Our timetable may say school starts at 8:30am and ends at 3:20pm, but everyday of the week there is some sporting or other activity available. Our teachers and students do not always immediately head for door when that bell rings, and learning does not start and stop at the classroom door. There are plenty of extra- and cross-curricular events during the year to keep you busy.
Our pupils’ intellectual endeavour does not halt when the books are closed. They are encouraged to be more than ‘book smart’ through a variety of class based and extra-curricular activities. Our Debating Society is one of our proudest and most accomplished institutions and both intra and inter-school debates are participated in with a fervour and devotion not seen since Cicero’s days… I could go on about the multitude of debating trophies, but I will let the debaters speak for themselves: they will anyway! The Science, Maths and Art teachers lead our students every year into national competitions such as the Young Scientist Competition, Scifest and the Math Olympiad with impressive results. Our chess teams annually compete in the toughest division in the country and the boys hone their talent in furious lunchtime forays.
Music is probably the area where we have experienced the most development recently: our state-of-the-art Music Room is used for exam classes and individual lessons and by the St. Conleth’s School Choir. There is a regular Buskers’ Corner where students informally sing and play from the heart and every March there is the School Concert: an affair that attests to the great variety in our personalities and talents, with subtle, sublime classical pieces alternating with raucous, postpunk grungefests. Tastes may vary but the talent level is consistently high, and the recent Conlethian alumni who sit astride the album charts may soon have more competition!
We realize that healthy mind necessitates a healthy body so we fully promote participation in our various extra-curricular athletic programmes. Rugby is of course our main sport, and we have a proud tradition of competitiveness in the Leinster Shield and Cup competitions, having won the JCT League last year and reached the SCT Cup Final the year before. Our tennis, athletics, fencing and golf teams compete at the top levels and our Basketball teams are always great.
Another tradition at St. Conleth’s is the school tour. We stay domestic and go to adventure centres in Louth or Galway, or for French Adventure Camp in Donegal (!) but our First and Second Years also go to France for a mix of fun and culture. Our more exotic destinations over the years have included Finland, Peru, India, Mongolia, Tanzania and New York.
A few years ago, St. Conleth’s College embarked on a new venture in Uganda. Over the subsequent summers, over 80 pupils and several teachers established a link with a materially impoverished secondary school in Kayunga that went far beyond the typical ‘outward bound’ adventure. Our boys and girls gave and received in equal measure on the trips and now a programme is in place that will assure a mutually beneficial relationship wherever we go. This last summer we went to India for co-operative learning and a taste of the Himalayas!