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.

Aonad
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

Gaeloideachas
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)

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

www.irishforparents.ie
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.

Art
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 DICE
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.

Sports:

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.

Athletics
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.

Hurling
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.

AVS Notes 2nd March 2018

 

6th Class Induction Day
Induction day for incoming 6th class students is now postponed due to National School Closure last week. All students will now attend school on Tuesday.  We will make contact this week with our incoming students to arrange a new date.

Parents Information Evening for Incoming 6th Class Students
The Information Evening for parents of incoming 6th class students’ takes place on Wednesday Evening March 6th at 7pm. This is a session where we inform you of life in the Abbey Vocational School and plans and expectations for your son or daughter.

Aonad
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 I attach contact details and further information.  If you are unable to attend, please feel free to contact me to arrange an alternative time to visit. Contacts to assist:-

Gaeloideachas
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)

www.gaeloideachas.ie

Our website provides comprehensive information on Irish-medium education: news, a directory and

map of naíonraí and schools, research, resources and more.

www.irishforparents.ie

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

You can 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

Minister for Education and Skills, Mr. Richard Bruton TD meets Abbey Vocational School Students:

A selection of students involved in the Coding Programme at Junior Cycle attended the Launch of the School selected for the Computer Science and PE Leaving Cert Subjects during the Minister’s recent visit to Letterkenny. This was a very special day for our students who attended the event with Principal Geraldine Diver and Deputy Principal Mr Ronan Doherty along with Mr Gavin Gorman the Computer Science teacher. A further group of students attended a Computer Programming workshop in LYIT on Wednesday last – this was a wonderful learning experience for the students involved. The Minister spoke to the students from both

schools about the two leaving cert subjects and the importance of both and congratulated both schools for being successful in being selected for the initiatives and for their interest in both

Minster MR Bruton Centre, Principal Ms Geraldine Diver AVS to his left and Principal ST Eunans College Mr. Chris Darby to his right. Mr. Gavin Gorman back row left computer science teacher, Deputy Principal Mr. Ronan Doherty back row fourth from left.

LC Construction Studies Practical Examination
The Leaving Certificate Studies Practical Exam should have taken place on Thursday 1st March however, this was deferred. A new date not yet confirmed.

Home Economics
The Home Economics project deadline is now finished. The projects were to be completed by students doing the Junior Certificate by Friday 1st March.

MS Readthon
A number of students in the school participated in the MS Readathon and they raised much-needed funds for the foundation. The MS Readathon encouraged children to open their minds to the wonderful world of adventure and imagination through reading for a great cause! It gave our students the perfect opportunity to read. For students who were already bookworms, it was a chance to go deeper – perhaps to challenge themselves with longer, more advanced books. The English Department will be presenting students with awards next week. More details will follow.

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.

Debate Club
The club will meet again on Tuesday 6th March. Students of the club have been given a school related topic that they will work on over the next two weeks.

World Book Week
The AVS is delighted to celebrate World Book Day again this year. World Book Day took place all over Ireland on Thursday 1st March 2018 however; we could not celebrate it in the school this year on the set date due to the weather. 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 designs were displayed in the assembly area on Wednesday. The winners will be announced next week.

Well Read Initiative Guest Speaker – Josephine O’Donnell
Josephine O’Donnell workshop with 3A on Friday was cancelled and will be rescheduled in the coming weeks.

5th Year HL English Trip – Macbeth
108 5th year students travelled to the Millennium Forum Theatre in Derry on Wednesday 28th February. The trip benefited students studying the text, which is examined at Leaving Certificate. The Forum promised an excellent take on the Shakespeare classic and a vicious, barbaric and bloodthirsty production.

English teachers of 5th year HL supervised students on the trip. Everyone enjoyed the day and students had some time to shop and chill out after the production. Thank you to the English Department for organising such an enjoyable day.

Art
The closing date for this year’s Texaco Art Competition was Wednesday 28th February. Mr. Daly and Ms. Mc Callig are delighted to have seen so many creative pieces entered. You can view some of the students’ pieces on the Abbey Vocational School Twitter page. Well done to all who entered! Leaving Cert Applied students from the AVS are working with Kerri Waugh and past pupil Cora Murray over the last week. The students are doing a Personal Health and Wellbeing module in conjunction with Foroige.

5th year RE Talk – Stephen Richmond
Thank you to Stephen Richmond, a Presbyterian Minister, who visited the Abbey Vocational School to speak with 5th year Religion students on Monday. The students thoroughly enjoyed this session and welcome another visit in the near future.

Wellbeing:

Leaving Cert Chill out day
On Monday 26th all Leaving Certificate students visited the Bluestack Centre, Letterbarrow, Drimarone. This day had been specially arranged for our students following their Mock Exams. It gave them a day to unwind, relax and re charge the batteries after the exams. Thank you to Ms Mc Morrow who has co-ordinated the day’s events and to all of the staff who attended on the day. Thank you to the staff in the Bluestack Centre who provided an excellent array of activities and a lovely lunch on the day. The trip is always an enjoyable day full of fun filled activities for our students.

Young Social Innovators
Well done to team SHEHR who took part in the Young Social Innovator Speak Out last Tuesday. Young Social Innovators (YSI) is Ireland’s largest social awareness and active citizenship and education programme for 15- to 18-year-old teens. Its main goal is to get young people (15-18yrs) involved in action which helps improve the lives of others in their community. YSI involves thousands of young people in Ireland each year in hundreds of projects and social enterprises which are youth-led, team-based and action-focused. Each year, each YSI team is invited to present their project at the YSI Speak Out Regional fora. This year the team of David McGuckin, Oisín Doherty, James Smith and Conor McAllister presents their ideas in Ballybofey to a panel of judges and an audience of over one hundred. Team SHEHR project is based on giving patients the power to collate, organise and share their own medical records and health data easily and securely and make healthcare providers more efficient and connected.

They will find out in the coming weeks if their presentation was successful.

Couch to 5k
The couch to 5k programme is in the final few weeks of the programme. All participants are working towards the 9th March were they will take part in the Cara 5k. As this incentive has been such a success for both teachers and leaving cert students it will continue after the race on the 9th March. 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 Leaving Certificate in the coming months. Running regularly can also be a great stress reliever and has even been shown to combat depression. The programme will continue to run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday after school on the track.

Our leaving Cert students had

Transition Year:

Photography Competition
The deadline for the TY photography competition was this Friday 2nd March. The competition was open to all students and there will be a first, second and third place prizes. Winners will be announced in the coming week.

Work Experience
Thank you to all the businesses and work places that took our TY students last week. We appreciate this and the TY’s had a fantastic time.

Architect in Schools Project
Thank you to Ms. Siobhan Gallagher who visited the AVS to work with TY students on Monday 26th February 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.

Cake Decorating
On Tuesday 27th February TY A and B participated in a Cake Decorating workshop. Group C and D were scheduled to do this on Friday on Friday 2nd March however, this will be rescheduled. Group A and B were given white balls of icing and they dyed them different colours like pink, yellow and blue. They then proceeded to mould Easter bunny structures on top of cupcakes. In addition, students were shown how to pipe cupcakes properly. They had to sculpt carrots out of orange icing as well. It was really enjoyable and they also got to keep the cupcakes!

PE Expo
On Wednesday 7th March all TY students will attend the PE Expo in Dublin City University. The event has been coordinated by Mr Carty, Ms M Gallagher, Ms Mc Donnell, Mr Mc Hugh. 3 teams have been entered in this competition with 4 students in each team, 12 students in total. On the day students will be demonstrating 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. Best of luck to our TY who have been entered into the competition.

School Tour
The countdown to the school tour is on! During the Easter holidays from Monday 26th till Thursday 29th March our TY’s 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 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 San Vito during the trip; 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.

More details will follow on the trips activities!

Sport:

Athletics
Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups. Cross country training is on Friday at lunch time. The students participated in the Bank of Ireland Talent ID Masterclass in the National Indoor Arena at the National Sports Campus. Together with 190 other participants they made up the top 200 students from 20 Irish schools, receiving coaching, advice and tips from Irish International Athletes Elizabeth Morland, Barry Pender, Brian Gregan and Dara Kervick in their respective events. Students displayed their talents through a series of testing in the 60m Sprint, High jump and Long jump, and were unfortunate to miss out on the top spots in a highly competitive field. After lunch, Brian took us through his career to date, the challenges he faced and finding the right balance between sport and school. Each of our students put in a great performance on the day, showing great dedication and were excellent representatives of the school. Students included; Sarah Donovan, Dylan Barrett, Rohan O’Hara Nolan, Stefan Parajka, Ciara Gillespie, Seamus Og Caldwell, Declan Duignan, Sophie Kennedy, Matthew Byrne and Catriona Moohan. Well done to all involved!

Girls Basketball
Hard luck to our 2nd years girls who were defeated by St. Catherine’s, Killybegs on Wednesday the 28th February. The AVS girls had a weak opening at the start of the game, the Killybegs girls started strong but it didn’t take the AVS girls long to get into the game. The girls had a good offence. There was also great speed from Amy Carr and Ella Doherty, which helped the girls stay in the game. 5 fresh legs came on for the second quarter including Enya Gallagher who covered a lot of court and scored an excellent basket almost backwards. The girls had a great team performance throughout the game, with excellent support and communication. An improvement on their passes lead to more shot opportunities. The girls were well settled going into half time. The AVS girls game out fighting, upping their game for the third quarter. Catherine Campbell had excellent runs for the remaining of the game.  The girls had good tackling and were great at receiving rebounds. The powerful Killybegs side continued to put good pressure on the AVS girls and dominate them. Ciara Cox and Aisling Murphy were subbed on and were excellent from the minute they stepped onto the court. In the last quarter Aisling scored from a fast drive while Lily held the base well. The AVS girls began to ball watch, which helped the Killybegs side, grab offence rebounds. The pressure got to the girls in the last quarter. Overall, it was an exciting game, with a lot of high quality basketball played. Well done to all involved. Final score- Killybegs 19 , AVS 12.

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 gym. The girls game on Friday against Ballinamore in Leitrim was cancelled and will be rescheduled.

1st and 2nd Year 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.

Mr Mc Hugh’s team 1st and 2nd year’s boys’ basketball team played in Castlebar Co. Mayo on Wednesday 21st February where the AVS boys’ played St Gerald’s.

1st Year Team: E. Kenny, J. Kenny, J. Graham, D. Quinn, C. Gillespie, B. McNeely, C. McCallig, S. Óg Caldwell, P. Lyons, N. Prenderville

2nd Year Team: D. Quinn, J. Graham, S. Quinn, M. Jordan, C. Sweeney, H. Pearson, R. Kennedy, D. O’Donnell, L. Carey-McDermott, C. Campbell

Girls Basketball
Well done to the 1st year girls who had a great win over the St Catherine’s side. The AVS girls began to dominate from the opening minutes. Emma Meehan showed great determination from the start which boosted the girls confidence. From the opening minutes the girls gave a great team performance showing good communication and support on the court as well as from the bench. In the first half Sarah Donovan covered a lot of court and scored many baskets to keep the Abbey girls get ahead. Ellie Timoney and Shauna Doherty were subbed on and helped the girls continue to dominate. The girls went in ahead at half time. The girls were full of energy coming out for the third quarter with a few fresh legs. They had a good offence and were excellent at putting the Killybegs girls under pressure. The girls were very good at getting the Killybegs rebounds and got many baskets as a result. For the final quarter the AVS girls finished off the Killybegs girls, there tackling was excellent and there passing was very accurate. It was an excellent game and the AVS girls had an amazing performance overall. Well done to everyone involved.

Girls Gaelic
The U14’s girls’ Gaelic team were set to play Virginia College, Cavan, away on Thursday 1st March but again the date will be rescheduled.

Boys’ Soccer

1st year boys Gaelic
The boys have begun training for the U13’s 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 the coming weeks.

Girls Active
The girls will be participating in running in the hope of building up to a 5k in the coming weeks.

Hurling
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.

AVS Notes 23rd February 2018

Launch of Leaving Cert Computer Science
Students from the school involved in the computer science area of coding attended a launch of the Leaving Cert Computer Science event in St Eunans on Friday last. The Minister of Education Mr Richard Bruton launched the subject area for the two Donegal schools selected to offer this subject to the incoming fifth year students. The Principal Ms Diver, Deputy Principal Mr Doherty and Computer Science teacher Mr Gorman attended the event as well as Joe Mc Hugh TD, Pearse Doherty TD Leas-Cheann Comhairle TD Pat the Cope Gallagher, Charles Mc Conalogue TD and Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn.

This was a very special occasion for the Abbey Vocational School.

Mock Exams
Congratulations to all our exam students for completing their mocks. Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students sat mocks the Thursday and Friday before the mid – term and all of last week. Well done on completing the first step! Thank you to students for their co – operation with regard to noise on the corridors during this stressful time. In addition, thank you to all of those who assisted in the planning and preparation of the Mocks.

School Closure – Half Day
On Tuesday next, 27th February, the school will close at 1.15 p.m. to facilitate staff training in Child Protection.

Leaving Cert Chill out day
On Monday 26th all Leaving Certificate students will visit the Bluestack Centre, Letterbarrow, Drimarone. This day has been specially arranged for our students following their Mock Exams. It gives them a day to unwind, relax and re charge the batteries after the exams. Thank you to Ms Mc Morrow who has co-ordinated the day’s events. . All Leaving Certificate students will attend this trip. The trip is always an enjoyable day full of fun filled activities for our students.

MS Readthon
A number of students participated in the MS Readathon and raised money for the foundation. The MS Readathon encouraged children to open their minds to the wonderful world of adventure and imagination through reading for a great cause! It gave our students the perfect opportunity to read. For kids who were already bookworms, it was a chance to go deeper – perhaps to challenge themselves with longer, more advanced books. The English Department will be presenting students with awards next weeks. More details will follow.

Induction day for 6th class students
An Induction day for 6th class students will take place on Tuesday, 6th March 2018. There will be no school for Transition Year, LCA or 1st year on this day. All other students will have class as normal on this day.

Physical Education new Leaving Cert Subject
Thank you to all who attended the Information Evening for Physical Education as a Leaving Certificate subject for September 2018. Again, 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.

Debate Club
The club will meet again on Tuesday 27th February. Students of the club have been given a school related topic that they will work on over the next two weeks.

World Book Week
The AVS is delighted to be celebrating World Book Day again this year. World Book Day takes place on Thursday 1st March 2018. 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 will be hosting various competitions to celebrate the day second year students will be allowed time in class to design a book cover (they can choose any book they wish). The designs will be displayed around the assembly area for World Book Day and there may be prizes for the best designs! In addition, first years students will be creating a poster to promote World Book Day and to encourage reading as a leisure activity. Ms Logue’s coding classes are working on posters in their classes to promote the day.

Well Read Initiative Guest Speaker – Josephine O’Donnell
Josephine O’Donnell is conducting a workshop with Ms Canning’s class 3A on Friday 2nd March. Josephine is a local historian and writer, she will be going through the creative process of writing a book, composing and the publishing stages. The initiative 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.

5th Year HL English Trip – Macbeth
108 5th year students will travel to the Millennium Forum Theatre in Derry on Wednesday 28th February. The trip will benefit students studying the text which is examined at Leaving Certificate. The Forum promises an excellent take on the Shakespeare classic and the vicious, barbaric undercurrent in Shakespeare’s most fear-filled tragedy erupts in this kinetic, blood-thirsty production.

Set in the 11th century and culminating in an epic battle filled with revenge, justice, and beheadings, the production gives life to some of literature’s most vibrant language and characters.

Wellbeing:

Irish Heart Foundation Coffee Morning
Thank you to all those who donated to the coffee morning before the mid – term break; the event raised a total of €336.20. The event highlighted heart health and as we are a school who promotes Wellbeing it is vital we look after our heart health as cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in our country. Thank you again to all who baked and donated!

Couch to 5k
Our runners are still training hard for the ‘Couch to 5k’! There are many mental health benefits of running as well as health benefits for our students and staff. 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
The pounds are slowly dropping off as the staff continue to battle with shifting weight as part of ‘Operation Transformation’. We hope we can keep up the healthy eating and loose even more!

Art
A reminder that entries for this year’s Texaco Art Competition are due on Wednesday 28th February. The Texaco Art Competition are “inviting artists across the island of Ireland to participate in a national celebration of Children’s Art as they mark 64 years of the Texaco Children’s Art Competition.  Acknowledged as the longest running sponsorship in the history of art sponsoring in Ireland the Competition has been in existence since 1955 and has enjoyed an unbroken history of success. The closing date for their next Competition is Wednesday 28th February 2018 and they hope that they will continue to see outstanding creativity and talent reflected in the finest and widest choice of entries that we receive. You can download a School/Art School Application Form or a Home Application Form from www.texacoartcompetition.ie. Mr Daly and Ms Mc Callig have forms available also.

Transition Year students are organizing a photography competition which is open to all students in the school. There will be a first, second and third place prizes. There is no specific theme or format (dimensions) and images may be colour or black and white. Entries can be submitted as hard copy to room 38 or can be emailed to avsphotographycompetition@gmail.com. The deadline for entries is Friday 2nd March.

Transition Year:

Work Experience
This week our TY students completed their second week of work experience. We can’t wait to hear the feedback next week and see how they got on in the world of work!

Young Social Innovators (YSI)
A number of our TY students are in the middle of preparing their YSI projects which they will present at the Speak Out competition next week in Ballybofey on the 27th February. Our students will be hoping to progress from the regional stages of the competition on this day. YSI is Ireland’s largest social awareness and active citizenship and education programme for 15-18 year old teens. Its main goal is to get young people (15-18yrs) involved in action which helps improve the lives of others in their community. YSI involves thousands of young people in Ireland each year in hundreds of projects and social enterprises which are youth-led, team-based and action-focused. Each year, each YSI team is invited to present their project at the YSI Speak Out Regional fora. A national Showcase of Young Social Innovators takes place in May each year where thousands of young social innovators come together and showcase their projects.

Architect in Schools Project
Ms Siobhan Gallagher will visit AVS to work with TY students on Monday 26th  February 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.

Cake Decorating
On Tuesday 27th February the TY’s will participate in a Cake Decorating workshop – we are hoping for some cakes that Mary Berry would be proud of! Groups A and B will participate in this Tuesday and C and D on Friday 2nd March.

Sport:

Athletics
Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups. Cross country training is on Friday at lunch time.  The Donegal schools cross country final will be held in the coming weeks.

The finals for the Ulster Schools Cross Country were held this week in Mullish playing fields Belfast on Wednesday 21st February. Thank you to Dara Kervick from Athletics Ireland who came into the school on Tuesday 20th in conjunction with the Bank of Ireland to do a series of fitness tests with our 1st and 2nd year athletes. The students had to do a warm – up, then a series of timed sprints, standing long – jumps, vertical jumps and they played games. The 1st year are attending an athletics workshop

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. The girls play St. Catherine’s Vocational school in Killybegs on Thursday 1st March. In addition, there’s no rest for the girls as they play Ballinamore Community School on Friday 2nd March, in Ballinamore, Co. Leitrim, Ireland. Good luck to Ms Mc Donnell and the team.

1st and 2nd Year Boys’ Basketball
Mr Mc Hugh’s team will take on the 1st and 2nd year’s boys’ basketball team in Castlebar Co. Mayo on Wednesday 21st February where the AVS boys’ will play St Gerald’s. 1st and 2nd year boys’ basketball training has moved to Thursday after school with Mr McHugh and Saturday morning at 9-11 in the school gym. Our 1st and 2nd years played St Nathy’s College on Thursday at home.

Both 1st & 2nd Year Boys teams played their second games of the league on Thursday 23rd February at home against St. Nathy’s of Roscommon. The 1st years produced another fine display, to go along with their win two weeks ago against Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon, by recording a second win in as many matches. After a closely contested first quarter, the Abbey boys found their feet and ran out convincing winners by 45-15.

The 2nd Year game was a much closer affair and indeed needed overtime to separate the sides. After a real nip and tuck game, St.Nathy’s took the lead for the first time in the final quarter and led by 4pts with 40seconds remaining. However, the AVS battled bravely, scoring two late baskets to bring the game to OT. Within OT, AVS opened up a 5pt lead which they never looked like relinquishing to seal a dramatic win.

1st Year Team: E. Kenny, J. Kenny, J. Graham, D. Quinn, C. Gillespie, B. McNeely, C. McCallig, S. Óg Caldwell, P. Lyons, N. Prenderville

2nd Year Team: D. Quinn, J. Graham, S. Quinn, M. Jordan, C. Sweeney, H. Pearson, R. Kennedy, D. O’Donnell, L. Carey-McDermott, C. Campbell

Girls Gaelic
The U14’s girls Gaelic team will play Virginia College, Cavan, away next Thursday 1st March – best of luck to the girls!

Boys’ Soccer
Mr Mc Hugh’s U15 Boys Soccer team will play Cootehill, Cavan next Tuesday, 27th February. Good luck to the team!

1st year boys Gaelic
The boys have begun training for the U13’s 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 the coming weeks.

Girls Active
The Girls’ active is every Friday 3:45pm- 4:45 pm. These groups are taking part in hip-hop, which will finish this week. All 1st, 2nd and 3rd years are welcome. After dancing the girls will be participating in running in the hope of building up to a 5k.

Hurling
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.

AVS Notes 9th February 2018

Mock Exams
Good luck to all our Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate students who took their first steps on their exam journey this week. The mock exams will continue after the mid-term and we hope that all students apply themselves as best as they can over this exam period.

Aonad Open Day
A number of 6th class students interested in becoming a student in our Aonad, which is opening in September 2018, enjoyed an Open Day and experienced what the school has to offer on Friday, 9th February. During the day music was performed in Irish, the students were given a talk on the Aonad, they sampled subjects such as Home Economics and Woodwork, played games as Gaeilge, took part in Kahoot puzzles on chrome books, had lunch and finished the day with sports and a ceilí in the Gym. A number of students and staff were involved in helping out too, thank you to all involved.

Subject Choices
Third year and TY students received a talk from school staff Ms Diver and Ms Mc Morrow on Tuesday. They went through the options with students and explained in detail how new subjects such as P.E and Computer Science are examined. We remind students to think carefully about their options and to discuss them before choosing. The students have completed a stage one option form – they will again be given a final option form for completion on their return to school after the midterm break.

Physical Education new Leaving Cert Subject
Thank you to all who attended the information evening for Physical Education as a Leaving Certificate subject for September 2018. Again, 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.

Senior Cycle Options – Parent Information Evening
Ms Mc Morrow and Ms Faherty facilitated an Information Evening on Tuesday 6th February for parents of Senior Cycle students. The talk covered Senior subjects’ choices and the new options available for students. The Careers Department answered questions and explained the AVS’ options on the night. A huge thank you to the Careers Department!

1st year Enrolment
The deadline for first year enrolment has now passed. It is vital that those planning to enrol return their forms as soon as possible please. We will host an Open Day/Induction Day for our incoming 6th class students on March 6th 2018.

5th Year Physics Trip – IOP Workshops
Mr Hegarty’s 5th year Physics class visited Foyle College campus on Tuesday 6th February. The students enjoyed a fast paced lecture from James Soper, an internationally renowned science presenter, ex-professional circus performer and Guinness World Record holding juggler.

Debate Club
A Debate Club meeting for first year students took place on Wednesday 7th February. Ms Murray discussed the feedback that was given from the previous week in which students enjoyed a workshop with Maura Logue. The club will meet again on Tuesday 27th February. Students of the club have been given a school related topic that they will work on over the next two weeks.

Wellbeing:

Irish Heart Foundation Coffee Morning
The AVS staffroom hosted a coffee morning on Friday 9th February in aid of the Irish Heart Foundation. The fundraising event was in association with RTÉ 2FM, the foundation urgently need to raise €250k in the fight against heart disease and stroke. You too can ‘Show Some Heart’ this February by purchasing a temporary tattoo in DayBreak or Insomnia stores nationwide. Ms Murray would like to thank all the staff who baked and donated on Friday, your support was appreciated. As we are a school who promotes Wellbeing it is vital we look after our heart health as cardiovascular disease is the number one killer in our country.

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 hoping to beat last year’s weight loss. We are doing very well so far and we are eager to keep up the hard work.

Health Promoting schools
Well done to Norin Harron who was the winner of the Health Promoting School bike raffle.

‘Schools Go Orange’ for Cycle Against Suicide
Cycle Against Suicide is an initiative started to raise awareness of the considerable help and supports that are available for anyone battling depression, self-harm, at risk of suicide or those bereaved by suicide. On Friday 9th February the AVS went orange in support of Cycle Against Suicide. Throughout the day many students wore orange during class, we had many displays around the school and every student got a positive comment posted onto their lockers.

LCA Careers trip
Ms McMorrow took several LCA students to the Northwest Regional College, Derry on Wednesday 7th February. The students had a lovely tour of the campus on the day. In addition, they witnessed many live demos from a variety of courses. “The College has main campuses in Derry-Londonderry, Limavady and Strabane, and supports over 20,000 student enrolments each year. Learners attend from all parts of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, undertaking full-time or part-time study programmes in a range of vocational or non-vocational areas” (www.nwrc.ac.uk)

Construction Studies Talk
Coordinated by Mr O Donnell, Declan Loane, from Quinn Building Products visited the AVS to speak with 6th year Construction Studies students on Monday 5th February. The talk focused on the products the company manufactured and the importance of thermal insulation, u-values, thermal bridging etc. “Since it was first founded in the 1970’s, the Quinn group of companies has grown into one of the most successful manufacturers of building products in the UK and Ireland. From its humble beginnings when its origins lay in the supply of sand and gravel to local builders and farmers, it has now transformed into a multi-national business with an impressive portfolio of products” (www.quinn-buildingproducts.com)

Art
A reminder that entries for this year’s Texaco Art Competition are due on Wednesday 28th February. The Texaco Art Competition are “inviting artists across the island of Ireland to participate in a national celebration of Children’s Art as they mark 64 years of the Texaco Children’s Art Competition.  Acknowledged as the longest running sponsorship in the history of art sponsoring in Ireland the Competition has been in existence since 1955 and has enjoyed an unbroken history of success. The closing date for their next Competition is Wednesday 28th February 2018 and they hope that they will continue to see outstanding creativity and talent reflected in the finest and widest choice of entries that we receive. You can download a School/Art School Application Form or a Home Application Form from www.texacoartcompetition.ie. Mr Daly and Ms Mc Callig have forms available also.

Transition Year students are organizing a photography competition which is open to all students in the school. There will be a first, second and third place prizes. There is no specific theme or format (dimensions) and images may be colour or black and white. Entries can be submitted as hard copy to room 38 or can be emailed to avsphotographycompetition@gmail.com. The deadline for entries is Friday 2nd March.

Music
Well done to all our exam students in their mock practical exams we wish them luck in the upcoming exam. Thank you to all the students who performed at our Open Night. You all sounded great.

Good luck to a number of students who will perform in ‘Grease’ the Musical in the Central Hotel this weekend. A great number of our students are involved such as Anna Campbell, Síofra Maurerhofer, Aoife Breslin, Killain Faulkner, Ellen Mc Groary, Daniel Gallagher, Brian Fegan, Gerard Mc Intyre, Aidan Mc Hugh. Well done, it is amazing to see our students involved in such a remarkable production. The schools Trad Group will continue at lunch time on Tuesdays.

Transition Year

Work Experience
After midterm, 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.

Interview Skills Workshop
Nicola Dunnion from LYIT conducted an Interview Skills workshop in the AVS on Friday 9th February. Interviewing may be the most important skill a person will need when looking for a suitable job. They decision to hire someone is based on the interviews. Students looked at CV’s in the workshop and how CV’s may secure you an interview but an interview authenticates your CV. Students learnt very valuable tips and tricks which is a great benefit to them going forward. In addition, they learnt how to present themselves in interviews, how to answer questions properly, they discovered what employers look for in employees and many more tips. The students found the workshop very interesting and enjoyable.

Young Social Innovators (YSI)
A number of our TY students are in the middle of preparing their YSI projects which they will present at the Speak Out competition in Ballybofey on the 27th February. Our students will be hoping to progress from the regional stages of the competition on this day. YSI is Ireland’s largest social awareness and active citizenship and education programme for 15-18 year old teens. Its main goal is to get young people (15-18yrs) involved in action which helps improve the lives of others in their community. YSI involves thousands of young people in Ireland each year in hundreds of projects and social enterprises which are youth-led, team-based and action-focused. Each year, each YSI team is invited to present their project at the YSI Speak Out Regional fora. A national Showcase of Young Social Innovators takes place in May each year where thousands of young social innovators come together and showcase their projects.

 Sport:

Athletics
Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups. Cross country training is on Friday at lunch time.  The Donegal schools cross country final will be held in the coming weeks.

Well done to three of our pupils who qualified for the Ulster Schools Cross Country finals after participating in the E District competition in Necorne Estate, Irvinestown on Wednesday.  Savannah Timoney ran an outstanding race and finished second in the Junior Girl’s competition. Kitty Mc Nulty finished an incredible 6th in a tough intermediate girl’s competition and Oisín Joyce came 11th in the Senior Boys race. Well done to all are athletes who struggled through the wintery conditions to represent the school in the cross country competition. The finals will be held in Mullish playing fields Belfast on Wednesday 21st February. Best of luck to all are athletes in the final!

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 9-11 in the school gym.

Well done to the 1st and 2nd year boys who played Ballina Community School on Friday. They also play St Gerald’s Castlebar in Castlebar on Wednesday the 21st February.

1st and 2nd Year Basketball
Mr Mc Hugh’s team will take on the 1st and 2nd year’s boys’ basketball team in Castlebar Co. Mayo on Wednesday 21st February where the AVS boys’ will play St Gerald’s.

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 the coming weeks.

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

Hurling
U16 hurling training continues Tuesday at lunch time. All Hurlers are welcome.

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. We remind all students that anyone can get involved and it’s good to participate in new activities.

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.

Sports:

Athletics
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.

Hurling
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.

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.

Jujitsu
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

Sports:

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.

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.

Hurling
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.

AVS Notes 19th January 2018

 

Aonad Gaeilge – An Irish Medium Education Initiative
We are delighted to announce that the Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town, under the management of Donegal Education and Training Board are pleased to announce that from September 2018 they are establishing an Aonad Gaeilge within the school. 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 initial commitment by the school will be to offer the curriculum up to the completion of the Junior Cycle with an ongoing review of provision. The subjects offered in the Aonad Gaeilge will include: Gaeilge, Maths, History, Geography, Science, Religion, Physical Education, Civics Social and Political Education and Social Personal and Health Education will come under the new Wellbeing subject in the Aonad. Pupils will integrate with the wider school community for optional subjects, for example Metalwork, Woodwork, Technical Graphics, Music and Art. English and Modern Languages will be taught through the language of the subject.

There will also be a strong emphasis on Irish culture and language through a range of new extra-curricular activities. Ms Geraldine Diver, Principal Abbey VS when speaking on the initiative said ‘I am pleased to be in a position whereby we have the capacity within our staff to respond to the needs of our local community. I am delighted that the staff of the Abbey Vocational School are excited about the delivery of this new venture and we all look forward to embracing the benefits that the promotion and enhancement of our Irish culture will bring to these students and the wider school population’.

Dr Martin Gormley, Director of Schools in Donegal ETB, paid tribute to the management and staff of our school. He said that ‘the commitment and expertise of the staff and management of the Abbey Vocational School to this initiative has resulted in a clear plan for provision and an exciting opportunity for students. The community of parents has indicated a clear need and support for the Aonad and we are now looking forward to delivering on the initiative. Ms Rosanna O Donnell, Irish Department Coordinator, with a team of interested teachers have come forward with a range of exciting ideas for the Aonad.’

The Abbey Vocational School will host an information evening on Wednesday, 31st January at 7pm in the school 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. (www.donegaletb.ie)

 

Open Night

Open Evening Wednesday, 31st January 2017
Our school will be open to the general public from 5pm until 8pm on 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
The Young Americans will be returning to the AVS on the 26th, 27th and 28th January. This is a very exciting event for the students of the AVS and we very much encourage all to take part in this event. This is a confidence building workshop where the aim is to enable the students to use the medium of music to express themselves. Students really enjoy these days and there has always been excellent feedback on this event. We are delighted that to have the Young American back to our school

The Young Americans is a performing arts college which tour around the world inspiring students through music. The Young Americans have Completed 134 international tours and have been a huge hit in the AVS for several years. Students who sign up will participate in dancing, singing and acting in the Bosco Centre. At the end of the 3 days the students will put on a show for the public to showcase what they have been taking part in over the 3 days. Students can register in the school office now.

 

Young American Homestays
Many thanks to all families who are welcoming the Young Americans into their homes for the duration of their stay in Donegal Town. We appreciate your support in accommodating the crew and hope that you will enjoy being part of the experience.

We still require a number of homes for the Young Americans for the duration of their stay here, anyone that is interested in accommodating any of these young people can contact the school on 074 9721105.

Launch of Sportshall Facilities
The launch of the work done on the changing facilities in the AVS Sportshall will be this week. The fundraising committee which consisted of Abbey Hotel, AIB  Donegal Town, Anderson Auctioneers, Begley’s Pharmacy, Blas, Britton Insurance, Credit Union Donegal Town, Donegal Plumbing and Heating, Donegal Ocean Deep Oysters, Friel Meehan Accountants, Gallagher’s Bakery, Gallagher McCartney Solicitors, Glebe Builders, Harvey’s Point Hotel, Herron Auto, InterNETalia, Kelly Group, Laghey Waste Ltd, Magees, Millpark Hotel, North West Alarms, Sandhouse Hotel and Marine Spa, Total Splicing Solution and Vodafone Donegal.

At this event the Sports capital grant plans will be outlined with the rowing club and the next fundraising phase will be launched which is the upgrading of the school Gaelic football pitch. This event will be attended by representatives from all of the local clubs and many past Gaelic football players to note.

Mock Exams
The students have received their Mock Examination Timetables which are available also on the school website. 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.

Leaving Cert Computer Science
The Abbey Vocational School, will introduce Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject in September 2018, one of forty schools in Ireland chosen by the Department of Education and Skills to do so as part of the Government’s overall commitment to embedding digital technology in teaching and learning.

English Well Read Workshops
On Wednesday 17th January, some of our first year students took part in a storytelling and screenwriting workshop with Will Collins and Keith Corcoran. Will has written for a number of films including, ‘Song of the Sea’, ‘My Brothers’, ‘Wolf Wackers’ and ‘The Boy in the Bubble’. Keith is a well-known storyteller shanachie author and is currently working on a new book of stories. This workshop was part of the Schools ongoing “Well Read” initiative.  The ‘Well – Read’ initiative 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. At the AVS we hope to foster an enjoyable reading culture for our students.

 

Big Brother Big Sister
The ‘Big Brother Big Sister’ initiative which was established before the holidays launched this week. ‘Big Brother, Big Sister’ is a mentoring training programme for a selection of Leaving Cert students. The students were paired with their first-year buddies for the year and they will meet every Thursday at lunch time.

Music
Our students are working hard in preparation for their upcoming practical’s and the Open Night.  Well done to Anna Gillow, who sang a solo with the Donegal Abbey Singers this Christmas. A clip of her wonderful performance has received over 7,000 views on Facebook.

Career Guidance

  1. A HEAR & DARE Application Advice Clinic for Leaving Cert students will take place in the Villa Rose, Ballybofey and the Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo on Saturday, 20 January 2018 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. See AccessCollege.ie for further details.
  2. An NUI Galway Information Evening for Leaving Cert students and their parents will be held in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny on Thursday, 18 January 2018 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  3. A very informative Apprenticeship talk took place in the Library on Wednesday, 10 January, presented by the Donegal ETB Apprenticeship Department. Thank you to all of the 5th and 6th year students that attended. Thank you to Lorraine Murray for an excellent presentation.
  4. 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 code.
  5. Ms Mc Morrow & 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.

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 will present a talk to parents on “A guide on third level education’ in the school library on 25th January at 8pm. During this talk parents will get an insight into the people within third level education, the opportunity for students, the different options available to students and the key to success in third level support services.

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.

Defib Awareness and Location App
Thank you to the community for your generous donations as a result this week TY students and staff presented members of the ambulance service with a cheque this week for €1,600 that was raised to provide the community with an outdoor defibrillator for the school. Our Health promoting schools committee have been working on a plan in order to raise awareness in the community of the importance of a defibrillator.  Defibrillators strengthen the Chain of Survival. They can restore a normal heart rhythm in victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Staff have undergone an overview of how to use a defibrillator in case of an emergency. A number of students have attended a certified Cardiac First Responder Training. The training comprised of CPR, Choking, Recovery Position and the use of a defibrillator.

Debate Club
Students in 1st year who were interested in Debate will participate in a workshop at the end of January. A date is yet to be confirmed. Maura Logue will be delivering the workshop on the day.

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.

Healthy Eating Initiative
Our healthy schools committee are commencing work on the development of a survey to distribute to our students and staff to see what healthy options they would like to see served in the school canteen. Our committee believe this is a matter of large importance because healthy eating for adolescents is extremely important.  The school environment is a key setting to address healthy eating, because students spend a large part of their day in school.

Transition Years:

PE Xpo
The TYs are currently working in class on their PE Xpo project which is due at the end of the month. The PE Xpo is a competition that examines the science behind sport. It will take place in the sport facilities of Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun on the 7th March.

John Paul II Awards
Ms Feeney accompanied 20 TY students and one fifth year to Letterkenny on Thursday, 18th January. Mass was held with the Bishop in the Cathedral at 11.30 as part of the John Paul 11 Awards. Aoibhe Timoney and Shaun Meehan read prayers of the faithful and Kieran Byrne carried a gift to the altar. A light lunch was then provided for the students.

 Work experience
The second week of work experience for our TY students will take part on the week of the 14th February.

Mobile Phone and Social Media Talk
On Friday 19th January, Mr Eamonn Mc Cooey, Juvenile Liaison Office with An Garda Síochana visited the AVS to speak with TY students on the safety aspects associated with social media and the relevant laws associated re same. We thank Mr Mc Cooey who has now spoken to the entire student community of the Abbey Vocational School on the following areas – Internet Safety, Mobile Phone Use, Substance Misuse and Road Safety. These talks were very informative and extremely important to our students. Thank you Mr Mc Cooey on behalf of all here in the AVS.

TY Christmas card competition
4B and their Irish teacher Ms Mc Hugh organised an Irish Christmas card competition for all 1st, 2nd and 3rd years before the Christmas holidays. We would like to thank the community, staff and students of the AVS who donated as over €200 was collected which will be presented to St. Vincent de Paul by TY students.

Seó Bothar
The Irish language roadshow will be coming to the AVS on Monday 22nd January. It is an interactive workshop about the Irish language including games, debates and role play. The aim of the workshop is to encourage and empower students to use their Irish more often both inside and outside of school. Students are informed about where they can use Irish and about their language rights. There are stickers, CDs, wristbands and lots of other prizes to win on the day. The Road Show was held in more than 170 schools last year and is expanding all the time. Thank you to Ms Mc Hugh who organised the workshop for TY students.

Personal Presentation workshop
On Tuesday, 23rd January TY students will be taking part in a makeup and personal presentation workshop. Students will be taught new makeup skills and how to present well.

Debating workshop
A debating workshop has been organised for TY students on Wednesday, 31st January. The Debating Workshop is being held in the Library by Maura Logue.

Jujitsu
TY students can take part in beginner Jujitsu classes in DT Fitness. Students will learn self-defense skills in a fun and friendly environment. The classes will take place every Tuesday for 3 weeks.

Sports:

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 Ms Harvey and Ms Carr for their nominations as Best Sports Teachers. Good luck to Mia Mc Calmont as she has been nominated for the best Donegal Sports Girl Award, in recognition for her international achievements this year in the area of athletics.

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 this week but will be rescheduled for next week. 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 also. On the 2nd February our TY students will host a small primary school sports hall 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. Good luck to the senior girls who play away in Mullingar this Saturday in the All Ireland qualifiers.

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

U15 Soccer
Good luck the U15 boys who play St Eunan’s in the Donegal minor league final in Killygordon on Wednesday 24th.

1st year Boys’ Soccer
Good luck to the 1st year boys who play Buncrana in the coming weeks.

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 semi and Dungloe won the toss.

1st year Boys Gaelic
The boys have begun training for the U13’s competition in March. We are delighted also to have county coach Paddy Hegarty visiting the school to do some coaching.

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 U20’s who have progressed to the Ulster stage in their competition. Details of their next game will be available in the coming weeks.

Girls Active
Girls Active started Friday 19th in the Parish Hall. It continues every Friday 3:45- 4:45pm. We will be taking part in Zumba, an activity the girl’s will surely enjoy as it incorporates dance and exercise to various types of music.

Hurling
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.

AVS Notes 12th January 2018

 

Young Americans
The young Americans will be returning to the AVS on the 26th, 27th and 28th of January. This is a very exciting event for the students of the AVS and we very much encourage all to take part in this event. This is a confidence building workshop where the aim is to enable the students to use the medium of music to express themselves. Students really enjoy these days and there has always been excellent feedback on this event. We are delighted that to have the Young American back to our school

The Young Americans is a performing arts college which tour around the world inspiring students through music. The Young Americans have Completed 134 international tours and have been a huge hit in the AVS for several years. Students who sign up will participate in dancing, singing and acting in the Bosco Centre. At the end of the 3 days the students will put on a show for the public to showcase what they have been taking part in over the 3 days. Students can register in the school office now.

Young American Homestays
Many thanks to all families who are welcoming the Young Americans into their homes for the duration of their stay in Donegal Town. Thank you for being part of our welcome team for this the third visit of the Young Americans. We appreciate your support in accommodating the crew and hope that you will enjoy being part of the experience.

We still require a number of  homes for the Young Americans for the duration of their stay here, anyone that is interested in accommodating any of these young people can contact the school on 074 9721105.

Open Night

OPEN EVENING WEDNESDAY, 31ST JANUARY 2017 from 5pm to 8pm
Our school will be open to the general public from 5pm until 8pm.  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.  I hope that the people 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 2017.

We will host an Open Day/Induction day for our incoming 6th class students. Our new Video for incoming 6th class students is now available on the website – we welcome you all to have a look at this!

Junior Cert Profile of Achievement
As part of the Framework for Junior Cycle the reporting process at junior cycle has now culminated in the award of the JCPA to our students who completed their Junior Cert State Exams in June 2017.  The JCPA is a new kind of award. It has replaced the Junior Certificate from 2017. The JCPA was awarded by the school to the students for the first time in December 2017.  Each student received a JCPA. . It reported on student achievement across a broad range of areas of learning in Junior Cycle. The JCPA, alongside other reported arrangements in junior cycle, will offer parents/guardians a clear, broad picture of their child’s learning journey over the three years of junior cycle

Leaving Cert Computer Science
The Abbey Vocational School, will introduce Computer Science as a Leaving Certificate subject in September 2018, one of forty schools in Ireland chosen by the Department of Education and Skills to do so as part of the Government’s overall commitment to embedding digital technology in teaching and learning.

The Abbey VS has recognised the importance of the 21st century learning and taken various measures to develop this area, having developed an E-Learning road map which aims to embed digital technology into teaching and learning practices; it has a very active ICT Committee through which many ICT developmental strategies are progressed; staff have undergone comprehensive training in Google classroom and other Google apps and have been further supported by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) through in school support from one of its past pupils Siobhan O Sullivan, a PDST ICT advisor. A new policy enables students to use their mobile phones as an ICT teaching and learning tool in classes where teachers find it beneficial for them to do so. The curriculum has also been developed with the introduction of Coding as a Short Course for the new Junior Cycle and the creation of an additional computer classroom this year, kitted out with Chromebooks to allow further access to ICT equipment; further trolleys of Chromebooks have also been purchased to enhance accessibility to ICT.

Dr Martin Gormley, Director of Schools with Donegal ETB, congratulated the school management and staff on their foresight in applying and being successful with getting approval to offer Computer Science at Leaving Certificate. Dr Gormley commented, “the addition of Computer Science to the curriculum for the Leaving Certificate in the Abbey VS will build on the existing work in the school with the Coding Initiative at Junior Cycle and will provide the students with an enhanced choice of subjects for their Leaving Certificate. The management and staff are delighted to receive the approval and are already making the necessary plans for the successful introduction of the subject.”

CAT Testing and Academic Tracking
First year students took part In CAT tests this week. These are assessments of reasoning ability can identify where a pupil’s real strengths lie, free from the constraint of the curriculum and unencumbered by learning barriers. The results of these tests from first years and for second years will inform  a tracking system for the school whereby we will have the necessary data to support those who are under performing as well as encourage those students who should be at a certain level of learning.

Mock Exams
The students have received their Mock Examination Timetables which are available also on the School Website. Our Exam students now prepare for these exams which are very important in the overall preparation for the State Exams in June. Note Evening study continues for students and we now have arrangements in place for lunchtime study groups for leaving certs in the library.

Career Guidance

  1. A HEAR & DARE Application Advice Clinic for Leaving Cert students will take place in the Villa Rose, Ballybofey and the Glasshouse Hotel, Sligo on Saturday, 20 January 2018 between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. See AccessCollege.ie for further details.
  2. An NUI Galway Information Evening for Leaving Cert students and their parents will be held in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny on Thursday, 18 January 2018 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.
  3. A very informative Apprenticeship talk took place in the Library on Wednesday, 10 January, presented by the Donegal ETB Apprenticeship Department. Thank you to all of the 5th and 6th year students that attended. Thank you to Lorraine Murray for an excellent presentation.
  4. 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 code.
  5. Ms Mc Morrow & 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.

Sligo IT Talk
Thank you to Corina from Sligo IT who came into talk to our 6th year on Friday. Corina is the student ambassador for Sligo IT. She gave a superb talk on the different course available in Sligo IT and also an insight into the college lifestyle.

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 year.

Talk for Parents on Moving on to College and College Life
LYIT will present a talk to parents on “A guide on third level education’ in the school library on the 25th January at 8pm. During this talk parents will get an insight into the people within third level education, the opportunity for students, the different options available to students and the key to success in third level support services.

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.

Defib Awareness and location App
Our Health promoting schools committee have been working on a plan in order to raise awareness in the community of the importance of a defibrillator.  Defibrillators strengthen the Chain of Survival. They can restore a normal heart rhythm in victims of sudden cardiac arrest. Staff have undergone an overview of how to use a defibrillator in case of an emergency. A number of students have attended a certified Cardiac First Responder Training. The training comprised of CPR, Choking, Recovery position and the use of a Defibrillator.  Before Christmas a number of our students fundraised in Donegal Town, thanks to the generous donations of the public the committee have now been able to order an outdoor defibrillator which will be placed outside on the school grounds in the coming weeks. The final phase of the project will be to develop a mapping system where all the defibrillators in the Donegal Town area can be found with a click of a button.

Couch to 5k
The couch to 5k programme begins on Monday, January the 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.

Healthy Eating Initiative
Our healthy schools committee are commencing work on the development of a survey to distribute to our students and staff to see what healthy options they would like to see served in the school Canteen. Our committee believe this is a pressing matter because healthy eating for adolescents is extremely important.  The school environment is a key setting to address healthy eating, because students spend a large part of their day in school.

PE Xpo
The TYs are currently working in class on their PE Xpo project which is due at the end of the month. The PE Xpo is a competition that examines the science behind sport. It will take place in the sport facilities of Trinity Comprehensive School, Ballymun on the 7th March.

6th Year Geography Trip
Two Leaving Cert geography classes travelled to Bundoran. Here they carried out their Geographical Investigation by observing and measuring coastal erosion landforms, such as; caves, sea cliffs and lines of weakness. The trip was supervised by the class teachers Mr O’Neil and Ms Gallagher, and Rosemary Myers who was a great support. 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.

Motivational Talk
Huge thanks to Jason Quigley, who delivered a motivational talk to our Leaving Cert students. The talk was very engaging and enjoyed by all. It’s a challenging year for our students who are juggling deadlines, career options and impending exams therefore, an inspiring and uplifting presentation should give them a boost to tackle this challenging year. Jason Black will visit the leaving Certs at the end of this month which should help in keeping them on task as well as having a positive perspective on matters in general.

6th Year Business Trip
Leaving Cert Business students attended a trip to the ‘Coca Cola’ Factory on Tuesday 19th December. The factory opens its doors to visitors to share a glimpse into the production, history and marketing of the great products made at our Knockmore Hill plant. We are sure it will be an exciting and enjoyable day with hopefully a few freebies thrown in!

School Tour Abroad
The School Tour abroad takes place from 26th March to 29th March. Students are travelling to Italy.  Thanks to Mr Leyden for all of his work in planning this Tour.

John Paul 11
Ms Feeney will accompany 20 TY students and one fifth year to Letterkenny on Thursday 18th January. Mass will be held with Bishop in Cathedral at 11.30 as part of the John Paul 11 Awards.

Fundraising Events

Defibrillator Fundraising
Thank you to members of the community who supported us in to raising funds in order to purchase a second defibrillator for the school and the community. We are now in a position to purchase this defibrillator which will be placed outdoors beside the track, for emergencies. Thank you to all those who have made this possible,

Gambia Fundraising
Thank you to Alec Reid who works so hard in supporting Gambia fundraising events.

Cancer Fundraising Support and Activities Fundraising
A Christmas themed day before the holidays assisted us with the collection of funds which will go towards the activities fund in the school. Half of this collection was given to a cancer support fundraising event in conjunction with Donegal ETB.  Thank you to all who supported us.

Bluestack Foundations
Thank you to Mr McLoone’s level 2 class who made a presentation to the Bluestack Foundation of 380 euro from the proceeds of their vintage tea party.

Transition Year

Cardiac First Responder Training
On the 11th and 12th January three local paramedics came in to the school and held a Cardiac First Responder Training for the TY students. It was held in the library and groups of 20 did the training throughout the two days. The training comprised of CPR, Choking, Recovery position and the use of a Defibrillator. The students watched a clip to guide them while the paramedics showed them what to do. The students practiced the different ways to save a life using manikins and a defibrillator. The course is certified by the Irish Heart Foundation and the Pre Hospital Emergency Care Council. The students all learned a lot from the training and hopefully someday this training will save a life.

TY Activities
For the next three weeks, the TY activities are as follows:

4A – yoga, 4B – self-defence, 4C – aqua aerobics, 4D – surfing.

The TYs are currently working in class on their sports leadership and also their PE expo project which is due at the end of the month. TY students will be attending the primary schools to coach students in the coming weeks 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 Program.

Good luck to the TY athletic coaches who will be hosting the small primary schools athletics competition on the 2nd February.

TY Chess Competition
All classes in TY took part in a chess competition in the school. TY classes have been practicing chess in their math classes since the start of the year. Class 4A competed against 4B and 4A won the most games therefore, gaining the most points. 4C then played against 4D and 4C won the majority of points. The overall winners of the competition were 4A.

Mini Companies – Christmas Fair
On Thursday the 21st December a Christmas fair was held in the Main Assembly area of the school. It was really enjoyable and you could feel the festive atmosphere in the school. All TY’s had their mini-companies for sale along with some LCA companies. There was a variety of items for sale, such as delicious food, homemade picture frames, Christmas decorations and there were also some games for students to play. Each year group was given a time slot to experience the fair and what it had to offer. It was a lively event for staff and students which created a sense of Christmas spirit! All the students did very well on the day. Prizes were given out on the day the winners were, best costume – David Keeney, Best display LCA cakes, most fun game – pie face and most popular ‘oh crepe’.  Well done to all the students who took part in the fair.

Work experience
The 2nd week of work experience for our TY students will take part on the week of the 14th February.

LYIT Taster day
20 Ty students will travel to Letterkenny for the LYIT taster day. Students will get to experience lectures in nursing, science or computers. The cost for the trip is €8

Debating Workshop
A number of our TY students will take part in a debating workshop on Thursday the 18th January. In this workshop the students learn a variety of debating skills and techniques and will partake in debates on various matters.

Sport

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 Beat Sports Teachers. Good luck to Mia McCalmont our students as she has been nominated for the best Donegal sports girl award, in recognition for her international achievements this year in the area of athletics.

Athletics
Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups. Cross country training is on Friday at lunch time.  Cross country season kicks off this coming week with the team travelling to Gweedore for the Donegal schools final. We have a large team travelling, this will be good preparation for the Ulster schools competition which is happening in the coming weeks.

Our 1st year girls Sportshall Athletics team are training hard for the county final, this takes place on the 1st February in Gweedore also.

Good luck to Mia McCalmont at the Donegal sports star award. She has been nominated for the best Donegal sports girl award, in recognition for her international achievements this year.

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

Our first years had a very busy few weeks in the run up to Christmas.

They participated in a Sportshall Athletics festival and a Rowathon event.

Well done to all students who competed in such an enthusiastic and positive manner. There were some outstanding performances in both event. In the Sportshall Athletics 1D were the overall winners with exceptional performances from Dylan Barrett and Sarah Donovan.

Top 3 classes on the day:

1D – 125 points

1A – 108 points

1C – 91 points

In the Rowathon 1B came out on top on the day. Well done to Emma Kee and Stefan Parajka who were the top rowers in the event. Well done to Sofia Maziri who raised the most money in the fundraiser. Thank you the Tir Chonaill AC, Donegal Bay Rowing club and our TY Sports Leaders who assisted with these events.

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.

The U19 girls will have basketball training this Sunday at 7pm. Good luck to the senior girls who play away in Mullingar next Saturday in the All Ireland qualifiers.

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

U15 soccer
Good luck the U15 boys who play St Eunans in the Donegal minor league final in Killygordon at 11:30 on Monday.

1st year boys’ soccer
Good luck to the 1st year boys who play Buncrana on Tuesday in Buncrana.

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.

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 U20 who have progressed to the Ulster stage in their computation. Details of their next game will be available in the coming week.

Hurling
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.

AVS Notes 15th December 2017

Happy Christmas
We wish all of the members of the school community a very happy Christmas and an enjoyable break and thank you all for your continued support to us here in the Abbey Vocational School throughout the year. We are truly grateful.

JCSA English Deadline
Third year students have completed their Classroom Based Assessments (CBA). “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 was Friday 15th December. Congratulations to all our third year students on their hard work!

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. Good luck to our students completing the task next week!

Wayne Denner Internet Safety
Thank you to Wayne Denner who spoke to staff and students on Thursday 14th December. Wayne set up Ireland’s First Social Network platform in the early nineties. Wayne is a nationally renowned speaker on “Online Reputation, Cyberbullying and Social Media Safety”. This was an excellent talk that reminded students and staff of how to stay safe online and be aware on their own online reputation. Wayne has addressed almost 700 students and our staff over the 3 sessions.

YOUNG AMERICANS
The YOUNG AMERICANS return to the Abbey Vocational School in January 2018. This will be their third time visiting our school and it is a great experience. Registration forms are available in the Assembly at lunchtime this week. TY students were given registration forms on Friday 15th. Can you please fill out the forms and return them as soon as possible.

1st Year Cinema Trip
1st year students enjoyed a trip to Bundoran cinema on Wednesday 13th December. They saw the highly anticipated ‘Wonder’ by R.J Palacio. Thank you to their Year Head Ms Bennett for organising this trip, the tutors: Ms Cunningham, Ms Canning, Ms Dunnion, Ms Plunkett and Ms Murray. In addition, thank you to Louise Campbell, Eilish Mc Neilis, and Lorraine Quinn for accompanying the students on the trip. 

Book Club
Ms Logue started her first year book club this week, the first meeting took place on Tuesday 12th December. Members are welcome to join the club again at lunchtime on Tuesday 19th December. Students have started reading ‘Knights of the Borrowed Dark’ by Dave Rudden. This is the first book in a new series about an orphan boy who discovers he is part of a secret army that protects the world from a race of shadowy monsters. Students can enjoy the text over the Christmas period.

Pilot School
The Abbey Vocational School is delighted to have been selected as a Pilot school for the Leaving Certificate Computer Science course from September 2018. This is a fantastic opportunity for the school.

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

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 Monday 18th December in Bundoran. The trip was rescheduled due to bad weather conditions. 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. 

6th Year Business Trip
Leaving Cert Business students will attend a trip to the ‘Coca Cola’ Factory on Tuesday 19th December. The factory opens its doors to visitors to share a glimpse into the production, history and marketing of the great products made at the Knockmore Hill plant. We are sure it will be an exciting and enjoyable day with hopefully a few freebies thrown in!

Guidance Department
After the Christmas break 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. The Department would like to remind Leaving Cert students that the fee for an online CAO application is currently €45.
There is an online discounted fee of €30 if you apply before 20th January (17:15).

LCA Trip
LCA as part of their enterprise module attended the RDS Christmas markets on Thursday 14th December. They examined the role of sole traders, enjoyed the festive grounds and went ice skating (and didn’t fall!). It was a successful day and was enjoyed by all. 

Music
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. Thank you to all out students who are rehearsing diligently over the last 2 weeks.

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. Thank you to Ms Carr and Ms Doherty for all their hard work in preparing the concerts.

Level 2 Christmas Trip
Six students will visit the Millpark Hotel on Wednesday 20th December for a festive afternoon tea treat.

Healthy schools week
The healthy schools committee will begin to introduce the couch to 5k in the coming weeks. It was a very successful last year.

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

Transition Year:

TY Road Safety Show
The TY car safety and maintenance workshop on 12th December was cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. The workshop was due to be facilitated by Mechanic Michael O’Gorman who invented the MOG car however; it will now be rescheduled to a later date.

Defibrillator Fundraising
A number of our TY students will be helping to raise funds so the school can purchase a defibrillator. This life saving equipment will be placed on the outdoor tracks on the school grounds. The students will be fundraising next Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday in Donegal Town. Any help is appreciated.

TY Chess
Good luck to our TY classes who are competing in the interclass Chess competition on Monday 19th December. 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 Cardiac First Responder Course
The course organized by Mr O’Neill will take place after the Christmas break between the 9th to 12th January (a date is yet to be decided).

TY CSI
On Tuesday 12th December students took part in a CSI workshop over the course of two days. Two men that were previously part of CSI in Ireland and in the Gardaí gave the talk. They started off by explaining what the CSI is, and showed students the different ways to investigate a crime. The first practical thing they did was illustrating how fingerprints are taken by putting black magnetic powder on the fingertips. They demonstrated this then by using their own fingerprints on a page by rolling them in ink. They were also shown how to make a shoe print cast. In addition, the students were presented with different examples of unusual crime scenes. At the end of the day a crime scene was set up in the library and students were given various jobs to solve the crime. They all played their part and figured out the details of how the crime happened. It was very interesting and opened up a whole world of scientific enquiry for the students. All had a great day

Ceili Dancing
All TY classes will participate in Ceili dance lessons after the break. This is being coordinated by Ms Mc Hugh and is instructed by Mr Clement Gallagher.

TY Work Experience
TY students completed their first week of work experience last week. The students went to a variety of business and services around the country. The students really enjoyed their week away. They learnt valuable skills, which they can carry with them in the future. Students now have a better idea of what they do and don’t want to do in the future. Well done to them all on presenting themselves so well during the week. They will complete another term of work experience after the break.

TY Interviews
TY students had their interviews on Wednesday 13th December. The students spoke about their online portfolio and their TY experience so far. The students were well prepared and presented at the interviews, well done to all. Their 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.

Christmas Trip
On Friday 15th December TY students travelled to Sligo where they went ice-skating, shopping and to the cinema. The students really enjoyed their Christmas trip away. They would like to thank the year head Mr Griffin and Ms Rooney for organising the day.

Flower Arranging Workshop
TY students took part in a flower arranging workshop organised by Ms Keeney. During the workshop the students made Christmas flower bouquets. It was a new experience for the students and they enjoyed it immensely.

TY GAA Course
Recently 18 TY students took part in the LGFA course. We would like to thank Elaine Mc Govern who visited the school to provide the GAA course. The students will now begin to prepare a plan for a primary school blitz.

Sports:

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

Girls Basketball
Training continues every Monday and Thursday after school for U16s. 1st and 2nd year girls training continues every Wednesday after school in the school gym.

U19 Boys Basketball

Regional Semi Final
AVS had slow start in the first quarter in which Carrick On Shannon took advantage of and pushed the tempo with some great scores leading to AVS going down by 11 points going into the end of the quarter.

Going into the 2nd quarter, A.V.S switched up their defence and began to get some scores back with some excellent defence from Creegan Alcock and rebounding from Ronan O’Donnell leading to scores from A.V.S guards Eoghan Corley and Darragh Griffin in which the A.V.S pulled the game back & led by one point going into the all-important second half.

The 3rd quarter began and a fired up AVS team took to the court but once again Carrick – on – Shannon pulled some scores back due to some turnovers from AVS leading by 7 points going into the 4th quarter.
The final quarter began with all to play for but once again fatigue led to mistakes and turnovers by the AVS in which Carrick – on – Shannon got easy baskets in transition and ended up going up by 15 points. The match finished in Carrick – on – Shannon’s favour in what was ultimately an out of character performance from the AVS, thus concluding the end of the U19 Season, however this team are a credit to the school and are a serious prospect for the future with all players being underage for next year’s season at U19 Level. Congrats to all players on doing themselves & their school proud.

U16 Boys Basketball

Our U16 boys team will face St Gerards Castlebar in the Regional Semi Final next week in Summerhill College, Sligo and we would like to wish them the best of luck.

Senior Boys Gaelic Football
Senior boys’ Gaelic training is every Tuesday after school at 4pm.

Ladies Gaelic Football
U14, U16 and U20 girls training will continue after school every Tuesday 4-5pm and Fridays from 3:30-4:30pm. All age groups will train together. Please bring runners, a warm top, water and a gum shield. The U14 league will start after Christmas. They will also play Deele Collage and Gairmscoil Chú Uladh.

Boys Soccer
The U17 soccer team was beaten by Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana this week. They came in at half time undeservedly one nil down, having hit the post on two occasions and having had two shots cleared off the line. The second half saw Scoil Mhuire get an early goal and despite a good performance from the Abbey boys they were unable to find a way back into the game. Best for AVS were Wiktor Smus, Loughlan Mulroy and Jordan Jervis.

1st Year Rowathon
The 1st year Rowathon will take place on Monday 18th December. First years will participate in their class groups in the Rowathon. The following is the running order for Monday:

P3 – 10:20        1B
P4- 11:15          1E
P5 – 11:55         1D
P7 – 14:00        1C
P8 – 14:40        1A
P9 – 15:20        1F

Each student will row for 2 mins then, the total class distance is added up when all students have rowed. The class that row the longest distance is the winner. The winner will be announced over the intercom by Tuesday.

 

 

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.

Bebras®
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.

Art
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.

Music
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.

Countdown
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
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.

Sports:

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

Basketball
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.