Friday, August 31, 2007

Where We Are

Thanks to a new service from Google Maps, there's now a widget on the right-hand sidebar giving our exact location. Click on 'view larger map' for the full map and then you can zoom in and out. The tabs to the right allow you to switch to Google Earth's helicopter view, and there's also a 'hybrid' option.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Hopkins at Glasnevin

One of the poets on the Leaving Certificate rota (last on in 2006 and sadly not with us this or next year) is Gerard Manley Hopkins. Irish connections include the annual Monasterevin summer school (he used to visit the Kildare village while teaching at the Catholic University in the 1880s); its website includes a searchable online archive.

He is buried in the Jesuit plot at Glasnevin Cemetery, which has excellent tours for schools and the general public. Pictured, our head of department John Fanagan at the memorial on a recent visit (Hopkins's name is on the top of the second tier).

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Book recommendation : The Fall

Simon Mawer is a versatile English novelist who lives in Rome, and whose novels don't seem to have made the general breakthrough they deserve. A biology teacher, his most recent book is a biography of the monk Gregor Mendel, subtitled 'Planting the Seeds of Genetics'. His website includes a recent essay from Nature magazine on 'Science in Literature'.

The Fall was published in 2003. The title combines two of the book's concerns: mountaineering and the loss of innocence. Mawer writes evocatively about climbing, particularly in Wales and on the Eiger mountain. His prose is clean and expressive, and the story rattles along. It is underpinned by a mind unobtrusively at work, examining the nature of love, friendship and the effects of time.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Leaving Cert results 2007

Congratulations to all our pupils who have today received another outstanding set of Leaving Certificate results. The overall points average of 441 across all subjects has gone up slightly from last year's phenomenal 440.

In English,
  • 94% of our pupils took the exam at Higher Level ; nationally, 64% do.
  • 20% of Columbans got 'A' (nationally the figure is 6.6%)
  • 33% got 'B' (nationally 18.2%)
  • 29% got 'C' (nationally 24.2%)
This means that 53% of our candidates achieved A or B at Higher Level, and 82% got A, B or C (49% nationally).