AVS Notes 2nd February 2018

Physical Education new Leaving Cert Subject
We are delighted to announce that two new curriculums for Physical Education at senior cycle will be introduced from September 2018 to our incoming 5th year students:

  1. Leaving Certificate Physical Education (optional subject for examination in the Leaving Certificate). This subject will consist of three components for assessment. Students will be required to complete a physical activity project, a performance assessment and a written examination.
  2. The Senior Cycle Physical Education Framework (not for examination).

Phase 1 of the implementation process will involve a small cohort of schools who have the capacity to introduce Physical Education as a Leaving Certificate subject and/or the Senior Cycle Physical Education Framework in September 2018. The Abbey Vocational School has been selected for both of these subjects. There will be an information evening on this and the optional subjects on Tuesday February 6th at 7.30 pm in the school.

Open Night
The AVS welcomed in the public in on Wednesday 31st, we were delighted to give parents and prospective parents a tour of the school grounds. Students and parents experienced the school through the tour and were treated to many active demonstrations. There was a variety of activities available for students to participate in on the night; the Science Department allowed students to take a look at some exciting experiments they will engage in throughout their school career, Modern Languages had French and Spanish food on offer plus some games for students to take part in and Home Economics had tasty treats that some of our AVS students cooked on the night. We hope that parents of prospective students of Donegal Town and the wider community enjoyed this opportunity to view our excellent facilities.  Again, a huge thank you to the staff and students without you the night would not have been possible; your hard work is appreciated! Thank you again. The 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.

Aonad Gaeilge – An Irish Medium Education Initiative
The AVS hosted their first Information Evening on open night for all parents and students interested in the Aonad Gaeilge. 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.

At the information evening further details were provided on the running of the new programme which will open in September 2018. In addition, parents were given the opportunity to ask questions. Thank you to Ms R O’ Donnell, head of the Irish Department in the AVS, spoke to parents on the night and was available to answer any questions after. Thank you to all the staff who are working in the Aonad next September who spoke to parents on the night about our new addition to the AVS.

Well Read Initiative
Room 12 opened its doors this week at lunchtime and will continue to every Monday and Wednesday from this 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
Congratulations to our Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students who completed their Irish oral mock this week. Thank you to our students who created a quiet atmosphere in the areas where the mocks were being held.

Mock Exams
Good luck to our Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students who start their mock exams next Thursday 8th February. 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.

Senior Cycle Options Night
The Senior Cycle Options Night for parents of those students going into TY or Fifth year will take place next 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.

5th Year Physics Trip – IOP Workshops
Mr Hegarty’s 5th year Physics class will visit Foyle College campus on Tuesday, 6th February. Students are in for a treat as James Soper, internationally renowned science presenter, ex-professional circus performer and Guinness World Record holding juggler, will perform a fast-paced and interactive show especially written for 14-16 year olds.

Gaeltacht Talk
Thank you to the Irish Department and Ms Mc Geehan for organising a representative, Kevin Cassidy, from Coláiste Chú Chulainn, Gweedore, to speak to our 1st and 2nd years this Friday, 2nd February. The Gaeltacht is an excellent way for students to improve their Irish and allow themselves to be submersed in the Irish culture while engaging with native Irish speakers, attending Irish classes and conversing through Irish. There are many courses available for the summer month which can be seen on their website.

5th Year Talk – Shane Martin
Shane Martin is a psychologist dedicated to teaching the very best self-help psychology to empower people to enhance the quality of their lives. His ‘Moodwatchers’ Psychology Course has been delivered at community venues throughout the length and breadth of Ireland.

Shane has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences on a range of topics around empowerment, recovery and happiness. A leader within the area of education, he has visited hundreds of educational institutions nationwide working with management teams, teachers/lecturers, students and parents. Shane gave an inspiring talk to our fifth year students on Thursday last and covered areas on positive mental health 1. MINDING OURSELVES: Uprooting the roots of stress 2. THE PSYCHOLOGY OF RESILIENCE: How to Build Resilience within Ourselves 3. HEALTH AND HAPPINESS: How to refresh your life.

Leaving Certificate Talk – Jason Black
Jason Black visited our Leaving Certs on Friday last for a very memorable talk. He was both inspiring and personal and touched a chord with each and every one of our school community at a very special event. Born in Ireland & growing up in Co. Donegal as a young boy, his love for the great outdoors was heavily influenced through cubs and scouts. Mother Nature providing the mountains waterways & unspoiled coast line, Ireland was to be his perfect adventure playground. Jason’s light hearted fun filled nature makes expedition life an adventure to enjoy. But his unfaltering determination as a very keen athlete from a very early age, has always played centre stage in his daily life allowing no obstacle stand between him and success in life.

Sometimes we choose the challenges, but what do we do when the challenges choose us? You are in control. You decide your place in the future.  You can create a culture in which people contribute and invest their energy, where they motivate themselves.  Jason delivered a high-impact talk to our students which reminded the students that they have a choice. They have the capacity to dig deep to overcome the challenges of life.

Career Guidance
The Guidance Department have set up a Google Classroom for Apprenticeship information provision.  Please ask your Guidance Counsellor or one of your practical subject teachers for the Google Classroom code.

Ms Mc Morrow and Ms Faherty would like to remind 6th year students that they should be making their 1:1 appointments as soon as possible.  The Guidance Department are here to help in any way we can over the course of the next very important couple of months.  5th year students are also welcome to request a 1:1 appointment.

LC Links Module
The deadline for the Leaving Certificate Links module is next week on Wednesday, 7th February. Students need to ensure their portfolio is handed in by Wednesday and no later.

Debate Club
Approximately fifty students in 1st year took part in an introduction to debate on Tuesday, 30th January. Maura Logue delivered the workshop and she worked on a number of key factors that are important in debate such as body language, confidence, commanding your audience, role play, group vocalisation, tone of voice, counter – arguments and how to use strong opening statements effectively. Next week on Tuesday 6th the club will meet to be given their new topic “Uniforms in schools”. Students will prepare for this topic in the class on Tuesday. Following on from this they will speak in another workshop on their given topic for 30 seconds in another workshop with Maura Logue in the coming weeks.

Couch to 5k
The couch to 5k programme is well under way with many staff and students participating and making use of our track. There are many mental health benefits of running. The programme will run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday after school on the track. Please feel free to join regardless of your fitness level!

Operation Transformation
A number of staff members are participating in ‘Operation Transformation’. Staff are weighed every Wednesday and at the end of the 12 weeks we are hopeful to beat our weight loss from last year.

LCA Careers trip
Ms McMorrow will be taking several LCA students to the Northwest Regional College, Derry on Wednesday, 7th February. The students will be able to take a tour of the campus and see what courses and apprenticeships they have to offer.

Transition Years:

Personal Safety
TYs participated in a Personal Safety workshop on Thursday 1st and Friday 2nd of February.

This programme helps secondary school students develop increased personal safety and awareness. The students on the day learnt how to recognise and evaluate a range of situations and assess their own position within those situations. Students were taught methods and skills to protect themselves and promote their personal awareness. Personal Safety and Awareness is an invaluable aspect of student development, beneficial to all students moving on through the school senior cycle, third level education and throughout their adult life.

On the day students learned how important it is to communicate effectively, develop assertiveness in a positive manner, evaluate attitude and behaviour of others and help students understand consent and the consequences of inappropriate behaviour.

This programme links with existing school modules such Personal and Social Development and Health Education. See www.personalsafety.ie for more information. Our TY’s thoroughly enjoyed the day and they feel it will benefit them throughout their lives and school career. A huge thanks you to Alex and Nick for covering such a great workshop!

Spanish workshop
Spanish students of TY took part in a drama and dance workshop on Monday 29th. Students learned a range of traditional dances. The workshop was conducted through Spanish. Students enjoyed the challenge and their oral Spanish has benefited greatly. The workshop was carried by Arantxa Lopez from ID Languages. ID Languages is a family – owned business run by siblings Arantxa and Mikel López, from Vitoria, the stunning capital of the Basque Country. The workshop is intended to help students communicate better and expand their use of the language.

Young Americans
Students from 1st – 5th year had the amazing experience of taking part in The Young Americans. The Young Americans is a Performing Arts College situated in California. We would like to congratulate all the students for their effort throughout the weekend and for putting on an outstanding show. Thank you to the Young Americans for once again inspiring our students and the community and for giving our students unforgettable memories.

Road Safety
On Tuesday, 2nd February TY and LCA students will take part in a MOG Road Safety course. The course will take place outside on the school track throughout the day. Students will learn more about the risks driving has and how to prevent accidents.

Work Experience
From the 19th – 23rd TY students will complete their second week of work experience. Students are expected to have their work placement organised at this point. Students are completing work experience in places such as Primary and Secondary schools, Pharmacy’s, Veterinary Clinics and Catering Colleges. We wish our students the best of luck during their week of work experience.


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

The Donegal Schools Cross Country final will be held in the coming weeks. Our cross-country team will also be travelling to Irvinestown for the Ulster Schools Competition on 7th February – good luck to all involved!

Well done to our 1st year girls Sportshall Team for competing in the County Final. The girls had a very successful day and represented the school very well, finishing 4th place in the county. Well done to Sarah Donovan for finishing 1st overall in the 6th lap. The girls had many top 5 results including the rally B team with Roisin Gillespie, Shauna Doherty, Jessica Gallagher and Jennifer Foster finishing 3rd overall.

Well done to the TY students who helped organise and officiate the Primary School Regional Final as part of the sports leadership and their community hours. It was a very well run event and thank you to all that helped. The top three were St Naul’s- 1st with 103 points, Frosses NS – 2nd with 87 points and Cashel came 3rd with 80 points.

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. Good luck to the girls who play Ballinamore on Friday.

Boys Basketball
1st and 2nd year boys basketball training has moved to Thursday after school with Mr McHugh and Saturday morning at 9-11am in the school gym. The 1st and 2nd year league will start in the coming weeks.

U15 Soccer
The boys will now play in the cup, the draw will take place next week.

First Year Boys’ Soccer
The First Year Boys Soccer Team made the long trip on Monday to Buncrana to play Scoil Mhuire in the Cup. After a very entertaining and close opening half with both sides having chances, it was Jake Graham who opened the scoring with a well-placed header from a great corner from Declan Duignan. AVS had a significant height advantage over their opponents and looked to use this to their advantage. Paddy Lyons in the AVS goals made a great save towards the end of the first half to leave the score 1-0 at half time.  Scoil Mhuire started the 2nd half much better and got the equaliser 10 mins into the half after a mix up in the AVS box. AVS responded well and Aaron McGrory restored the AVS lead with a cool finish after a great ball into the box from Jack Kenny. AVS continued to press and scored the goal of the game through Daniel Quinn, after a great run and smashing the ball into the top corner from outside the box. AVS scored the final goal of the game through Liam Gallagher, after a great through ball from Quinn. Final score, 4-1.

Hard luck to the first year boys who played Stranolar on Friday, 2nd February. It was a tough game with the boys going in 2 down at half time. Liam Gallagher kept the boys in the game scoring a brilliant goal but the Stranolar boys scored in the opening minutes of the second half. Well done to David Crawford who made his first appearance on the pitch, he had an excellent game.

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.

Ladies Gaelic Football
U14 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.

Hard luck to the U20 girls who were knocked out in the Ulster preliminary round. The girls travelled to Garvaghey in Tyrone to play St Louise’s of Belfast. The AVS girls had a strong opening first half, playing against the wind with Fiona Shovlin and Aine Mc Groarty taking great shots. Captain Layla Alvey and Niamh Boyle had some excellent runs throughout the game covering a lot of ground. The St Louise’s girls went in at half time on top. In the opening 10 minutes of the second half the St Louise’s girls came out strong and began to dominate. The AVS girls took the foot off the pedal for a few minutes, which allowed the Belfast girls to get many scores to remain on top. In the last minutes of the game the AVS girls fought back, stronger than ever with Ellie Muldoon and Elle Battle carrying the team through. The girls fought to the bitter end showing great determination and attitude but eventually running out of time.

Girls Active
The girls’ active is every Friday 3:45- 4:45. We are taking part in hip hop dancing. All 1st, 2nd and 3rd years are welcome. €1 per session.

U16 hurling training continues Tuesday at lunch time.

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