Abbey VS Newsletter – Mon 3rd May 21

AVS 26/4/21-2/5/21

National Workplace Wellbeing Day 2021

This week the Abbey Vocational School celebrated National Workplace Wellbeing Day. On both an individual employee level and in an organisational context, it’s significance has never been greater than now in the present COVID-19 year of work.

The AVS celebrated National Workplace Wellbeing Day by sharing a wonderful  video which was created by the students to thank all of the staff for all they do for the students. 

AVS Daffodil Day Donations

Congratulations to our fifth year students Rebecca Morrow & Eilish Mc Grory presenting the money they raised for @IrishCancerSoc on Daffodil Day to fellow 5th year student Ross O’Keeney. The Abbey Vocational School Community is immensely proud of AVS Student Ross O’Keeney 5G, who has seen his online birthday donations surpass 40,600 Euro in aid of the Irish Cancer Society. You can donate at;  Irish Cancer Society

New Facilities at the AVS

During the coming weeks the Abbey Vocational School’s innovative & modern new facilities and extension will be contracted to the lowest tender received after being granted approval from the Dept of Education.

 These works consist of the new ASD Support Facility, 6 new general classrooms, a new roof covering for a large area of the school, fire safety improvement works throughout the school and new Tennis/BBall courts.

The new premier model and design will house top of the range facilities for our students in the AVS Community!

The development will take several stages such as;#

  • Site Establishment
  • Demolition/Groundworks/Drainage
  • Build structure/Roofing/External Finishes
  • Internal Renovation and Remodelling
  • Services, Internal Fitout and Finishes

AVS Virtual Awards Ceremony

At this time of year the Abbey Vocational School is busy preparing for the AVS Awards Ceremony, which is an event to celebrate the academic  achievement and involvement in  extracurricular activities of Students in the AVS Community. Teachers will nominate students from the Abbey Vocational School across a variety of categories in the school year. This year due to the pandemic the ceremonies will take place within each year groups and will be lived streamed to their classrooms during the day. Good luck to all our outstanding students!

Science Department

After School Science Club

The school runs an after school club that helps students research their science project and to write a project proposal so that they can enter both competitions – the selection process for BTYS is very rigorous.

Sometimes the hardest part of the BTYS application is deciding on a good idea. Slants on topical scientific or social issues are usually well represented at the exhibition but the best projects are often based on the simplest ideas.

You can visit to gain an insight into the type of project that is accepted into each category.


If a student is absent for any reason they must provide a note of explanation. The most convenient method for you to record this is through the VSware App/dashboard. When you log in you go to your son/daughter’s profile, go to the attendance section and the dates that require an explanation will be registered on your page. We only record full day absence through this facility. If you wish your son/daughter to sign out for a medical/dental appointment then this will continue as normal practice in the school journal where you write the note stating the time the student must leave the school and the time of return along with the reason for the departure. They will get this note signed by a Deputy Principal and they will then sign out at the main school office. No student can leave the building without it being recorded by the school office.

After School Study

The new session is now  running  from Monday the 26th April to Thursday the 27th May. If you need a form to register for this session please see Ms Mohan. This is a great opportunity for students who benefit from the opportunity of having a supervised study session.

Music Department

Music students from 1st to 6th year have been invited to participate in a virtual choir of students and staff of the DETB singing a hymn called ‘Alone with none but Thee, my God’. This is a new composition by Donegal ETB teacher Margaret Mc Ateer. The choral setting will be heard for the first time on the 9th June 2021 to celebrate the 1,500 anniversary of St Colmcille.  Soloists for the premiere performance will be the esteemed Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan,Lilis O Laoire and Maire Ni Bhrennan of Clannad.

The event offers our students and staff an opportunity to mark this significant anniversary in a meaningful way which will be part of the archives forevermore.

Our second virtual rehearsal took place on Monday 25th April.  Next rehearsal is Tuesday and we will be given information about how to record from home.  Students and staff from almost all of the 17 DETB schools and centres.

Sixth year music students are now preparing musical items for their Graduation Ceremony.

Donegal Garda Youth Awards 2021

A huge congratulations to TYC and their teacher Ms. Kelly on their Donegal Garda Youth Awards nomination for making a positive contribution to their local community with their Young Social Innovators Project Unity in the Community. It is a fantastic achievement for all involved and we are very proud of you here at the AVS.

Well done also to Molly Boyd who received an individual nomination from a member of the public for her involvement in the YSI project and highlighted for making our community a better place to live.

An Garda Síochána in Donegal and the Joint Policing Committee recognise that young people throughout the County of Donegal have been involved in good and positive endeavours locally. The Donegal Garda Youth Awards reward those young people who by their presence make their communities a better place to live in. Well done to our AVS Students!

Guidance Department

  1. The SUSI (grant) application process for eligible Leaving Cert students opened on 22 April 2021.  Students will be provided with further detail during Guidance Class and via Google Classroom. Students are advised to submit their SUSI application as early as possible.
  2. Leaving Cert students should now be applying for any relevant scholarship(s) they may be eligible for. Further information is available during Guidance Class, via Google Classroom or contacting their Guidance Counsellor.
  3. Leaving Cert AND 5th Year 1:1 Guidance Meetings continue to be available.  Speak to your Guidance Counsellor for booking instruction.
  4. Our Guidance website is updated regularly. Go to – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen. 

Student Voice

The Student Council is working on a fun activity where they are putting together a display of celebrity lookalikes of our staff.  Keep an eye out for some A list celebs!


The Masked singer

Over the coming weeks we will bring laughs and great entertainment to our school community. The staff of the Abbey Vocational School will be hosting their very own masked singer competition.

The masked singer is a top-secret singing competition in which 8 of the AVS staff  face off against one another while shrouded from head to toe in elaborate costumes, concealing their identities. With each performance, the viewers are left guessing who the singer is behind the mask. The singers may attempt to throw off the crowd, but keen observers might pick up on tiny clues buried throughout the show.

Keep an eye out on our school social media over the next few weeks in the lead up to the show, so make sure you don’t miss this show, it is guaranteed to be a great evening of entertainment.

Wellbeing Initiative

Positive Points Leader board

The School Positive Points Initiative was established by the AVS Wellbeing Committee who wanted to provide a platform to highlight positive behaviour. This positive behaviour is acknowledged and encouraged by the Teachers and Staff in the school and rewarded by the School Positive Points System. The leaders in positive points class competition for first and second year are: 1G and 2C. Well done!

Social Media

Keep an eye out on all our social media sites for our many different social media challenges:

Positive Quotes

Keep an eye on our social media pages where we post positive messages regularly. Please see this week’s messages:

“Success is the sum of small efforts repeated day in and day out.”

1st Year

For the next number of weeks all our 1st year students will be working on the settling back in programme during their wellbeing classes. This will help our students adjust back into the school building after the last term of home-schooling.

2nd Year

For the final term our second year students will participate in DCUs anti bullying programme FUSE. FUSE is an anti-bullying and online safety programme developed by the Anti-Bullying Research and Resource centre in DCU, supported by Facebook. The programme launched in September 2019 across Ireland.

FUSE is grounded in Irish and international best practice research, consisting of a series of workshops and projects aimed at 2nd Year Students in Junior Cycle.


Donegal ICT/Fintech Talk

This week Transition Year Students in the AVS had a Fintech Talk. Fintech stands for Financial Technology and is used to describe new tech that seeks to improve and automate the delivery and use of financial services.

The world of finance has transformed tremendously in recent years with the rapid evolution of technology birthing the new domain of fintech—the intersection where financial services and technology converge. … Fintech careers are emerging to help the industry reach new heights and drive organizational change.

Transition Year Showcase 2021

During the coming weeks TYs will be working on the Transition Year Virtual Showcase 2021 will take place in the presence of the virtual AVS community. The Transition Year Students will finish off an action-packed year on a high note with a magical night. A big thank you must go to the TY Coordinators Ms Rooney, Mr Hegarty, Ms Kelly & Ms O’Donnell for organising the event.   The Showcase will highlight the events, talks, activities, trips and outings the TY’s ventured on this year!

The Sports Department will feature heavily with presentations on the many sporting activities experienced which included Zumba, self-defence, surfing, B Fit, DT Fitness. Transition Years also enjoyed the Sports Leaders Programme, Healthy Lifestyle Programme, 20×20 and GAA Future Leaders.  The Business department will also be well represented with topics such as the TY Business Academy, Enterprise Day, Mini Companies and the Enterprise Award.

This year the Transition Years were very busy participating in workshops as diverse as Public Speaking, Fintech & Amplify. Health and Safety will feature on the night with speeches regarding R.S.E., Sea Safety, Healthy Schools, Webwise Internet Safety and the Active Schools Programme. Many of the highlights the amazing workshops, talks and courses the students have taken part in this year. These include;

  • Young Social Innovators
  • Music Production
  • Architect in School Programme
  • Active Schools Training
  • Mini Company
  • Foroige
  • Peer Mentoring
  • Environmental Project
  • Surfing
  • Yoga
  • Fitness
  • Zeeko
  • Creative Workshop
  • Amplify
  • Gartan Trip
  • Donegal Castle History Trip
  • Bluestack Walk

Young Social Innovators

Congratulations to TYC and their YSI project Unity in the Community who were shortlisted for the YSI Awards 2021 this week in their category – Make our Country More Inclusive and Poverty Free Challenge.

This is a fantastic achievement with nearly 200 teams entered in the competition. The team will now pitch to a panel of judges on the 10th of May before the final on the 17th of May.

We wish the team the best of luck!

Transition Year Cycling Workshop

On Thursday TY Students enjoyed a fun filled cycling workshop, looking at the mechanics of bicycles, how best to maintain them and the benefits of cycling. Regular physical activity can help protect you from serious diseases such as obesity, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, diabetes and arthritis. Riding your bicycle regularly is one of the best ways to reduce your risk of health problems associated with a sedentary lifestyle.

Cycling is a healthy, low-impact exercise that can be enjoyed by people of all ages, from young children to older adults. It is also fun, cheap and good for the environment. Riding to work or the shops is one of the most time-efficient ways to combine regular exercise with your everyday routine. An estimated one billion people ride bicycles every day – for transport, recreation and sport. Our TY’s have been inspired and encouraged to cycle regularly to maintain a fit and healthy lifestyle, both physically and emotionally!

Bridge Beyond – Music Project

Bridge Beyond is a Music project that involves a number of Donegal schools working online to produce a piece of music.

A small group of our TY students are continuing to collaborate online each Friday morning, under the guidance of Ms McCarthy and Wall2Wall music, to create a collaborative music track. The group was introduced to the project by legendary drummer Ralph Rolle (Chic) who gave a great insight into his life and career in the music industry starting out in Brooklyn, NY. The group are writing and composing their track using digital online software. The piece is coming on really well and we are all excited to hear the final product on May 14th.

Student Enterprise Award

Congratulations to Ava McLoughlin in TYC who has won the next stage of the NFTE competition and is competing in the National final on the 6th of May! She won 1st place in the senior category for the Student Enterprise Programme in the Donegal county final, she will be in the National final  on the 14th of May!

Her business is Irish Tweedscapes . Her product offering is a frame with Irish design inside with Magee tweed. Ava’s product price is €15. She is a sole trader due to Covid so she has done all hard work by herself. Most recently she has sent one of her products to New Zealand. Ava sells her product by her Facebook and Instagram page Irish Tweedscapes.

Recently Ava got a mention in the Sunday world magazine for top 4 valentines gift in Ireland along with numerous influencers including 2fm and Today FM radio presenters.

Irish Tweedscapes.

Environmental Project

School Podcast

You can listen to our TY students Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell as they discuss topical environmental issues, they have been involved with here;

Environmental School Podcast

Young Environmentalist Awards

Erin and Anna’s environmental project ‘Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma’ is through to the semi-finals of ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards. Their project focuses on the detrimental impacts that our collective carbon footprint has on the environment and they are developing a ‘Climate Education Scheme’ to educate our nation on the impacts that our daily actions ultimately have on the environment and offer sustainable alternatives. They have started an Instagram page @avsclimatechange in which they actively post about sustainability and update their followers on what they are up to and how their project is going.  They also recently appeared on RTÉ Junior’s ‘Ecolution’ Podcast to discuss the government’s new Climate Action Bill with other young activists.

Their semi-final presentation occurred this week on Thursday the 29th of April. They have also been selected to create a video for ECO-UNESCO’s Instagram (@ecounesco) in which they promote ‘Eco Week’ which is a series of online presentations delivered by experts for young people to learn about sustainability topics such as fast-fashion, marine life awareness, biodiversity and energy consumption.

Pictured are Anna Mitchell and Erin Ryder.

CIF Challenge Online Awards Ceremony

Congratulations to the AVS team Molly Boyd, Sarah Foy, Luke Given, Amir Mavlyutov and Matthew Byrne who were shortlisted as one of the top seven entries, in the country, in this year’s Construction Industry Federation Challenge. Congratulations to our students who attended the online awards ceremony this week on Friday the 30th of April, where our students’ hard work was acknowledged by industry leaders.


With the sun shining and the weather becoming milder, AVS Students have enjoyed many outdoor activities such as rounders!

Playing sports links in with the Key Skills of Communication, Working With Others and Staying Well!

Research has shown that open air activities and outdoor activities are beneficial for our students.

PE Department

All junior classes are taking part in athletic events this term. The top three students in each class event are recorded and the overall top three in the year group will be awarded a medal at prize giving. The students are really enjoying being out in the fresh air and utilising the schools excellent outdoor athletics facilities. There has been strong competition for medals in each event. Hopefully next year we will have our usual enjoyable whole school sports day.

Lunch Time Activities 2021

Lunch time activities resume on Monday the 26th.  Students have 10 minutes in their base rooms to eat their lunch before making their way to their selected activity, returning 10 minutes before the bell to get ready for class.  A big thanks to all teachers assisting in getting students active during lunch.  Any student wishing to join an activity should see Mr Maguire in room 40. 

Hand Hygiene

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