We have all had that teacher or significant adult in our formative years who has inspired us. For me, it was a Geography teacher at school, who instilled in me my love of learning. His lessons were energetic, his manner had our class under his spell, you wanted to do well, you wanted his praise. He was truly inspirational. I have been lucky enough to meet him again as an adult and he is still someone I strongly admire. This particular role model had such a lasting impact on me from an early stage in my life and, in fact, he was the reason I went into teaching myself.
This week in the Junior School, I have been lucky enough to witness a whole room of inspired children, all seated in St Katharines Hall for our ‘We Are The Words’ launch assembly on Monday morning. We were fortunate to be able to hear a sample of our Year 6 and 7 poets read aloud their now published works, and it was wonderful to welcome back Mr Simon Lamb, who joined St Leonards last academic year for a period of maternity cover, and who inspired so many children to find their inner Wordsworth.
It has been lovely to see the children stop to appreciate the video clips playing on the screens around the Junior School of their classmates reading from our very own book. If you haven’t already, I strongly urge you to buy a copy - you will not be disappointed.
There has also been a great buzz around Mathletics over the past few weeks, with many children bustling away and mastering the various levels in Maths. This, too, is an approach to learning that has inspired, encouraged, and brought the subject to life. We look forward to welcoming parents to our Maths Workshop next term to see some of our work in action and hear from the pupils themselves about our new scheme.
Finally, you may remember last week that we were trying to spread a little kindness. Mrs Dewar arrived at her desk on Monday morning to find a beautiful bunch of flowers waiting for her. For days she was at a loss as to who had put them there and why. Then, the penny dropped - a very kind Year 6 had done exactly as I had urged pupils to do and had ‘paid it forward’. We had witnessed a random act of kindness.
As we head into the weekend, I hope others will be inspired to continue in the same vein. It was simply wonderful to see one of our pupils making such a positive impact on someone's day.
Prep Schools Hockey
PREP SCHOOLS HOCKEY | Congratulations to Emily and Thea (Year 7), who represented St Leonards in the IAPS hockey team, playing for the Caledonian squad away at Cargilfield on Wednesday. Thea and Emily were the two youngest players in the competition, making this achievement even more impressive. Well done girls!
Processes and Production
PROCESSES AND PRODUCTION | Year 4 have been investigating the different stages in production and distribution of familiar products. They were very lucky to have a visit from St Leonards parent Michelle Wilkinson to discuss the different stages she has gone through in order to produce, package and market her delicious caramel sauces.
Using some top tips from Michelle’s visit, the Year 4 children are now in the midst of producing their own products in preparation for the Christmas Fair. Watch out for their stall!
We then headed to the beach to use the space and materials available to us to represent the different stages in production of glass. Working together in small teams the children were set the task of selecting the key stages in glass-making and explaining their representations clearly.
Mrs Arkwright, Year 4 Class Teacher
SPORTING HEROES | Year 3 have been sharing their sporting heroes with the class. Some children used IT to share creative PowerPoint presentations, whilst others have been busy making posters.
We have learned about a variety of sportsmen and women including Andy Murray, Michael Phelps, Sidney Crosby or 'Sid the Kid' as he is better known in the ice hockey world, and Wilma Rudolph an American runner who overcame Polio to learn to walk at the age of 12 and won a bronze medal at the Melbourne Olympics in 1956; all truly inspirational. Well done Year 3 for all your hard work!
Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher
DISCOVERY POINT | Year 5 visited Discovery Point on Thursday. This is always a wonderful excursion as it ties in all that they have learnt in the UOI that investigates the theme of exploration and explorers throughout history. That the children are able to go aboard a vessel built in Dundee and crewed and captained by those of the 'Heroic Era of Polar Exploration' is simply wonderful!
The experience for the children, this year, was enormously helped by our two parent speakers who brought to life how difficult and dangerous polar work was; James Lindsay and Matt Ylitalo.
A highlight of the trip is always getting dressed up as an early 1900s explorer and then comparing the clothing to more modern polar clothing, as is being able to sit at the dining table where Scott and Shackleton ate. It was also the table upon which the first operation in Antarctica was performed by Dr Koettlitz, as well as where the dissection of several animals for science was done...it really is quite the step back into history!
Many thanks to Miss Brannen and Mrs Souter for their help with the trip.
Mr Barrable, Year 5 Class Teacher
Year 1's Week
YEAR 1'S WEEK | It has been quite a week in Year 1. Bonkers in fact, but in an exceptionally good way. There can’t be many Junior School classes this week that have done a crash course in neurology, expressive art with mixed media and a hands-on tasting session to explore the effectiveness of our taste buds.
We were delighted to have a visit from Dr Gilbertson who shared his knowledge and expertise with the brain. The children wanted to know what was in the brain and how many parts it had. Our recent exploration into senses had all led us back to the brain and it isn’t everybody who has access to a ‘brain doctor’. Eliza’s father very kindly gave up his time to answer many complex questions and demonstrate how reflexes work. So much was learnt by us all!
For many, that might be enough to do a week but not us. Our Catering Manager, Darren Tonge, from Restaurant 1877 joined us to conduct a taste bud experiment. The children identified different tastes and then sequenced liquids according to their sweetness. Great news, taste buds in Year 1 are tip top!
In Art this week, we looked at how different art can be, considering Mondrian, Monet, Van Gogh and Picasso before using a variety of media selected by the children to produce our own artwork. Quite a gallery was created. Our only problem now is where to hang them!
What hasn’t changed is the need for infinite quantities of socks! I must apologise for the wetness of the wellies and socks but so much fun was had in the process.
All of this on top of our regular lessons. Phew! We may need a lie down next week.
Our 'Opticians' shop is finally up and running and everyone has enjoyed 'testing' their eyes.
We are starting to investigate change now and so I would love children to bring in a baby photo of themselves. Many thanks to those who have already done so.
It hasn’t all been insanity, there have been quiet moments too....
Miss Boissiere, Year 1 Class Teacher and Lower School Coordinator
Year 2 Beach School
YEAR 2 BEACH SCHOOL | On Thursday, Year 2 wrapped up to brave the elements and venture down to the beach for their Maths lesson. They took part in a scavenger hunt, scouring the beach for bark; feathers; pebbles; rope and sticks. Task accomplished, they then created addition and subtraction calculations with their findings. Who knew, Maths could be done in the sand?
Mrs Lindsay, Year 2 Class Teacher
Save the Children Fun Run
SAVE THE CHILDREN FUN RUN | Well done to those Junior School pupils who took part in this week's Senior School lunchtime fun run. Organised by Year 12 students for the Creativity, Activity, Service (CAS) element of the IB Diploma, pupils and staff have been running laps of Birdcage during their lunch breaks this week to raise money for Save the Children. It has been brilliant to see some of the younger pupils getting involved!
CEILIDH COUNTDOWN | Year 3 have been getting into the Scottish spirit by practising their ceilidh dancing skills with Mr Baxter in preparation for their St Andrew's Day Assembly next Friday, 29 November. We hope you enjoy this little taster of what's in store next week!
Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher