Abbey V.S. Newsletter – Mon 1st April 2019

IMTA Irish Junior Mathematics Competition

On Thursday the 28th of March Students from the AVS took part in the IMTA Irish Junior Mathematics Competition. The competition is a multiple choice test for 1st Year students. The First Round is held in each participating school in March and based on results Students are invited to participate in the Regional Finals held throughout the county. The Students from the AVS included Colm McDermott, Lana Murphy, Meabh McNamara and Hugh McShane. Congratulations to Hugh McShane who won the competition and Lana Murphy who came fourth.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!

Safer Internet Dream Space Awards 2019

On Thursday 28th March winners of the Webwise Safer Internet Winners travelled to Dublin to the amazing  Microsoft Dreamspace for the Eir Business Cyber Secure Roadshow. The Webwise Safer Internet Winners were Jack Lennox, Brandon Billingsley, Jessica Given, Kevin Canny, Frank Duffy, Katelyn Duffy, Emma Coulter, Chris Darby, Ciara Joyce and Hannah Crawford.

Business and enterprise have never operated in a time of greater cyber security. Their teacher Ms Cunningham and Mr Clarke travelled with the students on the day where students received their award for best cyber bullying video. The students enjoyed a gig with band – chasing Abbey and were delighted to recieve this award for their work.

Career Guidance

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. GMIT will present to Leaving Certs on Thursday, 04 April @ 55 – 12.35 in the library.
  5. All Senior cycle students (6th, LCA & 5th years) are welcome to book a 1:1 appointment with their Guidance Counsellor.
  6. Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo.


The Music Department

Leaving Certificate Music Practical Examinations were held on Wednesday the 27th, Thursday the 28th and Friday the 29th of March. The students were busy perfecting their performance programmes. Junior Cert Practical Examinations are also on for three days starting Monday 31st March.

As well as vocal soloists and groups, many instrumental players were examined… Everything from guitar, drumkit, piano, saxophone, fiddle accordion, banjo to bagpipes. All were happy with their exams which are worth 50% of their overall grade.

Forty four Junior cert music students will also be examined next week with the Junior Cert Practical Examinations on for three days starting Monday 31st March.

Preparations are busy for the school talent show. Finalists are working on songs for promotion as well as for on the night.  It promises to be a great night!

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.

English Department

The English Department would like to congratulate Mr Sean Donegan on his win for Best Supporting Actor at the Strabane Drama Festival on Saturday the 23rd of March. The Ballyshannon Drama Club are now through to the RTE All Ireland Drama finals in Athlone. Well done Mr. Donegan!

Art Department

The TY National School Art Competition concluded this week. Winners were – 1st place – Rosie Mae Weir (Scoil Aodh Rua agus Nuala), 2nd place – Millie Hughes (St. Eunan’s N.S., Laghey), 3rd place Holly Towey (Scoil Aodh Rua agus Nuala). Well done to all those students who participated. A selection of entries from each school can be viewed on the AVS school website.

TY students are currently painting signs as part of Mr. Lafferty’s ‘Path to Nationhood’ history project which is now entering its final stages.

AVS Environmental

2nd Year Wellbeing classes have been studying Environmental Awareness over the past term. Students were asked to choose a pressing environmental issue for further research. Students have been busy completing research and compiling their projects over the last few weeks. Students will have to present their findings in the coming weeks. Some groups of students have been engaged in very interesting projects such as the impact of plastic on the oceans, ways to reduce plastic pollution, the effects of plastic on animals and one group have investigated how many plastic bottles are used each day in the school.

Science Club

The Science Club was in action again this week. First year students gained the opportunity to further develop their microscopy and investigation skills through a series of short challenges.

Students examined the prepared slides distributed and were then set to task to investigate whether the samples provided originated from a living or non living source.

It was an enjoyable meeting once again. Well done to all the attending students who are fully availing of this chance to further their knowledge and interest here through the club. Thank you to Ms. McGuinness and Mr. Monahan for facilitating and fostering our students interests in this area.

Science Club is on every Wed at lunchtime in room 33. All welcome!

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.

Active Schools Flag

As part of the Active Schools flag initiative, Students are encouraged to take part in more activities to improve their mental health and wellbeing. Using the Drop everything and walk methodology Students enjoy the lovely sunshine in Donegal!

Fintech Visit the AVS:

Vincent Kennedy a member of the Donegal ICT/FinTech working group which was established last year to promote studying and working in ICT/FinTech in Donegal visited our Tys on Friday last.

Vincent explained the ICT/FinTech sector, the opportunities it provides, and how to secure a career in one of the associated fields.

The session was highly informative and interactive for pupils with technology based audience participation. Students learnt or the whole world or opportunities that are available to them in this sector and it really opened up so many doors to many. We are very appreciate of Vincent coming to us on this day.

N.F.T.E.“Growth” Mini Company Winners!

Aodhan McCrudden,Cormac MacSuibhne and Luke Kelly, Students from the Abbey Vocational School, were winners of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship in Letterkenny with their Mini Company ‘Growth’ on Wednesday the 13th of March. In advance of the finals in Dublin the Students are now working on their branding and marketing, producing business cards and flyers.

Aodhan McCrudden gave his reaction to winning the coveted N.F.T.E. Title;

“I was shocked when I realised we had won, I am nervous and excited about heading to Dublin and think we have a good product”.

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.

They 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.


Energia Renewable Energy

image001Transition Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School were immersed in the world of renewable energy this week.

Representatives from Learn Renewables, Paul and Gerry, explained to Transition Year Students that 25% of Ireland’s wind power is provided through Energia via self owned wind farms or from power purchase agreements. Renewable Energy and wind energy in particular is inherently sustainable; i.e. using it does not have an ongoing negative impact on life in the future.

It has a number of key advantages over conventional means of electricity generation:

  • It involves very low emissions of “greenhouse gases”
  • The fuel supplies will not run out
  • The fuel is free and indigenous- it is not subject to fuel price variations and does not have to be imported

Learn Renewables were invited to the Abbey Vocational School to give a 40-50 minute workshop on wind energy, exploring energy in the student’s lives and then exploring where that energy comes from. Having identified that electricity is critical to modern life, the question was asked “How we can make electricity in Ireland?” From here Students tasked with building their own turbine rotors from simple materials and seeing how much electricity they can make, and how much their classmates can make. This interactive workshop was aimed a complementing classroom learning in energy and environmental issues while being interactive and entertaining

Transition Year Sports Leadership Training Program

Students of the Abbey Vocational School are participating in the “Future Leaders Transition Year Programme” which 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. The Programme gives pupils the knowledge and skills to support all roles required in the effective staging of Gaelic Games. As part of the programme pupils are challenged to organise and run a GAA Super Games Blitz or set up a Super Games Centre for younger students and/or support coaching of younger players in their school or community.

Transition Year Students will be enlightened on security solutions which are aimed at protecting business revenue and safeguarding their reputation.

Tourism Training Programme

Fifteen TY students have completed a four day training programme with the School of Tourism. The programme was delivered by the School of Tourism’s experienced lecturers on the LYIT Killybegs Campus. There was many guest speakers from the tourism/hospitality industry also involved in the delivery of the programme. The areas that were covered throughout the weeks were as follows:

(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 will culminate in a live lunch service by the students to invited guests and a presentation of Certificates of Completion to all participants, this Monday in the LYIT Killybegs campus.


A.W.A.R.E. Workshops

On Friday the 29th march, students from TY D took part in an Aware workshop. Aware aim is to create a society where people affected by stress, depression, bipolar disorder and mood related conditions are understood, supported, free from stigma, and are encouraged to access appropriate therapies. Thank you to Maggie for delivering a very informative and worthwhile session. The objectives of the workshop was:

  • To inform and educate on the nature, extent and consequences of depression
  • To provide emotional and practical support to those affected by depression, bipolar and related disorders
  • To provide positive mental health and resilience training
  • To support research into the development and treatment of depression and related issue


First Year Boys Soccer:

The AVS 1st year boys arrived in Maghery on Friday morning, ready to build on recent wins when they met the Rosses Community School of Dungloe. Playing against the wind in the first half, Seanán Carr set the pace early having hit the crossbar in the opening minutes. The boys settled into a well organised passing game, for which they were rewarded just ten minutes in with Ruairi McLaughlin finding the back of the net. The boys continued to control throughout the half, with Ruari scoring his second of the game 25 minutes in. As halftime neared, the Rosses scored on the break cutting Abbey’s lead back to one. However, reflecting the drive shown throughout the first half, AVS was quick to restart. The ball was pushed forward, allowing Ruairi to complete his hat trick just seconds after the restart. At halftime the Abbey lead 3-1.

The match proved to be a game of two halves however, with the Abbey struggling to show the dominance they brought in the first. Highlights included a couple of well taken free kicks from Daniel McIntyre and a great opportunity to add a fourth early with the keeper for the Rosses making back to back saves, denying Matthew Byrne. A penalty halfway through the half saw Rosses pull a goal back before a controversial third goal levelled the match just before the full-time whistle was blown, ending the match at three a piece.

Many of the players put in a great display, but with three goals to his name on the day, Ruairi McLaughlin was the coaches choice for Man of the Match.

U14 Girls GAA

On Tuesday the 26th March our U14 girls took part in an Ulster knock out blitz. On the day the schools had to play four 20min games, first up was Holy Cross. The girls were playing into a very strong wind during the first half, but they managed to get the first score on the board, but after this Holy cross made the most of the wind advantage by scoring 1-4 without any reply from Abbey. Once the second half started Abbey came out fighting and pulled back the score to make it a drew game with 2 minutes to go but Holy Cross managed to get a goal, there only score of the second half, straight away Abbey went back up the pitch and Holly Roarty put the ball over the bar but it was too late as the ref blow the final whistle.

Next up for Abbey was the Rosses. The girls came out fighting as they finished the first match, with a score straight away from Ciara Gillespie Cassidy, followed by scores from, Holly Roarty, Orlagh Green, Chloe Shovlin and Caoimhe Green. The girls from the Rosses tried to fight back but Abbey held on to win the match.

The 3rd game saw the girls from AVS face Bundoran, as before the girls got off to a great start with scores from Aoife Cox, Ciara Gillespie Cassidy and Rosin Lynch.  Abbey didn’t let the girls from Bundoran near their half of the pitch throughout the game and finished the game as convincing winners.

After 3 games in a row, the girls faced St Columbus in the final game, which was a must win game to progress to the next stage of Ulster. The first half saw very little scores from either team, Columbus managed to get a goal just before half time. In the second half with the wind at their backs abbey came out strong with 3 points in a row by Holly Roarty, Aoife Cox, and Ciara Gillespie Cassidy, but St Columbus managed to sneak a point just before the ref blow the final whistle. St Columbus won the game by one point and progressed to the next stage of Ulster.

Team: Rachel Boyle, Roisin Lynch, Holly Roarty, Kayleigh Boyle , Aoife Cox , Zoe gallagher , Laura Sweeney, Meadbh Gallagher, Emma Meehan , Caoimhe Greene, Victoria Bradley, Ella McKinney , Jessica Gallagher, Niamh McCauley, Katie Gillespie, Sórcha Walsh, Chloe Shovlin, Ciara Gillespie Cassidy, Christine Gysling, Orlagh Green



2nd yr Boys Basketball

Good luck to our 2nd year boys who  are playing in the All Ireland Playoff next Tuesday in Dublin. The boys go to the playoff as North West Regional winners. On the day, they will play Colaiste Bhaile Chláir, Castleknock CC  and Cnoc Mhuire Granard. Good luck boys!


1st year girls Basketball

Good luck to our 1st year girls who head to Portlaoise   for the All Ireland Playoff on the 9th of April . The girls had a very successful campaign so far, winning the North West Regional League. Well done the team adn coach Ms O  Mahoney.


2nd year girls basketball

Good luck to our Minor girls who head to navan for the All Ireland Playoff on the 3rd  of April . The girls had a superb campaign so far, winning the North West Regional League. Congratulations to the team and coach Ms O Mahoney




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