Thursday Note 22nd October

October 22nd, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It’s hard to believe we are at the mid term break already. Our news this week is as follows

  • Well done to 5th class who made amazing scarecrows this week. We were asked by Shannon Heritage to make a scarecrow for display in Bunratty Folk Park for Halloween. 5th class made 5 scarecrows – one by each pod in the class and the other classes got to vote for their favourite one. This one was collected by Shannon heritage yesterday.  Please check out the pictures on the school website at www.tolasns.com. Great work 5th class!
  • Over mid-term we will be carrying out additional drainage works and tarmac to the side of the school near 2nd class and near Junior Infants to improve access for everybody. It will be great to get this done before Winter truly sets in.
  • As we only received one expression of interest for the parent nominee for the Board of Management there is no need to carry out a ballot. I am delighted to welcome Annmarie Kelly onto the Board as a parent nominee. Annmarie will serve for the remainder of the current term which ends on 30th Nov 2023.
  • Well done to 3rd class and 5th class who have taken part in the Banner Challenge over the past few weeks. The pupils had to run/walk 10 km over a few days. They broke it down to 1km a day. 5th class got a medal and cert for their efforts and 3rd class have just completed the challenge today.
  •  As we have now moved to level 5 Covid 19 restrictions across the country we ask that ALL parents/guardians/childminders wear a mask when on the school grounds – dropping off or collecting. Thank you to everyone who has been wearing the masks the past two days. It is greatly appreciated by all the staff here in St Tola’s.
  • We fully expect to re-open after mid-term on 2nd November. However, just in case the public health advice changes all teachers will send home some copies and textbooks over mid-term. This will ensure pupils have some essentials if the guidance around schools staying open changes.
  • Pupils may dress up tomorrow in their Halloween costumes if they so wish. Please make sure they are warm and maybe put some layers underneath. We will be going outside if the weather allows at both breaks.
  • St Tola’s will close for mid-term tomorrow Fri 23rd Oct at 2.40p.m. The school will re-open on Monday 2nd November at 9a.m. I wish all staff and their families a restful mid-term and I thank all staff members for their dedication and professionalism since we returned to school. It has not been easy getting used to all the necessary changes for the sake of everyone’s health. I also wish all our pupils and their families a lovely mid-term. Thank you for your co-operation with all the new measures put in place. As we are all in Level 5 it will be a different mid-term than usual. Stay safe and keep socially distant. Limit your contacts to your own family bubble. I look forward to seeing everybody when we return on 2nd November.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 15th October 2020

October 15th, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

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

  • We will be accepting enrolments for Junior Infants for next year Sept 2021 from next week. Applications for enrolment may be downloaded from the school website  at www.tolasns.com or email the office at office@tolasns.com and we can send the form out to you. Applications will be accepted up until the end of January 2021.
  • Thank you to all parents/guardians for your continued support with our Covid guidelines. As a staff we are currently planning in case of a full or partial closure at some time in the future. Please note we are NOT closing at present. We are anxious to ensure that every pupil can access online learning IF a class or school has to close for a period of time. We have school laptops that we can lend to families if required. Please email the office if you would like to have the use of a school laptop in the event of a class or school closure in the future.
  • As next Friday 23rd October is our last day before our Halloween break we usually allow pupils to dress up in costumes. We will continue to do this again this year. I even think some of our teachers might be dressing up too!!! Please make sure that your child is warm and can go out into the yard in their costume. If they do not wish to dress up that is fine also and pupils can just wear their uniform or tracksuit.
  • 3rd and 4th Classes had an online workshop on Monday with author of “The Secret Dragon” and “Class Act”, Debbie Thomas. The event was organised as part of Shannon Library’s Book month and the children really enjoyed listening to Debbie and asking her lots of interesting questions. She did a wonderful writing workshop with the children and many of the pupils are inspired by her and hope to follow in her footsteps. Also Shannon library have kindly sourced almost 40 of Debbie’s novels from various libraries around the country for the children to read, which they are thoroughly enjoying!
  • We are very excited that our Junior Infants will be joining us this week for our Zoom Cruinniu (assembly) tomorrow. We are looking forward to seeing them this week.
  • The school will be closed from Monday 26th October for the week for our mid-term break. St Tolas will reopen on Monday 2nd Nov as usual.  We thank all our staff for their tremendous efforts in keeping our school safe for all our pupils. As we move into further restrictions we are sure you as parents are also sacrificing many visits, trips, parties, sleep overs and family occasions in order to keep our school Covid 19 free. We thank you for being so considerate of the safety of all our students and staff.  

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 8th October

October 8th, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope this finds you well on this lovely October day. Our news this week is as follows

  • Well done to Junior Infants who have started homework this week. They were very excited about this. Thank you to the Junior Infant parents who have accessed the homework through the Aladdin Connect app.
  • There has been one small change to the school calendar for this year. We are now closed on Fri 4th June instead of Tues 8th June. To access the updated calendar please visit the school website at www.tolasns.com
  • The Chairperson of the Board of Management sent out a letter to all parents yesterday via email. This letter informs you that there is a vacancy on the Board of Management for a parent nominee (mother). If you are interested in being nominated and standing for election please email the office at office@tolasns.com before Wednesday 14th October next.
  • Please make sure that your child has a coat and that it is labelled with their name. We will be outside as much as possible at breaktimes and lunchtimes in order to ventilate the classrooms.
  • Well done to Senior Infants who performed their poems and songs as Gaeilge last Friday at our Cruinniu on Zoom. Seniors did a great job. Maith sibh!

Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal  


Thursday note 1st october

October 1st, 2020

Dear Parents/guardians,

We hope you are keeping well as we start into a new month. Where did September go? Our news this week is as follows

  • Please find attached a letter outlining how the HSE will interact with the school were there to be a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the school. Please note we do NOT have such a case but it is important that everyone is clear about the procedures involved.
  • In terms of attendance this year our top priority is everyone’s health. While we all know that there is a direct link between school attendance and pupil progress we must make exceptions this year. Thank you for erring on the side of caution and not sending in your child if they are unwell, getting GP advice when the symptoms are on the Covid 19 list and observing all guidelines around isolation if advised. We all want the school to remain open and everyone to stay well. Please continue to let us know the details of all absences. This can be done by a phonecall, an email to office@tolasns.com or via Aladdin Connect.  The school is obliged under the Education Welfare Act 2000 to inform Tusla when a pupil is absent for 20 days or more in a school year. As the category of absence must be filled in when informing Tusla it is important that we have this explained. The Education Welfare officer has communicated to me that no action will be taken re Covid 19 related absences or absence related to health matters.
  • For the past two weeks we have had our weekly Cruinniu(assembly) via Zoom. Each class takes part via Zoom while I lead Cruinniu from my office. It has been lovely to “see” everyone and to feel connected to every class in our school. Thank you pupils and teachers for making Cruinniu such a positive experience again.
  • Please ensure that your child has enough to drink with them each day in school. Research would show that water is very beneficial to school age children throughout the day.  In the current circumstances we cannot provide drinks for them.
  • Congratulations to our pupils in 3rd class who made First Communion last Saturday. We were all very proud of all our pupils.  We hope you had a lovely day with your family. Thank you to all the families who observed the social distancing guidelines in the church. Thank you to Ms O’ Neill who did a lot of the organising for the ceremony and to Ms Connolly and Ms Brady who prepared the pupils in the lead up to the ceremony.

Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


THURSDAY NOTE 24TH SEPT 2020

September 24th, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

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

  • We would ask all parents to take extra care in the car park – particularly at 2.40p.m. If there is no parking space please do not cause an obstruction. Shannon Gardai have informed us that parents may park on the road as long as you do so in a safe manner without causing an obstruction. Please watch out for pupils who are small and may be difficult to see. Please enter and leave the car park very slowly as it can be difficult to see a young child in the car park. We thank you for your co-operation in this matter as we all want our pupils to be able to get to  and from school safely.
  • All classes will cover the Stay Safe programme as part of Social. Personal and    Health Education this term. This personal safety programme aims to give children
  1. the skills necessary to enable them to recognise and resist abuse/victimisation and bullying
  2. teach children they should always tell an adult about any situation they find unsafe, upsetting, threatening, dangerous or abusive
  3. develop children’s self-esteem, assertiveness and self-protective skills                Further information and lesson plans for all class levels may be accessed at www.staysafe.ie. Alternatively if you have any queries please contact your child’s teacher or the principal.
  •  For health and safety reasons all doors  and the back gate  will be closed at 9a.m. when the bell rings. Teachers need to get back to their classes and cannot leave their classes to open any door or the back gate. If your child is late the main door at the front is open and they can enter through this door. We appreciate your co-operation in this matter. Similarly if your child needs to leave school early for any reason please come to the main office at the front of the building and our secretary will organise for your child to come to the main office for collection.
  • First Communion takes place on Saturday in Mary Immaculate Church at 1.30p.m. for pupils in 3rd class.  The pupils have been a long time waiting for this day to come.  On behalf of all in the school community we wish  our pupils making First Communion all the best. We hope you have a lovely day and that the weather is kind to us.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal