Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 30th Nov 2020

First Year Drumming Workshop

On Monday the 23rd and Tuesday 24th of November all First Year Students took part in a Drumming Workshop with their Tutor Group in the Parish Hall. This was a great opportunity for the students to experience some new instruments and do some bonding and enjoyable activities together!

Parent Teacher Meetings

In light of the current restrictions on face to face meetings, we are not in a position to facilitate Parent/Teacher Meetings during this time.  Following direction from the DES, our plan is to send out a progress report from all subject teachers to you as parents on VSware on the following dates. The 6th year students have at this point received their progress report. The 3rd year progress reports will be available at the end of next week.

        Short Progress Reports in place of PTMs
Year GroupReleased to parents on 
6th 19th November 
3rd 4th December 
1st 15th January 
5th / TY/ LCA1  29th January 
2nd 11th February 

Career Guidance

  1.  CAO 2021 opened on 05 November.  Leaving Certs can apply during Guidance class with their Guidance Counsellor.
  • HEAR & DARE is now open for applications. This was explained during Guidance class.  The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available to discuss further.
  • UCAS applicants are encouraged to complete all parts of their application ASAP. The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available throughout the week to meet and discuss the application and will support the student throughout the process.
  • 1-1 appointments for Leaving Certs are available throughout the week; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 
  • Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.  The noticeboard has a number of important notices for Leaving Certs.

December Exams

Whole school exams will run during the week of 7th to 11th of December – please see the timetable below. These exams will provide an excellent opportunity for students and parents/guardians to gauge progress.

AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021

The Abbey Vocational School will present AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021. 

This will give our students and staff the chance to showcase their talents while having a bit of fun at the same time. 

The finale will take place on the 29th of January 2021. Everyone who gets involved will be in with a chance to win prizes. On the night there will be Celebrity Judges, Novelty Acts and our final will be streamed online! 

There will be prizes for the best tutor groups, year group and the overall winner of the event. 

The entry fee will be €5 for an individual act or €10 for a group act. 

If you have any enquiries please contact Ms Rooney & Ms Kelly. 

Please sign up by emailing patricerooney@donegaletb.ie by Tuesday 1st of December. Join in and get involved in the fun!

 Leaving Cert Prefects

The Prefects and Leaving Cert Music classes are also working on the Virtual Christmas Concert which will be streamed on the last day of school before the Christmas holidays.  Any student interested in performing, please see any of the music teachers as soon as possible.

 Leaving Cert Evening Study 

The second term of after school study has commenced and will continue until the 18th December. This is currently at full capacity for this term but a third term will commence after Christmas. The form will be distributed in December for this session. It is a great opportunity for students to study in a quiet supervised environment. 

Covid – 19

We would like to thank all our school community for their diligence in adhering to protocols regarding Coronavirus. As we are in Level 5 of the Government’s Plan for Living with Covid – 19 and we would ask everyone to strictly adhere to HSE guidelines regarding social distancing and hand hygiene. 

The AVS are operating an ‘If  Unwell,  Stay  at  Home’ policy. Should a  member  of  our community  experience  any  of  the  symptoms  of  Covid-19  –  Cough, high  temperature,  shortness  of  breath, difficulty  breathing,  that  member  of  our  community must stay at home  and  seek  appropriate medical  intervention.  

School Uniform

Peter’s Man Shop is open daily from 12 to 3 and The Uniform Shop is open on certain days each week. This information does change weekly but up-to-date information is available from 074-9723513. The school fleece is available to buy in both stores and with the weather getting colder it will be a welcome addition to the school uniform for the students. 

Attendance

We have purchased a new app which is user friendly and will make communication of attendance notes from parents / guardians to the school much simpler and easier for all! 

The parent/ guardian can record the explanation for this absence online by using our new school app or their own digital device – computer Ipad etc. Please see https://support.vsware.ie/parent-app-downloading-and-logging-in

for a guide to downloading and installing the VSware app. 

Please ensure that the absence reason is recorded/inputted by the parent/guardian only so that it does not lead to any confusion. 

At the moment we are only recording full day absence on the app. If your son/daughter needs to sign out (eg, for a dental/medical appointment) then they must continue to use the diary for this as is the procedure at the moment where the note is signed by the Deputy Principal and then the student signs out at the office.

Abbey Vocational School Student Council 2020/21

The Student Council has organised the collection of food and care items for Christmas hampers for those in need in our community.  Details of the desirable non-perishable food items – tinned food, jars, packets and care products including wipes, shampoo, soap etc. are on the Student Council Notice Board in the assembly area.

Tristian adding a contribution to the Saint Vincent De Paul trolley!

Please place your contribution in the shopping trolleys in the assembly area any day Monday to Thursday of next week.  The Student Council hopes that all students and staff could contribute at least one food or care item each. Please be sure food has a long sell-by date.  Electrical items, toys, clothes, shoes and blankets will not be collected on this occasion. 

“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”

Pictured are Mikaela O’Connor, Emily Reid & Marc Bennett contributing to a very worthy cause.

Donegal Youth Council Election

A huge congratulations to Transition Year Student Sarah Canny for winning the Donegal Youth Council elections. She will now go on to represent the school on the Donegal Youth Council. This is a huge honour and the whole school is so incredibly proud. Well done Sarah! 

The Donegal Youth Council is a group made up of young people aged 12 to 18 from each of the 26 secondary schools in the County. They address issues and promote projects to improve the lives of young people living in the county. The Council meets monthly. They plan and discuss issues and how they can address them. They also have smaller Regional meetings at which they discuss and work on more regional issues that may not be on the agenda.

Take 1 Programme

Some of our AVS staff recently participated in a training session provided by ETB Ireland focusing on embedding Sustainable Development Goals in Teaching and Learning. The aims of the Sustainable Development Goals are to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. There are 17 SDGs which address the global challenges we face including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. 

Take 1 Week took place from the 23rd – 27th November and involved students learning about the SDGs across various subjects such as SPHE, CSPE and Personal Development. Each student took one SDG each and made a poster encouraging people to tackle that particular SDG. Some examples of students’ work below.


Teaching & Learning: A look at Study Planning

Christmas house-exams are approaching. Shortly after the Christmas holidays, Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Mock Examinations will quickly draw near.

Juggling your classes, homework, and other commitments such as extracurricular activities and sport, managing your time to study can be challenging. An effective way to achieve your own learning goals is to implement a study plan. There are many ways to plan your study, from monthly, weekly or daily timetables, priority lists, and checklists. However, do not get overwhelmed in trying to perfect the ideal plan! One key advantage of a study plan is that it will help you to avoid stress in that you will have a clear plan of what you will be doing each week.

Two useful approaches include:

  1. A Weekly Study Timetable will outline specific times for study and when you need to take time off.
  2. A Subject Planner will provide you with an overview of what is needed in a particular subject.

Weekly Study Timetable

Creating a weekly study timetable is one of the most important things you can do to study effectively. With the aid of a template:

  1. Shade-in times for extracurricular activities such as sport, music lessons, gym etc.
  2. Shade-in the times you really don’t want to study!
  3. Pick the times you will study
  4. Write in the subjects you will study in each available time slot.

There are many templates and even apps available online, however, we have placed an editable MS Word Version on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website for handiness. A link is also available on the digital version of this week’s newsletter. 

Subject Planner

The subject planner will contain a list of all the topics in that subject and will provide you with a broad outline of what needs to be done. Your teacher may provide this list and in some subjects, the chapters of your textbook are also useful. Alternatively, many of the exam papers contain ready-made topic lists. You might also add a column in your plan to rate the difficulty of each topic in order to identify topics requiring further revision. Once again, we have placed an MS Word template on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website. (www.avsdonegal.com)

Some further points to note:

  1. Creating a lovely colour-coded plan in an Excel spreadsheet or MS Word document is all well and good, but if you can’t see it on a daily basis, it can easily start to slip your mind. Either write or print it out and stick it up on the wall at home or around your desk to remind you what you are due to cover each week.
  2. Discover what works for you. Keep your plan flexible. If you have scheduled an hour of study at 8 pm every evening but find you are not being productive, then make a change. For example, try getting up an hour earlier to see if morning-study works better for you.
  3. Break subjects/topics down into small chunks. Assess how familiar you are with each topic and focus on your weak areas.
  4. Wellbeing: It is important to take regular breaks when you are studying to ensure you don’t burn out. Include 5- or 10-minute breaks in your study plan; It is also important to make time for the things you like to do such as meeting with friends, going for walks, running, cycling, etc. Ultimately, this will better prepare you mentally to achieve your study goals. Well-balanced meals and adequate sleep are also vital.….. And finally, don’t get disheartened if you break the timetable! Forget about it and focus on the plan for the following day.

Teaching and Learning: A look at Study Planning Apps

In addition to our Study Plan templates referred to in last week’s newsletter, many student study planning apps are becoming increasingly popular.

As well as saving on paper, many student planner apps also send reminders and alerts straight to your phone or device. Three such apps include ‘Timetable’, “iStudiez” and ‘Todoist’

‘Timetable’ is an intuitive app on Google Play for managing your study planning. Students can save their timetable and all tasks from homework to exams. You only need to enter them once because Timetable syncs across all your Android devices. 

iStudiez allows students not only to create a study timetable but also tracking of daily tasks, upcoming homework assignments and project deadlines. It is available for iOS, Android and Windows platforms.

Todoist is a planner and to-do list all in one, and is widely used by business executives as a project planner, Todoist is an app that can carry you through school and beyond.

Although you can pay to upgrade, the free version offers more than most students are likely to need. Todoist includes several student friendly features:

  • Jot down important details or things to do before you forget them
  • Set up projects for each class and any other activities or extracurricular activities you partake in. 
  • Add “next action” items, so you can always be looking ahead to your next assignment
  •  Check items off your list without losing them for good

Music

Preparations for our next virtual choir Christmas song featuring students and staff are now underway. Students are busy submitting their parts to the Virtual Choir Google Classroom. The deadline for submitting your video is Wednesday 2nd December. Please see Ms. Bogle if you would like to get involved.

Preparations are also underway for our Virtual Christmas Event – A Christmas Light which will replace our usual Carol Service. 

Students who are interested in performing on the Diamond this year on the first Saturday in December as part of the Business Focus Groups weekend of music and celebration, please go to Ms. Carr or see Madeleine Begley in Begley’s Pharmacy as soon as possible as places are almost full at this stage.  This is a great opportunity to showcase your talents – solos, upcoming bands.  There will be a full PA (Sound system), piano and marquee provided.

Coirnéal na Gaeilge

I mbliana, tá an scoil ag glacadh páirte i mBliain na Gaeilge atá á reachtáil ag Bord Oideachais agus Oiliúna Éireann. Tá coiste curtha le chéile sa scoil againn, le daltaí ó gach rang idirbhliana. Go dtí seo, ghlac daltaí idirbhliana páirt i dtráth na gceist le Feachtas agus a d’eagraigh An Máistir Mac Pháidín. Tá tús curtha le nuachtlitir Ghaeilge agus tá go leor á phleanáil don chuid eile den bhliain fosta. 

Mar a deir an seanfhocal: ‘Beatha teanga í a labhairt’ ☘️

Na srianta Covid 19 sa scoil:

Bainimid úsáid as maisc agus fainimid dhá mhéadar óna chéile. Ag am sosa agus am lóin, téann gach duine go dtí a mbunsheomraí. Tá córas aon-treorach i bhfeidhm sa scoil freisin. Faigheann gach duine aer úr ag amanna difriúla i rith an lae freisin. Caithfimid a bheith airdeallach san am i láthair – ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’.

The AVS Cookbook

In the coming weeks we are hoping to design and publish the AVS Cookbook, just in time for Christmas as that extra little stocking filler! We want to gather as many recipes as possible from students, parents, staff and past students, as well as some favourites from local chefs. 

If you have a delicious recipe you want to share please contact Ms.Mulhern for more information on this exciting project. 

TRANSITION YEAR

Influence of Social Media Talk in the Parish Hall

On Wednesday the 25th of November all of our TY students attended a Social Media Workshop in the Parish Hall with Breda Canning. Breda is a personal trainer and an influencer. The workshop focused on the issue of social media having a detrimental impact on people’s mental health and body image. Breda spoke about her personal experience with fat shaming and body dysmorphia. Celebrities/influencers tend to display the filtered version of their lives on social media so Breda suggested that we unfollow anyone on social media that makes us feel insecure about our looks. She also showed various videos on topics such as fat shaming and the power influencers have over their audience. It was a very insightful workshop that ensured students understand that social media sets unrealistic beauty standards and that we should love and accept ourselves the way we are. 

Zumba Workshop

This week Transition Year Students enjoyed the exhilarating & inclusive Zumba Workshop with Ms Kelly in the Parish Hall. Zumba is an aerobic fitness programme featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance and performed primarily to Latin American dance music. It is a great way to keep fit and healthy and there was a fantastic uptake on the initiative – well done to all students involved! 

 Cycling Workshop

  ‘On Monday the 23rd of November our class, 4B, took part in a cycling workshop which took place in the tennis courts outside of our school. We first met the Instructors and we were given a bicycle and safety helmet. We made sure our helmets fitted us correctly by tightening and loosening the straps of the helmet. The Instructor advised us to make sure the bike worked to the best of its ability by checking the brakes, tyre pressure and seat level. We then were taught how to fully stop at stop signs and the hand gestures needed when making a turn on a road. The workshop was excellent as we played a variety of games like a slow bike race, it was great fun!’ Ciara Gllespie Cassidy. Transition Year 4B enjoying the Cycling Workshop on Tuesday.

Amplify in association with Foroige

Transition Year Students took part in the Amplify Workshop this week. Amplify is part of Youth Work Ireland and is the largest youth organisation in Ireland. The organisation is made up of 21 Local Member Youth Services and support members to deliver an Integrated Youth Services Model to young people and this means that young people around Ireland can avail of a whole range of services and supports if and when they need them.

The organisation have developed highly innovative services, supports and programmes for young people between the ages of 10-25 years, including mental health supports, resilience building, anxiety programmes, drug and alcohol supports, LGBT+ youth work, club development, employability programmes, counselling services, rural outreach and fun safe spaces for young people to gather. 

Aware Workshop

This week was the last week of the Aware Workshop in the Parish Hall for TYA. The objectives of the workshop was to inform and educate the students on the topic of depression. To provide emotional and practical support to those affected by depression, bipolar and related disorders. To provide positive mental health and resilience training, and to support research into the development and treatment of depression and related issues.

Aware was founded in 1985 by Dr. Patrick McKeon with a small but dedicated team of volunteers, many of whom had their own personal experience with depression, or bipolar disorder. The organisation developed in response to the clear need for information, understanding and support, both for individuals who had a diagnosis of depression or bipolar as well as family members supporting a loved one. Since then, what began as one support group in Dublin has grown and flourished to become a nationwide presence which has saved many lives and has, for countless others, eased the suffering and distress that depression can bring. 

The Interactive workshop aimed at educating and empowering the AVS Students to look after their mental health and is an integral part of Aware’s work. 

TY School Digital Champion

The Programme aims to promote digital adoption and encourage the productive use of technology by students. Our school has selected a team of 5 students to act as leaders/role models in completing a project showing how technology can be used to find a solution to day to day problems. 

Sarah Donovan, Odhran Gallagher, Matthew McGroary, Matthew Byrne and Eoin Meehan have been selected from AVS. The students can look forward to training and workshops on video editing, web design, coding and App design, as well as on communications and presentation skills. Also included are workshops on coding with microbits and an introduction to infographics. We look forward to seeing this project develop over the next few months. Many thanks to Mr. O’Mahony on facilitating this project going forward.


SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

Students  in  the  Junior  years  who  remain  on  the  premises  at  lunchtime  in  addition  to  their  walks will have the activities at lunchtime. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

Our activities programme will run for all junior years from Tuesday, 29th September. All activities will be non-contact and follow current guidelines. Our main priority is the health and safety of everyone involved. 

  • Activities will last 20 minutes in total.
  • Monday to Thursday: 1.02pm – 1.22pm
  • Friday: 12:24pm – 12.44pm

This allows for students to have 10 minutes to eat at the beginning of lunchtime in their base room and 10 minutes at the end of lunch to return to their base room and get organised for the next lesson.

We have tried as much as possible to assign students to their chosen activity. However, due to guidelines and limitations for space, students will not get all their choices straight away.

All other students will have the opportunity to go outside and walk during this time with their base room teacher. Each base room has a list of where students are to go each day.

Please note, students can participate in all activities in their school uniform but are advised to wear/bring appropriate footwear. 

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!


Covid-19, Lockdowns, zero Christmas Markets and Craft Fairs weren’t enough to stall our enterprising 2020 Transition Year students!

They have been busy creating products.

Welcome to our virtual Xmas market. Browse the following pages and see if anything catches your eye


Clean Green is a sustainable and cruelty-free handmade soap business

We are selling high quality scented soaps for €4 each or 3 for €10

A third of our profits will also be going to a local charity –  Animals In Need 

Contact info: @CleanGreenSoaps on Instagram 

Or 

email AV2017.20251@donegaletb.net


Gone Haywire

We make handmade framed Wire Art with designs such as

  • Silhouettes
  • Flowers 
  • Symbols i.e coffee cups 
  • Words and/or phrases

 All are decorated with elements of nature, watercolour and other materials

We are raising awareness of climate change through our designs. We are giving a % of our profits to a non-profitable organisation called “Start the Wave” focused on creating positive waves in communities all over the world who are in need.

For more information Contact: av2017.20153@donegaletb.net

Large Frames : €22.00            Small Frames : €15.00



Irish Tweedscapes

 Irish Tweedscapes specialises in unique hand – crafted Magee Tweed frames, capturing the heritage of our country. 

Price- €15

For more information or to place an order contact me through my email address: AV2017.20232@donegaletb.net — 

Calm Bam

The BAM that Calms

€3 for one unit 

Two units for €5

No one likes stress do they? Unless you’re rare.

“Calm Bam” is a panic or stress reliever. 

It is made up of essential calming oils such as: rosemary, chamomile and lemon. You apply this balm to your pressure points – wrist, neck, under your nose.Calm Bam” contains: Sweet almond, coconut oils blended with chamomile, rosemary, lavender and geranium essential oils and beeswax pellets.

Contact: AV2017.20189@donegaletb.net for further information  


G&C Sweets are selling small paper bags filled with sweets and chocolat

They are the perfect stocking filler or treat for everyone

€2 each

Contact us through Instagram; @gandcsweets 


Hello my name is Enda McGready and my company is called “Pretty Plaques.”

I make high quality wooden plaques that are customisable and environmentally friendly 

Only €15 a plaque

Here is a sample product:-


Contact: AV2017.20226@donegaletb.net




False eyelashes in multiple styles. All packages put together by hand. Lashes range from natural to as big and fluffy as you’d like. They come in a goody bag with sweets and accessories 🙂

€5 per pack 

Contact us: 



Bree’s Homemade Creations 

Made By Bree Hanna 


For my mini company I am making handmade personalised decorations and gifts

  • Personalised hanging ornaments – €5 each or 5 for €20
  • Let it Snow hanging ornaments – €4
  • Oh Holy Night or ant personalised picture – €12

Snowman, small €3 big €5

Santa’s €3.50 each 

Reindeer €12

Log €10

Log with candles €15

To order contact Emma Meehan TYA

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 23rd Nov 2020

16/11/2020 to 22/11/2020


Donegal Youth Council Elections

Congratulations to all our students who took part in the Donegal Youth Council Elections pictured with outgoing representative Frank Duffy and Deputy Principal Michael Leyden.

AVS Art Competition Winners 2020

Congratulations to Abbey Vocational School Students Gabriella Irwin and Aimee Hughes who were winners in the AVS Art competition aimed at promoting good hygiene in the school during the covid pandemic. Presenting Gabriella Irwin and Aimee Hughes with their prizes, Deputy Principal Ms Mohan.

Leaving Cert Virtual Motivational Talk with Shane Martin

On Wednesday the 18th of November Sixth Year Students enjoyed a motivational talk given by Shane Martin. Shane Martin is a psychologist dedicated to teaching the very best evidence-based psychology to help people protect their mental health and enhance the quality of their lives. Shane has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences on a range of topics around wellbeing, positive mental health, 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. In February 2017 Shane addressed the Oireachtas (Irish parliament) Joint Committee on Education and Skills on the important topic of Positive Mental Health in Schools. His focus was on how schools can cultivate a culture of resilience. As a former teacher he promotes realistic evidence-based interventions that can foster better mental health within whole school communities.  He has been engaged by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST), the Irish Primary Principals’ Network and the Centre for School Leadership. The AVS Students appreciated the valuable advice that Shane Martin embraced and enjoyed the motivational talk immensely.


Parent Teacher Meetings:

In light of the current restrictions on face to face meetings, we are not in a position to facilitate Parent/Teacher Meetings during this time.  Following direction from the DES, our plan is to send out a progress report from all subject teachers to you as parents on VSware on the following dates. The 6th year students have at this point received their progress report. 

                                        Short Progress Reports in place of PTMs
Year GroupReleased to parents on 
6th 19th November 
3rd 4th December 
1st 15th January 
5th / TY/ LCA1  29th January 
2nd 11th February 

Career Guidance

  • CAO 2021 opened on Thursday, 05 November.  Leaving Certs can apply during Guidance class with their Guidance Counsellor.
  • UCAS applicants are encouraged to complete all parts of their application ASAP. The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available throughout the week to meet and discuss the application and will support the student throughout the process.
  • 1-1 appointments for Leaving Certs are available throughout the week; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 
  • Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.  The noticeboard has a number of important notices for Leaving Certs.

School Closure Day

Just a reminder to all that the school will be closed to students on Friday November 27th as part of the school calendar year.  


December Exams

Whole school exams will run during the week of 7th to 11th of December – please see the timetable below. These exams will provide an excellent opportunity for students and parents/guardians to gauge progress.


WELLBEING

Respect Box

The Abbey Vocational School is dedicated to the holistic development of students in a caring environment where tolerance and respect are nurtured and valued.

With this in mind, Clara Bustard and Eva Jichi created the AVS Respect Box. Students can anonymously fill out a referral sheet and place it in the Respect Box to report incidents of when they have witnessed, either in person or online, students not showing respect. Respect is a very important foundational factor in the development and maintenance of a healthy learning environment. It is respect that opens space for the development of trust and learning. 


Respect Week and Stand Up Awareness Week

This week the Abbey Vocational School held Respect Week which focused on Anti-Bullying and coincided with Stand Up Awareness week. During SPHE, Wellbeing and Personal Development classes, students looked at the definition of Respect and why it is so important to be respectful to everyone.

Stand Up Awareness Week is an opportunity for us to look at how we can make our schools safe and supportive places for LGBTI+ students. Our students were shocked to learn the statistics that one in five young LGBTI+ people face bullying, and that 73% of young LGBTI+ students feel unsafe at school. As an activity to show our respect for everyone, students designed Pride T-shirts to promote the rights of the LGBT community. This campaign also linked to and saw the introduction of embedding the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in teaching and learning here at the AVS. Activities throughout the week served to shed a light on SDGs 5 ‘Gender Equality’ and 10 ‘Reduced Inequalities’. We look forward to continuing to embed the SDGs in education next week, as we roll out ‘Take 1 Week’. Students will be learning about the 17 different SDGs in their SPHE, Wellbeing and Personal Development classes – read more about this below.

Mental Health Ireland Art Competition 2020

This week we showcase the amazing talent of the AVS transition year entries for the Mental Health Ireland Art competition!

The Mental Health Ireland Art & Photography Competition invites young people to explore and express their creative talents while encouraging students, teachers and parents to open up the mental health dialogue and encourage mental health championing.

2020 has been a turbulent time for many of our young people. They have faced new challenges and continue to grow up in a reality very different to the one they were prepared for at the start of the year.

The theme of the 2020/21 Art and Photography competition is ‘Reflecting on How I’ve Grown’ – in the face of the uncertainties and challenges of the year.

This year, the art competition has invited students to express themselves in their chosen form and are opening up the Art category to include graphic design, cartoons and comic strips, paintings and drawings. Good Luck to all the wonderful talent at the AVS!

AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021

The Abbey Vocational School will present AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021. 

This will give our students and staff the chance to showcase their talents while having a bit of fun at the same time. 

The finale will take place on the 29th of January 2021 and will be broadcast to all our school community. 

Everyone who gets involved will be in with a chance to win many prizes. On the night there will be Celebrity Judges, Novelty Acts and our final will be streamed online! 

There will be prizes for the best tutor groups, year group and the overall winner of the event. 

The entry fee will be €5 for an individual act or €10 for a group act. 

If you have any enquiries please contact Ms Rooney & Ms Kelly. 

Please sign up by emailing patricerooney@donegaletb.ie by Tuesday 1st of December. Join in and get involved in the fun! 

Leaving Cert Prefect 

The Prefects and Leaving Cert Music classes are also working on the Virtual Christmas Concert which will be streamed on the last day of school before the Christmas holidays.  Any student interested in performing, please see any of the music teachers as soon as possible.



Positive Wellbeing In The Community

Positive Points Initiative

Leading classes for positive points in November are 1A in first year and in second year 2C and 2G are joint leaders.  There will be a class reward for the monthly winners!

A small number of students have accumulated five individual points. Their year heads have sent a postcard home to their families acknowledging the schools appreciation of their achievement! Congratulations everyone!


Leaving Cert Evening Study 

The second term of after school study has commenced and will continue until the 18th December. This is currently at full capacity for this term but a third term will commence after Christmas. The form will be distributed in December for this session. It is a great opportunity for students to study in a quiet supervised environment. 


Covid – 19

We would like to thank all our school community for their diligence in adhering to protocols regarding Coronavirus. As we are in Level 5 of the Government’s Plan for Living with Covid – 19 and we would ask everyone to strictly adhere to HSE guidelines regarding social distancing and hand hygiene. 

The AVS are operating an ‘If  Unwell,  Stay  at  Home’ policy. Should a  member  of  our community  experience  any  of  the  symptoms  of  Covid-19  –  Cough, high  temperature,  shortness  of  breath, difficulty  breathing,  that  member  of  our  community must stay at home  and  seek  appropriate medical  intervention.  

School Uniform:

Peter’s Man Shop is open daily from 12 to 3 and The Uniform Shop is open on certain days each week. This information does change weekly but up-to-date information is available from 074-9723513. The school fleece is available to buy in both stores and with the weather getting colder it will be a welcome addition to the school uniform for the students. 

Attendance

We have purchased a new app which is user friendly and will make communication of attendance notes from parents / guardians to the school much simpler and easier for all! 

The parent/ guardian can record the explanation for this absence online by using our new school app or their own digital device – computer Ipad etc. Please see https://support.vsware.ie/parent-app-downloading-and-logging-in for a guide to downloading and installing the VSware app

Please ensure that the absence reason is recorded/inputted by the parent/guardian only so that it does not lead to any confusion. 

At the moment we are only recording full day absence on the app. If your son/daughter needs to sign out (e.g., for a dental/medical appointment) then they must continue to use the diary for this as is the procedure at the moment where the note is signed by the Deputy Principal and then the student signs out at the office.

 Abbey Vocational School Student Council 2020/21

The Student Council has organised the collection of food and care items for Christmas hampers for those in need in our community.  Details of the desirable non-perishable food items – tinned food, jars, packets and care products including wipes, shampoo, soap etc. are on the Student Council Notice Board in the assembly area. 

Please place your contribution in the shopping trolleys in the assembly area any day Monday to Thursday of next week.  The Student Council hopes that all students and staff could contribute at least one food or care item each. Please be sure food has a long sell-by date.  Electrical items, toys, clothes, shoes and blankets will not be collected on this occasion. 

“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”


Donegal Youth Council Election

On Thursday, Head Boy and outgoing AVS member of the DYC, Frank Duffy, addressed the school on the intercom to introduce the 5 candidates for the election of the AVS representative on the Donegal Youth Council.

He also outlined his role on the Donegal Youth Council. Two years ago he was nominated in the school election to be the AVS representative on the DYC. His 2 year term is now complete and the election for our new member took place online on Friday.

The Donegal Youth Council works to represent the voices of young people in Donegal and aims to raise topics of importance for the youth of the county on a local and national level. It is also the consultative body between young people, schools and other organisations.

During his term some of the projects that we were involved in included the HPV vaccine campaign, Health promotion and contact tracing support, LGBTQ+ issues, a community action alcohol project, seatbelt safety and Donegal Rally safety promotion and voicing the views of young people at Dail na n’Óg.  Our committee was awarded the Garda Youth Award for 2020

The candidates for election for the 2020 to 2022 position on the DYC are:

GABRIELLA JOSE IRWIN 2ND YEAR, EADAOIN MURPHY 3RD YEAR, KIAN O DONNELL TY, SARAH CANNY TY, JACK MYERS 5TH YEAR. 

Each candidate ran a short but effective campaign.  They introduced themselves in their school address on Thursday and outlined their manifesto.  Congratulations to all five who are committed to working on behalf of the students of our school and young people of Donegal.

Election took place online on Friday and we will know the results early next week.



Great Reads Award 

This year students from the Abbey Vocational School will participate in the ‘Great Reads Award (GRA)’. The ‘Great Reads Award’ is an award judged by students for debut writing for Young Adults. Presented by the School Library Association in the Republic of Ireland and short listed by librarians and teacher-librarians. The short list titles offer a range of reading levels and interests, by authors from a variety of backgrounds, including an Irish language title for which a glossary is available.

 Take 1 Programme

Some of our AVS staff recently participated in a training session provided by ETB Ireland focusing on embedding Sustainable Development Goals in Teaching and Learning. The aims of the Sustainable Development Goals are to achieve a better and more sustainable future for all. There are 17 SDGs which address the global challenges we face including poverty, inequality, climate change, environmental degradation, peace and justice. 

Take 1 Week will take place from the 23rd – 27th November and will involve students learning about the Sustainable Development Goals across various subjects. We look forward to showcasing some of this work next week!


TEACHING & LEARNING

A look at Study Planning

Christmas house-exams are approaching. Shortly after the Christmas holidays, Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Mock Examinations will quickly draw near.

Juggling your classes, homework, and other commitments such as extracurricular activities and sport, managing your time to study can be challenging. An effective way to achieve your own learning goals to implement a study plan. There are many ways to plan your study, from monthly to weekly to daily timetables, priority lists, and checklists. However, do not get overwhelmed in trying to perfect the ideal plan! One key advantage of a study plan is that it will help you to avoid stress in that you will have a clear plan of what you will be doing each week.

Two useful approaches include:

  1. A Weekly Study Timetable will outline specific times for study and when you need to take time off.
  2. A Subject Planner will provide you with an overview of what is needed in a particular subject.

Weekly Study Timetable

Creating a weekly study timetable is one of the most important things you can do to study effectively. With the aid of a template:

  1. Shade-in times for extracurricular activities such as sport, music lessons, gym etc.
  2. Shade-in the times you really don’t want to study!
  3. Pick the times you will study
  4. Write in the subjects you will study in each available time slot.

There are many templates and even apps available online, however, we have placed an editable MS Word Version on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website for handiness. A link is also available on the digital version of this week’s newsletter. 

Subject Planner

The subject planner will contain a list of all the topics in that subject and will provide you with a broad outline of what needs to be done. Your teacher may provide this list and in some subjects, the chapters of your textbook are also useful. Alternatively, many of the exam papers contain ready-made topic lists. You might also add a column in your plan to rate the difficulty of each topic in order to identify topics requiring further revision. Once again, we have placed an MS Word template on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website. (www.avsdonegal.com)

Some further points to note:

  1. Creating a lovely colour-coded plan in an Excel spreadsheet or MS Word document is all well and good, but if you can’t see it on a daily basis, it can easily start to slip your mind. Either write or print it out and stick it up on the wall at home or around your desk to remind you what you are due to cover each week.
  2. Discover what works for you. Keep your plan flexible. If you have scheduled an hour of study at 8 pm every evening but find you are not being productive, then make a change. For example, try getting up an hour earlier to see if morning-study works better for you.
  3. Break subjects/topics down into small chunks. Assess how familiar you are with each topic and focus on your weak areas.
  4. Wellbeing: It is important to take regular breaks when you are studying to ensure you don’t burn out. Include 5- or 10-minute breaks in your study plan; It is also important to make time for the things you like to do such as meeting with friends, going for walks, running, cycling, etc. Ultimately, this will better prepare you mentally to achieve your study goals. Well-balanced meals and adequate sleep are also vital.….. And finally, don’t get disheartened if you break the timetable! Forget about it and focus on the plan for the following day.

A look at Study Planning Apps

In addition to our Study Plan templates referred to in last week’s newsletter, many student study planning apps are becoming increasingly popular.

As well as saving on paper, many student planner apps also send reminders and alerts straight to your phone or device. Three such apps include ‘Timetable’, “iStudiez” and ‘Todoist’

‘Timetable’ is an intuitive app on Google Play for managing your study planning. Students can save their timetable and all tasks from homework to exams. You only need to enter them once because Timetable syncs across all your Android devices. 

iStudiez allows students not only to create a study timetable but also tracking of daily tasks, upcoming homework assignments and project deadlines. It is available for iOS, Android and Windows platforms.

Todoist is a planner and to-do list all in one, and is widely used by business executives as a project planner, Todoist is an app that can carry you through school and beyond.

Although you can pay to upgrade, the free version offers more than most students are likely to need. Todoist includes several student friendly features:

  • Jot down important details or things to do before you forget them
  • Set up projects for each class and any other activities or extracurricular activities you partake in. 
  • Add “next action” items, so you can always be looking ahead to your next assignment
  •  Check items off your list without losing them for good

Music

On Friday evening, our very first school Virtual Choir video, a choral version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ was released on our social media platforms. The project was undertaken in association with MAPA (Music and Performing Arts) students and staff at North West Regional College, Derry. Students from each year group have been busy in the past few weeks recording their choir lines from home which were taken by Ms Bogle to the studio to mix and master. It has been a wonderful experience to follow Ms Bogle’s recordings, record our voices and be part of this project. 

Preparation for our next virtual choir Christmas song featuring students and staff will begin next week. Please see Ms. Bogle if you would like to get involved.

Preparations are also underway for our Virtual Christmas Event – A Christmas Light which will replace our usual Carol Service. 

Students who are interested in performing on the Diamond this year on the first Saturday in December as part of the Business Focus Groups weekend of music and celebration, please go to Ms. Carr or see Madeleine Begley in Begley’s Pharmacy as soon as possible as places are almost full at this stage.  This is a great opportunity to showcase your talents – solos, upcoming bands.  There will be a full PA (Sound system), piano and marquee provided.

L2 Physical Education

Our Junior Cycle L2 Physical Education class recently enjoyed integrating technology into their triathlon lesson. Students used a stationary bike (fundraised by parents a number of years ago for students) to cycle around different parts of the world. Mr. O’Mahony, their PE teacher, projected point of view cycling tours from venues such as Venice beach, California and Lake Garda in Italy. 

 Coirnéal na Gaeilge

I mbliana, tá an scoil ag glacadh páirte i mBliain na Gaeilge atá á reachtáil ag Bord Oideachais agus Oiliúna Éireann. Tá coiste curtha le chéile sa scoil againn, le daltaí ó gach rang idirbhliana. Go dtí seo, ghlac daltaí idirbhliana páirt i dtráth na gceist le Feachtas agus a d’eagraigh An Máistir Mac Pháidín. Tá tús curtha le nuachtlitir Ghaeilge agus tá go leor á phleanáil don chuid eile den bhliain fosta. 

Mar a deir an seanfhocal: ‘Beatha teanga í a labhairt’ ☘️

Na srianta Covid 19 sa scoil:

Bainimid úsáid as maisc agus fainimid dhá mhéadar óna chéile. Ag am sosa agus am lóin, téann gach duine go dtí a mbunsheomraí. Tá córas aon-treorach i bhfeidhm sa scoil freisin. Faigheann gach duine aer úr ag amanna difriúla i rith an lae freisin. Caithfimid a bheith airdeallach san am i láthair – ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’.

Físeán a chur le chéile

Faoi láthair tá coiste na Gaeilge ag obair le físeán a chur le chéile le saol na scoile a thaispeáint i nGairmscoil na Mainistreach. Tá tús curtha ag an choiste leis an fhíseáin agus anois tá siad ag iarraidh ar dhaltaí difriúla páirt a ghlacadh san fhíseáin. Beidh cruinniú ag an choiste arís ag tús na seachtaine seo (23-27 Samhain) le dréachtphlean sonrach a chur le chéile. Beidh an coiste ag cur an t-eolas a fuair siad sna ranganna físléiriú (video production) chun tairbhe agus iad ag yabhairt faoin dúshlán seo. Beidh an físeán seo á chur chun tosaigh acu mar pháirt den chomórtas ‘Spraoi le Scannáin’ atá a reachtáil ag BOOÉ (ETBI) mar pháirt de bhliain na Gaeilge.

The AVS Cookbook

In the coming weeks we are hoping to design and publish the AVS Cookbook, just in time for Christmas as that extra little stocking filler! We want to gather as many recipes as possible from students, parents, staff and past students, as well as some favourites from local chefs. 

If you have a delicious recipe you want to share please contact Ms.Mulhern for more information on this exciting project. 

1st Year Drumming Workshop

On Monday 23 and 24th November all first year students will be taking in a drumming workshop with their tutor group in the Parish Hall. This will be a great opportunity for the students to experience some new instruments and do some relaxing and enjoyable activities together!

TRANSITION YEAR

Sign Language Peer Teaching

As part of the TY ‘New Skills’ Module, Skye Murrin and Bree Hanna have begun teaching AVS Students sign language with the aid of Shazya Safi.

Zumba Workshop

This week Transition Year Students enjoyed the exhilarating & inclusive Zumba Workshop with Ms Kelly in the Parish Hall. Zumba is an aerobic fitness programme featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance and performed primarily to Latin American dance music. It is a great way to keep fit and healthy and there was a fantastic uptake on the initiative – well done to all students involved! .

Personal Presentation and Make up Master Class Workshop

Transition Year Students from TYB were treated to a Personal Presentation and Makeup Master Class in the Parish Hall. Manager of the Marine Spa Karla Lacey treated Students to a master class in makeup, skincare and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. ‘On Friday the 20th of November, the girls of our class (4B) took part in a self-presentation/makeup workshop. We first met Karla Lacey who talked us through the importance of maintaining a good skincare routine and the benefits of skincare. She then gave us a lesson on proper techniques to achieve balanced and good makeup looks. She taught us how to apply eyeshadow in the correct way, eyebrows and base makeup. She helped each of us individually with our own makeup struggles. I really enjoyed this workshop and would love to partake again’.

Ciara Gillespie-Cassidy

Transition Year Students were educated on the benefits of a healthy eating and fitness regime, drinking lots of water and on prepping the skin. Students gained invaluable tips and information and were treated to a step by step guide on how to apply foundation, eye shadow, lipstick and blush. Online Wellbeing workshop

On Monday The 16th of November Transition Year students engaged in an Online Wellbeing Workshop with Mr Evan Costigan. The workshop was invaluable for our students as they were tutored in the practical strategies which will help their memory and studying for exams. Students were also introduced to and encouraged to use structured study timetables in order to be organised moving forward in the future.

Musical Call-backs

This week over twenty students attended call-backs for the Abbey Vocational School’s Production of the Transition Year Musical. Congratulations to all! It has proven to be a challenge to cast the show parts due to the excellent talent amongst the boys and girls and the keen, strong efforts being made for auditions. There will be another round of Lead Auditions where some of the twenty have been invited to do a detailed audition where they will sing a song from the show and read a script. Best wishes to all!. Thank you to our director Rachel O’Connor, musical director Mrs. Carr and Choreographer Ms. Kelly.

Amplify in association with Foróige

Transition Year Students took part in the Amplify Workshop this week. Amplify is part of Youth Work Ireland and is the largest youth organisation in Ireland. The organisation is made up of 21 Local Member Youth Services and support members to deliver an Integrated Youth Services Model to young people and this means that young people around Ireland can avail of a whole range of services and supports if and when they need them.

The organisation have developed highly innovative services, supports and programmes for young people between the ages of 10-25 years, including mental health supports, resilience building, anxiety programmes, drug and alcohol supports, LGBT+ youth work, club development, employability programmes, counselling services, rural outreach and fun safe spaces for young people to gather. 

Peer Mentoring Workshop

This week, Ms. Kelly hosted a webinar for all Peer Mentors that was run in conjunction with the Mentoring for Access Programme in LYIT. The focus of the session was on Disability Awareness and discussed what students can do as mentors to ensure the inclusion of all students despite any disability they may have. It was a very informative workshop and students learned skills that they will be able to implement into their role as a peer mentor. 

‘On Monday the 16th of November, I had a peer mentoring workshop where we talked about disability and the facilities that are available. I found the workshop very informative. We had the Disability Coordinator of LYIT telling us about the facilities able to anybody with a disability.

We also watched a video of students with disabilities and they told us about the challenges that they had. Attached is a link to the inspiring video we watched;

At LYIT Learning Support Unit they are committed to providing ongoing support for students with disabilities to enable them to achieve their potential. All of the Institute’s buildings are fully accessible with lifts, automatic doors and accessible toilets. The Curve staff can help students with any questions or problems they may have. The workshop has helped me to understand the challenges faced by students with disabilities and want to help my fellow peers!’ Matthew McNamee.

Aware Workshop

This week Transition Year Students engaged in the Aware Workshop in the Parish Hall. The objectives of the workshop were to inform and educate on the topic of depression. To provide emotional and practical support to those affected by depression, bipolar and related disorders. To provide positive mental health and resilience training, and to support research into the development and treatment of depression and related issues.

Aware was founded in 1985 by Dr. Patrick McKeon and a small but dedicated team of volunteers, many of whom had their own personal experience with depression, or bipolar disorder. The organisation developed in response to the clear need for information, understanding and support, both for individuals who had a diagnosis of depression or bipolar as well as family members supporting a loved one. Since then, what began as one support group in Dublin has grown and flourished to become a nationwide presence which has saved many lives and has, for countless others, eased the suffering and distress that depression can bring.

The Interactive workshop aimed at educating and empowering the AVS Students to look after their mental health and is an integral part of Aware’s work. 

Young Social Innovators

This year TYC will be involved in the Young Social Innovators under the leadership of Ms. Kelly. YSI is a nationwide competition for secondary school students that challenges young people to have a positive impact on their community. The purpose of the YSI initiative is for young people to understand that they can be a powerful catalyst for social change when given the opportunity and support to do so. 

This year’s group has decided on the project title ‘Unity in the Community.’ The goal of the project is to combat loneliness and isolation amongst older people which has ultimately worsened due to Covid-19. Inspired by the launch of Captain Tom Moore’s podcast ‘The Originals’, TYC wants to inspire young people to ‘donate their words’ and have meaningful conversations with older people. This is a social issue of concern as a result of Covid-19. Social distancing has become our ‘new normal’ and unfortunately, it has had a major impact on the older generation. Due to government restrictions, many old people do not get to interact with family and friends. This is leading to isolation and loneliness which is a major issue of concern amongst elderly people.

Students in TYC will be carrying out an online survey in school this week to gauge an understanding of our interaction with older people in the locality. They will also be hoping to carry out a survey with the elderly involved in the project to assess their feelings prior to their involvement in our project and a follow-up survey later to judge if there will be a change in attitude. Over the next few weeks, we will be contacting local nursing homes explaining the aim of “Unity in the Community” and what we hope to achieve from the project. We will write letters to elderly people as a ‘pen pal’ activity to establish connections. We will also arrange various zoom activities as a way of interacting with the older generation and reduce the loneliness and anxiety they may feel due to the current pandemic. Please follow their Instagram page: @unityinthecommunity2020 

We wish TYC the best of luck with this extremely important project!

GAA Future Leaders Programme 

Ms Rooney is leading out on the GAA future Leaders TY programme. The Future Leaders programme provides advice on curriculum links, ensuring alignment with the TY programme, embedding the core concept of Physical Literacy, developing educational resources and delivering training to the participating schools. The six modules meaningfully relate to several curriculum areas, promoting the development of Physical Literacy in particular and also encompassing the key skills taught at Junior Cycle.  

This initiative provides a unique and creative learning pathway for young people to acquire skills which are both sports related and transferable not only across the curriculum, but beyond TY itself. 

Course Structure

The programme comprises 8 modules.

All modules are between 6 – 10 hrs long, stand alone and individually certifiable. Pupils will receive a GAA Certificate for each completed module.

A school can choose to deliver one or more modules. Delivering all modules plus the organisation of a GAA Super Games Blitz/Centre through the students, and/or Coaching younger players in their school or community, results in the students being awarded a ‘GAA TY Future Leaders Certificate”.

The programme utilises the Learning Management Software of the GAA Learning Portal (learning.gaa.ie) to share information and provide each student with an online e-Portfolio to store and share documentation and assignments.

This programme will commence over the next month and will continue on after Christmas. 

TY upcoming activities:

This term will be very busy for our TYs with many trips, workshops and talks, in accordance with health requirements and regulations;

  • Zumba Workshop
  • Amplify Workshop
  • Influence of Social Media Talk
  • Flair Start-up Business Programme
  • Peer Mentoring Workshop
  • Driver Education Programme
  • First Aid 2020 Course
  • Cycle Right Workshop
  • Music in Tune Workshop
  • LYIT Virtual Talk
  • Sligo IT Virtual Talk
  • Rowing Workshop
  • Yoga Session
  • Debating Workshop

TY School Digital Champion

The Programme aims to promote digital adoption and encourage the productive use of technology by students. Our school has selected a team of 5 students to act as leaders/role models in completing a project showing how technology can be used to find a solution to day to day problems. 

Sarah Donovan, Odhran Gallagher, Matthew McGroary, Matthew Byrne and Eoin Meehan have been selected from AVS. The students can look forward to training and workshops on video editing, web design, coding and App design, as well as on communications and presentation skills. Also included are workshops on coding with microbits and an introduction to infographics. We look forward to seeing this project develop over the next few months. Many thanks to Mr. O’Mahony on facilitating this project going forward.

SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

Students  in  the  Junior  years  who  remain  on  the  premises  at  lunchtime  in  addition  to  their  walks will have the activities at lunchtime. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

Our activities programme will run for all junior years from Tuesday, 29th September. All activities will be non-contact and follow current guidelines. Our main priority is the health and safety of everyone involved. 

  • Activities will last 20 minutes in total.
  • Monday to Thursday: 1.02pm – 1.22pm
  • Friday: 12:24pm – 12.44pm

This allows for students to have 10 minutes to eat at the beginning of lunchtime in their base room and 10 minutes at the end of lunch to return to their base room and get organised for the next lesson.

We have tried as much as possible to assign students to their chosen activity. However, due to guidelines and limitations for space, students will not get all their choices straight away.

All other students will have the opportunity to go outside and walk during this time with their base room teacher. Each base room has a list of where students are to go each day.

Please note, students can participate in all activities in their school uniform but are advised to wear/bring appropriate footwear. 

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

Abbey VS Newsletter Mon 16th Nov

9th November to 15th November 2020

Credit Union Art Competition Winners

Congratulations to our Credit Union Art Competition Winners!

Congratulations to Ultan Smith, Leah Kennedy, Rose Mae Weir, Annalise Robinson, Aideen Thomas, Emma Thomas, Laura Kelly, Onagh McHugh, Gabriella Irwin, Alisha Land, Rossa McGrory, Tristan Dowd, Marc Bennett, Mikaela O’Connor, Ruth Murray, Alannah Graham, not in the photograph is prize-winner, Samaire Fern. This year’s theme is “Imagine More”, which encouraged entrants to think past the current situation and imagine. Imagine More is influenced by the creative role art plays in Irish society and encourages participants to unlock their imagination and look at how art inspires us and our communities. Despite the current challenges, art has kept people from all walks of life connected and this year’s theme encourages participants to express this connectivity on paper or canvass.

Art has always been a huge part of Irish life and the Credit Union Art Competition, now in its 37th year, is dedicated to supporting and developing the arts in Irish society. Promoting and encouraging involvement in the arts across communities is an important message we want to spread. Art plays a critical role in enriching the lives of everyone and is central to sustaining and increasing connections. The talent of our students is amazing and we are so proud of them!

Parent Teacher Meetings

In light of the current restrictions on face to face meetings, we are not in a position to facilitate Parent/Teacher Meetings during this time.  Following direction from the DES, our plan is to send out a progress report from all subject teachers to you as parents on VSware on the following dates. 

  Short Progress Reports in place of PTMs
Year GroupReleased to parents on 
6th 19th November 
3rd 4th December 
1st 15th January 
5th / TY/ LCA1  29th January 
2nd 11th February 

Career Guidance

  1. CAO 2021 opened on Thursday, 05 November.  Leaving Certs wishing to apply will do so with their Guidance Counsellor during Guidance class. 
  2. UCAS applicants are encouraged to complete all parts of their application ASAP. The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available throughout the week to meet and discuss the application and will support the student throughout the process.
  3. 1-1 appointments for Leaving Certs are available throughout the week; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 
  4. Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.  The noticeboard has a number of important notices for Leaving Certs.

School Closure Day

Just a reminder to all that the school will be closed to students on Friday November 27th as part of the school calendar year.  

DECEMBER EXAMS

We are planning on holding whole school exams during the week of 7th to 11th of December – please see the timetable below. These exams will provide an excellent opportunity for students and parents/guardians to gauge progress.

SCPE & LCPE

In recent years the NCCA developed the Senior Cycle PE Framework (non examinable) and the Leaving Certificate PE (examined). Schools were asked to apply to be involved in the roll out of these 2 specifications. 

AVS were successful in their application for both and as result were one of the 40 schools to deliver SCPE and one of 64 schools to deliver the LCPE. This first phase of rollout was introduced from September 2018 and June 2020.

The Physical Education Association of Ireland (PEAI) recently acknowledged all schools’ efforts in leading these changes in PE. 

Pictured are management at the school, PE teachers involved in the rollout and LCPE students past and present. Namely: Students: Hannah Shallow, Brídin Murphy (past LCPE students), Thomas White, Niamh Moohan (current 6th year LCPE students). Teachers: Mr. O’Mahony, Mr. Carty, Mrs. Gallagher, Mrs. O’Mahony, Mr. Herron. Principal: Mrs. Diver

NUI Galway Excellence Scholarship

Congratulations to our graduating AVS Students Amy Lorinyenko & Conor McGroary who have been awarded the NUI Galway Excellence Scholarship!

As part of NUI Galway’s commitment to rewarding achievement and supporting ambition, a new scholarship programme, NUI Galway Excellence Scholarship has been created. The new scholarship scheme has been developed to support high achievers in growing their critical thinking, leadership, employability and professional skills. NUI Galway has a long history of excellence and achievement and this new scholarship programme will support and enable the next generation of change makers. 

Awardees of the scholarship will receive €1,500 in recognition of their academic success and will be invited to join a high achiever development programme supported by the scholarship to grow their leadership capacity and to develop the skills they need to excel in their field of study.

Positive Points Initiative

Congratulations to our October leaders on the positive points table, 1D and 2F! The positive points initiative in our school is aimed at promoting positive behaviour and acknowledging the good things that our students do. Students can be awarded points from teachers for things such as good effort in class, co-operation, helping others, contributing to group work, extra-curricular contribution etc.

Each monthly class winner will be rewarded. Any individual who is acknowledged with five positive points/comments will be recognised by the school and parents/guardians will be informed by a postcard sent home from the appropriate year head in appreciation for the positive contribution to school life. A big thank you to the facilitator of this initiative, Mr Carty.


WELLBEING

AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021

The Abbey Vocational School will present AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021. This will give our students and staff the chance to showcase their talents while having a bit of fun at the same time. The finale will take place on the 29th of January 2021 and will be broadcasted to all our school community. Everyone who gets involved will be in with a chance to win many prizes. On the night there will be Celebrity Judges, Novelty Acts and our final will be streamed online! There will be prizes for the best tutor groups, year group and the overall winner of the event.  The entry fee will be €5 for an individual act or €10 for a group act.  If you have any enquiries, please contact Ms Rooney & Ms Kelly. 

Please sign up by emailing patricerooney@donegaletb.ie by Tuesday 1st of December

Positive Wellbeing in The Community 

Cycle Against Suicide 

We are pleased and honoured to announce that we have received the Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador School Award for the fourth year in a row. The Ambassador School Programme established in 2013 aims to encourage schools to become actively involved in mental health promotion. The programme provides a framework, structure and incentive for schools to integrate mental health activities into their school planning and rewards schools that go the extra mile. We look forward to taking part in this worthwhile programme again this year.

Leaving Cert Prefects

The senior prefects continue to work with management to ensure we continue to keep a positive atmosphere among our school community. They are working on my exciting events over the next few weeks including our Christmas concerts. Keep an eye out over the next few weeks for more details. 

Shane Martin Positive Wellbeing Talk

Our 6th year students will receive a virtual positive wellbeing talk this coming Wednesday from Shane Martin. Shane is a psychologist dedicated to teaching the very best evidence-based psychology to help people protect their mental health and enhance the quality of their lives. Shane has been a keynote speaker at numerous conferences on a range of topics around wellbeing, positive mental health, recovery and happiness. We look forward to having Shane back talking to our students once again this year. 


Leaving Cert Evening Study 

The second term of after school study has commenced and will continue until the 18th December. This is currently at full capacity for this term but a third term will commence after Christmas. The form will be distributed in December for this session. It is a great opportunity for students to study in a quiet supervised environment. 


Covid – 19

We would like to thank all our school community for their diligence in adhering to protocols regarding Coronavirus. As we are in Level 5 of the Government’s Plan for Living with Covid – 19 and we would ask everyone to strictly adhere to HSE guidelines regarding social distancing and hand hygiene. 

The AVS are operating an ‘If Unwell, Stay at Home’ policy. Should a member of our community experience  any  of  the  symptoms  of  Covid-19  –  Cough, high  temperature,  shortness  of  breath, difficulty  breathing,  that  member  of  our  community must stay at home  and  seek  appropriate medical  intervention.  

School Uniform

Peter’s Man Shop is open daily from 12 to 3 and The Uniform Shop is open on certain days per week. This information does change weekly but the information is available from 074-9723513. The school fleece is available to buy in both stores and with the weather getting colder it will be a welcome addition to the school uniform for the students. 

Attendance

If a student is absent from school, then a note for the dates of the absence must be submitted to the office upon the students return. Alternatively, we will accept an email to abbeyvs@donegaletb.ie. This email must clearly state the name of the student, the year group and it has to state clearly the dates that the email is referring to. The attendance record of the student can then be updated with this information. 

Canteen 

All orders for the canteen must now be done through http://www.getfresh.ie. Click on the AVS school crest picture at the bottom of the page and this will take you to the menu that you can order from. The cashless card will then be used to identify the student and you pay by your regular debit/credit card at the moment. Do not top up the cashless card at the moment. The cards are on sale from the chef in the canteen in school. 

Abbey Vocational School Student Council 2020/21

Our council met on Tuesday where they planned the collection of food and care items for Christmas hampers for those in need. Details of the collection of non-perishable food items and care products including wipes, shampoo, soap etc. will be shared next week.  Electrical items, toys, clothes, shoes and blankets will not be collected on this occasion. 

“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”

The committee is also organising the election of one officer from our school to be a member of the Donegal Youth Council. Students are invited to nominate themselves or each other.  They will then accept the nomination, prepare a manifesto, and run a short campaign. There will be an online election where all school members will have a vote. Our previous members have completed their two years on the DYC and they will continue to serve as volunteers.  The DYC represents the interests of young people from all over Donegal from many different schools and groups. They work on projects from road safety to internet safety and make important decisions for our young people in conjunction with other groups… including Donegal Council and even Dail na nOg. 

Thank you to Mr John Daly for the photos that he took of this year’s committee. 

Great Reads Award 

This year students from the Abbey Vocational School will participate in the ‘Great Reads Award (GRA)’. The ‘Great Reads Award’ is an award judged by students for debut writing for Young Adults. Presented by the School Library Association in the Republic of Ireland and short listed by librarians and teacher-librarians. The short list titles offer a range of reading levels and interests, by authors from a variety of backgrounds, including an Irish language title for which a glossary is available.


Take 1 Programme

This week a selection of Abbey Vocational School Staff Members engaged in training for the ‘Take 1 Programme 2020’. The programme aims to embed the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) into the Junior Cycle Curriculum in ETB schools. The SDGs address a broad and universal range of concerns focusing on 5 key themes: People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnership. The Take 1 Programme 2020 takes place from the 23rd -27th November. We will be aiming to teach about each of the sustainable goals in our SPHE and CSPE classes during this week.

BT Young Scientist 2021

This week’s BT Young Scientist project we are focusing on are; ‘The best household preservative for cut flowers’ by Jane Faulkner, Amy McGroary and Jayne Glenn.

Our project aims to investigate which household items maintain the freshness of cut flowers longest. We will expose the cut flowers to the same conditions of temperature, water and light. We will then measure the physical appearance of the flowers every day until wilting and after a set period of time we will measure the angle of wilting in the stem. We will carry out replicates of our test solutions and we will carry out statistical analysis using t tests on our results to see if any effect of our household preservative is significant compared to water alone and to commercial preservatives. Finally, we will compare our test results with both commercial alternatives and to water to see if any effectiveness is statistically significant using t tests.


Teaching & Learning

A look at Study Planning

Christmas house-exams are approaching. Shortly after the Christmas holidays, Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Mock Examinations will quickly draw near.

Juggling your classes, homework, and other commitments such as extracurricular activities and sport, managing your time to study can be challenging. An effective way to achieve your own learning goals to implement a study plan. There are many ways to plan your study, from monthly to weekly to daily timetables, priority lists, and checklists. However, do not get overwhelmed in trying to perfect the ideal plan! One key advantage of a study plan is that it will help you to avoid stress in that you will have a clear plan of what you will be doing each week.

Two useful approaches include:

  1. A Weekly Study Timetable will outline specific times for study and when you need to take time off.
  2. A Subject Planner will provide you with an overview of what is needed in a particular subject.

Weekly Study Timetable

Creating a weekly study timetable is one of the most important things you can do to study effectively. With the aid of a template:

  1. Shade-in times for extracurricular activities such as sport, music lessons, gym etc.
  2. Shade-in the times you really don’t want to study!
  3. Pick the times you will study
  4. Write in the subjects you will study in each available time slot.

There are many templates and even apps available online, however, we have placed an editable MS Word Version on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website for handiness. A link is also available on the digital version of this week’s newsletter. 

Subject Planner

The subject planner will contain a list of all the topics in that subject and will provide you with a broad outline of what needs to be done. Your teacher may provide this list and in some subjects, the chapters of your textbook are also useful. Alternatively, many of the exam papers contain ready-made topic lists. You might also add a column in your plan to rate the difficulty of each topic in order to identify topics requiring further revision. Once again, we have placed an MS Word template on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website. (www.avsdonegal.com)

Some further points to note:

  1. Creating a lovely colour-coded plan in an Excel spreadsheet or MS Word document is all well and good, but if you can’t see it on a daily basis, it can easily start to slip your mind. Either write or print it out and stick it up on the wall at home or around your desk to remind you what you are due to cover each week.
  2. Discover what works for you. Keep your plan flexible. If you have scheduled an hour of study at 8 pm every evening but find you are not being productive, then make a change. For example, try getting up an hour earlier to see if morning-study works better for you.
  3. Break subjects/topics down into small chunks. Assess how familiar you are with each topic and focus on your weak areas.
  4. Wellbeing: It is important to take regular breaks when you are studying to ensure you don’t burn out. Include 5- or 10-minute breaks in your study plan; It is also important to make time for the things you like to do such as meeting with friends, going for walks, running, cycling, etc. Ultimately, this will better prepare you mentally to achieve your study goals. Well-balanced meals and adequate sleep are also vital.

….. And finally, don’t get disheartened if you break the timetable! Forget about it and focus on the plan for the following day.


Music

Students from each class are recording their choir lines from home which will be taken by Ms Bogle to the studio this weekend to mix and master our first AVS Virtual Choir.  It has been à wonderful experience to follow Ms Bogle’s recordings, record our voices and be part of this project.

The Music students Callum, Alannah, Ruth and Tristan have recorded a song that they composed the CART SONG.  It is a fun song with actions on the theme of keeping safe during these times.

L2 Physical Education

Our Junior Cycle L2 Physical Education class recently enjoyed integrating technology into their triathlon lesson. Students used a stationary bike (fundraised by parents a number of years ago for students) to cycle around different parts of the world. Mr. O’Mahony, their PE teacher, projected point of view cycling tours from venues such as Venice beach, California and Lake Garda in Italy. 


Transition Year

Hotel & Catering talk with Chris McMenamin

On Tuesday TYs enjoyed the ‘Hotel & Catering Talk’ with Chris McMenamin, Head Chef of the award-winning Harvey’s Point Hotel. Harvey’s Point is nestled on the shores of Lough Eske, with its wonderful views of the mountains and lake with a wonderful ambience. Chris spoke to the AVS Students about his many years of experience in the hotel trade, discussing the importance of a good work ethic, being punctual and how politeness goes a long way. Entering the world of employment requires key functions such as; working toward the company’s goals, treating everyone with respect, using your best effort, becoming an expert at your job and offering value to your workplace. Chris talked about the importance of focusing on solutions and being adaptable & open to change. ‘On Tuesday the 10th of November the Head Chef from Harvey’s Point Hotel came to the Parish Hall to give us a talk about being a Chef and working in an award-winning hotel. He told us about his first experience in the kitchen washing up and how difficult the work was. However, his hard work paid off and Chris was promoted in the Kitchen. Studying in Killybegs, Harvey’s Point’s Head Chef was promoted to Sous Chef and eventually to Head Chef and told us to work hard and follow our dreams!’.

Musical Callbacks

This week over twenty students attended callbacks for the Abbey Vocational School’s Production of the Transition Year Musical. Congratulations to all! It has proven to be a challenge to cast the show parts due to the excellent talent amongst the boys and girls and the keen, strong efforts being made for auditions. There will be another round of Lead Auditions where some of the twenty have been invited to do a detailed audition where they will sing a song from the show and read a script. Best wishes to all! The main cast parts are open to all who have shown interest in being in the show.  Thank you to our director Rachel O’Connor.

‘On Monday the 9th of November, my class 4B and 4A had callbacks in the Parish Hall. When we all arrived, we started warming up with Rachel O’Connor (the Musical Director) and it was a lot of fun! After we were sufficiently warmed-up, we had to practise our American accents by saying the rhyme ‘Humpty Dumpty’. Next we had a script read through to familiarise ourselves with the lines.

Our Musical is the award winning show called ‘Curtains’ which is based in 1960’s Boston. There were 20 people at our auditions and later that night we got another callback sheet with fewer people on it. 

On Wednesday, the 11th of November, we found out who had received a second callback! We met at the Parish Hall and it was really exciting! We were all auditioning for leads and everyone was really good. Some people were called out to sing scales and everyone had to read from the script. Rachel and our Music Teacher Mrs.Carr were there to encourage and support us. It was a great opportunity to show off our acting skills and I really enjoyed it!’.

Anna Mitchell 

History walk of Donegal Town

A Walk Back in Time Through Donegal’s Rich History

Recent guided walking tours of Donegal Town with TY classes took students on an historic walk through Donegal’s fascinating history, ancient and modern.

Donegal author, storyteller and tour guide, Keith Corcoran.

During the course of the walking tour students heard about the history behind 3 old street addresses no longer in existence today, Church Street, Clabber Lane and Bingham’s Alley. They also heard the history of St. Patrick’s Church and the Church of Ireland opposite the castle.

First destination with the Old Abbey or Franciscan Friary down by the Quays. Donegal Quays was a small but bustling seaport up until the early 20th century.

 Students were informed that the Abbey Vocational School was named after the Old Abbey which played a central role in Donegal Town’s development from 1474 to the early 1600’s. The Old Abbey not only served the spiritual needs of the local community, it was also an important college of learning, a hospital for the sick and elderly and provided accommodation for visitors to Donegal Town.

Students were then brought to see the sculpture of Red Hugh O’Donnell and told about the ancient inaugural ceremony for Donegal chieftains in olden times and their town’s connection to the Flight of the Earls in 1607.

Next stop was the anchor – situated opposite the Garda Barracks. The anchor weighs over one and a half tonnes and belonged to a French warship which was anchored out in Donegal Bay during the 1798 Rebellion.

Keith then told a story connected to the ship of how 3 local fishermen rowed to the anchored ship and informed them the rebellion in Ireland was over. The French officers and their crew left so quickly the next morning upon seeing British cannons on the shoreline near Doorin, that they cut their anchor and took the three fishermen from Mullinasole all the way to France. After many adventures and several years’ travel, the fishermen made it safely back to their homes and families in Donegal!

Next to the sandstone monument on the Diamond, students were then told about the area’s special association with the history of the Four Masters. They learned of how this team of one monk and three professional scribes, led by Michael O’Cleary were responsible for writing down 4,500 years of Irish history between 1632 and 1636.

The early development of the modern town of Donegal under Basil Brooke was also explained from 1610 and why the town was laid out the way it was with a market centre. Students also discovered how the Diamond came to be pedestrianised in the late 1990’s and is now a hub for visitors and tourists to the town as well as celebrating Donegal football fans!

The final stop on the walking tour was to Donegal Castle, one of the main visitor attractions in town. Keith explained how the site Donegal Castle was built on, near a bend in the River Eske, gives the town and modern county their names. Donegal is anglicized from the Irish placename Dún na nGall meaning ‘Fort of the Foreigners. It is believed that Danish Vikings built a fortress and trading post on this site in the late 10th century.    

TY Drumming Workshop

‘On Wednesday the 11th of November my class and I took part in a Drumming Workshop in the Parish Hall, where we met the Instructor Peter Crann. He introduced himself and told us about his passion for music. He showed us many instruments that he had brought with him that day for example; Bongos, African Drums, The Hang Drum and many more. He first started off by making a beat on the Cajón which is a box shaped percussion instrument from Peru, which is played by hitting the rear and front faces of the box to create a sound. He then took up many volunteers to teach them how to play the instruments. Everyone had one instrument to play and a beat we were separately given to play. Our whole class participated and made a musical piece at the end. I really enjoyed learning about the different instruments and it is a new skill that I have learned!’.

Ciara Gillespie Cassidy.

Amplify in association with Foróige

Transition Year Students took part in the Amplify Workshop. Amplify is part of Youth Work Ireland and is the largest youth organisation in Ireland. The organisation is made up of 21 Local Member Youth Services and support members to deliver an Integrated Youth Services Model to young people and this means that young people around Ireland can avail of a whole range of services and supports if and when they need them.

The organisation have developed highly innovative services, supports and programmes for young people between the ages of 10-25 years, including mental health supports, resilience building, anxiety programmes, drug and alcohol supports, LGBT+ youth work, club development, employability programmes, counselling services, rural outreach and fun safe spaces for young people to gather. 

‘On Thursday the 12th of November my class of 4B walked down to the Parish Hall to continue our Foróige amplify workshop. We’ve had these workshops every week since the start of the school year. The workshop focuses on two different topics, leadership and empathy. Throughout the weeks we’ve spoken about empathy as well as practicing our leadership skills with our class. 

On the 12th we started our workshop off with a quick leadership game, we had to say the alphabet one letter at a time as a class without anyone speaking at the same time. This game was a lot of fun. We had done it before with Foróige so we got it quite fast meaning the girls asked us to do the same backwards, this was more difficult. After the ice breaker we started our leadership classes with a few group activities as well as a movie music quiz. We then moved on to our empathy classes. We spoke about different peoples living situations and put ourselves in their shoes. I am really enjoying having these workshops each week and am excited for our class next week’.

Lauren Drury

Peer Mentoring 

‘This week, in our role as peer mentors, Catriona and I went on a walk with our first year class (1G). We did a lap of the track on Monday as the sun shone & there was a gentle breeze! Heading back to the base class we continued with our happy ambience by listening to music and relaxing before the first bell rang. On Tuesday we changed the routine by going on a walk around the school and playing kahoot when we returned to the base class. It was great fun and very competitive as the students attempted to win!

Peer mentoring is important for both us as mentors and also for first years as we can help students understand the ways and rules of the school and the experience gives us an understanding of a role with responsibility!’  Anna Mitchell

Aware Workshop

This week Transition Year Students engaged in the Aware Workshop in the Parish Hall. The objectives of the workshop were to inform and educate on the topic of depression. To provide emotional and practical support to those affected by depression, bipolar and related disorders. To provide positive mental health and resilience training, and to support research into the development and treatment of depression and related issues.

Aware was founded in 1985 by Dr. Patrick McKeon and a small but dedicated team of volunteers, many of whom had their own personal experience with depression, or bipolar disorder. The organisation developed in response to the clear need for information, understanding and support, both for individuals who had a diagnosis of depression or bipolar as well as family members supporting a loved one. Since then, what began as one support group in Dublin has grown and flourished to become a nationwide presence which has saved many lives and has, for countless others, eased the suffering and distress that depression can bring. 

The Interactive workshop aimed at educating and empowering the AVS Students to look after their mental health and is an integral part of Aware’s work. 

Personal Presentation and Make up Master Class Workshop

Transition Year Students from TYD were treated to a Personal Presentation and Makeup Master Class in the Parish Hall on Friday 13th November.

Manager of the Marine Spa Karla Lacey treated Students to a master class in makeup, skincare and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Transition Year Students were educated on the benefits of a healthy eating and fitness regime, drinking lots of water and on prepping the skin. Students gained invaluable tips and information and were treated to a step by step guide on how to apply foundation, eye shadow, lipstick and blush. 

Young Social Innovators

This year TYC will be involved in the Young Social Innovators under the leadership of Ms. Kelly. YSI is a nationwide competition for secondary school students that challenges young people to have a positive impact on their community. The purpose of the YSI initiative is for young people to understand that they can be a powerful catalyst for social change when given the opportunity and support to do so. 

This year’s group has decided on the project title ‘Unity in the Community. ‘The goal of the project is to combat loneliness and isolation amongst older people which has ultimately worsened due to Covid-19. Inspired by the launch of Captain Tom Moore’s podcast ‘The Originals’, TYC wants to inspire young people to ‘donate their words’ and have meaningful conversations with older people. This is a social issue of concern as a result of Covid-19. Social distancing has become our ‘new normal’ and unfortunately, it has had a major impact on the older generation. Due to government restrictions, many old people do not get to interact with family and friends. This is leading to isolation and loneliness which is a major issue of concern amongst elderly people.

Students in TYC will be carrying out an online survey in school this week to gauge an understanding of our interaction with older people in the locality. They will also be hoping to carry out a survey with the elderly involved in the project to assess their feelings prior to their involvement in our project and a follow-up survey later to judge if there will be a change in attitude. Over the next few weeks, we will be contacting local nursing homes explaining the aim of “Unity in the Community” and what we hope to achieve from the project. We will write letters to elderly people as a ‘pen pal’ activity to establish connections. We will also arrange various zoom activities as a way of interacting with the older generation and reduce the loneliness and anxiety they may feel due to the current pandemic. Please follow their Instagram page: @unityinthecommunity2020 

We wish TYC the best of luck with this extremely important project!

GAA Future Leaders Programme 

Ms Rooney is leading out on the GAA future Leaders TY programme. The Future Leaders programme provides advice on curriculum links, ensuring alignment with the TY programme, embedding the core concept of Physical Literacy, developing educational resources and delivering training to the participating schools. The six modules meaningfully relate to several curriculum areas, promoting the development of Physical Literacy in particular and also encompassing the key skills taught at Junior Cycle.  

This initiative provides a unique and creative learning pathway for young people to acquire skills which are both sports related and transferable not only across the curriculum, but beyond TY itself. 

Course Structure:

The programme comprises 8 modules.

All modules are between 6 – 10 hrs long, stand alone and individually certifiable. Pupils will receive a GAA Certificate for each completed module.

A school can choose to deliver one or more modules. Delivering all modules plus the organisation of a GAA Super Games Blitz/Centre through the students, and/or Coaching younger players in their school or community, results in the students being awarded a ‘GAA TY Future Leaders Certificate”.

The programme utilises the Learning Management Software of the GAA Learning Portal (learning.gaa.ie) to share information and provide each student with an online e-Portfolio to store and share documentation and assignments.

This programme will commence over the next month and will continue on after Christmas. 

TY upcoming activities:

This term will be very busy for our TYs with many trips, workshops and talks, in accordance with health requirements and regulations;

  • Zumba Workshop
  • Amplify Workshop
  • Influence of Social Media Talk
  • Flair Startup Business Programme
  • Personal Presentation Workshop with Karla Lacey
  • Peer Mentoring Workshop
  • Driver Education Programme
  • First Aid 2020 Course
  • Cycle Right Workshop
  • Drumming the Beat Workshop
  • Music in Tune Workshop
  • Fitness & Nutrition Virtual Talk with Shane Lyons
  • LYIT Virtual Talk
  • Sligo IT Virtual Talk
  • Rowing Workshop
  • Yoga Session
  • Debating Workshop

TY School Digital Champion

The Programme aims to promote digital adoption and encourage the productive use of technology by students. Our school has selected a team of 5 students to act as leaders/role models in completing a project showing how technology can be used to find a solution to day to day problems. 

Sarah Donovan, Odhran Gallagher, Matthew McGroary, Matthew Byrne and Eoin Meehan have been selected from AVS. The students can look forward to training and workshops on video editing, web design, coding and App design, as well as on communications and presentation skills. Also included are workshops on coding with microbits and an introduction to infographics. We look forward to seeing this project develop over the next few months. Many thanks to Mr. O’Mahony on facilitating this project going forward.


 SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

Students in the  Junior  years  who  remain  on  the  premises  at  lunchtime  in  addition  to  their  walks will have the activities at lunchtime. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

Our activities programme will run for all junior years from Tuesday, 29th September. All activities will be non-contact and follow current guidelines. Our main priority is the health and safety of everyone involved. 

  • Activities will last 20 minutes in total.
  • Monday to Thursday: 1.02pm – 1.22pm
  • Friday: 12:24pm – 12.44pm

This allows for students to have 10 minutes to eat at the beginning of lunchtime in their base room and 10 minutes at the end of lunch to return to their base room and get organised for the next lesson.

We have tried as much as possible to assign students to their chosen activity. However, due to guidelines and limitations for space, students will not get all their choices straight away.

All other students will have the opportunity to go outside and walk during this time with their base room teacher. Each base room has a list of where students are to go each day.

Please note, students can participate in all activities in their school uniform but are advised to wear/bring appropriate footwear. 

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!


Coirnéal na Gaeilge

I mbliana, tá an scoil ag glacadh páirte i mBliain na Gaeilge atá á reachtáil ag Bord Oideachais agus Oiliúna Éireann. Tá coiste curtha le chéile sa scoil againn, le daltaí ó gach rang idirbhliana. Go dtí seo, ghlac daltaí idirbhliana páirt i dtráth na gceist le Feachtas agus a d’eagraigh An Máistir Mac Pháidín. Tá tús curtha le nuachtlitir Ghaeilge agus tá go leor á phleanáil don chuid eile den bhliain fosta. 

Mar a deir an seanfhocal: ‘Beatha teanga í a labhairt’ ☘️

Na srianta Covid 19 sa scoil:

Bainimid úsáid as maisc agus fainimid dhá mhéadar óna chéile. Ag am sosa agus am lóin, téann gach duine go dtí a mbunsheomraí. Tá córas aon-treorach i bhfeidhm sa scoil freisin. Faigheann gach duine aer úr ag amanna difriúla i rith an lae freisin. Caithfimid a bheith airdeallach san am i láthair – ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’.



Abbey V.S. Newsletter – Mon 9th Nov.

02nd November to 8th November 2020

Parent Teacher Meetings

At present these are not possible in their usual face to face format.  We will update you in the coming days as to the plans in relation to arrangements for the collaboration with parents/ guardians during this time.

December Exams

We are planning on holding whole school exams during the week of 7th to 11th of December and we hope to have the timetable finalised shortly. These exams will provide an excellent opportunity for students and parents/guardians to gauge progress.

Career Guidance

School leavers information night for parents / guardians

Parents information night for school leavers took place by zoom on Tuesday night last. Thank you to all those parents who joined us on the night. The areas covered were a presentation from Jim Sheehy psychotherapist on how to support your son/ daughter during these times. Our guidance counsellor Ms Jane Mc Morrow covered the areas for school leavers in terms of CAO UCAS, the SUSI Grant, H.E.A.R., D.A.R.E. and Scholarships. The leaving cert year head also addressed the parents as did the management team. We look forward to further engagement with parents in this format. 

CAO 2021 opened on Thursday, 05 November.  Leaving Certs wishing to apply can do so with their Guidance Counsellor during Guidance class.  A date for registration will be communicated to students in class and/or via Google Classroom.

  1. UCAS applicants are encouraged to complete all parts of their application ASAP. The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available throughout the week to meet and discuss the application and will support the student throughout the process.
  2. Congratulations to Aaron P Sweeney, 5th year; who won a €50 Amazon voucher for taking part in an Ulster University survey during Career Guidance class.
  3. 1-1 appointments for Leaving Certs are available throughout the week; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 
  4. Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.  The noticeboard has a number of important notices for Leaving Certs.

School Closure Day

Just a reminder to all that the school will be closed to students on Friday November 27th as part of the school calendar year.  

SCPE & LCPE

In recent years the NCCA developed the Senior Cycle PE Framework (non examinable) and the Leaving Certificate PE (examined). Schools were asked to apply to be involved in the roll out of these 2 specifications. 

AVS were successful in their application for both and as result were one of the 40 schools to deliver SCPE and one of 64 schools to deliver the LCPE. This first phase of rollout was introduced from September 2018 and June 2020.

The Physical Education Association of Ireland (PEAI) recently acknowledged all schools’ efforts in leading these changes in PE.

Pictured are management at the school, PE teachers involved in the rollout and LCPE students past and present. Namely: Students: Hannah Shallow, Brídin Murphy (past LCPE students), Thomas White, Niamh Moohan (current 6th year LCPE students). Teachers: Mr. O’Mahony, Mr. Carty, Mrs. Gallagher, Mrs. O’Mahony, Mr. Herron. Principal: Mrs. Diver

AVS Dancing Champions!

Congratulations to Abbey Vocational School Students Ailbhe Liu and Seoda Wang. An Ril Deal Seaimpíní!!! On Sunday night Ailbhe and Seoda took home the RTE Trophy!

NUI Galway Excellence Scholarship

Congratulations to our graduating AVS Students Amy Lorinyenko & Conor McGroary who have been awarded the NUI Galway Excellence Scholarship!

As part of NUI Galway’s commitment to rewarding achievement and supporting ambition, a new scholarship programme, NUI Galway Excellence Scholarship has been created. The new scholarship scheme has been developed to support high achievers in growing their critical thinking, leadership, employability and professional skills. NUI Galway has a long history of excellence and achievement and this new scholarship programme will support and enable the next generation of change makers. 

Awardees of the scholarship will receive €1,500 in recognition of their academic success and will be invited to join a high achiever development programme supported by the scholarship to grow their leadership capacity and to develop the skills they need to excel in their field of study. 

Allingham Arts Writing Competition

Congratulations to our AVS Students who were shortlisted in their categories in the Allingham Festival Schools’ Writing Competitions. Eoin Boyle, Samaire Fern, Cara Coughlan, Maya Lenehan.  Congratulations to them and to everyone who took part!

Credit Union Art Competition

Congratulations to our Artistic Students who took part in this year’s Credit Union Art Competition.

Here is a selection of some of our very talented Art Students’ images. ‘Where all adventures start in the stories which shaped generations’’.

The Journey through lockdown to hope and rainbows!
Company, chat & music, what we value most!
‘Art Connects Us Together’

Jigsaw Art Competition 

Congratulations to AVS students Laura Kelly & Emma Thomas whose work has been shortlisted in this year’s Jigsaw Donegal Art competition. 

As part of the judging process you can ‘like’ their work on the Jigsaw Donegal facebook page from next Fri 13th November!

Positive Points Initiative

Congratulations to our October leaders on the positive points table, 1D and 2F! The positive points initiative in our school is aimed at promoting positive behaviour and acknowledging the good things that our students do. Students can be awarded points from teachers for things such as good effort in class, co-operation, helping others, contributing to group work, extra-curricular contribution etc.

Each monthly class winner will be rewarded. Any individual who is acknowledged with five positive points/comments will be recognised by the school and parents/guardians will be informed by a postcard sent home from the appropriate year head in appreciation for the positive contribution to school life. A big thank you to the facilitator of this initiative, Mr Carty.

WELLBEING

Positive Wellbeing in The Community 

During Positive Wellbeing Week AVS students wrote warm & heartfelt letters to Residents in Áras Mhic Shuibhne Nursing Home and the patients in Donegal Town hospital, last week during the midterm break all the letters were delivered to their destination!

Cycle Against Suicide 

We are pleased and honoured to announce that we have received the Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador School Award for the fourth year in a row. The Ambassador School Programme established in 2013 aims to encourage schools to become actively involved in mental health promotion. The programme provides a framework, structure and incentive for schools to integrate mental health activities into their school planning and rewards schools that go the extra mile. We look forward to taking part in this worthwhile programme again this year.

Leaving Cert Prefects

The run/walk for your wellbeing continues every Tuesday on the school track from 4-5. If you would like to take part in this please give your name to Hannah Crawford, Shane Meehan or Ms Rooney before Tuesday lunchtime. 

Keep an eye out for more of these initiatives over the next few months and if anyone would like to suggest or assist with an initiative throughout the year please let any of the prefects or Ms Rooney know. 

Leaving Cert Evening Study 

The second term of after school study has commenced and will continue until the 18th December. This is currently at full capacity for this term but a third term will commence after Christmas. The form will be distributed in December for this session. It is a great opportunity for students to study in a quiet supervised environment. 

BT Young Scientist 2021

This week we profile the Antimicrobial Barks project by Eadaoin Murphy and Joseph Woods, as we wait to see if our four projects are successful in this first round of the rigorous BTYS selection process.

We wish to investigate the antimicrobial properties of different native tree barks on different bacterial cultures using an aseptic laboratory technique. We will use slope agar bacterial cultures and blood and nutrient agar to grow our bacterial cultures on and we will then use bark extract on our lawn plates of bacteria. To measure efficacy, we will measure the cleared area around our bark in our bacterial cultures and we will carry out replicates to reliably establish the antimicrobial value of each test bark. We will then compare the antimicrobial activity of each test bark using mean cleared area and we will use ‘t tests’ to see if differences in the mean cleared areas of each test bark are significant. 

Covid – 19

We would like to thank all our school community for their diligence in adhering to protocols regarding Coronavirus. As we have now moved into Level 5 of the Government’s Plan for Living with Covid – 19 and we would ask everyone to strictly adhere to HSE guidelines regarding social distancing and hand hygiene. 

The AVS are operating an ‘If Unwell, Stay at Home’ policy. Should a member of our community experience any of the symptoms of  Covid-19  –  Cough, high  temperature,  shortness  of  breath, difficulty  breathing,  that  member  of  our  community must stay at home  and  seek  appropriate medical  intervention.  

School Uniform:

Peter’s Man Shop is open daily from 12 to 3 and The Uniform Shop is open on certain days per week. This information does change weekly but the information is available from 0749723513. The school fleece is available to buy in both stores and with the weather getting colder it will be a welcome addition to the school uniform for the students. 

Attendance

If a student is absent from school, then a note for the dates of the absence must be submitted to the office upon the students return. Alternatively, we will accept an email to abbeyvs@donegaletb.ie. This email must clearly state the name of the student, the year group and it has to state clearly the dates that the email is referring to. The attendance record of the student can then be updated with this information. 

Canteen 

All orders for the canteen must now be done through http://www.getfresh.ie. Click on the AVS school crest picture at the bottom of the page and this will take you to the menu that you can order from. The cashless card will then be used to identify the student and you pay by your regular debit/credit card at the moment. Do not top up the cashless card at the moment. The cards are on sale from the chef in the canteen in school. 

Great Reads Award 

This year students from the Abbey Vocational School will participate in the ‘Great Reads Award (GRA)’. The ‘Great Reads Award’ is an award judged by students for debut writing for Young Adults. Presented by the School Library Association in the Republic of Ireland and short listed by librarians and teacher-librarians. The short list titles offer a range of reading levels and interests, by authors from a variety of backgrounds, including an Irish language title for which a glossary is available.

TEACHING & LEARNING

A look at ‘Feedback’ from your Teacher.

Feedback to our students relies on clearly defined goals (including learning intentions and success criteria) and on learning tasks or activities to track a student’s progress towards those goals. The information gathered through these activities provides the basis for feedback to a student.

Teaching and learning activities, including formative and summative assessments, provide opportunities for teachers to gather evidence about our students’ progress. This helps us to give feedback to our students about how they are learning and what they need to do next to move forward. Various studies on feedback typically show that the pace of student learning is accelerated by at least 50% because of feedback.

Feedback then is information:

  • for the student and teacher about the student’s performance
  • about a student’s performance relative to learning intentions or success criteria.
  • based on evidence of learning.
  • from the teacher, the student themselves or their peers through peer assessment activities.

Feedback from a Student Perspective.

Effective feedback is designed to achieve improvement in your learning, continuously driving your current performance towards a learning goal.

What then should you do with feedback once you have received it from your teacher following an assignment, essay, or task? It is always good to look clearly at what the feedback is saying. What are the teacher’s comments telling you specifically? What steps do you see that you can take to improve your work? John Hattie and Helen Timperley (2007), offer three key questions for students to think about:

  • Where am I going? … (in my learning)
  • How am I going? … (in my learning)
  • Where to next? … (in my learning)

The following are seven suggested steps you might apply after receiving feedback comments from your teacher on any assignment, whether it be an essay, a project, a CBA, or a piece of homework:

  1. Write down all the suggestions you received from your teacher on how to improve your assignment.
  2. Look at these comments side by side with your overall assignment.
  3. Put numbers by the suggested changes in your list to show the order of importance in which you will address them.
  4. Rewrite or redo your work according to this order of priority / importance.
  5. Read your first draft and then your new draft. See how you feel about the changes.
  6. Make further changes you may feel are needed. 
  7. If your teacher gives you verbal feedback, it is always good practice to write it down and then apply it to future assignments and tasks.

Good feedback will produce two key outcomes:

  1. As teachers, we will adapt and change our teaching strategies to help you make progress in areas identified as needing attention.
  2. As a student, you will change what you do to address the learning goals more effectively.

One final point, never take feedback on your work personally. It is not about you, but rather about the quality of your work. Teachers will always try to provide feedback points as a guide so that you can continuously improve.


Student Voice

Four students from our council attended the Irish Secondary Schools’ Union Regional Council of Schools online on Thursday.  These students were Leo Carey Mc Dermott, Rosin Lynch, Conor Gallagher and Rosie Campbell.  India Kennedy gave a presentation on minding your Mental Health at the meeting. 

The Regional Council of schools brings together students from all over Donegal, to discuss both regional and national education issues. Workshops, discussions and elections took place, electing 2 students as the 2021 Regional Officers.

The Donegal Regional Council included work in the areas of Student Council Skills, Mental Health and COVID Planning.

The council made and completed an online questionnaire in relation to their upcoming project – 

“You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving.”

They are organising the collection of food/essential products, etc. to make up hampers for those who are in need in our community.  They will soon publicise lists of non-perishable items and collect from staff and students at school drop off points.  They will have à meeting on Monday next to finalise the arrangements for this project.

Music

Students from each class are recording their choir lines from home which will be taken by Ms Bogle to the studio this weekend to mix and master our first AVS Virtual Choir.  It has been à wonderful experience to follow Ms Bogle’s recordings, record our voices and be part of this project.

The Music students Callum, Alannah, Ruth and Tristan have recorded a song that they composed the CART SONG.  It is a fun song with actions on the theme of keeping safe during these times.


TRANSITION YEAR

Personal Presentation and Make up Master Class Workshop

Transition Year Students from TYC were treated to a Personal Presentation and Makeup Master Class in St John’s Bosco Centre on Friday 6th November.

Manager of the Marine Spa Karla Lacey treated Students to a master class in makeup, skincare and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Transition Year Students were educated on the benefits of a healthy eating and fitness regime, drinking lots of water and on prepping the skin. Students gained invaluable tips and information and were treated to a step by step guide on how to apply foundation, eye shadow, lipstick and blush. 

Interview skills workshop

On the 5th of November, Sean McGee, who specialised in life coaching, came to the Parish hall in order to deliver a workshop to the Transition Year groups on the necessary skills needed in order to deal with the pressures of interviews and leave a positive lasting impression with the individuals conducting the interview. He covered a variety of areas with the students such as the importance of body language, presentation and eye-contact in an interview situation. The students will carry the skills learned from this workshop into the classroom when they will do a number of mock interviews over the coming weeks. 

Young Social Innovators

This year TYC will be involved in the Young Social Innovators under the leadership of Ms. Kelly. YSI is a nationwide competition for secondary school students that challenges young people to have a positive impact on their community. The purpose of the YSI initiative is for young people to understand that they can be a powerful catalyst for social change when given the opportunity and support to do so. 

This year’s group has decided on the project title ‘Unity in the Community.’  The goal of the project is to combat loneliness and isolation amongst older people which has ultimately worsened due to Covid-19. Inspired by the launch of Captain Tom Moore’s podcast ‘The Originals’, TYC wants to inspire young people to ‘donate their words’ and have meaningful conversations with older people. This is a social issue of concern as a result of Covid-19. Social distancing has become our ‘new normal’ and unfortunately, it has had a major impact on the older generation. Due to government restrictions, many old people do not get to interact with family and friends. This is leading to isolation and loneliness which is a major issue of concern amongst elderly people.

Students in TYC will be carrying out an online survey in school this week to gauge an understanding of our interaction with older people in the locality. They will also be hoping to carry out a survey with the elderly involved in the project to assess their feelings prior to their involvement in our project and a follow-up survey later to judge if there will be a change in attitude. Over the next few weeks, we will be contacting local nursing homes explaining the aim of “Unity in the Community” and what we hope to achieve from the project. We will write letters to elderly people as a ‘pen pal’ activity to establish connections. We will also arrange various zoom activities as a way of interacting with the older generation and reduce the loneliness and anxiety they may feel due to the current pandemic.

We wish TYC the best of luck with this extremely important project!

History walking tour of Donegal Town

On Wednesday 4th November Keith Corcoran guided our students on a historical tour of Donegal Town. They started the tour in the Parish hall where Keith gave the class an introduction to the tour and informed the students of the different landmarks that they would see. During the tour Keith stopped and explained the history behind the different statues and monuments in the town, for example the statue of Red Hugh O’Donnell down at the pier. Keith will be back next week to finish off the tour with TYC and TYD. Students will then follow up on this local history session with further works in their classes. 

GAA Future Leaders Programme 

Ms Rooney is leading out on the GAA future Leaders TY programme. The Future Leaders programme provides advice on curriculum links, ensuring alignment with the TY programme, embedding the core concept of Physical Literacy, developing educational resources and delivering training to the participating schools. The six modules meaningfully relate to several curriculum areas, promoting the development of Physical Literacy in particular and also encompassing the key skills taught at Junior Cycle.  

This initiative provides a unique and creative learning pathway for young people to acquire skills which are both sports related and transferable not only across the curriculum, but beyond TY itself. 

Course Structure:

The programme comprises 8 modules.

All modules are between 6 – 10 hrs long, stand alone and individually certifiable. Pupils will receive a GAA Certificate for each completed module.

A school can choose to deliver one or more modules. Delivering all modules plus the organisation of a GAA Super Games Blitz/Centre through the students, and/or Coaching younger players in their school or community, results in the students being awarded a ‘GAA TY Future Leaders Certificate”.

The programme utilises the Learning Management Software of the GAA Learning Portal (learning.gaa.ie) to share information and provide each student with an online e-Portfolio to store and share documentation and assignments.

This programme will commence over the next month and will continue on after Christmas. 

TY Upcoming activities:

This term will be very busy for our TYs with many trips, workshops and talks, in accordance with health requirements and regulations;

  • Donegal History Walk
  • Influence of Social Media Talk
  • Flair Start-up Business Programme
  • Personal Presentation Workshop with Karla Lacey
  • Cookery Workshop
  • Driver Education Programme
  • First Aid 2020 Course
  • History Talk with Keith Corcoran
  • Cycle Right Workshop
  • Drumming the Beat Workshop
  • Music in Tune Workshop
  • Fitness & Nutrition Virtual Talk with Shane Lyons
  • LYIT Virtual Talk
  • Sligo IT Virtual Talk
  • Rowing Workshop
  • Yoga Session
  • Debating Workshop

SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

Students in the Junior  years  who  remain  on  the  premises  at  lunchtime  in  addition  to  their  walks will have the activities at lunchtime. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

Our activities programme will run for all junior years from Tuesday, 29th September. All activities will be non-contact and follow current guidelines. Our main priority is the health and safety of everyone involved. 

  • Activities will last 20 minutes in total.
  • Monday to Thursday: 1.02pm – 1.22pm
  • Friday: 12:24pm – 12.44pm

This allows for students to have 10 minutes to eat at the beginning of lunchtime in their base room and 10 minutes at the end of lunch to return to their base room and get organised for the next lesson.

We have tried as much as possible to assign students to their chosen activity. However, due to guidelines and limitations for space, students will not get all their choices straight away.

All other students will have the opportunity to go outside and walk during this time with their base room teacher. Each base room has a list of where students are to go each day.

Please note, students can participate in all activities in their school uniform but are advised to wear/bring appropriate footwear. 

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 19th Oct

12th to 18th Oct 2020


Young Social Innovators

Congratulations to TYD 2019/20 on receiving their Young Social Innovators Award for outstanding achievement in social and digital media. Focusing on the effects of social media and reality television on young people, the ‘Keeping up with Reality’ team wanted their project to encourage young people to look past filtered and unrealistic expectations and be happy with themselves and their image.

The students created a social media campaign and collaborated with many influencers to share their message. The hashtag campaign #keepingupwithreality gained fantastic traction across social media platforms and was shared by influencers and members of the public alike. Their campaign to share unfiltered selfies on Instagram received national coverage and the team were invited on to the Ray D’Arcy radio show, Louise Tighe’s show on Dublin’s fm104 and iRadio to discuss their project.

The YSI Awards Ceremony will be live streamed on Tuesday the 20th of October. This initiative was led out by Ms Kelly.

BT Young Scientist 2021

Congratulations to the 8 students who entered projects into BTYS 2021 competition in the Technology, Biological and Ecological and Social and Behavioural Science categories. Thank you to Ms Donna Furey for all of her work on this area

The projects are as follows: 

1. The effect of alpha, beta and gamma binaural beats on working memory in Donegal Teenagers by Anna Mitchell and Sarah Canny.

2. Antimicrobial Barks by Eadaoin Murphy and Joseph Woods.

3. The best household preservative for cut flowers by Jane Faulkner, Amy McGroary and Jayne Glenn.

4. A reusable biodegradable solution for coffee on the go by Grace Masterson. 

The students worked hard on their proposals before entering them for consideration to take part in the 2021 online BTYS competition. Judges will now consider each of these projects in terms of the work that has been carried out to date and the validity of the project in terms of the scientific method applied and value of the research conducted. Over the coming weeks we will profile the students’ four projects as we wait to see if our bids are successful in this first round of the rigorous BTYS selection process.

Zeeko Workshops for First Years

This week AVS First Year Students participated in online Zeeko workshops in the Abbey Vocational School. Zeeko has created a world where young people can safely benefit from technology and the internet, visiting around 400 schools across Ireland per year delivering Internet Safety Seminars to pupils, teachers and parents. Zeeko has the knowledge & experience in children’s internet safety to help make a difference. Zeeko have surveyed over 35,000 children in Ireland and the UK on their digital habits. 

Zeeko aims to reduce the negative consequences of cyberbullying and exposure to user-generated content promoting toxic issues. Zeeko has a significant positive impact on the health and wellbeing of young people and families across Ireland.

First Year Parents Information Evening

We will hold an online Information Evening for first year parents on Tuesday 20th October from 7pm to 8pm. All parents of our present first year students are welcome to attend, we will send you the link to this event. This meeting will give parents an update on all of the various matters relating to first year students who are new to our school. It will allow us the opportunity to outline the various supports which have and will be put in place to target the varying needs of our first year students. We also wish to complement the students on their very smooth transition and excellent engagement and behaviour in a very challenging time.

Incoming first years 2020/2021 

All Primary schools have received the induction pack for the 6th class students who will be joining us in Sept 2021. This pack includes the form that is required to start the process of enrolling in the AVS. If you have a younger brother or sister in 6th class will you tell them to make sure they have shown this pack to their parents/guardians at home. We will be in touch at a later date on subject choice matters.

Virtual Learning Week

All students should be in a position to engage online learning following our virtual learning week here in the AVS. Students must all ensure that they can access google classroom and other such tools that their teachers have been using with them this week. 

Covid – 19

We would like to thank all our school community for their diligence in adhering to protocols regarding Coronavirus. As we have now moved into Level 4 of the Government’s Plan for Living with Covid – 19 and we would ask everyone to strictly adhere to HSE guidelines regarding social distancing and hand hygiene. 

The AVS are operating an ‘If  Unwell,  Stay  at  Home’ policy. Should a  member  of  our community  experience  any  of  the  symptoms  of  Covid-19  –  Cough, high  temperature,  shortness  of  breath, difficulty  breathing,  that  member  of  our  community must stay at home  and  seek  appropriate medical  intervention.  

Parent Teacher Meetings

At present these are not possible in their usual face to face format. We are currently awaiting direction from the DES on what is required in this regard. We will let you know as soon as we have any clear direction on this area. 

Attendance

If a student is absent from school then a note for the dates of the absence must be submitted to the office upon the students return. Alternatively we will accept an email to abbeyvs@donegaletb.ie. This email must clearly state the name of the student, the year group and it has to state clearly the dates that the email is referring to. The attendance record of the student can then be updated with this information. 

New School Fleece 

‪Have a look at the latest addition to our school uniform. The new school fleece can be purchased from All Sports and Peters Man shop in Donegal town. Junior and Adults sizes are available. This warm and cozy fleece is a great addition coming into the cold winter morning.

Career Guidance

1. A virtual information evening for parents/guardians of Leaving Cert students will take place on Tuesday, 03 Nov. 2020 @ 7.00 p.m. The presentation will cover all options available to students including 3rd level, FET, Apprenticeships & Traineeships. Parental, financial & other supports will also be discussed.  Log-in details will be communicated closer to the time.

2. Leaving Certs: 1-1 appointments are available throughout the week; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 

3. Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.

* The Noticeboard has a number of important notices for Leaving Certs.

Canteen 

All orders for the canteen must now be done through http://www.getfresh.ie. Click on the AVS school crest picture at the bottom of the page and this will take you to the menu that you can order from. The cashless card will then be used to identify the student and you pay by your regular debit/credit card at the moment. Do not top up the cashless card at the moment. 

Music Department

The students are learning to upload their practical work and many are enjoying this way of performing from the comfort of their own home.

Great Reads Award 

This year students from the Abbey Vocational School will participate in the ‘Great Reads Award (GRA)’. The ‘Great Reads Award’ is an Award judged by students for debut writing for Young Adults. Presented by the School Library Association in the Republic of Ireland and short listed by librarians and teacher-librarians. The short list titles offer a range of reading levels and interests, by authors from a variety of backgrounds, including an Irish language title for which a glossary is available.

Wellbeing

Positive Points Initiative

The positive point’s initiative in our school is aimed at promoting positive behaviour and acknowledging the good things that our students do. Students can be awarded points from teachers for things such as good effort in class, co-operation , helping others, contributing to group work, extracurricular contribution etc.

Each monthly class winner will be rewarded. Any individual who is acknowledged with five positive points/comments will be recognised by the school and parents/guardians will be informed by a postcard sent home from the appropriate year head in appreciation for the positive contribution to school life. A big thank you to the facilitator of this initiative, Mr Carty.

Leaving Cert Prefects

The run/walk for your wellbeing will take place every Tuesday on the school track from 4-5. If you would like to take part in this please give your name to Hannah Crawford, Shane Meehan or Ms Rooney before a Tuesday lunchtime. 

Keep an eye out for more of these initiatives over the next few months and if anyone would like to suggest or assist with an initiative throughout the year please let any of the prefects or Ms Rooney know. 

Peer Mentoring 

This week Peer Mentors had the opportunity to work with 1st years focusing on organisational skills. They gave useful tips to help them get organised for school every day and how best to use their journals to ensure they get all their work completed. One of the big changes for 1st years to adapt to is the use of their lockers. Peer Mentors spent time discussing how they should organise their lockers and gave them the opportunity to create a checklist for every subject to ensure they always bring the correct equipment to class. As the quote says “being organised is being in control”.

Cycle Against Suicide 

We are pleased and honoured to announce that we have received the Cycle Against Suicide Ambassador School Award for the fourth year in a row. The Ambassador School Programme established in 2013 aims to encourage schools to become actively involved in mental health promotion. The programme provides a framework, structure and incentive for schools to integrate mental health activities into their school planning and rewards schools that go the extra mile. We look forward to take part in this worthwhile programme again this year.

Positive Wellbeing Week

This week the Abbey Vocational School celebrated Positive Wellbeing Week from Monday the 19th of October – Friday the 23rd of October 2019. Positive Wellbeing and Mental Health Week is a firm fixture in the AVS Calendar as staff and students highlight, discuss and embrace mental health. Positive affirmations, motivational talks, sharing of kindness within our school have embodied Mental Health Week as the AVS Community join together to celebrate the ethos of the Abbey Vocational School; The Abbey Vocational School is dedicated to the holistic development of students in a caring environment where tolerance and respect are nurtured and valued. Activities from the week included, motivational talks, sharing of positive messages, “Humans of AVS” sharing of kindness stories within the AVS, music at lunch, Poem/letter writing to our friends in the local hospitals and nursing homes, Covid poster design, Tik Tok and crazy mask competitions. Each day there will be a different positive quote read out by Ms Diver over the intercom.

Tik Tok Competition

Instructions:

Create a Tik Tok video. The theme of the video is Happiness/Kindness/Fun. If there is more than one person in the video social distancing must take place. Max length of the video is 15 seconds. Please submit your video to patricerooney@donegaletb.ie before 5pm on Wednesday the 21/10/20.

Due Date: 21/10/20

Prize for the best video – Halloween Hamper

Crazy Mask Competition with disposal masks!  

Instructions – Wear a fancy face covering on Friday the 23th October to be in with a chance to win a prize.Create a Halloween themed face mask using a disposal mask. 

Teaching and Learning

Mind Mapping for Learning: Traditionally, when studying, we make notes in list style by making lines and lines of information. A Mind Map is a visual map of your ideas, laid out in a radial format around a central thought. To use Mind Mapping for study, simply take the central subject and then organise your notes around this point. A mind map is a useful way to come up with new ideas or make sense of complex topics or see how pieces of information fit together. They are also very useful for planning essays, summarising topics or working on projects in teams. Useful Mind-Mapping apps include Coggle.it, SimpleMind, http://www.sketchboard.io or http://www.mindmaple.com. However, a pen, paper and a little creativity are just as good!

Transition Year

TY Musical Auditions

This week TY Students from the Abbey Vocational School took part in auditions for the school production of Broadway smash “Curtains” is a musical mystery comedy. The musical is a send-up of backstage murder mystery plots, set in 1959 Boston, Massachusetts and follows the fallout when Jessica Cranshaw, the supremely untalented star of ‘Robbin’ Hood of the Old West’ is murdered during her opening night curtain call. 

It is up to Lt. Frank Cioffi, a police detective who moonlights as a musical theatre fan, to save the show, solve the case, and maybe even find love before the show reopens, without getting killed himself. As we prepare for this musical, we do so in a very different way. Social distancing and protocols in terms of singing etc makes the process very different. Indeed we may find ourselves in a situation where we have to live steam this virtual event or perform this virtually however the students are progressing with this learning as the opportunity to study the performing arts in this regard is really beneficial to all. 

Drama Workshop with Sinead Carey

“On the 14th of October the class TYB ventured to the Parish Hall where we are currently carrying out all of our workshops. This workshop focused on drama. It was taken by Sinead Carey. We started off the workshop by stretching in a large socially distanced circle. Once we were all stretched we played a quick ice-breaker game to get to know each other better and for Sinead to learn all of our names and we played some imaginative games to encourage us to think outside of the box. 

 Put into groups of 5 and told to create a snapshot of a chosen fairy-tale while keeping social distancing in mind, my group chose to create ‘Snow White & the Seven Dwarves’. This was something new for me and I really enjoyed the experience. We also created a 30 second advertisement for a product chosen by Sinead. This was very enjoyable. I found the workshop very beneficial as I had to step out of my comfort zone and think outside the box.  I am looking forward to the next workshop as I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope to get to participate in more workshops like this throughout the year” Transition Year Diary Entry.

Heritage and Creative Workshops

AVS Students engaged in the Heritage and Creative Workshops with facilitator Maura Logue. Maura Logue is an actor, playwright, theatre director and producer from Donegal. She has created many memorable theatre works for Festivals, often on a theme of strong women from times past. Recent highlights have included Síle Molloy (2018), Mother Loss (2016) and Anna Katherine Kelly (2012).

Throughout the session the students learned about the history of Donegal through group discussion and drama re-enactment. Donegal castle and the O’Donnell family histories was the centre point of the session. Using the histories of the 1500s they explored historical characters, as part of an Animated Heritage/ Tourism. They looked at these historical characters and discussed their story, Inion Dubh, Aoidh Manus, Red Hugh O Donnell, Nuala O Donnell, Niall Garbh, Colmcille and monastic life / Cathach / Battle Book. 

Transition Year Surfing

TY Students’ introduction to surfing has now finished. At the end of last week the students had an opportunity to sign up for four more sessions to develop and to learn more skills at their surfing school. Thank you to Neill and his team and Finn McCool surf school for providing such enjoyable and safe lessons. The sessions took place on Rossnowlagh Beach and the students got to enjoy the natural beauty of Rossnowlagh Beach and engage in an exhilarating pastime! Surfing provides many health benefits including: cardiovascular fitness – from paddling; shoulder and back strength – these muscles will strengthen from the paddling; leg and core strength – once you’re standing up on the board, strong legs and a strong core will keep you up.

Student Voice

The Student Council held a meeting this week in person and have a virtual meeting scheduled on Monday evening.  They are organising a Crazy Mask day to create a sense of fun around the school for the final day before the holidays.  The council will judge these masks and there will be prizes for the best entry – Get creative!!

The election for 1st year rep for the Student Council representatives took place online.  Thank you to all our class captains and all who participated in the election.  Congratulations to Jon Farren and Ciara Kerrigan and welcome onboard to the AVS Student Council.  

TY Upcoming Activities:

We are coming to the end of a very busy first term for our TY students, they have sampled many workshops, trips and activities. This will continue after our midterm break with talks from local business entrepreneurs such as Gareth Britton, local chef Chis McMenamin of Harvey’s Point, local crafts woman Mona O’Connor, interview skills from Sean McGee, personal presentation workshop and much more. 

SPORT

Online Leaving Certificate PE Tutorials 

Great application of learning this week from Leaving Cert PE Students Planes and Axes online tutorials and tests via @The_EverLearner and reinforced through practical’s.

Annotation through ‘Markup’ feature on the iPad.
LCPE Planes and Axes online tutorials

LCPE Planes and Axes online tutorials

Lunchtime Activities 2020

Students  in  the  Junior  years  who  remain  on  the  premises  at  lunchtime  in  addition  to  their  walks will have  the  activities at lunchtime. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

Our activities programme will run for all junior years from Tuesday, 29th September. All activities will be non-contact and follow current guidelines. Our main priority is the health and safety of everyone involved. 

  •  Activities will last 20 minutes in total.
  • Monday to Thursday: 1.02pm – 1.22pm
  • Friday: 12:24pm – 12.44pm

This allows for students to have 10 minutes to eat at the beginning of lunchtime in their base room and 10 minutes at the end of lunch to return to their base room and get organised for the next lesson.

We have tried as much as possible to assign students to their chosen activity. However, due to guidelines and limitations for space, students will not get all their choices straight away.

All other students will have the opportunity to go outside and walk during this time with their base room teacher. Each base room has a list of where students are to go each day.

Please note, students can participate in all activities in their school uniform but are advised to wear/bring appropriate footwear. 

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!


Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 12th Oct 2020

5th-11th October 2020

AVS Students Ailbhe Liu & Seoda Wang

Congratulations to AVS Students Ailbhe Liu and Seoda Wang who displayed their amazing talent on An Ril Deal TG4 which was aired  on Sunday night. The show was pre-recorded in July and August in Dublin. 

An Ril Deal is a dance competition which is open to dancers of all ages and styles!

Ailbhe Liu is currently studying for the Leaving Certificate and Seoda Wang is in second year.

First Year Parents Information Evening

We will hold an online Information Evening for first year parents on Tuesday 20th October from 7pm to 8pm. All parents of our present first year students are welcome to attend, we will send you the link to this event in the coming weeks. This will give parents an update on all of the various matters relating to first year students who are new to our school. It will allow us the opportunity to outline the various supports which have and will be put in place to target the varying needs of our first year students. We also wish to complement the students on their very smooth transition and excellent engagement and behaviour in a very challenging time.

If Unwell, Stay at Home

The AVS are operating an ‘If  Unwell,  Stay  at  Home’ policy. Should a  member  of  our community  experience  any  of  the  symptoms  of  Covid-19  –  Cough, high  temperature,  shortness  of  breath, difficulty  breathing,  that  member  of  our  community must stay at home  and  seek  appropriate medical  intervention.  

Parent Teacher Meetings:

At present these are not possible in their usual face to face format. We are currently awaiting direction from the DES on what is required in this regard. We will let you know as soon as we have any clear direction on this area. 

Attendance

If a student is absent from school then a note for the dates of the absence must be submitted to the office upon the students return. Alternatively we will accept an email to abbeyvs@donegaletb.ie. This email must clearly state the name of the student, the year group and it has to state clearly the dates that the email is referring to. The attendance record of the student can then be updated with this information. 

New School Fleece 

‪Have a look at the latest addition to our school uniform. The new school fleece can be purchased from All Sports and Peters Man shop in Donegal town. Junior and Adults sizes are available. This warm and cozy fleece is a great addition coming into the cold winter morning.

Career Guidance

  1. A virtual information evening for parents/guardians of Leaving Cert students will take place on Tuesday, 03 Nov. 2020 @ 7.00 p.m. The presentation will cover all options available to students including 3rd level, FET, Apprenticeships & Traineeships. Parental, financial & other supports will also be discussed.  Log-in details will be communicated closer to the time.
  2. Leaving Certs: 1-1 appointments are available throughout the week; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 
  3. Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.  The Noticeboard has a number of important notices for Leaving Certs.

 Literacy

Trócaire and Poetry Ireland’s poetry competition

Ms O’Donnell will be running the Trócaire and Poetry Ireland’s poetry competition in the coming weeks. Ireland is renowned for its literary and cultural heritage, as well as for its generosity in supporting those in need around the world. Trócaire and Poetry Ireland’s annual poetry competition brings these two elements together in a creative way, using the arts to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of our time. This competition is unique, because poets are invited to explore a different global development theme each year. The competition is also free to enter.

Student Council

The Council are currently working on preparations for Positive Wellbeing Week.  They will have a meeting early next week.

Music Department

The students are learning to upload their practical work and many are enjoying this way of performing, from the comfort of their own home.

Great Reads Award 

This year students from the Abbey Vocational School will participate in the ‘Great Reads Award (GRA)’. The ‘Great Reads Award’ is an Award judged by students for debut writing for Young Adults. Presented by the School Library Association in the Republic of Ireland and short listed by librarians and teacher-librarians. The short list titles offer a range of reading levels and interests, by authors from a variety of backgrounds, including an Irish language title for which a glossary is available.

Teaching & Learning. Virtual Learning Week 

This week in our school is Virtual Learning Week. Our students should all be in a good place at the end of the week for online learning should there be any year group or whole school closure at any point. Please link in with them in the regard also and see how they are set up for this. Should you have a concern about any of this by the end of the week please let your year head know about this.  We have no plans for this to happen as yet however, should it arise at any stage our students should be ready to transition to learning from home smoothly. 

Our students are already familiar with Google Classroom and they will be further encouraged to use a variety of digital technologies for building their knowledge, to source, critique, and manage information and to reflect on their learning. Examples include using Google Sites to create e-portfolios, digital mind-mapping and working in virtual groups. For further information, please see ‘Learning & Teaching’ on our school website.

Wellbeing

Positive Points Initiative

The positive point’s initiative in our school is aimed at promoting positive behaviour and acknowledging the good things that our students do. Students can be awarded points from teachers for things such as good effort in class, co-operation, helping others, contributing to group work, extracurricular contribution etc.

Each monthly class winner will be rewarded. Any individual who is acknowledged with five positive points/comments will be recognised by the school and parents/guardians will be informed by a postcard sent home from the appropriate year head in appreciation for the positive contribution to school life. A big thank you to the facilitator of this initiative, Mr Carty.

First Year Zeeko Internet Safety Workshop

On Monday 12th October our first year students will participate in an online workshop delivered by Zeeko. The aim of this workshop will be to target our students’ online wellbeing and promote an environment where they can safely benefit from using the Internet and technology. An online Zeeko Internet Safety Workshop will also be offered to parents of our first years from 7pm – 8pm on the same day. Details and an invite to attend will be sent beforehand.

Leaving Cert Prefects

The run/walk for your wellbeing will take place every Thursday on the school track from 4-5. If you would like to take part in this please give your name to Hannah Crawford, Shane Meehan or Ms Rooney before a Thursday. 

Keep an eye out for more of these initiatives over the next few months and if anyone would like to suggest or assist with an initiative throughout the year please let any of the prefects or Ms Rooney know. 

Student Voice 

Class captains have now been elected.  The Student Council has had 2 meetings in September where they addressed issues relating to school life, uniform and wellbeing in the current climate.  They hope to run events coordinating with Positive Mental Health Week before the midterm break.

Our members of the Donegal Youth Council also met last week. They primarily discussed the end of term showcase, which will now be done virtually.

Those who sit on other committees will remain on the Donegal Youth Council for a bit longer in some capacity, for example councillors such as Frank Duffy who sits on the ETB committee.  

Our students have also offered to stay on with the DYC in a voluntary capacity; this will not affect the elections of students from the school.  Elections will be held virtually in all Donegal schools in November for the two year term of office.  Our students have benefited enormously from their experience and have contributed hugely to the lives of young and others in Donegal during their two year term. As members must be under 18, elections will include students up to 5th year.

Peer Mentoring 

The Abbey Vocational School is very proud to engage in the peer mentoring programme. The programme is run by Ms. Kelly and will involve the mentors meeting with 1st year students during lunchtimes to support them in their transition into the secondary school environment. Activities will include our wellbeing walk, organisational skills, study skills, fun quizzes and games. Peer mentoring is a great way for TY mentors to be positive role models and feel a sense of pride helping 1st Year students. It is also beneficial for 1st year students to have older students to talk to if they need any support. The aim of the programme is to help students adapt and feel content in their first year at the AVS.

Transition Year

Heritage and Creative Workshops

AVS Students engaged in the Heritage and Creative Workshops with facilitator Maura Logue. Maura Logue is an actor, playwright, theatre director and producer from Donegal. She has created many memorable theatre works for Festivals, often on a theme of strong women from times past. Recent highlights have included Síle Molloy (2018), Mother Loss (2016) and Anna Katherine Kelly (2012).

Participation in drama boosts students’ feelings of belonging and helps motivate students at school. It also bolsters their ability to read and understand complex texts. The performing arts training also makes a positive difference in a students’ ability to understand the feelings of others. 

The performing arts are intrinsically valuable for the beauty and fulfilment they bring, but researchers have observed that theatre training and education are also valuable.

When students portray characters onstage, they practice putting themselves in others’ shoes. Children who study theatre tend to display higher levels of empathy later in life. Performing onstage is frightening for newcomers, which is why students feel an immense confidence boost after they practice hard, work together, and successfully stage a play for friends and family. Theatre training helps students gain confidence, build camaraderie, learn leadership, practice teamwork and build a skill set not only for a theatre but for the real world!

Transition Year Surfing

Last Tuesday was the last week of the TY Students introduction to surfing. At the end of this week the students will get the opportunity to sign up for four more sessions to develop and to learn more skills at their surfing school. Thank you to Neill and his team and Finn McCool surf school for providing such enjoyable and safe lessons. The sessions take place on Rossnowlagh Beach and the students get to enjoy the natural beauty of Rossnowlagh Beach and engage in an exhilarating pastime! Surfing provides many health benefits including: cardiovascular fitness – from paddling; shoulder and back strength – these muscles will strengthen from the paddling; leg and core strength – once you’re standing up on the board, strong legs and a strong core will keep you up.

SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

Students  in  the  Junior  years  who  remain  on  the  premises  at  lunchtime  in  addition  to  their  walks will have  the  activities at lunchtime. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

Our activities programme will run for all junior years from Tuesday, 29th September. All activities will be non-contact and follow current guidelines. Our main priority is the health and safety of everyone involved. 

  • Activities will last 20 minutes in total.
  • Monday to Thursday: 1.02pm – 1.22pm
  • Friday: 12:24pm – 12.44pm

This allows for students to have 10 minutes to eat at the beginning of lunchtime in their base room and 10 minutes at the end of lunch to return to their base room and get organised for the next lesson.

We have tried as much as possible to assign students to their chosen activity. However, due to guidelines and limitations for space, students will not get all their choices straight away.

All other students will have the opportunity to go outside and walk during this time with their base room teacher. Each base room has a list of where students are to go each day.

Please note, students can participate in all activities in their school uniform but are advised to wear/bring appropriate footwear. 

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

Lunchtime Activities September 2020

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 5th Oct

First Year Parents Information Evening

We will hold an online Information Evening for first year parents on Tuesday 20th October from 7pm to 8pm. All parents of our present first year students are welcome to attend, we will send you the link to this event in the coming weeks. This will give parents an update on all of the various matters relating to first year students who are new to our school. It will allow us the opportunity to outline the various supports which have and will be put in place to target the varying needs of our first year students. We also wish to complement the students on their very smooth transition and excellent engagement and behaviour in a very challenging time.

First Year Zeeko Internet Safety Workshop

On Monday 12th October our first year students will participate in an online workshop delivered by Zeeko. The aim of this workshop will be to target our students’ online wellbeing and promote an environment where they can safely benefit from using the Internet and technology. An online Zeeko Internet Safety Workshop will also be offered to parents of our first years from 7pm – 8pm on the same day. Details and an invite to attend will be sent beforehand.

If Unwell, Stay at Home

The AVS are operating an ‘If  Unwell,  Stay  at  Home’ policy. Should a  member  of  our community  experience  any  of  the  symptoms  of  Covid-19  –  Cough, high  temperature,  shortness  of  breath, difficulty  breathing,  that  member  of  our  community must stay at home  and  seek  appropriate medical  intervention.  

Parent Teacher Meetings:

At present these are not possible in their usual face to face format. We are currently awaiting direction from the DES on what is required in this regard. We will let you know as soon as we have any clear direction on this area. 

Assessments

Students  will  have  monthly  tests  and  all students will have Christmas Exams and Summer  Exams. Third year and Leaving cert students will also have Mock Exams  as usual. Should  we  ever  be  in  the  unfortunate  situation  of  facing  school  closure  again, students have their google classroom codes set up, and are up and  running.   

Attendance

If a student is absent from school then a note for the dates of the absence must be submitted to the office upon the students return. Alternatively we will accept an email to abbeyvs@donegaletb.ie. This email must clearly state the name of the student, the year group and it has to state clearly the dates that the email is referring to. The attendance record of the student can then be updated with this information. 

New Homework App!

The Abbey Vocational School is delighted to announce the introduction of the New Homework App. For  the  safe  handling  of  written  work,  all  students will be trained how to download the app and then use it to upload their scanned homework to their google classroom assignments. This will mean staff receive a pdf of written work/evidence that they can annotate/give feedback on thereafter. A short tutorial to support  this  has  been  recorded  from  the  students  perspective  for  both  android  and  iOS phones. 

Career Guidance

1.Leaving Certs: 1-1 appointments are available throughout the week; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 

2.Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.

* the Noticeboard has a number of important notices for Leaving Certs.

Literacy

Trócaire and Poetry Ireland’s poetry competition

Ms O’Donnell will be running the Trócaire and Poetry Ireland’s poetry competition in the coming weeks. Ireland is renowned for its literary and cultural heritage, as well as for its generosity in supporting those in need around the world. Trócaire and Poetry Ireland’s annual poetry competition brings these two elements together in a creative way, using the arts to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of our time. This competition is unique, because poets are invited to explore a different global development theme each year. The competition is also free to enter.

Great Reads Award 

This year students from the Abbey Vocational School will participate in the ‘Great Reads Award (GRA)’. The ‘Great Reads Award’ is an Award judged by students for debut writing for Young Adults. Presented by the School Library in Association in the Republic of Ireland and short listed by librarians and teacher-librarians. The short list titles offer a range of reading levels and interests, by authors from a variety of backgrounds, including an Irish language title for which a glossary is available.

 Numeracy 

AVS Maths Teacher Mr Russell is running the CSO maths competition in the coming weeks. The goal of the competition is to improve students’ abilities to describe their environment with the help of statistics and to use statistics as a tool for making sense of daily life.

School Canteen

This year the Abbey Vocational School has introduced the new pre-order system with the school canteen in collaboration with ‘Get Fresh’. ‘Get Fresh’ is introducing a new system which will see a cashless system in place. An email has been sent to all parents with the leaflet attached explaining the setup process. The menu shown online is currently what is available in school for the students. Do not top these cards up at the moment as you are still paying by debit/credit card currently. 

Step by Step Instructions for Pre-Order 

1.  On your PC, laptop. Smartphone or tablet, go to website https://touchtopup.net

2.  Click [sign up] – fill in required details 

3.  Click [create account]

4.  Enter account key – from your card

5.  Click continue – your account is now set up 

6.  Logout of https://touchtop.net

7,  On your PC, laptop , smartphone or tablet go to website https://getfresh.touchtakeaway.net or go to website https://

getfresh.ie and click on your school crest and it will take you direct to your school pre-order page 

8.   Select the name of the school your child attends (you do not need to do this if you  used the link from https://getfresh.ie

9.Select the morning break or lunch menu for the day you would like to order for. You can order for both at same time

10.  Select the products you would like to order 

11.  When you have selected all the items you require proceed to checkout 

12.  Confirm all is correct and hit next

13.  Complete all fields on the order details screen including ticking the box to indicate if your order is for morning break, lunch or both and hit next

14.  On order summary check again all is correct, tick the box to confirm acceptance of terms and conditions then hit pre-order 15. On the billing screen insert the card details for the debit/credit card you are paying with, then hit pay & pre-order to complete the payment

16.  You will receive an email confirming your order and order will be ready for collection at the agreed date and time.

Teaching & Learning. 

During 2020-2021 we will continue to focus on developing our school improvement targets in developing Learning Intentions, Success Criteria and provide time for students to reflect on their learning. However, to support students in the progression of their learning in socially distanced classrooms and unusual circumstances, we are adapting some further strategies. Our teachers and SNAs are exploring and using a range of digital technologies to create new opportunities for learning, teaching and assessment.

Our students are already familiar with Google Classroom and they will be further encouraged to use a variety of digital technologies for building their knowledge, to source, critique, and manage information and to reflect on their learning. Examples include using Google Sites to create e-portfolios, digital mind-mapping and working in virtual groups. For further information, please see ‘Learning & Teaching’ on our school website.

 Leaving Cert Prefects

The leaving cert prefects held their second meeting of the year this week and this time they held their meeting virtually over google meets. The theme of the meeting was the promotion of positive wellbeing within our school community. They discussed many incentives that they will introduce within the school community over the coming year. The first incentive they have organised is a run/walk for fun every Thursday after school from 4-5 on the school track. This is aimed at the whole school community to encourage everyone to get out and be active while sticking to the Covid 19 restrictions. If you would like to sign up you must give your name to Ms Rooney before attending this Thursday. 

Keep an eye out for more of these incentives over the next few months and if anyone would like to suggest or assist with an incentive throughout the year please let any of the prefects or Ms Rooney know. 

 Wellbeing

Staff Kayaking

Following on from the success of the staff surf session, Abbey Vocational School staff will partake in kayaking with Gartan Outdoor Adventure centre on Wednesday October 14th, 4- 6pm! The staff will paddle around Donegal bay enjoying the local scenery.  A big thank you to Ms O’Mahony and the Wellbeing Committee for organising the adventure.

 Student Voice and Wellbeing 

Class captains have now been elected.  The Student Council has had 2 meetings in September where they addressed issues relating to school life, uniform and wellbeing in the current climate.  They hope to run events coordinating with Positive Mental Health Week before the midterm break.

Our members of the Donegal Youth Council also met last week. They primarily discussed the end of term showcase, which will now be done virtually.

Those who sit on other committees will remain on the Donegal Youth Council for a bit longer in some capacity for example councillors such as Frank Duffy who sits on the ETB committee.  

Our students have also offered to stay on with the DYC in a voluntary capacity; this will not affect the elections of students from the school.  Elections will be held virtually in all Donegal schools in November for the two year term of office.  Our students have benefited enormously from their experience and have contributed hugely to the lives of young and others in Donegal during their two year term. As members must be under 18, elections will include students up to 5th year.

 Transition Year

Westend Theatre Workshops

AVS Students engaged in the Westend Theatre Workshops with facilitator Emma Warren in the Parish Hall this week. Pre Covid 19 Emma was performing in musicals in the West End such as Les Misérables. Throughout the week each class attended the workshop where they got to experience what it is like to be involved in a West End production, the musicals they were introduced to were Les Misérables and Hairspray from acting out scenes and dance routines. 

Participation in drama boosts students’ feelings of belonging and helps motivate students at school. It also bolsters their ability to read and understand complex texts. The performing arts training also makes a positive difference in a students’ ability to understand the feelings of others. 

The performing arts are intrinsically valuable for the beauty and fulfilment they bring, but researchers have observed that theatre training and education are also valuable.

When students portray characters onstage, they practice putting themselves in others’ shoes. Children who study theatre tend to display higher levels of empathy later in life. Performing onstage is frightening for newcomers, which is why students feel an immense confidence boost after they practice hard, work together, and successfully stage a play for friends and family. Theatre training helps students gain confidence, build camaraderie, learn leadership, practice teamwork and build a skill set not only for a theatre but for the real world!

Drama students work together to meet rehearsal deadlines, master challenging scenes and develop a work of art in a limited timeframe. 

 They also learn to set smaller goals for themselves as individual performers. For instance, a student might need to improve his/her dance skills for one show, and work on delivering a moving monologue for another.

Peer Mentoring 

The Abbey Vocational School is very proud to engage in the peer mentoring programme. The programme is run by Ms. Kelly and will involve the mentors meeting with 1st year students during lunchtimes to support them in their transition into the secondary school environment. Activities will include our wellbeing walk, organisational skills, study skills, fun quizzes and games. Peer mentoring is a great way for TY mentors to be positive role models and feel a sense of pride helping 1st Year students. It is also beneficial for 1st year students to have older students to talk to if they need any support. The aim of the programme is to help students adapt and feel content in their first year at the AVS.

Transition Year Surfing

This Tuesday will be the last week of the  TY Students introduction to surfing. At the end of this week the students will get the opportunity to sign up for four more sessions to develop and to learn more skills at their surfing school that. Thank you to Neill and his team and Finn McCool surf school for providing such enjoyable and safe lessons. The sessions take place on Rossnowlagh Beach and the students get to enjoy the natural beauty of Rossnowlagh Beach and engage in an exhilarating pastime! Surfing provides many health benefits including: cardiovascular fitness – from paddling; shoulder and back strength – these muscles will strengthen from the paddling; leg and core strength – once you’re standing up on the board, strong legs and a strong core will keep you up.

Engineering

Mr Young is working with Transition Year Students on the engineering competition F1 in Schools. It is a global, multi-disciplinary competition for secondary school students. Students design, build and race their very own miniature F1 car, with cars reaching speeds of over 100km/h! Through participating in F1 in Schools, students are provided with free access to CAD software, 3D printers and CNC machines to produce the most aerodynamic, most efficient and fastest car possible. Teams of 3-6 students can register for the competition with a coordinating teacher before the 15th of November 2020. Each year, the top four Irish teams travel to the F1 in Schools World Finals to represent Ireland at a chosen Grand Prix event as part of the trip of a lifetime.

BT Young Scientist 

Hoping to replicate the amazing success of last year, AVS Science Teacher Ms Furey will be working again with Transition Year Students in the BT Young Scientist Exhibition.

In 1963 two physics researchers from the University College Dublin, Dr. Tom Burke and Dr. Tony Scott, came across the concept of ‘Science Fairs’ while conducting research in New Mexico, USA. The pair decided that this type of hands-on science was something that students in Ireland could benefit from. And so the Young Scientist Exhibition was born. 

Young Social Innovators 

Transition Year students will again be taking part in the Young Social Innovators. As a young innovator students will be challenged to look at the world around them and to identify and explore issues affecting us, our friends, our community and wider society. More than just coming up with a solution, students will be asked to put that idea into action and to create change. They will see other perspectives, using their own expertise and creativity to design solutions based on real human experience and need.

TY Eco Workshop

The Abbey Vocational School TY Students will engage in modules which include:

Earth & Us  Viewing the planet as an organism and looking at its different functioning systems and comparing it to all life on Earth.

Our evolutionary timeline from apes to where we are today and the growing frequency and strength of “natural” disasters (background videos, survey and quizzes)

Climate Changed: The climate crisis, understanding different greenhouse gases and the damages they are causing. An insight into the world at 2 degrees and 4 degrees warmer than pre-industrial times (Carbon footprint calculator questionnaire & quiz)

Ocean Issues: Video aided explanations of ocean acidification, the plastic problem and over fishing (group research activity)

Mass Extinction & Over Population: The 6th mass extinction of species and our overpopulation (Survey & group research activity/debate)

The Unsustainable Food Industry: Animal agriculture in Ireland and the rest of the world, monocultures such as palm oil, soy and maize (solution activity and discussion).

TY Team

The TY Leadership Team for the year is TY Coordinator – Mr C Hegarty, TY Year Head -Mr Plunkett. TY Core Team – Ms P Rooney, Ms L Kelly, Ms L O’Donnell & Ms E O’Mahony. The  Mission  of  TY  is  to  promote  the  personal,  social,  educational  and  vocational  development  of  pupils  and  to prepare  them  for  their  role  as  autonomous,  participative,  and  responsible  members  of  society.  During  the  year  the students  will  take  responsibility  for  their  learning  and  will  develop  strategies  in  active  and  experiential  learning which  will  help  them  to  become  better  students. There are many aspects to the AVS Transition Year Programme;

  • Teaching  and  Learning;  It  is  our  intention  to  make  every  effort  to  bridge  the  gap  in  learning  for  students  in  TY  this  year  due  to  the  COVID period and a strong emphasis  on academic work will  also be very much part  of  the programme  this  year.
  • Work  Experience: During  Transition  Year,  the  students  will  gain  some  valuable  insights  into  the  world  of  work  through  our  work placement  programme.  The  work  placements  take  place  over  two  separate  one  week  slots. Each  student  is  expected  to  find  his  or  her  own  placements  with  an  employer  in  a  suitable  area  of  work.  This should  be  done  in  consultation  with  their  parents  and  the  Career  Guidance  team.  Every  effort  should  be  made  to find  work  placements  which  are  relevant  to  any  plans  for  a  future  career.  Students  are  encouraged  to  start  planning for  their  work  placements  and  have  an  idea  of  where  they  might  like  to  apply  to  when  they  return  in  Septemb
  • Workshops: There are many workshops in the TY Calendar such as Zeeko, CSI, Architecture, Law and Online Safety. The many workshops,  events,  projects  and  other associated  aspects  will  go  ahead  as  usual  under  the  present  guidelines. In  order  to  allow  many  of  these  events  and  activities to go ahead  under  the  present  regulations  the  Bosco  Centre  and  the  Parish  Hall  are  booked  for  use  when  the  need  arises. 
  • Trips: Students  will  take  part  in  a  number  of  trips  throughout  the  year  where  it  is  possible  under  the  current  guidelines. The  first trip  to Gartan Outdoor Education Centre took place on 10th of September  for  TY D, the 11th September  for  TY C, the 16th  September for TY B  and  the  24th  September  for  TY A.
  • Parallel  Project  Groups: As  part  of  our  TY  Programme  we  will  continue  to  ensure  that  all  of  our  students  take  part  in  the  many  projects and  competitions  that  are  on  offer  such  as  The  Young  Scientist  and  the  Social  Innovators  as  well  as  the  many   local  research  projects.  All  students  will  be  assigned  to  a  specific  project  group  under  the  supervision  of  an allocated  teacher.  The  students  will  be  part  of  the  research  class  on  a  rotational  basis  to  ensure  that  they  all  take part  in  various  aspects  of  the  programme  in  this  format.   
  • Calendar: TY Work Experience: Dec 7th to 11th December inclusive and Feb 3rd to Feb 12th inclusive. These dates are provisional pending Covid matters.  The Bonding Trip: 10th, 11th, 16th and 24th September.  (Class  Groups)  and our TY Performance  Event:  January  2021
  • ePortfolio: An  eportfolio  is  an  electronic  portfolio which  the  students  will  use  to  keep  a  record  of  all  their  work  from  the year.  They will  design  their  own  web page  containing  all  their  work  and  then  summit  it  to  their  tutor  at  the  end  of the  year.
  • Assessment: Students  will  be  assessed  on  an  ongoing  basis  throughout  the  year  by  their  class  teachers.  Assessments  in  line with  best  practice  will  be  blended  and  may  consist  of  project  work,  practical  assessments  or  class  tests.  Students will  receive  a  report  from  their  subject  teachers  as  part  of  their  Christmas  assessment.  The  final  TY  assessment will  include  an  interview  and  a  presentation  of  each  student’s  ePortfolio.  Students  will  receive  details  of expectations  and  success  criteria  for  this  assessment  in  due course.

SPORT

P.E. Class

Enjoying the outdoors, socially distanced students enjoy a game of rounders

Lunchtime Activities September 2020

Students  in  the  Junior  years  who  remain  on  the  premises  at  lunchtime  in  addition  to  their  walks will have  the  activities at lunchtime. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

Our activities programme will run for all junior years from Tuesday, 29th September. All activities will be non-contact and follow current guidelines. Our main priority is the health and safety of everyone involved. 

  •  Activities will last 20 minutes in total.
  • Monday to Thursday: 1.02pm – 1.22pm
  • Friday: 12:24pm – 12.44pm

This allows for students to have 10 minutes to eat at the beginning of lunchtime in their base room and 10 minutes at the end of lunch to return to their base room and get organised for the next lesson.

We have tried as much as possible to assign students to their chosen activity. However, due to guidelines and limitations for space, students will not get all their choices straight away.

All other students will have the opportunity to go outside and walk during this time with their base room teacher. Each base room has a list of where students are to go each day.

Please note, students can participate in all activities in their school uniform but are advised to wear/bring appropriate footwear. 

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

Lunchtime Activities September 2020


How to properly wash your hands – HSE Video

See our Covid 19 Information & Response Page HERE

Abbey VS Newsletter Mon 28th Sept

AVS Notes 21st-27th September 2020

Irish Offshore Rowing Championships

The Abbey Vocational School is very proud of two of its students who were to compete in the Irish Offshore Rowing Championships at the weekend with their club Donegal Bay, Cian MacSuibhne and Michael O Boyle.

Unfortunately, the Championships have had to be postponed but will be held in the near future. The Championships were originally due to be held at Portnoo Beach hosted by Loughros Point Rowing Club. As a result of Covid-19, Loughros Point had to withdraw as hosts, the Irish Offshore Rowing Committee confirmed that the Championship would be hosted in Kerry by Portmagee Rowing Club. We wish our students the very best of luck in their future challenge!

Student Voice

The Student Council has had two meetings in September.  The council that was elected last year will remain on to continue their work as their year was cut short. They did however take on several support activities during lockdown in the final term of the last school year including messages of support and encouragement to the student body and the AVS Active Globe Walk/Run.  New First year members will be elected from Class Captains through an online election next week.

The council is very pleased to congratulate its members India Kennedy and Frank Duffy on their appointments over the summer.

India was appointed Donegal Regional Officer for the Irish Secondary Students’ Union.  She produced a wonderful guide to positive Mental Health, ‘How’s Your Head’ with the assistance of the ISSU, West Cork Mental Health Services, DETB (Geoffrey Browne), Ombudsman and Office for Children.  This has been taken up by Spun Out, Secondary Schools and other groups.

Frank was appointed to the DETB Youth Work Committee.

He and Aodhán McCrudden are on the Donegal Youth Council as well as others who have completed their leaving cert.  Elections will be held in the first term for new representatives from our school, who will serve a two year term. The Council has decided on Positive Mental Health in light of Covid as their theme for this year.  They will work on several initiatives and events throughout the year to support our students.

There have been many new changes this year understandably, many of which have already become the normal day to day procedures.  The council wishes to thank management for working these things out to protect all of us and also to congratulate students for doing their best. Finally we would like to remind all of the Students that the Student Voice Box in the assembly area is there to be used to voice any concerns. 

We congratulate our team of Prefects for 2020/2021 and our Head Boy Frank Duffy, Deputy Head Boy Thomas White, Head Girl Rosin Feeney and Deputy Head Girl Niamh Moohan. Prefects: Katelyn Duffy, India Kennedy, Shane Meehan, Tom Daly, Chris Darby, Emily Gallagher, Caitlin Ward, Aoife Green, Ella Ford, Mikaela Mc Connon, Cathleen Gallagher, Marie Mc Girr, Annie Mc Groary, Joe Campbell, Gavin Browne, Aodhan Mc Crudden, Gwenaelle Ni Dhonnabhain, Shona O’Brien and Hannah Crawford.

If Unwell, Stay at Home

The AVS are operating  an ‘If  Unwell  Stay  at  Home’ policy. Should a  member  of  our community  experience  any  of  the  symptoms  of  Covid-19  –  High  temperature,  shortness  of  breath, difficulty  breathing,  that  member  of  our  community must stay at home  and  seek  appropriate medical  intervention. 

Assessments

Students  will  have  monthly  tests  and  all students will have Christmas Exams as well as Summer  Exams. Third year and Leaving cert students will also have Mock Exams  as usual. Should  we  ever  be  in  the  unfortunate  situation  of  facing  school  closure  again, students have their google classroom codes set up, and are up and  running.  

Attendance

If a student is absent from school then a note for the dates of the absence must be submitted to the office upon the students return. Alternatively we will accept an email to abbeyvs@donegaletb.ie. This email must clearly state the name of the student, the year group and it has to state clearly the dates that the email is referring to. The attendance record of the student can then be updated with this information.

Evening Study

Evening study has started for the first term of school at a reduced capacity, and in line with regulations. Study started on Monday the 14th of September for 6th years only for the time being.

New Homework App!

The Abbey Vocational School is delighted to announce the introduction of the New Homework App. For  the  safe  handling  of  written  work,  all  students will be trained how to download the app and then use it to upload their scanned homework to their google classroom assignments. This will mean staff receive a pdf of written work/evidence that they can annotate/give feedback on thereafter. A short tutorial to support  this  has  been  recorded  from  the  students  perspective  for  both  android  and  iOS phones.

Career Guidance

Leaving Certs: 1-1 appointments are available throughout the week; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction.

Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.

Literacy

Trócaire and Poetry Ireland’s poetry competition

Ms O’Donnell will be running the Trócaire and Poetry Ireland’s poetry competition in the coming weeks. Ireland is renowned for its literary and cultural heritage, as well as for its generosity in supporting those in need around the world. Trócaire and Poetry Ireland’s annual poetry competition brings these two elements together in a creative way, using the arts to raise awareness about the leading global justice issues of our time. This competition is unique, because poets are invited to explore a different global development theme each year. The competition is also free to enter.

Great Reads Award

This year students from the Abbey Vocational School will participate in the ‘Great Reads Award (GRA)’. The ‘Great Reads Award’ is an Award judged by students for debut writing for Young Adults. Presented by the School Library in Association in the Republic of Ireland and short listed by librarians and teacher-librarians. The short list titles offer a range of reading levels and interests, by authors from a variety of backgrounds, including an Irish language title for which a glossary is available.

Numeracy

AVS Maths Teacher Mr Russell is running the CSO maths competition in the coming weeks. The goal of the competition is to improve students’ abilities to describe their environment with the help of statistics and to use statistics as a tool for making sense of daily life.

School Canteen

This year the Abbey Vocational School has introduced the new pre-order system with the school canteen in collaboration with ‘Get Fresh’. ‘Get Fresh’ is a new cardless system which will see a cashless system in place. An email has been sent to all parents with the leaflet attached explaining the setup process. The menu shown online is currently what is available in school for the students. Do not top these cards up as you are still paying by debit/credit card currently.

Step by Step Instructions for Pre-Order

  1. On your PC, laptop. Smartphone or tablet, go to website https://touchtopup.net
  2. Click [sign up] – fill in required details
  3. Click [create account]
  4. Enter account key – from your card
  5. Click continue – your account is now set up
  6. Logout of https://touchtop.net
  7. On your PC, laptop , smartphone or tablet go to website https://getfresh.touchtakeaway.net or go to website https://getfresh.ie and click on your school crest and it will take you direct to your school pre-order page
  8. Select the name of the school your child attends (you do not need to do this if you  used the link from https://getfresh.ie)
  9. Select the morning break or lunch menu for the day you would like to order for. You can order for both at same time
  10. Select the products you would like to order
  11. When you have selected all the items you require proceed to checkout
  12. Confirm all is correct and hit next
  13. Complete all fields on the order details screen including ticking the box to indicate if your order is for morning break, lunch or both and hit next
  14. On order summary check again all is correct, tick the box to confirm acceptance of terms and conditions then hit pre-order 15. On the billing screen insert the card details for the debit/credit card you are paying with, then hit pay & pre-order to complete the payment
  15. You will receive an email confirming your order and order will be ready for collection at the agreed date and time.

Teaching & Learning

As mentioned in last week’s newsletter, during 2020-2021 we will continue to focus on developing our school improvement targets in developing Learning Intentions, Success Criteria and provide time for students to reflect on their learning. However, to support students in the progression of their learning in socially distanced classrooms and unusual circumstances, we are adapting some further strategies. Our teachers and SNAs are exploring and using a range of digital technologies to create new opportunities for learning, teaching and assessment.

Our students are already familiar with Google Classroom and they will be further encouraged to use a variety of digital technologies for building their knowledge, to source, critique, and manage information and to reflect on their learning. Examples include using Google Sites to create e-portfolios, digital mind-mapping and working in virtual groups. For further information, please see ‘Learning & Teaching’ on our school website.

Wellbeing

Staff from the AVS enjoyed a surfing session this week organised by the schools wellbeing committee. The weather may have cooled but it did not dampen the enthusiasm of the Abbey Vocational School Staff!

Positive Wellbeing Week

Preparation for the Abbey Vocational School’s positive wellbeing week has begun. The students’ wellbeing committee have started putting plans in place of the week which will take place from the 5th-9th October 2020.

Peer Mentoring

Last Thursday, 39 Transition Year students attended induction training for Peer Mentoring with Jim Sheehy in the Parish Hall. The programme is run by Ms. Kelly and will involve the mentors meeting with 1st year students during lunchtimes to support them in their transition into the secondary school environment.

Peer Mentoring has a valuable impact on both the lives of the mentee and the mentor. It allows the mentor to be a positive role model, to improve on their own personal skills and feel a sense of pride helping others. Peer Mentoring allows the mentee to grow in confidence, become more content in their new school environment and know that they have someone to talk to if they need any support.

The main benefit of the Peer Mentoring Programme is that the TY students themselves have already lived through the transition experience from primary to secondary school. They can give students their advice and guidance to allow these students to adapt and feel content in their first year at the AVS.

Transition Year

Drama Workshops

As always, with the busy Transition Year Calendar, students have been engaging in Drama Workshops. These have been taking place in the Parish Hall with the guidance of Theatre Thespian Rachel O’Connor. Drama and Play helps build confidence, helps concentration, aids the development of language and communication skills. It encourages children to cooperate, supports numeracy skills and helps students to understand the world around them. Drama also develops emotional intelligence and assists physical development and it enhances students’ artistic and creative abilities and gives them a better understanding of themselves and their world. Drama further fosters self-discipline, confidence and team work and develops skills in interpreting, researching, negotiating, problem solving and decision making.

TY Surfing

Every Tuesday TY Students take part in the exciting activity of Surfing. Held at Rossnowlagh Beach Transition Year Students get to enjoy the natural beauty of Rossnowlagh Beach and engage in an exhilarating pastime! Surfing provides many health benefits including: cardiovascular fitness – from paddling; shoulder and back strength – these muscles will strengthen from the paddling; leg and core strength – once you’re standing up on the board, strong legs and a strong core will keep you up.

The Bluestack Walk 2020

A number of our Transition Year Students took part in a 16km Bluestack mountain walk this week in the lead up to national walking day. It was a lovely day out where the students got to appreciate the beauty of our local area and also got to see some of the history surrounding the area such as the Carnaween Mountain, ancient graveyard at Disert, Greg Mare’s Tale and much more. Well done to our students.

Foróige Workshop

This week the Transition Year Students engaged in the Foróige Workshop in the Parish Hall. Foróige is a youth development organisation engaging over 50,000 young people and 5,500 volunteers. Foróige is a force for good in communities across the country. The Foróige approach to youth work is underpinned by a strong philosophy which states: Each person has unique qualities and attributes. Foróige believes that creativity applies to many aspects of life: solving problems, organizing, the arts, communicating, caring for others. The ethos for Foróige Team in taking responsibility – we always have a choice: in what we think, do and become. Foróige also believes in being interdependent with others – we develop through relations with other people. We achieve more by working together. In making a difference to the world, each person has something important to contribute to making the world a better place.

BT Young Scientist

Hoping to replicate the amazing success of last year, AVS Science Teacher Ms Furey will be working again with Transition Year Students in the BT Young Scientist Exhibition.

In 1963 two physics researchers from the University College Dublin, Dr. Tom Burke and Dr. Tony Scott, came across the concept of ‘Science Fairs’ while conducting research in New Mexico, USA. The pair decided that this type of hands-on science was something that students in Ireland could benefit from. And so the Young Scientist Exhibition was born.

TY Team

The TY Leadership Team for the year is TY Coordinator – Mr C Hegarty, TY Year Head -Mr Plunkett. TY Core Team – Ms P Rooney, Ms L Kelly, Ms L O’Donnell & Ms E O’Mahony. The  Mission  of  TY  is  to  promote  the  personal,  social,  educational  and  vocational  development  of  pupils  and  to prepare  them  for  their  role  as  autonomous,  participative,  and  responsible  members  of  society.  During  the  year  the students  will  take  responsibility  for  their  learning  and  will  develop  strategies  in  active  and  experiential  learning which  will  help  them  to  become  better  students. There are many aspects to the AVS Transition Year Programme:

  • Teaching  and  Learning;  It  is  our  intention  to  make  every  effort  to  bridge  the  gap  in  learning  for  students  in  TY  this  year  due  to  the  COVID period and a strong emphasis  on academic work will  also be very much part  of  the programme  this  year.
  • Work  Experience: During  Transition  Year,  the  students  will  gain  some  valuable  insights  into  the  world  of  work  through  our  work placement  programme.  The  work  placements  take  place  over  two  separate  one  week  slots. Each  student  is  expected  to  find  his  or  her  own  placements  with  an  employer  in  a  suitable  area  of  work.  This should  be  done  in  consultation  with  their  parents  and  the  Career  Guidance  team.  Every  effort  should  be  made  to find  work  placements  which  are  relevant  to  any  plans  for  a  future  career.  Students  are  encouraged  to  start  planning for  their  work  placements  and  have  an  idea  of  where  they  might  like  to  apply  to  when  they  return  in  September.
  • Workshops: There are many workshops in the TY Calendar such as Zeeko, CSI, Architecture, Law and Online Safety. The many workshops,  events,  projects  and  other associated  aspects  will  go  ahead  as  usual  under  the  present  guidelines. In  order  to  allow  many  of  these  events  and  activities to go ahead  under  the  present  regulations  the  Bosco  Centre  and  the  Parish  Hall  are  booked  for  use  when  the  need  arises.
  • Trips: Students  will  take  part  in  a  number  of  trips  throughout  the  year  where  it  is  possible  under  the  current  guidelines. The  first trip  to Gartan Outdoor Education Centre took place on 10th of September  for  TY D, the 11th September  for  TY C, the 16th  September for TY B  and  the  24th  September  for  TY A.
  • Parallel  Project  Groups: As  part  of  our  TY  Programme  we  will  continue  to  ensure  that  all  of  our  students  take  part  in  the  many  projects and  competitions  that  are  on  offer  such  as  The  Young  Scientist  and  the  Social  Innovators  as  well  as  the  many   local  research  projects.  All  students  will  be  assigned  to  a  specific  project  group  under  the  supervision  of  an allocated  teacher.  The  students  will  be  part  of  the  research  class  on  a  rotational  basis  to  ensure  that  they  all  take part  in  various  aspects  of  the  programme  in  this  format.  
  • Calendar: TY Work Experience: Dec 7th  to 11th December inclusive and Feb 3rd to Feb 12th  inclusive. These dates are provisional pending  Covid  matters.  The Bonding Trip: 10th,11th,16th  and  24th  September.  (Class  Groups)  and our TY Performance  Event:  January  2021
  • ePortfolio: An  eportfolio  is  an  electronic  portfolio,  which  the  students  will  use  to  keep  a  record  of  all  their  work  from  the year.  They will  design  their  own  web page  containing  all  their  work  and  then  summit  it  to  their  tutor  at  the  end  of the  year.
  • Assessment: Students  will  be  assessed  on  an  ongoing  basis  throughout  the  year  by  their  class  teachers.  Assessments  in  line with  best  practice  will  be  blended  and  may  consist  of  project  work,  practical  assessments  or  class  tests.  Students will  receive  a  report  from  their  subject  teachers  as  part  of  their  Christmas  assessment.  The  final  TY  assessment will  include  an  interview  and  a  presentation  of  each  student’s  ePortfolio.  Students  will  receive  details  of expectations  and  success  criteria  for  this  assessment  in  due course.

TY Bonding Trip to Gartan

This week saw our final TY class head on their bonding experience at Gartan. Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre has been providing courses and training in adventure activities since 1988.

Set in the heart of the ‘coolest place on the planet’ on the shores of Lough Gartan in County Donegal and a stone’s throw from Glenveagh National Park. Transition Year Students enjoyed the tranquil surroundings and relaxing ambience. AVS Students had an amazing experience and made memories to last a lifetime!

Sport

Lunchtime Activities September 2020

Students  in  the  Junior  years  who  remain  on  the  premises  at  lunchtime  in  addition  to  their  walks will have  the  activities at lunchtime. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

Our activities programme will run for all junior years from Tuesday, 29th September. All activities will be non-contact and following current guidelines. Our main priority is the health and safety of everyone involved.

  • Activities will last 20 minutes in total.
  • Monday to Thursday: 1.02pm – 1.22pm
  • Friday: 12:24pm – 12.44pm

This allows for students to have 10 minutes to eat at the beginning of lunchtime in their base room and 10 minutes at the end of lunch to return to their base room and get organised for the next lesson.

We have tried as much as possible to assign students to their chosen activity. However, due to guidelines and limitations for space, students will not get all their choices straight away.

All other students will have the opportunity to go outside and walk during this time with their base room teacher. Each base room has a list of where students are to go each day.

Please note, students can participate in all activities in their school uniform but are advised to wear/bring appropriate footwear.

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

How to Wear your Face Mask

AVS Newsletter – Mon 21st Sep

Welcome Back!

The Staff and management of The Abbey Vocational School would like to welcome all of our students back to school. A range of essential control measures have been implemented to reduce the risk of the spread of COVID -19 virus and to protect the safety, health and welfare of staff, students, parents and visitors as far as possible within the school. The control measures shall continue to be reviewed and updated as required on an ongoing basis. With this in mind, it is business as usual!

We hope that all of our students have settled into school and has enjoyed being back in the throes of school life. It was lovely to see the many faces come through the doors each day as each year group arrived back. We were so happy to welcome them back.

The students had to adapt to a new regime with one-hour classes with many new restrictions in place for our health and safety. We congratulate them all on their responsibility and cooperation in this regard. They have returned to face to face learning which after the gap in time may also be challenging for them. They are doing very well.  Please see some useful information below:

Deputy Principal Team:

Mr R Doherty, Mr M Leyden and Ms C Mohan.

Assistant Principals/ Year Heads:

1st year:  Ms C Kane. 2nd Year:  Mr R Doherty.  3rd Year: Ms C Mohan.  TY Coordinator: Mr C Hegarty. TY Year Head: Mr O Plunkett. 5th Year: Ms L Dillon and 6th Year: Mr M Leyden

 SEN: Ms C Kane. Assessment: Ms C Feeney.  Teaching and learning: MrS O Neill.

Student Support Team:  J Mc Morrow, M Faherty, P Rooney, L McLoone

Student Voice

We congratulate our team of Prefects for 2020 2021 and our Head Boy Frank Duffy, Deputy Head Boy Thomas White, Head Girl Rosin Feeney and Deputy Head Girl Niamh Moohan. Prefects: Katelyn Duffy, India Kennedy, Shane Meehan, Tom Daly, Chris Darby, Emily Gallagher, Caitlin Ward, Aoife Green, Ella Ford, Mikaela Mc Connon, Cathleen Gallagher, Marie Mc Girr, Annie Mc Groary, Joe Campbell, Gavin Browne, Aodhan Mc Crudden, Gwenaelle Ni Dhonnabhain, Shona O’Brien and Hannah Crawford.

 Our Student Council and Class Captains will be in place in the coming days.

If Unwell, Stay at Home

The AVS are operating an ‘If Unwell Stay at Home’ policy. Should a member of our community experience any of the symptoms of Covid-19 –  High temperature, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, that member of our community must stay at home and seek appropriate medical intervention. 

Assessments

Students will have monthly tests and all students will have Christmas Exams as well as Summer Exams. Third and Leaving Cert students will also have Mock Exams as usual. Should we ever be in the unfortunate situation of facing school closure again, students have their google classroom codes set up, and are up and running.  

Evening Study

Evening study has started for the first term of school at a reduced capacity, and in line with regulations. Study started on Monday the 14th of September for 6th years only for the time being.

New Homework App!

The Abbey Vocational School is delighted to announce the introduction of the New Homework App. for the safe handling of written work, all students will be trained how to download the app and then use it to upload their scanned homework to their Google Classroom assignments. This will mean staff receive a pdf of written work/evidence that they can annotate/give feedback on thereafter. A short tutorial to support this has been recorded from the students’ perspective for both android and iOS phones. 

Canteen

This year the Abbey Vocational School is delighted to announce the introduction of the new pre-order system with the school canteen in collaboration with ‘Get Fresh’. ‘Get Fresh’ is a new card less system which will see a cashless system in place.

Leaving Cert Results

Congratulations to each and every one of our Leaving Cert students who received their calculated grade this week. We are so proud of them all. These students have had such a challenging year. Their resilience has been outstanding and their attitude amazing. Their future awaits them and we wish them all the very best of luck. Once again they head to many diverse new courses and careers.

First Year Induction

We are delighted to welcome our new first years to the Abbey Vocational School. They took part in an initial two-day induction programme, which involved a wide variety of activities to help them familiarise themselves with the school building, rules and expectations and of course our staff. We also had an outside visitor who delivered a programme of fun bonding tasks to help our first years get to know their classmates and relax in the school environment. Three weeks in and they are very well settled into a good routine and making great contributions to our school community.

Career Guidance

  1. Leaving Certs: 1-1 appointments are available; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction
  2. Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.

Literacy

This year students from the Abbey Vocational School will participate in the ‘Great Reads Award (GRA)’. The ‘Great Reads Award’ is an Award judged by students for debut writing for Young Adults. Presented by the School Library in Association in the Republic of Ireland and short listed by librarians and teacher-librarians. The short list titles offer a range of reading levels and interests, by authors from a variety of backgrounds, including an Irish language title for which a glossary is available.

Allingham Festival Ballyshannon Poetry Competition

Congratulations to AVS Student Tristan who took part in the Allingham Festival Ballyshannon Poetry Competition 2020!

Teaching & Learning.

During 2020-2021, we will continue to focus on developing our school improvement targets in developing Learning Intentions, success criteria and providing time for students to reflect on learning. However, as a consequence of  current social distancing restrictions, many of our traditional instructional leadership / classroom strategies may not be possible. With this in mind, we will endeavour to develop new ways of integrating classroom strategies such as group work, peer assessment, mind-mapping etc. in the virtual space in order to support student learning.

Transition Year

The TY Leadership Team for the year is TY Coordinator – Mr C Hegarty, TY Year Head -Mr Plunkett. TY Core Team – Ms P Rooney, Ms L Kelly, Ms L O’Donnell & Ms E O’Mahony. The Mission of TY is to promote the personal, social educational and vocational development of pupils and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative, and responsible members of society.  During the year the students will take responsibility for their learning and will develop strategies in active and experiential learning which will help them to become better students. There are many aspects to the AVS Transition Year Programme:

Teaching and Learning;  It  is  our  intention  to  make  every  effort  to  bridge  the  gap  in  learning  for  students  in  TY  this  year  due  to  the  COVID period and a strong emphasis  on academic work will  also be very much part  of  the programme  this  year.

Work  Experience: During  Transition  Year,  the  students  will  gain  some  valuable  insights  into  the  world  of  work  through  our  work placement  programme.  The work placements take place over two separate one week slots. Each student  is  expected  to  find  his  or  her  own  placements  with  an  employer  in  a  suitable  area  of  work.  This should  be  done  in  consultation  with  their  parents  and  the  Career  Guidance  team.  Every  effort  should  be  made  to find  work  placements  which  are  relevant  to  any  plans  for  a  future  career.  Students are encouraged to start planning for their work  placements  and  have  an  idea  of  where  they  might  like  to  apply  to  when  they  return  in  September.

Workshops: There are many workshops in the TY Calendar such as Zeeko, CSI, Architecture, Law and Online Safety. The many workshops,  events,  projects  and  other associated  aspects  will  go  ahead  as  usual  under  the  present  guidelines. In  order  to  allow  many  of  these  events  and  activities to go ahead  under  the  present  regulations  the  Bosco  Centre  and  the  Parish  Hall  are  booked  for  use  when  the  need  arises

Trips: Students  will  take  part  in  a  number  of  trips  throughout  the  year  where  it  is  possible  under  the  current  guidelines. The  first trip  to Gartan Outdoor Education Centre took place on 10th of September  for  TY D and the 11th September  for  TY C. This week our students head away on the 16th  September (TY B)  and  the  24th  September  for  TY A.

Parallel  Project  Groups: As  part  of  our  TY  Programme  we  will  continue  to  ensure  that  all  of  our  students  take  part  in  the  many  projects and  competitions  that  are  on  offer  such  as  The  Young  Scientist  and  the  Social  Innovators  as  well  as  the  many   local  research  projects.  All  students  will  be  assigned  to  a  specific  project  group  under  the  supervision  of  an allocated  teacher.  The  students  will  be  part  of  the  research  class  on  a  rotational  basis  to  ensure  that  they  all  take part  in  various  aspects  of  the  programme  in  this  format.  

Calendar: TY Work Experience: Dec 7th  to 11th December inclusive and Feb 3rd to Feb 12th  inclusive. These dates are provisional pending  Covid  matters.  The Bonding Trip: 10th, 11th, 16th  and  24th  September.  (Class  Groups)  and our TY Performance  Event:  January  2021

ePortfolio: An  eportfolio  is  an  electronic  portfolio,  which  the  students  will  use  to  keep  a  record  of  all  their  work  from  the year.  They will  design  their  own  web page  containing  all  their  work  and  then  summit  it  to  their  tutor  at  the  end  of the  year.

Assessment: Students  will  be  assessed  on  an  ongoing  basis  throughout  the  year  by  their  class  teachers.  Assessments  in  line with  best  practice  will  be  blended  and  may  consist  of  project  work,  practical  assessments  or  class  tests.  Students will  receive  a  report  from  their  subject  teachers  as  part  of  their  Christmas  assessment.  The  final  TY  assessment will  include  an  interview  and  a  presentation  of  each  student’s  ePortfolio.  Students  will  receive  details  of expectations  and  success  criteria  for  this  assessment  in  due course.

TY Bonding Trip to Gartan

This week AVS Transition Year Students enjoyed a bonding experience at Gartan. Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre has been providing courses and training in adventure activities since 1988.

Set in the heart of the ‘coolest place on the planet’ on the shores of Lough Gartan in County Donegal and a stone’s throw from Glenveagh National Park. Transition Year Students enjoyed the tranquil surroundings and relaxing ambience!

AVS Students took part in team bonding activities!
Team bonding games helped AVS Students see the benefits of working together!

Boasting an idyllic location for providing adventure sports activities the Transition Year Class of 2020 gained an insight into each other and their surroundings.

The Abbey’s Mary Crawford enjoying the kayaking experience at Gartan Outdoor Adventure Centre!

Surfing:

TYA made the most of the good weather last Tuesday as they took to the water in Rossnowlagh beach with their surfboards. Thank you to FinMcCool Surf School for guiding and looking after our students so well.

Zeeko

This week Transition Year Students participated in the Zeeko workshops in the Parish Hall. Zeeko has created a world where young people can safely benefit from technology and the internet, visiting around 400 schools across Ireland per year delivering Internet Safety Seminars to pupils, teachers and parents. Zeeko has the knowledge & experience in children’s internet safety to help make a difference. Zeeko have surveyed over 35,000 children in Ireland and the UK on their digital habits.

Zeeko aims to reduce the negative consequences of cyberbullying and exposure to user-generated content promoting toxic issues. Zeeko has a significant positive impact on the health and wellbeing of young people and families across Ireland.

Peer Mentoring

On Thursday the 17th of September Transition Year students engaged in a workshop presented by Jim Sheedy on Student Mentorship.

Peer mentoring is a form of mentorship that takes place in the Abbey Vocational School using the experience of Transition Year Students and placing them with new first year students coming into the AVS Community. The aim of the programme is to provide an additional source of support for students.

Lunchtime Activities September 2020

Students  in  the  Junior  years  who  remain  on  the  premises  at  lunchtime  in  addition  to  their  walks will have  the  activities at lunchtime.

Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

Activities will start this Monday, 21st September on a phased basis for first years. All going well, we will then introduce a number of activities for second and third-years in the coming weeks. All activities will be non-contact and following current guidelines. Our main priority is the health and safety of everyone involved.

Activities will last 20 minutes in total.

Monday to Thursday: 1.02pm – 1.22pm

Friday: 12:24pm – 12.44pm

This allows for students to have 10 minutes to eat at the beginning of lunchtime in their base room and 10 minutes at the end of lunch to return to their base room and get organised for the next lesson.

We have tried as much as possible to assign students to their chosen activity. However, due to guidelines and limitations for space, students will not get all their choices straight away.

All other students will have the opportunity to go outside and walk during this time with their base room teacher. Each base room has a list of where students are to go each day.

Please note, students can participate in all activities in their school uniform but are advised to wear/bring appropriate footwear.

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

P.E. Class

Students at the Abbey Vocational School have been able to enjoy the sunshine this week as they engage in physical activity!

Regional Representative of the ISSU

Congratulations to Sixth Year Student India Kennedy, who, in her role as the NW Regional Representative of the ISSU,has developed a mental health and well-being resource for students returning to school during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Irish Second-Level Students’ Union is an agent and a catalyst for change in the Irish education system, seeking to advance education by involving young people actively in all aspects of their education, and thus empowering young people to realise their voice.

BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD.” Mahatma Gandhi

My name is India Kennedy and I am a Leaving Cert student in the Abbey Vocational School in Donegal Town. I’ve worked hard to promote positive mental health locally and nationally.

In 2019, I was picked to be one of twelve student leaders for the Cycle Against Suicide. I had the opportunity to speak at the student summit in Dublin Castle and opened the Student Congress in January. At school, I created a video to promote positive mental health and worked with the mental health committee to put up posters around the school, highlighting the importance of minding our mental health.

In May, I was elected as the Donegal Regional Officer for the Irish Second Level Students Union. This was a huge honour, and I was looking forward to my year ahead. The first thing I wanted to do was start a project so that when my term finished, I would have something to show for it. Due to the Covid pandemic, there was a serious problem with mental health challenges – especially among students – and what I noticed was that although there were so many resources available, I didn’t know where to go or who to call. I also knew that people in crisis need to be able to access the right supports easily and immediately.

I then came up with the idea of putting together a mental health manual so that students could have this resource (which includes help lines and other useful information) so that when they were feeling under pressure this manual would be there to help them. Based on my own challenges, I knew the importance of this manual. There is also the challenge of supporting someone who’s struggling, so I wanted to help others to help their friends by giving them some ideas on how to talk about mental health.

So, I first drafted a plan which I sent to the ISSU, The Ombudsman for Children, and Geoffrey Browne from the ETB’s NPA. I was so lucky to have such an amazing team around me and within a month, after a lot of hard work, the manual started to take shape. Finally, after hundreds of emails and zoom calls: “How’s Your Head? A Guide to Staying Afloat Post-COVID-19” was finished. On the 3rd of September, we launched the manual and the response we’ve received has been amazing. On the first day, just under 1,000 people viewed the manual and there has been a great buzz on social media as well.

The manual is now available to view on The Ombudsman for Children’s website, The ISSU’s website and the ETB’s website. In the coming weeks, the manual will be sent to every ETB school in the country and we are currently working on translating the manual so it will be available as Gaeilge. We are also working to get the manual launched in Northern Ireland.

Going back to school wasn’t easy for anyone, so I hope that this manual will provide some level of comfort to students.  I’m thankful for all the help and support I received in the creation of this manual and would like people to take away two key ideas…we hold the key to positive change – and, if we all look out for each other, there will be fewer people feeling lost and alone.

LCPE 2020

Well done to our pioneers of LCPE on their results. We are very proud of you and what you have and will achieve. The aim of Leaving Certificate Physical Education is to develop the learner’s capacity to become an informed, skilled, self-directed and reflective performer in physical education and physical activity in senior cycle and in their future life.

The objectives of Leaving Certificate Physical Education are to develop the learner’s performance in physical activity, the ability to reflect on performance in physical activity and understanding of the factors which influence performance and participation in physical activity.  The appreciation of the benefits of physical activity for lifelong health and wellbeing capacity to undertake different roles in physical activities, understanding of the principles underlying ethical participation in physical activity and understanding of the role of physical activity and sport in the social and cultural life of Ireland. Congratulations again to the Class of 2020!

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 11th May

Spotlight Award for Social Media

Congratulations to AVS Transition Year Students TYD, who won the Spotlight Award for Social Media in the category of outstanding achievement in social and digital media for their project ‘Keeping Up With Reality’. A big thankyou must go to their Teacher Ms Lauren Kelly who guided, supported and helped the students on their path to victory!

Focusing on the effects of social media and reality television on young people, the ‘Keeping up with Reality’ team wanted their project to encourage young people to look past filtered and unrealistic expectations and be happy with themselves and their image. The Abbey Vocational School students created a social media campaign and collaborated with many influencers to share their message. The hashtag campaign #keepingupwithreality gained fantastic traction across social media platforms and was shared by influencers and members of the public alike. Their campaign to share unfiltered selfies on Instagram received national coverage and the team were invited on to the Ray D’Arcy radio show and Louise Tighe’s show on Dublin’s fm104 to discuss their project.

The team also conducted a survey to gauge an understanding of how many students in their school watch reality TV and how they are influenced by it. Their aim is to get people talking about this issue that is prominent in the lives of teenagers around Ireland.

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The students also held a Bake Sale and a Reality TV show Quiz in school in an effort to fundraise for Cycle Against Suicide.

In the future they plan to create a podcast in which they invite different influencers to discuss their social media experience, the use of filters, photo editing and body image as well as promoting positive mental health. They are also working with 3 local cinemas in Bundoran, Letterkenny and Lifford aiming to run an advertising campaign before films are shown which would create an awareness even further. From Instagram campaigns to national press, this team have had great success in raising awareness about social media through social media!

Assessment for Students;

The information on assessment for all students in available on our school website

Junior Cycle Assessment

Third Year students will receive a  report in early June on the broad range of learning that they have achieved in each subject, short course and/or priority learning unit at the end of Junior Cycle. This assessment of their learning will be provided by their teachers. This will be broken down generally as follows:

  • 60% Mock Exam which may be amended based on a class average cross the Subject Department.
  • 30% for class tests/ assessments up to school closure.
  • 10% for online engagement/ assignments since school closure
  • All Subjects, Short Courses and Wellbeing subjects will be included in this report.
  • “Other areas of learning” will also be included in this report and Mr Hegarty will be in touch with you on the manner in which students around how to send these to us for entry.

Third-year students will also receive a State Certificate of Completion of the Junior Cycle from the Department of Education and Skills early in the 2020/2021 school year.

Ms Diver would like to thank the Abbey Vocational School Junior Cycle Students for their patience and continued support and cooperation in the wonderful community here in the AVS.

AVS Virtual Awards Ceremony

On Tuesday the 26th May the Abbey Vocational School will host the AVS Virtual Awards Ceremony, which is an evening to celebrate the academic achievement and involvement in extracurricular activities of Students in the AVS Community.

Teachers will nominate students from the Abbey Vocational School across a variety of categories in the school year.  Students nominated will be sent invitations welcoming the nominee and their Parents and Guardians to the Awards Ceremony. Good luck to all our outstanding students!

Transition Year Showcase 2020

On Monday the 25th of May the Transition Year Virtual Showcase 2020 will take place in the presence of parents and guardians in the virtual AVS community. The Transition Year Students will finish off an action-packed year on a high note with a magical night. A big thank you must go to Ms Rooney & Mr Hegarty for organising the event.   The Showcase will highlight the events, talks, activities, trips and outings the TY’s ventured on this year!

The Sports Department will feature heavily with presentations on the many sporting activities experienced which included zumba, self defence, surfing, B Fit, DT Fitness, rowing and table tennis. Transition Years also enjoyed the Sports Leaders Programme, Healthy Lifestyle Programme, 20×20 and GAA Future Leaders.  The Business department will also be well represented with topics such as the TY Business Academy, Enterprise Day, Mini Companies, Dragons Den and the Enterprise Award.

This year the Transition Years were very busy partaking in workshops as diverse as Public Speaking, Human Trafficking to Law. Health and Safety will feature on the night with speeches regarding R.S.E., Sea Safety, Healthy Schools, Webwise Internet Safety and the Active Schools Programme.

It will be a night filled with fascinating insights, wonderful experiences and fond memories!

Guidance

  1. The CAO Change of Mind facility opened on Tuesday, 05 May @ 12 noon. Students can add/take away/edit the order of their choices as many times as they want, right up until 01 July 2020 @ 5.15 p.m.
  2.  The SUSI Grant application system for Leaving Cert students is now open.  Further info. can be found in the Career Guidance section on the AVSdonegal.com website.  The student is welcome to contact their Guidance Counsellor who will be happy to answer any questions relating to SUSI. The Guidance Counsellors e-mail addresses are as follows:
    • Ms Faherty: mariafaherty@donegaletb.ie
    • Ms Mc Morrow: janemcmorrow@donegaletb.ie
  1. Leaving Certs should be working on any scholarship application(s) they’re eligible to apply for.  As above, their Guidance Counsellor will be happy to help in any way that they can.
  2. Leaving Year students that have applied to HEAR and/or DARE will be notified by email of the outcome of their application by the end of June.
  3. 5th year 1:1 meetings are ongoing during the school closure.  Any 5th year who has not yet made an appointment is encouraged to do so.  Each Guidance Counselor has explained to their class how they go about booking an appointment.
  4. Keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance Guidance button on the far right of the screen.

President of Ireland Congratulates AVS Student

On April 12th 2020, Abbey Vocational School Transition Year Student Rachel Reid uploaded a song to youtube titled ‘We Are Strong’.   The song is written, composed and performed by Rachel and is a song of hope and support from all and for all the staff, students and families of the Abbey Vocational School.

Inspired by Rachel’s performance the President of Ireland, Michael D.Higgins confirmed  “your thoughtfulness in writing, together with your warm and encouraging words is very much appreciated by  President Higgins”. The President praised Rachel and the AVS students for their strength and resilience as we face the global health emergency, Covid 19.

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The very talented Rachel Reid also played the role of Maria in our Abbey Vocational School Transition Year Production  ‘West Side Story. (pictured above). You can watch Rachel’s inspiring song on; https://youtu.be/IVO5wS27Z5g

On Thursday the 30th of April, AVS Student Rachel Reid performed the inspiring ‘We Are Strong’ on highland radio highlighting the theme of hope as we face adversity. The interview can be found at 1:14:28 on

Leaving Certificate Virtual Graduation 2020

Leaving Certificate Students with their families & friends are invited to attend their Leaving Certificate Virtual Graduation Ceremony on May 27th at 7 pm. The Abbey Vocational School Community will be apart but together, sharing a virtual event, celebrating the Leaving Certificate Graduation 2020.

The theme of the evening is ‘hope’ as Students prepare to leave their real & virtual AVS home and move forward in their chosen career pathways. Parents and Guardians are invited to join the Leaving Cert Students to celebrate the evening, enjoying a trip down memory lane.Just a gentle reminder to students to keep sending those photos and messages in!

This special virtual evening would not be possible without the efforts of Ms Dillon and Ms Mulraine and Music Teachers Ms Carr, Ms McCarthy and Ms Doherty, led by Mr Donegan as Director.  This is a very special night as we see our Students move on to the next chapter in their lives.

AVS Student writes for the Irish Independent

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This week AVS Leaving Certificate Student Emily Erskine contributed to the ‘Independent’ National Newspaper by composing a letter, discussing the unusual circumstances the Leaving Certificate Students of 2020 face.

Emily highlights the pressures Leaving Certificate Students face, the importance of wellbeing and the need for clarity in these uncharted times.

Donegal to Sene via Active Globe

During this time it is important to keep active and the Abbey Vocational School community is encouraged to join the Active Globe initiative.

The Active Globe community encourages us to turn our physical activity into a real world travel experience, taking us around the globe to complete fitness goals. We can enter our activity manually or track it automatically with Runkeeper, Fitbit or Moves.

Active Globe users can easily track their physical activity using the website’s intuitive interface. Once registered simply select a real world start and destination goal on a Google Map and your away. Users can log the distance they complete in various forms of Physical Activity, including walking, cycling, running or swimming. This information is then used to move their avatar along the google map towards their destination.

To date, many parents, family members and teachers and students have set their own goals to work toward a collective physical activity goal. To join the Donegal to Sene via Active Globe go to our twitter page @AbbeyVS

Literacy

English Poetry Competition

‘Hope’

Students are asked to write a poem based on the theme of ‘Hope’, the theme of the Leaving Certificate  Virtual Graduation Ceremony 2020.

In a new era, uncharted, we must strive to see the rays of hope and humility in human kindness. Mankind is evolving and beginning a new norm, how will that look?

Your finished pieces can be as long/short as you wish and can be emailed by Monday the 18th of May to bredalogue@donegaletb.ie or lisaodonnell2239@donegaletb.ie

Music Department

image008Music students from each year have been invited to share their musical performances from their homes which are uploaded during each week onto the school twitter.  Many are also involved in preparing for the virtual school events in May.

Congratulations to Rachel Reid on her inspiring composition ‘We are Strong’.

This time at home is a great opportunity to improve skills on an instrument and build up repertoire.

Congratulations also to Luke Kelly who composed a very entertaining blues number called ‘Sunshine but nothing to do’.  He will be appearing at the School Awards with this song at the request of Leaving Cert Prefects.

Student Voice

Best wishes to India Kennedy and Karina Drury who will attend the Irish Secondary Students Union Annual Assembly on May 9th.  India, our chairperson, is running for election as Education Officer and has worked hard to prepare and present her manifesto. It is wonderful that students from our school have a voice in national affairs, particularly at this time.  Best of luck to India.

India For Education

New Leadership For Changing Times

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About Me

My name is India Kennedy and I’m 17. I’m a 5th year student in the Abbey Vocational School in Donegal Town. From a young age, I’ve always expressed an interest in politics and have grown up with a keen interest and involvement in the welfare of my community. I hope to study International Relations and Politics in UL after I finish school.

Why Vote For Me?

In response to the challenges around examinations in 2020, I feel it is time for a positive change. Extenuating circumstances have forced us to be introduced to a new strategy of teaching and learning and the time is now for a reassessment of the Junior and Leaving Cert Examinations. I would like the opportunity to provide a voice for the young people of Ireland to ensure we are given the best possible academic start to our future.

Experience

Last Year, I was picked to be a student leader for the Cycle Against Suicide. I really enjoyed the experience and felt that I made a positive impact in my school.   I was also nominated to be the 5th year representative for my school and was later elected to be chairperson which was a huge honour. I used my role on the student council to shed a light on the issues relating to young people in my area.I have always gone out of my way to help others and fight for what I believe in.

AVS ART COMPETITION

‘THE NEW NORMAL’

Students are asked to produce a painting, sculpture or photograph based on the theme ‘The new normal’.
‘The new normal’ is a phrase that has been coined to describe the manner in which people will have to change the way that they live their daily lives as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Will social distancing continue to be the norm, will people be able to shake hands again, how will they shop, how will they socialise, will they be able to travel, will they be able to go to restaurants, to the cinema or to a nite club, will they be able to take part in sports again and If so then how? What will a world learning to live with coronavirus look like?
You can use any materials; paint, coloured pencils, markers, pen, collage, inks etc.
A photograph (a good quality photograph or scan is required for judging) of the finished artwork can be emailed to johndaly@donegaletb.ie by Monday 18th May 2020.

Wellbeing

National Educational Psychological Support Service Resources for Parents & Student.

The Department of Education and Skills’ NEPS psychologists have developed advice and some resources for young people to manage and stay well when schools are closed. Advice to young people while schools are closed;

Follow the HSE advice on its website on protecting yourself, practicing social/physical distancing and on ways to avoid spreading the virus. Keep up-to-date with information posted on the Department of Education and Skills’ Twitter account. Remember that the Government is working hard to ensure that people throughout the country stay healthy and safe. Take breaks from the news and social media as this makes us less vulnerable to ‘fake news’ and limits our exposure to unhelpful or inaccurate information. Without the facts we may believe rumours and imagine situations far worse than reality. Stick to reliable, trustworthy sources of information such as the HSE, the Department of Health, the Department of Education and Skills, the World Health Organization and trustworthy mainstream news sources,
such as RTÉ.

Remember, too, that not everyone will get the virus and the vast majority who get it will recover fully. At times like this we all need to support each other:
Be kind and look out for each other, remember no individual or group is ‘responsible’ for the virus. If people you know get the virus remember that it’s not their fault. They have been unlucky and need our support.

Active Schools Flag

The Abbey Vocational School was proud to be involved in the pilot programme for the Active Schools Flag last year in collaboration with University of Limerick & the HSE with only 3 schools in the country taking part in this exciting program: Colaiste Bride, Clondalkin, St. Olivers CC, Drogheda and ourselves Abbey Vocational School. The program involved our pupils and staff engaging in a unique research project in how to solve the global issue of getting our teenagers moving more often.

The Active School flag is a whole school process to move away from the mindset that the promotion of physical activity is the sole responsibility of the PE department. It is really important that the health, well being, and academic benefits of being physically active are reinforced at all levels and by many voices throughout the year.

The research team from the University of Limerick (UL) has been continuing to work with the Abbey Vocational School during this past year to co-design the new Active School Flag model for post primary schools. The Active School Flag is awarded to schools that strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community, aiming to get more schools, more active, more often.

The Abbey Vocational School began this process by self-evaluating; Physical Education, Physical Activity and Partnerships.  The school also pledged to organise an Active School Week programme and committing to having it as part of their annual school calendar. Agreeing to adhere to the Active Schools Flag success criteria, the Abbey Vocational School is forging a path of active, healthy living for the whole school community. You can join the Active Schools Campaign on the Abbey Vocational School website.

Active Home Week

image012National ‘Active SCHOOL Week’ takes place every April and is a really enjoyable part of the school year for many children.   This year, because of COVID-19, it is not possible for this to go ahead so we are asking you to invite the families of your school to participate in the ‘Active HOME Week‘ challenge instead.

To complete the challenge students have to find 4 different ways of being active each day making sure that this adds up to 60mins or more. We encourage you to try something new, have fun with a family activity and enjoy the week. As always you can evidence your activity in our School Physical Activity at home Padlet. A big thank you to Ivan O’Mahony for creating our AVS Physical Activity at Home.

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Young Environmentalist Award Finals

image016Congratulations to Ella Donehrty and Ailbhe Loughney who are competing in the Junior Waste category of the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Award with their project on ‘Flax as an alternative to heavy duty plastic strapping’. The Young Environmentalist Award is an all-Ireland environmental awards programme that recognises and rewards young people who raise environmental awareness through the development and implementation of projects that improve the environment.The girls have now progressed to live voting for the People’s Choice Award and need as many votes as possible. They are asking that all members of our school community vote for them by clicking on the link below and entering 2020-350, their project registration number, in box number 2.

https://forms.office.com/FormsPro/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=7C_feVYua02NYftQDeBKo7HUR6p3Q0JBgiDPETa0iStUNjRVWVFYQ09aQ1MxRVZaNFNGWDFGODlQVy4u

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Home Economics ‘Recipes of the Week’

This week’s ‘Recipes of the Week’ theme is ‘Breakfasts’ – the most important meal of the day! Why not try these delicious morning muffins or poached eggs with smashed avocado and cherry tomatoes from Laura Healy’s @HOME Junior Cycle Home Economics Recipe Book! You won’t be disappointed!

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Daily P.E. Activities

Daily P.E. Activities are a fantastic way to keep moving and improving our wellbeing! You can access the amazing Joe Wicks’ workout on YouTube at the following address:

http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLyCLoPd4VxBvQafyve889qVcPxYEjdSTl

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Coronavirus Public Health Advice

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Learn about hand hygiene and preventing the spread of virus such as the coronavirus

Log on to YouTube at this address

https://youtu.be/EtyjPeOnzC0

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