AVS Newsletter – Mon 4th Feb 2019

Junior Cert Business 2018 awards

Congratulations to Conor McGroary and Katelyn Duffy who along with their teacher Miss McCafferty were invited to attend a presentation ceremony in Maynooth University, in recognition of their excellent results in Junior Certificate Business Studies.


Parents Information Evening for Parents of 3rd and TY Students

An Information evening will take place on Tuesday February 5th for parents of third year and TY students. This will look at subject options for those students progressing to 5th year. There will be a presentation on the TY Programme also at this time for students considering going into TY.

  • 7pm: Talk on TY for all 3rd years. Short Talk on LCA programmed
  • 7.45 pm: Subject Option Talk for students going into 5th year

Healthy Schools

In seeking to promote a healthy-eating policy, the Abbey Vocational School’s Health Promoting Schools team held a tasting day at lunchtime on Thursday the 31st January. Tasty recipes to sample on the day included Homemade Shepherd’s Pie, Vegetarian Pasta, Spicy Pasta Bake and deserts such as Banana Muffins.

This initiative by the Health Promoting Schools Team focused on food and nutrition as one of the vital areas Students need to be aware of the importance of healthy eating practices in order to optimise their growth, health and potential.

Positive feedback from the Students of the Abbey Vocational School will see these new recipes implemented in the School Canteen for the benefit of the whole Abbey Vocational School Community.


Workshop on Cyber Bullying

This week Students of the Abbey Vocational School attended a Workshop on Cyber bullying. The aim of the talk was to raise awareness and inform Students, highlighting issues and topics around this subject.

Cyber bullying was explained as bullying that takes place over digital devices like mobile phones, computers, and tablets.

The Cyber bullying Workshop was of great benefit to the Abbey Vocational School Community.

Abbeys Got Talent

There has been a huge interest in our Abbey’s Got Talent’ Event. Auditions will be held next week! This takes place on April 11th in the Abbey Hotel with Noel Cunningham as our M.C. A variety of acts will be selected to perform on the night and it promises to be an excellent event.

Leaving Certificate & Junior Cycle Examination Timetables

As Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Students prepare for their Mock Examinations, the Leaving Certificate & Junior Cycle Examination timetables are now available for 6th Year and 3rd Year students on our school website at the link below. http://avsdonegal.com/state-examinations

Coding Club

The Coding Club runs in room 47 on Mondays at lunchtime with Mr. Harvey. Coding or computer programming is the act of using languages to instruct a computer to perform functions. Here in the Abbey Vocational School we welcome and celebrate Coding and computer programming and if you are interested joining our club, please talk to Mr. Harvey. All welcome!

Active Schools

Drop Everything and Walk sees Students and Teachers take care of their mental health and well-being. This initiative is part of the Active Schools Flag programme. You can find more information at http://www.activeschoolflag.ie

Music Department

Tuesday the 29th January saw thirty-five Transition Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School travel to Letterkenny to take part in preparations for the ‘One Voice Choir’.

The ‘One Voice Choir’ will perform on 12th March with one of the biggest #choralensembles ever seen in Donegal. Two hundred Students from 15 ETB Schools will perform. Students from the Abbey Vocational School experience an uplifting event and have the opportunity to meet other Students from the ETB Community. If you are interested in attending this event, tickets are available at; https://bit.ly/2Cr7Z3N  #WeAreDonegalETB

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

Finally, with the Mock Examinations around the corner, exam classes are preparing for Mock Practical’s on during the first week of February.

Teaching & Learning

With mocks exams approaching, organisation is key for success and well-being, and student study planning apps are becoming increasingly popular.

As well as saving on paper, many student planner apps also send reminders and alerts straight to your phone or device. Two such apps include ‘Timetable’ and “iStudiez”.

‘Timetable’ is an intuitive app on Google Play for managing your study planning. Students can save their timetable and all tasks from homework to exams. You only need to enter them once, because Timetable syncs across all your Android devices. 

iStudiez allows students not only to create a study timetable but also tracking of daily tasks, upcoming homework assignments and project deadlines. It is available for iOS, Android and Windows platforms.


This week sees the birthday of Edith Wharton. The first female writer to win the Pulitzer prize for fiction in 1920, Wharton’s novels are sharply observed and witty examinations of the wealthy American upper class and nouveau riche societies, their morals, hypocrisies and materialism at the turn of the 20th century. The English Department would like to recommend “The Age of Innocence”. The Novel centers on an upper-class couple’s impending marriage, and the introduction of the bride’s cousin, plagued by scandal, whose presence threatens their happiness.

This week also sees the birthday of Virginia Woolf, a major 20th century novelist, Woolf was a highly intellectual, influential writer and a pioneering feminist; she experimented with various literary techniques and was an early exponent of stream-of-conscious narration. Woolf’s writings include; “Mrs Dalloway” (1925), “To the Lighthouse” (1928), “A Room of One’s Own” (1929

Finally, the English Department would also like to wish the Abbey Vocational Fifth Year Drama Students Robyn Harvey Moulding, Saerlaith Lusson and Emily Erskine luck in performing an extract from Irish Film Awards Best Director Nominee Enda Walsh entitled ‘Chatroom’.



The Chess Club meets on Tuesdays at lunchtime in room 3 and the Maths Club runs on Fridays at lunchtime in room 37.Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. The game is played by millions of people worldwide.                

Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga sometime before the 7th century. If you have an interest in joining our Chess Club please come along to our meetings as everyone is welcome.

History Department

This week sees the anniversary of the liberation of Nazi Germany’s biggest concentration camp at Auschwitz in southern Poland in 1945. During the concentration camps existence it is believed up to 1 million Jews lost their lives.

Also this week Henry VIII King of England dies and is succeeded by his nine-year-old son Edward VI.

Finally, the History Department are preparing for the Mock Examinations for the Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Examinations. The History Department recommends Students get plenty of sleep, eat well and drink lots of water in order to maintain their wellbeing and mental health.

Irish Department

Work is under way to prepare Abbey Vocational Students for the Irish Orals. Students are asked to look after their mental health and wellbeing by getting a good night’s sleep, keep hydrated with water and eat nutritional food during the exam time.

The Junior Certificate official state examination Irish Orals are commencing on the 4th February.

Leaving certificate mock Orals will commence on the same week, the 4th February.

Art Department

Fifth year students from the Abbey Vocational School are channeling their inner creativity this week and are beginning work on this year’s Texaco Art Competition. Entries are due on Thursday 28th February.

Science Club

This week our First Year Science Club explored the conditions necessary for fermentation with Ms. Mc Guinness and Mr. Monahan. During this activity the students carried out the fermentation process using yeast. The group discovered that anaerobic conditions are necessary to produce ethanol. Fermentation (anaerobic respiration) is important in everyday life. It causes muscle cramping in animals and is essential in baking and brewing. Biotechnology – an ever growing and important area of industry in Ireland, uses microorganisms such as yeast to create new products. Science Club numbers have been growing steadily in recent weeks. The group meets every Wednesday in room 33 during lunch break. All welcome!

Well done to all involved.



The Leaving Cert Accounting Class welcomed John Gaynor, lecturer of Accounting in IT Sligo to the school last Monday. John conducted a workshop and offered an insight into the daily duties of a Management Accountant from the perspective of Ryanair. He also informed the students about IT Sligo’s 3 year Accounting Degree. Thank you to Ms Gordon for organising the event.

  1. The North-West Regional College (NWRC) will present to Leaving Certs on Thursday, 07 February 2019 @ 11.55 – 12.35
  2. Leaving Certs applying to DARE and/or HEAR should now be working on their application(s). The Guidance Counsellors will be happy to assist in any way that they can.
  3. The SUSI Grant application process will open in early April 2019. Further information will be provided by the Guidance department during Career Guidance class.
  4. 6th Year students & LCAs are welcome to book a 1:1 appointment with their Guidance Counsellor if they have not already done so.
  5. Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to AVSDonegal.com – 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.

Donegal Youth Council

Congratulations to Sean Meehan, Aodhán Mc Crudden and Eoin Rooney who join Frank Duffy on Donegal Youth Council.

Girls Active

Girls Active continues this week with the theme of ‘Rowing’. Students enjoyed the activity as a fantastic way to improve their fitness, mental health and wellbeing. Girls Active continues every Thursday from 3.20-4.20 in the gym!

Drama Club

The new AVS Drama Club will see students regularly meeting to work on their acting and rehearse pieces for performance. Drama sessions will take place Wednesdays after school from 3:25 – 4:30 pm and Thursday lunchtime 12:40 – 1:15 pm.  Feel free to drop in and join in any time – all that is required is an interest in acting – see you there!

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.

Mini Company: Room 12 Enterprise

Congratulations to Ava Harrold, Jack O’Rourke and Eoin Rooney who have been successful entrepreneurs this year. Following the success of the pumpkin carving business at Halloween they launched their “Nail Box”. Ava was the nail technician, Jack was the financial manager and Eoin was in charge of marketing. This week they purchased a mini fridge for Room 12 from the proceeds of their company: The Nail Box (“Where nails go to party!)



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.

Girls Soccer

Roisin Lynch

Congratulations to AVS student Roisin Lynch who was a member of the Donegal U13 Girls soccer team that defeated Longford 4-1 in the FAI U13 Gaynor Cup qualifiers at Abbeycartron recently


1st and 2nd Years Boys Basketball

1st and 2nd Years Boys Basketball continues every Monday from 4.00-5.45 in the School Gym. After two great opening games, next up for both teams is a home game against Coláiste Cholmcille on Tuesday the 5th February and the last game of the league is an away trip to Carrick on Shannon on the 1st of March. Good luck lads!  


Second Year Girls Basketball

This week saw two out of two wins for the Abbey Vocational School Second Year Girls Basketball Team. The team are enjoying a rich vein of form and played exceptionally well.

Also, the First Year Girls Basketball Team enjoyed their first win this week, congratulations girls! The Abbey Vocational School is looking forward to the final pool game against Carrick on Shannon next week


Indoor Sports hall Athletics

The first year girls enjoyed an exhilarating day away at the Indoor Sports hall Athletics Finals on Thursday 18th in Raphoe. The experience was invaluable for the Students of the Abbey Vocational School.  Mr. Carty and Mr. Clayton previously held trials and teams had been selected to participate in the event. Abbey Vocational Students displayed great flair and aptitude and had a great day.

District Cross-Country Competition

A number of runners took part in the District Cross-Country Competition on Thursday 24th January at Necarne Estate, Irvinestown, Co Fermanagh.

Despite the damp conditions, Students from the Abbey Vocational School gave wonderful accomplished performances.

One of the highlights of the meeting were Mia McCalmont 1st place in the Senior Girls’ Race, with automatic qualification for the Ulster Finals. Kitty McNulty also qualified for the Ulster finals, finishing in 9th place. Caolan Sweeney finished 7th in the Junior Boys’ race and Seanan Carr 15th in the Minor Boys, both qualifying for the Ulster Finals.

The Intermediate Boys’ team finished 6th out of 12 teams, and all ran with great determination on a tough 4.5km course. The Junior Boys’ and Junior Girls’ Teams both finished in 12th position.

Congratulations to all the runners who took part and to the 4 runners who have qualified for the Ulster Finals in particular!


Ladies GAA

“Well done to leaving cert student Niamh Boyle on starting at no9 for Donegal senior ladies last Saturday during their win over all back to back Ireland champions Dublin in Croke Park. This is a fantastic and well deserved achievement for Niamh. Niamh 

has been part of the GAA in the school since she started in first year and has progressed every year since. She is not only talented but more importantly, she is hardworking, determined and her passion for the sport shows during every game. Since starting in first year she turned up to every training session and game with the determination to do her absolute best for her and her teammates. Niamh is an outstanding role model for the younger students in the school. We wish her and her team mates the very best of luck with the remainder of the season”.


TY News

The Future Leaders Transition Year Programme

The “Future Leaders Transition Year Programme” is a joint initiative from the GAA and the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It is a cross-curricular programme comprising of a series of modules designed to encourage maturity, initiative, responsibility and leadership skills in pupils. The Programme gives pupils the knowledge and skills to support all roles required in the effective staging of Gaelic Games.

TY A students are currently engaging with an exciting and informative coaching module with Mr. Monahan. This module, when completed, will equip our students with a further developed skillset to better communicate and demonstrate the skills of the game of Gaelic Football.

Also as part of the ‘Future Leaders Transition Year’ program there will be a G.A.A. Tournament for first year boys at lunchtime on Friday



Transition Year Cyber bullying Short Video

Transition Year Students have been tasked with producing an informative, educational short video highlighting the dangers of Cyber bullying. Their video will be launched in the coming weeks. Well done to all the students involved.              

Transition Year visit to Donegal Castle

The Abbey Vocational School Transition Year Students enjoyed a tour of the Donegal Town Castle on Friday morning the 1st of February.

The Donegal Town Castle situated in the heart of Donegal Town has lain in ruins for the past two centuries but was renovated in the 1990s.

A stronghold of the O’Donnell Clan, the Transition Year Students enjoyed a tour of the Castle, including the fifteenth century rectangular keep and the Jacobean style wing.


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


TY Drama based on the theme of the Homeless members of society

Conor Carney has joined the Abbey Vocational Community supporting Transition Year Students who have started a new project embracing ‘Creative Engagement’. The project aims at making our community aware of the Homeless. The project consists 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 programmed 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.

The ‘Créative Engagement’ ethos involves a local artist or arts group coming into the school and imparting their skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to the students.  This partnership has mutual benefits to both artist and school.

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

This week the students started rehearsing the start of the play and some of the songs. The students are really enjoying taking on the programmed!

Young Social Innovators

Young Social Innovators is Ireland’s largest social awareness and active citizenship and education programmed 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 TYC 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. The class is looking for donations of the following items, if you have any of these to spare can you please drop them into the school for please:

Drawstring Backpacks, Waterproofs, Toothbrush, Toothpaste, Shampoo,Shower Gel or soap, Baby wipes, Feminine hygiene products, Roll on deodorants (please do not include spray deodorants), Treat personal care items  moisturisers, facial creams, hair gel, etc., Cereal or energy bars, Hats, Gloves, Scarves or snoods, Thermal items (socks etc) and Base layers.


TY Craft Workshop

On Tuesday the 22nd January TYD took part in a craft workshop with Moran from Morna’s Patch. During this workshop the students learned how to cross stitch and each student made a love heart fridge magnet. It was a very enjoyable experience for all the students and they left the workshop with some lovely homemade fridge magnet just in time for Valentine’s Day! Morna will be back over the next few works to work with the other TY classes


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 aqua aerobic with Mr. Monaghan.
  • TYB will be taking part in a rowing programme with Ms. Rooney.
  • TYC will Leaving Cert PE induction workshop for the four weeks with Mr. O’
  • TYD will complete four weeks of boxercise with Ms. O’

TY up and coming events

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

  • Public Access To Law course
  • Personal Safety Workshop
  • Cardiac First Response Course
  • Healthy Life Programme
  • Dublin History Trip
  • Hotel Training
  • Balmoral Shows
  • Lough Key Maths Trip
  • CSI Workshop
  • Make up workshop
  • Personal Presentation Workshop
  • Ambulance crew visit and defib overview
  • Internet Safety video production workshops
  • Basketball table officiating course and Basketball coaching course
  • Architect in school programme
  • Foroige Leadership programme
  • Homeless workshop
  • Young Social Innovators competitions and attendance at event
  • PE Expo
  • ETB Awards
  • Sports Leaders
  • GAA Future Leaders
  • Drama Production


TY Newsletter team: Frank Duffy

                                     Christopher Darby

                                     Hannah Crawford

                                     Tom Daly

                                     Emma Coulter

Newsletter Updates

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