The Voice OF ST LEONARDS JUNIOR SCHOOL

BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR

Amongst a busy week of events and activities, Wednesday really stood out for me as an absolute highlight:

In the morning, we were treated to an outstanding assembly by Year 6. On the theme of Water, they all delivered a highly entertaining, yet thought provoking message on the significance of water. After lunch, we were delighted to welcome six other Scottish Prep Schools to our U9 Rugby tournament. The atmosphere was terrific. Great rugby was played, and the spirit in which the boys from all schools entered the tournament was just superb. To think they will play each other in fixtures over the next five or so years is very exciting indeed. Cargifield won the tournament this year, but I know there will be some super rugby to look forward to over the next few years between the boys from all the schools on our circuit.

I dashed from the rugby to our Year 2 classroom, and their museum afternoon blew us away. The efforts the children had all gone to in portraying their family history and bringing in fascinating artefacts was palpable. Who knew we had 128 Great, Great, Great, Great, Great Grandparents! These occasions are a powerful reminder of what a pleasure and privilege it is to be a part of this inspiring and deeply caring community.

I have just spent 24 hours in the stunning Perthshire countryside, at the annual SCIS (Scottish Council of Independent Schools) annual conference for Junior & Prep School Heads. It was very good to meet my fellow colleagues from across Scotland and to share good practice, but also hear some inspirational speakers on a range of current educational matters. Today was spent looking at the importance of outdoor learning in building character, resilience and developing key social and educational skills. Above all, taking the learning outside the classroom builds a child's learning power and capacity to change the way young people think about themselves. This only added to my enthusiasm for outdoor learning at St Leonards and the opportunities for us with the St Leonards Award, a programme which links to the IB Learner Profile, which is in the very early stages of development. As I said in my presentation on Tuesday, I much look forward to outlining this in due course. Thank you to all those who were able to attend my vision and ethos presentation on Tuesday. For those who were unable to attend, a document outlining the key features will be sent to all Parents with the end of term reports.

One final thought. A high performing international athlete addressed us this afternoon, and spoke of common performance-affecting factors:

- Frequently worrying about making mistakes

- It is often hard for me to improve if I start out badly

- Performing better in practice rather than when it counts

- Easily psyched out or intimidated

- I tend to compare myself too much with my peers / teammates / opponents

The underlying message from this, and from all I heard about outdoor education, is the importance of developing the notion of Growth Mindset in our pupils. The belief that 90% of success is effort based, 10% talent is key to developing the mindset of 'I can achieve'.

Wishing you all a very good weekend.

William Goldsmith, 18 November 2016

Congratulations to our U9 boys for hosting and playing in our Prep Schools tournament on Wednesday

Photos taken by Joe and Roy

YEAR 2 PRESENT THEIR FAMILY HISTORIES

Year 2 delighted Parents and Relatives, Staff and Pupils with their Museum on Wednesday afternoon. Featuring fascinating artefacts taken from their own individual family history, we all lost ourselves in soaking up some incredibly interesting stories from the children's families. Thank you to Year 2 for presenting such an interesting afternoon, and to Mrs Napier, Mrs Fisher and Mrs Barclay for enthusing the children.

YEAR 6 ASSEMBLY - PRESERVE WATER

On Wednesday morning, the School were treated to a highly entertaining, yet thought provoking assembly given by our Year 6s. Based on water, we were transported to the depths of Loch Ness and to areas of the world where water is less plentiful. The clarity of the important message they gave was appropriately diluted with humour and enjoyment. Well done to all our Year 6s for such a well planned and delivered message.

YEAR 5 USE THE BEST INVENTION EVER TO BRING THEIR EXPLORATION TOPIC TO LIFE

LEGO!

As their 'Homework Heroes' task this week, Year 5 were challenged to bring a Lego ship to School. The results made for a very happy Headmaster!

Last week Year 1 were lucky to have a visit from Kamilah’s mum who is a doctor. They asked questions from their wonder web to find out more information about the skeleton and how the body works. This was an amazing opportunity to develop knowledge for our current Unit of Inquiry, Who We Are. The class found out why we have bones, how many bones are in our bodies and what we should do to keep our bones healthy. Thank you very much to (please find out her full name from Alison!) and when we’ve written our non-fiction books next week, we’ll make sure we include you in the acknowledgements!

Brilliant cake sale baked and organised by Katie, Millie, Eva, Sophie, to raise money for Children in Need
WE WISH THE FOLLOWING A VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Many Happy Returns to... Joe, Ashton, Melissa, George, Cameron

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