Abbey V.S.

Abbey Vocational School Newspaper 15th March to 21st March 2021

Return to School

We were delighted to welcome our 6th, 5th, LCA and Special Class students back to school and all are doing very well in terms of managing the increased measures that are now in place for their safety. We wish to acknowledge their compliance and cooperation with the many challenges that are in place.

We also wish to congratulate all of those students on their high level of engagement in online learning while they remain at home. We are looking forward to having these students back with us soon 

In order to ensure the safety of all the school community we would ask everyone to please adhere to the following protocols;

  • If feeling unwell, do not come to school 
  • It is imperative that students wear a cloth face covering when a physical distance of 2m from staff or students cannot be maintained. Masks MUST be worn correctly, ie. Cover nose and mouth. Put this on before coming into the school grounds please. It is now necessary to wear your mask in the school grounds also where you cannot maintain a distance of 2M from others.
  • Cloth face coverings act as a barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from travelling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the face covering coughs, sneezes, talks or raises their voice. Cloth face coverings are therefore intended to prevent transmission of the virus from the wearer (who may not know that they are infected) to those with whom they come into close contact. 
  • Students should go straight to their  assigned base room, if before 9:00, otherwise go straight to class
  • Students should  not congregate in groups 
  • All students should follow the usual hygiene protocols in classrooms 
    • use hand sanitiser 
    • wipe desks and chairs with the wipes provided
    • do not move the desks from their set position 
  • Wash your hands correctly and often 

Canteen

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

Attendance

If your son/daughter is absent from school then an explanation for the date of the absence is required for school records. Please log into the attendance screen for your son/daughter and in this section the dates that require an explanation are there. Please record the reason for the absence and these will be recorded by the attendance officer. The parental app is also available to download and attendance can also be recorded by this means. Please ensure that the absence reason is recorded/inputted by the parent/guardian only so that it does not lead to any confusion. 

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

After School Study

Dependent on public health advice we may be in a position to offer this facility to 6th year students after Easter. We will let your son/daughter know of this decision towards the end of the term.  

Science Department

BTYS/Scifest Science competitions

The Abbey Vocational School has an amazing work ethic and enthusiasm for the BT Young Scientist & Technology Competition and the Scifest Science Competitions! Establishing a testable hypothesis is often the hardest part of any Science investigation but for those among you who have an interesting idea that could be investigated as a Scientific project you should strongly consider entering it into national competitions like the regional Scifest competition in LYIT and the BTYS selection process which could provide you with the opportunity to showcase your project at the national exhibition in the RDS. 

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

After School Science Club

The school runs an after school club that helps you to research your science project and to write a project proposal so that you can enter both competitions, with the selection process for BTYS is very rigorous. 

Sometimes the hardest part of your BTYS application is deciding on a good idea. Slants on topical scientific or social issues are usually well represented at the exhibition but the best projects are often based on the simplest ideas.

You can visit https://btyoungscientist.com/past-projects/ to gain an insight into the type of project that is accepted into each category and to see if your idea has already been showcased at the exhibition before. This is an important consideration as we have had projects declined on these grounds in previous years. Also, it is important to note that the project category often plays a role in the likelihood of a project being accepted to showcase at the exhibition. Generally it is hardest to be accepted into the group intermediate biological and ecological categories. If your project falls within either of these two categories, perhaps you should consider entering the project as an individual or modifying your project so that it can be entered into another category where there are less project entries and consequently less competition. All submitted projects are assessed by a team of BTYS judges and on average only one in four projects are usually invited to attend the exhibition. Should this be the case, it is not a cause for disappointment as all projects will attend Scifest. In either event, a strong commitment is required of all entrants to attend Science club after school and there may be occasions when it will be necessary to come in to school at other times perhaps at weekends or during holiday periods especially in the run up to the competition events.

Taking part in one or both competitions will be a fantastic learning opportunity and the skills you will gain by taking part in developing a project for scientific competition will help you both in and beyond the classroom!

Plant Cell Model

AVS Science Students were asked to make a plant or animal cell model using any materials they wanted. Emma Kee’s cross-curricular linkage to Home Economics is so creative, we love it!

Emma Kee’s Plant Cell Mode

l

Unity in the Community

A Transition Year, Young Social Innovators initiative has been Unity in the Community!

As a result of Covid-19, our world has dramatically changed. Social distancing has become our ‘new normal’ and unfortunately, it has had a major impact on the older generation. Due to government restrictions, many old people do not get to interact with family and friends. This is leading to isolation and loneliness which is a major issue of concern among elderly people.

This year, as part of the Young Social Innovators initiative, TY’s have decided to focus on attempting to reduce the isolation and loneliness felt by the elderly in our community. We have already begun writing letters to elderly people as a ‘pen pal’ activity to establish connections. We also hope to arrange various zoom activities as a way of interacting with the older generation and reduce the loneliness and anxiety they may feel due to the current pandemic. 

We have decided that the current lockdown would be an excellent opportunity to carry out a virtual fundraiser which has been launched through our Instagram page @unityinthecommunity2020. It is an online fundraiser of run/walk 5km, donate €5 and nominate 5 more people to get involved.  We want to promote the walk or run being carried out around their own community to link in with the title of the project Unity in the Community.

All funds raised will be given to two charities – Age Action Ireland and Friends of the Elderly.

We would be so grateful if you would be willing to get involved in our initiative – every little helps!

SPHE

As classes continue online for some students, below is an amazing Spring Collage made for SPHE by AVS student Grace Masterson (2C)!

Online Talk with Evan Costigan

This week 1st Year, 2nd Year & 5th Year AVS Students enjoyed an online talk with Psychologist Evan Costigan. Each presentation was designed and tailored for each individual year group. 

Evan Costigan is an experienced and innovative educator with a background in psychology, he has worked with thousands of students in over 300 schools and colleges at all levels of the education system.

From the beginning of his career as a physical education teacher to his work as a career guidance counsellor and psychologist, Evan has always had a keen interest in student health and mental well-being. With over 20 years’ teaching experience, he understands how issues in young people’s lives can impact negatively on their motivation, academic performance and relationships.

Evan believes in the capacity of young people to deal with the demands of the modern world and is passionate about equipping them with the knowledge and skills to respond to adversity and enhance the quality of their school lives. He incorporates only the best evidence-based research and strategies in his high-energy, interactive workshops.

Evan is a registered member of The Teaching Council, the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, The Psychological Society of Ireland and the American Psychological Association

Student Voice

The AVS student Council held a meeting on Tuesday 16/03/21..both live for 5th and 6th years in the building and virtual for students from home).

Sarah Canny addressed the meeting on behalf of Donegal Youth Council.  The DYC have decided on 3 main focus points – Social Media and Body Image, Climate Action and Mental Health.  They have divided into many subcommittees and have attended workshops and presentations for example with Crinniu na nÓg and Sipsi.  She has been very busy and is very keen to forge strong links between the DYC and AVS.  She would like to be the facilitator in positive steps towards the goals of the DYC and in helping to improve student life in our school and the municipal district.

Suggestions from our council for Sarah and the DYC included 

  1. Areas around recycling including Recycling bins, which our committee had worked on last year.  We had collected and begun plans to implement cardboard boxes in classrooms for waste paper.  Research was done with Co Council and Aodhan was happy to communicate with Sarah in this area.
  2. Positive Mental Health – Several school projects including India’s ‘Mind your Head’ publication and links with other groups were discussed at the meeting. India and Sarah arranged to communicate further in this area.

Geography: First Year Models

Students from 1A were very busy over the last few weeks making Geography models.  They produced some fantastic pieces made from a variety of resources and materials.  Above is a sample of the great work they did. Thanks to Freya McCaffrey, Aideen Thomas, Jamie Sheeran, Annie O Gorman and Cian Gavigan for creating the above pieces.  We are looking forward to their next project. Well done to all the students in 1A.

Model showing northern coastline of Donegal Bay

The CIF (Construction Industry Federation) Challenge 

Throughout the course of the online teaching period the TY’s have been working hard preparing project work for the CIF challenge. This competition looks at the area of universal design and encourages students to learn about the built environment around them. Students are tasked with designing a house from the initial planning stage to completion in the form of a virtual or physical model.  The winning team will present their home design to the Construction Industry Federation (CIF), the Minister for Housing and win prizes for their school and themselves in the form of scholarships and apprenticeships. Best of luck to Molly Boyd, Luke Given, Sarah Foy, Amir Mavlyutov and Matthew Byrne in the competition as they have done a fantastic job of representing our school.

Caring For Animals; Short Course

Pictured this week is Alannah, as AVS Students taking part in the Level 2 Learning Programme delved into the Short Course; Caring For Animals. 

This short course builds on and promotes the development of a range of personal, social and practical skills in the context of learning about an animal of special interest to the student. As well as content knowledge, students develop essential skills such as those of communication and language; thinking and reasoning; labelling; classifying; comparison and inferring. Knowledge, skills and attitudes for life are developed through links with the community, creative projects, numeracy, communication and literacy.

Leaving Certificate 2021

Orals: Orals will go ahead for students who wish to sit written exams. Teachers will conduct the exam with students, but the State Examination Commission (SEC) will arrange for a recording of this to be externally assessed. 

Music Practical’s will take place during the second week of Easter holidays.  Students will be examined by a Dept. of Education examiner and exams will be live, not recorded. 

Registering: Students have been asked to register online via the student portal this week. Students have the choice to register for written exams, assessed grades, or both here. 

Written exams: Exams will run from June 9, and conducted in line with public health advice. Modifications to the exams were made last September, and it looks unlikely these will be modified any further.

All examinations for 2021 must be arranged in accordance with public health requirements. To ensure that the final examinations for LCVP and Computer Science, both of which are held in May, can be fully compliant with public health guidance the dates for these examinations are confirmed as follows;

LCVP Links modules on the morning of Saturday 8 May

LC Computer Science on the morning of Saturday 22 May   

Results: Students will receive results from both written exams and accredited grades at the same time. However, students will only receive one set of results that day; whichever is better. Students who opted for both processes will not know if their result is from the written exams or an accredited grade. At a later point they will be able to access this information in case they wish to appeal.

Appeals: There will be an appeals process for both the written exams and accredited grades. As with calculated grades, students will not be able to appeal the assessed grades their school gives them, and appeals will be limited only to checking if there has been an administrative error.

Leaving Certificate 2021 Timetable

Download the LC timetables HERE

Assessment and Reporting of Junior Cycle 2021

The Junior Certificate examinations will not proceed this year in the usual format. This decision was taken by the Government upon advice provided by the health authorities. That advice made it clear that it was not possible to run the Leaving Certificate Examinations and the Junior Cycle Examinations concurrently. Students will receive a State Certificate of completion of Junior Cycle from the Department of Education. The State Certificate provided by the Department of Education will state that the student has completed three years of Junior Cycle education and will list all subjects and/or priority learning units undertaken by students. The certificate will be provided in the school year 2021/22.  Students will receive a written School Report on the broad range of learning that they have achieved in each subject, short course and/or priority learning unit at the end of Junior Cycle. 

The report will detail separately the descriptors awarded to classroom-based assessments (CBAs) and/or priority learning units (PLU). The report will report on other aspects of achievement including engagement with CSPE, SPHE, PE and other aspects of the Wellbeing programme. The school will adopt a whole-school approach to the assessment and reporting on student achievement.

We will issue information to all students on the breakdown of assessment in the coming week 

LCA

The Leaving Certificate Applied is a single award based on a unified programme, rather than a set of grades achieved in discrete subjects. LCA is designed as a two-year programme that is divided into four sessions. Over those four sessions, students accumulate credits through three different routes: 

∙ Satisfactory completion of forty-four modules 

∙ Completion of seven student tasks  

∙ Final examinations.  

Students who successfully complete the Leaving Certificate Applied programme are awarded a certificate at one of three levels based on the number of credits they have accumulated as set out below.  

Pass 120-139 credits  (60%-69%)Merit 140-169 credits  (70%-84%)Distinction 170-200 credits  (85%-100%)
Students who acquire less than 120 credits or who leave the programme early will receive a record of experience.

LCA 2 candidates have registered on the SEC online portal and similar to the Leaving Certificate students they selected to pursue either the Accredited Grades or Written exams option. Further subject specific information will be issued from the Dept. shortly.

Transition Year

Bridge Beyond – Music Project

Bridge Beyond is a Music project that involves a number of Donegal schools working online to produce a piece of music.

A small group of our TY students are continuing to collaborate online each Friday morning, under the guidance of Ms McCarthy and Wall2Wall music, to create a collaborative music track. The group was introduced to the project by legendary drummer Ralph Rolle (Chic) who gave a great insight into his life and career in the music industry starting out in Brooklyn, NY. The group are writing and composing their track using digital online software. The piece is coming on really well and we are all excited to hear the final product.

Online Course Days

Our TY students are currently taking part in online course days each week. These self-directed courses include, Computer Skills, Personal Skills, Careers Skills and Driving Skills. The courses are provided by the Irish Academy of Computer Training and students will receive a certificate for each module completed. 

Environmental Project – THE HEAT IS ON

The Environmental Committee have been participating in ECO-UNESCO’s ‘THE HEAT IS ON’ programme and we have attended Youth Summit zoom meetings with young people from across Ireland, Scotland and Catalonia. The students representing the AVS at the Youth Summit are Anna Mitchell, Bree Hanna, Conor Gallagher, Danielle Greene, Emma Kee and Erin Ryder. Mr Clarke is the teacher involved with the committee. These Youth Summits focus on the importance of young people using their voice to speak out on issues and voice our concerns surrounding climate change and ultimately, have their opinions and solutions heard by politicians and policy makers. I really enjoyed attending these Youth Summit calls as it was a great way to share our collective passion for the environment with other like-minded young people and gain inspiration and knowledge from guest speakers. For the last few months we have been working on our action project which we are going to present to politicians on the 23rd of March 2021. Our action project is called ‘Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma’ in which we emphasize the importance of educating our nation on issues regarding our collective carbon footprint and the stigma that comes along with it. We have included statistics and results from a recent survey we asked the students at the AVS to carry out, this really aided our presentation so on behalf of the Environmental Committee I want to thank you all for completing the survey. Our project will be entered into the Young Environmentalist Awards 2021 which will occur in a few months. This is a really exciting opportunity and we are delighted to have a chance to represent our school at this event. 

Guidance Department

  1. Leaving Cert AND 5th Year 1:1 Guidance Meetings continue to be available.  Speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 
  2. The SUSI (grant) application process for eligible Leaving Cert students is due to open for 2021 application in mid-April 2021.  Students will be provided with further detail during Guidance Class and via Google Classroom.
  3. Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.  

Social Media 

Keep an eye out on all our social media sites for our many different social media challenges:

‘Stay at Home’ Cupcake TikTok Challenge –

The HE department set a challenge for all students to make cupcakes and video the process on tik tok. Thanks to everyone who entered their own fabulous Cupcake TikTok creations – we have lots of talented bakers here at the AVS. . Huge congratulations to the winners of our ‘Stay at Home’ Cupcake TikTok Challenge Winners which are as follows; Overall winner: Molly Boyd (4C), 1st Runner-up: Kayleigh Boyle (3G) and 2nd Runner-up: Amy Mc Gettigan (1F)

AVS Photography Challenge

Well done to all our budding photographers who entered the ‘AVS Photography Challenge’. Congratulations to our winner Amy Carr and runners-up Elise O’Reilly and Lauren Mc Nulty. See some of off the stunning shots captured by all:

Beat the AVS Staff Challenge –

Our staff have set a number of different challenges displaying different skills. Have a look at the video on our social media pages and see if you can beat any of them. Feel free to share your videos with us by emailing them to patricerooney@donegaletb.ie 

Positive Quotes

Keep an eye on our social media pages where we post positive messages regularly. Please see this week’s messages:

Rayse the Game: Talk for Parents 

-Ray Langan from Rayse the Game hosted an online talk for parents. The title of the talk was “Parents Pep Talk” – Helping Your Child Raise Their Game.

This was a highly engaging, informative and positive keynote that we felt would benefit all, especially in the current climate. The talk aimed to help parents manage extreme anxiety, communicate more effectively, and support their children during these challenging times. Ray covered topics such: The mind-set of the modern teen and the rise of anxiety in adolescence. How to help your teen with anxiety. Study skills in the age of distraction. How to deal with phone, social media and screen addiction.

Top 10 strategies to communicate with modern teens more effectively.

Head Girl Message:

“Hi Everyone, 

I hope you are all keeping well and are taking care of yourselves.

We want to thank everyone and congratulate you all on the hard work everyone is putting into virtual learning. No one could have predicted that we would be at home for so long but we have to do what we can to protect the community. 

I have been told only good things about the exemplary work, attendance and effort everyone is putting in and I couldn’t be any prouder. I would like to say a huge thank you on behalf of all the students to the teachers and staff of the school. We really appreciate everyone’s efforts and the major amounts of work being put into online teaching. All of the new IT skills we have gained will be of benefit to us in the future. 

As a whole school community, we need to work together to keep up the good work, keep showing up for class and meeting all of the deadlines. Every piece of work goes towards your future so put the work in now when you have the chance. Hopefully the recent announcements have relieved some of the uncertainty especially for the Leaving and Junior Certs and given more clarity to the next few months. 

Things are beginning to look up and as the weather improves, take the opportunity to get outside. As important as your education is, your mental and physical health need to be your priority.  If we all stick to the HSE guidelines, we should be able to have a proper summer and meet with friends and family, free of restrictions. Mar a deir an seanfhocal, ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’, there is strength in unity.

I wish you all the best and stay safe,

Roisin Feeney”

Head Boy Message:

I hope you are all keeping well during this period of uncertainty.  When we first entered lockdown last March, little did we know that it would be the first of three lockdowns.  We have learned a lot during the past year, especially how to live during a pandemic.  We managed to get back to school and will be back again amongst friends and have face to face classes soon.  Although the past months have been challenging, we have supported one another in different socially distant ways.  I hope that you have been keeping well and staying safe while studying from home.  Striking a balance between school work, exercise and free time is important.  Our teachers and all in our school community have been very supportive and have adapted to online teaching keeping us all engaged. 

This is a very difficult time for everyone.  However, there is light at the end of the tunnel with the roll out of the vaccines to the general population.  I am sure that better days will come from this difficult situation.  As we move to brighter days and the easing of restrictions we can look forward to some form of new normality.  I would like to wish you all the best, take care of each other and stay safe.

Frank Duffy. 

Seachtain na Gaeilge

Bhí ceiliúradh sa scoil againn i rith na seachtaine seo a chuaigh thart do Sheachtain na Gaeilge. Bhí comharthaí crochta in airde ar fud na scoile i nGaeilge leis an teanga a chur chun cinn. Fuair daltaí na hArdteistiméireachta uachtar reoite agus duaiseanna do na cainteoirí Gaeilge is fearr ó thaobh iarrachta de. Bhain na daltaí sult agus tairbhe as na himeachtaí agus ba dheas an oiread Gaeilge a chloisteáil sa scoil. 

Rinne daltaí na céad bliana postaeir sa bhaile do Sheachtain na Gaeilge fosta agus an chianfhoghlaim ag dul ar aghaidh go fóill dóibh. Rinne siad sárobair orthu agus seo cúpla sampla dá gcuid oibre.

Coiste na Gaeilge

Chuir coiste na Gaeilge an-obair isteach sa chlár raidió a d’ullmhaigh siad ar na mallaibh mar pháirt de Bhliain na Gaeilge atá a reachtail ag Bord Oideachais agus Oiliúna na hÉireann. Bhí an clár dírithe ar na tógraí uilig atá ar bun sa scoil a thagann faoi na spriocanna forbartha inbhuanaithe (sustainable development goals). Tá ardmholadh tuillte acu siúd uilig a bhí páirteach as an sáriarracht a chur siad uilig isteach. Fuair an clár ardmholadh ó na moltóirí


Safety Message – Wearing your mask.

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 21st Dec 2020

14th Dec 2020 to 20th Dec 2020

‘Happy Christmas!

I would like to wish all of our AVS parents, students, friends and community a safe and Happy Christmas. 

It’s been an incredibly challenging year for everyone and I would like to acknowledge the contribution of staff, parents and students to the AVS in 2020. Without their hard work, sacrifices and efforts, we would not be where we are today. 

It’s been one of the toughest school years in my memory – so many people have been affected in so many ways. Yet, I remain inspired and amazed by you, our students.

I wish to say how proud I am of each and every one of you who have successfully navigated your way through the many covid challenges that we continually encounter. Your courage and determination to learn and thrive through all of this is remarkable.

Despite all that is happening around you, there is the sound of laughter and a sense of good will emanating from you every day. It gives me happiness, hope and faith in the future. 

Thank you to our staff here at the school who work tirelessly and endlessly to help and support our students in their caring and special way. You truly are the frontline staff who make a difference to so many students every day. 

To you the parents who have worked so closely with us and have helped us manage this time as best as we can; thank you. We know it has been hard and your support and cooperation is invaluable.  

This is truly a time where we can ground ourselves and reflect on who we are and what we do and be thankful for the people and community around us. I look at our experience of this pandemic and my fervent hope is that we have all learnt what is truly important in our lives and in our community and that, this Christmas and beyond, we treasure it and continue to appreciate it all the more. 

G. Diver 

Christmas Concert 

Our student concert took place on Friday afternoon.  It was streamed into our classrooms. A new way of enjoying the fun among our friends safely.  There were many surprises this year in the concert including our virtual choir and words from many celebrities, from footballers to musicians to radio dj’s. Staff and students all joined Daniel in a virtual singalong of I’m dreaming of a White Christmas. The highlight for many was the staff tiktok… Where we saw our talented management and staff in a new light with many talents that we were unaware of! Well done to the many students who were recorded singing and dancing for the 2 hour concert that had us shouting for more! Thank you to management and staff for facilitating this, and especially Ms Rooney and Mr Hegarty who put it all together. 

Surprise Visits:

Surprise visits from Santa and his friends on Friday morning for our students: Three staff members surprised all of the students as they visited all of the classrooms looking a little different! They entertained the students with stories and songs! Thanks so much to Mr Mc Devitt, Mr Donegan and Mr Mc Fadden for entertaining the students so well!  

Active Schools Flag Bike Shed Promotion

We also had our first ever ‘Gig in the bicycle shed’ as part of Active Schools where students performed at the school bike shed in order to promote cycling to school as part of our Active Schools Flag Initiative. The aim of Active Schools Flag is to enable schools to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community.   

On Thursday classes took part in a fun day along the ASF walkway where they ‘Guessed the Grinch’ as part of an ASF fundraising event.  They were entertained by bands and soloists at a socially distanced live performance. Our performers were safe and protected from any undesirable weather in our decorated glass bicycle shed.  We hope that this will also highlight the excellent facility of the school walk and the bicycle shed and encourage as many as possible to cycle to school in the New Year.

We are in our 3rd year of the active school flag process here in AVS. The ASF walkway has proved to be very successful this year for active breaks and getting our students moving throughout the school day.

Guess the Grinch: 

Students had great fun guessing who the Grinch who stole Christmas was this week as each day there were 10 cryptic clues at each control on the active school flag walkway route. The clues helped the students to solve the mystery as to which staff member was the Grinch that stole Christmas.  

The winner was Ethan Mangan in 6th year who received a Christmas goodies hamper from Supervalu. The Grinch was our own Mr Cassidy!

Positive Behaviour Christmas Raffle for 1st and 2nd Year

The AVS Positive Behaviour Christmas Raffles were held this week as part of our drive to recognise and celebrate some of the positive behaviour displayed by our first and second year students. For every 3 positive behaviour points each student earned they received 1 raffle ticket entry. Prizes included vouchers for local shops and a brand new unisex mountain bike for each year group!

Congratulations to our First Year Winner Winner Maya Lenehan(1F), pictured with Ms Mohan, Ms Kane & Mr Doherty.

Congratulations to our Second Year Winner Freya Burton (2E), pictured with Mr O’Donnell, Ms Mohan & Mr Doherty.

Congratulations to our Second Year Winners of a selection box, Karl Doherty (2B), Freya Burton(2E), Molly Tysall(2C) pictured with Mr O’Donnell.

Congratulations to our winner of the Gift Voucher worth €50 Aimee Thomas (2C) pictured with Mr O’Donnell & Ms Mohan. Cormac Brogan (1C) was our First Year Gift Voucher Winner!

Congratulations to our First Year Selection Box Winner Nikodem Dominik pictured with Ms Kane & Mr Doherty. Other winners not pictured are Darragh Boyle (1A) & Cian Gavigan (1A).

A Cross-Border Christmas Collaboration

The students and staff were very excited to release their Christmas Virtual Choir video on Thursday night past. The Abbey Vocational School in association with MAPA at North West Regional College and Project Sparks have collaborated on a cross-border version of the Bob Geldof and Band Aid classic ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’, and the video is already nearing 10,000 views. Lyrics of the song have been altered as a dedication to the front line staff who have worked so tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The school is delighted to be involved in this project and commends the number of young people who have put themselves forward to be involved in this. We are particularly delighted to see our three music teachers performing as well as many  of our teaching staff and SNAs as well as our four member senior management team. This project has brought so much positivity to so many with its uplifting feel good spirit and it is just super to have access to a choir in this format as we all really miss this from a wellbeing perspective. 

The importance of such arts groups are essential to the overall well-being of the people who engage with them so this has really been so welcomed by performers and viewers alike.

We would like to thank Farrah Bogle, our music teacher who led out on this project for us here in the AVS as the undertaking of this arrangement is no mean feat.

Christmas Reports: 

Christmas Reports will go out via VSWare before the Christmas period for 3rd and 6th year students. Students in all other years will be in a position to access reports via VSWare in January. Date will be communicated to you on our return to school.

Second Year Anti-bullying Talk

The AVS ran an anti-bullying talk this week to complement the excellent anti-bullying work done in SPHE, CSPE and RE as well as other classes to raise awareness and understanding about the nature and undesirability of bullying and its negative outcomes. This enables students to recognise bullying and encourages them to reject it. This underpins the Abbey Vocational School’s ethos which is dedicated to the holistic development of students in a caring environment where tolerance and respect are nurtured and valued.

Leaving Cert Geography Field Trip 2020

The Abbey Vocational School Leaving Cert Students took a trip to Bundoran in order to complete their Geography Field Trip this week. The Leaving Certificate Geography course was revised in 2006 and currently the revised syllabus has a core, elective and option structure. In fifth year the physical and regional sections are covered (core section) with an emphasis placed on the elective (economic geography) and option section (geocology) to be completed in sixth year. All students will build on and develop in greater detail the knowledge that they acquired during the Junior Cycle.

The GI or Fieldwork is an essential part of Leaving Cert Geography, representing 20% of the marks. In general, the fieldwork is done as a whole class activity when the class goes to a particular river and carries out the fieldwork. Each student then writes up their own report booklet based on the information they gathered during the fieldwork. Each year, the State Exams Commission decides the fieldwork topics. They select five different topics, ranging from physical to economic geography. Thankfully, the rain held off and the Leaving Certs were able to complete their fieldwork.

Parent Teacher Meetings:

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

                                        Short Progress Reports in place of PTMs
Year GroupReleased to parents on 
1st 15th January 
5th / TY/ LCA1  29th January 
2nd 11th February 

AVS Food Bible: 

We are still welcoming recipes for ‘The AVS Food Bible’, we want to gather as many recipes as possible from students, parents, staff and past students, as well as some favourites from local chefs. If you have a delicious recipe you want to share please contact Ms.Mulhern for more information on this exciting project. You can email recipes to katiemulhern@donegalvec.ie Please include the recipe, method and a picture of the finished product as a separate attachment. We have already received some delicious recipes but there is room for more! 

Career Guidance

  1. CAO 2021 – if any Leaving Cert wishes to register for CAO and has not yet already done so in class, please contact your Guidance Counsellor to schedule a time to meet.
  2. HEAR & DARE is now open for application via the student’s CAO online portal. This was explained during Guidance class and 1:1 meetings.  The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available to discuss further.
  3. UCAS applicants have been asked to complete their application ASAP.  The majority of applications have been sent. The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available throughout the week to meet and discuss the student’s application.
  • 1:1 appointments for Leaving Certs are available throughout the week; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 
  • Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.  The noticeboard has a number of important notices for Leaving Certs.

Virtual Open Night Video: 

Please enjoy our VIRTUAL OPEN NIGHT VIDEO. This video should help you with the transition process as well as assist your son/ daughter with subject choice options. Please see the following important dates below and please ensure that you have forwarded us your email address for communication purposes. To view this video please Click Here Incoming 1st Year 2021 Virtual Open Night.

We hope that you enjoy this !

Incoming students 2021/202

The following updated form was distributed to 6th class students. Please provide us with the required information by either emailing the office at abbeyvs@donegaletb.ie or alternatively complete the link provided in the form (at the bottom of the following form)

Coirnéal na Gaeilge

Caint ar na Meáin Shóisialta 

Ar an gcúigiú lá is fiche de mhí na Samhna tháinig Breda Canning go dtí an Halla Paróiste agus thug sé caint ar na meáin shóisialta do dhaltaí na hidirbhliana.Labhair sí faoi fholláine, instagram vs réaltacht agus scáthú coirp. Bhí an chaint go maith agus sílim go ndeachaigh sé chun leasa do go leor daoine.

Rang Ióga don idirbhliain

Ar an triú lá de Nollaig, tháinig múinteoir ióga go dtí an halla paróiste. Bhí am an-suaimhneach againn. D’fhoghlam muid cúpla searr agus bhain muid uilig sult as.

Comórtas Cártaí na Nollag

Ghlac daltaí na céad bliana páirt i gcomórtas cártaí Nollag sna ranganna Gaeilge an tseachtain seo. D’fhoghlaim siad frásaí nua agus chuir siad a scileanna ealaíne chun tairbhe. 

Comhghairdeas leis na buaiteoirí i gComórtas na gCártaí Nollag agus go raibh maith ag Mr Daly a rinne breithiúnas ar na cártaí galánta uilig

Congratulations to the winners in our first year Christmas Card Competition and thanks to Mr Daly who judged the competition.

An Chéad Áit (1st place): Aimee Hughes, Rang 1B

An Dara Áit (2nd place): Lexi Janet Nesbitt Bell, Rang 1D

An Tríú Áit (3rd place): Maya Lenehan, Rang 1F


Teaching & Learning: A look at SSE. 

There are many acronyms and abbreviations in the world of education and one that sometimes raises an eyebrow for parents, staff and management during school conversations is SSE. So, what is it?

School Self-Evaluation (SSE) was formally introduced into the Irish school system in 2012 as a collaborative, reflective process of internal school review, focusing on school improvement. In 2012, schools all over Ireland began to engage with the first cycle of this new process (2012 to 2016) and the various aspects that needed to be addressed. The second cycle of SSE began in September 2016 and was due to finish this year, however this has been extended to 2021, when the third SSE cycle will begin.

School self-evaluation is primarily about all of us working together to take ownership of our own whole-school development and improvement in Teaching & Learning. SSE is a six-step process to assist our school community to identify and affirm good practice, and to identify and take action on areas that may need improvement.

The SSE process begins with the identification of an area for focus and inquiry through our understanding and knowledge of our own school context. This is followed by the gathering of evidence from a range of sources with regard to the area or areas chosen. The evidence is then analysed, and judgments are made regarding the school’s current strengths and areas for improvement.

The next step involves the production of a school self-evaluation report and improvement plan. This takes place during, or at the end of the investigation phase. The resulting School Improvement Plan (SIP) describes the actions and specific targets for improvement and is shared with the school community on our school website.

The school improvement plan is then put into action and is monitored and evaluated over the course of its implementation until practice becomes embedded. The cycle can then begin again, focusing on either a new area which has been identified, or returning to the same area to seek further, deeper improvement. The School Improvement Plan is considered a live document in that it can be amended to meet ongoing needs or changes in the school community.

A key document intended to inform both school self-evaluation and external evaluation is “Looking at Our School 2016: A Quality Framework for Post-Primary Schools”. This is akin to a quality control document which outlines domains and standards for teaching and learning, and leadership and management.

During school self-evaluation the principal, deputy principals and teachers, under the direction of our Board of Management, and in consultation with our parents and students, engage in reflective enquiry and research on the work of the school. For example, from time to time we will ask students, teachers, parents and management to partake in surveys and small focus groups. As part of the monitoring process during March and April of this year, we conducted several online surveys with both staff and students and despite school-closure over 350 of our students contributed. This not only provided an extensive range of data about teaching and learning, but highlights the importance of ‘student voice’ as part of the process, and their input is greatly appreciated.

Areas for focus in our current school improvement plan include:

  • Improvement in use of Learning Intentions
  • Development of, sharing and co-creation of success criteria
  • Increase student reflection time during or following delivery of a lesson / topic.

In summary, SSE helps us as a whole-school community to:

  • to take the initiative in improving the quality of education that we provide for our students.
  • to affirm and build on what is working well.
  • to identify areas in need of development and to decide on actions that should be taken to bring about improvements in those areas.
  • to report to the school community about the strengths in the work of the school and its priorities for improvement and development.

Learner Voice.

Background: The Instructional Leadership Programme (ILP), which we have implemented in the AVS over the past number of years, is committed to enhancing teaching, learning and assessment in Irish classrooms and exploring teacher professional identity through:

• supporting teachers to acquire the conceptual awareness and vocabulary by which they can articulate their practice and engage in meaningful professional conversations with colleagues.

• extending teachers’ instructional repertoires of tactics, skills and strategies and deepening their awareness of how and why they invoke various interventions and actions in the classroom.

In the context of the continuing implementation of Junior Cycle, the Instructional Leadership programme is collaborating with the NCCA in a project focused on Learner Voice. This project will seek to identify, support and share practices rooted in the principles of Instructional Leadership that promote students talking about learning, teaching and assessment in the classroom, and being empowered through creative and thoughtful pedagogical practices to use their voice to enhance their own learning.

In the AVS we are going to focus on exam years, 3rd & 6th, to develop students’ understanding of how best they learn. The focus for our programme came about through student surveys, both during lockdown and when they returned to school. We have 2 strands in operation with a focus group in each year and we will evaluate progress after Christmas. This programme will draw on teachers’ and students’ experiences of learning, especially of IL strategies, and will help them to devise and deliver targeted educational supports. All this is done with the impetus coming from the students in relation to what they themselves decide they need to improve on and what supports they need.

BTYS 2021- A closer look

After completing the topic Human health and learning about microorganisms and in particular bacteria, we wondered why we never saw trees with obvious bacterial infections. Just as the skin is an important barrier for infections in humans, we wondered if tree bark was a barrier to bacterial infections in trees and we were interested to see if bark was antimicrobials in the same way as sweat is an antimicrobial secretion for skin. After carrying out research on Google scholar we found out that a lot of research had been carried out on tropical tree barks but very little had been carried out on native Irish tree barks so we decided to investigate the antimicrobial properties of different native tree barks on different bacterial cultures using an aseptic laboratory technique for BTYS.

Firstly we conducted an analysis of local trees to see which barks could easily be used as our test species. To grow our different types of bacteria we contacted the microbiology department of Letterkenny hospital and they were kind enough to supply us with slope agar bacterial cultures. From these cultures we were able to create lawn plates of gram negative and gram positive bacteria using blood and nutrient agar. 

In our preliminary experiments we tested the antimicrobial activity of raw bark but this showed little antimicrobial activity. Other studies used water and alcohol bark extracts and our first extract was a boiled bark extract however this also showed little antimicrobial activity. We then used steam extraction to create our final test extract and half of the barks we test showed antibacterial activity with gram positive bacteria.

To measure efficacy, we will measure the cleared area around our bark in our lawn plate bacterial cultures and we carried out replicates to reliably establish the antimicrobial value of each test bark. We compared the antimicrobial activity of each test bark using mean cleared area and we will use ‘t tests’ to see if differences in the mean cleared areas of each test bark are significant. 

TRANSITION YEAR

Christmas Hamper Draw

Pictured are Transition Year Students Syke Murrin, Anna Mitchell, Conor Gallagher and Bree Hanna, who were selling tickets this week in assembly for the Christmas Hamper! Congratulations!

Age Friendly Christmas Present Wrapping

This week classes TY A, B, C and D participated in wrapping Christmas packs for older people currently living in nursing homes near our school along with writing each of them a card. A very worthy endeavour at Christmas time!

The packs included shower gel, deodorant, a sports booklet, an activity book with colours and a chocolate bar. These packs were sent out to all the local nursing homes such as Donegal Town nursing home, Harbour Lights, Killybegs Community nursing home. The aim of these packs was to bring a smile to the elderly people’s faces. This was a great idea put together by the county council and all the TY’s had a great time participating in this event. 

First Year Dancing 

On Tuesday the 15th of December, all the first year classes along with some TYs participated in African Line dancing. It happened on the tennis court during period 4 and it was great fun for everyone. The TY’s encouraged the 1st years to get up and move about and also taught them the dance. Mrs.O’Mahony, Ms.Kelly, Mr.Donegan and Mrs.Kane helped organise this activity. 

Cinema Trip

On Wednesday the 16th of December Transition Year Students enjoyed a trip to Bundoran Cinema to watch ‘Elf’.

‘Elf’ is a 2003 American Christmas comedy film directed by Jon Favreau and starring Will Ferrell, James Caan, Zooey Deschanel, Mary Steenburgen and Ed Asner. The film centers on Buddy, a human who was adopted and raised by Santa’s elves. He learns about this and heads to New York City to meet his biological father while also spreading Christmas cheer in a world of cynics in the process. The Transition Year Students enjoyed popcorn, drinks and Christmas Cheer!

AVS Designed Cup

Pictured is the beautifully designed AVS Cup produced by Transition Year Student Luke Given as part of his Graphics Module. Well done Luke!

Transition Year Peer Mentoring Christmas Quiz 2020

This week TYs enjoyed the Peer Mentors Christmas Quiz 2020.

The AVS Peer Mentoring Programme is led by Ms Kelly. The identified benefits  of peer mentoring include developing the skills and confidence of mentors and mentees as well as improving the general school environment.

Peer mentoring is also perceived as assisting in developing a nurturing climate both within the school generally and amongst pupils. Peer mentoring provision within schools has experienced significant growth over the last ten years. From the data, it is likely that over a third of all schools have some form of peer mentoring/ peer support provision. Participants of peer mentoring programmes and school staff feel that the programmes benefit both the young people and the pupils that they mentor and are perceived to have a wider benefit for the climate of the school.

Circuits Workshop 

Pictured are some of our students as they go through their paces at an exhilarating class of circuits with Ms Grennan in the Bosco. The benefits of circuit training include: Improvements in cardiovascular fitness, improvements in muscular strength. Also improvements in muscular endurance and increased social interaction during a workout.

Zumba Workshop

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

TY School Digital Champion

The Programme aims to promote digital adoption and encourage the productive use of technology by students. Our school has selected a team of 5 students to act as leaders/role models in completing a project showing how technology can be used to find a solution to day to day problems. Sarah Donovan, Odhran Gallagher, Matthew McGroary, Matthew Byrne and Eoin Meehan have been selected from AVS. The students can look forward to training and workshops on video editing, web design, coding and App design, as well as on communications and presentation skills. Also included are workshops on coding with microbits and an introduction to infographics. We look forward to seeing this project develop over the next few months. Many thanks to Mr. O’Mahony on facilitating this project going forward.


TY Enterprise Christmas Market


In the run up to Christmas, Transition Year Students have put their heads together (figuratively!) and established their own mini companies! This year TYs have shown their innovation, creativity and flair producing amazing products to sell at their virtual Christmas market!


Brian’s Cool Coasters

Customised, one of a kind cool coasters can be ordered now as a wonderful Christmas present for someone special!         


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

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

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

Contact info: @CleanGreenSoaps on Instagram 

Or 

email AV2017.20251@donegaletb.net


Gone Haywire

We make handmade framed Wire Art with designs such as

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

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

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

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

Large Frames : €22.00            Small Frames : €15.00



Irish Tweedscapes

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

Price- €15

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

Calm Bam

The BAM that Calms

€3 for one unit 

Two units for €5

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

“Calm Bam” is a panic or stress reliever. 

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

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


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

They are the perfect stocking filler or treat for everyone

€2 each

Contact us through Instagram; @gandcsweets 


Sweetie Cones

€2 or 3 for €5.These delicious treats are filled with a variety of sweets!

Candy Cracker 

At €2.50 these are great stocking fillers and fit the Christmas theme perfectly – filled with delicious chocolates!

Hot Chocolate Bomb 

At €3.50 or 4 for €12, these are delicious and are made with quality ingredients to maximise flavour. Watch as you put them into a mug of hot milk. The marshmallows and hot chocolate powder inside burst out in an explosion like fashion. They come in a variety of flavours such as classic milk chocolate, salted caramel and more.  You can find more about the prices, products and order/contact me on facebook “Bombs Away Donegal



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

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

Only €15 a plaque

Here is a sample product:-


Contact: AV2017.20226@donegaletb.net




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

€5 per pack 

Contact us: 



Bree’s Homemade Creations 

Made By Bree Hanna 


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

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

Snowman, small €3 big €5

Santa’s €3.50 each 

Reindeer €12

Log €10

Log with candles €15

To order contact Emma Meehan TYA


SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!


Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 14th Dec 2020

07/12/2020 to 13/12/2020

Positive Behaviour Christmas Raffle for 1st and 2nd year

 As part of our drive to recognise and celebrate some of the positive behaviour displayed by our first and second year students we are pleased to announce we will be holding AVS Positive Behaviour Christmas Raffles for both year groups in the last week of term. For every 3 positive behaviour points each student has they will receive 1 raffle ticket entry. Prizes include vouchers for local shopping and a brand new unisex mountain bike for each year group!

Christmas Exams

Thank you for your cooperation with the smooth running of the Christmas Exams. We hope that you all have benefited from this experience. 

Christmas Reports

Christmas Reports will go out via VSWare before the Christmas period for 3rd and 6th year students. Students in all other years will be in a position to access reports via VSWare in January. Date will be communicated to you on our return to school. 

A Cross-Border Christmas Collaboration

Over the past few months, a very special musical partnership has been formed between students at the Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town, and North West Regional College, Derry. Audiences were wowed in November when a Virtual Choir version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ was launched on the Abbey Vocational School’s social media platforms. The release to date has had over 10,000 views.

The choir initially involved 22 singers from the Abbey Vocational School, and featured the instrumental talents of Music and Performing Arts students from NWRC. There has since been huge growth and interest in the project which now features over 50 staff and students from both organisations, with the addition of students from the Project Sparks initiative (Derry).

The students and staff are very excited to announce their next project, a cross-border version of the Bob Geldof and Band Aid classic ‘Do They Know It’s Christmas’, which will be launched on social media platforms on at 8pm Thursday 17th December. Lyrics of the song have been altered as a dedication to the front line staff who have worked so tirelessly throughout the Covid-19 pandemic. 

The school is delighted to be involved in this project and commends the number of young people who have put themselves forward to be involved in this. We are particularly delighted to see our three music teachers performing as well as many  of our teaching staff and SNAs as well as our 4 member senior management team. This project has brought so much positivity to so many with its uplifting feel good spirit and it is just super to have access to a choir in this format as we all really miss this from a wellbeing perspective. 

The importance of such arts groups are essential to the overall well-being of the people who engage with them so this has really been so welcomed by performers and viewers alike.

We would like to thank Farrah Bogle, our music teacher who led out on this project for us here in the AVS as the undertaking of this arrangement is no mean feat. 

Parent Teacher Meetings

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

                                        Short Progress Reports in place of PTMs
Year GroupReleased to parents on 
1st 15th January 
5th / TY/ LCA1  29th January 
2nd 11th February 

Well Being 

We are still welcoming recipes for ‘The AVS Food Bible’, we want to gather as many recipes as possible from students, parents, staff and past students, as well as some favourites from local chefs. If you have a delicious recipe you want to share please contact Ms.Mulhern for more information on this exciting project. You can email recipes to katiemulhern@donegalvec.ie Please include the recipe, method and a picture of the finished product as a separate attachment. We have already received some delicious recipes but there is room for more! 

 Career Guidance

1.CAO 2021 – if any Leaving Cert wishes to register for CAO and has not yet already done so, please make contact with your Guidance Counsellor to schedule a time to meet.

  1. HEAR & DARE is now open for application via the student’s CAO online portal. This was explained during Guidance class and 1:1 meetings.  The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available to discuss further.
  2. UCAS applicants are encouraged to complete all parts of their application ASAP. The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available throughout the week to meet and discuss the student’s application.
  3. 1:1 appointments for Leaving Certs are available throughout the week; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 
  4. Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.  The noticeboard has a number of important notices for Leaving Certs.

#GRMA

On Friday 11th December some of our students took the time to pause and say go raibh maith agaibh to all members of our school community who helped facilitate and maintain a safe school environment for students and staff this year.

Leaving Cert Evening Study 

The second term of after school study has commenced and will continue until the 18th December. This is currently at full capacity for this term but a third term will commence after Christmas. The form has been distributed for this session and they must be returned by Tuesday December 8th in order to secure a place. It is a great opportunity for students to study in a quiet supervised environment. 

Incoming students 2021/2022

The following updated form was distributed to 6th class students. Please provide us with the required information by either emailing the office at abbeyvs@donegaletb.ie or alternatively complete the link provided in the form (at the bottom of the following form)

Get Fresh Canteen 

The canteen is now Exclusively Cashless. Students are able to pre-order and pre-pay for their meals on www.getfresh.ie. This also applies to bottles of water. At the moment you do not need to put money onto the cashless card as all orders are paid for by using your Debit/Credit Card when you have placed your order. However, you do need the cashless card number as part of the pre-ordering process. 

Covid – 19

We would like to thank all our school community for their diligence in adhering to protocols regarding Coronavirus. As we have now moved to Level 3 of the Government’s Plan for Living with Covid – 19 we would like to remind everyone to continue to adhere to HSE guidelines regarding social distancing and hand hygiene. 

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

School Uniform

Peter’s Man Shop and The Uniform Shop are stockists of the AVS school uniform. The school fleece is available to buy in both stores and with the weather getting colder it will be a welcome addition to the school uniform for the students. 

Attendance

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

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

for a guide to downloading and installing the VSware app. 

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

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


BTYS 2021- A Closer Look 

Our project aims to investigate which household items maintain the freshness of cut flowers longest. We decided to investigate this problem after my mother’s expensive birthday bouquet of flowers wilted two days after delivery. A preservative was not included with the bouquet so we just placed the flowers in water but unfortunately after just two days the flowers wilted making them a very expensive luxury given the small amount of time that they were enjoyed.

First we researched household agents that are effective in preserving cut flowers and we discovered that the best preservatives are bactericidal and include a surfactant and/or one or more nutritious substances. We will include these elements in our household recipes.

To help us identify suitable test commercial preservatives, we spoke to Donegal Flowers in our local town to see which commercial products they use to preserve the flowers in their arrangements and they kindly supplied us with some of this preservative for our experiment.

We have tested both woody and non-woody stemmed flowers but in order to have only one test variable we exposed the two kinds of cut flowers to the same conditions of temperature, water and light. We ran our experiment for 7 days and we measured the physical appearance of the flowers every day and we measured total height as a measure of wilting in the stem. This was important as we needed a quantitative dependent variable to carry out statistical analysis of our results. We carried out replicates of our test solutions and we will carry out statistical analysis using t tests on our results to see if any effect of our household preservative is significant compared to water alone and to the commercial preservative. 

Teaching & Learning: A look at SSE. 

There are many acronyms and abbreviations in the world of education and one that sometimes raises an eyebrow for parents, staff and management during school conversations is SSE. So, what is it?

School Self-Evaluation (SSE) was formally introduced into the Irish school system in 2012 as a collaborative, reflective process of internal school review, focusing on school improvement. In 2012, schools all over Ireland began to engage with the first cycle of this new process (2012 to 2016) and the various aspects that needed to be addressed. The second cycle of SSE began in September 2016 and was due to finish this year, however this has been extended to 2021, when the third SSE cycle will begin.

School self-evaluation is primarily about all of us working together to take ownership of our own whole-school development and improvement in Teaching & Learning. SSE is a six-step process to assist our school community to identify and affirm good practice, and to identify and take action on areas that may need improvement.

The SSE process begins with the identification of an area for focus and inquiry through our understanding and knowledge of our own school context. This is followed by the gathering of evidence from a range of sources with regard to the area or areas chosen. The evidence is then analysed, and judgments are made regarding the school’s current strengths and areas for improvement.

The next step involves the production of a school self-evaluation report and improvement plan. This takes place during, or at the end of the investigation phase. The resulting School Improvement Plan (SIP) describes the actions and specific targets for improvement and is shared with the school community on our school website.

The school improvement plan is then put into action and is monitored and evaluated over the course of its implementation until practice becomes embedded. The cycle can then begin again, focusing on either a new area which has been identified, or returning to the same area to seek further, deeper improvement. The School Improvement Plan is considered a live document in that it can be amended to meet ongoing needs or changes in the school community.

A key document intended to inform both school self-evaluation and external evaluation is “Looking at Our School 2016: A Quality Framework for Post-Primary Schools”. This is akin to a quality control document which outlines domains and standards for teaching and learning, and leadership and management.

During school self-evaluation the principal, deputy principals and teachers, under the direction of our Board of Management, and in consultation with our parents and students, engage in reflective enquiry and research on the work of the school. For example, from time to time we will ask students, teachers, parents and management to partake in surveys and small focus groups. As part of the monitoring process during March and April of this year, we conducted several online surveys with both staff and students and despite school-closure over 350 of our students contributed. This not only provided an extensive range of data about teaching and learning, but highlights the importance of ‘student voice’ as part of the process, and their input is greatly appreciated.

Areas for focus in our current school improvement plan include:

  • Improvement in use of Learning Intentions
  • Development of, sharing and co-creation of success criteria
  • Increase student reflection time during or following delivery of a lesson / topic.

In summary, SSE helps us as a whole-school community to:

  • to take the initiative in improving the quality of education that we provide for our students.
  • to affirm and build on what is working well.
  • to identify areas in need of development and to decide on actions that should be taken to bring about improvements in those areas.
  • to report to the school community about the strengths in the work of the school and its priorities for improvement and development.

Creative Schools Initiative 2020 

We are delighted to announce that the Abbey Vocational school has been successful in receiving the creative schools initiative funding for 2020-2022.

This funding was applied for through the arts council by Mrs Mc Carthy and our project is in the induction stages of planning.

Participating schools will understand, develop and celebrate their engagement with the arts, empowering them to bring about real change in the way they work. They will draw on the range of resources within their school and wider community, developing new ways of working that reinforce the impact of creativity on student learning, development and well-being.

Children and young people will have a central role in this process. 

We were delighted to meet our creative associate, Ms. Siobhan Shiels who is working with the Arts Council and will be helping to develop the initiative with staff and students.

She is going to work with our student council in the New Year to explore the creativity within our school.

Christmas Concert 

Our student concert will take place on Friday afternoon.  This will be streamed into our classrooms on Friday afternoon.  There are many surprises this year in the concert as well as some acts that are familiar faces and voicesRecording for this concert will take place at home and in school on Monday.  It promises to be a fun filled and talented show!

We also are having our first ever ‘Gig in the bicycle shed’ as part of Active Schools.  On Thursday classes will take part in a fun day along the school walkway.  They will be entertained by bands and soloists at a socially distanced live performance…Our performers will be safe and protected from any undesirable weather in our decorated glass bicycle shed.  We hope that this will also highlight the excellent facility of the school walk and the bicycle shed and encourage as many as possible to cycle to school in the New Year.

Thank you to everyone who submitted a video for our Christmas Virtual Choir Video, we are looking forward to showcasing the end result before Christmas!

Learner Voice

Background: The Instructional Leadership Programme (ILP), which we have implemented in the AVS over the past number of years, is committed to enhancing teaching, learning and assessment in Irish classrooms and exploring teacher professional identity through:

• supporting teachers to acquire the conceptual awareness and vocabulary by which they can articulate their practice and engage in meaningful professional conversations with colleagues.

• extending teachers’ instructional repertoires of tactics, skills and strategies and deepening their awareness of how and why they invoke various interventions and actions in the classroom.

In the context of the continuing implementation of Junior Cycle, the Instructional Leadership programme is collaborating with the NCCA in a project focused on Learner Voice. This project will seek to identify, support and share practices rooted in the principles of Instructional Leadership that promote students talking about learning, teaching and assessment in the classroom, and being empowered through creative and thoughtful pedagogical practices to use their voice to enhance their own learning.

In the AVS we are going to focus on exam years, 3rd & 6th, to develop students’ understanding of how best they learn. The focus for our programme came about through student surveys, both during lockdown and when they returned to school. We have 2 strands in operation with a focus group in each year and we will evaluate progress after Christmas. This programme will draw on teachers’ and students’ experiences of learning, especially of IL strategies, and will help them to devise and deliver targeted educational supports. All this is done with the impetus coming from the students in relation to what they themselves decide they need to improve on and what supports they need.

Student Voice

On Wednesday the Student Council presented the school hampers – Food and care products collected from staff and students – to Mr Frank O Donnell of the Vincent de Paul, The response to the collection was overwhelming and gave our school community the opportunity to think about others who may be less well-off this year and to do something practical to help.  Mr. O Donnell thanked Ms Diver and the student council for organising the collection.  India Kennedy spoke on behalf of the student council to say how much we the school got from being able to contribute. We have been enriched in many ways through this collaboration.

‘You can give without loving, but you can never love without giving, 

Pictured are some students donating their items – Marc Bennett, Emily Reid and Michaela O Connor.

Friday 11th December is GRMA day – Go raibh Maith Agat.  The Irish Secondary Schools Union has asked everyone involved in the school including staff, students, bus-drivers and everyone in between to say GRMA to acknowledge the work of our Frontline workers.  Those without exams on Friday met to say GRMA.  The council has decided that we will promote this initiative next week and we will also include our collective gratitude during our Christmas Wish next week.

Transition Year

Lough Eske River Walk

Transition Year Students enjoyed a day at Lough Eske Nature Loop Trail. The weather was beautiful, crisp & dry as the students walked the trail which is 5.6 kilometer long and located near Donegal. Lough Eske Castle, is located on the shores of Lough Eske, a Historic Castle 15th century and closely identified with the O’Donnell Clan.  The Castle is set in a secluded storybook location within 43 acres of native woodland on the shores of Lough Eske with the dramatic Bluestack Mountains as a stunning backdrop, it is the ideal place to enjoy an amazing walk. The TYs embraced the outdoors and relished the beautiful surroundings of Lough Eske!

Murvagh Activity Trip

Transition Years 4A & 4B embraced a trip to Murvagh Beach this week. Murvagh is a beautiful, sandy beach, four and a half kilometres long, on the west coast of County Donegal. The beach, which has been awarded Blue Flag status, is backed by sand dunes, which are designated as a Special Area of Conservation and then by Murvagh Forest.

This makes it an excellent destination for walking and exploring on a family day out, as well as a popular place for a picnic. It is also a good beach for bathing, being located in a sheltered position, protected from the strongest sea currents.  Lifeguards patrol the beach from June until August. There is a car park behind the beach, which is reached on a path over the sand dunes.  From the car park there are spectacular views towards Crownarad and Sliabh Liag.  The nearest village from the beach is the small village of Laghy, which has a few shops and restaurants. The larger town of Donegal is about 5 kilometres from the beach and has many facilities to cater for visitor’s needs. Donegal makes a good base for walking in the Blue Stack Mountains.

“Tuesday 8th December, classes 4A and 4B ventured to the picturesque beach at Murvagh and trekked roughly 8-10k! It was fabulous! The scenery, the view and the company was wonderful! As with the covid regulations and limited travel for the past few weeks, it was lovely to immerse ourselves in nature and enjoy the fresh air! We had a competition to see who could get the best and most scenic pictures. The rain held off and we laughed and chatted, it was really enjoyable!” By Sophie Kennedy 

TY’s Prep ePortfolio

As the Abbey Vocational School took part in Christmas exams this week, Transition Year Students took the opportunity to work on their Transition Year Eportfolios. The aim of the Eportfolio is to provide TY Students with an opportunity to display a comprehensive body of evidence and lasting permanent record of their Transition Year. It reflects the wealth and depth of learning and experiences in Transition Year. Transition Years start using the TY Eportfolio at the beginning of the school this year. Students produce their own portfolio at the end of the year for the TY Showcase and the portfolio helps students to keep an accurate track of activities they have been involved in, learning outcomes from visits, activities, speakers, trips etc. It is an excellent resource to help students reflect on and evaluate their own learning.

Mr. Russell’s Maths Investigation

On Wednesday the 9th of December Transition Year Students took part in a mathematical investigation with Mr Russell. A mathematical investigation refers to the sustained exploration of a mathematical situation. It distinguishes itself from problem solving because it is open-ended. In mathematical investigations, students are expected to pose their own problems after initial exploration of the mathematical situation. Subject areas include: Algebra, Amusements, Calculus, Combinatorics, Complex Analysis, Constants and Numerical Sequences, Differential Equations. Research studies show that when students discover mathematical ideas and invent mathematical procedures, they have a stronger conceptual understanding of connections between mathematical ideas. Flexing the minds of our TY Students!

HSE Safety in the Workplace

This week the Transition Year Students were immersed in the world of health & safety, with the HSE Safety in the Workplace Online Course! This course introduces students to the principles of workplace safety, health and welfare. The course is aimed at young people starting work for the first time or preparing for work experience. It is also suitable for further education students and as a refresher for individuals returning to the workplace.

Learning outcomes:

On successful completion of this course you should be able to:

• Distinguish between employer and employee duties and responsibilities with regard to safety, health and welfare at work

• Understand ‘hazard’ and ‘risk’ and why employers carry out workplace risk assessments

• Apply decision making skills in a variety of health and safety situations in the workplace

• Source appropriate and reliable information on safety, health and welfare in the workplace

Yoga Workshop

This week the AVS Transition Year Students enjoyed an exhilarating Yoga Session. The benefits of yoga include: increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone. Also, improved respiration, energy and vitality maintaining a balanced metabolism and weight reduction. As well and mental health and wellbeing benefits!

Circuits Workshop 

This week TYs took part in an exhilarating class of circuits with Ms Grennan in the Bosco. The benefits of circuit training include:

  • Improvements in cardiovascular fitness.
  • Improvements in muscular strength.
  • Improvements in muscular endurance.
  • Increased social interaction during a workout.
  • Increased adherence to exercise.

Zumba Workshop

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

TY School Digital Champion

The Programme aims to promote digital adoption and encourage the productive use of technology by students. Our school has selected a team of 5 students to act as leaders/role models in completing a project showing how technology can be used to find a solution to day to day problems. Sarah Donovan, Odhran Gallagher, Matthew McGroary, Matthew Byrne and Eoin Meehan have been selected from AVS. The students can look forward to training and workshops on video editing, web design, coding and App design, as well as on communications and presentation skills. Also included are workshops on coding with microbits and an introduction to infographics. We look forward to seeing this project develop over the next few months. Many thanks to Mr. O’Mahony on facilitating this project going forward.


TY Enterprise Christmas Market


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

They have been busy creating products.

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


Brian’s Cool Coasters

Customised, one of a kind cool coasters can be ordered now as a wonderful Christmas present for someone special!         


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

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

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

Contact info: @CleanGreenSoaps on Instagram 

Or 

email AV2017.20251@donegaletb.net


Gone Haywire

We make handmade framed Wire Art with designs such as

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

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

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

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

Large Frames : €22.00            Small Frames : €15.00



Irish Tweedscapes

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

Price- €15

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

Calm Bam

The BAM that Calms

€3 for one unit 

Two units for €5

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

“Calm Bam” is a panic or stress reliever. 

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

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


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

They are the perfect stocking filler or treat for everyone

€2 each

Contact us through Instagram; @gandcsweets 


Sweetie Cones

€2 or 3 for €5.These delicious treats are filled with a variety of sweets!

Candy Cracker 

At €2.50 these are great stocking fillers and fit the Christmas theme perfectly – filled with delicious chocolates!

Hot Chocolate Bomb 

At €3.50 or 4 for €12, these are delicious and are made with quality ingredients to maximise flavour. Watch as you put them into a mug of hot milk. The marshmallows and hot chocolate powder inside burst out in an explosion like fashion. They come in a variety of flavours such as classic milk chocolate, salted caramel and more.  You can find more about the prices, products and order/contact me on facebook “Bombs Away Donegal



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

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

Only €15 a plaque

Here is a sample product:-


Contact: AV2017.20226@donegaletb.net




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

€5 per pack 

Contact us: 



Bree’s Homemade Creations 

Made By Bree Hanna 


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

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

Snowman, small €3 big €5

Santa’s €3.50 each 

Reindeer €12

Log €10

Log with candles €15

To order contact Emma Meehan TYA


SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 7th Dec 2020

30/11/2020 to 06/12/2020

Christmas 2020

This year the Abbey Vocational School has embraced the spirit of Christmas with even more gusto than ever before!

With beautiful decorations adorning the AVS building in the spirit of joy and happiness in the run up to Christmas!

Parent Teacher Meetings

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

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

Wellbeing

In the coming weeks we are hoping to design and publish the AVS Cookbook, just in time for Christmas as that extra little stocking filler! We want to gather as many recipes as possible from students, parents, staff and past students, as well as some favourites from local chefs.  If you have a delicious recipe you want to share please contact Ms. Mulhern for more information on this exciting project


Career Guidance

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

December Exams

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

AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Leaving Cert Evening Study 

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

Incoming students 2021/2022

The following updated form was distributed to 6th class students. Please provide us with the required information by either emailing the office at abbeyvs@donegaletb.ie or alternatively complete the link provided in the form (at the bottom of the following form)


Enrollment Google Form link for you to complete and submit back to us. https://forms.gle/MEnZTxVy5fwpQyic6


Get Fresh Canteen 

The canteen is now Exclusively Cashless. Students are able to pre-order and pre-pay for their meals on www.getfresh.ie. This also applies to bottles of water. At the moment you do not need to put money onto the cashless card as all orders are paid for by using your Debit/Credit Card when you have placed your order. However, you do need the cashless card number as part of the pre-ordering process. 

First Year and Second year positive behaviour Christmas Raffles

As part of our drive to recognise and celebrate some of the positive behaviour displayed by our first and second year students we are pleased to announce we will be holding Christmas raffles for both year groups in the last week of term. For every 3 positive behaviour points each student has they will receive 1 raffle ticket entry. Prizes include vouchers for local shopping and a brand new unisex mountain bike for each year group!

Covid – 19

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

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



School Uniform

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

Attendance

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

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

for a guide to downloading and installing the VSware app. 

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

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



BTYS 2021- A closer look

The aim of my project is to make a biodegradable, reusable plastic coffee cup lid. I have come up with this idea because after lockdown my mother purchased a take away coffee and the assistant touched the coffee lid when they were placing it on the cup and passing it to my mother. Additionally the lid cracked when we got back to the car showing that the current non-biodegradable and non-reusable coffee lids are not fit for purpose and given the new coronavirus environment a self applied lid that is also biodegradable seems like a good alternative. 

In developing this project idea, I first conducted research into the types of coffee cups lids currently available paying particular attention to dimensions and sizing of the coffee cup lid. I then sourced as many examples as possible and tested them all to see which gave the best fit on different types of disposable cups. After a couple of rounds of testing at full and half capacity, I found a lid that was the best fit for the various types of disposable cups and I based my prototype on this optimum design. I then had to figure out how to make my lids. After some internet research I leant that Computer aided design can be used to develop plastic injection moulds and that the mould could be used to make my coffee cup lid. I then researched local companies to see if any of them would be able to help me develop a mould that I could then use with my biodegradable plastic to create a prototype.

The work I have carried out so far includes using cornstarch, glycerol and sodium hydroxide to create a biodegradable plastic. I worked through several recipes until I had a reasonably flexible material. I also contacted a local company, Moll Industries Ireland, initially to seek advice on how to develop a mould for my coffee cup lid prototype. Moll industries Ireland produce a wide range of medical and pharmaceutical devices using injection mould technology. They suggested that I use a 3D printer to create my mould and they directed me to SCSCI Works who gave me lots of advice on using a 3D printer to create a heat resistant mould for my coffee cup lid.  After this initial consultation I then constructed a plan of my coffee cup lid on paper detailing the dimensions and optimum sizing of my coffee cup lid. I then brought these drawings back to Moll Industries Ireland and they drew up an electronic plan on Solid Works using my paper plan.

My initial prototype from my 3 D mould is quite a rigid plastic and it is not easy to put it on the disposable cups. So now I am working on increasing the flexibility of the plastic that I will make the lid out of so that it is easier to attach and remove from the disposable cups” By Grace Masterson. 



TEACHING & LEARNING

A look at Study Planning

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

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

Two useful approaches include:

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

Weekly Study Timetable

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

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

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

Subject Planner

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

Some further points to note:

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

A look at Study Planning Apps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Music

Preparations for  our Virtual Christmas Event – A Christmas Light which will replace our usual Carol Service are underway and will be coming soon!

Thank you to everyone who submitted a video for our Christmas Virtual Choir Video, we are looking forward to showcasing the end result before Christmas!


Coirnéal na Gaeilge

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

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

Na srianta Covid 19 sa scoil:

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

TRANSITION YEAR

Foroige Amplify workshop

“On Thursday December 3rd my class of 4B went to the parish hall to attend our final foroige workshop. We have enjoyed these workshops since the beginning of the school year, every Thursday morning. The workshop focuses on two different topics, leadership and empathy. Throughout the weeks we’ve spoken about empathy as well as practicing our leadership skills as a class. 

On the 3rd of December we started our workshop with a quick game, as an icebreaker, we stood in a line and we had to mime an action to each other and try to end up with the same action at the end of the line as the one that started off the line. After this we did a leadership exercise where we listed items in a list of importance if we were stuck on the moon. We had a balloon race after this. We were in two teams and had to race against one another holding a balloon between our knees. This was fun, my team won the first race but lost the second. As it was our final week we did a Kahoot with questions about leadership throughout it. I really enjoyed these foroige workshops and I’ll miss having these on a Thursday morning each week”. Lauren Drury.

Yoga Workshop

This week the AVS Transition Year Students enjoyed an exhilarating Yoga Session. The benefits of yoga include: increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone. Also, improved respiration, energy and vitality maintaining a balanced metabolism and weight reduction. As well and mental health and wellbeing benefits!

Makeup Workshop

This week Transition Year Students were treated to a Personal Presentation and Makeup Master Class. Manager of the Marine Spa Karla Lacey treated Students to a master class in makeup, skincare and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

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

Zumba Workshop

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

TY School Digital Champion

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

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


TY Enterprise Christmas Market


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

They have been busy creating products.

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


Brian’s Cool Coasters

Customised, one of a kind cool coasters can be ordered now as a wonderful Christmas present for someone special!         


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

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

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

Contact info: @CleanGreenSoaps on Instagram 

Or 

email AV2017.20251@donegaletb.net


Gone Haywire

We make handmade framed Wire Art with designs such as

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

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

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

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

Large Frames : €22.00            Small Frames : €15.00



Irish Tweedscapes

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

Price- €15

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

Calm Bam

The BAM that Calms

€3 for one unit 

Two units for €5

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

“Calm Bam” is a panic or stress reliever. 

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

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


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

They are the perfect stocking filler or treat for everyone

€2 each

Contact us through Instagram; @gandcsweets 


Sweetie Cones

€2 or 3 for €5.These delicious treats are filled with a variety of sweets!

Candy Cracker 

At €2.50 these are great stocking fillers and fit the Christmas theme perfectly – filled with delicious chocolates!

Hot Chocolate Bomb 

At €3.50 or 4 for €12, these are delicious and are made with quality ingredients to maximise flavour. Watch as you put them into a mug of hot milk. The marshmallows and hot chocolate powder inside burst out in an explosion like fashion. They come in a variety of flavours such as classic milk chocolate, salted caramel and more.  You can find more about the prices, products and order/contact me on facebook “Bombs Away Donegal



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

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

Only €15 a plaque

Here is a sample product:-


Contact: AV2017.20226@donegaletb.net




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

€5 per pack 

Contact us: 



Bree’s Homemade Creations 

Made By Bree Hanna 


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

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

Snowman, small €3 big €5

Santa’s €3.50 each 

Reindeer €12

Log €10

Log with candles €15

To order contact Emma Meehan TYA


SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 30th Nov 2020

First Year Drumming Workshop

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

Parent Teacher Meetings

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

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

Career Guidance

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

December Exams

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

AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 Leaving Cert Prefects

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

 Leaving Cert Evening Study 

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

Covid – 19

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

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

School Uniform

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

Attendance

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

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

for a guide to downloading and installing the VSware app. 

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

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

Abbey Vocational School Student Council 2020/21

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

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

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

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

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

Donegal Youth Council Election

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

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

Take 1 Programme

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

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


Teaching & Learning: A look at Study Planning

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

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

Two useful approaches include:

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

Weekly Study Timetable

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

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

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

Subject Planner

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

Some further points to note:

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

Teaching and Learning: A look at Study Planning Apps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Music

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

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

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

Coirnéal na Gaeilge

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

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

Na srianta Covid 19 sa scoil:

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

The AVS Cookbook

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

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

TRANSITION YEAR

Influence of Social Media Talk in the Parish Hall

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

Zumba Workshop

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

 Cycling Workshop

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

Amplify in association with Foroige

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

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

Aware Workshop

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

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

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

TY School Digital Champion

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

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


SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!


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

They have been busy creating products.

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


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

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

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

Contact info: @CleanGreenSoaps on Instagram 

Or 

email AV2017.20251@donegaletb.net


Gone Haywire

We make handmade framed Wire Art with designs such as

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

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

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

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

Large Frames : €22.00            Small Frames : €15.00



Irish Tweedscapes

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

Price- €15

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

Calm Bam

The BAM that Calms

€3 for one unit 

Two units for €5

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

“Calm Bam” is a panic or stress reliever. 

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

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


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

They are the perfect stocking filler or treat for everyone

€2 each

Contact us through Instagram; @gandcsweets 


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

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

Only €15 a plaque

Here is a sample product:-


Contact: AV2017.20226@donegaletb.net




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

€5 per pack 

Contact us: 



Bree’s Homemade Creations 

Made By Bree Hanna 


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

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

Snowman, small €3 big €5

Santa’s €3.50 each 

Reindeer €12

Log €10

Log with candles €15

To order contact Emma Meehan TYA

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 23rd Nov 2020

16/11/2020 to 22/11/2020


Donegal Youth Council Elections

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

AVS Art Competition Winners 2020

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

Leaving Cert Virtual Motivational Talk with Shane Martin

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


Parent Teacher Meetings:

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

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

Career Guidance

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

School Closure Day

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


December Exams

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


WELLBEING

Respect Box

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

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


Respect Week and Stand Up Awareness Week

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

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

Mental Health Ireland Art Competition 2020

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

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

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

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

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

AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Leaving Cert Prefect 

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



Positive Wellbeing In The Community

Positive Points Initiative

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

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


Leaving Cert Evening Study 

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


Covid – 19

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

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

School Uniform:

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

Attendance

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

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

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

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

 Abbey Vocational School Student Council 2020/21

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

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

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


Donegal Youth Council Election

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



Great Reads Award 

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

 Take 1 Programme

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

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


TEACHING & LEARNING

A look at Study Planning

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

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

Two useful approaches include:

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

Weekly Study Timetable

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

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

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

Subject Planner

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

Some further points to note:

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

A look at Study Planning Apps

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Music

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

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

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

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

L2 Physical Education

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

 Coirnéal na Gaeilge

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

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

Na srianta Covid 19 sa scoil:

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

Físeán a chur le chéile

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

The AVS Cookbook

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

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

1st Year Drumming Workshop

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

TRANSITION YEAR

Sign Language Peer Teaching

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

Zumba Workshop

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

Personal Presentation and Make up Master Class Workshop

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

Ciara Gillespie-Cassidy

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

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

Musical Call-backs

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

Amplify in association with Foróige

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

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

Peer Mentoring Workshop

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

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

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

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

Aware Workshop

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

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

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

Young Social Innovators

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

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

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

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

GAA Future Leaders Programme 

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

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

Course Structure

The programme comprises 8 modules.

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

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

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

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

TY upcoming activities:

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

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

TY School Digital Champion

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

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

SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

Abbey VS Newsletter Mon 16th Nov

9th November to 15th November 2020

Credit Union Art Competition Winners

Congratulations to our Credit Union Art Competition Winners!

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

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

Parent Teacher Meetings

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

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

Career Guidance

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

School Closure Day

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

DECEMBER EXAMS

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

SCPE & LCPE

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

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

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

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

NUI Galway Excellence Scholarship

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

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

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

Positive Points Initiative

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

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


WELLBEING

AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021

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

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

Positive Wellbeing in The Community 

Cycle Against Suicide 

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

Leaving Cert Prefects

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

Shane Martin Positive Wellbeing Talk

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


Leaving Cert Evening Study 

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


Covid – 19

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

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

School Uniform

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

Attendance

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

Canteen 

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

Abbey Vocational School Student Council 2020/21

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

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

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

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

Great Reads Award 

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


Take 1 Programme

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

BT Young Scientist 2021

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

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


Teaching & Learning

A look at Study Planning

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

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

Two useful approaches include:

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

Weekly Study Timetable

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

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

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

Subject Planner

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

Some further points to note:

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

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


Music

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

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

L2 Physical Education

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


Transition Year

Hotel & Catering talk with Chris McMenamin

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

Musical Callbacks

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

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

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

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

Anna Mitchell 

History walk of Donegal Town

A Walk Back in Time Through Donegal’s Rich History

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

Donegal author, storyteller and tour guide, Keith Corcoran.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

TY Drumming Workshop

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

Ciara Gillespie Cassidy.

Amplify in association with Foróige

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

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

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

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

Lauren Drury

Peer Mentoring 

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

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

Aware Workshop

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

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

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

Personal Presentation and Make up Master Class Workshop

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

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

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

Young Social Innovators

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

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

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

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

GAA Future Leaders Programme 

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

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

Course Structure:

The programme comprises 8 modules.

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

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

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

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

TY upcoming activities:

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

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

TY School Digital Champion

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

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


 SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!


Coirnéal na Gaeilge

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

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

Na srianta Covid 19 sa scoil:

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



Abbey V.S. Newsletter – Mon 9th Nov.

02nd November to 8th November 2020

Parent Teacher Meetings

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

December Exams

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

Career Guidance

School leavers information night for parents / guardians

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

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

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

School Closure Day

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

SCPE & LCPE

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

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

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

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

AVS Dancing Champions!

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

NUI Galway Excellence Scholarship

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

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

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

Allingham Arts Writing Competition

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

Credit Union Art Competition

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

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

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

Jigsaw Art Competition 

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

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

Positive Points Initiative

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

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

WELLBEING

Positive Wellbeing in The Community 

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

Cycle Against Suicide 

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

Leaving Cert Prefects

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

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

Leaving Cert Evening Study 

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

BT Young Scientist 2021

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

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

Covid – 19

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

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

School Uniform:

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

Attendance

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

Canteen 

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

Great Reads Award 

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

TEACHING & LEARNING

A look at ‘Feedback’ from your Teacher.

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

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

Feedback then is information:

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

Feedback from a Student Perspective.

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

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

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

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

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

Good feedback will produce two key outcomes:

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

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


Student Voice

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

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

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

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

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

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

Music

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

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


TRANSITION YEAR

Personal Presentation and Make up Master Class Workshop

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

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

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

Interview skills workshop

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

Young Social Innovators

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

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

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

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

History walking tour of Donegal Town

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

GAA Future Leaders Programme 

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

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

Course Structure:

The programme comprises 8 modules.

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

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

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

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

TY Upcoming activities:

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

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

SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 19th Oct

12th to 18th Oct 2020


Young Social Innovators

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

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

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

BT Young Scientist 2021

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

The projects are as follows: 

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

2. Antimicrobial Barks by Eadaoin Murphy and Joseph Woods.

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

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

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

Zeeko Workshops for First Years

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

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

First Year Parents Information Evening

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

Incoming first years 2020/2021 

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

Virtual Learning Week

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

Covid – 19

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

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

Parent Teacher Meetings

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

Attendance

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

New School Fleece 

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

Career Guidance

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

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

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

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

Canteen 

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

Music Department

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

Great Reads Award 

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

Wellbeing

Positive Points Initiative

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

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

Leaving Cert Prefects

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

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

Peer Mentoring 

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

Cycle Against Suicide 

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

Positive Wellbeing Week

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

Tik Tok Competition

Instructions:

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

Due Date: 21/10/20

Prize for the best video – Halloween Hamper

Crazy Mask Competition with disposal masks!  

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

Teaching and Learning

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

Transition Year

TY Musical Auditions

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

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

Drama Workshop with Sinead Carey

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

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

Heritage and Creative Workshops

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

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

Transition Year Surfing

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

Student Voice

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

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

TY Upcoming Activities:

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

SPORT

Online Leaving Certificate PE Tutorials 

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

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

LCPE Planes and Axes online tutorials

Lunchtime Activities 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!


Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 12th Oct 2020

5th-11th October 2020

AVS Students Ailbhe Liu & Seoda Wang

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

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

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

First Year Parents Information Evening

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

If Unwell, Stay at Home

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

Parent Teacher Meetings:

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

Attendance

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

New School Fleece 

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

Career Guidance

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

 Literacy

Trócaire and Poetry Ireland’s poetry competition

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

Student Council

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

Music Department

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

Great Reads Award 

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

Teaching & Learning. Virtual Learning Week 

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

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

Wellbeing

Positive Points Initiative

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

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

First Year Zeeko Internet Safety Workshop

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

Leaving Cert Prefects

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

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

Student Voice 

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

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

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

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

Peer Mentoring 

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

Transition Year

Heritage and Creative Workshops

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

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

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

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

Transition Year Surfing

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

SPORT

Lunchtime Activities 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

Lunchtime Activities September 2020