AVS Notes 9th March 2018

School Closure Days
Thank you to all of our students who worked hard from home over the school snow closure days. Parents and students please note that the Bulletin Board on the school website http://avsdonegal.com/bulletin-board will have work posted by our staff in cases of unplanned closures so please look at this board regularly for updates. Please note that we have now cancelled the further half day closures for child protection training to reduce the teaching and learning time lost over these days.

Parents Information Evening for Incoming 6th Class Students
Thank you to all the parents and guardians who attended the Information Evening for incoming 6th class students’ on Wednesday Evening March 6th at 7pm. Parents were informed about school life, subjects and expectations.

PTM for Leaving Cert Parents
We are holding a second PTM for parents of Leaving Cert students following the completion of the Mock Exams on Wednesday 21st March. Please attend between 3.45pm and 6.15pm. This give the parents of our 6th year students a second opportunity to speak to parents. Thank you.

We plan to hold an additional information evening for the Aonad 2018 on Tuesday March 13th at 7.30 pm. We appreciate that this is a new development and that you may still have questions. We are therefore organising an evening in the school where we will address your concerns and questions in an informal setting.  We will also outline in more detail the day to day plan for the students who are part of the Aonad.

We now intend to include the Aonad Classroom in the main building of the school and students will integrate with those in the main body of the school for the optional subjects as well as at break time and lunch time and through extracurricular Activities.

We will have a panel to help on the night, including students from Irish-medium schools, AVS staff, and a development officer from Gaeloideachas, who support all Irish-medium schools at a national level. Going forward we plan to run some conversational Irish Classes for students interested in this in the coming months in a fun interactive way.

We look forward to seeing you on the evening but in the meantime contact details are included for further information.  If you are unable to attend, please feel free to contact Clare Spáinneach, Development Officer with Gaeloideachas directly: clare@gaeloideachas.ie | Mobile: 087 9724020 | Office: 01 8535193. The Parents Committee for the Aonad are also available to speak with you, you can contact: Catherine James: 0857577742 Marcus Flannery: 0874109204. Or you can contact Deputy Principal Mr Ronan Doherty or the Principal Ms Geraldine Diver on: 074 9721105

Was established in 1973 as a national voluntary organisation to support the development of Irish-medium schools at primary and post-primary level. They provide advice, assistance and support to parents and guardians who want Irish-medium education for their children, as well as support services for naíonraí and schools. Gaeloideachas provides the following supports for parents, guardians and carers whose children are attending Irish-medium schools

Helpline 01 8535195
Parents are welcome to contact us in Irish or English. Our staff are happy to answer questions and give advice on Irish-medium education for your child. You can also contact us by email or via social media (Facebook and Twitter: @gaeloid)

Our website provides comprehensive information on Irish-medium education: news, a directory and a map of naíonraí and schools, research, resources and more.

Resources for parents who want to teach themselves Irish, and for teachers who provide Irish classes for parents.

LC Construction Studies Practical Examination
The Leaving Certificate Studies Practical Exam took place on Thursday 8th March. The students involved completed a 4 hour practical skills test. Every year for Construction Studies, 6th year students must undertake both a project and a practical skills test. If prepared and done correctly, this can get you huge marks, as together, they’re worth 60% of your final mark. The practical is worth 150 marks and the exam assesses a student’s skills and knowledge in working with wood in terms of reading and interpreting drawings, marking out material, processing material and assembly of components to make the artefact drawn on your working drawing sheet given to you. Well done to all involved!

IGC Event
On Wednesday 7th March 24 TY students visited Jackson’s Hotel in Ballybofey for the annual Careers Fair organised by the Donegal Branch of the Institute of Guidance Counsellors.

Approximately 1500 students from all the secondary schools across Co Donegal attended throughout the day where up to 40 further and higher education institutions from across Ireland and the UK gathered to inform the students of the options available to them after their Leaving Certificate. The hotel was a hive of activity as the students collected their pamphlets, prospectuses (as well as the odd free pen!) from the universities and colleges.

Overall, it was a hugely successful day! Thank you to the Guidance Department for organising such an enjoyable event

MS Readthon
The English Department presented students with awards for participating in the 2018 MS Readathon on Friday 9th March. It was beyond exceptional to see so many students involved in such a wonderful cause. Mrs Dunnion, Mrs Canning and Ms Murray presented students with certificates on Friday for their participation in the readathon. AVS students raised €1400 in total, a phenomenal amount – thank you to all our students! We hope they continue their reading efforts.

Leaving and Junior Cert Art students are currently hard at work trying to complete their exam projects. This is the first year of the new Leaving Cert Examination format.

TY art students are close to completing a large window panel for the art room, a picture has been posted on the school website.

World Book Day
Over the last 22 years, World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. The main aim is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with an opportunity to have a book of their own. The English Department in the last 2 weeks hosted competitions in 1st and 2nd year classes. 2nd year students were given time in class to design a book cover (they could choose any book they wish) and 1st year students created posters to promote the day. The winners of the book cover designs in 1st year were: Darcie Kennedy, Orlaith Mc Loughlin, Clodagh Breslin and Sarah Donovan. 2nd years were asked to create a poster to promote the day and the winners were: Ailbhe Liu, Munna Taher Yabel and Catherine Whiteside. The designs were excellent and well done to our winners!

JCSA – Business in Action CBA
From the 12th – 20th March 2018 students in 2nd year will complete their Business Classroom Based Assessment. During this period students spend four weeks completing the Business in Action CBA. Student’s have to design a product, conduct market research, prepare a business plan and produce a prototype for this task. This project will contribute to their Junior Cycle result.

Debate Club
The club will meet again on Tuesday 13th March. Students of the club have been given a school related topic that they will work on over the next two weeks.

Gaeltacht Trip
Ms. O’Donnell and Ms. Ní Dhonaill coordinated this exciting trip and approximately 20 students from 1st and 2nd year attended this weekend. Students were submerged into life in the Gaeltacht. This was a weekend trip to Rann na Feirste where students attended classes, participated in cultural activities including ceili dancing and singing. Thank you to Ms O Donnell and Ms Ní Dhomhnaill for organising the trip and supervising students over the course of the weekend.

Seachtain na Gaelige
Is féile idirnáisiúnta Ghaeilge í Seachtain na Gaeilge, atá ar an gceiliúradh is mó dár dteanga agus dár gcultúr dúchais a bhíonn ar siúl in Éirinn agus in go leor tíortha eile gach bliain. The AVS will celebrate Ireland’s biggest festival from March 12th – 16th. The Irish Department have organized many exciting activities to celebrate the event.

Guidance Department
DARE Applicants – please ensure you have made a 1:1 appointment to meet your Guidance Counsellor to complete the Educational Impact Statement. Remember, all paperwork must be given to the CAO by 01 April at 5.15 p.m.

The Guidance Department have set up a Google Classroom for Apprenticeship information provision.  The classroom is updated regularly.  The classroom code is 9vpzoug.

The Air Corps talk scheduled to take place on Friday of last week was postponed due to the fact that they were involved in ongoing snow operations in the south of the country. It will be re-scheduled at a later date.

There will be TWO talks in the library on Tuesday, 13th March. University of Limerick at 2.00pm and Cavan Institute at 2.40 pm.  The talks are aimed at 6th Years and LCAs.  Student attendance is optional. Students attending must inform their class teacher

Transition Year:

Architect in Schools Project
Thank you to Ms. Siobhan Gallagher who visited the AVS to work with TY students again this week on the TY Architect in Schools Project. The National Architects in Schools Initiative 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.

PE Expo
On 7th March three groups from TY travelled to Dcu to take part in a PE Expo competition. Amongst those who went were Saerlaith Lusson, Roisin Mc Nulty with a project on inclusion in Olympics and Paralympics. Sophie Carr, Karina Dury, Nolwenn Donovan and Shauna Carr did a project on the physiological effect of superstitions in sport, well done girls!! The overall Games Development Senior Winners were Sophie Tracey, Aoibhe Timoney, Lucy Mc Gowan and Cliodhna Dunleavy, well done to these girls who came up with a ball to help kids and teenagers who suffer from dyspraxia to develop their catching skills. All groups had a very enjoyable day and had lots of opportunities to talk to the judges and get feedback about their projects

Thank you to Mr Carty, Ms M Gallagher, Ms Mc Donnell and Mr Mc Hugh for coordinating and assisting students during the project. 3 teams were entered into the competition with 4 students in each team, 12 students in total. On the day students had to demonstrate their knowledge and understanding of one of the following category titles:

  1. I.C.T. and Sports Photography
  2. Power of Sport – Inclusion & Cultural
  3. Wellbeing- Physical, Mental & Social
  4. Components of Fitness – the Science behind sport
  5. Nutrition
  6. Games Development & Teaching games for Understanding (TGfU)
  7. Sports Psychology

The students have been researching and putting together their project with their PE teachers over the last number of months and the hard work paid off!!

LYIT believe that designers and creative thinkers can bring real value and growth to business, helping them communicate with clarity and impact, identify opportunities and innovate. The Design, Innovation, Creativity, Enterprise Conference was attended by a large group of TY students on Wednesday last. This was an excellent conference and included speakers such as Mark Shaw LYIT Graduate  and members of the Donegal Film Office –  on Why are so many producers coming to Donegal and Thomas McLaughlin -“Designing with John Rocha” – Hong Kong born Fashion Designer, based in Ireland

Shaun Kelly, a former AVS student, spoke on the day. Shaun is an award winning animator from Donegal and a recent graduate of LYIT Design. The Mountcharles man was crowned ‘Best Student’ in the Department of Design and Creative Media in 2017 and has gone on to premiere his student film at festivals both locally and in the US. His film ‘After’ won best animation at the IndieBoom Film Festival in Brooklyn, earning a streaming slot at Brooklyn On-Demand (BKOD).

Now in full-time employment, Shaun is using his skills to develop courses and characters alongside his colleagues at MetaCompliance creating beneficial assets for the company.

School Tour
The countdown to the school tour is on! During the Easter holidays from Monday 26th – Thursday 29th March our TYs and 5th years will be enjoying the lovely weather in the Lake Garda district, Italy. We ask all parents and students to ensure they review the itinerary and prohibited items list on the school’s website. The page can be found under the activities tab, foreign tours and the information on the trip is located here. Students are reminded they must ensure they have their passports and European Health Card with them. In addition, students will be flying with Aer Lingus and Ryanair. Baggage – Any person checking in more than one bag will be charged an additional cost by the airline both on the outgoing and on the return journey even if the combined weight is less than 15KG. There are strict limits regarding the size and weight of the carry-on bag. It must not exceed 55cmx40cmx20cm in size and 10KG in weight. Please see Aer Lingus and Ryanair websites for full details. We are staying in the Hotel Van Vito during the trip. We will spend the first day in Verona enjoying all the spectacular sights the city has to offer such as the Arena Amphitheatre, Juliet’s House and the Lambreti Tower. The second day will be spent in Venice and we hope students bring good footwear as they will partake in a 2 hour walking tour of the fabulous city. On Wednesday students will travel to Venice and explore the National Museum. Lastly, an exciting day awaits them on the Thursday as they will visit Gardaland which boasts fifty exciting attractions!

The staff hope that the students all have an enjoyable and memorable tour. The information should be reviewed on the site prior to the trip as it is provided to improve your experience.

Hotel Course
TY students will visit Harvey’s point, Solis Castle, The Sandhouse Hotel and The Abbey Hotel to gain experience on the day to day running of a hotel. Training will be provided for students in the different areas within the hotel. Students will also learn what is expected of them when applying for a job in a hotel.

Dublin Cultural Trip
Students will be travelling to Dublin on the 14th March to take part in two exciting tours! Students will get to attend a tour of Croke Park, The Dail and Killmainham Jail. Everyone is looking forward to a fantastic day.


2nd Year Boys’ Basketball
The 2nd year boy’s will play Gortnor Abbey in Co. Mayo on Monday 12th March. Best of luck to the team!

1st Year Boys’ Soccer
The 1st year soccer team will play St Eunan’s College, Letterkenny, on Tuesday 13th March.

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

Girls Basketball 

1st years
Well done to the 1st year girls who had a great win over the Ballinamore side. The AVS girls began to dominate from the opening minutes. Their team work was excellent from the beginning. Emma Meehan and Roisin Gillespie worked well together to get shot opportunities. Back court caused problems for both sides in the first quarter but it wasn’t long till the AVS girls, regrouped and fixed the problem. Sarah Donovan held the base very well. In the opening minutes of the second half. Rosie Campbell had a very good turn over she passed to Shauna who had a good run, she got fouled and received two shots, scoring a well-deserved two baskets. The girls defence system was strong, they had fast feet and got many scores from turn overs. The AVS girls dominated. The girls went in to half time AVS – 20, Ballinamore – 2. The AVS stared the third quarter very strong, scoring straight away. Their team performance was excellent on the court and on the bench. The girls kept the pressure on the Ballinamore girls. They were quick on their toes. Katie Gillespie and Shauna Doherty covered a lot of court and got many scores. The score for the end quarter was 30-4. The girls come out for the last quarter with a few fresh legs. They kept the pressure on the Ballinamore girls to finish them off. Over the girls had an outstanding performance and won with a big score of 30 baskets to 4.

2nd years
Hard luck to our 2nd year AVS girls who were defeated by Ballinamore on Friday. The girls had an overall excellent team performance, their support play and communication was very strong. The girls started off the game with both sides running at each other. The sides were even more very powerful. The girls had good runs and very fast breaks. Catherine Campbell showed great determination from the very beginning with excellent runs covering lots of court. The girls got many shot opportunities but were unable to score. The score at the end of the first quarter was 11-2 to Ballinamore.
The Ballinamore girls came out stronger for the second quarter, but Lily Brogan and Enya Gallagher worked hard with the other girls to stay in the game. Ally McClay had excellent passes. The AVS girls let the foot off the pedal. For the 2nd half the Ballinamore girls continued to dominate, the girls put their heads down and started to lose position. Overall, it was a very good team performance but the Ballinamore girls were stronger. The final score was 28-6.

Girls Gaelic
Good luck to the U14’s girls’ Gaelic team who will play Virginia College, Cavan, away this week.

U14’s hurling training continues Tuesday at lunchtime. All 1st and 2nd years are welcome to attend training especially new members. Declan Sherlock, Ulster coach, will be in attendance with Mr O’Neill at training. Four Masters U14 Hurling are also looking for new members any student interested please contact coach Damien Mc Dermott. The team trains Tuesday at 6:30 pm.

Lunchtime Activities
Lunchtime activities continue as normal. Please check the notice board in the Gym. There is a least two activities a day. We remind all students that anyone can get involved and it’s good to participate in new activities.