Abbey V.S. Newsletter – Mon Sept 30th

Environmental Initiatives

This week Students will receive a personalised water bottle as one of many environmental initiatives taking place within the Abbey Vocational School this year. In an effort to reduce our plastic waste each student will receive a personalized water bottle, benefitting the Abbey Vocational School Community.


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.

First Year Information Evening:

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

First Year Peer Mentors

Congratulations to our team of TY Peer Mentors.

Peer Mentors: Shane Breslin, Gabriella Byrne, Amy Carr , Nora Carr, Teelin Casey, Rebecca Kelly, Leah O’Donnell, Lily Doherty, Tessa Duke, Grace Dunlevy, Emma Farron, Aoibheann Gallagher, Eloise Gallagher, Rachel Gallagher, Anna Gillow, Marisa Harley, Eva Jichi, Caoimhe Kerrigan, Grainne Travers, Catherine Whiteside, Savannah Timony Abbie Chambers, Eilish McGroary, Onagh McHugh, Amy McInern, Louise Connolly, Jack Myers, Darcy Neil, Emma Thomas, Ciara Sweeney, Caitriona Smith.

To date, Peer Mentors have been offering assistance to first years and monitoring areas during break and lunchtime in order to help any student who may be lost or finding it hard to get organised. In the coming weeks our first years will get the opportunity to sit and chat to our TY Peer Mentoring Team. During these mentoring sessions first years will have the opportunity to reflect on school life since joining and gain useful advice in numerous areas. Areas may be items such as locker use, using the Student Journal effectively, joining activities and clubs, etc.

Thank you to coordinator Ms. Kelly for overseeing this important area.

A survey will also be shared with the first years in the coming days. The aim of this survey is to assess how they are settling in since joining Abbey Vocational School. The resulting information will assist us in identifying key areas to address and assist with. Tutors, subject teachers and peer mentors are just some of the personnel that will be able to help out first years here.

The link to this survey will be added to the school website in the coming days.

Junior Cycle Results:

The Junior Cycle results will be made available to students on Friday October 4th at 2pm in the school We wish all of our students the very best of luck on Friday and look forward to seeing them reach the high expectations that we have of them all.


English Department

image002‘The Readathon’ The English Department will be embarking on the ‘The Readathon’ initiative in the coming weeks. This initiative is an amazing opportunity for Students to engage and challenge themselves establishing a lifelong love of books all while raising funds for an amazing cause!

The Well Read Award

The English Department has been working with The PDST ‘Well Read National Award’. This is a national initiative designed and organised by the Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST). It aims to create heightened awareness about the importance of creating a culture of reading in school communities for students as part of their personal and academic development.

The Reading Club

The Reading Club has started 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!

Trad Music Club

The Trad Music Club has now commenced in room 13 on Friday the Music Department. The day will change starting next week to Thursdays. If you have a love of traditional music please come along, new members are most welcome!

Pictured below are pit singers for the musical West side Story. There are 8 in total, boys and girls from 3rd to 6th year who auditioned earlier in Sept. They meet every lunchtime and are working hard on ensemble pieces for the show


Chess Club The Chess Club has resumed on Tuesdays in room 3 and all new members are welcome! The game of chess 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 Ches 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

This was a very busy week in Science club as we began our literature reviews and prepared our project proposals for the BT Young Scientist competition in the RDS in January. In total, 13 students submitted an impressive six projects for selection by the young Scientist judging panel and they are:

  • Medicine Response Variability in Narcolepsy Sufferers by Ciara Cannon
  • Antimicrobial Seaweeds by Eadaoin Murphy and Shane Harvey
  • Can education reduce the use of single use plastics? by Jane  Faulkner, Erin Britton and Ciara Friel
  • Rounding Up Knotweed Without RoundUp by Grace Masterson, Ellie Campbell and Millie Hughes-Perc
  • Treating psoriasis with snail slime by Robyn Given and Katie Furey
  • Flax as an alternative to heavy duty plastic strapping by Ella Doherty and Ailbhe Loughney

Establishing a testable hypothesis is often the hardest part of any Science investigation but for those among you who have an interesting idea that could be investigated for the Scifest competition in LYIT in May there will be an opportunity to come along to Science club after half term to develop your idea into a project that could then be entered into the BTYS selection process next year. Over the coming weeks we will profile our six projects as we wait to see if our bids are successful and get through the rigorous BTYS selection process.

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

Irish Conversation Club

An tseachtain seo bhí daltaí na hidirbhliana gnóthach ag déanamh éisteachtaí don cheoldráma ‘West Side Story’. Tá tallan na ndaltaí tharr barr! Tar chuig an ‘Ciorcal Cainte’ ag am lóin Dé hAoine i seomra 26. Tá an ‘Ciorcal Cainte’ a reachtáil ag Mr McFadden agus Ms Giblin.


Leaving Certs: 1-1 appointments are available; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instructions.

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.

Career talks for Leaving Certs taking place in the library over the coming weeks:

  • 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
  • 4. IT Sligo Open Day will take place on 17 Oct. 2019. The Guidance department will bring 5th years to this event. Further info. will be provided during Guidance class.
  • 5. Be sure to keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo.



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

Teaching & Learning

Why is reflection an important part of learning?

Whilst most people engage in reflection on a daily basis, much of this occurs in quiet moments by ourselves. Most 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, they will become more familiar with it as they progress through Junior & Senior Cycle.

Through reflection ‘in’ and ‘on’ 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

Examples of how students can reflect on their learning:

  • Write about their learning
  • Talk about their learning
  • Make a video diary about their learning journey
  • Set goals about their learning
  • Use peer/self-assessment


Study Skills

This week Fifth Year Abbey Vocational School Students were treated to the study skills talk with Amazing Brains. The talk focused on helping Students to budget time, leaving Students able to focus even more in school and on the academic year.


Cycle Against Suicide

image007We are pleased and honoured to announce that we have received the Cycle Against Suicide Ammabador School Award for the third year in a row. The Ambassador School Programme established in 2013 aims to encourage schools to become actively involved in mental health promotion. The programme provides a framework, structure and incentive for schools to integrate mental health activities into their school planning and rewards schools that go the extra mile. We look forward to take part in this worthwhile programme again this year. We would also like to congratulate India Kennedy on becoming a student leader with Cycle Against Suicide for the coming year.

Transition Year

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!


AIB Future Sparks Programme

image009On Thursday the 26th of September Transition Year Students welcomed the AIB Future Sparks Programme. The programme is aimed at Second Level Students and the programme consists of the AIB Build A Bank Challenge, AIB Money & Me and the AIB Future Sparks Festival.

The programmes are designed with students at the core, educating them on managing money, running a business, inspiring them with future career options and guiding them on what it takes to be part of a workforce. AIB is continuing to back students and show them the power of their potential through these three great initiatives!

Alan Devine – Public Speaking Talk

The Abbey Vocational School was delighted to welcome Alan Devine this week. Alan Devine’s film roles include portraying the Irish criminal Gerry “The Monk” Hutch in the movie ‘Veronica Guerin’, has appeared in the Irish soap opera ‘Fair City’ as Louie Gleeson and has had numerous stage roles, including various works of Shakespeare.


Transition Year Surfing

Well done to TY class 4C this week as they took to the water as part of TY activities. Thank you to FinMcCool Surf School for guiding and looking after our students.

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World Tourism Day

On Thursday the 26th of September twenty students from the Abbey Vocational School visited the LYIT School of Tourism in Killybegs in conjunction with World Tourism Day. The purpose of World Tourism Day is to raise awareness of the role of tourism around the world and to promote social, cultural, political and economic values.

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The AVS Students were treated to a mocktail demonstration in the Millennium Restaurant. Followed by a hospitality talk highlighting the success of the Wild Atlantic Way Marketing Campaign showing how perception and image create a ‘must do’ trend.

Students were treated to a demonstration on how to fillet a salmon, lectured on the importance of aquaculture in Ireland and tasted the ‘kropp kakor’, a potato dumpling which originated in Finland.

The AVS Students had a wonderful day out and were inspired by the ethos of the Department of Hospitality and Tourism.

West Side Story Cast Announced

A diary entry from Savannah Timoney and her experiences of the Transition Year Musical;

“This year we were delighted to hear that we will be doing West Side Story as our Transition Year musical, directed by Rachel O’Connor. Shortly after this announcement, we began the auditions. These involved a series of fun performing games & activities that made acting fun & more accessible to everyone who had never been on stage before. The fun atmosphere really helped to ease our nerves & make the experience very enjoyable. After the preliminary auditions, anyone Rachel thought to have potential was given a call-back. Here we performed some lines from the script in our accents & sang a song from the musical. On Friday 20th September the roles were finally announced, after much anticipation. The entireTY year was called up to the gym & the cast members were called out. Everyone who received a role was over the moon & excited for the show. Everyone will be given a chance to partake, after all, there is no such thing as small roles, only small actors!”.


The Cast of the Abbey Vocational School Musical Production ‘West Side Story’.


Rehearsals continue next week during school and on Monday and Tuesday evenings. Some leads will also be required after school on Thursday.

Student Voice

This year the Irish Second Level Student Union day takes place on Wednesday in Letterkenny – Topics to be explored include effective student councils, climate action, direct provision and education reform.

On Friday 27th, every student voted through our school website for our new Student Council. Thanks to Ms Hegarty for setting up the online voting system which worked very successfully. The new committee will be announced next week, with 2 representatives from each year group. This year the new Committee will decide on an area of focus..  Climate Action is particularly relevant and when the committee meet, they will decide on how they can work and make à difference as our student voice in this area as well as identifying and working on other areas of importance and interest to the student body.

The focus of last year’s committee was ‘Inclusion’, cultural inclusion in particular. The new committee will continue to encourage inclusion in all areas of school life.

Our school captains received their badges this week. These students will act as role models as well as representing the voice of their class. They are another important link between staff and class groups.


U16 Boys Basketball

Hard luck to the u16 boys basketball team who were beaten by Templogue in the A cup competition.

Templeogue are the top ranked  team in Ireland at this age group and this was reflected on the scoreboard with the Abbey losing by a score line of 39 -67.

Both teams were matched in work rate and intensity, with some outstanding defence on display. The only difference between the sides was Templogue’s ability to score at will, while AVS will rue some poor shooting.

Best players for AVS were Jake Graham who was his sides top scorer and Niall Prendiville, with a special mention to Seamus Caldwell who scored 6 points in a cameo appearance in the fourth quarter.


U16 Gaelic Boys

U16 Gaelic Boys continues every Monday 4.10-5.10 and on Wednesday 3.30-4.30. All welcome!


1st year Girls Gaelic

On Thursday 26th September our first year girls travelled to Ballyshannon to play a friendly game against Magh Ene College. It was a very competitive game with some great performances for all our girls. The girls will continue training every Monday after school for their league which will start after Christmas.


Cross Country

On Thursday 26th October, Transition Year coaches were involved in the running of a cross country competition at the Holmes Beach, Donegal. It was a busy day in the Holmes as the students of 12 local schools entered the field. Races were held for every age group, from under 8 primary school children to 1st & 2nd year secondary students. This gave all children a chance to be physically active & to experience the joy of cross country for the first time. The event was a complete success, the overcast sky doing nothing to lower the spirits of athletes & coaches alike. This was a great experience for all of the TY coaches present, giving them a real insight into the running of an athletics competition as they sorted entries, set up the course, collected results & kept the day running smoothly. This event would not have been possible without the wonderful Tir Chonaill A.C coaches who supervised the TY coaches, giving invaluable advice about running competitions & organising large groups of people. This cross country was a truly wonderful experience for all involved!


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.

The timetable for this term is as follows:

Lunchtime activities 2019-09-16_001


Most of our after school training sessions have started this week. The timetable as follows is posted on the sports boards. Thank you to the many coaches and staff members who give their time to our sports teams. Please see your coach if you have any questions.

After School Activities 2019-09-16_001

After School Activities 2019-09-16_002

The following sports managers will meet their teams in the coming weeks to plan for their upcoming season.

  • Golf – Mr O Plunkett,
  • Soccer (1st Year) – Mr S Devlin,
  • Soccer – U15 – Mr I O’ Mahony & Mr L Gallagher,
  • Rowing – Mr S Maguire


Non Sport Related Activities


Science Club Boys & Girls Ms Furey Monday Lunchtime

Tuesday 4pm – 5pm

Room 45
Art Club Boys & Girls Ms O Donnell Monday Lunchtime Room 12A
Coding Club Boys & Girls Mr Harvey & Mr Herron Tuesday Lunchtime Room 45
Chess Club


Boys & Girls


Ms. Mohan


Tuesday Lunchtime Room 3
School Choir Boys & Girls Ms Doherty Tuesday Lunchtime Room 16
Reading Club Boys & Girls Ms. O’ Donnell Wednesday Lunchtime Room 9
Irish Conversation Club Boys & Girls Mr Mc Fadden

Ms. Giblin

Wednesday Lunchtime Room 26
Drama Class Boys & Girls Ms. O’ Donnell Thursday Lunchtime Room 9
Maths Club Boys & Girls Ms Lockhart Friday Lunchtime Room 30
Trad Music Club Boys & Girls Ms Doherty



Friday Lunchtime Room 13
Non Sport Related Activities


Science Club Boys & Girls Ms Furey Monday Lunchtime

Tuesday 4pm – 5pm

Room 45
Art Club Boys & Girls Ms O Donnell Monday Lunchtime Room 12A


Competitive Sports for First Years


Activity Boys/Girls Teacher Day/Time Room
Athletics &

Cross Country

Boys & Girls Mrs. Gallagher Tuesday

4.15 – 5.30pm

Sports hall & Track
Basketball Girls Ms Rooney Thursday

3.30 – 5pm

Sports hall
Basketball Boys Mr Mc Devitt Friday

3.30 – 4.30 pm

Sports hall
Gaelic U14 Girls Mrs M Crawford

Ms G. Creane


4.15 – 5.30pm

School field / All weather pitch
Gaelic U14 Boys Mr O’ Donnell

Mr Mc Fadden


3.30 – 4.45pm

School field / All weather pitch
Soccer Boys Mr Devlin TBC School field / All weather pitch
Rowing Boys & Girls Mr Maguire TBC School gym


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