From the Headmaster - Clongowes Wood College

Posted: 22nd March 2016

Clongowes Wood College SJ

In a letter to Clongowes’ Parents and Guardians last month the Headmaster, Mr Chris Lumb was pleased to report that his introduction to Clongowes life has continued at a pace during the past term….

My first experience of the ‘cup season’ has been a most positive one. Our SCT and JCT gallantly bowed out of their competitions at the semi-final stage. My congratulations are extended to the teams and their coaches. The support has been first class from all quarters of the school community. I was delighted to hear last week that Michael Silvester (Rhetoric) has again been called up to the IRFU U18s squad.

The Gordon D’Arcy tribute lunch, in April, organised by the College’s Foundation, is a sell-out. Gordon is supporting the Alberto Hurtado Programme, which is at the core of our Jesuit Mission, and all proceeds from this event will be going into our Bursary programme.

I am pleased to confirm that Ms Áine Corcoran has taken up the newly created post of Marketing and Admissions Manager on the College Senior Management Team bringing considerable experience of both commercial and not-for-profit sectors. I am also anticipating making a further appointment to the SMT in the coming months with a specific focus on enhancing boys’ learning and achievement.

The Headmaster’s Assembly in the Boys’ Chapel last week provided an opportunity to recognise some of the boys’ achievements and efforts both inside and outside of school.

  • Our Traditional Irish Music group has been involved with the charity Trócaire for some years, raising over €35,000 in the process. The group’s outstanding participation, dedication and contribution to the success of the current Trad for Trócaire fundraising campaign has been recognised by the presentation of an award from the charity.
  • In the Wesley Schools’ Choral Festival, our Senior Choir was awarded a Highly Commended certificate in their class, whilst Hugo O’Donnell (Grammar) and Matthew Cassidy (Elements) recorded second-places in their respective vocal competitions.
  • Poetry students Sean Ojejinmi, David Tunney, Cian Horneck Johnston, Michael O’Brien, and Ceallachan McDonald received gold medals in the Pope John Paul II Awards from Bishop Denis Nulty during Catholic Schools Week.
  • Syntax Boys have taken part in a national Chinese Inter Schools Competition. Sean Leahy was awarded third prize whilst Sean Freeman was ranked in the top 15.
  • Two students, Julian Jimenez Ospina and Mikey Mina Ronayne (Rudiments), were successful in getting through to the finals of the All-Ireland Chess Mega-Minds Competition.
  • Gary Skinner (Poetry) represented Ireland in February at the Youth Winter Olympic Games in Lillehammer, Norway. Robert Savage (Grammar) has made the U18 National pentathlon team, and will represent Ireland in the European and World Championships this summer. Jack O’Leary (Rhetoric) retained his Leinster Cross Country title, and achieved a top-5 finish in the All-Ireland finals.

I am delighted that work on the swimming pool project started on time last month. We are expecting the pool to be completed by mid-summer 2017, and to be fully operational for the start of the 2017 – 18 academic year.

The dates for the 2016 – 17 academic year are in the process of being finalised and will be published very shortly. There is one key date that I would want to highlight in particular. We had a somewhat untidy finish prior to Christmas 2015 with a number of boys leaving well before the official end of term. In the coming academic year, we have brought forward the end of term to Tuesday 20 December (rather than finishing on 22 December). End-of-term examinations will finish for all students on Monday 19 December and the Carol Service will take place later that day.

With my best wishes to you and your families for the Easter season.

Chris Lumb, Headmaster

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