Thursday Note 23rd May 2024

May 23rd, 2024

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are keeping well. Our news this week is as follows

  • Thank you to the parents/guardians and staff who attended last night’s meeting here in the school on our Internet and Technology Use Agreement. We really appreciate your time and suggestions made to improve our agreement. We intend to launch this agreement for next September. Please find attached the draft agreement and we would welcome any feedback or suggestions.
  • Four of our pupils from 6th class represented St Tolas yesterday at a meeting in SES in Westpark Business park on what they had learnt this year in their Junior Achievement programme. St Tolas has had volunteers from Junior Achievement come in for a number of weeks in various classes to teach children about STEM, sustainability, our community and how we are all interlinked and entrepreneurial skills. The meeting yesterday was to promote the value of Junior Achievement to local companies and hopefully get some more volunteers for the programme. Tara, Mia, Sophie and Leanne from 6th class gave a short presentation on what they had learnt on the Energize programme this year to a room full of business people and they were fantastic! Well done girls!
  • Well done to our Camogie team who represented the school last Tuesday in the Cumann na mBunscoil competition in Wolfe Tones camogie pitch. The girls played four games and won two and narrowly lost two. Thank you to Ms Riordan and Ms Kelleher for training the girls and bringing them to the competition.
  • Our annual Quizbrain competition kicked off this week. All pupils in 3rd to 6th class take part in four rounds of 30 questions on general knowledge. After four rounds the top 20 go into two semi-final rounds of 30 questions each. The top 5 then go forward to the final which is played in front of the school for the coveted Quizbrain of St. Tolas trophy. Two rounds were played this week with questions set by Mr Tyrrell and Ms Hackett. Best of luck to everyone for Quizbrain 2024!
  • As we had some lovely weather earlier this week Senior Infants and 5th class took the opportunity to go for a Summer nature walk to spot the signs of Summer. Thank you to 5th class who accompanied a Senior Infant partner. It is lovely to get the opportunity to get outside and do some outdoor learning when possible.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, School Principal


Thursday Note 16th May 2024

May 16th, 2024

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are enjoying the fine weather and hopefully it will continue! Our news this week is as follows

  • We wish our Junior and Senior Infants all the best as they go off on their school tour this morning. They are off to Moher Hill farm today and we hope they learn lots about the animals and have a great day. Let’s hope the sun keeps shining for them!
  • We have organised a parent information evening next Wednesday 22nd May at 7p.m. We respectfully ask that at least one parent/guardian from each family attends this important meeting in relation to supporting our pupils develop good habits and are safe in their online interactions. We would like to share the findings of our pupil, staff and parents survey and ask for your input into our draft Agree to Agree document. The meeting will not last more than an hour. We look forward to seeing you then.
  • Earlier this year we applied to a school scheme to install solar panels here in the school building. I am delighted to report that the application was successful and the solar panels will be installed next week. We hope that this will help with some of the electricity running costs of the school. As you can appreciate the bills to run the school have greatly increased over the past few years but the capitation grant we receive does not cover these increases.
  • The free book scheme will continue for the school year 24/25. You may have heard in the news that the amount allocated to schools has been cut by 17% from €96 Euro to €80 per child. When you consider that some of the textbooks can cost over €20 each this amount will be tight for the school. This will mean we can cover the cost of books, workbooks, digital subscriptions (e.g. Accelerated Reader) and copies only this year.
  • 3rd class had a visit yesterday from two members of the Fire Service who spoke to the pupils about fire safety in the home. No doubt many of our 3rd class pupils checked at home in relation to smoke alarms and the importance of fire safety. We thank our Fire Service for visiting us and raising awareness on this important topic.
  • Just a reminder again in relation to our Hot Lunches. A parent can pause the hot lunches at any time if you know that your child will be absent. You need to go into the app and select the dates. You must give a minimum of 36 hours notice but if you know your child will be absent well in advance you can do it at any stage before 36 hours. Don’t forget to turn the service back on when your child returns and similarly you need to give a minimum of 36 hours notice. If you have any suggestions for alternative meals or any queries in relation to the hot lunches you can email the company at info@thelunchbag.ie

Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, School Principal


Thursday Note 9th May 2024

May 9th, 2024

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are keeping well this lovely May day. Our news this week is as follows

  • We would like to wish the pupils in 6th class who are making Confirmation all the best tomorrow. They have worked hard over the past few months to prepare for this sacrament and we hope they have a lovely day celebrating this milestone with their families.  We are also thankful for the pupils in 6th class who are not making Confirmation but who have been very patient and understanding while their classmates have been busy. Thank you also to the pupils from 3rd, 4th, and 5th classes who are in the choir/band. We hope the weather stays fine for our Confirmation tomorrow.
  • We are currently carrying standardised assessments in reading, spelling and maths from 1st to 6th classes starting this week and over the next few weeks. We hope that we will have good attendance over these weeks so that we can get the testing completed in a timely manner.
  • Our hot lunches are going down very well with the children. We are delighted that Susan Downes has joined the Lunchbag team and is our food operative. If you know your child will be absent for a period of time (e.g. holidays) please pause your order so there is no waste. You need to give 36 hours notice to pause and the same again to reactivate the account on the app.
  • Just a date for your diary – our 6th class Graduation Celebration will take place on Wednesday 19th June at 11a.m.
  • Our school calendar for the school year 24/25 has been finalised. Please see the details attached. It will also be available on our school website.  We return to school after the summer break on Wednesday 28th August.
  • 3rd class will have a visit from two officers from the Fire Service next Wednesday to give a workshop to the class on Fire Safety in the home. We are very grateful to the Fire Service for this programme and look forward to their visit.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, School Principal


Thursday Note 2nd May 2024

May 2nd, 2024

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are keeping well as we begin a new month. Our news this week is as follows

  • Congratulations to our boys and girls in 2nd class who made their First Holy Communion last Saturday in Mary Immaculate Church. We were delighted that so many family members and friends joined with the boys and girls to celebrate their day. We were so proud of all the boys and girls who did a great job. Thank you to Ms Kelleher, Ms Burke and Sinead who helped prepare the pupils for the ceremony.  A big thank you to the pupils in 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes who were in the choir and school band and really enhanced the ceremony with beautiful singing and music. Thank you to Ms Hansbury and Ms Flynn who led the choir and band. We also appreciate the great effort put in by the Parents Association and parents in 3rd class who organised a little party for the pupils and a cuppa for the parents here in the school. We hope our pupils and families enjoyed their special day.
  • Swimming lessons are continuing for pupils in 4th,3rd and 2nd classes at present. It is great for the pupils to get the opportunity to have swimming lessons as part of out Physical Education programme. 
  • 4th class have been busy this week learning long multiplication. Yesterday they took part in a digital escape room where they had to use their long multiplication knowledge to solve problems. Well done 4th class!
  • Junior Infants have been busy planting sunflower seeds and cress seeds. I can’t wait to see what will grow in the next few weeks. All we need now is some sunshine! 
  • 6th class are busy preparing for their Confirmation which takes place next Friday 10th May at 11a.m. As per parish policy pupils wear their uniform to the ceremony. The uniform can either be the grey pants/skirt, grey jumper, blue/white polo shirt OR school tracksuit top and plain navy tracksuit pants (no branding). We are looking forward to the ceremony next week.
  • Our boys hurling team are busy training with Ms Hehir at the moment for the Cumann na mBunscoil competition. Ms Kelleher is training the girls camogie team also. Tomorrow (weather permitting) both boys and girls will go to the camogie pitch in Wolfe Tones for a training session. The boys’ competition takes place next Wednesday in Clonlara. The girls’ competition has not been finalised yet. Best of luck to both teams.
  • St. Tolas is closed to pupils and staff next Monday 6th May as it is a public holiday. We will re-open on Tuesday next. We hope you have a relaxing and enjoyable long weekend and hopefully the weather will be kind to all of us.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, School Principal


Thursday Note 25th April 2024

April 25th, 2024

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you had an opportunity to enjoy the good weather earlier this week and hopefully it will return again soon! Our news this week is as follows

  • Well done to pupils in 6th class who had their Ceremony of Light as part of preparation for Confirmation last night in Mary Immaculate Church along with pupils from St. Senans and St. Johns. Thank you also to the pupils in 3rd, 4th and 5th classes who sang in the choir and played in the band. It was a lovely ceremony.
  • 2nd class pupils have been busy this week preparing for First Communion on Saturday at 11a.m. in Mary Immaculate Church.  Pupils from 3rd to 6th classes will be helping out with the choir and the band. We are looking forward to the ceremony on Saturday and hopefully the weather will be kind to us. Thank you to the Parents’ Association and 3rd class parents who are helping out with a little celebration for the pupils in 2nd class here in the school after the ceremony. It is greatly appreciated.
  • Well done to pupils in 4th and 5th class who have achieved their Principal’s Award for Table facts in Maths over the past few weeks. I have been very impressed with the level of tables knowledge and the speed of recall. It has been lovely to meet the pupils on an individual basis too and reward them for their hard work and dedication to learning their tables over the past few months. If pupils know their tables facts at this stage it is a great help to lessen the load in maths for the coming years. I look forward to testing the rest of the pupils on their tables in the coming weeks.
  • We are delighted that all the pupils in St Tolas are now receiving a hot lunch each day. This service started on Tuesday. Don’t forget to download the app form the LunchBag if you have not already done so. Each pupil received a unique code last Friday. In order to activate your child’s account please input the code into the app and make your selection. Please note your order must be made 36 hours in advance of day of eating and cannot be changed after that. It is also important to save your selection so that it goes through to the LunchBag company. Please keep an eye on what your child is eating so that you can order food they like. It is also important that your child brings their lunch box in every day so that we can send home their container and you can have a chat about what they got and what they would like to order next week.
  • Pupils will still need a snack for small break and a drink every day. The snack must be a healthy snack in line with our Healthy Eating Policy.
  • The school photos will be taken next Thursday. If you have ordered photos earlier in the year they will now be taken on Thursday next.
  • As we had lovely weather this week we would like to remind parents/guardians that pupils are required to wear their school uniform every day.  Pupils should have a blue/white polo shirt. You may wish your child to wear shorts. We have allowed GAA shorts in the past but ask that these would be an acceptable length for school. if you wish to purchase navy tracksuit type shorts they are available in Dunnes Stores or other shops. Please note that leggings/bicycle shorts are not permitted.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, School Principal