AVS Notes 22nd September 2017

AVS Notes 22nd September 2017

Parents Association AGM 2017
The AGM of the Parents’ Association takes place on Tuesday night October 10th at 8 pm in the Library. We encourage parents to attend on the night. Thank you to all of our parents who have been part of our Parents’ Association over the years. Your contribution to our school is invaluable.

Congratulations to Emily Mc Gill who was awarded the Naughton Scholarship in Trinity College Dublin on Saturday last. Our Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, presented this scholarship on the day. Emily is now studying Applied Physics in DCU.

More good news this week when we were informed that Hollie Roper received the JP Mc Manus Scholarship. This is an excellent achievement for Hollie and we wish her our heartiest congratulations. Hollie is studying Veterinary Medicine in UCD.

TV Documentary
The Abbey Vocational School featured in a Documentary called “The Classroom Divide” on RTE 1 TV after the 9 o’clock news on Monday night 18th. This programme focused on the challenges that face those from rural areas attending college as opposed to those living in cities, as well as other educational topics. Following the programme Ms Diver said that the programme highlighted many challenges our students face around third level, however, they are rounded, focused young people who grasp these and many other opportunities and we are proud of them all.

Staff Training Day
The Staff took part in a JCT Training day on Wellbeing for Junior Cycle on Monday of this week.  Our next whole school JCT training day for staff will be on Thursday, 16th November.

A positive notice board is being erected in the assembly area to display positive achievements, comments and activities. Some of our staff will commence yoga classes after school as part of our overall wellbeing programme.

‘Friends for youth’ is a school – based programme focused on positive mental health that is being rolled out in the AVS. The World Health Organisation cites as the ‘only evidence based programme effective at all levels of intervention for anxiety in children (WHO 2004). The programme teaches children how to deal with worry, stress and change and teaches the skills required to reduce anxiety and promote resilience. It is beneficial for all students irrespective of their anxiety level. Teachers will run the programme as a whole class or a small group intervention.

Guidance Department
The Guidance Department would like to inform Senior Cycle students that there are opportunities available to study in Europe after completing the Leaving Cert.  See www.eunicas.ie for details. In addition, they would like all TY students to have their two work experience placements confirmed and recorded with their teacher by week ending Friday, 29th September 2017.  The first work experience placement is scheduled for the week beginning Monday, 04th December 2017. The student is expected to be on placement from Monday to Friday.

First Year Parents Information Night
There will be a first year Parent Information Night held in the school on Monday, 25th September at 7pm. This evening informs parents on the various matters arising for first years.

We have many applications for the role of prefect this year and interviews for Leaving Cert prefects were held on Friday to determine this year’s prefects. We will announce the list next week.

Student Council
Elections are currently being held for 1st year, Transition Year and 5th year student council. Thank you to all of our hard working members from last year’s Council and we are delighted to have sorted the selection process for this year’s committee under Mr Plunkett’s guidance. New members of the 1st, TY and 5th year student councils were elected this week and those elected are as follows;

1st year – Rion Carr and Orlaith Conaghan

TY– Aoibhe Timoney, Cliodhna Dunleavy, David Keeney and Wiktor Smus

5th year– Curtis Roper and Aine McGowan

Well done to all!

Ecumenical Service
Our Whole School Ecumenical Service will take place on Tuesday, October 3rd at 11.15 am. This is a wonderful event where our whole school unites for the opening of the school year.

MS Readathon
“The 30th MS Readathon encourages children to open a wonderful world of adventure and imagination through reading for a great cause! MS Readathon is the perfect opportunity to encourage your children to read and the AVS is running it this year! For kids who are already bookworms, it’s a chance to go deeper – perhaps to challenge themselves with longer, more advanced books. For children who aren’t so keen on reading, the MS Readathon can help them rediscover the sense of wonder and adventure they once felt when they first heard you say those magic words, “Once upon a time…” And it’s all for a fantastic cause!” (www.msreadathon.ie).

This year’s Fresh Film Festival Competition was launched recently. Details are available at www.freshfilmfestival.net.

Students are currently working on this year’s Credit Union Art Competition. The theme is ‘set your imagination free’.

The Traditional group continues every Tuesday in room 13 at 1:30pm. All new members are welcome. The coordinators are TY students Rebekah Sweeney and Sarah McGrory.

Spanish Club with Ms McNulty will commence on Monday, 2nd October 2017 in Room 1. All first year’s welcome.

6th year LCVP students held a treasure hunt for the first years to help them settle into the school last Friday. The winners were Jack O’Rourke, Ava Harold, David Crawford and John Connolly. Their prize was a feast from Apache Pizza. Jack, Ava, David and John enjoyed their winnings saying it was “delicious”.

Occupational First Aid
There is a First Aid course taking place Mondays and Wednesday from 7pm to 10pm it will begin on Monday, 4th October and is open to anyone over the age of 18. The fee for the course is €180 and any enquires can be directed to Ms Mohan.

LCA Trip
The LCAs went on their first recreational module on Monday. They went to the Bundoran Adventure Centre and took park in surfing, high ropes and team challenges. All had a great day. They will prepare for their next module, hill walking, in the coming weeks.

Healthy Schools
A committee for the Healthy Schools team is being set up yet again this year after the very successful programme of events last year. The committee will work alongside the first year Active Leisure classes. Throughout the year they will be promoting healthy eating, fitness, a healthy mind and a healthy environment.

The Healthy Schools committee is attending a training day on 18th October in Letterkenny.

Amber Flag
In June 2017 the school was awarded the Amber Flag. The Amber flag initiative aims to encourage Schools/Colleges/ Clubs/Societies/Organisations to promote and actively bring about a cultural change in the promotion of positive mental health within the educational system and other organisations. This flag will be raised in the school at the end of this month.

 Transition Year:

 Ploughing Championship

The TYs travelled to Tullamore to attend the Ploughing Championships on Tuesday. It was an early start on Tuesday for 96 of our TY students and five members of staff who were among the 100,000 people to travel to Screggan outside Tullamore for the Opening Day of the 86th Ploughing Championships. While there students enjoyed the horse ploughing, tractor football, the funfair, not to mention the hundreds of displays and stalls from a variety of companies and organisation. The early start and long journey were well worth it.

John Paul II Awards
Ms Susan Kenny visited the AVS Friday morning to speak with our TY students about the John Paul II Award. The John Paul II awards coordinated by Ms Mc Callig have been running in the school for a number of years. A majority of work is done in the parish for the John Paul II awards. “The Pope John Paul II Award enables participants to take an active part in the life of their Church – in the life of their community and society.

The Award was created to commemorate the late Pope John Paul II who was so committed to young people and who had such belief and confidence in them” (www.johnpaulii.com). The award is broke down into 3 components: involvement in the parish, social awareness and a presentation.

Awards are earned by taking part in parish and social activities – 1 hour per week over 8, 14 or 20 weeks. There are 3 Award levels – Gold, Silver & Bronze.

It is €15 to enrol and for more information students can visit www.johnpaulii.com. Students will receive a gold, silver or bronze medal for their participation and a cert. It would be of tremendous value for prospective employers and for completion of CV’s.

The TY’s took part in an Enterprise Workshop in the Mill Park Hotel on Thursday. The students got involved in business plans and the design of new products. The students enjoyed the experience and look forward to the upcoming Enterprise Competition.

 Law Course
James Fahy will return this year and deliver a workshop to Transition year students. James Fahy, a barrister, from Galway will present his ‘Law Education for Schools’ course to our students over a two-day period.  This will take place on 5th and 6th October. The students will learn a variety of definitions used in the legal system and how the legal system works in Ireland.  They will also be given information on a sample legal case and will be set a challenge based on this. On the second day, the students will receive information on a second case. The students will also spend one afternoon in Donegal Town Court House and act out the trial.

NUIG Open Day
NUIG Galway, will host its wonderful open day on Friday, October 6th on campus. The open day is an excellent day for TY’s to see what the university has to offer before the stress of senior cycle. “Open days are the perfect opportunity for students to experience life at NUI Galway first hand. They can talk to current students and staff, explore the campus, check out the facilities and learn more about the programmes they are interested in. Students can take a tour of the impressive campus and grounds. A programme of talks and workshops will run throughout the day. It would be beneficial to attend subject talks in all areas of interest so please check the timetable and room locations carefully” (www.nuigalway.ie). See www.nuigalway.ie for more information.

TY Activities
TY active leisure activities begin this week. TY (a) are participating in aqua aerobics in the Mill Park Hotel. TY (b) will be surfing in Bundoran. TY (c) will be relaxing in yoga and TY (d) are completing a self-defence class. Each class takes part in the activity for three weeks before rotating to the next.

TY Wellbeing
Students were in the Abbey Hotel all day on Friday, 22nd September for a Foróige and Connect Mental Health workshop. The students were divided up into 4 colour-coded groups and they took part in multiple workshops. The workshops included a lively cooking demonstration with Fin’s Food Demo, a peaceful meditation session with Bláithin which was followed by a tasty lunch. After lunch students had a Jigsaw workshop with the lovely Karen followed up with an active dance class. At the end of the day each student received a Foróige goodie bag. This was a fun and enjoyable day for all the students involved. Thank you to all the speakers on the day and staff in the Abbey Hotel for hosting the event.

In the coming weeks a number of TY students will undergo mentoring training in the Big Brother, Big Sister Programme. A member of Foróige will deliver the training. After the training each TY student will be paired up with a 1st year student. These students will meet up weekly and the TY student will support the 1st year students for the rest of the year.

Irish Ceilí Dancing
The Transition Years have been doing Ceilí dancing in the library every Thursday afternoon with Clement Gallagher. They are only starting out but they are making steady progress.

Alan Devine Public Speaking Workshop
Alan Devine will complete a full day workshop with each TY in October and November on:  12th and 25th October & 27th and 28th November. Alan Devine is an actor who has performed in “Glenroe, King Arthur, Hamlet, Veronica Guerin, The Tudors, Vikings and Fair City, Alan has over twenty years’ experience working as an actor in Ireland”.

Drama club is a programme established to encourage public speaking. The aim of the workshop is to help students:

  • Find confidence in their voice
  • Connect with their audience
  • Understand how to create and deliver short speeches

The workshop teaches students that anyone can speak publicly confidently.

The musical rehearsals ‘Mammia Mia’ are well under way! The cast list has been finalised and will be listed next week. This week they had dance rehearsals on Monday after school for 1st and 2nd years involved in the musical; they learned off the dance to the song ‘Mammia Mia’. On Thursday a rehearsal was held for the main leads and this will take place again on Monday. Well done to all involved and we can’t wait to see all your hard work!


Girls Basketball
The first girls’ basketball match of the year for the U16’s and seniors against Killybegs took place on Friday 22nd.

Training continues every Monday and Thursday after school.

1st and 2nd year girls training is every Wednesday after school in the school gym.

Girls Gaelic
U14’s, U16’s and U20’s girls’ Gaelic training starts after school on Friday coached by Ms. Rooney. All age groups are welcome. It will take place on the all – weather pitch from 3:30–4:30 pm. Please ensure you bring runners, a warm top, water and a gum shield. The U14’s league will start after Christmas. The U16’s first game will be against St Catherine’s Killybegs. They will also play Deele College and Gairmscoil Chú Uladh. U20’s are up against Seán Maguire first and they will also play St Catherine’s Killybegs, Carndonagh and Coláiste Ailigh.

Boys Basketball
1st and 2nd year boys’ basketball training will be every Friday in the school gym from 3:30-5.00pm. It is great to see such big numbers at training, keep it up lads. In addition, U16’s and U19’s training will take place every Monday from 5:30 – 7.00pm in the school gym.

Senior and Junior Boys Gaelic
Senior boys’ Gaelic training starts next Tuesday after school at 4pm. This year they will be coached by Mr Griffin and Mr Leyden.

U16 boys’ Gaelic training will be on every Wednesday after school. The team will be managed by Mr Carty and Mr Lafferty this year.

U14 boys’ Gaelic training will kick off on Thursdays from 3:30-4:45 pm. Please ensure you bring runners, a warm top, water and a gum shield. Mr O’Donnell and Mr McLoone will be the U14 boys’ team managers this year.

Thank you to Tirchonaill A.C. who hosted the Athletics Ireland Leader course for our TY coaches on Saturday. They gained confidence in coaching a range of running, jumping and throwing events. They will put their skills into practice over the coming months, while working with primary school groups.

Sportshall Athletics
First year students are participating in trials for our Sportshall Athletics team. The top 12 boys and girls will represent the school at the Donegal Regional competition on October 23rd.

Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups.

Cross country training is on Fridays at lunchtime.

Lunchtime Activities
There are a number of sporting activities organised daily during lunchtimes. All students are encouraged to get involved. Everyone can participate in uniform but are advised to change into runners.

The following activities are planned until Halloween:

Monday with Mrs. Regan & Mr. McLoone

Indoors: 1st & 2nd Year Girls Gaelic

Outdoors: 3rd Year Soccer

Tuesday with Ms. Rooney & Mr. Hegarty

Indoors: 1st Year Boys Soccer

Outdoors: Senior games

All-Weather pitch: Hurling with Mr. O’Neill

Wednesday with Mr. Daly & Mr. Gorman

Indoors: 3rd Year Soccer

Outdoors: 2nd Year Soccer

Thursday with Mr. Mc Hugh & Mr. O Donnell

Indoors: 1st Year Soccer

Outdoors: 2nd Year Soccer

Friday with Mrs. Gallagher & Mr. McLoone

Indoors: 1st & 2nd Year Girls Games

Outdoors: Senior Games

Track: Cross-Country Training