Abbey Vocational School Donegal Town News

Staff Reporter


Staff Reporter


Abbey Vocational School Donegal Town News

Events for Incoming First Year Students

Over the coming week 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 8 pm. All of our incoming students are welcome to attend with their parents.  An adult must accompany all persons under 18.  An induction day will also take place on March 14th where all students take part in a variety of 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)

Mock Exams

Students in Junior Certificate and Leaving Certificate will be sitting their mock examinations next month. Paper one 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 the exams take place from 27th Feb to March 3rd. We wish all of our students well in preparation for these exams in the coming weeks.

The mock timetables can be accessed here:

Junior Certificate:

Leaving Certificate:

State Exams

Junior and Leaving Certificate students have been given their official timetable this week. The students have also been given a timetable for project due dates. In addition, the 2017 Leaving Certificate timetable can be viewed on:

Health Promoting Schools Project

Last week the launch of our Healthy Schools Day took place. All students in their tutor classes were shown a video made by the Health Promotion team in the school to illustrate the aims of the project and make them aware of the importance of healthy choices.  

The main element of the project was for as many members of the school community as possible to become more active. The second week of the “Couch to 5K” event took place this week on the track on Monday and Thursday and will continue over the coming 8 weeks. Training will continue at lunchtime. We encourage as many students as possible, regardless of fitness levels, to take part in this event. Other events for staff and students will also take place throughout the year.


170 first year pupils will take part in a Skipathon event on January 30th from 2 - 4pm in the school gym. The students will be attempting to jump the equivalent distance of Malin to Mizen Head, 659km 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.

Health Promotion

Coynes Cycles visited the school on Friday 27th. Coynes Cycles is a bike shop located in Edenderry and Kinnegad. Anthony, who works for Coynes Cycles, discussed the ‘Bike to Work’ scheme with staff members; there was a range of bikes on site to view under the scheme on the day also. In addition, he presented our Health Promotion Schools team with a bike for an upcoming student raffle. A huge thank you to Anthony who was very helpful and informative, and for the donation from Coynes Cycles.  

Jigs and Reels

The Abbey Vocational School will be hosting Jigs and Reels on 24th March in the Abbey Hotel. This is a version of Strictly Come Dancing but with an Irish twist. The final auditions have taken place and the couples have been paired up. The final couples participating in the event will be announced next week. This promises to be a fantastic event!

Geography Field Trip

Our Leaving Certificate students are preparing for their field study task; this is a component of their Leaving Certificate exam worth 20%. The students’ project will focus on rivers. Forty – five students on Thursday 9th February will visit Gartan Outdoor Education and Training Centre in Letterkenny to complete this task and conduct a write up on it.

Poster Competition

The Environmental Committee are running a poster competition for all first year students. The theme is health and wellbeing. Students can design any kind of poster they want linked to that theme. There will be prizes for the best submissions. Deadline is Friday 3rd February.


Cardiac First Responder

This week sixty TY students from Abbey Vocational School completed a Cardiac First Response Course, certified by the Irish Heart Foundation and facilitated by First Aid Aware. 

The course teaches students how to assess scene safety, call for emergency service assistance, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) techniques, how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) and the relief of choking in adults, children and infants. An AED is a computerised defibrillator which analyses the heart rhythm of a person in cardiac arrest and uses voice prompts to advise if a shock is needed. The AED is an important link in the chain of survival and this course taught students how to use this device effectively. Since 2013 approximately 480 TY and senior students have been trained at Abbey Vocational School. 

Additionally, in the coming weeks TY Geography students will be undertaking a project to map all of the publicly available AEDs in the Donegal Town area. They hope to make this information available to local businesses and community groups to put on their respective websites. Thanks to Mr O Neill for organising this event.

TY Art Trip

On Thursday 26th all TY students attended an Art Exhibition in the Model Art Centre, Sligo.  Students visited the Niland Collection and admired paintings by artists such as Jack B. Yeats.  They also viewed the Cléa van der Grijn exhibition; ‘Reconstructing Memory’ and ‘Fanned Apart: a collection of female portraits from the Niland collection’. A huge thank you to Niall, Chelsea and Marie Louise who hosted the students during the trip to the Model. This trip was interesting and enjoyable for all who attended. Thanks to Mr Daly for organising this trip.


On Wednesday 1st February all TY boys will be participating in learning the art of Jiu-Jitsu in the parish hall. Brian Gorman from DT Fitness will be hosting the class on that day. Jiu–Jitsu is a Japanese martial art and is a combat and defensive sport.

Personal Presentation

On Wednesday 8th TY girls will be learning how to present well.  They will learn the basics of make-up application and how to contour and blend as they undertake a make-up course under the guidance of Karla Gallagher of Marine Spa.


Father Rory Brady gave a talk to some of the senior boys in the school on Monday 23rd January. The talk focused on future possibilities and our vocations in life. Father Brady spoke passionately about our callings in life and making the correct choices. It was a positive and uplifting talk in respect of the year of hard work ahead for our students.

Leaving Certificate Theatre Trip

All Leaving Certificate students attended the production of ‘Hamlet’ in Derry, in the Millennium Forum on Thursday 26th January. It was a violent and thought provoking production of William Shakespeare’s tragedy, one that will undoubtedly assist students studying the text in June.

Letter Writing Competition

This week our first year students all took part in a letter writing competition. Each student wrote a letter to an incoming first year student to give them an idea of what to expect next year.

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 on this date. A confirmed date will be communicated in the coming notes.


Senior Boys Soccer

The senior boys’ soccer team played St. Eunan’s in the Ulster Semi-Final on Monday 23rd January in Drumkeen. Unfortunately, the game didn’t go the boys’ way with a defeat to the St. Eunan’s team. We wish the best of luck to St. Eunan’s in the final.

U15 Soccer

The AVS U15 soccer team played Milford on Friday 27th January in the second round of the U15 Schoolboy’s Cup. The AVS boy’s suffered a loss on the day with Milford coming out on top. Hard luck to the boys!


The senior girls’ basketball team on Sunday 22nd January travelled to Coláiste Oiriall in Monaghan for the All–Ireland play-offs. They played two games, one against the host school Oiriall and one against Loreto, Crumlin. The girls were very unlucky, losing both games. Well done to the team and for all their hard work and effort.


Before Christmas break our first years boys’ and girls’ sports hall athletic teams both qualified for the County Final. The top eight schools in the county went head to head in the vent consisting of indoor track and field events. This is the first year that the top team in the final will qualify to represent Donegal in the All–Ireland in Athlone in March. The first year teams travelled to Deele College, Raphoe, on Friday 27th to compete in the event.