Abbey Vocational School, Donegal Town Notes

November 22nd, 2016

Abbey Vocational School,  Donegal Town Notes

Thomas Gallagher, Tess O'Kennedy, Aine Gillespie, Kate Gurren and Jack Keaney at the AVS mock interviews

Amazing Brains

Students in 1st and 2nd year took part in the ‘Amazing Brains’ sessions last week on Monday 14th and Tuesday 15th November. An excellent interactive talk was given to students the aim of which was to give students a greater understanding of how to study in a successful manner. In addition, 1st and 2nd year students were given tips on study tricks, memorization techniques and various other helpful approaches to study. The parents talk on study on the Monday night was also very well attended.


Science Week

Science Week took place the week of the 13th - 20th November. The theme for Science Week 2016 was Science Rising. Senior students from the Abbey Vocational School took part in the Regional Senior Science Quiz in conjunction with the Donegal branch of the ISTA. The quiz took place on Thursday 17th in Letterkenny; three teams were sent to represent the school and all did very well.


Christmas Carol Service

The Annual Christmas Carol Service will take place on Wednesday, December 14th. The service will take place in the Church of Ireland in Donegal Town. All members of the community and students will be involved on the night.



Newgrange Trip -

Leaving Certificate Art students will visit Newgrange in Donore, Co. Meath this Friday, November 25th. Located in the Boyne Valley, the 5,000 year old passage tomb is famous for illuminating its passage chamber each year on the winter solstice. Students will also visit the National Gallery of Ireland and the National Museum in Dublin with the hope of viewing the Book of Kells.

Credit Union Art Competition -

On Wednesday, November 16th, our successful students were presented with prizes for winning in their age categories in the Credit Union Art Competition 2016. The celebration took place at the Abbey Hotel. Congratulations to all those who were successful.

Christmas Card Competition

The entries for the Leaving Certificate Christmas Card Competition are now in. There were almost 100 entries in total. The judging will take place next week and the cards should be printed and ready for sale the following week. All profits from the sale will go to a local charity.


Pramerica Spirit of Community Awards

Last week was the deadline for the Prumerica Awards. The two students who will represent the school going forward are Ben Bustard from 3rd year and Charlotte Timony from 4th year. The programme recognizes and awards second level students who complete volunteer work in their community.


Healthy Eating Promotion

Kyle O’Neill, Brian Gallagher, Ellie Muldoon and Ailbhe Donnelly visited the Silver Tassie in Letterkenny on Wednesday, 16th to train as a part of a team for the promotion of Healthy Schools. Throughout the day, the AVS students met with students from other schools and discussed ideas in how they could make schools healthier. It was an enjoyable day and in turn the students have brought healthy ideas for our school home with them.



This year’s musical, Hairspray, takes place on the 22nd, 23rd and 25th November in the St John Bosco Centre. Tickets are available to purchase from the school office. The prices of tickets are: €10 for adults and €7 for a student/child/OAP.



As part of the Hairspray  production, a raffle will take place during the interval of the musical. We are currently in the process of selecting prizes: any donations would be very welcome. The Transition Year students will be helping Ms. Mc Partlan with this.   



Mini Company -

Ms. Gordon and Ms. Stewart organised a successful Foróige Christmas Fair on Monday, November 14th in the Abbey Hotel. Students were asked to prepare their stall, have their products ready to sell and have appealing displays created for the public. On the night there were some excellent stalls such as personalised art gifts, fairy doors, tasty treats, handmade Christmas decorations, mobile phone docking stations, candles, pebble art, home-made jam and chutneys, Donegal town calendars for 2017, personalised chopping boards, old encyclopedias recycled as table displays, wall boards and handmade pencil holders.

The students showcased their excellent products which were of a high quality and demonstrated their wonderful creativity. ‘The Magic Doors’ were the winners on the night. They were the best prepared company winning €50 as a prize from their efforts. All TY students did the school proud so huge congratulations to all involved.

Amber Exploring Materials TY Week -

The following piece was written by Áine Mc Groarty. Áine in this piece will give details about how she applied for a university science programme:

“As a transition year student, I am required to participate in at least two weeks of work experience. With not knowing what I hope to do in third level or after, I began looking up placements online. I came across several different courses in Trinity College Dublin, many related to the topic of science. These courses appealed to me as I’ve an interest in science and my brother is currently studying Science in Trinity College, Dublin, and he enjoys it thoroughly which inspired me to pursue it more.

“The Crann ‘Exploring Materials’ programme, which consists of a week-long science course, stood out for me. I received the application forms by email and filled them out right away. On this, I had to write about why I should be picked for this course, include my Junior Certificate results, what subjects I hope to do in senior cycle and my interests. In addition, I had to ask my Junior Certificate science teacher, Ms. McDevitt, to write a letter of recommendation. After I had gathered this information and wrote it up, I sent my application and waited patiently on the reply.

“Not long after, I got an email to congratulate my success on getting into the programme. I was delighted to hear this, as I know there was a great demand for this course. Next week I am travelling to Dublin to participate in this five day programme. I am looking forward to gaining an insight into science in a third level institute and also previewing the Trinity College campus. “Hopefully next week gives me an idea of what I would like to do and where I would like to go in third level.”

Olympiad competition -

Seven TY students took part in the preliminary round of the Irish Mathematics Olympiad on Friday, November 18th. The standard of the questions as high as usual and all involved made a good attempt at the test. Depending on the results, one or more of the students involved may be invited to participate in Maths Enrichment classes later in the year.


Chess Club

Chess club started on Wednesday, November 16th for 1st year students. This will take place at lunchtime every week. Chess is an excellent activity which stimulates the mind improving strategic and analytical skills.


Book Club

A 1st year book club will take place every Monday at lunchtime organised by Ms. Logue. It is open to anyone who is interested in first year and will take place in the reading room at 1.30 pm.



College Awareness Week -

Is taking place this week, with a variety of activities and talks for Leaving Certificate students. Letterkenny Institute of Technology will be visiting the school. For more information, follow  #collegeawarenessweek on Twitter.

Karl Lacey -

Four time All Star footballer, Karl Lacey, visited the school on Monday to speak to students as part of college awareness week. Karl spoke about his own experience with college.


Fifth year students visited the DCU campus in Dublin last Friday. The college hosted its Annual Open Day for prospective students. DCU held talks on the day from the various subject areas on offer. In addition, various interactive stalls were present on campus allowing our students to question present DCU students and staff on any area they were interested in studying in the future.



Physical Education will now be seen as a recognised subject for the Leaving Certificate curriculum which was passed by the NCCA this week. The official commencement date for this will be outlined to us in the near future.



Indoor Sports -

An indoor athletics competition takes place today in the gym for first year students. Five schools have been invited to participate in the South Donegal Division which will allow students to qualify for the county finals. Two teams will represent AVS: one team of girls and a team of boys. Good luck to all involved!

U14’s Boys Gaelic -

The U14’s Ulster quarter final will take place against St Joseph’s in Garvaghey on Thursday, November 24th.

Senior Boys Gaelic -

The senior boys’ team played Carrick in Mountcharles on Thursday 17th November. On the day the AVS boys were faced with tough weather conditions unfortunately, they were beaten on the day despite valiant attempts. The final score Carrick 3:11, AVS: 0:12.

Senior Girls Soccer -

The AVS senior girls’ soccer team played against Loreto College, Letterkenny, on Tuesday 15th November. Despite a hard effort from our girls they were defeated 4-2.

U16’s Girls Gaelic -

The U16’s AVS girls played on Thursday, November 17th. The girls travelled to Ballyshannon to take on Rosses College, Dungloe, in their second group game. Despite the inclement weather, the girls started well with early points from Annie Mc Groary, Katie O’Donnell and Erin Harvey. Good work in midfield meant that the AVS girls were in a dominating position and the forward line kept the scoreboard ticking over.

The second half picked up where the first left off with AVS continuing to dominate possession. Further to that, Erin Harvey, Hannah Crawford and Lucy Mc Gowan kept the girls on target with subsequent scores. Rosses pushed back but AVS stepped it up a gear and finished the stronger team. The final score AVS 5:10, Rosses 3:03.

U16’s Boys Basketball -

On Monday U16’s boys played their second game of the league in Carrick-on-Shannon, Co. Leitrim. They did very well against tough opposition. They continue training every Friday evening in preparation for the upcoming games of the season.

Hurling -

Hurling training will take place every Tuesday under the guidance of Mr O’Neill on the all-weather pitch. All hurlers are welcome!

If you have a story or want to send a photo or video to us please contact the Donegal Live editorial team any time. To contact Donegal Democrat and Donegal People's Press, email To contact Donegal Post, email To contact Inish Times, email

More News

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.