The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 14 December 2018

Living Life With No Regrets

Behind the Study Door

“Twenty Years from now, you’ll be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.” - Mark Twain

We asked the children to write down their hopes and aspirations for the future. I have absolutely loved reading some of their plans; as I had expected, they are as creative, ambitious, fun, eclectic and interesting as the wonderful children we have at St Leonards. These ambitions will change, and I am sure some probably have five or six times since they were written last Monday, but it is so important for children to have aspirations and something to aim for.

In fairly incoherent tones, I spoke to the children yesterday in our assembly and encouraged them to grab every single opportunity they are presented in life, and just ‘go for it’. From everyday situations to big adventures, the opportunities that await our young people will be bigger and bolder than ever before, and they should all live life with no regrets. Whether this be travel, making new friendships, trying new authors, taking up a new hobby or sport or learning a new language, they must stick at it when it gets difficult, leave their comfort zone and aim as high as they possibly can.

There are three pieces of advice that I have found immensely helpful that I would pass on to the children so they can live life without any regrets:

1. Strive for the very top and never fear success. In an ever politically correct and cautious world, it is easy to shy away from trying to be the very best we possibly can be. Without being arrogant or self-centred, we must encourage our children to be proud of their successes, to aim high and be the very best they can be.

2. Never be afraid to be that leader worth following. No matter what situation we find ourselves in, we must always be ourselves, stick to our principles and never falter from this. No matter what pressure is ever put on us, we must never stray away from being ourselves, and in an ever-connected and changing world, this quality will remain as important as ever. This is one of the true qualities of the children here at St Leonards, and it has been an honour to get to know 175 true individuals, and I urge them to never lose this confidence.

3. Don’t waste time comparing yourself with others. You are who you are, you look like you, and there is absolutely no need to look like anyone else or copy their style in order to fit in. This is another exceptional trait of the children here and this authenticity is something that distinguishes St Leonards children.

Whatever the children go on to do, whether this be next week, next term, next year, in their teenage years, at university or in life, they will continue to do you very proud. At this moment in time, their aspirations for the future are dreams and hopes that they will surpass, but in the true spirit of preservation of childhood, let’s celebrate their current successes, individuality and sense of purpose. And cherish this.

I probably started my time at St Leonards with a cricket analogy, so I shall end with one. In the words of Brian Johnson, famous cricket commentator, “it’s been a lot of fun”.

Wishing all St Leonards families a happy Christmas and lifetime of adventures,

William Goldsmith

Year 1 Sensory Workshop

YEAR 1 SENSORY WORKSHOP | Year 1 were delighted to be able to conclude their recent Unit of Inquiry with a sensory taste and smell workshop hosted by our very own St Leonards catering department.

The boys and girls discovered more about salty, sweet, bitter and sour tastes as well as testing their own sense of smell by trying to identify some ‘mystery smells’. The children had a terrific time and were all keen risk takers.

Our thanks to Mrs Paterson and Mrs Kettles for leading the session.

Christmas Jumper Day

CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY | On Monday the Junior School was looking particularly colourful and festive for Christmas Jumper Day, which was organised to raise money for the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation. Thank you to everyone who donated, and sported something seasonal to celebrate!

Nativity Time

NATIVITY TIME | The boys and girls of Years 1-3 excelled themselves in their production of this year’s nativity play, ‘The Birthday Party’. The stage in the Main School Hall sparkled with fairy lights, as the children came on in a dazzling array of colourful costumes, ready to tell the Christmas Story.

Catchy songs had the audience at each performance bopping along in their seats, and there were plenty of jokes in there too. Donkey’s (aka Alexander’s) TripAdvisor sketch as Mary and Joseph (Paula and James) searched for an inn for the night was a particular highlight, and generated lots of laughs!

In her role as the Star, Bella gave a lovely solo performance, and the entire cast put their all into making this a Christmas show to remember.

Thank you to Mrs Stewart, Mr Shiells, and the Years 1-3 Teachers and Teaching Assistants, to Senior School pupils Jack and Lauren for playing in the band, and to all the Lower School children for their hard work and brilliant singing and acting!

Celebration Assembly

The following pupils received certificates at Celebration Assembly on Monday:

All the boys and girls in Year 1 were jointly awarded Pupil of the Week for their commitment, concentration, focus and hard work during the Nativity Play, and for 'finding their voice' this term.

Claudia received a Headmaster's Commendation for terrific focus all week, and developing in confidence considerably.

Matilda for fantastic story writing.

Hayfaa and Katya were joint Year 3 Pupils of the Week for showing great kindness and developing true friendships.

Jonny received a Spirit of St Leonards Award for being a true team player.

Grace for showing great reliability in class and consistently striving for the highest effort across all subjects.

Isha for creating an impressive Viking house as part of the class Unit of Inquiry on 'Individuals and Societies'.

Ingrid for creating an impressive Viking house as part of the class Unit of Inquiry on 'Individuals and Societies'.

Clara for fantastic story writing.

Rakan was Year 2 Pupil of the Week for showing great enthusiasm during the story-writing sessions.

Ramsay for fantastic story writing.

James received a Spirit of St Leonards Award for showing great kindness and a caring attitude towards another pupil in the swimming pool.

Emily for maintaining a positive attitude and humble approach towards her achievements, and for recognising the importance of seeing the funny side when appropriate.

Anona for displaying a positive work ethic towards all aspects of school life.

Layla for creating an impressive Viking house as part of the class Unit of Inquiry on 'Individuals and Societies'.

Paddy, and also Luke, for welcoming new pupils to the school.

Thomas for creating an impressive Viking house as part of the class Unit of Inquiry on 'Individuals and Societies'.

Zachary for a considerable contribution to the Unit on Vikings.

Alastair for thoughtfulness and generosity during the Christmas Fair.

Ruby was awarded a Headmtaster's Commendation for creating an impressive Viking house as part of the class Unit of Inquiry on 'Individuals and Societies'.

Pupils in the Fife Schools Swimming Gala Team were congratulated on a series of personal bests, as well as a medal for Thea. The team, pictured above, included Thea, Jennifer, Willow, Abbie, Ed, Sal, Sanna and Eabha.

The following pupils achieved Merits and Distinctions in their ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall Music exams, and will be presented with their certificates next term:

  • XiuRong - Merit in Grade 1 Piano (ABRSM)
  • Alastair - Distinction in Grade 1 Piano (ABRSM)
  • Ruby - Merit in Grade 1 Cello (ABRSM)
  • Daniel - Distinction, with a mark of 138, in Grade 6 Piano (ABRSM)
  • Ingrid - Distinction in Grade 1 (Trinity Guildhall)
  • Isha - Merit in Grade 4 Piano (Trinity Guildhall)
  • Riya - Merit in Grade 2 Piano (Trinity Guildhall)

Last week's House Points were as follows: Mull - 6; Lewis and Harris - 7; Skye - 8. In this week's totals, Lewis had 7 points, Mull had 8, Harris 10, with Skye staying in the lead with an average of 11 House Points per member of the House.

PA Christmas Parties

PA CHRISTMAS PARTIES | Tuesday’s Junior School Christmas Parties, organised by PA volunteers, were a huge hit with the children, who danced the afternoon away in St Katharines Hall, and enjoyed lots of games led by our DJ for the day.

Prizes were handed out for the best moves on the dancefloor, and a huge group ‘Hokey Cokey’ rounded off the discos.

Thank you to those parents who arranged both the Years 1-3 and Years 4-7 parties, and for decorating the hall so brilliantly, and to all the members of staff who were on hand to help out and join in with great enthusiasm!

Christmas Fair

CHRISTMAS FAIR | Thank you to the St Leonards Parents Association for organising another superb Christmas Fair. St Katharines Hall was packed on Saturday with imaginative stalls and games run by the children (and some of the adults, too!), as well as families and friends who had come along to support the event, and indulge in a spot of Christmas shopping!

Mr Goldsmith’s study was transformed into a cosy Santa’s Grotto, ready for Father Christmas himself to take up residence by the fireside, and countless gingerbread houses were decorated with gummy sweets and marshmallows outside in the atrium.

Mrs Arkwright’s classroom became the Retreat Café for the day, with PA volunteers serving up delicious home baking and hot drinks, as well as somewhere to have a seat and ‘retreat’ for a few minutes from the hustle and bustle of the fair.

Our external vendors, and some of our Senior School pupils, set up their stands in ‘The Avenue’, offering opportunities to pick up beautiful and unique Christmas gifts, from festive cakes and biscuits, to silver jewellery, decorations, apple juice and even St Leonards branded phone cases created by one of our Year 12 Young Enterprise companies.

The Christmas Fair provided the perfect setting for judging the winner of this year’s Junior School Christmas Tree Festival, and our congratulations go to Francis, whose inspired ‘money tree’, featuring bank notes from the different countries he has visited, claimed the prize.

A total of £843.19 was raised at the Christmas Fair for Scottish Air Ambulance. Thank you to everyone who contributed to the success of this year’s event, and we hope you enjoy looking through the full festive photo album!

CDR Christmas Lunch

CDR CHRISTMAS LUNCH | Pupils and staff enjoyed turkey with all the trimmings today in the CDR. No festive lunch would be complete without crackers, party hats and servings of homemade Christmas pudding – our thanks go to the catering team for serving up such a delicious spread!

Year 1 Clay Nativity & Lower School News

YEAR 1 CLAY NATIVITY | The culmination of the Year 1's clay work was thIs fabulous Nativity scene! Huge thanks to Leonie McMillan for giving so much if her time to this fantastic project. The children had a terrific time making all their models!

The entire Lower School team wish you all a wonderful holiday and a very happy Christmas. See you all in 2019!

End of Term Assembly

END OF TERM ASSEMBLY | Certificates were awarded, carols sung, and goodbyes said at our End of Term Assembly on Thursday afternoon. Congratulations to every single child in the Junior School on all their achievements this term, and thank you to our parents, friends and relatives, for all your support.

A lively rendition of the Twelve Days of Christmas had everyone up and down, out of their seats, and, in the case of the male members of staff, singing on the spot somewhat! With the lights turned off and colourful tealights glowing in the dark, Silent Night was a perfect end to the celebrations.

Carols at Holy Trinity

CAROLS AT HOLY TRINITY | Autumn Term ended with our beautiful Junior School Carol Service in Holy Trinity Church this morning. The Carol Service is always a very special occasion, and a wonderful opportunity for pupils, staff, family and friends to come together and celebrate together as we prepare for the festive season.

Traditional carols were sung and lessons read, and Holy Trinity looked magical as always with a sparkling tree at the communion table, as well as fairy lights strung above the ends of the pews.

Thank you to all who attended, to the pupils for singing so beautifully, including Shreyas, who started the service with a beautiful solo verse of 'Once In Royal David's City', and to all the staff in the Music Department. The retiring collection will go to the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation.

From all at St Leonards Junior School, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Farewell to Mr Goldsmith

FAREWELL TO MR GOLDSMITH | All was quiet in the Junior School on Wednesday morning, with the boys and girls in their classrooms, and St Katharines Hall empty...or so it seemed. Behind the scenes, it was all go as everyone prepared for a very special occasion – Mr Goldsmith’s surprise Farewell Assembly!

Both children and staff had been working incredibly hard to arrange a fitting send-off, planning outfits (including cycle helmets, high-vis, and lots of tweed jackets and pairs of red trousers!), favourite quotes, Celebration Assembly certificates, and even a song with actions. Possibly the hardest part of it all was managing to complete all the preparations without letting Mr Goldsmith know what was going on.

The hall fell silent as the soundtrack to The Greatest Showman played from the speakers, and Mrs Dewar was on hand with a banana milkshake for Mr Goldsmith to enjoy as pupils and staff ran the show.

We will all miss his endless enthusiasm, energy and passion for all things fire-pit related around the Junior School. St Leonards’ loss is most certainly St George’s gain, and we wish Mr Goldsmith, Catherine, Arthur and Patrick all the very best for their move to Windsor.

(Mr G's note - I am so very grateful to you ALL for your kindness and generosity this week - if there was ever a reminder of the great heart that exists here at St Leonards it is this. We will remember our time here with so much affection for the rest of our lives).

We wish the following pupils a very...

Many Happy Returns to Ben, Ruby, Charles, Freddie, Maya, Freddie, Thea and Simon who celebrate their birthdays during the Christmas holidays!

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