The Staff and management of The Abbey Vocational School would like to welcome all of our students back to school. It has been a very eventful first few weeks, surely a sign of the good work and good times for the year ahead.
Leaving Cert Results
Congratulations to each and every one of our Leaving Cert students. We are so proud of you all. The Leaving Certs results this year was once again excellent and well ahead of national averages. Each of our students reached beyond their capacity and expectations so each one of them should be so proud of themselves. Many of them go on to pastures new so we wish them all well in this regard. Once again they head too many diverse new courses and careers. We had many students who achieved over 500 points as well as 600 so well done to those on this fantastic achievement. Here is a flavour of where some of these students will go –
- Nóirín Boyle, Commerce at UCD
- Emma Boyle, Creative writing with Arts (English, Psychology and History) at NUIG
- Emma Glenn, Primary School Teaching ST Pats at DCU
- Aine Gillespie, Media Studies and Spanish. Maynooth
- Anna Griffin, Commerce (International) with Spanish NUIG
- Laura O Donnell, Computer Science and Information Technology at NUIG
- Erika Price, Law and French at Trinity
- Caoimhe Lusson, BA in Arts with Creative Writing at NUIG
- Connor Mc Goldrick, Science at UCD
- Roisin Ward, Psychology at DCU
- Orlagh Coughlin, Law and Marketing at Maynooth
- Lia Mc Intyre, Speech Pathology at Strathclyde Glasgow
- Kailan Mitchell, Environmental Science at NUIG
- Cathal Canavan, General Business at DCU
- Eilish Mc Govern, Bachelor of Nursing science (General) at NUIG
- Shaun Kee, Enterprise Computing at DCU
- Johnny Weitbrecht, Aviation Management at DCU
First Year Induction
We are delighted to welcome our new first years to the Abbey Vocational School. They are by now beginning to find their feet and settle in. They took part in a two-day induction programme, which went extremely well. Our first year Year Head is Ms. Caroline Feeney and Tutors are 1A Ms. Murray 1B Ms. Cunningham 1C Ms. Logue 1D Ms. Dunnion 1E Ms. Canning 1F Ms. McPartlan 1G Mr. O Neill. Ms. Carr is our first year general support teacher and Ms. Kane is our first year learning support person.
The first years also participated in a series of workshops as follows:
Bullying and Cyber Bullying delivered by ZEEKO
Topics covered in the session included: Cyberbullying, Digital Footprint, Online Relationship and Excessive Screen Time. Inappropriate Content. The Internet and the Law.
They took part in a wellbeing workshop which included bonding activities such as – Ice breakers and then play a few short games which focus on individual strengths such as communication, observation, problem solving, team strategy etc.
We will be holding a first year parents Information Night on October 4th to assist you in supporting your son/daughter during this transition.
The study skills guru and motivator Michael Bond will spend the day delivering study skills courses to our Leaving Cert students. This Co. Galway man is known to many for his exploits on the side-line of hurling pitches the length and breadth of the country, having brought the Offaly Hurling Team of 1998 to All Ireland success. However his skills extend far beyond the GAA grounds of the nation, he is also widely acknowledged for his skills of communicating with young People and Michael will work with our Leaving Certs around focus motivation and planning for a successful leaving cert year.
The third year study programme delivered by Amazing Brains will empower the student to:-
- Become empowered by investigating the incremental theory of intelligence – the idea that your intelligence can grow
- Apply the growth mind-set and understand that effort and focused practise matter more than IQ
- Practise success visualisation and goal setting
- Investigate the link between learning preferences, study and revision
- Learn and devise visual and sound mnemonics
- Manage on-going assignments and coursework
- Practise effective methods of reading, summarising and note taking
- Develop specific, personalised time management techniques
- Identify individualised revision strategies
- Prepare for sitting exams
Amazing brains will help your students:
- Understand how their brain, learning and memory work
- Investigate how their brain constantly grows and changes in response to their environment and to what they experience
- Challenge and to re-think the notion that anyone has a fixed level of intelligence
- Develop effective homework habits
- Become familiar with target setting, specifically in relation to study
- Understand the importance of collaborative learning
- Investigate the optimum conditions of the ‘perfect study environment’
The first year of secondary school is crucial to enabling students to develop both the mind-set and study habits to succeed at school. If those habits can be embedded at this early stage then the journey through second level education can be smoother and much more rewarding.
Blast Off is an upbeat, interactive and fun programme that has been designed to captivate, motivate and educate young people about their brain and learning. It aims to create a success-oriented mind-set amongst students, boost academic performance and foster a positive, lifelong attitude to learning.
This programme is guaranteed to reinforce and compliment the work being done by teachers in the school.
Ms. Eileen Carr assisted by Ms. Sophia Mulrain are our teachers who are leading out on student voice. Student Voice is a very important part of the success of our school and we continue to develop this area this year with the introduction of class captains. We hope to have a full list of captains compiled shortly for all classes. Our Leaving Cert students have submitted a Prefect application form for the role of Leaving Cert Prefect. These students will be interviewed in the coming weeks and a team of prefects for 2018/2019 selected. Thank you to the many students who have submitted their application forms. The Student Council will be elected in the coming weeks. This Council is also a representative body of students who actively input into the school.
Computer Science Room Officially Opened
We have officially opened our new computer suite for our Leaving Certificate students.
The computer suite has been fully kitted out with state of the art computers, 20 PCs and 10 laptops, which have been funded by Letterkenny based company Pramerica. The school is one of only 40 schools in the country and one of only two in Donegal who were chosen to offer the new Leaving Certificate Computer Science subject to twenty-five of their students starting this September.
The computer science subject was offered to our students last year and the take up was very high. We could easily have filled quite a few classes. Pramerica have made it possible to further extend and enhance the teaching of this subject to more students in an enhanced way. The Pramerica logo of a rock which symbolises durability, dependability and reliability is something we want to model in terms of what we do here in the world of computer science.
The school plans to be proactive in promoting the subject amongst female students in the school and have looked at studies carried out in this regard with a view to taking on board the many recommendations evidenced.
Dr Martin Gormley, Director of Schools, Donegal ETB, said “this day is all about the students and Donegal ETB will do everything it can to support them all.”
Gerard Grant, Vice President of Technology at Pramerica stated, “The students are exceptional and we were delighted to support this new venture in any way that we could.”
The suite was officially opened by Andrea McBride, Vice President of Systems at Pramerica. Also in attendance were Gerard Grant, Vice President of Technology and Shane Grant, Director of Facilities Management, both at Pramerica. Other guests included members of the Board of Management including Chairperson Geoffrey Browne, Gabrielle O Donnell, Mary McGuckin, Chris Darby and Oliver Plunkett, Parents Association Chairperson Patrice Duffy, Donegal ETB’s Director of Schools Dr Martin Gormley, Town Mayor Mr Pauric Kennedy, the AVS ICT team and computer science students.
Our Transition Year has got off to a busy start this year. This year sees our group’s big as ever and the core team is Ms. Rooney Mr. O Donnell Ms. O Mahoney and Ms. Harvey. The Year Head is Mr. Griffin. The bonding trip takes place this week where all of our students head off to Gartan Outdoor Education Centre. The below list outlines some of the up and coming events for TYs.
PE Activities – Surfing, Swimming, Yoga, Self Defense, Bfit Fitness Class, Zumba, Drama Workshops, Dance Workshops, Bonding Trip to Gartan, Ploughing Championship trip, Students Enterprise day, Law Course, Road Safety Roadshow.
English trip to Theatre to see Drama production, NUIG Trip – careers.
Alan Devine – Public Speaking, Spanish Workshop, Musical (Beauty and the Beast), Personal Safety/ RSE, GAA Future Leader Course, Architects in Schools Course, Sports Leader Course, FAI Course, Spike Ball Course, First Aid Course.
Young Social Innovator Course TY Mini Company Competition Interview skills course.
Ms. Rachael O’Connor visited the school this week to deliver a drama workshops to all TY students. She employed a variety of techniques and games which allowed the students to use their imagination and develop social skills. This workshop was thoroughly enjoyed by all.
Two members of the Healthy Schools Committee will be attending a training day on 25th September in Letterkenny. Following this event the committee select a focus for 2018/2019.
The school are very lucky to welcome Katie George Dunlevy to the school this Monday. Katie is a double paralympian and world record holder. Katie has spoken to school students in Sussex, where she lives, and also in Mountcharles. Her talks are based around encouraging young people to take up sport.
First Year Gaelic Football Blitz
Congratulations to all of our first years who took part in a Blitz on Friday last. Thank you to Mr. Griffin who organised the Blitz in conjunction with John Joe O Shea. The day went very well and the AVS fielded two teams. One of the teams took the Shield trophy and the other team were runners up in the final where St Columbus Stranorlar beat them narrowly. Thanks to the Four Masters for the use of their pitch and to Mr. Mc Loone and Mr. O Donnell for assisting in the running of the event as well as to the many teams who took part.
The School Activities Calendar has got underway. Students are encouraged to take part in all extra-curricular events in the school.
We kick off with the following events – more to follow
Lunchtime Physical Activities
|Mr L Mc Loone||Monday||Sportshall||2nd Year Boys Games|
|Mr G Gorman||Monday||Tennis Courts||3rd Year Boys Games|
|Mr O Mahony||Tuesday||Sportshall||1st Year Boys Games|
|Mr C Hegarty||Tuesday||Tennis Courts||Senior Boys Games|
|Ms O’Mahony||Wednesday||Sportshall||2nd & 3rd Year Girls Games|
|Mr J Daly||Wednesday||Tennis Courts||TY Boys Games|
|Ms Harvey||Thursday||Sportshall||1st & 2nd Year Girls Badminton|
|Mr Monaghan||Thursday||Tennis Courts||2nd Year Boys Games|
|Ms Rooney||Friday||Sportshall||1st Year Girls Games|
|Mr O Donnell||Friday||Tennis Courts||1st Year Boys Games|
|Michelle Gallagher||Athletics||Gym & Track||Wednesday 3.30 – 4.30pm|
|Michelle Gallagher||Cross Country||Track||Thursday Lunchtime|
|All Boys Basketball||Gym||Monday 4 – 6pm|
|Ms O’ Mahony||1 & 2nd Girls B Ball||Gym||Thursday 3.30 – 5pm|
|Claire Breslin||U 16 & Sen||Gym||Tuesday 4 – 5.30 pm
Friday 3.20 – 5.20pm
|Chanel Kane||Girls GaelicU14||Pitch||Mon 4 – 5pm|
|Amanda Sweeney||U16 Girls Gaelic||Pitch||Mon 4 – 5 pm|
|Patrice Rooney||Sen Girls Gaelic||Pitch||Mon 4 – 5pm|
|Mr O Donnell
Mr L McLoone
|All weather||Tues 4 – 5pm|
|Boys U 16 Gaelic||Football Pitch||Thurs 3.30 – 4.30pm|
|Boys Senior Gaelic||Football Pitch||TBC|
|Mr O’Mahony||Boys Soccer
|Mr Daly||Boys Soccer U17||Pitch||TBC|
|Mr Gorman||Boys Senior Soccer||Pitch||Wednesday 3.30 – 4.30pm|
|Ms Mc Partlan
|Girls Active||Library /
|Thursday 3.30 – 4.30pm|
|Mr O Neill||Hurling||All Weather pitch||Lunchtime – day TBC|
|Non-Sports Related Activities – days to follow|
|Aisling Walls||Spanish Club for All||Classroom||Lunchtimes|
|Claire Breslin||Choir||Room 16||Lunchtimes|
|Eileen Carr||Trad Group
|Monaghan||Science Club||Science Lab||Lunchtimes|
|Amanda Sweeney||Coordination of girls Irish dancing||Library||Lunchtimes|
|TBC||ICT/ Coding club||Lunchtime|