Abbey V.S. Weekly Newsletter – Mon 3rd Dec 2018

Open Evening – Thursday 6th December 2018 from 5pm to 8pm

The Abbey Vocational School invites you to attend our OPEN EVENING on Thursday, 6th December 2018 from 5pm to 8pm.

We would be delighted for you to take a tour of our school and see practical demonstrations and displays of students’ work from all of our Subject Departments.  I hope that the people of Donegal Town and the wider community will take this opportunity to view our excellent facilities.  We especially hope that all of our incoming students will attend with their parents.  An adult must accompany all persons under 18.  We will have a table set up to facilitate anyone who wishes to return the admission form on the night of the Open Evening.  We encourage you to please do this. Deadline for enrolment is Monday, 10th December 2018 at 4 p.m.

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. 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 on that day 

3rd Year Renewable Energy Talk

Thank you very much Mr John Gallagher, Plant Manager for ESB Networks Donegal, for the informative talk with our 3rd year students on renewable energy. John also presented our Science coordinator Ms Doherty with a windmill kit.

Parents Association Bag Packing

Thank you to everyone that helped out and supported our bag package fundraising last Saturday 24th November. We really appreciate all the support.

Other Events

  • Mock Interviews for Leaving Cert Students takes place in the School on Tuesday Night December 4th.
  • Book Fair. The Book fair takes place at the Open Evening in the school. The Opening Evening takes place on December 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 Success!

Beauty and the Beast was a roaring success! It played to a full house all week. We are so proud of our students who did so well. These students learnt teamwork, commitment, respect, effort, and hard work, discipline collaboration, trust professionalism as well as built many many friendships and made lifelong memories. They have demonstrated all that the AVS stands for in terms of excellence. We are so proud of them all. Rachel O’Connor, the director, said I was quietly confident that it would be a fabulous production given the commitment of students and the production team. I am so proud and very sad that it is all over” We thank all of those who made this musical possible and especially our staff and in particular the production team. Thank you to our sponsors and all of the local business who supported us so well.

Environmental Studies

On Wednesday Eimear from ECO UNESCO gave two environmental themed workshops one to our Student Council and a second to our TY students. During these workshops the Student Council were trained in how to be school leaders on environmental issues and sustainability. Paying particular attention to the Sustainable Development Goals and how these can be implemented in school. The TY workshop focused on the environmental impact of fashion. During the workshops students took part in walking debates and ‘upcycling’ of clothes.


Leaving Certificate Physical Education (LCPE) Update


Abbey Vocational School Leaving Cert PE students visit to Letterkenny Institute of Technology on Thursday 6 December.
This the first in a series of visits from and to LYIT. Guest lectures and a mentor support system will form part of this mutually beneficial link.
This first visit will provide an excellent opportunity for our LCPE students to reinforce their learning in class. The day begins with a tour of the sports performance lab and observing biomechanics presentations from year 2 sports and exercise students. Students will then participate in the first of two 40 minute athletics sessions. Ideal preparation for their sprints performance assessment in AVS. Students finish their day by observing year 4 sports and exercise students presentations, all relevant to topics addressed within the LCPE specifications.
On return a number of the LCPE class students will be assisting the PE department in showcasing the role of technology and feedback to potential incoming first years as part of the schools open night.

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.

Guidance Department

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 have been provided with the required information.

TY Work Experience

Our Transition Year (TY) students will go on one week’s work placement during the week beginning Monday, 10 December.
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.


A HEAR & DARE Advice Clinic for Leaving Cert students and their parents/guardians will take place in the Villa Rose, Ballybofey on Saturday, 19 January 2019 between 10.00 and 2.00. See for further info.

Upcoming 3rd Level Presentations:

  • DCU, Thursday, 06 December @ 11.55 – 12.35
  • IT Sligo, Thursday, 13 December @ 11.55 – 12.35
  • GMIT, Thursday, 31 January 2019 @ 11.55 – 12.35
  • North-West Regional College, Thursday, 07 February 2019 @ 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 Eleanor Romilly and Mia McCalmont who were joint winners in the Beauty and the Beast art competition.

Congratulations to Lily Brogan in 6th year who was the overall winner of the LCA 1 Christmas Card Competition.

Student Voice

On Wednesday 28th November a member from eco-unesco Eimear visited our school and provided a workshop for the members of the student council on team training and inclusion. They are hoping to set up a cultural day in the school in the coming weeks before Christmas.

Donegal Youth Council 

The Donegal Youth Council Agenda Day (AGM) will take place on Thursday 6th December in the Mount Errigal Hotel in Letterkenny. This event will see 120 young people from all across the county come together for a consultation event, where they will have the opportunity to put forward ideas in facilitated discussions and to vote to determine the key issues for the young people in the county.

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.

Teaching & Learning: Interactive Essay Planning Map for students.

This interactive graphic organiser (from will help develop an outline that includes an introductory statement, main ideas you want to discuss or describe, supporting details, and a conclusion that summarises your main ideas. Once complete you can print and/or save your plan to an Adobe PDF file.

Interactive Essay Tool

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 geographic processes in a coastal environment and contributes to 20% of the final examination.

Mini Companies

At this year’s school musical ‘Beauty and the Beast’ we had ten tables of mini companies selling on all three nights. Two transition year tables of personalized photo frames and another selling gingerbread men. Other tables from some of our LCVP students included homemade brownies and sweets. These tables will also have set up at the Inver markets from 1-6 this Saturday and Sunday. A great success for all students and teachers involved. Thank you very much for all of your support of our mini companies.

TY Students Collect for Mental Health Awareness Week

On Thursday 25 TY students volunteered to do a bucket collection which was organised by Jigsaw Donegal. The students could be seen at various locations around the town and done a fantastic job to help out a very worthy cause. Jigsaw Donegal is an excellent organisation which supports so many students throughout Donegal.

Look into Law Programme

Congratulations to Christopher Darby who has been selected to take part in the Look into Law Programme with The Bar of Ireland. During a week in February Christopher will get an opportunity to shadow a barrister in Dublin where he will see firsthand what a career in law entails. He will experience a trial court, a visit of the Four Courts and the Central Criminal Court as well as other various activities with other like-minded students from around Ireland. Christopher is the first student from the AVS to get this opportunity, well done.

Christopher completed an application process and was selected from over 500 applicants. Its aims are to increase TY’s awareness of the Bar of Ireland’s work and to encourage them to pursue a career as a barrister.

Christmas Carol Service

This year the Carol Service will take place on Wed 19th December at 7pm in the Church of Ireland Church. We look forward to a very special occasion. All welcome!

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 doing; Teaching, Gardai, Beautician, Hairdressers, Architect and Engineering. We thank all employers who are mentoring our students.



Girls Active

The Girls have just finished 5 weeks of jiving. Thank you to Geraldine Thomas for developing the then workshops. For the next 4 weeks they will be taking part in rowing every Thursday from 3:30 – 4:30.

Table Tennis

We will be looking to develop table tennis in the school. This is in direct response to recent surveys undertaken as part of the schools Active School Flag pilot. We would like to target students not currently involved in any extracurricular sport/activity. Please contact Mr. O’Mahony in the PE Department to express your interest.


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 every day.

1st Year Boys Soccer

Our 1st year boys’ football team travelled to Loreto Milford for their second league game on Friday 30th November. In tough weather conditions they won 6 -1 with an impressive team performance. With AVS keeping possession and creating chances an opening goal seemed imminent.  Senán Carr slotted home the deserving opener. Slightly against the run of play Loreto equalised but AVS quickly responded with another goal from Senán. Multiple chances were created with the Loreto keeper and woodwork getting repeatedly tested. Just short of half time a top corner goal from Caolan Sweeney converted that pressure into a 3 – 1 lead. A couple of changes at half time saw the introduction of 2 players who added to the existing balance and strength of the team. Despite playing into the wind AVS continued to score with Senán adding another for his hat trick, Ruairi McLaughlin and our man of the match Caolan bringing the tally to 6. A great side with great potential. Next fixture is away to Rosses C.S. on Friday 7th Dec. Training as normal on Monday after school. Any parents or local coaches are more than welcome to attend, support and assist. Please contact Ivan O’Mahony (PE teacher) or Leo Gallagher (SNA) coaches of the Abbey Vocational School 1st Year Soccer team.



Senior Boys Soccer

Our senior boys came up against Mulroy College in their cup game on Wednesday the 21st November. The boys went in at half time 3-0 down. After half time Mulroy went 5-0 up with one of their players making the difference. A late goal from Jamie Crawford was just a consolation for the boys. A disappointing end to the season for the senior boys.

Senior Boys Gaelic v Carndonagh C.S.

The senior boys played Carndonagh C.S. in the county semi-final in Letterkenny on Wednesday 28th November. Played in abnormal conditions the Abbey boys started strongly against the wind and with some well-taken scores led at the interval by 4-09 to 1-04. In the second half Carndonagh mounted a stronger challenge and scores were harder to come by. An Alex McCalmont goal settled the nerves and the Abbey lads went on to secure a great win on a score-line of AVS 5-14 to Carndonagh 1-09. The boys will play the county final against Milford in the next week or two.

School Rugby

Mr Claydon is coaching the boys’ rugby every Monday after school. The boys are enjoying working under a very experienced and enthusiastic rugby coach.

1st  and 2nd Yr Boys Basketball

1st and 2nd year boys basketball training is on every Friday after school at 3:30. All new players are welcome.

U16 Boys basketball

The U16 team will play against St Nathy’s College Ballaghaderreen in the North West regional finals on Monday the 3rd. Good luck boys!

U16 ladies Gaelic

The U16 ladies Gaelic team travelled to Irvinestown on Wednesday the 28th to play against St Joseph’s school Donaghmore in their first round in Ulster. St Joseph’s started off very strong scoring 2-4 in the first half, but with points from Catherine Campbell and Enya Gallagher and Caoimhe Walsh, at half time the score was 2-4 to 0-4. In the second half it was much more competitive when the Abbey girls came back and showed great spirit with goals coming from Catherine Campbell, Aoife Greene and Caoimhe Walsh but it wasn’t enough on the day and the girls unfortunately lost by a point.


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