The Power of Poems & Stories
“Oh wad some power the giftie gie us. To see oursel's as others see us! It wad frae monie a blunder free us…” - Robert Burns, 'To a Louse'
Happy Burns Day one and all. I felt this quote from Robert Burns' famous poem 'To a Louse', in which the wise poet humorously tries to teach us that we would perhaps know ourselves better and take ourselves less seriously if only we saw ourselves through another’s eyes, was particularly apt, and perhaps worth pondering further over the weekend.
We had an incredible Burns Assembly on Wednesday morning, where the children were piped in by Senior School pupil Alfie Love (Year 11). Jennifer, Shreyas and Zachary delivered beautiful renditions of some famous Scottish songs and a poem by Robert Burns, and we were all spell bound by a humorous oral story telling of the famous poem Tam o’ Shanter by our guest, Jim Aitken. Thank you to all of the parents who came and to Mrs Stewart for organising this brilliant event.
Stories and poems seem to have been the order of the week in the Junior School, and I have had the opportunity to read some incredible fiction and non-fiction stories written by our children. Annie in Year 2 was so inspired by her work on machines that she produced her own book about them, whilst Year 6 were reading their stories to Year 1. The boys and girls in Year 6 must be accomplished authors who understand their audience because when I popped in the Year 1 pupils were listening with such focused attention.
Stories are so powerful. They can bring people together, keep our histories alive, inspire the imagination, bring comfort, change minds and make us laugh, cry and wonder. I encourage you all to read to and with your children.
JK Rowling says, ‘the stories we love the best stay with us forever.’ Some of my fondest memories as a child were the stories read to me by my father and the stories we would write after adventures in Tentsmuir or on Elie bech. A pine cone can become a dragons egg and seaweed Medusa’s hair. If you are in need of inspiration, do come and read the Junior School children’s stories. There may well be some authors of the future in our midst.
Eve Moran, Junior School Headmistress
ECO CLUB | I am very pleased to introduce our Eco Club Committee Members:
Tom, Ramsay, Kamilah, Mia, Anona, Anna, Evie, Rory, Alistair, Katie, Lana, Willow, Archie, Ben, Sofia, Shreyas, Amol, Isha, Molly and Zahara.
These children represent many exciting projects that we have planned over the next year, and their drive and work will be integral to the Junior School’s accreditation as an Eco-School. Each member has taken on the responsibility to research and manage a project of their own undertaking.
To give you an idea of the level of ambition of various projects, there is proposed research into how to grow our own Christmas trees, reduce single-use plastics in school, and manage new garden beds to attract pollinators.
I am incredibly proud to see the levels of passion and commitment in our committee, and I look forward to working with them over this next year.
Mr Barrable, Head of Outdoor Learning
Year 3's First Aid Afternoon
YEAR 3'S FIRST AID AFTERNOON | On Thursday, Mrs Young the Lead School Nurse and Nurse Karen came to talk to Year 3.
During their talk to the children they discussed all the ways medicine can be issued to people, through tablets, liquids, creams, drops and sprays. She spoke to the children about how important it is to only take medicines that are given to you by an adult you know and trust.
Through the Red Cross website, the children took part in an observational quiz, looking at dangers around the house and how to prevent them. They were very good at it! They also learnt what to do if someone they knew had an accident and how to keep themselves safe before helping the person.
The children watched a video about a little boy who ended up with a burn from a boiling kettle. They learnt to run the injury under the cold tap for at least 10 minutes, and if an adult is not around to help, they found out what to do if they had to call for an ambulance.
As part of this teaching, it was recognised that children would be asked their full name, age, address and phone number. This is something that not all children are fully aware of and we would encourage all parents to help them to learn it.
As part of Year 3’s Unit of Inquiry and their medical theme, we are hoping to welcome Cara Easton’s aunt next week, who is a paramedic. Kamilah’s mummy is also going to visit the class with a few of her colleagues to do some training with a defibrillator, and the RNLI will be coming in to talk about safety at sea and on the beach. Year 3 certainly have a busy week coming up!
Many thanks to all who have helped with this Unit of Inquiry, making it so interesting for all the children.
Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher
LIGHT EXPLORATION | Year 4 headed down to the East Sands this week as part of their exploration on light. To enhance their understanding of light, the children created light in the form of a fire pit, reflected light into the North Sea, and created shadows on the sand.
They used their Beach School session to track the movement of the sun, and rounded off their outdoor adventure by toasting marshmallows over the fire – the perfect snack for a cold January day!
In the classroom, Year 4 have been investigating the colour spectrum using prisms, and plan to visit the Science Department at school to explore this further.
Mrs Arkwright, Year 4 Class Teacher
The St Leonards Bee Club
THE ST LEONARDS BEE CLUB | There has been many a rumour buzzing about that bees are on their way to St Leonards, and I'd like to confirm that they all true! There are many reasons for starting a Bee Club, including assisting the reversal of rapidly declining bee populations, but also from an educational standpoint, it provides tangible outdoor learning experiences as well as provides excellent cross-curricular opportunities for our PYP Programme in the Junior School.
This project extends upwards into the IB programme where pupils will be able to develop knowledge and an understanding of beekeeping. It will give them practical, technical and transferable skills. Managing the hives successfully will require the members to be resourceful, to forward plan and problem solve.
For the children in the Junior School, they will be able to visit the hives in safety and gain an understanding of how bee hives work, as well as the important role that bees play in nature. It also has a knock-on effect in that other projects, such as planting bee ‘meadow strips’ of bee-friendly wild flowers, can take place and will have greater relevance for the children.
Whilst the learning opportunities are exciting, it will be wonderful for children to come to a school where nature is not something to be found over the wall or beyond the town in which they live. It will be part of their learning, part of their daily experience, something to be protected, nurtured and appreciated.
Mr Barrable, Head of Outdoor Learning
Robert Burns' Day
RUNNING CLUB | The Running Club continues to go from strength to strength. With the days noticeably lighter from each running session to the next, the ability and confidence of our young runners is improving week on week. This week saw improved performances, more constant sections of running and each runner going further and faster than they had the week before. Many thanks to Mr Pennycook for taking part in the session.
Year 5 Beach School
YEAR 5 BEACH SCHOOL | Year 5 Beach School took place on a beautiful crisp day. There was no better place to extend our learning of forces in our current Unit of Inquiry. The various activities and experiments planned involved the children running along with beach with a parachute fluttering behind them, swinging cups of water around their heads without spilling a drop, skimming stones, dragging tyres across the beach and finally a tug 'o war.
Whilst the activities were hugely enjoyable, they also helped the pupils understand air resistance, centripetal and centrifugal forces, surface friction, and how Newton's three laws of motion can be applied to all that they do!
Bush Craft Club
BUSH CRAFT CLUB | Bush Craft Club on Wednesday focused on managing risk safely, with the children making kindling with hatchets, open flames and boiling water in the Outdoor Learning Area. A clear, chilly evening, but, as they say, there is no such thing as bad weather, only the wrong clothes! Fortunately everyone was wrapped up warmly, making for a very satisfying evening!
A Note from the Lower School
Goodness me, it has been a chilly weather week!, Fortunately the Lower School children are all wrapped up, wearing suitable coats and, wherever possible, hats and gloves too. We are aiming to remove blazers from the playground in a bid to keep them smart and we do value your support with this. With the ‘Big Freeze’ set to continue and with Beach School planned for next week, do please ensure that your child has their 'warm and wet' kit in school, as we would hate for them to miss out!
Year 1’s ‘Shooby Doo Shoe Shop’ opened for business this week with the Manager leaving all manner of tasks for the shop workers to accomplish. This week the children were tasked with finding ways to sort the wide variety of footwear we have in stock – they remain open for deliveries mind you (should you feel moved to bring in a pair) and they’ll be pricing them up, ordering them according to size and I believe, in the upcoming sale, there will be some reductions. The children are even designing their own shoes. A great deal is going on.
Year 2’s learning has taken an investigative turn this week, exploring the effect of both gradient and weight on speed after constructing their own ramps.
Year 3 have been hands on with First Aid, discovering more about ‘Who we Are’ with our very own school nurse, Mrs Lara Young, who has been guiding the children through some simple health and safety as well as picking up a few important life saving tips themselves.
As our Units of Inquiry power on, so too do our weekly objectives which, wherever possible, also tie in with our Units.
- English - Words: big, like. Using ‘We’re going on a Bear Hunt’, we have created front covers for our own hunt stories, which a friend then illustrated on our behalf. We are understanding what we find on front and back covers of story books and are beginning to be able to sequence a story.
- Maths - We have begun to investigate the language of subtraction. We are able to take away, find one less than and subtract from ten. We created our own number stories after reading ‘Thomas and the Ten Balloons’ – so many exciting things happened in our calculations.