Abbey Vocational School notes

For week commencing 23 September 2016

Abbey Vocational School notes

First Year Parents Information Night

An Information Night was held for parents on Monday night. Helen Kelly presented a workshop on the challenges that students face in second level. Mrs Diver presented an over view of the transition process and how best parents can support their child. Mr Doherty covered a variety of other aspects that impact on children in first year and all finished off the evening with light refreshments. 

Student Prefects 2016/2017

Following an application and interview process we would like to congratulate the prefects for the 2016/2017 year. We congratulate these young people for their commitment and courage in applying an interest in this role. We are very proud of them all.  

Senior - Kate Smith, Thomas Mc Gowan, Kate Gurren, Colm Mc Groarty,  Eva Diver, Ciara Murrin, Maeve Charlton, Áine Gillespie, Rhea Coughlan, Eamonn Jordan, Rossa Doherty and Chloe Kennedy.

Junior: Katie Gillespie, Molly Keane, Joanne Crawford, Eabha Reid, Chantelle McInern, Alison Edwards, Aimee Breslin and Anne Howells.

Leaving Cert Study Skills Course

The Leaving Cert class will partake in a study skills session with the study skills guru and motivator Michael Bond. This Galway man is known to many for his exploits on the side-line of hurling pitches the length and breadth of the country, having brought the Offaly Hurling Team of 1998 to All Ireland success. However, his skills extend far beyond the GAA grounds of the nation, he is also widely acknowledged for his skills of communicating with young people. The various different topics focused on motivating students on timetabling study for maximum results. 

The Spirit of Community Awards

The Spirit of Community Awards are an All-Ireland recognition programme for volunteers. There are two categories, Junior and Senior. The programme is funded by Pramerica and supported by the NAPD and the GTCNI. The candidates will be chosen to represent and compete for prizes, such as: €500, a crystal trophy for the school and a €1000 donation to a charity of your choice. In addition, two volunteers will be chosen to attend the Spirit of Community recognition event in Washington D.C. The closing date for applications is the 21st October 2016. More information can be found at


Bright and early on Wednesday 21st September, a group of 95 TY students, four teachers and two SNAs headed off to Tullamore in Offaly to the 85th National Ploughing Championships.

There were many attractions and business stalls on offer and lots of celebrities and famous chefs there on the day. Excellent cookery demonstrations were given by Rachel Allen and Neven Maguire and their stands were packed to capacity.

Daithi O'Shea compered alongside other chefs at the Lidl marquee where lots of food samples were enjoyed. The tractor football was a new attraction this year and was fun to watch. Taoiseach Enda Kenny and many government ministers were there on the day. Despite a crowd of 111,000 people and getting stuck in the mud, it didn't fail to dampen the spirits and a great day was had and enjoyed by all!


Congratulations to Tia Quinn Mc Grath, Tom Daly, Marie McGirr, Jennifer Monaghan and Sarah Meehan who received certificates of commendation in this year’s Texaco Art Competition.

This year’s Credit Union Art Competition is now underway. The theme is 'Dreams Are Made of This'.


Temple Gardens TY Trip

The school is planning a project in the courtyard outside the assembly area, where a garden will be created. To get an idea of what types of plants could be used in our new garden project, a group of TY students went on a trip with

Ms Duane to the Temple Gardens in Mountcharles. The tour was given by Sean Gillespie and Elizabeth Temple. The class was then treated to tea and biscuits and this was a thoroughly enjoyable morning which will help us to create a beautiful garden.

Interview Skills

On 20th September, Mr Magee, who specialises in life coaching and interviews, came into the school in order to supply the TY groups with the necessary skills needed in order to deal with the pressures of interviews and leave a positive lasting impression. He regaled the students with useful lessons on the importance of body language, presentation and eye-contact in an interview situation.


Second year English students from classes 2F and 2C have been engaging in classroom debates on the topic of social media. These classes will go head-to-head in a debate next Wednesday. This formal debate will be adjudicated by Transition Year students. 

Healthy Schools

Healthy Schools is about creating a team within the school that will find a theme and try to get parents, teachers and students involved with the aim of encouraging a healthier community. The themes can go from mental health, to physical health and dietary needs.

On Monday, Mr Murrin will be meeting with a number of staff to discuss the topics and there will be a training day in November. The outcome from this project will be a green flag for the school.

Donegal Youth Council

Carolyn Maguire from the Donegal County Council is coming to the school on Thursday at 10:30 to speak to the TY students about electing a student to sit on the Donegal Youth Council.

Choral Workshop

On Thursday 22nd and Friday 23rd September, a choral workshop for 1st year and TY students took place with Veronica Mc Carron. Veronica conducted the Kilkenny Presentation School choir to the semi-final of Britain's got talent 2016. The students were given the experience to learn how to sing, speak and breathe properly when singing. The pieces they sang are 'Jubilate Deo', 'Christ with me' and U2's 'With or Without You'.

Hairspray Timetable

Monday - everyone during lunch. Drama after lunch with Ailish (leads) 2pm-4pm....... everyone after school (Library)

Tuesday - dance after school

Wednesday - drama after lunch with Ailish (leads) 1:20-3:20

Thursday - 1.20-3.20 dance/lead songs

Leads, council, seaweed gang after school (library)

Friday - 11:15-12:35 leads with Ailish.  Lunch everyone singing. 

Look at the notice board outside room 13 weekly. 

Human Rights Talk for TY Students

Danielle Bonner from Donegal Women's Network came into talk to the TY students on human rights and gender equality on Monday 19th and Thursday 22nd. This was an insightful and engaging talk.

CAO, UCAS, DARE & HEAR Information Night for Parents of Leaving Cert Students

The Guidance Department will host an Information Night for parents of Leaving Cert students on October 18th at 7.00pm here in the school. Many aspects will be covered on the night including how best to support your son/daughter throughout this very difficult year.


Parents' Association

The AGM of the Parents' Association will take place Monday, 3rd October at 8.00pm in the school Library. The new committee will be announced in next week’s newspaper notes.

Evening Study
Evening study for Junior and Leaving Certificate students continues after school, Monday to Thursday.

Lunchtime Activities

A variety of lunchtime activities takes place this term as follows: 

Monday: Ultimate Frisbee for all: Sportshall.  First year Soccer: Tennis courts 

Tuesday – Futsal Leagues for all: Sportshall. 3rd year soccer: Tennis court

Wednesday 2nd year Soccer: Tennis Court.  Senior Gaelic: All weather 

Thursday – 1st year Gaelic: Sportshall. 2nd year Soccer: Tennis court 

Friday – 3rd year Soccer: Gym. Senior Soccer: Tennis court 


First Year Lunchtime Mentoring

Board games, draughts, cards etc. all take place on the stage area for all first year students from next Monday. All those who wish to enjoy these activities along with our Transition Year Mentors are welcome to attend. 

SUPPORTING YOUNG PEOPLE’S MENTAL HEALTH: 11th October 7.30 pm – 8.30 pm

Workshop for parents/guardians

Supporting Young People’s Mental Health (SYPMH) is a 1hour workshop aimed at parents/guardians and others in the community who are concerned about the mental health of young people. This is delivered as part of the Connect Mental Health series of events. 

The workshop aims to build understanding of the mental health issues affecting young people and to provide guidance on how to support young people who may be struggling with their mental health.

Participants will:

Have an understanding of the key issues impacting on the mental health and well-being of young people.

Be able to identify ways of promoting positive mental health in young people.

Be aware of the value of listening as a way of supporting young people.



Senior Camogie Blitz, Wednesday 21st September -

Abbey Vocational School students travelled to Letterkenny to take part in the senior Camogie Blitz on Wednesday. The girls took on Loreto Letterkenny, Carndonagh Community School and Crana College. Conditions were difficult but the girls put in some excellent displays throughout the field.

Panel: Niamh Doherty, Leah O'Donnell, Ellen Canavan, Roisin Feeney, Lily Doherty, Gemma Gillespie, Ciara Gillespie, Katie Timoney, Katie Campbell, Tia Quinn McGrath, Niamh Leahy, Ciara Joyce, Anna Riebeling and Deyna Boylan.

The coaches on the day were Áine Tighe and Rosemary Myers.



Training for U16 and senior girls’ basketball continues every Monday and Thursday evening after school with Coach Mr McLoone. Their first game will be against Loreto Convent, Letterkenny at home on Thursday 29th September at 11:30am. Training for first and second years takes place on Wednesdays after school with Mrs O'Mahony, their games will be starting in the coming months.  


Training for the boys is every Friday after school. First and second year training from 3:30-5:00. It is great to see some many new and old faces at training. Their games will be starting in the coming months. U16 and U19 training is from 5:00-6:30 every Friday. U16 and U19 first game will be next week away to Falcarragh. 



Girls training continues every Wednesday from 3:30-5:00.  The seniors will play their first game at home to St Columba’s Glenties next week. U16 will play Rosses College in the coming weeks. It is great to see new players coming out to training with the U14 team. Their games will start in the coming months.


The U14 boys played in Glenties on Friday, 23rd September against Glenties Comprehensive. They won a very hard fought battle, coming out winners with a score of 3-7 to 3-5. This was the boys’ first game together as a team and they fought extremely hard for each other on the pitch. Congratulations to Mr Carty, Mr Murrin and all the boys. Training continues every Thursday after school. 



Senior girls’ soccer started this Wednesday during lunchtime. The first game will be away to Buncrana in the coming weeks. All senior players welcome, if anyone is interested in playing contact Ms Rooney. 


First year boys’ soccer training continues every Wednesday from 3:30-5:30 with Mr O'Donnell. Bring runners and football boots.   


Training continues every Tuesday from 4.00-5:30pm. The first secondary school cross country is coming up in the next few months. 


U16 boys’ rugby training will take place every Wednesday from 3:30-5:30. 

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