School News

Lots happening in Coláiste Cholmcille

Students enjoyed tour to Germany

news reporter


news reporter


Lots happening in Coláiste Cholmcille

First Year students enjoyed their visit to AIB Bank where they gained an insight into the services offered by the bank.

Foreign Language Trip  

Transition Year students have just returned safe and well from their trip to Berlin. The trip took place from the 21st of March to the 24th March, led by Ms Julianne Murphy and assisted by Mr E Maguire (German Teacher) and Ms M McGurren, Ms L Cooney, Ms K Freney, Mr H McGlynn and Mr S Carty. Berlin was a great choice for a TY tour as the trip reinforced the students’ 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.  

On arrival to Berlin the teachers and students enjoyed a half day guided coaching tour of Berlin. Sights they saw along the way included the Brandenburg Gate: Once part of the Berlin wall, this monumental symbol of is now truly a symbol of peace in Germany; Charlottenburg Palace: The largest Palace in Berlin is home to the Charlottenburg Park, a number of important buildings such as the mausoleum which is the burial place of members of the Royal Family, and statues such as the Statue of the Great Elector and the Soviet War Memorial: One of many memorials un Berlin erected by the Soviet Union to honour and respects its passed soldiers, to name but a few attractions!  

Day two began with Topography of Terror. Since 1987 a permanent exhibition at the site where the headquarters of the Secret State Police, the SS and the Reich Security Main Office were located during the “Third Reich” has been providing information to the public about the most important institutions of National Socialist persecution and terror. The documentary exhibition conveys the European dimensions of the Nazi reign of terror. Then the group made their way Potsdamer Platz for lunch and for some shopping. 15 minutes walking The Potsdamer Platz quarter is one of the most exciting and multifaceted corners of the German capital. 

Up to 100,000 people come to this square every day to experience the unique blend of art, entertainment, shopping and cosmopolitan flair – and ultimately to feel a touch of history. This is the place to be – have fun!  Students really enjoyed their time there.

They then enjoyed bowling at Berolina Bowling. In the evening, the group visited the Reichstag. The group climbed to the top of the glass dome for some great views of the city, and walked around the exhibition of black-and-white photos portraying the history of the Reichstag since its birth in 1894 up to the reunification of Germany in 1990. 
Saturday began with free time in Potsdam. Potsdam is the capital and largest city of the German federal state of Brandenburg.

It directly borders the German capital, Berlin, and is part of the Berlin/Brandenburg Metropolitan Region. It is situated on the River Havel 24 kilometres (15 miles) southwest of Berlin's city centre. Potsdam was a residence of the Prussian kings and the German Kaiser until 1918. Its planning embodied ideas of the Age of Enlightenment: through a careful balance of architecture and landscape, Potsdam was intended as "a picturesque, pastoral dream" which would remind its residents of their relationship with nature and reason.

Around the city there are a series of interconnected lakes and cultural landmarks, in particular the parks and palaces of Sanssouci, the largest World Heritage Site in Germany. The Potsdam Conference in 1945 was held at the palace Cecilienhof. Babelsberg, in the south-eastern part of Potsdam, was a major film production studio before the 1930s and has enjoyed success as a major center of European film production since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The Filmstudio Babelsberg is the oldest large-scale film studio in the world. Potsdam developed into a centre of science in Germany in the 19th century. Today, there are three public colleges, the University of Potsdam, and more than 30 research institutes in the city.  
After Potsdam, the group spent some time at Tropical Islands.  A visit to Tropical Islands means swimming, diving or just unwinding at the Tropical Sea or Lagoon, visiting the world's biggest indoor rainforest or getting your adrenalin pumping on Germany's highest water-slide tower. Plus lots of other great attractions- the students had a ball. They really enjoyed this amazing waterpark. 

Sunday morning, began with a trip to Sachsenhausen or Sachsenhausen-Oranienburg was a Nazi concentration camp in Oranienburg, Germany, used primarily for political prisoners from 1936 to the end of the Third Reich in May 1945. After World War II, when Oranienburg was in the Soviet Occupation Zone, the structure was used as an NKVD special camp until 1950 (See NKVD special camp Nr. 7). The camp ground with the remaining buildings is now open to the public as a museum.

This was a very poignant visit for the students and staff. The camp was established in 1936. It was located 35 kilometres north of Berlin, which gave it a primary position among the German concentration camps: the administrative centre of all concentration camps was located in Oranienburg, and Sachsenhausen became a training centre for Schutzstaffel (SS) officers (who would often be sent to oversee other camps afterwards).

Executions took place at Sachsenhausen, especially of Soviet prisoners of war. During the earlier stages of the camp's existence the executions were done in a trench, either by shooting or by hanging. A large task force of prisoners was used from the camp to work in nearby brickworks to meet Albert Speer's vision of rebuilding Berlin. Sachsenhausen was originally not intended as an extermination camp—instead, the systematic murder was conducted in camps to the east. In 1942 large numbers of Jewish inmates were relocated to Auschwitz. However, the construction of a gas chamber and ovens by camp-commandant Anton Kaindl in March 1943 in the so-called Industriehof facilitated the means to kill larger numbers of prisoners.

This was one of the most unforgettable visits of the trip and one that staff and students will remember for years to come.  
We would like to extend a heartfelt thank you to the students for their impeccable behaviour, their parents for supporting the trip and especially the teachers who gave up family time to accompany the students.  

Daffodil Day  

Thank you to Ms Yolanda Gallagher and her team of fifth year volunteers who sold daffodils both in school and in Ballyshannon town on Friday last 21st March. Students involved study LCVP as part of their Leaving Certificate modules and they included Cait Gillespie, Kelly Eves, Erica Morrow, Niall Monaghan, James O'Donnell, Laura Elliott, Sarah Gannon, Ava Jordan, Katie Hill, Maria Mc, Amy Gallagher and Caitlin McLaughlin. Daffodil Day is a long running charity event and we have a very proud history here in Coláiste Cholmcille of participating on the day selling daffodils. Thank you to the students, Ms Y Gallagher and the wider community for supporting such a worthwhile cause.  

TY1 Drama Group 

TY1 drama group and Lauren Maguire (TY4) represented the school in the Everyman Theatre in Cork city on Tuesday last performing their modern love story of “Romeo and Jules”. They were highly commended for their piece which judges felt had a strong opening with the use of sign language. Judges also noted how the performers really came across as enjoying themselves which increased audience’s enjoyment, entertainment and overall experience. Thank you to everyone who supported the students and especially to Ms Anne Marie Coleman for all her hard work preparing the students and to Ms Coleman and Ms Murphy who accompanied the students to Cork.  

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.  

Under 16 Boys Rugby team  

Best of luck in the upcoming Ulster Quarter final on Thursday of this week, against Devenish College, Enniskillen. Coaches are Mr Reilly and Mr Carroll. 

Under 14 Girls Gaelic Football 

Under 14 Girls are off to an epic season with two wins from two matches. Spectators were treated a great team performance on Thursday last when the Coláiste Cholmcille Girls played against Loreto Milford. This was an outstanding team performance  where every girl shone in her own right. The final score was testimony to the brilliance on the pitch; CCBS 6:13 Vs Milford Loreto 2:7. The team this year are coached by the very able, County player for Sligo, Ms Anne Marie Coleman. Thank you to Ms Coleman and Mr John Kenny for their expertise.  
The girls played against St Colm’s Derry on Monday 25th March; again, a valiant performance. Well done all.  

First Year Boys Basketball 

Well done to the first-year boys’ basketball team who were in the Northwest Regional Final on Friday 22nd March. They played Carrick-on-Shannon. The team were Drew Heatley Ryan; Shane McGloin; Conor McCauley; Anton Govorov; Ryan Blanc; Callum McNulty; James S Gallagher; James P Gallagher; Finn Waghela; Proinnsias Murray; Rian Kane; Darragh Owens; Kenzi Ayres and Robbie Murphy. As usual the boys delivered in the sporting style that Coláiste Cholmcille has become noted for especially in basketball, unfortunately they were defeated by a single point. Well done boys and Mr M Doherty.  

First Year Trip to the Bank  

First Year students enjoyed their visit to AIB Bank where they gained an insight into the services offered by the bank. They were instructed on how to make lodgements and withdrawals from ATM machines. They were also shown behind the cashier’s desk and the vault. Business Studies is that part of the curriculum which enables the student to make informed decisions in the everyday business of living. The primary aim is to contribute to the students’ everyday understanding of the world of business and to encourage a positive attitude to enterprise and to develop appropriate skills in that field.

The aim of business studies in first year is to provide each student with an appropriate level of economic/business literacy, to contribute to a balanced and appropriate general education in the first year of Junior Cycle level leading to the personal and social development for each student, to develop, in each student, habits and methods of investigation, analysis and problem solving at an appropriate level, to familiarise each student with technological developments in the business environment, to encourage initiative and develop self-reliance in each student and to provide a foundation for students which could lead to studies for Leaving Certificate Business, Economics or Accounting and employment or further studies in the business field.

Following this hands-on experience students will understand money transfer facilities, the use of cheque card, credit card, cheques, Travellers cheques, ATM, Paypath, Paypal, Savings and Current accounts, factors involved in deciding where to borrow from and DIRT. This was a valuable hands-on learning experience which students thoroughly enjoyed. Thank you to Ms Yolanda Gallagher for organising this trip. 

Lifeskills Programme 

A Lifeskills Programme entitled “Living Life to the Full” continues each Friday. It is been presented by AWARE to 24 students. 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.  


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.  

Oral Exam  

Oral Exams began on Monday 25th March with Italian followed by German and French. Irish Orals begin next week 1st April. Thank you to our team of dedicated language teachers for all their preparation. Good luck to all the students.  

Geography Trip  

5th Year Geography students will travel to Lissadell in Sligo as part of their practical geography competent. This is the first year we have travelled to Lissadell for this competent. Fieldwork equipment is an integral part of each course and FSC Centre at Lissadell provides a full range of equipment and field sites not often available in schools. The Centre has a number of well-equipped laboratories and workrooms. Long-term data sets such as permanent plot records, aerial photographs, water quality and meteorological data are held by many Centres. Each field course is supported by several worksheets, information sheets and other documentation. We know that the students will really benefit from this trip and we would like to thank Ms Tara Dillion, Ms Aine Cronin and Ms Anne Marie Coleman on this trip.  

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.

Rugby... CCBS now into the Ulster Rugby Plate Quarter Finals! 

CCBS 27 : 19 Shimna College 
Coláiste Cholmcille's rugby team's fantastic form in the Ulster Plate continued with a great away win over Shimna College in Co. Down. CCBS started off slowly but were leading by half time as they came to terms with the pace of the game. CCBS's quick tempo and fast handling really allowed the backs to exploit the space on the pitch. CCBS were under pressure at times but dealt with this through fantastic aggression and teamwork. All involved were relieved and delighted with such an important win. They will now play Devenish College in the Ulster Plate Quarter Finals. CCBS Abú!