SENIOR SCHOOL CAROL SERVICE | On Wednesday, 12 December pupils and staff set off along South Street in St Andrews to Holy Trinity Church for our annual Senior School Carol Service.
With a sparkling tree by the communion table and lights strung above the ends of the pews, it was a magical setting for our festive gathering, and a perfect opportunity for the whole St Leonards community to come together.
Thank you to all who attended the beautiful service, to the readers, our superb choir and soloist Ben, who opened proceedings with the first verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’, and to all in the Music Department.
The retiring collection will be divided between the work of Holy Trinity Church and Childreach International.
TILTON ROAD | This term’s three-night run of the St Leonards Players original Tilton Road was a sell-out success, which received rave reviews from audiences. Performed in traverse in the Main School Hall, the production was outstanding. Our thanks go to the cast, crew, and to Ms McQuade-Powell, our brilliant Director of Drama. Below, she shares her inspiration for writing the script for Tilton Road:
‘I have been asked, frequently, since the performance, where is ‘Tilton Road’? Why is it called ‘Tilton Road’? Does this road really exist? So here are a few answers.
‘Tilton Road does exist, not in Lancashire where we placed it, but in Birmingham. It is dissected by Garrison Lane, home to the hit television series ‘Peaky Blinders’, and has one end of the Blues Ground named after it – the Tilton End. It is where my family originate from; my dad lived one end and my mum, the other. I grew up listening to stories from both nans who lived either end of the street (“but never spoke!” – Nanny Mary) for most of their adult lives, and from parents who spent their childhood in the street only managing to ‘escape’ once married.
‘Tilton Road is where my roots are – ‘it secures me to a place, a time beyond just me’.
‘When writing the play, I had a vision of how I wanted it to look (Traverse staging creating the road), and how I wanted the characters to be performed. The play was cast placing young people in very ‘adult’ roles and I had some doubts as to whether they would be able to understand, interpret and portray some of the issues the play dealt with. How wrong I was!
'From the first audition/rehearsal, when Kim Whatmore walked down the street, embracing Clem Saunders’s patriarchal malevolence, and intimidating the group of actors waiting at the end of it, Ilona Maclean (St Leonards Senior (Year 13 2017-2018), editor and casting adviser) and I knew we had a show.
‘The cast were sublime and created a magnificent ensemble; the older students leading the way and encouraging the younger ones through some very difficult scenes. They went above and beyond what I imagined; some of the emotional intensity captured came from their own personal interpretation of the situation and had nothing to do with my direction; it was their embodiment of the characters that created it. All the individual performances are noteworthy but Alex Campbell (Kit) and Kim Whatmore (Clem) as the Saunders brothers held the show together, supported magnificently by Hannah Cooney (Maisie) and Evie Turner (Edie) as their long-suffering wives.
‘The St Leonards Players will reform, in Spring Term, with new members, and begin working on new material to be performed in the Autumn Term. I would like to take this opportunity to say goodbye to Alex Campbell, Hannah Cooney, Evie Hayward-Daventry, Molly Kavanagh, Aenghus Mcgregor; Evie Turner, as they work towards the end of their IB Diplomas, and thank them for all the hard work, effort and commitment they have given to SLP during the last couple of years. They leave SLP in the knowledge that they were there at the beginning, have created inspirational performances and leave behind a strong theatrical foundation on which we can build in the future.
‘A brilliant production delivered by an amazingly talented cast – thank you!’
- Ms McQuade-Powell
Head Boy Harry Signs Scottish Rugby Contract
HEAD BOY HARRY SIGNS SCOTTISH RUGBY CONTRACT | St Leonards Head Boy Harry Mercer has been awarded a contract by the Scottish Rugby Union (SRU).
The signing means Harry (Year 13) will receive support from the SRU, including training, a bespoke nutrition programme and additional assistance with his university applications, looking ahead to next year, when Harry will graduate from the Sixth Form at St Leonards with the International Baccalaureate Diploma.
The SRU selects a set number of players each year based on their performances for the four Scottish regional teams. Harry plays for the Caledonia squad covering the east of Scotland, as well as the Scotland U16 and U17 teams, and more locally for the St Leonards-Madras Blues.
Fife Schools Swimming Success
FIFE SCHOOLS SWIMMING SUCCESS | Congratulations to all who swam in the Fife Schools Swimming Championship (Senior Team) earlier this month. Adam, Milli, Davie, Mark, Katie, Eilidh, Robert, Maddy and Charlotte represented St Leonards at the competition in Glenrothes, with Adam taking home gold in the 100m Freestyle, silver in the 200m Freestyle, and silver in the 400m Freestyle.
A series of personal bests were achieved in the pool, with fastest times for the following pupils:
- Katie D – 200m Backstroke
- Charlotte W – 200m Backstroke
- Davie DW – 100m Butterfly
- Maddy W – 100m Freestyle
- Mark D – 100m Freestyle
- Robert T – 100m Freestyle
Well done to all those who took part!
Choral & Vocal Concert
CHORAL & VOCAL CONCERT | The Choral & Vocal Concert on Thursday, 6 December was simply outstanding, and our congratulations go to the St Leonards Choir, the soloists, orchestra, and our Director of Music Ms Love. The programme ranged from Fauré’s ‘Cantique de Jean Racine, Op.11’ to Lennon & McCartney’s ‘Golden Slumbers’, with the choral numbers interspersed with superb solo performances from Roma, Eve, Robert and Ella.
After the interval, the St Leonards Choir performed Vivaldi’s ‘Gloria’ in full, with solos sung by Eve, Ella, Beth and Roma.
An absolutely wonderful evening of musical entertainment, and the result of a great deal of hard work for all involved!
St Andrew's Day Ceilidh
ST ANDREW'S DAY CEILIDH | Ceilidh dancing in the gym for St Andrew’s Day took a competitive turn, with pupils in Years 8, 9 and 10 showing off their steps in the hope of securing house points for Ollerenshaw, St Rule and Bishopshall.
After a few rounds of the Canadian Barn Dance for each year group, house spirit kicked in, adding a fun, competitive edge to the afternoon.
Thank you to Mr Baxter, Miss Carroll, Mr Shiells and Mr Lang for calling the dances and helping to make our St Andrew’s Day celebrations such a success.
Year 8 Debating Day
YEAR 8 DEBATING DAY | The Year 8 Debating Day, which took place this year on Monday, 3 December, is an event all older students remember from their early days at St Leonards.
This year it was a cross-curricular MYP Unit between Sport and English, investigating how we can use language to change the way we see the world, and developing ideas of fair play. Students had prepared topics and developed debating skills in lessons, with members of the St Andrews University Debating Society contributing to this training. The university students then joined Year 8 on the day to consolidate their learning, as the boys and girls debated in teams of four, earning Team points in the process.
The first round considered the motion that men and women should be allowed to compete against each other. Subsequent rounds considered drug testing prior to playing competitively, and sports clubs being punished for their fans’ behaviour.
Feedback from the students was that they had thoroughly enjoyed training the next generation of debaters, and the pupils particularly liked playing debating games with the judges.
At the end of the day, the prize winners were announced: Best Speakers were Nicholas Müller and Katie Adrain, and Best Floor Speaker was Hamish Wood. The winning teams were St Rule (1) and Ollerenshaw (1). Well done to all 12 teams!
For anyone interested in getting involved, Debating Society meets after school every Wednesday in Mrs Samuel’s classroom. New members always welcome!
HIGHLAND DANCERS | Eva and Corinne (Year 8) recently had the chance to show off their Highland dancing for visitors from St Andrews’ twin town of Loches in France.
The St Leonards dancing duo attended Highland and Scottish dance classes at JKDA in St Andrews, and are both active members of the Senior Highland performance squad, which takes place in regular demonstrations in the town, including at the annual St Andrews Harbour Gala earlier this year.
Well done to Eva and Corinne – we are sure our French guests will have enjoyed the show!
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!
Christmas lunch was also a chance for everyone to say farewell to our wonderful Catering Manager, Mrs Laura Paterson, who leaves us to study for a PGDE, training as a Home Economics teacher. We wish her all the best in her new career - she will be greatly missed by all at St Leonards!
INTERMEDIATE DRESSAGE | Libby (Year 10) competed in the Intermediate Dressage 2018 earlier this term, finishing 7th in her arena, and with just 1.25% between her and the combination that came first.
Congratulations Libby! Brilliant to see more and more of our pupils achieving strong equestrian results across the board.
Festive Hockey Festival
FESTIVE HOCKEY FESTIVAL | Our Festive Hockey Festival saw a record turnout this year, with more than 65 girls out on the Astroturf with their Christmas jumpers, tinsel and Santa hats on! A Saturday morning packed with fun small-side games made for a very enjoyable end to our girls’ hockey season, and the festival was a chance for pupils across Years 8-13 to take up their positions and play with all ages and abilities.
Thank you to the PE Department for organising what is always a fantastic weekend event!
Christmas Ceilidh Nights
A ‘touch of tartan’ was the theme for our Christmas Ceilidh Nights in the School Hall, and on Monday, 10 December, it was the turn of Years 8 & 9 to dance the evening away with a live band, and celebrate the final week of a busy and productive Autumn Term.
Years 10 & 11 took to the floor on Tuesday night for reels and traditional dances, again with live music and, of course, lots of fun!
St Nicholas Day Service
ST NICHOLAS DAY SERVICE | Pupils, parents and staff gathered in St Leonards Chapel to celebrate St Nicholas Day, with German readings, poems and songs followed by traditional festive sweets, biscuits and oranges.
Particular thanks to our team of Sixth Form students, who worked hard to organise the service, to Year 7 for singing, and for all those who were involved in making it such a special event in our Autumn Term calendar.
Sports Colours Assembly
SPORTS COLOURS ASSEMBLY | Colours were presented to pupils in the Senior School and Sixth Form during a very special Assembly towards the end of term.
Awards were made in recognition of skill and dedication in hockey, rugby, golf, and a range of other sports, before the school was treated to a special display from our very own sporting world champion, Henriette, who currently holds the title in unicycle long jump!
We were joined for our Sports Colours Assembly by representatives from the St Andrews Rotary Club, who presented St Leonards Golf Programme students Ole, Jeffrey, Jack and Karla, with their prizes following the Rotary Foursomes.
All in all, a great celebration of this term’s sporting successes!
Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award
GOLD DUKE OF EDINBURGH AWARD | Alex (Year 13) recently completed his Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award, which involved a residential project as a crew member on a ship, football as his physical activity, coaching, an adventurous journey, and a service element, for which he worked with the charity Open Paws Jeddah in Saudi Arabia.
Alex has fostered and rescued over 80 dogs, including a German shepherd called Layla, who had been surrendered by her previous owner for being too difficult to train. Layla, who was called Stella at the time she came to the Campbell family, is one of many rescue dogs Alex and his sister Catherine, who completed her IB Diploma at St Leonards in June 2018, have looked after through the organisation.
After being provided with the right environment, care and love to help her regain her confidence, Layla was able to be flown out to New Jersey, alongside another rescued German shepherd called Harley, where she trained to be a service dog, and earlier this month graduated from the Union Country Sheriff’s K9 Training Academy. Layla is now fully trained to detect explosives, and will be a fantastic addition to the force.
Great work and dedication from Sixth Former Alex, who has just embarked on his next challenge – an adventure to Antarctica over the Christmas holidays!
CHRISTMAS MIX | There was not a spare seat to be had at our annual Christmas Mix in the Music School Auditorium, with the performance live-streamed on the school Facebook page for audiences at home to enjoy all over the world.
Pupils treated families, staff and friends to a festive musical extravaganza, with a harp quartet, string ensemble, three different choirs, and some incredible solo performances. Even the teachers joined in, with Ms McQuade-Powell singing ‘Santa Baby’, and Mr Kitson joining Lauren (Year 11) for ‘Fairytale of New York’.
Seasonal songs were sung, car keys were jingled, and a brilliant evening ended with staff, students and members of the audience singing ‘White Christmas’ together.
To get everyone in the Christmas spirit, and for anyone who missed it live, the videos are still available to enjoy on our St Leonards School Facebook page.
SLM Blues Rugby Results
SLM BLUES RUGBY RESULTS | Since the last edition of The Voice, the SLM Blues rugby teams have continued with both after-school training and a series of weekend fixtures.
On Saturday, 1 December, the Blues played their final Grandis Conference matches against Royal High from Edinburgh, with games for the U16s and U18s at home at Station Park, and the U13s and U14s playing away in the capital.
The U16s gave a sterling effort, losing out to a very strong Royal High side, but with many excellent performances from our boys.
A friendly against Stirling County B team was played on Saturday, 8 December with games at home and away, and fantastic conditions for the boys’ final fixture of the year.
With a joint U16 side boosted by players from Howe of Fife RFC, all players raised their game and produced their best effort.
Our Stirling fixtures are always very competitive, but the Blues managed wins across all age groups. A fun, friendly, and successful end to the year!
CHRISTMAS FAIR | The Junior School Christmas Fair on Saturday, 8 December was another superb occasion, with lots of fun and creative stalls set up and run by the pupils in St Katharines Hall. There were games, a tombola, a teddy bear raffle, plus plenty of sweet treats to indulge in from freshly-made waffles to candy floss and popcorn, popped to order!
External vendors set up stands along ‘The Avenue’ giving visitors to the fair a chance to sweep up some beautiful, unique, and not to mention delicious, Christmas presents for family and friends. From intricately iced biscuits and gingerbread to juice made from locally-grown apples, jams, and jewellery there really was something for everyone.
It was great to see some of our Senior School pupils running their own stalls, selling felted decorations, apple butter and St Leonards branded phone cases from one of our Year 12 Young Enterprise companies.
Run by the St Leonards PA and packed with a brilliant range of home baking, The Retreat Café served as the perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of the fair itself.
Thank you to our PA volunteers for organising this festive favourite. We are delighted to announce that £843.19 was raised for Scottish Air Ambulance on the day.
Year 8 Cookie Exchange
SPORT ON THE SANDS | The Year 8 girls took their Games lesson down to the water's edge, getting their exercise in outside on the East Sands. Here they are looking suitably seasonal on the sand!
Christmas Jumper Day & Dismissal Assembly
CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY & DISMISSAL ASSEMBLY | Pupils and staff sported colourful Christmas jumpers on the last day of Autumn Term, raising money for Save the Children by dressing up in festive attire – there was even a prize for the best outfit!
The non-uniform day meant the School Hall was awash with bright knitwear for our House Song competition and Dismissal Assembly on Friday.