The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 1 March 2019

Signs of Spring

Headmistress's Introduction

“Don’t judge each day by the Harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.” - Robert Louis Stevenson

The beginning of this week had a definite touch of Spring, about it as the weather appeared to briefly forget it was still only February. The children have been out and about enjoying the warmer interlude, taking part in several matches and outdoor activities. One of the things we have started this week is a collection for seeds to plant in preparation for our upcoming beehives. You will find four house boxes labelled outside Mrs Dewar’s office ready to receive packets of flower seeds.

Each house is collecting seeds to help with our Junior School beehive project.

Bees are one of the world’s most important pollinators for food crops and several years ago there was some concern that they may be beginning to reduce in numbers. It will be fantastic to have our own hives, for the children to learn more about our ecosystem and perhaps to market our very first pot of Junior School honey one day! Thank you to everyone who has already brought in some seeds. We have added an element of competition to the collection – I wonder which house will bring in the most?

Yesterday we welcomed a special guest to St Leonards, when we were joined by Miranda Fraser, a researcher for Tatler magazine, and their prestigious annual Schools Guide. Her visit was incredibly positive and highlighted just how much we have to be proud of at St Leonards.

Two of our House Captains, Tom and Isha gave Miranda a whistlestop tour of the Junior campus and she commended them both for their polite and friendly nature, as well as their great knowledge of the school. She then joined Year 4 down at the East Sands for their Beach School lesson, which was the perfect opportunity for her to see our outdoor learning in action.

We look forward to reading about her experience later in the year.

I wish you all a restful weekend.

Eve Moran, Junior School Headmistress

Spotlight On

Year 4P's Past Civilisations

Year 4P have been looking for evidence of past civilisations.

YEAR 4P'S PAST CIVILISATIONS | The Year 4P children have been very busy this week looking for evidence of past civilisations and making connections to present day. They have researched the Battle of Bosworth, the Tudor family tree and are now investigating Mary Queen of Scots. Our lines of inquiry will make connections between the past and the present, allow us to gather local evidence and learn how to collect, analyse and validate this evidence.

Wednesday Fixtures

The U10 hockey and football teams.

WEDNESDAY FIXTURES | Two U10 football teams played at home against Clifton Hall on Wednesday afternoon. Congratulations to Alastair and Ed, who were chosen as ‘player of the match’ in their respective squads.

Meanwhile, the U10 and U12 girls were away against Riley House, with the U10s winning 4-3 in a great end-to-end match. Goals were scored by Sanna and Rachel.

Our busy sporting calendar continues next week with U10 boys’ and girls’ mixed hockey away against Lathallan.

Running Club

Running Club enjoying the lighter evenings.

RUNNING CLUB | What a difference a few weeks make! This was our first Tuesday evening that we didn’t have to take head torches or run wearing high-vis jackets. The air was unseasonably warm and the trail firm and dry under foot, and so we took to East Sands beach and out onto the Coastal Path wearing only shirt sleeves. Progress and the confidence of each runner is clear for all to see. Each runner ran further than ever done before on this route! Well done!

Mr Barrable

Outdoor Learning

How We Organise Ourselves

Year 5's Beach School lesson.

HOW WE ORGANISE OURSELVES | The current Unit of Inquiry for Year 5 is 'How We Organise Ourselves'. This has to do with how the market economy works and the intricacies of trade, supply and demand. It was with this weighty subject in mind that we took to the beach to work out how, in practice, it all works.

The children were divided into ‘countries’ and then were set the task of finding certain objects on the beach, such as sea glass, different coloured seashells and stones. Each were assigned a value and then further categorised as a product or a resource. From there, they had to try and make money by trading with other countries. Predictably, the market conditions would change (usually at the whim of the teacher!) and the value of a certain resource might change or if a ‘new product’ was discovered, countries had to use their workforce to go find it.

The activity was a very good exercise for the children to see that buying and selling isn’t as simple as it first seems and that there are many other factors that are related to the process and how the market economy works. One of the key learning results was that trading worked best when they had amicable relations with their neighbours!

Mr Barrable and Mrs Sneddon, Year 5 Class Teachers

Year 4 Beach School

Year 4 practised their fractions on the beach.

YEAR 4 BEACH SCHOOL | On Wednesday the Year 4 children headed down to the East Sands for Beach School. They used the natural materials around them to consolidate their understanding of fractions. The boys and girls then went further to create sets of objects that represented equivalent fractions.

Their final task was to create a Tudor scene or fact. The children had images Loch Leven Castle, Henry VIII and even the execution of Mary Queen of Scots. Finding a starfish down on the shoreline certainly added to the excitement!

Mrs Arkwright, Year 4 Class Teacher

A Note from the Lower School

There wasn’t a soul who could have failed to notice the glorious weather this week and it certainly raised the Lower School spirits, especially at playtime.

Musical instruments and dressing up clothes came out to enjoy the sunshine as well as den-building equipment. The children quickly devised amazing games, created wonderful characters and composed dramatic pieces of music. The play area was bathed in sunshine as were the souls of all who watched the children revelling in their activities. Play is such an integral part of childhood and indeed school. The imagination, the vocabulary the leadership, the co-operation and the clear camaraderie between all ages cannot be under estimated.

Fun in the sunshine at playtime this week!

I hope that this is the start of a wonderful summer where we can engage in even more outdoor opportunities as it is clear to me that we are benefit from it.

As I write this, the forecast this weekend is for rain…………ah, Scotland!

Enjoy your weekend.

Claire Boissiere, Lower School Coordinator

Building with Bricks

Year 1's brickwork in the classroom this week.

BUILDING WITH BRICKS | Concluding our present Unit of Inquiry, where we have been investigating materials, Year 1 finished with a very practical flourish.

This week saw them building their own brick walls and testing for strength as well as identifying the various changes of state by means of making and eating crispy cakes and jelly. A wonderful end to a terrific Unit. With Spring upon us, we can’t wait to start exploring animals as we focus on their various life cycles in ‘Sharing the Planet’.

Miss Boissiere, Year 1 Class Teacher

The Wee Bannock

Year 2's class reading led them on to making bannocks.

THE WEE BANNOCK | Year 2 have been reading the story of ‘The Wee Bannock’. Once they had finished, they mapped out the beginning, middle and end before making their own delicious bannocks to eat!

Celebration Assembly

The following pupils received certificates at Celebration Assembly on Tuesday morning. Well done to this week's recipients!

Bella for working on making a 'telephone' as part of her new Unit of Inquiry and for bringing in supplies from home for the class to make their own 'telephones' working in pairs.

Claudia was Year 1 Pupil of the Week for consistently conscientious work and exemplary behaviour both in and out of the classroom.

Conor for working hard during Year 5's trading game and demonstrating some skills in trading for the future.

Emily received a Spirit of St Leonards Award for displaying an incredibly caring attitude towards others, particularly during Inquiry lessons.

Grace for sharing her vast knowledge of Mary Queen of Scots during class 'tuning in' sessions.

Ingrid for creating a wonderful model of the Golden Apple and a beautifully written scroll re-telling the story of the Trojan hero Paris.

Marta for creating a wonderful poster on communication, showing all different types of communication including flags, Morse Code and Semaphore.

Paula for working on making a 'telephone' as part of her new Unit of Inquiry and for bringing in supplies from home for the class to make their own 'telephones' working in pairs.

Xander received a Spirit of St Leonards Award for demonstrating constructive leadership during a Unit of Inquiry trading task.

Zachary for writing an unusual narrative poem about the exploits of the Greek hero, Ajax.

Abbie was presented with a cup, which she won for being 'Swimmer of the Month' at her swimming club.


This week we wish the following pupils a very...

This week we wish Archie, Annie and Calum a very Happy Birthday. Have a marvellous day!

Spotty Book

Harrison nominated Jonathan this week for tidying up in Year 1. Well done Jonathan, and super to see you taking care of our environment.

This week I would like to nominate James in Year 5 for showing excellent manners in holding the door open for adults as they walked past.

Reasons to be Cheerful

This week my reason to be cheerful is a wonderful class poem written by Year 4C. It is based upon the book ‘George’s Marvellous Medicine’ by Roald Dahl. They were challenged to use lots of alliteration and rhyming couplets. Can you spot them? I thought I would share this with you as a small prelude to Book Week next week. If poetry penned by a class of our own talented children isn’t enough to make us cheerful then I don’t know what else will?

Rest assured we will not be serving this potion at our Grandparents’ Day in the Summer Term!

Staying Safe Online

Some of the children have raised concerns this week about the ‘Momo challenge’, which has appeared on the internet via YouTube and some social media channels. I have reassured pupils regarding this video, and have advised them to speak to their parents before clicking on anything they are unsure of, and to immediately show an adult if they see something that worries or upsets them.

We would encourage all parents to ensure that they continue to monitor their children when they are online, and ensure that all appropriate child safety controls are in place. Please do not hesitate to contact either myself or Mrs Pennycook, should you require any further advice.

Thank You

Books made from all the fascinating 'fact about myself' cards.

THANK YOU | A huge thank you to all of the children who replied to my ‘fact about myself’ postcard at the start of Spring Term. I have thoroughly enjoyed reading them all. There were some amazing facts with accompanying pictures from so many children. I have made the cards into mini books which are hanging on my noticeboard if anyone wants to have a look.

Diary Dates

Byre Theatre - Super Human Heroes

Captain Sunshine at the Byre Theatre.

BYRE THEATRE - SUPER HUMAN HEROES | Please see below information about an upcoming performance for 8 to 12-year-olds at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews, which may be of interest to some of our Junior School families:

The performance will run at 11.00am and 3.30pm on Sunday, 31 March at the Byre.

‘Captain Sunshine is not living up to his name! This Super Human Hero is not feeling super. Where’s the all action superhero? Where’s the run a hundred miles with a smile? We miss his sunshine, his light; we miss feeling that everything is going to be alright.

‘Captain Sunshine is overwhelmed by the challenges of the day. He’s tired of being sunny – being good, funny, loving, smart – tired of playing the part. Who will save Captain Sunshine, if he cannot save himself? What does it mean to be a modern day Super Human Hero?

‘A comical and musical dance with darkness, exploring the ways we are, fail and try to be super human heroes. There will be singing, there will be silence. We can’t be heroes all the time. It’s ok to be human.

‘Super Human Heroes is commissioned by Imaginate and supported through the Scottish Government’s Festivals Expo Fund.’

For tickets and further details, contact the Byre Theatre Box Office on 01334 475000 or visit byretheatre.com.

The Great St Leonards Egg Hunt

THE GREAT ST LEONARDS EGG HUNT | The Great St Leonards Egg Hunt is fast approaching, and promises to be another brilliant event. Organised by the St Leonards Parents Association, there will be spring bonnet and decorated egg competitions, outdoor games, face painting, refreshments from the Retreat Café and, of course, the Great Egg Hunt itself.

Tickets cost just £3 per child and are available to book online now.

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