The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 18 May 2018


'It takes a village to raise a child.'

I am sure you have all heard of this lovely African proverb, which recognises that parenting and bringing up a child is a shared responsibility between parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and the wider family, neighbours and friends.

As we welcomed over 90 grandparents and relatives to our wonderful school yesterday, I began to ponder the true purpose of holding events such as this. It was a fantastic afternoon and the children absolutely loved showing their guests around the school. We were treated to a lovely concert featuring instrumentalists and sketches from those taking LAMDA exams this term, and a sumptuous tea was laid on by our magnificent catering team in the CDR.

Many of our guests had been to St Leonards before, a few had been to school here, and we were truly delighted to welcome back a previous Headmistress of St Leonards. There was one strand that connected everyone: all had enormous affection for their hosts, who perfectly embodied some of the core values of our school: kindness, manners, respectenthusiasm in all that they do, and an ability to converse with their guests. The grandparents, aunts, uncles, family friends and godparents who joined us will all have played a hugely important role in instilling these core values into the children.

Education has, in many ways, moved on a great deal over the decades. Children are now encouraged to question the knowledge imparted to them in the classroom; we encourage them to define and solve problems, some locally and some on a global scale; technology has opened up extraordinary new horizons; we are following an inquiry-led curriculum (unheard of even 30 years ago); outdoor learning; a skills and concept-based schooling that seeks to prepare children to break down geographic and cultural borders on a scale never known before. The list goes on…

However, there is a far more important strand in education that hasn’t changed one bit since time immemorial, and that is those core values. This is where every single person who is involved in bringing up a child plays a hugely important role, and that is why yesterday’s Grandparents' and Relatives' Day was so very special for us.

An education fit for the 21st century must be a fusion of innovation and tradition. Schools must recognise the impact that all those involved in a child’s early life has, and therefore form a true partnership with the wider family and friends.

Yesterday showed the true value of children sharing their school with relatives and friends, and I very much hope it won’t be the only occasion at which they can share in the child’s educational journey.

As the Sukuma tribe from Tanzania eloquently puts it: 'One knee does not bring up a child'.

Wishing all St Leonards families a happy weekend, wherever your adventures take you.

William Goldsmith


WEAR IT WILD | This morning the Year 3 children hosted an assembly as part of their ‘Action’ for their Unit of Inquiry on 'Sharing the Planet'. The class held a 'Wear it Wild' day to support WWF, and a total of £40 was raised. Since 1970, populations of wild species have fallen by half. Without the tireless efforts of conservation organisations like WWF, iconic species like tigers, elephants and rhinos could become extinct in our lifetimes.


TENNIS TEAMS | Congratulations to the Year 4 team who were victorious in the North East Fife Tennis Tournament at Kinburn Tennis club in St Andrews on Wednesday! The winning streak continued on Thursday when the Year 4/5 team beat Greyfriars Primary in the final of the tournament.

On Monday, the U12 girls played against High School of Dundee at home, losing their game 2-7, but with terrific efforts from all involved.

We wish our U11 and U13 girls the best of luck in next week’s St Leonards Invitational Tennis Tournament!


CRICKET ROUND-UP | The sun shone on Monday afternoon for the first of the week’s cricket matches. The U12 boys welcomed the High School of Dundee side to St Leonards, going down 263-211.

On Wednesday it was a narrow loss for the U12s against Riley House, with a final score of 287-289, but the U10 boys were on form, winning their game against Clifton Hall 161-127!

The next fixture for the U12s is on Wednesday, 13 June, when the boys are set to play away at Lathallan.


YEAR 2 BEACH SCHOOL | Year 2 headed to the beach in glorious sunshine on Wednesday afternoon. The children are about to begin studying poetry in their Literacy lessons, and so took the chance to explore objects found on the beach using their senses, and think of ways of describing them using interesting vocabulary. The boys and girls created some rather wonderful beach art and then wrote descriptive, adjective-packed sentences about their work. We hope that you enjoy the results!


SWIMMING SUCCESS | In what has been a busy and exciting week for sporting fixtures, the St Leonards U11 and U13 swimming team finished second in Wednesday’s Girls’ Invitation Swimming Gala, beaten only by Strathallan.

A special mention goes to Thea for her winning performances in the IM and Freestyle, and congratulations to the U11 team, who won the Freestyle Relay!


BUSHCRAFT CLUB | The Year 4-7 Bushcraft Club continues to go from strength to strength. This week the children have been practising how to use ferro rods, catching sparks on cotton wool with the aim of being able to light a small bundle of kindling – essential skills for survival out in the wild!


The following pupils received certificates at Celebration Assembly on Monday morning:

Nadja, Magnus, Tom, Katie, Helena, Ingrid and Corinne all received certificates for taking part in the Salters' Festival of Chemistry at Edinburgh University last week.

William was presented with his certificate for achieving White Level in his Voice for Life exam with The Royal School of Church Music.

Marina received a Spirit of St Leonards Award after noticing a younger pupil in distress and immediately going to her assistance, showing kindness and thoughtfulness.

Matilda was Year 1 Pupil of the Week for including others in play activities and always being kind and caring to those around her.

Bella was Year 2 Pupil of the Week for her outstanding independent research on bees, using ICT.

Anna was Year 3 Pupil of the Week for demonstrating outstanding teamwork during Beach School.

Charlie received a Headmaster's Commendation for exceptional effort in Maths.

Sanna received a Headmaster's Commendation for continuing perseverance in Maths, and having the determination to move into a more positive mindset.

Roy received a Headmaster's Commendation for creating a wonderful collage promoting Scotland as a tourist destination.

Alexander received a Headmaster's Commendation for researching and creating a hugely engaging poster on beetles.

Marta received a Headmaster's Commendation for researching and creating a poster on the dragonfly.

Bronze Stars were awarded to Angus, Charlie, Nasser, Lana, Cara, Bella and Kamilah.

Silver Stars were awarded to Lucy, Ting, Ryan, Rachel, Sal, Roy, Maya, Kai, Charlie and Joe.

Sophie, Jack, Eilidh, Charlotte, Eva and Elisenda have all collected 100 Good Marks.


TENTSMUIR TRIP | This week, the children in Year 1 had an adventure in the forest with a shelter and den-making activity to apply the skills of their current Unit of Inquiry, 'Where We Are in Place and Time'.

Under the expert eye of Miss Dawson, the children set about finding a suitable place to build their dens, using sticks and logs to create the structure, even adding pine cones and fallen leaves for decoration!

They all worked together tremendously well, helping each other to carry the larger items and solving the problem of how to hold the shelter up and how to fill in the gaps between the sticks. The children found sticks to make tools to shape and bend their forest finds, and even used some flatter logs to add seating to their dens. It was a fantastic morning and Mrs Fynn was very proud of the children’s results.


GRANDPARENTS' AND RELATIVES' DAY | We were absolutely thrilled to welcome so many St Leonards families to the Junior School yesterday afternoon for our annual Grandparents’ and Relatives’ Day!

With the children in charge, their guests enjoyed tours of the school and grounds in the sunshine, before taking their seats for an Informal Concert in the Music School Auditorium.

Well done to all our performers who took to the stage with a terrific range of acts. Jennifer’s rendition of ‘You Are My Sunshine’ was particularly fitting for the wonderfully warm afternoon. She was followed by a piano performance from Eabha, a scene from ‘Blood Brothers’ by Paddy and Cameron, and Prelude, from Te Deum, on the viola, performed by Brendan.

Melissa performed ‘Doodling in Class’, Logan played the piano, and James played ‘London’s Burning’ on the descant recorder. Next up was Eva with ‘Skyfall’ on the piano, after which she was joined by Corinne for ‘Acting Class’. Bella played the descant recorder, and Eilidh, the violin, before Cara took her seat at the piano. Edward treated the audience to ‘Slinky Thing’ on the trumpet, Eliza played ‘Augustan Club Waltz’ on the cornet, and Angus rounded off proceedings with ‘The Merry Peasant’ on the piano.

A delicious afternoon tea in the CDR followed, with glossy strawberry tarts, scones filled with jam and cream, and an array of savoury sandwiches!

We hope that all our guests enjoyed the day!


YEAR 3 BEACH SCHOOL | Year 3 have been down to the East Sands again this week for more Beach School activities. They had a fantastic time collecting bits and bobs along the water's edge as part of their outdoor learning!


It isn’t every morning that the Bursar is observed holding the door open for a giraffe…

‘Wear it Wild Day’ in the Lower School was heralded by the arrival of many and varied animals this morning ranging from the extremely wild to the relatively tame. Year 3 then treated us to their assembly highlighting the plight of so many animals today, who face all manner of difficulties in their fight for survival.

Having been investigating why animals are endangered, the class wrote their own poems based on their research, urging us all to pay attention and do our bit. It is always a treat to witness the children presenting their own work, but all the more so when it comes from the younger members of our community. A huge well done to Year 3. All donations for dressing up today have gone to support the WWF in all that they do and I know that Year 3 have appreciated your support.

Our Lower School Objectives this week have been:

Year 1

  • Maths: Money – comparing values and ordering by value; adding amounts of money and finding change; exploring different ways of creating an amount of money.
  • English: Research using simple texts; making notes; writing lists (in the context of finding out about shelters and designing our own shelter).
  • Phonics: revision of 'ay', 'ai' and 'a-e'.

Year 1 are beachward bound on Wednesday, please make sure they come prepared for whatever conditions may be thrown at them!

Year 2

  • Maths: Learning Outdoors with a beach and weight scavenger hunt. Continuing to develop knowledge of number sequences to 1000.
  • English: Using our Unit knowledge to write instructions for growing beans.
  • Phoneme: ‘ow’.

Year 3

  • Maths: To begin to understand and use grid references.
  • English: To identify and correctly use prefixes. To continue with whole class reading and comprehension skills – ‘Pim’ the aardvark has met a giraffe!
  • Phoneme/Spelling: ‘are’ for ‘air’.

In-between the Royal Wedding and various football matches, I wish you all a fantastic weekend in the sunshine with your favourite animals.

Claire Boissiere, Lower School Coordinator


BUDDY TIME | The children spent Buddy Time this afternoon building bug houses in the school grounds. Keep a look out for their impressive insect residences at the bottom of the trees and up in the branches!


BAKE SALE | A reminder that Lana (Year 4P) is hosting The Great Stand Up To Cancer Bake Off on Monday, 21 May. Pupils are encouraged to submit cakes for the Star Baker competition, recipes for inclusion in a recipe book (ideally with a picture of them with the cake or making the cake), and any donations to the Bake Sale will be much appreciated! Thank you in advance for your support


For anyone interested in trying their hand at printmaking, Linda Jackson, who is our 'Artist in Residence' at St Leonards, is running two monoprint workshops for adults on Thursday, 31 May and Thursday, 7 June. Full details on the poster below.

We wish the following a very...

We wish the following a very Happy Birthday for the Week Ahead: Edward, Archie, Anna.

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