School News

Lots of activities in Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon

news reporter


news reporter


Lots of activities in Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon

Oisin McCauley, Matteo Melis, Rosie Mai Booth, Ciara Cassidy, Ailish Ward, Eadaoin Feehily at Build a Bank.

Cathal Gallagher

Cathal Gallagher was back in school on Tuesday last! He kindly came to Coláiste Cholmcille to speak to first years about his journey with Operation Transformation. Cathal’s talk helped to raise awareness around healthy eating, increasing activity and good mental health, Cathal’s own message is ‘ask for help’ when you need it. He spoke about his job as a healthcare professional and how his role was caring for other people yet he struggled to look after himself. He made great progress on the show and continues to do so since finishing filming. Cathal reminded students that every one of them is worth caring for and they deserve the best they can be. Cathal, you are an inspiration. Congratulations on your achievements, we in Coláiste Cholmcille are so proud. Thank you for taking the time to talk to us. Thank you also to Ms A Geithins for organising this event.


First Year students in CCBS meeting Cathal Gallagher.

Grow2CEO challenge

Class 1'4 have begun their Grow2CEO challenge set by well-known soup brand Cully and Sully. They planted their spinach seeds today and the end goal is for students to create a soup recipe using knowledge they have learned throughout four key challenges over eight weeks. They will learn about food marketing and come up with food business ideas. They have come up with some great ideas already!! This is a cross- curricular project involving Business, Home Economics, English and other subjects.

Build a Bank

The following TY students attended the AIB build a bank competition in the RDS in Dublin; Rosie-Mai Booth, Eadaoin Feehily, Ailish Ward, Ciara Cassidy, Matteo Melis and Oisin Mc Cauley. The AIB Build A Bank Challenge saw a team of six selected students setting up and managing a bank in their schools with the full support of a dedicated AIB Student Officer and their teacher, Ms Y Gallagher. The students got involved in everything from developing a business plan, branding their school bank and engaging with their community and customers through creative marketing campaigns. All competing students were invited with their classmates to the AIB Build A Bank National Final in the RDS where they experienced an amazing day out, met other school bank teams, received proper and professional feedback on their hard work. The students and Ms Y Gallagher had an amazing day in the RDS and really benefitted from the opportunity of presenting their work to all of those present. The AIB Build A Bank Challenge links directly to the Business Studies Curriculum and is an excellent, practical preparation for learning about setting up and running a business. Participating students were involved in all aspects of banking such as sourcing new customers, encouraging regular savings and providing ongoing customer service – everything it takes to run a bank! Students learned a variety of life-long skills including interview experience, presentation skills, relationship management, financial education and marketing techniques. In addition to this, AIB provided full support to each school by having a dedicated Student Officer available to enable the students to be innovative & creative with an emphasis on engaging with their local communities. Thank you to the local branch of AIB here in Ballyshannon and especially to Ms Y Gallagher for all her work in this initiative.

Seachtain na Gaeilge

Bhi réimse leathan imeachtaí ar siúl i gColáiste Cholmcille chun Seachtain na Gaeilge. Bhi na daltaí ag glacadh páirte sa seó Gaeilge Dé Céadaoin le rince,ceol, amhránaíocht agus aithris filíochta.  Gach maidin bhi "Seanfhocal an Lae" ar an idirchum. Bhi daltaí na h-idirbhliana an-ghnóthach na laethanta seo agus iad ag dearadh brataí agus ag ullmhú bpostaer don fhéile 'Seachtain na Gaeilge 2019'. Go raibh maith agaibh go leir, go hairthe Mrs C Gallagher, Mrs C Murrin, Mr J Carroll agus Ms K Freney.

Subject Options

It’s decision time for Third Years who were welcomed with their parents to the school on Thursday 14th March to decide about their pathway next year. Coláiste Cholmcille offers a wide range of subject choices for our students. Senior cycle education may be of two or of three year's duration. Students may follow a two-year Leaving Certificate programme or they may take an additional optional year at the start of their senior cycle; Transition Year. Most students take the Leaving Certificate examination at the end of their senior cycle. Students normally choose 6 to 8 subjects from the list of approved subjects. We have a proud tradition here in Coláiste Cholmcille of offering students the pathway of choosing the Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme (LCVP) take 6 or 7 Leaving Certificate subjects and two additional Link Modules: Preparation for the World of Work and Enterprise Education. Coláiste Cholmcille also offers Leaving Certificate Applied (LCA) students follow a pre-vocational programme made up of a range of courses that are structured round three elements: Vocational Preparation, Vocational Education and General Education. Students can also opt to continue straight from third year to the Leaving Certificate (Established) is a two-year programme that aims to provide learners with a broad, balanced education while also offering them a chance to specialise towards particular higher education and career options. In general, students take five or more subjects (usually seven) for examination, one of which must be Irish. Subjects are normally studied at either Ordinary or Higher Level. Two subjects, Irish and Mathematics, can be studied at Foundation Level. Again we offer a wide range of subjects and choices for students. It is important that parents chat to their students about their next step on the pathway to Leaving Cycle. Our dedicated Careers Team are always on hand to answer any questions you may have and to clarify concerns from the presentation on Thursday last. Good luck with the decision making!

Lifeskills Programme

A Lifeskills Programme entitled “Living Life to the Full” was presented by AWARE to 24 students on Friday 15th March. This is a programme which can make a big difference to the lives of some of our students. It can help them manage their feelings when they are stressed, worried or depressed and learn simple practical skills to help cope with life’s challenges. The programme has been developed by Dr Chris Williams, professor of Psychiatry at University of Glasgow and a recognised expert in developing self-help resources based on CBT. It introduces participants to the ‘Five Areas Approach’ which illustrates that events and situations in our lives affect how we think, how we feel, how we behave and also affect us physically. Thinking and behaviour are the two areas that we have most control over, if we tend to think and/or behave in extreme and unhelpful ways, it can adversely affect the other areas and lead to us getting caught in a ‘vicious circle’. The programme therefore focuses on how we can challenge and change our thinking and behaviour in order to turn the circle into a ‘virtuous circle’. Best wishes to all involved in this worthwhile initiative.

Rugby Win

Congrats to the Under 16 Rugby Team on your spectacular win against Newcastle on 14th March. This was a tremendous team performance when our boys beat the favourites 29-17. It was a team effort where various members of the team drove home the win. Special mention should be afforded to Connell Bradshaw and Cian Barden who were tremendous; also to Mouric McSharry. Amazingly this is McSharry’s second match and he proved a massive addition to our performance. His skill, physicality and commitment added to the game and to the team performance. Thank you also to Mr S Reilly and Mr J Carroll for their continued commitment to the team.  

Foreign Language orals

Students of French and German are working on mock orals at the moment. Good luck to all involved. Students in the French and German Department have really benefitted this year from having a native speakers working with them.

Foreign Language Trip

Transition Year students are very excited about their impending trip to Berlin. The trip will take place from the 21st of March to the 24th March. Berlin is a great choice for a TY tour as the trip will reinforce their knowledge of German for those learning the language, and the city also has a great deal to offer as a modern European city steeped in history. The itinerary for the trip includes a visit to the Reichstag and many museums. Probably the most poignant visit will be to the concentration camp at Sachsenhausen just outside the city. Sachesenhausen was the central administration point for the entire Third Reich Concentration Camp system. Students will also have a guided tour of the city, the highlight of which was the visit to the remains of the Berlin Wall. They will visit the Zoological Gardens and Checkpoint charlie where west met east in that divided city. The Berlin Bunker, where life in those monolithic concrete creation during the months before the fall of Berlin and indeed the collapse of the Third Reich could be imagined close at hand. Thousands of German citizens packed so tightly so that everyone had to stand. If someone died on their feet they were unable to fall due to the crush. Other highlights will include a night time trip up the TV tower, a visit to the Deutches Historic Museum and a night walk through the city and into the Holocaust Memorial. We wish all of the students travelling and their teachers a safe trip.


At this stage, our Leaving Certificate students have begun their ‘Academic Student Mentoring’ programme which focuses on those students in the final year of their Leaving Certificate course with the primary aim of ensuring that every student achieves their own individual academic potential in the state examinations. This comes as students have just receive their grades in their academic mock examinations and as they prepare for orals and practical’s. The aims of the programme are to provide support; guidance and practical advice ensuring students achieve their academic potential in the state examinations, to empower students and their parents through the setting of individual academic targets, to ensure that the importance of the state examinations is to the forefront of student thoughts throughout their 6th year; to identify and address problems and concerns quickly and in a non-confrontational way; to allow all students to experience success through the achieving of their own targets; to remind students that the school and the teachers really care about them and want them to do their best and to ensure that no student goes unnoticed. Ms Carey has assigned various staff their students and over the coming weeks these staff members will meet with their students to support them in whatever they require. Thank you to Ms Carey, the Care Team and all the teachers who continue to make this such a worthwhile activity.

Agriculture Trip

Thank you to Ms Lucinda Gorman and Ms Tina O’Grady for organising a trip to Ballyhaise Agriculture College. A special thank you also to Mr John McLoone and Ms Joanne Kelly who accompanied the students on the trip. Students enjoyed an exploration of the facilities which include a modern 12 unit herringbone milking parlour with automatic drafting, slatted houses, an outdoor pad and calving and isolation boxes. A computerised management programme is used to facilitate record keeping. The 60 cow suckler herd is split into autumn and Spring calving herds to allow students to gain experience of both systems. Replacements are reared and all other progeny is brought to beef. There is a sheep flock of 230 ewes, which students seen been born. This is split into 80 to produce early fat lamb and 150 which are managed to lamb in mid-march to coincide with early grass. The sheep unit is equipped with excellent facilities including various types of housing and handling facilities. Our students benefitted from seeing topics which have been discussed in class on a first hand basis.  No doubt a number of those who travelled on the trip will be making their way to Ballyhaise for future study in the coming months and years.

Lenten Awareness

Thank you to our chaplain Ms Pauline Kilfeather and our dedicated team of RE teachers for organising for various Lenten activities in school. This is a special time of prayer and reflection for Christians.

Health Promoting Schools

The Health Promoting Schools Initiative continues its Trojan work. School can make a substantial contribution to the health and well-being of the whole school community. Schools for health in Ireland provides a framework for a school to assess health needs and begin a process of working towards better health for all who learn and work within the school setting. Thank you to Ms S Coyne and Ms M Erskine for all their work in this area.

Student Council

Student Council continue to meet to represent the voice of the students in our school. They are currently working on a number of interesting initiatives to make life in Coláiste Cholmcille better for all students. They held a very successful Non-Uniform Day on Friday 15th March - all funds will go to the Student Council and local charities.