Abbey VS Newsletter – 26th Nov 2018

Entrance Award Scholarships for Our students

Congratulations to the following students on their individual entrance scholarships to the various colleges below. These very special entrance scholarships are based on the students outstanding Leaving Cert results in the Leaving Cert Examination this year. We are extremely proud of these students. They are:  

  • UCD: Connor McGoldrick
  • NUIG: Laura O Donnell
  • P McManus : Laura O Donnell
  • Trinity : Erika Price
  • DCU Rosin Ward

Laura O Donnell, J.P McManus Scholarship Award

Congratulations to Laura O’Donnell who received the JP Mcmanus Entrance Scholarship Award in the University of Limerick on Saturday last. This was based on Laura’s outstanding Leaving Cert results. Winners were commended for their achievements by guest of honour, Limerick Senior Hurling manager John Kiely. Sponsored by the billionaire philanthropist, 125 Leaving Cert and A-Level graduates, have been awarded scholarships. Two students from Donegal were included and the Abbey Vocational School are delighted to have one of their students receive this scholarship for its second year in succession. Laura is studying Computer Science and Information Technology in NUIG.

“To our successful scholars I offer heartiest congratulations”, Mr McManus said.


Laura featured with her parents and Deputy Principal Mr Johnny Sweeney at the Award Ceremony in Limerick


The Event Occasion at UL.

Erica PriceTrinity

Congratulations to Erika Price – who received an entrance Scholarship Award on Wednesday  night last  from Trinity College Dublin for her outstanding Leaving results. Erika is studying Law and French. We are very proud of you Erika.


Staff Training Days

A reminder to all that the school will be closed to students on 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

Science club has been taking place every Wednesday at lunch time for 1st years. To date the students have been designing bridges made from only straws and sellotape and testing their structures using weights. Over the last two weeks the students were dissecting lamb’s hearts and learning about the circulatory system as well as testing ‘why won’t a balloon burst when filled with water?’

Coding Club

Our lunchtime coding club takes place every Monday in the Pramerica computer suite. First year students of all abilities learn to code using  The students work individually or with a partner in resolving differentiated tasks set by Mr. Harvey or Mr. O’Mahony. The coding club serves as an extension of their learning in class but also preparation for the ‘Coding’ Short course in their Junior Cycle programme. New students are always welcome and prior experience not necessary. However a disposition to liking, solving problems and computational thinking will go a long way to enjoying coding.

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! Nearly 500 student in our school completed the challenge. We are now awaiting the results from Maynooth university. Hopefully some of our students will progress onto the next stage of the challenge. 

Parents Association Quiz

The Parents’ Association held a fundraising quiz in Doms Pier 1 on Friday 16th November. 17 teams took part in the quiz, resulting in a very enjoyable evening. Thanks to all who supported this event.

Other Events

  1. Bag packing in SuperValu took 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 at 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 have visited all of the sixth class students in the area and students have received an Induction Pack with important Information.  Please also see our school video on our website @abbeyvs.

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’Mahony (Choreographer). 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.


3A and 3D held a bake sale on Friday 23rd November at break and lunchtime in aid of their Junior Cert Action Project. They pulled out all the stops and they had a variety of items on sale from: delicious mars slices, to homemade scones, creamy cupcakes, cream horns and tasty chocolate brownies! A huge thank you to staff and students who bought the items that were on offer. It was a huge success and was greatly appreciated by staff and students alike.


Environmental Studies

Mr Clarke has organised a series of workshops in relation to international sustainability and environmental protection for our student Council and our TY students. This is to raise awareness to all of our students on the current environmental situation.

Leaving Certificate Physical Education (LCPE) Update

The Minister for Education will launch our LCPE. This is our new Leaving Cert PE exam subject that we are delighted to have introduced  into the school.  This Event will take place on Monday 17th December in the PE hall and our students and parents and many specially invited guests will attend on the day. Our PE Dept are delighted to host this event and the new subject is going really well in the school. Our lead teacher in this subject Mr O Mahoney says that he is delighted to be teaching the subject and states that it is a really special time in history where this intelligence is recognised and our students are doing really well in the study of this subject.

Guidance Department

Interview Technique Workshop
Our Leaving Cert students enjoyed a very productive Interview Technique Workshop with Sean McGee on Thursday of last week. Thanks to Sean for facilitating.

Trip to Maynooth Open Day
The Guidance Department travelled to the Maynooth University Open Day on Friday of last week with Senior Cycle students who opted to go.  The feedback from the trip was very positive.

Donegal ETB Apprenticeship Presentation
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, 04th December 2018. Students must submit 2 copies of their CV to their Guidance Counsellor ASAP.

6th Year students & LCAs are reminded to book a 1:1 appointment with their Guidance Counsellor in order to ensure they have a clear plan of action for when they finish their exams in June.

Upcoming 3rd Level presentations taking place in the

  • DCU, Thursday, 06 December @ 11.55 – 12.35
  • IT Sligo, Thursday, 13 December @ 11.55 – 12.35
  • Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo


Congratulations to the following AVS art students who were winners in this year’s Credit Union Art Competition. Jonathan O’Driscoll, Jane Robinson, Mia McCalmont, Lily Brogan, Katie Daly, Sarah McGrory and Béibhinn Reid.

Well done to all those art students whose work is currently being exhibited at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny as part of this year’s Súile na n’Og Junior Cert Art Exhibition. Exhibitors from the AVS this year are Marie McGirr, Róisín Feeney, Hannah Crawford, Tom Daly, Christopher Darby, Anna Bustard and Sophie Kee.

A big thank you to all those students who were involved in painting sets for this year’s school musical.

The winning designs for this year’s LCA 1 Christmas Card Competition have been chosen and are currently being printed. The winning designs were by Anna Riebeling, Sarah McGrory, Lily Brogan, Sarah Donovan, Laura Kelly, Nolwenn Ní Dhonnabháin and Saerlaith Lusson. The overall winner will be announced next week. All profits from the sale will go to MS Donegal.

Girls Active

Girls Active is on Thursday 3.30 – 4 30 in the 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.

Gina Grant Representative from Donegal Down Syndrome, visited the schoolon Wednesday 21st November at 11.15am. Gina delivered a very valuable workshop on Down Syndrome which left us all very much informed of how to support students in this regard. Thank you Gina.

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.

Welcome From Frank Duffy

I am delighted to have been elected as the Abbey Vocational School representative on The Donegal Youth Council and I would like to thank all of the students who voted for me.  I am looking forward to working with other students from around the county to identify issues and promote projects which will improve the lives of young people in Donegal.  The first meeting of the Council will take place on Thursday 6th December in Letterkenny.

Teaching & Learning

On Thursday 22nd November, Abbey VS staff partook in Junior Cycle training  in a range of subject areas. Together with colleagues from other schools in south Donegal, staff members engaged training in subject planning,  approaches to formative assessment and Classroom Based Assessments.

Geographical Investigation Study

On Friday 23rd and Monday 26th Nov, 76 Sixth year Geography students travelled to Bundoran to complete their Geographical Investigation Study. The investigation focuses on the impact of geomorphic processes in a coastal environment and contributes to 20% of the final examination.

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Wellness Workshop

A group of our first years took part in week three of the six week wellness workshop with Aoibheann Gallen from Renew You. Throughout the six weeks they will go through the importance of a healthy mind. This week they concentrated on slowing down their breathing and thinking by using a piece of fruit. The students really enjoyed this Mindfulness Sessions. It is 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 session.

Active School Flag

The Active School Flag interviews finished today. Please see the ASF Committee with Gwok and Fiona from UL by the ASF notice board.


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.

Subject Changes

The TY students have completed their first 10 week subject trial. They started the second, of three 10 week trials on Monday 19th November.  The students will have  an opportunity to sample all of the optional subjects such as: Architecture, Art, Jewellery Design (Metalwork), the three science subjects (Biology, Chemistry & Physics) over the course of Transition Year.




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

Conor Campbell

Congratulations to AVS student Conor Campbell who earned his second cap for the Irish U15 soccer team after being named in the starting lineup for their game against Poland on Thursday.


U17 Boys Soccer

Our U17 boys came up against Crana College in their cup game on the 20th November. Our boys struck first with a goal from Jack Byrne as a result of Ultan O’Grady’s quick free kick. Crana College equalised just before half time which was a hard blow for the AVS. Just after half time Crana College scored another. The AVS boys had to push on to try a get an equaliser but with all of the opposition behind the ball, it was a very difficult task. The boys were very unlucky to lose by a disappointing result of 2-1 to Crana College.

U16 Girls GAA

After a very successful league campaign our girls are now through to the Ulster Preliminary Round. They will play St Joseph’s from Donaghmore Co Tyrone. Date to be confirmed. Good Luck Girls!


1st and 2nd year boys basketball

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


U16 Boys Basketball

Well done to our U16 boys basketball team on reaching the North West regional basketball semi final. The boys will face St Nathy’s college Ballaghaderreen on the 3rd December. Good Luck Boys!



TY Newsletter team: Frank Duffy

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

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