Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 23rd Dec

Abbey Vocational School 16th- 20th December 2019

Nollaig Shona Daoibh

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all of our students, their families and the members of the school community a very happy and peaceful Christmas and New Year. We thank you all for your continued support throughout the year in making our school a positive learning environment for all. Thank you.

Incoming First years 2020.

Important Dates & Deadlines:

  • 16th December 2019:  Deadline for Application for Admission 2020/2021
  • 14th January 2020: Information Evening for 6th Class Parents in the AVS (7.00pm – 8.00pm)
  • 31st January 2020: Return of Subject Choice Form to ASV School office

Annual Carol Service

The annual Abbey Vocational Student Carol Service took place on Wednesday the 18th of December. The Music Department and all of the music students in the school performed what can only be described as an outstanding musical celebration of Christmas. The musicians were exceptional as were the vocal artists. Thanks to all those who performed on the night in the very atmospheric Church of Ireland Church. Thank you to all of those who came on the night and to those who contributed to our chosen charity this year – the Irish Kidney Association. €400 was collected on the night. Thank you to all of those who made this event so special- to the students, the music teachers – Ms Carr, Ms Mc Carthy and Ms ‘Doherty for all of their work in the planning of this event.

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Christmas Concert

The final day of term saw the entire school community gather together for the annual Christmas concert organised by the sixth year music students .

The concert featured students from all year groups who performed a variety of arrangements. The staff performed a lively number as did the leaving Cert boys! This event is one the students and staff look forward to each year and showcases so many of our talented artists.


St Vincent De Paul Collection:

image005Well done to the team of students and their teachers who organised a collection of hampers for the ST Vincent De Paul .Thank you to all those who donated to these hampers. They were delivered on Thursday last. It is so important that at this time of the year that we think of others.

Comórtas Cártaí na Nollag

Bhí Comórtas Cártaí na Nollag ar siúl sa scoil leis na daltaí sa Chéad Bhliain. Dhear siad cártaí Nollag.

Seo na buaiteoirí:

  • An chéad áit – Millie Hughes 1C
  • An dara háit – Gabriella Jose Irwin 1F
  • An tríú háit – Seoda Wang 1B
  • Maith sibh!! Comhghairdeas


First-Year Peer Mentors:

Ty Peer Mentors ran a quiz with the first years and presented the winners of the quiz their various prizes. Well done to all involved.


Music Trip to Dublin:


Third-year music classes attended a wonderful concert in the National Concert Hall given by the RTE National Symphony Orchestra. They met with Vincent Kennedy who directs the Donegal Youth Orchestra. Vincent’s arrangement of ‘The Little Drummer Boy’ which was performed in honour of retired CEO Mr. Sean O Longain, was performed by the NSO.

Congratulations to all of our students who performed this week with the Donegal Youth Orchestra and chamber group in the Grianan Theatre.

Juvenile Diversion Programme

On Monday the 16th of December the Abbey Vocational School welcomed Juvenile Liaison Officer Garda Yvonne Carlin to the school.


The Juvenile Diversion Programme is administered by specially trained Gardaí called Garda Juvenile Liaison Officers (JLO). These Gardaí are specially trained to deal with young people and their families in relation to crime-prevention, the operation of the diversion programme and all other areas involving young people and the criminal justice system. It aims to provide information about the dangers of drug misuse and the objectives were to provide information which enable people to make the right choices.

Donegal Youth Orchestra Annual Christmas Concert


Geoffrey Browne congratulates the Donegal Youth Orchestra and Choir after their wonderful performance at An Grianan Theatre in Letterkenny. Many students from the Abbey Vocational School took part. Well done to all!

National Gallery of Ireland


AVS senior Art students at the National Gallery of Ireland Friday the 13th of December.


A unique experience for Senior Cycle Art Students who embrace the imagery, symbolism, and wonder of the National Art Gallery!


AVS Students appreciate the aesthetics of the National Gallery of Ireland!


Emily Erskine, Nolwenn Ni Dhonnabhain and Saerlaith Lusson @ the National Gallery of Art.

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. 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.

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.


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.

Teaching & Learning: Introduction to Success Criteria.

In each class, students will hear about learning intentions. They may also hear teachers refer to Success Criteria. These are closely linked to learning intentions. (See Newsletter 16th Sept). Success criteria are designed by the teacher and/or the student and describe what success looks like. They help our students to make judgments about the quality of their learning.

In simple terms, success criteria are the things students need to do in order to make a piece of work, whether it be an essay, a project, a CBA or an exam answer, good!

For example, a learning intention might be: “To present a point of view in a persuasive manner”.

Success criteria for this learning intention might look like the following

  • I will begin with a good opening sentence.
  • I will present reasons and examples to back up my argument.
  • I will use emotive and persuasive language (such as ‘Surely’).
  • I will use humour, stories and/or questions to gain my audience’s attention.
  • I will conclude with a strong statement.


Students enjoying lunchtime Zumba in the library with Ms Kelly.


Student Voice

The Student Council have been working on a school questionnaire relating to Recycling in the school.  They will meet next week to finalise this and hope to gain information about attitudes, resources, and ideas.  Students are reminded to use the Student Voice box in the assembly area if they wish to bring anything to the attention of the council  and to keep an eye on the Student Voice Notice board.

Transition Year

Transition Year trip to Belfast

On Tuesday the 17th of December Transition Year Students from the Abbey Vocational School enjoyed an ice-skating trip to Belfast. A fantastic day for students to bond and create memories!

Work Experience

Last week Transition Year Students of the Abbey Vocational School left the nest and ventured into the realms of work experience. It is intended that the Transition Year should create opportunities to vary the learning environment and to dispel the notion that learning is something that happens only, or even most effectively, within the classroom. One of the ways of doing this, and of providing an orientation towards the world of work, is to include a component of actual work experience.

TY Upcoming events:

Over the next few months our TY students will take part in many activities, a sample of some of these activities and listed below:

  • Public Access To Law course
  • Killybegs Tourism College taster day
  • Tourism Training Programme
  • First Response Course
  • Healthy Life Programme
  • Balmoral Shows
  • Lough Key Maths Trip
  • CSI Workshop
  • Make up workshop
  • Personal Presentation Workshop
  • Ambulance crew visit and defib overview
  • Internet Safety video production workshops
  • Basketball table officiating course and Basketball coaching course
  • Architect in-school programme
  • Homeless workshop
  • Young Social Innovators competitions and attendance at event
  • PE Expo
  • ETB Awards
  • Sports Leaders
  • GAA Future Leaders
  • Drama Production



Well done to our Sportshall Athletics teams who competed in the Regional finals in Glenties on Monday. Our girl’s team finished second and the boys team was third on the day.

Training for all athletics continues after the Christmas holidays.

Our Cross country team will begin their season in February at the Ulster Schools district competition.



U16 Girls Basketball Cup Final

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

Team: Sophie Carr, Amy Gardner, Amy Carr, Emily Gallagher, Katie Gillespie, Shauna Doherty, Sophia Maziuri, Sarah Donovan, Rosin Gillespie, Emma Meehan, Orlaith Conaghan, Ellie Timoney, Ella Mc Kinney

All Ireland U 16 Girls All Ireland League Playoffs

We have been successful in our application to host the u16 all Ireland playoffs. This will take place in our gym on January 10th, 10am – 4pm. This will feature teams from the various provinces coming together to play each other in tournament style to establish which team goes forward to the ALL Ireland league final.


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 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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