Abbey Vocational School
Donegal Town

Abbey VS Newsletter – 31st May 21


End of Term

The Abbey Vocational School would like to thank all our staff, students & parents for their exceptionally hard work, support and help during this difficult year. We wish everyone a happy, peaceful and safe summer. As Eleanor Roosevelt once said, “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

Leaving Cert Graduation 2021

The Leaving Cert Graduation 2021 was an amazing collaboration, where students and staff came together to create something very magical. The ceremony encapsulates the hope, admiration and respect the AVS Community have for each other. Congratulations to everyone involved. The ceremony can be viewed on the link; Leaving Cert Ceremony 2021

Donegal Player sends Congratulations


Congratulations to AVS Student Ruth Murray who received birthday wishes from Donegal County Player Peadar Mogan! Peadar, an AVS Past Pupil, was delighted to wish his most ardent fan a very ‘Happy Birthday’ organised by Peadar’s Mother, Abbey Vocational School SNA Siobhan Mogan!

Staff Wellbeing


Congratulations and many thanks to our hardworking Wellbeing Committee who supplied beautiful food for the staff of the AVS in appreciation of all their hard work throughout the year!

Music Department

The DMEP Virtual concert took place on Friday 21st May. It was a celebration of the contribution of the late Sister Concepta Murphy, Ballyshannon and Kinsale, to music-making and music education throughout County Donegal. Sister Concepta helped to set up the Donegal Music Education Partnership and the Irish Association of Youth Orchestras, based in Cork. The one-hour concert featured contributions from past and present students, tutors and special guests. From classical to trad, opera to Olivia Rodrigo.

Students Rachel Reid and Helen Howells sang as part of the Donegal Youth Choir and Eve O Donnell, Nora Carr and Onagh Mc Hugh performed on flute and clarinet, a wonderful tribute to Sr. Concepta who was a great support to the students and the music department of the Abbey Vocational School.

Students and staff of the DETB have completed the virtual singing project ‘Alone with none but Thee, my God’. This is a new composition by Donegal ETB teacher Margaret Mc Ateer. The choral setting will be heard for the first time on the 9th June 2021 to celebrate the 1,500 anniversary of St Colmcille. Soloists for the premiere performance will be the esteemed Mairead Ni Mhaonaigh of Altan, Lilis O Laoire and Maire Ni Bhrennan of Clannad.

Guidance Department

  1. CAO has by now sent an email to all applicants. The topic of the email is Statement of Application process. It’s very important you read this email carefully. If for some reason you do not receive the email or information within it is incorrect, you must contact CAO immediately. This is an important email that should not be ignored, particularly as it may have serious consequences for your application.
  2. The CAO Change of Mind opened on 05 May 2021. CAO applicants have until 01 July 2021 @ 5.15 p.m. to make course changes. Further information is available from the student’s Guidance Counsellor.
  3. The SUSI (grant) application process for eligible Leaving Cert students opened on 22 April 2021. Further information is available from the student’s Guidance Counsellor and via Google Classroom. Students are advised to submit their SUSI application as early as possible.
  4. Leaving Cert students should now be applying for any relevant scholarship(s) they may be eligible for. Further information is available during Guidance Class, via Google Classroom or contacting their Guidance Counsellor.
  5. Our Guidance websiteis updated regularly. Go to – click on the Guidance button on the far right of the screen.

Student Voice

The Student Council were treated to a lunch prepared by the school canteen on Monday. India, chairperson, spoke on behalf of the council and presented Ms. Carr with a gift for her work with the student voice over the year. Ms. Mohan and Ms. Carr addressed the committee and thanked them for all of their hard work and for their important contribution to the school.

Transition Year Awards

We were delighted to be able to acknowledge and celebrate the achievements of our fantastic students at our annual TY Awards Ceremony this week. The Awards Ceremony was a live streamed event this year due to Covid-19 restrictions. It is always an eagerly anticipated day in our school calendar and was a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the varied achievements of our students in a difficult year. Students were recognised with awards being presented in a variety of categories including Class Captain Awards, Enterprise, Drama, Positive Contribution Award, Mathematics and the coveted Student of the Year Award to name but a few. Congratulations to all the award winners who have shown great enthusiasm and positivity throughout the year!


Congratulations to Ava McLoughlin pictured with Mr Hegarty

Congratulations to Ava McLoughlin pictured with Mr Hegarty who won the TY Enterprise Award. Ava made it through to the finals of the NFTE National Final Competition. Ava won 1st place in the senior category for the Student Enterprise Programme in the Donegal County Final. Ava’s business is Irish Tweedscapes. Her product offering is a frame with Irish design inside with Magee tweed. Ava’s product price is €15. She is a sole trader due to Covid so she has done all hard work by herself. Most recently she has sent one of her products to New Zealand. Ava sells her product through her Facebook and Instagram page Irish Tweedscapes.


Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021-Young Social Innovators Award. Congratulations to TYC and their YSI project Unity in the Community who were shortlisted for the YSI Awards 2021 in their category – Make our Country More Inclusive and Poverty Free Challenge. This is a fantastic achievement with nearly 200 teams entered in the competition. Ava McLoughlin, Molly Boyd, Jessica Gallagher, Roisin Gillespie and Shauna Doherty pitched to the YSI judges’ panel on behalf of the team on Monday 10th of May. The judges were very impressed with the work they have undertaken for the elderly in the community so far as part of their YSI project.


Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Young Social Innovators Award


Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Drama Award


Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Peer Mentors. The Peer mentoring initiative has been actively participated in by Transition Year students for many years. It is where a Transition Year student (mentor) voluntarily gives time to support and encourage another student (mentee). Peer mentors provide advice and guidance whilst acting as a positive role model for younger people who require their support.

Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Peer Mentors


Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Peer Mentors


Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Peer Mentors


Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Student Council, Donegal Youth Council and Class Captains. The purpose of the student council is to give students an opportunity to develop leadership by organizing and carrying out school activities and service projects. They help share student ideas, interests and concerns with the wider school community. The Donegal Youth Council identifies issues and promotes projects to improve the lives of young people in Donegal.


Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Environmental Award. Erin and Anna’s environmental project ‘Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma’ made it through to the semi-finals of ECO-UNESCO’s Young Environmentalist Awards. Their project focuses on the detrimental impacts that our collective carbon footprint has on the environment and they are developing a ‘Climate Education Scheme’ to educate our nation on the impacts that our daily actions ultimately have on the environment and offer sustainable alternatives. They started an instagram page @avsclimatechange in which they actively post about sustainability and update their followers on what they are up to and how their project is going. They also recently appeared on RTÉ Junior’s ‘Ecolution’ Podcast to discuss the government’s new Climate Action Bill with other young activists.


Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Student of the Year


Abbey Vocational School TY Awards 2020-2021 – Student of the Year. The students have been recognised by their teachers as showing a commitment to learning, always trying their best and also showing a high level of dedication and enthusiasm for learning, especially throughout the remote learning period.


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Congratulations to TY Student Bree Hanna who is working as an Extra on the set of the Disney Film ‘Disenchanted’ this summer! Bree is an avid cinema-goer and dreams of one day hitting the big screen. Below Bree tells us, in her own words, her delight at landing the role.

Disney is filming Disenchanted in Ireland this summer from May till August in Dublin and Wicklow. This is the biggest movie that has ever come to Ireland since they are filming the whole movie in Ireland. I saw that they were having open call casting for extras so I thought I would apply. Acting and musical theatre are what I want to do in the future and I have just recently finished a 10 week acting course with The Dublin Central School of Acting, so I thought it would be such a great opportunity and experience. My Dad and I’s cousin Niamh Gale is the executive producer of this movie so we got in contact with her and she took my application and got back to me a few weeks later with dates. This Thursday the 20th of May I am going to Dublin for my costume fitting. The confirmed dates so far for scenes that I am in are filming in the first week of June and the last week of July. There will hopefully be more dates for other scenes confirmed soon’.

Transition Year Showcase 2021

This week the Transition Year Students finished off an action-packed year on a high note with a magical showcase. A big thank you must go to the TY Coordinators Ms Rooney, Mr Hegarty, Ms Kelly & Ms O’Donnell for organising the event. The Showcase highlighted the events, talks, activities, trips and outings the TY’s ventured on this year! The Sports Department featured heavily with presentations on the many sporting activities experienced including zumba, self-defence & surfing. The Business department was also well represented with topics such as the TY Business Academy, Enterprise Day, Mini Companies and the Enterprise Award.

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Pictured are Emma Meehan, Erin Ryder and Anna Mitchell, Fiachra O’Donnell & Niall Prendeville who took part in the Transition Year Showcase by performing a scene from ‘Hamilton’!

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Pictured performing the Queen Hit ‘Don’t Stop Me Now ‘are Conor Boyle, Anna Mitchell and Niall Prendeville.

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards

ECO-UNESCO Young Environmentalist Awards were held this week on the 26th May. Their project, ‘Carbon Footprint: Eradicating the Stigma’ focuses on the importance of educating the nation on the detrimental impacts that our collective carbon footprint has on the environment. The aim is to eradicate the stigma and change people’s mindset altogether as without education on these matters change is not possible. You can listen to Erin and Anna as they discuss topical environmental issues, they have been involved with here;

Environmental School Podcast

Bridge Beyond – Music Project

Bridge Beyond is a Music project that involves a number of Donegal schools working online to produce a piece of music.

A small group of our TY students are continuing to collaborate online each Friday morning, under the guidance of Ms McCarthy and Wall2Wall music, to create a collaborative music track. The group was introduced to the project by legendary drummer Ralph Rolle (Chic) who gave a great insight into his life and career in the music industry starting out in Brooklyn, NY. The group are writing and composing their track using digital online software.


Pictured are Sarah Canny, Bree Hanna and Erin Ryder, as this week students were busy recording choreography for this video edit.

‘From January until May a select group of students took part in a Bridge Beyond Music Project. During this project we wrote a song, made the music for the song and filmed a music video. We really enjoyed this experience. It gave us an insight into how music artists managed to make music during the pandemic.

On Friday May 14th we had a premiere from all the school’s songs and music videos that took part. The schools that took part were Moville Community School, Abbey Vocational School, Deele College, Loreto Community School and Scoil Mhuire Buncrana. Each school had their own unique idea for their song and video. All the schools joined the zoom call together and congratulated each other on their pieces. After we premiered all the videos we talked to Ciara O Connor who is a session vocalist and is currently working with Dua Lipa. She has worked with countless amounts of music artists in the past and told us her experiences and how she got where she is today.

The main theme of this overall experience was Global Citizenship. During the course we all learned more about Global Citizenship and what it means to be a Global Citizen. Ciara O Connor even mentioned that she could be a global citizen as she has travelled so much. We received videos from countries around the world such as China, Iceland, India, USA and Holland. Some of us then responded to make our own video explaining our views on global citizenship’. By Caitlin Browne & Matthew McNamee

Creative Schools – AVS

Students from second year helped to create a display board this week to raise awareness of the creative schools project in our school. A special thanks to Ellie Campbell, Jenna Donavan, Seoda Wang and Grace Masterson.


Our creative schools associate from the Arts Council of Ireland, Ms Siobhan Sheils, has invited our whole school community to complete a google form as we collaborate ideas for our creative schools plan for the school year of 2021-2022.

The links below are for students and parents. So if you have a few moments, we would really appreciate your information and input to the ‘Understand’ stage of our project. Click on the blue link to access the google form.

Thanks in advance for your time.

Students Google Form

Parents/Guardians Google Form

Jan 27
P/T Meeting 2nd year
Feb 07
Mock Exams
Feb 14
TY Work Experience
Feb 14
Mock Exams
Abbey V.S. Newsletter - Mon 24th Jan 2022
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)
The Glebe, Donegal Town, Co. Donegal, F94A409.
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