We'll Meet Again
“Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow.” Mary Anne Radmacher
On 8 May 1945, as fighting came to an end in Europe, millions poured out onto the streets to celebrate peace. Bunting adorned the streets as communities and families enjoyed tea parties, dancing, music, and parades. It truly was a joyful time. Today marks 75 years since VE day, and so as a nation, and from our respective homes, we have joined together to pay tribute to the sacrifice that a whole generation made to ensure that we could live in peace. We have paused to remember the generation of men, women, and children who showed real courage and determination through the challenges of wartime.
In addition to reflecting upon the sacrifice made by the generation who lived through wartime, this week I have also been reflecting upon the ways in which our community here at St Leonards has shown spirit, perseverance, and courage over the past seven weeks. The changes that we have faced, as individuals, a school, a nation, and a world really are unprecedented. I have been so thankful that technology has enabled us to keep connected with our friends and families, as well as colleagues and our parent body. Many thanks to all those who have dropped me a message or an email over the past two months, who have shared their experiences of online schooling as well as their own joys and struggles.
As I mentioned in a previous newsletter, each of us is having a unique experience of lockdown and, for that reason, I would like to offer some further reassurance. Please do not worry if your child has not completed all of the work set by their class teacher. Please do not worry if your child’s friends have completed every task set plus the optional task, but your child is struggling to get through the first task of the week. As teachers we completely understand that every child and every household is different. On a personal note, some days I feel like I am completely winning at home schooling, and then there are days when it is really challenging and I have to remember that tomorrow will be a new day! I introduced a new system this week for my children after one of them tried to get out of doing a task and asked if he could be furloughed! There is now a Pennycook Pupil of the Week in our house, complete with mini prizes and an end of term raffle.
As the author Mary Anne Radmacher says, “courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the little voice at the end of the day that says I’ll try again tomorrow”. Please don’t be hard on yourself and, perhaps more importantly, don't be too hard on your children. If you are finding it a struggle then please do get in touch with your class teacher to see how we can support your child — we can look at what the priorities are and set minimum expectations. And remember, sometimes you just have to remember that tomorrow is a new day.
Take care, and I hope you enjoy the bank holiday weekend.
Round of Applause
ROUND OF APPLAUSE | As usual, there are lots of achievements to celebrate in the Junior School - from polished projects to wonderful writing, and fabulous fundraising to amazing attitude towards learning . Many congratulations to the following pupils who received Commendations and Spirit of St Leonards Awards in this week's Celebration Assembly!
ATHLETIC ACHIEVEMENT | Many congratulations to Madison who completed an impressively intense bike ride this week. She enjoyed a lunchtime cycle ride with her Dad which totalled over 20 miles, took just over 2.5 hours, and saw her climb an elevation of 953 feet! What exercise have you been enjoying during this lockdown period?
LOVELY LETTUCES | Eabha has been busy tending to her vegetable patch at home. Her lettuces, peas, radishes and runner beans are all growing well thanks to her A-Frames and cloches, in addition to her close monitoring and careful watering routine! Eabha even made a video to share some of her top tips with the rest of the St Leonards community, reporting from her back garden. We hope that you enjoy listening to her top tips!
Like Eabha, you could grow some delicious vegetables at home! The Botanical Gardens have spare plants that are in need of a good home. This is because a large number of staff have been furloughed, and so there is not enough worker capacity to plant out and maintain all of the fabulous vegetable seedlings that they have grown to supply their summer vegetable boxes. So far, several residential homes, the therapeutic garden at Stratheden Hospital, and the school garden here at St Leonards have taken advantage of this offer. Collection was originally scheduled for Friday, 8 May from 89 Hepburn Gardens, with appropriate social distancing measures in place. However, please do contact Jo Goodburn (firstname.lastname@example.org) to see if there are any plants remaining. The seedlings are free, but donations to the Botanic Gardens via their Facebook page would be most appreciated.
ASSORTED ARTWORK | Miss Neave is mightily impressed by the quality of artwork that the Junior School pupils have produced so far this term. From journals to jungle pictures and paintings to pencil drawings, the results really are fabulous. This week, Evie, Willow, Cameron, Monty, Jennifer and Christina were all awarded Art Commendations - you can see their beautiful artwork above. Keep up the good work!
FASHION FUNDRAISING | To raise money for their important palliative care work, Children's Hospices Across Scotland (CHAS) organise a 'Geeky T-Shirt Day' each year. Earlier this week, some of our Junior School pupils were delighted wear their favourite geeky t-shirts and make a small donation to support this worthy cause.
MAGNIFICENT MEASURING | Year 2 have been busy creating their own balance scales and undertaking some measuring tasks. Is a daisy heavier or lighter than a squirrel soft toy? And what about three stones, are they heavier or lighter than said squirrel? To find out the answers, watch the short video below!
BRILLIANT BEEKEEPING | The key workers' children at St Leonards were in for a treat this week, when they had an opportunity to pay a visit to our resident bee hive. The children were joined by our bee guru, Jo Goodburn, and they learned lots of fascinating facts about bee keeping and the life cycle of a bee. Everyone got togged up in the appropriate safety suits to avoid any stings, before surrounding the hive in blazing sunshine to watch the bees in action. Judging by the amount of enthusiastic questions from the children, we may have a few new budding bee keepers coming through the ranks.
PUPIL SPOTLIGHT | This week, we were delighted to hear from Elisa, who is currently at home with her family in Germany. She produced this fabulous film about her experiences of lockdown life herself - we hope that you enjoy watching it. Thank you for sharing this with us, Elisa!
HOLD STILL | The past few months will certainly be imprinted on our memories for the rest of our lives. As individuals, a school, and a nation we have experienced a wave of new emotions, and unprecedented changes to our ordinary routines. The Duchess of Cambridge, together with the National Portrait Gallery, has launched a community project to 'create a unique photographic portrait which captures the spirit, mood, hopes, fears and feelings of the nation' during this time of lockdown.
As a school, we would love to join with the Duchess in this fantastic project and create our own collective portrait including pupils, staff, parents and Seniors. We therefore invite you to send in photographs which respond to one of the following themes: Helpers and Heroes, Your New Normal, Acts of Kindness. We will then create a St Leonards portrait, and also submit the photographs that we receive to the National Portrait Gallery. All images must involve people, and can be captured on phones or cameras, and The National Gallery will assess each image on the emotion and experience it conveys rather than its photographic quality or technical expertise.
Please send all submissions to our PR & Marketing Officer Sophie Sanders (email@example.com). The closing date for submissions to St Leonards is Friday, 12 June 2020. This will give us time to send them onto the National Portrait Gallery, ahead of their deadline the following week.
LOCKDOWN LEARNING | Have you learned any new skills during lockdown? Mrs Dewar has been busy perfecting a new skill: cup stacking. Please do send in a photograph or a video of any new skills that you have acquired over the past few months - we would love to include them in next week's newsletter.
VE Day Celebrations
VE DAY CELEBRATIONS | On Friday, 8 May, the St Leonards community shared in a moment of national celebration and paid tribute to the sacrifice that a whole generation made to ensure that we could live in peace. As a school, we joined with the rest of the nation for two minutes' silence, at 11 o'clock, to remember the sacrifices made by this generation.
This week, we were delighted to hear from some of our Seniors who were at St Leonards and St Katharines (as the Junior School was previously known) in 1945, to find out how this momentous day was marked at the school. Below are Thia Begg's reflections...
'On 8 May 1945, at St Katharines, the kitchen staff dyed the boiled eggs and served them as part of supper, so that when the girls walked into the dining room, every table had a red, white, and blue border. Now that I am no longer a ten year old, I marvel that in those days they found fifty or so eggs and also food dye and made the effort to do this for us. I wish I could tell them all that it is my abiding memory of that special day.'
We would love to hear how you marked this momentous day - please do send in your photographs and reflections to Mrs Dewar!
GAMES GALORE | This week, Year 1 started a new Unit of Inquiry, exploring how play can take many forms. They have been tuning in with their parents and sharing the games and toys that they have played now, and in the past. The pupils are looking forward to investigating these games and coming up with their own! In the spirit of play that spans generations, Year 1 have also enjoyed discussing nursery rhymes and fairy tales this week. Miss Boissiere is so impressed at how hard Year 1 have been working, and also at how hard the parents have been working to support their children in this unprecedented time. Bravo to all!
Fabulous Fruit Salads
FABULOUS FRUIT SALADS | As part of their Unit of Inquiry, Year 4 have been investigating how our physical health is influenced by the choices we make. They have been learning about the importance of a healthy diet and keeping active, exploring our body systems, staying active with their weekly Games Challenges, and also creating healthy concoctions in their Maths Kitchen sessions.