St. Columba’s NS was established in 1787 due to the generosity of the parishioners of the parishes of St Mary’s, St Thomas and St. George. It is situated in North Strand, about 1.5km from the centre of Dublin. The school is under the patronage of the Church of Ireland and stands in the grounds of the local Anglican North Strand church. The school welcomes children from the local community. It is a primary school delivering the national school curriculum to about 100 boys and girls aged from 4 to 12 years.
In our two school buildings, there are four classroom teachers, one full-time learning support teacher and one shared resource teacher. There are also two Special Needs Assistants and a part time Secretary in the school. The children all live in the
area immediately surrounding the school and most are active participants in local community activities.
In addition to the standard school curriculum, the children participate in a number of activities both during school hours and after school. These include the Primary Science Fair at the RDS Young Scientist Exhibition, musical theatre and concerts, ukulele lessons, and the local community garden. Regular trips are made by all classes to outside events such as theatre performances, art exhibitions and STEM workshops, while Physical Education is undertaken by the teachers and external coaches from the local GAA club (O’Connell’s GAA club) and Swim Ireland accredited teachers. The school makes good use of local facilities such as the Ballybough Community Centre and Sean McDermott St. swimming pool.
The school is twinned with Vuyani Primary School in Gugulethu township near Capetown, South Africa with the support of Amawele. This relationship allows both schools to deliver a range of elements of the curriculum such as geography, science and development education without impacting on time spent on other subjects. All classes engage in regular contact with our twin school using Skype, email and even regular post to exchange ideas and information. The children really enjoy learning about the lives of their friends in Africa, chatting about hobbies such as music and sport where they find that their lives are not so different.
St. Columba’s is part of a very active parish community and regular engagement with the church includes services to celebrate the Christian calendar, participation in parish events and active participation in the life of the school by the parish clergy. Parents are a very important part of school life and the Parent Teacher Association has a long history of supporting the school through the organisation of events such as the Hallowe’en Sponsored walk, the Christmas service and Sport’s Day. The PTA also organises social events in the school for parents such as quiz nights and speakers who address matters of concern to 21st century parents. In addition, parents are encouraged to share their skills with the school and participate in paired reading, Maths for Fun and many other activities.