Abbey VS Newsletter for Mon 11th March.

Irish Junior Maths Competition

Congratulations to Colm McDermott, Meabh Mc Namara, Hugh Mc Shane and Lana Murphy (all first year students) on reaching the finals of the Irish Junior Maths Competition which will be held in St. Columba’s College, Stranorlar, Co. Donegal on Friday 29th March.


Leaving Cert Mentoring Programme:

Leaving Cert students have no completed their Mock Examinations and Michael Bond spent Monday morning with our students reviewing where they are now and where they need to go. Each leaving Cert student has an individual Mentor who had been working with them around the challenges of the Leaving Cert exam and how they individually need to be supported. Thanks to all of the staff in the school who give of their time to become a mentor and to offer such invaluable support to our students at this very challenging time. Students also have attended a talk on the stresses and anxieties of preparing for the exam with Psychotherapist James Sheehy so are now equipped to manage stressful days ahead. Mentors will now link in with students to see what each student now needs to address in order to be in the best possible place for the exams. Year Head Ms Dillon will be offering ongoing support to all students in her year group also.

Leaving Certificate Fun Day

On Monday the 4th of March Leaving Cert Students from the Abbey Vocational enjoyed a fun, exciting and inclusive day at the Bluestack Centre in Drimarone after the rigours of the Mock Examinations. Thank you to staff Jane Mc Morrow, Maria Fahaerty Leo MC Loone and Lorraine Dillon for facilitating this event as well as the staff at the Blue stack for providing such and excellent day.

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LCVP Enterprise

On Tuesday the 5th of March fifth year Students fulfilling the LCVP Enterprise Programme and mentored by Ms McCafferty, ran a crepe stand in the assembly area at break and lunchtime. They were very busy and delighted with the response.


The Leaving Certificate Vocational Programme or The LCVP combines the academic strengths of the Leaving Certificate with a new and dynamic focus on self–directed learning, innovation and enterprise.

The primary goal of the LCVP two year programme is to prepare young people for adult life by ensuring that they are educated in the broadest sense, with an ability to cope and thrive in an environment of rapid change. Participants in the programme are encouraged to develop skills and competencies fundamental to both academic and vocational success.

Throughout the programme students are encouraged to:

  • Be innovative and enterprising
  • Take responsibility for their own learning
  • Adapt to changing circumstances
  • Evaluate data and devise solutions to problems
  • Communicate their thoughts and ideas effectively
  • Work with others as part of a team
  • Investigate and plan career options
  • Use information and communications technologies
  • Investigate local businesses and community enterprises
  • Learn from their experiences

5th Year Agricultural Science Trip

On Tuesday the 5th of March fifth year Agricultural Science Students went to Ballyhaise Agricultural College in Cavan for a farm walk and talk organised by Agri Aware.

In 1996, a number of leading agri-food businesses identified the need for an independent body to provide the general public with information and education on the importance of agriculture and food to the Irish economy. As a result, Agri Aware was founded in 1996 by Bord Bia, FBD, the Irish Dairy Board, the Irish Farmers’ Association and the Irish Farmers’ Journal.

Abbey Vocational School Students were immersed in the world of agriculture on a trip that was highly beneficial to completing their Agricultural Science Portfolios.

English Department

The Abbey Vocational School were delighted to celebrate World Book Day on Thursday 7th March 2019. The English Department held competitions for the best book cover, engaged in D.E.A.R., Drop , Everything and Read, and many more initiatives throughout the day.

Over the last 22 years, World Book Day has become firmly established as Ireland’s biggest annual event promoting the enjoyment of books and reading. The main aim is to encourage children to explore the pleasure of books and reading by providing them with an opportunity to have a book of their own.

Drama Club

Drama club continues every Wednesday after school with a very nice group meeting to improve acting and performance skills and have lots of fun. There is a short-film project in the pipeline and drama club members will be playing the roles in this film – more details to follow when the project is all confirmed.

Mr Donegan’s play “The Importance of being Earnest” is now touring the drama circuit and can be seen at the Ballyshannon 67th Drama Festival on the 16th of March 2019.  


The Drama Club are organising an evening of drama and taking Students from the Abbey Vocational School to see “On Broken Wings” by Dermot Healy on Tuesday the 12th of March @ 8.15

“On Broken Wings” is a simple story told with humour and pathos. This unorthodox and highly innovative play follows Timothy on his journey through life from living in Scotland, to falling in love with his true love Rosie in America.


  1. A great day was had by the Leaving Certs during their Bonding Day in the Bluestack Centre last Monday. Thank you to the Centre Manager Rosemary and all the staff for the work they put into the day. A special thanks to the the catering staff for the excellent spread of food.
  2. The LCAs had a very informative visit to the SOLAS Training Centre in Letterkenny last Tuesday. A tour of the centre and an information session which provided an outline of the Further Education & Training options (including Apprenticeships) was provided.
  3. Leaving Certs applying to DARE and/or HEAR – all accompanying documentation must reach the CAO by 01 April 2019 @ 5.15 p.m.  This is the student’s responsibility.  The CAO’s postal address is:  CAO, Tower House, Eglinton Street, Galway. The Guidance department will be happy to answer any questions a student might have.
  4. Leaving Certs should at this stage be researching all relevant Scholarship options.  This information has been covered in their career guidance classes.  The student’s Guidance Counsellor is on hand to assist.
  5. The SUSI Grant application process will open in early April 2019. Further information will be provided by the student’s Guidance Counsellor during Career Guidance class.
  6. All senior cycle students (6th, LCA & 5th years) are welcome to book a 1:1 appointment with their Guidance Counsellor.
  7. Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo.

History Department

The History Department is delighted to announce the ‘Path to Nationhood’ initiative. This initiative will see ten Transition Year Students, under the Mentorship of History Teacher Mr. Lafferty produce an exhibition which will encompass a wall in the assembly area.

The project will display images of Iconic Irish Figures from our historical past, hence the name ‘Path to Nationhood’.

Revolutionary Leader  Theobald Wolfe Tone, posthumously known as Wolfe Tone (20 June 1763 – 19 November 1798), was a leading Irish revolutionary figure and one of the founding members of the United Irishmen, and leader of the 1798 Irish Rebellion.

Eamon De Valera would serve as Taoiseach on 3 occasions; from 1937 to 1948, from 1951 to 1954 and finally from 1957 to 1959. He remains the longest serving Taoiseach and became President of Ireland in 1959.

Also, an image will be displayed of Padraig Pearse an Irish teacher, barrister, poet, writer, nationalist, political activist and revolutionary who was one of the leaders of the Easter Rising in 1916.

Computer Science Trip to LYIT

A fantastic day was spent in the LYIT by our 5th year Computer Science class. Dr Mick McCann and Gary Cullen from LYIT Computing facilitated an excellent discussion and workshop on Data Analytics and gave students an in-depth insight into a very prominent Computer Science field.

Abbeys Got Talent Finalist.
We would like to congratulate our finalists for our Talent Show that takes place on Thursday 11th April in the Abbey Hotel . We have had so many fantastic entries for the show, with such talent in our school. Well done to all who auditioned over the past few weeks and we hope to hear more from them in the future.

The finalist are:

  • Gavan Tanham and Joseph Hearty
  • Bree Hanna, Anna Mitchell and Erin Ryder
  • Rachel Reid and Eadaoin Rush
  • Luke Kelly
  • Oisin O’Donnell
  • Marie McGirr
  • Joseph Edwards
  • Robyn Harvey-Moulding
  • Conor McAllister and Gabriella Byrne
  • Matthew and Davy Byrne
  • Luke O’Sullivan
  • India Kennedy
  • Eamonn Devlin

This show promises to be a fantastic night of high quality entertainment with MC Noel Cunningham and judges such as Conal Gallan and Martin Mc Ginley as well as other exciting acts. Rumour has it that staff members are featuring also !!

One Voice Choir
Thirty of our TY students are taking part in a fantastic show in the An Grianan in Letterkenny on Tuesday evening along with several other ETB schools joining together to make one choir. They have had practices together in Letterkenny and in school learning the music for this great show. There is a staff choir for all members of ETB who are coming together to perform songs on the night along with talented solo performance from our students and others.


Ulster Medallist

Eoin Rooney and Cormac MacSuibhne, Students at the Abbey Vocational School, triumphed in the Ulster Swimming Championships at the weekend. The Championships were held in Newry in collaboration with Disability Sport N.I.

Eoin is a veteran of the swimming circuit, taking part in many Swimming Galas thanks to his Mentor and Mum Sinead Donagher. The swimming gene runs in the family with Eoin’s brother Cian and sister Cora also champion swimmers! Eoin said “I really enjoyed the swim, it’s great fun and I trained hard. I would like to thank my Coach and Mother!”.

Cormac MacSuibhne, also a keen swimmer, enjoyed the competition immensely.  “We left Donegal in the morning and arrived in Newry at 12.30, I swam in four races and won three of them. I am really happy with my performance and delighted to win three of my races!”.Both Cormac and Eoin  are looking forward to more swimming challenges in the future!


Leo McLoone

This week the Students of the Abbey Vocational School celebrated the G.A.A. Career of AVS Teacher Leo McLoone who celebrates 100 appearances for Donegal’s Senior Team.

Leo McLoone started his G.A.A. football career at the age of 16 when he was introduced as a substitute in the final of the 2005 Donegal Senior Football Championship.

In a glittering career spanning 14 years Leo has amassed illustrious titles including 1 All Ireland Senior Football Championship 2012, 4 Ulster Senior Football Championships, 3 Donegal Senior Football Championships and 3 Donegal U21 Football Championships.

However, Mr McLoone will be best known as the much admired and respected Teacher of the Abbey Vocational.Congratulations Leo!

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Transition Year P.E. Project

Physical Education in Transition Year provides the opportunity for Students to focus on a degree of specialisation in a selected aspect of work.

The worthy winners with their selected piece of work titled ‘How technology  has improved formula one’ were Luke Kelly, Aodhan McCrudden and Cormac O’Sullivan. According to Luke Kelly “the project was interesting and very rewarding. I really enjoyed studying the world of formula one”.

In second place and titled ‘Does what footwear you wear affect performance’ were Josh Browne, Amy Barron, Chloe Armstrong and Ella forde.



Healthy Schools

Fair-trade talk- Simple Simons

On Thursday Transition Year Students enjoyed a trip to the successful local business ‘Simple Simons’. Students were versed in the importance of locally, organically sourced produce and delicious homemade recipes.

‘Simple Simons’ is stocked full of healthy organic and eco-friendly options. You can stay for a small bite to eat in the cafe and enjoy wonderful gluten free salads with homemade wheat free breads.

Students enjoyed this busy bustling cafe with a friendly staff and have seen the work and dedication which is needed to run a successful business.

‘Simple Simons’ also embodies the ethos of Fairtrade. The TY Students were able to see first-hand how the business aimed to boost awareness and understanding of international trade issues, and promote the buying of Fairtrade products as a way for everyone, no matter who they are, to use the power of their purchase to make a difference to the lives of farmers and worker. Christina, travelled from Colombia, to inform the students of how coffee growing on her fairtrade farm is processed for sale on the shelves of Simple Simons.

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Donegal SHA Heats for Primary School

Transition Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School were delighted  to assist Tir Chonaill AC and Karen Guthrie from Donegal Sports Partnership to help facilitate the Donegal SHA Heats for Primary Schools on Tuesday the 5th of March.


Many thanks to officials from Tir Chonaill AC, and Karen Guthrie from Donegal Sports Partnership for allowing a leadership opportunity for our TY students in help facilitate the Donegal SHA heats for primary schools in AVS.


Work Experience

This week Transition Year Students of the Abbey Vocational School left the nest and ventured into the realms of work experience. It is intended that the Transition Year should create opportunities to vary the learning environment and to dispel the notion that learning is something that happens only, or even most effectively, within the classroom. One of the ways of doing this, and of providing an orientation towards the world of work, is to include a component of actual work experience.

image017I decided to do my work experience in Elverys Sports in Donegal Town. I am interested in sports so this is an ideal place for me to spend the week learning about how a sports shop runs. I go in to Elvery’s at about half nine every morning and I start at ten. There is a stock check next week so I have to go around the shop and check all of the items to see if the sizes on the labels match the sizes on the tags. There was a delivery on Tuesday so I had quite a lot of work to do. I had to compare the deliveries with the list of things that they ordered to see if everything was there. The next thing to do was unbox everything, put security tags on them, place size cubes on the hangers and then put the items where they are supposed to go. Another task that I had to do was to sort the new shoes into the right stacks of their size and model. I get lunch at about quarter to one for one hour which I need because the jobs are quite tiring. I finish at three and I am knackered from being on my feet for most of the day and from meeting new people. I am enjoying my week so far and it is giving me an insight into what having a job in a shop is like. It is a completely different environment compared to school which is new but I think that it is an extremely valuable experience that I can use in the future”. – Diary of Tom Daly

image018“Hello, my name is Frank Duffy,  I am a Transition Year student in the AVS. For my second week of work-experience I went to ‘Sendmode’ in Letterkenny. is an award winning mobile marketing technology company, based at CoLab, a business innovation centre located at Letterkenny Institute of Technology. The company has developed technology which allows it to provide bulk sms (text messages), QR codes, mobile websites and sms shortcodes at industry standard quality but at the lowest cost in the marketplace. I worked in the marketing section of the company. I was introduced to the workforce and their work methods. I was instructed as to how a ‘sales funnel’ works and the importance of Search Engine Optimisation (SEO).

At the start of the week I was asked to research how to achieve high open and click rates through email marketing. I learned about the key components of a successful email marketing campaign via online tutorials.  Towards the end of the week I sent out my first email marketing campaign to UK companies, using the techniques I had learned throughout the week. Along with company staff, I monitored the success rate of the campaign via on-line measurement tools, showing the number of emails opened, the number read and the number of people who clicked on the link sent within the email.  I found the week that I spent at Sendmode to be very interesting and worthwhile.  I learned a lot about  online marketing and gained an insight into how online companies operate”.Diary of Frank Duffy

image019 “Hello my name is Christopher Darby and I travelled to the Imagine Science Institute in Paris for my work experience. The Imagine Institute focuses on genetic development and developmental diseases. The laboratory I was in studied the development of hearts in the embryo. I got to spend a day with everyone in the laboratory watching and helping their experiments and talking about what they were researching in particular.

I learned a lot about how to do research and some of the safety precautions you need in labs filled with potentially dangerous chemicals. It was a great work experience where I got to go out of my comfort zone and learn about something I was already very interested in, I hope to pursue a career in science in the future”. – Diary of Christopher Darby

Architects in Schools

On Friday 8th March a group of TY students took part in an architecture course, a project by the ‘Irish Architecture Foundation’. The students learned about the job of an architect and how they work with other people to complete a project. The students had to design an extension for our school and will be building a model of their design in the coming weeks.

Healthy Lifestyle Program

Next week Transition Year Students will engage in the Healthy Lifestyle Program. This revolutionary program is specially designed for transition year students. The Healthy Lifestyle Program (HLP) works over two days of group discussions, lectures and a group fitness assessment.

The main topics covered over these two days are Nutrition, Fitness, life coping skills, goal setting and applying proper logic and understanding to a balanced lifestyle.

Each student receives an individualised life chart to provide structure, understanding and motivation as well as participating in a group fitness assessment designed to measure the level of fitness of the group and to help them implement possible improvements for optimum performance and health.

The Program Coordinators are Jeff Allen and Agatha Hidalgo.

image020Jeff is a sports therapist, life coach, fitness instructor and ex special forces. He enlisted on a Non Commissioned Officer course, studied for a health and fitness instructor qualification at the National Council for Exercises & Fitness and completed the army’s Physical Training Instructors and Reconnaissance courses.Based in Waterford, Ireland, Jeff is a keen sports enthusiast. Jeff is a veteran of the Irish Permanent Defence Force (PDF) having joined in 1985 and retired after 21 years’ service in 2006. Since retiring from the PDF, Jeff has been involved in an outdoor pursuits business and has also been occupying his time as a sports therapist and life coach.

Agatha Hidalgo Caubin Dip NT, is a Nutritional Therapist having trained with the College of Naturopathic Medicine in Cork and a Nutrition and Health education provider.

Tourism Training Programme

The School of Tourism will be delivering a four-day tourism-training programme for Transition Year students one day per week, over four weeks during March and April 2019.  Fifteen TY students will have the opportunity to participate in the programme. In total 60 students will complete the programme.
 The programme focuses on the following:

(a) ​Introduction to the Hospitality industry
(b) ​Tourism in Co. Donegal and the Wild Atlantic Way
(c)​Customer care
(d) ​Introduction to food hygiene and food handling and
(e) ​Restaurant service.

Programme Delivery
The programme is delivered by the School of Tourism’s experienced lecturers on the LYIT Killybegs Campus.  The programme will culminate in a live lunch service by the students to invited guests and a presentation of Certificates of Completion to all participants.Guest speakers from the tourism/hospitality industry will be invited to address the groups.

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LYIT (Killybegs) Taster Day

On the 6th March all TY students will got the opportunity to visit LYIT School of Tourism in Killybegs.The School of Tourism provides business and practical training which prepares graduates for a wide variety of careers in culinary arts, hospitality management and tourism. Our students were very lucky to get this opportunity and we thank LYIT for facilitating our visit.

TY Architect in Schools Project

Ms Tara Quinn will visit AVS to work with TY students on Friday the 8th March on the TY Architect in Schools Project. The National Architects in Schools Initiative is an exciting programme for Transition Year students. Architects are placed in schools to facilitate hands-on design workshops with student groups in 25 schools across Ireland. This initiative builds on five years of successful schools programming from the Irish Architecture Foundation and provides students with the opportunity to develop an appreciation of architecture and design, learn a variety of new skills and gain insight to the professional life of designers and architects. Participating architects are recruited and mentored by the Irish Architecture Foundation (IAF) and placed in schools to devise and facilitate workshops in collaboration with teachers.

TY upcoming 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
  • Killybegs Tourism College taster day
  • Tourism Training Programme
  • First Response Course
  • Healthy Life Programme
  • 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
  • Homeless workshop
  • Young Social Innovators competitions and attendance at event
  • PE Expo
  • ETB Awards
  • Sports Leaders
  • GAA Future Leaders
  • Drama Production

Healthy Schools

The canteen has made several changes to their menu in the past week. Sandwiches / toasted sandwiches / salads can be preordered by 9.30 am for students and staff. Healthy options are available from the canteen daily with chips only being served on a Friday. Healthy snacks will only be available from vending machines shortly.




















































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