Abbey VS Newsletter – 11th Feb 2019

Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement

As part of the Framework for Junior Cycle (2015) the reporting process at Junior Cycle now culminates in the award of the JCPA to Students. The new award of the JCPA, has replaced the Junior Certificate and reports on the Student’s achievement across a broad range of areas of learning in the Junior Cycle.

Congratulations to all the Students of the Abbey Vocational School who received their Junior Cycle Profile of Achievement at the Junior Cycle Profile of Awards on Wednesday.

Thanks to Dr Martin Gormley, Director of Schools with the Donegal Education and Training Board and Ms Eileen Doherty, Donegal Education and Training Board Administrative Officer for presenting our awards to the students. Dr Gormley said that it was an absolute pleasure to attend and that he enjoyed meeting with the students from the school and that they all showed great maturity and focus. Dr Gormley congratulated students, parents, staff and management.


Parents Information Evening for Parents of 3rd and Transition Year Students

An Information Evening took place on Tuesday February 5th for parents of third year and TY students. This evening delved into the subject options for those students progressing to 5th year. There was also a presentation on the Transition Year Programme for students considering going into TY. The evening proved to be beneficial and informative for all Students involved. Please see our Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo to see the various presentations delivered on the night.

Leaving Certificate & Junior Cycle Examination Timetables

Mock Examinations commence this week for students. Best of luck to all involved in these exams. 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.

Safer Internet Day

On Tuesday 5th February students of the Abbey Vocational School emerged themselves in Safer Internet Day.

Safer Internet Day is an EU wide initiative in collaboration with the Professional Development Service for Teachers or PDST to promote a safer internet for all users, especially young students. The Theme for Safer Internet Day was “Together for a Better Internet”. Students of the Abbey Vocational School participated in discussions on this topic during S.P.H.E Wellbeing and Personal Development.

If you wish to know more about this topic,

For European Safer Internet Day Transition Year Students have been tasked with producing an informative, educational short video highlighting the dangers of Cyberbullying. The aim of their video is to make students aware of the harm that cyberbullying can cause and it promotes steps that students can take to prevent cyberbullying from happening in our school Their video has been entered into the Webwise National Competition.


This week sees the birthday of James Joyce. Born on the 2nd February 1882 Joyce was a novelist, short story writer, poet, teacher, and literary critic and is regarded as one of the most influential and important authors of the 20th century. Joyce is best known for “Ulysses”, “Finnegan’s Wake” and “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man”. This week English Department recommends “ Finnegan’s Wake”. “ Finnegans Wake” is a novel written using the dream form as a device to tell the universal story of Everyman, Humphrey Chimpden Earwicker, his wife Anna Livia Plurabelle and their children, twin sons Shem and Shaun and daughter Isabel.

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

History Department

This week sees the birth of Thomas MacDonagh patriot, poet, critic and scholar, who was instrumental in the 1916 rising.

Also, this week in 1967 saw the birth of the Northern Ireland Civil Rights Movement. 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.

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!

The Music Department

The ‘One Voice Choir’ will perform on 12th March with one of the biggest choral ensembles 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; #WeAreDonegalETB.  The Music Department hold Choir meetings in Room 16 every Friday lunchtime, all are welcome!

Abbey’s Got Talent

There has been a huge interest in our ‘Abbey’s Got Talent’ Event. Auditions have started during lunch. The big event 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. We are all anxiously awaiting the news of the list of the finalists for the big night.


The Chess Club meets on Tuesdays at lunchtime in room 3 and the Maths Club runs on Fridays at lunchtime in room 37. All are welcome!

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!

Second Place in Donegal Schools Drama Festival

On the 4th February fifth year Students from the Abbey Vocational School Saerlaith Lusson, Emily Erskine and Robyn Harvey-Moulding participated in the Butt Drama Circle’s Secondary Schools Drama Festival. The Balor Arts Theatre Annual event takes place annually over two nights in Ballybofey. The drama group performed an excerpt from the play “Chatroom” written by Enda Walsh and directed by Mr Donegan.

On the second night of the festival, the drama group were awarded 2nd place for their production in the festival. Both Emily Erskine and Saerlaith Lusson were awarded Best Supporting Actress and Robyn Harvey-Moulding succeeded in claiming the award for Best Actress! Also, Sean Donegan, the Director was awarded Best Lighting and Sound Effects throughout the production.

The adjudicator of the Festival Maura Logue, an accredited thespian of the stage, regarded the young actresses as “exceptionally strong” and how their dramatic efforts were “from the heart”.


Art Department

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

Career Guidance

  • A TY information session and subject choices presentation for incoming 5th Year parents & guardians took place in the school last Tuesday between 7 and 9 p.m. Thank you to all those in attendance.
  • There were a number of guest speakers from John Paul Construction; a leading international construction company. Thank you to Kevin Weir & his colleagues from John Paul Construction and to Mr Leyden & Mr Gallagher for facilitating.
  • The SUSI Grant application process will open in early April 2019. Further information will be provided by the Guidance Counsellors during Career Guidance class.
  • All senior cycle students (6th, LCA & 5th years) are welcome to book a1:1 appointment with their Guidance Counsellor if they have not already done so.

Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo.

Leaving Certs applying to DARE and/or HEAR should now be working on their application(s). It is the student’s responsibility to ensure all paperwork is completed by the specified dates. The Guidance Counsellors will be happy to assist in any way that they can.

Construction Workshop

On Thursday Students from the Abbey Vocational School were treated to a workshop entitled “A Career in Construction”. The Irish construction sector has risen from the ashes and once again presents a variety of career opportunities for people wishing to begin or restart their career in construction.

The Students of the Abbey Vocational School were informed and enlightened on the many career opportunities available to them such as; Quantity Surveyors, Civil Engineers, Building Services Engineers, Architects and so much more.

The Science Club

Science Club numbers have been growing steadily in recent weeks. The group meets every Wednesday in room 33 during lunch break. All welcome!


Well being

Healthy Schools

Students and staff at the Abbey Vocational School enjoyed healthy eating tasting at lunchtime in the assembly area. The Healthy Schools Committee and the Home Economics Department prepared and served the healthy option dishes on the day. The menu consisted of Chicken and Pasta Bake, Vegetarian Chilli, Penne with Spicy Tomato and sizzling Bacon, Cottage Pie, Snacks, Baked Berry Squares, Banana and Oat Muffins, Flap Jacks and Raspberry and Blueberry Muffins. Students and staff were surveyed to see what dishes or snacks were their preference. As a result of this great event, more healthy options will be served in the canteen. The curriculum informs student of the importance of nutrition and healthy eating in their lives.

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.

Library Activities

The Library is now open during lunch throughout the week, here students will be able to play table tennis and different indoor active activities to keep them entertained during lunch. The area has been introduced alongside the lunchtime activities up in the gym and also outside on our playing courts.



Transition Year News

Transition Year Dragon’s Den

Well done to all the TY groups that entered into our Dragons Den Enterprise competition today. All TY students have been working hard over the past few months come up with their mini company ideas, preparing their business plans and producing their product or their prototype. The top four groups from this week’s competition will not face a panel of dragons next Tuesday. The three winning groups on the day were:

  • Cute as a button – Hand crafted photo frames.
  • Abbey Sportswear – Personalised sports tops.
  • Growth – Making organic fertilizer from worm castings.

Personal Safety Workshop

On Monday 4th February Transition Year Students attended a Personal Safety Workshop which aimed to arm Students with the ability to look after themselves, to be aware of your surroundings, to feel safe, to feel empowered, to feel confident, being able to adapt to any given situation. This was a excellent workshop that all our students enjoyed and benefited greatly from.


Computer Science Workshop

On Wednesday Transition Year Students enjoyed two Computer Science Workshops with Mr. Gorman and Mr Donegan . Computer Science is the study of computers and computational systems, dealing mostly with software and software systems and this includes their theory, design, development, and application.


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 Innovator

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 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 are 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, Personal care items:, 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), Base layers.

Creative Workshop in Collaboration with Morna’s Patch

On Tuesday 5th February TYB took part in a craft workshop with Morna 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 weeks to work with the other TY classes.


Croke Park Trip

On Monday the 11th March all TY students will have an  early start at 6:45am as they will go for a tour of Croke Park. They will be brought behind the scenes where players will go before and after games in the dressing rooms and lounge. They will be  brought out onto the pitch and given a history of what happened on Bloody Sunday and why certain stands have specific names. Afterwards, students will time to explore the museum and play interactive games. This promises to be a an excellent trip for all. 

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 up and coming event

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

  • 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


Senior Boys Win in the Markey Cup Semi-Final in Irvinestown!

Abbey Vocational Donegal 0-13 St Ciaran’s Ballygawley 1-8 Abbey became the first side into this season’s Danske Bank Markey Cup final when they held off a spirited comeback from St Ciaran’s Ballygawley on the 4G pitch at the Bawnacre in Irvinestown on Thursday afternoon. The Donegal lads led by five points at one stage early in the second half but a well taken Ethan Neill goal at the end of the third quarter helped reduced the deficit to the minimum. The Tyrone school though couldn’t find an equaliser as the Abbey Vocational School did enough to get over the finishing line.

Abbey had the wind at their backs in the first half and they started confidently with wing half back Richard O’Rourke and Cain Hegarty registering points. Peadar Kane then opened St Ciaran’s account and in the 10th minute they had a great chance to take the lead when Ciaran Bogue was fouled for a penalty but Odhran Robinson put the spot kick wide. Jamie Crawford and Mark Monaghan traded points before Joe Oguz sent over the equaliser. The Abbey Vocational School finished strongly with Jamie Crawford converting two frees either side of a brace from play from Shay Travers for a 0- 7 to 0-3 advantage. A Hegarty free stretched their lead on the re-start before Neill finished low to the bottom left hand corner of the net after getting on the end of a knockdown from Oguz.

On three occasions St Ciaran’s closed the gap to the minimum with scores fromBogue, Ruairí Canavan and Robinson, but each time the Abbey responded strongly through Hegarty (2) and Michael Statham as they booked their place in the decider. Well done and Congratulations to the Abbey Vocational School!

Abbey: E O’Hagan, S Meehan, B Fagan, A McHugh, R Brogan, M Coughlan, R O’Rourke (0-1), J Crawford (0-3, 2F), O Reid, C Feeney, M Statham (0-1), D Gallagher, S Travers (0-2), C Hegarty (0-5, 3F), S Kennedy (0-1). Subs: I Campbell for Kennedy, O Quinn for Travers, T White for O’Rourke, A McCalmont for Feeney St Ciaran’s: S McMenamin, J Heatherington, B Quinn, M Quinn, F McElroy, C Quinn, P Kane (0-1), O Treacy, J Oguz (0-1), C McAleer, M Monaghan (0-1), E Neill (1-1), C Bogue (0-1), O Robinson (0-1), P Traynor. Sub: R Canavan (0-2, 1F) for McElroy


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.

Niamh Boyle

Well done to leaving cert student Niamh Boyle on starting at no 9 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 teammates the very best of luck with the remainder of the session.


U15s Soccer

Well done to  Abbey Vocational School’s U15s Soccer team who had a resounding victory against St Clare’s on Wednesday 6th February. The final score in the Ulster Quarter Final was 7-2 to the Abbey Vocational School!


Conor Campbell

Well done to third year student Conor Campbell who joined the U15 boys Republic of Ireland soccer team in Spain for an international friendly tournament. The boys had three games throughout the week. They were up against the host first, Conor started this game at midfield. They drew 1-1 with Spain, before the hosts won a developmental penalty shootout 4-1. Next up, The Republic of Ireland drew 2-2 with the Netherlands in the second match of their International Tournament in Spain’s Pinatar Arena, before the Dutch won a developmental penalty shoot-out 4-2. Republic of Ireland Under-15s secured an impressive 3-0 victory over Hungary in the last of a three-game international friendly tournament in Spain. Conor started this game again at mid field and was very unlucky not to get on the score sheet early on in the first half as his low powerful shot was palmed away by the Hungarian goalie. Well done Conor!


First Year Boys Basketball

The Abbey Vocational First Year Basketball Team took on local team Colaiste Cholmcille from Ballyshannon in a very close match. It was a basket for basket game from the very start, with both sets of players playing out of their skin. With the teams level with twenty seconds to go, Oisin Mogan scored and then was awarded a free throw and also scored that to put Abbey ahead with 20 secs on the clock. The winning score at the end was 27-24 to the Abbey Vocational School. Congratulations boys!


Second Year Basketball

The second year Students of the Abbey Vocational School took on Colaiste Cholmcille Ballyshannon on Tuesday the 5th February. Our boys started off strong, they showed great teamwork throughout the match. The  boys finished out the match winning by 11 points the final score was 31-20 to the Abbey Vocational School. Outstanding on the day for the Abbey were Niall Prendeville and Ben McNeely.


TY Newsletter team:

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

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