The Voice of st leonards junior school

BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR

"Bletchley Park: Code breakers school planned for site". This headline grabbed my attention straightaway on two counts. Firstly, I have a huge interest in the role of ICT in schools and our role to prepare children for a 'Society that is undergoing a digital transformation more radical than the industrial revolution'. Secondly, I wonder whether anyone ever imagined the once wartime and highly secret code breaking centre would ever be used as a boarding school to teach cyber security? In many ways, its purpose isn't so different to the work of Alan Turing and fellow computer scientists who spent time at Bletchley Park during WWII cracking codes. However, the technological landscape we are in couldn't be more different, indeed it is so different to just five years ago.

The first IPad was launched in 2010, and by 2015 over 250 million had been sold worldwide. Using tablet technology in the classroom is now such an integral part of a child's learning that it would be hard to visualise education beforehand. Expanding a child's passion for questioning and 'seeking their own answers' forms a vital part of education, especially within our own curriculum where inquiry sits right at the heart of the learning process. The use of tablets develops collaboration between pupils, and pupils and teachers; it sharpens critical thinking skills, creativity, problem solving, research skills, independent learning and familiarity with IT at a young age. These are essential skills that will not only enhance a child's learning, but also prepare them for this rapidly developing world. My colleagues and I have begun a review into our IT provision to ensure we are at the cutting edge and to ensure we use our tablet devices effectively alongside more traditional teaching methods, which still have an important place in our schools.

That said, preserving real childhood is key, and I was so heartened to see the boys and girls playing traditional parlour games during break times this week as the astro has been too frozen to play on. Grandmother's footsteps remains constant with the Year 7s! How glorious and unsophisticated.

Have a wonderful weekend.

William Goldsmith

YEAR 1 HAVE BEEN FINDING OUT WE ARE ALL THE SAME BUT DIFFERENT

As part of our 'Unit of Inquiry', Who We Are, Year 1 have been finding out that we are all the same but different. To help us with our inquiry, Mrs Dhasmana came to visit us in class. She took us on an imaginary visit to India and taught us about the ways in which Indian culture has influenced our language, our clothing and even our maths! We found out about the games Indian children play and found out that although they live in a different part of the world, they play the same games as we do. We also had fun finding out about the differences between India and Scotland, trying on traditional Indian dress, examining artefacts from India and using our senses to explore some Indian spices. Thank you to Mrs Dhasmana for giving us your time and helping us understand more that ‘we are all the same but different!’

SPORTS DESK

Congratulations to Niamh (pictured above with Anna) for playing for WOSPS hockey at Loretto. Fiona Branch was also selected for the team
U10 Boys Rugby vs. Clifton Hall. An exciting match, with tries scored by Thomas, Paddy and Ewan.
Hot off the press: Congratulations to our girls who competed in the Fife Gymnastics competition today, Friday 25 November. Some incredibly impressive results. Well done, girls.

St Leonard’s Eco Club Recycling Bins

The Parents Association received a lovely letter of thanks from Year 12 and 13 students in the St Leonard’s Eco Club after we funded £1,150 towards the club’s recycling project this year.

"On behalf of the Eco Club within the school, I would like to extend our gratitude for the money you invested in the recycling project. Within this project we spoke as a group and decided that the most part of the recycling budget should be spent on 50 classroom paper bins. As well as this we thought 4 larger paper bins would be beneficial for rooms such as the photocopy room and the art department.

After realizing we had part of the budget remaining, we decided to buy 5 plastic recycling bins to reduce the amount of plastic wasted. These were placed in areas such as the main school locker room and the Leonard, as these are the areas most frequently used by students. Again, thank you for the money you invested in the school’s Eco Club. It has helped us to greatly reduce the school’s waste and further our aim of achieving a Green Flag for being an Eco-friendly school.

Kind regards from the St Leonard’s Eco Club"

Many congratulations to all those who took their ABRSM Music Exams this week, and to Jennifer for acing her Preparatory Test on the Piano
6540 House Points awarded so far this term...

I was delighted to award a great number of Bronze Stars to all those who have amassed 50 or more House Points this term so far. House Points are awarded for effort in the classroom, excellent pieces of work, kindness, consideration, good manners and acts of generosity of spirit. It is great to see so many children racking up their points and I look forward to announcing the House winners at the end of term.

YEAR 7 LEARN TRADITIONAL FRENCH PLAYGROUND GAMES

In their French lesson this week, the activity was to learn some traditional French playground games and then adapt the rules to make new games. They had to explain the rules to their friends in French.

YEAR 3 DELIGHT US WITH THEIR SUPERHERO ASSEMBLY

Year 3 are learning all about heroes and role models within our society. They have been on a mission to create their own superheroes and were keen to share their creations with the school. They have been investigating role models within our society from long ago by researching historical figures such as Florence Nightingale, Mary Slessor and Winkie the Pigeon. Their next mission is to research current day role models such as Tim Peake and Chris Hoy…However, nothing could come close to our real life super heroes as described by Ben Smeddle ‘ My mummy because she picks me up when I fall. She is kind to me when I am angry and she gives me lots and lots of cuddles’…

Christmas at St Leonards

This year's St Leonards Christmas card is now on sale for staff and parents to buy (see above). You may recognise the design - Charlotte Baillie's (Y13) beautiful sketches can also be found on the curtains in Bishopshall.The Christmas cards are being sold in packs of ten - each pack costs £6 and has 10 cards in total; 5 cards of the red design, and 5 cards of the blue design. To place your order, please email Connie Williams: c.williams@stleonards-fife.org.

Advent at St Leonards is an immensely special time, and we have many events to look forward to, including:

Saturday, 10 December 10.00am-12.00pm: Christmas Fair, St Katharines Hall

Sunday, 11 December 2.00pm: Years 1-3 Nativity Play

Monday, 12 December: Christmas Jumper day (£1 to RNLI)

Wednesday, 14 December: Whole School trip to Aladdin, Byre Theatre

Thursday, 15 December 2.45pm: End of term assembly, parents most welcome

Friday, 16 December 9.30am: Carol Service, Holy Trinity Church

Many Happy Returns to...

We wish the following a very Happy Birthday: Alyssa, Isha, XiuRong, Ben, Ezra, Anna, Cameron

THEME FOR THE WEEK AHEAD

I spoke in Assembly on Monday about two events over the weekend which gave me great excitement in living in Scotland. Firstly, it was -6.5 degrees on Sunday morning and it barely went above that all day. As a "southern softy", this was incredibly exciting! Secondly (and this comes as a die hard English Rugby fan), I was inspired by the SRU display before kick off at Murrayfield on Saturday evening. As Scotland came out of the tunnel to fireworks and a piper playing 'Highland Cathedral', I couldn't help but feel patriotic towards Scotland (I even brought my Scotland shirt into School on Monday). What really inspired me was the performance by Skipper Greig Laidlaw, who having missed a couple of penalties throughout the Autumn Internationals, scored in the dying minutes. A true example of being able to pick himself up after disappointment and deliver, calmly under pressure.

On Monday I shall show the famous clip of Derek Redmond who competed in the 400m finals at Barcelona in 1992. Do watch it (link below). It has three clear messages:

1. Do your best

2. Be Kind

3. Never Give up

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