Friday, 26 May 2017


“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world” Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Cape Town.

Whilst condemnation has been strongly voiced across the world this week, the news has not been dominated by hatred, revenge or a resentment. In fact, we have heard extraordinary stories of compassion, kindness, a pulling together of people from all walks of life, and a great sense of doing something for the common good. In Manchester, medics rallied together, taxi drivers sprung into action, a homeless man – himself living a struggle – gave up all he had to help those affected by the attack in Manchester on Tuesday night. Messages of solidarity, peace and love have been received from right across the world, and a force for good, peace and compassion has prevailed. For love, kindness and compassion is the oldest algorithm in the book and lies at the very core of humankind.

A moving post from a Doctor working in Manchester

We are in no doubt that kindness, compassion and love (and all the associated ‘soft skills’) are regarded as the most important traits for young children to develop as they grow up. You are not born kind or compassionate, just as you are not born unkind, or uncompassionate, so these are character strengths which have to be learned from a very young age, and remain critical to have to allow our world to function. Whilst the doctors, nurses and paramedics who saved the lives of many critically injured on Tuesday needed a very decent education, good grades, an advanced ability in Maths and Science, and many of the skills I wrote about last week, to get to their position, it is their shared compassion, desire to support one another and kindness that has made the biggest impact. Communities run off kindness, compassion, love and a desire to do the right thing. Manchester, a very large community, with an exceptional heart, has shown that unimaginable pain and anguish can be made slightly more bearable through a combined force for good.

St Leonards, as a school community, runs off the same fuel: we don’t tick away because our children all know their 7 times table, or because they can conjugate a verb, or perhaps we win our football matches. We are a community because our children have an overriding sense of compassion, kindness, love and a force for good. Of course, they are still learning these critical skills as we help prepare them for the world beyond Year 7. To care about those around you, as well as the world in which we live, creates a kind, strong and compassionate community, such as St Leonards (and every single school I have come across and heard about). I see acts of kindness everyday that bring enormous joy to my role as Head of this school, I see compassion and I see genuine care and support towards one another, from pupils, staff, parents and the wider school. This is replicated in almost every community in this world, and that is surely why they show their very strongest and best sides in the face of tragedy. This is what we must remember as we bring our children up to quietly make a difference to those around them.

Every bit of good we see and experience here, makes a considerable difference to the good on a more global scale. I was reminded of this on Monday when I attended my first meeting as a trustee of the IAPS (Independent Association of Preparatory Schools – the body of schools we proudly belong to) when we were reminded by the Chairman, that whilst we are not a big charity, the impact we make on a child’s life through bursaries and financial assistance is life-changing. The difference the homeless man in Manchester made to a young girl injured in the attack is life-changing, and I know our pupils will go on to change people’s lives, however minor they might feel there act is.

We proudly offer our children a curriculum that will set them up for life, opportunities that many can only dream about, and a fun and enjoyable schooling, but what is the point of this if we lose sight of the most important values in life: kindness, compassion and love; a force for good. It terrible and heart-breaking events like Tuesday that remind us that these are the essential requisites of going out into the world and genuinely making a difference.

“Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world”

As echoed in so many communities – small and big – across the world, our love, prayers and solidarity go out to the victims of Tuesday’s attack, their families, friends and the wider Manchester community.

William Goldsmith

Vive La France

Mika Bosphore-Ward writes... Sitting on the bus back to the airport, seems like a good time to reflect on what has happened for the past week. Nothing short of extraordinary if you ask me! We took 22 very young children for a week of discovery in Northern France and are bringing back 22 (well 21- 1 being lucky enough to extend her stay) mini-adults.

The St Leonards' Year 7 group has been lucky enough to experience a week of culture, language and traditions in a peaceful area where the sun consistently shone for us. From life on the sea, to snail eating, without forgetting wheat plaiting and mad dancing, we have seen the children grow and open themselves and their mind to the world surrounding them.

As teachers, we couldn't be more proud of our children who were brave, inquisitive, curious and most of all, enthusiastic about everything. For us, and for them we hope, the memories created will last a lifetime.

I would like to pass on my enormous thanks to Mika Bosphore-Ward, Dianne Cormack, Val Donald and Annabelle Bossard for organising such a superb trip.

The Rotary Football Tournament

Our Junior School football team took part in the annual Rotary Club Primary Schools Football Tournament on Monday evening at Canongate Primary School. Despite torrential downpours at times, the team showed fantastic spirit and determination and played some great counter-attacking football, breaking quickly and always posing a threat to the opposing teams. The team were a credit to the school in every way and recorded a victory against Leuchars, a draw with Anstruther 'B' but unfortunately lost to Wormit and Lawhead. Well-played lads!


Our Gardening Club were treated to a fantastic workshop by Lindsey Anderson of The Little Herb Farm and would like to say a huge 'thank you' to her for her generous donation of flowers, seeds, herbs and books. Many of you will have noticed the beautifully planted containers outside our main entrance, and we now have a well stocked little herb garden in the infant playground where we are now growing gorgeously scented mint, thyme, lemon balm and lemon verbena. Thank you, Lindsey!


Throughout the term the Year 3 children have been learning about how the survival of living things is influenced by human and environmental factors. We have researched many animals whose numbers are in decline, endangered or critically endangered and identified the reasons for their struggle within their environment. The children decided to take action and share their knowledge by performing an assembly and raise funds for the WWF in the process. They organized their very own Wear It Wild Day for Years 1-3 and came to school dressed as an animal for the day…well done everyone!


Year 5 invited the Year 1 class to play their magnetic fishing games. The Year 5s created these from scratch using a variety of materials. This was linked to their science based 'Unit of Inquiry'.


Year 4 were visited by John Leonard from Govan Optician to answer their question - how does light work?

We played with contact lenses, an opthalmascope and checked both our 3D and colour vision while John explained that light doesn't work, it's our eyes. He answered all our questions and everyone had a great afternoon.


Year 1 have had an exciting end to their Unit of Inquiry, 'Where We Are In Place and Time'. They had lots of fun building dens and shelters in the forest at Tentsmuir, applying what they had learnt and working well together. They found the best sticks and branches to support their shelters and even made sure they were big enough to sit in! Thank you very much to Miss. Dawson who has worked extremely hard to make fantastic links between our unit and the activities in PE, and who organised their trip this week.

"I love this because it's very creative!" Marta

"Thank you so much for bringing us here!" James

"It's like the three little pigs!" Isabella

St Leonards Sports Day

On Tuesday, we held our very own St Leonards Junior Schools’ Sports Day.

Boys and girls in Year 5 and 6 participated in the track and field events, as well as the visiting schools Canongate and Lawhead.

We are delighted to announce that St Leonards were victorious and lifted the Sports Cup, as overall winners of the Sports Day! Congratulations team! As this was the first year of the competition, the special part is that all the pupils competed and took a team have set records and indeed the standard for years to come! We will now make this an annual competition between all the local primary schools and hope it will continue to grow. Next up is our own School Sports day when we return from the holidays.


Mr Bell (Finn's dad) visited Year 5 and made a terrific presentation all about wind power, wind turbines and the renewable energy sector in general. He brought in a wonderful model of a wind turbine and the pupils could see the inner workings including the gearbox and generator of these wonderful pieces of engineering. This was linked to our Science based Unit of Inquiry. Many thanks to Mr Bell for a very interesting and informative presentation!


Outdoor learning; Year 1 make their shelters; Many congratulations to Freddie, Nikolas, Anona and Sophie who have reached Gold!
Year 6 spend Golden Time on the beach!
Year 3 master right angles
Look who dropped into St Andrews this afternoon!
We wish the following a very...

We wish the following a very Happy Birthday: Anna, Harry P, Eabha, Rebecca, Thomas

St Andrews University production of 'The Cunning Little Vixen'

We are delighted, and immensely proud, that Maya and Katie will be performing in this production, and we wish them the best of luck in their remaining rehearsals.

Fundraiser for Year 12 Pupil trip to Cambodia and China

We are delighted that Year 12 Pupil, Catriona Cleary, is heading to Cambodia and China this summer to undertake valuable voluntary work in a school. As part of her fundraiser for this trip, she is organising a hog roast on Saturday, 3 June on St Leonards School Lawn (Birdcage). We wish Cat all the very best of luck in this wonderful venture.


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