AVS Notes 16th March 2018


PTM for Leaving Cert Parents
We are holding a second PTM for parents of Leaving Cert students following the completion of the Mock Exams on Wednesday 21st March. Please attend between 3.45pm and 6.15pm. This give the parents of our 6th year students a second opportunity to speak to parents. Thank you

In light of the recent DES Circular letter 0013/2018 on Religious Instruction and worship in certain second level schools in the context of Article 44.2.4 of the Constitution of Ireland and Section 30 of the Education Act, we have sent out a letter to our with regard to the opting out of or in to RE in our school. You will receive these in the coming days.

Mock Reports
Exam reports for Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students are now available to view online. Leaving Cert students report will contain a total of their points from their best 6 subjects. These reports have also been sent out to all this week.

‘The Big School Cook Off’ – 3rd Year students
On Wednesday, 21st March Chloe Boyle and Aimee Gallagher will attend ‘The Big School Cook Off in the Belfast Metropolitan College. The girls had to submit a recipe for a main course for two people that demonstrated the use of local produce. In addition, each recipe could only cost no more than £5, to feed two people and must be created within the allotted time of one hour. The girls have a stressful task on their hands but we wish them the best of luck.

Thank you to those who attended the Aonad information evening on Tuesday, March 13th. The evening was well organised and was used to address parents’ concerns and questions in an informal setting.  Parents of interested students were given a detailed plan in relation to the Aonad. There was a panel on the night which offered advice and answered any queries. The panel included AVS staff, and a development officer from Gaeloideachas, who support all Irish-medium schools at a national level. Going forward we plan to run some conversational Irish Classes for students interested in this in the coming months in a fun interactive way. If you were unable to attend please feel free to contact Clare Spáinneach, Development Officer with Gaeloideachas directly: clare@gaeloideachas.ie | Mobile: 087 9724020 | Office: 01 8535193. The Parents Committee for the Aonad are also available to speak with you, you can contact: Catherine James: 0857577742 Marcus Flannery: 0874109204. Or you can contact Deputy Principal Mr Ronan Doherty or the Principal Ms Geraldine Diver on: 074 9721105

“Spectroscopy in a Suitcase” is a chemistry workshop that was recently held for 5th and 6th year chemistry students this week. Spectroscopy is the study of the way light and matter interact. This workshop gave students a chance to learn about spectroscopy through hands-on experience. As well as covering the principles of spectroscopy techniques, the activities used real-life situations to demonstrate the uses of these techniques. Thank you to Angela McGlynn who gave the workshop, it was enjoyed by all.

Our health promoting schools team have been working extremely hard over the past few months promoting the good health and wellbeing of our whole school community. The overall aim of our HPS incentive is to promote good health and awareness within our school community. As a team our aim is to actively work together to develop and create an awareness which will help to make our school a healthier place to be. Throughout the two years of our HPS programme the following activities took place and have been embedded into our school culture: Couch to 5K / Cara Run  Skipathon and Rowathon, Girls Active, Wellbeing walks and Drop all and Walk, Yoga, Fitness classes, Operation Transformation , No chip Tuesday , Free water and fruit at break

During the second part of our programme we have educated the students and staff on CFR training and the use of an A.E.D. Throughout the project we linked up with first responders and health professionals. Through fundraising our team raised money to buy an outdoor defibrillator that is situated outside the school gym, with 24 hr access to the public. The final stage of the project was to develop a mapping system where all the A.E.D in the Donegal area can be located from our school website.

Health Promoting Schools Flag
The Health Promoting schools team met with Lisa O’Hagan, HSE, to discuss and plan what is required for the AVS to be recognised for the Health Promoting Flag. The plans are to be presented in April to the school.

Cara 5k Run
Last Friday in Bundoran many members of our staff and some students participated in the Cara 5k run. Bundoran welcomed the runners and supporters for the challenge and all participants had fun and enjoyed the event in a fair and safe environment.

Operation Transformation
We finally reached week six and overall the staff lost a total of 27 pounds. This is an outstanding result and we hope our participants will continue their efforts!

Debate Club
The club will meet again on Tuesday, 20th March. Last week the members of the clubs worked on phrases to use during a debate. They are continuing to work on their topics.

Seachtain na Gaelige
The AVS celebrated Seachtain na Gaeilge from March 12th – 16th. The Irish Department organised many events this week such as Tráth na gCeist, comórtas cártaí Lá Fhéile Pádraig, comórtas ealaíne, amhránaíocht and céili. The winners of the cómórtas cártaí Lá Fhéile Pádraid.

The winners from first year were:

1st Angela McDwyer
2nd Darcie Kennedy
3rd Emma Kee

The winners from second year were:

1st Veronica Airth
2nd Megan Molloy
3rd Savannah Timoney

The third-year winner was Eleanor Romilly. Well done to everyone on their fantastic entries!

 Well Read Initiative
Author Josephine O’Donnell came into the school to talk to the 3rd years this week about her recent book about ‘The History of Clogher’. She told them all about how she collected and collated information in order to write the book and how putting the book together was a big community effort. Thank you to Josephine for delivering such an insightful talk.

Transition Year:

Tour Talk
Thank you to the parents of TY students who attended the tour talk on Thursday evening. The talk gave parents’ information on the upcoming tour to Lake Garda, Italy. Parents met the tour team: Mr Leyden, Mr Plunkett, Mr Hegarty, Mr Clarke, Mr Mc Hugh, Ms Cunningham, Ms Mc Partlan, Ms Rooney, Ms Murray, Ms Mc Nulty and Mrs M Crawford. Any parent or guardian who was unable to attend we ask that you please contact the school.

The tour takes place during the Easter holidays from Monday 26th – Thursday 29th March. We ask all parents and students to ensure they review the itinerary and prohibited items list on the school’s website. The page can be found under the activities tab, foreign tours and the information on the trip is located here. Students are reminded they must ensure they have their passports and European Health Card with them. In addition, students will be flying with Aer Lingus and Ryanair. Please be aware there are strict limits regarding the size and weight of the carry-on bag. Please see Aer Lingus and Ryanair websites for full details. We are staying in the Hotel San Vito during the trip. We will spend the first day in Verona enjoying all the spectacular sights the city has to offer such as the Arena Amphitheatre, Juliet’s House and the Lambreti Tower. The second day will be spent in Venice and we hope students bring good footwear, as they will partake in a 2-hour walking tour of the fabulous city. On Wednesday students will travel to Venice and explore the National Museum. Lastly, an exciting day awaits them on the Thursday as they will visit Gardaland which boasts fifty exciting attractions! The staff hope that the students all have an enjoyable and memorable tour. The information should be reviewed on the site prior to the trip as it is provided to improve your experience.

Hotel Course
We would like to extend out thanks to Harvey’s Point, Solis Castle and The Abbey Hotel for accommodating students this week. We understand hotels are very busy places especially the day to day running however, our students gained valuable experience required in maintaining such businesses. Training was provided to students in the different areas within the hotel. Students also discovered what is expected of them when applying for a job in a hotel. For example, 4A went to Lough Eske Castle for a Hotel Management course. Catherine Monahan is the HR manager there. She told them about the history of the hotel and described her job. In addition, Lisa, Sales and Marketing manager, talked about her job and what he does daily. They were given a full tour of the hotel. To finish, they had the opportunity to make some of the hotels cocktails in the bar, see how rooms are serviced and they observed what happens in the kitchen.

Dublin Cultural Trip
On the 14th March TY students went on a trip to Croke Park, Kilmainham Gaol and The Dáil. The students had an early start at 5:40am and their first stop on the tour was Croke Park. They watched a video which focused on what happens in the arena on All Ireland game day. TY’s were brought behind the scenes where players go before and after games in the dressing rooms and lounge. They had a wonderful experience as they were also brought out onto the pitch and given a history of what happened on Bloody Sunday and why certain stands have specific names. Afterwards, students had time to explore the museum and play interactive games.

Kilmainham Gaol was a riveting tour for students especially those interested in history. Many members of the Irish Republican movement during the Anglo-Irish War were imprisoned in Kilmainham Gaol, guarded by British troops. Charles Stewart Parnell and the leaders of 1916 will always be associated with the building. Students were given a tour of the building and were given plenty of information on prison life. As an important part of Irish history the tour is a beneficial to students and they felt they became more aware of Irish culture and history.

Students also visited the Seanad Éireann house where he Senators meet for meetings and they discovered where they vote and how it’s organised. They were shown where Leo Varadkar sits and where all other parties sit for the meeting such as the Labour Party. The tour guide gave a brief history about the house and the family that lived there initially. It was a fascinating tour and it delivered a greater knowledge of Irish history to our students. At the end of the day the TY students had time to shop and eat in Blanchardstown.

Bake Off Competition
On Tuesday, 20th March some of the Transition Years will be part taking in a British Bake – Off style competition. The students will be bringing in their own ingredients to bake Easter Themed Cupcakes. Their Home Economics teachers will oversee their delicious bakes. Prior to this competition. The students had a cake decorating class therefore, they should be fully prepared! Teachers will be taste testing their produce and examining their decorative skills. Best of luck to all involved!

Fundraising Walk
Next Friday, 30th March Transition Year students will be hosting a Fundraising event. They will be walking around the Drimarone area. They have been selling lines for the last couple of weeks and we would like to thank them for their efforts. Half of the money will go to charity and the other half will be going towards activities for the Transition Years. We hope they enjoy their day and all goes well.

Leadership for Life
A group of our TY student will start the Leadership for life programme this Tuesday. The programme takes place in the Donegal Town Foróige office. Thank you to Kerry Gallagher for her continued support with running this programme for our students. Foróige’s Leadership for Life is an exciting programme that enables young people to develop the skills and qualities necessary to be effective leaders, as well as challenging them to use these skills for the betterment of society. The Leadership for Life programme sets out to empower young people to make a positive difference to their community through practical actions and projects. Throughout the course of the programme, young people learn the core concepts of leadership and gain skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, self-awareness etc. The programme sets about developing the leadership capabilities and potential of young people and gives them an opportunity to harness their skills and attributes to contribute to their society in a fun and encouraging environment.

Our TY students have a busy few weeks coming up with many trips, workshops and talks, the following is an example of what they are looking forward to:

Bake off Computation, History Education trip to Derry, Disability Awareness Talk, Maths Lough Key Forest Park Trip, Sports Performance Analysis Workshop, Balmoral Shows and many more.

Computer Science Workshops
In preparation for the upcoming Computer Science Leaving Cert subject many of our students took part in Computer Science Workshops this week with our Computer Science teacher Mr Gavin Gorman. The map below details those schools that were selected to offer Computer Science as a Leaving Cert subject in their schools. The Abbey Vocational School is delighted to be selected. This week we also attend the launch of the Leaving Cert PE plans. Our Principal Ms Diver and one of our PE teachers Ms Orla Regan will attend this very exciting event in Dublin.


1st Year Soccer
On Tuesday 13th March the 1st year boys had a soccer game in Letterkenny against St. Eunan’s College. Their coach Mr. Mc Hugh travelled with them. They boys had a slow start with 2-0 down in the first 15 mins with Paddy Lyons the goalkeeper having no chance as both goals were scored long range to the top corner. The Abbey boys regrouped and had a foothold in the game and deservedly got a goal back making it 2-1 with 5mins to go in the 2nd half after Dylan McHugh scored a rebound after St. Eunan’s goalkeeper carried out a great effort from Declan Duignan. Daniel Quinn nearly scored an equaliser but unfortunately missed mid-way through second half. St. Eunan’s got the final score making it 3-1 with only 10mins to go. It was a great effort from the boys but it wasn’t their day.

On the 12th March 2018 the 2nd Year basketball boys travelled to Gortnor Abbey in Crossmolina in Mayo with Coach Mr. McHugh. The boys did not get off to a great start losing by 9 points and only scoring one free throw. Gortnor Abbey went on to win the 2nd and 3rd quarters. AVS tied in the last quarter each team scoring 8 points that wasn’t enough to get a win. Our highest scorers were Captain Diarmuid O’ Donnell and Senan Quinn. Hard luck boys better luck next week in Carrick on Shannon. The first year boys had a great first quarter scoring 13-0, they carried on to lead the whole game. Daniel Quinn dominated on the last quarter scoring layups and one 3 pointer. The boys won by 23 points. Well done to the boys for their fantastic effort and performance!

U14’s Girls Football
The U14’s team took on a well drilled and disciplined St Clare’s side in Breffni Park on Friday, 16th March. This was the girls’ first game of the season. Although they put in a great performance, St Clare’s were the winners on the say.

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

Girls’ basketball
Good luck to the 1st and 2nd year girls who take on Ballinamore in Ballinamore next Wednesday 21st March.

Boys Basketball
Good luck to the 1st and 2nd year boys who will play Carrick on Shannon away next Tuesday.

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.