Monday, June 20, 2022

Vacancy for 2022-23

Our English Department is looking for:

  • a full-time teacher of English for next year (initially, with extension possible), starting Monday 29th August, covering the Junior and Senior Cycles (including Leaving Certificate).
  • a part-time teacher of English next year, as a maternity cover. The contract starts on Monday 29th August 2022 and concludes on Friday 10th February 2023, covering both Senior and Junior Cycle. The successful teacher will have 14 hours' classroom teaching a week.

The Department is a close-knit supportive one, with three experienced teachers available constantly to support the person appointed. Classes are small (for example, there are about 16 pupils in the Fifth Form set). 

The College operates a six-day timetable, with no classes on Wednesday or Saturday afternoons (or, for the successful candidate, Friday afternoons).

Applicants must be fully qualified teachers and will ideally have some experience.  They must also be native English speakers and have appropriate Garda vetting.
Applications, including a Curriculum Vitae and the names and addresses of two referees,
should be forwarded as soon as possible/or by June 25th (maternity cover) or by June 30th (full-time post) at the latest to:
The Warden, St. Columba’s College, Whitechurch, Dublin D16 CH93 or by email : warden@stcolumbas.ie.
www.stcolumbas.ie

Any query in advance of application can be sent without prejudice to sccenglish@stcolumbas.ie.

 Vacancies on College website.

Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Leaving Certificate English papers 2022

 For analyses of the Higher Level papers this year, go to the links - Paper 1 and Paper 2.

Monday, June 13, 2022

The Submarine, June 2022


Well done to Editors Elizabeth Hart and Isabella Treacy on the final edition of 'The Submarine' magazine this school year. It can be read here in flippable form.
 
The cover is by Alexia Fantacci, and other artwork is by Tabitha Larke, Safia Walker, Iona Chavasse, Daniel Moran, Isabel Warnock, Alison Wang and Antonia Ladanyi. On the writing front, there is an entertaining interview with Mr Duffy, Edna Johnston's 'What is Mars was made out of a Mars Bar?', Zining Wang's artist profile of Sixth Former Iona Chavasse, an interview with the author Richie Conroy, an account of the talk on race by Clinton Wokocha, and an untitled poem by Anna Rose MacManus.

Vacancy, 2022-23

The English Department is looking for a part-time teacher of English next year, as a maternity cover. The contract starts on Monday 29th August 2022 and concludes on Friday 10th February 2023, covering both Senior and Junior Cycle. The successful teacher will have 14 hours' classroom teaching a week.

The Department is a close-knit supportive one, with three experienced teachers available constantly to support the person appointed. Classes are small (for example, there are about 16 pupils in the Sixth Form set). 

 
The College operates a six-day timetable, with no classes on Wednesday or Saturday afternoons (or, for the successful candidate, Friday afternoons).

Applicants must be fully qualified teachers and will ideally have some experience.  They must also be native English speakers and have appropriate Garda vetting.


Applications, including a Curriculum Vitae and the names and addresses of two referees,
should be forwarded as soon as possible/or by June 25th th at the latest to:

The Warden, St. Columba’s College, Whitechurch, Dublin D16 CH93 or by email : warden@stcolumbas.ie.


www.stcolumbas.ie

Any query in advance of application can be sent without prejudice to sccenglish@stcolumbas.ie.

 Vacancy on College website.

Senior Poetry Prize 2

More excellent poems from the recent Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Poetry, this time from Yilong She.

Boating

Moss-encrusted rocks littered along the bank
Low-lying leaves of a willow weeping
just above the stream,
in shining rings rippling a still sky.
The vast dawn spread over the waters,
Where reflections like sparks, bright and vivid
Catch the expanding ripples and the misty air,
Some troubledness in the wails of the birds.
The trees afar are taller than the horizon
Shadowing the breeze to the river depth,
Where salmon dip and plump-trout
Glide under the cattail and bladderwort -

A white creature
Mingling a descending ball of light,
Erect on one golden cane.
Calling out, and louder yet,
The mist and parading shadows flee,
Between the rows of glowing, golden foliage
Between the flowing, flowering ripples
her wings beat on.
And call back, in deeper mimicking, -
Let me be stirred
By the murmuring trees or the humming birds;
Will she again sing the next spring?
 

 

Rain

A long dream, cold.
Damp cracklings of fire
In vicious tenderness
Sing, ring, and fling
Itself down. Drowning
The soft fragrance of
Hot oil in the street-
Vendors’ buns. Lights
In green, yellow and
Red blinking rigidly,
Mechanical liveliness
That sparks a humid
Splash of fresh earthly
Smell. Always wishing;
With myriad hands
It carries on looking,
Listening to the plops,
Pitters and splatters -
Searching, always.
Children passing by, a
Long row of iridescent
Flowers, hanging low.
Singing in overt unison,
A sweet, unadulterated
Chorus.                                               
 

Sea

White flowers that bloom
folding on itself
white petals sprouting from the blue
whirling along the selkies’ song.

The shimmering and swelling of the shifting current
surging and plunging
and again surge
blowing its soul into the withering desert
 
I watch it rise above my ankles and retreat back
again and again
with a fresh tenderness
and I will continue to watch it, rolling on.

Wednesday, June 01, 2022

Transition Year English Evening 2022

 

The 28th Transition Year English Evening took place last night in the Big Schoolroom, compèred by Mr Jameson, after its two-year hiatus. The guest of honour was the author Richie Conroy, whose comments on the individual pieces are in italics below


Nine members of the Fourth Form read out pieces of writing: Phoebe Landseer opened up with a piece on her first home, in which we were transported by the power of words, followed by Zara Chohan (‘The Watcher’, a piece of fiction, which was gripping with lots of tension), Isabella Treacy on the joys of books (read by Raicheal Murray, a superb piece that made us feel we were in a second-hand bookshop), Daniel Murray (on censorship, an effective piece), Lara Hunter with a fictional piece which was superb, Georgia Goodbody (on her grandmother and her home, now sold, an amazing picture), Belen Olea (on the oldest person she knows, a fine piece which showed how important it is to pay attention to the older generation), Lily Boyle on learning poetry in primary school (a lovely window into the past) and finally Alannah McKee on her last day at primary school (a real journey in her piece, and a really powerful ending).


Mr Jameson presented the annual trophy to the editors of The Submarine magazine, this year Elizabeth Hart and Isabella Treacy. He then handed over to Richie Conroy, who used his experience of running the Dublin City Marathon for the first time to give the pupils important advice about writing. We all have a voice in our heads (for Richie, ‘Kermit’), which discourages us, but we need to say yes to new experiences. No experience is wasted. Reading is so important. Richie handed out writers’ notebooks to the presenters and advised them to jot down ideas, characters, good lines, dialogues. He spoke funnily, accessibly and with great encouragement to all the young writers in the audience.


Finally, the following were congratulated as winners of Premier Awards this year: Hannah Bergmann, Lily Boyle, Alison Coogan, Elizabeth Hart, Alannah McKee, Cameron McKinley, Belen Olea, Rachel Shaw, Calvin She, Isabella Treacy, Cayden Wong.

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Senior Poetry Prize 2022

 Mr Canning writes:

The Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Poetry 2022 was awarded to Transition Year pupil Isabella Treacy. It was the overall consistency and quality of her submitted body of five poems based on or inspired by the idea of either or all of  MEMORIES or JOY or ECHOES which edged out some other very strong entries. It was fantastic that so many Transition Year students entered.

Knots by Isabella Treacy

Once we were a pair,
Content to stay
Transfixed in each other's steady gaze,
You look at me now with hollow eye sockets
And smile,
Yesterday I was a word,
A word that I could never find
Left with no voice to speak it,
Now I am a happy song
Placed on your lips,
By this sound I was resurrected,
Life was not aware of me
And I wasn’t aware of life,
Now, its flames warm my heart
Please, don't ever stop singing,
You showed me that life
Wasn’t about extending your time,
But I had already crowned that same old passing
In such an idyllic swiftness,
For everything dies
And may the days
All pass me by,
As the stillness covers my ears
Until all sound disappears,
And I am left again with a word,
And no one left to speak it.   



Monday, May 30, 2022

Voices of Poetry 2022

Sunday evening saw the special event that is Voices of Poetry return to the Big Schoolroom in its long-lasting and infallible format: a pupil or teacher reading a short poem after a brief explanation in a darkened room, picked out by a single spotlight. Some of these were in languages other than English: it is amazing how powerful such readings can be, even if you don’t understand the lines. The evening was organised by Mr Swift, and the presenter was Mr Girdham.

Marianne Lee from First Form opened proceedings, with her own evocative poem ‘The Witching Hour’, followed by Mr Jameson from the English Department with a translation of a poem by the Swedish Nobel Laureate Tomas Tranströmer, 'The Tree and the Sky'.

The other languages kicked in: poems in Italian (Alexia Fantacci), German (Toni Ladanyi), Cecilia Corti (Arabic), Irish (Dairbhre Murray) and Chinese (Harry Wang). The aural contrasts were fascinating.

Mr Girdham then read out ‘Resistance’, recently written by the British Poet Laureate Simon Armitage in solidarity with all those under fire and bombardment in Ukraine, which led on naturally to Pavlo Shvalov reading a piece in Ukrainian celebrating his country’s independence.

Another step change was to Leonid Mylvaganam, who read out his own flowing work, close to performance poetry. Three European languages came next: Dutch (Josefien Hutchinson), French (Eole Mignot) and Spanish (Mateo Aliaga). Again, it was remarkable to hear the differences even though you can drive from one country to the next.

This year’s Junior Poetry Prize was won by Delia Brady, and her poem 'The Moon' was read by Anna Rose McManus.  She was followed by the Warden, who said that from a young age at prep school he had to learn poems off by heart, and he recited G.K. Chesterton’s ‘The Donkey’.

Then, Slavic languages were represented by Polish (Dr Pyz) and Czech (Phoebe Landseer).  

The next two poems brought us close to the end, with two people who are soon to leave the College: Ms Heidi Kavanagh (Yeats’s ‘When You are Old and Grey’) and the Senior Prefect, Evie Pringle, with Stevie Smith’s 'In My Dreams'.

And finally, Mr Canning announced the winner of this year’s Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Poetry (pictured), Isabella Treacy, and read out a poem from her winning portfolio, 'The Knots'.

To conclude, Mr Girdham recommended Pádraig Ó Tuama’s podcast Poetry Unbound: a short podcast twice a week on a single poem, with
Ó Tuama’s reflections. It does what poetry should do for readers: provide a space for attention away from the busy noise of the world. And that is just what Voices of Poetry does too.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Junior Poetry Prize 2022

Congratulations to Delia Brady, who has been awarded this year's Junior Poetry Prize for her work 'The Moon':


My Moon


I have a moon of my own.

She haunts me from a distance, dimly aglow.

She seems to reach out, but even if I stretch my fingers

I know I’ll never reach her.

So strange to know a moon by name, to see her sit next to me.

She seems the saddest for one who shines so bright.

She seems to only call me when it’s night, perhaps 

The loneliest time.


My cherished moon, I look for her always.

Her indecisive presentation keeps her alive, but

Puts me in a guessing daze.

And on the nights she does not show herself,

I wait impatiently for her return.

I never hear what she tries to say, her volume smaller than a whisper,

The distance dissolves her message throughout the pin-prick of stars.


My beloved moon, I admire her from afar.

She is certainly the most beautiful thing in my galaxy.

A million planetary rings could never outstand her creases, curves, and spots.

And when she takes centre stage to 

Eclipse what we always see

A million people gather just for her, and yet

We still can not see her.


My precious moon, I’ll never know her touch.

As incredulous and tempting as she is, I know that

If I inched any closer, I would only be grasping at air.


So, I will watch her from here.

I will reach up and stretch my fingers. I will cup my hands 

And I will imagine I am holding her; for when one is

Deeply in love with the moon, I believe that is all I  can do.

My rare and mysterious, my ever changing, my center of dreams,


I love her

Because she is My moon

And I will never stop loving her.


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Senior Poetry Prize 2022

 

The Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Seniors is this year being launched on Poetry Day Ireland.
 
All entries are to be typed and emailed to Mr Canning by the evening of Friday 27th May.
 
Entries should contain a portfolio of  between two and five poems based on or inspired by the idea of either:-
MEMORIES
or
JOY
 or
ECHOES
Poems should be at least ten lines long, and typed.  The winning entry will be based on the overall standard of the entrant’s body of poems. There will also be a prize for the best poem if it is not in the winner’s selection. Other strong entries will be posted here.

The English Department will also give smaller book-tokens to strong entries that do not win the Prize.  
 
You can treat the ideas of  ‘Memories’ or ‘Joy’ or ‘Echoes’  in a free way: any connection is fine, as long as the poems are connected by image, inspiration, theme, form, situation, context …

The Peter Dix Memorial Prize for Poetry was presented by the Dix family in memory of Peter, who died in the Lockerbie tragedy in 1988.  The Memorial (pictured), by sculptor Joe Sloan, is kept in the Library and inscribed with the names of past winners.

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Thinking about 'Othello'

 
Here are 10 exercises on quotations in Othello. They are designed for pair-work 15-minute sessions in class, but work perfectly well for individuals. You need to know the play well, so these are for revision at a late stage of study. The purpose is to make your mind work hard: retrieving factual details, certainly, about the sequence of the play, individual quotations and so on, but more importantly know making you think and create connections, and have a debate with a partner.
You don’t need to write on the original sheet itself: just take a piece of paper and jot down your responses. When finished find the quotation in context from the text itself, and then fill in any gaps.