Message from the Principal

It is with great pleasure that I take on the role of Principal of St. Columba’s Boys National School. There is a strong tradition of learning and achievement in the school and it is one that I intend on continuing and building on with the great staff here.

I have spent the past 21 years in education- as a teacher in Ireland and on secondment to the European Schools, to an assistant principal in an international school in Qatar to Primary Principal on secondment again to the European School of Karlsruhe.

All this time, I have been closely following (and when in the European School system) implementing some of the changes that have been taking place in Irish education. We are in a very dynamic and exciting time in where school self-reflection and evaluation is an integral part of school life. Your input as parents into this is very much valued and important to us as a school community.

Children being happy at school, working to their own potential and being confident and sure of their own ability has always been my guiding mantra in education. From the research that I have done on St. Columba’s Boys National School, from examining the documentation in the school to date and from meeting staff, it is clear that this too is a very strong part of school life here. The teaching staff and SNA’s are truly dedicated- I had the opportunity to meet them all over the past fortnight while they were in school preparing classes for the coming school year. I very much look forward to working with them and seeing how we can strive to keep improving year on year on the quality of education that we deliver to your children.


Your child’s safety is a huge priority for us in school. To accommodate this, from September 1st, the following procedures shall be implemented in school:

  • Supervision of children begins at 8.40. Before that time, the children are the responsibility of parents. No student shall be allowed into the school building before 8.50 and this stage they shall be taken into the building by their class teachers.
  • ALL parental access has to come through the main school door. Other doors are not for parental access as they encroach on pedagogical areas and learning environments. This also applies to those parents who have children in the prefab buildings.
  • ALL children are to be collected OUTSIDE of the school. Please wait at the door that pertains to your child’s exit.
  • Please respect the parking regulations that have been in place over the past few years.


School is a microcosm of society as a whole and many of the social habits the children develop is due to their observations of this society at work. To this end, parental involvement is crucial so as the boys here see their parental investment in school life. Involvement in the Parents Association is a great way to demonstrate this community participation. I do realize that you all have very busy lives but it is our hope that his school year, we would have one (if not more) representatives on the PA from each of the class groupings and the ASD unit.

Teachers too are happy to collaborate with you in any way possible. If there is something that you can offer that is tied into the curriculum, mention it to the teacher and they will see if they can incorporate it into their planning.

We are very lucky to have an excellent team here at St. Columba’s Boys National School– teachers who are committed to student learning and motivating them in the acquisition of and development of new skills. They all have a lot of experience and know exactly what they need to achieve and how to achieve it. I ask you to trust what the teachers are doing and afford them the professional respect they deserve. They work extremely hard to give your child the best learning conditions possible so that they can grow and strive in their education. Their well-being and educational progress is at the center of everything that these teachers do. What I ask of you is to trust their professional judgment and to work closely with the teachers for the success of your child. To further enhance this relationship please note the following:


  • Meetings with teachers have to be scheduled. Teachers are more than willing to meet with parents, but are not available for incidental meetings without prior appointment. If you require an appointment with the teacher, it can be made through the office.


My role is to ensure that your child is getting the best education that they can have as well as ensuring that they are safe and secure in the environment in which we are. I believe that we are partners together and are working for the same goal- giving the children the best that they can have. I believe in respectful dialogue with you with the well being of the child at the center of everything that we do.


Please establish communication with the teacher. In the event of a query or concern, the following procedure should be observed:

  • • Contact the relevant teacher and express your concerns.
  • • Try to resolve the issue or negotiate constructive and achievable solutions.
  • • Allow time for any agreed steps to take effect.
  • • If this does not result in a satisfactory conclusion, contact the principal.


For this school year 2015-2016, our major pedagogical areas of focus in school are as follows:


  • Focusing on Writing Genres in Literacy
  • Continuation of our Numeracy Plan (Year 2) – Problem solving through length


Personally, I hope to meet you all at some stage during the coming year. My own personal goal for the school year is building relationships with all members of the school community. I realize the enormity of this position and I shall work hard to earn your respect and trust over the coming years.


I very much look forward to delivering with all staff members a quality education to your sons where they experience a well rounded curriculum, many opportunities to put their learning into practice; boys who have a strong work ethic, who are confident, have a sense of justice and respect, who experience the academic as well as the social side of school life through extra curricular activities and who are well rounded individuals who have a strong sense of faith and uphold the ethos of our school.


Táim ag súil go mór le h-oibrúlibh ins nabliantaamachromhainn.


Le h-árdmheas


Finbarr Hurley

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