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Issue 6 - February 2012 Important Dates

Welcome to the Saint Columb‘s College Monthly Newsletter — Should you have any queries or contributions, please email:

Spanish Theatre comes to Saint Columb‘s College Students of Spanish in Saint Columb‘s got a real treat on Monday February 13th, just in time for Valentine‘s Day. The Onatti Theatre Company visited and staged ‗Primera Cita‘ (First Date). The story is a hilarious observation of two love-struck teenagers preparing for that all important 'Primera Cita'. The stage is divided into two, on one side is the girl's bedroom and on the other the boy's bedroom. In both bedrooms there is hysteria, panic, fear and apprehension. Maria has issues with her make-up, her clothes, hair and not to mention a very untimely spot on her face! While Carlos, in the other room attempts his very first shave!

Thurs 8th March


Trócaire Fast

Tue 13th March


Year 12 Parental Information Evening

Thurs 15th March


Teacher In-Service day

Fri 16th and Mon 19th March



Tue 22nd March


Year 10 Parental Information Evening

Years 10-14 were packed into the Assembly Hall and thoroughly enjoyed the show. Some class time was spent introducing and reinforcing the vocabulary before the show and Year 10 pupils were surprised at how much Spanish they could pick up i.e. clothes, colours, parts of the body etc. However, their style of clothes and make-up might not have been to everyone's taste! This is the second time Onatti Theatre has performed in Saint Columb‘s and the actors and actresses have not failed to impress on both occasions. We look forward to their next production! —

AS Geography Field Trip to Magilligan The annual residential AS Geography fieldtrip to Magilligan took place on the 6th-7th and 13th14th February 2012. The aim of the fieldwork is to complete a study of the sand dune eco system at Magilligan Umbra Reserve as an example of a primary succession and produce a table of data and a summary fieldwork report. The Geography students increased their knowledge of the practical skills and methodology needed to carry out primary research, as well as developing their analytical and interpretative skills through statistical analysis and use of relevant geographical theory. This is always a very valuable educational and developmental experience for our Geography students and they were excellent ambassadors of Saint Columb‘s College.

Stop Cyber Bullying

Bun Sale in Aid of Cancer Research

This was the theme of Anti-bullying Week and activities included a poster competition for Key Stage 3 pupils. Competition entries were of a very high standard and the judges, Ms. P Hughes and Ms. O McLaughlin had a very difficult task choosing the winners. Prizes were awarded to pupils in each year group with additional prizes for the overall Key Stage winners.

On Wednesday February 15th, the many friends of the late Patrick Toland in Year 11 organised a bun sale at break time.

1st 2nd 3rd

Year 10 Liam McWilliams 10A, John McLaughlin 10A, Jason Nagurski 10A,

1st 2nd 3rd

Year 9 Eoghan Concannon 9F, Ryan McKeever 9E, Josef Campbell 9K,

Two locations were used – the Assembly Hall in Junior School and the Link Area in the Senior School. We commend them on their enthusiasm and entrepreneurial abilities and congratulate them on raising the magnificent total of £700.

Year 8 Cormac McElholm 8H and Billy Quigley 8K joint first. Gavin Kelly 8E.

1st 3rd Overall 1st: Overall 2nd: Overall 3rd:

Cormac McElholm Eoghan Concannon Liam McWilliams and Billy Quigley

Biology Olympiad In the recent Biology Olympiad in which pupils completed a two hours online examination, the following awards were made to Year 14 students: Silver: Bronze: Highly Commended: Commended:

Jack Duffy Conor Gill Brian Doohan Kevin Harkin Christopher Dooley

Eco Schools Success Saint Columb‘s College was represented at an Eco-Schools celebration event in Newry by members of the school‘s Eco Committee, accompanied by Mrs. Sinéad McGonigle. The packed event attracted over 500 people who participated in workshops and activities and honoured the 800th school to join the programme with an award. Speaking at the event Mr. Alex Attwood, Environmental Minister, whose Department provides funding, said, ―It is a pleasure to be able to open this year‘s Eco-Schools celebration and see the guardians of our planet present and future, displaying such a wealth of creativity and responsibility towards environmental issues. My Department have been funding the programme for a number of years and this year have provided over £100,000 to this long-term programme that introduces students, teachers, parents and the wider community to the concept of an environmental management system. ―School children need to understand that there is an economic value to the environment, be it through saving money in school or at home through reducing the amount of paper or energy that we use, or more widely through encouraging income from tourism due to the wonderful natural landscape and built heritage that we enjoy here in Northern Ireland.‖

The LHC at CERN is the biggest scientific experiment in the world. It accelerates two beams of protons, in opposite directions around a 27km underground tunnel, until they approach the speed of light. The particles are then collided together, generating ultra high energies that recreate in the laboratory the conditions experienced less than one billionth of a second after the Big Bang. When the protons collide detectors analyse the collisions in great detail allowing physicists, like the Saint Columb‘s students, to test their fundamental theories of matter. The event was a special occasion to recognise and celebrate all the fantastic environmental projects that schools in Northern Ireland are working on. Mr. Jan Eriksen, the President of the Foundation for Environmental Education (FEE), which is a non-government, non-profit organisation promoting sustainable development through environmental education, stated that ‗‘To reach 800 schools in such a relatively short time, as it has happened here in Northern Ireland is an impressive result. That makes Northern Ireland one of the fastest growing countries among the 52 participating countries in the world. Congratulations to each of the 800 schools, which with their work and commitment to developing a more sustainable lifestyle for a more sustainable world.‘‘

While the boys didn‘t discover the Higgs particle on this occasion they did make their first steps towards a research career, which may lead to future Nobel Prize winning Physics discoveries! —

Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion Service On Tuesday 7th February, the Northern Ireland Blood Transfusion visited the school. Year 13 and Year 14 students who were over 17 years old age, over 50kg and in generally good health were invited to visit the Blood Mobile and donate.

Physics Students Join the Search for The Higgs Boson A group of ten A-level Physics students from Saint Columb‘s College travelled to Queen‘s University to participate in a Particle Physics Master Class under the guidance of European experts. The students used the most up-to-date Large Hadron Collider (LHC) software to analyse real data from the world‘s most exciting science experiment. The staff on the Blood Mobile were impressed with the turn out describing it as fantastic. It was a busy day and they said that they were working throughout the day to keep up with the stream of students and Saint Columb‘s College staff who attended. Maggie, the nurse on board said that they were pleased with the number of first time attenders and hoped that they would go on to be regular donors. An individual can give blood up to three times a year. Further information can be accessed at —

History Greatest Explorer Competition

Comenius Trip To Finland

The winners of the Greatest Explorer History Competition are as follows:

A group of eight Year 13 pupils, accompanied by Ms. Lübbeke and Mr. Chambers, recently travelled to Finland and Estonia on a Comenius visit. The aim of their visit was to learn more about ‗Sustainability‘ within the European Union and to engage with their peers in other European countries in workshops and activities relating to the topic.

Jason Feenan 8A wrote an essay on Sacagawea, the Native American who escorted Lewis and Clark on their trans-continental exploration of America. Jason came first in this competition, winning a £15 iTunes voucher. Conall McCloskey, 9F was second with an essay on Danish navigator, Vitus Bering, who gives his name to the Bering Sea and Bering Strait. Conall‘s prize was a £10 Amazon voucher. Aodhan McGuigan 9D, was third with an essay on Ferdinand Magellan, who led the voyage that resulted in the first circumnavigation of the world. Aodhan‘s prize was a £5 book token.

Congratulations to all the participants and to the three winners named above. Essays were of a high standard and a lot of research was carried out. Pictured above are Jason Feenan 8A, Aodhan McGuigan 9D and Conall McCloskey 9F. —

The Columban Magazine Saint Columb‘s College is launching its annual school magazine ‗The Columban‘ in April 2012. More details in the March newsletter.

The students were given a very warm welcome from their Finnish partner school Sveitsin Lukio in the town of Hyvinkää, about 40 minutes north of the capital city Helsinki. The same could not be said about the weather as temperatures reached lows of -26°C! The group participated in many activities during their 5-day stay in Finland and their 2-day stay in Estonia, including skiing and ice-skating. During the day, students took part in group work, exploring issues such as transport, energy and urban regeneration. Also, visits were organised to places of interest in the surrounding area. On the last day, a tour of the company ‗SaintGobain‘, which recycles glass to produce insulation material for buildings, gave an interesting insight into an industry at the cutting edge of sustainable development. Now we cannot wait to welcome our Finnish partners to Saint Columb‘s College in March, when aspects of sustainability will be explored from a Northern Irish angle – while at the same time showing off our city during the Saint Patrick‘s Day celebrations.

And finally... Does purchasing a high-definition television in the January sales count as a New Year‘s resolution?

St Columbs College Monthly Newsletter - Issue 6 - Feb 2012  

St Columbs College Monthly Newsletter - Issue 6 - Feb 2012