Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 16th Dec

Abbey Vocational School 9th-15th December 2019 

AVS Open Day!


Welcoming staff:  Vice Principal Michael Leyden, Mr Pauric O’Donnell, Mr Eamonn Griffin & Vice Principal Ronan Doherty.


SNA Anne McArdle, daughter and friends enjoying the night.


Luke Kelly & Co. providing entertainment on the night!

Abbey VS, Donegal are Loch an Iuir Champions after battle with Carrickmacross!


Abbey Vocational School, Donegal are Loch an Iuir Cup champions after a hard-fought win over Patrician High School, Carrickmacross at Bawnboy, Cavan. The Final Score Abbey VS, Donegal 2-6 Patrician, Carrickmacross 1-6. For a full match report see the AVS Newsletter Sports Section.

Cártaí Nollag 

Cártaí Nollag a rinne na ranganna Gaeilge sa chéad bhliain atá crochta sa halla tionóil. Nach bhfuil siad galánta! Christmas cards that the 1st year Irish classes designed that are on display in the school assembly. Aren’t they great!


Cártaí Nollag sa halla tionoil!


Cártaí Nollag!

LCA Christmas Competition Winner!


LCA1 student John Connolly presents 3rd year student Niamh Downey with the prize for her winning design in this year’s LCA1 Christmas card competition. All profits from the enterprise go to MSDonegal.

Science Department

The young scientists have had another busy week experimenting and carrying out surveys. Also their young scientist write-ups have begun in earnest with each group working hard on their planning, methodology and experimental write ups.

Can education reduce the use of single use plastics? by Jane  Faulkner, Erin Britton and Ciara Friel

Almost 200 students are currently undertaking the education programme designed by the group and Science teachers are now conducting control group surveys. All going well the girls will have approximately 200 students in both categories and larger sample sizes like these will help to eliminate bias in their results.

Flax as an alternative to heavy-duty plastic strapping by Ella Doherty and Ailbhe Loughney

Both girls are away on work experience this week but they have arranged a visit to LYIT on December 18th to carry out their prototype strength tests.

Antimicrobial Seaweeds by Eadaoin Murphy and Shane Harvey

image008Eadaoin and Shane have been busy in the lab extracting seaweed extracts from six test species. They have grown their bacterial monocultures from slope agar stock solutions, first on blood agar supplied by the Microbiology lab in Letterkenny hospital and then secondly on nutrient agar to test the effect of the seaweed extracts on bacterial growth. So far their results are in line with their research, as the seaweeds extracts are only proving effective on gram positive bacteria. The picture below shows how effective three types of seaweed extract are on the growth of Staphylococcus aureus, a gram positive bacteria and a known human pathogen.

Donegal ETB

Yesterday the AVS were honoured to be able to host County Donegal ETB. Here are some pictures from the event.


Noreen McGarvey, John Seamus O’Fearraigh and Board Members.


The Principal of the Abbey Vocational School, Geraldine Diver with Donegal ETB members.


Members of the Donegal ETB.


Head Girl, Lucy, presenting the CEO of Donegal ETB, Anne McHugh, with gifts to mark the AVS hosting the Christmas meeting of Donegal ETB.


Head boy, Darragh Griffin presenting Chairperson Geoffrey Browne of the Donegal ETB with gifts to mark the AVS hosting the Christmas meeting of Donegal ETB.


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 some time 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.

Donegal Enterprise Awards


’Tweedelicious’ Sorcha Walsh, Summer Mae Kerr, Aoife Cox, Lucy Campbell, Amy McGroary and Christina Gysling receiving their award at the Donegal Enterprise Awards.

image015“Tweedelicious” is a hard working group of first year girls – Sorcha Walsh, Summer Mae Kerr, Aoife Cox, Lucy Campbell, Amy Mc Groary and Christina Gysling.

The company used cutoffs of tweed from both Magees and Hanna Hats factories and upcycled 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!

‘Tweedilicious’ and their innovative product!


Aodhan Mc Crudden, Luke Kelly and Cormac Mac Suibhne receiving their business enterprise awards!

Growth” was  run by three 4B enterprising students, Aodhán Mc Crudden, Luke Kelly and Cormac Mc Suibhne, Growth is dedicated to promoting greener and more environmentally friendly garden products. The boys 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.


Ms Gordon receiving recognition for the support, enthusiasm and guidance given to the Award-winning AVS Students.


Aware Positive Mental Health Programme

Thank you to Margaret Gilbert from Aware for delivering an excellent workshop on positive mental health to TYB students over the last 4 weeks. There are eight modules in total delivered over the four sessions and the programme includes the following topics:

Mock Interviews for Leaving Certificate Students

On Tuesday the 10th of December Leaving Certificate Students from the Abbey Vocational School took part in mock interviews.

A mock interview is an emulation of a job interview used for training purposes. The conversational exercise usually resembles a real interview as closely as possible, for the purpose of providing experience for a candidate.

Many thanks to those who helped set up the interview process in particular the Parents Association and the Career Guidance Department. A special thanks to Bridin Jordan and Patrice Duffy. Thanks also to the large gathering of people from the local community who came to share their expertise and who put the willing candidates through their paces! This experience is invaluable to Students of the Abbey Vocational School Community as successful performance at a job interview is a life skill that is a necessity for the future!

Leaving Cert Business Trip to Coca Cola Headquarters

On Thursday the 12th of December Abbey Vocational School Leaving Cert Students travelled to Coca Cola’s Headquarters in Lisburn.

Coca Cola has a strong heritage across Ireland and Northern Ireland and has been refreshing local consumers for over 75 years. Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland Limited is located in Huntstown Business Park, Ballycoolin, Dublin 11 with a staff of more than 300 in the Republic of Ireland and 450 in Northern Ireland.

As a major employer across the island of Ireland and a global brand, Coca Cola contribute more than £10 million to the local economy through their supply chain.


AVS Business Students enjoying their trip to Coca Cola!

Music Trip for 3rd year Music classes to National Concert Hall

A very early start for 3rd year music trip to national concert hall. On Thursday the 12th of December Students from the Abbey Vocational School enjoyed a trip to the National Concert Hall.

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, John Finucane, conductor.Simon Morgan, baritone. Presented by Liz Nolan, RTÉ lyric fm. Programme includes; Korngold  The Snowman Overture, Davis Kennedy  The Little Drummer Boy, Rebikov  Christmas Tree Waltz, Kelehan  A Christmas Fantasy, Tormé arr. Riddle  The Christmas Song, Morley  Snowride, Anderson  Sleigh Ride , Williams  ‘Harry’s Wondrous World’ from Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.


There’s a snow-covered world of enchantment to be explored in the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra’s second Christmas lunchtime concert as, with the able assistance of RTÉ lyric fm’s Liz Nolan presenting live on stage, it takes a musical sleigh ride into seasonal magic and fantasy. The Overture to the 11-year-old Korngold’s lush and luxurious ballet-pantomime The Snowman is as delightfully animated as the story it tells of merry-making and mischief. Going to the very heart of the Christmas story, Katherine Kennicott Davis’ The Little Drummer Boy (first recorded by the Trapp Family Singers) is a touching tale of a child ushered into the Nativity where he offers the new-born Christchild the only gift he has: a gently stirring march played on his drum


Third Year Music students pictured with Vincent Kennedy and his wife Grainne.

Vincent Kennedy is the musical director of the Donegal Youth Orchestra.  The Waltz from Vladimir Rebikov’s opera The Christmas Tree and Noel Kelehan’s A Christmas Fantasy are altogether bewitching concoctions, one blending the fantasy of Hans Christian Andersen and lilting romance of Johann Strauss, the other a gorgeous traditional take on seasonal themes. Better known as Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, Bob Wells and Mel Tormé’s The Christmas Song is a beautifully relaxed meditation on the wonder, comfort, excitement and joy of Christmastime for the child in all of us. Angela Morley’s evocative Snowride and Leroy Anderson’s jaunty, perennially popular Sleigh Ride offer two carefree opportunities to glide and canter through snowy landscapes as Christmas Day gets ever closer. There’s a Christmas magic and message, too, in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone, the tale of an orphaned wizard using his new-found powers for good that captured the imagination of a young readers and film-goers everywhere. ‘Harry’s Wondrous World’ thrillingly opens up a vast vista of adventure and fantasy.


A wonderful experience for the Abbey’s third year students at the National Concert Hall

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.


  1. A HEAR & DARE information event will take place on Saturday, 11 January 2020; 10.00 – 2.00 in LYIT & IT Sligo
  2. Thank you to all the interviewers who interviewed our Leaving Certs during the Mock Interview night on Tuesday of last week. Thank you also to the Parents Association who put a great amount of time and effort into organising the event.
  3. Career talks for Leaving Certs taking place in the school in the new year:
  • 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
  1. Keep an eye on our regularly updated Guidance website. Go to – click on the Guidance logo.

National Art Gallery

Fifth and Sixth Year Leaving Cert Students enjoyed a visit to the National Gallery Art Gallery in Dublin on Friday the 13th of December.

The National Gallery of Ireland (Irish: Gailearaí Náisiúnta na hÉireann) houses the national collection of Irish and European art. It is located in the centre of Dublin. It was founded in 1854 and opened its doors ten years later. The Gallery has an extensive, representative collection of Irish paintings and is also notable for its Italian Baroque and Dutch masters painting. The current director is Sean Rainbird.

Discover the untold stories of the Pre-Raphaelite Sisters. 170 years after the first pictures were exhibited by the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood in 1849, Pre-Raphaelite Sisters, explores the overlooked contribution of twelve women to this iconic artistic movement. Featuring new discoveries and unseen works from public and private collections across the world, this show reveals the woman behind the pictures and their creative roles in Pre-Raphaelite’s successive phases between 1850 and 1900.

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.


Abbey VS, Donegal are Loch an Iuir Champions after battle with Carrickmacross!


The game was played in two halves that were completely different. The first was in driving wind and rain and Abbey had to face that while the second was much calmer. Two goals inside a minute early in the second half turned the game in Abbey’s favour and they showed commendable maturity to play out the game as both sides tired in the conditions. In truly awful weather, Abbey played against the elements in the first half and but for a blimp just before half-time they coped really well with a more physical Carrickmacross side.


Proud Coaches Pauric O’Donnell and Stuart McFadden.

By the 11th minute the Monaghan side were three points to the good, a free from Conor Burns on five minutes followed by a good point from Conaill Marry on eight minute, while Burns added another free on 11 minutes.But the Donegal boys would keep them scoreless, until the final minutes of the half. Gradually they found their way into the game and after Seanan Carr won a kick out Aaron McGrory got them on the board on 16 minutes.Seanan Carr added a second six minutes later and with five minutes to go to the break Ruairi McLaughlin created an opening for Daniel McIntyre to level matters.But disaster struck in a period of 60 seconds as Patrician hit 1-2 in lightning quick time. Jack McNally lofted a point and from the kick-out McNally won possession and found Michael Og Tierney in space in front of the goal and he found the net. Almost immediately Gareth Crawford added another to put Carrickmacross 1-5 to 0-3 ahead.


But Abbey responded magnificently. Seanan Carr pulled a point back and then won the kick-out to cut through and he was hauled down just outside the area. From the free Daniel McIntyre left just a goal between the sides at the break, Patrician, Carrickmacross 1-5, Abbey VS 0-5.  Whatever was said in the Abbey dressing room at half-time had the desired effect as they started the second half really well. The wind and rain disappeared and a calm seemed to come over the well-appointed venue. Ruairi McLaughlin cut through to hit a point and reduce the margin.  Aaron McGrory set up a goal chance for Seanan Carr, now operating at full-forward, but Carr’s palmed effort was tame.  But then Abbey hit two goals on the 39th and 40th minutes. The first was a little fortunate as a Ruairi McLaughlin free went all the way to the Carrickmacross net. And then Kevin Muldoon did well on the endline and his cross was thundered home by Seanan Carr for a 2-6 to 1-5 lead.  Abbey kept Carrickmacross at arm’s length but they failed to add to their tally. Padhraic Corrigan came forward from corner-back to hit Carrickmacross’s only point of the half on 47 minutes. With four minutes left Oisin Mogan burst through but saw his shot come back off the crossbar and the losers went back up the field looking for the equalising goal. However, the Abbey defence stood strong and held on to the finish.  The Final Score Abbey VS, Donegal 2-6 Patrician, Carrickmacross 1-6.

ABBEY VS: Seoirse Flaherty; Ryan Kennedy, John Bell, Leo McGowan; Donal Gallagher, Oisin Mogan, Callum McCrea; Ruairi McLaughlin (1-2,f,1-0,f), Johnathan O’Driscoll; Kevin Muldoon, Seanan Carr (1-1), Daniel Coughlan; Aaron McGrory (0-1), Daniel McIntyre (0-2,1f), David Monaghan. Subs: Turlough Carr for Daniel Coughlan 45.

PATRICIAN, CARRICKMACROSS: Ronan O’Reilly; Padhraic Corrigan, Osin Finnegan, Oisin Flanagan; Colin Murphy, Tomas Quinn, Eoghan Farrelly; Pakie Buck Doogan, Darren McNally; Conor James, Conaill Marry, Jack McNally; Michael Og Tierney, Conor Burns, Gareth Crawford,

REFEREE: John Emmo (Cavan)

U16 Girls Basketball

Congratulations U 16 girls basketball team who are now through to All Ireland Finals after their win! Well done to Ms O Mahoney & Stephen the coaches.


The AVS U16 Girls Basketball Team.


Congratulations to the U16 Girls Basketball Team!

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.Lunchtime activities include football on the courts.

Gaelic Football practice on Wednesdays @ lunchtime.

Girls Get Active

We have many activities during lunchtime and after school for girls. We would encourage everyone to get out and get active. This is an excellent opportunity for girls to get physically active as well as socialise and make new friends. Come and try a new sport if you haven’t been there before.

Activities taking place are:

  • First Year Girls Unihoc – Monday & Friday at lunchtime in the sportshall.
  • Girls Gaelic – Monday from 4pm – 5pm in the school field.
  • Athletics for All – Tuesday from 4pm – 5.30pm in the sportshall.
  • Girls Zumba – Wednesday at lunchtime in the library.
  • Girls Dance club – Thursday at lunchtime in the sportshall.
  • Girls Basketball – Thursday from 3.30pm – 5pm in the sportshall.
  • I Run for Fun – Wednesday & Thursday at lunchtime on the school track.

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