03 Oct 2022

Abbey Vocational School, Donegal town, notes

Abbey Vocational School, Donegal town, notes

Parents Association AGM 2017
The AGM of the Parents’ Association takes place on Tuesday night, October 10th, at 8pm in the library. We encourage parents to attend on the night. Thank you to all of our parents who have been part of our Parents’ Association over the years. Your contribution to our school is invaluable.

First Year Parents Information Night
A First Year Parent Information Night was held in the school on Monday, 25th September at 7pm. We would like to thank all our staff who participated in organising the night and for the large number of parents and guardians who attended.

Staff Training Day
The staff took part in a JCT training day on Monday 25th last. This was whole staff training around the area of well-being and covered areas such as the school culture, relationships, and the JCT Well-being Curriculum Policies associated with well-being. The final JCT training day for this academic year is on November 16th.

Dates for your Diary
- Jigsaw Wed, 11 Oct 7.30pm. Supporting Young People’s Mental Health. All Parents
- AVS Guidance Department, Tues., 17 Oct, 7pm. School Leavers information evening will include information on CAO, UCAS, HEAR, DARE, SUSI (Grants), Scholarships, FET, Apprenticeships & Studying Abroad. Leaving Certs parents.
- Parents’ Association, Wed, 22 Nov., 6.30 pm. Mock Interviews for Leaving Cert Students. 
- AVS, Tues, 6 Feb 2018. Subject choices talk for the parents of present third years & TYs, information session on TY and LCA for the parents of present third years & TYs. 
- AVS Tues, 1 May 2018. Subject Choices talk for the parents of present first years.
- School closed to students, 16th November. Final JCT Training day, 2017-2018, for all staff.

Talk for Parents
A talk will be given by the organisation Jigsaw on Wednesday, 11th October at 7.30pm in the school on 'Supporting Young People's Mental Health'. This workshop is for parents, guardians and those interested. All are welcome to attend.

School Tour
Deposits for the School Tour were due in on Friday 29th. The contact details form must be returned to Mr Leyden. All details will be available on the tour website which will be accessible through the school website.

Leaving Cert Prefects
The results for the selected prefects will be published next week. Good luck to everyone who took part in the interview process. We are looking forward to working with you all!

Student Council
The Student Council will have their first meeting on Thursday, 5th October after break.

The SEN Department are processing the Junior Cert and Leaving Cert RACE in school over the next number of weeks.

Entries for this year’s Credit Union Art Competition will be collected within the school by the end of the week. Please speak to Mr Daly or Mrs McCallig for more information. You can also visit the Credit Union Art Competition website.

Cracking the Code
The Abbey Vocational School is one of four schools leading the way when it comes to cracking the code. Next Wednesday, ahead of EU Code Week 2017, Donegal ETB will host a Coding Initiative cluster day for staff from four of its schools to support them in rolling out cutting edge teaching in the area of coding.

In 2016, two of Donegal ETB’s schools, one being the Abbey Vocational School and the other Crana College in Buncrana, were among only 22 schools nationwide to introduce coding to their schools as part of the “New Junior Cycle Reform”.
Dr Martin Gormley, Donegal ETB’s director of schools, spoke about the initiative, stating the “delivery of this cutting-edge course in our schools is evidence of the exceptional standards of teaching and learning being promoted across Donegal ETB’s schools, colleges and centers. I’d like to commend the willingness of the staff to take on this new innovation. Thank you to all our staff in the AVS who are participating in delivering this new initiative."

NUI Maynooth
NUI Maynooth are visiting the school on Tuesday, 10th October. There will be a talk from 2.40pm until 3.20pm. Students interested in attending the talk please let your guidance counsellor know.

Study Skills
Michael Bond will be in the school on Monday, 9th October to deliver a study skills seminar to all Leaving Certs. The study skills guru and motivator Michael Bond is known to many for his exploits on the sideline 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. The seminar focuses on motivating students on timetabling study for maximum results.

Ecumenical Service
Our whole school Ecumenical Service will take place on Tuesday, October 3rd at 11.15am. This is a wonderful event where our whole school unites for the opening of the school year.

MS Readathon
First year students will receive a MS Readathon pack from their English teacher next week. We are delighted to take part in the 30th MS Readathon, which encourages children to open a wonderful world of adventure and imagination through reading for a great cause! MS Readathon is the perfect opportunity to encourage your children to read and the AVS is running it this year! For kids who are already bookworms, it’s a chance to go deeper – perhaps to challenge themselves with longer, more advanced books. For children who aren’t so keen on reading, the MS Readathon can help them rediscover the sense of wonder and adventure they once felt when they first heard you say those magic words, “Once upon a time ...” And it’s all for a fantastic cause! ( We hope to raise much needed funds for MS and encourage our students to enjoy reading.

Healthy Schools
The Healthy Schools Committee is attending a training day on 18th October in Letterkenny. Following this event they will form a committee including some parents, students and staff and select a focus for 2017/2018. All ideas welcome.

The traditional group continues every Tuesday in room 13 at 1:30pm. All new members are welcome. The coordinators are TY students Rebekah Sweeney and Sarah McGrory.

Spanish Club with Ms McNulty will commence next week on Monday, 2nd October, 2017 in Room 1. All first year’s welcome. Last year was a huge success and we hope to see the same numbers as this year.

Debate Club
The AVS are recruiting any first-year students who are interested in joining a debate club. Students who are interested may give their name to their English teacher or Ms Murray. We will have more details to follow soon.

LCA Trip
The LCAs will attend a cinema trip on Monday, 9th October with Ms McPartlan. They will be viewing the new film "Kingsman: The Golden Circle” the sequel to "Kingsman: Secret Service" as part of their LCA course.

Amber Flag
In June 2017 the school was awarded the Amber Flag. The Amber Flag initiative aims to encourage schools, colleges, clubs, societies, organisations to promote and actively bring about a cultural change in the promotion of positive mental health within the educational system and other organisations. This flag will be raised in the school at the end of this month.

John Paul II Awards
Ms Susan Kenny visited the AVS last week to speak with our TY students about the John Paul II Award. The John Paul II awards, coordinated by Ms McCallig, have been running in the school for a number of years. It is €15 to enrol and for more information students can visit Students will receive a gold, silver or bronze medal for their participation and a cert. It would be of tremendous value for prospective employers and for completion of CV’s.

Law Course
James Fahy will return this year and deliver a workshop to Transition Year students. James Fahy, a barrister from Galway, will present his Law Education for Schools course to our students over a two-day period. This will take place on 5th and 6th October. The students will learn a variety of definitions used in the legal system and how the legal system works in Ireland. They will also be given information on a sample legal case and will set a challenge based on this. On the second day, the students will receive information on a second case. The students will also spend one afternoon in Donegal Town Court House and enact the Trial.

NUIG Open Day
NUIG Galway, will host its Open Day on Friday, October 6th on campus. The Open Day is an excellent day for TYs to see what the university has to offer. Open days are the perfect opportunity for students to experience life at NUI Galway first hand. They can talk to current students and staff, explore the campus, check out the facilities and learn more about the programmes they are interested in. Students will leave school at 7am on the morning of the trip.

TY Activities
TY active leisure activities begin this week. TY (a) are participating in aqua aerobics in the Mill Park Hotel. TY (b) will be surfing in Bundoran. TY (c) will be relaxing in yoga and TY (d) are completing a self-defence class. Each class takes part in the activity for three weeks before rotating to the next.

Alan Devine Public Speaking Workshop
Alan Devine will complete a full day workshop with each TY in October and November on: 12th and 25th October &
27th and 28th November.
The aim of the workshop is to help students:
• Find confidence in their voice
• Connect with their audience
• Understand how to create and deliver short speeches
The workshop teaches students that anyone can speak publicly confidently.

Ceilí dancing
Ceilí dancing takes place for all TYs on Thursday in the library up until Halloween as part of their Irish class.

TY Musical
Well done to all our TYs who auditioned for the musical. Finally here is a list of the lead roles in the musical “Mamma Mia”: Rebekah Sweeney (Donna Sheridan), Mia McCalmont (Sophie Sheridan), Conor McAllister (Sam Carmichael), Eamonn Devlin (Harry Bright), Darragh Griffin (Bill Austin), Gary Given (Sky), Saerlaith Lusson (Rosie Mulligan), Emily Erskine (Tanya Chesham-Leigh), Jake Gillespie (Pepper), Eoin Timoney (Eddie), Hannah Shallow (Ali), Nolwenn Ní Dhonnabháin (Lisa). Dance rehearsals for the musical will take place on Wednesday and Thursday from 6-8 pm. Drama rehearsals for the leads will take place on Tuesday and Thursday from 1:20-3:20 pm. In addition, music rehearsals for the leads will take place on Wednesday from 3:30-5pm. We ask all students to ensure that they attend rehearsals where possible.

Girls Basketball
Training continues every Monday and Thursday after school for U16s.
1st and 2nd year girls training is every Wednesday after school in the school gym.
The first match of the year got underway against Killybegs last Friday for the U16 and senior girls. The U16s fought hard in the first half but Killybegs just had that edge to win by five baskets despite the girls efforts towards the end. The seniors also had a tough match and had a tight match to end in an unfortunate loss. Training continues as normal this week.

Girls Gaelic
U14, U16 and U20 Girls’ Gaelic training commenced after school on Friday coached by Ms. Rooney. All age groups are welcome. It will take place on the all-weather pitch from 3:30–4:30 pm. Please ensure you bring runners, a warm top, water and a gum shield. The U14 league will start after Christmas. The U16 first game will be against St Catherine's Killybegs in addition, they will also play Deele College and Gairmscoil Chú Uladh. The U20s are up against Seán Maguire first and they will also play St Catherine’s Killybegs, Carndonagh and Coláiste Ailigh.

Boys Basketball
First and second year boys’ basketball training will be every Friday in the school gym from 3:30-5pm. It is great to see such big numbers at training. In addition, U16’s and U19’s training will take place every Monday from 5:30 – 7pm in the school gym.

Senior and Junior Boys Gaelic
Senior boys’ Gaelic training starts next Tuesday after school at 4pm. This year they will be coached by Mr Griffin and Mr Ledyen.
U16 boys’ Gaelic training will be on every Wednesday after school. The team will be managed by Mr Carty and Mr Lafferty this year.
U14 boys’ Gaelic training will kick off on Thursdays from 3:30-4:45 pm. Please ensure you bring runners, a warm top, water and a gum shield. Mr O'Donnell and Mr McLoone will be the U14 boys’ team managers this year.

U19 match next Monday will take place in Convoy. We wish the boys and Mr O’Neill the very best of luck.

The first round of golf is on Monday in Letterkenny Golf club. The team will be competing against St. Eunan's Letterkenny and Loreto Milford

Sportshall Athletics
First year students are participating in trials for our Sportshall Athletics team. The top 12 boys and girls will represent the school at the Donegal Regional Competition on October 23rd.
Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups.
Cross country training is on Fridays at lunchtime.

Lunchtime Activities
There are a number of sporting activities organised daily during lunchtimes. All students are encouraged to get involved. Everyone can participate in uniform but are advised to change into runners.

The following activities are planned until Halloween:

Monday with Mrs. Regan & Mr. McLoone
Indoors: 1st & 2nd Year Girls Gaelic
Outdoors: 3rd Year Soccer

Tuesday with Ms. Rooney & Mr. Hegarty
Indoors: 1st Year Boys Soccer
Outdoors: Senior games
All-Weather pitch: Hurling with Mr. O'Neill

Wednesday with Mr. Daly & Mr. Gorman
Indoors: 3rd Year Soccer
Outdoors: 2nd Year Soccer

Thursday with Mr. Mc Hugh & Mr. O Donnell
Indoors: 1st Year Soccer
Outdoors: 2nd Year Soccer

Friday with Mrs. Gallagher & Mr. McLoone
Indoors: 1st & 2nd Year Girls Games
Outdoors: Senior Games
Track: Cross-Country Training

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