Abbey V.S. Newsletter – Mon 9th Mar

Abbey Vocational School  – 2nd to 8th March 2020

Design, Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise:

AVS take First Place with a Sign Language APP.

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Sentoia – Amy Carr, Ella Doherty, Olivia Garczarek, Holly Quigley, Jamie Callaghan-Cassidy and Patryk Babik also pictured is Tena and Crona from LYIT.

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Sentoia presentation on the day.

On Thursday 5th March Transition Year Students travelled to LYIT Letterkenny to attend the DICE final.  DICE is a conference which aims to spark a discussion on the value of creativity and design to both business and society.

Over the course of DICE, an eclectic mix of speakers working across animation, fashion, film and broadcast media, graphic and design, innovation and design thinking shared their creative process and demonstrate the value they bring to business and society at large! Well done to our four groups who took part in this wonderful programme. Since January the students have been working here in the school and also in LYIT to develop a product or service that would bring happiness to a target market. The final products produced by our teams were:

  • Sentoia- An app that teaches primary and secondary school students sign language.
  • hAppiness- An app that helps people with a disability find a sport, club, activity near them that they can enjoy
  • A sports socks that can be used to store your gum shield or inhaler.
  • A service that delivers cinema popcorn and treats to your home.

A massive well done to all and especially Sentoia who won the competition and hAppiness who came 3rd after they pitched their project to a panel of judges.

A big thank you to Ms Gordon for accompanying the AVS Transition Year Students to DICE!

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Happiness – Laura Geary, Bronagh Boyle, Senan Quinn, Clara Bustard, Conor Campbell  also pictured is Tena and Crona from LYIT.

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hAppiness presentation on the day.

Young Environmentalist Awards Regional Finalists:

Congratulations to TY students Ella Doherty and Ailbhe Loughney on getting through to the regional ECO dens finals of the Junior waste of the young environmentalist competition in DCU on Friday 3rd of April.

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The girls have taken part in several local beach clean ups and because they found large quantities of plastic strapping on each of these clean-ups they felt that this problem needed to be addressed. The girls will present their project to a team of judges and they will explain the impact of their action which is to showcase biodegradable flax and linen as an alternative to non-biodegradable plastic strapping. The girls hope to convince local manufacturing businesses that linen and flax could be as effective as the plastic strapping that they currently use because of its high tensile strength.

English Department

World Book Day

image012The Abbey Vocational School were delighted to celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 5th March 2020. The English Department held competitions for the best book cover, engaged in D.E.A.R., Drop , Everything and Read, and many more initiatives throughout the day.

Over the last 22 years, World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. The main aim is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with an opportunity to have a book of their own.

World Book Day is a registered charity on a mission to give every child and young person a book of their own. It’s also a celebration of authors, illustrators, books and (most importantly) it’s a celebration of reading. In fact, it’s the biggest celebration of its kind, designated by UNESCO as a worldwide celebration of books and reading, and marked in over 100 countries all over the world.

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Home Economics Homemade Pizza

image016AVS Home Economic Students engaging in the key skills of Junior Cycle: managing myself, staying well, communicating, being creative and working with others, by making delicious homemade pizza!

The Art Department

Congratulations to AVS Art students Callum O’Donnell and Holly Towey who received prizes in the All Island Credit Union Art competition where 30,000 students took part.

The Credit Union Art Competition Road began on a rainy Monday on the 11th of November 2019 where Callum O’Donnell and Holly Towey won the regional finals of the Credit Union Art Competition! Congratulations to our talented and inspiring students!

Agricultural Science trip to Ballyhaise

On Thursday 5th of March students from the Abbey Vocational School took a trip to Ballyhaise College, located 8km north of Cavan town. It is situated on an estate of 220 hectares of grass and woodlands.

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There are 120 cows plus replacements on 50 hectares. The college herd, which is spring calving, is part of the Teagasc Moorepark Dairy Research programme. The main focus of this programme is to improve grass growth and utilisation on heavy soils. Facilities include a modern 12 unit herringbone milking parlour with automatic drafting, slatted houses, an outdoor pad and calving and isolation boxes. A computerised management programme is used to facilitate record keeping.

In 1996, a number of leading agri-food businesses identified the need for an independent body to provide the general public with information and education on the importance of agriculture and food to the Irish economy.   As a result, Agri Aware was founded in 1996 by Bord Bia, FBD, the Irish Dairy Board, the Irish Farmers’ Association and the Irish Farmers’ Journal.

Abbey Vocational School Students were immersed in the world of agriculture on a trip that was highly beneficial to completing their Agricultural Science Portfolios.

The students found it very interesting and interactive. They had a guided farm tour followed by talks on the courses available to them. Some of our students are very interested in pursuing the level 8 honours degree course in Agriculture which is linked to the College. The college also provides Green Cert courses and level 5 courses in Agriculture.

Agricultural Science Bake Sale

image026Congratulations to our Fifth Year Ag Science Students who held a bake sale to raise funds for agricultural science resources. A big thank you to their Teacher Ms Doherty!

The French Department

Le coronavirus se propage en France et pourrait malheureusement avoir contaminé le gouvernement par l’intermédiaire qui a rencontré le Ministre de la Santé qui avait ensuite réunion avec l’ensemble du gouvernement, dont le président.

Wellbeing

Hand Hygiene

All students are reminded at every class about the importance of hand hygiene. Each class is provided with a number of hand hygiene posters and teachers read the poster out to their students during the first period of the day aend first period before lunch every day. Students are also reminded to use the hand sanitisers in all classrooms, toilets and at all exit doors.

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Guidance

  1. Leaving Cert students should be working on their DARE & HEAR applications. All online requirements had to be completed by 01 March 2020 and all paperwork must reach CAO by 15 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m.
  2. The SUSI Grant application system is due to open in early April 2020. Further info. will be available to students closer to this time. See www.SUSI.ie for further details.
  3. Donegal Family Resource Centre are running a “Managing Exam Pressure” course on Thursday 16th, 23rd and 30th of April 2020 for Junior & Leaving Cert students. Booking is essential, call phone 074 97 25337 to book a place.
  4. Leaving Certs considering further/3rd level education away from home should now be researching accommodation options. Advice and guidance is always available from their Guidance Counsellor.
  5. Keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance Guidance button.

The Maths Club

The Abbey Vocational School Maths Club meets on Fridays at lunchtime in Room 30. The Maths Club runs an enrichment programme that focuses on helping Students with Maths. Many of our students are involved in maths competitions and we congratulate all of our students who represent us so well.

Congratulations to the following students who have been invited to participate in the Regional Finals of the IMTA Junior Maths Competition on March 20th Seoda Wang , Samaire Fern , Tommy Quinn, Tori Carr and Sean Meehan.

Chess Club

The Chess Club has resumed on Mondays in room 3 and all new members are welcome! The game of chess is played by millions of people worldwide.  Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga sometime before the 7th century. If you have an interest in joining our Chess Club please come along to our meetings as everyone is welcome!

AVS Positive Behaviour

A positive points system was introduced in the Abbey Vocational School in February 2020 for first and second years. Each month the class with the most points getting a monthly reward. The initiative was introduced in order to reward and promote positive behaviour in our school. Teachers can give students points for things like, helping other students, good effort in homework and  project work, improvement in class work, extracurricular contribution  etc. Well done to the February winners 1C and 2A!

Teaching & Learning: ‘Students Reflecting on their Learning’

Being able to reflect on one’s learning and learning how to become a better learner are key elements of the Junior Cycle key skills. When students learn to reflect on their learning through dialogue, writing or using a computer, they are developing many of these skills

Through reflection ‘in’ and ‘on’ learning students can:

  • become more aware of the knowledge and skills that they have developed
  • identify strengths and areas for development
  • develop and action plan for future learning
  • gain greater understanding of themselves and how they learn
  • take more responsibility for their learning

As “Students Reflecting on their Learning” is one of our school improvement targets, our staff are employing a range of strategies to help our students develop the skills to look at their own and others’ work critically and constructively. Such strategies include peer assessment, exit ticket and reflection sheets. These approaches help our students to develop a ‘nose’ for quality and to begin to understand the features of quality in a piece of work. They see areas where they can improve themselves by recognising them in the work of others!

Transition Year

LYIT School of Tourism

Abbey Vocational School Transition Year Students have begun a four-day tourism-training programme delivered by the School of Tourism and in total 60 students will complete the programme.
The programme focuses on the following:
(a) Introduction to the Hospitality industry
(b) Tourism in Co. Donegal and the Wild Atlantic Way
(c)Customer care
(d) Introduction to food hygiene and food handling and
(e) Restaurant service.

Programme Delivery
The programme is delivered by the School of Tourism’s experienced lecturers on the LYIT Killybegs Campus.  The programme will culminate in a live lunch service by the students to invited guests and a presentation of Certificates of Completion to all participants.  Guest speakers from the tourism/hospitality industry will be invited to address the groups.

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Transition Year Students at the Killybegs School of Tourism.

Restorative practice

The Abbey Vocational School was delighted to welcome back Restorative Practice Advocate Tony Kearney.

Restorative practices is a social science that studies how to improve and repair relationships between people and communities. The purpose is to build healthy communities, increase social capital, decrease crime and antisocial behaviour, repair harm and restore relationships.

Restorative practices promote inclusiveness, relationship-building and problem-solving, through such restorative methods as circles for teaching and conflict resolution to conferences that bring victims, offenders and their supporters together to address wrongdoing. Transition Year Students embraced the inspiring methodology and hope to use the mind-set on future occasions.

Transition Year Sports Leadership Award

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Sports leadership awards and qualifications equip young people with employability skills for life improving motivation, self-esteem, communication, teamwork and confidence. Leadership volunteering is a vital part of all our courses allowing young people to practice and build their skills to help them in employment and education.

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TY students taking part in the Sports Leadership Award with Mr Herron had a visit on Friday from their assessors, Maria McGill and Hugh Carlin of Donegal Sports Partnership.

TY Work Experience

Last week AVS TY Students engaged in a week of work experience. TY Work Experience gives students an opportunity to develop different kinds of skills such as communication skills, social skills and group work skills. The key skills in the Framework for Junior Cycle include communicating and working with others.

AIB Build a Bank”

AIB have introduced their Build-A-Bank programme to the Abbey Vocational School. This programme challenges a group of 6 students to create, market & run a bank within their school in conjunction with AIB. The competing team of Aoibheann Gallagher, Emily McNulty, Savannah Timony, Catherine Whiteside, Eilish McGroary & Darcy Neil will be travelling to the National Final in the RDS in March where they will experience an amazing day out, meet other school bank teams, receive proper and professional feedback on their hard work and ultimately be in with the chance of being crowned Build A Bank Champions and win €5,000 for their school.

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The bank is required to have a creative & unique theme. The theme chosen by our team is Chitty Chitty Bankers & will revolve around saving up for your first car, driving lessons & paying for insurance. The bank will be open twice per week where students can open accounts, lodge money (the money will be stored in AIB for safety reasons) & withdraw from their account. Our hopes for this service will be to inspire young people to take more control over their finances & begin to save for their future!

Transition Year Foróige Leadership Programme

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Students from the Abbey Vocational School are participating in the Foróige Youth Leadership Programme and will receive a Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action.

The 2020 Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action will be awarded to young people who have completed all three modules of Foróige’s Leadership for Life programme by June 2020.

By registering, AVS Students are committing to having all three modules of the Foróige Leadership for Life Programme completed by June 2020. It is recommended that all participants should have Module 1&2 complete prior to registering for the NUIG certificate. It is important that participants have adequate time in between the modules to use and practice their leadership skills.

Those participating in the programme are asked to provide the name and email address of a mentor. Mentors can be the facilitator of previous modules, a volunteer, Foróige staff member, coach, teacher etc.

 

TY up and coming events:

Over the coming weeks our TY students will take part in many activities, a sample of some of these activities and listed below:

  • -Hotel taster day
  • -Sports leadership
  • -First Response Course
  • -Balmoral Shows
  • -Lough Key Maths Trip
  • -Make up workshop
  • -Personal Presentation Workshop
  • -Internet Safety video production workshops
  • -Young Social Innovators competitions and attendance at event
  • -PE Expo
  • -ETB Awards
  • -GAA Future Leaders
  • -Musical Trip to Sligo

SPORT

PE EXPO: Two AVS Projects tie for second place:

  • “Overtraining” by Hannah Crawford, Evan Gallagher and Thomas White
  • “Effects of feedback” by Shane Meehan and Aisling Moohan

Think young scientist for physical activity and sport, and you are on the right track for this project-based schools competition. 5th year Leaving Cert PE students, as part of their ongoing assessments, all produced projects that were judged internally by the PE department. The highest scoring projects were selected to represent the school at the national event held in DCU on Wednesday March 4th.

Examples included:

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Niamh Moohan and Eoin Sharkey presented their research around the use of ICT and photography in Athletics

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Kirsty Harron and Anthony Coughlan who aimed at interrogating Keto or Vegan diets for elite athletes.

These projects and others shown below were accompanied by one TY project who grabbed the opportunity to be involved when presented to them (pictured below)

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Students entered projects in the following categories:

  • ICT and Photography (In Athletics)
  • Wellbeing (Concussion)
  • Nutrition (Keto vs Vegan)
  • LCPE x2 (Psychology and Overtraining)
  • Components of Fitness (core muscular endurance)

As part of the days experience all participants were treated to panel discussions involving top level athletes such as former rugby Irish international Nora Stapleton, Dublin’s (GAA) Siobhán McGrath who was named TG4 players’ player of the year 2019, 5 time national champ of the triple jump Sarah Buggy, FIFA referee Michelle O’Neill and Ireland’s Olympic Taekwondo pioneer Jack Woolley.

On the day all projects were judged twice by professionals in the respective areas and additionally peer reviewed by DCU undergrad PE students. On this occasion AVS came close to winning with our LCPE projects tying for second in their category. Both excellent. They were just pipped by a psychological preparation project that finished second overall.

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TY students Eilish McGroary, Rebecca Morrow, Ally McClay & Eloise Gallagher who presented their findings around concussion in sport

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Laoise McGonigle and Alex McCalmont who investigated core muscular endurance.

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Shane Meehan and Aisling Moohan with their LCPE project around the effects of positive and negative feedback on players.

 

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Hannah Crawford, Evan Gallagher and Thomas White with their project looking at Overtraining in adolescent athletes.

A great opportunity for all involved to learn from and build on for future participation.

SPORT

Lunchtime Activities

Our lunchtime SPORTS FOR ALL programme is running every day. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme. There are at least two activities each day, indoors in the sports hall and outdoors on the tennis courts. The timetable is posted on the notice boards around the school. ALL students are encouraged to come out and get active during their lunch break. Students can participate in their uniform but must wear proper footwear/runners.  Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions.

1st & 2nd Yr Basketball

Well done to our boys’ teams who both won their quarter finals this week to qualify for the North East Regional semi-finals next week.

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Our first year boys’ basketball team played against St Oliver’s, Drogheda on Thursday and had a great win.

Our second year team also played a fantastic game on Friday in Drogheda against St Joseph’s. The game was close but the team worked hard right throughout and secured the victory meaning they will also be playing in the regional semi-finals next week.

First years will play at home and Second years will travel to play St Malachy’s, Belfast in Belfast.

This is a great achievement in the “A” level of schools basketball.

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Well done to Mr Mc Devitt and his management team. Good luck to all involved next week.

Girls Basketball

Good luck to our first and second year teams who have their first games of the league this week. They will host St Catherine’s VS, Killybegs on Monday 9th March.

Girls Active

Girls Active in the Library every Thursday at 3.30pm – 4.30 pm. Zumba is the activity for the next five weeks. All girls welcome come along for an hour of fun and meet new friends. Girls Active is a non-competitive activity.

Thank you to our instructor Bridget Robins for such an enjoyable and lively class. All newcomers are welcome to join anytime.

After School Extra-Curricular Training

Monday

  • Boys Basketball (1st and 2nd year)
  • Girls Gaelic (U14)

Tuesday

  • Athletics ( Boys and Girls)
  • Boys Soccer (1st years)

Wednesday

  • Girls Basketball (1st and 2nd year)

Thursday

  • Girls Active

 

 

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 2nd Feb 2020

Abbey Vocational School 24th Feb- 1st Mar 2020

Young Environmentalist Award

TYs and the flax project is through to the semi-finals of the Young Environmentalists Award!

Congratulations to Ella Doherty and AIlbhe Loughney on an excellent environmental action project! Well done to the team for all of their hard work, their project really caught the eyes of the judges and now they want to hear from our team in person at the  Eco-Dens.

The Young Environmentalist Awards semi-finals are known as ‘ECO-Dens’, and they give YEA participants a chance to showcase their projects. 

On the day, up to 6 young people from our group have the opportunity to give a 5-minute presentation of their project to a panel of ECO-Experts. This will then be followed by a few friendly questions.

All team members of successful projects will be invited to attend the Final Showcase & Awards Ceremony on 21st May 2020 in the Convention Centre Dublin. 

The French Club

En France aussi, on a fêté Mardi Gras la semaine dernière. Dans la plupart des écoles, on célèbre aussi le carnaval, une célébration où les gens se déguisent et font la fête une dernière fois avant le Carême. A Caen, les étudiants célèbrent le carnaval bien plus tard lors du plus grand carnaval étudiant d’Europe !

Science Club

Science club resumed this week after school on Tuesday to help students prepare for the regional SciFest final at LYIT on Thursday 14 May.  In all, 6 groups hope to bring projects to the competition and they are working hard on developing their experimental method before embarking on their data collection experimental work in the coming weeks. TY students, Ella Doherty and Ailbhe Loughney have also extended their highly commended BTYS project, Flax as an alternative to heavy duty plastic strapping, and with the cooperation of local businesses, have entered the waste category of the Young Environmentalist Awards. The girls worked hard on their video presentation and project bid before midterm and are hoping that their project will be successful in this the first round of judging before progressing to the next round, the regional Eco Dens finals, in March. Ths project has also been entered into the STEM category of the Donegal ETB awards so we wish the girls well in both endeavours.

The Maths Club 

The Abbey Vocational School Maths Club meets on Fridays at lunchtime in Room 30. The Maths Club runs an enrichment programme that focuses on helping Students with Maths. Many of our students are involved in maths competitions and we congratulate all of our students who represent us so well. 

Chess Club

The Chess Club has resumed on Mondays in room 3 and all new members are welcome! The game of chess is played by millions of people worldwide.  Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga some time before the 7th century. If you have an interest in joining our Chess Club please come along to our meetings as everyone is welcome!

Guidance

  1. Leaving Cert students should be working on their DARE & HEAR applications. All online requirements had to be completed by 01 March 2020 and all paperwork must reach CAO by 15 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m.
  2. The SUSI Grant application system is due to open in early April 2020.  Further info. will be available to students closer to this time. SeeSUSI.ie for details.
  3. Donegal Family Resource Centre is running a “Managing Exam Pressure” course on

Thursday 16th, 23rd and 30th of April 2020  for Junior & Leaving Cert students. Booking is essential, call phone 074 97 25337 to book a place.

  1. Keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance Guidance button.

 

The Art Department

Amazing entries for this year’s Texaco Art competition by AVS students Laura Kelly and Emma Thomas!

AVS Drama Success at the Balor in Donegal Drama Schools Festival

Congratulations to the cast and crew of the Abbey Vocational School Drama production of ‘The Good Doctor’ by Neil Simon, featuring pupils from 2nd, 3rd, 6th year and TY, which took second place at the Schools Drama festival in the Balor Theatre in Ballybofey last Thursday night. We were up against stiff competition from other schools in the county but the pupils gave excellent performances on the night and all concerned were so calm, focused and professional. We were narrowly beaten by Errigal College, Letterkenny with Coláiste Cholmcille in Ballyshannon finishing in 3rd place.

As well as coming second overall, Susanna Martin 2A and Robyn Harvey-Moulding 6B won best actress prizes for their performances. The full cast was:

Robyn Harvey-Moulding, Kian O’Donnell, Aoibheann Gallagher, Ryan Glenn, Lily Doherty

Scott Li, Jack Myers, Ava Campbell, Savannah Timony, Xiuhong “Jason” Yang, Jamie Cassidy-Callaghan, Oran Sweeney, Susanna Martin, Pianist: Nora Carr.  The play also featured original music composed by Rachel Reid, Jennifer Martin, Natasha Prendiville and Eadaoin Rush, performed by Nora Carr.

The Play was directed by Sean Donegan and we thank him for all of his outstanding work. A huge thank you also to Rosemary Myers, Paddy McMenamin and Ms Carr for the invaluable assistance and support.

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Our thirteen absolutely superb and committed actors who have been worked tirelessly during lunchtimes and after school to create this fine piece of theatre.

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The Art Department

Abbey Vocational School Students have the opportunity to take part in the Jigsaw Donegal Art Competition in the coming weeks. Jigsaw offers a one-to-one support service for young people aged between 15 and 25. Jigsaw will help and support students to reach goals, through talking things out, problem solving, learning new skills and other services that might be able to help (e.g. education & training; youth services etc).

Jigsaw helps young people through the current hurdles, learning skills along the way that will help them overcome the next challenge that comes their way. Jigsaw is a free and confidential service that is built on really listening to you and your experience, and working with you to make things better.

Teaching & Learning: ‘Students Reflecting on their Learning’

Being able to reflect on one’s learning and learning how to become a better learner are key elements of the Junior Cycle key skills. When students learn to reflect on their learning through dialogue, writing or using a computer, they are developing many of these skills.

Through reflection ‘in’ and ‘on’ learning students can:

  • become more aware of the knowledge and skills that they have developed
  • identify strengths and areas for development
  • develop and action plan for future learning
  • gain greater understanding of themselves and how they learn
  • take more responsibility for their learning

As “Students Reflecting on their Learning” is one of our school improvement targets, our staff are employing a range of strategies to help our students develop the skills to look at their own and others’ work critically and constructively. Such strategies include peer assessment, exit ticket and reflection sheets. These approaches help our students to develop a ‘nose’ for quality and to begin to understand the features of quality in a piece of work. They see areas where they can improve themselves by recognising them in the work of others!

Transition Year

Transition Year Work Experience

This week Transition Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School have been participating in a week of work experience.

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Emma Mohan enjoys the Transition Year Work Experience with  ITUS Secure Technologies as TY Work Experience gives students an opportunity to develop different kinds of skills such as communication skills, social skills and group work skills. The key skills in the Framework for Junior Cycle include communicating and working with others. AVS Transition Year Students have gained access to work experience locally in Donegal Town and as far-flung as Canada!

Dice

Transition Year Students are preparing projects for Dice. Dice is a conference which aims to spark a discussion on the value of creativity and design to both business and society. Over the course of DICE, an eclectic mix of speakers working across animation, fashion, film and broadcast media, graphic and design, innovation and design thinking shared their creative process and demonstrate the value they bring to business and society at large! 

Orienteering for incoming first years!

Before the midterm break Transition Year Students welcomed and tasked incoming first-years with orienteering!

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Young Social Innovators

Abbey Vocational School Transition Year Students are taking part in the Young Social Innovators Campaign where students are challenged to look at the world around them and to identify and explore issues affecting everyone, in our community and wider society. More than just coming up with a solution, students are asked to put that idea into action and to create change.   Students will see other perspectives, expertise and creativity to design solutions based on real human experience and need.  Students will gain real experience working in a team and develop skills in leadership, communication and project planning and management.

Instructed by Ms Kelly, TYD launched their enterprising power campaign which aims to highlight the negative impact that social media and reality television can have on the youth of today. The YSI project named “keeping up with reality” went completely viral and has been shared by hundreds of people, including a huge number of prominent social influencers. The YSI project is centred around the idea of the pressure and pretence that is associated with social media and reality television.  The students love social media and admit that while young people couldn’t imagine life without it they do feel that there is a lot of falseness associated with some reality shows and posts on social media and that they struggle to understand what is real and what is fake. To promote their campaign and spread the important message they called upon influencers to share an unfiltered image of themselves to their stories or Instagram grid tagging them with #keepingupwithreality2020 and #YSIproject

Junk Kouture

Transition Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School embraced the world of fashion and styled and modelled their amazing creations using recycled materials in the Junk Kouture Northern Regional Final in the Millennium Forum Theatre in Derry on Thursday 27th February with Ms Greene and Ms Mc Crea.

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First to the stage was “TLC Tweed” @junkkouture design by Teelin Casey, Leah O’Donnell and Caoimhe Kerrigan. Their design was made from scraps of Donegal tweed, inspired by their local heritage and trade. The colours used in the girls’ outfit were characteristic of those found along the scenic routes of the Wild Atlantic Way and the renowned boglands of Ireland.

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Next up to the catwalk was “Lost in Frills” @junkkouture design by TY student Emma Thomas, made entirely out of baling twine. Emma’s design was inspired by her family farm and the crocheting skills passed onto her from her Granny.

Last but not least, “Angel of Music” @junkkouture design by TY students Emma Farren, Gabrielle Byrne and Nora Carr, made out of broken CDs and old music sheets took to the stage. The girls’ design was inspired by their love of music.

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A massive well done to all three groups who represented the Abbey Vocational School at a regional level on Thursday. Unfortunately the standard of designs was extremely high and only 15 out of the 80 finalists on the night made it through to the National Final. Nevertheless, it was a fantastic achievement to make it this far – congratulations girls!

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AIB Build a Bank

AIB have introduced their Build-A-Bank programme to the Abbey Vocational School. This programme challenges a group of 6 students to create, market & run a bank within their school in conjunction with AIB. The competing team of Aoibheann Gallagher, Emily McNulty, Savannah Timony, Catherine Whiteside, Eilish McGroary & Darcy Neil will be travelling to the National Final in the RDS in March where they will experience an amazing day out, meet other school bank teams, receive proper and professional feedback on their hard work and ultimately be in with the chance of being crowned Build A Bank Champions and win €5,000 for their school. 

The bank is required to have a creative & unique theme. The theme chosen by our team is Chitty Chitty Bankers & will revolve around saving up for your first car, driving lessons & paying for insurance. The bank will be open twice per week where students can open accounts, lodge money (the money will be stored in AIB for safety reasons) & withdraw from their account. Our hopes for this service will be to inspire young people to take more control over their finances & begin to save for their future!

Transition Year Foroige Leadership Programme           

image017Students from the Abbey Vocational School are participating in the Foroige Youth Leadership Programme and will receive a Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action.

The 2020 Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action will be awarded to young people who have completed all three modules of Foróige’s Leadership for Life programme by June 2020.

By registering,  AVS Students are committing to having all three modules of the Foróige Leadership for Life Programme completed by June 2020. It is recommended that all participants should have Module 1&2 complete prior to registering for the NUIG certificate. It is important that participants have adequate time in between the modules to use and practice their leadership skills. 

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Those participating in the programme are asked to provide the name and email address of a mentor. Mentors can be the facilitator of previous modules, a volunteer, Foróige staff member, coach, teacher etc. 

TY Upcoming Events

Over the next few months our TY students will take part in many activities, a sample of some of these activities and listed below: 

  • Hotel taster day
  • Sports leadership 
  • First Response Course 
  • Balmoral Shows
  • Lough Key Maths Trip 
  • Make up workshop 
  • Personal Presentation Workshop 
  • Internet Safety video production workshops 
  • Young Social Innovators competitions and attendance at event 
  • PE Expo 
  • ETB Awards 
  • GAA Future Leaders
  • Musical Trip to Sligo

SPORT Lunchtime Activities: Our lunchtime SPORTS FOR ALL programme is running every day. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme. There are at least two activities each day, indoors in the sports hall and outdoors on the tennis courts. The timetable is posted on the notice boards around the school. ALL students are encouraged to come out and get active during their lunch break. Students can participate in their uniform but must wear proper footwear/runners.  Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions

PE Expo Entry

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Congrats to our AVS PE Xpo entries which examine the science behind the sport!

Ulster E District Cross Country 

Well done to Mia Mc Calmont on winning the senior race at the Ulster E District Cross Country in Irvinestown this week!

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Ulster Schools Cross Country Finals 2020!

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Congratulations to Kitty Mc Nulty, Mia Mc Calmont and Savannah Timony who have qualified for the Ulster Schools Cross Country final in Belfast next week! Three athletes competed in the Ulster Schools Cross Country final in Mallusk, Belfast on Wednesday 26th February. Savannah Timony coming back from a recent illness finished 30th in the Inter girls race. She suffered a fall early in the race and had a gutsy performance to recover and complete a tough course. Mia Mc Calmont returned from injury and showed great form to finish 5th in a highly competitive Senior girls race. Kitty Mc Nulty had a strong run to finish 44th in this race also.  Well done to all involved.

Athletics training continues every Tuesday after school in preparation for the track and field season ahead.

GIRLS ACTIVE

Girls Active in the Library every Thursday at 3.30pm – 4.30 pm. Zumba is the activity for the next five weeks. All girls welcome come along for an hour of fun and meet new friends. Girls Active is a non competitive activity.

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Thank you to our instructor Bridget Robins for such an enjoyable and lively class. All newcomers are welcome to join anytime.

1st and 2nd Year Boys Basketball

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The 1st and 2nd year boy’s basketball team had a busy week this week. They played against St Macartan’s of Monaghan on Tuesday and the two teams were victorious. They played against St Patrick’s College Cavan on Thursday. The 2nd year team were defeated however they played well and it was a close game from beginning to end. The first year team had a comfortable win meaning that they have won all of their league matches so far. This is the end of the first stage of the league and both teams, as always, trained hard, played fantastically and done themselves and the school proud. The league quarter and semifinals will get underway in the coming weeks.

U14 Girls GAA

On Thursday the 27th our U14 ladies played in their group blitz in Gweedore. On the day they played St Catherine’s Killybegs, Holy Cross Strabane, St Columba’s Stranorlar and the Rosses Community College Dungloe.

The girls started off against Killybegs where they lost narrowly by 2 points. Next up was Holy Cross and the girls came out strong in the game and won the match by 6 points. The girls had a 20mins break before going back out to the pitch to play St Columbas, they continued with their strong  performance and had another impressive win. Last up for the girls was Rosses Community College, the girls from the Rosses started strong and got a 3 goals lead at half time. AVS girls came out strong in the second half but just fell short at the end losing by 1 goal.

The blitz ended in a 3 way tie at the end for 2nd place, AVS lost out on score difference to St Columbas. So the AVS girls now progress to the next round of the shield competition in the coming weeks.

 

AVS Newsletter – Mon 10th Feb.

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Feb – 9th Feb 2020

Information Night:

  • TY and LCA programmes and subject Options for students going into 5th year.
  •  Tuesday, 11th  February 2020 at 7 p.m
  1. An overview of the LCA Programme will be given at 6.30 pm for those interested. 
  2. Talk for Parents of 3rd year students commences at 7 pm on the TY Programme. 
  3. Talk for Parents of TY students takes place at 7.40 pm on Subject Options for 5th year. Parents of 3rd year students can remain seated if they wish to listen to a talk on this area or if their child is progressing to 5th year.

Scholarships for our past pupils!

Congrats to our past pupils Shaneen Graham & Charlotte Timoney on receiving Optum Healthcare Scholarships last night in Rockhill House, Letterkenny. We are incredibly proud of the girls for their achievements & look forward to their bright future.

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Charlotte Timony and Shaneen Graham both attended the Abbey Vocational School in Donegal Town. These two former AVS students have been awarded an Optum Healthcare Scholarship to support them in their studies. 

Charlotte is studying Psychology at NUI Galway and Shaneen, also at NUI Galway, is studying Bio-Pharmaceutical Pharmacy. 

The scholarship scheme is designed to support students in County Donegal who are studying healthcare and technology-related degree courses in the region in line with the Company’s mission to support the local healthcare system, contribute to a more diverse third-level sector and create the healthcare workers of the future.

There was a high level of applications from students across County Donegal and applicants were adjudicated upon by a Selection Panel made up of representatives from Optum’s three partner Institutions- Letterkenny IT, Ulster University and NUI Galway.

Drama Club

Rehearsals are nearing completion for The Abbey Vocational School production of The Good Doctor by Neil Simon, featuring pupils from 2nd, 3rd, 6th year and TY. We have thirteen absolutely superb and committed actors who have been working tirelessly during lunchtimes and after school to create what is promising to be a really special piece of theatre. Featuring original songs composed by TY pupils this show is not to be missed. It will be on ONE NIGHT ONLY at the Donegal Schools’ Drama Festival in Ballybofey on Wednesday 26th February at 8pm. Please do come along to support the cast on the big night.

Last year our entry Chatroom by Enda Walsh came second overall in Donegal with Robyn Harvey-Moulding (6th year) winning best actress. We will be keen to repeat our success this year with another fantastic show.

Watch this space for details of a supporters bus going up on the night and if you are keen to attend get your name in first by giving it to Mr Donegan, Mr McFadden, Ms O’Donnell or Paddy McMenamin.

Wellbeing 

Shane Martin Talk 

Last Wednesday Shane Martin visited our school and delivered two of his excellent talks. One to our leaving cert students and another one after school to our staff. 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. A leader within the area of education, he has visited hundreds of educational institutions nationwide working with management teams, teachers/lecturers, students and parents.

 Guidance

  1. An info. evening for parents/guardians of Incoming 5th Years regarding Senior Cycle subject choices will take place in the school on Tuesday, 11 Feb. 6.30 -9 p.m. Maria Faherty, Guidance Counsellor will present.  
  2. Leaving Cert students should be working on their DARE & HEAR applications. All online requirements must be completed by 01 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m. and all paperwork must reach CAO by 15 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m.
  3. The SUSI Grant application system is due to open in early April 2020.  Further info. will be available to students closer to this time. See www.SUSI.ie
  4. Keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance Guidance button.  

The WELL READ AWARD

The English Department has been working with The PDST ‘Well Read National Award’. This is a national initiative designed and organised by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It aims to create heightened awareness about the importance of creating a culture of reading in school communities for students as part of their personal and academic development.

Teaching & Learning: ‘Students Reflecting on their Learning’

Being able to reflect on one’s learning and learning how to become a better learner are key elements of the Junior Cycle key skills. When students learn to reflect on their learning through dialogue, writing or using a computer, they are developing many of these skills.

Through reflection ‘in’ and ‘on’ learning students can:

  • become more aware of the knowledge and skills that they have developed
  • identify strengths and areas for development
  • develop and action plan for future learning
  • gain greater understanding of themselves and how they learn
  • take more responsibility for their learning

As “Students Reflecting on their Learning” is one of our school improvement targets, our staff are employing a range of strategies to help our students develop the skills to look at their own and others’ work critically and constructively. Such strategies include peer assessment, exit ticket and reflection sheets. These approaches help our students to develop a ‘nose’ for quality and to begin to understand the features of quality in a piece of work. They see areas where they can improve themselves by recognising them in the work of others

TY Peer Mentoring 

This coming week we are looking forward to our TY mentors & Ms. Kelly working with our first years again. The focus of this week’s session will be on positive behaviour. Students  will engage with resources that place students  in various possible scenarios. Our first year students will then advise the best course of action for each scenario and share their findings. 

Well done to all our first years who are engaging so well with our other positive behaviour initiatives in school. At this point numerous students have points allocated to them on our new VSware recording system and we look forward to rewarding these students in due course. Well done all.

Numeracy

PDST Post Primary Maths

Maths Teachers from the Abbey Vocational School gave a warm welcome today to Caroline Collery from the PDST Post Primary Maths Team.

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Mary McLoughlin, Pauline Anne Gavigan, Darren Russell and Sean Donegan engaged with students participating in strategies with patterns, tables graphs and generating expressions!

The PDST Maths Team provide school-based support to mathematics departments throughout 2019-2020. This support focuses on developing teaching, learning and assessment practices towards developing students’ proficiency in mathematics and includes:

  • Teaching Geometry for Understanding.
  • Teaching Algebra through the Lens of Functions.
  • Developing common approaches for teaching key mathematical skills.
  • Developing a culture of problem solving in mathematics
  • Using GeoGebra to support teaching, learning and assessment.

The Maths Club 

The Abbey Vocational School Maths Club meets on Fridays at lunchtime in Room 30. The Math Club runs an enrichment programme that focuses on helping Students with Maths. 

Chess Club The Chess Club has resumed on Mondays in room 3 and all new members are welcome! The game of chess is played by millions of people worldwide.  Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga some time before the 7th century. If you have an interest in joining our Chess Club please come along to our meetings as everyone is welcome!

French Department En France, les grèves commencées en décembre continuent et les Français défilent dans les rues afin de protéger le système de retraites, mais le gouvernement ne recule pas.

Student Council 

A Student Council Meeting was held on Friday 30th Jan.  The committee decided they would like to have a representative on the Irish Secondary School Union and voted. A sub-committee will follow up the ISU Student ID card, and the School Council liaised with Donegal Youth Council members in advance of their meeting next week with the Donegal Municipal District Council. They will discuss previous objectives and future goals at this meeting. Traffic congestion and safety of students and drivers was a key concern of our council. The DYC  students suggested a pedestrian crossing at the school which they hope to bring up at their  meeting. 

The council will hold a competition for the design of a ‘Waste to Beauty Bin’ and artwork for the school. They acknowledged the great progress of our ‘Junk Kouture’ entrants and could link the ‘Junk Kouture’ ethos here.

Leaving Cert Mentoring Programme: 

Leaving Cert Students from the Abbey Vocational School will be commencing their Mock Examinations in the coming  week. The Mock timetable is available on the school website. Each Leaving Cert Student has an individual Mentor who had been working with them around the challenges of the Leaving Cert exam and how they individually need to be supported. Thanks to all of the staff in the school who give of their time to become a mentor and to offer such invaluable support to our students at this very challenging time. Mentors will link in with students to see what each student now needs to address in order to be in the best possible place for the exams. Year Head Ms Dillon will be offering ongoing support to all students in her year group also.

 

Girls Active

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Girls Active is a joint programme between the Health Services Executive North West, Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership, Youth Sport West and is aimed at encouraging teenage girls to participate in sport. The programme was initiated in 2003 and aims to increase the number of teenage girls involved in long-term regular physical activity through developing more supportive environments for teenage girls’ physical activity in school.

Transition Year

Personal Safety

Transition Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School were delighted to welcome Alex Walsh to the school to talk to the students regarding personal safety. Personal Safety Classes provided an opportunity for people to engage in possible real life situations in a safe and professional environment. Learning tools, skills, moves and techniques which  provided them with valuable practical knowledge.

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The Personal Safety Programme was not just practical, the learning within the classes was motivated to highlight justification of actions, if deemed necessary, after using certain techniques. The emphasis on attitude and behavior throughout the classes gave participants an understanding of how their own behavior has an impact and influence on any given situation, whether public or private.

The discussion was highly informative, educational and empowering!

Young Social Innovators

Abbey Vocational School Transition Year Students are taking part in the Young Social Innovators Initiative. Students are challenged to look at the world around us and to identify and explore issues affecting us, our friends, our community and wider society. More than just coming up with a solution, students are asked to put that idea into action and to create change. Students will see other perspectives, expertise and creativity to design solutions based on real human experience and need. Students will gain real experience working in a team and develop skills in leadership, communication and project planning and management.

YSI is committed to helping young people to develop  21st century learning skills including: empowerment, ability to seek solutions, Leadership, empathy, awareness of social need, appreciating difference, coping strategies. Social innovation is ‘the practice of using creativity to develop solutions which improve the wellbeing of people and society’

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Pictured are Transition Year Students organising Posters for their Bake Sale in aid of their YSI Project. The TY Young Social Innovators Project is a speakout/presentation raising awareness of the effects of reality T.V.  The Abbey Vocational School Innovators spoke with Ray Darcy on Fm104 radio on Thursday the 6th of February highlighting the aims of the inspirational T.V. Project. The initiative has gained 1,800 followers and growing!  If you missed it you can listen the interview at  https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/radio1/11150984

The TY Class of 4D, instructed by Ms Kelly, have launched this enterprising power campaign which aims to highlight the negative impact that social media and reality television can have on the youth of today. The YSI project named “keeping up with reality” went completely viral and has been shared by hundreds of people, including a huge number of prominent social influencers.

The YSI project is centred around the idea of the pressure and pretence that is associated with social media and reality television.  The students love social media and admit that while young people couldn’t imagine life without it they do feel that there is a lot of falseness associated with some reality shows and posts on social media that they struggle to understand what is real and what is fake.

To promote their campaign and spread the important message they called upon influencers to share an unfiltered image of themselves to their stories or Instagram grid tagging them with #keepingupwithreality2020 and #YSIproject 

Junk Kouture

Transition Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School spent the last number of weeks and months perfecting their clothing for the Junk Kouture Competition!

Junk Kouture is a fashion competition using recycled materials, which challenges young people to design, create and model high end couture from everyday junk! It takes in elements of fashion, design, engineering and environmental sustainability and transforms them into a creative contest like no other. Hitting its tenth year running, Junk Kouture has already captivated over 40,000 students, 8,000 Teachers and 100,000 audience members. The whole idea of Junk Kouture is to create striking works of recycled couture that wouldn’t look out of place on the world’s most famous runways or in some of the best Hollywood movies!

Introducing “Lost in Frills” @junkkouture design by TY student Emma Thomas, made entirely out of baling twine – Emma is through to the Northern Regional Finals!

 

 

Next up is “Angel of Music” @junkkouture design by TY students Emma Farren, Gabrielle Byrne and Nora Carr, made out of broken CDs and old music sheets! 

The third and final group through to the @junkkouture Northern Regional Finals is “TLC Tweed” by TY students Teelin Casey, Leah O’Donnell and Caoimhe Kerrigan, made out of scraps of tweed from local businesses Magees & Hanna Hats!

 AIB Build a Bank

AIB have introduced their Build-A-Bank programme to the Abbey Vocational School. This programme challenges a group of 6 students to create, market & run a bank within their school in conjunction with AIB. The competing team of Aoibheann Gallagher, Emily McNulty, Savannah Timony, Catherine Whiteside, Eilish McGroary & Darcy Neil will be travelling to the National Final in the RDS in March where they will experience an amazing day out, meet other school bank teams, receive proper and professional feedback on their hard work and ultimately be in with the chance of being crowned Build A Bank Champions and win €5,000 for their school. 

The bank is required to have a creative & unique theme. The theme chosen by our team is Chitty Chitty Bankers & will revolve around saving up for your first car, driving lessons & paying for insurance. The bank will be open twice per week where students can open accounts, lodge money (the money will be stored in AIB for safety reasons) & withdraw from their account. Our hopes for this service will be to inspire young people to take more control over their finances & begin to save for their future!

Transition Year Foroige Leadership Programme

image015Students from the Abbey Vocational School are participating in the Foroige Youth Leadership Programme and will receive a Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action.

The 2020 Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action will be awarded to young people who have completed all three modules of Foróige’s Leadership for Life programme by June 2020.

By registering, AVS Students are committing to having all three modules of the Foróige Leadership for Life Programme completed by June 2020. It is recommended that all participants should have Module 1&2 complete prior to registering for NUIG certificate. It is important that participants have adequate time in between the modules to use and practice their leadership skills. 

Those participating in the programme are asked to provide the name and email address of a mentor. Mentors can be the facilitator of previous modules, a volunteer, Foróige staff member, coach, teacher etc. 

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Donegal Castle Visit

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Transition Years enjoying the beautiful surroundings of Donegal Castle!

Last Friday the remaining TY students visited   Donegal Castle for a tour. While there the group received a very interesting talk on the history of the castle and Donegal town. After the talk all the students went in and walked around the castle. Thank you once again to Sean and all the staff at the castle. 

TY Craft Workshop 

Last Thursday TYB took part in a craft workshop with Morna from Morna’s Patch. During this workshop the students learned how to cross stitch and each student made a bookmark. It was a very enjoyable experience for all the students and they left the workshop with some lovely homemade bookmarks. Morna will be back over the next few weeks to work with the other TY classes. 

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TY upcoming events:

Over the next few months our TY students will take part in many activities, a sample of some of these activities and listed below: 

  • Hotel taster day
  • Sports leadership 
  • First Response Course 
  • Balmoral Shows
  • Lough Key Maths Trip 
  • Make up workshop 
  • Personal Presentation Workshop 
  • Internet Safety video production workshops 
  • Young Social Innovators competitions and attendance at event 
  • PE Expo 
  • ETB Awards 
  • GAA Future Leaders

Sport

Donegal Sports Star Awards

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Congratulations to Best Secondary School Girl Níamh Moohan.

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Congratulations to Motor Sport Winner David Kelly, past pupil of the AVS!

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Niamh Moohan, Shane Breslin and Ms Michelle Gallagher.

 Special Olympic Ulster Gala 2020

Congratulations to our winning stars at the Special Olympics Ulster Gala 2020 at the Omagh Leisure Centre, Omagh. Congratulations to Cormac Mac Suibhne who came 1st in the 25m back & 2nd in the 25m free. Joe taking 2nd place in the 25m free. Ultan 1st in the 25m back & free. Eoin Rooney came 1st in the 25m back & 50m free.Anthony 1st in the 25m back & 3rd in the 25m free. Ethan 1st in the 25m back & free. John 1st in the 50m free & 6th in the 25m free. Marie 3rf in the 50m free & 5th in 25m free. Anna 1st in 50m fly & 2nd in 25m free.

Super well done to all the Nemo swimmers with a big congratulations to Eimear winning the Fermanagh Herald Special Achievement Award on Friday Night!

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TY Sports Leader

Our TY’s have started their Sports Leader training as part of the PE programme. They will get the opportunity to coach their peers, younger students and local primary school during the year. Through this course, students will learn and demonstrate important life skills such as effective communication and organisation, whilst leading basic physical and sports activities with younger students, their peers, and within primary schools in the community. The transferable skills learned will be useful in college, the workplace and life in general.

This qualification in Sports Leadership is run in conjunction with Donegal Sports Partnership. Thanks to all involved.

 

 

 

Cross-Country

A number of runners took part in the District Cross-Country Competition this week at Necarne Estate, Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh. Well done to all involved.

Special word of mention to Savannah Timony who had a gutsy performance to win gold in the U17 girls race. Mia Mc Calmont returned from injury and showed great form to win gold in the Senior girls race. Kitty Mc Nulty had a strong run to finish 6th in this race also.. 

All three girls have qualified for the Ulster Schools Cross Country final in Mallusk, Belfast next Wednesday 12th February. Good luck to all.

 

Sportshall Athletics

Good luck to our 1st year girls team who will compete in the County final this Monday in Rosses Community School, Dungloe. The team consists of 12 members who will compete against the top athletes from across the county in a number of running, jumping and  throwing events. 

Boys Basketball 

The first and second year boys had a fantastic start in their league games. So far our 1st year team have played two matches and have been victorious in both against Our Lady’s Secondary School and St Malachy’s of Belfast. Our second year team had a fantastic first game against Summerhill College, Sligo. They have been unsuccessful in the last two matches against Our Lady’s Secondary School and St Malachy’s but have shown fantastic comradery as a team and are training hard in anticipation of the next two league matches which will take place after the mid-term break. Both teams are a credit to themselves and the school.

Girls Basketball  -All Ireland Semi final league

The U16 girls basketball team travelled to the Tallaght Basketball Arena on Wednesday 5th of February. National Basketball Arena, also known as Tallaght Arena, is an indoor sporting arena located in Tymon Park, Tallaght, South Dublin, adjacent to the M50 motorway. The capacity of the arena is 2,500 people and it opened in January 1993.

The girls played a physical game a tough Clonmel side. Both teams fought hard under the boards and really had to work for each basket.  The Abbey were victorious by only one point to progress to the All ireland Semi final once again. 

With only an hour break the girls warmed up to play their second all Ireland semi this season. This time they faced and experienced side from colaiste Bride Dublin. The Abbey were 12 points down after the first quarter but had an outstanding second quarter bringing thr scoreline even for the first time. The girls played some fantastic defense but weren’t making the baskets offensively. Always chasing the scoreline the girls fought right to the end losing only by 8 points. This was the only game the team lost all season. A gold and bronze all ireland medal reflects the talent of this team. Congratulations on your hard work, dedication and for being great role models to your peers and school. 

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Gaelic – Boys Senior

Boys lost to St Pauls HS, Bessbrook on Tuesday in Armagh.

The senior boys team were beaten by a strong St Paul’s Bessbrook team.

Their cause was not helped when they were reduced to fourteen players after twenty minutes. The boys struggled in the early stages of the game against the tough tackling Armagh boys.  Fortunately, a lot of the boys will be underage next year and will learn from the experience of playing a higher grade of football. 

Lunchtime Activities:

Our lunchtime SPORTS FOR ALL programme is running every day. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme. 

There are at least two activities each day, indoors in the sports hall and outdoors on the tennis courts. The timetable is posted on the notice boards around the school. ALL students are encouraged to come out and get active during their lunch break. Students can participate in their uniform but must wear proper footwear/runners.  Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions.

GIRLS ACTIVE

Girls Active in the Library every Thursday at 3.30pm – 4.30 pm. Zumba is the activity for the next five weeks. All girls welcome come along for an hour of fun and meet new friends. Girls Active is a non-competitive activity. 

 

AVS Newsletter -Mon 3rd

Abbey Vocational School 27th January- 3rd of February 2020


Information Night on  TY and LCA programmes and subject Options for students going into 5th year.

Tuesday, 11th  February 2020 at 7 p.m.

  1. An overview of the LCA Programme will be given at 6.30 pm for those interested.
  2. Talk for Parents of 3rd-year students commences at 7 pm on the TY Programme.
  3. Talk for Parents of TY students takes place at 7.40 pm on Subject Options for 5th year. Parents of 3rd-year students can remain seated if they wish to listen to a talk on this area or if their child is progressing to 5th year.

Subject Options Awareness Week:

For the next two weeks our TYs and some of our 5th year will be thinking about the various subject options available to them and will use the opportunity to speak to teachers on their subject area. The students will be given talks and presentations on subject options and programmes.

Incoming First Years 2020 2021

A reminder to all parents that Subject Choice forms should be returned to the school office by Jan 31st, with the students name included plea

Jack Keeney is awarded  UCD AD ASTRA Elite Sports Scholarship 

Well done to past pupil Jack Keaney who received a UCD AD ASTRA Elite sports scholarship this week. Jack is studying Maths and Science in UCD. Recently he was also named as captain of the UCD senior soccer team. Well done Jack we are all very proud of you!

The pursuit of excellence is part of the mission of University College Dublin. In sport, support for talented sportsmen and women is delivered at two levels, the UCD Sports Scholarship programme and the Ad Astra Elite Sports Scholarship Programme.

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Pictured are Jack Keaney and Ms Patrice Rooney.

According to Prof. Colin Boreham (Director) “Our mission is simply to maximise the potential of our sport athletes in their sporting and academic endeavours while studying at UCD”.


Donegal Sports Star Awards : 

The Donegal Sports Star Awards was founded in 1976. It is based on the simple philosophy that sports people of all disciplines should be honored in a suitable forum that transcended all religious and political divides. The awards banquet is a night when the sports communities meet and sportsmen and women are honored by the people of Donegal. It is inclusive of all and also gives recognition to many sports that generally don’t receive much public attention.

Over the years countless sports people have received these awards, many have gone on to represent Ireland with distinction and others have established themselves professionally in their sport. The honors recognises the success of competing sportsmen and sportswomen.

Winner of Best Secondary School Girl: Niamh Moohan

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A huge congratulations  to  Niamh Moohan who won Best Secondary  School Sports Girls at the Donegal Sports Star Awards on Friday night in the Mount Errigal Hotel. Niamh has had a tremendous season at school level over a broad range of events. In November she finished 4th in the All Ireland Schools u15 Pentathlon in Athlone to gain the Irish vest. She represented Ireland at the International Schools Pentathlon in Glasgow in January where she competed against the top athletes from England, Scotland and Wales. She finished the day with an impressive overall score of 2,953 points. Her performance helped the Irish team win bronze on the day.

She was a valuable member of the Donegal Sportshall u15 team who finished 3rd overall in the British Sportshall Athletics Finals in March.

In May she won gold in the Ulster Schools 80m Hurdles and went on to win gold at the All Ireland Schools Track & Field Championships in Tullamore in June. This achievement was exceptional, considering she was competing a year out of her age group in the under 17 category.

She was selected to compete for Ulster in the Tailteann Games in July where she won gold in the u17 80m Hurdles. To conclude a very successful season, she gained the Irish vest again for the International Schools in Swansea in the 75m Hurdles. She won bronze on the day.

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Niamh Mohan and Shane Breslin with their coach and teacher Ms Michelle Gallagher

Nomination for Secondary School Boy: Shane Breslin

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Shane has been a valuable member to many of our sports teams in the school. He has a great attitude on and off the track and is a great role model to all. Shane is a versatile athlete and has won medals in several throwing, running and hurdle events over the past three years. He finished first in the Ulster District Shot Putt and 100m Hurdles.

In May he won bronze in the Ulster Schools 100m Hurdles in Antrim.

He was selected to compete for Ulster in the Tailteann Games in July where he won silver in the u17 Shot putt with a personal best throw of 13.10m. He gained his first Irish vest when he was selected to represent Ireland at the International Schools in Swansea in the u17 shot putt. He finished 8th on the day.

In September he represented the school in the Ulster Schools Pentathlon and finished 4th in the u17 to qualify for the All Ireland Schools finals in Athlone this November.

Well done also to Michael O’ Boyle and Cian Mhic Shuibne who are entered in the Rowing category for the awards.

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Niamh Moohan pictured after receiving the Donegal Secondary School Sport Star award with other nominees Shane Breslin and Cian Mac Suibhne.


Transition Year

Junk Kouture

Transition Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School spent the last number of weeks and months perfecting their clothing for the Junk Kouture Competition!

Junk Kouture is a fashion competition using recycled materials, which challenges young people to design, create and model high end couture from everyday junk! It takes in elements of fashion, design, engineering and environmental sustainability and transforms them into a creative contest like no other. Hitting its tenth year running, Junk Kouture has already captivated over 40,000 students, 8,000 Teachers and 100,000 audience members.

Junk Kouture 2020 was open to all pupils who are enrolled in post – primary education in the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland, and Scotland in the 2019/2020 school year. In short, the whole idea of Junk Kouture is to create striking works of recycled couture that wouldn’t look out of place on the world’s most famous runways or in some of the best Hollywood movies!

AVS Students were busy designing and crafting from modern to male, to high fashion and feminine. However, THE MOST IMPORTANT RULE was that it’s made from 100% recycled materials.

This week, the regional finalists across the country were announced. We are absolutely over the moon that 3 of our TY Junk Kouture entries have been selected to compete at the Northern Regional Final in the Millennium Forum, Derry on the 27th of February.image001

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A massive well done to the groups who created and submitted entries. We are so excited for the next stage of the competition. Below are some photos of the following groups that got through:

We look forward to seeing the girls working their magic on the runway on the 27th of February!!

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“Angel of Music” by Nora Carr, Gabriella Byrne & Emma Farren

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“TLC Tweed” by Teelin Casey, Leah O’Donnell & Caoimhe Kerrigan

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“Lost in Frills” by Emma Thomas


The French Department

La semaine dernière, le coronavirus est arrivé en France à cause de touristes chinois ayant pris l’avion jusqu’à Paris. On recense pour l’instant quelques cas de personnes infectées mais tout le monde reste très prudent pour éviter de répandre le virus.


Teaching & Learning: ‘Students Reflecting on their Learning’

Being able to reflect on one’s learning and learning how to become a better learner are key elements of the junior cycle key skills. When students learn to reflect on their learning through dialogue, writing or using a computer, they are developing many of these skills.

Through reflection ‘in’ and ‘on’ learning students can:

  • become more aware of the knowledge and skills that they have developed
  • identify strengths and areas for development
  • develop and action plan for future learning
  • gain greater understanding of themselves and how they learn
  • take more responsibility for their learning

As “Students Reflecting on their Learning” is one of our school improvement targets, our staff are employing a range of strategies to help our students develop the skills to look at their own and others’ work critically and constructively. Such strategies include peer assessment, exit ticket and reflection sheets. These approaches help our students to develop a ‘nose’ for quality and to begin to understand the features of quality in a piece of work. They see areas where they can improve themselves by recognising them in the work of others


Numeracy

Chess Club The Chess Club has resumed on Mondays in room 3 and all new members are welcome! The game of chess is played by millions of people worldwide.  Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga some time before the 7th century. If you have an interest in joining our Chess Club please come along to our meetings as everyone is welcome!

The Maths Club 

The Abbey Vocational School Maths Club meets on Fridays at lunchtime in Room 30. The Maths Club runs an enrichment programme that focuses on helping Students with Maths.


Student Council 

Student Council Meeting held on Friday 30th Jan.  Committee decided they would like to have a representative on the Irish Secondary School Union and voted. A subcommittee will follow up on the ISU Student ID card, and the School Council liaised with Donegal Youth Council members in advance of their meeting next week with the Donegal Municipal District Council. They will discuss previous objectives and future goals at this meeting. Traffic congestion and the safety of students and drivers was a key concern of our council. The DYC  students suggested a pedestrian crossing at the school which they hope to bring up at their meeting.

The council will hold a competition for the design of a ‘Waste to Beauty Bin’ and artwork for the school. They acknowledged the great progress of our ‘Junk Kouture’ entrants and could link the ‘Junk Kouture’ ethos here.

Music

Mock technology and music exams at Leaving Cert have begun.  All exam classes will have mock practical exams over the next two weeks.

Healthy Schools

First Year Abbey Vocational School Students working on healthy recipes for the month of January. Looking forward to a healthy & happy 2020.

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First-Year Students promoting Healthy Eating!


Drama Club

AVS Drama Club is buzzing this week as students are involved in auditions for a part in the school’s entry to the Donegal Schools’ Drama Festival taking place at the Balor Theatre in Ballybofey at the end of February. Our entry is a comedy called The Good Doctor by award-winning American Broadway writer Neil Simon. We had lots of students from all year groups attending initial auditions last week and this week the students are working hard to prepare scenes for their second-round audition. The full cast list will be announced soon. We will then be approaching students to help out with stage management, set, props and music. If you are interested in getting involved please speak to Mr Donegan.

Last year our entry Chatroom by Enda Walsh came second overall in Donegal with Robyn Harvey-Moulding (6th year) winning best actress. We will be keen to repeat our success this year with another fantastic show.


The WELL READ AWARD

The English Department has been working with The PDST ‘Well-Read National Award’. This is a national initiative designed and organised by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It aims to create heightened awareness about the importance of creating a culture of reading in school communities for students as part of their personal and academic development.


Caring for Animals

On Wednesday the 22nd of January some of our students visited Seaview Veterinary in Donegal Town with their Teacher Ms Doherty as part of their Caring for Animals course.  They had a tour of the facility, met a few furry patients and asked lots of questions about caring for their pets.

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Aine McBrearty, Ava Harold & David Crawford.


Career Guidance: 

Guidance

  1. Thank you to Donegal ETB’s FET department, the Defence Forces and IT Sligo (Work-Based Degree in Mechatronic Systems Engineering) who spoke to our Senior Cycle students over the past couple of weeks regarding further learning and career opportunities.
  2. Sligo College of Further Education will present to Leaving Cert students on Wednesday, 05 Feb. @ 10.20 in room 45
  3. An information evening for parents/guardians of Incoming 5th Years regarding Senior Cycle subject choices will take place in the school on Tuesday, 11 Feb. 7-9 p.m. Maria Faherty, Guidance Counsellor will present.
  4. Leaving Cert students should be working on their DARE & HEAR applications. All online requirements must be completed by 01 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m. and all paperwork must reach CAO by 15 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m.
  5. The SUSI Grant application system is due to open in early-mid April 2020.  Further info. will be available to students closer to this time. See SUSI.ie

Leaving Cert Mentoring Programme: 

Leaving Cert Students from the Abbey Vocational School will be completing their Mock Examinations in a few weeks. The Mock timetable is available on the school website. Each Leaving Cert Student has an individual Mentor who had been working with them around the challenges of the Leaving Cert exam and how they individually need to be supported. Thanks to all of the staff in the school who give of their time to become a mentor and to offer such invaluable support to our students at this very challenging time. Mentors will link in with students to see what each student now needs to address in order to be in the best possible place for the exams. Year Head Ms Dillon will be offering ongoing support to all students in her year group also.


Sligo Institute of Technology

On Wednesday the 29th of January the Abbey Vocational School welcomed Brian Mulligan from Sligo Institute of Technology. The presentation to Leaving Cert Students introduced the new work-based Degree in Mechatronic Systems Engineering.

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Since it first opened in September 1970, IT Sligo has been one of Ireland’s leading third level institutions and is home to 6,000 students across the Institute’s full-time, part-time and apprenticeship programmes. Of those, 2,000 are studying online.

IT Sligo is also a fiercely ambitious third level institution. Working towards re-designation as a Technological University, a €60 million investment in campus facilities over the last decade has created a stunning 21st century learning environment.

There is no standing still. Across the Institute’s three Schools of Learning in Business & Social Sciences; Engineering & Design; and Science, IT Sligo is constantly developing and enhancing its courses and facilities to provide an overall package which matches the needs of the student today – and tomorrow.


Safer Internet Day 2020

Students are busy this week preparing for the Safer Internet Day 2020 which will be held on Tuesday the 11th of February.

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Safer Internet Day (SID) is an EU wide initiative to promote a safer internet for all users, especially young people. It is promoted in Ireland by the PDST Technology in Education and Webwise.


Chemistry Workshop : Spectroscopy in a Suitcase 

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Transition Year Students enjoying the Chemistry Workshop.

Transition Year Students immersed themselves in the world of Chemistry on Friday the 31st of January. Spectroscopy in a Suitcase Chemistry Workshop was held in collaboration with Sligo Institute of Technology.

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Spectroscopy is the branch of science concerned with the investigation and measurement of spectra produced when matter interacts with or emits electromagnetic radiation.


AIB Build a Bank

AIB has introduced their Build-A-Bank programme to the Abbey Vocational School. This programme challenges a group of 6 students to create, market & run a bank within their school in conjunction with AIB. The competing team of Aoibheann Gallagher, Emily McNulty, Savannah Timony, Catherine Whiteside, Eilish McGroary & Darcy Neil will be traveling to the National Final in the RDS in March where they will experience an amazing day out, meet other school bank teams, receive proper and professional feedback on their hard work and ultimately be in with the chance of being crowned Build A Bank Champions and win €5,000 for their school.

The bank is required to have a creative & unique theme. The theme chosen by our team is Chitty Chitty Bankers & will revolve around saving up for your first car, driving lessons & paying for insurance. The bank will be open twice per week where students can open accounts, lodge money (the money will be stored in AIB for safety reasons) & withdraw from their account. Our hopes for this service will be to inspire young people to take more control over their finances & begin to save for their future!


Transition Year Foroige Leadership Programme

image022Students from the Abbey Vocational School are participating in the Foroige Youth Leadership Programme and will receive a Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action.

The 2020 Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action will be awarded to young people who have completed all three modules of Foróige’s Leadership for Life programme by June 2020.

By registering AVS Students are committing to having all three modules of the Foróige Leadership for Life Programme completed by June 2020. It is recommended that all participants should have Module 1&2 complete prior to registering for NUIG certificate. It is important that participants have adequate time in between the modules to use and practice their leadership skills.

Those participating in the programme are asked to provide the name and email address of a mentor. Mentors can be the facilitator of previous modules, a volunteer, Foróige staff member, coach, teacher etc.


Donegal Castle Visit

On Friday the 31st of January a number of our TY students visited   Donegal Castle for a tour. While there the group received a very interesting talk on the history of the castle and Donegal town. After the talk all the students went in and walked around the castle. Thank you to Sean and all the staff at the castle.

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TY upcoming events:

Over the next few months our TY students will take part in many activities, a sample of some of these activities and listed below:

  • Hotel taster day
  • Sports leadership
  • First Response Course
  • Personal safety workshop
  • Balmoral Shows
  • Lough Key Maths Trip
  • Makeup workshop
  • Personal Presentation Workshop
  • Internet Safety video production workshops
  • Young Social Innovators competitions and attendance at event
  • PE Expo
  • ETB Awards
  • GAA Future Leaders

 Sport

Leo McLoone retires from inter-county football

image025Dedicated Abbey Vocational School Teacher and long-time supporter of the G.A.A. Leo McLoone has decided to retire from inter-County football. A driving force in Naomh Conaill’s Senior Championship win and progression to the Ulster club final last year, Leo made his debut as a young, enthusiastic 18 year old. Veteran Leo McLoone has played under five different senior managers, winning a pocketful of Ulster, League and All-Ireland medals. He was accurately described by Declan Bonner as a “brilliant servant to Donegal football … and a very important part of the panel”.

Basketball – Boys Second Year Basketball

Second year boys basketball game who played against Our Lady’s Secondary School on Monday the 27th of January.

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Boys First Year BasketballWell done to the 1st years boys basketball team who won today against Our Lady’s Secondary School. Score 47-27

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Slideshow photos of the 1st year boys basketball game on Monday.

First Year Boys Soccer

First Year Boys Soccer on their way home after a hard fought 3-2 victory over Loreto Milford. Goals coming from Lee McNamara and 2 from Turlough Carr, including a header!!

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Sportshall Athletics

Congratulations to our first-year girls team who have qualified for the county final on Monday 10th February in Dungloe. The team consists of 12 athletes who will compete against the top schools from Donegal in a number of running, jumping and throwing events. Training will be on every Monday at lunchtime and after school on Tuesdays.

 Cross Country

District Cross-Country Competition

A number of our athletes will compete  in the Ulster District Cross-Country Competition on Tuesday 4th February at Necarne Estate, Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh. Good luck to all involved.

Athletics Training

Training is on every Tuesday after school from 4 pm – 5.15 pm. This training is for all students wishing training for cross country and track & field.

U16 Girls Basketball 

Good luck to our U16 girls team who will travel to Tallaght for the All Ireland Schools League quarter-final on Wednesday the 5th of February!

Lunchtime Activities:

Our lunchtime SPORTS FOR ALL programme is running every day. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

There are at least two activities on each day, indoors in the sports hall and outdoors on the tennis courts. The timetable is posted on the notice boards around the school. ALL students are encouraged to come out and get active during their lunch break. Students can participate in their uniform but must wear proper footwear/runners.  Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions.

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Lunchtime football activity.

Zumba

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Students enjoying lunchtime Zumba in the library with Ms Kelly

AVS Newsletter – Mon 27th Jan

Abbey Vocational School 20th – 26th January

U16 Girls Basketball Champions!

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Congratulations to our U16 Girls Basketball Team who beat Colaiste Muire, Crosshaven by 47-26 to lift the U16 Girls All Ireland Cup at the National Basketball Arena in Dublin on Monday the 20th of January!

2nd Year Parent Teacher Meeting 

Second year Parent Teacher Meeting takes place on Wednesday January 29th. Please attend between 3.45pm and 6.15pm

Information Night on  Ty and LCA programmes and subject Options for students going into 5th year.

This takes place on  Tuesday, 11 February 2020 at 7 p.m.

  1. An overview of the LCA Programme will be given at 6.30 pm for those interested.
  2. Talk for Parents of 3rd year students commences at 7 pm on the TY Programme.
  3. Talk for Parents of TY students takes place at 7.40 pm on Subject Options for 5th year. Parents of 3rd year students can remain seated if they wish to listen to a talk on this area or if their child is progressing to 5th year.

Incoming First Years 2020 2021

A reminder to all parents that Subject Choice forms should be returned to the school office by Jan 31st, with the students name included please.

Subject Options Awareness Week:

For the next two weeks our Tys and some of our 5th years will be thinking about the various subject options available to them and will use the opportunity to speak to teachers on their subject area. The students will be given talks and a presentation on subject options and programmes.

Cycle Against Suicide 2020

Congratulations to Evan Gorrell part of the Abbey Vocational School Staff Community who spoke at the Student Leaders’ Congress Friday the 17th of January in the CityWest Convention Centre, Dublin. 

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This event is a contact based education day, where students participate in a day of mental health talks and training in a fun and inclusive environment. Research shows that contact based education is one of the most powerful tools of learning.  Against a backdrop of increased levels of anxiety, self-harm, and suicide, this event will help young people to look after their mental well-being.

This event will educate young people on the mental health continuum. It will address mental health stigma, offer hope and focus on building resilience.

Mental Health Promotional Video

AVS 5th yr student India Kennedy attended the Cycle Against Suicide Student Leaders Congress in Dublin on Friday the 17th of January as a student leader. Our mental health community has been working hard all year to promote positive mental health around our school community, we would also like to thank a number of our staff who have helped to promote the message that “IT’S OK NOT TO FEEL OK: AND IT’S ABSOLUTELY OK TO ASK FOR HELP”.

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Teaching & Learning: ‘Students Reflecting on their Learning’

Being able to reflect on one’s learning and learning how to become a better learner are key elements of the junior cycle key skills. When students learn to reflect on their learning through dialogue, writing or using a computer, they are developing many of these skills.

Through reflection ‘in’ and ‘on’ learning students can:

  • become more aware of the knowledge and skills that they have developed
  • identify strengths and areas for development
  • develop and action plan for future learning
  • gain greater understanding of themselves and how they learn
  • take more responsibility for their learning

As “Students Reflecting on their Learning” is one of our school improvement targets, our staff are employing a range of strategies to help our students develop the skills to look at their own and others’ work critically and constructively. Such strategies include peer assessment, exit ticket and reflection sheets. These approaches help our students to develop a ‘nose’ for quality and to begin to understand the features of quality in a piece of work. They see areas where they can improve themselves by recognising them in the work of others.       See: http://avsdonegal.com/student-reflection

Numeracy

Chess Club The Chess Club has resumed on Mondays in room 3 and all new members are welcome! The game of chess is played by millions of people worldwide.  Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga some time before the 7th century. If you have an interest in joining our Chess Club please come along to our meetings as everyone is welcome!

The Maths Club    The Abbey Vocational School Maths Club meets on Fridays at lunchtime in Room 30. The Maths Club runs an enrichment programme that focuses on helping Students with Maths.

Drama Club   

AVS Drama Club is buzzing this week as students are involved in auditions for a part in the school’s entry to the Donegal Schools’ Drama Festival taking place at the Balor Theatre in Ballybofey at the end of February. Our entry is a comedy called The Good Doctor by award-winning American Broadway writer Neil Simon. We had lots of students from all year groups attending initial auditions last week and this week the students are working hard to prepare scenes for their second-round audition. The full cast list will be announced soon. We will then be approaching students to help out with stage management, set, props and music. If you are interested in getting involved please speak to Mr Donegan.

Last year our entry Chatroom by Enda Walsh came second overall in Donegal with Robyn Harvey-Moulding (6th year) winning best actress. We will be keen to repeat our success this year with another fantastic show.

The WELL READ AWARD

The English Department has been working with The PDST ‘Well Read National Award’. This is a national initiative designed and organised by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It aims to create heightened awareness about the importance of creating a culture of reading in school communities for students as part of their personal and academic development.

ETB Further Education & Training Talk 

ETB’s Further Education & Training Talk held in the Abbey Vocational School on Tuesday the 21st of January for Leaving Certificate Students was the ideal opportunity for Students to investigate what education and training opportunities are available locally and find out how Donegal ETB and other providers can help people to meet their education and training needs.

There are a wide range of options available; part-time and full-time learning, courses to help refresh the basics or develop knowledge in a range of areas of interest, including courses for recreation and courses to improve employment prospects.

Donegal ETB tutors and advisers explained what Apprenticeships, new and exciting Traineeship courses, and industry certified courses are available. Those attending could augment reality welding or speak to current learners to find out firsthand what it’s like to undertake a FET course with Donegal ETB. The ETB’s strong links with universities, ITs and Colleges of Further Education mean progression opportunities for learners were highlighted. Invaluable information such as, Citizens Information, Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection and SUSI Student Grants were provided also.

Guidance

  1. Career talks for Senior Cycle students taking place in the school over the coming weeks:
  • Defence Forces – Monday, 27 Jan. @ 2.00
  • Work-Based Degree in Mechatronic Systems Engineering – IT Sligo: 29 Jan. @ 10.20
  1. Leaving Cert students should be working on their DARE & HEAR applications. All online requirements must be completed by 01 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m. and all paperwork must reach CAO by 15 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m.
  2. The SUSI Grant application system is due to open in early April 2020.  Further info. will be available to students closer to this time. See www.SUSI.ie
  3. Keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance Guidance button.

Leaving Cert Mentoring Programme:

Leaving Cert Students from the Abbey Vocational School will be completing their Mock Examinations in a few weeks. The Mock timetable is available on the school website. Each Leaving Cert Student has an individual Mentor who had been working with them around the challenges of the Leaving Cert exam and how they individually need to be supported. Thanks to all of the staff in the school who give of their time to become a mentor and to offer such invaluable support to our students at this very challenging time. Mentors will link in with students to see what each student now needs to address in order to be in the best possible place for the exams. Year Head Ms Dillon will be offering ongoing support to all students in her year group also.

French Department

Dimanche 2 février, c’était la Chandeleur en France. La Chandeleur est la fête des crêpes et les Français s’en donnent à cœur joie et dévorent à pleines dents la montagne de crêpes qu’ils ont préparée.

Wellbeing

Restorative Practice

On Friday the 24th of January, the Abbey Vocational School welcomed Restorative Practice Advocate Tony Kearney.

Restorative Practices is an approach that offers both proactive and responsive strategies for strengthening relationships. Restorative Practices offers a means to develop relationships that are essential to building community so that conflict is lessened.

Transition Year

Moderate Classroom Mural

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Clara Bustard, Eva Jichi and Lucy Monaghan working on a beautiful scene from under the sea for the Abbey Vocational School Moderate Classroom!

AIB Build a Bank

AIB have introduced their Build-A-Bank programme to the Abbey Vocational School. This programme challenges a group of 6 students to create, market & run a bank within their school in conjunction with AIB. The competing team of Aoibheann Gallagher, Emily McNulty, Savannah Timony, Catherine Whiteside, Eilish McGroary & Darcy Neil will be travelling to the National Final in the RDS in March where they will experience an amazing day out, meet other school bank teams, receive proper and professional feedback on their hard work and ultimately be in with the chance of being crowned Build A Bank Champions and win €5,000 for their school.

The bank is required to have a creative & unique theme. The theme chosen by our team is Chitty Chitty Bankers & will revolve around saving up for your first car, driving lessons & paying for insurance. The bank will be open twice per week where students can open accounts, lodge money (the money will be stored in AIB for safety reasons) & withdraw from their account. Our hopes for this service will be to inspire young people to take more control over their finances & begin to save for their future!

Transition Year Foroige Leadership Programme

Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action.

The 2020 Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action will be awarded to young people who have completed all three modules of Foróige’s Leadership for Life programme by June 2020.

Registration for NUIG Foróige Leadership for Life Programme Accreditation is now open.

By registering you are committing to having all three modules of the Foróige Leadership for Life Programme completed by June 2020. It is recommended that all participants should have Module 1&2 complete prior to registering for NUIG certificate. It is important that participants have adequate time in between the modules to use and practice their leadership skills.

All those registering for the NUIG certificate will be asked to provide the name and email address of a mentor. The mentor should have been contacted in advance of registering and be happy to mentor the participant through their Module 3 project. Mentors can be the facilitator of previous modules, a volunteer, Foróige staff member, coach, teacher etc. The mentor should be someone that is familiar with the Foróige Leadership for Life Programme and be happy to grade your module 3 project and work.

Student Voice

Meeting next week with the Student Council and Donegal Youth Council to inform the Youth Council of issues relating to students in our school that they will bring to meeting with councillors during the 1st week of February.

Students are reminded to use the Student Voice Box in the assembly area if they would like to communicate anything with the council, particularly any issue relating to them or their year group.

Music

Technology mock exams for Leaving cert music classes begin next week followed by performance practical the following week. Good luck to all.

TY up and coming events:

Over the next few months our TY students will take part in many activities, a sample of some of these activities and listed below:

  • Killybegs Tourism College taster day
  • Tourism Training Programme
  • Sports leadership
  • First Response Course
  • Personal safety workshop
  • Balmoral Shows
  • Lough Key Maths Trip
  • Make up workshop
  • Personal Presentation Workshop
  • Ambulance crew visit and defib overview
  • Internet Safety video production workshops
  • Young Social Innovators competitions and attendance at event
  • PE Expo
  • ETB Awards
  • GAA Future Leaders

Sport 

U16 Girls Basketball

On Monday the 20th of January the Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town, beat Colaiste Muire, Crosshaven by 47-26 to lift the U16 Girls All Ireland Cup at the National Basketball Arena in Dublin!

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With great excitement and trepidation the Abbey Vocational School Girls under 16 Basketball Team made their way to the Tallaght Arena in Dublin. The National Basketball Arena, also known as Tallaght Arena is an indoor sporting arena located in Tymon Park, Tallaght, South Dublin, adjacent to the M50 motorway. The capacity of the arena is 2,500 people and it opened in January 1993.

With fantastic support from the Abbey Vocational School, the Donegal Girls led by 11-5 at the end of a tense first quarter. The Abbey held on to a 4 point lead leaving them 16-12 ahead against the Cork side at half-time. In the third quarter, the Abbey girls turned on the style showing the power, strength and agility needed to move into a commanding 37-18 lead. The AVS claimed an amazing win, 47- 26, winning a comfortable victory! Months of training, hardwork and dedication lead to the Abbey Vocational School claiming victory, with a powerful, talented display on show! Congratulations to our students, we are so proud of you!

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First Year Boys Soccer

First Year Boys Soccer on their way home after a hard fought 3-2 victory over Loreto Milford. Goals coming from Lee McNamara and 2 from Turlough Carr, including a header!

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Second Year Boys Basketball 

Well done to Mr Mc Devitt and our 2nd yr Boys Basketball team who won their first game of the season against Summerhill College, Sligo on Tuesday the 21st of January. 29-19 

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Donegal Sports Star Awards

Congratulations to Niamh Moohan and Shane Breslin who have been nominated for the Donegal Sports Star Awards in the Secondary School Categories.

Both students have represented the school at the national and international level in athletics in the past year. The winners will be announced at the banquet on the 31st of January. They are both fantastic ambassadors for sport at the AVS and we are very proud of all their achievements. Good Luck on the night!

Athletics

Well done to Ava Anderson, who is a member of the U-13 Donegal Sportshall Athletics team. They won the Ulster final on Thursday in Magherafelt. Ava competed in the Shot putt. She has now qualified for the British finals in Manchester in April.

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Our cross-country team are preparing for their first competition of the season in the coming weeks. The Ulster Schools District Cross Country will take place in Necarne Centre, Irvinestown on Tuesday 4th February. Good luck to all involved.

Athletics training continues every Tuesday after school in the gym. This training is for all students wishing to compete in track and field events as well as cross country.

Leaving Cert Physical Education

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LCPE explore benefits of Technology in sport for spectators. 

Students who take the new physical education (PE) exam in the Leaving Cert are to be given digital devices to submit videos of themselves taking part in an activity – such as athletics, rugby or ballet – for examiners to grade.

More than 60 secondary schools are piloting the new subject from next year, as it is set to become a full, examinable Leaving Cert subject with CAO points.

In a first for the Leaving Cert, students will be asked to submit a recording of themselves demonstrating their skills and techniques in a chosen physical activity. This will account for 30 per cent of marks.

Minister for Education Richard Bruton has announced that schools offering the subject will receive a grant towards the purchase of digital devices for use by students in completing the course assessment components.

Lunchtime Activities:

Our lunchtime SPORTS FOR ALL programme is running every day. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

There are at least two activities on each day, indoors in the sports hall and outdoors on the tennis courts. The timetable is posted on the notice boards around the school. ALL students are encouraged to come out and get active during their lunch break. Students can participate in their uniform but must wear proper footwear/runners.  Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions.

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Lunchtime football activity.

Zumba

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Students enjoying lunchtime Zumba in the library with Ms Kelly.

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 20th Jan

 Abbey Vocational School 13th January- 19th January 2020

2nd Year Parent Teacher Meeting 

Second-year Parent Teacher Meeting takes place on Wednesday January 29th. Please attend between 3.45pm and 6.15pm

JCT Staff In-service 

The School will be closed to students on Thursday January 23rd as staff will attend Junior Cycle in-service training. 

Information Night on  TY and LCA programmes and subject Options for students going into 5th year .

This takes place on Tuesday, 11 February 2020 at 7 p.m

  1. An overview of the LCA Programme will be given at 6.30 pm for those interested. 
  2. Talk for Parents of 3rd year students commences at 7 pm on the TY Programme. 
  3. Talk for Parents of TY students takes place at 7.40  pm on Subject Options for 5th year . Parents of 3rd year students can remain seated if they wish to listen to a talk on this area or if their child is progressing to 5th year.

Incoming First Years 2020 2021

A reminder to all parents that subject Choice forms should be returned to the school office by Jan 31st, with the students name included please. 

BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2020

An absolute huge congratulations to our TY students Ella Doherty & Ailbhe Loughney whose project on ‘Flax as an alternative to heavy duty plastic strapping’ was highly commended in the Intermediate Technology Category at the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2020! 

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We are extremely proud of you & our other five amazing students who took part in the Exhibition – a fantastic achievement to take part in such a prestigious competition & you are all winners in our eyes!!! 

 Huge congratulations to teacher Ms Furey also for all her hard work & dedication in guiding the students throughout the whole process.

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The Abbey Vocational School Community are so proud of our Science Students who exhibited their inventive, cutting- edge displays @ the Royal Dublin Society, better known as the RDS!

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Innovative and creative Abbey Vocational School Students attended the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in the RDS in Dublin 2020 last week.

Numeracy

Chess Club The Chess Club has resumed on Mondays in room 3 and all new members are welcome! The game of chess is played by millions of people worldwide.  Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga sometime before the 7th century. If you have an interest in joining our Chess Club please come along to our meetings as everyone is welcome!

The Maths Club 

The Abbey Vocational School Maths Club meets on Fridays at lunchtime in Room 30. The Maths Club runs an enrichment programme that focuses on helping Students with Maths.

LCA Christmas Card Competition

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AVS Leaving Cert Applied students John Connolly, Kyle Walsh and Drew Mitchell present Veronica Gillen and Pauline McGee from MS Donegal with the proceeds of their Christmas card competition and sale

One of the Christmas Scenes used by the LCA Christmas Card Initiative.

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Drama Club

AVS Drama Club is buzzing this week as students are involved in auditions for a part in the school’s entry to the Donegal Schools’ Drama Festival taking place at the Balor Theatre in Ballybofey at the end of February. Our entry is a comedy called The Good Doctor by award-winning American Broadway writer Neil Simon. We had lots of students from all year groups attending initial auditions last week and this week the students are working hard to prepare scenes for their second-round audition. The full cast list will be announced soon. We will then be approaching students to help out with stage management, set, props and music. If you are interested in getting involved please speak to Mr Donegan.

Last year our entry Chatroom by Enda Walsh came second overall in Donegal with Robyn Harvey-Moulding (6th year) winning best actress. We will be keen to repeat our success this year with another fantastic show.

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Art Department

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Congratulations to Abbey Vocational School students Callum O’Donnell and Holly Towey who were prize-winners in this year’s Credit Union Art competition at local, Chapter and National Level!

The Well Read Award

The English Department has been working with The PDST ‘Well Read National Award’. This is a national initiative designed and organised by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It aims to create heightened awareness about the importance of creating a culture of reading in school communities for students as part of their personal and academic development..

Guidance

  1. LYIT will host two Information Evenings in January 2020:
  • Letterkenny and Killybegs Campuses:  5 – 8 pm on Wednesday, 15 January 
  • Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town:  5 – 8 pm on Tuesday, 21 January.
  1. Career talks for Leaving Certs taking place in the school this month:
  • Donegal ETB Further Education & Training (FET): 20 Jan. @ 2.00 – 2.40
  • Work-Based Degree in Mechatronic Systems Engineering – IT Sligo: 29 Jan. @ 10.20
  1. Leaving Cert students should be working on their DARE & HEAR applications. All online requirements must be completed by 01 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m. and all paperwork must reach CAO by 15 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m.
  2. Keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button.  

 

Teaching & Learning: ‘Students Reflecting on their Learning’

Being able to reflect on one’s learning and learning how to become a better learner are key elements of the junior cycle key skills. When students learn to reflect on their learning through dialogue, writing or using a computer, they are developing many of these skills.

Through reflection ‘in’ and ‘on’ learning students can:

  • become more aware of the knowledge and skills that they have developed
  • identify strengths and areas for development
  • develop and action plan for future learning
  • gain a greater understanding of themselves and how they learn
  • take more responsibility for their learning

As “Students Reflecting on their Learning” is one of our school improvement targets, our staff are employing a range of strategies to help our students develop the skills to look at their own and others’ work critically and constructively. Such strategies include peer assessment, exit ticket and reflection sheets. These approaches help our students to develop a ‘nose’ for quality and to begin to understand the features of quality in a piece of work. They see areas where they can improve themselves by recognising them in the work of others.

Cycle Against Suicide

AVS 5th yr. student India Kennedy attended the Cycle Against Suicide Student Leaders Congress in Dublin on Friday the 17th of January as a student leader. Our mental health community has been working hard all year to promote positive mental health around our school community, we would also like to thank a number of our staff who have helped to promote the message that “IT’S OK NOT TO FEEL OK: AND IT’S ABSOLUTELY OK TO ASK FOR HELP”. 

Leaving Cert Mentoring Programme: 

Leaving Cert Students from the Abbey Vocational School will be completing their Mock Examinations in a few weeks. The Mock timetable is available on the school website. Each Leaving Cert Student has an individual Mentor who had been working with them around the challenges of the Leaving Cert exam and how they individually need to be supported. Thanks to all of the staff in the school who give of their time to become a mentor and to offer such invaluable support to our students at this very challenging time. Mentors will link in with students to see what each student now needs to address in order to be in the best possible place for the exams. Year Head Ms Dillon will be offering ongoing support to all students in her year group also. 

Transition Year

Mentoring for Access Programme By Savannah Timoney.

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On Monday 14th January, all of the Transition Year peer mentors attended the Mentoring for Access programme held by Letterkenny Institute of Technology. This was an event designed to guide the students into a career path that suits them, while also building skills that will be necessary later in life as well as while they mentor their peers. The day began with a lecture from prominent figures in different careers who work in conjunction with LYIT. The speakers had five minutes to outline their path towards the career they now have, detailing all the different twists & turns their path took before they reached their current positions. This approach was taken to help the students understand that there are many different ways you can achieve your goals and you can always branch out or change career to find something you truly love.

The middle of the day consisted of a disability access workshop, in which all the different ways in which students can help people with disabilities were explained. This workshop armed the students with the knowledge and skills needed to make our school community a safer, more welcoming environment for all. This was especially beneficial to us as peer mentors, so we can apply what we have learned to help our mentees.

The programme ended with some “career speed-dating”. This was where students had three minutes with someone of a certain profession, to ask them questions about their job & how they worked towards it before the time was up and they were moved to the next person. This was a wonderful way to learn what career options are actually available to students.

The Mentoring for Access programme was an exemplary way for students to get a feel for different careers & learn what interests them in the crucial time before they make their Leaving Cert subject choices. It also gave us the knowledge & skills to better ourselves as well as our school community.

By Savannah Timoney.

DICE   (Design Innovation Creativity and Enterprise and Initiative)

On 14th, 15th and 16th of January Transition Year Students visited LYIT to take part in the DICE programme. DICE believes that designers and creative thinkers can bring real value and growth to business, helping them to communicate with clarity and impact, identify opportunities and innovate.

During the DICE programme, which will run from January to March with three days in LYIT in January and three in March, 17 of our TY students will work in groups to create a product, service or event to a target market to promote ‘Happiness’, under the guidance of lecturers from LYIT and teachers from the AVS. 

Design should be seen not as a cost but as an investment. Over the course of DICE, an eclectic mix of speakers working across animation, fashion, film and broadcast media, graphic and design, innovation and design thinking shared their creative process and demonstrated the value they bring to business and society at large.

 

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LYIT Open Day

On Wednesday the 15th of January Transition Year Students enjoyed the LYIT Open Day.

Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) fosters one of the most progressive learning environments in Ireland.

LYIT attracts a diverse student body of more than 4,000 students from Ireland and 31 countries across the globe. Students choose LYIT because of their unique ethos that harnesses academic excellence with career-focused practical experience. It’s an approach that positions students for future success in line with their aspirations.

LYIT also foster close relationships with the wider local community. Engagement and partnerships with indigenous and international businesses leaders strengthens student’s prospects in tandem with the prosperity of the region’s economy.

The modern integrated campuses in Letterkenny and Killybegs are not just gateways to a bright future, but to one of the most breath-taking corners of the world – with Donegal named National Geographic’s ‘Coolest Place on the Planet 2017. 

Abbey Vocational School Students had the opportunity to discover and explore Letterkenny Institute of Technology and all it has to offer in the School of Business and the School of Science. This was a great opportunity for our students to experience college life for a day as they had the chance to attend different lectures throughout the day. 

AIB Build a Bank

AIB have introduced their Build-A-Bank programme to the Abbey Vocational School. This programme challenges a group of 6 students to create, market & run a bank within their school in conjunction with AIB. The competing team of Aoibheann Gallagher, Emily McNulty, Savannah Timoney, Catherine Whiteside, Eilish McGroary & Darcy Neil will be travelling to the National Final in the RDS in March where they will experience an amazing day out, meet other school bank teams, receive proper and professional feedback on their hard work and ultimately be in with the chance of being crowned Build A Bank Champions and win €5,000 for their school. 

The bank is required to have a creative & unique theme. The theme chosen by our team is Chitty Chitty Bankers & will revolve around saving up for your first car, driving lessons & paying for insurance. The bank will be open twice per week where students can open accounts, lodge money (the money will be stored in AIB for safety reasons) & withdraw from their account. Our hopes for this service will be to inspire young people to take more control over their finances & begin to save for their future!

TY Upcoming Events:

Over the next few months our TY students will take part in many activities, a sample of some of these activities and listed below: 

  • Killybegs Tourism College taster day
  • Tourism Training Programme 
  • Sports leadership 
  • First Response Course 
  • Personal safety workshop 
  • Balmoral Shows
  • Lough Key Maths Trip  
  • Make up workshop 
  • Personal Presentation Workshop 
  • Ambulance crew visit and defib overview
  • Internet Safety video production workshops 
  • Young Social Innovators competitions and attendance at event 
  • PE Expo 
  • ETB Awards 
  • GAA Future Leaders 
  • Drama Production

Student Voice

Student Council met this week and worked on issues relating to environment, recycling and uniform.

Best wishes to our students in the Donegal Youth Council who will meet on Saturday 18th where they will be addressed by Majella O Donnell.

SPORT

U16 Boys Basketball

On Sunday the 12th of January  Mr Russell and our U16 Boys team travelled to NUI, Galway for their playoffs. This again is a superb achievement as they represent our province and played at a very high level of competition. Congratulations!

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U16 Girls Basketball

Good luck to our U-16 girls basketball team who will compete in the All-Ireland B Cup final next Monday the 20th of January. They travel to the National Basketball Arena in Tallaght where they will take on Colaiste Mhuire, Crosshaven.

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The girls have been training consistently since September,  up to three times a week and over the school holidays. This shows huge commitment from the whole team, with all members attending, both experienced players and players that are new to the game. The hard work is paying off for these busy students. The team have played some very competitive games this season having fought hard for their wins. League games included victories over neighbours KIllybegs and Ballinamore, Co.Leitrim.

Just recently Abbey VS hosted the All-Ireland play-offs beating experienced teams from Castlebar and Carrickmacross. This hard working team are now through to the All-Ireland quarter-finals in Tallaght NBA January 27.

But before all that, they are focusing on the All-Ireland Schools cup final on Monday next, January 20. The team beat Carrick-on-Shannon 42-19 in November. The next game was against a defensive side from OLSPK, Belfast in which they won 44-32. The All-Ireland semi was played in Coleraine against St. Pats, Dungannon, which the girls won in the final minutes 49-42. The team consists of 12 dedicated and committed players who have remained focused this entire season. Emma Meehan fills the skilful role as point guard and is also the team captain. Emma is a great leader and fights hard when games get really tough. Abbey VS are fortunate to have four tall guards on the team in Sophia Maziuri, Ella McKinney, Katie Gillespie and Shauna Doherty. These girls have made the difference in so many games . They have great ability to drive to the basket, rebound and block shots, making some crucial lay ups when the team has needed the scores.

Amy Carr, Sarah Donovan and Roisin Gillespie are the solid guards for the team. Amy and Roisin have assisted in many fast breaks and also play some great defence, communicating well with others on the team. Sarah has been a key player this season, saving the day more than once! Sarah scored 8 points in the final quarter of the last two games to bring the team through to the final stages! Orlaith Conaghan, Amy Gardner, Anna Mitchell, Ellie Timoney and Emily Gallagher were new to the game of basketball in first year but their commitment to training has really improved their basketball skills.

The team is coached by Ms Emer O’Mahony, who is an expert both on and off the courts. She had played at a very high standard of basketball herself and represented the province on many occasions. Emer is assisted by Stephen Carty and Siobhan Mogan. Speaking ahead of the final, Ms O’Mahony said: “This is a superb team of girls. They are both hardworking on the court and also in their studies.

“They are great role models to all girls in AVS. They have been so focused all year on getting to the finals stages, after being knocked out in last year’s play-offs. So far the hard work has paid off and the cup title is really up for grabs. I’m really excited for them that they get to experience an All-Ireland final in the National Basketball Arena. It’s such a memorable day win or lose and these girls will have that connection long after they leave AVS,” she said.

MacLarnon Cup

The AVS Senior Boys Gaelic Team had a comprehensive victory over St. Mary’s Belfast in the first round of the MacLarnon Cup knockout stage. The game was played at the Tyrone Centre of excellence at Garvaghy on Wednesday 15th January. The Abbey got off to a great start with goals from Cian Rooney, Shay Travers and Alex McCalmont putting the game beyond the reach of St. Mary’s by half time. 

The second half followed a similar pattern with another dominant 30 minute performance from the AVS boys to leave the final score 10-12 to 2-5. This victory sets up a tie against St. Pauls, Bessbrook in the next round.

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Lunchtime Activities:

Our lunchtime SPORTS FOR ALL programme is running every day. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme. 

There are at least two activities on each day, indoors in the sports hall and outdoors on the tennis courts. The timetable is posted on the notice boards around the school. ALL students are encouraged to come out and get active during their lunch break. Students can participate in their uniform but must wear proper footwear/runners.  Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions.

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Lunchtime football activity.

Zumba

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Students enjoying lunchtime Zumba in the library with Ms Kelly.

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 13th Jan

Abbey Vocational School January 6th- 12th January 2020

BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition 2020

Innovative Abbey Vocational School Students attend the BT Young Scientist & Technology Exhibition in the RDS in Dublin 2020! The Abbey Vocational School Community are so proud of our Science Students who are exhibiting their inventive, cutting- edge displays @ the Royal Dublin Society, better known as the RDS!

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Jane  Faulkner, Ciara Friel, Erin Brittion, Shane Harvey, Ella Doherty, Ailbhe Loughney and Eadaoin Murphy at BTYS 2020 in the RDS.

Can an education programme reduce the use of single use plastics?

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In a sample of 291 students we compared the results of students’ opinions and attitudes to the use of single-use plastics. 147 of these students became the test group in our survey and they completed an education programme about the use of single-use plastics. The remaining 114 students formed our control group and did not take part in the tailored education programme. We then carried out a survey with 101 members of the test group after they completed the education programme to see if they had altered their attitudes to the use of single-use plastics. We found that our education programme increased student awareness of the impact of single-use plastics, encouraged better use of the school provided hydro flasks and discouraged the use of single-use plastic bottles and plastic cutlery and although the percentage differences were not statistically significant, in terms of actual reduced use of single-use plastics, the education programme proved effective. The girls were also delighted that their project got a mention in the Irish Independent on Friday.

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Antimicrobial Seaweeds 

This project investigated the antimicrobial properties of native seaweeds on different bacterial cultures using an aseptic laboratory technique and equipment provided by the Microbiology Laboratory at Letterkenny Hospital. We found that our test seaweed extracts only proved effective on the gram-positive bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus. The seaweed extract proved ineffective on the other test gram-positive bacteria Enterococcus faecalis and on both test gram-negative bacteria, Esheresia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa and all effective seaweed extracts showed statistically significant antimicrobial activity on Staphylococcus aureus.

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Flax as an alternative to heavy-duty plastic strapping 

Polypropylene is used in a variety of applications including in packaging for consumer products, in plastic parts and in textiles but this plastic has a toxic effect on the environment due to its manufacturing process and its non-biodegradability.  We created a more eco-friendly alternative from flax fibres because of their high tensile strength and durability and we found that flax is a comparable alternative to polypropylene plastic strapping. We tested flax and polypropylene plastic strapping automatically at Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) and we also conducted manual strength tests of flax, polypropylene plastic strapping and of linen, another biodegradable material made from flax. We used CES 2019 Edupack software to compare the properties of flax fibres, polypropylene plastic and carbon steel and we found that flax has a greater tensile strength than polypropylene and carbon steel. This is in agreement with our automatic testing results which showed that flax fibres have a tensile strength of 5443.11 kg and polypropylene plastic has a tensile strength of 1810.11 kg. We also found that, flax with a greater Young’s Modulus, would be more easily reused for the same purpose, as the flax fibers will not stretch out of shape. In conclusion we feel that flax is a viable alternative to plastic strapping. 

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Second year students Jane  Faulkner, Ciara Friel, Erin Brittion, Shane Harvey, Ella Doherty with Minister for Education and Skills, Joe Mc Hugh

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TY students Ella Doherty and Ailbhe Loughney with Professor Niall Moyna.

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Micheál Ó Gioúin príomhoide Coláiste Ailigh, Geraldine Diver principal of the AVS, Micheál Martin and Donna Furey Teacher at the AVS at the BTYS 2020 exhibition in the RDS, Dublin.

Caith Amach É Irish Orals Show

On Friday the 10th of January Abbey Vocational School Leaving Cert Students attended the ‘Caith Amach É’ smash hit comedy. The Leaving Cert Irish Orals Workshop is based on the Leaving Cert Irish Oral picture sequences. It’s a fast-paced, physical, comic sketch show covering each of the 20 picture sequences for the 2020 Leaving Cert.

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AVS Teachers Stuart McFadden and Patrick McDevitt.

Information Evening for 6th Class Parents

14th January 2020: Information Evening for 6th Class Parents in the AVS.(7.00pm – 8.00pm). A variety of talks will be given, some of which will assist you in supporting your son or daughter in making their subject choices for the year ahead. Talks will be given on the school’s mission and vision and ethos as well as the day to day practicalities of school life in the AVS. Parents can meet with Ms Diver Principal, Deputy Principals, SEN staff and Guidance Staff  to discuss any concerns they might have going forward. 

Return of Subject Choice Form for incoming 6th class students: 

  • 31st January 2020: Return of Subject Choice Form to Abbey Vocational School office please.

Bakesale in aid of Australian Red Cross 

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This week innovative TY Students held a bake sale in aid of the Australian Red Cross. Pictured are Eoin Rooney and SNA Mary Doogan supporting the TY Bake Sale in aid of the Australian Red Cross.

Drama Class 

Auditions were held in the Library during lunchtime this week for the Drama Schools Festival 2020 held in Ballybofey at the end of February. The enthusiasm and talent of the Students auditioning was immense and we look forward to entering the festival with AVS Talent!

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Drama classes are continuing after school, with excellent work from a group of dedicated students and Mr Donegan. All pupils welcome.

Computer Science

Congratulations goes to Emily Erskine, Daithi Mullaney, Joe Reid and Eamon Devlin who participated in the promotional video in collaboration with NCCA and the PDST, for Computer Science.

The Professional Development Service for Teachers or PDST is the country’s largest single support service offering professional learning opportunities to teachers and school leaders in a range of pedagogical, curricular and educational areas. 

The PDST was established in September 2010 as a generic, integrated and cross-sectoral support service for schools. The establishment of the organisation was synonymous with the amalgamation and restructuring of a number of stand-alone services which now operate under the PDST providing their services to schools in the context of PDST’s overall vision and mission. 

The work of the PDST contributes to school improvement by fostering reflective practice through the school self-evaluation process and through the ongoing development of teachers and school leaders through a range of CPD models. Students from the AVS were privileged to work and such a progressive project!

Numeracy

Chess Club The Chess Club has resumed on Mondays in room 3 and all new members are welcome! The game of chess is played by millions of people worldwide.  Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga some time before the 7th century. If you have an interest in joining our Chess Club please come along to our meetings as everyone is welcome!

The Maths Club The Abbey Vocational School Maths Club meets on Fridays at lunchtime in Room 30. The Maths Club runs an enrichment programme that focuses on helping Students with Maths.

French Department Bonne année et bonne santé ! En France, on célèbre la nouvelle année en famille ou entre amis. Peu de temps après, on fête l’Epiphanie avec la galette des rois, un gâteau avec de la crème et de la pâte feuilletée. Une fève est cachée dans le gâteau. La tradition veut que le plus jeune de la tablée aille sous la table pour distribuer les parts. Celui ou celle qui trouve la fève est sacré(e) roi ou reine pour la journée.

Guidance

  1. LYIT will host two Information Evenings in January 2020: Letterkenny and Killybegs Campuses:  5 – 8 pm on Wednesday, 15 January and the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town: 5 – 8 pm on Tuesday, 21 January.
  2. Career talks for Leaving Certs taking place in the school in the new year: Donegal ETB Further Education & Training (FET): 20 Jan. @ 2.00 – 2.40. Work-Based Degree in Mechatronic Systems Engineering – IT Sligo: 29 Jan. @ 10.20
  3. Leaving Cert students should be working on their DARE & HEAR applications. All online requirements must be completed by 01 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m. and all paperwork must reach CAO by 15 March 2020 @ 5.15 p.m.
  4. Keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance Guidance button.

Student Council The council met on Friday the 10th of January for their first meeting of this decade! They finalised the recycling survey which will go out online to all tutor groups.  They are working with the environment committee and will consult caretaking staff this week with a view to bringing in recycling bins, some of which will be painted large boxes that have been used to deliver goods to the school. 

They also discussed issues relating to wearing our school uniform with respect and pride.

Best wishes to our five Donegal Youth Council members whose first meeting takes place next Saturday with  guest speaker, Majella O Donnell addressing the group in relation to positive mental health.

Zumba

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Students enjoying lunchtime Zumba in the library with Ms Kelly.

The Well-Read Award

The English Department has been working with The PDST ‘Well Read National Award’. This is a national initiative designed and organised by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It aims to create heightened awareness about the importance of creating a culture of reading in school communities for students as part of their personal and academic development.

Wellbeing

Leaving Cert Mentoring Programme: 

Leaving Cert Students from the Abbey Vocational School will be completing their Mock Examinations in a few weeks. Each Leaving Cert Student has an individual Mentor who had been working with them around the challenges of the Leaving Cert exam and how they individually need to be supported. Thanks to all of the staff in the school who give of their time to become a mentor and to offer such invaluable support to our students at this very challenging time. Mentors will link in with students to see what each student now needs to address in order to be in the best possible place for the exams. Year Head Ms Dillon will be offering ongoing support to all students in her year group also.

Transition Year

This week the AVS Transition Year Students engaged in the fascinating Law Education for Schools Workshop with Barrister James T Fahy.

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Barrister James T Fahy enlightening AVS Students on the Irish Justice System.

The Public Access to Law Programme(PAL) strives to make the workings of the legal system more accessible to the public. Since 1997 PAL’s large panel of practising barristers have presented the PAL visiting law module (with follow up exam) to Transition Year classes throughout the length and breadth of Ireland. This module also prepares teams interested in partaking in the PAL annual mock trials competition. Over 150,000 pupils have partaken in this law programme since its inception. For the past 19 consecutive years (with the invaluable assistance of the Courts Service and members of the Judiciary), PAL organises the transition year national mock trials competition. This is the most popular team competition in transition year. Each year PAL nominates 4 Irish schools to partake in the annual mock trials world championships held in New York.

PAL has also compiled and presented a law programme for Irish male and female prisoners. At a graduation ceremony held in Mountjoy Prison, the late Mr. Justice Carney presented parchments to the prisoners who passed the PAL written law exam. AVS Transition Year Students relished the opportunity to question Mr Fahy about the Civil and Criminal Justice System in Ireland.

BOI Build a Bank

AIB have introduced their Build-A-Bank programme to the Abbey Vocational School. This programme challenges a group of 6 students to create, market & run a bank within their school in conjunction with AIB. The competing team of Aoibheann Gallagher, Emily McNulty, Savannah Timony, Catherine Whiteside, Eilish McGroary & Darcy Neil will be travelling to the National Final in the RDS in March where they will experience an amazing day out, meet other school bank teams, receive proper and professional feedback on their hard work and ultimately be in with the chance of being crowned Build A Bank Champions and win €5,000 for their school. 

The bank is required to have a creative & unique theme. The theme chosen by our team is Chitty Chitty Bankers & will revolve around saving up for your first car, driving lessons & paying for insurance. The bank will be open twice per week where students can open accounts, lodge money (the money will be stored in AIB for safety reasons) & withdraw from their account. Our hopes for this service will be to inspire young people to take more control over their finances & begin to save for their future!

Transition Year Bakesale

Enterprising Transition Year Students Olivia Garczarek, Holly Quigley and Laura Kelly organised a Bake Sale in aid of the Australian Red Cross.

TY upcoming events:

Over the next few months our TY students will take part in many activities, a sample of some of these activities and listed below: 

  • Public Access To Law course
  • Killybegs Tourism College taster day
  • Tourism Training Programme 
  • First Response Course 
  • Healthy Life Programme 
  • Balmoral Shows
  • Lough Key Maths Trip 
  • Make up workshop 
  • Personal Presentation Workshop 
  • Ambulance crew visit and defib overview
  • Internet Safety video production workshops 
  • Basketball table officiating course and Basketball coaching course 
  • Architect in school programme
  • Homeless workshop
  • Young Social Innovators competitions and attendance at event 
  • PE Expo 
  • ETB Awards 
  • Sports Leaders 
  • GAA Future Leaders 
  • Drama Production

Sport

U16 Basketball

Three of our basketball teams will be competing in the All Ireland School playoffs in their categories over the next week.

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On Friday 10th of January our U16 Girls Team, managed by Ms O’Mahony and assisted by Stephen Carty hosted the All Ireland Schools playoffs in the gym. It was a great privilege for our school to host this competition. Well done to the team as they won both of their games against Carrick on Shannon and against Carrickmacross. They now progress to the All Ireland League quarter final . They are also preparing for the ALl Ireland Cup final. 

On Sunday the 12th of January          Mr Russell and our U16 Boys team travel to NUI, Galway for their playoffs. This again is a superb achievement as they represent our province and play at a very high level of competition. Good luck to all involved.

Finally, next weekend our U19 Girls will compete in their playoffs in Dundalk. This is a superb achievement for the girls teams. Well done to all involved. 

Well done and best of luck to all three teams!

All Ireland Cup Final

On Monday 20th of January our U16 Girls Team will play in the All Ireland Cup Final in the National Arena, Tallaght, Dublin. This team has had an outstanding season so far and have represented our school with great attitude. It is a fantastic achievement to get to compete at this high level.

In other Sport!

Good Luck to Mr Devlin and his 1st-year boy’s soccer team who will play against Rosses Community School, Dungloe on Monday.

Good luck to our senior Boy’s Gaelic Team and Management, Mr Carty and Mr Herron who will play against St. Mary’s, Belfast on Wednesday in Garvaghey, Co. Tyrone.

Donegal Sports Star Awards

image017Congratulations to Niamh Moohan and Shane Breslin who have been nominated for the Donegal Sports Star Awards in the Secondary School Categories. 

Both students have represented the school at the national and international level in athletics in the past year. The winners will be announced at the banquet on the 31st of January. They are both fantastic ambassadors for sport at the AVS and we are very proud of all their achievements. Good Luck on the night!

 

 

 

Lunchtime Activities:

Our lunchtime SPORTS FOR ALL programme is running every day. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme. 

There are at least two activities on each day, indoors in the sports hall and outdoors on the tennis courts. The timetable is posted on the notice boards around the school. ALL students are encouraged to come out and get active during their lunch break. Students can participate in their uniform but must wear proper footwear/runners.  Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions.