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
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
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
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
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 LACROSSE
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!