St. Columba’s Boys’ National School has a population of 420 boys at the end of the school year 2015/2016. We have a staff of 17 class teachers, 7 LSRT (Learning Support and Resource Teachers), 5 ASD teachers as well as an administrative Principal and Deputy Principal. The school also has 12,5 SNA’s with 10 based in the ASD unit and 2,5 in the mainstream classes. We have two secretaries who job share as well as one full time caretaker.
St. Columba’s Boys’ National School is a Roman Catholic School under the Patronage of the Diocese of Cork. We are a vibrant school community, which fosters inclusiveness, spirituality, individuality, difference and the development of all our talents. We pride ourselves on the atmosphere of mutual respect and an expectation of the highest standards of behaviour, of work ethic and of personal achievement. We strive to allow each student become the very best that they wish to be, while empowering them to meet the challenges of education and of life.
The Board of Management is:
Chairperson (Patron’s Nominee): Donal Murray
Patron’s Nominee: Daphne Madden
Community Nominee: Pat Duffy
Community Nominee: John Foley
Parents Representative: Stephen Ryan
Parents Representative: Tracey Cuddy
Teacher Representative: Tom Flynn
School Principal: Finbarr Hurley
Over the course of the school year the school was involved in many successful educational projects, and developed many new extra- curricular activities. These included:
- Yoga Lessons in the Junior Classes
- Core Strength and Pilates in the Senior Classes
- Swimming for 3rd to 6th classes
- Mathletics in 3rd and 4th Classes
- Green Flag for Travel (to be continued in 2016/2017)
- 1916 Centenary Celebrations
- Roaring 40ies Jazz Band
- School wide Skipping Workshop
- Outings and Excursions to the Theatre and UCC
- Christmas Concert and Carol Singing in Douglas Village Shopping Centre
- VEX IQ Robotics Competition in CIT
- Junior Entrepreneur Competition (JEC)
- Collection for Cork Penny Dinners
- Aistear Introduction in Infant Classes
- 1st Class e-book Project
- Seachtain na Gaeilge and St. Patrick’s Day Parade
- Author Visits
- Lunchbox Challenge
- 3rd Class Sewing Lessons
- Sing Out Loud in the Cork Opera House
- Sciath na Scol Football and Hurling
- Basketball Competition
- Soccer Competition
- 3rd Class Hurling Blitz
- 4th Class Hurling Blitz
- Pitch and Putt
- Cór Fhéile na Scol
- Autism Awareness Week
- Savings Scheme with Douglas Credit Union
Along with these major events every class in the school undertook some really beneficial and interesting educational projects.
We had a very successful Open Night early in the school year where we welcomed prospective parents to come and visit the school.
None of these events would have been possible without the continued support of the Parents Association, which has grown in strength this year. We really would like to see a representative from each class for next school year on the PA board in order to disseminate information more readily and also to garner volunteers for events.
Confirmation and Communion were very special this year as they were both held in St. Columba’s church. Both ceremonies were dignified and prayerful and the boys rose to the occasion to make them both very special occasions for all involved. We would like to thank Fr. Teddy for his continued support and guidance.
In curricular areas we focussed on Writing Genres and Comprehension Strategies in Literacy and Problem Solving and the language of maths in Numeracy. This will be built on next School year and we have outlined objectives for growth and achievement in each area for the school year 2016/2017.
Our overall school wide test results in the Micra T and the Sigma T reflect very well the national norms and we have pinpointed our areas for growth next year with regards to Literacy and Numeracy. In general terms they would include:
- Development of the work in Writing Genres
- Focus on reading strategies and comprehension in a specific and structured manner
- Develop the basis of problem solving that was introduced this school year.
The Board of Management ratified the Healthy Eating Policy in an effort to improve awareness of eating healthily and developing a culture of the boys bringing healthy snacks on a daily basis.
The board also updated the school behaviour policy in an effort to make it more positive and to give the boys a sense of responsibility about what they do and the expectations that we have of the boys in school uniform as well as introducing the concept of reflecting on their behaviour through the use of ‘My Behaviour Story’ documents which will begin in September 2016. The Acceptable Use Policy and Detention / Supervision Policies were also updated.
New staff allocation and rotation policies as well as a student teacher placement policy were ratified.
We also launched a new improved school website which has suitable educational websites on the pupils zone for the boys to be working on. The PA also have their own area of the website and this is worth referring to on a regular basis. Our school Facebook page will keep you up to date with all the pedagogical projects happening in our classes. All our school activities are shown on these media.
From September, a mobile school app will also be available to download which will keep you up to date with all school happenings.
Our new school building project is progressing at a steady pace. Tender has been accepted, and we are now at the stage of waiting for a Programme of Works from the contractor. When this has been submitted and reviewed by the department of education, a letter of acceptance and the issuing of the commencement notice will ensue and the actual beginning of the works will commence.
The school accounts have been audited and verified by external auditors Tobin, O’ Sullivan and Co. Accountants. The Board of Management at the meeting of June 14th 2016 approved them.
Our ASA (After School Activity) Programme has continued to grow this year with the following activities on offer:
- Codor Dojo
- Speech and Drama
None of this could have been achieved without the hard work and dedication of the staff of St. Columba’s. They are truly an invaluable resource and are so very committed to their roles as educators in your son’s education. Your cooperation as parents and guardians is also vitally important and we thank you for your continued support in the coming school year.
Board of Management St. Columba’s Boys’ National School.