Thursday Note 18th November 2021

November 18th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

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

  • Thank you to the parents who have informed us over the past week that their child has tested positive for Covid 19. We greatly appreciate this information and we let the parents of the class concerned know via text message if there is a positive case in your child’s class. As per HSE guidance we do not identify the individual.  It is apparent that high levels of Covid 19 are in the local community and will make its way into the school. We ask that as parents/guardians you remain vigilant for any signs and symptoms and contact your child’s G.P for guidance. If you carry out an antigen test on your child and it is negative but your child still has symptoms they should not be in school and the advice is contact your GP as they may need a PCR test.  Please do not send your child into school if they are unwell. If one child in the family has been advised to go for a PCR test all unvaccinated family members must restrict their movements until the test results are received. We expect some level of contact tracing to resume in schools following yesterday’s announcements but we have not received any guidance in relation to this. As soon as we receive it we will let you know.
  • Last Tuesday was an exciting day as our prefab to house our new multiple disability class was assembled on site. There was a large crane moving the sections into place and many classes got to go out and see some of the action. We expect construction to continue for a few more weeks but it is great to see the building taking shape.  Junior Infants were particularly impressed as they have been doing the theme of the builder in Aistear. I know our Aoibhneas class will be delighted with the space when it is completed.
  • Pupils in 3rd-6th class are practising their reading skills using the Accelerated Reader programme. While we have a large selection of books available we would be delighted to add to this. If you have books at home that your child no longer uses we would gladly accept donations.
  • The County Council have started improvement works to the footpath beside the playschool. The works will take a few weeks and they are doing them in sections to maintain access to the building. If you cannot access from this side please come to the main door.

Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thurs Note 11th November

November 11th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

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

  • As Covid cases are high in the community we ask that all adults collecting pupils from St. Tolas wear a face mask when on the school grounds or environs.  There are larger numbers now at some doors due to the footpath being closed at the moment so it is important to protect everyone that masks are worn.  We thank you for your co-operation in this matter.
  • The construction of the new prefab for our Multiple Disability class continues at the side of the school. The foundations are going in this week and the contractor hopes to start construction of the prefab next week. A short section of the path has been closed off while the building works are ongoing. Some pupils from Seniors and 2nd class may have to use the entrance beside 1st class while the works are ongoing. We hope they will be completed in a few weeks.
  • Clare County Council have informed us today that they will be carrying out works to the footpath on the playschool side of the school. They will do the work in sections to minimise disruption to accessing the school. School staff will be on hand to redirect pupils as necessary to access the school building. Clare County Council expect the work to be completed in a few weeks.
  • ‘As part of Science Week 6th class took part in a Zoom lesson entitled ‘May the Force be with You: Caterpillars, Rockets, Trampolines and Sun Sails’ delivered by Dr. John Barry of Munster Technological University. John taught the pupils about the invisible forces on earth including electrostatic forces, gravity and the potential of solar sails to help push satellites into deep space.’ This sounds fascinating.
  • Our parent teacher meetings will take place in January again this year. We are awaiting guidance from the Department of Education as to how they proceed.  If you wish to speak to your child’s teacher before then please contact the office to arrange a phonecall at a time convenient to both the teacher and yourself.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thurs Note 4th November

November 11th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are well and enjoyed the mid-term break last week. Our news this week is as follows

  • The prevalence of Covid 19 in our community seems to have increased over the past few weeks. As you are aware the HSE no longer carries out contact tracing in schools if a pupil tests positive. If your child shows any signs or symptoms of Covid 19 please do not send them into school and ring your GP for advice. We have had some positive cases reported to us this week by parents. We are extremely grateful to parents who let us know this information. When we receive this information we send out a text to the parents of the pupils in the class to alert them of this without identifying the pupil concerned. At this time of the year we all need to be more vigilant as viruses can spread more easily. We are continuing with all mitigation measures to reduce the spread of Covid in school. Pupils continue to sit in their pods in class. Class bubbles have their own zone in the yard and are separate at breaktimes. Windows and doors are opened regularly throughout the day to ventilate rooms. The greatest tool we have though is to lessen the chance of transmission and that is why we ask that if your child has any symptoms they remain at home and contact your GP for advice.
  • We have been informed recently that some parents are parking in front of houses in the surrounding estates and blocking up driveways. Some of the residents are elderly and emergency services may need access. We ask that you are respectful of local residents when dropping off and picking up your child and do not cause an obstruction at this time. We thank you for your co-operation in this matter.
  • As you are aware the school operates a healthy eating policy. Chewing gum is not allowed at any time in school. We ask that you keep treats for Fridays and that it is a small treat such as a biscuit bar etc.
  • Well done to 3rd class who recently completed lovely projects on the Stone Age. Before the mid term I got the opportunity to go into 3rd class and look at their amazing work and hear some of the facts they learnt about the Stone Age. They also made clay items connected to the Stone Age and I got to see those too. Keep up the great work 3rd Class!

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thur NOte 21st October

November 11th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are well as we head towards the mid-term break. Our news this week is as follows

  • As tomorrow Friday is the last day before mid-term pupils may, if they wish wear their Halloween costumes to school. Please be mindful that they will be going outside for breaktimes (weather permitting) so please make sure they can move freely, are warm and see where they are going. If your child does not celebrate Halloween or does not wish to dress up that is not a problem and they just wear their school uniform as usual.
  • Food Dudes has been taking place all this week in St. Tolas. Every day each pupil has received a portion of fruit and vegetables to taste and try in school. Some pupils have opted to bring them home to try. Well done to all pupils who have given Food Dudes a go. Some pupils have been surprised that they liked some fruit or vegetable when they did taste it. Thank you to Ms Hehir who co-ordinated Food Dudes this year.
  • Well done to 5th class who worked together in groups to make some amazing scarecrows this week. You may have seen them on the fence a few mornings this week. The scarecrows from St. Tolas will be displayed in Bunratty Folk Park next week as part of their Halloween celebrations. 
  • The groundworks for our prefab are currently being done.  After mid-term we ask that parents and pupils in Senior Infants and 2nd class and do not use the side entrance beside the oil tank as the path will be temporarily closed.  These pupils can come around to the side exit beside 1st class and enter the building through this door. Pupils approaching from Cluain Airne side can use the back gate as usual. We hope the building works will be completed in a few weeks and the path will reopen then.
  • St. Senan’s Rugby club have asked us to let you know that registration for new and existing primary players takes place on Sunday 24th October between 10a.m. and 12p.m. at Jimmy Slattery Park. The fee is €40 with reductions for siblings.  Please see flyer attached to this email.
  • Wolfe Tomes GAA have asked us to let you know that they are organising a Halloween Camp for primary pupils next week on 26th, 27th and 28th October between 10a.m. and 2.30p.m. each day. The cost is €30 per child with reductions for siblings. Please see flyer attached to this email
  • St. Tolas will close tomorrow Friday 22nd October at 2.40p.m. for the mid-term break. The school will re-open on Monday 1st November for all pupils. I wish you a safe and relaxing break and thank all pupils, parents and staff members for their co-operation with all Covid guidelines since we returned to school.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 14th October 2021

October 14th, 2021

Dear parents/Guardians,

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

  • It’s hard to believe that we will have our mid term break with school finishing next Friday 22nd October and re-opening on Monday 1st November. To celebrate Halloween we will have our annual Halloween dress up on Friday next 22nd October. Pupils may wear their Halloween costumes into school if they wish. If your child is wearing a costume please ensure that they are warm as we will be going outside if possible at breaktimes. If your child does not wish to dress up on this date that is absolutely fine and they wear their school uniform/tracksuit as usual.
  • 5th Class will be constructing scarecrows next week. All of the scarecrows made will be displayed in Bunratty Folk Park over the mid-term break. I can’t wait to see what 5th class will produce. Last year we had some amazing creations from the pupils who are now in 6th class!
  • We will be accepting applications for enrolment into Junior Infants from next week until 28th January 2022. Applications may be downloaded from our school website at www.tolasns.com or email the office at office@tolasns.com and we will send an application form out to you.
  • 2nd class participated in a zoom call this morning with children’s author/illustrator Alan Nolan. The pupils got to make some animal drawings and really enjoyed the session. This event was organised through Shannon Library as part of the Children’s Book Festival.
  • We will be taking part in Food Dudes next week in all classes. The idea behind Food Dudes is that pupils will give fruit/veg a try that they may not otherwise do so.   Each day pupils will get some fruit/veg to sample. Juniors will get a lunchbox at the end of the week.
  • Just a reminder about our school policy re birthday invitations. We ask that you do not send birthday invitations into school to be distributed in the classroom. This can cause upset to those who may not be invited and it can also put pressure on families to have a large birthday party when this may not be possible also. We appreciate your co-operation in this matter.
  • Hip Hop Dancing is on in Leisure Centre on Mondays @ 4pm for ages 4 to 8 yrs & 5pm for ages 9 to 12 yrs. 7euro per session. More info if needed from Shelley Naughton Dance Masters School of Dance 086 1703053 or www.dancemasters.ie
  • The principal and Deputy principal from St. Patrick’s Comprehensive visited 6th class last Monday to distribute the school prospectus and application from and to answer some questions from the pupils. The school’s Open evening will take place this year online with all information available on their website. This goes live this evening at 6p.m. We expect a visit from St. Caimin’s staff next week.
  • Congratulations to Ms Lorraine Connolly on the birth of her new beautiful baby girl yesterday. We are delighted for her and her family and wish them every blessing for the years ahead.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal