AVS Notes 15th September 2017

AVS Notes 15th September 2017

Junior Cert Results

Junior Cert results were given out this week on Wednesday 13th September. Congratulations to each student on their outstanding results. We are proud of your hard work and the dedication that you have shown to your studies here in the AVS. We hope you continue this admirable level in senior cycle. Thank you to all of our staff for their continued care, hard work and support to these students over the last three years. We can all be very proud of these students.

Guidance Department – Junior Cert Congratulations

The Guidance Department would like to congratulate all of those who received their Junior Cert results on Wednesday, 13th September.
If any student would like to discuss their result please feel free to make contact with the Guidance Department. Ms Mc Morrow will look after those that were in 3 a, b or c. Ms Faherty will look after those that were in 3 d, e or f.

Naughton Foundation Scholarship

We are delighted to announce that a student of our school, Emily McGill, has been awarded a scholarship of €20,000 towards her third level studies in the area of Engineering, Science or Technology at University in Ireland. Emily received 625 points in her Leaving Cert this year. The Naughton Scholarships are a scheme of scholarships to promote the study of Engineering, Science and Technology at third level by students in Ireland. The programme seeks to connect exceptional students at undergraduate, masters and postgraduate level with leading faculty in those fields,

The school will also receive an award of €1,000 towards its Science facilities as an appreciation of your assistance. “Abbey Vocational School Principal, Geraldine Diver, is absolutely delighted with Emily’s success; “We are delighted at the Abbey Vocational School to hear of Emily’s success in being awarded this prestigious scholarship. Emily is extremely deserving of this scholarship and I wish her every success in the very bright future I know that she has ahead.

“I would like to acknowledge all of our staff here in the school for all of the support given to Emily and indeed all of our students during their time here. “This programme seeks to connect exceptional students at undergraduate, masters and postgraduate level with leading faculty in those fields, stimulating collaborative research among the participating students and faculty and build stronger connections between the host institutions and countries. “It is an excellent opportunity for Emily and I know we will hear more of this marvellous young lady in the future!”

The Awards Ceremony will take place on Saturday 23rd September 2017 at 1pm in Trinity College Dublin. There were only 34 scholarships awarded in the country and only one in Donegal so this is phenomenal for Emily and for the AVS.

TV Documentary

The Abbey Vocational School features in a Documentary called “The Classroom Divide” on RTE 1 TV after the 9 o’clock news on Monday night 18th. It featured our principal, staff and students and one of our families. It is about the challenges that face those from rural areas attending college etc. as opposed to those living in cities – as well as other educational topics.

Instructional Leadership in the AVS

On the 19th June 2017, a national conference was held in Carlow for Principals and Deputy Principals from all over Ireland. The conference was centered on Instructional Leadership and staff members of Abbey Vocational School were fortunate enough to be asked to deliver a presentation outlining their experience in this active learning initiative. Mr M Leyden, Mr C Hegarty and Miss A Cunningham undertook the task and came together to plan their presentation. The presentation shared the school’s practices with Instructional Leadership and plans for the future and informed the audience of the school’s Instructional Leadership committee and the work that they have done to date. This included information and display of a booklet produced by staff for all teachers incorporating teaching approaches and graphic organisers for use within the classroom. It was a valuable and insightful day as schools countrywide shared and collaborated on methods to improve teaching and learning. Thank you to these teachers for all their work in this area.

First Year Parents Information Night

There will be a First Year Parent Information Night held in the school on Monday 25th September at 7pm. This evening informs parents on the various matters arising for first years.


Art students are currently working on a poster for all school classrooms along the theme of respect, effort and attention. Congratulations to our Junior Cert Art students who received their results on Wednesday, all their hard work paid off.


We have many applications for the role of prefect this year and interviews for Leaving Cert prefects will be held on Friday next to determine this year’s prefects.

Student Council

Elections are currently being held for 1st year, Transition Year and 5th year student council. Council members will be announced next week. Thank you to all of our hard working members from last year’s Council and we look forward to getting the selection process underway for this year’s committee under Mr Plunkett’s guidance.


LCA students will begin their weekly work experience this Friday. Good luck to all our students on their placement. These LCA students travelled to Bundoran Adventure Centre on Monday 11th September to participate in team building events. Students felt this was an excellent and enjoyable day as they participated in bonding activities.

Evening Study

Evening Study commenced this week for all those Junior and Leaving Certs who wish to attend. Please collect and complete the form at the school office in order to take part.

School Closed to Pupils – Staff Training Day

The school will be closed to students on Monday 25th September for a staff training day on the new Junior Cert. The DES has again instructed schools to hold training days this academic year in this regard.

Parents Association

The AGM of the Parents Association will be held in early October – date to be advised soon.


Auditions for the TY musical ‘Mamma Mia’ are complete. The lead cast will be announced on Monday. Well done to all our students who auditioned for parts. We are looking forward to a great show in November.

Irish Traditional Group

The Irish Trad Group will commence every Tuesday at lunch from the 26th September in room 13 at 1:30pm. Please bring your own instruments.


Spanish Club will be re-commencing for first year students with Ms Mc Nulty. All first years are welcome to attend at lunchtimes and they will participate in fun learning activities to enrich their understanding of Spanish. A classroom and date is yet to be confirmed.


The 6th year LCVP students held a treasure hunt for first years to help them settle into the school on Friday. It was an exciting event that created a buzz around the school and helped first years find their way around. The winners received a feast from Apache pizza!

Cycle Against Suicide

Last Sunday evening the school was extremely honoured to be presented with the Cycle Against Suicide Awareness Banner. The Banner displays numbers for many useful organisations that are there to help. Last year the school had the honour of being an Ambassador School for Cycle Against Suicide, to congratulate us on all our hard work throughout the year the school will be presented with a special plaque in the coming weeks. It was a privilege to work alongside such a wonderful organisation. We look forward to continuing our work as an Ambassador School for Cycle Against Suicide this year.

Amber Flag

Last June the school was awarded the Amber Flag award. The Amber flag initiative aims to encourage Schools/Colleges/ Clubs/Societies/Organisations to promote and actively bring about a cultural change in the promotion of positive mental health within the educational system and other organisations. This flag will be raised in the school at the end of this month.

Healthy Schools

A committee for the Healthy Schools team is in the process of being set up yet again this year after the very successful programme of events last year. When set up, the committee will work alongside the 1st year Active Leisure classes. Throughout the year they will be promoting; healthy eating, health and fitness, a healthy mind and a healthy environment.

Big Brother, Big Sister

In the coming weeks a number of TY students will undergo mentoring training in the Big Brother, Big Sister Programme. The training will be delivered by a member of Foróige. After the training each TY student will be paired up with a 1st year student. These students will meet up weekly and the TY student will support the 1st year students for the rest of the year.

Transition Year:

Gartan Outdoor Adventure Trip

The wet and windy weather didn’t stop our 110 TY students travelling and participating in outdoor events in Gartan Outdoor Adventure centre on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week. The weather was not as bad as the group initially thought and it surely didn’t dampen the enthusiasm of our groups! They were split into three groups with a range of five activities over the two days. All groups participated in: archery, orienteering, team building, wall climbing and kayaking. The groups thoroughly enjoyed the kayaking activity which lasted approximately 2 hours; some managed to stay dry during it! A huge thanks to Gartan Adventure Centre for serving students and staff a lovely dinner and breakfast. A big thank you to Mrs Crawford, Miss Rooney, Mr Hegarty and Mr O’Donnell who supervised the trip. The students stopped in McDonalds on the way home which was a lovely treat after all their adventurous activities. They returned to receive their Junior Cert results thereafter, congratulations to all our TY’s!

Enterprise Day

There is an Enterprise Day in the Mill Park Hotel for TY students on Thursday 21st September. This will help them brainstorm ideas for their mini companies this year.

Alan Devine Public – Speaking Workshop

Alan Devine will return this year; Alan will deliver four highly exciting workshops to our TY students. 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 last year they really enjoyed the interactive workshop. It will be of great benefit to this year’s TY’s in preparation for the musical. The dates are as follows: 12th and 25th October and 27th and 28th November.

Ger Carey – Stand-up Comedian

“Ger Carey is a hilarious stand-up comedian and is presenting a show for TY students on Wednesday 11th October in the Balor Theatre, Ballybofey. By secretly observing his subjects in their natural habitat, such as leaning on lampposts, in chippers, outside chippers, in shopping centres and sitting on any kind of step, Ger has uncovered the weird and frightening world of the teenager! The aim of the show is to get teenagers to laugh at themselves and appreciate the differences of others” (www.hawkswell.com). This trip will assist students in their English course and teach them how confidence is important in life and not just when you’re on the stage!

Ploughing Championships

TYs who are attending The Ploughing Championships this year will be heading to Tullamore on Tuesday 19th September. The bus will be leaving the school at 6:45 am and will return in the evening. The Ploughing Championships is an Annual Agricultural event held every September and is Europe’s largest outdoor event, “The National Ploughing Championships” given the triumph of this year’s event. The total attendance figures for the 2016 Championship came to a record breaking 283,000. This marks the most successful National Ploughing Championships in history. It’s sure to be an enjoyable day for TY’s!

Dance Workshop

On Monday 11th TY’s took to the library to dance the day away at a lively dance workshop.

School Tour Abroad

This year’s Senior Educational Tour will be to Lake Garda, Italy and takes place during the Easter holidays. We will be visiting Venice, Verona and Milan during the 4 day trip. The closing date for application forms has now passed.



Ulster Schools Multi-Events: Four students (Niamh Moohan, Rachel Gallagher, Gwenaelle Ní Dhonnabhain and Leo Carey McDermott) travelled to Antrim on Thursday 14th to compete against the top athletes from across the province. They participated in a multi- discipline competition consisting of running, jumping, hurdling and throwing events. The top three athletes in each category will qualify for the All Ireland’s in October. Well done to Rachel Gallagher who came third this Friday in the Ulster Schools multi event and has qualified for the All Irelands at the end of October. Rachel completed high performances throughout all of her events coming first in her hurdles and 800m heats. Well done also to Leo Carey McDermott too who also qualified for the All Irelands next month. Leo performed very well getting a personal best in the 200m to finish 4th overall.

Athletics training Tuesday after school – 5:30 open to all students.


The first Cross Country event of the season took place in the Holmes this Friday. They raced against athletes from South Donegal and this event ran in conjunction with the Primary School Competition.
It was also the TY coaches’ first outing at cross country event at the Holmes pitch for first and second years. It was a successful day of cross country event with Savannah Timoney (2nd year) and Connor Campbell (2nd) year both winning their races.

Training times for cross – country are as follows: Tuesday 4.00-5.30pm and Friday lunchtime.

Girls Basketball

Senior and U16 girls’ basketball training started again this week. The girls are competing in the B competition this year and have been entered into the Cup Competition. The first league fixture for both teams was this week against St Catherine’s Killybegs. Next month our seniors are away to Loreto Mullingar and our U16s are away to St, Ronan’s Lurgan. We wish them well in their preparation and games.


The first round is expected to take place in a week’s time. For a student to participate they must be part of a Golf Club and have their own personal handicap. The 1st round of Donegal schools golf will take place on Monday the 2nd October in Letterkenny golf club competing against St Eunans and Loretto, Milford.

Boys Basketball

1st and 2nd year boys’ basketball training will be on every Friday from 3:30-4:45 pm.

Gaelic training

U14 boys Gaelic training/trials begin next week in preparation for their competition which starts next month. Good luck to all involved.

Girls Basketball

Seniors and U16’s training takes place on Monday’s and Thursday’s. In addition, first and second year training will take place Wednesday after school.

Girls Active

After a successful year, last year Girls Active returns after school Thursday in parish hall 3:45-4:45 pm.