The Voice of st leonards senior school

March 2018



THE BIG SOCIETY | The snow may have delayed our second Spring Term production, The Big Society, but that didn't stop families, friends and St Leonards staff from turning out to enjoy the original play, written by our very own Director of Drama, Mrs Ledger, with input and creative direction from members of the cast!

For those who were not lucky enough to see the performance, here is a Big Society synopsis from Mrs Ledger:

'The Big Society was David Cameron’s political baby and was basically suggesting that different factions of society help and support each other; as a teacher I have watched kids do this instinctively as they work their way through the minefield that is their teenage years. It was an easy analogy to work from.

'The play follows a group of late teens out on a Friday night and the trouble they get into to. Each ‘kid’ represented a different faction of society and the ‘Grown ups (Old)’ the ‘Statist Bureaucracy’. During the night they face challenges and overcome them; they are told they will amount to nothing and then change the end themselves to make it happy, understanding that no one will do it for them. The songs of the ‘Terry Hall’ and ‘The Specials’ were scattered throughout the production and helped to narrate the story. The music was produced by Paul Shiells, who created a great ska band and actually came up with his own arrangements for playing.

'It was a fun, political piece, directed by the students; each student took responsibility for the direction of a scene with the occasional interference from me, adding in bits here and there!'

- Mrs Ledger, Director of Drama

Well done and congratulations to all who were involved in the production.


HOME NATIONS FINAL | Congratulations to St Leonards golfers Eric Berge, Aidan Sutton and Tom Goniwiecha, who travelled to Portugal earlier this month to compete in the Home Nations Inter-Team Competition, representing the New Golf Club in St Andrews.

The trio of students, who are all enrolled on the Elite Golf Programme at St Leonards, finished fourth out of the eight competing teams in the final at Antequera Golf in the Algarve. Nearly 1000 golf clubs were entered in this championship, so finishing in fourth place is a wonderful accolade for our golfers. The New Club Junior team was accompanied by Fintan Bonner, Director of Golf at St Leonards who was also thrilled with the result.

Well done to Tom, Aidan and Eric on a fantastic performance!


TOK LECTURE | On Monday, 5 March, students in Year 12 attended a special lecture by Professor John Hedley Brooke, a British Historian of Science, as part of their Theory of Knowledge course.

Dr Brooke, who held the Andreas Idreos Professorship of Science and Religion and Directorship of the Ian Ramsey Centre at the University of Oxford from 1999 to 2006, spoke about truth and myth surrounding Darwinism and Christianity.

The lecture was followed by a most interesting Q&A session, during which students and staff asked Dr Brooke about the theory of competition and the theory of common descent, and compared the work of Charles Darwin with the work of Wallace and Chambers.


SCOTLAND SQUAD | We are thrilled to announce that Year 11 pupils Alex Samuel and Gabriel Janik-Smith have been selected for the Scotland U16 Rugby Development Squad.

The talented duo are among 50 young Scots chosen to attend the prestigious national development programme in preparation for selection for the Colwyn Bay Rugby Festival in Wales in April.

This is the second consecutive year that St Leonards students have represented rugby at national level, as Year 12 student and current Head Boy, Harry Mercer, was selected for the Scotland U16 team last year.

Alex and Gabriel will represent St Leonards, St Andrews and Scotland more widely at the Colwyn Bay Rugby Festival, which runs from 1-11 April, 2018, where the focus will be on developing both individual and team performance.

We wish the boys every success during their training and look forward to tracking their progress.


BUSINESS MANAGEMENT | We are proud to offer an extensive range of subjects in our two-year IB Diploma programmes in the Sixth Form, and in 2016, we expanded our subject offering to include the addition of Business Management. It was wonderful to now see our first cohort of IB Business Management students complete their studies on Thursday, 22 March. After the Spring Term holidays, the ten Year 13 students will be busy preparing for and sitting their Diploma exams.

Students said the highlights of their course have been visits from guest speakers, a trip to the Byre Theatre to learn about start-up companies at an event organised by the St Andrews Business Club, and the internal assessment, which saw them paired with real businesses and work with them to help the different companies overcome challenges and develop problem-solving ideas.

The class marked the end of their two happy years of study by tucking into an indulgent Nutella cheesecake made by Mrs Prudencio-Aponte – delicious! We wish them all the best when the exams come!


THE IDES OF MARCH | Thank you to Mr Lang and his Year 12 students for bringing ‘The Ides of March’ to life at Senior School Assembly on Tuesday, 13 March. Through the words of the soothsayer, Julius Caesar, Brutus, Cassius and the rest of the cast, pupils and staff learned about what it was that made the 15 March a turning point in Roman history – with a good few laughs and references to the IB Diploma along the way!


STANZA AT ST LEONARDS | As part of this year’s StAnza poetry festival, St Leonards hosted two round-table events in the Green Room, starting with poet Mark Ford in conversation with Oli Hazzard.

A last-minute cancellation from the prolific Korean poet Ko Un meant a change of plan for the afternoon, and the audience were instead treated to the works of John Glenday. Thank you to the organisers of Scotland’s Poetry Festival for enabling us to get involved with another fantastic programme of events!


EASTER LACROSSE | The rain certainly didn’t stop play at our Lacrosse Festival on Saturday, 10 March. What a fantastic turnout from the St Leonards girls. Who enjoyed a morning of training to improve fitness and stick work as well as some competitive matches!


PERTHSHIRE RUGBY | St Leonards Madras Rugby played Perthshire on Saturday, 10 March, winning the match 17-0. An excellent performance from our boys, who have had a super season!


GERMAN EXCHANGE | Earlier this month, we welcomed seven German exchange students from our partner school St. Benno in Dresden, with the group arriving in Scotland on Tuesday, 13 March. Our visitors were met on arrival by their paired St Leonards Year 11 students, before embarking on a fun and educational itinerary of activities, trips and projects.

The St Leonards and St. Benno pupils worked together on a Science and ICT project, visited Edinburgh Castle and toured St Andrews itself, learning all about the town's history and making the most of the opportunity to see everything from the University to the beautiful beaches!

After a welcome and a tour from the Headmaster, our German visitors had a chance to experience lessons at St Leonards before stopping off at MUSA on The Scores. A day trip to Stirling and a tour of the castle there rounded off a super exchange visit!


YEAR 11 MOCKTAILS | St Leonards Senior Harry Turner stopped by the School with his mobile coffee bar, Maclaurin's, on Thursday, 15 March, to shake up some mocktails for some of our Year 11 pupils. From the back of his modified Land Rover Defender, Harry created a range of coffee-inspired concoctions for the boys and girls.

A mild March evening in the Quad was the perfect setting for the outdoor event! We're looking forward to more of the same as the days get longer and the weather warms up!


RIFLE CLUB | For the first time in a number of years, St Leonards will be entering a team into the British Schools Small-bore Rifle Association competition. Lauren Hastie, Francesca Calder, Kirsty McRobb and Angus Driscoll have been chosen to represent the School and are looking forward to competing against other leading independent schools from across the UK. We wish the St Leonards team the best of luck!


DUNDEE DESIGN | A group of Year 12 volunteers, organised by our new Deputy Head Boy and Girl, have been working in collaboration with Dundee University to come up with creative design ideas for their new 2019 prospectus. It was wonderful to welcome staff from the University to St Leonards for a lunchtime meeting (with chocolate!) with the pupils, who will be able to use this experience towards the CAS element of the IB Diploma.

Thank you to the team at Dundee University for asking us to get involved!


INTERNATIONAL DAY | Pupils and staff marked International Day at St Leonards on Friday, 16 March, by switching their usual uniform for casual clothes, with outfits inspired by the colours of their national flag. With more than 26 different nationalities represented in the school community, it was great to see an array of colours and flags around the grounds.

Organised by one of the Year 12 tutor groups, International Day 2018 raised £343.63 for the Eyes of Africa project. Based in Malawi, this health initiative helps those with eye diseases by educating patients, performing surgeries, and investigating glaucoma and other causes of blindness.

Thank you to all who took part and donated to such a worthwhile cause.


LEVESON ASSEMBLY | It was great to welcome former St Leonards English teacher and now bestselling author Mr Kitson back to school on Thursday, 15 March to adjudicate at this year’s Leveson Assembly.

The Leveson Bowl was gifted to the school by Miss Leveson in the Spring Term of 1913, and was first awarded in that term to the day girls. The silver, Burmese challenge cup was intended to recognise excellence in work and was historically awarded at the end of every term to the house, which had collected the highest exam marks. Over time, the Leveson Bowl has evolved to become a prize for creative writing, celebrating talent in both poetry and prose.

The theme of this year’s competition was ‘Change’ and the pupils were asked to submit not only their entry but a brief rationale explaining how their submission ties in with the theme.

The competition is divided into year groups, and it was Pablo Gomez Martin who won first place for best prose in the Year 8/9 category. Pablo read a strange and rather haunting piece called ‘In Your Dreams’, which is about a boy who keeps waking up and finding he has changed family.

Faith Mackenzie Page's simple and beautiful poem secured her the top position for best poetry in the Year 8/9 group. Mr Kitson commented on the way in which the rhythm of words ‘create a lilting, gentle feeling’, highlighting also the ‘strong and vivid’ imagery. In Year 10/11, Johanna Woitke was the winner of best prose, with Frankie Livesey-Stephens winning best poetry for ‘With the Tide’. Bea Livesey-Stephens won best prose in the Year 12/13 age group for ‘The Milkshake Facist’, a clever, comic story.

This year, the overall winner in the prose category was Johanna Woitke for ‘A Different Sky’, and Faith Mackenzie Page was crowned the overall poetry champion for ‘Melting Away’. Congratulations to the winners across all the categories, and special mention to Johanna for reading her powerful entry in Senior School Assembly!


BOYS V GIRLS FIXTURES | On Tuesday, 20 March, two teams gathered on Big Field for a game of lacrosse with a twist, when the girls took on the boys in a competitive ‘friendly’ fixture! All the girl’s hard work and Saturday morning training sessions paid off, as the girls finished the match victorious, with a convincing 5-2 win. Later that week, Part 2 of the tense competition moved to the AstroTurf pitch for a Boys v Girls hockey match. With goals carried over from the Lacrosse fixture, the boys won overall, 9-5!

For our Year 13 players, this was their last competitive fixture in their school careers, so tensions ran high and although we are sure the girls would like a re-match, it was an enjoyable adrenaline-filled way to end the Spring Term and sports story at St Leonards.


PUPIL-LED CONFERENCES | The first Year 8 pupil-led conferences took place on Tuesday, 13 and Wednesday, 14 March. It was a chance for the pupils to share their portfolios with their parents and demonstrate they understand their own learning and progress.

This is the first year that Year 7, 8 and 9 have engaged in these presentations and it was very well received by both the pupils and parents. Our boys and girls were excited to share their work and demonstrated confidence, pride and a love of learning, which we think is marvellous! Well done everyone!


SALAMANCA TRIP | During the February Half Term, Mrs Prudencio-Aponte and Señora Aranzana-González took a group of Year 11, 12 and 13 students to Salamanca, a Spanish city situated 200 km away from Madrid, in the west of Spain. Salamanca is famous for its university (the oldest university in Spain and very much like the University of St Andrews) and because the city is considered to be one of the best places to learn Spanish.

This year's trip consisted of a language revision course for Year 11, 12 and 13 pupils, as well as a variety of different cultural activities and excursions such as salsa and flamenco lessons, a city and tapas tour in the old town and a Spanish cooking lesson. Pupils also enjoyed a one-day trip to the Sierra de Francia, a 'comarca' located at the southern end of Salamanca, very well known for its great natural and cultural heritage.

The Spanish lessons took place at 'Instituto de Lenguas Aplicadas' (ISLA), which is an officially recognised language school organisation. Our students stayed with host families, all of whom are carefully selected by ISLA and are very well known to them.

The Salamanca trip was a chance for pupils not only to practise their language skills and to revise for their final language exams, but also to gain an insight into the culture and lifestyle of the country.

'Going to Salamanca was one of the best decisions of my school career. It really helped my confidence and independence by being immersed by the Spanish language and culture, and having to be responsible for navigating a new city with friends. It is safe to say that I would happily move there in the future! Visiting Salamanca was such a great opportunity that I would recommend without hesitation.' - Amy Ferrier, Year 13
'For me, the Salamanca trip was one of the best trips I have ever been on with the school. Not only did it prepare me well for my speaking exam as we lived with a Spanish family for our time there, allowing us to constantly interact with native speakers, as well as having classes most mornings to continue our topic revision, but it also allowed me to experience more of the culture itself as we did numerous activities including a tapas tour, flamenco and salsa dancing, as well as a trip to nearby characteristic towns. Some of these activities were some that you wouldn't immediately think to do which I think made it all the more interesting and enjoyable.' - Catriona Cleary, Year 13


SPORTS COLOURS | With the end of Spring Term fast approaching, Senior School Assembly on Monday, 19 March, was a chance to celebrate our students' sporting successes. St Leonards Sports Colours were awarded to our top athletes and team players, recognising their talents, determination and dedication across a range of games from rugby and hockey to golf and lacrosse.

Three-sport awards were presented to Ellen Caton (golf, hockey and lacrosse), Ben Clark (football, hockey and rugby), Jack Headon (equestrian, hockey and rugby), Gabriel Janik-Smith (football, hockey and rugby), Alexander Samuel (basketball, rugby and tennis), and Aidan Sutton (football, golf and rugby).

Congratulations to this year’s recipients!


HOCKEY HELPERS | A group of dedicated Year 11 students have braved all weathers over the winter months to help coach our Junior hockey teams. Thank you to Millie, Jemima and Rosa for all your hard work this term!


TRINITY GUILDHALL | Last week, 36 St Leonards candidates sat Trinity Guildhall examinations in drama, with an impressive 17 pupils achieving a distinction, which is the highest possible grade. The top mark of 96 out of a possible 100 went to Douglas Andrews and Andrew Fleming, both of whom sat the Grade 8 exam.

Congratulations to the following pupils who sat Trinity Guildhall exams this term: Charlotte Travers, Olivia Turnbull-Smith, Zoe Meacham, Aslinn Mansfield, Davy Whatmore, Freddie Clark, Yasmin Millar, Ellen Caton, Robert Ferguson, Kim Whatmore, Rory Miles, Douglas Andrews, Andrew Fleming, Gabriel Janik-Smith, Andrew Ford, Jemima Lindsay, Rachel Gibbins, Emilia Forgues-Puccio, Sophie Cole-Hamilton, Harry Beaton, Lexie McGregor, Nico Swales, Archie Lindsay, Emma McBarron, Anna Clark, Kevin Wang, Hannah Woods, Libby Clark, Natasha Reid, Clova Angus, Imogen Newton, Grace Adam, Rebecca Curnyn, Katerina Tobert, Ailsa Blyth, Alice Garland, Catherine Fleming.


MURDER MYSTERY NIGHT | Friday, 16 March was Murder Mystery Night in St Rule with a ‘Death by Chocolate’ theme. The Year 12 boarders dressed up and took on different characters to bring the event to life! Nibbles and delicious soft drinks made it an in-house evening to remember. Thank you to Leonie for organising such a fun in-house activity!


EDINBURGH SCHOOLS DEBATING | On Saturday, 17 March, a top team of St Leonards debaters travelled to Edinburgh for the Schools Debating Competition. Year 12 pupil Zeunb wrote the following report about their day:

'The Edinburgh Schools Debating event on Saturday 17 March was filled with delight as my like-minded, competitive debaters tackled three challenging motions. The Leaders were Cyrus and I, and the Presences were Beatrice and Robert. We endured the first motion, which was, 'This House would legally require children to financially support parents in old age'. This emotional debate was a learning curve for me, I had never experienced such advanced debaters,

'This has personally developed my strength and confidence. Our teams continued through the next motion: 'This house would suspend labour rights (.e.g.The right to strike or minimum wage) during times of economic crisis'. After pounding through this motion, our team was given constructive feedback and we were certainly improving. My fellow debater Robert told me that he found the second motion , 'technically taxing', and I can’t help but feel the same. Our resilience and our positive team work helped us greatly through our next motion, (and personally my favourite): 'This house believes that major Hollywood studios should increase the number of lead roles for female villains substantially in their blockbuster films'. My fellow debater Bea thought the third motion was fantastic and said 'it was definitely my favourite motion. My partner in crime, Cyrus, also said 't was certainly the best one'.

'We all enjoyed the whirlwind of this spectacular debating day and commented on this experience as being positive, fun and exciting. We would like to thank the one and the only Mrs Samuel, who is the only one who could make this happen . We are definitely looking forward to another round of debating next year.

'One piece of feedback I shan’t forget is that speaking in a debate should be more like rugby rather than diving!' - Zenub Iqbal, Year 12

The last week of term was tinged with sadness, as the Debating Society said farewell to its Year 13 members, Bea, Jack and Ryan.

'The Debating Society has been such a guiding influence on my school career. As a result, I gained new friends across the country and this gave me the confidence to speak in public, something I shall always cherish.' - Jack Boag, Year 13
'Debating has had a huge influence on my school career - through all the success and failure I feel I have come out the other side a new man.' - Ryan Millar, President of the Debating Society, 2017-2018

Members of the St Leonards Debating Society are looking forward to the next year with Roma Dhasmana in the Chair!


CHANGE OF DATE | The winter weather defeated us on Sunday, 18 March, causing the Parents Association Great St Leonards School Egg Hunt to be postponed. This event will now take place on Saturday, 21 April 2018, from 11am to 2pm.

All are welcome to join us for Easter competitions, coffee and cake in St Katharines Hall, and the great Egg Hunt itself! Booking is essential via https://www.trybooking.co.uk/book/event?eid=2584&

We look forward to seeing you there!


GRAND ONLINE RAFFLE | The St Leonards Parents Association Grand Online Raffle is nearly upon us and the PA are reaching out to parents to see if they would consider making a prize donation. Thank you to those who have donated items so far - we are very grateful for all contributions. Prizes can be big or small, unique or unusual, the everyday item to the coveted and rare. They can be items, experiences, vouchers or promises - nothing is too big or too small!

If you would like to donate a prize, please contact the Raffle Organising Team at pa@stleonards-fife.org.

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