Abbey Vocational School
Donegal Town

Abbey V.S. Newsletter - Mon 15th Nov 2021

Abbey V.S. Newsletter - Mon 15th Nov 2021

AVS Newsletter.jpg

Issue 7: 2021-2022

8th Nov2021 to 14th Nov 2021

Parent Teacher Meetings

Thanks to all of the parents / guardians who attended our online third year Parent teacher meeting last week. The feedback from parents was very positive and we thank you for your cooperation in the organisation of this process.

The dates for the remaining parent teacher meetings are:

  • Wednesday 24th November 2021 - 6th Year & LCA2 online.
  • Wednesday 1st December 2021 - 1st Year
  • Thursday 13th January 2022 - 5th Year, TY & LCA 1
  • Thursday 27th January 2022 - 2nd Year

Please see our school website under parents and parent teacher meetings for all of the updates.

Christmas Tests 2021

These tests will run the week of 13th-17th December

Exams will be 1 hour long for Junior students and 1.5 hours long for Senior students

The breakdown of the exam will be 30% for continuous assessment and 70% towards the exam paper

A timetable and further information will be issued shortly

School Reports will be available in January


Respect Week 15th-19th November

Respect Week is being held from the 15th-19th of November with many activities, presentations, displays and initiatives planned. Respect Week will see students analyse an Anti Bullying Awareness Presentation and contribute to many Anti Bullying Activities such as Kindness Bingo, Kind Messages & Emoji Activity. An Anti Bullying session will be run with the aid of the Cyclone Rep Theatre Company and also a Drop In Information Session held with Ms Rooney and Leaving Cert Prefects.

During Respect Week topical issues will be highlighted each day;

Monday- Race Awareness

The AVS will put racism under the microscope as students learn about racism as: Any action, practice, policy, law, speech, or incident which has the effect (whether intentional or not) of undermining anyone’s enjoyment of their human rights.

Tuesday-Intercultural Day

Students across all classes will mark the day by exploring music, artwork, dance, story, language and food.

Wednesday-Historical Events involving Persecution

Researching anecdotal evidence of persecution, such as the Holocaust and the systematic persecution of six millions Jews during WWII.


Where we celebrate and increase awareness about the diversity of cultures and ethnicities and the positive impact diversity can have on society.


LGBTQA+ Awareness Days serve the purpose of creating visibility of and raising support for marginalized populations within the community.

Anti Bullying Webinar

All first year students will receive two webinars on bullying prevention on the 18th November. The key focus of both thirty-minute webinars is to focus on what students can do to help prevent bullying. Below is a review of what is included in each webinar.

Webinar 1 includes:

a discussion on what Bullying is and the 8 bullying sub-types (with a focus on Cyberbullying as it has been on the rise during the Covid 19 pandemic),

animations which feature the common types of bullying students experience and how they can feel about it,

a review of activities that can help prevent bullying in the short and long term

a Bullying Prevention Brainstorm activity where students are asked to suggest and vote on actions to help prevent bullying in their school.

Webinar 2 includes:

the roles students can play as Bystanders in the Bullying Circle,

resilience building activities that focus on the creation of effective habits to realise personal goals and prevent bullying

animations look at how bystanders can help bullied and isolated students,

and finishes with a review of student suggestions to prevent bullying in light of the lesson’s learning.


On the 22nd of November, in collaboration with BULLY4U, 1st Yr and 3rd Yr Students will investigate the topic of bullying and the tools to empower students.

Established in 2008, Bully4U is a national, not for profit organisation with an excellent reputation in the provision of anti bullying / Cyber Bullying services for primary and secondary schools, clubs and health organisations in the Republic of Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Bully4U have supported and guided students, teachers and parents in primary and secondary level schools. Student workshops are extremely effective and produce the following results:

Empowering the victims of bullying and cyber-bullying to seek assistance to end the cycle of abuse they are enduring.

Assisting students engaged in bullying behaviour to recognise and change their behaviour.

Empowering bystanders to support their fellow students and to report bullying behaviour to school authorities.

Ongoing School Wellbeing Plan

Please see below our continually evolving wellbeing plan. Throughout the year more events and incentives will be added to our list.





15th - 19th

Respect Week


8th and 19th

1st yr internet safety



Bullying Prevention Session



CLASS activity (Yoga)



CLASS activity (Girls Active)



CLASS Activity (Wellbeing walk/Scavenger hunt)



Think languages


22nd - 26th

College Awareness Week


10th and 11th

TY Fundraiser (a donation will be made to asthma society of Ireland)



Xmas Fair



Xmas Concert


1st - 31st

Wellness Month


8th, 9th and 11th



7th - 11th

Safer Internet Week


1st - 17th

Seachtain na Gaeilge 2021



World Down Syndrome



Daffodil Day



World Autism Awareness



World Earth Day


25th - 29th

Active School Week



National Workplace Wellbeing

First year plans as part of Transition programme

As part of the transition process from Primary to Post Primary as well as our mentoring programme we also run many support programmes for the students in first year. The following are planned for the coming weeks:

Fun active and Sports Workshops

These workshops with Ms Kelly, our Mentor leader and teacher involved in the transition programme will offer a fun session to all of the students in first year. Students will also undertake a fun style active event with the PE Department where they will get a further opportunity to get to know their new classmates.

First Year Mentoring Programme

Our 25 Peer Mentors started their lunchtime sessions with each 1st Year class every Tuesday. 1st Years have the opportunity to participate in a range of activities such as fun Kahoot quizzes, chill out music sessions and a well-being walk around the school. This is an excellent opportunity for 1st Year students to get to know each other in a relaxed setting as well as being able to ask their mentors any questions they may have.

Positive Points Initiative

The positive points initiative will be continuing throughout the year. It is acknowledged that a positive environment in school helps students to flourish. The positive points help create a healthy class rivalry. Pupils can be awarded points by their class teachers for things such as sustained effort in class, cooperation in group work, contribution to class discussions, contribution to extra curricular activities helping others and for being polite and mannerly.

Big Brother Big Sister Programme

All our leaving cert prefects are part of the Big Brother Big Sister Mentoring Programme. The aim of the Big Brother Big Sister Programme is rooted in the most fundamental human relationships: a caring interaction between two people, one older than the other. Out of this interaction young people develop in ways that will make them more likely to succeed in the transition from adolescence to adulthood. The prefects will use the skills learned to support and guide the young students here in the Abbey Vocational School throughout the year.

Wellbeing Theme for the year for 2021/2022 - Respect - Here in the AVS we believe and encourage everyone to Respect everyone and everything around us. Respect means that you accept somebody for who they are, even when they're different from you or you don't agree with their beliefs.

Wellbeing Slogan for the year for 2021/2022 Be Kind - our mission is to inspire our students and staff to create a kinder world both inside and outside our school community.


Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge 2021

The Abbey Vocational School is looking forward to embracing the Bebras Challenge this November having had great success in previous Bebras Challenges. Our 1st, 2nd, 3rd and TY students are all registered to take part as well as some of our 5th years who study I.T. The Bebras Computing Challenge introduces computational thinking to students, by allowing them to solve interactive tasks online. It runs over 60 countries and takes place every November. The tasks can be answered without prior knowledge about computational thinking or information and communication technology. The aim is to get students all over the world excited about computing.

The Irish Maths Olympiad

Round One of the 35th Irish Mathematical Olympiad began this week with the AVS competing during one class period during the week 8-12 November. The problems are designed for students in their Senior Cycle, particularly for those in Transition Year.

The Irish Mathematical Olympiad (IrMO) is a national mathematics contest for secondary school students.The primary aim of the enrichment classes is to cultivate a love and appreciation for mathematics among talented students - this is achieved by giving such students exposure to deeper, more challenging and more interesting mathematical problems than those encountered on the school syllabus. The performance of students in the IrMO is used to identify a team of up to six students who will represent Ireland at the International Mathematical Olympiad (IMO), a prestigious international mathematics competition.

The students with the highest scores on this first round will be invited to Mathematics Enrichment classes that are being offered at universities around the country. On the 7th of May 2022, the Final Round of the 35th Irish Mathematical Olympiad will be held at the Mathematical Enrichment Centres. Good Luck to all our students!

The Pi Quiz


Junior Cycle Students will be working with their computational thinking this Autumn as the AVS holds weekly Pi Competitions for our students. Pi has been calculated to over 50 trillion digits beyond its decimal point. As an irrational and transcendental number, it will continue infinitely without repetition or pattern. While only a handful of digits are needed for typical calculations, pi’s infinite nature makes it a fun challenge to memorize, and to computationally calculate more and more digits.

The ICT/Coding Club

Our AVS Coding Club is live in room 47 on Mondays at lunchtime, please join us! Coding is what makes it possible for us to create computer software, apps and websites. Your browser, your OS, the apps on your phone, and this website – they’re all made with code. Coding, in the simplest of terms, is telling a computer what you want it to do, which involves typing in step-by-step commands for the computer to follow.

Coding & Digital Media Short Course for Junior Cycle

There are many numeracy initiatives in progress in the AVS, one such strand is the Coding & Digital Media Short Course for the Junior Cycle. This short course offers students opportunities to explore and discover the information and knowledge accessible online, enabling them to pursue their interests, to express themselves online and solve problems relevant to their lives.

In studying digital media, students learn to use digital technology, communication tools and the internet to engage in self-directed enquiry. As students develop their digital literacy skills, they improve their capacity to know what they are looking for, what information to ignore or discard, and how to identify what can be useful or significant. They learn to discriminate between the multiple sources of information available online and to challenge the views they find there. They learn how to create, collaborate and communicate effectively and to understand how and when digital technologies can best be used to support these processes.

Computer Science

The Numeracy Department is delighted to be working in collaboration with Keith Quille. Keith is a lecturer of computing in the TU Dublin, Tallaght Campus. Keith's primary area of teaching is in Software Development and applied machine learning but has also delivered a wide range of other modules. In addition to his current role in TU Dublin, Keith delivers computing camps in primary and secondary schools around Ireland, promoting computer science to all students. Keith has also been commissioned to develop resources by the NCCA for the new leaving certificate computer science subject. Engaging in the Post Primary Computing Camp will see AVS Students receive certification for completing each module in computer science.




The MS Readathon is in full swing in the Abbey Vocational School and a big thank you must go to Ms Canning for coordinating the readathon. The MS Readathon inspires children to read as much as they can, all for an incredible cause. The rules are simple. Read whatever you like, as much as you can, in November. This year’s MS Readathon kicks off on November 1st and wraps up on November 30th. Children can register with their school (teachers, you can register your class) or individually. Best of all, by joining our quest, not only will you awaken a love of reading, you will also be helping make a difference to the lives of those living with multiple sclerosis.

Funds raised from the MS Readathon will help fund vital support services for people living with multiple sclerosis and their families. Services like our Information Line, which is often the first point of contact for people newly diagnosed with MS.

Geography Awareness Week 2021


Geography Awareness Week 2021 takes place between Mon 15th Nov and Fri 19th Nov. The Geography Dept will be encouraging students to become more Geo-Aware through a series of activities throughout the week. These include:

  • "Gelphy" (a geography selfie) - Students will be encouraged to take and submit Geography related photos from the local area / community. Prize for best photo.
  • 'Landscapes in a Box' competition - students will be encouraged to create a model of a landscape of their choice in a box.
  • Wednesday 17th November is also World GIS Day.

Follow @avsgeography on Twitter. #GeoWeek and #ThatsGeography.

WorldWise Global Schools, Ireland’s Global Citizenship Education programme for post-primary schools

The Abbey Vocational School is delighted to be engaging in the WorldWise Global Schools. WorldWise Global Schools (WWGS) was established in 2013. Since then, the programme has worked with 350 schools nationwide, in an effort to integrate Global Citizenship Education into all aspects of teaching and learning at post-primary level. By providing a comprehensive range of support and interventions for schools — including grant funding, training, events, resources and personalised support from the WorldWise Team.


Global Citizenship Education (GCE) is a powerful vehicle through which we can better understand the world we live in, and take action to change it as informed global citizens. It equips both educators and learners with the knowledge, skills and values to act ethically and sustainably in a world that is both complex and highly interconnected.

AVS Reduce Screen time Initiative- Week Five

Week Five: Week five sees our challenge gaining great pace! All students who signed up have been tracking their phone use. All students taking part have received an AVS phone sleeping bag which they can use when they go home from school to put their phone in and leave it there until the next morning.

We are running this initiative to try and encourage all our students to use the time to reconnect with their family and friends, inviting them over to talk instead of using their phones to communicate with them and to encourage them to avoid posting on social media.

There will be a prize for the students that can reduce their screen time the most. If you have not received your AVS sleeping bag already don’t forget to collect one from Ms Rooney’s office.

NonSport Lunchtime Clubs

There are many clubs available for our students to join such as drama, debating and Spanish club!


Science Club

Our Science Club continues every week in the Laboratory room 33 on Wednesday’s at lunchtime, new members welcome! The Science Club is the place for students who are interested in science to learn about all scopes of science from medicine to chemistry to physics to the environment. We discuss how to use this conceptual basis for applications in the real world.

Science Week


Science Week is a week-long event in Ireland each November, celebrating science in our everyday lives.This year Science Week will focus on Creating Our Future, a national conversation between the general public, the research community and policy makers. Science Week includes a wide variety of events involving industry, colleges, schools, libraries, teachers, researchers and students throughout Ireland.


The Abbey Vocational School embraced Science Week with a variety of events such as talks, projects and a poster competition. A big thank you to Mr Hegarty who completed science demonstrations for first years to show them some of the magic of science and especially of chemistry. A table quiz was held in each of the second year science classes based on the format used for the Junior Certificate ISTA quiz held annually in Letterkenny.



Spanish Club

The Spanish club is on every Thursday at lunch time in room 33. Come along to improve your spoken Spanish and to learn more about Spanish culture. The club is open to all junior students, and new members are always welcome!

El club español continúa esta semana el jueves a la hora del almuerzo en la sala 33, el club está disponible para todos los estudiantes menores. ¡No dude en unirse!

Chess Club

The AVS chess club will run on Wednesdays during lunchtime in Room 33. We look forward to meeting all our experienced players and those new students who want to learn how to play Chess are very welcome!

Debating Club

Our Debating Club runs every Tuesday in room 33! The debate club gives our students a fun way of developing their oracy skills. The club also helps students to become more informed about political and global affairs. Our members are currently preparing speeches for their first debate which will take place in the coming weeks. We will also be giving members the opportunity to enter the Action Aid National Speech Writing Competition. New members are always welcome, we would love to see you there!

Book Club

Join us every Friday in the Garden for our AVS Book Club! Our book discussion club is a group of students who meet to discuss a book or books that they have read and express their opinions, likes, dislikes, etc. We would be delighted to welcome new members as we delve into the world of our favourite authors!


All orders for the canteen must now be done through Click on the AVS school crest picture at the bottom of the page and this will take you to the menu that you can order from. The cashless card will then be used to identify the student and you pay by your regular debit/credit card at the moment. Do not top up the cashless card at the moment. The cards are on sale from the chef in the canteen in school.



There is a free online event happening on 27th November for students with disabilities. Click HERE for further information and to register for the event.


  • 26th January 2022 = Deadline date for course applications


  • 1st February 2022: CAO closes for applications
  • 1st March 2022: Closing date for online completion of HEAR/DARE forms 15th March 2022: Latest date for submitting HEAR/DARE supporting documents to the CAO office
  • 5th May 2022: Online for facility for Change Of Mind becomes available
  • 1st July 2022: Change Of Mind Facility closes

Please click HERE for further details.


Leaving Cert 1:1 appointments are ongoing.

Please see your Guidance Counsellor to book an appointment.


Please keep an eye on our guidance website. Go to - Student Support tab - click on Guidance/Counselling

Teaching & Learning

The Teaching & Learning Committee at the Abbey Vocational School has immersed itself in the The Learner Voice Framework. The Learner Voice Initiative is a self-assessment and development tool that enables organisations to identify, measure and improve the quality of their learner voice practice.

The framework offers space for a shared understanding of what a learner voice is and what effective learner voice looks like in practice. It guides a conversation about the value and importance of empowering learners to shape their education and be active citizens in their community. In turn, we can support students with tools to aid their study. How best do I study, make notes, such as students preparing work in their own words as a revision tool.

Teaching & Learning: A look at Study Planning

Christmas house-exams are approaching. Shortly after the Christmas holidays, Leaving Certificate and Junior Cycle Mock Examinations will quickly draw near.

Juggling your classes, homework, and other commitments such as extracurricular activities and sport, managing your time to study can be challenging. An effective way to achieve your own learning goals to implement a study plan. There are many ways to plan your study, from monthly to weekly to daily timetables, priority lists, and checklists. However, do not get overwhelmed in trying to perfect the ideal plan! One key advantage of study plans is that it will help you to avoid stress in that you will have a clear plan of what you will be doing each week.

Two useful approaches include:

  1. A Weekly Study Timetable will outline specific times for study and when you need to take time off.
  2. A Subject Planner will provide you with an overview of what is needed in a particular subject.

Weekly Study Timetable

Creating a weekly study timetable is one of the most important things you can do to study effectively. With the aid of a template:

  1. Shade-in times for extracurricular activities such as sport, music lessons, gym etc.
  2. Shade-in the times you really don't want to study!
  3. Pick the times you will study
  4. Write in the subjects you will study in each available time slot

There are many templates and even apps available online, however, we have placed an editable MS Word Version on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website for handiness.

Subject Planner

The subject planner will contain a list of all the topics in that subject and will provide you with a broad outline of what needs to be done. Your teacher may provide this list and in some subjects, the chapters of your textbook are also useful. Alternatively, many of the exam papers contain ready-made topic lists. You might also add a column in your plan to rate the difficulty of each topic in order to identify topics requiring further revision. Once again, we have placed an MS Word template on the Teaching & Learning section of the school website. (

Some further points to note:

  1. Creating a lovely colour-coded plan in an Excel spreadsheet or MS Word document is all well and good, but if you can’t see it on a daily basis, it can easily start to slip your mind. Either write or print it out and stick it up on the wall at home or around your desk to remind you what you are due to cover each week.
  2. Discover what works for you. Keep your plan flexible. If you have scheduled an hour of study at 8 pm every evening but find you are not being productive, then make a change. For example, try getting up an hour earlier to see if morning-study works better for you.
  3. Break subjects/topics down into small chunks. Assess how familiar you are with each topic and focus on your weak areas.
  4. Wellbeing: It is important to take regular breaks when you are studying to ensure you don’t burn out. Include 5- or 10-minute breaks in your study plan. It is also important to make time for the things you like to do such as meeting with friends, going for walks, running, cycling, etc. Ultimately, this will better prepare you mentally to achieve your study goals. Well-balanced meals and adequate sleep are also vital.

….. And finally, don’t get disheartened if you break the timetable! Forget about it and focus on the plan for the following day.

Next week, a look at study planning apps.

Transition Year 2021/22

Transition Year Mission: To promote the personal, social, educational and vocational development of pupils and to prepare them for their role as autonomous, participative, and responsible members of society.

Transition Year Aims

The following aims are interrelated and interdependent and should be strongly reflected in every Transition Year programme:

  1. Education for maturity with the emphasis on personal development including social awareness and increased social competence.
  2. The promotion of general, technical and academic skills with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and self-directed learning.
  3. Education through experience of adult and working life as a basis for personal development and maturity.

TY Diary for the week 8/11/21 - 12/11/21

  • TY Drumming in the Parish Hall
  • The Senior Boost Your Well-Being programme with Brainbox founder Evan Costigan

The Senior Boost Your Well-Being programme

This week Transition Year Students engaged in a wellbeing programme established by Evan Costigan. Evan Costigan founded his company Brainbox in response to his concern for student well-being. An experienced and innovative educator with a background in psychology, he has worked with thousands of students in over 350 schools and colleges at all levels of the education system.

Evan believes in the capacity of young people to deal with the demands of the modern world and is passionate about equipping them with the knowledge and skills to respond to adversity and enhance the quality of their school lives. He incorporates only the best evidence-based research and strategies in his high-energy, interactive workshops.


Pictured is Wellbeing Workshop Coordinator Evan Costigan who is a registered member of The Teaching Council, the Institute of Guidance Counsellors, The Psychological Society of Ireland and the American Psychological Association.


The Senior Boost Your Well-Being programme empowers TY Students to take good care of their health and well-being. Students were re-energised and equipped with skills to cope a little better with the demands of modern life, exams and adolescence.

The programme begins with a 20-item questionnaire. Where any concerns students have about the academic year and how to manage these emotions and respond to negative thoughts are addressed. A range of strategies are taught to help students build resilience and fulfil their potential inside and outside school. The programme emphasises the importance of striking a healthy balance between work and play and maintaining energy. In the final part of the programme, students are invited to practise some relaxation techniques, including breathing exercises and visualisation.

Each participant receives a Boost Your Well-Being booklet packed with useful information and practical advice.

TY Drumming


On Monday the 8th of November Transition Year Students took a trip to the Parish Hall to tap to the beat of a drum! Facilitated by Peter Crann, the students immersed themselves in the world of rhythm and beat.

It is a little known fact that drumming burns more calories in a half hour session than cycling, weight lifting and hiking. Drumming is the oldest musical activity. People of Africa and India used drums for long range communication between villages. Recreational playing of drums lowers stress hormones in our body, with our TYs having a fantastic time!


‘On Monday the 8th of November we walked down to the local parish hall in Donegal Town. It was a lovely day and the walk was very refreshing. Transition Year has talks & workshops and this was one that I had been looking forward to.

The workshop was with a man called Peter Crann who is in charge of a samba band in Sligo. His band does many things such as carnivals, street productions and other performances. He was fascinating to listen to. First he told us a little about the different instruments that he had with him and there were many. There were drums, bells, shakers and so much more.

He then told us a little about the music and about how it is a big part of African culture. Finally we got to play the drums ourselves! We played different drums and did body percussion. We did a group piece where we were all given a different type of drum or instrument. I was one of the bass drums and we all put together a piece of music. After we performed our piece we ran out of time, we were enjoying ourselves so much! At the end of the day we got the bus back to the school. Overall I really enjoyed the workshop and learning how to play a new instrument’.

By Hannah McCaughan.

‘On Monday 8th of November, we went to the parish hall in Donegal town for a drumming workshop at 9AM. The instructor was called Peter Crann. He showed us different types of drums/percussion instruments. Some of these were the bongos, handpan and the bass drum. He showed us examples of tunes with them. One instrument that particularly stood out to me was the handpan that provided a unique sound compared to other instruments. He then had us play a tune and it was great fun seeing everyone try and figure out the timing of each instrument until they sunk up together and all sounded quite nice. My group was playing what I believe was a tumbadora. It was a really fun day which everyone enjoyed!’.

By Stephen Meehan

Young Social Innovators and Young Environmentalists

This year we have 20 Transition Years students participating in the Young Social Innovators initiative as well as the Young Environmentalist Awards with their project Commotion in the Ocean. This initiative will be carried out under the guidance of Ms. Kelly.


The social issue of concern our team has chosen to address is the impact of pollution on marine life. Oceans play an essential role in our life on earth. They provide us with over 50% of the oxygen we breathe and contribute to over 97% of the world's water supply. The pollution of our oceans not only affects marine life and their environment, but it also affects mankind. The equivalent of a bin lorry load of plastic is dumped in the sea every minute. This has resulted in over 150 million tonnes of plastic already floating in the sea. We want to play a part in addressing this issue.

We hope to bring about awareness on how people can reduce their carbon footprint and in particular reduce the amount of pollution that is entering into our seas and oceans damaging marine life. Inspired by David Attenborough, “The ocean’s power of regeneration is remarkable – if we just offer it the chance”. We have this choice and together we can make this change.

Follow our YSI journey on Instagram @commotionintheocean_avs

TY Musical

Our musical this year is Guys and Dolls in collaboration with our musical director Rachel O’Connor and assisted by our performing arts teachers Ms. Carr, Ms.Mc Carthy, Ms. Bogle and Ms. Kelly.

All TY students were involved in the early audition process in which they had to give an example of their singing voice and read part of the script in their best New York accent! Anyone who was absent had the opportunity to submit their audition online through Google Classroom. It was a great experience which students really enjoyed. We look forward to the casting of roles in the coming weeks.


Guys and Dolls is a musical romantic comedy involving the unlikeliest of Manhattan pairings: a high-rolling gambler and a puritanical missionary, a showgirl dreaming of the straight-and-narrow and a crap game manager who is anything but. Set in the Manhattan of Damon Runyon’s short stories, Guys and Dolls tells of con-man Nathan Detroit’s efforts to find new life for his illegal, but notorious, crap game. When their trusty venue is found out by the police, Nathan has to find a new home for his crap game quickly - but he doesn’t have the dough to secure the one location he finds.

TY Community Care

The Transition Year programme provides a major opportunity to reinforce and build upon the work of Civics in the Junior Cycle. In particular, the main aim of Civic, Social and Political Education is to develop active and participatory citizenship in pupils with regard to human rights and social responsibilities. The full range of issues involved may be usefully explored at a number of interconnected levels: · the individual · the community · the state · the global.

The Community Care programme affords our TY students the opportunity to directly help the community. During the course of the year, students seek out community projects in the vicinity and volunteer for 20 hours.

ActionAid ActionTalks National Speech Writing Competition

As part of our Literacy Module Transition Year Students are taking part in the ActionAid Action Talks National Speech Writing Competition. This is a great opportunity for students to work on their writing skills, and develop their speech writing talents!

The role of ActionAid is to empower local women to take control over their own lives, support them with education and training, for example: literacy, numeracy, work skills, leadership skills, and how to achieve their rights to healthcare, work and education.

Each TY Student can pick one of the following topics:

  • The Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of unpaid work in the home (e.g. childminding, caretaking, household functioning), with women often bearing the brunt of this work. How can we redistribute unpaid work in a way that is fair for everyone?
  • During the Covid-19 pandemic, incidences of gender-based violence rose, both in Ireland and internationally. What can Ireland do?
  • Unfair access to vaccines has meant that those living in the poorest countries will suffer the worst effects of the pandemic. The inequalities exposed by the Covid-19 pandemic have highlighted the importance of global solidarity and international aid. Discuss.

Work Experience

During Transition Year, the students will gain some valuable insights into the world of work through our work placement programme. The work placements take place over two separate one week slots. Each student is expected to find his or her own placements with an employer in a suitable area of work. This should be done in consultation with their parents and the Career Guidance team. Every effort should be made to find work placements which are relevant to any plans for a future career. Students are encouraged to start planning for their work placements and have an idea of where they might like to apply. The dates for the TY Work Experience are 13th-17th of December 2021 and 14th-18th of February 2022.


The Transition Year Programme is diverse, inclusive and engaging. TY Students take part in workshops, talks and courses ranging from public speaking to Fintech.

Transition Year Trips

Students will take part in a number of trips throughout the year where it is possible under the current guidelines.


An eportfolio is an electronic portfolio, which the students will use to keep a record of all their work from the year. They will design their own web page containing all their work and then summit it to their tutor at the end of the year. Each student’s ePortfolio is personalised to their own TY experience. It will include a section on trips, activities, workshops, guest speakers, work experiences and individual subjects. Students will have 3 pieces of work for each of their subjects to show work that they have completed to a high standard throughout the year.


Students will be assessed on an ongoing basis throughout the year by their class teachers. Assessments in line with best practice will be blended and may consist of project work, practical assessments or class tests. Students will receive a report from their subject teachers as part of their Christmas assessment. The final TY assessment will include an interview and a presentation of each student’s ePortfolio. Students will receive details of expectations and success criteria for this assessment in due course.

Performing Arts

Transition Years students are undertaking a module in Performing Arts as part of the TY curriculum. They are currently participating in a 3 week rotation amongst the 6 teachers who are delivering different aspects of the course including music, theatre studies, dance, event management, costuming and set design.

This module allows students to develop their creativity and prepares them with the necessary tools and skills needed in preparation for the school musical.

CPR 4 Schools

A number of teachers of TY students have received training from the Irish Heart Foundation. These teachers have been guided through the process of how to deliver CPR 4 Schools training in the classroom to the students. The course uses a mixture of videos, lesson plans and worksheets to ensure ease of access within the classroom. As AVS is a new school to the programme we have received a free mannequin kit and training worth €1,000.

The programme provides students and teachers with the skills and confidence to recognise cardiac arrest and perform hands-only CPR.

Following training students will know:

  • How to recognise cardiac arrest and perform CPR
  • How to use an AED
  • How to assist someone who is choking
  • How to perform CPR on a child
  • The difference between cardiac arrest and heart attack
  • How to recognise a stroke


We look forward to introducing this programme as part of our students’ TY experience over the year.

For information from the Irish Heart Foundation on public courses available etc please see here


Extra-Curricular Sports Teams

Girls U-15 Interprovincial Soccer Team 2021

Congratulations to second year student Sara Thomas on her selection to the

Ulster Schools Team for 2021. The Interprovincial Tournament is due to take place from Friday 19th November to Sunday 21st November 2021. This event is used to select players for the Irish Schools U15 International Team. The games will take place at the AUL Complex in Dublin. Best of luck from all at the Abbey VS.

All Ireland Schools Multi Events

Well done to Rachel Gallagher, Jamie Kennedy and Alana Anderson on gaining selection onto the Ulster Schools Multi Events team due to compete in the All Ireland Schools in Athlone on Saturday 20th November. They will compete against the top athletes in the country in hurdling, jumping, throws and middle distance.

Girls GAA

It is great that we can start to welcome back our extra curricular sports teams. The first group back was our girls GAA teams. They will be training for the next couple of months on Tuesday from 4pm - 5pm on the school football and all weather pitch. When training please bring football gear, boots, runners and a bottle of water.

U16 Match Report:

On the 12th of November 2021 the under 16 girls team played against Coláiste Cholmcille. Abbey started off the game against the wind with the first score by Lucy Ward but Coláiste Cholmcille then followed it with a goal. Abbey ended the first half very strongly. It wasn't long until Abbey got a quick few points and a couple of goals. Abbey finished the game 6-13 to 2-9. Today's scorers were Lucy Ward 1-1 Aoife Cox 1-2 Aoife Carron 0-1 Emma Sweeney 2-1 Anna McGuckin 0-1 Emily McLoone 2-2 Holly Roarty 0-3 and Aoife Slevin 0-1. Team sheet: Aisling Kee, Tori Carr, Grace Masterson, Zoe Gallagher, Tia McGroarty, Anna McGuckin , Laura Sweeney, Emma Kennedy , Aoife Slevin, Niamh Walsh, Lucy Ward, Holly Roarty, Aoife Cox, Emma Sweeney, Aoife Carron. Substitutes : Kayleigh Boyle, Rosie Weir, Ava Kennedy, Maya Lenehan, Shannon Kane, Emily McLoone, Niamh Caldwell

U20 Match Report:

On Thursday, November 11th 2021, The U20 Girls Gaelic team travelled to Omagh to play in wintery conditions for the first match of the season against Dean Maguirc College. The game started off strong with some excellent team work shown by the AVS girls. Dean Maguirc scored a goal in the first half to which AVS fought back by getting one point scored by Holly Roarty. At half time Dean Maguirc College were leading but the AVS team bounced back straight away when the second half commenced with early scores by Ciara Cox and a goal by Aine Byrne. With only fifteen minutes left, AVS put in a great fight with more scores secured by Holly Roarty and Catherine Campbell, but unfortunately lost out in the end to a very strong Dean Maguire. The girls will now play St. Catherine’s Vocational School at the start of December. The team sheet: Kayleigh Boyle, Laura Sweeney, Caoilfhinn Deely, Aisling Murphy, Rachel Gallagher, Caoimhe Green, Anna McGuckin, Catherine Campbell, Orlaith Green, Enya Gallagher, Holly Roarty, Erin Doherty, Aoife Cox, Ciara Cox, Aine Byrne. Substitute: Ava Kennedy, Emma Sweeney, Aisling Kee, Sorcha Walsh, Rosie Campbell, Amy McInern, Zoe Gallagher,Tia McGroarty, Aine Ward

Senior Boys GAA

Senior boys GAA training will start this Monday after school in Tir Conaill Park at 4:15pm.

U14 Boys GAA

U14 Boys trials took place this Thursday after school. Training will start from this coming Thursday after school on the school pitch.

U14 Boys Soccer

Training will start this Wednesday after school on the all weather pitch.

Basketball U16 and U19 Boys

U16 and U19 Boys training takes place every Wednesday after school in the school gym from 4-5:45pm. All players are welcome.

Athletics Training

Training is starting back on Thursdays from 6.45pm - 8pm in the school gym. This training is for all club and school students training for cross country and track & field. Please see Mrs Gallagher (PE Dept) if you have any questions.

Cross Country Training

Our Cross Country training is on every Thursday at lunchtime on the track for all students. This training is open to all students who want to improve their fitness and will cater to all fitness levels ranging from walking level up to running level. Students must wear runners for the training and can meet on the track at the beginning of lunch. Training will last 20/30 minutes every day.

TY Coaching

A large number of transition years have volunteered to coach athletics on Thursday evenings. They will gain valuable experience coaching primary school age children for the year. They will also be responsible for organising various athletic events throughout the year. The benefits of coaching are immense as it will prepare students for eventual roles as players, coaches, and administrators in the future and ensure students gain lifelong skills that are transferable to many aspects of academic and social situations both inside and outside the school.

Lunchtime Physical Activities

Please see below the plan for lunchtime activities for this term.

Lunchtime Physical Activities

P Mc Devitt



1st Year Soccer - Boys & Girls

J Daly


All weather pitch

2nd year soccer - Boys

K Munnelly



Fitness Circuit - All Senior Students

L Kelly



Dance Club - All Students

I Mahony



2nd year games - Girls

G Gorman


All weather

3rd year soccer - Boys

S Maguire



Rowing - All Students

P Rooney



Table Tennis - All Senior Students

E O’Mahony



1st Year games - Boys & Girls

S Mc Fadden


All weather

1st year soccer - Boys & Girls

S Maguire



Rowing - All Students

K Munnelly



Sports Yoga - All Senior Students

S Maguire



Rowing - All Students

C Hegarty


All Weather

3rd year soccer - Boys

P Rooney



Unihoc - Junior girls

K Munnelly



Senior Students - Yoga

C Herron



3rd year games - Boys & Girls

P O Donnell


All weather

2nd year soccer - Boys & Girls

K Munnelly



Pilates - All Senior Students

S Maguire



Rowing - All Students

Covid Learning and Support Scheme (CLASS)

This scheme has been introduced by the Department of Education to help schools mitigate the adverse impacts of Covid-19 on student learning loss and wellbeing arising from the periods of school closures in 2020 and 2021.

Information has been gathered from parents, staff, students, guidance counsellors, year heads and prefects on what could be included in this scheme. Based on these recommendations, a plan has been put in place for each year group. The plan includes:



● Homework club

● Catch-up club

● Spoken languages club

● IT skills

● Study skills/plans

● Young scientist

● Team building activities

● Anxiety management/techniques

● Girls Active

● Drama/Singing/Music club

● Motivational talks

● Tea/Coffee during catch-up club

● Yoga/Pilates

Within this programme, we also aim to allow good routines to be re-established and to support co-curricular and extra-curricular activities.

Health and Safety

Covid-19 Protocols

In order to ensure the safety of all the school community we would ask everyone to please adhere to the following protocols:

  • If feeling unwell, do not come to school.
  • It is imperative that students wear a cloth face covering when a physical distance of 2m from staff or students cannot be maintained. Masks MUST be worn correctly, ie. cover nose and mouth. Put this on before coming into the school grounds please. It is necessary to wear your mask in the school grounds also where you cannot maintain a distance of 2m from others.
  • Cloth face coverings act as a barrier to help prevent respiratory droplets from travelling into the air and onto other people when the person wearing the face covering coughs, sneezes, talks or raises their voice. Cloth face coverings are therefore intended to prevent transmission of the virus from the wearer (who may not know that they are infected) to those with whom they come into close contact.
  • Students should go straight to their assigned base room, if before 9:00, otherwise go straight to class
  • Students should not congregate in groups
  • All students should follow the usual hygiene protocols in classrooms
    • use hand sanitiser
    • wipe desks and chairs with the wipes provided
    • do not move the desks from their set position
  • Wash your hands correctly and often

Traffic Management


Jan 18
Subject Choices Parents (incoming 1st yr) 7-9pm
Jan 27
P/T Meeting 2nd year
Feb 07
Mock Exams
Feb 14
TY Work Experience
Abbey V.S. Newsletter - Mon 17th Jan 2022
Updated HSE guidelines regarding Covid-19 and isolation for Adults and Children from their 13th Birthday. (5th Jan 2022)
Abbey V.S. Newsletter - Mon 20th Dec 2021
The Glebe, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal, F94A409.
074 97 21105
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