Thur Note 11th February

February 11th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are keeping well and safe this week.  The weather has been colder but hopefully Spring will follow soon!  As I write this snow is falling and it would be lovely if we got enough snow to build a snowman! Our news is as follows

  • Last week all the wifi access points in the school were upgraded. It will mean faster and more reliable wifi in all the classrooms. This will be very helpful when we return to school.
  • Thanks to our fundraising efforts last year we have an order placed for a set of IPADs for use in the school. These will be delivered soon and will be used particularly in the Junior classrooms and for pupils with Special Educational Needs.   
  • Juniors have been learning all about sneachta (snow) in Irish this week. Let’s hope they can experience the joys of playing in the sneachta before it melts.  
  • Again I have seen some amazing work on seesaw this week. So many pupils (and parents) are putting in a huge effort.  Please remember if you or your child is finding it difficult please contact your child’s teacher and we will support you in any way we can.
  • Next Wednesday will be Wellbeing Wednesday. For that day the focus will be on wellbeing and looking after our mental health.  There will be a few short activities to do that day across the school. The teachers will send them out via seesaw before Wednesday. This lockdown has been difficult for all of us and it is important to be kind to each other.
  •  Just a reminder again that Shannon Family Resource Centre are offering free telephone counselling to any parents that find themselves struggling during lockdown. The service is available on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and the number is 085 2829955. The counsellor is fully qualified and has been working with families and children for over 20 years.
  • We are on mid-term next Thursday and Friday so there will be no school activities to do. The classes who normally have a zoom link up on Thursday and Friday will rearrange them for earlier in the week so the pupils will not miss out linking up with their class next week.  I would like to take this opportunity to thank our amazing staff who have been so dedicated and hardworking over the past few weeks. We all hope we are back to school in person soon. For next week I wish everyone a safe and enjoyable mid-term break. Stay off screens, take a break and stay safe.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 4th Feb

February 4th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope this week has treated you well. Our news is as follows

  • Parent/teacher meetings have started this week and will continue up until midterm on 17th February. Your child’s teacher will arrange a time to contact you by phone at a time convenient to both of you. If you need to contact your child’s teacher at any time please use their email address provided and the teachers will be happy to assist in any way they can.
  • Shannon Family Resource Centre are offering free telephone counselling to any parents that find themselves struggling during lockdown. The service is available on Monday and Tuesday evenings from 6.30pm to 8.30pm and the number is 085 2829955. The counsellor is fully qualified and has been working with families and children for over 20 years.
  • We sent out details yesterday via email on a free online course for parents called “Keeping your child safe online”. This is being run by the National Parents Council Primary with sessions at 10a.m. Mon-Fri next week or 8p.m. Mon-Thurs. To book into a session click on this link  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/InternetSafetyOnline2021
  • I have popped into seesaw for various classes this week and have seen some amazing work. Well done to Seniors who are working so hard. They have been reading and writing some fantastic stories. Keep up the great work Seniors. Well done to 2nd class also who are working so hard on their maths in particular as well as other subjects. 5th class are producing some great work too. I was delighted to see many of the pupils in 5th taking responsibility for their own learning and sending a message to their teacher on seesaw if they needed clarification on something. This is very mature of 5th class and well done. I will be visiting other classes on seesaw in the coming days also.
  • Our weekly zoom check ins continue. Teachers love to see everybody in the class and it is an opportunity for pupils to see each other and also to ask teacher any questions they may have. It’s great to see so many families logging into Cruinniu. The link for tomorrow’s cruinniu taking place at 10a.m.  has been sent with this newsletter.
  • We still have no details re reopening of schools. It looks likely that remote teaching will continue for the coming weeks. Teacher are moving on with new concepts. It is important that pupils are engaging in some way with the learning. Most pupils are doing a brilliant job -as are parents! If for any reason your child is not engaging or it is proving difficult please contact us and we will work together to help resolve this. You can email us at office@tolasns.com or ring 061 362894. The office is not manned every day but leave a message and we will come back to you as soon as possible.

Stay safe.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 28th January 2021

January 29th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are keeping well and safe. Our news this week is as follows

  • As you are aware the level 5 lockdown will continue until 5th March. Schools will continue to operate remotely. We do not know yet when schools will reopen but will let you know as soon as we are informed.
  • Our parent/teacher meetings will take place over the next few weeks via phone. Your child’s teacher will contact you with a mutually convenient date and time. As always if you have any concern, query or worry please do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher via email and they will reply as soon as possible to you.
  • As a staff we would like to thank all parents/guardians for their help and support throughout this lockdown. We all know how difficult it is to support your child/children in the current circumstances but the level of engagement on seesaw across all class levels has been fantastic. Thank you to everyone for all their efforts.
  • It was noted at our staff meeting this week that some pupils are not really engaging with their schoolwork on Fridays. This is more notable at the senior end. It is good to keep a routine going across the five days of the week including Friday. For pupils at the senior end it is important that good habits are established in order to prepare for secondary school.
  • We still have some school laptops available if any family require them. Please email the office at office@tolasns.com and we are happy to lend them out to anyone who needs them.
  • The link for tomorrow’s Cruinniu has gone out with this newsletter. It was lovely to see so many of our pupils every week. Last week we had 128 devices logged on. Tomorrow is our last school day in January 2021 so we hope to see as many of you as possible.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald. Principal


Thursday Note 21st Jan 2021

January 21st, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are well and keeping safe at this challenging time. We are all hoping that as community transmission rates of COVID 19 reduce we can all return to in person school as soon as possible. Our news this week is as follows

  • Well done to Junior Infants who are working so hard at home. I had the pleasure of joining them for part of their Zoom link up yesterday and they were all able to say a lovely poem about a snowman. Well done Juniors. We also heard a lot of news and apparently the tooth fairy will be very busy soon as there are a lot of wobbly teeth in Juniors at the moment!
  • All other classes are busy with Zoom link ups too. Just a reminder of what we expect re using zoom
  • Sit on a chair and look at the screen
  • Use a real name – we will not admit anyone who is using a nickname
  • Mute your microphone until you are asked to speak
  • Listen to whoever is speaking
  • Don’t leave the screen or walk around
  • Wear appropriate clothing – PJs are not suitable
  • The pupils should be in a living area of the house – not a bedroom and an adult should be in the vicinity.
  • We are all getting a bit more used to using seesaw (hopefully) this week. I have been added as a teacher to lots of classes and will be popping in every so often to look at the work. Watch out as I may like or comment on work submitted every so often. I have to say that lots of pupils are working so hard and are submitting excellent work. Keep it up!
  •  I have noticed that some pupils are choosing what to do and leaving out some of the core subjects such as maths or English. It is important that pupils are engaging with activities across the curriculum. As a staff we have prioritised the core subjects along with wellbeing.  If for any reason your child is finding something difficult or cannot manage activities please contact your child’s teacher as soon as possible via email to let them know. In the current circumstances staff will support you and your child as best we can so please let us know if there are any issues.
  • I have included the zoom link up for Cruinniu (school assembly) with this email for tomorrow Friday 22nd January at 10a.m. Last week we had 130 devices logged on and we got to see so many of our pupils. We are looking forward to seeing everybody again tomorrow.

Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thur Note 14th Jan 2021

January 14th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are all keeping well and safe in these difficult and challenging times. Our news this week is as follows

  • Thank you to all staff members who came into school last week and earlier this week to organise books and materials for distribution to all pupils. Thank you to all parents/guardians who collected the books on Tuesday last. It was lovely to see so many of you and we all hope we can return to school as normal in the near future.
  • Congratulations to Ms. Clare Fitzsimons who has been appointed Deputy Principal of St. Tola’s N.S. Clare has been a dedicated, committed and enthusiastic teacher in St Tola’s since she joined the staff in 2009. I have no doubt but she will bring the same commitment to the role of Deputy Principal. I look forward to working even more closely with Clare in the coming years and I wish her every success.
  • Well done to everyone on a great start to remote learning this week. We understand that every family’s circumstances are different. If you are experiencing any difficulties or challenges with any learning activities please contact us as soon as possible. You can contact your class teacher via their own dedicated email or through seesaw.  You can contact the school via office@tolasns.com The office will not be staffed next week as we are all required under Level 5 restrictions to work from home where possible. The phone will be checked regularly but this may not be daily. Email is the preferred option for contacting us. If you do ring please leave a message and we will return your call as soon as we can. Please remember that this is a stressful time for everyone and we do not want schoolwork to be adding to your stress. Please contact us if we can help in any way.
  • We have organised regular weekly check ins with each class via Zoom. The schedule for these check ins is as follows

Junior Infants – Wednesdays 11a.m.

Senior Infants – Wednesdays 12p.m.

1st Class – Thursdays 11a.m.

2nd Class – Thursdays 2p.m.

3rd Class – Thursdays 12p.m (both 3rd classes)

4th Class – Wednesdays 1p.m.

5th Class – Thursdays 1p.m.

6th Class – Fridays 11a.m.

Whole school Cruinniu (assembly) – Fridays 10a.m.

Please find attached guidelines for ALL pupils and parents when using Zoom for class or school linkups.

I hope you all stay safe over the next week.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal