AVS Notes 27th April 2018

ETB Awards
Donegal ETB hosted its fifth annual awards ceremony in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny on Thursday 26th April. The judges had a tough job assessing this wonderful showcase of creativity and innovation taking place in ETB schools, centres and programmes across the County, which were a testament to the excellent teaching and learning taking place every day.

Forty-four entries were submitted from Donegal ETB’s schools, centres, programmes and services which was a substantial increase on last year. They were competing for an award in five categories: Science, Technology, Maths and Engineering (STEM); Healthy Living and Wellbeing; Further Education and Training; Arts and Culture and Innovation, Creativity and Entrepreneurship (www.donegaletb.ie)

A big well done to all representatives of the school that took part in the ETB Awards 2018. Well done to David McGuckin, James Smith and Oisin Doherty, creators of SHEHR who placed 2nd in the STEM category of the awards. In addition, a huge congratulations to team Heart Health, Kyle O’Neill, Brian Gallagher, Anthony Neal, Olivia Graham and Anya Meehan who also placed 2nd in their category.

Monster Book Fair
The Parents’ Association, in conjunction with the “Well Read” committee in the Abbey Vocational School, are holding a Monster Book Fair on Saturday 26th May from 11am to 6pm in the AVS, Donegal Town. We are looking to acquire good quality paperback and hardback books covering a variety of interests/areas. We would greatly appreciate and assistance you could give us by providing suitable books at the main entrance to the AVS up to and including Friday 18th May. Don’t forget to come along to the Fair on Saturday 26th May. Tea / coffee and light refreshments will be available.

Parents Subject Option for Second Year Information Night
There was an Information Night for parents of incoming second year students on Tuesday 24th April at 7 pm. This was for parents of students in the present first year group who are now choosing their subjects for next year. Thank you to the members of the guidance department for organising this event.

Maths Competition
Well done to Kian O’Donnell who came 2nd in the IMTA junior Maths competition on Friday night last.. He scored 112. The winning score was 117 so he was very close. This is an excellent achievement for our first year student. Welldone to Kian and his teacher Ms Mohan. 

Well done to our TY students who completed their second large scale window panel for the Art room. The latest panel is a copy of Van Gogh’s ‘Self Portrait with Bandaged Ear’. They are now working on a third panel, Magritte’s ‘Son of Man’. Exam students are currently preparing for their drawing examinations.

Young Social Innovators
Best of luck to David McGuckin, James Smith and Oisin Doherty on reaching the YSI All Ireland final in Croke Park, Dublin on Tuesday 8th May. The boys created the app SHEHR, the project aim is to give patients the power to collate, organise & share their medical records & health data easily & securely The  project is in the running to win the Making Our World Healthier – Physical Health or the overall Young Social Innovators of the Year title Awards at this year’s event.

Project Deadlines
Junior Certificate CSPE, Science and Woodwork projects had to be handed in at the end of last week. In addition, Leaving Certificate students completed their Geography, Construction and History coursework. Well done to all on completing such a vital step in their exam journey.

Youth Musical Theatre Award
Erin Ryder is a wonderful student in first year pupil in the Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town and a previous student of Scoil Mhuire, Pettigo.

She took drama lessons at the young age of six at the O’Brien school of drama. Recently, she appeared in her 6th pantomime at the Ardhowen Theatre in Enniskillen. This is a fantastic achievement at such a young age and in addition to this, she is studying for her grade 7 drama exam with the Irish board of speech and drama.

Eryn has of late been awarded a place on Youth Musical Theatre’s production of ‘Paperboy’ in Belfast this summer. She will learn from West End directors and choreographers in this three-week experience. Over 1000 young people were auditioned and approx. 200 were chosen to work with YMT this summer. Well done on this superb achievement Eryn.

Staff Volleyball
The Annual Volleyball match against Ballyshannon took place this Friday 27th. Staff from the AVS played members of staff from Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon. Thank you to all members of staff who played in the game and supported the commemorative event for Bernard Doherty RIP.

Guidance Department
You can view our new Guidance website on the Guidance & Counselling section of AVSdonegal.com.  The aim is to keep our students and their parents/guardians up-to-date on all things Guidance related. Please ensure all Leaving Certs have considered applying for the OPTUM Scholarships. All the required information has been given to students by their Guidance Counsellor. Full details can be viewed on the Guidance and Counselling section on www.AVSDonegal.com. Closing date is 04th May 2018. The Guidance Department held a Subject Choices information evening for 1st year students on Tuesday of last week. The evening was very well attended. Thank you to all of the parents who attended.

Transition Year

TY Sports Leadership
TY sports leader students are busy coaching 1st year classes and local primary schools. Maria McGill will be visiting the students on the 3rd May to check in on the students, she will also be doing an inspection on the 16th of May on the students coaching skills.

Last Friday 50 TY students travelled to Pramerica in Letterkenny. When they arrived they were giving a tour through the second floor of what was a massive building. The students visited  the ‘Rock Theater’ where they were giving an interactive talk on what Pramerica is and what they do. They were told that at Pramerica, they provide a vast range of business and technology services to our parent company, Prudential Financial in the USA which provides financial products and services to retail and institutional customers in over 30 countries. Their aim is to enhance Prudential Financial’s business performance by bringing forward strategic, innovative and cost effective solutions.

The company was founded in 2000 with less than 100 employees, they have grown steadily and now have over 1,800 individuals who benefit from working in a thriving and diverse company where the opportunities are endless.

At the end of the talk, they invited a group of students up to present a project that they have been working on throughout the year. The group Moonball present their product to the other students and three members of the Pramerica team.

It was a great day out and thank you to Mary and David for giving our students the opportunity and looking after them all so well during their visit.

On the 17th May TY students will be going to the Balmoral Show. The Balmoral Show is one of Ireland’s largest agricultural events, and one of the biggest events on the local farming calendar. It includes showjumping competitions, motorcycle displays, bands, shopping, tasting, a children’s farm, and displays of falconry, pedigree horses, ponies, cattle, sheep, poultry, pigs and goats. The trip was organised by Mr Clarke and we are sure our students will have a wonderful day.

Maths Trip – Lough Key Forest Park
On Friday 4th May fifty Transition Year students will be travelling to Lough Key Forest Park in Boyle, Co. Roscommon. The students will spend the day at the lake participating in different events such as Boda Borg. Boda Borg is the innovative, weather independent concept unique to Ireland and is challenging for both adults and children.

Once you enter the two-storey Boda Borg only teamwork, ingenuity, trial and error and skills will allow you to progress through its 47 rooms! It contains fun-filled activities, imaginative puzzles and enjoyable tasks but no instructions. Thank you to Maths department for organising it.


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

Upcoming competitions
Good luck to the athletics team who will be competing on 4th May. The team will be travelling to the Antrim Forum for the Ulsters E District.

The local primary school athletics competition takes place on the 11th May on the school track. This has been very successful in the previous years. This event caters for over 800 students from local schools, it will be organised by are TY Sports Leaders and it is also in conjunction with Tir Chonaill A.C. All schools should have received information, if not contact Eamon Harvey or the school office.

We would like to welcome the Special Olympics team who train every Wednesday and have been for several years on the track, the TYs will begin to help coach which is part of the Sports Leadership this is a very beneficial experience.

Girls basketball
Hard luck to our 1st year girls who trained very hard all year. They qualified for the All Ireland play offs which took place on Monday April 23rd in Navan.

The girls played three games on the day. They won their first game. They played the second game back to back which was very challenging. It was a tight battle throughout and they were very unlucky to lose by a basket. A few hours later they had their final game. The team were very strong side and ended up winning the entire competition on the day. Well done to everyone who took part on the day. It was an excellent team performance for each game. We are very proud of the girls for their commitment and determination.

Boys Basketball
Hard luck to the 1st year boys who travelled to Jordanstown on 24th April for the All Ireland qualifiers. The boys played a great first game and won 50-40. It was a very good team performance. Daniel Quinn had an excellent game scoring 24 points. After the first quarter the score was tight at 15-11.

Boys football
Hard luck to are U16 boys who played Letterkenny in Convoy last Wednesday. The boys had a very tough game, and were unlucky to lose. The final score was 1-8, 0-7. The boys played very well as a team despite being short key players. Full back Shane Meehan and midfielder Alex McCalmont, who was top scorer on the day, had excellent performances.

Girls Active
The Girls Active day was very successful. The girls went to Gartan on Wednesday for the celebration of girls active which five other schools also attended. The activities were team bonding, archery and orienteering. Thank you to Rosemary Myers and Ms McPartlan for their efforts throughout the year and well done to all the girls that participated throughout the year.

Active Schools
The active school committee are very busy putting together a programme for the beginning of May. Some of the activities include yoga, self defence and rowing. We will also have a drop everything and walk which will take place on the track. We encourage everyone to get active during this week! This years sports day will take place on May 22nd, weather permitting.

Every P.E. class currently is practising very hard at some of the events, including track and field. The classes have been working together as a team to wisely select who does what event. On Friday, Form Classes decided what events they would like to participate in. The teachers are also currently training very hard, some are taking it very serious! Training for teachers for the three-legged race takes place Tuesdays on the track at 7am.

Sports Leadership
We would like to thank Karen from Donegal Sports Partnership who visited the sports leaders on Friday last week will be returning to the school on May 3rd.

The TYs are currently working very hard on their portfolios and coaching. They are coaching 1st years, lunchtime activities and primary school students. Their test will take place in May.