AVS Newsletter – 19th 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

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 and  December 12th as staff will be attending DoES training days for the New Junior Cert in their Subject Areas. All schools nationwide are required to attend such training days

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.

Science Week

Science Club

First year Science Club was in full swing again this week. Over the last number of days students participated in a variety of engaging activities. These activities ranged from heart dissections to inquiry based challenges. In this week’s inquiry activity students investigated why a balloon with some water added and then inflated does not pop over a bunsen burner.

Well done to all the students involved. The group is growing week by week and with it there is improved investigation skills, communication and engagement. Science Club takes place every Wednesday during lunchtime in Room 33. All first years welcome!

IT Sligo Science Workshop

On Wednesday 14 of November,  TY students took part in a science workshop delivered by IT Sligo. The students were introduced to spectroscopy (Spectroscopy is the study of the interaction between matter and electromagnetic radiation.) The students had to carry out experiments and report their findings to the group. The event was organized as part of Science Week 2018.


Bebras Logical/Computational Thinking Competition for 1st, 2nd and TY

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. Results of this busy week will be announced next week  !

Parents Association Quiz:

The Parent’s Association of the Abbey Vocational School held  a fun table quiz in Dom’s Pier 1 on Friday 16th November @9pm.  All proceeds were in  aid of school extra curricular fund. Thank you to all who supported this event. An enjoyable night was had by all

Other Events ;

  1. Bag packing in SuperValu will take place on Saturday 24th November 2018 from 10 am to 6pm.
  2. Mock Interviews for Leaving Cert Students takes place in the School on Tuesday Night December 4th.
  3. 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!

The sound of ‘Be Our Guest’, ‘A Tale As Old As Time’ and many more of the wonderful  songs from Disney’s ‘Beauty and The Beast’ can be heard ringing through the corridors of the Abbey Vocational School in Donegal Town this November as students prepare for their production of ‘Beauty and the Beast!’ .

The AVS has developed a reputation for staging exciting and enjoyable musicals over the past number of years with productions such as Oklahoma!, Scrooge, Hairspray and last year’s outstanding production of Abbey Mia. Building on the success of recent years the Transition Year students of 2018 are busy putting the finishing touches to their production. The leading cast is drawn from the TY year group and they will be ably supported by a chorus of students from other year groups.

Rehearsals have been taking place since early September under the watchful eye of the production team Rachael O’Connor  (Director), Eileen Carr, Claire Breslin, (Musical Directors) and Emer O’Mahoney(Choreographers). All TY students will be performing and also working backstage. As well as performing a number of the TY students have been working extremely hard in the production of the show by  helping out with the show working in PR, set construction and design, stage management and hair and makeup. This is truly a whole school production. The musical will take place in the Bosco centre on the 27th, 28th and 30th of November. You can purchase tickets from the office and the assembly area at break and lunch. Adult tickets are: €10 and a child is: €7.

The school will be holding many competitions over the next week for tickets for the musical so keep an eye on @AbbeyVS.

Guidance Department

Mock Interviews

Thank you to those that attended the School Leavers Information Evening for Parents/Guardians in the library on Tuesday of last week. Both presentations on the night are available on the Guidance website on http://www.AVSDonegal.com – click on the ‘Guidance’ logo

26 Senior Cycle students traveled to the Greencastle Fishery School on Monday of last week.  The feedback from the trip was very positive. Thank you the Fishery School for facilitating our visit.

The LYIT Open Day will take place on 22 November 2018. The school is closed on this date for staff training. However; the Guidance department encourage our Senior Cycle students to attend the event independently. See this link here for a full schedule of the Open Day events.


The Guidance Department will take 5th Year students to the Maynooth University Open Day on Friday, 23 November 2018. There is 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.

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.

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


During the week a number of Junior cycle Art students from the Abbey Vocational School had their annual visit to the  Suile na n’Og exhibition of Junior Cert Art work at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny. It was a great learning experience for all our students.



Last Tuesday class group 3f went down to the parish hall in Donegal town with their teacher Mr McLoone to attend a talk with volunteers from Animals In Need Donegal.The students received a very informative talk and got a great insight into the organisation and how it is run. Animals in Need Donegal is a 100% voluntary organisation located in Donegal. They are dedicated to alleviating the suffering of domestic pets who are abandoned or injured. They students enjoyed meeting some pets and learning about the care of same.


Well done to our drama team and our quiz team who l took part in the Scór competition in the Bluestack Center Drimarone on Sunday.

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. There were teams from seven other GAA clubs from around the county.


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

The Drama Team :

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

Amhránaíocht aonair- Solo singing:

Rachel Reid sang “Fill,fill a rún ó.

Ghrúpa Bailead- Ballad group:

Rachel Reid, Conor Mc Allister and Adam Mazri sang “Foggy Dew” as Gaeilge and “The Wake Of Pondrachain”.

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

The Student Council are focusing on the theme of Inclusion as one of their areas of work this year. The sign language course has now started and is on every Wednesday after school. Well done to all those who are attending this course  in an effort to support those with hearing loss.  This is part of our school inclusion Project.

Donegal Youth Council 

Congratulations to Frank Duffy who has been elected onto the Donegal Youth Council. The election was carried out by Donegal County Council and the HSE. The count was assisted by students from the school’s student council. The Donegal Youth Council is a group of 36 young people aged 12-18 years, who identify issues and promote projects to improve the lives of young people in Donegal. Like the County Council they are selected from five electoral areas and represent the young people in our schools and local areas.


Respect Week

At the school this week we held the annual ‘Respect’ week. Respect Week at the Abbey Vocational School celebrates our commitment to a safe, inclusive, connected and respectful school community that embraces diversity and is free from behaviours that place people at risk of harm. At our school we encourage all members of the school community to contribute to a respectful living, learning and working community.
Respect Week activities included 1st yr tutor class respect activities, colour walk, poster computation, positive displays around our school and positive comment ribbon tree, here students got to write a positive comment on a ribbon and hang it on a tree out the front of our school.


Active School Flag

First and second year wellbeing classes began their 10 week block for the Active school flag. Subject teachers have divided up the tasks and campaigns for this term to help attain the ASF cert this year. All year group’s and staff will reap the benefits of these tasks . The schools very own permanent “Walkway” is  the most talked about.

Pupils will be investigating and promoting the benefits of physical activity that are least know. Keep an eye on our stairways and corridors for their display work.

First years can look forward to an inter class tug of war tournament in the coming weeks. This will be organised and refereed by class 4C, the schools official Active flag team.


Well done to all 1st year students who participating in pilot Donegal Sports Partnership rowing programme. Thank you to all at the Donegal Bay Rowing club especially Mr Patrick Brady for running the 8 week programme with our students.



Ultimate Frisbee workshop

16 Tys attended an ultimate frisbee cluster day hosted by Colaiste Cholmcille Ballyshannon . This was an extremely enjoyable and successful day for all involved. Dominick Smyth from Dublin youth ultimate led the 2 sessions. The morning looked at the skills and rules of the game and pupils took part in an interschool blitz in the afternoon. The hope is that pupils can now return to their school to introduce the game to junior students as well. Four schools from the north west took part. Abbey V.S. , Colaiste Cholmcille Ballyshannon, Summerhill College Sligo and Grange post primary school.

 TY GAA Future Leaders

GAA Future Leaders

Well done to Richard, Hannah and Aoife who attended the launch of GAA Future Leaders who are coming in partnership with Pramerica in Letterkenny on Tuesday 13th November. Mary Crawford and vice principal Mr Sweeney also joined them. It was a very informational talk on why and how Pramerica Company will be joining forces with The Future Leaders initiative and Donegal GAA. The students really enjoyed it and will take on board the information with their fellow classmates.

Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)

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 lots 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 sampling will be; Teaching, Gardai, Beautician, Hairdressers, Architect and Engineering. We thank all employers who are mentoring our students.

TY Activities:


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.


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 run for fun training group has commenced  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.

Competitive Sport:

U16 Girls Gaelic.

The AVS u16 girls football team continued their unbeaten run on Friday  with a  comprehensive 9-9 to 1-1 win against Gaelscoil Chú Uladh in Fintown. Our girls were undoubtedly too strong for Gaelscoil Chu  Uladh team and showed some sparks of brilliance in their attack with great goals coming from Enya Gallagher, Ciara Cox, Caoimhe Walsh and Aoife Greene along with others. The girls are now through to Ulster and we wish them the best is luck in their next encounter. Well done to the team and to Mary Crawford their inspirational coach !


1st-Year Boys Soccer

Well done to our 1st year boys soccer team after their 2-1 win over Mulroy College. It was a great team performance and a good start to their A-league. Their next game will be away to Loretto Milford in the coming weeks.

1st and 2nd Year Boys Basketball

1st and 2nd year boys basketball will start this coming week, training will take place every Tuesday during lunch and every Friday after school. All players are welcome

U-16 Boys Basketball

The u16 boys basketball team played ballyshannon in their home court, they fought hard and didn’t drop their head throughout the entire game but lost in the second half. Top scorers included Ultan O’Grady , Evan Gallagher and Diarmuid O’Donnell.

Senior Boys Basketball

The senior boys team also had to play Ballyshannon away. The senior boys played well but Ballyshannon held a lead throughout the second half. This means there basketball season is over for both teams.

TY Newsletter team:

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

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