horizon. For selfish reasons, we do lament his leaving but we would never begrudge such a free spirit such an opportunity, and Julien and can travel onwards with pride for a job splendidly done and with our heartfelt thanks for making St. Conleth’s an even better place.

Remembrance of Things Past

Mr. Porzadny, guru to the stars (of St. Conleth’s students and staff) also has a day job as a French teacher. And Julien brings the same enthusiasm and joi de vie, which characterises his Mindfulness sessions, to his language lessons. He also, like the rest of us, caught the nostalgia bug during lockdown, so he sent us this previously neglected little nugget from 2016: a video of his Fifth Years singing and enjoying life… and standing very close together!

Bon Appetit!

First of all, we need to get a few things straight: macaron- a confectionary made from a batter of ground almond flour, egg whites, and confectioners’ sugar that puffs up to form a smooth-surfaced cookie with a hollow center; macaroons– cookies made from shredded coconut held together by egg whites and granulated sugar. They have a craggy surface and chewy interior; macron–  a populist, centrist politician and the current French president; macroom– a market town in County Cork.

Well, one person who knows her meringue from her coconut is Caoimhe Moore, who stunned Ms. Crowley’s French Class with the quality of her macarons. And then Charlotte McClaren’s pains au chocolat took there classmates’s breath, and tastebuds, away! Saoirse Corry was also a chef pâtissier for the day, and her delicate creations just finished everybody off; and the whole 4A Class, like true Frenchmen, just napped through break, dozing contentedly with full bellies and satisfied smiles behind their masks!

Francophonic Finale!

Mr. Porzadny reaffirms the ‘French Paradox’ by dipping cheese in his coffee yet remaining the sveltest of svengalis! Read about his francophonic finale with the Class of 2020:

Did you know that French people like to have Camembert dipped into coffee for breakfast? On this past lovely Wednesday morning we had a virtual French breakfast with French music and a French quiz to celebrate the end of the year with our soon to become graduate class of 2020! Ciaran, Maria, Alex, Fiona, Michael, Jack and Oscar all answered the call and the party was on! From pain au chocolat, to croissants to freshly pressed orange juice, our little culinary trip took us to the depth of our taste buds. Needless to say that other than that, the loosening of the restrictions was on the agenda. Everyone seems to have kept their spirit up thanks to walks in the several lush parks of our beautiful city. Mr Porzadny’s French playlist had a mixed review but his French Kahoot seemed to have unanimously conquered the heart of his students. Well done to Michael who wins the challenge: t was a battle til the end with Jack who ended up second, right at the last minute, followed by Oscar. A pleasure it was indeed to have had the chance to teach this lovely bunch. I wish them all the best on the path of life and may the Camembert never drop in their coffee cup!

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Do you remember making paper airplanes in class, instead of listening to your teacher? Mr. Morris’s First Year STEM Club has made a virtue out of that ‘necessity’ and taken a scientific/technological/engineering/mathematical approach to the ancient art.

Last week, his Friday morning gathering focussed on drag, inertia, wind resistance and sheer ‘coolness’ of design while planning, manufacturing and flying their airplanes in the Performance Hall. Great fun was had by all but don’t blame us if your French I class witnesses a massive take-off of Airbus prototypes. And this time, without the dubious, anti-competitive governmental subsidy!

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“Learning French in St Conleth’s College is the most interactive, easy to follow and enjoyable way to not just learn how to pass an exam, but to love the fact that you know how to speak French.” D.O’C – 5th Year

The French Department has always been one of the more dynamic forces at St. Conleth’s.  Over six years of studying French in St Conleth’s, students will be lead by qualified French teachers to appreciate the language, discover its use and experience the importance of learning a language in today’s society. Written and listening tests, oral exams (from 1st to 6th Year) and methodology classes will provide the tools and the practice the students will need to succeed at both the Junior and the Leaving Certificate.

From singing, to participating in quiz, competitions, debates, exchanges and school trips; from creating their own blog and researching for their French projects to participating in role plays or making presentations in front of the class, students will engage in a wide range of cultural and educational activities.  The methods used to teach French at St Conleth’s College are innovative, diversified, adapted to the students’ level and based on a genuine communicative approach. Personal reflection, group work and participation in class is encouraged by every teacher.

One of the more curious traditions of the French Department is the ‘immersion method’ of sending our Third Years to a noted ‘Région de Langue Française’- Donegal!   Ms. Brotelande and Ms. Sheppard would regularly gather the Junior Cert boys and head off to the wilds of Donegal for some intensive language lessons, with a good bit of outdoor pursuits and water-sports thrown in to make the vocab and grammar go down easier.  Of course, a handsome young Australian gap year student was usually brought along to do the heavy lifting!  Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley have continued the tradition, as can be seen from our pics, and just this last year, there was the return of another honoured Conlethian tradition- the return to the actual motherland itself.   As well as cultural activities with the Transition Years at the Alliance Francaise, and their various cutting edge technological classroom interventions, Mr. Porzadny and Ms. Crowley have also kept Les Joutes Oratoires thriving at St. Conleth’s: Several of our Débatteurs Français over recent years have won ‘Best Speaker’ awards.  Indeed, every year at St. Conleths’s is a Year of the French!

French Department Links

On students and parents will be able to find: a reminder of the weekly homework for the Senior cycle students, activities and lessons for all the students, sections for the learners of the French language as well as for French teachers, and several links to useful websites such as: