Abbey Vocational School Donegal Town News

Abbey Vocational School Donegal Town News

Leaving Certificate Information Evening

An Information Evening for parents of Leaving Certificate students takes place in the school on Wednesday 18th January at 7:30 pm. All parents/guardians are very welcome. This session is to inform parents of the challenges of third level, the settling in period, finances, accommodation, assessment work etc.  The topics being covered will be as follows: The CAO application process (Nicola Dunnion), the transition from second level to third level (Michael Margey) and student support services available in third level institutes (Roisin McCormack).

Mock Exams

Students in Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate will be sitting their mock examinations next month.

Paper 1 in English, Irish and Maths for 3rd and 6th year students takes place on: February 16th and 17th. Following the midterm break the rest of exams takes place from 27th February to 3rd March. We wish all of our students well in preparation for these exams in the coming weeks.

In addition, the 2017 Leaving Certificate timetable is now available to view on:

Evening Study

Evening study has now commenced for this term. Letters and application forms can be collected from the school office. Please complete and return same as soon as possible.

JCT Closure Training Day

The staff will take part in a Junior Cert training day on Monday March 6th. The school will be closed to students on that day. There will be an information evening for parents on the New Junior Cert in early February. All parents are welcome to attend. A confirmed date will be communicated in the coming notes.

Option Talks for Parents of 3rd year and TY students

There will be an Information Evening for TY and 3rd yr 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 will receive a similar formal talk in the coming weeks. TY Talk: 7.00 pm – 7.30 pm. Subject options for those going into 5th year: 7.30pm – 8.15 pm.

Important Information for incoming first year students

Over the coming weeks, our Deputy Principal Mr Doherty will visit all of the primary schools in the local area and distribute our enrolment packs to all of our incoming students. We will then hold an open evening here in the school on Wednesday 15th February from 5pm to 8pm. All of our incoming students are welcome to attend with their parents.  All persons under 18 must be accompanied by an adult.  An induction day will also take place on Tuesday March 14th 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)

Junior Cycle Information for Parents 
Regular updates for parents, teachers and students concerning Junior Cycle are available at @ AVS_JuniorCycle on Twitter. We would be grateful if parents/guardians could take time to complete an online questionnaire about Junior Cycle 'Statements of Learning' which we are currently conducting. The link is available at @AVS_JuniorCycle on Twitter and through the school website. . There will be an information evening for parents on the new Junior Cert in early February. All parents are welcome to attend on this date. A date will be confirmed and communicated in the coming notes.

Gambia Fundraising events

Thank you to all of you who contributed to our Gambia fundraising events. €450 was raised at the Christmas Carol Service and a further €370 raised by the TY Carol singers in town. This project is anchored by Alec Reid, Alec and his team do marvelous work out in Gambia.

St Vincent De Paul

Thank you to all of our students who put together a total of nine large hampers for St Vincent De Paul at Christmas. Thank you to all of our families who contributed to this project. Thank you also to the 6A Enterprise class and their teacher Ms. K. Stewart who organised this project.


170 first year pupils will take part in a Skipathon event on January 30th from 2 - 4pm. The students will attempt to jump the equivalent distance of Malin to Mizen Head, 659 km within 2 hours. This is a sponsorship event in aid of the school’s extracurricular activities and bus expenses. It will be held in the gym along with a live DJ and lots of spot prizes to be won on the day. Skipping competitions will take place along with single person skipping and multi-person skipping on a longer rope.


The LCA classes raised over €600 from the school Christmas jumper day on the last day of school before the Christmas holidays. A huge thank you to all involved.

Jigs and Reels

The Abbey Vocational School will be hosting Jigs and Reels on 24th March in the Abbey Hotel. The couples dancing will consist of one student who has experience in Irish dancing and the other who has never done Irish Dancing before. Auditions will be held during school time in the upcoming week. This will be a fun filled event and there has been a huge interest from both staff and students alike!

Texaco Art Competition  

Any student who is interested in entering the 63rd Texaco Children’s Art competition can get an entry form from Mr Daly, Ms Mc Callig or download one from the Texaco Art competition website. Your entry can be about anything that interests you and can be no smaller than A4 or no larger than A2. For more information you can visit the website . The closing date for the competition is Tuesday 28th February 2017.

John Paul II Awards

A number of our students are involved in the John Paul II awards at present. “The Pope John Paul II Award was created to commemorate the late Pope John Paul II who was so committed to young people and who had such belief and confidence in them. The Award is non-competitive, flexible and voluntary and requires an ongoing commitment. Awards are earned by taking part in parish and social activities – 1 hour per week over 8, 14 or 20 weeks. There are 3 Award levels – Gold, Silver & Bronze”. (

Leaving Certificate Theatre Trip

All Leaving Certificate students will be attending the production of ‘Hamlet’ in Derry, in the Millennium Forum, in late January. The forum states that the production consists of “a company of seasoned classical actors embrace the brutality of the greatest play ever written. A gripping, ensemble style brings exhilaration and violence to the unforgettable music and delicacy of the words”, (  The production will assist students in their study of William Shakespeare’s vibrant play for their exams in June.


The chess club continues in room three, every lunchtime, for all Junior Certificate classes.


TY Activities

The TY activities for this new term are circuits in DT Fitness, instructed by Darragh Brogan, self-defense classes with Rory Sweeney, sports psychology taught by Leo McLoone and aqua aerobics in the Mill Park Leisure Centre. The activities will rotate every 3 weeks once each class has had a chance to participate in each one 3 times. Next term, new activities will be announced.

Occupational Therapist Talk

Rachel Crawford, a qualified Occupational Therapist will be speaking to TY students about occupational therapy for the elderly and debilitated and also as a possible career. Rachel studied as an occupational therapist in the UK. She will discuss study options, course modules and review career options that are available once you qualify.

Seo Linn

On Wednesday 11th December the Abbey Vocational School hosted Seo Linn. “Seo Linn are an energetic and fun young band that are bursting onto the Irish music scene with their powerful original songs and unique take on contemporary songs with a particular passion for Gaeilge”. (

Seo Linn are a young Irish band credited with promoting the Irish language through their music.  The members of Seo Linn are Stephen Farrell, Keith O’Brian, David Ormonde, and Kevin Shorthall. Stephen comes from Co. Roscommon while the rest of the group are from Co. Kilkenny. The band has been together since 2012 and they have gone from strength to strength with their single “Ar Scáth a Chéile” in 2014 and their song “The Irish Roar” becoming the FAI Anthem for the World Cup in 2016.

Students from Transition Year and 5th year attended two workshops delivered by the group.  The talented musicians taught the students a song “as Gaeilge”.  The song was ‘Renegade’ by X Ambassadors.  The students took part in a recording workshop where they learned how to layer percussion and other vocals onto an existing track.  The students were divided into smaller groups throughout the morning and they all came together in the afternoon to record their own version of ‘Renegade’.  This recording featured over 200 students plus the four members of Seo Linn.  The finished product was very impressive.  The students found the experience both interesting and rewarding particularly as the exercise was completed “as Gaeilge”.  Their rendition of this song can be found on the Seo Linn SoundCloud account.  Following the students recording the group played a few songs for the crowd, including their own song “Ar Scáth a Chéile” and the song that helped them with their recent success “Wake Me Up.” We wish this brilliant group every success in the future and thank them for their visit to our school.

Irish dancing

The TYs danced all day on Friday 13th January. All of our TY students were involved in the Irish dancing where they learned how to step, hop and reel. Another Irish dancing workshop will take place next Friday for our TY students.

Magnificent Seven

On Tuesday 17th employees from seven local restaurants will visit the school. A selection of TYs will work with local chefs on an exciting new project which will undoubtedly develop their cooking and creative skills.


Fifty TY students will be attending a taster day in Letterkenny Institute of Technology on Thursday 19th January. This will allow students to gain a greater understanding of campus life and college courses available to them.


U14’s Girls Football training

U14’s girls training will take place after school on Thursday evenings from 3:30 – 4:30 pm. The first game will take place in Letterkenny against Loreto. A date is yet to be confirmed.

Girls Basketball

The U16’s girls have their All Ireland Basketball Play offs in Bray, County Wicklow, against Coláiste Oiriall from Monaghan, next week. The U19’s team also have their All Ireland Play Offs next weekend in Monaghan. We would like to wish both of these teams the best of luck in their Play Offs.

Senior Boys Soccer

The senior boys’ team had a game scheduled against St Eunan’s on Wednesday 18th January. However, the game has been rescheduled for the following week; a date is yet to be decided.


Our first year boys and girls Sportshall athletic teams have both qualified for the County Final in Deele College in two weeks’ time. The top 8 schools in the county will go head to head in the event consisting of indoor track and field events. This year is the first time that the top team in the final will qualify to represent Donegal in the All Ireland Final in Athlone in March. 

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