Signs of Spring
“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.
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
Year 4P's 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 | 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 | 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!
How We Organise Ourselves
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 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.
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