Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 17th Dec

Launch of Leaving Cert Physical Education by Minister Mr Joe McHugh

The Minister of Education Mr Joe McHugh launched the LCPE Programme in the school on Monday morning. This event was attended by a very large crowd of dignitaries, County Councillors and club officials as well as LYIT president Mr Paul Hannigan., Director of Schools Dr Martin Gormley and CE Ms Anne McHugh.  The school are delighted to be rolling out this new subject area as part of our Leaving Cert Subject Options.

There are 64 schools in Phase 1. LCPE was highly oversubscribed with well over 369 schools applying which is over 50% of schools. The AVS were delighted to get selected. LCPE runs alongside the PE Framework.  Provision is in place for Senior Cycle PE Framework for senior cycle students which runs alongside the LCPE. We have a responsibility to all young people in our school as well as the 24 LCPE students so we offer this new PE programme. This is being rolled out to all 140 5th years students.

This area of our PE Short Course programme for Junior cycle is being led out by Ms O’Mahony and we have 174 first years and 142 second years students doing this.



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End of Term Arrangements

Christmas Carol Service:

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

For a look back at the 2017 Carol Service please see our YouTube Channel HERE

Christmas Concert:

The Annual Christmas Concert takes place on Friday 21st December. This Concert is organised by the Leaving Cert Music classes and covers all year groups from first to Leaving Cert students who wish to perform.

School Closes for Christmas:

School closes for Christmas at 1pm on Friday 21st December and buses will come at this time. We wish all of our school community a very happy and healthy Christmas!

Induction Day for Incoming students:

Sixth Class students from a variety of primary schools spent a day in the Abbey Vocational School on Tuesday last as part of the transfer process. They experienced classes in all of the nine optional subject areas and followed a timetable in these subjects for the day. The students had their lunch in the school canteen and were entertained by a selection of students who sang and played instruments on the stage throughout lunch time. The students had a very busy but enjoyable day. All are reminded please to return their enrolment form to the school.

NOTE the Following Dates

  • 15th January 2019 – Information Evening for 6th Class Parents in the AVS (7.00pm – 8.00pm).
  • 31st January – Return of Subject Choice Forms.

Junior Cycle Day for Staff

The staff attended training on Wednesday last which was facilitated by Junior Cycle for Teachers (JCT) Advisors who seek to support schools in continuing to implement the Framework for Junior Cycle 2015. The intended learning for the day was to:

  • further our understanding of how ongoing assessment supports student learning.
  • identify ways that assessment can have a positive impact on learning and teaching in the classroom.
  • recognise the connection between teaching, learning, assessment and reporting.
  • and the design of effective assessments.

Assessment Tasks

The Assessment tasks for 3rd Year English and Business were completed this week – well done to all those students who partook in this task which is 10 % of their State Exam. These task are carried out following the second CBA.

Teaching & Learning: Student Resource

Free-Form Graphic Organser interactive tool for students.

Free Form Graphic Org

This interactive tool (see link below) provides a free-form graphic organiser for activities that provide you with a quick way to trace out options and rearrange connections. You can use the Webbing Tool to analyse readings or for prewriting / planning activities or as  flowcharting tool. You can drag the circle or box shapes representing your ideas to arrange any layout and relationship that they want. Each layer on the chart will have a different color border for the shapes that you choose.

Link: Free Form Graphic Organiser

Third Year Music Trip

The Junior Cert Music classes travelled to Dublin to experience a live orchestra. The concert was in the National Concert Hall with the RTE symphony orchestra playing Christmas Classics such as ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘12 days of Christmas’ and pieces from the Ballet ‘The Nutcracker’.
For some, this was their first experience of being to the National Concert Hall and seeing a live orchestra. It was a brilliant way for the students to understand how the Orchestra is set up in their different sections and the conductor’s job. An experience like this really brings their study in music class to life.

Fifth Year Cultural Trip

The fifth year students attended a film in Bundoran Cinema entitled Black 47.  Black ’47 is a 2018 Irish period drama film directed by Lance Daly. The screenplay is by PJ Dillon, Pierce Ryan, Eugene O’Brien and Lance Daly, based on the Irish-language short film An Ranger, written and directed by Dillon and Ryan. The film stars Hugo Weaving, James Frecheville, Jim Broadbent, Stephen Rea, Freddie Fox, Barry Keoghan, Moe Dunford, and Sarah Greene. Set in Ireland during the Great Famine, the film follows an Irish Ranger who has been fighting for the British Army abroad, as he abandons his post to reunite with his family. The title is taken from the most devastating year of the famine, 1847, which is referred to as “Black ’47”.

Leaving Cert Art Trip

On Wednesday of this week the Leaving Cert Art students will attend the National Gallery of Ireland Art Library as part of their Leaving Cert studies. They will visit The Hugh Lane Gallery, The National Gallery, The National Museum and The Book of Kells. The Gallery’s Art Library is Ireland’s leading research centre for the study of art and art history. It holds the country’s most extensive bibliographic collections relating to the national and international development of the visual arts.

Christmas Card Competition

The Leaving Cert Applied Christmas cards are almost entirely sold out. A big thank you to all those who supported their venture. Well done to all the Leaving Cert Applied. All profits go to MS Donegal.

Lunchtime Science Club

The lunchtime science club is very well attended in room 33 every Wednesday. This week the students investigated factors which affect enzymes and their activity. They are now working with enzymes from plants.  They explore the use of enzymes in everyday life e.g. detergents, sweeteners and bio processing in general.

Coding Club

First year student Hugh McShane is going to showcase his project on the 19th December in Pramerica Letterkenny. Hugh designed a Rubix Cube solving robot using coding software. The 5th year Computer Science class will also attend the showcase and they will be presenting their project on the self-filling reservoir. Both projects will be displayed to 400 guests on the day.

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.

Webwise Ambassador

Well done to Emma Coulter who took part in here first Webwise Ambassador webinar last week. Emma was recently selected for the Webwise Ambassador Training programme. Emma is required to attend an online webinar next week.  Webwise is the Irish Internet Safety Awareness Centre. They develop resources and run campaigns that promote a better internet. 

They also work with a Youth Panel to develop different campaigns. This Youth Panel is made up of around 30 teenagers from all over Ireland. It was their idea to have a Safer Internet Day (SID) Ambassadors Programme to help more people and schools get involved in tackling cyberbullying.

Music Activities

The Traditional Music Group rehearsal takes place every Monday at lunchtime in room 13. Our Ukulele Orchestra rehearsals take place every Tuesday in room 13.  The School Choir rehearsals are in room 13 every Friday.  Anyone that would like to be involved in this year’s Christmas concert can give their name to Mrs Carr or Ms Breslin.


Lunchtime Reading

Room 9 will be open to all on Thursdays for reading. This will provide a quiet place for students to read. Thank you to everyone who helped out with the school Book Fair last week during the school open night.


Maths Competition

Well done to all the students that took part in our Maths Competition last week. The winners of the junior competition were 1st place – Anna Foster Mc Dad and 2nd place – Amy McGrory. The winners of the senior computation were 1st place -Brian Gallagher and 2nd place – Jessica Henry.

TY Chess

An interclass TY Chess competition will take place this Thursday 20th December. All four TY classes will compete against each other using knowledge on what they have recently learned about chess. It’s bound to get competitive and it will just be a successful as last year.



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.

Guidance presentations taking place in the library in 2019:

  • Defence Forces: – Thursday, 10 January 2019, 11.15 – 12.35
  • St. Angela’s, Sligo: – Thursday, 17 January 2019 @ 11.55 – 12.35
  • IT Sligo Work Based Engineering Degree: – Thursday, 24 January 2019 @ 11.55 – 12.35
  • Galway-Mayo Institute of Technology (GMIT): – Thursday, 31 January 2019 @ 11.55 – 12.35
  • North-West Regional College (NWRC): – Thursday, 07 February 2019 @ 11.55 – 12.35

6th Year students & LCAs are reminded to book a 1:1 appointment with their GuidanceCounsellor in order to ensure they have a clear Guidance plan as they head towards the exams in June.
Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo.


Wellnesss Workshop for 1st Years

Thank you to Aoibheann Gallen from Renew You who delivered a 6 week wellness workshop with a group of 1st year students.  Throughout the six weeks they studied the importance of a healthy mind and a healthy body. An area they concentrated on was slowing down their breathing and thinking by using a piece of fruit. They also worked on different mediation skills. The students really enjoyed this Mindfulness sessions. It has been such a worthwhile experience and it has provided the students with new skills and strategies that they can use for the rest of their lives.

Health Promoting School

Our school health promoting schools project this year is around healthy eating and a positive physical environment. Our health promoting school committee have distributed a healthy eating questionnaire to students, parents and staff. When all questionnaires have been collected the results will be analysed and our healthy eating policy for the school will be made into a draft. Thank you to all who have completed a questionnaire. The questionnaires will be available on our school website in the coming days for anyone that would like to fill one out.

Physical Environment

As part of wellbeing our students are planning to improve some of the environmental areas. A group of TY students have commenced a project which involves them designing positive comments which they will paint onto our toilets doors. They are also compiling a number of positive words that will be placed on all our school steps around the school. Another group will be make friendship benches that will be placed around our school building outside to encourage students to sit down and talk to each other. We are looking forward to all of this work.

Active Schools

Mapping of our school walkway has started and we hope to have the 1.5k walk way in place after the Christmas holidays. This will be available to all of our students and staff members in the school and will be used regularly for initiatives such as drop everything and walk, pre morning exercise, leisurely strolls and many other initiatives.

Wellbeing page on please click HERE

Active School page on please click HERE

Mini Company

Over the past number of weeks our TY students have been busy working on their mini companies. The mini company is a very rewarding project. The idea of the project is for a group to come together, think of a creative enterprise by providing a product or service, market this good, and sell it to the target audience, hoping to make a profit. Throughout TY and LCVP there are many different companies. An example of a mini company from this year is Cute as a Button. This is a group of five students and they make and design handmade button art. Their products are both creative and unique. They can be customised their product to suit any occasion. They have been extremely busy over the past few weeks selling their product and many different craft fairs for example the Beauty and the Beast, Leghowney Country Market, Inver Craft Fair and the Donegal Craft Village Fair. To date the girls have received over 50 orders.

Transition Year

TY Work Experience

Thank you to all the local businesses that welcomed our TY students to gain work experience in their business this week. Work experience is a very important part of our TY program as our students will get a great hands on experience into the working world.  Sample of work that our students took part in was; Teaching, Gardai, Beautician, Hairdressers, Architect, Radio DJ, Lecturing, Medical and Engineering. We thank all employers who are mentoring our students.

TY Christmas Assessment

Students will be formatively assessed at Christmas and at the end of year. There Christmas assessment is worth 10%.  All TY students have to keep an EPortfolio of their work completed during the year.  Each student is asked to have all their work, workshops, trips etc. uploaded onto their portfolio by the end of the school year.  TY students will complete an interview on Monday and Tuesday of this week which is worth 10% for their final grade at the end of the school year. Students must sit two interviews; another one will be conducted in May. The interview is marked and directed by the student’s tutor teacher.

TY Christmas Trip

On the 19th December TY students are travelling to Sligo for a Christmas outing. The students will stop off in the Abbey Centre in Ballyshannon were they will watch their musical Beauty and the Beast on the big screen. After this they will get back on the bus and go to Sligo, stopping of to see Yeats Grave and then go into Sligo were they will get lunch and they will get a chance to do some Christmas shopping. This trip follows the completion of the TY Christmas Assessment sessions.


Girls Active

After Christmas the girls will be taking part in rowing in our school gym every Thursday from 3:30 – 4:30. New members welcome.

2nd yr Girls Basketball

Well done to the 2nd year girls’ basketball team who were winners of the ‘tough cookie’ basketball blitz held by St Catherine’s Killybegs. The girls played both St Catherine’s and Coláiste Na Carraige. There were some brilliant performances on the day especially from caption Emma Meehan.

U15 Girls Soccer

Hard luck to the U15 girls’ soccer team who were defeated by St Columba’s Stranorlar last week. It was a very tough game in tough weather conditions, but our girls fought hard. Well done to Roisin Lynch who scored 4 fantastic goals on the day.

1st and 2nd year Boys Basketball

1st and 2nd year boys’ basketball training take place every Monday after school from 4:00-5:30 in the school gym.


TY Newsletter Team

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



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