Abbey Vocational School notes

Abbey Vocational School News

Parent Teacher Meetings

Thank you to all 6th year parents/guardians who attended the 6th year Parent/Teacher meeting on Thursday, October 12th. Our 3rd year students Parent/Teacher meeting will take place on Wednesday, 25th October. We encourage all parents to attend, where possible.

Parents Association AGM 2017

The AGM of the Parents’ Association took place this week on Tuesday night, October 10th. We thank all of our parents who have been part of our Parents’ Association over the years. Your contribution to our school is invaluable. The first meeting of the year takes place on Monday night 16th at 8 pm in the school.

Staff Training Day

The final JCT training day for this academic year is on November 16th. There will be no school for students on this day.

Talk for Parents

A talk by the organisation Jigsaw was held on Wednesday in the school on 'Supporting Young People's Mental Health’. This was for parents, guardians and those interested. Thank you to ‘Jigsaw’for hosting the informative talk.

AVS Guidance department

On Wednesday, November 22nd at 6.30pm an evening will take place for school leavers. This will include information on CAO, UCAS, HEAR, DARE and SUSI (Grants) discussion. It is hoped that the parents of leaving cert students will be in attendance. 

Mock Interviews

On Tuesday, February 06, mock interviews will take place for leaving cert students. 

Subject Choice

On Tuesday, May 1st, 2018 a subjects choice discussion will take place. The talk will be aimed at the parents of present 1st years. 

Subject Choice 

Subject Choices talk for the parents of present 3rd years and Transtition Year students will take place on Tuesday, February 6th, 2018. The talk will be aimed at the parents of 3rd and TY students. 


This week was Mental Health Week and we had many positive mental health activities lined up for the week including drop everything and walk, sing for your mental health, study skills sessions, yoga, relax and read and many other such sessions for students. 2nd, 3rd and 6th year students participated in Headspace Meditation classes which were held with Ms Rooney this week; headspace aims to teach students how to meditate and relax for a few minutes each day. Mr Mc Hugh completed a 1st year ‘Drop Everything and Walk’ session where our students got out for some fresh air on the track this week. All week there was a playlist of music playing in the assembly area to help create a happy atmosphere. Ms. Carr and Ms. Gallagher conducted a lovely sing – song on Friday as the assembly area was once again filled with music, this time from the AVS’ own music classes. The staff of the AVS had a relaxation area in the staff room on Friday so they could unwind during some of their hectic day. Thank you to the Guidance and Music Department, The Healthy School’s team: Ms Rooney, Rosemarie Myers and Mr Mc Hugh for running such an amazing week highlighting the importance of positive mental health. Feel free to check out the #MyWee5 campaign on Twitter to see what we got up to this week!

Amber Flag

The Abbey Vocational School was awarded the Amber Flag and this flag was raised on Friday last which was the final day of our Mental Health week. The awarding of the AMBER FLAG is to schools who are due recognition for the effort and commitment they have put into generating greater understanding and awareness of mental health issues. The school have introduced many programmes and incentives such as;

Mental Health Week and Health Promoting School.
Senior Prefects and TY mentoring.
Tree of Hope and Amber flag notice board.
AVS Positive Mental Health Video.

Cycle against Suicide Ambassador school

The Abbey Vocational school was honored to be chosen as an Ambassador school for the Cycle Against Suicide. The school was presented with this award also on Friday as part of Mental Health week. Ambassador School Programme aims to encourage schools to become actively involved in mental health promotion. The programme provides a framework, structure and incentive for schools to integrate mental health activities into their school planning and rewards schools that go the extra mile. The 5 gears achieved by the school last year were:

Mental Health Education
Project Work
Community Engagement
#SchoolsGo Orange
Get Active

Staff Training

We have had many of our staff attending training in Instructional Leadership over the last few years as part of Donegal ETB initiative. This week some of our staff attended training in Carlow and two Donegal ETB schools presented to those who attended the IL conference on how they rolled out IL in schools. The Abbey Vocational School and Deele College were privileged to be asked to present at this conference. We thank Mr Michael Leyden and Mr Christopher Hegarty for their excellent presentation .


Work has now begun on the sets for this year’s musical. Thank you to all our wonderful students who have helped out painting the sets. All Credit Union Art Competition entries are now in; well done to all our entrants. The annual Junior Cert art exhibition, Suile na n’Óg, is currently on at the Regional Cultural Centre in Letterkenny and it features work from a number of our students.


Countdown returns with even more challenges for our students. The competition will run weekly until Easter. Countdown is a maths based challenge and Junior and Senior students can participate which will ultimately allow them to partake in the semi-finals and then a final round. The more times you enter, the more chances you have of being selected for the semi – finals. The winners are in with a chance to win Shop Local Vouchers. Please visit the TV screens in the assembly and canteen area weekly for the challenges and more information on Countdown.

Guidance Department

The IT Sligo Open Day will take place on Thursday, 19 October 2017. A bus for 5th years will leave from the school.  The day out is optional.  A €5 fee towards the cost of the bus must be paid to Ms Mc Morrow by Tuesday, 17 October at 4 p.m. In addition, The North-West Regional College, Derry, are visiting the school on Friday, 20th October. There will be a talk from 2.40 p.m. until 3.20 p.m. for Leaving Certs. Please let your Guidance Councillor know if you would like to attend. Lastly, Dublin City University (DCU) will hold a careers talk in the library on Tuesday, 17 October at 2.40 p.m. If you are interested in attending the talk please let the Guidance Department know during class this week.

Study Skills Courses

Our Leaving Cert students participated in a 6th year study skills session with Mr Michael Bond who delivered an excellent session on study skills and motivation. Our 5th year students participated in a study workshop with the student enrichment services on Wednesday, 11th October which also was a excellent workshop on how to approach study and to break down substantial areas of study into manageable pieces. Students benefit from such sessions in reviewing how best to study and they pick up many tools to assist them in this area.


Congratulations to our students who are prefects this year and we know you will uphold the duty with respect and diligence. Prefects are in place to help the student body and community. This years prefects are:

Juniors (red badge)

Laura Kennedy, Maeve Eccles, Rachel Kerrigan, Grace Cannon, Aoife Duffy, Beth Taggart, Jennifer Blain, Rachel Shovlin, Louise Burke, Niamh Doherty and Aine Gallagher.

Senior (blue badges)

Aine Gillespie, Kara Meehan, Cathal Canavan, Patrick Breslin, Caitlin Norby, Eryn Doherty, Neasa Gorrell, Aoife Curran, Patrick Boyle, Georgia Gallagher and Lauren Kee.

MS Readathon

We encourage all students involved in this year’s MS Readathon who are involved to continue with their efforts. Well done so far!


Spanish Club continues on Monday in Room 1 with Ms Mc Nulty. All first year’s welcome.

Debate Club

The AVS are recruiting any first-year students who are interested in joining a debate club. Students who are interested may give their name to their English teacher or Ms Murray. We will have more details to follow soon.


Wednesday and Thursday dance rehearsals will take place for ‘Mammia Mia’ from 6-8pm. The Sunday dance rehearsals have been cancelled. On Wednesday music rehearsals will take place from 3:30-5:30pm. All rehearsals will take place in the library unless stated otherwise.

Road Safety Road Show
The Road Safety Road Show was held this Tuesday in the Aura Leisure Centre in Letterkenny. A huge thank you to Donegal County Council who hosted the event. Our TY’s felt it was a valuable experience as it offered them different perspectives of how poor driving behaviour on the roads can affect families, doctors, paramedics and victims involved.

Public Speaking Workshop
Alan Devine returned this Thursday to deliver his public speaking class. Alan delivered four highly exciting workshops to our TY students last year. He has over twenty years’ experience as an actor therefore, he is not fearful of speaking in front of a crowd. The TY’s said “it was really fun” and “he definitely made me more aware of how it’s important to sound confident, even if you don’t feel it!” It will be of great benefit to this year’s TY’s in preparation for life! Alan will complete three more workshops with other TY classes on: 25th October and 27th & 28th November.

Ger Carey – Comedian

The TY’s had a hilarious time in Ballybofey on Wednesday when they watched Ger Carey’s hilarious stand – up comedy show. Thirty – four students, Ms Mc Partlan, Ms Murray and Mary Crawford had a cracking time at the show where Ger Carey uncovered the strange world of the teenager and their life in school.

The aim of the show is to get our students to laugh at themselves and understand that we are all different. This trip was part of their English course to teach students how confidence is important in life, not just when you’re on the stage. Before and after the show students had some time to grab a coffee and food in Ballybofey.



First year students are participating in trials for our Sports Hall Athletics team. The top 12 boys and girls will represent the school at the Donegal Regional Competition on October 23rd . Training continues every Tuesday after school for all age groups.

Cross country training is on Friday at lunch time. We encourage all interested to attend.

Good luck to Rachel Gallagher and Leo Carey McDermott who are both competing in the All Irelands on the 28th October.  

Girls Basketball

Well done to the U16 girls who won yet another match! The U16 girls are having a great year so far.

The U16s girls defeated St. Ronans, Lurgan last Thursday the 12th of October 39 - 15. Overall great team performance with Courtney Harron, Katie Timoney and Sophie Carr on flying form.

They now go on to meet the winners of Castlerea CS vs St. Catherine's Killybegs in the All Ireland Quarter Final Cup.

Our U19 girls’ basketball team are away to Loreto College, Mullingar this Monday 19th October in the first round of the All Ireland Cup. 

Both teams also play St Catherine's Killybegs in the next round of the league.  We wish both teams good luck in their games. 

Training continues Mondays and Thursdays after school for our U16 and U19 girls.

Training for 1st and 2nd year girls is on Wednesday after school.

Boys Basketball

First and second year boys’ basketball training will be every Friday 3:30 - 5:00. U16 and senior’s boys basketball training will be every Monday 5:30 – 7.00. Good luck to the U16 boys who take on their first match on the 26th October at home to Ballina.

Girls Gaelic

U14, U16 and U20 girls training will change to every Tuesday from 4:15-5:15 from this week and it will be coached by Ms Rooney. Please bring runners, a warm top, water and a gumshield.

The U14 league will start after Christmas. The U20’s are up against Dean Maguire first and they will also play St. Catherine’s, Killybegs, on the 13th November, Carndonagh on the 23rd November and Colaíste Ailigh on the 30th November.

U16’s played their first game last Friday against St Catherine’s Killybegs. It was a very competitive game. Both teams shared scores throughout the game but St Catherine’s edged in front with two goals in the last few minutes of the game.The girls will now play Deele Collage and Gairmscoil Chú Uladh on the 10th November.

Boys Gaelic

Senior boys Gaelic training is every Tuesday after school at 4pm.

U16 boys Gaelic training will continue every Wednesday after school. Mr Carty and Mr Lafferty manage the team this year.

U14 boys Gaelic football training is every Thursday 3:30-4:45pm. Please ensure to bring runners, a warm top, water and a gum shield. The U 14s beat Glenties Comprehensive on Friday last 1.16 to 4.03. Our boys were winning by 10 points at half time having played very well in the first half. With the breeze Glenties came back to within a point before the AVS pulled away again to win by 4. We play Carrick this Wednesday in our final group game.

Boys Soccer

Well done to are senior boys who drew against Dungloe in Maraghy. They AVS boys were 2-0 up at half time with Eoghan Curly chipping the keeper in a 1v1 and Shaun Kennedy crossing the ball from the corner with a follow up from Ryan Brogan. In the 2nd half things began to get more intense.

Within five minutes Dungloe got a goal but the AVS boys responded straight away. In late injury Kieran Monaghan broke away and was brought down by the last man; he got sent off. The AVS’ equalising goal was scored by Kieran Monaghan from a rebound off Ben Sweeney’s shot. The final score was 3-3. The boys’ next game is their last in the group, it’s against St. Columba’s in the coming weeks.


Good luck to Mr Plunkett’s team who will play the next round in the Donegal golf course next Thursday.


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