Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 25th March

Student Enterprise Awards Winners in Senior Category

Congratulations to Aodhan McCrudden, Cormac MacSuibhne and Luke Kelly, Students from the Abbey Vocational School, who were overall winners at the Student Enterprise Award in Letterkenny. There were 35 entries in this category. Well done also to teacher Mc Lucy Gordon.


The Mini Company ‘Growth’ is dedicated to promoting greener and more environmentally friendly garden products. The three Students are environmentalists by nature and wanted to come up with a business idea that involved recycling. They have a working wormery that produces miracle grow liquid fertiliser and compost from food waste. Studies have proven that these products will boost plant growth by a factor of three.

image004They also sell the complete wormery kits to community groups/schools/households where they supply the vermiculture equipment, set it up and give advice on how best to care for the worms etc.

Later in the growing season they will have several nettle composters that will produce bottles of nutrient rich nettle tea fertiliser.

Student Enterprise Awards Winnners in Junior Category: image005

Also, well done to Sorcha, Summer, Christina, Aoife, Amy and Lucy from Tweedelicious who were the Overall Junior winners at the Student Enterprise Awards in Letterkenny

“Tweedelicious” is a hard working group of first year girls – Sorcha Walsh, Summer Mae Kerr, Aoife Cox, Lucy Campbell, Amy Mc Groary and Christina Gysling.

The company use cutoffs of tweed from both Magees and Hanna Hats factories and upcycling plain coasters to produce a unique and useful tweed product. They wanted to give something that was destined for the waste bin a new lease of life. 

The Abbey Vocational School was also represented by the innovative designs of ‘Cute as a Button’ and  ‘Abbey Sportswear’. Congratulations to all the Students who participated highlighting their creative flair and enterprising minds!

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Student Council Initiatives : Support for Down Syndrome:

The Student Council organised an Odd Socks Day in aid of Down Syndrome Ireland on Thursday the 21st March.

The role of the Abbey Vocational School Student Council is to ensure that the voice of the Irish second-level student is heard. The Student Council strives for innovation and democracy within the education system making sure the voice, views and opinions of Students of the Abbey Vocational School are heard, listened to and most importantly respected.

A big thank you to Staff and Students for generously contributing €325.25

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Student Council: Culture Day- One Together!

The Students of the Abbey Vocational School to part in a celebration of Culture Day by cooking, preparing and displaying foods from different cultures all over the world. The ethos of Culture Day is to celebrate cultural diversity, to open  dialogue and provide opportunity for us to deepen our understanding of the values of cultural diversity and to learn more about other cultures!

There are students in the Abbey Vocational School from over 20 countries, many of whom go home after school to speak their native language and eat national dishes.  They were delighted to show some parts of their culture displaying their national flags, Jerseys, costume, pictures.  Most importantly, they prepared food from their country.  The staff and students were treated to free samples of everything from French croissants to Australian mar-mite, Polish dumplings to Thai Mango cake and Afghan dates..  Some even learned how to eat with chopsticks. The only stipulation on the day was that the students said please and thank-you in the language of their country… ‘Pord’…’Bitte’…’Por Favour’…’Onegaishimasu’!  Entertainment was American Blues played and sung by Jo Hearty and Luke Kelly.  Photographer for the day was Emily Erskine

Under the banner ‘One Together’, the event was great fun, and it truly helped us to appreciate and value our students who have cultural backgrounds from all over the world!

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Science Club

What is the Science Club? It is a fun, intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behaviour of the physical and natural world through  observation and experiment. The group meets every Wednesday in room 33 during lunch break. All welcome!



  1. 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 from students and parents/guardians.
  2. Leaving Certs should at this stage be researching all relevant Scholarship This information has been covered in their career guidance classes.  The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available to answer any scholarship related questions.
  3. 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.
  4. A Google Classroom for Apprenticeships & Traineeships is regularly updated. The classroom is available to all students interested in this further education route. The classroom code is available from Ms Faherty.
  5. GMIT will present to Leaving Certs on Thursday, 04 April @ 11.55 – 12.35 in the library.
  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.


The Chess Club meets on Tuesdays at lunchtime in room 3. If you are interested in following in the footsteps of the famous chess player Vasily Smyslov  please come along to our meetings as everyone is welcome!image022

The Abbey Vocational School Maths Club meets on Fridays at lunchtime in room 30. The Maths Club runs an enrichment program that focuses on having fun with mathematics and learning! Everyone is welcome!

Drama Club

The Drama Club is continuing this week with a tutorial after school on Wednesday and also at lunchtime on Thursday. If you are interested in joining an innovative and engaging group to improve acting and performance skills and have lots of fun then come along to the Drama Club!

There is a short-film project in the process of being produced by creative, inspiring and determined fifth year Students with members of the Drama Club playing the roles in this short educational film to raise awareness around the issue of anxiety.

If you are interested in getting actively involved please contact Robyn Harvey-Moulding and Emily Erskine.

The Music Department

Leaving Cert Music Practical Exams begin next Wednesday for 3 days.  The students are busy perfecting their performance programmes.  Junior Cert Practical Examinations are 3 days starting Monday 31st March.. Students are also busy preparing for the upcoming Talent Show.  It promises to be a great night

Abbeys Got Talent Finalist.
On the 11th of April 2019, the Abbey Vocational School Hosts the final of Abbey’s Got Talent in the Abbey Hotel in Donegal Town.

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 !!

Well done to our finalists:

  • 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
  • Eamon Devlin

The Students are very excited about the forthcoming show and are a testament to the talent that is in abundance in the Abbey Vocational School! Keep an eye on our Facebook and Twitter page in the lead up to the show. @AbbeyVS and Abbey’s Got Talent 2019.

Transition Year  -Makeup Master Class

Transition Year Students were treated to a Makeup Master Class in the Abbey Hotel on Tuesday the 19th of March.

Manager of the the Marine Spa Karla Lacey treated Students to a master class in makeup, skincare and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Transition Year Students were educated on the benefits of a healthy eating and fitness regime, drinking lots of water and on prepping the skin. Students gained invaluable tips and information and were treated to a step by step guide on how to apply foundation, eye shadow, lipstick and blush. As Karla explained “Less is more, it’s about enhancing your beauty and not putting on a mask”.


 Y.S.I. Sligo

On Thursday the 21st of March Students from the Abbey Vocational School took part in the Young Social Innovators Event in the Clayton Hotel in Sligo.

The Y.S.I. Event aims to highlight innovative initiatives developed by Students. Students and Young Innovators are challenged to look at the world around us and to identify and explore issues affecting us, our friends, our community and wider society. More than just coming up with a solution, Young Innovators are asked to put that idea into action and to create change. Seeing other perspectives, expertise and creativity to design solutions based on real human experience and need. Gaining real experience working in a team and develop skills in leadership, communication and project planning and management.

The Abbey Vocational School project is called ‘AVS Homeless Campaign’, the aim of the project is to make a care park that can be handed out to homeless people to give them a little comfort during a difficult time.

The YSI Students decided on their project in class and feel it is a very serious issue in Ireland and wanted to try and do something that may make someone a little bit more comfortable while they are experiencing homeless.

There were 9,987 people homeless in the week of January 21st-27th 2019 across Ireland. This figure includes adults and children. The number of homeless families has increased by 83% since January 2016. More than one in three people in emergency accommodation is a child. However, this number does not include ‘hidden homelessness’ which refers to people who are living in squats or ‘sofa surfing’ with friends. Furthermore, women and children staying in domestic violence refuges are not included in these homeless emergency accommodation countsAfter doing research, AVS Students found out that there are 12 people officially homeless in Co Donegal so this is where they will distribute their first homeless care packs. After this they will look to work with other charities around Ireland.

When making the packs, the Students contacted Peter McVerry trust to ask their advice on what could be included in the packs. After receiving a list they then sourced the items, from local shops and organizations.


AVS Great Abbey Bake Off

Inspired by the Great British Bake Off, Transition Year Students engaged in a spot of baking! AVS winners are in 1st place-India Kennedy & Roisín Feeney, 2nd place-Ella Pearmain & Richard O’Rourke, 3rd place-Bronagh Mulroy & Roseanne Kelly & highly commended Chloe Boyle & Aimee Gallagher.

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Transition Year Sports Leadership Training 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 eight modules, each designed to encourage maturity, initiative, responsibility and leadership skills in pupils.

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.


TY Architect in Schools Project

image035Ms Tara Quinn will visit AVS to work with TY students on Friday the 22nd 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.


Minor Girls Basketball Team North West Champions

The first and second year girls basketball teams headed to Sligo on Tuesday 19th March to play their regional finals. Both teams had met Ballinamore in the first game of the season. The first year team had lost by a basket that day and were determined to come out victorious this time round. Holly Roarty scored all 8 point in the first quarter leaving AVS up by one. With brilliant  team players on court for the second quarter the girls fought hard under the boards and scored 14 points the majority off a quick daybreak. Ella Mc Calmont played brilliantly on offense and defense, clocking up 6 points in that quarter.  The girls kept this momentum throughout the second half and worked so hard on defense to finally come out victorious with a scoreline of 40  AVS – 22. Ballinamore

Junior Girls Basketball Teams – North West Champions

Unbeaten so far this season the second year girls were fit and ready to take on Ballinamore once more. The girls got off to a brilliant start with Katie Gillespie and Sophia Mazuiri dominating the boards and scoring 17 points between them in the first quarter. The girls switched to a zone defense in the second half of the game which forced Ballinamore to take some difficult our side shots.

With some great baskets from Roisin Gillespie , captain Emma Meehan and stay Donovan the AVS girls clocked up 47 points to come out victorious yet again against this tough Ballinamore side.

AVS 47 – 23 Ballinamore

1st Year Boys Soccer – 5-2 win
Another good result for AVS in cold conditions in Letterkenny against St. Eunans. Abbey boys showed a notable improvement in their ability to be at match speed during the opening encounters. Eunans choosing to play with the wind in the first half played very high up the pitch but failing to capitalise. Abbey having settled into a consistent passing game opened the scoring with a cross from Caolan Sweeney finding Senan Carr. Shortly after a counter attack from a Eunans corner saw Ruairi McLaughlin set up Caolan Sweeney for the second goal. Abbey secured a third goal with a super cross from Matthew Byrne releasing Ruairi to score. St. Eunans showed great character in scoring their opening goal from a well taken corner just before half time.

With Eunans struggling to get out of their own half after the break it really highlighted how good the Abbey passing game was in the first half. Continuous pressure and opportunities converted into a fourth score with a second goal from Ruairi McLaughlin. Both teams began to utilise players from their panels. AVS happy to ensure players get the opportunity to challenge for positions on the team. St Eunans scored from a counter attack of their own and with their tails up it was an exciting last 10 mins. However it was Abbey who sealed the game when Donal Gallagher came off the bench to score a great goal headed in from a free kick swung in from the right side of the box.
A difficult choice for the coaches this week in selecting the motm with serious work effort from David Monaghan, Caolan Sweeney and Senan Carr, solid performances also from Daniel McIntyre, Shea Byrne and Oisin Moogan. In the end Ruairi McLaughlin got the selection on this occasion. Well done to all involved, including David Crawford, Eoghan Rooney and Richard O’Rourke for their assistance on the day.

U15s Boy’s Soccer

The u15 Boy’s Soccer Team of the Abbey Vocational School took on a very strong St Colomba’s team. The final score was 4-2 with goals from Conor Campbell and Ruiri McLaughlin.



Class 2B enjoyed their culminating lesson on Orienteering in Gartan OEC on Tuesday 19th March. Students displayed great skills of map setting, thumbing and teamwork as they planned, executed, and reflected on the 30 control score event. All students enjoyed what was a very positive experience around their assessment as part of the new Junior Cycle PE short course. Many thanks to Gartan OEC, the parents of students involved and of course the students themselves for making the day an all round success. They have pioneered the way forward on how assessment can be both meaningful and enjoyable.


2nd Year Boys Basketball

North West Regional Semi Final

Our second year boys basketball team came up against St. Louis in the second year b league on Thursday the 21st of March. 1st quarter line-up: Oisín Mogan, Niall Prendeville, Jake Graham, Daniel Quinn and Dylan Caldwell.

St. Louis started off the first quarter strongly with a 2-5 lead, scoring from all of their chances. Abbey didn’t seem phased though, answering St. Louis with a brilliant put back from Daniel Quinn and a free throw from Niall Prendeville to tie the game.This seemed to spur the Abbey on as they completely dominated the rest of the first quarter finishing with a score of 18-5.

Second Quarter line-up: Jack Kenny, Ethan Kenny, Ben McNeely, Leo McGown, and Conor Gillespie. The start of the second quarter was very even with both teams exchanging scores. Several missed opportunities from the Abbey gave St. Louis a chance to slowly edge their way back into the game with the second quarter finishing at 26-16 to the Abbey.

Third quarter line-up: Ben McNeely, Jake Graham, Leo McGown, Niall Prendeville and Ethan Kenny. Superb scores from Leo McGown and Niall Prendeville put Abbey out of reach at the start of the third quarter. St. Louis couldn’t take advantage of several consecutive fouls by the Abbey which left game comfortably in the Abbey’s hands with a score of 39-25 at the end of the third quarter.

Fourth quarter line-up: Jake Graham, Daniel Quinn, Dylan Caldwell, Leo McGown and Niall Prendeville. St. Louis started strong in the final quarter but three subs- Ben McNeely, Barry Burke and Oisin Mogan- refreshed the Abbey side. The Abbey didn’t hold back, even though they were well ahead, racking up a final score of 47-28 in a well deserved win.

Abbey scorers: Ben McNeely(4), Daniel Quinn(10), Jake Graham(2), Niall Prendeville(19), Conor Gillespie(4), Leo McGown(8).

North West Regional Final – AVS Champions!

The boys came up against Carrick on Shannon in the second year  North West Regional Final on Friday the 22nd March in Sligo. This was the second time the boys have played Carrick-on-Shannon this year as they faces them in the league and our boys came out winners on that occasion.
Abbey started strong with scores from Conor Gillespie and Niall Prendeville. Carrick worked their way back into the game but abbey finished the first quarter ahead by 1 point.
The second quarter saw two very evenly  matched teams as both team battled for scores. Daniel Quinn, Jake Graham fought hard to get on the scoreboard.
Abbey finished this quarter ahead by 1 point again.
At the start of the 3rd quarter after a change in tactics by Frank Cornyn, Abbey came out fighting and pulled away to a 10 point lead with some great scores by Niall Prendeville, Jake Graham, Ben McNeely and Daniel Quinn. This form continued into the last quarter and despite the Carrick lads trying to fight back they were not able to break the strong Abbey defence. Abbey finished off the game with some fine scores from Daniel and Niall again. Final score on the day Abbey 45 and Carrick on Shannon 37. Well done lads! They now move into the All Ireland playoff on the 2nd of April.
Abbey scorers: Ben McNeely(4), Daniel Quinn(9), Jake Graham(7), Niall Prendeville(23), Conor Gillespie(2).



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