Thursday Note 6th May 2021

May 6th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are well as we start the first week in May. Our news this week is as follows

  • Last week was National Active Schools Week. Each class participated in a Run Around Clare Challenge, with some classes still completing laps this week. This involved the class going out to the astro turf to run some laps each day and keeping a tally on their totals.  Teachers have noticed a huge improvement in concentration and fitness levels . 4th Class used their maths skills to calculate how far they had run; their total was a massive 100km 210m! 2nd class also calculated their total, coming in at 150km clocked up. Well done to all classes for getting involved! We look forward to more active school activities this term.
  • Shannon Tidy Towns have contacted us to let us know that in conjunction with Clare County Council there are a number of “ no cut” zones around the town for the summer. These will be areas left to grow wild and grass will only be trimmed every six weeks.  It is hoped to leave these areas wild to encourage biodiversity. There will be signage at these locations to help the public identify different species of plants etc. The nearest location to the school is near Cluain Airne. We hope that some of our classes will get to visit on a nature walk over the coming weeks.
  • The school photographer will be here on Tuesday next 11th May . All pupils who have completed forms will have their photo taken. Due to Covid restrictions we will not be in a position to supply school jumpers or ties so please ensure your child has their school jumper on if they are getting their photo taken.
  • 4th class recently completed lovely self portraits following a study of some of the art of Picasso. These look great. Well done to 4th class!
  • 2nd class have been busy making hot air balloons out of card and paper. These must have taken a lot of time. They look great. Keep up the good work 2nd class!
  • 5th class have been learning about the world’s strangest predators this week. They found out interesting facts about the box jellyfish, the anaconda and the great white shark among others. Sounds interesting 5th!

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 29th April 2021

April 29th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

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

  • The school building is open every morning from 8.45a.m. It is not possible to admit pupils before this time as we do not have supervision until this time. We thank you for your co-operation in this matter.
  • The school photographer will visit the school on Tuesday 11th May this year. If you would like to get your child’s photo/family photo taken please return the form by next Thursday 6th May. This is entirely your own choice. Please note that the photographer will be adhering to all Covid guidelines.  It will not be possible to lend pupils jumpers/ties for the photo this year as per Covid guidelines on sharing items.
  • We have had a lot of issues in recent weeks with the advent of the good weather with young people trespassing on to our astro turf in the evenings or at weekends. The astro turf is locked after school and they are climbing over the fence to gain access. As you are aware the school had to fundraise for this facility and we were greatly helped in this regard by EI. There is an attitude among some of these young people that the astro turf is open to the public. We would greatly appreciate if you know any young people doing this to advise them that we are trying to maintain this facility for the benefit of our pupils and by climbing the fence they are actually trespassing.
  • Shannon Family Resource centre have made some online kids yoga sessions available free of charge for families in the community. They can be accessed at this link https://www.shannonfrc.com/online-courses-2021.html
  • St. Tola’s is closed to pupils next Monday and Tuesday 3rd and 4th of May. School will re-open on Wednesday 5th May at 9a.m. We hope you have an enjoyable and safe bank holiday weekend.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald Principal


Thursday Note 22nd April

April 26th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are keeping well and enjoying the lovely weather. Our news this week is as follows

  • A few classes in St Tolas were given the opportunity recently to complete an online hands –  on workshop with Heritage Ireland.  The workshops were provided by Digit Kids and the pupils and staff found them very enjoyable.
  • 5th class did their workshop on Celtic art and have made beautiful pieces of artwork using letters in a similar style to the decoration found in the Book of Kells.
  • 4th class did their workshop on Round Towers to tie in with their history programme. They learnt all about the monasteries in Early Christian Ireland and then constructed their own Round Towers.
  • 3rd class learnt about the Normans who came to Ireland in the Middle ages. They made beautiful Norman shields. Did you know that many of our common surnames in Ireland come from the Normans including Fitzgerald!!!
  • 2nd class learnt about Ringforts and they constructed their own ringforts during the session. These were a bit tricky to make but 2nd class did a great job. To see the art from these sessions please follow us on Twitter @StTolasNS
  • To celebrate ‘Earth Day’ 2021 both 5th and 6th classes took part in a webinar today hosted by the National Museum of Ireland called “Cool Fossils and Hot (Climate) Facts” It is brilliant that we can now bring these experts right into our classrooms and pupils can access workshops from all over Ireland.
  • You might be doing a bit of Spring Cleaning at the moment. If you find any PM reading books we would appreciate if you can send them into school with your child. Sometimes one child in a family brings them home and they can by mistake get into another child’s schoolbag. We try to keep sets of 6 titles together for Guided Reading. When one goes missing it makes it difficult to use that set.

Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 15th April 2021

April 15th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you had a restful and enjoyable break over Easter. We are all delighted to be back to in person learning for Term 3. Our news this week is as follows

  •  As the weather has improved this week can you ensure that your child has enough drinks with them for the school day. We are not in a position to provide extra drinks for pupils. The best drink for primary pupils is water as studies have shown that pupils’ learning improves if they are well hydrated. We hope that the good weather will continue for the rest of this term and pupils can be outside at break and for Physical Education.
  • Just a reminder that we have a number of pupils in different classes who have been diagnosed with a nut allergy. As a result of this we are a nut free school. Can you please ensure that items in your child’s lunch do not contain nut traces. We appreciate your co-operation with this important matter.
  • For pupils making First Communion and Confirmation this year we still do not have any dates announced. Churches remain closed for public worship at present. Once this restriction is lifted dates will be organised and we will let you know as soon as we are informed.
  • Wolfe Tones have informed us that training will resume for primary age pupils. Please see flyer attached for your info.
  • Our Special Class for pupils with ASD has opened and just to let you know that we are calling this our Solas Class. Our pupils are doing so well and we are so proud of all they have achieved in a short space of time. Keep up the good work all in the Solas class.
  • The National Parents Council Primary are running free online interactive workshops on Internet Safety all next week. This programme will give parents practical information and supports to help you as a parent in this vital role. It will help you better understand that your parenting skills are key to keeping your child safe and it will also look at some of the evidence about what children in Ireland are spending their time doing online and will also examine some of the risks and benefits for children online. The sessions are taking place online via Zoom at 10am on Monday to Friday, and 8pm on Monday to Thursday next week, starting Monday the 19th April. Just click on the link below to register.
  • https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/internet-Safety-Registration-April-2021 . Each session will have limited numbers for discussion and questions, and places will be offered on a first come first served basis.
  • We are continuing with all Covid 19 measures to ensure that school is as safe as possible for all. Pupils are being asked to wash their hands regularly throughout the day. Pupils from 3rd-6th classes are in their pods while in the classroom but do not have to remain in them while outside in the yard. All classrooms are cleaned thoroughly every evening and toilets and touchpoints are cleaned regularly throughout the school day. Once a month all surfaces are treated with Zoono.  This product coats the surface with a microscopic film that kills viruses on impact. We still have staggered breaks and lunchtimes and all class bubbles have a separate zone to play in the yard so class bubbles are not mixing.  Again, we thank you for your co-operation to date. If you or anyone in your family has been advised to isolate please follow all health guidance. Please do not send your child into school if they have any Covid like symptoms and get advice from your family doctor. Hopefully we are coming to the end of current restrictions and life can return to more normal times for everyone soon.

Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 25th March

March 25th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

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

  • Our 6th class pupils have started a Transition to Secondary school programme here in the school. This is being delivered by Ms Fitzsimons and Ms Kelleher. This will be a great help to the pupils particularly this year as they did not get the opportunity to visit the secondary schools in person. We wish them well as they begin their preparation for moving on.
  • Our Parents’ Association have kindly donated an Easter egg for each class to be raffled tomorrow. Good luck to everyone and thanks to our P.A for this generous gesture.
  • While we are confident that everyone will return to school on Monday 12th April class teachers will send books home with pupils just in case. The COVID situation is rapidly evolving and in the event that schools are instructed to remain closed for a while everyone will have necessary text books for remote learning. We all fervently hope that we will return on 12th April to in person learning. It has been wonderful to have everyone back on site for the past two weeks. I would ask that all families adhere to the COVID guidelines during the Easter holidays to prevent transmission of the virus. 
  • I would like to thank all parents/guardians for your wonderful support this term. We know that for some families remote learning has been a challenge and all the staff really appreciate the efforts of parents/guardians during lockdown. I would also like to thank all parents/guardians for your adherence to the necessary COVID measures such as wearing facemasks, social distancing in the yard and not calling to the school in person since we returned to school. We really appreciate all your efforts in this regard.
  • I would like to thank all our staff for their tremendous efforts this term also. Staff have been very diligent, hardworking and conscientious both during school closure and since we returned to school. The adherence to all Covid measures by staff here in the school has been excellent all while keeping school life as normal and as pleasant as possible for our pupils.
  • St. Tolas will close for the Easter holidays tomorrow Friday 26th March at 12p.m. We will re-open on Monday 12th April at 9a.m. I wish all pupils, parents/guardians and staff a safe and relaxing break. I hope you all get to enjoy some fresh air and exercise over the break. Stay safe and we look forward to seeing you all on 12th April.

Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal