First students in Coláiste Choilm September 1987
Coláiste/Gaelcholáiste Choilm is a co-educational school situated in the fast growing satellite town of Ballincollig, Co. Cork. Originally built in 1987 to cater for 400 pupils, it now has a student population of over 1350. Coláiste/ Gaelcholáiste Choilm has no selective entry policy and hence caters for a wide range of abilities and backgrounds. Students with special needs are well provided for and the needs of international students are also accommodated. The curriculum is designed to ensure that the academic progress of every student is catered for. The school’s wide-ranging extra-curricular programme promotes participation of all students.
The story of Coláiste/Gaelcholáiste Choilm begins in the mid-eighties. It was very evident at that time that another second level school would be necessary to cater for the Ballincollig catchment area. The site was purchased by the Department of Education and it was announced that the new school would be part of the Cork County V.E.C (now Cork ETB). The school originally built for 400 students was already over capacity by 1990. The Board of Management agreed to the establishment of Gaelcholáiste Choilm in 1990 with the first enrolment of 19 students. A four room extension provided for the initial years of the Gaelcholáiste. In 2003 the 220 Gaelcholáiste students proudly took possession of the new Gaelcholáiste building.
Additional accommodation in the form of an ‘extension’ which was actually bigger than the original school – was provided in 1995 to cater for a school population of 850. This included specialist rooms, a bigger staff room and a concert hall (The Cultúrlann). In 1995 the Parent Association embarked on a project to provide an All-Weather pitch to facilitate the ever-expanding P.E. and sports programme. In conjunction with the Ballincollig Sports Alliance, the Parents Association then added the new Sports Hall (The Spórtlann) in 2004. Recognising the inadequacy of the grit surface on the school pitch, the Parent Association embarked on a project in 2007 to provide an Astro-turf pitch.
The school culture has always been enriched by the high profile of the Arts – including music, drama, dance and visual art. In 2012 the Parent Association funded the provision of an all-purpose performance area Halla Phádraig, which was dedicated to Pat Kinsella, Principal from 1987 to 2012.
Coláiste/Gaelcholáiste Choilm is in a true sense, a college for the community. Through the years it has generously placed its facilities at the disposal of many clubs and organisations, and plays host to many local, regional and national events.
The hallmark of achievement in an inclusive school is the degree to which each student fulfils their potential. The culture of growth and excellence in Coláiste/Gaelcholáiste Choilm enables our students to be their best and beyond in so many ways.