Abbey V.S. Newsletter – 14th Jan 2019

Information Evening for Incoming First Years

An Information Evening will be held on 15th January 2019 for Incoming first years. This will be held in the main Assembly are of the school and all parents are encouraged to attend please.

Sports Awards

Congratulations to the following who were nominated for an Award in the following categories in the Donegal Sports Star Awards which take palce later this month.

  • Best Secondary School: Abbey Vocational School
  • Beat Sports Boy: Conor Camobell
  • Best Sports Girl: Niamh Moohan

Well done to all those involved in sport in the school for their enormous input for so many students.

Parent Teacher Meetings

The parent teacher meeting took place for 5th years, TY’s and LCA on Thursday night last. There was a very large attendance on the night.

The Parent/Teacher meeting for second year students takes place on January 24th.

Carol Service Fundraiser for the Church Spire Fund

Thank you to all of those who contributed to our collection at the recent Christmas concert. There was €335 collected which will be donated to the spire funds in thanks for the use of the Church of Ireland for the event.


To see our Carol Service on our YouTube Channel please click here.

Leaving Cert Sraith Pictiúr 2019 Irish Show

On Thursday, Leaving Certificate Students welcomed the Irish Group ‘Caith amach é’. The show embraced all twenty ‘Sraith Pictiúr 2019’ which are on the curriculum for the Irish Leaving Certificate Oral. It was a two man show which received rave reviews as they reenacted the ‘Sraith Pictiur’ using comedy sketches. It was enjoyed by both students and Teachers!!



The Maths Club runs every Friday at lunchtime in room 30 and is an inclusive club for all members of the school. It is a wonderful way for Students to meet, socialise and engage in mathematical activities. We hold competitions each week and get to embrace our love of Maths!

The Chess Club meets every Tuesday at lunchtime in room 3 and is an enjoyable, inclusive club which promotes wellbeing and mindfulness amongst its members. Everyone welcome!


This week saw the birthdays of novelists such as J.D. Salinger, J.R.R. Tolkien and E.M. Forster. In commemoration, the English

Department would like to recommend “The Catcher in the Rye” by J.D. Salinger. Written in 1951 the book tells the story of the protagonist’s teenage angst and alienation.

With the mock examinations for Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle on the horizon the English Department recommends “The Little Book of Mindfulness” by Patrizia Collard.

Teaching & Learning: Student Resources

This week’s useful learning resources include:

StudyBlue – (Free)

StudyBlue allows you to upload class study materials, create electronic flashcards to study and share with others, and practice quizzes.

Oxford Dictionary(Free)

The mobile version of the Oxford University Press’ Oxford English Dictionary.

Student Council

Frank Duffy was invited to this meeting to report feedback from his meeting with the Donegal Youth Council. Important topics such as Mental Health and Equality in Sports were addressed and discussed.

The Council reviewed the Training Workshop they had participated in which focused on team training skills, leadership and organisation skills.

The topic of inclusion was investigated and it was agreed to formulate a questionnaire/survey in order to assess all the different nationalities in the Abbey Vocational School.

The Student Council Meeting also agreed to host a Cultural Food Event this term. Students will be invited to showcase the wide variety of cultures flourishing in the school.

Music Department

The Music Department hold Choir meetings in Room 16 every Friday lunchtime, all are welcome!

Also, with the Mock Examinations around the corner, exam classes are preparing for Mock Practicals on during the first week of February.

The inspiring Carol Service and Carol Singing in Supervalu before Christmas was a great success. There will be a presentation of the money collected to Reverend Huss on Monday 14th January at 2pm – Funds in aid of the Church Spire Fund.

Art Dept

Leaving Certificate and 2nd year Art students received their themes for examination work this week and are busy working on those. This is the first year of the new 2nd year Junior Cycle Art classroom Based Assessments. Congratulations to Mia McCalmont who won 1st place in the Credit Union Art competition at chapter (county) level following her success at local level. Mia’s work now progresses to the national final!

Healthy School

A survey has been distributed to the school community in relation to the food habits of the School members. This data will be reviewed and studied with the intention of implementing healthier alternatives for all. These changes will be implemented in the School Canteen and Tuck Shop.

As part of well-being 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.


  1. The Defence Forces presented to Senior Cycle students on Thursday of last week. The title of the presentation was ‘Defence Force Careers’. The feedback from the presentation was excellent. Thank you to Lt. John Grennan for his time.
  2. IT Sligo are holding an Information Evening in the college on Tuesday 15 January, starting at 6 p.m. for Leaving Certificate students and their parents. See for further info.
  3. LYIT are holding an Information Evening in the college on Wednesday, 16 January between 5 and 8 p.m. for Leaving Certificate students and their parents. See for further info.
  4. NUI Galway are holding an Open Evening in the Radisson Blu Hotel, Letterkenny on Thursday, 17 January between 7 and 9 p.m. for Leaving Certificate students and their parents. See for further info.
  5. A HEAR & DARE Advice Clinic for Leaving Cert students and their parents/guardians will take place in the Villa Rose, Ballyboffey on Saturday, 19 January 2019 between 10.00 and 2.00. See ie for further info.
  6. LYIT are holding an Information Evening in the Abbey Hotel, Donegal Town on Tuesday, 22 January between 5 and 8 p.m. for Leaving Certificate students and their parents. See for further info.
  7. Information talks for Leaving Certs taking place in the library in 2019:
  • 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

  1. 6th Year students & LCAs are welcome to book a 1:1 appointment with their Guidance Counsellor if they have not already done so.
  2. Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo.


This week as part of their wellbeing and Living in the Community activities Level 2 students completed the Bank Walk and competed in teams to complete the fairy trail.

15 members of staff are completing a 7 week programme of Irish Sign Language to develop their skills and enable us to support and facilitate the inclusion of students with hearing difficulties. Level 2 students are also being taught some ISL during Living in the Community.

Active Schools

Transition Year Students will be mentoring second year students for a Tug of War contest later this month as part of our Active School Flag programme.

Students from University Limerick will be coming to our school on Thursday the 17th January to interview the team spearheading the ASF project. We look forward to seeing them!

Plans for the walkway around the school as part of the ASF project have been rejected due to health and safety so junior students are coming up with a ‘Plan B’. We hope to see this walkway in  place soon.

Girls Active

Girls Active will resume again on Thursday 17th January 2019. Rowing is the themed activity for the next 5 weeks term. It will take place in the gym at the Abbey Vocational School from 3.30pm – 4.30pm. Looking forward to seeing girls from all year groups there.

Lunchtime Science Club

Fifteen students left the Abbey Vocational School at 5.30am on Friday the 11th January to attend and experience the BT Young Scientist Exhibition in Dublin. The BTYSE is a science fair sponsored by BT to show young students how fun and hands-on science can be. The Students really enjoyed the day and it proved a great way for the Students to be inspired about science and technology. According to one Student “it is not just an exhibition in the R.D.S. but a journey that starts in the classroom and takes you to a whole new incredible world, where you meet new people, try new things, explore your imagination, think outside the box and do things that you could have only dreamed of”.

Drama Club

Mr Donegan’s A.V.S. Drama Group will start soon involving theatre productions, short film projects, comedy improvisation and theatre trips. Rehearsals will take place at lunchtimes and after school. If you are interested in acting the 1st meeting is in the Library this Thursday (17th January) at 1pm.  All years welcome.

School Tour Abroad

Excitement is growing as the Students look forward to the Annual School Tour abroad! Of course, all students attending the school tour must have a copy of their passports handed in to Mr. Clark as soon as possible and a copy of their EHIC card handed in to Mrs. Dunnion. The flight and hotel details will be posted to the school website in the coming weeks. Finally, according to J.K. Rowling “let us step into the night and pursue that flighty temptress, adventure!”.


Senior Boys Gaelic

The AVS senior boys Gaelic team took on Milford in the final of the McIver Cup on Wednesday 9th January in O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny. Milford got off to a strong start and had the Abbey boys under pressure early on. Michael Statham’s goal midway through the first half kept the AVS in the contest, however, a second Milford goal ensured they went in leading by 2 points at half time. The AVS came out more determined in the second half and through some excellent score-taking went into a 5 point lead. Back came Milford, and only for a point blank stop by Enda O’Hagan in the AVS goals, Milford would have taken the lead entering the final few minutes. Cian Hegarty scored a crucial goal in the final minutes for Abbey that ultimately proved to be the deciding score. A memorable victory for the AVS and congratulations to coaches Mr. Leyden and Mr. Monaghan. Up next for the senior boys is an Ulster quarter-final against Coleraine.


U14 Girls GAA

U14 Girls G.A.A. training continues every Monday from 4-5 on the school pitch. The Girls League will be commencing at the start of February. All players welcome. Please bring gum shields football boots and runners.

1st and 2nd Years Boys Basketball

1st and 2nd Years Boys Basketball continues every Monday from 4-5.45 in the School Gym. The Boys will be playing Sligo Grammar, Carrick-On-Shannon and Coláiste Cholmcille in the League this year. Their first game will be against Sligo Grammar at the end of January.

1st and 2nd year Girls Basketball

Best of luck to the first and second year girls basketball teams who play Ballinamore next Tueday 15th in the league.

TY News

TY Walk:

On Friday the 11th January Transition Year Students took part in an inspiring sponsored walk around Drimarone. The Transition Year Students departed the school at 10:00 a.m. and set off on a journey of bonding, wellbeing and exercise. This was an excellent day and raised €1300 towards extra TY curricular activities.


TY Drama based on the theme of the Homelessness in Society:

A number of our TY are starting into a new project around Creative Engagement. The project will be aimed at making our community aware of the homeless. The project will consist of three areas, Drama, Dance and Music. The final product will be a staged performance by the students involved and all money raised will go towards a Homeless charity. The programme will be coordinated by Conor Carney.

The programme is co-funded by the Department of Culture Heritage and the Gaeltacht, the Department of Education and Skills and the Heritage Council.  Each year projects are produced in schools  ranging from theatre and film through to sculpture and music.  A creative engagement happens when a local artist or  arts  group comes into the school and imparts their skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to the students.  This partnership has mutual benefits to both artist and school.

The Creative Engagement Programme strives to encourage creativity, initiative and expression in our students and to complement curricular learning in the arts  heritage and culture.

TY Mini Company

Our TY students continue to work 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. An example of one of our very successful mini companies from this year  is Cute As A Button. This is a group of five students who 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 months producing and selling their product at 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.


Performing Arts

During this term the TYs will take part in four different modules, these will be rotated every four weeks. The following modules will be on offer:

  • Drama Workshop
  • PE Expo competition – this is a national competition
  • YSI- Young Social Innovators – this is a national competition
  • Guitar Workshop
  • GAA Future Leaders – Wellbeing

Young Social Innovators Competition

Young Social Innovators is Ireland’s largest social awareness and active citizenship and education programme for 15 to 18 year old teens. Its main goal is to get young people involved in action which helps improve the lives of others in their community.

This term TY C have decided that they will base their projects around the area of homelessness. The aim of the project is to put together a care pack that they will distribute to a homeless charity. The students will develop this pack through research online and will make communication with homeless charities to gather further information needed.

TY Activities

This term the students will experience a different range of activities during their Monday activity slot. These activities will be rotated every four weeks.

  • TYA will take part in GAA coaching Skills with Mr Monaghan.
  • TYB will go to the Central Hotel Leisure center were they will take part in aqua aerobic.
  • TYC will complete four weeks of boxersie with Ms O’Mahony.
  • TYD will Leaving Cert PE induction workshop for the four weeks with Mr O’Mahony.

TY Upcoming Events:

Over the next few months our TY students will take part in my activities, a sample of some of these activities and listed below:

  • Public Access To Law course
  • Personal Safety Workshop
  • First Response Course
  • Healthy Life Programme
  • Dublin History Trip
  • Hotel Training
  • Balmoral Shows
  • Lough Key Maths Trip


TY Newsletter Team:

                                     Frank Duffy

                                     Christopher Darby

                                     Meabh Morrow Herbert

                                     Hannah Crawford

                                     Tom Daly

                                     Emma Coulter

                                     Shona O’Brien 

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