About St Columba’s GNS with Facility for Deaf Children
Situated on a five acre campus in the heart of Douglas, our school has been a centre of learning for over 100 years. Our most important resource is our staff of teachers, classroom assistants, administrative and maintenance personnel. They, along with our Board of Management, acknowledge the privilege and responsibility that comes with the role of helping our pupils to grow and to learn and we are fully dedicated to fulfilling this role to the best of our ability.
The St.Columba’s Complex comprises of two parallel strips of land, divided down the centre by a long tree-lined pathway and drive way. Situated on the strip of land to the right are three buildings, St. Columba’s Boys’ National School, St. Columba’s Girls’ National School ( which is now our Senior School Building) and our Junior School building which was originally built by the Cork Deaf Association as a school for the Hearing Impaired. In 1999, the Girls’ School amalgamated with the School for Deaf Children and, hence, our Junior School houses six classes for Deaf Children and our Mainstream Junior and Senior Infant Classes.
The children in our Deaf Facility are very much an integral part of the day to day fabric of our school, integrating at lunch time, play time, assemblies, Religious Ceremonies, School Concerts, Visitor Presentations, Sporting Activities, School trips and activities, Student Council, Extra-Curricular activities and Subject Classroom Integration where appropriate and beneficial.
The most recent addition to our Complex is a Montessori Preschool, Early Morning Breakfast Care and After-school Care facility on site, housed between our Junior and Senior School buildings.
The strip of land to the left takes the form of a beautiful lawn, lavishly adorned with trees, shrubs, flowers and a cobbled walking trail. It provides a most natural and therapeutic setting for our school complex.
The Boys’ and Girls’ schools have worked together as a partnership over the years co-ordinating school closures and events, enrolment forms and procedures, and activities in general. This serves to accommodate families that have children in both schools and it also fosters a community spirit that characterises the complex as a whole.
Dedicated to the advancement of deaf education as well as general mainstream education, our school follows the bilingual educational philosophy whereby all teachers and pupils learn sign language in both Deaf and Mainstream sections of the school. This has been a most rewarding experience for all concerned.
The main subjects taught in our school are: Irish, English, Maths, History, Geography, Science, Visual Arts, Music, Drama, PE, Religion, SPHE (Social, Personal &Health Education) and IT Skills.
Other activities include: Team Sports ( Football, Soccer, Basketball, Camogie), Athletics, Green Schools Committee, Gardening, Knitting, Bowling with Community Senior Citizens, Irish Dancing, Speech and Drama, Computer Room Activities, School Choir, School concerts and shows, Baking, ePub Reading, Daily Morning Assemblies, Junior Traffic Wardens, Lunchtime Pals, a variety of after school lessons and a homework club.
We take a holistic approach to the development of children and encourage a positive, pro-active, self-motivating approach to learning. We see learning as a lifelong process and encourage a sense of wonder, curiosity and joy in achievement.
Our school emphasises and encourages the individuality of each child, including children with special educational needs. We give pride of place to the development of the social and personal qualities of honesty, sincerity, courtesy, integrity and a genuine caring Christian attitude.
The challenge for us, always, is to sustain an atmosphere and ethos in the school whereby our pupils are happy and relaxed with a sense of self-belief and well-being while, at the same time, reaching their full potential in all aspects of their person.