AVS Notes 15th December 2017

Happy Christmas
We wish all of the members of the school community a very happy Christmas and an enjoyable break and thank you all for your continued support to us here in the Abbey Vocational School throughout the year. We are truly grateful.

JCSA English Deadline
Third year students have completed their Classroom Based Assessments (CBA). “This Classroom Based Assessment offers students a chance to celebrate their achievements as creators of texts by compiling a collection of their texts in a variety of genres over time and choosing a number of pieces to present for summative assessment”. (www.jcsa.ie). The deadline for the collection of texts was Friday 15th December. Congratulations to all our third year students on their hard work!

JCSA English Assessment Task Week
From the 17th – 23rd December Junior Cert classes will complete their Assessment Task. The task varies from year to year; the Assessment Task will be devised from some or all of the following elements:

  • A short stimulus in written, audio, audio-visual or multi-modal format to prepare for the written task. The purpose of the stimulus is to prompt discussion about the writing process, but students are assessed on their own experiences of creating their collection, not on their understanding of or response to the stimulus.
  • A written task that tests the students in one or more of:
    1. Their ability to outline and/or discuss their experience of compiling the Collection of the Student’s Texts
    2. Their understanding and evaluation of that experience
    3. Their capacity to demonstrate and reflect on the skills they have developed.

Students will complete this in their English classes. Teachers will explain the process to students in class. Good luck to our students completing the task next week!

Wayne Denner Internet Safety
Thank you to Wayne Denner who spoke to staff and students on Thursday 14th December. Wayne set up Ireland’s First Social Network platform in the early nineties. Wayne is a nationally renowned speaker on “Online Reputation, Cyberbullying and Social Media Safety”. This was an excellent talk that reminded students and staff of how to stay safe online and be aware on their own online reputation. Wayne has addressed almost 700 students and our staff over the 3 sessions.

The YOUNG AMERICANS return to the Abbey Vocational School in January 2018. This will be their third time visiting our school and it is a great experience. Registration forms are available in the Assembly at lunchtime this week. TY students were given registration forms on Friday 15th. Can you please fill out the forms and return them as soon as possible.

1st Year Cinema Trip
1st year students enjoyed a trip to Bundoran cinema on Wednesday 13th December. They saw the highly anticipated ‘Wonder’ by R.J Palacio. Thank you to their Year Head Ms Bennett for organising this trip, the tutors: Ms Cunningham, Ms Canning, Ms Dunnion, Ms Plunkett and Ms Murray. In addition, thank you to Louise Campbell, Eilish Mc Neilis, and Lorraine Quinn for accompanying the students on the trip. 

Book Club
Ms Logue started her first year book club this week, the first meeting took place on Tuesday 12th December. Members are welcome to join the club again at lunchtime on Tuesday 19th December. Students have started reading ‘Knights of the Borrowed Dark’ by Dave Rudden. This is the first book in a new series about an orphan boy who discovers he is part of a secret army that protects the world from a race of shadowy monsters. Students can enjoy the text over the Christmas period.

Pilot School
The Abbey Vocational School is delighted to have been selected as a Pilot school for the Leaving Certificate Computer Science course from September 2018. This is a fantastic opportunity for the school.

Well Read Campaign
We are encouraging and reminding all students to carry a reading for pleasure book in their school bag for the PDST ‘Well-read National Award’.

Mini Companies – Business Department
We look forward to some festive cheer on Thursday 21st when our Transition Year students host a Christmas Fair in our main assembly area.  It will be an opportunity for the groups to showcase their mini company products along with tasty snacks and fun Christmas games. All students of the school will be given a class to browse through the stalls while in the background we will have carol singing from the Music Department. Spot prizes for most imaginative display, most enthusiastic salesperson and the best Christmas costume. 

6th year Geography Field Trip
Leaving Cert Geography students will complete their field trip study next week on Monday 18th December in Bundoran. The trip was rescheduled due to bad weather conditions. This trip is weather permitting as it is an outdoor activity. Fieldwork is an essential part of Leaving Cert Geography, representing 20% of the marks. In general, the fieldwork is done as whole class activity when the class go to a particular area and carry out the fieldwork. Each student then writes up their own report booklet based on the information they gathered during the fieldwork. 

6th Year Business Trip
Leaving Cert Business students will attend a trip to the ‘Coca Cola’ Factory on Tuesday 19th December. The factory opens its doors to visitors to share a glimpse into the production, history and marketing of the great products made at the Knockmore Hill plant. We are sure it will be an exciting and enjoyable day with hopefully a few freebies thrown in!

Guidance Department
After the Christmas break an Apprenticeship talk by Donegal ETB’s Apprenticeship Department will take place on Wednesday, 10th January 2018 at 11.15 a.m. in the Library.  The talk is aimed at 6th Years and LCAs. Student attendance at the talk is optional. The Department would like to remind Leaving Cert students that the fee for an online CAO application is currently €45.
There is an online discounted fee of €30 if you apply before 20th January (17:15).

LCA Trip
LCA as part of their enterprise module attended the RDS Christmas markets on Thursday 14th December. They examined the role of sole traders, enjoyed the festive grounds and went ice skating (and didn’t fall!). It was a successful day and was enjoyed by all. 

This year’s Carol Service will take place in St. Patricks’ Church, Donegal Town. All parents, families and community members are welcome to join us on Tuesday 19th December. Thank you to all out students who are rehearsing diligently over the last 2 weeks.

Preparations are in progress for our End of School Year Concert on the 22nd December. We are expecting many great acts to be in the concert. Last year was great fun and it’s an enjoyable way to end the school year. Anyone interested in taking part can speak to any 6th year music student as they are organising the event. Thank you to Ms Carr and Ms Doherty for all their hard work in preparing the concerts.

Level 2 Christmas Trip
Six students will visit the Millpark Hotel on Wednesday 20th December for a festive afternoon tea treat.

Healthy schools week
The healthy schools committee will begin to introduce the couch to 5k in the coming weeks. It was a very successful last year.

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

Transition Year:

TY Road Safety Show
The TY car safety and maintenance workshop on 12th December was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. The workshop was due to be facilitated by Mechanic Michael O’Gorman who invented the MOG car however; it will now be rescheduled to a later date.

Defibrillator Fundraising
A number of our TY students will be helping to raise funds so the school can purchase a defibrillator. This life saving equipment will be placed on the outdoor tracks on the school grounds. The students will be fundraising next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Donegal Town. Any help is appreciated.

TY Chess
Good luck to our TY classes who are competing in the interclass Chess competition on Monday 19th December. All four TY classes will compete against each other using knowledge on what they have recently learned about chess. It’s bound to get competitive and it will just be a successful as last year.

TY Cardiac First Responder Course
The course organized by Mr O’Neill will take place after the Christmas break between the 9th to 12th January (a date is yet to be decided).

On Tuesday 12th December students took part in a CSI workshop over the course of two days. Two men that were previously part of CSI in Ireland and in the Gardaí gave the talk. They started off by explaining what the CSI is, and showed students the different ways to investigate a crime. The first practical thing they did was illustrating how fingerprints are taken by putting black magnetic powder on the fingertips. They demonstrated this then by using their own fingerprints on a page by rolling them in ink. They were also shown how to make a shoe print cast. In addition, the students were presented with different examples of unusual crime scenes. At the end of the day a crime scene was set up in the library and students were given various jobs to solve the crime. They all played their part and figured out the details of how the crime happened. It was very interesting and opened up a whole world of scientific enquiry for the students. All had a great day

Ceili Dancing
All TY classes will participate in Ceili dance lessons after the break. This is being coordinated by Ms Mc Hugh and is instructed by Mr Clement Gallagher.

TY Work Experience
TY students completed their first week of work experience last week. The students went to a variety of business and services around the country. The students really enjoyed their week away. They learnt valuable skills, which they can carry with them in the future. Students now have a better idea of what they do and don’t want to do in the future. Well done to them all on presenting themselves so well during the week. They will complete another term of work experience after the break.

TY Interviews
TY students had their interviews on Wednesday 13th December. The students spoke about their online portfolio and their TY experience so far. The students were well prepared and presented at the interviews, well done to all. Their Christmas assessment is worth 30%.  All TY students have to keep a portfolio of their work completed during the year.  Each student is asked to have at least three pieces of work per subject uploaded onto their portfolio by the end of the school year.  The student is responsible for choosing the pieces of work. Subject teachers will assist students in choosing appropriate pieces.

Christmas Trip
On Friday 15th December TY students travelled to Sligo where they went ice-skating, shopping and to the cinema. The students really enjoyed their Christmas trip away. They would like to thank the year head Mr Griffin and Ms Rooney for organising the day.

Flower Arranging Workshop
TY students took part in a flower arranging workshop organised by Ms Keeney. During the workshop the students made Christmas flower bouquets. It was a new experience for the students and they enjoyed it immensely.

TY GAA Course
Recently 18 TY students took part in the LGFA course. We would like to thank Elaine Mc Govern who visited the school to provide the GAA course. The students will now begin to prepare a plan for a primary school blitz.


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

Girls Basketball
Training continues every Monday and Thursday after school for U16s. 1st and 2nd year girls training continues every Wednesday after school in the school gym.

U19 Boys Basketball

Regional Semi Final
AVS had slow start in the first quarter in which Carrick On Shannon took advantage of and pushed the tempo with some great scores leading to AVS going down by 11 points going into the end of the quarter.

Going into the 2nd quarter, A.V.S switched up their defence and began to get some scores back with some excellent defence from Creegan Alcock and rebounding from Ronan O’Donnell leading to scores from A.V.S guards Eoghan Corley and Darragh Griffin in which the A.V.S pulled the game back & led by one point going into the all-important second half.

The 3rd quarter began and a fired up AVS team took to the court but once again Carrick – on – Shannon pulled some scores back due to some turnovers from AVS leading by 7 points going into the 4th quarter.
The final quarter began with all to play for but once again fatigue led to mistakes and turnovers by the AVS in which Carrick – on – Shannon got easy baskets in transition and ended up going up by 15 points. The match finished in Carrick – on – Shannon’s favour in what was ultimately an out of character performance from the AVS, thus concluding the end of the U19 Season, however this team are a credit to the school and are a serious prospect for the future with all players being underage for next year’s season at U19 Level. Congrats to all players on doing themselves & their school proud.

U16 Boys Basketball

Our U16 boys team will face St Gerards Castlebar in the Regional Semi Final next week in Summerhill College, Sligo and we would like to wish them the best of luck.

Senior Boys Gaelic Football
Senior boys’ Gaelic training is every Tuesday after school at 4pm.

Ladies Gaelic Football
U14, U16 and U20 girls training will continue after school every Tuesday 4-5pm and Fridays from 3:30-4:30pm. All age groups will train together. Please bring runners, a warm top, water and a gum shield. The U14 league will start after Christmas. They will also play Deele Collage and Gairmscoil Chú Uladh.

Boys Soccer
The U17 soccer team was beaten by Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana this week. They came in at half time undeservedly one nil down, having hit the post on two occasions and having had two shots cleared off the line. The second half saw Scoil Mhuire get an early goal and despite a good performance from the Abbey boys they were unable to find a way back into the game. Best for AVS were Wiktor Smus, Loughlan Mulroy and Jordan Jervis.

1st Year Rowathon
The 1st year Rowathon will take place on Monday 18th December. First years will participate in their class groups in the Rowathon. The following is the running order for Monday:

P3 – 10:20        1B
P4- 11:15          1E
P5 – 11:55         1D
P7 – 14:00        1C
P8 – 14:40        1A
P9 – 15:20        1F

Each student will row for 2 mins then, the total class distance is added up when all students have rowed. The class that row the longest distance is the winner. The winner will be announced over the intercom by Tuesday.