Abbey VS Newsletter – Tues 13th May 2019

Tayto Park School Tour!

On Friday the 10th of May 2019 First Year students from the Abbey Vocational School enjoyed a trip to ‘Tayto Park’.

Tayto Park Theme Park is based on the Irish potato crisp brand Tayto and is located in the townland of Kilbrew, in County Meath. The park was opened in November 2010.

 The Students got to enjoy Ireland’s first roller coaster and Europe’s largest wooden roller coaster with an inversion, the Cú Chulainn Coaster, which opened in 2015.  Teachers, SNAs and Students had great fun in the Viking village with five replica Viking ships splashing in the latest addition to Ireland’s favourite theme park and zoo!

2019-05-10-First Year Tour 001

Active Schools flag UL visit

The Active School Flag is awarded to schools that strive to achieve a physically educated and physically active school community, aiming to get more schools, more active, more often.

The Abbey Vocational School is one of only three post primary schools in Ireland to be currently collaborating with a research team from the University of Limerick and ASF to co-design a new ASF process for the post primary sector.

University of Limerick had their final visit to AVS for this academic year. Senior, junior and staff focus groups reviewed the active school flag process and how’s it’s been in our school this year.  Active pals activity monitors were collected and specific pupils tool a hand grip test also. 

The whole school completed a survey to review activity levels and how they may compare prior to the programme being introduced to the school.

Class 4C made an impressive presentation to the Active school flag accreditor Ger Boyle on Friday morning.  The active school flag representative complimented the students on their hard work throughout the year and also their confidence and leadership skills displayed during the presentation.

AVS has been quoted to be “a trailblazer ” for the active school flag programme.

Pupils and staff are very excited about year two which will focus on making community links to enhance activity levels for our students. 


Award Winning Enterprise Winners!

Congratulations to Mini Companies ‘Growth’ and ‘Tweedelicious’ who won a Special Merit Award and Third Place overall respectively in Dublin at the  National Finals of the ‘Student Enterprise of the Year’ Awards.

The Student Enterprise Programme, an initiative run by the Network of Local Enterprise Offices of Ireland, is Ireland’s largest and most successful student enterprise programme with over 23,000 second level students taking part each year.

Students from 1st year to 6th year get to set up and run their own business and find out what it’s really like to be an entrepreneur by taking part in this eight month long enterprise education learning programme.At the end of the Programme in May, one student business from each region gets to compete at the National Final in Dublin for the ‘Student Enterprise of the Year’.

 Winning a Special Merit Award the Company ‘Growth ’ is spearheaded by Aodhan, Luke and Cormac and 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.

Winning third place overall are “Tweedelicious”  a hard working group of first year girls – Sorcha Walsh, Summer Mae Kerr, Aoife Cox, Lucy Campbell, Amy McGroary and Christina Gysling.  The company uses cutoffs of tweed from both Magees and Hanna Hats factories and upcycles 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.   Congratulations to the AVS Students and Staff, their Companies and to the hard work and support of their Teacher Ms Lucy Gordon.


Coding Club

The Coding Club provides Students with the know-how to develop their own websites, apps and computer software, coding or computer programming is the act of using languages to instruct a computer to perform functions.

The Coding Club runs in room 47 on Mondays at lunchtime with Mr Harvey. 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 History Department

The History Department worked diligently this week on preparations for the launch of the ‘Path to Nationhood’ project Monday the 13th of May. Under the mentorship of their History Teacher Mr. Lafferty, ten Transition Year Students worked on the ‘Path to Nationhood’ initiative. These were; Mikaela Mc Connon, Katelyn Duffy, Cathleen Gallagher, Thomas White, Annabell O’Donnell, Ciara Joyce, Kevin Canny, Tom Daly, Aoife Greene, Lucy Clinton and Sophie Kee.

Working as a team, the Students had to put together a plan to execute the history project. Each Student took on various roles in the group; calculating, researching and studying, choosing photos and quotes and getting materials. The project could not have been completed without the help and support of  Michael Lafferty,Martin Gallagher, John Daly and the Caretaker Sean Boyle. The project displays images of Iconic Irish Figures from our historical past, hence the name ‘Path to Nationhood’.

One of these Iconic Irish Figures include Revolutionary Leader  Theobald Wolfe Tone, posthumously known as Wolfe Tone who was one of the founding members of the United Irishmen, and leader of the 1798 Irish Rebellion.

The initiative also includes Eamon De Valera who served 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. The ‘Path to Nationhood’ Project is a reminder to us all of how much our ancestors endured and achieved so that we could have a better, brighter future!

LYIT Computer Tasting Day

A fantastic day was spent in the LYIT by the Abbey Vocational School Fifth Year Computer Science Class. 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.

image011LYIT’s Bachelor of Science in Computing provides Students with a range of theoretical and practical skills to advance in the computer industry.The ethos of this three-year course is to provide Students with a strong core set of competencies in general computing.

With Ireland the world’s largest exporter of computer software, employment opportunities for Students are abundant . Whether Students choose a career as a software developer, data analyst or developing apps, the opportunities are endless.

Science Club

The Science Club is the place for Students who are interested in science to learn about all scopes of science from medicine to chemistry to physics to the environment. We discuss how to use this conceptual basis for applications in the real world.

The Science Club meets every Wednesday in room 33 during lunch break. All welcome!

Art Department

Congratulations go to Mia Mc McAlmont who has won a Special Merit Award in Category A of the 65th Texaco Children’s Art Competition with an entry entitled ‘13 Years Ago’. Mia has been invited to this year’s Awards Ceremony which will be held at the Johnston Estate in Enfield, Co. Meath on the afternoon of Wednesday 22nd of May.

Many congratulations on your achievement!

Drama Club

The Drama Club continues it’s ventures every Wednesday after school. Come join our exciting, innovative and creative class where new members are always welcome!

Also, congratulations to Mr Sean Donegan, Terence McEneaney and  their award-winning play – “The Importance of Being Earnest” which competed in the RTE All-Ireland Drama Finals on the 8th May in Athlone!

First Year History Tour

On Tuesday the 7th of May, First Year Students enjoyed a tour of Donegal Castle.

Donegal Castle is situated in the centre of Donegal Town and was fully restored to its former glory in the early 1990s after many years in ruin.

The castle consists of a 15th-century rectangular keep with a Jacobean style wing and is surrounded by a 17th-century boundary wall.

The First Years enjoyed a walk around the small gatehouse which mirrors  the design of the keep. Most of the stonework was constructed from locally sourced limestone with some sandstone. The Castle was the stronghold of the O’Donnell Clan, one of the most powerful Gaelic families in Ireland from the 5th to the 16th centuries. The tour was interesting and informative and the First Years of AVS had a great day!


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The Chess Club meets on Tuesdays at lunchtime in room 3. If you are interested in joining    please come along to our meetings as everyone is welcome!

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!

Career Guidance

  1. The SUSI Grant application process for 2019-20 opened on 25 April 2019. Eligible Leaving Cert students are encouraged to start their application as soon as possible. Their Guidance Counsellor is always available to answer questions.
  2. A Google Classroom for Apprenticeships & Traineeships is regularly updated. The classroom is available to all students interested in this excellent further education route. The classroom code is available from Ms Faherty.
  3. All senior cycle students (6th, LCA & 5th years) are welcome to book a 1:1 appointment with their Guidance Counsellor.
  4. Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo.

Transition Year

S.E.A.I. Workshop

TYC and TYD attended the Climate Champions Workshop given by the S.E.A.I. Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland is Ireland’s national energy authority, working with householders, businesses, communities and government to create a cleaner energy future. During this workshop students learned the impact of climate change on the environment and strategies to reduce human impact on the environment. S.E.A.I. also explained that their core objective is to establish more rational debate around low-carbon energy technologies and our collective energy future. S.E.A.I.  connect to Irish society,Schools and Students through their programmes and activities, wanting to continue to improve and deepen the level of research, data sets and modelling tools to support Government in its decision making, and to enhance the quality of all energy debates.  Students learned that a central part of Sustainable Energy Authority Ireland’s role is as a leader of change, engaging,collaborating, empowering and raising awareness.

Foroige Leadership Course

This year Transition Year Students enrolled in the 2019 Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action Program.

The 2019 Foundation Certificate in Youth Leadership and Community Action will be awarded to young people who have completed all three modules of Foróige’s Leadership.The development of young people as leaders is core to the work of Foróige. Foróige’s Leadership for Life is an exciting programme that enables young people to develop the skills and qualities necessary to be effective leaders, as well as challenging them to use these skills for the betterment of society.

The Leadership for Life programme sets out to empower young people to make a positive difference to their community through practical actions and projects. Throughout the course of the programme, young people learn the core concepts of leadership and gain skills such as communication, teamwork, problem solving, critical thinking, self-awareness etc. The programme sets about developing the leadership capabilities and potential of young people and gives them an opportunity to harness their skills and attributes to contribute to their society in a fun and encouraging environment.

Transition Year Showcase

This week Transition Year Students have been busy preparing for their Transition Year Showcase which is on Tuesday the 21st of May. The Showcase is an evening where TY Students honour

Bothar Talk

Transition Year Students were enamoured by the charity work of Bothar on Friday the 10th of May. Bothar is an Irish Charity which produces Irish Cows, sheep, pigs and honey bees to donate to developing countries. Bothar has developed dairy cow and goat projects,with farmers pledging the highest quality animals and with breeding sow and chick projects, they source the highest quality animals.  Students learned that prior to receiving an animal, recipient farming families will undergo a rigorous training programme to ensure they can look after their animal properly. Veterinary support and back-up is provided for 3 years after the gift is made to ensure the animal enjoys good health and produces favourable yields. Once an animal is established and yielding in their new home, an update is sent to the donating farmer to keep them up to date on how their animal is doing. As part of the Bóthar programme, each family must “pass-on” their first born female to another family in their community to ensure multiple families benefit from the original gift, and over time, the entire community benefits. Students found the talk both inspiring and educational on the work of Bothar!



AVS Students were very privileged to attend Pramerica on 2nd of May. Reward for the students’ efforts in showing their appreciation to an initiative rolled out by Michael Murphy Sports and Leisure and Pramerica. This initiative saw all schools in Donegal receive free sports equipment as part in the promotion of more active schools and students. #sportsrock asked in return for students to think of creative and inventive ways to use this equipment.  The students had to then document these thoughts in the form of a video that would be posted online.

AVS students from class 4D combined their physical education and coding classes to gather footage and edit videos. Their efforts were rewarded in being selected as the winning school and were then invited to view the pramerica Rock Campus and listen to speakers Michael Murphy and Lee Gooch. A very informative and positive experience for students. Class reps Meabh Morrow Herbert and Aaron Pearson accepted the trophy and Echo Beam on behalf of the class and school.

Another proud day for the school in celebrating student success!


TY Assessment

Students will be formatively assessed this coming week. All TY students had to keep an eportfolio of their work completed during the year. They are now very busy working on completing their eportfolios
which is due 14th May. “Transition Year allows students to become more independent and reflective learners. The Transition Year eportfolio is designed specifically to support this form of learning” Each student
is asked to have at least three pieces of work per subject uploaded onto their eportfolio by the end of the school year.  The student is responsible for choosing the pieces of work. Subject teachers will
assist students in choosing appropriate pieces. Students are also asked to include all trips, talk, workshops, project and events that they were involved in throughout the year.
TY students will complete an interview on Friday 17th May. The interview is marked and directed by the student’s tutor teacher.

TY Showcase

Rehearsals for the TY showcase has commenced. The showcase which will take place on Tuesday 21st  May highlights the work, trips, talks and events that TYs attended and were involved in this year. Parents and guardians are welcome to attend the event which is a delightful way to showcase their hard work and involvement in activities throughout the year to their family and friends.


Athletics – Success at Ulster E District Event.
On Friday 10th May the AVS athletics track and field team travelled to the Antrim Forum for the Ulsters E District. Our students performed exceptionally well on the day.  Congratulations to Mia McCalmont who won gold in 3000 and 1500, Shane Breslin who also won gold in hurdles and shot. Alex Anderson won silver in the shot putt. Diarmiud O’Donnell won bronze in the discus. Niamh Moohan won gold in the long jump and hurdles. Rachel Gallagher won silver in triple jump and bronze in the hurdles. Savannah Timoney won silver in the 3000 and Kitty Mc Nulty won silver in the 1500 steeple chase. These students now progress to the Ulster final. These results are an excellent achievement for these athletes’ students and it promotes and encourage others to participate in track and field athletics and cross country running in secondary schools. Well done to all on these outstanding results.

U13 Boys Gaelic Football Ulster Final

After a very comprehensive win in the Ulster semi final, our u13 boys GAA team are now preparing for an Ulster final against St Columba’s College Stranorlar. The final will take place in Glenties GAA grounds on Tuesday 14th May at 11am. Good luck to all the lads and their management team of Mr McLoone and Mr Lafferty and Mr O Donnell

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