AVS Notes 1st December 2017

Parent/Teacher Meeting
The 2nd year Parent/Teacher meeting will take place next week on Thursday 7th December. We encourage all parents to attend, where possible.

Congratulations to Eoin Slevin, Anna Morrow, Emily McGill and Kate Gurren who received DCU entrance Scholarships on the 29th November! It was an exceptional occasion to see four students of the AVS receiving these awards and many remarked on their wonderful achievement. These students reflect the high standards of teaching and learning in the school as well as the work ethic amongst so many. We congratulate the students and their families on these excellent achievements.

Sports Capital Grant
The Abbey Vocational School, under the trusteeship of Donegal Education and Training Board and in partnership with Donegal Bay Rowing Club has been awarded funding for new gymnasium equipment under the Sports Capital Grant programme 2017.  The new equipment will greatly enhance the teaching and learning of Physical Education to the whole student body and the wider community.  The Abbey Vocational School has also recently undergone a Physical Education Department of Education Inspection which was extremely affirming in relation to the high standards of teaching and learning in this area and of the overall excellence in this department.

Donegal Bay Rowing Club is one of the oldest and largest Coastal rowing clubs in Donegal.  The club is affiliated to Rowing Ireland and currently has 15 Rowing Ireland qualified coaches with plans for further training in early 2018.  The club recently ran two of the most successful All-Ireland Championships in recent years in 2016 and 2017 at their training facility in Ballyshannon in partnership with the ESB and Erne Enterprise.  The equipment will also be utilised by Donegal Bay Rowing Club members especially our juvenile rowers for coaching and training purposes.

The committee and members of Donegal Bay Rowing club would like to sincerely thank Donegal Education and Training Board, the management team at the Abbey Vocational School especially the principal Mrs Geraldine Diver who was a great assistance in completing the application as was the Physical Education Department within the school who fully supported the proposal.  This is a great development for facilities within the school and for the wider community in Donegal.  Hopefully in time we too will produce our own Olympic rowers!!

Talks for Junior Students
Each of our first, second and third year students attended a talk given by Guard and JLO Eamonn Mc Cooey on the topics of internet safety, substance misuse and road traffic matters. This talk was then supplemented by a talk from the Principal on the school’s Mobile Phone Policy and Acceptable Use Policy and other important matters relating to such matters. We thank Mr Mc Cooey for coming to the school and supporting our students in gaining an understanding of the legal aspects of these areas.

Guidance Department
The UCAS Department are holding a UCAS registration class on Friday 8th December in Room 45.  The start time will be 1 p.m. and the finish time will be 2 p.m. In addition, 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.

CSI Workshop
I.T Sligo are completing a forensic science workshop with 5th year students on Monday 4th December. The workshop consists of an introduction to forensic science in I.T. Sligo and a more interesting part where students have to solve crimes!

Well Read Campaign
During the first year’s Parent/Teacher meeting, parents participated in a book swap as part of the school’s ‘Well Read’ campaign. First year classes will also get a ‘Well Read’ sticker. This is one of the many ways we hope to grow a reading culture in our school. We aim to encourage all students to carry a reading for pleasure book in their school bag in our school. It is envisaged that they would be able to take this out whenever possible, e.g. a supervision class where they have no work or have completed the work assigned etc. “The PDST ‘Wellread National Award’ is a national initiative designed and organised by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It 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” (www.pdst.ie/wellread)

Winning designs in the LCA1 Christmas card competition will go on sale from next Monday. All profits go to MS Donegal winners were Shannon Patton, Lily Brogan, Aine McGroarty, Caitlin Hone, Emma Thomas and Aedan Travers.

Abbey Mia
An excerpt from the TY musical ‘Abbey Mia’ will be performed by a group of students on the 7th December in The Abbey Hotel. Good luck to all students partaking!

Huge preparations are taking place in order to organise this year’s Carol Service in St. Patricks’ Church, Donegal Town. All parents, families and community members are welcome to join us on Tuesday 19th December. Auditions for the solo parts in this year’s Carol Service will take place on Tuesday 5th December at lunchtime 1:40 pm in room 13. All are welcome to try out for parts.

Preparations are in progress for our End of School Year Concert on the 23rd December. We are expecting many great acts to be in the concert. Anyone interested in taking part can speak to any 6th year music student as they are organising the event.

Music rehearsals during the week are as follows; Monday – Orchestra, Tuesday – Trad Group, Wednesday – Ukulele and Thursday – Choir.

The 1st year music classes were singing on the Diamond this Friday 1st December at 1:30 pm as part of Donegal Business Focus Group and Christmas Weekend. Well done to all participating in this lovely community event. third year students are travelling to Dublin to the National Concert Hall on Tuesday 5th December to the National Symphony Orchestra’s Christmas Concert. This will be followed by a trip shopping to Blanchardstown.

Big Brother, Big Sister
Big Brother, Big Sister mentoring training is on the 5th December 2017 for a selection of Leaving Cert students. All our senior students taking part in the programme will receive the appropriate training; a mentor from Foróige Ireland will deliver the training. “Big Brother Big Sister is an internationally recognised youth mentoring programme that forms supportive friendships for young people inspiring them to brighter futures. Big Brothers Big Sisters nationally and internationally is proven through research to improve young people’s wellbeing, improve their social support and relationships with others” (www.foroige.ie)

School Tour
The next deposit for the school tour abroad is now due and should be paid online over Way2Pay or paid to the office. Contact Mr Leyden for any questions or queries.

There is a new countdown competition on screens around the school. Enter to be in with a chance of winning the prize. Put your answer sheets in the box at the office window, name to be put on entry. We encourage all of our students to enter this competition.

Transition Year:

TY Work Experience
TY students will begin their first week of work experience next week. It is a great opportunity for the students to get to see how different businesses work and get a taste of what they might want to do in the future. Best of luck to our TY students next week. We hope you have a lovely week and gain a great experience from it.

Public speaking
The TY students took part in a public speaking workshop with Alan Devine on the 27th and 28th November, for his final workshops. The students learned how to keep an audience interested and interact with an audience, along with many other useful tips on public speaking. The students really enjoyed participating in the workshop and received a lot of advice on public speaking, which we are sure they will use in the future.

Sligo Christmas Trip
On the 15th December TY students are travelling to Sligo for a Christmas outing. The students will go ice-skating, shopping and to the cinema. This trip follows the completion to the TY Christmas Assessment sessions. TYs will be interviewed as a form of assessment on their work to date,

TY Chess
An interclass TY Chess competition will take place the week before the Christmas holidays. 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 Activities
For the next two weeks, after they complete work experience, the TY activities are as follows:

4A – Surfing, 4B – Aqua aerobics 4C – Self-defense and 4D – Yoga.

The TYs are currently working in class on their sports leadership. Well done to the students of 4B who helped organise and manage the first year inter class sports hall competition, which was held on Monday. It was a very successful day for class 4B due to it being a very well run event. Class 4D will help out with the first year Rowathon as part of their Sports Leadership Programme which will take place in the coming weeks. In addition, TYs are also currently working in their groups for the TY P.E. expo projects, which are due before December 14th.

After Christmas, all TY students will be attending the primary schools to coach students, which will also be part of their Sports Leadership. A number of TY’s are taking our students swimming once a week as part of their activity; some TY students are also involved in this as part of their Sports Leadership Programme.

TY GAA Course
Well done to the 18 TY students who 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

The Young Americans, winner of the Academy Award for their motion picture with Columbia Artists, are coming to our school on Friday 26th January to stage a series of performing arts workshops, which will culminate in two performances.

THE YOUNG AMERICANS is a non-profit organisation founded in 1962, by Milton C Anderson, are a voice, music, sound and dance company consisting of over 200 talented 17 – 21 year old college and high school students, 45 of whom will be teaching singing, dancing and performance to the students of The Abbey Vocational school.

Participants will learn all aspects of music and performance. On Sunday 28th January 2018 the entire company will perform a fantastic two-act show, with THE YOUNG AMERCIANS performing the first act, and all local students joining them for act two.

The workshop is open to all students aged 12 – 18 and the cost is €70 for all three days. Application forms are available from the school office now.


Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups. Cross-country training is on Friday at lunchtime. Good luck to Savanah Timoney who will be competing in the Cross Country All Ireland final next weekend in Waterford. She is also a member of the County and Ulster cross-country team, which is a great achievement, as she will be competing against the best in the Country. Cross-country and track and field competitions will start in the New Year.

Well done to the TY students in class 4D for hosting a primary school sports hall competition on Thursday 30th November. It was a very successful day and 4D were excellent as they helped organise and officiate as part of their Sports Leadership.

Congratulations to our boys and TY students also hosted girls’ sports hall team who competed in the county semi-final on Wednesday, which was held in the gym, this. The Gweedore team came first in both the boys and girl’s competition. Well done to the AVS girls who finished second overall, they now go through to the County Final, which will be held after Christmas. The boys finished in third place. The team had a great performance in both track and field events.

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 and U16 Boys Basketball
AVS 67 – 45 St Nathy’s.

Well done to our AVS senior boys who played St Nathy’s, Roscommon at home on Monday. The AVS boys had a great opening, taking the lead from the opening minutes. The score for the first quarter was 21-11. The AVS boys continued to dominate in the second quarter; they started to have success with their full court press ending up with multiple scores from the runs of Dylan Curran and Ronan O’Donnell. Eoghan Corley had a great half, he blocked St Nathy’s attack and finished off a good run with a basket. 40-18.

In the 3rd quarter, the St Nathy’s boys started to come back but the AVS boys didn’t give up with the boys’ defense system remaining strong. Ryan Pearson and Creegan Alcock had a great game but overall it was a great team performance with the AVS boys winning in style with the score finishing as 67, 45.

Congratulations to the U16 boys’ basketball team who also played against St Nathy’s, Roscommon. They had a great opening, with a good score from Shane Meehan who played a brilliant match. Ultan O’ Grady had a fast break and scored a brilliant basket. The boys’ full court press resulted in them getting the ball back and getting excellent scores from the likes of James Mc Namara and Diarmuid O’Donnell. Ultan O’Grady led the team for the second quarter after a challenging first quarter. After a few minutes, the Donegal side called time out. The score was 16-13. With a few words from their manager, Jordan Carty, the AVS boys came back out showing great determination and this was shown in their play. There was good hustle throughout the second quarter. Donegal ended the half ahead. 22-19. The away boys were not going to give up. After a few minutes of the opening 3rd quarter, the St Nathy’s boys levelled the game on 24 each. It was an intense start to the second half. In the final quarter, the boys came out the stronger side. Evan Gallagher scored an excellent basket form the mid-range. Unfortunately, Frank Cornyn got fouled out after a very good performance throughout the game. The boys kept their heads held high. After a challenging competition, the boys did themselves proud coming out on top. The final score was 49-44.

Senior Boys Gaelic Football
Senior boys’ Gaelic training is every Tuesday after school at 4pm. The boys’ game against Rosses C.S next Tuesday, time and venue tbc. They boys will also face Glenties in the coming weeks.

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. The U14 league will start after Christmas. They will also play Deele Collage and Gairmscoil Chú Uladh.

Hard luck to the U16 girls who played Finntown on Friday. It wasn’t the start the AVS girls were looking for with the Finntown girls scoring two goals in the opening minutes. The AVS girls didn’t drop their heads, they responded with great scores from the likes of Enya Gallagher and Ciara Cox. The AVS’ support play was excellent. Ellen Canavan had a great game, she carried the ball from the full back line and finished it off with a point. The girls had quick reactions to turn overs with Rachel Gallagher covering our 45 line. It was a tight first half. The half time score was Abbey- 1:9, – 3:3

The Finntown girls came out strong and hungry in the second half but the AVS girls showed true determination. A few changes in the team helped the girls keep the score up. The AVS girls took the foot off the pedal for a few minutes, which allowed the Finntown girls to come out on top. The girls fought back, stronger than ever with Ellie Muldoon and Hannah Crawford carrying the team through. The girls fought to the bitter end showing great determination and attitude but eventually running out of time. Abbey 2-11, Finntown 5-8

Boys Soccer
Well done our U15 boys who had a good win against Rosses Community School. After a tight and close opening 20 minutes, the deadlock was broken after Lee Murchan was fouled inside the box for a penalty. Conor Campbell stepped up and scored a cracking penalty into the top right corner. Abbey doubled their lead 10 minutes later after great work done on the wing by Senan Quinn. After turning his man he played a great ball across the box and Lee Murchan made no mistake with a first finish. The half time score was 2-0. Rosses got themselves back into the game 10 minutes into the second half with a great goal from outside the box that gave Oisín McCallig in goals no chance. Halim almost got a 3rd goal for Abbey but was unlucky to see his strike hit the post. Rosses then equalised with 10 minutes left after a mix up in the Abbey penalty area. However, the Abbey railed again and managed to score what was the winning goal with 5 minutes remaining when Conor Campbell put in a great free kick and Dermot Mc Guckin glanced a great header into the bottom corner giving the keeper no chance.

The team play again next week against Deele College on Wednesday 12th December.

1st year Rowathon
The students in first year have been fundraising for their rowathon. The rowathon will be an inter class competition which will take place on the 18th December. Keep up the good training lads and lassies!

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 and a large number of staff and students got involved.

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

First Year Boys Soccer
The first year’s boys’ team play Deele College, away, on Monday 4th at 11am. Good luck to Mr Mc Hugh and the team!

U17’s Boys Soccer
The U17’s team play Scoil Mhuire next Friday the 8th December. A time and venue is yet to be decided.