The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 1 February 2019

Together, we are an Ocean

Headmistress's Introduction

"Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean." - Ryunosuke Satoro

As we prepare our children for an exciting future, it is important to teach them the value of seeking help and working well with others, and terrific teamwork was in abundance in the Junior School this week.

As I continue to immerse myself in the teaching and learning at St Leonards, I have been lucky enough to spend time in almost every class. On my travels I have enjoyed joining children in Miss Fisher’s class working outside in teams to measure the length and width of objects using hand spans; Mrs McKimmon’s class putting their minds together to write the dialogue for an exciting comic strip and Miss Cormack’s class editing and reviewing each other’s writing.

The key to success in each of these lessons was teamwork. The children were engaged in their learning and were making more progress together than they might have achieved individually, as they supported one another with questions and discussions about their tasks. No matter what path our children choose, any academic success will be bolstered by their ability to communicate effectively and contribute to a team.

The importance of teamwork was also visible in the support we received from one of our parents, Dr Muqit, who brought her colleagues from St Andrews Community Hospital to demonstrate CPR in Year 3. A vital skill to learn, and we are so appreciative of this school visit.

Likewise, a big thank you to Deputy Head of the Senior School, Dr Jackson-Hutt, who talked to Year 2 about Science and inclined planes. Finally, Year 5 had a visit from another parent, Dr Hanton, who conducted some Science demonstrations looking at energy, power and forces. We are incredibly fortunate to have parents and staff who are willing to give up their time to share their skills, knowledge and careers with our pupils. Children learning together, parents lending a hand and teachers going the extra mile - all examples that demonstrate unity and togetherness, and our school community is stronger because of this.

Eve Moran, Junior School Headmistress

Parents' Evening

We look forward to welcoming as many of you as possible to our Parents’ Evenings next week. Mrs Pennycook and I will unfortunately be out of school on Tuesday for the Year 1-3 Parents’ event. Dr Jackson-Hutt, Deputy Head Pastoral, will be attending in our absence should you wish to speak with him, and my door is always open should you wish to pop in for a chat.

The sign-up sheets are available online via Clarion Call. If, for any reason, you are not able to reserve a slot at a time that suits, then please do speak to your child’s class teacher about making another appointment.

Spotlight On...

Swimming Stars

The U11 girls' swim team were victorious at Kilgraston.

SWIMMING STARS | Congratulations to our U11 girls’ swim team, who were overall champions at the Kilgraston Swimming Gala yesterday! Eabha, Rachel, Abbie and Thea swam for St Leonards, securing top spots in the 25m Medley Relay, 25m Breaststroke, 25m Individual Medley, 25m Frontcrawl, 25m Butterfly and 25m Freestyle Relay.

An absolutely superb achievement from the girls!

Pupil Art

Some of the fantastic artwork on display in the Junior School.

PUPIL ART | Miss Neave has been busy this week displaying lots of brilliant pupil art on the walls (and windows!) of the Junior School. Year 7 have been creating expressive self-portraits using symbolism; Year 6 have been working on lino-cut prints; there are some terrific pictures of explorers from Year 5, plus an aboriginal-inspired display from Year 4.

Please do pop in and have a look!

Year 3's Life-Saving Lessons

Year 3 had a go at CPR this week - a very important skill to learn!

YEAR 3'S LIFE-SAVING LESSONS | Wow! What an afternoon Year 3 had on Wednesday.

We started with a visit from Dr Muqit, Kamilah's mum, and two of her colleagues, Henry and Philip. They came to talk to us about life-saving, showing us how to perform CPR and use a defibrillator.

Dr Muqit started by telling us all the things we have to do before we perform CPR.

Firstly we need to make sure that the area around the person is safe for us, so free from glass, water, ice or anything else that could harm us.

Then we need to check whether the person can hear us, so we ask them loudly and check if they are alright. If they do not answer then we need to look for signs that they are breathing.

We would do this by lifting their head gently, listening for breathing sounds and looking at the chest to see if it is rising or not. We do this for 10 seconds. If there are no signs, we begin the chest compressions.

The children learnt to do the compressions to the tune ‘Baby Shark’, which generated a lot of singing and actions in the classroom. They also remembered to call for help and to dial 999 for an ambulance.

Henry then showed the children how to use a defibrillator. These machines are located all around the town and it is important that we all know how to use them. The children became very competent in using the defibrillator, and all felt confident they would know what to do if they had to use one. They also remembered that they had to stay calm!

Year 3 learned all about the work of the RNLI.

Following on from our CPR demonstration, we received a visit from Murray Brown of the RNLI based at Broughty Ferry. Murray is the Coxswain on the main lifeboat, and he has worked for the charity for 30 years.

He told the children all about the different types of boats used by the RNLI, the types of rescues they do, and how to stay safe at the beach. The main thing he advised them was to be aware of the tides when visiting the beach. He explained that the majority of call-outs to beaches are to people who have become stranded because they were not aware of the tide times.

Murray also advised the children (who thought working for the RNLI would be a very ‘cool’ job!) that it is a voluntary organisation and that all the boats and workers are funded by donations - so it is important for us all to remember to support our local RNLI.

Ruben was a fantastic model for us, showing us how to keep warm and dry when participating in rescues at sea.

Thank you to our wonderful visiting speakers! Next week we have one final visit from the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service, so watch this space for the next instalment of Health and Safety in Year 3!

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

Year 2's Simple Machines

Dr Jackson-Hutt visited Year 2 this week to teach them about simple machines.

YEAR 2'S SIMPLE MACHINES | Year 2’s studies into Simple Machines and the forces that power them continued this week with a visit from Dr Jackson-Hutt, who talked to the children about how the Ancient Egyptians used inclined planes when they were building the pyramids. Dr Jackson-Hutt’s teaching subject is Physics, so he was the perfect guest to help us with our Unit of Inquiry.

The boys and girls used spring scales to measure force in Newtons, comparing the amount of force needed to lift a weight straight upwards with the amount of force used when dragging a weight up a slope. Lifting a weight upwards was hard work, measuring five Newtons, while dragging the same weight up a slope only took one Newton. No wonder the Egyptians preferred using an inclined plane!

Miss Fisher, Year 2 Class Teacher

Sinking and Floating Experiments

Experiments in action in Year 1 this week.

SINKING AND FLOATING SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS | Year 1 have been continuing their investigation of materials by exploring floating and sinking. We have asked our 'big question', we made our predictions and on Tuesday commenced our experiments. We shall be taking this question further at the beach. It was terrific to see the children working together and discussing what was happening, I can't wait to see where this line of inquiry takes us next!

Miss Boissiere, Year 1 Class Teacher

Carol Service Collection

The Carol Service collection raised £220.00 for charity.

CAROL SERVICE COLLECTION | Thank you to everyone who donated to the retiring collection at our Junior School Carol Service in December. A total of £220.00 was raised for the My Name'5 Doddie Foundation, which funds research into Motor Neurone Disease.

A Note from the Lower School

'We're Going on a Bear Hunt'...or rather a tiger hunt in Year 1's case!

Our small segment doesn’t do justice to all the amazing activities undertaken within the Lower School this week. Pictures speak louder than words and so this week, I’ll let the photos do the talking. The faces of the engaged children across all areas of the curriculum speak volumes!

For those of you looking for details of our key objectives in Years 1-3 this week, then please don't worry, this section has not gone but has moved. Lower School parents should now have received this via email from Mrs Dewar, and in future weeks, you will be able to find all of the information about the children's learning in the main body of the Weekly Mailing email.

Year 1 have been learning all about money.
Year 2 have been measuring hand-spans in Maths this week.

At 4.10pm the official school day ends but even within the Lower School, the learning, laughter and life lessons continue with our array of activities. This week I popped into our clubs and marvelled at the continuing energy and enthusiasm; the friendship and camaraderie.

I think we all may need a bit of ‘Mindful Colouring’ in our lives!

Mindfulness Colouring with Mrs Beebee.

We wish you all a wonderful weekend, stay warm!

Claire Boissiere, Lower School Coordinator

Spotty Book Nominations

During Celebration Assembly on Monday, I challenged the children to nominate one another this week on the basis of friendship.

Conor and Ben (Year 5) - Ben nominated Conor, who he describes as one of his best friends. One day they started playing together and just never stopped. Ben says that Conor always cheers him up if he's having a bad day.

Layla and Isha (Year 7) - Isha nominated Layla as a great bus buddy. She always keeps her company on the bus journey home and they make each other laugh as they travel to and from school.


We wish the following pupils a very...

Congratulations to all of the children who have had a birthday this week. We hope that Amol, Logan, Ruben and Eliza all had a wonderful day.

Celebration Assembly

Alistair for his interest and enthusiasm in learning about areas outside of the classroom, including the Theory of Relativity.

Will for outstanding levels of dedication and care on his Homework Heroes task.

Eliza for excellent focus and effort with her fractions in Maths.

Ethan for his conscientiousness and positive approach to his work both in class and at home.

Lara for improved focus and interest in her reading and her overall positive attitude to her school work.

Ben for writing a diary entry from the point of view of one of the characters in Year 5's class novel, 'The Iron Man', as if he was the author himself.

Lana for wonderful determination in finishing a written conversation between two characters in Year 5's class novel, growing in confidence as she went along and using speech marks appropriately.

Rachael for quietly and determinedly getting on with a written task to explain the physics behind Year 5's Beach School activities.

Marta was Year 3 Pupil of the Week for presenting an excellent PowerPoint to the class on keeping safe in extreme weather. It was extremely informative and the class thoroughly enjoyed it.

Abdulla was Year 1 Pupil of the Week for showing extremely organised and helpful behaviour in the classroom, including sorting out and tidying away snack without being asked.

Rory received a Spirit of St Leonards award for spending time with a member of the class who was upset. He listened, showing genuine sensitivity and understanding, and encouraged that person to re-join the class.

Zachary for his initiative, hard work and service in preparing the polytunnel site.

Alyssa for her initiative, hard work and service in preparing the polytunnel site.

Harry for his initiative, hard work and service in preparing the polytunnel site.

Xander for his initiative, hard work and service in preparing the polytunnel site.

Alfie  for his initiative, hard work and service in preparing the polytunnel site.

Lucy for sharing the experiments she completed as part of her Homework Heroes task.

Erin for sharing the experiments she completed as part of her Homework Heroes task.

Lewis for sharing the experiments he completed as part of his Homework Heroes task.

Ollie for his initiative, hard work and service in preparing the polytunnel site.

Angus for his initiative, hard work and service in preparing the polytunnel site.

Conor for sharing the experiments he completed as part of his Homework Heroes task.

Reasons to be Cheerful

Some incredible WWI models have appeared in the foyer this week. These were designed and created by our Year 7 pupils and have caught the eye of many of our children who have stopped to admire them as they passed by.

Two of the incredible WW1 trench models currently on display in the Junior School.

Here is a conversation I overheard between two impressed pupils admiring the model underneath the screen in the foyer:

"Wow! That's amazing. Have you seen all of the details?"

"Yes, it's great isn't it. It must have taken ages."

"Do you think it's interactive?" (Pointing at the small cereal pieces used to line the trench.)

"Hmmm...I'm not sure, it doesn't say you can eat these..."

I hastily intervened both for the sake of the model and the stomachs of two of our younger children! This made me smile but also it made me feel exceptionally proud of our children who do take the time to stop, marvel and admire one another’s achievements. Another example of teamwork at its best.

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