Abbey Vocational School
Donegal Town

Abbey V.S. Newsletter - Mon 22nd Nov 2021

Abbey V.S. Newsletter - Mon 22nd Nov 2021
21-November-21

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Issue 8: 2021-2022

15th Nov 2021 to 21st Nov 2021

Safety Measures in relation to Covid - Updated Guidance

Christmas Tests 2021

Due to the most recent guidance issued we have reassessed the delivery of the Whole School Christmas Assessment arrangements. The arrangements are as follows:

  • These tests will run during the weeks of 6th-15th December and will be administered by the subject teacher.
  • Exams will be 1 hour long for Junior students and for Senior students.
  • The breakdown of the exam will be 30% for continuous assessment and 70% towards the exam paper.
  • A timetable and further information will be issued shortly.

Geography Awareness Week 2021

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Geography Awareness Week ran from the 15th - 19th of November and its aims were to help students, families and community members focus on the importance of geography by: hosting events; using lessons, games, and challenges in the classroom. The AVS embraced Geography Awareness Week 2021 with the Geography Dept encouraging students to become more Geo-Aware through a series of activities. These include:

  • "Gelphy" (a geography selfie) - Students were encouraged to take and submit Geography related photos from the local area / community. Prize for best photo.
  • 'Landscapes in a Box' competition - students will be encouraged to create a model of a landscape of their choice in a box.
  • On Wednesday 17th November the AVS celebrated World GIS Day.Geography is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. Mr Clarke's 1st Year Geography Class have been busy creating geo-models. A geomodel is the numerical equivalent of a three-dimensional geological map complemented by a description of physical quantities in the domain of interest.

Our Junior Cycle students at the AVS are celebrating#GeoWeek 2021.Geomodelling is related to the concept of Shared Earth Model; which is a multidisciplinary, interoperable and updatable knowledge base about the subsurface.AVS Geography Students took great care to produce geo models this week focusing on sliding processes, patterns, systems & scale.

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Geography is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. Mr Clarke's 1st Year Geography Class have been busy creating geo-models. A geomodel is the numerical equivalent of a three-dimensional geological map complemented by a description of physical quantities in the domain of interest.

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Geomodelling is related to the concept of Shared Earth Model; which is a multidisciplinary, interoperable and updatable knowledge base about the subsurface

World GIS Day

On Wednesday the 17th of November the Abbey Vocational School celebrated World GIS Day or World Geographic Information System Day! A Geographic Information System (GIS) is a computer system that analyzes and displays geographically referenced information. It uses data that is attached to a unique location. GIS is a scientific framework for gathering, analyzing, and visualizing geographic data to help us make better decisions. On GIS Day, we encourage others to learn about geography and the real-world applications of GIS that are making a difference in our society.

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Follow @avsgeography on Twitter. #GeoWeek and #ThatsGeography.

WorldWise Global Schools, Ireland’s Global Citizenship Education programme for post-primary schools

The Abbey Vocational School is delighted to be engaging in the WorldWise Global Schools. WorldWise Global Schools (WWGS) was established in 2013. Since then, the programme has worked with 350 schools nationwide, in an effort to integrate Global Citizenship Education into all aspects of teaching and learning at post-primary level. By providing a comprehensive range of support and interventions for schools — including grant funding, training, events, resources and personalised support from the WorldWise Team.

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Global Citizenship Education (GCE) is a powerful vehicle through which we can better understand the world we live in, and take action to change it as informed global citizens. It equips both educators and learners with the knowledge, skills and values to act ethically and sustainably in a world that is both complex and highly interconnected.

Science Week 2021

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Creating our Future - Government led campaign Simon Harris

We encourage our students to brainstorm their ideas for a better future for our community and the world. How can we overcome a challenge or difficulty / what needs to be changed to make our future better,

Log on to : https://creatingourfuture.ie/and send your ideas.

Scientists and Innovators will look at the ideas and choose ones suitable for research and development. Emer O’Neill on https://aspirewithabbott.vfairs.com/ is a motivational speaker encouraging students to take part: This government led initiative will be open for ideas until the end of November.

First Year Poster Competition

Well done to all the first years who entered our poster competition. The prizes for best ideas for conservation and research go to Ava McTiernan 1B and Michael Masterson 1B. Ava looked at a product we all use every night - our mattress and she would like to see more research and innovation into creating a mattress that would last longer and be easier to recycle. In his poster Michael looked at a technological innovation and outlined how he is researching a new product he calls “Ciotach Clean” a device to help left handed people write without creating smudges on the paper as they write. The prize for increasing awareness of Climate Change goes to Isla Buchanan 1C for her thought provoking poster.

Science Club

Our Science Club continues every week in the Laboratory room 33 on Wednesday’s at lunchtime, new members welcome! The Science Club is the place for students who are interested in science to learn about all scopes of science from medicine to chemistry to physics to the environment. We discuss how to use this conceptual basis for applications in the real world.

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Pictured are Ava McTiernan 1B, Isla Buchanan 1C & Michael Masterson 1B.

First Year Science Demonstrations

A big thank you must go to Mr Hegarty who presented a fun show for each of the seven Science class groups. Students experienced many interesting demonstrations and enjoyed the experience.

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Pictured are Mr Hegarty and his very capable Laboratory Assistants TY Students Shannon Meehan, Tori Murchan and Méabh Mc Namara.


Wellbeing

Respect Week 2021

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Respect Week

Respect Week ran this week from the 15th-19th of November with many activities, presentations, displays and initiatives. Respect Week saw students analyse an Anti Bullying Awareness Presentation and contribute to many Anti Bullying Activities such as Kindness Bingo, Kind Messages & Emoji Activity. An Anti Bullying session took place with the aid of the Cyclone Rep Theatre Company and also a Drop In Information Session held with Ms Rooney and Leaving Cert Prefects. During Respect Week topical issues highlighted each day included:

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Monday-Race Awareness

The AVS put racism under the microscope as students learn about racism as: Any action, practice, policy, law, speech, or incident which has the effect (whether intentional or not) of undermining anyone’s enjoyment of their human rights.

Tuesday-Intercultural Day

Students across all classes marked the day by exploring music, artwork, dance, story, language and food.

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Wednesday-Historical Events involving Persecution

Students researched anecdotal evidence of persecution, such as the Holocaust and the systematic persecution of six millions Jews during WWII.

Thursday-Diversity

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Students celebrated the diversity of cultures and ethnicities and the positive impact diversity can have on society.

Friday-LGBTI+

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LGBTQA+ Awareness Days serve the purpose of creating visibility of and raising support for marginalized populations within the community.

Anti Bullying Awareness Activities

Kindness Bingo

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Kindness Bingo aims to encourage a culture of kindness in the classroom. To empower students by helping them to realise that the little choices they make every day can make a difference. Kindness helps everyone - the person receiving kindness, the person giving kindness and even students who just see kindness happening around them!

Kindness Notes

Kind words make a big difference and can help people feel uplifted and cheerful. They’ll get a lovely surprise when they find one!

First and Second Year CSPE Students engaged in the Kindness Notes Task this week for AVS Respect Week.

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Anti Bullying Awareness Presentation

An Anti Bullying Awareness Presentation was shown this week to students during TY Wellbeing, sixth and fifth year career guidance.

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Bullying Prevention Session by Cyclone Rep Theatre Company

The key principles are:

  • A positive school culture and climate
  • Effective leadership and a school-wide approach that includes supports for staff
  • A shared understanding of what bullying is and its impact
  • Implementation of education and prevention strategies (including awareness raising measures)
  • Effective supervision and monitoring of pupils
  • Consistent recording, investigation and follow up of bullying behaviour (including use of established intervention strategies)
  • On-going evaluation of the effectiveness of the anti-bullying policy

Bullying Prevention hallmarks are based on feedback and include:

  • Engendering empathy for all those involved in bullying incidents
  • Encouraging dialogue so that the subject is opened up without naming or blaming. Just aim to discuss incidents with the aim of fostering self and group awareness of the effects of bullying
  • Use of group discussions to brainstorm ideas of how to manage inappropriate communication behaviours
  • A focus on achievable action and habits that can be implemented to promote positive environments and build all students’ confidence and self-esteem
  • Enhancing students confidence and self esteem

Zeeko Workshop

On Wednesday the 17th of November First Years took part in the Zeeko Workshop. Zeeko is an Irish company with a mission to teach Internet Safety to Children, Parents, Teachers and Corporate Ireland, creating a world where young people can safely benefit from Technology and the Internet.

Zeeko is an innovator in this field with leading knowledge, experience and expertise in Children’s Internet Safety, successfully managing the online risks young people face every day. Zeeko is the market leader in this field in Ireland, having delivered seminars on Internet Safety to over 100,000 children, 9,000 parents and 6,000 teachers in Ireland alone.

Anti Bullying Webinar

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This week first year students received two webinars on bullying prevention. The key focus of both thirty-minute webinars focused on what students can do to help prevent bullying. Below is a review of what is included in each webinar.

Webinar 1 includes:

  • a discussion on what Bullying is and the 8 bullying sub-types (with a focus on Cyberbullying as it has been on the rise during the Covid 19 pandemic),
  • animations which feature the common types of bullying students experience and how they can feel about it,
  • a review of activities that can help prevent bullying in the short and long term,
  • a Bullying Prevention Brainstorm activity where students are asked to suggest and vote on actions to help prevent bullying in their school.

Webinar 2 includes:

  • the roles students can play as Bystanders in the Bullying Circle,
  • resilience building activities that focus on the creation of effective habits to realise personal goals and prevent bullying,
  • animations look at how bystanders can help bullied and isolated students,
  • and finishes with a review of student suggestions to prevent bullying in light of the lesson’s learning.

Stop the Bully

On the 22nd of November, in collaboration with Stop the Bully, 3rd Yr Students will investigate the topic of bullying and the tools to empower students.

Ongoing School Wellbeing Plan

Please see below our continually evolving wellbeing plan. Throughout the year more events and incentives will be added to our list.

Month

Day

Event

November

15th - 19th

Respect Week

November

8th and 19th

1st yr internet safety

November

4th

Bullying Prevention Session

November

9th

CLASS activity (Yoga)

November

10th

CLASS activity (Girls Active)

November

11th

CLASS Activity (Wellbeing walk/Scavenger hunt)

November

22nd

Think languages

November

22nd

Stop the Bully Workshop

November

22nd - 26th

College Awareness Week

December

10th and 11th

TY Fundraiser (a donation will be made to asthma society of Ireland)

December

21st

Xmas Fair

December

22nd

Xmas Concert

January

1st - 31st

Wellness Month

February

8th, 9th and 11th

Musical

February

7th - 11th

Safer Internet Week

March

1st - 17th

Seachtain na Gaeilge 2021

March

21st

World Down Syndrome

March

21st

Daffodil Day

April

1st

World Autism Awareness

April

22nd

World Earth Day

April

25th - 29th

Active School Week

April

30th

National Workplace Wellbeing

First Year Mentoring Programme

Our 25 Peer Mentors have their lunchtime sessions with each 1st Year class every Tuesday. 1st Years have the opportunity to participate in a range of activities such as fun Kahoot quizzes, chill out music sessions and a well-being walk around the school. This is an excellent opportunity for 1st Year students to get to know each other in a relaxed setting as well as being able to ask their mentors any questions they may have.

Positive Points Initiative

The positive points initiative will be continuing throughout the year. It is acknowledged that a positive environment in school helps students to flourish. The positive points help create a healthy class rivalry. Pupils can be awarded points by their class teachers for things such as sustained effort in class, cooperation in group work, contribution to class discussions, contribution to extra curricular activities helping others and for being polite and mannerly.

College Awareness Week 22nd-26th November

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Next week the Abbey Vocational School will be hosting College Awareness Week for it’s students. College Awareness Week is held in order to enlighten & educate our students as to the third level options available to all students.

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College Awareness Week will see the Staff and AVS Community use multi-faceted, multi-media outlets to inform and engage students in a variety of different ways; the Abbey Vocational School Assembly Area will host:

  • resources on display in the assembly
  • Drop in ‘Query Clinic’ offered to students at break and lunch Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday in the library
  • Prospectus pick up point : students can browse a variety of prospectuses
  • LYIT demonstration.

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College Prospectuses on display for College Awareness Week.

Junior Cycle Students

  • Quiz for 3rd years with spot prizes
  • Multiple Intelligences Quiz

Transition Year Students

  • The CAO Points Poster to be discussed in class, looking at the points process and the third level path.
  • The CAO Course Finder to be used in class, to inspire students and start the conversation on what college courses are available.

Senior Cycle Fifth Year Students

  • The CAO Course Finder to be used in class to research college courses, what modules they contain and points required.
  • Each student will be encouraged to profile at least two colleges.
  • College Awareness Week Videos to be played in class
    • Heath Sciences video in Science classes.
    • Engineering, maths and science video to be played in Maths class.
    • Arts, Humanities & Social Sciences in English class.

Senior Cycle Leaving Cert Students

  • Each College Presentation will be made available on Google Classroom.
  • Subject area presentations will also be made available on Google Classroom.
  • The Future Career Events Calendar will be studied by Senior Cycle Students: with students attending Open Days both on campus and virtually.
  • CAO 2022 registration information will be studied.

Parent Teacher Meetings

The dates for the remaining parent teacher meetings are:

  1. Wednesday 24th November 2021 - 6th Year & LCA2 online.
  2. Wednesday 1st December 2021 - 1st Year
  3. Thursday 13th January 2022 - 5th Year, TY & LCA 1
  4. Thursday 27th January 2022 - 2nd Year

Please see our school website under parents and parent teacher meetings for all of the updates.


Numeracy

Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge 2021

The Abbey Vocational School is currently running the Bebras Challenge, having had great success in previous Bebras Challenges. Our 1st, 2nd, 3rd and TY students are all taking part as well as some of our 5th years who study I.T. The Bebras Computing Challenge introduces computational thinking to students, by allowing them to solve interactive tasks online. It runs over 60 countries and takes place every November. The tasks can be answered without prior knowledge about computational thinking or information and communication technology. The aim is to get students all over the world excited about computing.

The Irish Maths Olympiad

Round One of the 35th Irish Mathematical Olympiad took place last week.

The Irish Mathematical Olympiad (IrMO) is a national mathematics contest for secondary school students. The primary aim of the enrichment classes is to cultivate a love and appreciation for mathematics among talented students - this is achieved by giving such students exposure to deeper, more challenging and more interesting mathematical problems than those encountered on the school syllabus. The students with the highest scores on this first round will be invited to Mathematics Enrichment classes that are being offered at universities around the country. On the 7th of May 2022, the Final Round of the 35th Irish Mathematical Olympiad will be held at the Mathematical Enrichment Centres. Good Luck to all our students!

The Pi Quiz

Junior Cycle Students will be working with their computational thinking this Autumn as the AVS holds weekly Pi Competitions for our students. Pi has been calculated to over 50 trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.

TeamMaths

This is an annual competition for Leaving Cert Higher Level Mathematics students. It will hopefully take place in January 2022 and we aim to enter our allowance of two teams of 4.

The Irish Junior Mathematics Competition

This is an annual competition for First Year Mathematics Students. It will take place online in February and all our First year students will take part.

Coding and Poetry

Some of our 2nd year students are currently working on a little project to use coding to animate a poem. They use code to add colour, animation, backgrounds and sound to bring their poem to life.

The ICT/Coding Club

Our AVS Coding Club is live in room 47 on Mondays at lunchtime, please join us! Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites. Your browser, your OS, the apps on your phone, and this website – they’re all made with code. Coding, in the simplest of terms, is telling a computer what you want it to do, which involves typing in step-by-step commands for the computer to follow.

Coding & Digital Media Short Course for Junior Cycle

There are many numeracy initiatives in progress in the AVS, one such strand is the Coding & Digital Media Short Course for the Junior Cycle. This short course offers students opportunities to explore and discover the information and knowledge accessible online, enabling them to pursue their interests, to express themselves online and solve problems relevant to their lives.

Computer Science

The Numeracy Department is delighted to be working in collaboration with Keith Quille. Keith is a lecturer of computing in the TU Dublin, Tallaght Campus. Keith's primary area of teaching is in Software Development and applied machine learning but has also delivered a wide range of other modules. Engaging in the Post Primary Computing Camp will see AVS Students receive certification for completing each module in computer science.


Literacy

Readathon

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The MS Readathon is in full swing in the Abbey Vocational School and a big thank you must go to Ms Canning for coordinating the readathon. The MS Readathon inspires children to read as much as they can, all for an incredible cause. The rules are simple. Read whatever you like, as much as you can, in November. This year’s MS Readathon kicks off on November 1st and wraps up on November 30th. Children can register with their school (teachers, you can register your class) or individually. Best of all, by joining our quest, not only will you awaken a love of reading, you will also be helping make a difference to the lives of those living with multiple sclerosis.

Funds raised from the MS Readathon will help fund vital support services for people living with multiple sclerosis and their families. Services like our Information Line, which is often the first point of contact for people newly diagnosed with MS.

Non-Sport Lunchtime Clubs

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There are many clubs available for our students to join such as drama, debating and Spanish club!

Spanish Club

‘Spanish Club is great, I get to sharpen my Spanish skills, do some fun exercises, and just do some fun work. I would really recommend it to anyone! It's open to all junior students! Y si ya sabes cómo hablar español, es un curso muy fácil y muy divertido.’

The Spanish club is on every Thursday at lunch time in room 33. Come along to improve your spoken Spanish and to learn more about Spanish culture. The club is open to all junior students, and new members are always welcome! El club español continúa esta semana el jueves a la hora del almuerzo en la sala 33, el club está disponible para todos los estudiantes menores. ¡No dude en unirse!

Chess Club

The AVS chess club will run on Wednesdays during lunchtime in Room 33. We look forward to meeting all our experienced players and those new students who want to learn how to play Chess are very welcome!

Debating Club

Our Debating Club runs every Tuesday in room 33. The debating club gives our students a fun way of developing their oracy skills. The club also helps students to become more informed about political and global affairs.

Well done to our students Grace Masterson, Maya Lenehan, Martin Callaghan and Samaire Fern who took part in our first lunchtime debate on Tuesday. All participants confidently debated the motion “Animal Testing Should be Banned”. The next debate will take place on Tuesday 23rd November.

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We will be giving members the opportunity to enter the Action Aid National Speech Writing Competition in the coming weeks. New members are always welcome, we would love to see you there!

Book Club

Join us every Friday in the Garden for our AVS Book Club! Our book discussion club is a group of students who meet to discuss a book or books that they have read and express their opinions, likes, dislikes, etc. We would be delighted to welcome new members as we delve into the world of our favourite authors!

Girls Active Programme

The Girls Active Programme is now running during lunchtime, on Wednesdays in the Library. The Girls Active programme helps schools understand what motivates girls to take part in sporting activities, enabling teachers to work with girls through consultation and leadership to make the necessary changes to their PE, sport and physical activity provision to engage all girls in ways that appeal to them. All first year girls are welcome and this will be a fun club with a range of different activities for students to engage in!


Canteen

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. Do not top up the cashless card at the moment. The cards are on sale from the chef in the canteen in school.


Student Voice

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The AVS Student Council took part in the Donegal Comhairle na nÓg Annual General Meeting on Friday the 19th of November online on ZOOM from 10:30am to 1pm. Donegal County Council in partnership with HSE Health Promotion, Foróige and the Department of Children Equality, Disability, Integration and Youth facilitated the meeting. Our students attended workshops and took part through break-out rooms in discussions with young people from all over the county.

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The Donegal Comhairle na nÓg AGM provides a forum where young people are facilitated to discuss issues relevant to them and their community. The event includes staff facilitated workshops to discuss themes relevant to young people. The meeting was opened by Keith Barry, magician, who did some clever warm up activities. Sarah Canny, a 5th year student, and a member of the Donegal Youth Council, facilitated breakout room discussions.

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The themes of the day included -

  • Mental Health
  • Climate Action
  • Social Media/Body Image

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Chairperson of AVS Student Council Emma Meehan with Aaron Hughes engaging in break-out room discussions.

It was rewarding for our Student Council to help in the development of the programme of work for our current elected Donegal Youth Councilors of 2020-2022.

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Sarah Canny, member of Donegal Youth Council, who hosted break-out room discussions as a facilitator - at the DYC AGM and Workshop.


Guidance

AHEAD

There is a free online event happening on 27th November for students with disabilities. Click HERE for further information and to register for the event.

UCAS

26th January 2022 = Deadline date for course applications

CAO

  • 1st February 2022: CAO closes for applications
  • 1st March 2022: Closing date for online completion of HEAR/DARE forms 15th March 2022: Latest date for submitting HEAR/DARE supporting documents to the CAO office
  • 5th May 2022: Online for facility for Change Of Mind becomes available
  • 1st July 2022: Change Of Mind Facility closes
  • Please click HERE for further details.

Appointments

Leaving Cert 1:1 appointments are ongoing.

Please see your Guidance Counsellor to book an appointment.

Website

Please keep an eye on our guidance website. Go to www.AVSDonegal.com - Student Support tab - click on Guidance/Counselling


Teaching & Learning

The Teaching & Learning Committee at the Abbey Vocational School has immersed itself in the The Learner Voice Framework. The Learner Voice Initiative is a self-assessment and development tool that enables organisations to identify, measure and improve the quality of their learner voice practice.

The framework offers space for a shared understanding of what a learner voice is and what effective learner voice looks like in practice. It guides a conversation about the value and importance of empowering learners to shape their education and be active citizens in their community. In turn, we can support students with tools to aid their study. How best do I study, make notes, such as students preparing work in their own words as a revision tool.

Teaching & Learning: A look at Study Planning

Christmas house-exams are approaching. Shortly after the Christmas holidays, Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Mock Examinations will quickly draw near.

Juggling your classes, homework, and other commitments such as extracurricular activities and sport, managing your time to study can be challenging. An effective way to achieve your own learning goals to implement a study plan. There are many ways to plan your study, from monthly to weekly to daily timetables, priority lists, and checklists. However, do not get overwhelmed in trying to perfect the ideal plan! One key advantage of study plans is that it will help you to avoid stress in that you will have a clear plan of what you will be doing each week.

Two useful approaches include:

  1. A Weekly Study Timetable will outline specific times for study and when you need to take time off.
  2. A Subject Planner will provide you with an overview of what is needed in a particular subject.

Weekly Study Timetable

Creating a weekly study timetable is one of the most important things you can do to study effectively. With the aid of a template:

  1. Shade-in times for extracurricular activities such as sport, music lessons, gym etc.
  2. Shade-in the times you really don't want to study!
  3. Pick the times you will study
  4. Write in the subjects you will study in each available time slot

There are many templates and even apps available online, however, we have placed an editable MS Word Version on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website for handiness.

Subject Planner

The subject planner will contain a list of all the topics in that subject and will provide you with a broad outline of what needs to be done. Your teacher may provide this list and in some subjects, the chapters of your textbook are also useful. Alternatively, many of the exam papers contain ready-made topic lists. You might also add a column in your plan to rate the difficulty of each topic in order to identify topics requiring further revision. Once again, we have placed an MS Word template on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website. (www.avsdonegal.com)

Some further points to note:

  1. Creating a lovely colour-coded plan in an Excel spreadsheet or MS Word document is all well and good, but if you can’t see it on a daily basis, it can easily start to slip your mind. Either write or print it out and stick it up on the wall at home or around your desk to remind you what you are due to cover each week.
  2. Discover what works for you. Keep your plan flexible. If you have scheduled an hour of study at 8 pm every evening but find you are not being productive, then make a change. For example, try getting up an hour earlier to see if morning-study works better for you.
  3. Break subjects/topics down into small chunks. Assess how familiar you are with each topic and focus on your weak areas.
  4. Wellbeing: It is important to take regular breaks when you are studying to ensure you don’t burn out. Include 5- or 10-minute breaks in your study plan. It is also important to make time for the things you like to do such as meeting with friends, going for walks, running, cycling, etc. Ultimately, this will better prepare you mentally to achieve your study goals. Well-balanced meals and adequate sleep are also vital.

….. And finally, don’t get disheartened if you break the timetable! Forget about it and focus on the plan for the following day.

Next week, a look at study planning apps.


Transition Year 2021/22

Transition Year Mission:

To promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of pupils and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative, and responsible members of society.

Transition Year Aims

The following aims are interrelated and interdependent and should be strongly reflected in every Transition Year programme:

  1. Education for maturity with the emphasis on personal development including social awareness and increased social competence.
  2. The promotion of general, technical and academic skills with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and self-directed learning.
  3. Education through experience of adult and working life as a basis for personal development and maturity.

TY Diary for the week 8/11/21 - 12/11/21

  • Activities for Respect Week
  • Keith Corcoran History Walk

Keith Corcoran History Walk

Historian, Author and Storyteller, Keith Corcoran, took our TY Students on a journey through history this week, examining enduring mysteries and legends from Donegal. Students were enlightened by intriguing insights from Keith Corcoran and his knowledge of local stories, seanchaí and lore keepers. Many of these stories provide fascinating insights into a forgotten Ireland and enchanted and mystified our students!

‘Keith is a true seanchaí, in the ancient Gaelic tradition of storytelling. He is the teller who preserves the myths and legends of our people and passes them on to succeeding generations. Keith has preserved and passed on a range of wondrous, often terrifying tales of Donegal’. According to Soinbhe Lally, author of ‘Ancient Legends of Ireland’

‘On Monday the 15th of November Local Author Keith Corcoran came in to take us on a walk around Donegal and teach us about the history of Donegal town. Firstly, he introduced himself to us and told us a bit about what he does for a living. He does tours all over Europe and Ireland. He also is currently working on his fourth book. Keith told us many interesting facts about St. Patrick's Church. The church is mainly made of pink granite with some Mountcharles sandstone used for around the windows and doors. I learned that Mountcharles Sandstone was used to make buildings such as The Dail in Dublin, the credit union in town and the monument on the Diamond.

Then we moved on to Donegal Castle. He told us why the castle was built there and about how there might be a secret passage under the road. Next we went to the monument on the Diamond. There Keith told us a bit about the Four Masters and their names. Making our way to the pier to the anchor and the statue of Red Hugh O'Donnell. Our final stop was the Abbey Graveyard. He told us more interesting information and then we walked back to school. It was a good walk and I enjoyed learning more about the history of my town.”

Young Social Innovators and Young Environmentalists

This year we have 20 Transition Years students participating in the Young Social Innovators initiative as well as the Young Environmentalist Awards with their project Commotion in the Ocean. This initiative will be carried out under the guidance of Ms. Kelly.

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The social issue of concern our team has chosen to address is the impact of pollution on marine life. Oceans play an essential role in our life on earth. They provide us with over 50% of the oxygen we breathe and contribute to over 97% of the world's water supply. The pollution of our oceans not only affects marine life and their environment, but it also affects mankind. The equivalent of a bin lorry load of plastic is dumped in the sea every minute. This has resulted in over 150 million tonnes of plastic already floating in the sea. We want to play a part in addressing this issue.

We hope to bring about awareness on how people can reduce their carbon footprint and in particular reduce the amount of pollution that is entering into our seas and oceans damaging marine life. Inspired by David Attenborough, “The ocean’s power of regeneration is remarkable – if we just offer it the chance”. We have this choice and together we can make this change.

Follow our YSI journey on Instagram @commotionintheocean_avs

TY Community Care

The Transition Year programme provides a major opportunity to reinforce and build upon the work of Civics in the Junior Cycle. In particular, the main aim of Civic, Social and Political Education is to develop active and participatory citizenship in pupils with regard to human rights and social responsibilities. The full range of issues involved may be usefully explored at a number of interconnected levels: · the individual · the community · the state · the global.

The Community Care programme affords our TY students the opportunity to directly help the community. During the course of the year, students seek out community projects in the vicinity and volunteer for 20 hours.

ActionAid ActionTalks National Speech Writing Competition

As part of our Literacy Module Transition Year Students are taking part in the ActionAid Action Talks National Speech Writing Competition. This is a great opportunity for students to work on their writing skills, and develop their speech writing talents!

The role of ActionAid is to empower local women to take control over their own lives, support them with education and training, for example: literacy, numeracy, work skills, leadership skills, and how to achieve their rights to healthcare, work and education.

Each TY Student can pick one of the following topics:

  • The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of unpaid work in the home (e.g. childminding, caretaking, household functioning), with women often bearing the brunt of this work. How can we redistribute unpaid work in a way that is fair for everyone?
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, incidences of gender-based violence rose, both in Ireland and internationally. What can Ireland do?
  • Unfair access to vaccines has meant that those living in the poorest countries will suffer the worst effects of the pandemic. The inequalities exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted the importance of global solidarity and international aid. Discuss.

Work Experience

During Transition Year, the students will gain some valuable insights into the world of work through our work placement programme. The work placements take place over two separate one week slots. Each student is expected to find his or her own placements with an employer in a suitable area of work. This should be done in consultation with their parents and the Career Guidance team. Every effort should be made to find work placements which are relevant to any plans for a future career. Students are encouraged to start planning for their work placements and have an idea of where they might like to apply. The dates for the TY Work Experience are 13th-17th of December 2021 and 14th-18th of February 2022.

Workshops

The Transition Year Programme is diverse, inclusive and engaging. TY Students take part in workshops, talks and courses ranging from public speaking to Fintech.

Transition Year Trips

Students will take part in a number of trips throughout the year where it is possible under the current guidelines.

ePortfolio

An eportfolio is an electronic portfolio, which the students will use to keep a record of all their work from the year. They will design their own web page containing all their work and then summit it to their tutor at the end of the year. Each student’s ePortfolio is personalised to their own TY experience. It will include a section on trips, activities, workshops, guest speakers, work experiences and individual subjects. Students will have 3 pieces of work for each of their subjects to show work that they have completed to a high standard throughout the year.

Assessment

Students will be assessed on an ongoing basis throughout the year by their class teachers. Assessments in line with best practice will be blended and may consist of project work, practical assessments or class tests. Students will receive a report from their subject teachers as part of their Christmas assessment. The final TY assessment will include an interview and a presentation of each student’s ePortfolio. Students will receive details of expectations and success criteria for this assessment in due course.

Performing Arts

Transition Years students are undertaking a module in Performing Arts as part of the TY curriculum. They are currently participating in a 3 week rotation amongst the 6 teachers who are delivering different aspects of the course including music, theatre studies, dance, event management, costuming and set design.

This module allows students to develop their creativity and prepares them with the necessary tools and skills needed in preparation for the school musical.

CPR 4 Schools

A number of teachers of TY students have received training from the Irish Heart Foundation. These teachers have been guided through the process of how to deliver CPR 4 Schools training in the classroom to the students. The course uses a mixture of videos, lesson plans and worksheets to ensure ease of access within the classroom. As AVS is a new school to the programme we have received a free mannequin kit and training worth €1,000.

The programme provides students and teachers with the skills and confidence to recognise cardiac arrest and perform hands-only CPR.

Following training students will know:

  • How to recognise cardiac arrest and perform CPR
  • How to use an AED
  • How to assist someone who is choking
  • How to perform CPR on a child
  • The difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack
  • How to recognise a stroke

We look forward to introducing this programme as part of our students’ TY experience over the year.

For information from the Irish Heart Foundation on public courses available etc please see here

Assessment

Students will be assessed on an ongoing basis throughout the year by their class teachers. Assessments in line with best practice will be blended and may consist of project work, practical assessments or class tests. Students will receive a report from their subject teachers as part of their Christmas assessment. The final TY assessment will include an interview and a presentation of each student’s ePortfolio. Students will receive details of expectations and success criteria for this assessment in due course.

Performing Arts

Transition Years students are undertaking a module in Performing Arts as part of the TY curriculum. They are currently participating in a 3 week rotation amongst the 6 teachers who are delivering different aspects of the course including music, theatre studies, dance, event management, costuming and set design.

This module allows students to develop their creativity and prepares them with the necessary tools and skills needed in preparation for the school musical.

CPR 4 Schools

A number of teachers of TY students have received training from the Irish Heart Foundation. These teachers have been guided through the process of how to deliver CPR 4 Schools training in the classroom to the students. The course uses a mixture of videos, lesson plans and worksheets to ensure ease of access within the classroom. As AVS is a new school to the programme we have received a free mannequin kit and training worth €1,000.

The programme provides students and teachers with the skills and confidence to recognise cardiac arrest and perform hands-only CPR.

Following training students will know:

  • How to recognise cardiac arrest and perform CPR
  • How to use an AED
  • How to assist someone who is choking
  • How to perform CPR on a child
  • The difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack
  • How to recognise a stroke

We look forward to introducing this programme as part of our students’ TY experience over the year.

For information from the Irish Heart Foundation on public courses available etc please see here

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SPORT

SPORT

Extra-Curricular Sports Teams

U19 Girls Basketball

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The Abbey’s U19 Girls Basketball Team played their first competitive A League Game this week against the Loreto Letterkenny. The U19s narrowly missed out on a win losing by only 3 points in a really intense high-paced game of basketball. A huge well done to the team who played with great energy and commitment after a long break from the sport!

U16 Girls Basketball

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The U16 Girls Basketball Team played their first competitive A League Game this week against the Loreto Letterkenny. The Abbey’s U16 Team put up a great battle against a strong Letterkenny side but unfortunately couldn’t produce a win. Congratulations to the team who came back after a long hiatus due to covid with an enthusiasm, drive and determination which is sure to put our students on the path to success!

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U16 Boys Basketball

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Congratulations to our U16 Boys Basketball Team who played their first game and had their first win this week against St Patricks College Cavan. With a strong performance, showing great flairs of talent, the final score was 48-27.

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A picture of the action at the U16 Boys Basketball Match! The U16 Boys Basketball Team are; Eoghan McPartlan(Captain), Oisin Doherty, Niall Feeney, Terence McGovern, Darragh Griffin, Vasilije Skender, Theo Colhoun, Charlie Joe McNeely, James Connolly, Sean Meehan, Se Cassidy, Joseph Jordan.

U19 Boys Basketball

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This week the U19 Boys Basketball team played their first game against St. Patricks College Cavan. In a nail biting finish the boys lost 62-55 in a high scoring, energetic game which saw the Abbey boys work diligently and create great chances throughout the game. A fantastic performance by a very talented team!

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The U19 Boys Basketball Team are; Senan Quinn, Diarmuid O’Donnell (Captain), Niall Prendiville, Ben McNeely, Jake Graham, Seamus Og Caldwell, Leo McGowan, Jack Kenny, Ethan Kenny, Daniel Quinn, Mark Jordan, Conor Gillespie, Shea Byrne.

Irish National U16 & U17 Basketball Team Trials

Good Luck to Eoghan McPartlan(3F) and Daniel Quinn(5B) who have made it to the last round of callbacks for the Irish National U16 & U17 Basketball Team. Eoghan will travel to Tralee and Daniel will travel to Cork this weekend for their trials!

Girls U-15 Interprovincial Soccer Team 2021

Congratulations to second year student Sara Thomas on her selection to the

Ulster Schools Team for 2021. The Interprovincial Tournament is due to take place from Friday 19th November to Sunday 21st November 2021. This event is used to select players for the Irish Schools U15 International Team. The games will take place at the AUL Complex in Dublin. Best of luck from all at the Abbey VS.

All Ireland Schools Multi Events

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Well done to Rachel Gallagher, Jamie Kennedy and Alana Anderson on gaining selection onto the Ulster Schools Multi Events team due to compete in the All Ireland Schools in Athlone on Saturday 20th November. They will compete against the top athletes in the country in hurdling, jumping, throws and middle distance.

Finn Harps U14 Team

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Well done to Turlough Carr who was a member of the Finn Harps U14 Team that won the FAI Cup last week.

Girls GAA

It is great that we can start to welcome back our extra curricular sports teams. The first group back was our girls GAA teams. They will be training for the next couple of months on Tuesday from 4pm - 5pm on the school football and all weather pitch. When training please bring football gear, boots, runners and a bottle of water.

Senior Boys GAA

Senior boys GAA training has started on Mondays after school in Tir Conaill Park at 4:15pm.

U14 Boys GAA

U14 Boys training has started on Thursday after school on the school pitch.

U14 Boys \soccer

Training has started on Wednesday after school on the all weather pitch for all those who would like to improve their skills, fitness & fun!

Basketball U16 and U19 Boys

U16 and U19 Boys training takes place every Wednesday after school in the school gym from 4-5:45pm. All players are welcome.

Basketball First and Second year Girls

Basketball training for First and Second Year Girls started this week on Thursday the 18th of November. It will continue every Thursday after school from 15:50 to 17:00pm in the gym. To sign up please come to the gym. All players are welcome.

Athletics Training

Training is starting back on Thursdays from 6.45pm - 8pm in the school gym. This training is for all club and school students training for cross country and track & field. Please see Mrs Gallagher (PE Dept) if you have any questions.

Cross Country Training

Our Cross Country training is on every Thursday at lunchtime on the track for all students. This training is open to all students who want to improve their fitness and will cater to all fitness levels ranging from walking level up to running level. Students must wear runners for the training and can meet on the track at the beginning of lunch. Training will last 20/30 minutes every day.

TY Coaching

A large number of transition years have volunteered to coach athletics on Thursday evenings. They will gain valuable experience coaching primary school age children for the year. They will also be responsible for organising various athletic events throughout the year. The benefits of coaching are immense as it will prepare students for eventual roles as players, coaches, and administrators in the future and ensure students gain lifelong skills that are transferable to many aspects of academic and social situations both inside and outside the school.

Lunchtime Physical Activities

Please see below the plan for lunchtime activities for this term.

Lunchtime Physical Activities

P Mc Devitt

Monday

Court

1st Year Soccer - Boys & Girls

J Daly

Monday

All weather pitch

2nd year soccer - Boys

K Munnelly

Monday

Sportshall

Fitness Circuit - All Senior Students

L Kelly

Monday

Library

Dance Club - All Students

I O’Mahony

Tuesday

Sportshall

2nd year games - Girls

G Gorman

Tuesday

All weather

3rd year soccer - Boys

S Maguire

Tuesday

Balcony

Rowing - All Students

P Rooney

Tuesday

Library

Table Tennis - All Senior Students

E O’Mahony

Wednesday

Sportshall

1st Year games - Boys & Girls

S Mc Fadden

Wednesday

All weather

1st year soccer - Boys & Girls

S Maguire

Wednesday

Balcony

Rowing - All Students

K Munnelly

Wednesday

Library

Sports Yoga - All Senior Students

S Maguire

Thursday

Balcony

Rowing - All Students

C Hegarty

Thursday

All Weather

3rd year soccer - Boys

P Rooney

Thursday

Sportshall

Unihoc - Junior girls

K Munnelly

Thursday

Library

Senior Students - Yoga

C Herron

Friday

Sportshall

3rd year games - Boys & Girls

P O’Donnell

Friday

All weather

2nd year soccer - Boys & Girls

K Munnelly

Friday

Library

Pilates - All Senior Students

S Maguire

Friday

Balcony

Rowing - All Students

Covid Learning and Support Scheme (CLASS)

This scheme has been introduced by the Department of Education to help schools mitigate the adverse impacts of Covid-19 on student learning loss and wellbeing arising from the periods of school closures in 2020 and 2021. Information has been gathered from parents, staff, students, guidance counsellors, year heads and prefects on what could be included in this scheme. Based on these recommendations, a plan has been put in place for each year group. The plan includes:

Academic

Wellbeing

● Homework club

● Catch-up club

● Spoken languages club

● IT skills

● Study skills/plans

● Young scientist

● Team building activities

● Anxiety management/techniques

● Girls Active

● Drama/Singing/Music club

● Motivational talks

● Tea/Coffee during catch-up club

● Yoga/Pilates

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Pictured are Second Year Students from 2A who took part in some team building exercises this week under the CLASS programme.


Health and Safety

Covid-19 Protocols

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 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

TRAFFIC MANAGEMENT PLAN

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Jan 18
2022
Subject Choices Parents (incoming 1st yr) 7-9pm
Jan 27
2022
P/T Meeting 2nd year
Feb 07
2022
Mock Exams
Feb 14
2022
TY Work Experience
17-Jan-2022
Abbey V.S. Newsletter - Mon 17th Jan 2022
05-Jan-2022
Updated HSE guidelines regarding Covid-19 and isolation for Adults and Children from their 13th Birthday. (5th Jan 2022)
20-Dec-2021
Abbey V.S. Newsletter - Mon 20th Dec 2021
The Glebe, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal, F94A409.
074 97 21105
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