AVS Weekly News Letter – 22nd Oct 2018

Parents Association AGM

The AGM of the Parents Association took place on Thursday 11th October and the following officers were appointed:-

Chairperson – Patrice Duffy                               Vice Chair – Anna Meehan

Secretary – Muriel Mitchell                                Assistant Secretary – Anne Mc Gowan

Treasurer – Sharon Gallagher                           Vice Treasurer – Arlene O Neill

Upcoming events include Mock interviews for the Leaving Cert students which will be held on Tuesday 4th December 2018.

Upcoming fundraising events include Quiz night in Dom’s on Friday 16th November and bag packing in SuperValu on Saturday 24th November.

Parent Teacher Meeting

The parent teacher meeting for Leaving Cert students takes place on Thursday 25th October. Please attend between 3.45pm and 6.15pm. Thank you.

JP Mc Manus Award

Congratulations to Laura O Donnell who will be has been awarded the JP Mc Manus scholarship. This is an outstanding achievement for Laura. Laura is studying Computer Science and Information Technology in NUIG


Donegal ETB Enterprise Day

On the 17th October 10 TY students and Ms Gordon, their teacher went to the Donegal ETB Enterprise Day in LYIT. The students were given a talk from Nicola Mc Laughlin who is the owner of Sequin Cinderella fashion shop and she is also a fashion blogger from Buncrana, she explained to all the students how she became a successful entrepreneur. Then the students were given an hour and a half to create an idea to pitch to a business judging panel. Our students created a futuristic sports centre which would be operated solely by robots. They developed a prototype for a futuristic sports complex, it was designed to be fully automated, QR scans for demonstrations, personalised injury scans, fitness and nutrition plan. There were 24 schools competing in the competition. The top three teams went through to the final stage which involved making a presentation to all six judges and students from all of the schools. The AVS placed third in the overall competition. Well done to all involved.


Student Voice

Donegal Youth Council

Nominations are in for Donegal Youth Council, a county based organisation that represents the voices of young people from around the county. One student from our school will be elected onto the council.  Ballot papers have been drawn up with candidates’ names and a full election will take place shortly after mid-term break.  Every student in the school will cast one vote.  For now, election campaigns have begun with canvassing, posters and pre-election events.  It is similar in ways to the Presidential Election and is becoming very exciting.

Student Council

Student Council held their first meeting on Wednesday.  They elected positions on the committee and discussed issues that are important in our school.  They decided that their first initiative will be ‘Inclusion’….One of the projects will be Sign-language classes which will take place on Wednesdays after the midterm.  These classes will be open to all staff and students of the school.

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

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.

TY Sports Leader Award

All TY PE classes have 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

This week for the Foróige “Leadership for Life” programme the students took part in several teamwork activities, including one where the students had to piece together clues to solve a murder. This allowed our students to practice their leadership, communication, listening and puzzle solving skills.


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 the best of their ability. Students are being kept up to date regarding 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.

Meet the cast:


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. A Mock Interview Night for Leaving Cert students organised by the Parents Association will take place in the school on Tuesday, 04 December 2018. Students must submit 2 copies of their CV to their Guidance Counsellor by Friday, 26 October 2018 @ 3.20 p.m.
  3. A visit to the Greencastle Fishery School for Senior Cycle students has been scheduled for Monday, 12 November. Ms Faherty is taking names. Places are limited and will be offered on a 1st come, 1st served basis.
  4. Guidance Information Events for Parents/Guardians:
  5. Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the Guidance logo


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


Exam Wellness Workshop

All Leaving Cert students took part in an Exam Wellness workshop on Friday 19th in the school library. The workshop was arranged by Connect Mental Health and was delivered by Karen Balshaw. Karen is from stress management Ireland, she used Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) techniques throughout the session and focus on mental, physical and strategic preparation for exams. Each student was asked to assess and set goals to help them in preparation for the Leaving Certificate. The areas covered were – 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 finally – Top Tips for the exam week.


Fifth Year Study Skills workshop

Scot and Brian from the Student Enrichment service delivered a three hour workshop to all fifth year students on the study skills they will need to have for their Leaving Cert. The fifth year students said it was a very useful and helpful workshop. The following areas were covered:  1.The students identified their own personal Learning Style: The students complete our Questionnaire to help identify areas where improvements in their study techniques could be made. It also helped them to identify their preferred learning style.

  1. Goal Setting: The facilitators stressed the importance of setting realistic, achievable goals and assist students in setting up their individual Goal Charts. This session dealt with confidence building and overcoming self-limiting beliefs.
  2. Time Management: Students learned to save time, energy and needless stress! The essential fundamentals of good time management techniques were outlined. Students learnt to construct a workable study / homework timetable.
  3. Note Taking: By working with us through sample exercises, the students learnt the basic skills of note taking, thereby saving hours of wasted study time! A variety of styles were examined – Outline Method, Spider Diagrams and an innovative and visual Mapping Method.



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:

Irish Drama

An Irish Drama club will take place every Wednesday during lunch in room 16.

First Year Book Club

At the moment they are reading ‘Chasing Vermeer’. The next meeting is next Friday.

Book of the week: Chasing Vermeer by Blue Balliett

MS Readathon

The MS Readathon Competition is commenced 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.

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

Leaving Certificate Physical Education (LCPE)

After discussions with LYIT our Leaving Certificate Physical Education students will be engaging with the institute to reinforce and/or introduce topics from their specification.  A unique opportunity for these students. The full details of this development will be revealed at out LCPE official launch in the coming weeks.



Well done to Niamh Moohan who finished fourth at the All Ireland Schools Pentathlon final in Athlone last Saturday. Niamh competed against the top athletes from all over Ireland on the day. She competed exceptionally well with personal best performances in 4 out of the 5 events.

This result has now qualified her for the Irish Schools International team that will travel to Glasgow at the end of October. This weekend she will attend a training weekend in Tipperary in preparation for international duty. Niamh is the first student to represent the school at this high level in 15 years. Well done in this fantastic achievement and good luck in Glasgow.

Thank you to Tir Chonaill AC who have put a lot of work into coaching our athletes to compete at this high level.

Cross Country

Our athletes will travel to Gweedore this Tuesday 23rd October to in the Donegal School’s Cross-Country Championships.  Good luck to all involved.

Best wishes to Caolan Sweeney, Savannah Timony and Mia Mc Calmont who will compete at the Ulster Cross Country Championships in Greenmount, Co. Antrim on Saturday 27th October.

Run 4 Fun

There will be a run for fun training group starting at lunchtimes on the track for all junior students. This training is open to all students who want to improve their fitness and will cater for 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 begins this Monday 22nd October and will last 20/30 minutes every day.

Senior Boys Gaelic

The senior boys’ Gaelic team played Coláiste Na Carraige in Tir Chonaill Park on Thursday 18th October. Despite missing some players through injury the AVS boys came out on top on a score line of AVS 3-14 to Coláiste na Carraige 1-11. Next up for the boys is a home game against Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon after the mid-term break.


U20 Girls Gaelic

Hard luck to the senior ladies Gaelic team who lost against Coláiste Ailigh, Letterkenny on Tuesday 16th October. The girls played against a very strong team but they put up a very good fight all the same. In the first half, there was some great play from Hannah Shallow and Niamh Boyle in mid field keeping things steady. Unfortunately though for the girls Coláiste Ailigh broke through the defence and scored goals and points on numerous occasions. However, Hannah Crawford, Caoimhe Walsh and Hannah Shallow scored some great point to keep Abbey in the game. In the second half, tactical changes were made in the AVS team, which were in the girls favour. Aine Ward and Aoife Greene put in some great tackles. Abbey played outstanding in the last 10 minutes scoring 2 goals by Aine Mc Groarty and Niamh Boyle, and 3 points too within that time. However the final whistle blew and the game was over.



Boys Futsal

The Aura Centre, Letterkenny was the venue for both girls and boys tournaments held on 11th and 18th October. There were 9 girls’ teams and 14 boys’ teams battling it out to represent Donegal in the provincial and/or All Ireland Futsal tournaments.

Girls Futsal

The girls qualified as best runners up in their group and afters convincing semi-final win progressed through to the final. A thrilling encounter with Loreto Letterkenny saw the game need additional time to separate them. A wonder strike from the Letterkenny girls saw them progress as Donegal champions.
The boys started with 3 wins to top their group and ensure a semi-final spot.  They met St. Columba’s from Stranorlar and were narrowly beaten 3:2 in a very competitive match. St. Columba’s progressed to win the final 5:1 as worthy champions.
All panel of 12 boys players 12 girls played their part in the success of the days. Group stages allowed for entire panels to get game time and first-hand experience in playing in such a tournament.
Both panels now take their learning into the 11 a-side upcoming fixtures.2018-10-22-008



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.  He will compete in the 100m Freestyle and 100m Breaststroke.

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 boys will now play Carrick on Shannon next Tuesday in the school gym at 12am. Good luck boys.


U17 Boys Soccer

Our U17 soccer team were beaten 2-0 earlier this week after travelling to Maghery to play a very strong Rosses side. The boys put in a good performance and only conceded in the last quarter of the game after dominating much of the second half. Keeper Oisín McCallig made a number of good saves and Conor Campbell and Raimon Moya Portavella were unlucky not to find themselves on the score sheet. Next up for the lads is a tie against old rivals St. Columba’s.

Senior Boys Soccer- Draw!

AVS VS Rosses Community School in Maghery, Dungloe.

Abbey started strong in the 1st half, defended well without conceding a goal. Both teams played well, both missed chances with AVS keeper Killian Faulkner making two marvellous saves to keep the game scoreless. The game kicked into life with 7 minutes left, when AVS broke down the left hand side and the Rosses player deflected a cross into the back of their own net.  The Rosses responded immediately by scoring 2 goals on the bounce. In the dying moments AVS were awarded a penalty which the Rosses keeper tremendously saved the initial shot and after a goalmouth scramble, Raimon Moya Portavella scored for AVS. Getting a well-earned draw for the Abbey.


Conor Campbell – called up to U-15 Ireland International Soccer Squad

Third Year student Conor Campbell has been called up to the U15’s Ireland International soccer squad. Conor started off playing football with Eany Celtic. He played for the 2004 Donegal Schoolboys County Team from 2014-2017. During his time playing for the County team, Conor attended trials in 2016 for the Ireland squad but didn’t make the cut. Conor was then chosen to play for the U15 Finn Harps team by Coach Kevin McHugh, even though this was an age group above his own. Conor had an exceptional season with Finn Harps in the national league which caught the eye of the Ireland squad coaches. He was called up for trials for the second time and was picked to play for the Ireland U15 International squad this year. Conor will attend a training camp on the 27th and the 29th October and he will then play against Poland on the 14th and 16th November at Home Farm, Dublin. We all wish Conor the best of luck from the Abbey Vocational School.


U16 Girls Basketball

Hard luck to the u16 girls’ basketball team who were defeated by Rathmore, Belfast on Thursday 18th October. Abbey faced a very strong team but stood up to the opposing team well. Great play was displayed by Kirsty Harron and Catherine Campbell. These players contributed greatly throughout the game. Some brilliant baskets were scored by Ellen Canavan, Erin Doherty, Kirsty Harron and Catherine Campbell who scored a free shot. Halftime score was 14-24, Rathmore in the lead. In the second half, Emma Meehan in 2nd year stood up to the mark and scored a few great baskets as well as Katie Gillespie. However Rathmore appeared to be stronger and more organised. Enya Gallagher put in some great tackles to assist Abbey. In the final quarter, Abbey were playing very well and had most of the possession. Unfortunately though for the girls, the time was up and Rathmore came out on top. Final score was 25-35. Top scorers were:  Kirsty Harron, Catherine Campbell, Emma Meehan.




TY Newsletter team:

  • Frank Duffy
  • Christopher Darby
  • Meabh Morrow Herbert
  • Hannah Crawford
  • Tom Daly
  • Emma Coulter
  • Shona O’Brien 





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