AVS Notes 23rd February 2018

Launch of Leaving Cert Computer Science
Students from the school involved in the computer science area of coding attended a launch of the Leaving Cert Computer Science event in St Eunans on Friday last. The Minister of Education Mr Richard Bruton launched the subject area for the two Donegal schools selected to offer this subject to the incoming fifth year students. The Principal Ms Diver, Deputy Principal Mr Doherty and Computer Science teacher Mr Gorman attended the event as well as Joe Mc Hugh TD, Pearse Doherty TD Leas-Cheann Comhairle TD Pat the Cope Gallagher, Charles Mc Conalogue TD and Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.

This was a very special occasion for the Abbey Vocational School.

Mock Exams
Congratulations to all our exam students for completing their mocks. Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students sat mocks the Thursday and Friday before the mid – term and all of last week. Well done on completing the first step! Thank you to students for their co – operation with regard to noise on the corridors during this stressful time. In addition, thank you to all of those who assisted in the planning and preparation of the Mocks.

School Closure – Half Day
On Tuesday next, 27th February, the school will close at 1.15 p.m. to facilitate staff training in Child Protection.

Leaving Cert Chill out day
On Monday 26th all Leaving Certificate students will visit the Bluestack Centre, Letterbarrow, Drimarone. This day has been specially arranged for our students following their Mock Exams. It gives them a day to unwind, relax and re charge the batteries after the exams. Thank you to Ms Mc Morrow who has co-ordinated the day’s events. . All Leaving Certificate students will attend this trip. The trip is always an enjoyable day full of fun filled activities for our students.

MS Readthon
A number of students participated in the MS Readathon and raised money for the foundation. The MS Readathon encouraged children to open their minds to the wonderful world of adventure and imagination through reading for a great cause! It gave our students the perfect opportunity to read. For kids who were already bookworms, it was a chance to go deeper – perhaps to challenge themselves with longer, more advanced books. The English Department will be presenting students with awards next weeks. More details will follow.

Induction day for 6th class students
An Induction day for 6th class students will take place on Tuesday, 6th March 2018. There will be no school for Transition Year, LCA or 1st year on this day. All other students will have class as normal on this day.

Physical Education new Leaving Cert Subject
Thank you to all who attended the Information Evening for Physical Education as a Leaving Certificate subject for September 2018. Again, we are delighted to announce that two new curriculums for Physical Education at senior cycle will be introduced from September 2018 to our incoming 5th year students.

Debate Club
The club will meet again on Tuesday 27th February. Students of the club have been given a school related topic that they will work on over the next two weeks.

World Book Week
The AVS is delighted to be celebrating World Book Day again this year. World Book Day takes place on Thursday 1st March 2018. Over the last 22 years, World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. The main aim is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with an opportunity to have a book of their own. The English Department will be hosting various competitions to celebrate the day second year students will be allowed time in class to design a book cover (they can choose any book they wish). The designs will be displayed around the assembly area for World Book Day and there may be prizes for the best designs! In addition, first years students will be creating a poster to promote World Book Day and to encourage reading as a leisure activity. Ms Logue’s coding classes are working on posters in their classes to promote the day.

Well Read Initiative Guest Speaker – Josephine O’Donnell
Josephine O’Donnell is conducting a workshop with Ms Canning’s class 3A on Friday 2nd March. Josephine is a local historian and writer, she will be going through the creative process of writing a book, composing and the publishing stages. The initiative aims to create heightened awareness about the importance of creating a culture of reading in school communities for our young people as part of their personal and academic development.

5th Year HL English Trip – Macbeth
108 5th year students will travel to the Millennium Forum Theatre in Derry on Wednesday 28th February. The trip will benefit students studying the text which is examined at Leaving Certificate. The Forum promises an excellent take on the Shakespeare classic and the vicious, barbaric undercurrent in Shakespeare’s most fear-filled tragedy erupts in this kinetic, blood-thirsty production.

Set in the 11th century and culminating in an epic battle filled with revenge, justice, and beheadings, the production gives life to some of literature’s most vibrant language and characters.

Wellbeing:

Irish Heart Foundation Coffee Morning
Thank you to all those who donated to the coffee morning before the mid – term break; the event raised a total of €336.20. The event highlighted heart health and as we are a school who promotes Wellbeing it is vital we look after our heart health as cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in our country. Thank you again to all who baked and donated!

Couch to 5k
Our runners are still training hard for the ‘Couch to 5k’! There are many mental health benefits of running as well as health benefits for our students and staff. The programme will run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday after school on the track. Please feel free to join regardless of your fitness level!

Operation Transformation
The pounds are slowly dropping off as the staff continue to battle with shifting weight as part of ‘Operation Transformation’. We hope we can keep up the healthy eating and loose even more!

Art
A reminder that entries for this year’s Texaco Art Competition are due on Wednesday 28th February. The Texaco Art Competition are “inviting artists across the island of Ireland to participate in a national celebration of Children’s Art as they mark 64 years of the Texaco Children’s Art Competition.  Acknowledged as the longest running sponsorship in the history of art sponsoring in Ireland the Competition has been in existence since 1955 and has enjoyed an unbroken history of success. The closing date for their next Competition is Wednesday 28th February 2018 and they hope that they will continue to see outstanding creativity and talent reflected in the finest and widest choice of entries that we receive. You can download a School/Art School Application Form or a Home Application Form from www.texacoartcompetition.ie. Mr Daly and Ms Mc Callig have forms available also.

Transition Year students are organizing a photography competition which is open to all students in the school. There will be a first, second and third place prizes. There is no specific theme or format (dimensions) and images may be colour or black and white. Entries can be submitted as hard copy to room 38 or can be emailed to avsphotographycompetition@gmail.com. The deadline for entries is Friday 2nd March.

Transition Year:

Work Experience
This week our TY students completed their second week of work experience. We can’t wait to hear the feedback next week and see how they got on in the world of work!

Young Social Innovators (YSI)
A number of our TY students are in the middle of preparing their YSI projects which they will present at the Speak Out competition next week in Ballybofey on the 27th February. Our students will be hoping to progress from the regional stages of the competition on this day. YSI is Ireland’s largest social awareness and active citizenship and education programme for 15-18 year old teens. Its main goal is to get young people (15-18yrs) involved in action which helps improve the lives of others in their community. YSI involves thousands of young people in Ireland each year in hundreds of projects and social enterprises which are youth-led, team-based and action-focused. Each year, each YSI team is invited to present their project at the YSI Speak Out Regional fora. A national Showcase of Young Social Innovators takes place in May each year where thousands of young social innovators come together and showcase their projects.

Architect in Schools Project
Ms Siobhan Gallagher will visit AVS to work with TY students on Monday 26th  February on the TY Architect in Schools Project. The National Architects in Schools Initiative is an exciting programme for Transition Year students. Architects are placed in schools to facilitate hands-on design workshops with student groups in 25 schools across Ireland. This initiative builds on five years of successful schools programming from the Irish Architecture Foundation and provides students with the opportunity to develop an appreciation of architecture and design, learn a variety of new skills and gain insight to the professional life of designers and architects. Participating architects are recruited and mentored by the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) and placed in schools to devise and facilitate workshops in collaboration with teachers.

Cake Decorating
On Tuesday 27th February the TY’s will participate in a Cake Decorating workshop – we are hoping for some cakes that Mary Berry would be proud of! Groups A and B will participate in this Tuesday and C and D on Friday 2nd March.

Sport:

Athletics
Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups. Cross country training is on Friday at lunch time.  The Donegal schools cross country final will be held in the coming weeks.

The finals for the Ulster Schools Cross Country were held this week in Mullish playing fields Belfast on Wednesday 21st February. Thank you to Dara Kervick from Athletics Ireland who came into the school on Tuesday 20th in conjunction with the Bank of Ireland to do a series of fitness tests with our 1st and 2nd year athletes. The students had to do a warm – up, then a series of timed sprints, standing long – jumps, vertical jumps and they played games. The 1st year are attending an athletics workshop

Girls Basketball
1st year girls training continues every Wednesday after school in the school gym. The 2nd year girls training has been moved to Monday after school in the school gym. The girls play St. Catherine’s Vocational school in Killybegs on Thursday 1st March. In addition, there’s no rest for the girls as they play Ballinamore Community School on Friday 2nd March, in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, Ireland. Good luck to Ms Mc Donnell and the team.

1st and 2nd Year Boys’ Basketball
Mr Mc Hugh’s team will take on the 1st and 2nd year’s boys’ basketball team in Castlebar Co. Mayo on Wednesday 21st February where the AVS boys’ will play St Gerald’s. 1st and 2nd year boys’ basketball training has moved to Thursday after school with Mr McHugh and Saturday morning at 9-11 in the school gym. Our 1st and 2nd years played St Nathy’s College on Thursday at home.

Both 1st & 2nd Year Boys teams played their second games of the league on Thursday 23rd February at home against St. Nathy’s of Roscommon. The 1st years produced another fine display, to go along with their win two weeks ago against Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon, by recording a second win in as many matches. After a closely contested first quarter, the Abbey boys found their feet and ran out convincing winners by 45-15.

The 2nd Year game was a much closer affair and indeed needed overtime to separate the sides. After a real nip and tuck game, St.Nathy’s took the lead for the first time in the final quarter and led by 4pts with 40seconds remaining. However, the AVS battled bravely, scoring two late baskets to bring the game to OT. Within OT, AVS opened up a 5pt lead which they never looked like relinquishing to seal a dramatic win.

1st Year Team: E. Kenny, J. Kenny, J. Graham, D. Quinn, C. Gillespie, B. McNeely, C. McCallig, S. Óg Caldwell, P. Lyons, N. Prenderville

2nd Year Team: D. Quinn, J. Graham, S. Quinn, M. Jordan, C. Sweeney, H. Pearson, R. Kennedy, D. O’Donnell, L. Carey-McDermott, C. Campbell

Girls Gaelic
The U14’s girls Gaelic team will play Virginia College, Cavan, away next Thursday 1st March – best of luck to the girls!

Boys’ Soccer
Mr Mc Hugh’s U15 Boys Soccer team will play Cootehill, Cavan next Tuesday, 27th February. Good luck to the team!

1st year boys Gaelic
The boys have begun training for the U13’s competition in March. We are delighted also to have county coach Paddy Hegarty visiting the school to do some coaching.

Ladies Gaelic Football
U14 girls training will continue after school every Tuesday.  Please bring runners, a warm top, water and a gum shield. The U14 league will start in the coming weeks.

Girls Active
The Girls’ active is every Friday 3:45pm- 4:45 pm. These groups are taking part in hip-hop, which will finish this week. All 1st, 2nd and 3rd years are welcome. After dancing the girls will be participating in running in the hope of building up to a 5k.

Hurling
U14’s hurling training continues Tuesday at lunchtime. All 1st and 2nd years are welcome to attend training especially new members. Declan Sherlock, Ulster coach, will be in attendance with Mr O’Neill at training. Four Masters U14 Hurling are also looking for new members any student interested please contact coach Damien Mc Dermott. The team trains Tuesday at 6:30 pm.

Lunchtime activities
Lunchtime activities continue as normal. Please check the notice board in the gym. There is a least two activities a day. We remind all students that anyone can get involved and it’s good to participate in new activities.

AVS Notes 9th February 2018

Mock Exams
Good luck to all our Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students who took their first steps on their exam journey this week. The mock exams will continue after the mid-term and we hope that all students apply themselves as best as they can over this exam period.

Aonad Open Day
A number of 6th class students interested in becoming a student in our Aonad, which is opening in September 2018, enjoyed an Open Day and experienced what the school has to offer on Friday, 9th February. During the day music was performed in Irish, the students were given a talk on the Aonad, they sampled subjects such as Home Economics and Woodwork, played games as Gaeilge, took part in Kahoot puzzles on chrome books, had lunch and finished the day with sports and a ceilí in the Gym. A number of students and staff were involved in helping out too, thank you to all involved.

Subject Choices
Third year and TY students received a talk from school staff Ms Diver and Ms Mc Morrow on Tuesday. They went through the options with students and explained in detail how new subjects such as P.E and Computer Science are examined. We remind students to think carefully about their options and to discuss them before choosing. The students have completed a stage one option form – they will again be given a final option form for completion on their return to school after the midterm break.

Physical Education new Leaving Cert Subject
Thank you to all who attended the information evening for Physical Education as a Leaving Certificate subject for September 2018. Again, we are delighted to announce that two new curriculums for Physical Education at senior cycle will be introduced from September 2018 to our incoming 5th year students.

Senior Cycle Options – Parent Information Evening
Ms Mc Morrow and Ms Faherty facilitated an Information Evening on Tuesday 6th February for parents of Senior Cycle students. The talk covered Senior subjects’ choices and the new options available for students. The Careers Department answered questions and explained the AVS’ options on the night. A huge thank you to the Careers Department!

1st year Enrolment
The deadline for first year enrolment has now passed. It is vital that those planning to enrol return their forms as soon as possible please. We will host an Open Day/Induction Day for our incoming 6th class students on March 6th 2018.

5th Year Physics Trip – IOP Workshops
Mr Hegarty’s 5th year Physics class visited Foyle College campus on Tuesday 6th February. The students enjoyed a fast paced lecture from James Soper, an internationally renowned science presenter, ex-professional circus performer and Guinness World Record holding juggler.

Debate Club
A Debate Club meeting for first year students took place on Wednesday 7th February. Ms Murray discussed the feedback that was given from the previous week in which students enjoyed a workshop with Maura Logue. The club will meet again on Tuesday 27th February. Students of the club have been given a school related topic that they will work on over the next two weeks.

Wellbeing:

Irish Heart Foundation Coffee Morning
The AVS staffroom hosted a coffee morning on Friday 9th February in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation. The fundraising event was in association with RTÉ 2FM, the foundation urgently need to raise €250k in the fight against heart disease and stroke. You too can ‘Show Some Heart’ this February by purchasing a temporary tattoo in DayBreak or Insomnia stores nationwide. Ms Murray would like to thank all the staff who baked and donated on Friday, your support was appreciated. As we are a school who promotes Wellbeing it is vital we look after our heart health as cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in our country.

Couch to 5k
The ‘Couch to 5k’ programme is well under way with many staff and students participating and making use of our track. There are many mental health benefits of running. The programme will run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday after school on the track. Please feel free to join regardless of your fitness level!

Operation Transformation
A number of staff members are participating in ‘Operation Transformation’. Staff are weighed every Wednesday and at the end of the 12 weeks we are hoping to beat last year’s weight loss. We are doing very well so far and we are eager to keep up the hard work.

Health Promoting schools
Well done to Norin Harron who was the winner of the Health Promoting School bike raffle.

‘Schools Go Orange’ for Cycle Against Suicide
Cycle Against Suicide is an initiative started to raise awareness of the considerable help and supports that are available for anyone battling depression, self-harm, at risk of suicide or those bereaved by suicide. On Friday 9th February the AVS went orange in support of Cycle Against Suicide. Throughout the day many students wore orange during class, we had many displays around the school and every student got a positive comment posted onto their lockers.

LCA Careers trip
Ms McMorrow took several LCA students to the Northwest Regional College, Derry on Wednesday 7th February. The students had a lovely tour of the campus on the day. In addition, they witnessed many live demos from a variety of courses. “The College has main campuses in Derry-Londonderry, Limavady and Strabane, and supports over 20,000 student enrolments each year. Learners attend from all parts of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, undertaking full-time or part-time study programmes in a range of vocational or non-vocational areas” (www.nwrc.ac.uk)

Construction Studies Talk
Coordinated by Mr O Donnell, Declan Loane, from Quinn Building Products visited the AVS to speak with 6th year Construction Studies students on Monday 5th February. The talk focused on the products the company manufactured and the importance of thermal insulation, u-values, thermal bridging etc. “Since it was first founded in the 1970’s, the Quinn group of companies has grown into one of the most successful manufacturers of building products in the UK and Ireland. From its humble beginnings when its origins lay in the supply of sand and gravel to local builders and farmers, it has now transformed into a multi-national business with an impressive portfolio of products” (www.quinn-buildingproducts.com)

Art
A reminder that entries for this year’s Texaco Art Competition are due on Wednesday 28th February. The Texaco Art Competition are “inviting artists across the island of Ireland to participate in a national celebration of Children’s Art as they mark 64 years of the Texaco Children’s Art Competition.  Acknowledged as the longest running sponsorship in the history of art sponsoring in Ireland the Competition has been in existence since 1955 and has enjoyed an unbroken history of success. The closing date for their next Competition is Wednesday 28th February 2018 and they hope that they will continue to see outstanding creativity and talent reflected in the finest and widest choice of entries that we receive. You can download a School/Art School Application Form or a Home Application Form from www.texacoartcompetition.ie. Mr Daly and Ms Mc Callig have forms available also.

Transition Year students are organizing a photography competition which is open to all students in the school. There will be a first, second and third place prizes. There is no specific theme or format (dimensions) and images may be colour or black and white. Entries can be submitted as hard copy to room 38 or can be emailed to avsphotographycompetition@gmail.com. The deadline for entries is Friday 2nd March.

Music
Well done to all our exam students in their mock practical exams we wish them luck in the upcoming exam. Thank you to all the students who performed at our Open Night. You all sounded great.

Good luck to a number of students who will perform in ‘Grease’ the Musical in the Central Hotel this weekend. A great number of our students are involved such as Anna Campbell, Síofra Maurerhofer, Aoife Breslin, Killain Faulkner, Ellen Mc Groary, Daniel Gallagher, Brian Fegan, Gerard Mc Intyre, Aidan Mc Hugh. Well done, it is amazing to see our students involved in such a remarkable production. The schools Trad Group will continue at lunch time on Tuesdays.

Transition Year

Work Experience
After midterm, from the 19th – 23rd TY students will complete their second week of work experience. Students are expected to have their work placement organised at this point. Students are completing work experience in places such as Primary and Secondary schools, Pharmacy’s, Veterinary Clinics and Catering Colleges. We wish our students the best of luck during their week of work experience.

Interview Skills Workshop
Nicola Dunnion from LYIT conducted an Interview Skills workshop in the AVS on Friday 9th February. Interviewing may be the most important skill a person will need when looking for a suitable job. They decision to hire someone is based on the interviews. Students looked at CV’s in the workshop and how CV’s may secure you an interview but an interview authenticates your CV. Students learnt very valuable tips and tricks which is a great benefit to them going forward. In addition, they learnt how to present themselves in interviews, how to answer questions properly, they discovered what employers look for in employees and many more tips. The students found the workshop very interesting and enjoyable.

Young Social Innovators (YSI)
A number of our TY students are in the middle of preparing their YSI projects which they will present at the Speak Out competition in Ballybofey on the 27th February. Our students will be hoping to progress from the regional stages of the competition on this day. YSI is Ireland’s largest social awareness and active citizenship and education programme for 15-18 year old teens. Its main goal is to get young people (15-18yrs) involved in action which helps improve the lives of others in their community. YSI involves thousands of young people in Ireland each year in hundreds of projects and social enterprises which are youth-led, team-based and action-focused. Each year, each YSI team is invited to present their project at the YSI Speak Out Regional fora. A national Showcase of Young Social Innovators takes place in May each year where thousands of young social innovators come together and showcase their projects.

 Sport:

Athletics
Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups. Cross country training is on Friday at lunch time.  The Donegal schools cross country final will be held in the coming weeks.

Well done to three of our pupils who qualified for the Ulster Schools Cross Country finals after participating in the E District competition in Necorne Estate, Irvinestown on Wednesday.  Savannah Timoney ran an outstanding race and finished second in the Junior Girl’s competition. Kitty Mc Nulty finished an incredible 6th in a tough intermediate girl’s competition and Oisín Joyce came 11th in the Senior Boys race. Well done to all are athletes who struggled through the wintery conditions to represent the school in the cross country competition. The finals will be held in Mullish playing fields Belfast on Wednesday 21st February. Best of luck to all are athletes in the final!

Girls Basketball
1st year girls training continues every Wednesday after school in the school gym. The 2nd year girls training has been moved to Monday after school in the school gym.

Boys Basketball
1st and 2nd year boys’ basketball training has moved to Thursday after school with Mr McHugh and Saturday morning at 9-11 in the school gym.

Well done to the 1st and 2nd year boys who played Ballina Community School on Friday. They also play St Gerald’s Castlebar in Castlebar on Wednesday the 21st February.

1st and 2nd Year Basketball
Mr Mc Hugh’s team will take on the 1st and 2nd year’s boys’ basketball team in Castlebar Co. Mayo on Wednesday 21st February where the AVS boys’ will play St Gerald’s.

1st year boys Gaelic
The boys have begun training for the U13s competition in March. We are delighted also to have county coach Paddy Hegarty visiting the school to do some coaching.

Ladies Gaelic Football
U14 girls training will continue after school every Tuesday.  Please bring runners, a warm top, water and a gum shield. The U14 league will start in the coming weeks.

Girls Active
The Girls’ active is every Friday 3:45pm- 4:45 pm. They are still taking part in hip hop. All 1st, 2nd and 3rd years are welcome. €1 per session.

Hurling
U16 hurling training continues Tuesday at lunch time. All Hurlers are welcome.

Lunch time activities
Lunch time activities continue as normal. Please check the notice board in the gym. There is a least two activities a day. We remind all students that anyone can get involved and it’s good to participate in new activities.

AVS Notes 2nd February 2018

Physical Education new Leaving Cert Subject
We are delighted to announce that two new curriculums for Physical Education at senior cycle will be introduced from September 2018 to our incoming 5th year students:

  1. Leaving Certificate Physical Education (optional subject for examination in the Leaving Certificate). This subject will consist of three components for assessment. Students will be required to complete a physical activity project, a performance assessment and a written examination.
  2. The Senior Cycle Physical Education Framework (not for examination).

Phase 1 of the implementation process will involve a small cohort of schools who have the capacity to introduce Physical Education as a Leaving Certificate subject and/or the Senior Cycle Physical Education Framework in September 2018. The Abbey Vocational School has been selected for both of these subjects. There will be an information evening on this and the optional subjects on Tuesday February 6th at 7.30 pm in the school.

Open Night
The AVS welcomed in the public in on Wednesday 31st, we were delighted to give parents and prospective parents a tour of the school grounds. Students and parents experienced the school through the tour and were treated to many active demonstrations. There was a variety of activities available for students to participate in on the night; the Science Department allowed students to take a look at some exciting experiments they will engage in throughout their school career, Modern Languages had French and Spanish food on offer plus some games for students to take part in and Home Economics had tasty treats that some of our AVS students cooked on the night. We hope that parents of prospective students of Donegal Town and the wider community enjoyed this opportunity to view our excellent facilities.  Again, a huge thank you to the staff and students without you the night would not have been possible; your hard work is appreciated! Thank you again. The deadline for enrolment is Friday, 9th February 2018.

We will host an Open Day/Induction Day for our incoming 6th class students on March 6th 2018.

Aonad Gaeilge – An Irish Medium Education Initiative
The AVS hosted their first Information Evening on open night for all parents and students interested in the Aonad Gaeilge. The Aonad Gaeilge will cater for students who wish to be educated in an Irish medium environment, instilling a love of Irish language and culture among the students.

At the information evening further details were provided on the running of the new programme which will open in September 2018. In addition, parents were given the opportunity to ask questions. Thank you to Ms R O’ Donnell, head of the Irish Department in the AVS, spoke to parents on the night and was available to answer any questions after. Thank you to all the staff who are working in the Aonad next September who spoke to parents on the night about our new addition to the AVS.

Well Read Initiative
Room 12 opened its doors this week at lunchtime and will continue to every Monday and Wednesday from this week on. Students are invited to pop in and borrow some of the books from the shelves, which have recently been updated with some great new titles.

Irish Orals
Congratulations to our Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students who completed their Irish oral mock this week. Thank you to our students who created a quiet atmosphere in the areas where the mocks were being held.

Mock Exams
Good luck to our Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students who start their mock exams next Thursday 8th February. Our exam students are now preparing for these exams which are very important in the overall preparation for the State Exams in June. Note, that evening study continues for students and we now have arrangements in place for lunchtime study groups for Leaving Certs in the Library.

Senior Cycle Options Night
The Senior Cycle Options Night for parents of those students going into TY or Fifth year will take place next Tuesday night 6th February in the school. The talk will cover the Transition Year Programme and the subject choice available for 5th years. We encourage all parents to attend.

5th Year Physics Trip – IOP Workshops
Mr Hegarty’s 5th year Physics class will visit Foyle College campus on Tuesday, 6th February. Students are in for a treat as James Soper, internationally renowned science presenter, ex-professional circus performer and Guinness World Record holding juggler, will perform a fast-paced and interactive show especially written for 14-16 year olds.

Gaeltacht Talk
Thank you to the Irish Department and Ms Mc Geehan for organising a representative, Kevin Cassidy, from Coláiste Chú Chulainn, Gweedore, to speak to our 1st and 2nd years this Friday, 2nd February. The Gaeltacht is an excellent way for students to improve their Irish and allow themselves to be submersed in the Irish culture while engaging with native Irish speakers, attending Irish classes and conversing through Irish. There are many courses available for the summer month which can be seen on their website.

5th Year Talk – Shane Martin
Shane Martin is a psychologist dedicated to teaching the very best self-help psychology to empower people to enhance the quality of their lives. His ‘Moodwatchers’ Psychology Course has been delivered at community venues throughout the length and breadth of Ireland.

Shane has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences on a range of topics around empowerment, recovery and happiness. A leader within the area of education, he has visited hundreds of educational institutions nationwide working with management teams, teachers/lecturers, students and parents. Shane gave an inspiring talk to our fifth year students on Thursday last and covered areas on positive mental health 1. MINDING OURSELVES: Uprooting the roots of stress 2. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RESILIENCE: How to Build Resilience within Ourselves 3. HEALTH AND HAPPINESS: How to refresh your life.

Leaving Certificate Talk – Jason Black
Jason Black visited our Leaving Certs on Friday last for a very memorable talk. He was both inspiring and personal and touched a chord with each and every one of our school community at a very special event. Born in Ireland & growing up in Co. Donegal as a young boy, his love for the great outdoors was heavily influenced through cubs and scouts. Mother Nature providing the mountains waterways & unspoiled coast line, Ireland was to be his perfect adventure playground. Jason’s light hearted fun filled nature makes expedition life an adventure to enjoy. But his unfaltering determination as a very keen athlete from a very early age, has always played centre stage in his daily life allowing no obstacle stand between him and success in life.

Sometimes we choose the challenges, but what do we do when the challenges choose us? You are in control. You decide your place in the future.  You can create a culture in which people contribute and invest their energy, where they motivate themselves.  Jason delivered a high-impact talk to our students which reminded the students that they have a choice. They have the capacity to dig deep to overcome the challenges of life.

Career Guidance
The Guidance Department have set up a Google Classroom for Apprenticeship information provision.  Please ask your Guidance Counsellor or one of your practical subject teachers for the Google Classroom code.

Ms Mc Morrow and Ms Faherty would like to remind 6th year students that they should be making their 1:1 appointments as soon as possible.  The Guidance Department are here to help in any way we can over the course of the next very important couple of months.  5th year students are also welcome to request a 1:1 appointment.

LC Links Module
The deadline for the Leaving Certificate Links module is next week on Wednesday, 7th February. Students need to ensure their portfolio is handed in by Wednesday and no later.

Debate Club
Approximately fifty students in 1st year took part in an introduction to debate on Tuesday, 30th January. Maura Logue delivered the workshop and she worked on a number of key factors that are important in debate such as body language, confidence, commanding your audience, role play, group vocalisation, tone of voice, counter – arguments and how to use strong opening statements effectively. Next week on Tuesday 6th the club will meet to be given their new topic “Uniforms in schools”. Students will prepare for this topic in the class on Tuesday. Following on from this they will speak in another workshop on their given topic for 30 seconds in another workshop with Maura Logue in the coming weeks.

Couch to 5k
The couch to 5k programme is well under way with many staff and students participating and making use of our track. There are many mental health benefits of running. The programme will run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday after school on the track. Please feel free to join regardless of your fitness level!

Operation Transformation
A number of staff members are participating in ‘Operation Transformation’. Staff are weighed every Wednesday and at the end of the 12 weeks we are hopeful to beat our weight loss from last year.

LCA Careers trip
Ms McMorrow will be taking several LCA students to the Northwest Regional College, Derry on Wednesday, 7th February. The students will be able to take a tour of the campus and see what courses and apprenticeships they have to offer.

Transition Years:

Personal Safety
TYs participated in a Personal Safety workshop on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd of February.

This programme helps secondary school students develop increased personal safety and awareness. The students on the day learnt how to recognise and evaluate a range of situations and assess their own position within those situations. Students were taught methods and skills to protect themselves and promote their personal awareness. Personal Safety and Awareness is an invaluable aspect of student development, beneficial to all students moving on through the school senior cycle, third level education and throughout their adult life.

On the day students learned how important it is to communicate effectively, develop assertiveness in a positive manner, evaluate attitude and behaviour of others and help students understand consent and the consequences of inappropriate behaviour.

This programme links with existing school modules such Personal and Social Development and Health Education. See www.personalsafety.ie for more information. Our TY’s thoroughly enjoyed the day and they feel it will benefit them throughout their lives and school career. A huge thanks you to Alex and Nick for covering such a great workshop!

Spanish workshop
Spanish students of TY took part in a drama and dance workshop on Monday 29th. Students learned a range of traditional dances. The workshop was conducted through Spanish. Students enjoyed the challenge and their oral Spanish has benefited greatly. The workshop was carried by Arantxa Lopez from ID Languages. ID Languages is a family – owned business run by siblings Arantxa and Mikel López, from Vitoria, the stunning capital of the Basque Country. The workshop is intended to help students communicate better and expand their use of the language.

Young Americans
Students from 1st – 5th year had the amazing experience of taking part in The Young Americans. The Young Americans is a Performing Arts College situated in California. We would like to congratulate all the students for their effort throughout the weekend and for putting on an outstanding show. Thank you to the Young Americans for once again inspiring our students and the community and for giving our students unforgettable memories.

Road Safety
On Tuesday, 2nd February TY and LCA students will take part in a MOG Road Safety course. The course will take place outside on the school track throughout the day. Students will learn more about the risks driving has and how to prevent accidents.

Work Experience
From the 19th – 23rd TY students will complete their second week of work experience. Students are expected to have their work placement organised at this point. Students are completing work experience in places such as Primary and Secondary schools, Pharmacy’s, Veterinary Clinics and Catering Colleges. We wish our students the best of luck during their week of work experience.

Sports:

Athletics
Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups. Cross-country training is on Friday at lunchtime.

The Donegal Schools Cross Country final will be held in the coming weeks. Our cross-country team will also be travelling to Irvinestown for the Ulster Schools Competition on 7th February – good luck to all involved!

Well done to our 1st year girls Sportshall Team for competing in the County Final. The girls had a very successful day and represented the school very well, finishing 4th place in the county. Well done to Sarah Donovan for finishing 1st overall in the 6th lap. The girls had many top 5 results including the rally B team with Roisin Gillespie, Shauna Doherty, Jessica Gallagher and Jennifer Foster finishing 3rd overall.

Well done to the TY students who helped organise and officiate the Primary School Regional Final as part of the sports leadership and their community hours. It was a very well run event and thank you to all that helped. The top three were St Naul’s- 1st with 103 points, Frosses NS – 2nd with 87 points and Cashel came 3rd with 80 points.

Girls Basketball
1st year girls training continues every Wednesday after school in the school gym. The 2nd year girls training has been moved to Monday after school in the school gym. Good luck to the girls who play Ballinamore on Friday.

Boys Basketball
1st and 2nd year boys basketball training has moved to Thursday after school with Mr McHugh and Saturday morning at 9-11am in the school gym. The 1st and 2nd year league will start in the coming weeks.

U15 Soccer
The boys will now play in the cup, the draw will take place next week.

First Year Boys’ Soccer
The First Year Boys Soccer Team made the long trip on Monday to Buncrana to play Scoil Mhuire in the Cup. After a very entertaining and close opening half with both sides having chances, it was Jake Graham who opened the scoring with a well-placed header from a great corner from Declan Duignan. AVS had a significant height advantage over their opponents and looked to use this to their advantage. Paddy Lyons in the AVS goals made a great save towards the end of the first half to leave the score 1-0 at half time.  Scoil Mhuire started the 2nd half much better and got the equaliser 10 mins into the half after a mix up in the AVS box. AVS responded well and Aaron McGrory restored the AVS lead with a cool finish after a great ball into the box from Jack Kenny. AVS continued to press and scored the goal of the game through Daniel Quinn, after a great run and smashing the ball into the top corner from outside the box. AVS scored the final goal of the game through Liam Gallagher, after a great through ball from Quinn. Final score, 4-1.

Hard luck to the first year boys who played Stranolar on Friday, 2nd February. It was a tough game with the boys going in 2 down at half time. Liam Gallagher kept the boys in the game scoring a brilliant goal but the Stranolar boys scored in the opening minutes of the second half. Well done to David Crawford who made his first appearance on the pitch, he had an excellent game.

1st Year Boys Gaelic
The boys have begun training for the U13s competition in March. We are delighted also to have county coach Paddy Hegarty visiting the school to do some coaching.

Ladies Gaelic Football
U14 girls training will continue after school every Tuesday.  Please bring runners, a warm top, water and a gum shield. The U14 league will start in February.

Hard luck to the U20 girls who were knocked out in the Ulster preliminary round. The girls travelled to Garvaghey in Tyrone to play St Louise’s of Belfast. The AVS girls had a strong opening first half, playing against the wind with Fiona Shovlin and Aine Mc Groarty taking great shots. Captain Layla Alvey and Niamh Boyle had some excellent runs throughout the game covering a lot of ground. The St Louise’s girls went in at half time on top. In the opening 10 minutes of the second half the St Louise’s girls came out strong and began to dominate. The AVS girls took the foot off the pedal for a few minutes, which allowed the Belfast girls to get many scores to remain on top. In the last minutes of the game the AVS girls fought back, stronger than ever with Ellie Muldoon and Elle Battle carrying the team through. The girls fought to the bitter end showing great determination and attitude but eventually running out of time.

Girls Active
The girls’ active is every Friday 3:45- 4:45. We are taking part in hip hop dancing. All 1st, 2nd and 3rd years are welcome. €1 per session.

Hurling
U16 hurling training continues Tuesday at lunch time.

Lunchtime activities
Lunchtime activities continue as normal. Please check the notice board in the gym. There is a least two activities a day.

AVS Notes 26th January 2018

Aonad Gaeilge – An Irish Medium Education Initiative
The Aonad Gaeilge will cater for students who wish to be educated in an Irish medium environment, instilling a love of Irish language and culture among the students.

The introduction of the Aonad has been in response to a need identified by a community of parents who wish to have their children educated in an Irish-medium post primary setting.

The Abbey Vocational School will host an information evening on Wednesday, 31st January at 7pm in the school Library for all interested parents in the community. At the information evening further details will be provided and there will be an opportunity for a question and answer session.

Open Night
Our school will be open to the general public from 5pm until 8pm this Wednesday 31st.  We would be delighted for you to take a tour of our school and see practical demonstrations and displays of students’ work from all of our Subject Departments.  We hope that parents of prospective students of Donegal Town and the wider community will take this opportunity to view our excellent facilities.  We especially hope that all of our incoming students will attend with their parents.  All persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.

We will have a table set up to facilitate anyone who wishes to return the enrolment form on the night of the Open Evening.  We encourage you to please do this. Deadline for enrolment is Friday, 9th February 2018.

We will host an Open Day/Induction Day for our incoming 6th class students on March 6th 2018. Our new video for incoming 6th class students is now available on the website – we welcome you all to have a look at this!

Young Americans
A huge thank you to the Young Americans who worked with our students over the course of three days, Friday, Saturday and Sunday of this week. Confidence is an important factor in life and the workshop helped students to express themselves through music. A final show took place on Sunday in the Bosco Centre which showcased their singing, dancing and acting.

We would like to thank parents and staff who welcomed the members of Young Americans into their homes over the course of the weekend.

Respect Workshops
Pat Courtney delivered anti-bullying and respect workshops to the junior students in the school this week. Pat has provided CPD on Bullying to schools and parents for over 14 years. He was a national Anti-Bullying Coordinator of the SPHE Support Service (2009-2014) as well as Team Leader of the Department of Education pilot anti-bullying programme for second level schools – The Dublin Cool School Pilot Programme (2006-2009). He was Education Officer with The Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service (North Eastern Health Board, HSE) and helped develop the Cool School Anti-Bullying Programme (2000-2005). Pat covered areas such as – How to define and identify bullying.

– How to ask for help. – How to make a class agreement about bullying. – How to act safely as a bystander – Relational bullying – Cyber bullying – Homophobic and transphobic bullying.

Identity based bullying and Internet safety. The programme was extremely informative.

The Launch of the Football Pitch Project at the Abbey Vocational School
A large attendance at the launch event in the Abbey Vocational School gymnasium on Monday evening by many members of the local community proved how important the development of this facility is to the parents, the school and all in the surrounding area of Donegal Town.

The Event was attended by a representative from all of the clubs in the surrounding area, many local politicians, and reps from the school. Board of management, the many businesses in the town and the schools healthy schools committee and many other specially invited guests.

Well Read Initiative
Josephine O’ Donnell will be visiting the school in the coming weeks to deliver a workshop to our first-year students. Josephine is an Irish author who will focus her workshop on the creative writing process and how to successfully write a novel. A date is yet to be confirmed. In addition, room 12 will be open at lunchtime every Monday and Wednesday from next week on. Students are invited to pop in and borrow some of the books from the shelves which have recently been updated with some great new titles.

Irish Orals
The Junior Certificate Irish orals and Leaving Certificate mock orals will be held over the next week. Extra attention to quietness in the areas where these are held will be much appreciated.

Mock Exams
Our exam students are now preparing for these exams which are very important in the overall preparation for the State Exams in June. Note, that evening study continues for students and we now have arrangements in place for lunchtime study groups for Leaving Certs in the Library.

Big School Cook Off
Huge congratulations to Chloe Boyle and Aimee Gallagher who made it through to the ‘Big School Cook Off’ in association with the Mount Charles group, finals in March. Initially the girls had to submit a creative recipe idea for a main course with a focus on locally sourced ingredients. The judging panel shortlisted recipes and the successful finalists had to take part in a regional heat, where each cooking duo prepared the recipe they submitted to the competition. The first round of the competition saw 188 schools from Northern Ireland and Donegal enter. The judges narrowed this down to 49 schools to complete in 4 regional finals. St Mary’s college hosted the North West Regional final with 11 schools participating and 2 schools, the AVS and St Mary’s will now go through to the final. The AVS was awarded the highest mark overall.

The final takes play in Belfast in March 21st. Well done to Chloe and Aimee and we wish them the best of luck in the final.

Senior Cycle Options Night
The Senior Cycle Options Night for parents of those students going into TY or Fifth year will take place on Tuesday night 6th February in the school. The talk will cover the Transition Year Programme and the subject choice available for 5th years. We encourage all parents to attend.

Talk for Parents on Moving on to College and College Life
LYIT presented a talk in the school library on Thursday night. College is a daunting place and the talk aimed to give parents an insight into the people who work within third level education, the opportunities available for students, the different options available to students and the key to success in third level support services. It was a valuable talk and the AVS would like to thank LYIT for delivering such an engaging talk. 

Healthy Schools
The Health Promoting Schools committee are selling tickets for a Phaser bicycle.  Raffle tickets are one euro each and can be purchased at lunch time in the Assembly area. We would appreciate any support to assist the cause. The draw takes place on Tuesday of this week.

Debate Club
Approximately fifty students in 1st year will complete an introduction to debate on Tuesday 30th January. Maura Logue will deliver the exciting workshop, she will work on body language confidence, commanding your audience, role play, group vocalisation, tone of voice, counter – arguments and students will participate in various fun games.

Couch to 5k
The couch to 5k programme begins on Monday, January 15th for staff and 6th year students. There are many mental health benefits of running. Taking on the challenge of Couch to 5K can help boost your confidence and self-belief, as you prove to yourself that you can set yourself a target and achieve a goal. This is important as our 6th year students prepare for their mock exams in the coming weeks. Running regularly can also be a great stress reliever and has even been shown to combat depression. The programme will run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday after school on the track.

Operation Transformation
A number of staff members are participating in ‘Operation Transformation’. Last year was a fantastic success. In addition, many local GAA clubs are “working in partnership with RTÉ’s Operation Transformation, they are seeking to bring together communities across the 32 counties to enjoy healthy walks in the safe, bright, environs of their GAA club. In a bid to make exercise more accessible on the dark winter nights, ‘Ireland Lights Up’ will see participating clubs turn on their floodlights/lighting systems between 7pm – 9pm each Monday for a six-week period. Check out www.rté/getinvolved.ie for more information.

Transition Years:

Personal Presentation Course
Ty students took part in a makeup course on Tuesday, 23rd January. The course took part in the Parish Hall and was held by Karla Gallagher. Students learned new makeup skills and were taught tips and tricks. All the students thoroughly enjoyed the course.

Jujitsu
TY students took part in a jujitsu lesson on Tuesday, 23rd January held in DT fitness. The boys learned self-defense skills. Brian Gorman oversaw the workshop he demonstrated arm bars, throws and takedowns during the class. The boys enjoyed the lesson and benefited from it immensely.

Seó Bothar
On Monday 22nd January all TY students took part in an Irish Language Roadshow held in the library organised by Ms Mc Hugh. Students interacted with each other in games and debates using their Irish. Students also learnt how their use of the Irish language will benefit their careers and the importance of speaking more Irish on a daily basis both inside and outside of school.

NEAR workshop
On Tuesday 23rd January TY students took part in a Mental Health workshop held by Dr. Eski Britton. Students learned how interacting with nature plays an important role in maintaining a positive mental health. Students discussed how they can improve their mental health by interacting with nature more often.

Spanish Workshop
On Monday 29th January TY Spanish students will take part in a Spanish workshop held by Ms O’Donnell in the school library. The students will take part in games and debates in the Spanish language.

Personal Safety Workshop
TY students will participate in a Personal Safety workshop next week on the 1st and 2nd February. It has been co – ordinated by Ms Regan

Sports:

Nominations – Donegal Sport Star Awards
Congratulations to all in the school involved in sport as the AVS was nominated for a Donegal Sports Award in the category – Best Sports School. Congratulations also to Michelle Harvey and Orlaith Carr for their nominations as Best Sports Teachers. Good luck to Mia McCalmont as she has been nominated for the best Donegal sports girl award, in recognition for her international achievements this year in athletics.

Athletics
Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups. Cross Country training is on Friday at lunch time.

The Donegal School’s Cross-Country Final was cancelled last week but will be rescheduled in the coming weeks. Our cross-country team will also be travelling to Irvinestown for the Ulster Schools Competition on the 7th February. Our 1st year girls Sportshall Athletics team are training hard for the county final, this takes place on the 1st February in Gweedore.
On the 2nd February our TY students will host a small primary school Sportshall competition. This will be part of their sports leadership.

Girls Basketball
1st year girls training continues every Wednesday after school in the school gym. The 2nd year girls training has been moved to Monday after school in the school gym.

Boys Basketball
1st and 2nd year boys’ basketball training has moved to Thursday after school with Mr McHugh and Saturday morning at 9am-11am in the school gym. The 1st and 2nd year league will start in the coming weeks.

U15 Soccer
Hard luck to our AVS boys who lost against St Eunans in St Eunans pitch in the U15 league final. St Eunans were on top in the opening 15 minutes. They then got awarded a penalty in the 20th minute after the striker was brought down in the box. It was a good goal. After 5 minutes the AVS boys rallied well and got a well-deserved equaliser with Conor Campbell scoring from outside the box after a great hold up by Senan Quinn. There were not many other goal opportunities for either teams in the remainder of the first half. The AVS had a slow start to the second half, with St Eunans getting awarded their second penalty of the game, after another foul in the box which they scored. Oisín McCallig made many great saves to keep the AVS boys in the game. The boys kept pushing for an equaliser. They were denied what looked like a penalty in the final few minutes. The boys had a great opportunity to make it all level but they were unlucky as the St Eunans goalie made a first goal line save. It was over all an excellent team performance. The boys will now play in the Cup, the draw will take place next week.

Senior Boys Gaelic Football
Well done to the AVS boys’ Gaelic team who performed very well throughout the year. Unfortunately, it was a toss between us and Dungloe to go through to the semis and Dungloe won the toss.

1st year boys Gaelic
The boys have begun training for the U13s competition in March. We are delighted also to have county coach Paddy Hegarty visiting the school to do some coaching.

1st year Soccer
The 1st years boys’ soccer team will play away next Friday, 2nd February in Stranorlar. However, this is yet to be confirmed.

Ladies Gaelic Football
U14 and U20 girls training will continue after school every Tuesday.  Please bring runners, a warm top, water and a gum shield. The U14 league will start in February. Good luck to the U20s who are playing St Louise’s, Belfast in the Ulster Premiere round in Garvaghey next Tuesday at 11am.

Girls Active
The girls active started Friday 19th in the Parish Hall. It continues every Friday 3:45- 4:45pm. We are taking part in hip hop dancing this week. All 1st, 2nd and 3rd years are welcome. The cost is €1 per session.

Hurling
U16 hurling training continues Tuesday at lunch time.

Lunch time Activities
Lunch time activities continue as normal. Please check the notice board in the gym. There is a least two activities a day.