As I write, the long autumn term is about to come to a close and the Christmas holidays are upon us. My early months in Clongowes have been immensely enjoyable, gaining a sense of what makes the College such a special place. The strength of welcome my wife, Eileen, and I have received from all quarters has been exceptional, and for that we are most grateful.
The past few weeks alone have typified the busy nature of school life. The examinations last week are an important point in the assessment calendar, and provide a reliable benchmark of academic progress.
Our Jesuit tradition is all encompassing. This is witnessed, not least, at our Mass each Sunday morning and in the richness of our liturgical programme. I have been delighted to see such a large number of parents joining the boys and staff each week in the Sports Hall. The Mass for the great feast of the Immaculate Conception was very much a high point of the term too. A splendid Christmas lunch followed with the boys, sitting in their Houses, inviting staff to join them. The dinner in the evening for Rhetoric House Leaders rounded the day off in some style.
Over the past decade, the College has seen investment in new facilities in science, art and technology, and sports funded to a significant extent through generous benefactors. I am delighted to confirm that further investment will soon be visible. The Board of Management has approved work to start early in 2016 on the swimming pool complex, which will provide an outstanding, state-of-the-art facility for the College. The construction period is estimated to be some 18 months, which will see the project completed for the start of the 2017-18 academic year.
With the first game of the Senior Cup nearly upon us (Thursday 28th January vs The King’s Hospital), I wish Senior Panel I boys and accompanying staff well for their trip to Portugal prior to the start of the new term.
May I take this opportunity to wish you and your families all the joys and blessings of the Christmas Season, and every good wish for the coming year.
Chris Lumb, Headmaster