The Columban Issue 33 - St Columba's School

The Columban Issue 33 - St Columba's School

Issue 33 february 2012

The Columban

2012 Year of Creative Scotland:

St Columba’s has a Role to Play

in a Creative Community

Rector’s Message

We ended last term on a high note. Over eight hundred

members of the school and the wider community attended

an evening of musical excellence at Greenock Town Hall.

both performers and audience had a feeling of being part

of something special.

The power of the creative arts to bring people together, to

inspire and even empower is at the heart of a new national

initiative – Year of Creative Scotland 2012, which “will

embrace London 2012 and celebrate Glasgow 2014”. It is an

opportunity to showcase Scotland’s rich cultural and creative

heritage, to promote new talent and to encourage more people,

especially our young, to access and enjoy the arts. We are

pleased to launch our own Creative Communities project to

coincide with this. Over the course of the year our writerin-residence,

Kirstin Zhang, will be facilitating a number of

writing and story-telling workshops within School and in the

community. Further details can be found on the next page.

In February we will also be offering another session of the

extremely popular evening class in Art and in September the

School will hold its biennial art show. This includes work

produced by the pupils and by professional and amateur

local artists. We also invite you to join us for the Silver

Tablet Concert in June, when senior pupils compete for this

prestigious music prize.

As you will know from the last Columban, Mrs Cook will be

retiring as Head of Junior School at the end of the session.

I am delighted to announce the appointment of Mrs Alison

Duncan as Head of Junior School in succession to Mrs

Cook. Mrs Duncan was selected from a very strong field

of candidates which included Heads and Deputes with

substantial experience in independent schools. Mrs Duncan’s

appointment, of course, means that we will be recruiting a

new Depute Head of Junior School.

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Musical Celebration

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Creative Communities

Inspired by the mythical founder of the ancient Games, Heracles, as well as the physical talents of the Olympic athletes, our

overall theme this year is ‘superheroes’. There will be a chance for children to create their own superhero during a workshop

which we are holding on 9th June to mark the passing of the Olympic flame through Kilmacolm. Ten of the twenty spaces

available at the event will be reserved for pupils aged 8-10 years from St Columba’s. The other ten spaces will be offered to

children from the wider community. Places will be allocated on a first-come basis.

For adults there is an opportunity to look for inspiration nearer to home, with workshops on writing from life and from local

history. This could be poetry, memoir or fiction. Workshops will take place in Kilmacolm Community Centre and are free.

You don’t need any creative writing experience, just a willingness to come along and see where your imagination takes you.

See p3 for details of how to book a place

schedule of community events

When Who Max. No. What

28th april


9th June


8 september


6 October


Adult 16 Writing from life

everyone has at least one story in them… or maybe even a poem or two.

Writers of all levels welcome.

Light refreshments will be available.

Children 20 superheroes

An event for children aged 8-10.

Create a superhero and save the day!

Adult 16 Writing History

A walk with a local historian will be followed by a writing workshop.

Participants are welcome to work on memoir, poetry or fiction.

Light refreshments will be available.

Children 20 spooky stories

As we approach the witching hour, a chance to try out your spookiest stories.

For children 7-10 years.

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young Writer

In December our writer-in-residence worked with pupils from

Junior 4 to Transitus and with the afterschool Writing Club

run by Ms brash at Senior School to produce prose and poetry

on the themes ‘Olympic Spirit’ or ‘Olympic Dreams’. The work

was submitted to the Rotary Young Writer competition, which

has been granted the prestigious Inspire mark by the London

2012 Inspire programme. Six young writers have been chosen

to proceed to the district level of the competition.

Congratulations to:

senior Poetry

Spirit Strong – Jazz Catto

senior Prose

Living with Ecstasy – Megan-Kate McClement

Intermediate Poetry

The Dream Builders – Katie McLean

Intermediate Prose

The Fallen Expectations of 1936 – Daisy Docherty

Junior Poetry

King of the Hill – Thomas Rainey

Junior Prose

Olympic Spirit – Mark Connolly

A special award of ‘highly commended’ was also made to Kim

Crawford for her story My Olympic Spirit.

Here is a taste of some of the work produced during the


“Franceso Di Mourbellirami was so relieved because he had

made it to the Olympics in London. The only thing that

troubled him was that his arch enemy Rafael Di nocamonya

was also in it. Rafael was known as the ‘Cheat of the Century’

because he was a cheat and got on people’s nerves.” (Kedar

Crossan, Age 9)

Senior School Winners

“I was there, behind the starting line, waiting, waiting for the

gun to go off, the 800metre race to begin. I was the youngest

lady athlete in the race. People had laughed at me when I told

them I was running in the 2012 Olympics. “no way,” they said

“are you going to manage to win 800 metres, Annie.” “I will,”

I told them determinedly.” (Flo eadie, Age 9)

“We walked through the village, hand in hand, and mother

smiled at my curious innocence. The streets were dim with

the soft glow of fires from within the warm homes. My winter

hat was strapped to my head as the snow of 1934 fell lightly.”

(Daisy Docherty, SIII)

To read more go to the Creative Communities website

To take part in any of the workshops, please email or complete the

form below.

creative communities







Please send your completed booking form to:

Kirstin Zhang, st columba’s school, Duchal road,

Kilmacolm, Pa13 4au

Junior Young Writers with Mr Douglas and Ms Zhang

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Staff news

Congratulations to Dr Iain spencer (Physics) on the birth of

his daughter, nina Mae, and to Mrs rachel Kerr (Geography),

who gave birth to a daughter, niamh emily.

Ms laura Greig, bSc, Glasgow, will cover Mrs Kerr’s maternity


Mrs Gillen (History) will begin her maternity leave from the

February holiday.

Ms Heather Macewan will cover Mrs Gillen’s classes.

Ms Macewan is a graduate of the university of Glasgow.

Duke of edinburgh’s Award

John broadfoot, School Governor, presented pupils with their

awards at Assembly.

bronze awards silver awards

Lucy bishop Peter borland

Ryan Doherty Isobel Clarke

Fiona Faint Stuart Cunning

Anna Galloway Jessica Lee

Ruby Gilmour Chloe Lyth

Kirsty McCrorie Sammy Rose

Carla nugent Duncan Stewart

edward Stirrup

Madeleine Stow

Alex Wren

Sean Yacoubian

Sammy Rose

Duncan Stewart

Congratulations also to Mrs fiona Mcfarlane (Junior 1) who

had a little boy called Charlie in October.

Mrs anne Holt (Modern Languages) and Mrs Margaret

blackie and Mrs eileen black from the Junior School will

retire at the end of the session. We wish them well for the


Mr allan Gallagher, Company Secretary, will retire from his

post at easter.


learning from Olympic Heroes

The SII pupils produced Learning for Life posters during

PSe. They chose a wide variety of Olympic heroes, ranging

from John baxter Taylor Jr to Tammy Grey Thompson.

They also identified a lot of excellent inspirational quotes.

One of the favourites was: “Team work makes the dream

work” (e Milligan).

The winning entries were:

1st – Zoe borland (Craigmarloch)

2nd – Jennifer buchanan (Kilallan)

3rd – Kharis Cunningham (Strathgryffe)

4th – Olivia Gemmell (Duchal)

They have been put forward to be judged against other

schools and the winners will be announced in June. All of the

pupils worked extremely hard identifying their heroes and

undertaking a self reflective exercise.


In October St Columba’s debaters, Fiona Ritchie, Rachel

Munro, Maxine Muirhead, Katie McLean and Amy bretherton,

competed in the International Independent Schools’ Public

Speaking Competition in Vancouver, Canada. They met pupils

from many countries, including Cyprus, Peru, bermuda and

India and thoroughly enjoyed the experience. Although they

did not secure any trophies during the IISPSC itself, Fiona,

Maxine and Katie did enjoy success when they took part in a

show debate in the World Schools Format in Victoria and won.

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Young Chef Competition

Ten pupils participated in the first round of the Rotary Young Chef 2012 competition in november – an evening of great

excitement, high tension and ambitious menus.

At the end of the ‘heat’, the chief judge from the Rotary Club of Gryffe Valley praised all of the competitors for the quality

of their cooking and the composed way in which they performed under pressure. Indeed, all received certificates and goodie

bags – courtesy of Gibb Stuart and Pyrex – with two pupils receiving the top prizes. The runner-up was Caroline Dale from

SI and the overall winner was Jonathan Ferguson in SIV. Jonathan went on to compete in the district final held in South

Lanarkshire College.

Photographs courtesy of John Clark, Gryffe Valley Camera Club

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Challenge Week

(Ms Kirsty brash)

Challenge permeates all that we do at St Columba’s and this

was celebrated during Challenge Week, which took place

between 28th november and 2nd December. Pupils were

encouraged to take their thinking further by developing skills

in critical thinking and making meaningful connections

between disciplines in order to tackle problems and consider

ways forward.

The School welcomed guest speakers, including Rob Maslen,

Lecturer in english Literature at Glasgow university, who

conducted workshops in Shakespearean tragedy and the

themes of art and nature in The Tempest and The Winter’s Tale

with SV and SVI english students respectively. Claire Cassidy,

of Strathclyde university, challenged pupils across the year

levels to reflect upon ethical dilemmas through a series of

philosophical discussions. Faculties also participated with a

series of competitions and opportunities for pupils to present

Physics Challenge

(Dr Iain spencer)

The Physics Department challenged SV and SVI pupils to

explain the physics of a photo they had taken. As always, we

were impressed at the way that St Columba’s pupils accept

and take on a challenge like this in a manner which makes us

proud of them time and time again. The standard of entries

was excellent and exceeded our expectations. The judging was

based on the effort made to produce the photo and the quality

of the explanation. Since the submissions were of such a high

quality, this made the judging very difficult, but in the end the

winners were chosen to be –

Douglas barclay

Sammy Rose

Mark McGregor

sammy rose’s entry

“This picture was taken when a pan of water boiled over

onto an aga hotplate. The small water droplets appear to be

floating, whilst the larger are partially suspended. The effect

of the droplets floating is caused by the bottom layer of the

droplet vaporising instantly when it comes in contact with

the hotplate. To allow the expanded volume of water vapour to

escape, the drop appears to jump. The minuscule weight of the

small droplets allows them to be lifted high by the vapour. As

the layer of vapour suspends the droplet, it becomes insulated

against the heat. The small droplet of water can therefore be

observed skittering across the hotplate for a prolonged period

of time, until eventually evaporating completely.”

research and thoughts on particular areas of interest to them:

examples included the Physics challenge to photograph an

aspect of everyday life and, using understanding gained

through Physics, to explain relevant phenomena; the Music

Department’s challenge to pupils to take up a new instrument

for the week (So you think you can play…?) and the Psychology

investigation into the baffling concept of national identity.

The Technology Department ran a Dragon’s Den competition,

which challenged pupils to invent a new and original product

and convince harsh judges of its value.

We hope Challenge Week has helped to consolidate much of

the hard work we have already done in teaching our pupils

to expect and to embrace challenge and that what they have

experienced will impact on their thinking and learning beyond

this week.

Mark McGregor’s entry

“This is a picture of me scuba diving. The colours in the

photograph are almost exclusively blue. The photo was taken

at a depth of about 15 metres on an otherwise sunny day

with good visibility. This clearly illustrates the absorption of

sunlight in water. Absorption is greater for long wavelengths

(the red end of the visible spectrum) than for short

wavelengths (the blue end). The colour spectrum is rapidly

altered with increasing depth. For example, white objects at

the surface appear blue underwater and red objects appear

very dark at depth.”

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beat the MacQueen


Current School Chess Champion Stuart MacQueen (SVI)

undertook his toughest challenge to date, taking on five

challengers simultaneously. All five were capable players,

but Stuart rose to the occassion, defeating all of them in a

‘MacQueen Whitewash’. His game against Maxine Muirhead

(SV) went right to the wire, with Stuart achieving checkmate

just as the bell rang to mark the end of the challenge.

The event was well attended, with supporters on both sides

engaging with the fun. Stuart enjoyed himself so much that

he said he’d like to try another challenge like this in the future,

possibly to raise money for a local charity.

Art Challenge

Psychology Challenge

The SVI Psychology students were asked to carry out a

study into national identity. We interviewed pupils from

SIII upwards and staff from a variety of faculties. The aim

of the experiment was to learn more about how people view

themselves and if they thought that they were particularly

patriotic. The results revealed some clear trends and

interesting results. One of the most interesting results was

that 75% would rather wear a kilt than a suit. While a high

percentage of the participants felt patriotic, the majority did

not want an independent Scotland. Most participants are

proud to be Scottish and 74% would want to continue living in

Scotland as they get older.

Pupils have been developing work from the large-scale exploratory drawings they produced during Challenge Week.

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Senior VI

school ball

Chinese Language and Culture Course

(sian Williams)

Continuing the School’s link with the Ricefield Arts and

Cultural Centre in Glasgow, a group of Senior VI pupils

completed a short course aimed at providing a glimpse of

the art, history and culture of China. The course began

with a lesson on Chinese calligraphy led by Glasgow-based

artist Yan Wang. We learned of the cultural importance that

calligraphy has had throughout China’s history, before being

given the opportunity to try our hand at this challenging

form. In session two we enjoyed an introduction to the basics

of Tai Chi. unsurprisingly, the graceful movements of Tai

Chi instructor, Li Ho, who has practised this form of martial

art for over 20 years, were far from matched by a batch of

clumsy adolescents, although a select few were delighted

to be informed at the end that they possessed ‘Chi’. These

hands-on lessons were followed by a pair of more academic

presentations, led by Dr Daniel Hammond from the Faculty of

Asian Studies at the university of edinburgh: the first focused

on what he termed the ‘winners and losers’ during China’s

‘Reform era’ and the second explored the extreme poverty that

is endemic across this vast country. both sessions opened our

eyes to the very different society and cultural expectations

that exist in this burgeoning superpower. The course returned

to a more practical format when composer, musician and

co-founder of the Harmony Ensemble, eddie McGuire, led a

fascinating lesson on the Music of China and encouraged us

to try to elicit at least something resembling a sweet noise

from a range of very exotic-sounding instruments. The course

was wrapped up with a class on Smokelong Fiction taken by

Dr Laura Tansley, lecturer in english and Creative Writing at

the university of Glasgow. In this session we were introduced

to this ultra-concise form of writing, and using pictures taken

from an exhibition by Polly braden at the Ricefield Centre,

we had a go at composing our own short stories. below is an

example of Smokelong Fiction written by Rebecca Anderson

during this final lesson.

(Photo courtesy of Polly Braden)

Standing in the doorway I watched her cheerfully board the car –

or at least that’s how she put it. Excited chatter poured from her

mouth and filled the empty street. I followed and sat beside her in

an ungraceful manner whilst her voice continued to ring through

my ears and spill into the sweet, country air.

As time went on the air of excited chatter morphed into

comfortable conversation and soon I found myself resting on her

shoulder falling into a cheesy sleep.

I awoke with a jolt to a somewhat ironic scream. There had been

a bee lurking, waiting for a moment to ‘attack’. I sighed, looking

up into her beautiful eyes and suddenly realised what I had partly

known all along. I finally knew what the brilliant discomfort in

the pit of my belly really was – after all I had taken my travel

sickness pills! It was love.

(Rebecca Anderson)

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Stuart MacQueen (SVI) has progressed to the next round of

the Senior Maths Challenge. This is a national competition

with participants coming from all uK schools. Stuart was

taking part in the Senior Kangaroo Challenge. This paper

allows students in the uK to test themselves on questions set

for the best school-aged mathematicians from across europe

and beyond.


Modern studies educational Trust competition

SIII pupils, Patrick Skirving, Laurens Zhang, Melissa Rankin

and Tori Hamilton won the Modern Studies educational

Trust SIII/IV PowerPoint competition. They had to design a

PowerPoint that focused on ‘the work of our representatives’.

Having been visited by Councillor David Wilson, Derek

MacKay MSP and Iain McKenzie MP in the first term the pupils

were able to produce informative PowerPoints with lots of

evidence of the work done by their elected representatives.

The judges were impressed by the research and the quality of

the presentation.

Inverclyde festival


Pupils from the Advanced Higher French class enjoyed a

visit to Paris in December. The pupils took the opportunity

to practise their language skills during the 3-day trip, whilst

visiting the main sites of the city. The trip was a great success

and the pupils were excellent ambassadors for the School.

Pupils from the SV Higher German class recently took part in

an immersion day at the Goethe Institut in Glasgow. This was

an enjoyable event, where they had the opportunity to interact

with other students of German and boost their linguistic and

cultural competence.

Music & Drama

Maestro Music rsNO

Congratulations to Junior 4, who won the Wilson/Mackay Trophy for Group Verse

with their performance of The Dragon Who Ate Our School at the Inverclyde Music

Festival 2012.

Clare eagle played violin with the RSnO at an orchestral

schools’ concert at the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow. She was

chosen from pupils who have reached Grade 7/8 standard.

Clare played the 1st Mvt of beethoven’s Symphony no. 5

bbc scottish symphony Orchestra

Will Fleming (J5) has been selected to receive instrumental

lessons with a horn player from the bbC SSO as part of

Renfrewshire Council’s Music Service.

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Rugby and Hockey

Tour to Ireland

The 1st XV rugby team and an SV/SVI hockey team enjoyed a

successful tour of Ireland.

sV/sVI hockey team v 1st XV v

High School of Dublin High School of Dublin

3-1 won 34-12 win

Kings Hospital 0-0 nAAS Rugby Club 17-17

Muddrock 1- 0 lost

Silver at Road Relay

Congratulations to Rachel bannatyne, Katrina Miller and Kim

Crawford (J6) who won Silver at the Scottish Primary Schools’

Road Relay races. Well done to everyone who took part.

South West Hockey

Laurie Kirkland, Kirstin bailey, Karina bailey, Caitlin Girdwood

and Katie McAlpine successfully trialled for the South West

under-18 team.

ellie Halliday, Chloe Hardie, Morven Macewen, Abigail Robb

and Iona Grant tried out for the South West under-16 team.

Morven Mcewen, Laurie Kirkland, Chloe Hardie and ellie

Halliday subsequently received a Scottish trial.

Players were split into two squads – the Performance Squad

and the Development Squad. The Performance Squad is set to

play Wales, england and Ireland this year. The Development

Squad has games in Ireland. Chloe has been selected

for the Performance Team and will play in the under-16

Scotland Squad. ellie and Morven have been selected for the

Development Team.

Gold at Road Relay

Hot on the heels of the J6 girls’ success at the Scottish Primary

Schools’ Road Relay Championships, the SI girls, Iona Miller,

Catriona Allan and Laura Stark, won Gold at the Scottish

Secondary Schools’ Road Relay Championships. The b team

(emma Devine, eilidh Love and Catherine Martin) was 10th.

A fantastic result!

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School Christmas Canter

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Kilbarchan Cross Country

Over forty athletes from the School took part in the Kilbarchan

Cross Country event. For the first time the School won the

Junior and Senior trophies.

J5/6 Girls

Gold Kim Crawford

Silver Rachel bannatyne

Team gold Kim Crawford, Rachel bannatyne

and eilidh Gibson

J5/6 boys

Gold Calvin Wardell

Team gold Calvin Wardell, Jamie Love and Cameron Stark

Transitus Girls

Silver Molly Cuthbertson

bronze Molly bower

Team gold Molly Cuthbertson, Molly bower

and Rachael Curry

Transitus boys

Silver bill McIntosh

sI Girls

Gold Laura Stark (Laura also won the girls’ 3k at

Kilmacolm in the morning)

Silver Iona Miller

Team gold Laura Stark, Iona Miller and Catriona Allan

sI boys

bronze Jamie eatock

sII Girls

Gold Olivia Gemmel

Tom to Race for birel

Tom Thickpenny (SIII) has secured a place on the birel team

for 2012. His selection was based on his performance during

the easykart World Finals and a test with birel in Italy last

month. Tom’s success at international level in the sport was

recognised earlier this year with a nomination for a Young

Scot Award. You can find out more about Tom’s racing at

Inverclyde Cross Country


senior school

SI/II girls’ team – gold

Laura Stark, Iona Miller, Catriona Allan, Olivia Gemmell

Individual medalists

sI girls

Laura Stark – gold

Iona Miller – silver

Catriona Allan – bronze

sII girls

Olivia Gemmell – gold

sIII girls

Deborah Staber – bronze

sI boys

Jamie eatock – gold

Junior school

Individual medalists

Kim Crawford (J6) – gold

bill McIntosh (Transitus) – bronze

Team medalists

Girls’ Gold – Kim Crawford, Rachel bannatyne, Katrina Miller

boys’ Silver – bill McIntosh, Calvin Wardell, Ross Wilson

Junior Tennis Stars

Fraser Currie and Julia Smith (J4) competed in the final of the

Strathgryffe under-8 Tennis Championships. It was the best

of three games and both Fraser and Julia took their first two

games, winning their category.

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(Gillian beggs)

The Junior 6 and Transitus netball Club continues to be a

popular extra-curricular activity. The Junior 6 members have

demonstrated both hard work and determination to succeed.

They have listened carefully to instruction and developed

many of their skills by watching and playing with the

Transitus pupils.

Megan Connolly and Meera Patel (SIII) are currently

volunteering at netball Club as part of their Duke of edinburgh

activities. The girls have demonstrated a highly enthusiastic

and responsible attitude towards their duties. Megan and

Meera were responsible for successfully organising and

running the inter-house tournament in December. The J6

and Transitus girls thoroughly enjoyed the excitement of the

event, with Strathgryffe winning overall.

Mrs Connolly continues to provide invaluable coaching

techniques and her enthusiasm for netball continues to have

a positive impact on the girls. I am also extremely grateful for

the assistance offered by Mrs Porter who has volunteered to

help out. We have a busy term ahead in preparation for the

competitive tournament taking place in March.

Scottish Schools’


Twelve pupils from St Columba’s recently participated in the

Scottish Schools’ Swimming Association regional heats at

Johnstone. Swimmers can only participate in two events each.

Despite this, pupils secured an impressive medal haul for the


Calvin Wardell (J6) 2 Golds

eilidh Love (SI) 1 Silver

Kharis Cunningham (SII) 1 Gold, 1 bronze

Kim Crawford (J6) 1 bronze

Megan Connolly (SII) 2 Silvers

Lauren Aiston (SII) 1 bronze

Sarah bradford (SII) 1 Silver

Olivia Gemmell (SII) 1 bronze

Also taking part, but just missing out on medals were Amy

Crawford (Transitus), Katrina Miller, Olivia Saddler and Jamie

Love (all J6). Lauren, Sarah, Kim, Kharis, eilidh and Calvin

have all made the consideration time for the Scottish Schools’



Lewis Marr (SIII) has seen the efforts of a tough winter

training and a successful summer of racing rewarded with

selection for the Great britain Topper Junior Intermediate

squad. Training takes place at the Olympic training centre at

Weymouth as well as other locations in the South of england

and Wales.

Lewis will train with the Scotland Squad as well as the Great

britain Squad throughout the winter in his aim to reach

the top levels of british sailing. He will then embark on an

intensive summer of racing in 2012, which will see him

race at venues throughout the uK and at the World Topper

Championships in Holland next year, at times racing in fleets

of around 300 boats.

2012 scottish schools’ brown cup for sailing

Lewis Marr (SIII) and Robbie Peacock (Transitus) will be

competing in the 2012 Scottish Schools’ brown Cup. This is a

team event and the brown Cup is awarded to the top school

team of three boats. It will take place on Monday, June 11th, at

Loch earn Sailing Club, St Fillans.

On the preceding weekend, Saturday, June 9th and Sunday,

June 10th, the club is inviting students to attend an intensive

training camp at Loch earn. A limited number of places are

available for this two-day camp. Cost are yet to be confirmed

(but are heavily subsidised by sponsorships). entry to the Cup

is free and all under-18s sailors (who must be still at school

to qualify) are welcome. For more details contact Loch earn

Sailing Club: 01764 685229

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A note from Mrs Cook

Pupils from Prep through to J3 were transformed into

Children of the World for the christmas Nativity show.

We had dancers from China and from Scotland and surfers

from Australia. Our performers and audience both thoroughly

enjoyed themselves and everyone is now looking forward to

our show by the older children in March.

Indeed, the children at Junior School enjoyed a very creative

Christmas Term. Junior 5 and 6 produced potential designs

for the School Christmas card with the help of Mrs Robinson

from the Art Department. The standard was extremely high

and I had the unenviable job of choosing the winning design.

However, I hope you agree that the design by winner, emily

Colville (J6), was very impressive.

We are also delighted that two pupils from the Junior School

have progressed to the next stage of the Young Writer

competition and we look forward to hearing how they do in

due course.

Well, we have a busy Spring Term ahead of us. Please make

sure to put the dates of the Junior School Show in your diary

and we hope to see you then.

Sarah Wins a Golden Ticket

To celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the publication of

Roald Dahl’s novel ‘James and the Giant Peach’ british Airways

ran a competition, inviting children to send in a postcard

about their own adventures. The judges were Michael Rosen,

Lauren Child, Quentin blake and Kerry Smith. St Columba’s

pupil, Sarah Sandground (J5), was runner-up in the 9-12 year

category and received Roald Dahl’s hardback fiction library

plus a special golden pass to the Roald Dahl Museum in Great



sea life centre

Prep went to the Loch Lomond Sea Life Centre, as part of their

under The Sea topic.

Junior 1

The children helped weed the vegetable

beds, sweep up leaves and clear the area

at the front of the school.

The children enjoyed learning about

fairytales and came to school dressed

up as a character from a fairytale. They

made castles and painted pictures of

themselves as knights and princesses.

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Junior 2

Junior 2 children braved the elements at Lunderston bay and

explored rockpools as part of their Seaside topic.

December was a very busy time in Junior 2. In addition to

the Christmas Show the children performed a super pirate

assembly to the Junior School and parents. The children

designed and made their own pirate hats and created some

terrifying Wanted posters.

Junior 3

In november Junior 3 children were fascinated to learn about

the Titanic. They travelled to the Tall Ship in Glasgow to take

part in a Titanic workshop which involved role play as ‘marine

archaeologists’, finding artefacts similar to items found at the

Titanic wreck site in the north Atlantic Ocean.

Just before the Christmas holiday Junior 3 started a new topic

The Senses.

Junior 4

Junior 4 have been learning about Helping Others as part

of their Religious and Moral education. In november they

watched a film about Operation Christmas Child run by the

Samaritan’s Purse charity. They saw children in countries

around the world receiving special shoe boxes filled with gifts.

Many of these children looked as if they had never received a

present before.

Junior 4 decided to take part in Operation Christmas Child

2011 and collected over 40 shoeboxes, which were delivered

to the local collection centre in Houston. Thank you to all the

mums and dads who helped to make this project possible.

Junior 5


Junior 5 performed a wonderful assembly about europe to

their parents. The children worked very hard to perfect their

parts and sang the accompanying songs beautifully. It was

a great experience for the children, who looked fantastic in

their costumes. As part of their studies the children enjoyed

sampling different foods from around europe. Pain au chocolat

and salami were firm favourites!

Junior 5 concluded their europe topic with a poster challenge

task. The children worked in teams to create an informative

and eye-catching poster based on a european country studied

in class. Cooperation, communication and negotiation proved

to be valuable skills for this type of activity. Junior 6 pupils

were invited to vote on their favourite poster. ‘Italy’ from 5b

and ‘Greece’ from 5M were the winning posters.

THe COLuMbAn ISSue 33 JuNIOr scHOOl | 17

The burrell collection

In December Junior 5 visited the burrell Collection as part

of their ‘Famous Scots’ studies. The children completed the

Treasure Trail and made sketches of their favourite exhibits.

Maggie Macbean, a member of staff, gave an informative

talk on the life of William burrell and was impressed by the

children’s knowledge and confidence at answering questions.

The children brought some money to spend in the shop, which

was a valuable (and exciting) practical maths experience to

compliment their recent class work.

Junior 6

Junior 6 visited edinburgh Zoo in October as part of their

topic on Africa. They took part in a workshop based on the

rainforests of the continent and had the opportunity to handle

some exotic animals.

In november the pupils visited Scotland Street Museum

and the People’s Palace as part of their topic looking at the

Home Front during the Second World War. Some of the

activities included a challenge to see how many people

could comfortably fit into an Anderson shelter, using

equipment of the time such as a gas mask for an infant, and

taking part in a very strict lesson prior to being evacuated to

the countryside.

Transitus Pupils’ Report

We have had many exciting things going on last term in

Transitus. We were fortunate enough to get a visit from

Strathclyde Fire Service. They talked to us about the many

dangers of fires and how to keep safe at home. They played a

recording of a lady who was stuck in her flat during a fire. This

made us realise that you need to make sure you follow safety

guidelines in order to keep safe. The fire fighters told us we

must always be aware of dangers and make sure fire alarms

work. We thought we had learned a lot and knew what to do

should we be unfortunate enough to experience a fire.

The second visit we had was from the Transport Police and

they talked to us about rail safety. We found out that if you are

on a track and hear a train you only have four seconds to get

away. We learned that even if you do get out of the way, the

wind can suck you back and underneath the train. The visitors

asked us questions and we managed to answer most of them

correctly. The film they showed us was interesting and made

us all realise the dangers of the railway.

In December the Transitus Choir went to Paisley Abbey to

sing. This was a daunting experience with it being such a

massive venue and so many people watching us. After singing

we felt pleased and proud and we found it a privilege to be

asked to perform. This event ended a very enjoyable term for

our year.

J6 & Transitus School Dance

18 | cHarITy THe COLuMbAn ISSue 33


(elliot Gemmell)

Over the past few months the Charities Committee has been

very busy, continuing with our efforts to raise money for

Quarriers and Ardgowan Hospice and beat last year’s total!

The Heroes and Villains bakesale was organised by sixth year

pupils, who were just waiting for an excuse to dress up. While

some of the more unusual costumes attracted more attention

than the cakes on display, together they raised almost £450,

an excellent way to start the term. SV were feeling festive and

decided to continue our fundraising efforts with a Christmas

Accessory Day, raising over £200. The Charities Committee’s

last act of 2011 was to endure the icy temperatures and

persistent drizzle to collect funds for Ardgowan Hospice while

the School Pipe band played in Kilmacolm village centre.

Thank you to everyone who came along to enjoy the music

and mulled wine, and to our brave helpers! Having made such

excellent progress so far, the Charities Committee is really

looking forward to the fundraising opportunities 2012 will


Children in need

Junior School pupils raised £1,254.39 with donations, baking

and a ‘spot the spot’ competition, which was won by Jamie


Macmillan World’s biggest

Coffee Morning

Staff raised over £200 to support the work Macmillan are doing

with people suffering from cancer.

Christmas Tree Festival

Pupils from Junior and Senior School decorated trees for the

event hosted by the Old West Kirk. Ross Findlater, Maxine

Young, Rocco Stakis and Victoria Lambert were chosen by

their Junior School classmates to visit the church to decorate

the tree. The Junior 5/6 Choir added to the festive spirit.

The event raised £570 for erskine.

We Can Shop event

Ladies from the School and wider community enjoyed a

wonderful evening of shopping and a glass of fizz to raise over

£1000 for charity. The main beneficiary of the evening was

Oxfam’s We Can Campaign to end violence against women in

South Asia and the School’s nominated charities, Quarriers

and Ardgowan Hospice, also received a percentage of the sales.

There was a real buzz to the evening and we thank all

stallholders and guests for supporting the event. Thanks

also to School parents, Jacqui Morris, Poonam Gupta and Ros

Davidson (FP President), for organising the event.

Golf Fundraiser

(Mrs sara bishop)

We are organising a golf competition at Kilmacolm Golf Club,, ‘a miniature Gleneagles’ on

Friday, 27th April. The format will be a 0900 tee off: Texas

Scramble – 18 teams of 4. Price per team is £360 and includes

coffee and bacon rolls on arrival, lunch and prizes.

This fun golf event is to raise funds to provide financial

support for children who would not otherwise be able to

access a St Columba’s education and to provide hardship

support for school families.

If you would like to enter a team, or can help with sponsorship

and/or contribute a prize, please contact Sara bishop by email: There will be a ParentMail shortly

with further details. Looking forward to your support for what

will prove to be a fun day raising funds for a really worthwhile


THe COLuMbAn ISSue 33 fOrMer PuPIls | 19

President’s update

Hello and welcome to the former Pupils’ section of the

columban. We hope you all had a wonderful christmas

and new year; albeit perhaps a distant memory now.

The former Pupils’ committee was delighted to be part

of the Oxfam – We can shop evening back in November.

We had a wonderful turn-out from former pupils, parents

and friends of the school who all enjoyed a lovely evening.

While raising money for Oxfam we also raised £250 for the

school’s nominated charities.

Coming up this year we have the FP AGM, FP & School

hockey and rugby matches and we hope to possibly hold an

event with the Parents’ Association – we look forward to

seeing you at some of these events. Information will be sent

out by email, but also please check the school website for



We are working on a new database and shortly will have

a web front-end to allow our FP and Friends of the School

community to update their details online, share information,

share photographs, personal message friends, book events

online and do so much more.

A database is only as good as the data it holds, so can I please

ask you all to ensure that we have your correct address and

email address. We still have a relatively low percentage of

email addresses and many of those we have bounce back.

Please take a minute to email or write

to us at Senior School to provide your current details.

Thank you so much for your time.

Dates for Your Diary

Thu 15th Mar Former Pupils’ AGM, Senior School,

19:30 – please come along, all welcome.

sat 31st Mar Former Pupils & School Hockey/Rugby

Matches, 09:30

sat 28th april Creative Communities – Writing from Life

Workshop, 11:00-13:00

fri 8th Jun Silver Tablet Concert, St Columba Church,


May/Jun Former Staff Lunch, tbc

sat 3rd Nov House of Commons Lunch

Our main social event in 2012 is the House of Commons Lunch

on Saturday, 3rd november. This event has always been

extremely popular in the past and we look forward to seeing

lots of you there. Please read on for further details.

Last June we had a wonderful day for the FP rugby matches

and a great turn-out. We even managed a bbQ without rain!

This hopefully will be the format for this year’s FP matches in

March as everyone had a great time – we will keep you posted.

Thanks to everyone who has sent in updates for this

Columban – it’s great to hear from you. If you have anything of

interest please let us know, we love to hear your news.

Keep in touch and keep us updated.

Kind regards

The FP Committee

Former Pupils’ AGM

notice is hereby given that the Annual General Meeting of

the Former Pupils’ Association will be held on Thursday 15th

March at Senior School, 19:30. All former pupils, former staff

and friends of the School are welcome to attend.

Proposed agenda


Minutes of AGM 2011

business arising from the minutes

President’s Report

Treasurer’s Report

election of committee members

Ideas for events

Any other business

20 | fOrMer PuPIls THe COLuMbAn ISSue 33

Former Staff Lunch

Rosemary Hammond hopes to organise another former staff

lunch in the summer. An invite will be sent out nearer the

time, but also please keep an eye on the FP section of the

website for details.

FP & School Matches

Please come along to support the teams on Saturday 31st

March for the annual Former Pupils’ hockey and rugby


The hockey match is the traditional School 1st XI versus a

former pupils’ team and begins at 9:30 at the Astroturf.

Two rugby matches are played: one between two School teams

(the Captain’s XV versus the Vice Captain’s XV) and the second

between two former pupil teams. The fun begins at 10:15 at

birkmyre Park.

Refreshments will be served in Junior School along with the

presentation of awards. If the weather is kind in the run-up to

the event we hope to have a bbQ again.

Silver Tablet Concert

The Silver Tablet celebrates the best of musical talent from

the Senior School and students who compete for this award

have attained a minimum standard of Associated board Grade

8. Due to public holidays, this year the concert will be held

on Friday 8th June in St Columba Church from 10:30-11:45,

followed by light refreshments.

Members of the school community, including friends, former

pupils, former staff and former parents, are all welcome to

attend this lovely musical celebration. If you would like to

come along, please contact nichola McKay at Senior School or


Planning a Reunion?

This is the year that the class of…

2002 left 10 years ago

1997 left 15 years ago

1992 left 20 years ago

1982 left 30 years ago

… and so it goes on.

Do you fancy having a reunion?

Remember that I am here to help with your reunion

organisation. I can arrange tours of School, provide names

from the database and help you promote the event through a

combination of mailings, The Columban, the school website

and Facebook.

Please contact nichola McKay at

or call 01505 872238.

Class of 2000-2001

10-year reunion

On the 12th november 2011, the class of 2000-2001 met for a

belated 10-year reunion in the Tea Rooms on Glasgow’s bath

Street. The event was well attended, with a number of former

pupils even making the long trip from down south. FPs were

also joined by a few familiar faces with some staff and former

staff from both the Junior and Senior School coming along

too. Those staff and FPs who couldn’t attend were certainly

missed, but as the wine flowed, so too did the reminiscing,

with some Junior School photos even doing the rounds.

A really great night was had by all. Many thanks must go to

nikola Miller and Jamie Macnab for organising the Do and

they are more than keen for a couple of others to take control

in ten years’ time. Hopefully they won’t have to wait ten years

before they see each other again though!

THe COLuMbAn ISSue 33 fOrMer PuPIls | 21

Memories of 50 Years Gone by

unfortunately in the last Columban we were only able

to include a very brief report on the 50th reunion due to

imminent print deadlines.

You can now enjoy the full recollection in the words of

Margaret Tindall (Mcneill):

In September 2011 a group of 23 ‘Old Girls’ who left school

in 1960-61 met in the School Hall. We all wore name badges,

just in case! Five were able to attend who had not been at

our 2001 reunion and seven had been at St Columba’s in the

Prep School. I have a photo from the 1950s of elspeth Reid,

Margaret Aitken, Irene Hogarth, Sheena Macleod, Margaret

Mcneill, Marion Cathro and one of the Millar twins.

After coffee there were interesting tours of all the main

buildings and the Junior School. Amazement was expressed

all round at the advances and changes. Yet there was much to

be recognised in the Hall, stairs, corridors and classrooms –

all very nostalgic. What a wonderful and generous buffet was

provided by Marjorie Mann (Munro), rounded off with a superb

lemon posset. Messages were read from some unable to be

there and Ida McCallum (Diack), who had so enjoyed our 40th

reunion, but sadly died from cancer, was warmly remembered.

Many memories were stirred at the reunion and favourable

comments received:

Margaret Graham wrote:

It was lovely meeting up with so many people I remember

from school days. I realise how much organisation must have

gone into such a gathering and I just wanted you to know

it was appreciated very much. I had lost touch with Sheena

Alpine who was one of my best friends at school, though we

were in different classes.

The school has changed quite a bit, but I still have many happy

memories of being in the main building. Thanks again for all

your efforts and I hope we can all make it again in 10 years.

Marion cathro added:

The abiding memory for me was the opportunity ‘to touch

base’ with those whom I remembered well yet hadn’t seen for

years and the promise to catch up properly at a later date.

A great day to remember and 2021 to look forward to!

The following poem, sourced by Margaret Graham, was much


school reunion lunch Out

Prep School Sheena’s school group

A group of 40-year-old girls were arranging a school reunion

lunch; they discussed where they should meet for lunch.

Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View

restaurant because the waiters there were very good looking.

Ten years later at 50 years of age, the group once again

discussed where they should meet for lunch.

Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean

View restaurant because the wine selection was good and the

waiters were very smart.

Ten years later at 60 years of age, the group once again

discussed where they should meet for lunch.

Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View

restaurant because the food there was very good and the

waiters were cute.

Ten years later at 70 years of age, the group once again

discussed where they should meet for lunch.

Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View

restaurant because they could eat there in peace and quiet, the

restaurant had a beautiful view of the ocean, and the waiters

were sweet boys.

Ten years later, at 80 years of age, the group once again

discussed where they should meet for lunch.

Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View

restaurant because the restaurant was wheelchair friendly,

they even had a lift, and the waiters were kindly.

Ten years later, at 90 years of age, the group once again

discussed where they should meet for lunch.

Finally it was agreed that they should meet at the Ocean View

restaurant because they had never been there before.

22 | fOrMer PuPIls THe COLuMbAn ISSue 33

A number of former pupils were unable to attend the reunion

and sent some messages to Margaret beforehand – here are

some snippets…

susan Willis-Keyden

…living on Costa blanca. I have been trying to work out a way

that I could attend, but it is just not possible. There have been

many years when I haven’t been anywhere or done anything,

but this year is the exception. First, one of my nieces got

married in July in St Andrews. I attended that and it was a

great do, very Scottish. Then my eldest son, his partner and

my grand-daughter came over at the beginning of August for

an extended holiday. I have my sister’s party in Devon at the

end of September and I am also going to be in the uK over

Christmas when I am meeting up with family and staying

in the Cotswolds. I am really sorry about this as I would

have loved to have been there on the 17th and catch up with

everybody on what they are doing and have we really changed

that much!! Please give my best wishes to all and my apologies

– perhaps I might make the next one if still mobile. If Sheena

Alpine is there, maybe you could ask her to get in touch.

I would love to hear from her.

Diana flanagan (bingham)

…please pass on my best wishes to everyone and I hope you all

have a great time. I certainly enjoyed the last one though it’s

hard to believe it really was 10 years ago!

Hilary Watt (burnet)

…recently got together with Vickie Gillies and Joan Le May and

had a mini reunion.

Vickie sandeman (Gillies)

I’m very sorry to be missing it as it was a very nice way to

catch up with some of our contemporaries.

Patrea More-Nisbet (MacDonald)

…would be good to catch up, but of course I have seen the

transformation over the years – must have been there eight

or nine times. (Good Schools Guide). I am founding editor.

Complete change (apart from the boys), though the smell and

the hall are still the same.

anne Norwell (Mitchell)

I do hope you all have an enjoyable day. It is hard to believe

that 10 years have passed so quickly.

fiona Graham

…what a great idea contacting us ‘old’ girls so early because

I am sure people will be coming from countries thousands of

miles from Gb.

Funnily enough I remember your name Margaret Mcneill

and also I remember Morvyn Hood (the two of you were in

about three classes above me!). Just to let you know, I left St

Columba’s in 1960 and then I went to a boarding school for

two years (after that I left school completely). I’ve got a sister,

Frances Graham, and she was at St Columba’s as well and she

was definitely in two classes above me (I think you were in

the class just above her, if I remember correctly). I am quite

positive I won’t recognise anyone on the 17th September, it

will only be names!

Judith Paxman (cowan)

unfortunately I will be unable to attend, however I will look

forward to getting the magazine after the event. I left school

in 1958 and came to Australia in 1966, the best thing I ever did.

I have many happy memories of St Columba’s, especially as I

was a boarder at Shalott.

Irene MacKenzie (Hogarth)

I am working – very busy; Chairman of the Audio Description

Association (Scotland) which involves a great deal of

travelling. We have acquired five grandchildren.

Margaret Tindall (McNeill)

For me, as for many of you, the last decade has been one of

retirement. To stop the brain from going rusty I embarked on

a degree from Glasgow university and graduated with a bD in

2006 – somewhat greyer than 40 years previously.

Life is filled with walking my Cairn terrier, church visiting

and endless committees. However, after 30 years, someone

has been found to succeed me as Session Clerk! Instead of

grandchildren I have a great nephew who has been a great

source of joy to me. It has been lovely to be part of family

Jeanette Campbell (Millar), Ann Millar Margaret Barman (Aitken), Margaret Tindall (McNeill),

Irene MacKenzie (Hogarth)

THe COLuMbAn ISSue 33 fOrMer PuPIls | 23

Elspeth Farmer (Reid), Margaret Tindall (McNeill), Joan Clyde (Le May)

occasions with Irene’s family, with the opportunity of getting

to know all of her grandchildren.

Marion cathro

It will be about 40 years since I last attended a St Columba’s

reunion. On that occasion it was a large, across the board

gathering in the Hydro just before Miss MacArthur retired!

Then the last time I saw you was after her Memorial Service in

St John’s Church, edinburgh, and that was many moons ago!

Yes, there will be many I haven’t seen since leaving St

Columba’s in 1958 when my father was promoted to the

RbS Dundee Office. I subsequently finished my education at

The High School of Dundee, finally leaving school in 1962 to

go to Moray House.

At one stage we were in the same class and then, if my

memory serves me correctly, you, Irene Hogarth and Morvyn

Hood were ‘high flyers’ and ‘skipped a year’ and became a year

ahead of me.

ann cowan

Potted history: nursing for three years – has stood me in

permanent good stead.

However in Autumn 1963, I was accepted for a three year

professional course at Royal Scottish Academy of Music,

Glasgow, which I loved; followed soon after, by the School

Music Course at Jordanhill. While there were many positive

aspects to all that happens in school, in music teaching it was

very much the smooth with the rough! I grabbed the chance to

apply for peripatetic teaching in schools, to add to the private

teaching I was already enjoying and still do. In the 90s schools’

piano teaching largely became keyboard teaching, so I finished

the schools side of my career in 2004.

now, I have my piano pupils, I play for choir and singing

groups, and in churches. I sing and sometimes play for ‘Sounds

International’, a well-known choir on the south side, largely

Jewish based. Outwith any of these enterprises there is some

ad hoc singing, largely for charities, largely in edinburgh. A

variety of charity work is part of my interest, the main one

being ‘The biggest Coffee Morning’ and usually held in my

home, and even in the recession, upwards of £1400 ‘appears’.

The Haven, blantyre, Day Centre for long term illnesses is

another cause for fundraising, largely through choir concerts,

and rustling up half-full audiences.

Walking is another favourite on my programme, with ‘SLOW’

which stands for South Lanarkshire Older Walkers, based in

Hamilton. So in the Jewish toast – ‘To Life’.

Class notes

alison Hale (campbell), 1985

Alison and her husband Jonathan are delighted to announce

the safe arrival of their baby son Olly Campbell Hale on Friday

21st October 2011 weighing in at 6lbs 14oz. A long awaited

and much loved brother for Mairi and first grandson for Sheila


In Memoriam

Jean M Neill

It is with sadness that the death of Miss Jean neill at

Inverclyde Royal Hospital, Greenock on 8th June, 2011 is


Having been born in Kilmacolm, it gave Miss neill pleasure

to return to the village to spend 20 years before retirement

teaching at St Columba’s. In the earlier years of her career

she taught in Renfrewshire, Canada and Argyll. She set high

standards for herself and her pupils and enjoyed sharing her

extensive academic knowledge with the many children who

passed through her classes. Interested in drama, chess and

bridge, she ran the Chess Club while at Junior School and

continued to be involved in student chess into retirement.

The years between 1969 and 1989 at St Columba’s provided

a rewarding and fulfilling period in Miss neill’s life and she is

remembered with affection by all who knew her at School.

(elma Paton)

Jean – far right

24 | fOrMer PuPIls THe COLuMbAn ISSue 33

House of Commons Lunch,

Saturday 3rd november

The House of Commons Lunch, sponsored by former pupil eleanor Laing MP, is always a great success and

the FP Association hopes that many of you will support the event again this year. Former pupils, former

staff, current staff and friends of the School are all very welcome.

Due to recent changes in the pricing structure in the Food and beverage Department at the House of

Commons, as well as general inflation, the price per head has unfortunately risen considerably since our

last lunch. The price will be confirmed in April and will be in the range of £60-£65 a head. At this time we

will take a deposit of £30 to secure your ticket for the lunch and the remainder will be due once the final

price has been confirmed. The 3-course lunch is due to be held in one of the exquisite Dining Rooms and

Terrace Pavilion from 12.00-15.00. There is also the option of a guided tour of the historic building and

costs approximately £7.50.

To reserve a place, please complete the booking form below.

London residents often meet for coffee at the Tate Gallery beforehand, at around 10.30am. If you are

interested, please mark this on the booking form and we shall pass your details to the London Area


booking Form

I wish to book for the above event and understand that these tickets are non refundable, but are

transferable if prior notice is given. each ticket will be printed with the ticket holder’s name on it for

House of Commons security requirements. If ordering more than one ticket, please print and complete for

each person as the tickets will be posted prior to the event – either copy this booking form or download

further copies from the Former Pupils/events & Reunions section of the school website.

You need to bring the ticket with you to gain entry as this is a House of Commons security requirement.







Dietary Requirements – please tick if applicable:

Vegetarian option

Special dietary requirement –

please specify

Lunch £30.00 deposit. balance to be paid prior to the event.

I enclose £ (cheques payable to St Columba’s Former Pupils’ Association)

I would like to reserve a place on the guided tour.

I would like to meet for coffee. Please pass my details to the London Area Representative.

Please send your completed booking form and payment by 30th April to:

former Pupils’ association, st columba’s school, Duchal road, Kilmacolm, Pa13 4au

THe COLuMbAn ISSue 33 fOrMer PuPIls | 25

Creative Communities

(Kirstin Zhang)

The power of the creative arts to bring people together, to

inspire and even empower is at the heart of a new national

initiative – Year of Creative Scotland 2012, which “will

embrace London 2012 and celebrate Glasgow 2014”. We are

pleased to launch our own Creative Communities project to

coincide with this. Over the course of the year our writerin-residence,

Kirstin Zhang, will be facilitating a number of

writing and story-telling workshops, which may be of interest

to former pupils. These will be held in Kilmacolm Community

Centre and are free. Please see page 2 for full details.

To reflect the occasion of the Olympic Games our overall

theme this year is ‘superheroes’. However, you are free to

write on any subject you like. To inspire you I’ve included

some excerpts from past School Magazines.

The new Creative Communities website

( will

showcase the work produced. If you would like to share

your work with us please email it as a word document to

We look forward to reading your stories, whether these are

fiction or reflective.


The royal Wedding – by form II

On Thursday 20th november, 1947, was Princess elizabeth’s

wedding. We heard the broadcast from London at school. Most

of the girls wearing poppies that day, and we all brought our


There was a procession of the Life Guards and crowds and

crowds of people. First came the Queen in her coach and then

the bridesmaids. Princess elizabeth drove to Westminster with

the King in the Royal Coach. She was driven al about the town.

She wore a dress with diamonds and pearls on it.

At Westminster Abbey, the minister was talking very loud.

He asked Princess elizabeth and Prince Philip questions, and

they said, “I do.”


letters from Two Queens

King George the Sixth died in February 6th. We wrote to the

Queen because of our sympathy, not expecting a letter back.

One person wrote to the Queen Mother. One morning the next

week we had a letter from the Queen’s Private Secretary and

we were very pleased about it. About ten days later we had a

letter from the Queen Mother. (Claire & elspeth)

The Proclamation

Last Friday we listened-in to the Proclamation. The words

were read out very clearly and there is a new Queen now.

There are a lot of names for the new Queen. They are

elizabeth, Alexandra, Mary, but she is Queen elizabeth. (Ian)

School Play, 1907

26 | THe bacK PaGe THe COLuMbAn ISSue 33

A View of Things

(a collaborative Poem by st columba’s staff)

What I love about Learning is that it is the guide, the guardian

of my heart, and soul of all my moral being.

What I love about Spanish is the sun and the sound

What I love about Pe is its excitement

What I love about biology is the birds and the bees; the

flowers and the trees

What I love about english is its endless opportunity

What I love about Psychology is its sense of understanding

What I love about Technology is the way it solves life’s


What I love about Spanish is its delicious food and the relaxed


What I love about Graphics is the way it draws you in

What I love about Product Design is understanding why

things are the way they are

What I love about Physics is that there’s no greater truth

What I love about english is the fearful symmetry

What I love about Graphics is the way it alters perspective

What I love about english is the world in a grain of sand

What I love about History is its permanence

What I love about Languages is their diversity

What I love about Modern Studies is it inspires you to make a


What I love about business is its impact

What I love about Physics is its reflection and refraction

What I love about Practical Craft Skills is the pleasure of

creating items

What I love about Chemistry is its periodicity

What I love about Product Design is the amalgamation of

aesthetics with practicality

What I love about Graphic Communication is the ability to

illustrate information without language

What I love about French is its sound

What I love about Music is it’s the food of love

What I love about Maths is it all adds up

What I love about Modern Studies it that it is about here and

now; not there and then

What I love about Computing is its binary crowbar

What I love about english is the way it casually welcomes

all-comers to the party: stately Latin, chic French, dependable

German, muscular Scots, mellow Jamaican – the language of

the palace making eyes at the language of the gutter.

What I love about St Columba’s is it makes me think

senior school

Duchal Road

Kilmacolm PA13 4Au

T 01505 872238 f 01505 873995


Junior school

Knockbuckle Road

Kilmacolm PA13 4eQ

T 01505 872768 f 01505 874642



David G Girdwood

DL bSc Med SQH

Head of Junior school

Davida L Cook

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St Columba’s School Ltd is a

registered charity SCO 12598 Design

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