Thursday Note 26th November

November 26th, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

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

  • The Parents’ Association A.G.M. took place on Tuesday last via Zoom. The officers of the committee are as follows:

Sara Marren O’Callaghan – Chairperson

Kate Flynn – Secretary

Danka Kochanova – Treasurer

The Parents Association are organising a Christmas raffle with the prize of a hamper for each class. More details to follow shortly. There will be a lovely surprise tomorrow for all the pupils and we are thankful to the Parents Association for supporting us with this. All will be revealed tomorrow!

  • As we head towards the Christmas season we all realise it will be a very different Christmas for us this year due to Covid restrictions. One of the things we will not be able to do is the tradition of pupils handing out Christmas cards. We have to ensure that pupils only handle their own copies/books etc and it just would not be advised to hand out Christmas cards to multiple pupils in classes.  Just in case some pupils are working on their Christmas card list early we wanted to let you know this in good time. We look forward to next year when we hopefully can resume this lovely tradition.
  • Thank you to the MidWest Simon Community who donated a number of stationery packs to the school earlier this term. There was enough to give one to all pupils in 6th class and 1st class. We hope the pupils will find these useful.
  • As the weather has turned colder this week please ensure that your child has a coat. We will be outside for breaks as much as possible. This is so important as we need to ventilate the classrooms several times each day. Please make sure that your child’s coat has their name on it. We thank you for your co-operation in this matter.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal

Thursday Note

November 19th, 2020

Dear Parents/guardians,

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

  • The Parent’s Association will hold their AGM next Tuesday 24th Nov at 7.30p.m. via Zoom. All parents are entitled to attend. If you would like to attend please email the office at and we will forward the link on Monday.
  • 5th class had a lovely treat last Tuesday when they all got pizza from Supermacs following Kaytee winning an art competition for her class. I visited the class Tuesday afternoon but was too late for the pizza!!! I hope you all enjoyed it 5th! Well done Kaytee!
  • Thank you for your continued adherence to COVID 19 protocols. We really appreciate all parents/guardians wearing a facemask when on the school grounds collecting and dropping off pupils.  The Department of Education recently advised schools on an updated definition of a close contact in an educational setting
    • a)Any person who has had face to face contact within less than 1 metre with a confirmed case of COVID 19 for more than 15 mins in a school day
    • b)Any person who has been between 1 and 2 metres from a confirmed case of COVID 19 for more than 15 mins in a school day with consideration of other mitigation measures e.g. face coverings, pods, ventilation, IPC measures or uncertain compliance with mitigation measures in place ( assessed through clinical PHRA). Contacts are assessed from contact with a confirmed case of COVID 19 during their infectious period – 48 hours before the onset of symptoms if symptomatic or 24 hours before the test for COVID 19 was taken in those who are asymptomatic.
  • Please note that if there is a confirmed case of COVID 19 in the school the public health team carry out a risk assessment and advise on the course of action. 
  • We are continuing to implement hand hygiene measures, an enhanced cleaning regime every day, all staff wearing facemasks when they cannot maintain a distance of 2m from pupils and ensuring social distancing through pods and designated play spaces for each class bubble when on breaks.
  • We also thank you for not sending pupils into school if they have any symptoms of COVID 19. If you are unsure please contact your G.P. who will advise whether your child should come to school or stay at home. Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


November 12th, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

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

  • We have been very busy in all classes this week marking Science week.
  • Junior Infants have been learning about magnets. They did an experiment on dancing raisins to learn about forces and an experiment with skittles to learn about colour dispersion.
  • Senior Infants did an experiment on making a cloud and were learning about solids, liquids and dissolving.
  • 1st class have been exploring the Antarctic and learning about magnetism in relation to the earth.
  • 2nd class did a skittles in water experiment to learn the science of why colours do not mix. They also did a bubbling magic potion to find out about the chemical reaction using bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, food colouring and glitter. Later this week they will be exploring sinking and floating and a leakproof bag experiment to see if polymer chains work together to prevent the water from leaking out of a bag even when we pierce it with pencils.
  • 3rd classes have been measuring pulses, making volcanoes, and making spaghetti towers!
  • 4th class have made lava lamps and carried out experiments on sound and heat both in school and at home.
  • 5th class have been exploring liquid density and making balloon cars.
  • 6th class have carried out experiments on density, keeping hands clean (very relevant!!) and discover your tap water.
  • 6th class also did a number of webinars this week. For some photos and more detail why not follow us on twitter at StTolasNS
  • If you wish to order the Folen’s Christmas annuals please see details on flyers going home tomorrow. If you wish to order these can be paid for via Aladdin. The annuals will be delivered well before Christmas.
  • Following guidance from the Department of Education and Skills it will not be possible to have our usual face to face parent/teacher meetings this year due to Covid restrictions. We will schedule parent/teacher meeting via phone in January. Dates and times allocated will be sent out in the New year. If you have any concern re your child or you wish to talk to your child’s teacher at any stage please either ring or email the office to arrange a time to speak with your child’s teacher.
  • Fr. Arnie met with 2nd class yesterday via Zoom to link in with the pupils in their Communion year. We do not have any dates yet for 1st Communion or Confirmation next year. It is very difficult for the parish to plan these ceremonies at the moment. As soon as there are dates we will let you know.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal

Thursday note 5th Nov 2020

November 5th, 2020

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you had an enjoyable and relaxing midterm break. Our news this week is as follows

  • Over the mid-term there were further upgrades carried out to the outside spaces of the school. The path beside 2nd class was widened and tacmaced. In the past this area got quite muddy and waterlogged. This upgrade has greatly enhanced access to the school for 1st class and 3rd class who use the back gate.  The Board of Management also resurfaced the pathways beside Junior Infants and the walkway into Junior Infants. This means that Juniors can now have their own dedicated entrance and exit point.   From today we are asking Junior Infant parents to drop/collect their children at this gate where they only have a short walk directly into the building. We thank you for your co-operation in this matter.    
  • Several classes took part in the recent Credit Union Art Competition. St Tola’s did very well with several winners across a number of classes. Congratulations to the following who all won prizes Rebekah (1st Class), Talulah and Kyomie (2nd Class), Charize and Amelia (4th class) and Lauren (6th class). Well done to all of you!
  • As we have a number of pupils with nut allergies in a variety of classes we ask that pupils do NOT bring nuts or products containing nuts to school in their lunches. We appreciate your co-operation with us in this important matter.
  • As the weather is colder can you please ensure that your child brings a coat to school every day. We will be going outside at breaktimes and it can be cold in the mornings especially. Please make sure that your child’s coat is labelled with their name.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald           

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 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