Abbey V.S. Newsletter – Mon 23rd Sept 2019

Parent Association AGM

The AVS Parents Association Annual General Meeting will take place on Monday 7th October 2019 at 8 pm in the AVS school library.  All parents are members of the Parents Association and are encouraged to attend the AGM..

Staff In-service Day:

Staff attended Inservice on the new Junior Cycle on Wednesday 18th September. All subject areas are being implemented this year in terms of training and staff covered a variety of areas at this training day to support their planning for the new JCT.

First year Information Evening:

An important Information Evening for parents of first year students will take place on Thursday 3rd October at 7 pm

Teaching & Learning:

Another of our School Improvement targets for 2019 – 2020 is aiding our students to reflect on their learning. Most people engage in reflection on a daily basis, but much of this occurs in quiet moments by ourselves. Many of our students are not used to reflecting on their learning in a structured manner. They need some help to develop skills in reflective thinking and writing. Whilst this skill may be new to them at first, we hope they will become more familiar with it as they progress through Junior & Senior Cycle.

This academic year our students will take a few minutes towards the end of each class to ask themselves “What did I learn today?” Our teaching staff will use different strategies, including exit tickets, reflection sheets & digital technologies, to help them answer this question.  They might also engage in peer reflection during class:

Through reflection ‘in’ and ‘on’ their learning, students can:

  • become more aware of the knowledge and skills that they have developed
  • identify strengths and areas for development
  • develop and action plan for future learning
  • gain greater understanding of themselves and how they learn.
  • take more responsibility for their learning

Further information available through our website at :

Study Skills

Our final year group of 5th years will complete a study skills programme this coming week with the student enrichment services. This will support our students in their studies and compliments some of the study skills techniques they have learnt in earlier years from Amazing Brains.


English Department Debate

This week Miss Cunningham’s Second year class debated on the very relevant motion “social media is a positive force”. The debate was engaging and robust and adjudicated by Transition Year students!


Reading Club

The Reading Club will be beginning this term with Ms. O’Donnell at lunchtime on Wednesdays in Room 9. If you have a love of reading, join our book club! It is a reading group for Students who love to read and talk about books, if that is you then join our Club!

Drama Club

The AVS Drama Club will now be commencing on Thursdays at lunchtime in room 9, if you have a love of drama and enjoy treading the boards then please come along, new members are most welcome!

Traditional Music Club

The Traditional Music Club has now commenced in room 13 on Friday with Ms Doherty. If you have a love of traditional music please come along, new members are most welcome! Please come along! All newcomers are welcome!

Failte Ireland Tourist Information Centre Trip

On Thursday the 19th of September Students participating in the Level 2 programme ‘Living In the Community’ took a trip to the Fáilte Ireland tourist Information Centre in Donegal Town. There, the Students were greeted by Manager Esther Cassidy who explained the aim and ethos of the Tourist Centre, which is to shine the spotlight on the natural beauty of Ireland.

The information centre provides: Itinerary planning, local and national information, free map and guide and booking service.


Art Department

This week a selection of Transition Year Students have embarked in an art project which will see them design and paint a mural in room 12A. The mural will encompass the holistic themes of wellbeing and mindfulness.

Environmental Initiatives

There are ongoing environmental initiatives taking place within the School both within the curriculum and in extracurricular activities. Environmental Awareness is embedded into the subject area of Wellbeing. All 2nd Year students engage with a ten week module on Environmental Awareness. The new Student Council will be elected shortly and, as last year, they will take part in Environmental training which will afford them the skills and empower them to act as School leaders in relation to environmental action. TY students will also have workshops on these issues in the coming year.

A group of TY students are also in the initial stages of compiling their project for Generation Apprenticeship which this year has a focus on ‘Green’ issues. 

Recognising the importance of highlighting environmental issues and being mindful of the positive change the School community can affect we welcome student engagement. We are always looking for student input and any student interested in getting involved in any area of environmental concern should enquire with Mr. Clarke.


Chess Club

With the beginning of a new academic year, we are delighted to announce our Chess Club will be resuming on Tuesdays in room 3 and all new members are welcome! Chess is a two-player strategy board game played on a chessboard with 64 squares arranged in an 8×8 grid. The game is played by millions of people worldwide.  Chess is believed to be derived from the Indian game chaturanga sometime before the 7th century. If you have an interest in joining our Chess Club please come along to our meetings as everyone is welcome!

The Maths Club

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

Science Club

The Science Club provides exciting, engaging, experimental practical, interactive STEM experiences, professionally delivered in a Structured, Safe, Supervised, Educational and Fun environment. Please join us on Mondays in room 47 with Ms Furey!

Irish Conversation Club

If you have a love of the Irish Language please come along to our Irish Conversation Club on Wednesday in Room 26. Go raibh maith agat!

The Music Department

The Musical

image004The cast has been announced for the Transition Year Musical ‘West Side Story’ after many auditions and call-backs. Director Rachel O’Connor was delighted with the wealth of talent to choose from in the Abbey Vocational School


Student Council

The closing date for nominations is extended to Wednesday 25th Sept. Students are encouraged to pick up a nomination form at the office.

School Choir

The School Choir has now commenced in room 16 on Tuesdays. If you have a love of music and singing, come along to our choir, new members most welcome!


Students enjoying Choir @ Lunchtime in the Music Room


  1. Leaving Certs: 1-1 appointments are available; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instructions.
  2. UCAS registration will take place on Wednesday, 16 October @ 10.20 in room 44. Any Leaving Cert wishing to apply to UCAS must attend this event.
  3. Career talks for Leaving Certs taking place in the library over the coming weeks:
  • University of Ulster: 25 Sept. 2019 @ 10.20 – 11.00
  • NUI Galway: 30 Sept. 2019 @ 11.55 – 12.35
  • LYIT: 02 Oct. 2019 @ 10.20 – 11.00
  • IT Sligo: 09 Oct. 2019 @ 10.20 – 11.00
  • Maynooth University: 10 Oct. 2019 @ 2.00 – 2.40
  1. Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo.


Lunchtime Activities were in full swing this week in the Abbey Vocational School as Students enjoyed ultimate frisbee in the sun!


Congratulations to Ms Social Media, Holly McCrea


Congratulations to staff member Holly McCrea who took part in the Miss Universe Ireland last weekend in Dublin. Holly came away from the competition with the title of Ms Social Media.



The Abbey Vocational School is delighted to announce the cast for the up and coming school musical production ‘West Side Story’

The Jets

  • Riff …………..Senan Quinn
  • Tony…………Ryan Glenn
  • A-Rab………Jamie Cassidy Callaghan
  • Action …….  Dylan Caldwell
  • Baby John ..Odhran Breslin
  • Diesel……….Shane Breslin
  • Snowboy…..Mark Jordan
  • Big Deal….. Fiacra Joyce
  • Geetar…….. Nathan Quinn
  • Mouthpiece .Oran Sweeney
  • Tiger ………. Dara Gallagher
  • Anybodys… Ellen Canavan

The Sharks

  • Bernardo…..Eamon Martin
  • Chino……… Jack Myres
  • Pepe………. Xiuhong Yang
  • Indio………..Ethan McNulty
  • Luis ………. Ross O’ Keeney
  • Anxious…. James Gysling
  • Juano……. Dan Dunnion and ‘Somewhere’ Soloist
  • Toro…. …..Conor Campbell
  • Moose…… Dermot Slevin
  • Schrank….. Leo Carey McDermott
  • Krupke …….Dairmuid O’ Donnell
  • Doc………….Kyle Murray
  • Glad Hand..Charlie McGee

The Shark Girls

  • Maria…………Rachel Reid
  • Anita………….Savannah Timoney
  • Rosalia………Emma Farron
  • Consuelo……Anna Gillow
  • Francisca……Elish McGrory
  • Terisita……….Abbey Chambers
  • Estella………..Aoibheann Gallagher
  • Margarita …..Gabriellla Byrne
  • ..Ailbhe Loughney
  • ..Aodaoin Rush

The Jet Girls

  • Nora Carr
  • Clara Bustard
  • Ella Doherty
  • Jennifer Martin
  • Laura Geary
  • Eva Jichi
  • Louise Connolly
  • Amy McInern

Dance and Ensemble

  • Enya Gallagher
  • Naomi Kelly
  • Ciaran Ward
  • Nikola Piskunowicz
  • Aine Byrne
  • Catriona Smith
  • Emily McNulty
  • Rebecca Morrow
  • Onagh McHugh
  • Tessa Duke
  • Lucy Monaghon
  • Lily Doherty
  • Eva Campbell
  • Natasha Prendiville
  • Caolfhionn Deeley

Health Promoting Schools

This week Transition Year Students were busy painting the seating and benches in the outside area beside the canteen. The aim of this initiative is the help promote wellbeing. Creating a peaceful, restful area for Students to chat and enjoy the sunshine. Taking a break from the cut and thrust of everyday academic life!

University of Limerick

This week the Abbey Vocational School welcomed back the University of Limerick who were conducting a whole school survey for the Active Schools Flag programme.

The Active School flag programme is a whole school initiative to motivate and promote physical activity in the Abbey Vocational School. The aim of the Active School Flag team is to reinforce the importance of health, well-being and the academic benefits of being physical. The survey conducted by the University of Limerick in collaboration with Transition Year Students is aimed at gathering information from the students and seeing where the students can improve their physical wellbeing.


Enterprise Workshop for Transition Year Mini Companies

Each year Transition Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School are encouraged to delve into the world of enterprise. This week students enjoyed an enterprise talk which aimed to provide Students with the knowledge and knowhow of how to set up a company, how to create an enterprising model and how to execute it. We look forward to seeing the fruits of the Transition Year labour in the weeks ahead!

Kyle Murray Finishes First in the Spartan Race in Scotland

Spartan is the leader in obstacle course racing, challenging Athletes beyond their limits. Congratulations to Transition Year Student Kyle Murray who came first in his age group in the Spartan Race in Scotland!

Junk Kouture

image010Abbey Vocational School Teacher Holly McCrea will be working with Transition Year Students in conjunction with Bank of Ireland Junk Kouture. Junk Kouture is an all island competition for secondary school students which takes elements such as fashion, design, engineering and environmental sustainability and transforms them into a creative contest like no other. Students will use everyday items such as bin bags, plastic bottles and old compact discs to create pieces of art and fashion. We look forward to seeing their creations in the future!

Zeeko Internet Safety

image011On Thursday the 19th of September the Abbey Vocational School was delighted to host Internet Safety Experts ‘Zeeko’.

‘Zeeko’ aim to create a world where young people can safely benefit from Technology and the Internet, visiting 400 schools across Ireland per year delivering Internet Safety Seminars to pupils, teachers, and parents. ‘Zeeko’ have experience and expertise in children’s Internet Safety and Students at the AVS were enlightened with the online risks young people face every day.

The aim of the talk was to reduce the negative consequences of cyberbullying and exposure to user-generated content promoting anorexia, self-harm, drug abuse and suicide. These are issues which have a significant impact on the health and wellbeing of young people and families across Ireland.  The Abbey Vocational School and the Digital Experts at ‘Zeeko’ aim to promote and support confident digital citizens, building online trust and creating positive social change.


Girls GAA

1st Yr

To start off the new school year the Donegal County Board will host a first year Girls blitz in Ballyshannon. Our 1st yr girls will play a host of other schools from south Donegal.

  • U20, U16 and U14 – Training will be every Monday from 4:15-5:30. All players welcome. Please bring football gear, football boots, runners, gun shield and a bottle of water.
  • U20 – The U20’s will play St Catherine’s V.S., Killybegs, Carndonagh Community College, Thornhill and Dean Maguire in their league this year.
  • U16 – The U16’s will play Deele College, Gairnscoil chu Uladh, St Catherines Killybegs and Moville.
  • U14 – The U14’s fixtures will be released in the coming weeks.


U16 boys

Abbey U16 boys were unlucky to lose out in their first League game of the season against Our Lady’s convent of Castleblaney on a score line of 46 to 34.  Abbey’s slow start cost them in the end, finishing the first quarter 11-1 down. Some excellent shooting from Leo McGowan, Daniel Quinn and Captain Niall Prendiville dragged Abbey back into the game at half time.

The deficit was reduced to two during the third quarter before Our Lady’s hit 5 in a row to end the game as a contest.  Some excellent performances from Abbey both in offence and defence but unfortunately the slow start cost them dearly.    The boys will play their first game of the cup next Tuesday at 12:30 against Templeogue College in the school gym.

Lunchtime Activities

Our lunchtime SPORTS FOR ALL programme is running every day. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

There are at least two activities on each day, indoors in the sports hall and outdoors on the tennis courts. The timetable is posted on the notice boards around the school. ALL students are encouraged to come out and get active during their lunch break. Students can participate in their uniform but must wear proper footwear/runners.  Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions.


Day Event Teacher Venue



Girls Badminton

(open to all girls)

Mrs Gallagher Sports Hall
TY Boys Soccer Mr Gorman Tennis Court


1st Year Boys Soccer Mr O’ Mahony Sports Hall
Senior Boys Soccer Mr Daly Tennis Court



2nd Year Boys  Soccer Mr McLoone Sports Hall
1st Year Boys Soccer Mr O Donnell Tennis Court

(open to all girls)

Ms. Kelly Library




Ultimate Frisbee

(open to all students)

Mrs. O’Mahony Sports Hall
2nd Year Boys Soccer Mr Russell Tennis Court
Keep Fit Running club

(open to all students)

Mrs Gallagher School track



1st  & 2nd Year Girls Unihoc Ms. Rooney Sports Hall
3rd Year Boys Soccer Mr Herron Tennis Court
Dance Club

(open to all girls)

Ms. Kelly Library

After School Sports Clubs

Sports Team Coach Training time Venue
Athletics Mrs M Gallagher Tuesday

4pm – 5.15pm

Sports hall and track

1st & 2nd Year Boys

Mr. P Mc Devitt,

Mr. S Carty

  Sports hall

Senior & U16 Boys

Mr. D Russell,

Mr. S Carty

Monday 4- 6pm Sports hall

1st & 2nd Year Girls

Ms P Rooney,

Ms S Mogan


3.30pm – 5.30pm

Sports hall

Senior & U16 Girls

Mrs. E O’ Mahony,

Ms V Lockhart


3.30 – 5.30pm

Sports hall
Cross Country Mrs M Gallagher Tuesday 4.15- 5.30pm

Thursday Lunchtime

School track
Gaelic Girls


Mrs M Crawford

Ms. G Creane


4.15 – 5.30pm

School field / All-weather pitch
Gaelic Girls

U16 & Senior:

Mrs M Crawford

P Rooney


4.15 – 5.30pm

School field / All weather pitch
Gaelic Boys


Mr P O’Donnell,

Mr. S Mc Fadden


4.15 – 5.30pm

School field / All weather pitch
Gaelic Boys


Mr. L McLoone,

Mr. C Monahan


Gaelic Boys


Mr. B Carty,

Mr. C Herron


 3.30pm – 4.30pm

Girls Active Mrs. PA Gavigan, Mrs. R Myers Thursday

3.30pm -4.30pm

Parish hall / Library


Mr. O Plunkett    
Soccer Boys – 1st yr Mr S Devlin    
Soccer Boys – U15 Mr. I O’Mahony,

Mr. L Gallagher

Soccer Boys – U17 Mr C Hegarty    
Soccer Boys – Senior Mr. G Gorman    
Squash Mr. I O’Mahony    
Rowing Mr. S Maguire    

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