Weekly Newsletter – 08th Oct 2018

Parents’ Association

The AVS Parents’ Association Annual General Meeting will take place on Thursday 11th October 2018 at 8 pm in the school library.  

The Parents’ Association promotes and fosters cooperation between parents, teachers and the school Board of Management to ensure the best possible educational outcome for the students. The Parents’ Association is also involved in reviewing school policies, provides support for parents in the school and is involved in fund raising activities. The Parents’ Association would encourage as many parents as possible to attend the AGM

The next committee meeting will be on Monday 15th October 2018 at 8pm in the staff room. 

First Year Information Evening for Parents

An Information evening for parents of First year’s took place on October 4th at 7pm in the school. On the night we were fortunate to have Mr Ray Langan as our visiting speaker who over the last 10 years has worked with nearly 30,000 students in over 100 schools. He has a strong track record in the education sector and is a very inspirational and entertaining speaker. He discussed moving up into secondary school. We also looked at the nuts and bolts of secondary school now that the first years have a few weeks behind them. Mrs Diver addressed the parents on the parents role in the education of their child, Ms Kane spoke about the Cognitive ability tests carried out for students and the supports that are in place for all. Mr Doherty spoke about Vsware and other important resources the school uses to support parents and Mr Sweeney covered the school Journal

First Year Cyber Awareness

Ray Langan visited our school on Thursday last and spent the day with our first years. He covered areas such as

  1. Rise of Social Media and its importance in the 21st century.
  2. Dangers of Social Media including Cyberbullying, Sexting and Online Porn.
  3. Negative Effects of Social Media, Teenage Identity and How to Build Confidence
  4. How the Social Media Game is Set Up For Teenagers to Lose.
  5. How to Change the Game, Focus Attention and The Importance of your Name and Online reputation.
  6. The Power of Personal Brand.
  7. Social Media Power Principles.

The benefits of attending this workshop included: increased awareness of the pitfalls and dangers of social media, heightened understanding of cyberbullying and sexting, reduced oversharing, increased awareness of negative online behaviour, the importance of protecting your name and reputation, reduced screen time and better social etiquette.

Career Guidance

CV Workshop

The Leaving Cert students attended a CV workshop in advance of the upcoming Mock Interviews. This was a very informative session and students are now eager to put into practice the many tips received on the day. Thank you to the guidance Department for organising this event.

Maynooth University will do a presentation to 6th years on Thursday, 11 October @ 11.55 a.m. in the Library.

  1. A MEGADOJO event aimed at teaching young people aged between 7 and 17 to code will be held in Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) on Saturday, 13 October. See megadojo.ie/letterkenny for full details.
  2. The Guidance Department will take 5th Year students to the IT Sligo Open Day on Thursday, 18 October.
  3. An important event for Parents interested in finding out more about careers for young people in ICT/FinTech in the North-West will take place on Thursday, 18 October 2018 in the Abbey Hotel @ 6 p.m. See our Guidance website for full details: http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance logo.


Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance logo.
Please take note of the following dates:

Tuesday, 06 November 2018 School Leavers Info Evening


19.00 – 21.00
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 Subject Choices Presentation

(for next year’s 5th Years)

19.00 – 21.00
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 Subject Choices Presentation

(for next year’s 2nd Years)

19.00 – 20.15


Information Sessions on Career Education

The Donegal ICT/FinTech Working Group are hosting two information sessions (at 6.00pm on 11 October in Letterkenny and 18 October in Donegal Town) for parents, teachers, post-primary school Guidance Counsellors and Principals to find out more about career, education and training opportunities for their children and students in the areas of ICT/FinTech in Donegal. It follows on from the recent report published by the North West Regional Skills Forum which identified the ICT/FinTech sectors amongst the fastest growing in the region with significant numbers of new high tech jobs being created in the coming years.

The companies involved (Pramerica, Optum, SITA, Randox, Gartan Technologies and ERNACT) will highlight the career opportunities in a range of disciplines including IT, finance, business, marketing, engineering, law, design and sciences. LYIT and Donegal ETB will also promote their wide range of programmes that support these industry needs.

The event is free and there’ll be complimentary refreshments from 5.30pm but we’d like people to register in advance here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/building-donegals-future-in-ictfintech-tickets-50115496800

You can find more information on our website here: https://www.donegaletb.ie/2018/09/donegal-ict-fintech-working-group-to-host-information-sessions-for-parents-and-school-staff/

Nifty Programme

On Tuesday 2nd October the business teachers completed training for the Nifty Foróige programme training. The teachers will now deliver the programme to their TY enterprise classes, and will run an in-house Dragons Den competition to select the groups that will be entered into the Nifty competition to represent our school. The teachers were presented workbooks for the TY students. The students will also be given seed capital for the setup of their mini companies.


Student Voice

All Prefects, Student Council and Class Captains for 2018/19 have been elected. Prefects will have their first meeting on Friday.

Student Council

All the Student Council members have been elected for the 2018/19 school year and will have their first meeting next Wednesday.

The student council for 2018/19 is:

1st year:

  • Conor Lang
  • Maeve McNamara

2nd Year:

  • Rion Carr
  • Ellie Timoney

3rd Year:

  • Fearghal Quinn
  • Joanne Wymentowska

4th Year:

  • Shane Meehan
  • Jessica Given

5th Year:

  • Joseph Reid
  • Robyn Harvey Moulding

6th Year:

  • Arming O’Hara Nolan
  • Jasmine Kennedy

Prefect Interviews

A big thank you to Seán McGee for carrying out the Prefect Interviews this year. We are delighted to welcome a further team of students to add to our student voice – Thank you to Ms Carr and Ms Mulrain for all of their work with this group.



Mental Health week will take place in the school this week the following activities will take place:


Healthy School

Work is continuing on our review of healthy eating in the school and the surveys will be rolled out in the coming weeks.

Fire Safety week

Since it is fire safety week we would like to thank our guest fireman speaker Kevin Coulter who is a station officer in Donegal Town for visiting this Wednesday to speak to our TYs. He informed us on many useful topics from prevention, to escape routes to his own experiences at home and as a firefighter.

Active School Flag

On 8th-12th October is Active School Flag Awareness week. This is to raise awareness about the ASF across the whole school community. Class tutors will give a slideshow to their class with information on ASF. Each class will select an ASF rep who will attend meetings throughout the year.


On Thursday 4th October four TY students and their teacher Ms Rooney went to the Honorable Kings Inn Dublin to the Headstrong summit. HEADSTRONG is an evidenced based schools programme that trains and enables a select number of students to become mental health champions within their school with the help/oversight of the teacher. The students learned a lot about mental health and how to deal with it. They heard about people’s stories of how they dealt with depression.

This is a contact education programme where the ideas students come up with will form a plan for the rest of the academic year. The HEADSTRONG stigma-reduction and positive health messages continue to be delivered to the entire school population. Students’ innovation and creativity, along with the support of a school staff member, means they will have so much to share about mental health, recovery, and available resources both in the school and the wider community.


TY Art Trip

TY art students travelled to Glebe House and Gallery in Churchill near Letterkenny on Tuesday 2nd to visit the home of painter and landscape artist Derek Hill and to see the work of Donegal born artist Rian Kerrane. While they were there the students produced some “selfies” in clay and a stop off in Letterkenny on the way home to refuel capped off what was a most enjoyable day.


On Friday 5th October over 70 TY students travelled to the NUIG open day. They attended talks about career choices. This was a superb opportunity for students to get a taste of college life and see the culture that awaits them in the coming years. The day was enjoyed by all.

GAA Future Leaders Programme

Mr P O’Donnell is leading out on the GAA future Leaders TY programme. The Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) on Monday last provided training and development to the teachers involved in this initiative.

The PDST have been involved in the preparation of the Future Leaders Programme providing advice on curriculum links, ensuring alignment with the TY programme, embedding the core concept of Physical Literacy, developing educational resources and delivering training to the participating schools. The six modules meaningfully relate to several curriculum areas, promoting the development of Physical Literacy in particular and also encompassing the key skills taught at Junior Cycle. 

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

Course Structure:

The programme is comprised of 8 modules.

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

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

The programme utilises the Learning Management Software of the GAA Learning Portal (learning.gaa.ie) to share information and provide each student with an online e-Portfolio to store and share documentation and assignments. Staff involved in the delivering of this course is as follows: Future Leader Staff Members

  • Portfolio and Assessment – Pauric O’Donnell
  • Sports Journalism – Helen McPartlan
  • Performance Analysis – Clive Monahan
  • Administration – Amanda Sweeney
  • Nutrition – Michelle Harvey
  • Event Management – Patrice Rooney
  • Refereeing – Michael Leyden
  • Wellness – Emer O’Mahony
  • GAA Foundation Coaching – Michelle Harvey / Patrice Rooney (PE Department)

TY Wellbeing Event

On Thursday 4th October all TY students went to the Abbey Hotel for the Foróige Wellbeing event. There were cooking demonstrations, talks, dance workshops and yoga. There were guest speakers: Breifne Earley gave a talk about his difficulties with depression and how he overcame it. “Jigsaw” gave a talk about wellbeing. The day was enjoyed by all.

AVS Senior Educational Tour

Applications for this year’s tour to Barcelona are now closed – any latecomers will be placed on a reserve list. The tour website will be updated shortly and will have all relevant information. The first deposit should now have been paid (preferably using the ‘way2pay’ system). All contact details forms must be returned to Mr. Leyden ASAP.

TY Actvities

Our TY’s have completed their first three week block of activity. Every Monday afternoon they get the opportunity to try new activities and visit a number of local gyms and venues. Thank you to all the local coaches for accommodating us.

All classes will be changing to a new activity this Monday:

  • 4A- Surfing                 
  • 4B – Self-defence                    
  • 4C – Strength & Conditioning            
  • 4D – Yoga

TY Sports Leader Award

This week all PE classes are beginning their sports leadership training. This will give our students a great opportunity to work hard on their coaching skills and gain in confidence every week. The main aim of this qualification is to help students hone in on their leadership skills whilst helping themselves and others stay physically active.

They are will be working with a number of first year classes in preparation to coach in the local primary schools in the coming months.

Foróige leadership Programme

19 transition year students have been selected to take part in the Foróige Leadership Programme. This will take place every Tuesday from 9:10 to 11 o’clock. There will be three modules that our TY students will take on. They are as follows. Module 1
• Enables participants to explore what leadership is and the type of leaders they would like to be. The module focuses on core leadership skills such as communication, problem solving, self-awareness, values and action planning.
Module 2
• Enables participants to work with others to achieve a leadership goal. The module focuses on how leadership can have a positive impact on society by tackling both local and global issues. Module 2 also focuses on research skills, conflict resolution, critical thinking and exploring leadership styles.
Module 3
• Enables participants to put into practice their learning from previous modules by actively engaging in a community action project of their choice, keeping a learning journal of their experiences and presenting a portfolio upon completion.

The students who have been selected are:

  • Chris Darby             
  • Tom Daly                               
  • Frank Duffy                           
  • Ella Pearmain
  • Gwenaelle Donovan     
  • Ryan Coughlan                      
  • James McNamara                  
  • Halim Egberongbe
  • Adam Maziri                           
  • Ella Forde                               
  • Roisin Feeney                        
  • Aoife Mackle
  • Emma O’Sullivan                   
  • Amy Barron                            
  • Katelyn Duffy                         
  • Jessica Given
  • Jessica Culloo                        
  • Joe Leape                               
  • Shane Meehan

TY Coaching

A group of transition year girls have signed up to assist in coaching Primary school athletics every Thursday evening from 5:45 to 7:00 pm. They help in organising and running the different events and have great fun whilst doing it. This time spent assisting counts as community care that every transition year is asked to complete by the end of this school year.

Musical Beauty and the Beast 

Since the auditions have taken place for Beauty and the Beast, we now have a great cast in place and are busy rehearsing. The whole creative team are working very hard to bring this fabulous show to the Bosco Centre. Set has been devised and props are being sourced. We are rich in talent and enthusiasm and no doubt we should have a stellar production. After school rehearsals have started for the musical on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.

Well done to our teachers Mr Sean Donegan and Ms Claire Breslin who are now taking to the stage themselves in the coming months! Ms Breslin is the leading lady in the Ballyshannon Musical Society of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Mr Donegan is the leading male in the Ballyshannon Pantomime – Treasure Island.


Musical Performance in honour of our Chaplain

Thank you to Ms Carr and Ms Breslin and the exceptional musicians who performed today in honour of our Chaplain Fr. O’Donnell. It was a very special occasion and the music students excelled in the standard and variety of entertainment. Thank you to them all!


Our lunchtime activities programme is running every day. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme. The timetable is posted on the notice boards around the school. Students must wear proper footwear when participating in sports activities.  Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions.  Activities for this term are as follows:

Traditional Music Group

Trad group has commenced  this Monday in room 13 with Mrs. Carr at 1:30 pm. Choir practice has also began every Friday in room 16 at 12:45pm.


Students are needed to take part in the choir for this year’s school musical. If you can play a musical instrument, it would be a great opportunity to join the orchestra and would be much appreciated.

First Year Book Club

The first year book club started last Friday and will meet every third Friday from now on. It has been organised by Ms Logue and all first years are welcome. The first years are currently reading ‘Wilderness’ by Roddy Doyle.

Sports Activities

  • Monday
    Indoors: 2nd Year Boys Games

    Outdoors: TY Boys Games
  • Tuesday
    Indoors: 1st Year Boys Games

    Outdoors: Senior Boys Games
  • Wednesday
    Indoors: 2nd & 3rd Year Girls Games

    Outdoors: 3rd Year Boys Games
  • Thursday:
    Indoors: All Girls Badminton

    Outdoors: 2nd Year Boys Games
  • Friday
    Indoors: 1st Year Girls Unihoc

    Outdoors: 1st Year Boys Games

Non-Sports Activities:

  • Monday
    Trad Group in room 13 for all students
    Coding Club for all R 47
  • Tuesday
    Chess Club in room 3 for all.
  • Wednesday
    Irish Club & Scor Drama in Room 16 for all students

    Science Club in room 33 at 12:45.
    Spanish Club in the library for 1st years.
  • Friday
    Choir in Room 16 for all students

    Book Club in room 9 for all students. 

Girls Gaelic

Training continues every Monday for all u16 and u20 girls Gaelic. The u16 will play Deele College in their next game and u20 will play Coláiste Ailigh. Well done to Aine McGroarty and Niamh Boyle who were nominated for an Ulster All Star trails last Tuesday. The girls will find out in the coming days if they have been picked for the team. Good luck girls and we are all very proud of your nomination.


Good luck to Niamh Moohan who has qualified for the All Ireland School’s Multi Events in Athlone on Saturday 13th September. She will compete against the top athletes from across the country over a range of five events, involving running, jumping and throwing.

  • Wednesday: 3.30pm – 4.45pm
  • Thursday: Lunchtime cross country
  • Thursday: 6.30pm – 8pm
  • Sunday: 10.30 – 12pm

U16 Boys Gaelic

Congratulations to the u16 boys who had a great win against Glenties Comprehensive School on Monday 1st October in Tir Chonaill Park. The boys had an overall good, strong performance with good displays from Shane Breslin and Shane Meehan in defence. Richard O’Rourke and Alex Mc Calmont held the mid field strong and were supported by the forward line who had some brilliant scores by Conor Campbell and Thomas White. Final score was 5:13 to 1:09 to Abbey. Well done to the boys and best of luck to them in their future games!  Thanks to coaches Mr Lafferty and Mr Carty.



AVS Senior Boys Gaelic

The senior boys Gaelic team got their season off to a perfect start with an away win over Glenties Comprehensive. Playing with the wind in the first half the AVS boys had built up a good lead before they were hit with a sucker punch just before half-time when Glenties got through for a goal. The half-time score was AVS 0-08 to Glenties 1-02.
In the second half the AVS lads upped the ante and began to pull away from their hosts. The final score was AVS 0-14 to Glenties 1-06. Up next for the AVS is a home game against Carrick VS. Thanks to Mr Leyden and Mr Monahan the team coaches.




Good luck to TY student Conal Smith who will be competing in the Swim Ulster Schools Championships on Saturday 21st October in Bangor, Co. Down. Conal trains in Ballyshannon with Marlins Swimming club and is the first student to compete for the school at this level in over eight years. 


This week a number of our PE classes began their #RowingDonegal programme in our refurbished fitness area. This is being run by Patrick Brady from Donegal Bay Rowing Club in assistance with Donegal Sports Partnership. We are one of three schools in Donegal on this pilot programme. Students will learn the rowing technique on erg rowing machines over a number of weeks and will get the opportunity to experience rowing in offshore boats at the end of the program. Thank you to all involved and our TY coaches who are assisting with the programme.



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