News from Abbey Vocational School, Donegal town

News from Abbey Vocational School, Donegal town

Option Talks for Parents of 3rd year and TY students

There will be an Information Evening for TY and 5th year parents regarding options for the academic year 2017/2018 on Tuesday, February 7th. This will include information on the TY programme at 7.00 pm and information on subject choices at 7.30 pm. It is important that parents attend on this evening please. All students are currently discussing these choices with the Career Guidance Department in their classes and have attended talks from various subject departments. TY Talk: 7.00 pm – 7.30 pm. Subject options for those going into 5th year: 7.30pm – 8.15 pm.

Parents Talk - On-line safety, Websites of concern and Cyber bullying

All parents are welcome to attend the parental talk on Wednesday, 8th February at 8.00pm in the school. The talk will cover bullying, Cyberbullying, on-line safety, and websites of concern that teenagers are visiting. All parents are welcome.

Respect Week

This week from 6th – 10th February is Respect Week in our school. We will be hosting a ‘Bully 4 U’ workshop for 1st, 2nd, TY and 5th year students. The workshops will cover areas such as: What is bullying? A row is not bullying! Who gets bullied? Types of Bullying.  Are YOU a victim of Bullying? Interactive exercise which engages all students and challenges them to put themselves into the shoes of a victim of bullying behaviour. Tips on how to deal with Bullying.  Empowering – Be Assertive. How Bystanders can help.

Cyber bullying Areas

In the workshops students will: Identify the unique features and impact of cyber bullying. Increase their understanding and awareness about the problem of cyber bullying. Learn strategies to empower students to respond in a positive manner to cyber bullying and to foster a culture of e-safety. Digital footprint and the future consequences for employment and university applications, practical examples are used to illustrate. The dangers of sexting and the legal implications of participating in this practise. Be empowered to recognise and effectively address cyber bullying. Gain tools and skills needed to respond to cyber bullying. Increase the students ability to effectively ‘discuss’ cyber bullying issues that may arise in the future.

Mock Exams

Students in Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate will be sitting their Mock examinations shortly. Paper one in English, Irish and Maths for 3rd and 6th year students take place on: February 16th and 17th.  Following the midterm break the rest of the exams will take place from 27th February to 3rd March. We wish all of our students well in preparation for these exams in the coming weeks. Mock Irish orals will take place next for Leaving Certificate students from Monday 6th - Friday 10th February. The mock timetables can be accessed here:

Junior Certificate:

Leaving Certificate:

Jigs and Reels

Our fundraising event Jigs and Reels takes place on 24th March in the Abbey Hotel. We are delighted again to have Noel Cunningham as our MC. Our students have been paired up and practice has begun for the show. There are twelve couples in all and the excitement is building as we wait to see their choice of music and their proposed plan.

Art Competition

Jigsaw Donegal are currently holding an art competition for TY, 5th and 6th year students to promote positive Mental Health. The theme of the competition is “sometimes we need to take time to appreciate the beauty in the world around us”. The deadline for entries is Thursday, 16th March.

Environmental Poster Competition

The deadline for the poster competition was this week. The Environmental Committee held a poster competition for all first year students. The theme was health and wellbeing. Students were permitted to design any kind of poster they want that linked to that theme. Winners will be announced next week.


Leaving Certificate Music mock practical exams for performance and technology are coming up soon.  The Junior Certificate practical examinations are being held during the week before the mid-term break. Some of the staff of the AVS are involved in the ETB Workplace County Choir.  Students are also preparing for the Donegal ETB County Choir concert in March.  

Book Club

Ms Logue’s Book Club returns this week on Monday, 6th February at lunchtime between 1:30 – 2:00 pm for first year students. The members will be given copies of J.R Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’.


AIB Lab Dublin Trip

Some TY students travelled to Dublin on Monday, 30th January.  The students visited the AIB ‘Lab’ in Dundrum Shopping Centre.  Students discovered the ‘innovative banking experience designed to deliver an exceptional customer experience through digital self-service and to create an environment where customers can learn about AIB’s offerings in banking technology’. The students had an informative and interactive day. In addition, they had some time to spend in Dundrum Centre after their experience in ‘The Lab’. Thanks to AIB for affording them this opportunity.

Sports Leadership

The Sports Leadership Course run by Kevin Campbell has twenty-eight TY student participants.  As part of their Sports Leadership course, the students ran an orienteering course for 5th and 6th class students from the Glebe National School on Wednesday, 1st February.  The TY students partnered with students from the primary school, followed a map inside and outside the school to find the Maths related controls (questions).  This was a very worthwhile exercise as it allowed the Transition Year students to use their leadership skills and also introduced the AVS to the incoming Primary School children through a Maths ‘game’.  We wish to thank Professional Development Service for Teachers (PDST) and Ms Mahony who coordinated this project.

Interior Design

A one day Interior Design Course is being arranged by the Home Economics Department for TY students on Friday, 17th February. Anne Touhy from ‘Room Junkie’ of RTÉ televisions ‘Show House’ challenge will be presenting the masterclass. We are really looking forward to this event.


On Wednesday, 1st February all TY boys participated in a Jiu-Jitsu class in the parish hall. Brian and Philip from DT fitness hosted the class on the day. Jiu–Jitsu is a Japanese martial art and is a combat and defensive sport. The TY boys thoroughly enjoyed the event and the group learnt some excellent defensive moves.

Personal Presentation

On Wednesday 8th TY girls will attend a Personal Presentation Workshop. Students will cover areas such as make-up application and presenting for various events.

Tasty Project

The Tasty Food Product Development Project entered its second phase with forty-two Transition Year students visiting the LYIT School of Tourism, Killybegs Campus on Friday, 3rd February.  The students attended a series of lectures on topics such as Food Product Development, Food Marketing and Food Hygiene.  The lectures will assist the students as they embark on the next phase of the project, which will involve them developing a food product with hotels and restaurants in Donegal.  We wish to thank the staff at LYIT School of Tourism for their hospitality throughout the day.  

Irish Ceilí Dancing

The Transition Years have been doing Ceilí Dancing in the library every Friday afternoon with Clement Gallagher. They are making steady progress and enjoying the lively sessions.

Law Course

TY students will be participating in a law course on Tuesday 14th, Wednesday 15th and Thursday 16th February The course covers the Irish Legal system both Civil and Criminal, giving some important insights to students as to how it all works. This is done by paying particular attention to age relevant information so the student has some common myths dispelled and some important legal information acquired e.g., the age of reason, criminal responsibility, age of consent and many more laws, with relevant case law to explain how it impacts on everyday life and the life of the student. There is then an enactment of a Mock Trial in the local courthouse, in which all students participate.

Work Experience

All TY students will be on work experience from Monday 27th to Friday 3rd February. We again wish to thank all members of the community for supporting our students in their placements.

Geography Field Trip

Our Leaving Certificate students are preparing for their field study task; this is a component of their Leaving Certificate exam worth 20%. The student’s project will focus on rivers. Forty-five students on Thursday, 9th February will visit Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre in Letterkenny to complete this task and conduct a write up on it.


First year pupils took part in a Skipathon event on Monday, 30th January in the gym. The students attempted to jump the equivalent distance of Malin to Mizen Head, 659km within 2 hours. They were successful skipping a total of 127,600 skips. This was a sponsorship event as each first year was given a sponsorship card in aid of the school’s extracurricular activities and bus expenses. The evening was a great success Thank you to everyone for his or her participation.

Incoming first year students

Many of our incoming students attending our local Primary Schools have now received an enrolment pack as the Deputy Principal, Mr Doherty visited the Primary Schools last week and will visit the remaining schools this week. We will then hold an Open Evening here in the school on Wednesday, 15th February from 5pm to 8 pm. All of our incoming students are welcome to attend with their parents.  An adult must accompany all persons under 18.  An induction day will also take place on 14th March where all students take part in a variety of taster subjects and follow a day in the life of the Abbey Vocational School.


Enrolment Deadline – Friday, 24th February 2017

Induction Day for 6th class pupils – Tuesday, 14th March (Approx. 9.30 am to 2.30 pm) 

Information Evening for 6th class parents – Wednesday, 15th March (7.00pm – 8.00pm)


U16 Boys GAA

On Tuesday, 31st January the U16 AVS boys travelled to Ballyshannon. They defeated St. Columbus Stranorlar, in the Ulster semifinal in an extremely tight game. The boys managed to pull off a 1-9 to 1-5 win with scores on the day from Ryan Brogan, Jamie Crawford, Odhrán Quinn, Shay Travers and Daniel Gallagher.  The boys are now through to the County Final. This will take place on Tuesday, 7th February in O’ Donnell Park, Letterkenny at 11:30 am.  A bus of supporters will follow the boys to the final on the day. Good luck to the AVS boys’!

Basketball Blitz

The second year girls participated in a basketball blitz on Tuesday, 31st February in Ballyshannon. The blitz was against Coláiste Cholmcille, Ballyshannon and St. Catherine’s, Killybegs. The girls played very well on the day and thoroughly enjoyed their trip.  First and second year students will be travelling to Roscommon on Monday 6th for another basketball blitz.

Sports Awards

We would like to congratulate our 2nd year student Cormac Mac Suibhne who won a Special Athlete Award at the Donegal Sports Awards. Cormac is an excellent swimmer who should be praised for all his work hard, determination and effort. Congratulations also to our nominees Sophie Carr, Peadar Mogan, Mia McCalmont and Caolan O’Callaghan.

Cross Country

On Wednesday, 1st February, students travelled to Cookstown Co. Tyrone. Congratulations to all the students who participated in the event. Mia Mc Calmont came 3rd and Kitty Mc Nulty came 14th in the event; both have qualified for the Ulster’s. Also a huge well done to Oisín Joyce who came 12th and also to our girls’ team who came 14th place. Unfortunately, the girl’s team missed qualifying by a small margin.

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