Thursday Note 24th June

June 24th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

It’s hard to believe that we have made it to the end of this extraordinary school year. Our news this week is as follows

  • Congratulations to our 6th class pupils who celebrated their graduation from St. Tola’s today. We held the ceremony in the 6th class room with parents and pupils from other classes joining us via Zoom. It is not the way we would have wished it but huge credit to our 6th class pupils who have shown great resilience this year and just did what they have to do. We are so proud of them today and for their years here in St. Tola’s. We hope they will leave our school with many happy memories. I know they will do themselves, their families and St. Tola’s proud as they move onto secondary education. Be kind and try your best always 6th class 2021!!
  • Our Quizbrain final will take place today after lunch. We have 6 finalists this year with Jack and Harry representing 4th class and Katie, Edmund, Ethan and Jan representing 6th class. To get to the final they have answered a total of 120 questions in the preliminary rounds, 60 between the 2 semi-finals and will face 50 today over 5 rounds for the final. You have done yourselves proud to get this far and we wish you well. They will have great support from pupils in the other classes who will join them virtually but the cheers and encouragement will be felt by our finalists.
  •  For the school year 21/22 the teachers have been allocated to the following classes
    • Junior Infants Ms Lisa Hackett, Ms Amanda Corry (two Junior classes), Senior Infants TBC,
    • 1st Class Ms Lorna O’ Neill, 2nd Class Ms Siobhan Kelleher, 3rd Class TBC, 4th Class TBC,
    • 5th Class Ms Maria Hehir, 6th Class TBC
    • Special Education Teachers: Ms Edel Halliday, Ms Clare Fitzsimons, Ms Ciara Cleary, Ms Karen Riordan/Ms Diana Fleming (jobsharing), Ms Lorraine Connolly
    • Solas Class for pupils with ASD Ms Noreen Vaughan, Multiple Disability Class Ms Fiona Burke
  • As you can see we have a number of vacancies and these will be filled over the summer following a recruitment process.
  • We extend warm congratulations to Ms Amanda Corry and her fiancé David who will be tying the knot in late July. We wish them a wonderful wedding day and many years of health and happiness ahead.
  • I would like to thank all the staff for their dedication, hard work and commitment to the pupils of St. Tola’s throughout this year both in school and during remote learning. The staff have worked extraordinarily hard throughout the year in challenging circumstances and have done so with grace and good humour always. I would also like to thank all parent/guardians for your support and understanding throughout this year too. We know it was difficult and challenging at times for many families and we thank you for the ways you have supported the school. Finally, I would like to thank each and every one of our pupils. You have been magnificent and I am so proud of you and honoured to be your principal. To all in our school community I hope you get a well deserved break over the Summer.  Let’s hope we get some nice weather and we can all get outside to enjoy this time of year. Stay safe and mind each other!
  • St. Tola’s will close for the summer holidays at 12p.m. tomorrow Friday 25th June and reopen on Monday 30th Aug for the 21/22 school year. Have a great Summer!!!

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 17th June

June 17th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope this finds you well as we head towards our last week of school in the current academic year. Our news this week is as follows

  • Our first Sports day took place on Tuesday last with Juniors, 2nd, 4th and 6th class participating in outdoor activities while Seniors, 1st, 3rd and 5th did indoor activities. The outdoor groups did musical hoops (although Juniors are calling them disco hoops as I believe they got to show some moves!!!), an obstacle course, badminton and games and parachute activities in the astro turf. They also took part in running races, spud and spoon race, sack race and three-legged race. Well done to these four classes for their terrific involvement and positive sporting attitude. The indoor groups did yoga, dance, art activities and a mini obstacle course in the infant yard. Again, they showed a great attitude and willingness to give it a go. Today the groups reverse with Seniors, 1st, 3rd and 5th outdoors in the main. We are looking forward to another great Sport for All day!
  • Many classes from 1st-6th took part in orienteering today around the school with the remainder doing orienteering next week.  It was lots of fun trying to find the clues and solve the puzzles. Thanks to Ms Hehir for organising orienteering.  
  • End of year reports will be posted out to all families this week. If you have any query in relation to this please contact your child’s teacher who will be happy to discuss the reports with you.
  • Our 6th class graduation will take place next Thursday 24th June at 11a.m. in the 6th classroom. Unfortunately, due to Covid precautions we cannot invite parents to attend in person but we will send out a zoom link to 6th class parents who can attend virtually. 6th class were presented with their end of school hoodies last Friday in a little ceremony in the yard. Thanks to 5th and 4th classes who joined us outside and gave a great cheer to our 6th class pupils.
  • Children in 3rd and 4th Classes are participating in a series of online webinars this week. The children are learning all about Tom Crean and his adventures to the South Pole. The three 30 minute webinars take place on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday and tell us all about each of Tom’s expeditions to the South Pole. There are also lots of interesting facts; did you know that it would take 161 Irelands to cover the continent of Antarctica?! 3rd and 4th enjoyed Wednesday’s lesson and are looking forward to the next two! 
  • We have organised a bouncy castle to come to the school next Tuesday. Each class will get a scheduled time on their own to play on it. Thank you to the Parents’ association who are funding this. Pupils to wear their tracksuit and runners on this day. It’s a good idea to send in an extra drink with your child too (preferably water) as they may be extra thirsty.
  • St. Tola’s closes for the summer holidays next Friday 25th June at 12p.m. This has been an extraordinary year dealing with the restrictions imposed by the pandemic and having remote learning for most of Term 2. It has been wonderful having everyone back for Term 3.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 10th June

June 10th, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

I hope you are well this week as we head for the middle of June. Our news is as follows

  • Our Confirmation ceremony will take place this year on 8th July in Mary Immaculate Church at 2p.m. The 6th class pupils making Confirmation visited the church yesterday where they met with Fr. Arnie and Fr. James. They have scheduled another meeting with the pupils for next week. We are looking forward to the ceremony with the pupils and are delighted we are now in a place that the Confirmation can go ahead before the pupils move on to secondary school.
  • We do not have dates yet for Communion but it will be in September. We will let parents of those making Communion know as soon as the date is confirmed.
  • 6th class are going on a trip tomorrow to Hastings Cottage here in Shannon to learn a little about the local history of their own area (weather permitting!). Ms Halliday will be accompanying the class and giving the pupils lots of facts about the early years of our town.
  • The first semi-final of Quizbrain took place this morning outside in the yard (which may be a first!) We have 20 pupils who have made it to the semi final and we wish them all the best. They all did very well in Semi final 1 so congrats to each and every pupil.
  • The school calendar for the next school year is now available. A copy has been sent out with this note and it will also be available to view on the school website at www.tolasns.com
  • 2nd class went on a walk yesterday to see the biodiversity in our local area.  They learned a lot about wild flowers and the benefits of dandelions. 2nd are also completing a STEM project over the next few weeks. They are constructing mini golf courses in their pods. I can’t wait to play some of the courses!
  • Well done to 5th class who used their P.E time last week to pick up litter in the area around the school. We were provided with litter pickers from the Shannon Tidy Towns committee. Well done 5th class for showing such positive community spirit!
  • 6th class opened their time capsule last week. They each had completed a sheet all about themselves when they were in Senior Infants. It was lovely for the pupils to look back at themselves at that stage of their school life.
  • Our Sports day will take place over two days next week. We are planning for Tuesday and Thursday (weather permitting). Classes will be kept in their class bubble and separate during Sports day as per Covid guidelines. Pupils wear their school tracksuit or shorts if the weather permits. Please make sure they have extra drinks (preferably water) on Tuesday and Thursday. We are not in a position to have any parents/guardians attend this year due to Covid restrictions and social distancing guidelines.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 3rd June 2021

June 3rd, 2021

Dear Parents/Guardians,

We hope you are keeping well and looking forward to the long weekend. Our news is as follows

  • The four initial rounds of Quizbrain have now been completed with all pupils from 3rd-6th classes taking part. We are just doing the final tallys to see what pupils have the highest scores. The top 20 will go through to two semi-finals which will take place in the next two weeks. The 5 highest scores from these rounds will go through to the final on 24th June. We have adapted to Covid 19 restrictions and the quiz has taken place via zoom so far. Thanks to the class teachers for setting the questions for the first four rounds. Well done to all the pupils involved!
  • When the current 6th class pupils were in Senior Infants their teachers (Ms Cleary and Ms Moloney) put together a time capsule to be opened when the pupils got to 6th class. the time has now come and I believe the time capsule will be opened shortly in 6th class. It will be great to see what was important to the pupils when they were in Senior Infants.  More details next week re the contents of the time capsule!
  • We had great excitement Monday morning last when we arrived into school and saw a hedgehog in our astro turf. He (or she – we’re not sure) had somehow got into the astro turf but could not find its way back out. Our caretaker Kevin came to the rescue and got the creature into a box. One brave teacher stepped forward – Ms Hehir from 5th class and picked it up. We couldn’t let this opportunity pass us by so each class got a chance to come out and see the hedgehog up close and personal. It had rolled itself into a ball with just its nose peeping out. See the school twitter page @sttolasns or the website for more.  You will be glad to know that when everyone went back to class Kevin released it back into its own habitat. Let’s hope the hedgehog enjoyed his visit to St Tolas!
  • A meeting for the parents of incoming Junior infants took place last night via Zoom. It was lovely to see such a great attendance. We are looking forward to meeting with our new Juniors at the end of August and getting to know them.
  • Shannon Library will run their Summer Stars Reading Adventure again this year.  Please see attached flyer from the Library with all the details.
  •  St. Tolas is closed tomorrow Friday 4th June and Monday next 7th June for the bank holiday weekend. We will reopen on Tuesday 8th June at 9a.m. We hope you all have a safe and enjoyable long weekend.

Kind regards, Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal


Thursday Note 27th May 2021

May 27th, 2021

Dear Parents/guardians,

We hope you are well and that the lovely weather continues into the weekend. We need it at this stage! Our news this week is as follows

  • It has been brought to my attention that a number of drivers are parking in front of the railings at the pedestrian crossing in the evening at home time when picking up from school or blocking the entrance into the car park. I would ask that you refrain from this as pupils have to step onto the road to see if a car is coming as their view is blocked. Some cars travel quite fast on the road and may not see a pupil in time. If you cannot get into the car park please park on the road at a different location making sure you are not causing an obstruction. We all want every pupil to be safe coming and going from school and request your co-operation in this matter.
  • 4th class are our tree experts here in the school having done a lot of work on learning all about amazing trees. On Monday last they got to go out on a nature walk identifying some of the trees and plants in the locality. They completed lovely pictures on some of their observations and on the importance of biodiversity. These were collected by Shannon Tidy Towns committee yesterday and will be displayed locally.
  • We have adapted our annual Quizbrain of St. Tola’s competition for Covid times. Yesterday pupils from 3rd, 4th, 5th and 6th classes took part in Round 1 of the quiz via zoom Thanks to Ms Kelleher who prepared the questions for this round. Round 2 will take place on Friday with rounds 3 and 4 next week.  After the four rounds the top 20 highest scores will go through to two semi-final rounds and from that the top 5 highest scores will take part in the final. Best of luck to all involved. It’s great we get to do it this year even if it is on Zoom!
  • If you wish to order photos of your child taken recently please return the order forms with the amount by tomorrow Friday 28th May to your child’s teacher.
  • Both 5th and 6th classes did a virtual tour of Croke park recently. They got to see all parts of the stadium and learn a little about the history of Croke Park.
  • St. Tolas is closed next Friday 4th May and Monday 7th May for the bank holiday weekend. St. Tola’s will re-open on Tuesday 8th May at 9a.m. let’s hope the weather improves for the long weekend.

Kind regards,

Mary Dunlea Fitzgerald, Principal