Abbey V.S. Newsletter – Mon 25th Nov

 Abbey Vocational School 18th November- 24th November 2019

First-Year Parent Teacher Meeting:

The First Year Parent Teacher Meeting takes place on Thursday 28th November. Please attend between 3.45 pm and 6.15pm 

West Side Story


  • *Tickets now on sale*
  • From the school office. Tel- 0749721105
  • Adults- €12 Students – €8


Rehearsals in the Bosco with the cast members of ‘West Side Story’.


Savannah Timoney plays the role of Anita, she loves Bernardo as much as the main protagonist Maria loves Tony, and her desire is just as strong as Maria’s

Savannahs Musical Diary:

Anticipation has reached a fever pitch in the Abbey Vocational School as our production of West Side Story draws near. As I write this, there are only four days left until our first performance on Tuesday, 26th November. The past week has been spent in a flurry of excitement, pouring over every detail of performance in a bid to make sure everything is perfect. We have ensured every dance move is sharp, every note sweet and every line delivered with utmost impact. Now all we have left to do is perform!

The cast and crew have spent the entire week in the Bosco Centre bringing West Side Story up to meet the high standards set by all the past Abbey Vocational School musicals. We are unable to thank enough Rachel O’Connor, Ms Kelly, Ms Carr , Ms Mc Carthy and everyone else who have given up monumental amounts of their free time to make our production every bit as fantastic as these past shows have been.

This week we have all been able to see and work with the full set for the musical and the marvelous pieces are truly a sight to see. The artists who made it should be very proud of their efforts as they are a credit to the school. The only thing that can make the show feel more complete will be to run the tech rehearsals with lighting and sound this weekend.

I have mixed emotions drawing so close to the beginning of the musical. I can feel some nerves creeping in as we near showtime, but I’m sure the rest of our amazing cast will help me to put these aside any anxieties and perform with full confidence. I am also filled with great excitement at the thought of finally showing what I and my peers have worked so hard to perfect over the last two months to our friends and family next week. I hope everyone will come out to watch West Side Story Tuesday 26th, Wednesday 27th and Friday the 29th at 7:30pm!

Transition Year 

On Thursday the 21st Of November the Transition Year group took time out of their busy schedule to visit the LYIT open day. Over 90 students attended the informative day in Letterkenny under the guidance of our careers department.

Child’s Talk 2019

image004This week AVS Student Ellen Canavan traveled to Dublin for the Child Talks 2019 in conjunction with The Ombudsman for Children’s Office to mark World Children’s Day. The O.C.O. is a human rights institution that promotes the rights and welfare of young people under 18 years of age living in Ireland.

Children have many different rights. For example:

  1. A child’s best interests must always come first.
  2. A child has the right to life, survival and development.
  3. A child’s view must be taken into consideration in all matters affecting them.


If you’re a child, parent or educator, have a look at It’s Your Right. You will find lots of information, videos and pictures about children’s rights for ages 4-17 and a game called ‘Rights Runner‘ to test what you know about children’s rights! 

Student Voice

The student Council will attend ECO UNESCO training on Tuesday next. 

Best wishes to Frank Duffy and Aodhán McCrudden who will visit Leinster House for a special Dail na nÓg event on Saturday.  The day is a celebration of 100 years of democracy in Ireland and the sitting of the first Dáil in 1919. Delegates will take up seats in the Dáil chamber and workshops will take place in the Committee Rooms.

The day will open with a celebratory opening ceremony, followed by workshops and a tour of the house for participating delegates. One of the most important parts of the day will be the vote on the work-plan on the theme of climate change for the incoming 2020-21 Comhairle na nÓg National Executive. The day will end with the vote and a closing ceremony.

Congratulations to Ellen Canavan who was one of nine speakers chosen from all over Ireland who took to the stage last week to share her experiences and views on climate change. The event took place on World Children’s Day. Ellen’s address can be seen on the ombudsman for children Facebook page or twitter. 

Green Schools Climate Action Plan

Climate Pledge

First-Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School highlighted the issue in the world with their ClimateAction pledge cards. 

Geography Department

Leaving Cert Geographical Investigation Study:

Fifty-five Leaving Cert Geography students recently carried out their field investigation study at Rossnowlagh beach. This year’s study focuses on the impact of geomorphic processes of transportation and deposition on the formation of Rossnowlagh beach. For the first time, our students have been using ArcGIS to record and map their data.


Abbey VS senior Geography students recently engaged in Geographical Investigation looking at the impact of #geomorphic #processes of #transportation & #deposition on the formation of Rossnowlagh Beach


ArcGIS for Schools:  Recently, our Geography Department signed up to participate in the ArcGIS for school’s initiative. A geographic information system (GIS) is a framework for gathering, managing, and analysing data. Rooted in the science of geography, GIS integrates many types of data. It helps to analyse spatial location and organise layers of information into visualisations using maps. With this unique capability, GIS should help our students gain deeper insights into data, such as patterns and relationships, and draw conclusions based on their results. In real-world scenarios, GIS helps a wide range of users to make smarter decisions about geographical situations such as planning, flooding, coastal erosion, agriculture, monitoring environmental change, housing, and population trends to name but a few.


All Leaving Cert students wishing to apply to CAO have been given the opportunity to register with CAO during careers class.  

  • HEAR & DARE – Leaving Cert students applying to HEAR & DARE should start on their application(s) immediately.  
  • NUI Galway are holding an Open Evening for Leaving Cert students in the Radisson Hotel, Letterkenny on Thursday, 05 December @ 7 p.m. See for further info
  • Career talks for Leaving Certs taking place in the school over the coming weeks:
    • Greencastle Fishery School: 04 Dec. @ 10.20 – 11.00
    • Donegal ETB Further Education & Training (FET): 20 Jan. @ 2.00 – 2.40
    • Work-Based Degree in Mechatronic Systems Engineering – IT Sligo: 29 Jan. @ 10.20
    • Maynooth University Open Day will take place on 29 Nov.
  • The Guidance department will bring 5th-year students to this event. The cost of the bus is €10, payable to Ms. Mc Morrow. The bus will depart the school @ 7 a.m., return to the school @ approx. 7 p.m.
  • Leaving Certs: 1-1 appointments are always available; speak to your Guidance  Counsellor for booking instructions.

Science Department

Practical work for two of our young Scientists Eadaoin Murphy and Shane Harvey has now commenced with trialing methods to extract the oil from seaweeds which will later be used on bacteria cultures to investigate their antimicrobial properties. There is also an upcoming visit to the Microbiology department of Letterkenny hospital who have very kindly agreed to assist Eadaoin and Shane with the growth of their bacterial cultures in the school laboratory.


Accountancy  & Business – Fifth Year Trip to Sligo I.T.


On Wednesday the 20th of November Fifth Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School visited the Sligo Institute of Technology with a view to studying Accountancy there.

image010-1.pngCongratulations to Katelyn Duffy who was the lucky winner of an iPad at the Accountancy Open Day in I.T. Sligo.

There are many courses available in the I.T. such as a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Accounting. This course offers one of the fastest routes to achieving a professional accounting qualification. This course is highly commended by all of the professional accountancy bodies. The key skills built into the course will mean you are well-grounded and prepared for a career in accountancy, or further study such as Business finance, accounting and reporting, Taxation, Business law, economics and human resource management.

Graduates from this stimulating and challenging course will be competent to work in the finance function of any organisation, large or small, both in Ireland and internationally. Many graduates will work in banking and financial services or may choose a teaching career; such is the broad range of options open to students.

Music Department

Our 2nd Year music classes will be singing on the Diamond for the Donegal Town Business Focus Group event on Friday next from 2pm to 3pm

We are preparing for the School Carol Service which will take place in the Church of Ireland, Donegal Town at 7pm on Wednesday 18th December.


The Music Dept is very busy preparing for the school musical West side story. Jets and Sharks are acting, singing and dancing, painting sets, recording, photographing, preparing for front of house, selling tickets… Every part of the show is being organised by the students. The words ‘I can’t sing/act/dance that were heard before auditions are notions of the past! Pictured are the pit singers from the show and Music Teacher Ms Doherty who rehearse daily at lunchtimes.

AVS Student Jack Lennox is holding guitar lessons in room 16 on Fridays.  These boys may be the future Rory Gallaghers and Jemi Hendrixes!!

Musical rehearsals every lunchtime and after school lunchtimes.

Abbey Vocational School LCA Students Christmas Card Competition


LCA Students have started their Christmas Card Initiative for 2019. Holding an art competition, picking a prize winner from the Abbey Vocational School Community and presenting the winning image on Christmas Cards for sale.


The Leaving Certificate Applied Programme aims to contribute towards the development of all aspects of the individual, including aesthetic, creative, critical, cultural, emotional, expressive, intellectual, for personal and home life, for working life, for living in the community and for leisure.


An example of the fantastic artwork submitted to the LCA Christmas Card Art Competition.

Leaving Certificate programme has particular emphasis on the preparation of students for the requirements of further education or training, for employment and for their role as participative, enterprising citizens. 

Drama Class 

Drama classes are continuing after school, with excellent work from a group of dedicated students. These pupils will be performing at the Donegal Schools Drama Festival in February, competing against all the other schools in Donegal. If you would like to be part of this project, please see Mr Donegan to join. No previous experience required. All pupils welcome.

First Years 

First year students had an assembly this week to highlight the importance of mobile phone and internet safety. Earlier in the year first years participated in an internet safety workshop from Zeeko. During this assembly we reminded students of the useful guidelines in this regard. First years were also reminded of the many clubs and sports that are ongoing on a weekly basis in AVS. Please remember students are always welcome to join. 

First Year students are continuing with their positive behaviour initiative – Student Journal of the Week. All students have been great so far this year in using their Journals to record their classwork and homework activities. 

This positive initiative gives us a chance to praise and reward those students who are doing so well in this area. Students have also been reminded that teachers will also write positive notes into the Student Journal to acknowledge the brilliant work that is being carried out in the classroom. This is only one of the many areas where we like to remind first years about how well they are setting in and to keep up the good work.


‘The Readathon’    The Readathon’ initiative is nearing its completion and Students are asked to bring in their Sponsorship Cards to their English Teachers. This initiative was an amazing opportunity for Students to engage and challenge themselves establishing a lifelong love of books all while raising funds for multiple sclerosis!

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 French Department   

Ce lundi 18 novembre était l’anniversaire du mouvement des gilets jaunes. Les gilets jaunes sont un mouvement contestataire qui se réunit tous les weekends depuis un an partout en France afin de manifester leur colère et de réclamer de meilleures conditions de vie pour les Français. Le mouvement ne fait cependant pas l’unanimité en France car les gilets jaunes se sont rendus coupables de nombreuses dégradations de biens publics.

Christmas Tests for 5th and 6th years 

The Christmas tests for 5th and 6th years will take place during the week from 2nd to the 6th of December. All students will receive a report home based on these results which account for 50% of the grade. The other 50% will come from ongoing formative and summative assessments over the term. 

Students in 1st, 2nd and 3rd year will receive a report home based on an average of class tests for the terms work as well as their ongoing JCT formative Assessment. All students will receive a report home at Christmas


Chess Club   The Chess Club has resumed on Mondays 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 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 helping Students with Maths.


LYIT Open Day    On Thursday TY students from the Abbey Vocational School visited LYIT’s Open Day, listening to inspiring course talks, taking part in workshops across all faculties and experienced the modern teaching space, labs & studios. Students benefited from speaking with lecturers one to one, asking questions and exploring the campus and having fun!

TY Mini Company TY students have been planning and researching their mini company ideas over the past few weeks. All students will present their ideas and their business plans during their in-class Dragons Den competition over the next few weeks, the winners from each class will then go up against the other class winners in the AVS Dragons Den final after Christmas.  There is a wide variety of ideas from all groups. Some of these ideas include personalised products such as t-shirts, string bags, football gloves, and Yearbook. Environmentally friendly products such as Pine cone crafts, reusable shopping bags, and metal straws. 


TY PE:  Our TY’s have started their Sports Leader training as part of the PE programme. This programme is run in conjunction with Donegal Sports Partnership. Through this course, students will learn and demonstrate important life skills such as effective communication and organisation, whilst leading basic physical and sports activities with younger students, their peers, and within primary schools in the community. The transferable skills learned will be useful in college, the workplace and life in general.

TY Coaching: A large number of transition years have volunteered to coach athletics on Thursday evenings. They will gain valuable experience coaching primary-school-age children for the year. They will also be responsible for organising various athletic events throughout the year. The first event that they will host is the Primary School Sportshall Athletics in December.

U16 Girls Football

U16 Girls

Our U16 girls took on Breifne College on Thursday morning in the freezing weather in Tir Chonaill Park. We started off to a brilliant start with Sofia Maziri scoring our first goal within the first ten minutes. It was a hard-fought game in midfield with Rachel Gallagher, Caolfhinn Deely and Caoimhe Greene competing for the ball and delivering it into the full-forward line. Breifne College fought back with great strength and skill to put them ahead by three goals and two points going into half time. Substitutes Aisling Murphy, Roisin Lynch, and Niamh McCauley made a big impact at the start of the second half and fought hard to reduce this lead. Ellen Canavan contributed to the scoreboard with two points before Ciara Cox put the ball in the back of the net. Aine Ward led by example in defense, she was strong in the tackle and turned over a lot of possession. That said, Breifne College managed to score another goal in the closing minutes of the game putting them ahead and sadly, leaving our U16`s defeated at the full time whistle.      

Congratulations to the AVS U16 girls football team on reaching the Ulster Preliminary Stage. We have had a couple of great wins this year and it was a great achievement to get to this stage.                 

  • Full-time score: Breifne College 6-5 Abbey Vocational School 3-6 

U20 Girls Football 


On Monday the 17 of November 2019, the U20 squad faced Dean Maguirc, Omagh. The game got underway at 12:10 with a strong starting lineup, in the first few minutes Hannah Crawford scored 2 great points as well

as an extra one from Caoimhe Walsh. In retaliation to the girl’s scores Omagh scored 3 points and a goal. The girls put up a great defence and at the end of the first half, the score was 0:03 to 2:07. The girls started the second half with their heads held high with a strong defensive and determined forwards the girls lined up. Omagh started scored but with the AVS girls’ strong defence they only managed to score 5 points. The girls worked the ball up the field and scored two-point one by Rachel Gallagher and again by Caoimhe

Walsh. In the 21st minute of the second half, Hannah Shallow scored a blinder of a goal, followed by a point by Aoife Greene. In the ending stages of the half Laoise McGonigle scored another fantastic goal. To end the game another point by Caoimhe Walsh to make the score at the end  2:7 to 2:13 to Dean Maguire, Omagh.


Our u16 girls basketball team fought for a place in this year’s cup All Ireland semi-final against a well organised Belfast side. 

The AVS girls dominated the boards in the first quarter with Ella McKinney taking some fantastic rebounds and l free throws scoring 8 points to put AVS in the lead.  The Belfast side hustled the girls in defense forcing some steals and scoring off the fast break. 

A full-court press from both sides from the off made this game one of high pace, transitioning from end to end. AVS settled into the game in the second half and took control of the game. With some great scores from Sophia Maziri, Emma Meehan, Sarah Donovan, and Katie Gillespie it was a team effort that won it out. AVS finished with a scoreline of 44 – 32.

This hardworking team will play in the All Ireland semi-final December 9th in university of Ulster Coleraine. 

U19B Girls Basketball  league vs Ballinamore

An experienced AVS side traveled to Ballinamore on Friday to play the North West Semi-Final.  The girls trailed by 6 points at the end of the first quarter struggling to make baskets.  Sophie Carr and Laoise Mc Gonigle fought hard under the boards making some great rebounds. Sophie Carr showed some great composure driving to the basket and making vital scores for the AVS side. 

The Ballinamore pressed the girls forcing some simple errors and took some easy scores. It was in the last quarter that the girls took control of the game.  With great defense from Lucy Mc Gowan, Sohpie Carr & Sarah Donovan the U19s turned the game around In the last 4 minutes. Sophie Carr scored 30 points out of 41 and lead the girls to take the victory over the Leitrim side. 

The regional final will take place in 2 weeks. AVS will play Colaiste Ailigh in the final.

MacLarnon Cup – Senior Boys Gaelic

  • Abbey Vocational School 1-12
  • Carndonagh Community School 3-9


The Abbey Senior footballers were in action again in the MacLarnon Cup on Thursday 21st November. This time the opposition was Carndonagh Community School. 

Thomas White opened the scoring for the Abbey in the 10th minute but Carndonagh responded quickly to level the game. Further points from Joe Campbell, Michael Coughlan (2) and 2 Thomas White frees put the Abbey into a 6-3 lead after 20 minutes. Two gilt-edged goal chances were missed which would have extended the Abbey advantage before Carndonagh rallied and hit 1-3 without reply to go ahead. Alex McCalmont hit the final point of the half to leave a two point gap between the teams at half time.  

Abbey started the second half brightly, reducing the deficit to one point within a minute of the restart via a Cian Rooney point and looked the better team at this stage. The dramatic second half was to be all about goal chances taken and goal chances missed. Carndonagh scored 2 goals in quick succession, the first from a debatable penalty, to knock the wind out of the Abbey boys sails.  

Despite this setback, the Abbey work rate was excellent and they played themselves right back into contention with points from Cian Rooney, Thomas White and a great goal from Michael Coughlan leaving only 3 points between the teams heading into the final minutes. In a tense finish, only a point-blank save from the Carndonagh goalkeeper prevented the Abbey grabbing what would have been a deserved share of the spoils with the last kick of the game. 

Great credit must go to the Abbey boys for their work rate and attitude on the day. Hopefully they can convert this to a victory the next day out against St. Columba’s.

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.

AVS Studending attending Gaelic Football training on Wednesday the 13th of November,

Lunchtime activities include football on the courts.

Activities for this term are as follows:


Day Event Teacher Venue


Girls Badminton 

(open to all students)

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
Sports Hall


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


Sports Team Coach Training time Venue
Athletics Mrs M Gallagher Tuesday

4pm – 5.30pm

Sports hall and track

1st & 2nd Year Boys 

Mr. P Mc Devitt, 

L. Gallagher,

(Mr. S Carty)


3.30 – 4.30 pm

Sports hall

Senior & U16 Boys

Mr. D Russell, 

S. Mogan, 

(Mr. S Carty)

Monday 4- 6pm Sports hall

1st & 2nd Year Girls 

Ms P Rooney,

Ms S Mogan


3.30pm – 4.30pm

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


3.30 – 4.45pm

School field / All weather pitch
Gaelic Boys 


Mr. L McLoone, 

Mr. C Monahan


4:10 – 5:10

School field / All weather pitch
Gaelic Boys 


Mr. B Carty, 

Mr. C Herron


3.30pm – 4.30pm

School field / All weather pitch
Girls Active Mrs. PA Gavigan, Mrs. R Myers Thursday 

3.30pm -4.30pm

Parish hall / Library
Soccer Boys – 1st yr  Mr S Devlin Tuesday

4pm – 5p2k8m

Soccer Boys – U15 Mr. I O’Mahony, 

Mr. L Gallagher


3.30pm -4.30pm

School field / All weather pitch
Soccer Boys – U17 Mr C Hegarty
Soccer Boys – Senior  Mr. G Gorman Wednesday

3.30pm – 4.30pm

Squash Mr I O’Mahony
Rowing Mr. S Maguire

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