The BVS Bulletin

News, events and more from Ballymahon Vocational School

About Ballymahon Vocational School

Welcome to "The Ballymahon Vocational School Bulletin" - Volume 1, Number 2

Continuity of Teaching & Learning During School Closure:

Dear members of our school community,

Thank you to all of our students for your co-operation on Thursday, March 12th as the school closed very suddenly following a directive by our government. In the days prior to the closure we stepped up formal preparations for potential school closure. Our Digital Learning Team led this process as students checked their email addresses/passwords and students had the opportunity to clear their lockers. Well done everyone!

As our new reality of safe-distancing, hand-washing and online teaching and learning settles in, please know that we in Ballymahon Vocational School will continue to do our best for you. As students, parents and teachers settle into routines we will all be learning together. Every measure has been put in place to facilitate ongoing connectivity between teachers and students. It is vitally important that students log on each day and communicate regularly with teachers online. Students should be logging on to their account and linking in with his/her subject teacher, receiving class work, notes and homework. Parents/Guardians are asked to actively participate by checking in on work assigned to students via the VS Ware system and our Office 365/email system. Never before has technology and the partnership between students, teachers and parents been more important in education. Our collaboration is key to the realisation and success of student distance learning.

As well as continuing to provide for your education, at BVS we we aim to focus on wellbeing, physical activity, positive mental health and coping strategies.Students are advised to structure each day around their school timetable. In addition to following instructions and guidance from teachers, students will be required to use their own initiative in terms of revision and study. We have provided students with a template which may be useful when they are organising their daily study schedule. We thank parents and other family members at home for their continued encouragement and support in this regard.

Please continue to follow the HSE guidelines around handwashing, coughing and sneezing etiquette and physical distancing, maintaining at least two metres between yourself and other people. We have been asked to limit social interactions over the coming weeks by avoiding all gatherings. It is however important for our mental wellbeing to keep in contact with friends and family. We should make a point of looking out for each other by checking in with anyone who might be lonely or isolated by phoning them, or via Facetime, Skype or Zoom. It is of the utmost importance during this exceptional time that we come together as a nation by STAYING APART.

In recent days we bid farewell to some of our international students. Some students made the decision to stay in the Ballymahon area and we thank your host families for creating a ‘home away from home’ for you. We are very mindful of how difficult it is for you to be so far away from your families and homes at this time.

As our Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said during his televised address to the nation on St. Patrick's Day, ‘We are in this together.’ Every citizen should take sustained action-wash hands properly, practice good hygiene around sneezing and coughing, stay apart from each other and avoid unnecessary journeys. We thank our parents and members of our teachers’ families who are involved in front line services-hospital and healthcare workers, members of An Garda Siochána, community service providers, supermarket workers, hauliers, journalists, broadcasters and anyone who is providing extra support for those most vulnerable in our society.

The Taoiseach in his address to the country asked that students be aware that this is a very stressful time for parents too. We ask that all of our BVS students show leadership and show responsibility at this unprecedented time in Irish society. We ask that you help out at home as required and above all we ask that you BE KIND.We know many of you may be minding your younger brothers and sisters- please be assured that this is very important work. It may be stressful at times, but please try to do your best to juggle your commitments at home with your school work and study.

We think of those who have lost their jobs or had their working hours reduced. We think of and pray for those who are very ill and all who are suffering from Coronavirus.

We wish each and every one of you good health, happiness and peace at this time.

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Spotlight on Transition Year History and Geography

We were recently delighted to welcome Jenny Duncan to our school, a sister of Transition Year student Conor Duncan. Jenny gave a very interesting presentation on her recent trip to the West Bank Region.During her presentation, Jenny displayed many photographs and recounted many insightful stories and encounters to the class. This presentation was delivered as part of the Transition Year History and Geography modules where students are encouraged to increase their knowledge and understanding of contemporary world affairs and conflicts.Students plan to compose a letter to their local TDs calling on our Government to support the Occupied Territories Bill 2018. This bill seeks to support the rights of vulnerable people living in this region and calls on international law to fight against illegal activity and to end human suffering. On behalf of all Transition Year students and their teachers, we would like to thank Jenny for her presentation.

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All Smiles!

BVS was delighted to welcome Jenny Duncan as part of our TY History and Geography module on Contemporary World Affairs. Jenny delivered a very interesting presentation on her recent trip to the West Bank Region. Thanks for this most informative and beneficial talk from all at BVS!

Ballymahon Vocational School - Where the Individual Matters

Welcome to the second edition of "The BVS Bulletin" from Ballymahon Vocational School. We hope it gives you a flavour of the busy day to day lives of our students, who are always at the very heart of our school community.

Commencement of Mock Examinations

The management and staff of Ballymahon Vocational School extended every good wish to Third and Sixth Year students as the mock examinations commenced. These examinations form an integral part of our students’ journey as they proceed through second level and take the next step in their educational lives. We have no doubt that all of your hard work will be rewarded.

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NUI Maynooth Visit for Leaving Certificate Biology and Physics Students

Our Leaving Certificate Biology and Physics classes headed off to NUI Maynooth on a fine spring morning to take part in a series of Science practicals. The event helps to prepare students for their Leaving Certificate Science practicals by giving them access to laboratories and equipment in order to conduct Physics, Chemistry and Biology experiments under the supervision of Maynooth University expert academics, technicians and demonstrators. This day is always a worthwhile experience in the lead up to the mock examinations and of course the Leaving Certificate examination itself. Thanks to Ms. Mulcahy and Mr. Dunne for accompanying the students on the day.

Ericsson Experience for Fifth Year Students

Fifth Year students from Ballymahon Vocational School recently travelled to Ericsson in Athlone to discover more about the exciting career opportunities available within the Ericsson facility. A large multi-purpose campus, set on 15 acres, the campus employs in excess of 800 people and is a designated Product Development Unit with responsibility for Network Management Systems across Sweden, India and Ireland. Our business partnership with Ericsson is currently in its 10th year and we extend thanks to the Ericsson staff for their invaluable assistance and support of our school. Thanks to Ms. Hanly for coordinating the partnership and to Mr. Farrell and Ms. Hall for their assistance.

Wrap up Winter Appeal Success

Transition Year students recently investigated the Homelessness crisis in Ireland as part of their Geography studies. Students are examining the factors that have accelerated the crisis in Ireland and discussing various avenues in which to combat this crisis. From their investigation, the students have been motivated to lend their assistance and support in helping those affected by the crisis. The students have partnered with Human Appeal Ireland, a charity which aims to feed, clothe and advise homeless people on how they can avail of state services. As part of the charity's Wrap up Winter Appeal, TY students are appealing to all students and staff to donate any unwanted jackets or jumpers that are in good condition. These items of clothing will go directly to those most affected and in need. It is asked that all items of clothing be clean and dry before being donated. To date, over 70 items of clothing have been collected far exceeding their initial target. All items of clothing will be distributed to those in need. Your assistance and support is much appreciated.Thanks to Ms. Clarke and the Geography Department for all their work in this area.

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World Book Day 2020

All members of our school community recently participated in a "Drop Everything and Read Challenge" to celebrate World Book Day 2020. Over the past 23 years, World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland's biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. We work very hard on a daily basis in our school community to promote a love of reading amongst our entire school community. Remember that reading is to the mind what exercise is to the body!

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Triple P Parenting Programme

All parents/guardians of Ballymahon Vocational School students were invited to join us for a Triple P parenting programme which ran for six weeks approximately. The course ran in the school and began on Monday 24th February, from 10am-12pm. Thanks to all who attended this course and thanks to Catherine of Triple P for facilitating!

First and Second Year Basketball Season

The First and Second Year Basketball season got off to an exciting start this month as both teams travelled to Wilson’s Hospital to compete. Despite a great show of class and character, unfortunately it was not to be our day, with both teams beaten by one point each. Earlier in February, First and Second Year boys also played Moate C.S. in the Midlands League. Unfortunately the First Years were beaten by a very talented Moate team, however a number of the boys had a great game, showing huge improvements in their abilities on the court. Second Year boys played very well on the day, beating Moate by 27 points, with Oran Killian our top scorer on 19 points. Well done to all concerned! Onwards and upwards for our boys for the next matches over the coming weeks.

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Visit from Longford Enterprise Board

Transition Year students had a visit from Sadie Wheatley, Longford Enterprise Board to help them finalise their enterprise projects for competition in March/April. Thanks to Sadie for what was a very enjoyable and informative information session.

Student Council News & Views

Our Student Council members have been busy and have set up an Uno club for students on a Thursday at lunchtime. All students welcome!

Leinster Semi-Final at St. Loman's

Hard luck to our Senior Boys Football team who lost by five points to Heywood in the Leinster Semi Final played in St. Loman’s grounds in late February. Down a number of players for various reasons the boys gave it their all, but it was not to be on the day. The players have given great dedication and commitment throughout the year and have been great ambassadors for the school. We are very proud of this team and their achievements to date. Thanks to Mr. Farrell and Mr. Jones for their commitment and dedication to this great team of lads. A team to watch in the future!

FREE Maths Classes for Parents & Guardians

Are you finding it difficult to assist your child with Maths homework? Would a few classes help? Maths for Parents classes started at Ballymahon Vocational School on Thursday 5th February from 9:30am-11:30am. Thanks to all the parents & guardians who came along. Free entry into a draw for an impressive hamper for all who attend.

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Fabulous Fashionistas!

Transition Year students modelling their fascinating fascinators, created during a recent Millinery Workshop they enjoyed.

Positive Parent Teacher Engagement @ Recent P/T Meetings

Recent P/T MeetingsThanks to all parents & guardians who attended the recent First, Second and Fifth Year Parent/Teacher meetings which were recently held in the School Sports Hall. We always look forward to meeting with parents & guardians to discuss the progress of our students and we were delighted to see the meetings so well attended.

Treading the Boards

Congratulations to Ballymahon Vocational School students Ben Callan, Conor Callan, Aisling Delaney and Blanka Toth who took part in the marvellous “Wizard of Longford”, a hugely entertaining production which ran from January 30th - February 1st in the Backstage Theatre, Longford. A massive treat indeed for all who were lucky enough to secure tickets!

Regional Finals of the SEAI One Good Idea Competition

Well done to Chloe Hopkins, Second Year (pictured below) who reached the Regional Finals of the SEAI One Good Idea competition which was recently held in the Omniplex Cinema in Longford. Chloe showcased her innovative idea and project to a panel of judges who commended her on her project. Chloe has worked tirelessly on this project since last September and is passionate about finding ways in which we can all live sustainably. Chloe’s project aims to save water by installing timers in electric shower to conserve energy and protect the environment. Chloe was joined on the day by a team of supporters from her Geography class and a great day was had by all. Thanks to Ms. Clarke for her extensive assistance and to Ms. Byrne for also accompanying on the day.

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