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.

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


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.

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.

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.