AVS Weekly Newsletter – 12th Nov 2018

Great News on New School Canteen Building

We were delighted to receive the great news  that the DoEs have approved the design and construction of a GP/Dining Area Approx 390m2) for our school. This is excellent news for our students and we are looking forward to this new building as well as our six new classrooms and ASD Unit which has now moved to the next stage of planning.

Parent Teacher Meeting

The Parent Teacher Meeting for parents of Third year students took place on  Thursday the 8th of November. Thank you to all those parents who attended on the night. Our next PTM will be held on November 21st for First Years

Staff Training Days

A reminder to all that the school will be closed to students on Thursday November 22nd and Wednesday  December 12th as staff will be attending DoES training days for the New Junior Cycle in their Subject Areas.

All schools nationwide are required to attend such training days.

School Induction Day

The School Induction day for incoming First years takes place on Tuesday December 11th and on that day, First years will also remain at home.

Parents Association Quiz:

The Parent’s Association of the Abbey Vocational School Invite you to a fun table quiz in Dom’s Pier 1 on Friday 16th November @9pm.

Tables of 4 €20, prizes, fun and refreshments on the night. All proceeds in aid of school extra-curricular fund.

Other Events

  • Bag packing in SuperValu will take place on Saturday 24th November 2018 from 10 am to 6pm.
  • Mock Interviews for Leaving Cert Students takes place in the School on Tuesday Night November  4th
  • Book Fair. The Book Fair takes place on the Open Evening in the school. The Opening Evening takes place on November 6th from 5pm to 8pm.

Incoming First Year Students:

Staff from the school will shortly be visiting all of the sixth class students in the area and students will receive an Induction pack with important Information.

Please note dates below :

  •  6th December 2018 : – OPEN EVENING (5pm to 8pm)
  • 10th December 2018:  – Deadline for Application for Admission 2019/20
  • 11th December 2018: – Induction Day for 6th Class Students  (Approx. 9.30 am  to 2.30pm  arranged by the AVS in conjunction with the Primary Schools)
  • 15th  January  2019:- Information Evening for 6th Class Parents in the AVS (7.00pm – 8.00pm)
  • 31st January:  Return of Subject Choice Forms

Musical Updates

We are now in full swing in preparation 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 following rehearsals will take place outside of school hours:


The school will be holding many competitions over the next week for tickets for the musical so keep an eye on @AbbeyVS. We are holding two poster competitions, one for primary school students and one for the students of the Abbey Vocational School. The theme is simply “Beauty and the Beast.”Anyone interested in entering a poster into our competition can send their poster into the school office before Monday 19th November. The musical this year will take place on the 27th, 28th and 30th November in the St. John Bosco Centre. Tickets are on sale from the school office now! Adult €10 and Students €7.

Guidance Department

A School Leavers Information Evening for Parents/Guardians was held in the library on Tuesday of last week. There was a great turn-out of parents/guardians. Both presentations on the night are available on the Guidance website on www.avsdonegal.com. Thank you very much to Ms Faherty for all of her work in this area and to the Guidance Department for continued work to support all of our students.

An Interview Techniques Workshop for Leaving Certs will take place on Thursday, 15 November between 11.15 & 12.35  in the Library. Sean Mc Gee will be the facilitator. All Leaving Cert students must attend.

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

Maynooth Open Day

The Guidance department will take 5th Year students to the Maynooth University Open Day on Friday, 23 November 2018. There will be a €10 charge per student. Ms Mc Morrow is collecting the money.

Donegal ETB’s Apprenticeship department will present to Senior Cycle students on Thursday, 29 November between 11.15 & 12.35  in the Library. Students wishing to attend the talk must first inform their class teacher of their absence.

Mock Interviews

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 ASAP.

Teaching & Learning

On Thurs 8th Nov. Mr O Neill and Mr Donegan attended an “Assessment for Learning Bootcamp”,  facilitated by Ciara McGuane from Rathú at Donegal Education Centre. This workshop explored the principles and rationale of Assessment for Learning (AfL) and a range of high-impact teaching & learning strategies. The workshop provided a valuable forum for colleagues from both secondary and primary school sectors to discuss and share classroom experiences.


Allingham Competition winne

A huge Congratulations to Conor Boyle, Class 1F, who came first  in the  Secondary Schools U13 section of the Allingham Festival Flash Fiction competition for his short story entitled ‘Out of the Frying Pan’. This is the second year in a row that Conor obtained a first place in this competition!

Lunchtime Reading

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

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 of October and is running until the 12th of 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.


AVS entries for this year Credit Union Art Competition are now in. Results are due shortly. Some examples can be viewed on the school twitter.

Leaving Cert Applied and 1st year lino prints can be viewed on the school twitter.

The annual Suile Na N’og Exhibition of Junior Cert art work is on at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny and is open to the public. A number of students from the AVS are exhibiting.


All 5th Year computer science students and all 1st , 2nd and Transition year students will be taking part in the BEBRAS computational thinking challenge next week (12th -16th). The Bebras® Computing Challenge introduces computational thinking to students, by allowing them to solve interactive tasks online. It is run in over 40 countries and takes place every November. The tasks can be answered without prior knowledge about computational thinking or information and communication technology. The aim of Bebras is to get students all over the world excited about computing.


An Triail  Irish Trip 

The Leaving Cert students attended the production of An Triail in Dublin on Tuesday last.

This a play written by the Irish playwright Máiréad Ní Ghráda which starred well-known poet and Sean-nós singer Caitlín Maude in its first performance in 1964.The play was first broadcast on RTÉ radio in 1965.

The play is written entirely in the Irish language and has been on the curriculum for the Leaving Certificate examinations since 2006. Our student thoroughly enjoyed this production and found it really helpful for their Leaving Cert studies.

Irish Drama

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


Good luck to our drama team and our quiz team who will take part in the Scór competition in the Bluestack Center Drimarone on Sunday at 3 o’clock.

Scór is a GAA competition that combines all the colour and rivalry of Gaelic Games with the social/fun element of Ireland’s traditional past-times. The competition was established by the GAA in 1969 with the aim of promoting Ireland’s traditional pastimes and culture while offering club members the chance to meet up, have fun and represent their club during the winter months while Football and Hurling had ceased.

Quiz Team:

Roisin Feeney , Frank Duffy , Katelyn Duffy  and Kerry Mitchell


“Ta na col ceathrar O Mercia ag teacht” Script beag a scriobh an teilgthe fein

The Drama Team is :

  • Sarah Canney , Victoria Bradley , Jack Myers  , Anna Mitchell, Kian O Donnell   
  • Susanna Martin, Stacey McHugh and Bree Hannah.

Girls Active

Girls Active is on Thursday 3.30 – 4 30 in parish Centre. To date they have completed 3 weeks of Line Dancing and Jiving. The next activity that they will be doing will be rowing after Christmas for 5 weeks. Girls Active is open to girls from junior  and senior cycle.

Student Voice

Members of the Student Council  and Senior Prefects addressed four years groups from first year to TYs around a variety of matters this week at Assemblies. The students spoke on Inclusion and outlined that this is a theme that they are focusing on this year. Jasmine Kennedy spoke about the need to celebrate differences and embrace the learning we can get from others. She spoke about the importance of  reaching out to others and respecting all. She asked people to show kindness and how important this is.

Joseph Reid spoke on behalf of the Healthy Schools committee and outlined the two year plan around this area. Students will undergo some educational Workshops on the area of healthy eating. A survey will be conducted and parents, students and staff will be consulted in relation to this. A suggestion box will be placed in the Assembly area for input from the students as to what they would like served in the canteen for healthy eating.

Two Senior Prefects spoke on behalf  the Prefects and the Student Council on Uniform and the improvements that need to be made in this area. We are very proud of our school and our uniform and the students would like to see it worn well.


TYD started a six-week wellness workshop with Aoibheann Gallen from Renew You. Throughout the six weeks, they will go through the importance of a healthy mind. The first week they concentrated on slowing down their breathing and thinking by using a piece of fruit. The students really enjoyed this Mindfulness session. It was such a worthwhile experience and it provides the students with new skills and strategies that they can use for the rest of their lives. The students look forward to next week’s session.


Active School Flag

After a busy first term the active school flag committee are ready to launch into some new activities on the return to school. The ASF team, class 4C are now qualified tug of war community coaches and will run an inter school competition  with the winners to take on the staff of AVS.  Student leaders have been auditing several areas in the school at lunchtimes and will now come up with ways of getting the students of AVS moving more often throughout the school day.

First and second year wellbeing classes will begin their 10 week block of ASF class and aid with all these tasks.  2A & 2D have already begun mapping out the potential school walkway which staff and students are keen to get up and running.
University of limerick will visit AVS again in November to interview the staff and students involved with active school flag.


TY GAA Future Leaders

TY class 4A have started their administration module. They are learning about the main officers in a GAA club and they will soon pick one officer to focus  their task on. The “Future Leaders Transition Year Programme” is a joint initiative from the GAA and the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It is a cross-curricular programme comprising of a series of modules designed to encourage maturity, initiative, responsibility and leadership skills in pupils. The Programme gives pupils the knowledge and skills to support all roles required in the effective staging of Gaelic Games. As part of the programme pupils are challenged to organise and run a GAA Super Games Blitz or set up a Super Games Centre for younger students and/or support coaching of younger players in their school or community.


The Abbey Vocational school is delighted to be accepted to take part in the NFTE programme this year. The NFTE (Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship) is managed and provided by Foróige in Ireland. It’s overall aim is to activate the entrepreneurial mindset in young people. Though interactive lesson plans, students will learn about business concepts such as brainstorming, market research, costing, selling techniques, accounting and develop presentation skills. Each student will receive a €15 start up loan to help get their business idea off the ground.

During the programme students will

  • Come up with a business idea
  • Design a business plan
  • Develop a product or service
  • Produce and sell their products
  • Prepare and present their business plan to a panel of judges

Two teams will be selected to represent the school in the National Competition in early 2019.

Sponsored Walk

The annual TY sponsored walk takes place on Tuesday 4th December. Students will be collecting sponsorship which in turn is used to fund the various activities and workshops that they get an opportunity to do in TY. Lines cost €2 and there are loads of prizes to be won.

Work Experience

All TY students will be attending work experience during the week of the 10th December. Sample of work that our students will be doing will be; teaching, guards, beautician, hairdressers, architect and engineering.

TY Activities

This week will be the last week of the three week block. TYA will attend Yoga in the school, TYB will be surfing with surf and turf, TYC will be working with DT Fitness on their self defence skills and TYD will be taking part in circuit training in Bfit.



Our lunchtime activities programme is running everyday. 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.

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.


Congratulations to Niamh Moohan on her  recent performance as part of  the Schools’ Combined International event as part of the Irish Schools’ Athletics Team. This was held in the Emirates Arena, Glasgow on Saturday 3rd November 2018.

Couch to 5km (Seniors)

Couch 2 5k training has started on Mondays after school and is open to all senior students and staff looking to get fit. Training will take place on the track every Monday and Thursday. Everyone can participate at their own fitness level. Please see Mrs. McLaughlin if you have any questions.

Run 4 Fun training (Juniors)

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 will last 20/30 minutes everyday.

Ultimate Frisbee Workshop

On Wednesday 7th November 15 students went to Ballyshannon to take part in an Ultimate Frisbee Workshop along with 3 other schools. They started the day by practising their throwing and catching skills, they were then split into teams of four and competed in games. After the break they practised throwing and catching the frisbee at longer distances.  Then each school played against each other in a full court game. One of the Abbey teams was chosen as the fairest team to play against. The day was enjoyed by all.


U16 Girls Gaelic.

A big congratulations to our u16 girls team who won their second game of the league on Monday 5th November. The girls played against Deele College on their school pitch in Raphoe. Abbey started off very strongly when they  won the throw in and instantly scored a goal with great play from by  Enya Gallagher. It was obvious that Abbey were the dominant team throughout the whole game, leaving Deele scoreless at halftime. The girls were showing great skills, passing and were constantly supporting one another up the field. Aoife Greene, Catherine Campbell and Naomi Kelly scored excellent points and Annie Mcgroary and Louise Boyle put in some tough tackles. The final score was 7:28-1:1 , Abbey winning. Well done girls!


Senior Boys Gaelic

Our senior boy’s Gaelic team came up against Colaiste Cholmcille in their last group game on Friday the 9th of November. The boys were one point down at half time, 3-7 to 3-6, after playing against a strong breeze. They came out winners in the second with a final score of 8-15 to 3-8 to to the Abbey. Next up is a county semi-final against Carndonagh on Friday the 16th. We wish the boys the best of luck.


U14 Boys Gaelic A one point loss !!

The U14 boys gaelic team came up against Colaiste Cholmcille in their play-off for an Ulster quarter final on Thursday the 8th of November. The boys lost by one point in the end with a score of 4-7 to 2-14. It was a disappointing result for the team but they showed great dedication all year at both training and matches. The boys shouldn’t be too disheartened as they are a very young team with most being eligible for an U13 and a half team later in the year.


U16 Boys County Final

Hard luck to the U16 boys who were defeated by Milford in the Division A county final on Wednesday 7th November. The boys played an excellent first half on the grounds of Convoy Centre of Excellence, and had a 7 point lead at the end of the first half. Conor Campbell and Alex McCalmont scored some great points to help Abbey lead and Richard O’Rourke contributed very well through play for the team also. However things changed in the second half for the boys. Milford appeared to be tipping away at points from frees due to Abbey fouling in the back line. The boys still put up a very good fight with scores from Frank Cornyn and Rory Kennedy to help away keep the scores close. Unfortunately though the final whistle was blown and the game was over , Abbey losing by just 1 point. It was very disappointing for the team and the coach of supporters and teachers who travelled. A bittersweet feeling lingered after the game as the boys lost the county final, but are still going through to Ulster Championship. We wish the boys the best of luck! Final score : 4:7  2:14


TY Newsletter team:

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

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