Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 7th Dec 2020

30/11/2020 to 06/12/2020

Christmas 2020

This year the Abbey Vocational School has embraced the spirit of Christmas with even more gusto than ever before!

With beautiful decorations adorning the AVS building in the spirit of joy and happiness in the run up to Christmas!

Parent Teacher Meetings

In light of the current restrictions on face to face meetings, we are not in a position to facilitate Parent/Teacher Meetings during this time.  Following direction from the DES, our plan is to send out a progress report from all subject teachers to you as parents on VSware on the following dates. The 6th year students have at this point received their progress report. The 3rd year progress reports will be available at the end of next week.

        Short Progress Reports in place of PTMs
Year GroupReleased to parents on 
6th 19th November 
3rd 4th December 
1st 15th January 
5th / TY/ LCA1  29th January 
2nd 11th February 


In the coming weeks we are hoping to design and publish the AVS Cookbook, just in time for Christmas as that extra little stocking filler! We want to gather as many recipes as possible from students, parents, staff and past students, as well as some favourites from local chefs.  If you have a delicious recipe you want to share please contact Ms. Mulhern for more information on this exciting project

Career Guidance

  1.  CAO 2021 opened on 05 November.  Leaving Certs can apply during Guidance class with their Guidance Counsellor.
  • HEAR & DARE is now open for applications. This was explained during Guidance class.  The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available to discuss further.
  • UCAS applicants are encouraged to complete all parts of their application ASAP. The student’s Guidance Counsellor is available throughout the week to meet and discuss the application and will support the student throughout the process.
  • 1-1 appointments for Leaving Certs are available throughout the week; speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction. 
  • Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.  The noticeboard has a number of important notices for Leaving Certs.

December Exams

Whole school exams will run during the week of 7th to 11th of December – please see the timetable below. These exams will provide an excellent opportunity for students and parents/guardians to gauge progress.

AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021

The Abbey Vocational School will present AVS Virtual Lip Sync Battle 2021. 

This will give our students and staff the chance to showcase their talents while having a bit of fun at the same time. 

The finale will take place on the 29th of January 2021. Everyone who gets involved will be in with a chance to win prizes. On the night there will be Celebrity Judges, Novelty Acts and our final will be streamed online! 

There will be prizes for the best tutor groups, year group and the overall winner of the event. 

The entry fee will be €5 for an individual act or €10 for a group act. 

If you have any enquiries please contact Ms Rooney & Ms Kelly. 

Please sign up by emailing by Tuesday 1st of December. Join in and get involved in the fun!

 Leaving Cert Evening Study 

The second term of after school study has commenced and will continue until the 18th December. This is currently at full capacity for this term but a third term will commence after Christmas. The form will be distributed in December for this session. It is a great opportunity for students to study in a quiet supervised environment. 

Incoming students 2021/2022

The following updated form was distributed to 6th class students. Please provide us with the required information by either emailing the office at or alternatively complete the link provided in the form (at the bottom of the following form)

Enrollment Google Form link for you to complete and submit back to us.

Get Fresh Canteen 

The canteen is now Exclusively Cashless. Students are able to pre-order and pre-pay for their meals on This also applies to bottles of water. At the moment you do not need to put money onto the cashless card as all orders are paid for by using your Debit/Credit Card when you have placed your order. However, you do need the cashless card number as part of the pre-ordering process. 

First Year and Second year positive behaviour Christmas Raffles

As part of our drive to recognise and celebrate some of the positive behaviour displayed by our first and second year students we are pleased to announce we will be holding Christmas raffles for both year groups in the last week of term. For every 3 positive behaviour points each student has they will receive 1 raffle ticket entry. Prizes include vouchers for local shopping and a brand new unisex mountain bike for each year group!

Covid – 19

We would like to thank all our school community for their diligence in adhering to protocols regarding Coronavirus. As we are in Level 5 of the Government’s Plan for Living with Covid – 19 and we would ask everyone to strictly adhere to HSE guidelines regarding social distancing and hand hygiene. 

The AVS are operating an ‘If  Unwell,  Stay  at  Home’ policy. Should a  member  of  our community  experience  any  of  the  symptoms  of  Covid-19  –  Cough, high  temperature,  shortness  of  breath, difficulty  breathing,  that  member  of  our  community must stay at home  and  seek  appropriate medical  intervention.  

School Uniform

Peter’s Man Shop is open daily from 12 to 3 and The Uniform Shop is open on certain days each week. This information does change weekly but up-to-date information is available from 074-9723513. The school fleece is available to buy in both stores and with the weather getting colder it will be a welcome addition to the school uniform for the students. 


We have purchased a new app which is user friendly and will make communication of attendance notes from parents / guardians to the school much simpler and easier for all! 

The parent/ guardian can record the explanation for this absence online by using our new school app or their own digital device – computer Ipad etc. Please see

for a guide to downloading and installing the VSware app. 

Please ensure that the absence reason is recorded/inputted by the parent/guardian only so that it does not lead to any confusion. 

At the moment we are only recording full day absence on the app. If your son/daughter needs to sign out (eg, for a dental/medical appointment) then they must continue to use the diary for this as is the procedure at the moment where the note is signed by the Deputy Principal and then the student signs out at the office.

BTYS 2021- A closer look

The aim of my project is to make a biodegradable, reusable plastic coffee cup lid. I have come up with this idea because after lockdown my mother purchased a take away coffee and the assistant touched the coffee lid when they were placing it on the cup and passing it to my mother. Additionally the lid cracked when we got back to the car showing that the current non-biodegradable and non-reusable coffee lids are not fit for purpose and given the new coronavirus environment a self applied lid that is also biodegradable seems like a good alternative. 

In developing this project idea, I first conducted research into the types of coffee cups lids currently available paying particular attention to dimensions and sizing of the coffee cup lid. I then sourced as many examples as possible and tested them all to see which gave the best fit on different types of disposable cups. After a couple of rounds of testing at full and half capacity, I found a lid that was the best fit for the various types of disposable cups and I based my prototype on this optimum design. I then had to figure out how to make my lids. After some internet research I leant that Computer aided design can be used to develop plastic injection moulds and that the mould could be used to make my coffee cup lid. I then researched local companies to see if any of them would be able to help me develop a mould that I could then use with my biodegradable plastic to create a prototype.

The work I have carried out so far includes using cornstarch, glycerol and sodium hydroxide to create a biodegradable plastic. I worked through several recipes until I had a reasonably flexible material. I also contacted a local company, Moll Industries Ireland, initially to seek advice on how to develop a mould for my coffee cup lid prototype. Moll industries Ireland produce a wide range of medical and pharmaceutical devices using injection mould technology. They suggested that I use a 3D printer to create my mould and they directed me to SCSCI Works who gave me lots of advice on using a 3D printer to create a heat resistant mould for my coffee cup lid.  After this initial consultation I then constructed a plan of my coffee cup lid on paper detailing the dimensions and optimum sizing of my coffee cup lid. I then brought these drawings back to Moll Industries Ireland and they drew up an electronic plan on Solid Works using my paper plan.

My initial prototype from my 3 D mould is quite a rigid plastic and it is not easy to put it on the disposable cups. So now I am working on increasing the flexibility of the plastic that I will make the lid out of so that it is easier to attach and remove from the disposable cups” By Grace Masterson. 


A look at Study Planning

Christmas house-exams are approaching. Shortly after the Christmas holidays, Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Mock Examinations will quickly draw near.

Juggling your classes, homework, and other commitments such as extracurricular activities and sport, managing your time to study can be challenging. An effective way to achieve your own learning goals is to implement a study plan. There are many ways to plan your study, from monthly, weekly or daily timetables, priority lists, and checklists. However, do not get overwhelmed in trying to perfect the ideal plan! One key advantage of a study plan is that it will help you to avoid stress in that you will have a clear plan of what you will be doing each week.

Two useful approaches include:

  1. A Weekly Study Timetable will outline specific times for study and when you need to take time off.
  2. A Subject Planner will provide you with an overview of what is needed in a particular subject.

Weekly Study Timetable

Creating a weekly study timetable is one of the most important things you can do to study effectively. With the aid of a template:

  1. Shade-in times for extracurricular activities such as sport, music lessons, gym etc.
  2. Shade-in the times you really don’t want to study!
  3. Pick the times you will study
  4. Write in the subjects you will study in each available time slot.

There are many templates and even apps available online, however, we have placed an editable MS Word Version on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website for handiness. A link is also available on the digital version of this week’s newsletter. 

Subject Planner

The subject planner will contain a list of all the topics in that subject and will provide you with a broad outline of what needs to be done. Your teacher may provide this list and in some subjects, the chapters of your textbook are also useful. Alternatively, many of the exam papers contain ready-made topic lists. You might also add a column in your plan to rate the difficulty of each topic in order to identify topics requiring further revision. Once again, we have placed an MS Word template on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website. (

Some further points to note:

  1. Creating a lovely colour-coded plan in an Excel spreadsheet or MS Word document is all well and good, but if you can’t see it on a daily basis, it can easily start to slip your mind. Either write or print it out and stick it up on the wall at home or around your desk to remind you what you are due to cover each week.
  2. Discover what works for you. Keep your plan flexible. If you have scheduled an hour of study at 8 pm every evening but find you are not being productive, then make a change. For example, try getting up an hour earlier to see if morning-study works better for you.
  3. Break subjects/topics down into small chunks. Assess how familiar you are with each topic and focus on your weak areas.
  4. Wellbeing: It is important to take regular breaks when you are studying to ensure you don’t burn out. Include 5- or 10-minute breaks in your study plan; It is also important to make time for the things you like to do such as meeting with friends, going for walks, running, cycling, etc. Ultimately, this will better prepare you mentally to achieve your study goals. Well-balanced meals and adequate sleep are also vital.….. And finally, don’t get disheartened if you break the timetable! Forget about it and focus on the plan for the following day.

A look at Study Planning Apps

In addition to our Study Plan templates referred to in last week’s newsletter, many student study planning apps are becoming increasingly popular.

As well as saving on paper, many student planner apps also send reminders and alerts straight to your phone or device. Three such apps include ‘Timetable’, “iStudiez” and ‘Todoist’

‘Timetable’ is an intuitive app on Google Play for managing your study planning. Students can save their timetable and all tasks from homework to exams. You only need to enter them once because Timetable syncs across all your Android devices. 

iStudiez allows students not only to create a study timetable but also tracking of daily tasks, upcoming homework assignments and project deadlines. It is available for iOS, Android and Windows platforms.

Todoist is a planner and to-do list all in one, and is widely used by business executives as a project planner, Todoist is an app that can carry you through school and beyond.

Although you can pay to upgrade, the free version offers more than most students are likely to need. Todoist includes several student friendly features:

  • Jot down important details or things to do before you forget them
  • Set up projects for each class and any other activities or extracurricular activities you partake in. 
  • Add “next action” items, so you can always be looking ahead to your next assignment
  •  Check items off your list without losing them for good


Preparations for  our Virtual Christmas Event – A Christmas Light which will replace our usual Carol Service are underway and will be coming soon!

Thank you to everyone who submitted a video for our Christmas Virtual Choir Video, we are looking forward to showcasing the end result before Christmas!

Coirnéal na Gaeilge

I mbliana, tá an scoil ag glacadh páirte i mBliain na Gaeilge atá á reachtáil ag Bord Oideachais agus Oiliúna Éireann. Tá coiste curtha le chéile sa scoil againn, le daltaí ó gach rang idirbhliana. Go dtí seo, ghlac daltaí idirbhliana páirt i dtráth na gceist le Feachtas agus a d’eagraigh An Máistir Mac Pháidín. Tá tús curtha le nuachtlitir Ghaeilge agus tá go leor á phleanáil don chuid eile den bhliain fosta. 

Mar a deir an seanfhocal: ‘Beatha teanga í a labhairt’ ☘️

Na srianta Covid 19 sa scoil:

Bainimid úsáid as maisc agus fainimid dhá mhéadar óna chéile. Ag am sosa agus am lóin, téann gach duine go dtí a mbunsheomraí. Tá córas aon-treorach i bhfeidhm sa scoil freisin. Faigheann gach duine aer úr ag amanna difriúla i rith an lae freisin. Caithfimid a bheith airdeallach san am i láthair – ‘ní neart go cur le chéile’.


Foroige Amplify workshop

“On Thursday December 3rd my class of 4B went to the parish hall to attend our final foroige workshop. We have enjoyed these workshops since the beginning of the school year, every Thursday morning. The workshop focuses on two different topics, leadership and empathy. Throughout the weeks we’ve spoken about empathy as well as practicing our leadership skills as a class. 

On the 3rd of December we started our workshop with a quick game, as an icebreaker, we stood in a line and we had to mime an action to each other and try to end up with the same action at the end of the line as the one that started off the line. After this we did a leadership exercise where we listed items in a list of importance if we were stuck on the moon. We had a balloon race after this. We were in two teams and had to race against one another holding a balloon between our knees. This was fun, my team won the first race but lost the second. As it was our final week we did a Kahoot with questions about leadership throughout it. I really enjoyed these foroige workshops and I’ll miss having these on a Thursday morning each week”. Lauren Drury.

Yoga Workshop

This week the AVS Transition Year Students enjoyed an exhilarating Yoga Session. The benefits of yoga include: increased flexibility, increased muscle strength and tone. Also, improved respiration, energy and vitality maintaining a balanced metabolism and weight reduction. As well and mental health and wellbeing benefits!

Makeup Workshop

This week Transition Year Students were treated to a Personal Presentation and Makeup Master Class. Manager of the Marine Spa Karla Lacey treated Students to a master class in makeup, skincare and the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

Transition Year Students were educated on the benefits of a healthy eating and fitness regime, drinking lots of water and on prepping the skin. Students gained invaluable tips and information and were treated to a step by step guide on how to apply foundation, eye shadow, lipstick and blush. 

Zumba Workshop

Transition Year Students enjoyed the exhilarating & inclusive Zumba Workshop with Ms Kelly this week, in the Parish Hall. Zumba is an aerobic fitness programme featuring movements inspired by various styles of Latin American dance and performed primarily to Latin American dance music. It is a great way to keep fit and healthy and there was a fantastic uptake on the initiative – well done to all students involved! 

TY School Digital Champion

The Programme aims to promote digital adoption and encourage the productive use of technology by students. Our school has selected a team of 5 students to act as leaders/role models in completing a project showing how technology can be used to find a solution to day to day problems. 

Sarah Donovan, Odhran Gallagher, Matthew McGroary, Matthew Byrne and Eoin Meehan have been selected from AVS. The students can look forward to training and workshops on video editing, web design, coding and App design, as well as on communications and presentation skills. Also included are workshops on coding with microbits and an introduction to infographics. We look forward to seeing this project develop over the next few months. Many thanks to Mr. O’Mahony on facilitating this project going forward.

TY Enterprise Christmas Market

Covid-19, Lockdowns, zero Christmas Markets and Craft Fairs weren’t enough to stall our enterprising 2020 Transition Year students!

They have been busy creating products.

Welcome to our virtual Xmas market. Browse the following pages and see if anything catches your eye

Brian’s Cool Coasters

Customised, one of a kind cool coasters can be ordered now as a wonderful Christmas present for someone special!         

Clean Green is a sustainable and cruelty-free handmade soap business

We are selling high quality scented soaps for €4 each or 3 for €10

A third of our profits will also be going to a local charity –  Animals In Need 

Contact info: @CleanGreenSoaps on Instagram 



Gone Haywire

We make handmade framed Wire Art with designs such as

  • Silhouettes
  • Flowers 
  • Symbols i.e coffee cups 
  • Words and/or phrases

 All are decorated with elements of nature, watercolour and other materials

We are raising awareness of climate change through our designs. We are giving a % of our profits to a non-profitable organisation called “Start the Wave” focused on creating positive waves in communities all over the world who are in need.

For more information Contact:

Large Frames : €22.00            Small Frames : €15.00

Irish Tweedscapes

 Irish Tweedscapes specialises in unique hand – crafted Magee Tweed frames, capturing the heritage of our country. 

Price- €15

For more information or to place an order contact me through my email address: — 

Calm Bam

The BAM that Calms

€3 for one unit 

Two units for €5

No one likes stress do they? Unless you’re rare.

“Calm Bam” is a panic or stress reliever. 

It is made up of essential calming oils such as: rosemary, chamomile and lemon. You apply this balm to your pressure points – wrist, neck, under your nose.Calm Bam” contains: Sweet almond, coconut oils blended with chamomile, rosemary, lavender and geranium essential oils and beeswax pellets.

Contact: for further information  

G&C Sweets are selling small paper bags filled with sweets and chocolat

They are the perfect stocking filler or treat for everyone

€2 each

Contact us through Instagram; @gandcsweets 

Sweetie Cones

€2 or 3 for €5.These delicious treats are filled with a variety of sweets!

Candy Cracker 

At €2.50 these are great stocking fillers and fit the Christmas theme perfectly – filled with delicious chocolates!

Hot Chocolate Bomb 

At €3.50 or 4 for €12, these are delicious and are made with quality ingredients to maximise flavour. Watch as you put them into a mug of hot milk. The marshmallows and hot chocolate powder inside burst out in an explosion like fashion. They come in a variety of flavours such as classic milk chocolate, salted caramel and more.  You can find more about the prices, products and order/contact me on facebook “Bombs Away Donegal

Hello my name is Enda McGready and my company is called “Pretty Plaques.”

I make high quality wooden plaques that are customisable and environmentally friendly 

Only €15 a plaque

Here is a sample product:-


False eyelashes in multiple styles. All packages put together by hand. Lashes range from natural to as big and fluffy as you’d like. They come in a goody bag with sweets and accessories 🙂

€5 per pack 

Contact us: 

Bree’s Homemade Creations 

Made By Bree Hanna 

For my mini company I am making handmade personalised decorations and gifts

  • Personalised hanging ornaments – €5 each or 5 for €20
  • Let it Snow hanging ornaments – €4
  • Oh Holy Night or ant personalised picture – €12

Snowman, small €3 big €5

Santa’s €3.50 each 

Reindeer €12

Log €10

Log with candles €15

To order contact Emma Meehan TYA


Lunchtime Activities 2020

Students  in  the  Junior  years  who  remain  on  the  premises  at  lunchtime  in  addition  to  their  walks will have the activities at lunchtime. Thank you to all the teachers who have volunteered to help run such a large programme.

Our activities programme will run for all junior years from Tuesday, 29th September. All activities will be non-contact and follow current guidelines. Our main priority is the health and safety of everyone involved. 

  • Activities will last 20 minutes in total.
  • Monday to Thursday: 1.02pm – 1.22pm
  • Friday: 12:24pm – 12.44pm

This allows for students to have 10 minutes to eat at the beginning of lunchtime in their base room and 10 minutes at the end of lunch to return to their base room and get organised for the next lesson.

We have tried as much as possible to assign students to their chosen activity. However, due to guidelines and limitations for space, students will not get all their choices straight away.

All other students will have the opportunity to go outside and walk during this time with their base room teacher. Each base room has a list of where students are to go each day.

Please note, students can participate in all activities in their school uniform but are advised to wear/bring appropriate footwear. 

Please see Mrs. Gallagher if you have any questions!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s