AVS Notes 8th December 2017

JCSA English Deadline
Third year students have been completing their Classroom Based Assessments (CBA) over the last number of weeks. “The CBA is creative writing which is a vital part of English. It allows students to develop a voice and an identity, a good sense of audience, and an awareness of the process of writing – making notes from their reading and personal experience, trying things out, revising, and polishing their work. They have been given supportive feedback and scaffolding from their English teacher. This Classroom Based Assessment offers students a chance to celebrate their achievements as creators of texts by compiling a collection of their texts in a variety of genres over time and choosing a number of pieces to present for summative assessment”. (www.jcsa.ie). The deadline for the collection of texts is Friday 15th December. Students are asked to be responsible and ensure their work is in on time.

JCSA English Assessment Task Week
From the 17th – 23rd December Junior Cert classes will complete their Assessment Task. The task varies from year to year, the Assessment Task will be devised from some or all of the following elements:

  • A short stimulus in written, audio, audio-visual or multi-modal format to prepare for the written task. The purpose of the stimulus is to prompt discussion about the writing process, but students are assessed on their own experiences of creating their collection, not on their understanding of or response to the stimulus.
  • A written task that tests the students in one or more of:
    1. their ability to outline and/or discuss their experience of compiling The Collection of the Student’s Texts
    2. their understanding and evaluation of that experience
    3. their capacity to demonstrate and reflect on the skills they have developed.

Students will complete this in their English classes. Teachers will explain the process to students in class.

Wayne Denner Internet Safety
Wayne Denner is coming to speak to our students on Thursday 14th December. He is also completing a staff session for an hour after school on this day also. Wayne set up Ireland’s First Social Network platform in the early nineties – before Facebook, Twitter, Myspace, Bebo – Yes Bebo!. Wayne is a Motivational Speaker, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator and Trainer known for his engaging approach. With over 18 years’ experience in the digital space Wayne is a self-confessed Digital Ninja, working with professionals around the globe and delivering the Online Reputation Matters Program in schools and with businesses and organisations in Ireland, the UK and the UAE. Wayne will speak to us about Social Media matters.

1st Year Cinema Trip
1st year students are being treated to a cinema trip in Bundoran next Wednesday 13th December. The students are going to see ‘Wonder’ by R.J Palacio, nearly all of the first year classes have read an extract of the novel in class. ‘Wonder’ focuses on the story of “August (Auggie) Pullman was born with a facial deformity that prevented him from going to a mainstream school—until now. He’s about to start 5th grade at Beecher Prep, and if you’ve ever been the new kid then you know how hard that can be. The thing is Auggie’s just an ordinary kid, with an extraordinary face. But can he convince his new classmates that he’s just like them, despite appearances?”. We are sure our first year trip will be a success! Thank you to Year Head Ms Bennett for organising this trip.

Ms Readathon
Thank you to all our junior students who raised funds for the MS Readathon, over €1,500 was raised due to your efforts! Thank you and well done!

Book Club
Ms Logue intends to start up the first year book club this year again, the first meeting will be on Tuesday 12th December, lunchtime in room 9. All first years are welcome and can come on Tuesday to see what it’s about – no strings attached or obligation to return! Students can have their lunch in room 9 and Ms Logue will provide tea/coffee.

Well Read Campaign
We are encouraging and reminding all students to carry a reading for pleasure book in their school bag. 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 ‘Well-read 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)

Mini companies – Business Department
We look forward to some festive cheer on Thursday 21st when our Transition Year students host a Christmas Fair in our main assembly area.  It will be an opportunity for the groups to showcase their mini company products along with tasty snacks and fun Christmas games. All students of the school will be given a class to browse through the stalls while in the background we will have carol singing from the music department. Spot prizes for most imaginative display, most enthusiastic salesperson and the best Christmas costume.

6th year Geography Field Trip
Leaving Cert Geography students will complete their field trip study next week on Thursday 14th or Friday 15th December in Bundoran. This trip is weather permitting as it is an outdoor activity. “Fieldwork is an essential part of Leaving Cert Geography, representing 20% of the marks. In general, the fieldwork is done as whole class activity when the class go to a particular area and carry out the fieldwork. Each student then writes up their own report booklet based on the information they gathered during the fieldwork. Each year, the State Exams Commission decides the fieldwork topics.

We are awaiting the results of the Bebras® challenge to see if any student from the AVS has qualified for the nationals. “The Bebras® Computing Challenge introduces computational thinking to students, by allowing them to solve interactive tasks online. It is run in over 40 countries and takes place every November. The tasks can be answered without prior knowledge about computational thinking or information and communication technology. The aim of Bebras is to get students all over the world excited about computing” (www.bebras.ie)

CSI Workshop
I.T Sligo are completing a forensic science workshop with 5th year students. The workshop was extremely interesting and included an introduction to forensic science in I.T. Sligo and the more interesting part where students have to solve crimes! A majority would have seen the popular C.S.I TV show at some point and our students got a real taste of a crime scene investigation. They analysed finger prints on the day also!

Guidance Department
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 they can over the course of this very important year.

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.

LCA Trip
LCA’s as part of their enterprise module are attending the RDS Christmas markets on Thursday 14th December. They will examine the role of sole traders and enjoy some festive cheer! There is an ice rink on the grounds, “Ice skating has become part of an Irish Christmas”. ISkate-on-Ice was introduced to the RDS in 2012 with huge success. ISkate-on-Ice now becomes part of Winter Funderland. Covering an area of 1000 Sq. meters, ISkate-on-Ice  – Ireland’s only OUTDOOR ice skating rink –offers an unrivalled ice skating experience” so students are surely going to enjoy the day! (www.winterfunderland.ie)

FIFA Tournament
A FIFA tournament will take place on Monday 11th December which is being organised by TY students. You can enter solo or as part of a team.

Leaving Cert Prefect Lunch
The Leaving Cert prefects were treated to a Christmas lunch on Wednesday 6th December to say thank you to them for their contribution to the school. We appreciate all your hard work and dedication to the AVS; we hoped you thoroughly enjoyed your lunch!

Architects in School
Siobhan Ní Ghallchóir is visiting the school on Monday 11th December for The National Architects in Schools Initiative. This is an exciting programme for Transition Year students. Architects are placed in schools to facilitate hands-on design workshops with student groups in 25 schools across Ireland. This initiative builds on five years of successful schools programming from the Irish Architecture Foundation and provides students with the opportunity to develop an appreciation of architecture and design, learn a variety of new skills and gain insight to the professional life of designers and architects.

Participating architects are recruited and mentored by the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) and placed in schools to devise and facilitate workshops in collaboration with teachers.

The LCA1 classes Christmas cards went on sale this week. We would appreciate if all staff and students can purchase some of the student designed cards as the profits are going to a worthy cause, MS Donegal. The LCA students were in Supervalu this week selling the winning cards and they are also on sale in the school. Any help is greatly appreciated.

This year’s Carol Service will take place in St. Patricks’ Church, Donegal Town. All parents, families and community members are welcome to join us on Tuesday 19th December. Well done to all our students who auditioned for solo parts. Aoife Joyce will sing ‘Oh Holy Night’ in this years’ service.

Preparations are in progress for our End of School Year Concert on the 22nd December. We are expecting many great acts to be in the concert. Last year was great fun and it’s an enjoyable way to end the school year. 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.

Well check with your music teacher for rehearsal times.

Big Brother, Big Sister
Big Brother, Big Sister has been postponed until next Tuesday 12th of December. Big Brother, Big Sister is a mentoring training programme 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. The programme forms supportive friendships for young people inspiring them to brighter futures.

We have huge numbers of students who have a mathematic flair and we hope they will make a greater effort to take part in Countdown. There is a new countdown competition on screens around the school. Enter to be in with a chance of winning a 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 completed 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. We hope they enjoyed participating in this wonderful experience and gained valuable knowledge from it; we can’t wait to hear the feedback next week!

TY Expo Projects
The due date for the TY Expo projects is the 14th December.

TY C.S.I Workshop
TY’s will complete the same CSI experience as our 5th year students. It will give them an exciting taste of forensic science and what Sligo I.T has to offer.

TY Christmas Fair
The TY classes will have their mini – companies on show in the school assembly on Thursday 21st December. Their mini – company products will be on sale and there will be food, fun and games with the Christmas atmosphere in mind.

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 Sligo Omniplex cinema. This trip follows the completion to the TY Christmas Assessment sessions.

TY Christmas Assessment
Students will be formatively assessed at Christmas and at the end of year. There Christmas assessment is worth 30%.  All TY students have to keep a portfolio of their work completed during the year.  Each student is asked to have at least three pieces of work per subject uploaded onto their portfolio by the end of the school year.  The student is responsible for choosing the pieces of work. Subject teachers will assist students in choosing appropriate pieces.

TY students will complete an interview on Wednesday 12th December which is worth 20%. Students must sit two interviews; another one will be conducted in May. The interview is marked and directed by the student’s tutor teacher.

TY Road Safety Show
Transition year students will attend a car safety and maintenance workshop on 12th December. The workshop will be facilitated by Mechanic Michael O’Gorman who invented the MOG car, which has been modified to show all working parts through the removal of panels. O’Gorman, a mechanic for more than 30 years, says he is appalled at the state of disrepair of many vehicles he has come across. He says people have no idea whatsoever of what they are driving. The MOG car safety demonstration is a unique practical training programme that reveals all the key components of a car. The demonstration will show our would-be drivers the practical function of car components, covering safety and car maintenance. The workshop will be both an entertaining and educational event!

TY Chess
An interclass TY Chess competition will take place on Monday 19th December, the week before the Christmas holidays and will be run by Ms Mohan. 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. Class 4D will help out with the first year Rowathon as part of their Sports Leadership Programme which is taking place on Monday 18th December. After Christmas, all TY students will be attending local 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.

THE YOUNG AMERICANS is a non-profit organisation founded in 1962, by Milton C Anderson. They 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. The organisation is looking to the AVS on Friday 26th January to stage a series of performing arts workshops, which will culminate in two performances.

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. You can contact Ms Rooney, Mr Clarke or Ms Murray for more information.


Girls Active
Girls Active will resume after the Christmas break.

First Year Rowathon
Thank you to all first years who collected sponsorship money for the Rowathon, it will take place on Monday 18th December. First years will participate in their class groups in the Rowathon. Each student will row for 2 minutes. The quickest class group wins a prize! Good luck to all our participants and may the best team win!

1st Year Boys Soccer
The first years had their first game of the season when they took on Deele College, Raphoe in a league encounter played in Convoy on Monday 4th December. A strong squad travelled and after a scrappy opening 10mins, the team settled well and created a number of chances in a tight and close first half against a strong Deele side. With Jack and Ethan Kenny at left and right full back and Daniel Quinn in midfield playing particularly well, the Abbey were unlucky not to take the lead. Declan Duignan delivered a fantastic corner from the left hand side and Daniel Quinn flashed a shot just wide of the keepers post. With Liam Gallagher coming on up front for the Abbey, they had a real threat on the counter attack with his pace. However, it was Deele who struck first with a well worked team goal 10mins into the second half.  Deele quickly followed this up with a second and then a third goal to end any hopes of a comeback. Credit to the Abbey players however, as they persevered and never gave up. They did manage to get a goal back through a great free kick from Daniel Quinn from all of 25 yards that found the bottom corner of the net. The game had few chances after this and ended up 3-1 to Deele College. A very good team performance overall from the Abbey.

Senior Boys Football
The senior boys’ Gaelic team travelled to Naomh Mhuire pitch on Tuesday last to compete against Rosses C.S. In blustery conditions the AVS put in a great performance and were 2 points up at half-time. In the second half RCS came more into the game and hit 2 goals in quick succession to put them in control. Despite the best efforts of the AVS team, RCS held out for the victory. The team have one remaining match to play against Glenties and should they win that game, they will be in a play-off to progress from their group.

U15’s Soccer
The U15 boys’ team travelled to Raphoe on Wednesday to play Deele College, Raphoe, in their League semi-final.  Having had two good results in the group stages with wins over St. Columba’s, Stranorlar and Rosses Community School, Dungloe, optimism amongst the players was certainly high. Straight from kick off, the Abbey settled into the game much quicker and were playing some of their best football of the year so far, setting the tempo with some quick attacking football and retaining the majority of possession. They got the breakthrough they deserved when Conor Campbell floated in a cross/shot from the left wing that deceived the Deele keeper and nestled into the back of the net after 15mins of play.  Not happy with only a one goal lead, the Abbey continued to press and after some great football around the middle from Halim and Conor Campbell. Mark Jordan played a great ball in behind the Deele defense and Senan Quinn made no mistake with a great effort, drilling the ball low under the Deele goalkeeper. This is the way it stayed until half time, 2-0.  In a second half of few chances, Deele started to gain some more possession of the ball but were rarely threatened, with the Abbey back line in top form and being well marshalled by both Ultan O’Grady and Ethan Potter as well as Dermott McGuckin from midfield. Following a great cross from the right hand side by Conor Campbell which just evaded Senan in the box, Mark Jordan followed up at the back post and coolly slotted past the Deele keeper for Abbey’s third goal midway through the second half.  With that goal ending any Deele hopes of a comeback, the game was played out at a slower pace, however Deele did have a player sent off late for a 2 footed lunge.  Great team work and a huge well done to the lads!

U17’s Boys Soccer
The AVS U17 team will play Scoil Mhuire on Tuesday 12th December. A time is yet to be confirmed

The U16s team will play St. Gerald’s College, Castlebar in the Sligo Regional Sports Centre, Monday 11th December at 1:15pm. The U16 B North – West final takes place on Monday in the Sports Complex also at 4:30 pm. The U19s team play Carrick – on – Shannon CS in the Sports Complex on Tuesday 12th December at 12:30 pm. The U19’s North West final takes place on the Tuesday.

Girls Gaelic
Well done to our leaving cert student Layla Alvey on winning the Donegal Democrat Youth Sports Award for October. Layla has received this award for her outstanding performance on the field for the St. Naul’s Ladies. Her hard work and determination has helped lead the St. Naul’s Ladies team to win the Donegal Intermediate title. Layla also played a huge part in the defeating the Down champions, Ballymartin, before going down to Latton in the Ulster semi-final.

Layla was nominated for the Gaelic Life team of the Intermediate Championship in the half-forward line.

Since Layla started in first year here in the Abbey Vocational School she has been at the heart of ladies GAA in the school and she is presently the U20 ladies caption. The U20’s are one match away from qualifying for the U20 ladies Ulster quarter final.  Good luck to our U20 girls who are due to play St Catherine’s Killybegs. Date to be confirmed in the coming days.