Abbey Vocational School notes, March 31st, 2017

Abbey Vocational School notes, March 31st., 2017

Alan Devine with TY students from the Abbey Vocational School (See more, below).

New Junior Cert Talk
A talk for parents with students completing the new Junior Certificate was held in the AVS on Wednesday, 29th March. The talk was open to all interested parents. Ms. Jacqui Dillon, director of the Donegal Education Centre, Ms. Geraldine Diver, principal, Mr. Ronan Doherty, deputy principal and JCT school coordinator, Mr. Shane O’Neill delivered the talk on the night. Ms. Dillion gave an excellent overview of the new Junior Certificate programme, making parents aware of recent changes. Please visit our Twitter @avs_juniorcycle for more information on the new Junior Certificate programme.

Golf Classic
Following on from the very successful Golf Classic in 2015, the Abbey Vocational School Parents' Association is holding the 2017 fundraising Golf Classic in Donegal Golf Club, Murvagh on Wednesday, 10th May, 2017. This is the Parents’ Association's main fundraising event and is hosted every two years. The event raises much-needed funds for the school and committee members are currently approaching local businesses seeking sponsorship of Teams / Tees / Prizes. Anyone who would like to enter a team on the day can do so by contacting Donegal Golf Club on 074 9734054 or Teresa on 087 7863796.
Team of 4 - €120, Prize sponsorship - €75 or Tee - €50. All contributions, big or small, welcomed.

John Paul II Awards
To celebrate the 10th year of the holding of the John Paul II awards, a full youth day will be held in Knock on Wednesday, 5th April. Over 100 students from Donegal are taking part. Our students will be joining them for this important celebration.


Above, The Abbey Vocational School U14 boys Gaelic Football team won this year's County Championship with some room to spare after a convincing win over the current Ulster Champions PCC Falcarragh at Dooey. 

Agricultural Science Trip
The AVS would like to thank the Quinn Family in Laghey for hosting a farm visit this week. The students already visited the farm in early September and this time they went so they could experience the lambing process in person. The lambing process has progressed over the years and most ewes will lamb normally without any trouble or need for assistance. However, understanding the lambing process is important in the birth process; our students were assisted in understanding this process through their visit to the Quinn farm.

Bank of Ireland Enterprise town showcase 2017
The school were well represented in the Donegal Town Enterprise Town Showcase in the Bosco last Friday and Saturday. On Friday, two 1st-year mini companies set up their stalls and sold their products to the public. One of the companies was Locked Up, a company that designs and redecorates locks. These proved to be very popular with the public.

Gavin Duffy from Dragon's Den came and talked to the students, giving them advice on how to set up and run a very successful business. On the Saturday, the Bank of Ireland presented the other group "Word Up”, with an enterprise students of the year award. This is a mini-company owned and run by a group of first-year Business Studies students. These enterprising students were inspired by a gift received and decided to recycle old scrabble board games to create beautiful personalised picture frames.

Managing Directors Aoibheann Gallagher and Shaun Govan and their hard working team kept a close eye on supplies of materials, orders, quality control and finance. They have developed their research and IT skills, bought supplies online, set up a production process and delivered the end product to customers.

On the Saturday, the Bank of Ireland recognised some of the school's sporting achievement so far this year by inviting and introducing our U14 and U16 Boys GAA football teams on to the stage. These teams won county finals this year. The boys were greeted and addressed by Donegal footballer Karl Lacey on the stage. This event was very well supported by all of the community.

Music Practical Examinations
Music Practical Examinations for Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate music students took place. On Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th March, the Leaving Certificate practical exams were held following with the Junior Certificate Practicals on Wednesday 29th. Huge congratulations to all our students who have taken and completed their first step on their exam journey.

French and Spanish Orals
French Leaving Certificate orals took place on Monday 27th and Tuesday 28th March. In addition, Leaving Certificate Spanish orals were held on the Thursday and Friday of this week.

Schedule of examination dates
The following dates are in relation to Leaving Certificate students only:
April 3 - 7th: Irish Orals
April 7th: Agricultural Science coursework needs to be completed.
April 28th: History, Geography and Construction Studies project and coursework must be completed.
May 2nd – 12th: Agricultural Science coursework is subject to external monitoring.
May 2nd – 12th: Art Craftwork, Construction and Engineering practicals will be held during this period.
May 3rd: LVCP written examination.

Design, Innovation, Creativity and Enterprise Conference (DICE)
A group of students in TY will attend the ‘Design, Innovation and Creativity and Enterprise’ conference at LYIT on Thursday, 6th April. This workshop will excite and inform the students on how design influences our communities and environments.

Animation workshops: LYIT
In recognition of the two Donegal ETB schools who are piloting the short course in Coding, a group of students from the AVS will be attending animation workshops in LYIT. The workshop will show the participants how to produce an animation without needing expensive software or equipment. Everything will be produced using free software such as iMovie or Windows Moviemaker and ordinary digital cameras. The participants, working in small groups, will plan, script, storyboard and animate a model animation film, edit and add sound effects, use open source music and record dialogue.

Spanish Club
Club de Español takes place every Thursday in room 1 with Ms. McNulty during the second half of lunch. All first years are welcome to join and get involved in a variety of activities.

Book club
Each person partaking in the book club is reading his or her own individual book now. They are meeting in the reading room on the 3rd April at lunchtime to discuss their opinions and findings.

TASTY Pilot Project NEWS
The students have had a very exciting week. 'Seaside Bakery Donegal' and Solis Lough Eske Castle are making a Seaweed Bread "Tonn Aran". Their suppliers are Donegal Creameries and the seaweed will be foraged by the TY students themselves. To find out more on Seaside Bakery Donegal visit the following website:

'Lord of the Wings' and The Village Tavern are producing honey glazed chicken wings. Many local Donegal producers are involved in this product, such as: Noones Poultry Farm, Clonmany, Blissberry Farm Honey Mountcharles, Jordans Peat Smoked Salt from the Shores of Bundoran. This team are even using Silkie Whiskey from Kilcar, which they are using to 'smoke' in a wooden cask over six weeks to give their wings double the flavour.
They have sourced two new artisan producers from Donegal that are helping them to develop a dip to accompany their wings. Their marketing campaign is one filled with fun. Their facebook page is

The 'Stew Stack' team and Harvey’s Point Country Hotel are producing beef and stout stew which is a wonderful traditional Irish dish. Their Donegal suppliers include: Dicey Riley's Brewery, McHugh's Oysters and Gallagher Meats. So far this team have looked at the product development and research aspect of things but have a lot of plans for the coming months. on

'A Donegal Fusion' and Chandpur Indian Restaurant are producing a new dish called Chicken Badami, which will be on their menu for both dining in and take away. Their Donegal suppliers are: Hive, Irish Active Honey supplied by Conor Daly Donegal Town, Jordans Atlantic Foods, Donegal Sea Salt supplied by James Jordan Bundoran Jordans Atlantic Foods, Donegal Gold Butter supplied by James Jordan Bundoran, Noones Poultry Farm Barn reared Chicken, supplied by Gerard Noone, Inishowen. They are using these products along with Ranas special Chandpur Spices and one mystery ingredient to produce our wonderful dish. Their dish will be in a sauce with peppers and onions.
For the last three visits the team in the kitchen have made four different versions of the Dish and have now produced a favourite that everyone loves. The team have been busy arranging interviews with their suppliers, setting up social media pages, we have a day out lined up with one of our suppliers we are keeping very busy. Find out more on their Facebook Page

Another one of our teams ‘Quay West and Uisce Fishe’ are doing a Whiskey & Honey Cured Salmon on a Stout Saltine with Cream Cheese and a Seaweed Aoili. This team are using the suppliers: Hive Honey Donegal Town, Silkie Whiskey Sliabh League Distillery, Stout from Dicey Reilly's Ballyshannon, Seaweed from Algaran Seaweed Co and Green Pastures Cream Cheese. You can check out this team by visiting various social media accounts: Facebook is Uisce Fishce Page, Twitter is @Uisce Fishce and Insta is Uisce Fishce. The team brainstormed and came up with their idea for the dish (cured salmon) - hence, the name Uisce Fishce - and subsequently launched themselves on social media sites. They have been on site in the kitchen going through the dish and compiling all the elements of the dish, even taking a trip to Dicey Reilly's brewery to see and understand the process of producing his craft stout.

Finally, Mill Park Hotel & Leisure Centre will present Tírconnaill Toffee - their team Keri, Margarita, Evan, Shaneen and Daniel will be cooking up Silkie Toffee Pudding. The team are creating a Slieve League Sticky Toffee Carrot Cake with a Rhubarb and Custard ice cream. You can check the out on their Facebook page Tirchonaill Toffee and their Instagram page, tirchonailltoffee.

The Gala Night is for all the participating groups who have worked extremely hard with the local establishments in recent weeks. In addition, mentors, teachers and anyone who’s been involved in the project is welcome, this is also open to the public and will be a great night for all!

TY Tourism Project
LYIT have introduced an excellent new pilot project which involves the TYs of AVS Donegal Town and St. Columba’s College Stranorlar. This project, funded by Donegal Council and Donegal Tourism LTD, focuses on the areas of tourism, hospitality, food handling, custumer care, restaurant training and restaurant service! This project will commence on Thursday, 6th April.
The programme will be delivered on a one day per week pilot basis (over four weeks) to two second level schools, one from the south of County Donegal. The School of Tourism plans to deliver a four-day training programme for Transition Year students. The programme will address the above issues by focusing on the following:
(a) Introduction to the tourism Industry
(b) The tourism product in Co. Donegal (specific focus on regional food, crafts and tourism activities along northern section of the Wild Atlantic Way)
(c) Restaurant service
(d) Introduction to food hygiene and food handling
(e) Customer care
This is another excellent opportunity for all our students involved.

School Tour Abroad
The highly anticipated school tour is only around the corner as students travel to sunny Spain from Monday, 10th April until Thursday, 13th April. Students travelling on the tour will stay in hotel Best Mediterráneo in Barcelona, they will discover the six worlds of one of Europe's most iconic theme parks, Portaventura, in the Costa Dorada, one of Spain's most popular tourist areas; and just one hour from Barcelona!

In addition, those involved in sport will have a field day as they get to visit Nou Camp and live through the emotion of entering the field, discover and interact with the history of the museum and trophy areas and even sit on the team bench! We are hoping our students will be greeted with mild and sunny weather as they venture abroad. Please study the 'Flight Info' carefully on the Abbey Vocational School website as it contains all regulations governing baggage sizes/weights, etc. We had a mock-up of the tester that airlines use to check the size of hand luggage which was available at the parents evening this Wednesday 29th March. Please ensure your hand luggage is within the size as stated by the airline carrier.

The 'Guidelines' tab details on the school website illustrates what is expected from students participating on the tour while the 'AVS Excursions Policy' outlines the school's policy in relation to all outings and it should be studied carefully by those travelling.

Prior to departing on the tour students should brush up on some Spanish phrases! These can be found under the 'Itinerary' tab again our website.

Disability Talk

Trevor Alcorn will be attending the school on Tuesday, April 4th and will be giving TY students a talk on disabilities. The day will consist of a talk to students which focuses on raising awareness of different types of disabilities. Students will also be interacting through fun filled games and activities throughout the day.

Actor Alan Devine meets TY students

Irish Actor Alan Devine, who has starred in a number of films, including Veronica Guerin and King Arthur, and in Irish soaps Fair City and Glenroe, visited the Abbey Vocational School recently to facilitate a workshop on public speaking with Transition Year students.


U14’s Boys GAA
The U14 boys defeated PCC Falcarragh making our boys County Champions! Dermot Slevin, Thomas White and Richard O’ Rourke scored goals for the Abbey Vocational school on the day allowing them to claim a victory over Pobalscoil Claich Cheannfhoala in Derry on Monday. The boys led by six points at half-time, with Dermot Slevin’s goal in the twentieth minute making it the big score of the first half. The Abbey boys pulled away in the second half before they sealed the win with two late goals from Thomas White and Richard O’ Rourke. The final score was Abbey: 3-12. PCC: 0-8. The boys returned to the school to a rousing homecoming, as many of our students celebrated their win with the team. Mr Carty, Mr Murrin and Principal, Mrs Diver, spoke to the team on their arrival back to the school, congratulating them.

U13’s Boys GAA
The U13 boys played in a blitz to qualify for the U13 Ulster semi-final. In our section we played De La Salle from Belfast which ended in a 2-3 to 3-0 draw. We then beat St Mary's Clady and Dean Maguire College, Carrickmore. We had great team performances and now look forward to the semi-final. The draw for the Faul Cup semi-finals is as follows: Loreto College Coleraine v De La Salle, Belfast and Sacred Heart, Omagh v Abbey VS, Donegal
Well done, boys!

GAA Ulster All Star Award
Peadar Mogan, a sixth-year student in the school, has been nominated for the All-Star Awards in Belfast tonight, Friday, 31st March. He has been selected as wing half forward for the Ulster School All Star awards. This is a huge honour for Peadar and the school and we wish him all the best.

Second Year Boys Basketball
The second year boys basketball team qualified to play in the All Ireland play offs in Castleknock in Dublin on Sunday last. This was an excellent achievement for the boys. They beat Colaiste Einde from Galway in their first game and were unlucky in the games against Castleknock College and Cnoc Mhuire.

Active Schools
The Active Schools committee are busy preparing for Active Week from 1st-5th May.
There will be a number of interclass and lunchtime events hosted throughout the week in conjunction with many of the local sports clubs.
Our Annual Sports Day will take place and our ‘Couch To 5k’ runners will complete their 5km race during active week. All students and staff are encouraged to get involved.

Well done to Niamh Moohan, Rachel Gallagher, & Leo McDermott, who are on the Donegal County Sportshall Athletics team. They won the Ulster Sportshall Athletics final last Wednesday to progress to the British finals in April.

Primary School's Athletics
The annual primary school's track and field competition will take place in May at the AVS.
Last year we seen over 600 compete in the event. Any primary school who has not yet entered can contact the school or any member in Tirchonaill AC.

‘Couch 2 5k’

Training continues for the ‘Couch to 5k’ event on Mondays at lunchtime. We encourage everyone to get involved and those who have been attending over the last few weeks to continue their efforts.

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