AVS Newsletter – 15th Oct 2018

Parents Association AGM

The AGM of the Parents Association Meeting took place on Thursday last. There was a new committee elected and they will hold their first meeting on Monday 15th in the staffroom

Donegal ETB Enterprise Day

Ten TY students will go to LYIT on Wednesday the 17th October to take part in the ETB Enterprise Day. This event is for young people to explore their innovative and enterprise skills and will involve working in groups to develop a product and pitch their idea to a business judging panel.

Student Voice

All Prefects, Student Council and Class Captains for 2018/19 have been elected. Prefects had their first meeting on Friday. They formed a committee and made plans for the area of focus for 2018 2019.

Student Council

The Student Council attended an Inclusion event on Wednesday last in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny. The Donegal Children & Young People’s Services Committee (CYPSC)

Launched the Children & Young People’s Plan (CYPP) 2018-2020

To celebrate the Launch of the CYPP, Donegal CYPSC invited some of our students and staff to attend the Special Seminar ‘Re-imagining Disability, from accepting Diversity to true Inclusion’. The Key note Speaker was Dr. Bronagh Byrne, Queens University Belfast.  This special event included Guest Speakers, Examples of Best Practice, Information Stands, Networking, entertainment and much more. Our Student Council will now focus on one aspect of inclusion to focus on during 2018 2019.

Active School Flag

The Active Schools banner was launched last Friday in the Abbey Vocational School. It is a project run by Mrs O’Mahony and Active Schools Flag staff committee who include Mr Monaghan, Mr O Donnell, Ms Rooney  and the class 4C to help get students on their feet and more active. The committee includes Evan Gallagher, Katelyn Duffy, Cathleen Gallagher and Tomas Kingdom.


Physical Education – our school delivers a broad and balanced PE curriculum for catering for all students. Each class in the school has one double PE class each week. This year our 5th years are studying Leaving Cert Examinable PE for the first time. Our core senior classes are experiencing new methods of teaching and learning through the instructional models delivered as part of our framework.


Physical activity – AVS provides many physical activity opportunities for students of all interests and abilities. The school has an extensive extra and co-curricular timetable for break times. Our aim this year is to promote physical activity within all subject areas.

Partnerships – Our school has always valued the student voice. This year through Active School Flag, we will have two class reps from junior cycle classes and one from senior cycle classes that will be link to our ASF team and committee.

Active school week – we will host our Annual Active Schools week again this April. This focuses on fun and INCLUSIVE physical activity opportunities for both staff and students.

Mental Health Week

This week was Mental Health Week and we had many positive mental health activities lined up for the week including drop all and walk, sing for your mental health, mindfulness, yoga, Let’s Dance, Skipathon, Tug a War and A Rowathon during lunch.

During students wellbeing/ personal development/ religion class the class teacher completed a ‘Drop all and Walk’ session where our students got out for some fresh air on the track this week. All week there was a playlist of music playing in the assembly area to help create a happy atmosphere.

On Thursday Ms Carr and Ms Breslin conducted a lovely sing – song as the assembly area was one again filled with music, this time from the AVS’ own music classes and TY students.

Friday was the launch of the schools Active School Flag campaign, there was free fruit in the assembly for all students and a rowathon took part up in the gym for all students. At the start of each day Mrs Diver read out the positive quote of the day over the school intercom. The 5 positive quotes were:

  1. “Your positive action combined with positive thinking results in success”
  2. “Life isn’t about waiting on the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain”
  3. “Sometimes the smallest step in the right direction ends up being the biggest step of your life. Tip toe if you must, but take the step”
  4. “If you think someone could use a friend….be one”
  5. “Shoot for the moon even if you miss, you’ll land among the stars”

Thanks to the wellbeing committee for running such an amazing week highlighting the importance of positive mental health. Feel free to check out our schools Twitter page to see what we got up to this week!

Sing for Mental Health:




Tug of War


Healthy Eating:




Let’s Dance:


Drop all and Walk:


5th year Art Trip

5th year Art students from the AVS travelled to Glebe House and Gallery near Churchill this week to see the work of Letterkenny born artist Rian Kerrane and to tour the home of renowned portrait painter and landscape artist Derek Hill. On their way home the students stopped off at LYIT for a tour of the department of Design and Creative Media where past AVS student Crona Connolly spoke about the Animation, Fashion and Digital Media Courses which are offered by the college.


On the 5th October our Transition years visited NUI Galway for the day. They attended numerous talks all varied in areas of work to help with career choices and college courses. It gave them all a good feel of what lectures are like and college campuses, considering the size of NUIG. It was a day well spent away and provided great experience for our students.

RSA Roadshow

Transition years travelled to the Aura Centre Letterkenny to attend a talk organised by the road safety authority (RSA) to make students and young new drivers aware of the dangers of the road. They plotted a scene about a boy who just passed his driver’s test and he didn’t make it home. It walked through how the Gardaí arrived first and what they saw, then the paramedics, then the firemen and then the nurse. We were also greeted by a survivor who is now paralyzed for life and confined to a wheelchair. The scenes that we were shown were graphic but extremely effective and it was a brilliant talk to attend.


TY Activities

Our TY’s are in the middle of third three week block of activity. Every Monday afternoon they get the opportunity to try new activities and visit a number of local gyms and venues.

Thank you to all the local coaches for accommodating us.

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





TY Sports Leader Award

This week, all TY PE classes started their sports leadership training. This will give our students a great opportunity to develop coaching techniques, communication skills and gain more confidence each week. The main aim of this qualification is to enable the students to gain leadership skills whilst ensuring that the student and others stay physically active. The TY students will be working with a number of first year classes.  This will help them to prepare to coach in the local primary schools in the coming months.


Foróige Leadership Programme

Every Tuesday morning from 9:00-11:00, 20 TY students take part in the Foróige Leadership Programme. There will be three modules that our TY students will have to complete.

They are as follows:

Module 1• Enables participants to explore what leadership is and the type of leaders they would like to be. The module focuses on core leadership skills such as communication, problem solving, self-awareness, values and action planning.

Module 2• Enables participants to work with others to achieve a leadership goal. The module focuses on how leadership can have a positive impact on society by tackling both local and global issues. Module 2 also focuses on research skills, conflict resolution, critical thinking and exploring leadership styles.Module 3• Enables participants to put into practice their learning from previous modules by actively engaging in a community action project of their choice, keeping a learning journal of their experiences and presenting a portfolio upon completion.



We are now in the middle of rehearsals for the upcoming show of Beauty and the Beast. All the TY students are very excited and are showing great enthusiasm to dance, sing and act to their best of their ability. Students are being kept up to date rehiring when they’re needed to rehearse on Google classroom, so TY students don’t forget to keep checking! The musical this year will take place on the 27th, 28th and 30th November in the St. John Bosco Centre.


Mental Health Foróige workshop

On Thursday the 5th October our transition years attended a mental health workshop in the abbey hotel organized by Foróige. They were combined in groups with students from other schools and took part in four different workshops, one on exercising, healthy eating, gratitude and a speaker on the jigsaw organisation. It provided useful information and let us all know the people that can help us when we need it. It was a great opportunity to mix with students from other schools and everyone had a very enjoyable day.



Alan Devine Public Speaking Workshop

On Monday 8th October, Alan Devine, an Irish Actor, came to our school to give the TYs a talk about public speaking.  He showed them the difference between having confidence and not having confidence when speaking in public.  They played different games, had to deliver a joke to their fellow classmates, engage and control the audience.  Through game playing, Alan provided them with techniques to use for projecting their voices, being heard in public and speaking clearly. He told them that they should always have energy and a positive attitude when speaking in public.


Career Guidance

  1. Letterkenny Institute of Technology (LYIT) will do a presentation to 6th years on Thursday, 25 October @ 11.55 a.m. in the Library. Students wishing to attend the talk must first inform their class teacher of their absence.
  2. The Guidance department will take 5th Year students to the IT Sligo Open Day on Thursday, 18 October. A bus will depart from the school @ 9 a.m. There will be a €5 charge per student. Ms Mc Morrow is collecting the money. Places are limited and will be offered on a 1st come, 1st served basis.
  3. An important event for Parents interested in finding out more about careers for young people in ICT/FinTech in the North-West will take place on Thursday, 18 October 2018 in the Abbey Hotel @ 6 p.m. See our Guidance website for full details: http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance logo.
  4. A Mock Interview Night for Leaving Cert students organised by the Parents Association will take place in the school on Tuesday, 04 December 2018. All information about this night has been communicated to students by their Guidance Counsellor.
  5. A CV Workshop for 6th Year students took place in the library last Thursday in preparation for both the Mock Interview Night and positions they may apply for after completing their Leaving Cert.
  6. Guidance Information Nights for Parents/Guardians:


Tuesday, 06 November 2019 School Leavers Info. Evening (Parents/Guardians) 19.00 – 21.00
Tuesday, 05 February 2019 Subject Choices Presentation

(for next year’s 5th Years)

19.00 – 21.00
Tuesday, 30 April 2019 Subject Choices Presentation

(for next year’s 2nd Years)

19.00 – 20.15


  1. Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance logo


Information Sessions on Career Education

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

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

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

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


Exam Wellness Workshop

On Thursday next our Leaving Cert students will attend an exam wellness workshop. This workshop will cover areas such as understanding Stress and Wellness, Training for Exams: The 5 Zones-(Study routine, sleep, diet, exercise, mental coping skills), Self-Awareness: Attitudes: Mind-sets, Coping Strategies: Interactive exercises teaching mental coping skills and Top Tips for the exam week.

The aim of the Exam Wellness Workshops is to teach the students the necessary coping skills to manage pressure, time, and stress relating to exams. The cognitive exercises and methods of goal setting will be the tools that the students can use from the Leaving Cert through University and into whatever area of life they choose. It is an essential way of becoming proactive and taking responsibility for themselves


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

Activities for this term are as follows:

Traditional Music Group

Trad music group will take place next Monday at 1.30 in room 13 on Monday. This group is open to all but students are asked to bring their instruments.


Choir will be held at 12:50 during lunch time in room 16 on Fridays. All are invited to come. There will being of all the hit songs as well as learning vocal techniques.

First Year Book Club

Every 3rd Friday, first years meet in room 9.  This is their second meeting and they will be reviewing Wilderness by Roddy Doyle. They will pick their next book on Friday.

MS Readathon

The MS Readathon Competition is taking place on the 12th October and is running until the 12th November .The 30th MS Readathon encourages children to open a wonderful world of adventure and imagination through reading for a great cause! All first years will participate.  https://www.msreadathon.ie/ for more information.

Lunchtime Reading

Room 9 will be open to all on Thursdays for reading. This will provide a quiet place for students to read.

Allingham School Festival

The deadline for the Allingham School Festival is fast approaching. You can upload your entries online. You need to upload your entries before the 12th October. http://www.allinghamfestival.com/school-competitions/ to enter!

Sports Activities:


  • Indoors: 2nd Year Boys Games
  • Outdoors: TY Boys Games


  • Indoors: 1st Year Boys Games
  • Outdoors: Senior Boys Games


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


  • Indoors: All Girls Badminton
  • Outdoors: 2nd Year Boys Games


  • Indoors: 1st Year Girls Unihoc
  • Outdoors: 1st Year Boys Games

Non-Sports Activities:


  • Trad Group in room 13 for all students
  • Coding Club for all R 47


  • Chess Club in room 3 for all.


  • Irish Club & Scor Drama in Room 16 for all students
  • Science Club in room 33 at 12:45.
  • Spanish Club in the library for 1st years.


  • Choir in Room 16 for all students
  • Book Club in room 9 for all students.



Best of luck to Niamh Moohan, in 2nd year who will be competing in the All Ireland’s for Athletics. Niamh will be doing the multi field events at the competition. She is representing her club extremely well and is also showing great talent that we have in the school. Best of luck Niamh!


U14 Boys Gaelic

On the 9th October the U14 boys played Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon on our school pitch. The conditions were tough and very wet. The final score was Abbey: 1-9 Ballyshannon: 2-6. The boys are a credit to the school.


U20 Girls Gaelic

Training continues every Monday for all U16 and U20 girls Gaelic. U20 will play a game against Coláiste Ailigh this coming Tuesday in Letterkenny and they will play again on Friday 26th against Thornhill College Derry.


First Year Girls Futsal

On Thursday 11th October, the 1st year girls Futsal team were narrowly beaten in extra time of the Donegal Final. They will no doubt learn from the experience and enjoy winning ways another day.



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


U16 Boys Basketball

Well done to the U16 boys who won 46-61 on Tuesday in Sligo. Both teams were very evenly matched and stayed within three points for most of the game with the Abbey behind, but in the end of the third quarter and the fourth quarter they pulled ahead by three points and maintained that lead and ended up winning by 5 points.


Senior Boys Basketball

Well done to the senior boys’ basketball team who won 43-53 on Tuesday in Sligo. They played against a very strong side and it was also a tight game all the way through but the Abbey team pulled away from them in the last few minutes to win by 11 points.



The “RowingDonegal” pilot programme in conjunction with Donegal Bay Rowing Club and Donegal Sports Partnership started last week, with help from some TY students. The First year students will be introduced to the basics of rowing.


U16 Girls Basketball

Hard luck to the AVS girls’ U16 basketball team who were defeated against Ballinamore, Leitrim on Monday 8th October. Ballinamore started off very strong with getting some good scores. Catherine Campbell and Ellen Canavan contributed well in the first half but Abbey were falling behind unfortunately. Some great play was shown by Enya Gallagher and Ciara Cox which helped bring the score difference closer, but it was an unlucky loss for the AVS girls. The final score was 17:33 making Ballinamore come out on top. Hard luck to Abbey but best of luck in the rest of the games.


Senior Girls Basketball

Congratulations to the U19s ladies basketball team who had a great win against Ballinamore, Leitrim in The AVS school hall on Monday 8th October. It was a very fast moving first quarter for both Abbey and Ballinamore for the senior girls’ teams, but in the 2nd quarter, Abbey were obviously the stronger team. There were some fantastic scores from Sophie Carr and Aine Mc Groarty, giving Abbey the lead of 21:7 with contributing free shots in that.

It was a tense third quarter as both teams put in a great amount of effort, with Ellie Muldoon playing a big half with great defence. The girls showed great determination and were leading comfortably by 29:13. Catherine Campbell who stepped up from the U16’s squad played an excellent last quarter assisting the U19’s very well. The final score resulted in a 36:13 with Abbey coming out on top. Well done to the girls on a super win and best of luck in the future games!


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