Abbey VS Newsletter – 31st May 21

24th May 2021 – 30th May 2021

End of Term

The Abbey Vocational School would like to thank all our staff, students & parents for their exceptionally hard work, support and help during this difficult year. We wish everyone a happy, peaceful and safe summer. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Leaving Cert Graduation 2021

The Leaving Cert Graduation 2021 was an amazing collaboration, where students and staff came together to create something very magical. The ceremony encapsulates the hope, admiration and respect the AVS Community have for each other. Congratulations to everyone involved. The ceremony can be viewed on the link; Leaving Cert Ceremony 2021

Donegal Player sends Congratulations

Congratulations to AVS Student Ruth Murray who received birthday wishes from Donegal County Player Peadar Mogan! Peadar, an AVS Past Pupil, was delighted to wish his most ardent fan a very ‘Happy Birthday’ organised by Peadar’s Mother, Abbey Vocational School SNA Siobhan Mogan!

Staff Wellbeing

Congratulations and many thanks to our hardworking Wellbeing Committee who supplied beautiful food for the staff of the AVS in appreciation of all their hard work throughout the year!

Music Department

The DMEP Virtual concert took place on Friday 21st May.  It was a celebration of the contribution of the late Sister Concepta Murphy, Ballyshannon and Kinsale, to music-making and music education throughout County Donegal. Sister Concepta helped to set up the Donegal Music Education Partnership and the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras, based in Cork. The one-hour concert featured contributions from past and present students, tutors and special guests. From classical to trad, opera to Olivia Rodrigo.

Students Rachel Reid and Helen Howells sang as part of the Donegal Youth Choir and Eve O Donnell, Nora Carr and Onagh Mc Hugh performed on flute and clarinet, a wonderful tribute to Sr. Concepta who was a great support to the students and the music department of the Abbey Vocational School.

Students and staff of the DETB have completed the virtual singing project  ‘Alone with none but Thee, my God’. This is a new composition by Donegal ETB teacher Margaret Mc Ateer. The choral setting will be heard for the first time on the 9th June 2021 to celebrate the 1,500 anniversary of St Colmcille.  Soloists for the premiere performance will be the esteemed Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan, Lilis O Laoire and Maire Ni Bhrennan of Clannad. 

Guidance Department

  1. CAO has by now sent an email to all applicants. The topic of the email is Statement of Application process.  It’s very important you read this email carefully.  If for some reason you do not receive the email or information within it is incorrect, you must contact CAO immediately.  This is an important email that should not be ignored, particularly as it may have serious consequences for your application.
  2. The CAO Change of Mind opened on 05 May 2021.  CAO applicants have until 01 July 2021 @ 5.15 p.m. to make course changes. Further information is available from the student’s Guidance Counsellor.
  3. The SUSI (grant) application process for eligible Leaving Cert students opened on 22 April 2021.  Further information is available from the student’s Guidance Counsellor and via Google Classroom. Students are advised to submit their SUSI application as early as possible.
  4. Leaving Cert students should now be applying for any relevant scholarship(s) they may be eligible for. Further information is available during Guidance Class, via Google Classroom or contacting their Guidance Counsellor.
  5. Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.  

Student Voice

The Student Council were treated to a lunch prepared by the school canteen on Monday.  India, chairperson, spoke on behalf of the council and presented Ms. Carr with a gift for her work with the student voice over the year.  Ms. Mohan and Ms. Carr addressed the committee and thanked them for all of their hard work and for their important contribution to the school.

Transition Year Awards

We were delighted to be able to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of our fantastic students at our annual TY Awards Ceremony this week. The Awards Ceremony was a live streamed event this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. It is always an eagerly anticipated day in our school calendar and was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the varied achievements of our students in a difficult year. Students were recognised with awards being presented in a variety of categories including Class Captain Awards, Enterprise, Drama, Positive Contribution Award, Mathematics and the coveted Student of the Year Award to name but a few. Congratulations to all the award winners who have shown great enthusiasm and positivity throughout the year!

Congratulations to Ava McLoughlin pictured with Mr Hegarty

Congratulations to Ava McLoughlin pictured with Mr Hegarty who won the TY Enterprise Award. Ava made it through to the finals of the NFTE National Final Competition. Ava won 1st place in the senior category for the Student Enterprise Programme in the Donegal County Final. Ava’s business is Irish Tweedscapes. Her product offering is a frame with Irish design inside with Magee tweed. Ava’s product price is €15. She is a sole trader due to Covid so she has done all hard work by herself. Most recently she has sent one of her products to New Zealand. Ava sells her product through her Facebook and Instagram page Irish Tweedscapes.

Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021-Young Social Innovators Award. Congratulations to TYC and their YSI project Unity in the Community who were shortlisted for the YSI Awards 2021 in their category – Make our Country More Inclusive and Poverty Free Challenge. This is a fantastic achievement with nearly 200 teams entered in the competition. Ava McLoughlin, Molly Boyd, Jessica Gallagher, Roisin Gillespie and Shauna Doherty pitched to the YSI judges’ panel on behalf of the team on Monday 10th of May. The judges were very impressed with the work they have undertaken for the elderly in the community so far as part of their YSI project. 

Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Young Social Innovators Award

Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Drama Award

Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Peer Mentors. The Peer mentoring initiative has been actively participated in by Transition Year students for many years. It is where a Transition Year student (mentor) voluntarily gives time to support and encourage another student (mentee). Peer mentors provide advice and guidance whilst acting as a positive role model for younger people who require their support.

Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Peer Mentors

Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Peer Mentors

Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Student Council, Donegal Youth Council and Class Captains. The purpose of the student council is to give students an opportunity to develop leadership by organizing and carrying out school activities and service projects. They help share student ideas, interests and concerns with the wider school community. The Donegal Youth Council identifies issues and promotes projects to improve the lives of young people in Donegal.

Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Environmental Award. Erin and Anna’s environmental project ‘Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma’ made it through to the semi-finals of ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards. Their project focuses on the detrimental impacts that our collective carbon footprint has on the environment and they are developing a ‘Climate Education Scheme’ to educate our nation on the impacts that our daily actions ultimately have on the environment and offer sustainable alternatives. They started an instagram page @avsclimatechange in which they actively post about sustainability and update their followers on what they are up to and how their project is going.  They also recently appeared on RTÉ Junior’s ‘Ecolution’ Podcast to discuss the government’s new Climate Action Bill with other young activists.

https://www.rte.ie/learn/home-school-hub/2021/0330/1207024-ecolution-young-activists-discuss-the-climate-action-bill/

Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Student of the Year

Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Student of the Year. The students have been recognised by their teachers as showing a commitment to learning, always trying their best and also showing a high level of dedication and enthusiasm for learning, especially throughout the remote learning period. 

Disenchanted

Congratulations to TY Student Bree Hanna who is working as an Extra on the set of the Disney Film ‘Disenchanted’ this summer! Bree is an avid cinema-goer and dreams of one day hitting the big screen. Below Bree tells us, in her own words, her delight at landing the role.

Disney is filming Disenchanted in Ireland this summer from May till August in Dublin and Wicklow. This is the biggest movie that has ever come to Ireland since they are filming the whole movie in Ireland. I saw that they were having open call casting for extras so I thought I would apply. Acting and musical theatre are what I want to do in the future and I have just recently finished a 10 week acting course with The Dublin Central School of Acting, so I thought it would be such a great opportunity and experience. My Dad and I’s cousin Niamh Gale is the executive producer of this movie so we got in contact with her and she took my application and got back to me a few weeks later with dates. This Thursday the 20th of May I am going to Dublin for my costume fitting. The confirmed dates so far for scenes that I am in are filming in the first week of June and the last week of July. There will hopefully be more dates for other scenes confirmed soon’.

Transition Year Showcase 2021

This week the Transition Year Students finished off an action-packed year on a high note with a magical showcase. A big thank you must go to the TY Coordinators Ms Rooney, Mr Hegarty, Ms Kelly & Ms O’Donnell for organising the event. The Showcase highlighted the events, talks, activities, trips and outings the TY’s ventured on this year! The Sports Department featured heavily with presentations on the many sporting activities experienced including zumba, self-defence & surfing. The Business department was also well represented with topics such as the TY Business Academy, Enterprise Day, Mini Companies and the Enterprise Award.

Pictured are Emma Meehan, Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell, Fiachra O’Donnell & Niall Prendeville who took part in the Transition Year Showcase by performing a scene from ‘Hamilton’!

Pictured performing the Queen Hit ‘Don’t Stop Me Now ‘are Conor Boyle, Anna Mitchell and Niall Prendeville.

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards were held this week on the 26th May. Their project, ‘Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma’ focuses on the importance of educating the nation on the detrimental impacts that our collective carbon footprint has on the environment. The aim is to eradicate the stigma and change people’s mindset altogether as without education on these matters change is not possible. You can listen to Erin and Anna as they discuss topical environmental issues, they have been involved with here;

Environmental School Podcast

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.

Pictured are Sarah Canny, Bree Hanna and Erin Ryder, as this week students were busy recording choreography for this video edit.

‘From January until May a select group of students took part in a Bridge Beyond Music Project. During this project we wrote a song, made the music for the song and filmed a music video. We really enjoyed this experience. It gave us an insight into how music artists managed to make music during the pandemic.

On Friday May 14th we had a premiere from all the school’s songs and music videos that took part. The schools that took part were Moville Community School, Abbey Vocational School, Deele College, Loreto Community School and Scoil Mhuire Buncrana. Each school had their own unique idea for their song and video. All the schools joined the zoom call together and congratulated each other on their pieces. After we premiered all the videos we talked to Ciara O Connor who is a session vocalist and is currently working with Dua Lipa. She has worked with countless amounts of music artists in the past and told us her experiences and how she got where she is today. 

The main theme of this overall experience was Global Citizenship. During the course we all learned more about Global Citizenship and what it means to be a Global Citizen. Ciara O Connor even mentioned that she could be a global citizen as she has travelled so much. We received videos from countries around the world such as China, Iceland, India, USA and Holland. Some of us then responded to make our own video explaining our views on global citizenship’. By Caitlin Browne & Matthew McNamee 

Creative Schools – AVS

Students from second year helped to create a display board this week to raise awareness of the creative schools project in our school. A special thanks to Ellie Campbell, Jenna Donavan, Seoda Wang and Grace Masterson.

Our creative schools associate from the Arts Council of Ireland, Ms Siobhan Sheils, has invited our whole school community to complete a google form as we collaborate ideas for our creative schools plan for the school year of 2021-2022. 

The links below are for students and parents. So if you have a few moments, we would really appreciate your information and input to the ‘Understand’ stage of our project. Click on the blue link to access the google form.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Students Google Form

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1wEyQSt2TCrf7PPPOHicunEaHA5HYeKBQ8okMcPHoCEY/edit

Parents/Guardians Google Form

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1p1QkbFIRiL0Y9rKipqeY2uXAbM1KrZ4ImDVTJBLnt-U/edit



Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 24th May

AVS 17/5/21-23/5/21

AVS Gymnasium Works 

In recent weeks’ extensive renovations have been undertaken in the school gymnasium. Downstairs, the lines on the gym floor have been refurbished and the internal and external walls of the gym have been painted. Upstairs, the fitness suite has been extensively renovated, with a new floor installed which is a mix of both artificial grass and black cushion tile for flexible purpose, a new branded 3 bay weight rack and additional personal exercise equipment has been added. 

Donegal Bay Rowing Club, Donegal GAA and the School all partnered to fund these upgrade works. The input of the PE Department has been critical in the layout and design of the equipment. The newly upgraded gym and fitness suite is a fantastic addition to the facilities at the AVS for use by all students, the Leaving Certificate Physical Education Program and the local community.  The gymnasium is now on a par with the best facilities in the County if not the country. 

Mr Maguire would like to thank the members of Donegal Bay Rowing Club for their tireless fundraising and assistance; to Liam Clancy from the Abbey Hotel for his continued support of Donegal GAA; to the PE Department and the school management team and to former student and local Interior Designer Kate McCarty from Eske Interiors for her work on the colour selection. Kate is very busy locally with private and commercial work and her talent is evident in her keen eye for colour evident in the gym which looks fantastic. 

Abbey Vocational School Awards

We were delighted to be able to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of our fantastic students at our annual Awards Ceremony this week. The Awards Ceremony was a live streamed event this year due to Covid-19 restrictions with each year held separately. It is always an eagerly anticipated day in our school calendar and was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the varied achievements of our students in a difficult year. Students were recognised with awards being presented in a variety of categories including Class Captain Awards, Academic Achievement, Creative Writing, Athletics, PACE , Drama, Positive Contribution Award, Mathematics and the coveted Student of the Year Award to name a few.

Congratulations to all the award winners, who have shown great enthusiasm and positivity throughout the year!

The Abbey Vocational School First Year Awards

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Students of the Year

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Students of the Year

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Student Council Representatives

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Positive Contribution Award

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Mathematics

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Girls Athletics

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Ethos Award

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Computational Thinking Competition 2021

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Class Captains

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Coding

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Cassidy/Brennan Creative Writing Award

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Boys Athletics

Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Awards 2020/2021 – Bebras Challenge 2021

Abbey Vocational School Second Year Awards 2021

Abbey Vocational School 2nd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Class Captains

Abbey Vocational School 2nd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Positive Contribution Award

Abbey Vocational School 2nd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge 2021

Abbey Vocational School 2nd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Students of the Year Awards – Callum O’Donnell

Abbey Vocational School 2nd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Christmas Concert Performance

Abbey Vocational School 2nd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Girls Athletics

Abbey Vocational School 2nd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Boys Athletics

Abbey Vocational School 2nd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Loch an Iuir Cup Winners

Abbey Vocational School 2nd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Loch an Iuir Cup Winners

Abbey Vocational School 2nd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Students of the Year

Abbey Vocational School 2nd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Students of the Year

Abbey Vocational School Third Year Awards 2021

This week the Abbey Vocational School held the AVS Third Year Awards Ceremony 2021. This event celebrates the academic achievement and involvement in extracurricular activities of Students in the AVS Community.

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Art

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Music

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Year Awards 2020/2021 – All Ireland Programming Award

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Class Captains

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Cassidy/Brennan Creative Writing Award

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Year Awards 2020/2021 – BT Young Scientists

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge 2021

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Students of the Year

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Loch an Iuir Cup Winners

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Girls Athletics

Abbey Vocational School 3rd Year Awards 2020/2021 – Boys Athletics

The Abbey Vocational School Fifth Year Awards

Abbey Vocational School 5th Year Awards 2020/2021 – Students of the Year

Abbey Vocational School 5th Year Awards 2020/2021 – Students of the Year

Abbey Vocational School 5th Year Awards 2020/2021 – Students of the Year

Abbey Vocational School 5th Year Awards 2020/2021 – Students of the Year

Abbey Vocational School 5th Year Awards 2020/2021 –  Student Council Representative

Abbey Vocational School 5th Year Awards 2020/2021 – PACE Award

Abbey Vocational School 5th Year Awards 2020/2021 – Drama

Abbey Vocational School 5th Year Awards 2020/2021 – Class Captains

The Abbey Vocational School’s Masked Singer

This week we have had the pleasure of the company of Noel Cunningham who hosted the Abbey Vocational School ‘The Masked Singer’ bringing great excitement and entertainment to our school community. As each staff member gave their performances dressed as Minnie Mouse, Mickey Mouse and the Dancing Parrot, there was an amazing buzz around the school as students and staff tried to figure out who our masked singers were! The spectacular show was streamed live on Tuesday night and also watched by the AVS School Community on Wednesday. On Thursday the voting was brisk as students and staff alike voted for who they thought the masked singers were!

The ‘Masked Singer Reveal Show’ was streamed on Thursday night hosted by Noel Cunningham as we waited in anticipation to find out who our talented ‘masked singers’ were! First up was our very talented Ms Dunnion who was Minnie Mouse!

AVS Maths and Drama Teacher Mr Donegan was revealed as our jiving Bunny!

The very talented AVS SNA Lorraine Walls was revealed as our next singer, with Lorraine talking about her history of singing professionally and in the local choir.

Our next masked singer is our SNA Paddy McMenamin. Paddy has had a very illustrious career working with comedian Conal Gallen and is a veteran of the stage!

Singing ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Kate Bush our Panda was Farrah Bogle. Farrah has a long history in the musical and drama circles having played Dolores Van Cartier in ‘Sister Act’, Julia Gulia in ‘Wedding Singer’ and many more!

David Hanna highlighted his wonderful voice singing for us and definitely has a future on the musical stage!   

AVS Staff member Louise Campbell thrilled us with a beautiful rendition of Blondie!

Finally, our colourful singing Parrot and Winner of the ‘Abbey Vocational School Masked Singer’ Shane Devlin!

Science Department

After School Science Club

The school runs an after school club that helps students research their science project and to write a project proposal so that they can enter both competitions – the selection process for BTYS is very rigorous. 

Sometimes the hardest part of the 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.

Attendance 

If a student is absent for any reason they must provide a note of explanation. The most convenient method for you to record this is through the VSware App/dashboard. When you log in you go to your son/daughter’s profile, go to the attendance section and the dates that require an explanation will be registered on your page. We only record full day absence through this facility. If you wish your son/daughter to sign out for a medical/dental appointment then this will continue as normal practice in the school journal where you write the note stating the time the student must leave the school and the time of return along with the reason for the departure. They will get this note signed by a Deputy Principal and they will then sign out at the main school office. No student can leave the building without it being recorded by the school office. 

Music Department

The DMEP Virtual concert took place on Friday 21st May.  It was a celebration of the contribution of the late Sister Concepta Murphy, Ballyshannon and Kinsale, to music-making and music education throughout County Donegal. Sister Concepta helped to set up the Donegal Music Education Partnership and the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras, based in Cork. The one-hour concert featured contributions from past and present students, tutors and special guests. From classical to trad, opera to Olivia Rodrigo.

Students Rachel Reid and Helen Howells sang as part of the Donegal Youth Choir and Eve O Donnell, Nora Carr and Onagh Mc Hugh performed on flute and clarinet, à wonderful tribute to Sr. Concepta who was à great support to the students and the music department of the Abbey Vocational School.

Students and staff of the DETB have completed the virtual singing project  ‘Alone with none but Thee, my God’. This is a new composition by Donegal ETB teacher Margaret Mc Ateer. The choral setting will be heard for the first time on the 9th June 2021 to celebrate the 1,500 anniversary of St Colmcille.  Soloists for the premiere performance will be the esteemed Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan, Lilis O Laoire and Maire Ni Bhrennan of Clannad. 

Transition year music students also prepare, recorded, mixed and mastered musical items for their Showcase which will take place on Monday of next week.

Guidance Department

  1. CAO has sent/will send an email to all applicants in the coming days. The topic of the email is Statement of Application process.  It’s very important you read this email carefully.  If for some reason you do not receive the email or information within it is incorrect, you must contact CAO immediately.  This is an important email that should not be ignored, particularly as it may have serious consequences for your application.
  2. The CAO Change of Mind opened on 05 May 2021.  CAO applicants have until 01 July 2021 @ 5.15 p.m. to make course changes. Further information is available from the student’s Guidance Counsellor.
  3. The SUSI (grant) application process for eligible Leaving Cert students opened on 22 April 2021.  Further information is available from the student’s Guidance Counsellor and via Google Classroom. Students are advised to submit their SUSI application as early as possible.
  4. Leaving Cert students should now be applying for any relevant scholarship(s) they may be eligible for. Further information is available during Guidance Class, via Google Classroom or contacting their Guidance Counsellor.
  5. Leaving Cert AND 5th Year 1:1 Guidance Meetings continue to be available.  Student’s should contact their Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 
  6. Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.  

Student Voice

The Student Council were treated to a lunch prepared by the school canteen on Monday.  India, chairperson, spoke on behalf of the council and presented Ms. Carr with à gift for her work with the student voice over the year.  Ms. Mohan and Ms. Carr addressed the committee and thanked them for all of their hard work and for their important contribution to the school.

Watch out for the launch of our Celebrity Staff photos on school TV screens next week

Transition Year

Transition Year Showcase 2021

During recent weeks TYs have been working on the Transition Year Virtual Showcase 2021 which will take place in the presence of the virtual AVS community on Monday the 24th of May. The Transition Year Students will finish off an action-packed year on a high note with a magical showcase. A big thank you must go to the TY Coordinators Ms Rooney, Mr Hegarty, Ms Kelly & Ms O’Donnell for organising the event. The Showcase will highlight the events, talks, activities, trips and outings the TY’s ventured on this year! The Sports Department will feature heavily with presentations on the many sporting activities experienced which included zumba, self-defence and surfing. The Business department will also be well represented with topics such as the TY Business Academy, Enterprise Day, Mini Companies and the Enterprise Award.

Pictured are Emma Meehan, Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell, Fiachra O’Donnell & Niall Prendeville practising for the Transition Year Showcase by performing a scene from ‘Hamilton’!

Practicing the performance of the Queen Hit ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’ are Conor Boyle, Anna Mitchell and Niall Prendeville.

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards

Congratulations to Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell who have qualified for the National Final of the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards which will be held on 26th May. Their project, Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma focuses on the importance of educating the nation on the detrimental impacts that our collective carbon footprint has on the environment. The aim is to eradicate the stigma and change people’s mind-set altogether as without education on these matters change is not possible. We wish the girls every best wish for the 26th May.

You can listen to Erin and Anna as they discuss topical environmental issues, they have been involved with here;

Environmental School Podcast

Architect in Schools

Last week saw the conclusion of the Architects in Schools initiative which provides Transition Year students with first-hand experience of the design process under the guidance of architects and architectural graduates nationwide.  

This initiative was delivered in school by local architect and lecturer in LYIT, Anna Meehan. The Transition Year Students were posed the question, how could we make the Millcourt Carpark a more appealing and safe place for the local community?

The students worked exceptionally hard with their facilitator and the results speak for themselves. The finished model is to be presented to local County Councillors to try to make some of these changes happen. 

Pictured are – Fiachra O’Donnell, Molly Boyd, Órla Kennedy, Skye Murrin, Sarah Donovan, Laura Lee Boyle, Sarah Canny, Lucy Erskine, Ódhran Gallagher and facilitator Anna Meehan.

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.

Pictured are Sarah Canny, Bree Hanna and Erin Ryder, as this week students were busy recording choreography for this video edit.

‘From January until May a select group of students took part in a Bridge Beyond Music Project. During this project we wrote a song, made the music for the song and filmed a music video. We really enjoyed this experience. It gave us an insight into how music artists managed to make music during the pandemic.

On Friday May 14th we had a premiere from all the school’s songs and music videos that took part. The schools that took part were Moville Community School, Abbey Vocational School, Deele College, Loreto Community School and Scoil Mhuire Buncrana. Each school had their own unique idea for their song and video. All the schools joined the zoom call together and congratulated each other on their pieces. After we premiered all the videos we talked to Ciara O Connor who is a session vocalist and is currently working with Dua Lipa. She has worked with countless amounts of music artists in the past and told us her experiences and how she got where she is today. 

The main theme of this overall experience was Global Citizenship. During the course we all learned more about Global Citizenship and what it means to be a Global Citizen. Ciara O Connor even mentioned that she could be a global citizen as she has travelled so much. We received videos from countries around the world such as China, Iceland, India, USA and Holland. Some of us then responded to make our own video explaining our views on global citizenship’. By Caitlin Browne & Matthew McNamee 

Creative Schools – AVS

Students from second year helped to create a display board this week to raise awareness of the creative schools project in our school. A special thanks to Ellie Campbell, Jenna Donavan, Seoda Wang and Grace Masterson.

Our creative schools associate from the Arts Council of Ireland, Ms Siobhan Sheils, has invited our whole school community to complete a google form as we collaborate ideas for our creative schools plan for the school year of 2021-2022. 

The links below are for students and parents. So if you have a few moments, we would really appreciate your information and input to the ‘Understand’ stage of our project. Click on the blue link to access the google form.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Students google form

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1wEyQSt2TCrf7PPPOHicunEaHA5HYeKBQ8okMcPHoCEY/edit

Parents/Guardians google form

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1p1QkbFIRiL0Y9rKipqeY2uXAbM1KrZ4ImDVTJBLnt-U/edit

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 17th May 2021

PowerPoint Presentation

AVS 10/5/21-16/5/21

The Masked singer

Over the coming week we will bring laughs and great entertainment to our school community. The staff of the Abbey Vocational School will be hosting their very own masked singer competition.

The first show will be launched on May 17th and the reveal show will be released on May 20th on our school Facebook page. All students and staff will have an opportunity to try and guess who all 8 of the contestants are on the 17th and 18th May through a Google form.

The masked singer is a top-secret singing competition in which 8 of the AVS staff face off against one another while shrouded from head to toe in elaborate costumes, concealing their identities. With each performance, the viewers are left guessing who the singer is behind the mask. The singers may attempt to throw off the crowd, but keen observers might pick up on tiny clues buried throughout the show.

Keep an eye out on our school social media this week to make sure you don’t miss this show, it is guaranteed to be a great evening of entertainment.

The Leaving Cert Garden

Pictured is the beautiful Leaving Cert Garden which has been created in the grounds of the Abbey Vocational School. Integral to the Leaving Cert garden is a pledge to our students “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams”. The garden follows the journey of Leaving Cert Students, with traditional plants representing the beginning of the students’ journey and with more diverse plantings symbolising the independence, confidence and individuality each student embraces on their journey through first year to sixth year!

Leaving Cert Graduation

On Friday the 14th of May we celebrated our Leaving Cert Class of 2021 with a virtual graduation in school. The ceremony celebrated the triumphs, challenges and inspiring stories of our Leaving Cert Students! Pictured is Leaving Cert Student Cormac MacSuibhne and his Mentor Ms O’Donnell.

The Abbey Vocational School has, for many years, had a mentoring programme in place where our Leaving Cert Students are guided and supported by a Mentor. This initiative has helped promote positivity and guidance to the AVS Leaving Cert Community. Our Leaving Cert Students have been through a difficult time during the past months but have always had the leadership and direction from the AVS Management and Staff. We wish them all the very best for the future!

Leaving Cert Awards 2021

This week the Abbey Vocational School held the AVS Awards Ceremony 2021. This event celebrates the academic achievement and involvement in extracurricular activities of Students in the AVS Community. Teachers nominate students from across a variety of categories in the school year. Congratulations to all our winners!

Pictured Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Head Boy and Head Girl – Roisin Feeney and Frank Duffy

The Cassidy/Brennan Creative Writing Award Winners – Rubymae Wann, Tom Daly and Shona Metcalfe O’Brien

Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Music – Kirsty Harron and Jenny Burns

Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Music – Luke Kelly

Pictured Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Virtual Choir – Katelyn Duffy, Mikaela McConnon, Roisin Feeney and India Kennedy

Pictured Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Music – Oisin O’Donnell and Jack Lennox

Pictured Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Athletics – Laoise McGonagle, Niamh Moohan and Eoin Sharkey

Pictured Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Boys Basketball – Christopher Darby, Ryan Coughlan, Evan Gallagher and Shane Meehan

Pictured Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Girls Basketball – Laoise McGonagle, Aoife Mackle, Annie McGroary and Aoife Greene

Pictured Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Boys GAA – Thomas White, Ethan Mangan, Alex McCalmont and Richard O’Rourke

Pictured Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Ladies GAA – Aoife Greene and Hannah Crawford

Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Vice Head Boy and Girl – Thomas White and Niamh Moohan

Pictured Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Prefects

Pictured Abbey Vocational School 2020/2021 Leaving Cert Awards – Class Captains

Science Department

Agricultural Science

Pictured are our AVS Ag Science Students who are under the guidance of Ms Feeney, working on their Ag Science Projects. Leaving Certificate agricultural science involves the study of the science and technology underlying the principles and practices of agriculture. It aims to develop knowledge, skills and attitudes that promote the sustainability of agricultural resources, and places emphasis on the managed use of these resources.

After School Science Club

The school runs an after school club that helps students research their science project and to write a project proposal so that they can enter both competitions – the selection process for BTYS is very rigorous.

Sometimes the hardest part of the 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.

Attendance

If a student is absent for any reason they must provide a note of explanation. The most convenient method for you to record this is through the VSware App/dashboard. When you log in you go to your son/daughter’s profile, go to the attendance section and the dates that require an explanation will be registered on your page. We only record full day absence through this facility. If you wish your son/daughter to sign out for a medical/dental appointment then this will continue as normal practice in the school journal where you write the note stating the time the student must leave the school and the time of return along with the reason for the departure. They will get this note signed by a Deputy Principal and they will then sign out at the main school office. No student can leave the building without it being recorded by the school office.

Music Department

IAYO’s Youth Orchestra Day of Celebration – Can you spot Onagh Mc Hugh and Nora Carr among the 250 players?

The premiere of the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras’ Youth Orchestra Day of Celebration took place on Sunday, 9 May 2021. Two of our students who are members of the Donegal Youth Orchestra, Onagh Mc Hugh (Clarinet) and Nora Carr (Flute) recorded at home along with 250 young musicians from throughout Ireland over the past twelve months. The finale of the celebration day was the premiere of the specially commissioned ‘Hope Springs Eternal’ composed by Vincent Kennedy.

Students and staff of the DETB have completed the virtual singing project ‘Alone with none but Thee, my God’. This is a new composition by Donegal ETB teacher Margaret Mc Ateer. The choral setting will be heard for the first time on the 9th June 2021 to celebrate the 1,500 anniversary of St Colmcille.  Soloists for the premiere performance will be the esteemed Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan,Lilis O Laoire and Maire Ni Bhrennan of Clannad.

Congratulations to Jack Lennox of 6th year who had his newly composed song ‘Morning Afters’ released on Music Solid Plugin Sessions. Jack is definitely an upcoming singer songwriter to look out for.  In the words of Ella Pearmain ‘Hell Yea!’.  Well done Jack.

Sixth year music students also prepared and recorded musical items for their Graduation Ceremony which was broadcast on Friday 14th May to the students.

Guidance Department

  1. The CAO Change of Mind opened on 05 May 2021.  CAO applicants have until 01 July 2021 @ 5.15 p.m. to make course changes. Further information is available from the student’s Guidance Counsellor.
  2. The SUSI (grant) application process for eligible Leaving Cert students opened on 22 April 2021.  Further information is available from the student’s Guidance Counsellor and via Google Classroom. Students are advised to submit their SUSI application as early as possible.
  3. Leaving Cert students should now be applying for any relevant scholarship(s) they may be eligible for. Further information is available during Guidance Class, via Google Classroom or contacting their Guidance Counsellor.
  4. Leaving Cert AND 5th Year 1:1 Guidance Meetings continue to be available.  Student’s should contact their Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction.
  5. Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen. 

Student Voice

The Student Council is working on a fun activity where they are putting together a display of celebrity lookalikes of our staff.  Keep an eye out for some A list celebs…as well as some other surprises that we are organising for our students during the final few weeks.

Outdoor Classrooms

Our AVS students enjoying the wonderful weather and embracing the outdoors!

The Abbey Vocational School Team has been very proactive in moving the classroom outdoors for the benefitof all stakeholders.

Transition Year

Transition Year Showcase 2021

During the coming weeks TYs will be working on the TransitionYear Virtual Showcase 2021 will take place in the presence of the virtual AVS community. The Transition Year Students will finish off an action-packed year on a high note with a magical night. A big thank you must go to the TY Coordinators Ms Rooney, Mr Hegarty, Ms Kelly & Ms O’Donnell for organising the event.   The Showcase will highlight the events, talks, activities, trips and outings the TY’s ventured on this year! The Sports Department will feature heavily with presentations on the many sporting activities experienced which included Zumba, self-defence, surfing. The Business department will also be well represented with topics such as the TY Business Academy, Enterprise Day, Mini Companies and the Enterprise Award.

Pictured are Emma Meehan, Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell, Fiachra O’Donnell, Niall Prendeville practising for the Transition Year Showcase!

Practising a scene from ‘Hamilton’ are Anna Mitchell, Erin Ryder & Emma Meehan.

This year the Transition Years were very busy participating in workshops as diverse as Public Speaking, Fintech & Amplify.

Young Social Innovators

Congratulations to TYC and their YSI project Unity in the Community who were shortlisted for the YSI Awards 2021 in their category – Make our Country More Inclusive and Poverty Free Challenge.

This is a fantastic achievement with nearly 200 teams entered in the competition. Ava McLoughlin, Molly Boyd, Jessica Gallagher, Roisin Gillespie and Shauna Doherty pitched to the YSI judges panel on behalf of the team on Monday 10th of May. The judges were very impressed with the work they have undertaken for the elderly in the community so far as part of their YSI project

Well Done to TYC on this fantastic initiative!

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards

Congratulations to Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell who have qualified for the National Final of the ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards which will be held on 26th May. Their project, Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma focuses on the importance of educating the nation on the detrimental impacts that our collective carbon footprint has on the environment. The aim is to eradicate the stigma and change people’s mindset altogether as without education on these matters change is not possible. We wish the girls every best wish for the 26th May.

You can listen to Erin and Anna as they discuss topical environmental issues, they have been involved with here;

Environmental School Podcast

Eco-Unesco Workshop

Transition Years enjoyed a workshop with Eco-Unesco. Eco-Unesco is a leading environmental education and youth organisation working to channel the passion, creativity and energy of young people into positive environmental action. Using a range of programmes and services Eco-Unesco inspires, educates, empowers and supports young people to act!

Architect in Schools

This week saw the conclusion of the Architects in Schools initiative which provides Transition Year students with first-hand experience of the design process under the guidance of architects and architectural graduates nationwide.  

This initiative was delivered in school by local architect and lecturer in LYIT, Anna Meehan. The Transition Year Students were posed the question, how could we make the Millcourt Carpark a more appealing and safe place for the local community?

The students worked exceptionally hard with their facilitator and the results speak for themselves. The finished model is to be presented to local County Councillors to try to make some of these changes happen.

Pictured are – Fiachra O’Donnell, Molly Boyd, Órla Kennedy, Skye Murrin, Sarah Donovan, Laura Lee Boyle, Sarah Canny, Lucy Erskine, Ódhran Gallagher and facilitator Anna Meehan.

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. This week students were busy recording choreography for this video edit. The piece is coming on really well and we are all excited to hear the final product on May 14th.

Student Enterprise Award

Congratulations to Ava McLoughlin in TYC who has won second place in the National Final of the NFTE Competition held on the 6th of May! Ava will be competing in the Student Enterprise National Final representing Donegal in the senior category on Friday the 14th of May. Ava’s business is titled ‘Irish Tweedscapes’. Her product offering is a frame with Irish design inside with Magee tweed. Ava’s product price is €15. She is a sole trader due to Covid so she has done all hard work by herself. Most recently she has sent one of her products to New Zealand. Ava sells her product by her Facebook and Instagram page Irish Tweedscapes. Ava has just launched a website this week where the product can be purchased from www.irishtweedscapes.com.

Pictured is AVS Student Ava McLoughlin.

SPORT

With the sun shining and the weather becoming milder, AVS Students have enjoyed many outdoor activities such as rounders!Playing sports links in with the Key Skills of Communication, Working with others and staying well!

Research has shown that open air activities and outdoor activities are beneficial for our students.

PE Department

All junior classes are taking part in athletic events this term. The top three students in each class event are recorded and the overall top three in the year group will be awarded a medal at prize giving. The students are really enjoying being out in the fresh air and utilising the schools excellent outdoor athletics facilities. There has been strong competition for medals in each event. Hopefully next year we will have our usual enjoyable whole school sports day.

Lunch Time Activities 2021

Lunch time activities resume on Monday the 26th.  Students have 10 minutes in their base rooms to eat their lunch before making their way to their selected activity, returning 10 minutes before the bell to get ready for class. A big thanks to all teachers assisting in getting students active during lunch. Any student wishing to join an activity should see Mr Maguire in room 40. 

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 10th May 2021

AVS Notes 26th April 2021 – 02nd May 2021

Feeling Good Week

This week the Abbey Vocational School celebrates “Feeling Good Week”.

Having had to adapt to a new way of working this year, the Abbey Vocational School Community has highlighted the importance of wellbeing and focused on strategies and activities which will support this, hence the ‘Feel Good Week’!

Wellbeing strategies have included outdoor activities and fresh air breaks to energise the AVS Community!

Classes have focused on mindfulness talks, workshops and speeches looking at our health and wellbeing! Classes have been encouraged to:

  • Active breaks/brain breaks – as an energiser & to help to re-energise!
  • Music in the classroom – music played while working on a task.
  • Inclusion – Active Schools Flag class will take students out to do scavenger hunts and walkway tasks.
  • Mindfulness colouring with music – as part of some downtime. Colour a bookmark etc.

History Essay Competition

Best of luck to 2nd Year student Grace Masterson who submitted her entry to the Department of Education ‘Decade of Centenaries’ History Essay Competition. Grace said this week “I entered an essay entitled ‘The fight for the Independence of Women and Ireland’ the competition. This competition was part of the Decade of Centuries event to celebrate Irish history during its revolutionary period which was from 1912 to 1922. My essay was entered into the Women’s history category as it was about influential women of that time such as Countess Markievicz and Maude Gone. I really enjoyed researching and writing this essay as the information was very interesting and I liked learning about a side of the revolutionary period of Ireland that I didn’t have a vast knowledge about”.

The History Department wishes Grace every success!

New Facilities at the AVS

During the coming weeks the Abbey Vocational School’s innovative & modern new facilities and extension will be contracted to the lowest tender received after being granted approval from the Dept of Education.

These works consist of the new ASD Support Facility, 6 new general classrooms, a new roof covering for a large area of the school, fire safety improvement works throughout the school and new Tennis/BBall courts.  The new premier model and design will house top of the range facilities for our students in the AVS Community! The development will take several stages such as;

  •  Site Establishment
  •  Demolition/Groundworks/Drainage
  •  Build structure/Roofing/External Finishes
  •  Internal Renovation and Remodelling
  •  Services, Internal Fitout and Finishes

AVS Virtual Awards Ceremony

At this time of year the Abbey Vocational School is busy preparing for the AVS Awards Ceremony, which is an event to celebrate the academic achievement and involvement in extracurricular activities of Students in the AVS Community. Teachers will nominate students from the Abbey Vocational School across a variety of categories in the school year. This year due to the pandemic the ceremonies will take place within each year groups and will be lived streamed to their classrooms during the day. Good luck to all our outstanding students!

Science Department

After School Science Club

The school runs an after school club that helps students research their science project and to write a project proposal so that they can enter both competitions – the selection process for BTYS is very rigorous.

Sometimes the hardest part of the 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.

AVS Student Jack Myers Interviews Roddy Doyle

Pictured are the author Roddy Doyle, a Read DL Committee Member and winners Primary School Student Evie O’Donnell and AVS Student Jack Myers, who this week interviewed the author Roddy Doyle about his novel “Brilliant” for the grand finale of the Read Online Mini Festival 2021. Read DL is a county-wide reading movement, designed to bring the people of Donegal together by collectively reading the same book. The aims of the Read DL project are to: Improve literacy skills and foster a love of reading, entice people, young and old, to read more and encourage the entire community to read the same book, share ideas and to broaden and expand their viewpoints. Well done Jack!

Leaving Certificate Garden

Pictured is our P.E. Teacher Mr O’Mahony who has a great interest in horticulture and has been collaborating with our AVS LCA Students, Practical Teachers and our Wellbeing Committee to produce the Leaving Cert Garden. During this final term, the school has been working on the Leaving Certificate Garden, which is being created in honour of our Leaving Cert Students. The garden follows the journey of Leaving Cert Students, with traditional plants representing the beginning of the students’ journey and with more diverse plantings symbolising the independence, confidence and individuality each student embraces on their journey through first year to sixth year!

Leaving Cert Graduation

On May 14th we will celebrate our Leaving Cert Class of 2021 with a virtual graduation in school during the school day. Here we will look back on all the memories we have of the last 5 or 6 years that the students have spent here in the school.

Attendance

If a student is absent for any reason they must provide a note of explanation. The most convenient method for you to record this is through the VSware App/dashboard. When you log in you go to your son/daughter’s profile, go to the attendance section and the dates that require an explanation will be registered on your page. We only record full day absence through this facility. If you wish your son/daughter to sign out for a medical/dental appointment then this will continue as normal practice in the school journal where you write the note stating the time the student must leave the school and the time of return along with the reason for the departure. They will get this note signed by a Deputy Principal and they will then sign out at the main school office. No student can leave the building without it being recorded by the school office.

After School Study

The new session is now running from Monday the 26th April to Thursday the 27th May. If you need a form to register for this session please see Ms Mohan. This is a great opportunity for students who benefit from the opportunity of having a supervised study session.

Music Department

Music students from 1st to 6th year have been invited to participate in a virtual choir of students and staff of the DETB singing a hymn called ‘Alone with none but Thee, my God’. This is a new composition by Donegal ETB teacher Margaret Mc Ateer. The choral setting will be heard for the first time on the 9th June 2021 to celebrate the 1,500 anniversary of St Colmcille.  Soloists for the premiere performance will be the esteemed Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan,Lilis O Laoire and Maire Ni Bhrennan of Clannad.

The event offers our students and staff an opportunity to mark this significant anniversary in a meaningful way which will be part of the archives forevermore.

Students and staff from almost all of the 17 DETB schools and centres.

Sixth year music students’ prepared musical items for their Graduation Ceremony which was recorded on Friday. 

Guidance Department

  1. The SUSI (grant) application process for eligible Leaving Cert students opened on 22 April 2021.  Students will be provided with further detail during Guidance Class and via Google Classroom. Students are advised to submit their SUSI application as early as possible.
  2. Leaving Cert students should now be applying for any relevant scholarship(s) they may be eligible for. Further information is available during Guidance Class, via Google Classroom or contacting their Guidance Counsellor.
  3. Leaving Cert AND 5th Year 1:1 Guidance Meetings continue to be available.  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. 

Student Voice

The Student Council is working on a fun activity where they are putting together a display of celebrity lookalikes of our staff.  Keep an eye out for some A list celebs…as well as some other surprises that we are organising for our students during the final few weeks.

Wellbeing

The Masked singer

Over the coming weeks we will bring laughs and great entertainment to our school community. The staff of the Abbey Vocational School will be hosting their very own masked singer competition.

The first show will be launched on May 17th and the reveal show will be released on May 20th on our school Facebook page. All students will have an opportunity to try and guess who all 8 of the contestants are on the 17th and 18th May through a google form.

The masked singer is a top-secret singing competition in which 8 of the AVS staff face off against one another while shrouded from head to toe in elaborate costumes, concealing their identities. With each performance, the viewers are left guessing who the singer is behind the mask. The singers may attempt to throw off the crowd, but keen observers might pick up on tiny clues buried throughout the show.

Keep an eye out on our school social media over the next few weeks in the lead up to the show, so make sure you don’t miss this show, it is guaranteed to be a great evening of entertainment.

Meet all 8 off our contestants below:

Wellbeing Initiative

Positive Points Leaderboard

The School Positive Points Initiative was established by the AVS Wellbeing Committee who wanted to provide a platform to highlight positive behaviour. This positive behaviour is acknowledged and encouraged by the Teachers and Staff in the school and rewarded by the School Positive Points System. Well done and congratulations to 1A positive points winners for 2020/2021! The class group received the most positive comments from the teaching staff. Students were acknowledged for their hard work, effort and positive attitude towards school life. The class celebrated their success by having a “socially distanced” party in the gym.

Social Media

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

Positive Quotes

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

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

Transition Year

Architect in Schools

The Architects in Schools initiative provides Transition Year students with first-hand experience of the design process under the guidance of architects and architectural graduates nationwide.  

This initiative was devised and is delivered by the Irish Architecture Foundation.

The Transition Year Students gain knowledge, experience and knowhow from this exciting programme. Architects work with schools to facilitate design workshops with student groups in 25 schools across Ireland. This initiative builds on five years of successful schools programming from the Irish Architecture Foundation and provides students with the opportunity to develop an appreciation of architecture and design, learn a variety of new skills and gain insight to the professional life of designers and architects. Participating architects are recruited and mentored by the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) and placed in schools to devise and facilitate workshops in collaboration with teachers.

Pictured are TY Architecture Students Molly Boyd and Syke Murrin!

DICE

Design Innovation Creativity and Enterprise and Initiative or DICE, believes that designers and creative thinkers can bring real value and growth to business, helping them to communicate with clarity and impact, identifying opportunities and innovation

A group of our TY students will work in groups to create a product, service or event to a target market, under the guidance of lecturers from LYIT and teachers from the AVS. Over the course of DICE, an eclectic mix of speakers working across animation, fashion, film and broadcast media, graphic and design, innovation and design thinking share their creative process and demonstrate the value they bring to business and society at large! Well done to our Transition Year Students who will take part in this wonderful programme!

Transition Year Showcase 2021

During the coming weeks TYs will be working on the Transition Year Virtual Showcase 2021 will take place in the presence of the virtual AVS community. The Transition Year Students will finish off an action-packed year on a high note with a magical night. A big thank you must go to the TY Coordinators Ms Rooney, Mr Hegarty, Ms Kelly & Ms O’Donnell for organising the event.   The Showcase will highlight the events, talks, activities, trips and outings the TY’s ventured on this year!

Pictured are our TYs feeling energetic, working on their Drama Song Piece from ‘Hamilton’ which will be shown in our TY Showcase!

The Sports Department will feature heavily with presentations on the many sporting activities experienced which included Zumba, self-defence, surfing. The Business department will also be well represented with topics such as the TY Business Academy, Enterprise Day, Mini Companies and the Enterprise Award.

This year the Transition Years were very busy participating in workshops as diverse as Public Speaking, Fintech & Amplify. Many of the highlights the amazing workshops, talks and courses the students have taken part in this year. These include;

  • Young Social Innovators
  • Music Production
  • Architect in School Programme
  • Active Schools Training
  • Mini Company
  • Foroige
  • NIFTY
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Environmental Project
  • Surfing
  • Yoga
  • Fitness
  • Zeeko
  • Creative Workshop
  • Amplify
  • Gartan Trip
  • Donegal Castle History Trip
  • Bluestack Walk

Young Social Innovators

Congratulations to TYC and their YSI project Unity in the Community who were shortlisted for the YSI Awards 2021 this week in their category – Make our Country More Inclusive and Poverty Free Challenge.

This is a fantastic achievement with nearly 200 teams entered in the competition. The team will now pitch to a panel of judges on the 10th of May before the final on the 17th of May.

We wish the team the best of luck!

Transition Year Cycling Workshop

On Thursday TY Students enjoyed a fun filled cycling workshop, looking at the mechanics of bicycles, how best to maintain them and the benefits of cycling. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment. Riding to work or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. An estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation and sport. Our TY’s have been inspired and encouraged to cycle regularly to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, both physically and emotionally!

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 on May 14th.

 Bridge BeyondGlobal Citizenship

‘During our course doing a Bridge Beyond Project we received many videos from different people around the world telling us their views on Global Citizenship. We watched all the videos during our sessions with Cheylene and now we have recorded our responses explaining our views on Global Citizenship and what it means to us.

We have learned so much about Global Citizenship from watching these videos. We never knew how much people care about being a Global citizen and how it affects their lives every day. We learned that we can all be global citizens and help people that are less fortunate than us. We understand what it means to be a Global Citizen.

We had videos sent to us from China, India, Iceland, Holland and America. We have loved hearing other people’s view of global citizenship and we find them so inspiring. Global citizenship is the solution to so many problems in our lives today that are so easy to fix if we all tried together. We are all on this planet together and if we all work together we can achieve so much in this world.

From these videos we have become more self-aware and we are able to understand how different people around the world handle what is happening on the earth today. Now that we know other countries’ opinions on the situation we can use this and help educate everyone around us on the need of global citizenship and how important it is for our survival on this big planet that we all share’.  By Caitlin Browne & Matthew McNamee

Student Enterprise Award

Congratulations to Ava McLoughlin in TYC who has won second place in the National Final of the NFTE Competition held on the 6th of May! Ava will be competing in the Student Enterprise National Final representing Donegal in the Senior category on Friday the 14th of May. Ava’s business is titled ‘Irish Tweedscapes’. Her product offering is a frame with Irish design inside with Magee tweed. Ava’s product price is €15. She is a sole trader due to Covid so she has done all hard work by herself. Most recently she has sent one of her products to New Zealand. Ava sells her product by her Facebook and Instagram page Irish Tweedscapes. Ava has just launched a website this week where the product can be purchased from www.irishtweedscapes.com.

Irish Tweedscapes.

Environmental Project: The Young Environmentalist Awards

The Young Environmentalist Awards Semi-Finals took place all throughout last week on zoom. Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell presented their project ‘Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma’ to the panel of environmental experts on Thursday 29th of April.

“Firstly we presented our action project to a few of the eco-unesco staff members who gave us really useful feedback, mock questions and overall made us feel relaxed prior to presenting to the panel. The whole process was great and the judges were super supportive. Our presentation consisted of an introduction to who we are and why we have a passion for sustainability and the environment, what problem are we addressing, what research we carried out, statistics, our proposal to politicians and the feedback we received, what action we have taken and our future plans. We are so excited to see where our project will lead us next!”

The results of the semi-finals will be announced in a few week’s time.

Erin and Anna also appeared on Community Radio Kilkenny City where presenter Maurice O’Connor interviewed them. They discussed ECO-UNESCO’s ‘Eco Week’ and they also discussed Erin and Anna’s project. 

School Podcast

You can listen to our TY students Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell as they discuss topical environmental issues, they have been involved with here;

Environmental School Podcast

SPORT

With the sun shining and the weather becoming milder, AVS Students have enjoyed many outdoor activities such as rounders!

Playing sports links in with the Key Skills of Communication, Working with others and staying well!

Research has shown that open air activities and outdoor activities are beneficial for our students.

PE Department

All junior classes are taking part in athletic events this term. The top three students in each class event are recorded and the overall top three in the year group will be awarded a medal at prize giving. The students are really enjoying being out in the fresh air and utilising the schools excellent outdoor athletics facilities. There has been strong competition for medals in each event. Hopefully next year we will have our usual enjoyable whole school sports day.

Lunch Time Activities 2021

Lunch time activities resume on Monday the 26th.  Students have 10 minutes in their base rooms to eat their lunch before making their way to their selected activity, returning 10 minutes before the bell to get ready for class.  A big thanks to all teachers assisting in getting students active during lunch.  Any student wishing to join an activity should see Mr Maguire in room 40. 

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 3rd May 21

AVS 26/4/21-2/5/21

National Workplace Wellbeing Day 2021

This week the Abbey Vocational School celebrated National Workplace Wellbeing Day. On both an individual employee level and in an organisational context, it’s significance has never been greater than now in the present COVID-19 year of work.

The AVS celebrated National Workplace Wellbeing Day by sharing a wonderful  video which was created by the students to thank all of the staff for all they do for the students. 

AVS Daffodil Day Donations

Congratulations to our fifth year students Rebecca Morrow & Eilish Mc Grory presenting the money they raised for @IrishCancerSoc on Daffodil Day to fellow 5th year student Ross O’Keeney. The Abbey Vocational School Community is immensely proud of AVS Student Ross O’Keeney 5G, who has seen his online birthday donations surpass 40,600 Euro in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. You can donate at;  Irish Cancer Society

New Facilities at the AVS

During the coming weeks the Abbey Vocational School’s innovative & modern new facilities and extension will be contracted to the lowest tender received after being granted approval from the Dept of Education.

 These works consist of the new ASD Support Facility, 6 new general classrooms, a new roof covering for a large area of the school, fire safety improvement works throughout the school and new Tennis/BBall courts.

The new premier model and design will house top of the range facilities for our students in the AVS Community!

The development will take several stages such as;#

  • Site Establishment
  • Demolition/Groundworks/Drainage
  • Build structure/Roofing/External Finishes
  • Internal Renovation and Remodelling
  • Services, Internal Fitout and Finishes

AVS Virtual Awards Ceremony

At this time of year the Abbey Vocational School is busy preparing for the AVS Awards Ceremony, which is an event to celebrate the academic  achievement and involvement in  extracurricular activities of Students in the AVS Community. Teachers will nominate students from the Abbey Vocational School across a variety of categories in the school year. This year due to the pandemic the ceremonies will take place within each year groups and will be lived streamed to their classrooms during the day. Good luck to all our outstanding students!

Science Department

After School Science Club

The school runs an after school club that helps students research their science project and to write a project proposal so that they can enter both competitions – the selection process for BTYS is very rigorous.

Sometimes the hardest part of the 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.

Attendance

If a student is absent for any reason they must provide a note of explanation. The most convenient method for you to record this is through the VSware App/dashboard. When you log in you go to your son/daughter’s profile, go to the attendance section and the dates that require an explanation will be registered on your page. We only record full day absence through this facility. If you wish your son/daughter to sign out for a medical/dental appointment then this will continue as normal practice in the school journal where you write the note stating the time the student must leave the school and the time of return along with the reason for the departure. They will get this note signed by a Deputy Principal and they will then sign out at the main school office. No student can leave the building without it being recorded by the school office.

After School Study

The new session is now  running  from Monday the 26th April to Thursday the 27th May. If you need a form to register for this session please see Ms Mohan. This is a great opportunity for students who benefit from the opportunity of having a supervised study session.

Music Department

Music students from 1st to 6th year have been invited to participate in a virtual choir of students and staff of the DETB singing a hymn called ‘Alone with none but Thee, my God’. This is a new composition by Donegal ETB teacher Margaret Mc Ateer. The choral setting will be heard for the first time on the 9th June 2021 to celebrate the 1,500 anniversary of St Colmcille.  Soloists for the premiere performance will be the esteemed Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan,Lilis O Laoire and Maire Ni Bhrennan of Clannad.

The event offers our students and staff an opportunity to mark this significant anniversary in a meaningful way which will be part of the archives forevermore.

Our second virtual rehearsal took place on Monday 25th April.  Next rehearsal is Tuesday and we will be given information about how to record from home.  Students and staff from almost all of the 17 DETB schools and centres.

Sixth year music students are now preparing musical items for their Graduation Ceremony.

Donegal Garda Youth Awards 2021

A huge congratulations to TYC and their teacher Ms. Kelly on their Donegal Garda Youth Awards nomination for making a positive contribution to their local community with their Young Social Innovators Project Unity in the Community. It is a fantastic achievement for all involved and we are very proud of you here at the AVS.

Well done also to Molly Boyd who received an individual nomination from a member of the public for her involvement in the YSI project and highlighted for making our community a better place to live.

An Garda Síochána in Donegal and the Joint Policing Committee recognise that young people throughout the County of Donegal have been involved in good and positive endeavours locally. The Donegal Garda Youth Awards reward those young people who by their presence make their communities a better place to live in. Well done to our AVS Students!

Guidance Department

  1. The SUSI (grant) application process for eligible Leaving Cert students opened on 22 April 2021.  Students will be provided with further detail during Guidance Class and via Google Classroom. Students are advised to submit their SUSI application as early as possible.
  2. Leaving Cert students should now be applying for any relevant scholarship(s) they may be eligible for. Further information is available during Guidance Class, via Google Classroom or contacting their Guidance Counsellor.
  3. Leaving Cert AND 5th Year 1:1 Guidance Meetings continue to be available.  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. 

Student Voice

The Student Council is working on a fun activity where they are putting together a display of celebrity lookalikes of our staff.  Keep an eye out for some A list celebs!

Wellbeing

The Masked singer

Over the coming weeks we will bring laughs and great entertainment to our school community. The staff of the Abbey Vocational School will be hosting their very own masked singer competition.

The masked singer is a top-secret singing competition in which 8 of the AVS staff  face off against one another while shrouded from head to toe in elaborate costumes, concealing their identities. With each performance, the viewers are left guessing who the singer is behind the mask. The singers may attempt to throw off the crowd, but keen observers might pick up on tiny clues buried throughout the show.

Keep an eye out on our school social media over the next few weeks in the lead up to the show, so make sure you don’t miss this show, it is guaranteed to be a great evening of entertainment.

Wellbeing Initiative

Positive Points Leader board

The School Positive Points Initiative was established by the AVS Wellbeing Committee who wanted to provide a platform to highlight positive behaviour. This positive behaviour is acknowledged and encouraged by the Teachers and Staff in the school and rewarded by the School Positive Points System. The leaders in positive points class competition for first and second year are: 1G and 2C. Well done!

Social Media

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

Positive Quotes

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

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

1st Year

For the next number of weeks all our 1st year students will be working on the settling back in programme during their wellbeing classes. This will help our students adjust back into the school building after the last term of home-schooling.

2nd Year

For the final term our second year students will participate in DCUs anti bullying programme FUSE. FUSE is an anti-bullying and online safety programme developed by the Anti-Bullying Research and Resource centre in DCU, supported by Facebook. The programme launched in September 2019 across Ireland.

FUSE is grounded in Irish and international best practice research, consisting of a series of workshops and projects aimed at 2nd Year Students in Junior Cycle.

TRANSITION YEAR

Donegal ICT/Fintech Talk

This week Transition Year Students in the AVS had a Fintech Talk. Fintech stands for Financial Technology and is used to describe new tech that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services.

The world of finance has transformed tremendously in recent years with the rapid evolution of technology birthing the new domain of fintech—the intersection where financial services and technology converge. … Fintech careers are emerging to help the industry reach new heights and drive organizational change.

Transition Year Showcase 2021

During the coming weeks TYs will be working on the Transition Year Virtual Showcase 2021 will take place in the presence of the virtual AVS community. The Transition Year Students will finish off an action-packed year on a high note with a magical night. A big thank you must go to the TY Coordinators Ms Rooney, Mr Hegarty, Ms Kelly & Ms O’Donnell for organising the event.   The Showcase will highlight the events, talks, activities, trips and outings the TY’s ventured on this year!

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

This year the Transition Years were very busy participating in workshops as diverse as Public Speaking, Fintech & Amplify. Health and Safety will feature on the night with speeches regarding R.S.E., Sea Safety, Healthy Schools, Webwise Internet Safety and the Active Schools Programme. Many of the highlights the amazing workshops, talks and courses the students have taken part in this year. These include;

  • Young Social Innovators
  • Music Production
  • Architect in School Programme
  • Active Schools Training
  • Mini Company
  • Foroige
  • NIFTY
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Environmental Project
  • Surfing
  • Yoga
  • Fitness
  • Zeeko
  • Creative Workshop
  • Amplify
  • Gartan Trip
  • Donegal Castle History Trip
  • Bluestack Walk

Young Social Innovators

Congratulations to TYC and their YSI project Unity in the Community who were shortlisted for the YSI Awards 2021 this week in their category – Make our Country More Inclusive and Poverty Free Challenge.

This is a fantastic achievement with nearly 200 teams entered in the competition. The team will now pitch to a panel of judges on the 10th of May before the final on the 17th of May.

We wish the team the best of luck!

Transition Year Cycling Workshop

On Thursday TY Students enjoyed a fun filled cycling workshop, looking at the mechanics of bicycles, how best to maintain them and the benefits of cycling. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment. Riding to work or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. An estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation and sport. Our TY’s have been inspired and encouraged to cycle regularly to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, both physically and emotionally!

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 on May 14th.

Student Enterprise Award

Congratulations to Ava McLoughlin in TYC who has won the next stage of the NFTE competition and is competing in the National final on the 6th of May! She won 1st place in the senior category for the Student Enterprise Programme in the Donegal county final, she will be in the National final  on the 14th of May!

Her business is Irish Tweedscapes . Her product offering is a frame with Irish design inside with Magee tweed. Ava’s product price is €15. She is a sole trader due to Covid so she has done all hard work by herself. Most recently she has sent one of her products to New Zealand. Ava sells her product by her Facebook and Instagram page Irish Tweedscapes.

Recently Ava got a mention in the Sunday world magazine for top 4 valentines gift in Ireland along with numerous influencers including 2fm and Today FM radio presenters.

Irish Tweedscapes.

Environmental Project

School Podcast

You can listen to our TY students Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell as they discuss topical environmental issues, they have been involved with here;

Environmental School Podcast

Young Environmentalist Awards

Erin and Anna’s environmental project ‘Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma’ is through to the semi-finals of ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards. Their project focuses on the detrimental impacts that our collective carbon footprint has on the environment and they are developing a ‘Climate Education Scheme’ to educate our nation on the impacts that our daily actions ultimately have on the environment and offer sustainable alternatives. They have started an Instagram page @avsclimatechange in which they actively post about sustainability and update their followers on what they are up to and how their project is going.  They also recently appeared on RTÉ Junior’s ‘Ecolution’ Podcast to discuss the government’s new Climate Action Bill with other young activists.

https://www.rte.ie/learn/home-school-hub/2021/0330/1207024-ecolution-young-activists-discuss-the-climate-action-bill/

Their semi-final presentation occurred this week on Thursday the 29th of April. They have also been selected to create a video for ECO-UNESCO’s Instagram (@ecounesco) in which they promote ‘Eco Week’ which is a series of online presentations delivered by experts for young people to learn about sustainability topics such as fast-fashion, marine life awareness, biodiversity and energy consumption.

Pictured are Anna Mitchell and Erin Ryder.

CIF Challenge Online Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to the AVS team Molly Boyd, Sarah Foy, Luke Given, Amir Mavlyutov and Matthew Byrne who were shortlisted as one of the top seven entries, in the country, in this year’s Construction Industry Federation Challenge. Congratulations to our students who attended the online awards ceremony this week on Friday the 30th of April, where our students’ hard work was acknowledged by industry leaders.

SPORT

With the sun shining and the weather becoming milder, AVS Students have enjoyed many outdoor activities such as rounders!

Playing sports links in with the Key Skills of Communication, Working With Others and Staying Well!

Research has shown that open air activities and outdoor activities are beneficial for our students.

PE Department

All junior classes are taking part in athletic events this term. The top three students in each class event are recorded and the overall top three in the year group will be awarded a medal at prize giving. The students are really enjoying being out in the fresh air and utilising the schools excellent outdoor athletics facilities. There has been strong competition for medals in each event. Hopefully next year we will have our usual enjoyable whole school sports day.

Lunch Time Activities 2021

Lunch time activities resume on Monday the 26th.  Students have 10 minutes in their base rooms to eat their lunch before making their way to their selected activity, returning 10 minutes before the bell to get ready for class.  A big thanks to all teachers assisting in getting students active during lunch.  Any student wishing to join an activity should see Mr Maguire in room 40. 

Hand Hygiene

Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 26th April 2021

19th April to 25th April 2021

Competition Winner Jack Myers

Congratulations to AVS Student Jack Myers who read the chosen novel  “Brilliant” for the Read Online Mini Festival 2021. Read DL is a county-wide reading movement, designed to bring the people of Donegal together by collectively reading the same book. The aims of the Read DL project are to: Improve literacy skills and foster a love of reading, entice people, young and old, to read more and encourage the entire community to read the same book, share ideas and to broaden and expand their viewpoints.

Jack submitted a  video of himself, explaining the themes of the novel that appealed to him and why he wanted to interview Roddy Doyle. Jack was notified that  he was the competition winner and he will get the opportunity to interview Roddy Doyle , Wednesday 28th April! The interview will be  broadcast on Read DL website on Friday 30th April . The link for Read DL website;

Donegal Garda Youth Awards

Congratulations to our TYC Unity in the Community project who received a certificate this week for their nomination to the Donegal Garda Youth Awards. They were awarded for making a positive contribution to their local community as a group.

Molly Boyd also received an individual award for her contribution to this initiative and was nominated by a member of the public.

We are extremely proud of all students involved.

Science Department

Scifest@College 2021

Congratulations to Eadaoin Murphy, Joseph Woods, Jane Faulkner, Amy McGroary, Jayne Glenn and Grace Masterson for entering their BTYS projects into SciFest@College 2021. The SciFest programme usually consists of a series of regional one-day STEM fairs for second-level students at Institutes of Technology, TU Dublin, DCU and St Mary’s College, Derry. The aim of the programme is to encourage an interest in, and love of, the STEM subjects through the provision of a forum for students at regional level to present and display their scientific investigations. SciFest@College also affords students the opportunity to visit a third-level college, view the facilities and get information on the various STEM courses available. Unfortunately, this year the competition will once again take place online with students uploading the project booklet and diaries online and presenting their findings via video. The students are looking forward to sharing their project expertise with another set of judges and representing the AVS and South West Donegal at this important STEM event.

After School Science Club

The school runs an after school club that helps students research their science project and to write a project proposal so that they can enter both competitions – the selection process for BTYS is very rigorous.

Sometimes the hardest part of the 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.

Attendance

If a student is absent for any reason they must provide a note of explanation. The most convenient method for you to record this is through the VSware App/dashboard. When you log in you go to your son/daughter’s profile, go to the attendance section and the dates that require an explanation will be registered on your page. We only record full day absence through this facility. If you wish your son/daughter to sign out for a medical/dental appointment then this will continue as normal practice in the school journal where you write the note stating the time the student must leave the school and the time of return along with the reason for the departure. They will get this note signed by a Deputy Principal and they will then sign out at the main school office. No student can leave the building without it being recorded by the school office.

After School Study

The new session will run from Monday the 26th April to Thursday the 27th May. If you need a form to register for this session please see Ms Mohan. This is a great opportunity for students who benefit from the opportunity of having a supervised study session.

Music Department

Music students from 1st to 6th year have been invited to participate in a virtual choir of students and staff of the DETB singing a hymn called ‘Alone with none but Thee, my God’. This is a new composition by Donegal ETB teacher Margaret Mc Ateer. The choral setting will be heard for the first time on the 9th June 2021 to celebrate the 1,500 anniversary of St Colmcille.  Soloists for the premiere performance will be the esteemed Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan,Lilis O Laoire and Maire Ni Bhrennan of Clannad.

 The event offers our students and staff an opportunity to mark this significant anniversary in a meaningful way which will be part of the archives forevermore.

Our first virtual rehearsal took place on Monday 19th April.  Students and staff from almost all of the 17 DETB schools and centres. If any student would like to participate, please see one of the music teachers to get music and link for rehearsal on Monday 26th.

Sixth year music students are now preparing musical items for their Graduation Ceremony.

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 opened on 22 April 2021.  Students will be provided with further detail during Guidance Class and via Google Classroom. Students are advised to submit their SUSI application as early as possible.
  3. Leaving Cert students should now be applying for any relevant scholarship(s) they may be eligible for. Further information is available during Guidance Class, via Google Classroom or contacting their Guidance Counsellor.
  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. 

Student Voice

The focus of the Student Council this term is to support the return to school of all of our students, uniform and Active School Flag. 

The Council held a meeting on Tuesday 19th April where they discussed many issues representing the student voice in our school. They are working on 2 projects to bring some fun to the final month of school and are bringing their proposals to Ms Diver for confirmation of their plans.

Sarah Canny addressed the meeting to remind the council of the great work of the Donegal Youth Council.  The link between our council and the DYC is à very important support for our Student Voice

Two of our students have registered their interest in the upcoming elections for positions on the ISSU as Welfare Officer (India Kennedy) and Student Council Support Officer (Sarah Canny).  The AGM of the ISSU will take place on Sunday May 9th and four of our council will attend, 2 voting and 2 observing delegates.

Wellbeing

The Masked singer

Over the coming weeks we will bring laughs and great entertainment to our school community. The staff of the Abbey Vocational School will be hosting their very own masked singer competition.

The masked singer is a top-secret singing competition in which 8 of the AVS staff  face off against one another while shrouded from head to toe in elaborate costumes, concealing their identities. With each performance, the viewers are left guessing who the singer is behind the mask. The singers may attempt to throw off the crowd, but keen observers might pick up on tiny clues buried throughout the show.

Keep an eye out on our school social media over the next few weeks in the lead up to the show, so make sure you don’t miss this show, it is guaranteed to be a great evening of entertainment.

Wellbeing Initiative

The Abbey Vocational School is delighted to have all of our students back at school together to complete the phased return process. To celebrate this, we have undertaken site works throughout the school grounds to enhance the positive atmosphere and imbue the school ethos.

The Abbey Vocational School Mission Statement underpins the values of wellbeing; ‘The Abbey Vocational School is dedicated to the holistic development of students in a caring environment where tolerance and respect are nurtured and valued’.

Pictured is P.E. Teacher Ivan O’Mahony, who is collaborating with the Wellbeing Committee to enhance the beauty of our surroundings as we enter our final term! Beautiful plants and flowers grace our newly up-styled garden area courtesy of the Wellbeing Committee!

Freshly painted benches and planter boxes bursting with flowers throughout our garden area, thanks to the Wellbeing Committee.

A myriad of colours greet our students as they enter our garden area, a haven to think in and to relax and enjoy! A huge thankyou must go to our Wellbeing Committee for all their efforts!

Positive Points Leaderboard

The School Positive Points Initiative was established by the AVS Wellbeing Committee who wanted to provide a platform to highlight positive behaviour. This positive behaviour is acknowledged and encouraged by the Teachers and Staff in the school and rewarded by the School Positive Points System. The leaders in positive points class competition for first and second year are: 1G and 2C. Well done!

Social Media

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

Positive Quotes

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

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

1st Year

For the next number of weeks all our 1st year students will be working on the settling back in programme during their wellbeing classes. This will help our students adjust back into the school building after the last term of homeschooling.

2nd Year

For the final term our second year students will participate in DCUs anti bullying programme FUSE. FUSE is an anti-bullying and online safety programme developed by the Anti-Bullying Research and Resource centre in DCU, supported by Facebook. The programme launched in September 2019 across Ireland.

FUSE is grounded in Irish and international best practice research, consisting of a series of workshops and projects aimed at 2nd Year Students in Junior Cycle.

Transition Year

Transition Year Showcase

During the coming weeks Transition Year Students will be focusing on their end of year showcase, which highlights the amazing workshops, talks and courses the students have taken part in this year. These include;

  • Young Social Innovators
  • Music Production
  • Architect in School Programme
  • Active Schools Training
  • Mini Company
  • Foroige
  • NIFTY
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Environmental Project
  • Surfing
  • Yoga
  • Fitness
  • Zeeko
  • Creative Workshop
  • Amplify
  • Gartan Trip
  • Donegal Castle History Trip
  • Bluestack Walk

Road Safety Workshop

Transition Year Students engaged in a Road Safety Workshop this week, educating students about road safety. Education plays an important role in empowering our students, to increase safety on the roads and reduce accidents on Irish roads. Raising awareness and increasing understanding of road safety issues among students is one of the primary targets of the RSA’s action plan.

Since the Strategy was published in 2007, the RSA has implemented a comprehensive integrated road safety education programme in pre-school, primary, post-primary, third level and in the community. This has been done in partnership with many organisations including the Department of Education & Science, An Garda Síochána, the Health & Safety Authority and the Higher Education Authority.

The workshop covers such issues as seatbelts and airbags, driver fatigue, drink/drug driving, road-safety engineering and enforcement, basic first aid at road crashes, emergency services and rehabilitation, licensing and insurance issues, the NCT, purchasing a car and driving abroad. Relevant driver theory test content is included at the end of each module.

“On Monday TYA and TYB did a driving workshop, it was really interesting. The day was split into two, looking at the theory aspect and also the practical aspect. In the morning we were split into 3 groups, one group of 8 learning how to drive, one group learning how to change a tyre and the other group using “drunk goggles”. The group that were learning how to drive sat in the car with a qualified driving instructor and drove 2 laps around the all weather pitch. It was a fantastic experience, helping us to understand the workings of a car and road safety. Learning how to change a tyre was brilliant as it is something very practical which we will need to know for the future! We studied the mechanics of the different parts under the bonnet, the equipment used to change a tyre and how to actually change the tyre!

Using the ‘drunk goggles’ was fascinating as we had to try and walk in a straight line with the goggles on then took part in a game of football with the goggles on to show the effects of alcohol!

The second half of the day was spent inside doing theory tests and learning about insurance, buying cars and what to look for when buying a used car. The workshop was invaluable to us as it was practical, interesting and very relevant to us future road users!”.

By Orlaith Conaghan & Sofia Maziri.  

Transition Year Cycling Workshop

On Thursday TY Students enjoyed a fun filled cycling workshop, looking at the mechanics of bicycles, how best to maintain them and the benefits of cycling. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment. Riding to work or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. An estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation and sport. Our TY’s have been inspired and encouraged to cycle regularly to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, both physically and emotionally!

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 on May 14th.

‘The Warm Up

For the warm up we did various different vocal and rhythmic exercises for our warm up. Some of the warm up exercises were led by the instructor, we also nominated different people in our group to lead the exercises.

One of the vocal exercises was an exercise where you had to follow the hand as the pitch hand, which meant that when the hand went up the pitch followed and vice versa. For the noise we made a buzzing sound to imitate a bee. This was a good sound to choose because it doesn’t matter which the key you choose.

One of our rhythmic exercises was following the clap or click. For this we had a leader at the top of the class who would try to get us to clap or click at the same time as her but they could not speak it was all to do with reading the leaders body language. The overall point of this exercise was to get everything on time.

I really enjoyed this part as it was a good way to wake us up in the morning for a long day of creating.

The Creating

Our first task of the day was making lyrics, fixing up the music and finding melody’s that would match with our lyrics.

We were split into three different groups and I was put into the music fixing group. We singled out the individual tracks in our piece and split them into different categories. We split them into:

  • Tracks we liked
  • Tracks we disliked
  • Tracks we thought were long
  • Tracks we thought could be extended
  • And tracks we thought could be altered

When we finished our tasks we all got back together  and listened to the lyrics and I thought the lyrics were really nice and other people thought that the changes we made were good for the most part. I really enjoyed this task as it was creative, interesting and fun!

The Recording

The recording session was exhilarating as we all started planning on what we were going to record. We decided to repeat the words “We are free” for the end of the piece as the title of our piece is called “Freedom”.

We made 7 different tracks all recorded as a group. The tracks were a mixture of rhythmic and lyrical tracks. The rhythmic tracks didn’t take very long to record as it was easy for us all to stay on time. Our rhythmic tracks were simply just claps and clicks. Everyone really got involved and enjoyed the creativity of the session.

After we finished recording those tracks we started recording the lyrical tracks. These took a long time to record as there was a lot of perfecting to do! Our tracks were made of:

  • Boys only lyrics
  • Boys lyrics harmony
  • Girls only Lyrics
  • Girls Lyrics harmony
  • And All together lyrics.

We recorded a lot of different tracks and our final tracks sounded amazing! Everyone was really pleased with the end result and the workshop was a great success!’. Discussing the Bridge Beyond Workshop- TY Student Matthew McNamee.

 Student Enterprise Award

Congratulations to Ava McLoughlin in TYC who has won 1st place in the senior category for the Student Enterprise Programme in the Donegal county final, she will be in the National final  on the 14th of May!

Her business is Irish Tweedscapes . Her product offering is a frame with Irish design inside with Magee tweed. Ava’s product price is €15. She is a sole trader due to Covid so she has done all hard work by herself. Most recently she has sent one of her products to New Zealand. Ava sells her product by her Facebook and Instagram page Irish Tweedscapes.

Recently Ava got a mention in the Sunday world magazine for top 4 valentines gift in Ireland along with numerous influencers including 2fm and Today fm radio presenters.

Irish Tweedscapes.

Environmental Project

School Podcast

You can listen to our TY students Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell as they discuss topical environmental issues, they have been involved with here;

Environmental School Podcast

Young Environmentalist Awards

Erin and Anna’s environmental project ‘Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma’ is through to the semi-finals of ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards. Their project focuses on the detrimental impacts that our collective carbon footprint has on the environment and they are developing a ‘Climate Education Scheme’ to educate our nation on the impacts that our daily actions ultimately have on the environment and offer sustainable alternatives. They have started an instagram page @avsclimatechange in which they actively post about sustainability and update their followers on what they are up to and how their project is going.  They also recently appeared on RTÉ Junior’s ‘Ecolution’ Podcast to discuss the government’s new Climate Action Bill with other young activists.

https://www.rte.ie/learn/home-school-hub/2021/0330/1207024-ecolution-young-activists-discuss-the-climate-action-bill/

Their semi-final presentation will occur on the 29th of April 2021. They have also been selected to create a video for ECO-UNESCO’s instagram (@ecounesco) in which they promote ‘Eco Week’ which is a series of online presentations delivered by experts for young people to learn about sustainability topics such as fast-fashion, marine life awareness, biodiversity and energy consumption.

Pictured are Anna Mitchell and Erin Ryder.

CIF Challenge

The AVS team that entered this year’s Construction Industry Federation Challenge have now been shortlisted as one of the top seven entries in the country. Over the last number of weeks a panel of judges have been reviewing over 100 entries from 50 schools in 22 counties. This is a huge achievement for the team and students Molly Boyd, Sarah Foy, Luke Given, Amir Mavlyutov and Matthew Byrne should be very proud of their achievement. The online awards ceremony will take place on the 30th of April, and we look forward to seeing our students’ hard work acknowledged by industry leaders.

SPORTS

PE Department

All junior classes are taking part in athletic events this term. The top three students in each class event are recorded and the overall top three in the year group will be awarded a medal at prize giving. The students are really enjoying being out in the fresh air and utilising the schools excellent outdoor athletics facilities. There has been strong competition for medals in each event.Hopefully next year we will have our usual enjoyable whole school sports day.

Lunch Time Activities 2021

Lunch time activities resume on Monday the 26th.  Students have 10 minutes in their base rooms to eat their lunch before making their way to their selected activity, returning 10 minutes before the bell to get ready for class.  A big thanks to all teachers assisting in getting students active during lunch.  Any student wishing to join an activity should see Mr Maguire in room 40. 

Abbey VS Newsletter Mon 19th April 2021

Abbey Vocational School Newspaper 12th April – 18th April 2021

Welcome back to all 

We were delighted to have all of our students back to school together to complete the phased return process. We wish to complement all of our school community for managing this transition as well as they did this week. The buzz of conversation and laughter on the corridors and in the classrooms is such an uplifting welcome back for us all. Our school community supports each other for the very busy term ahead and we wish you all well in this regard. 

WorldWise Global Schools – Global Passport

This year we entered the Global Passport Awards as part of the WorldWise Global Schools initiative. This was led by a team of teachers in the AVS including Ms. Kelly, Ms. Rooney, Ms McCrea, Mr. Russell, Mr. McFadden and Mr. Clarke. We were delighted to receive our result this week and have been awarded a Diplomatic Passport. This is a fantastic achievement and we are extremely proud of all the hard work undertaken by both staff and students to make this initiative a success.

Global Citizenship Education (GCE) is an educational process aimed at increasing awareness and understanding of the rapidly changing, interdependent and unequal world in which we live. By challenging stereotypes and encouraging independent thinking, GCE helps students critically explore the root causes of global justice issues and how they interlink with our everyday lives.

Students have optimal opportunities to be active global citizens through various initiatives in the AVS such as Young Social Innovators, BT Young Scientist, Young Environmentalist and Junk Kouture. An example of this includes the 2019/2020 YSI project Keeping Up With Reality which focused on the impact of social media and reality TV on the lives of young people. Students explored the global justice themes of stereotypes, racism and prejudice. They ran a social media campaign which involved over 200 celebrities and influencers globally and it received National coverage with students getting to speak on the Ray D’Arcy radio show.

One of the key global justice themes we have explored and aimed to tackle at the AVS is Climate Change and Climate Justice. Senior science students evaluated how humans contribute to sustainability with a focus on the disposal and recycling of materials. This led to a campaign organised by a 2nd year wellbeing class to ensure all students across all year groups received a personalised reusable water bottle in an effort to reduce the use of plastic in our school. Students explored the advantages of this initiative to people and the environment and ultimately, our school plastic use was dramatically reduced.

The Annual Student Conference will be held virtually on 29 April 2021. We look forward to receiving our Global Passport banner and plaque this week. 

Pictured are our team of teachers in the AVS including Ms. Kelly, Ms. Rooney, Ms McCrea, Mr. Russell, Mr. McFadden and Mr. Clarke. 

NUI Galway Excellence Scholarship 2020

Congratulations to AVS Students Amy Lorienko and Conor McGroary who have been awarded the NUI Galway Excellence Scholarship 2020. NUI Galway is a globally focused research-led university, internationally renowned for the quality and impact of its teaching, research and innovation. NUI Galway strives for excellence and impact, underpinned by integrity and professionalism. As part of NUI Galway’s commitment to rewarding achievement and supporting ambition, the 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. 

DCU Academic Scholarship Award 2020

Congratulations to AVS Students Shauna Carr & Hannah Harraghy who have been awarded the DCU Academic Scholarship Award.

Dublin City University is one of three establishments of higher education in Ireland which are ranked amongst the top 300 universities in the world. The University was named “Irish University of the Year” by the Sunday Times newspaper once again for the 2020–2021 academic year. Students who are awarded an academic scholarship receive €500 in recognition of their academic success and achieving in excess of 550 CAO points through the Leaving Certificate or equivalent exams. 

Irish Cancer Society Donation Milestone

This week the Abbey Vocational School Community is immensely proud of fifth year student Ross O’Keeney 5G, who has seen his online birthday donations surpass 40,600 Euro in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. You can donate at;  Irish Cancer Society

Science Department

After School Science Club

The school runs an after school club that helps students research their science project and to write a project proposal so that they can enter both competitions – the selection process for BTYS is very rigorous. 

Sometimes the hardest part of the 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.

SCHOOL CANTEEN  

The school canteen is open for all students who wish to avail of this service. Food for break and/or lunch can be ordered from http://www.getfresh.ie. In order to do this a cashless card will be required. This can be purchased from the canteen upon the students return if it is required. Food for breaks/lunch must be pre ordered using this cashless system. The food will then be delivered to the base room. Alternatively, students will bring their own snacks/lunch from home. 

New Facilities at the AVS

The Abbey Vocational School is delighted to announce it has received approval from the Dept of Education for our design team to now award the contract to the lowest tender received. These works consist of the new ASD Support Facility, 6 new general classrooms, a new roof covering for a large area of the school, fire safety improvement works throughout the school and new Tennis/BasketBall courts.

Leaving Certificate History

Ms. Dunnion and Mr. Clarke’s 5th Year History classes enjoyed a talk and virtual tour of Croke Park relating to Bloody Sunday 1920 this week. The Leaving Certificate classes are currently studying 20th Century Irish history therefore this virtual learning experience greatly complimented the material they have studied in class. This tour offered students an opportunity to deepen their understanding of the War of Independence and Bloody Sunday. Both classes found the talk very interesting and enjoyable and hope to visit the Croke Park Museum in the near future as soon as the situation improves. 

Pictured the entrance to Croke Park, Dublin.

MUSIC DEPT. 

Music students from 1st to 6th year have been invited to participate in a virtual choir of students and staff of the DETB singing a hymn called ‘Alone with none but Thee, my God’. This is a new composition by Donegal ETB teacher Margaret Mc Ateer. The choral setting will be heard for the first time on the 9th June 2021 to celebrate the 1,500 anniversary of St Colmcille.  Soloists for the premiere performance will be the esteemed Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan,Lilis O Laoire and Maire Ni Bhrennan of Clannad. 

The event offers our students and staff an opportunity to mark this significant anniversary in a meaningful way which will be part of the archives forevermore. 

Rehearsals online have begun and we wish our staff and students well in this exciting project. 

Well done to all of our Leaving Cert students who completed their performance exams, 50% of their overall music exams during the Easter break.  

Sixth year music students are now preparing musical items for their Graduation Ceremony.

Congratulations also to student Rachel Reid and staff Farrah Bogle, Lorraine Quinn and Sean Donegan on their highly entertaining performances in Ballyshannon Musical Societies Hits from the Musicals. 

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 will open on 22 April 2021.  Students will be provided with further detail during Guidance Class and via Google Classroom. Students are advised to submit their application as early as possible.
  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.  

Tech Week 17th-24th April 2021

AVS Coding and Computer Science

Students from the AVS were delighted to engage in Tech Week this week. Tech Week is a nationwide series of events, showcasing and celebrating Ireland’s application on technology. Tech Week provides a platform for students to learn, share ideas and create connections to enhance our future world. It is much more than a festival; it is an unforgettable lifetime experience for the students who take part. The intention behind it is as simple as fostering the growth of technology and innovation that have been growing rapidly. 

AVS Coding and Computer Science

Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge 2021

Congratulations to the 47 AVS students who got through to the Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge Final 2021.The Bebras Computing Challenge introduces computational thinking to students, by allowing them to solve interactive tasks online. It is run in over 50 countries and takes place every November. The tasks can be answered without prior knowledge about computational thinking or information and communication technology. The aim of Bebras is to get students all over the world excited about computing. The first round was in November and the final will be held on the 20th of April. The competition involves solving problems using computational thinking skills by allowing them to solve interactive tasks online. Over 6000 students entered this competition – so to make the finals is a great achievement. Having 47 students from one school is superb.

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

Student Voice

The focus of the Student Council this term is to support the return to school of all of our students, uniform and Active School Flag.  

The Council had several virtual meetings during lockdown.  At their most recent virtual and live meeting, they were addressed by Sarah Canny from the Donegal Youth Council who is continuing to forge strong links between the student voice of the AVS and the DYC.  

Five of our council (Leo Carey Mc Dermott, Rosie Campbell, Sarah Canny, India Kennedy, Roisin Lynch and Sarah Canny) attended the Regional meeting of the Irish Secondary Schools Union.  India, as outgoing rep. for the DYC addressed this meeting to highlight supports for mental health of young people.  

Two of our students have registered their interest in the upcoming elections for positions on the ISSU as Welfare Officer (India Kennedy) and Student Council Support Officer (Sarah Canny).  The AGM of the ISSU will take place on Sunday May 9th and four of our council will attend, 2 voting and 2 observing delegates.

The next meeting of our council is Tuesday 20th April at 3pm in room 13.

Wellbeing

Social Media 

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

Positive Quotes

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

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

AVS 40 Day Walking Challenge

The energy and stamina of the AVS Staff know no bounds as they came together in the 40 Day Walking Challenge! The 40 Day Walking Challenge was an initiative which saw our staff members come together courtesy of the Well Being Committee through an intuitive, web-based portal.

There were 7 teams in total entered into our school staff challenge and as a group they walked 22,970,610 which is nearly halfway around the world!

Congratulations to our winners, the ‘Dashing Dames’! Eilish McNelis, Mary Browne, Anne McArdle, Rosemary Myers and Sharon Brennan who managed to walk 4,299,090 steps. 

In second place were ‘Stunning Steppers’ who were Ms White, Ms Kane, Mary Crawford and Ms Lockhart who walked 3,611,701 steps. Special recognition must go to the amount of steps earned by Mary Browne who walked the most steps in one day which was 51,647 and most improved after the first 20 days goes to Ms Lockhart. 

School Positive Points

The School Positive Points Initiative was established by the AVS Wellbeing Committee who wanted to provide a platform to highlight positive behaviour. This positive behaviour is acknowledged and encouraged by the Teachers and Staff in the school and rewarded by the School Positive Points System. The three leading classes, this term, in the positive point’s class competition for first and second year are:

First Year

1A   137 points

1G   125 points

1C   118 points

Second Year

2C   84 points

2F 78 points

2G 68 points

Monthly class winners receive a class reward.

1st Year 

For the next number of weeks all our 1st year students will be working on the settling back in programme during their wellbeing classes. This will help our students adjust back into the school building after the last term of home schooling.

2nd Year 

For the final term our second year students will participate in DCUs anti bullying programme FUSE. FUSE is an anti-bullying and online safety programme developed by the Anti-Bullying Research and Resource centre in DCU, supported by Facebook. The programme launched in September 2019 across Ireland.

FUSE is grounded in Irish and international best practice research, consisting of a series of workshops and projects aimed at 2nd Year Students in Junior Cycle.

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 on May 14th.

Students had an excellent poetry workshop on Friday 26th of March with the poet, Jacob Sam La Rose. He is one of the most inspirational poets whose passion is using poetry as a tool for education and interaction. His work has been published in numerous anthologies, and he’s held workshops at schools and universities worldwide. One of his collections is taught on the A-level curriculum. He was very impressed with the students’ talents and creativity in the workshop. 

This week students will be collaborating with students from Deele College and Scoil Mhuire, Buncrana to hear snippets of each other’s projects to date. They are also making a video storyboard for the production of their music video which will be filmed over the next few weeks. 

YSI Week 

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 decided that the current lockdown would be an excellent opportunity to carry out a virtual fundraiser which was launched through our Instagram page @unityinthecommunity2020. It was an online fundraiser of run/walk 5km, donate €5 and nominate 5 more people to get involved.  We raised a total of €920 and the funds will be given to two charities – Age Action Ireland and Friends of the Elderly. We are extremely grateful to all who donated to our fundraiser, 

Age Action Ireland have stated that the funds they receive will go towards reallocating and scaling up resources to ensure that older people, at high risk of the impact of COVID-19, are informed, connected, and supported as they cocoon. 

Friends of the Elderly outlined that the funds they received will go towards their Friendly Care Service which offers older friends the opportunity to receive a regular telephone call from one of their trained volunteers.

We also submitted our project report to YSI this week for grading. The week of 12th – 16th of April is YSI week so keep an eye on our Instagram page @unityinthecommunity2020 for exciting updates including the launch of our Speak Out Video! 

Student Enterprise Award

Congratulations to Ava McLoughlin in TYC who has won 1st place in the senior category for the Student Enterprise Programme in the Donegal county final, she will be in the National final on the 14th of May!

Her business is Irish Tweedscapes. Her product offering is a frame with Irish design inside with McGee tweed. Ava’s product price is €15. She is a sole trader due to Covid so she has done all hard work by herself. Most recently she has sent one of her products to New Zealand. Ava sells her product by her Facebook and Instagram page Irish Tweedscapes. 

Recently Ava got a mention in the Sunday world magazine for top 4 valentine’s gift in Ireland along with numerous influencers including 2fm and Today FM radio presenter.

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. 

Ecolution; AVS Students discuss The Climate Action Bill

Congratulations to TY Students Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell who engaged in an online podcast discussing the Climate Action Bill. On Tuesday 23rd of March the Government published its Climate Action Bill, which provides a framework to reduce Ireland’s greenhouse gas emissions.

Above are our heads of government Leo Varadkar, Eamon Ryan and Michael Martin.  The Podcast, hosted by RTE, discussed the Bill and the consequences of pollution for the main stakeholders. If pollution isn’t curbed in different sectors like transport, farming and the generation of electricity, the polluters will be breaking the law. The students ask, does it do enough?

The podcast can be viewed at; https://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/html5/#/podcasts/series/30942

Young Environmentalist Awards

Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell’s environmental project ‘Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma’ is through to the semi-finals of ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards. Their project focuses on the detrimental impacts that our collective carbon footprint has on the environment and they are developing a ‘Climate Education Scheme’ to educate our nation on the impacts that our daily actions ultimately have on the environment and offer sustainable alternatives. They have started an instagram page @avsclimatechange in which they actively post about sustainability and update their followers on what they are up to and how their project is going.  They also recently appeared on RTÉ Junior’s ‘Ecolution’ Podcast to discuss the government’s new Climate Action Bill with other young activists.

https://www.rte.ie/learn/home-school-hub/2021/0330/1207024-ecolution-young-activists-discuss-the-climate-action-bill/

Their semi-final presentation will occur on the 29th of April 2021. They have also been selected to create a video for ECO-UNESCO’s instagram (@ecounesco) in which they promote ‘Eco Week’ which is a series of online presentations delivered by experts for young people to learn about sustainability topics such as fast-fashion, marine life awareness, biodiversity and energy consumption. 

Pictured are Anna Mitchell and Erin Ryder

Returning to school as a Transition Year student

‘We returned to school on April 12th after a very long 6 weeks in level 5 lockdown. As expected, emotions were running high, students were nervous and anxious about their arrival back to school but excited to see friends and socialize again. The school has enforced very strict rules to ensure we are as protected as we can be from the disease. This made us all feel much less anxious about returning to school. It was great to get back into a routine and not be stuck in the house all day. Online school was very difficult for Transition Year students as we would normally be doing group work and going on trips. We are still unable to participate in trips away and hands on group work due to Covid as we have to social distance but it’s great to be back with our friends and teachers’. By Amy Gardner.

CIF Challenge

The AVS team that entered this year’s Construction Industry Federation Challenge have now been shortlisted as one of the top seven entries in the country. Over the last number of weeks a panel of judges have been reviewing over 100 entries from 50 schools in 22 counties. This is a huge achievement for the team and students Molly Boyd, Sarah Foy, Luke Given, Amir Mavlyutov and Matthew Byrne should be very proud of their achievement. The online awards ceremony will take place on the 30th of April, and we look forward to seeing our students’ hard work acknowledged by industry leaders. 

Sport

Danske Bank Ulster Schools GAA

Well done to Second Year Student Grace Masterson on winning week 5 of the Danske Bank Ulster School GAA skills challenge.  In the run up to Easter Ulster Schools released a GAA skills video on a weekly basis over six weeks (3 Football & 3 Hurling) with prizes on offer each week to those who entered with their videos via the Ulster Schools social media platforms –Twitter/Facebook/Instagram.

The Ulster Colleges Council was formally established at a meeting in the Catholic Club, English Street, Armagh on 13th January 1928. At that time, educational provision at 2nd Level was largely confined to several diocesan seminaries and a handful of schools founded by the Christian Brothers.

The playing of Gaelic Games in these institutions preceded the foundation of the Colleges Committee in 1928, but had been sporadic at best until the inauguration of an annual Gaelic match between 2 of the leading Catholic seminaries viz. St Patrick’s College, Armagh and St Macartan’s College, Monaghan in 1917. They were soon joined by St Patrick’s Cavan, St Malachy’s Belfast, St Columb’s Derry and St Colman’s Newry, and then Dr. MacRory, Bishop of Down and Connor (who later became Cardinal in Armagh) presented a trophy for an annual competition.

The MacRory Cup thus became, and remains, the most coveted prize in Ulster 2nd Level Schools competition. That original trophy was replaced in 1962, and again in February 2012, and the two former MacRory Cups now reside in the O’Fiaich Library in Armagh.

All schools are representative of the entire educational spectrum, and the availability of competitions at A, B, and C Levels in each year group ensures that every school, irrespective of its size, numbers, or prowess can participate at a level at which it is comfortable and competitive. This vast tapestry of competitions and games is organised and coordinated for the benefit of the community.

Grace Masterson #schoolskills

The amazing Second Year AVS Student Grace Masterson can be seen on twitter explaining the techniques and skills needed to be on the winning team! Follow us on @abbeyvs.


How to Safely Wear your Face Covering

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!