The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 15 November 2019

Pay It Forward

Headmistress's Introduction

At Celebration Assembly on Monday morning, I shared with the pupils an experience I had when out for a birthday meal, four years ago. It was in a packed French bistro in Perth on a warm evening in July, and as I was sitting there I noticed a man by himself. We made eye contact, smiled and I said ‘hello’.

At the time I thought nothing more of it. The celebratory meal passed pleasantly and as thoughts turned to heading for home, I asked the waitress for our bill. To my surprise, she simply smiled and said that it had already been taken care of. Surely there must have been some mistake?

The only people who knew I was there were my parents, and anyone who knows my father would understand quite how unlikely it was that he would have splashed out to cover the bill. Reluctantly, the waitress explained that it was the man that I had said hello to earlier in the evening. I immediately invited him to join us for a drink (on me this time), and he explained that he had been in the city for business that week and during this time had not been acknowledged once.

It was the simple act of someone saying hello and smiling that had made his day. He wanted nothing, only asking that at some stage, when the opportunity presented itself, I return the favour and ‘pay it forward’. Such a simple action had such a big impact on both of us. I have since returned the favour, whether it was buying a stranger’s coffee in Starbucks or helping a fellow shop customer who was short on change. It feels good to spread a little kindness.

Wednesday this week was World Kindness Day, but these simple acts can be done on any day, at any time, anywhere. The children have been encouraged to make every day World Kindness Day. They should take pride in lending their voices to kindness and dignity within the school. When they see someone being unkind, they should speak up and act.

That little seed of courage lives in every one of us, and we must have the courage to speak up for what is right. In chance conversations since Monday’s assembly, I have overheard plans to ‘pay if forward’ and word has it that Year 6 are planning a kindness extravaganza - so watch this space!

Julianne Pennycook

Spotlight On

Swimming Superstars

Congratulations to our super swimmers!

SWIMMING SUPERSTARS | Some of our St Leonards swimmers put on a super show at the Fife Schools Swimming Championships last weekend, with a run of PBs as well as medals for Sanna (Bronze in the 25m Breaststroke), and Abbie, Jennifer, Éabha and Thea who won gold in the girls’ Freestyle 200m Relay.

Congratulations to all the medal winners and to those who picked up personal bests in the competition.

  • Éabha and Jennifer (Year 7) – PBs of 44.73 and 45.22 respectively in the 50m Backstroke
  • James (Year 4) – PB of 21.97 in the 25m Backstroke and 19.21 in the 25m Freestyle
  • Abbie (Year 6) – PB of 22.39 in the 25m Butterfly
  • Anna (Year 5) – PB of 21.57 in the 25m Freestyle
  • Éabha (Year 7) – PB of 38.18 in the 50m Freestyle

All swam brilliantly on the day and demonstrated huge support for one another. Well done!

Team Spirit

Well done to our golfers who lit up the last hole!

TEAM SPIRIT | Julius (Year 5), who is enrolled in our Performance Development Squad, played in the St Leonards Monthly Medal on Sunday afternoon, completing a round on the New Course in St Andrews.

Unfortunately, with the nights now drawing in, it was dark by the time he and his playing partner reached the final hole. That didn’t stop his team mates from rallying round and using their mobile phones to light up the 18th green, allowing the pair to finish their round. A brilliant example of team spirit and of kindness, as we celebrate World Kindness Day this week!

U9 Rugby Tournament

Thank you to all those who joined us for the U9s Rugby Tournament this week.

U9 RUGBY TOURNAMENT | It was wonderful to welcome prep schools from across Scotland to St Leonards on Wednesday for our annual U9 Rugby Tournament on Big Field. This year, teams played in a round robin format, with Lathallan going on to win the champion title this year. Well done to all the boys. The St Leonards team put on a top performance, winning four out of their seven games.

There was some absolutely superb rugby on display and a brilliant turnout of supporters cheering the teams along from the sidelines. Our thanks to Mr Turnbull and the PE staff for organising another great afternoon of sport.

Explorers and Archaeology

Year 5 have continued their inquiries into explorers and archaeology.

EXPLORERS AND ARCHAEOLOGY | On Tuesday morning, Year 5C walked to the Classics Department at the University of St Andrews. As part of their current Unit of Inquiry, pupils learned about famous explorers and archaeology. They handled artefacts that dated back thousands of years. It’s safe to say they were fascinated by these. The children were also given a challenge to act out different sketches about exploration. Everyone showed curiosity and enthusiasm throughout the visit.

We would like to say a big thank you to Professor Sweetman in the Classics Department at St Andrews University for her wonderful talk and sharing her knowledge with us.

Miss Brannen, Year 5 Class Teacher

Maths Measurements

Year 2 went down to the beach to learn about measures.

MATHS MEASURES | Year 2 have been very active in their approach to Maths this week as we tackled measure using non-standard units - our hands and feet! We took part in activities at the beach, in the school grounds and around the school buildings. Next week we will explore measurement using centimetres and metres.

Miss Fisher, Year 2 Class Teacher

Weekend Gymnastics

Going for gold at the Fife Schools Gymnastics competition.

WEEKEND GYMNASTICS | Congratulations to Rachel, Éabha, Cara and Paula on some super results at the Fife Schools Gymnastics competition last weekend. The girls brought in their medals for Celebration Assembly on Monday, giving the whole school an opportunity to congratulate them on their achievements!

Family Histories

Year 2's Family Histories Museum was a great success.

FAMILY HISTORIES | Year 2 hosted a highly successful Family Histories Museum this week, to which we invited family members and other classes from the school. This was a fantastic opportunity for the class to share and celebrate all of the hard work that the children have put into our most recent Unit of Inquiry.

Visitors were shown artefacts, captions, timelines, books, illustrations, family trees, photographs and posters that the pupils had prepared. It was inspiring to see how knowledgeable and enthusiastic our pupils were when sharing their family’s story with such an appreciative audience.

Our thanks go out to all of the visitors who joined us and made it such an enjoyable afternoon and, of course, to the girls and boys of Year 2 who put on such a wonderful show!

Miss Fisher, Year 2 Class Teacher

Inter-House Football

Congratulations to Harris, winners of the Inter-House Football.

INTER-HOUSE FOOTBALL | This week, on Monday and Tuesday, we held the first Inter-House Football competition in the Junior School. The House and Vice Captains from Harris, Lewis, Mull and Skye were tasked with selecting the teams and organising them. Combined Year 6 & 7 teams faced one other on Monday, with the winners of each match going through to the final, and the runners-up facing each other in a ‘bronze final’.

The competition was fierce and the sporting behaviour on display was exemplary. It was a good opportunity for children to enjoy different sports and to see some, who were unfamiliar with a round ball, get stuck in was brilliant.

Next week the combined Year 4 & 5 house teams will compete. The Inter-House Football competition is part of a drive to boost participation and pride in our flourishing House system, and after Christmas, Inter-House Hockey and Inter-House Rugby will be on offer! Many thanks to the House and Vice Captains for their efforts and for Mr McLeish for refereeing.

Harris was the Year 6-7 winner after beating Lewis in the final, and Skye beat Mull for Bronze. Well done to all the teams!

Mr Barrable, Head of Outdoor Learning

Book Fair Fun

Thank you to Anna from Usborne Books for joining us.

BOOK FAIR FUN | The foyer was awash with brightly coloured paperbacks this week, when the Usborne Book Fair rolled in. Pupils had opportunities to browse the stands and buy top titles, as well as ordering books from the wider catalogue. Thank you to former St Leonards pupil Anna from Usborne Books for coming in!

Peer Listening

Introducing our Peer Listeners.

PEER LISTENING | Congratulations to all the successful applicants for the Peer Listening Scheme, who have been selected to take part in this year’s Junior School programme. We held our first meeting on Wednesday, where we discussed the forthcoming training sessions. We hope to have all the team fully qualified by the end of this term and fully operational in the Spring Term, so watch this space!

Mrs Arkwright, Year 4 Class Teacher

Shoebox Appeal

Thank you to all who donated to our Shoebox Appeal!

SHOEBOX APPEAL | A sterling effort was made once again by the Junior School in response to the Christmas Shoebox Appeal 2019. We delivered a grand total of 114 Christmas Shoeboxes to Morrisons car park this week, where they were loaded onto a lorry to make their great journey to either Albania; Hungary; Bulgaria; Turkey; Romania or Serbia.

Mull were thrilled to come out on top with a total of 33 shoeboxes delivered, with Skye hot on their heels with a total of 32 shoeboxes. A bonus 20 points has been awarded to Mull for their hard work.

Many thanks to Irene, Bob and Andy for loading the van and helping our boxes on their first leg of the journey.

May we also thank all the St Leonards families who kindly got involved so enthusiastically in this project, bringing a glimmer of hope this Christmas to a family in another part of the globe.

Mrs Lindsay, Year 2 Class Teacher

Bug Hotel Builds

Brilliant bug hotels were created ready for the winter months.

BUG HOTEL BUILDS | Some of the Year 3 pupils have been busy this week building bug hotels in the school grounds at lunchtime. We are sure the insects will appreciate their constructions as safe places to shelter during the winter months.

Year 3 Mathletics

Year 3 have been working hard with Mathletics.

YEAR 3 MATHLETICS | Year 3 were busy on Monday using their Maths skills to begin using Mathletics. They are hoping to learn how to use it in class before they have their logins to use at home, where they will be able to consolidate their Maths through fun games.

The pupils were also working on their Unit of Inquiry, learning all about Florence Nightingale and how she changed the way women were allowed to care for men during the Crimean War, she also changed the way hospitals were run, making sure that they were clean, patients were fed well and bandages were clean. She began a school for nursing on her return from the war and she is credited with the way nurses work today. We certainly had a busy start to the week!

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

Year 1 News

A great week in Year 1 for independent learning.

YEAR 1 NEWS | The Year 1 pupils have taken a real leap forward this week with their independent learning. Since starting Year 1, they have revelled in this ‘I Time’; a chance to explore the class and all of its resources independently, a time to return to earlier tasks and try again or make improvements. I confess that in the early days of Year 1 a very great deal of Lego was played with (and still is) and there was a flurry of regular activity in the outdoor classroom. However this week, during both ‘I Time’ and Planning, all of the children have become more focused, more directed and more determined to take their learning further.

Niamh happily built her puzzles and was delighted to accept the challenge of alphabetising the words. Started together, but completed independently, Niamh happily rose to the task and named as many of the letters and phonemes as she could as she went. Terrific teamwork on a seemingly impossible puzzle. The collaboration here was stunning and the children were determined to carry on, returning to it at intervals during the day.

Last week, 2D shapes were a bit hit and many children were keen to further their own learning throughout the week. The geo boards were very popular and Sofia chose to draw her shapes freehand. She was very proud of her hexagon which she knew how to identify with sides and corners.

With ‘knowledgeable’ being our Learner Profile this month, it is clear to see that Year 1 have knowledge in spades and they know how to use it.

Miss Boissiere, Year 1 Class Teacher and Lower School Coordinator

Wet Weather Play

The Lower School children have been playing in the puddles.

WET WEATHER PLAY | Weather wise, it may not have been terribly inspirational this week but never let it be said that we don’t embrace every learning opportunity. Lunch break on Monday saw us playing on the ‘island’ at the request of the children. Dens were built, battles were waged, tig was played and then it happened.

The Lower School children began exploring nearby puddles and it became apparent that they were investigating the various depths of the puddles. We started to rank them from deepest to most shallow and pretty soon everybody wanted to join in to check the findings (suitably equipped with wellies of course!). You've got to love the puddles!

Miss Boissiere, Year 1 Class Teacher and Lower School Coordinator

Open Water Swim

Well done Archie!

OPEN WATER SWIM | Well done to Archie (Year 7) who joined his mum, friends and strangers to complete the last half mile of a 22-mile English Channel swim. In preparation, Archie accompanied his mum in a number of practice swims over the last eight weeks. A super achievement, all of you!

Maritime Dundee

Thank you to Mr Ylitalo for joining us.

MARITIME DUNDEE | Year 5 were enormously fortunate to have Mr Ylitalo come and talk to them ahead of their Discovery Point visit next week. Mr Ylitalo's research interests at the University of St Andrews include maritime Dundee, its interactions with the polar regions, and in particular, the Dundee whaling trade. Naturally, the Discovery and it’s direct link with explorers fit perfectly with our Unit of Inquiry.

The Year 5s sat enthralled for 60 minutes as Mr Ylitalo energetically and enthusiastically told stories of whalers and polar bears, the dangers of sea life, the many different species of whales that were hunted and how and why Dundee's whalers were in turn vital for the jute industry. It is fascinating to consider how many of our school families might very well have links to this heyday of polar exploration in Dundee.

We are very grateful to Mr Ylitalo for being so gracious with his time and for making such an interesting and entertaining afternoon for us all.

Mr Barrable, Year 5 Class Teacher

Preservation Trust Trip

Year 2 visited the Preservation Trust Museum in St Andrews.

PRESERVATION TRUST TRIP | This week, Year 2 had the good fortune to visit the Preservation Trust Museum and discover what life used to be like in St Andrews in days gone by. This fitted in perfectly with our unit on family histories and where we are in place and time.

We visited the old grocers shop, Aiken & Terras, from South Street and the old fashioned chemist, stocked with its green glass bottles of potions. The children had a go at pulling an old barrow cart; wringing a pair of socks out on a mangle and using a giant pair of bellows to get some embers glowing on a fire, but the pièce de résistance for them all had to be the old two-seater privy outside!

Mrs Lindsay, Year 2 Class Teacher

Beach School

Superhero fun on the beach for Year 3.

BEACH SCHOOL | Year 3 headed to the beach on Thursday and it was a beautiful, clear day, if rather chilly - our winter woollens were most definitely needed to keep cosy!

We set about our task of creating a beach 'superhero' and characters were built using a variety of items that the children could find on the East Sands. Once back at school, the girls and boys drew their characters and annotated them, ready to write about them in more detail next week.

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

Glitter Bug

Glitter Bug helped to teach the children about washing their hands properly.

GLITTER BUG | The Lower School children had a visit from our Medical Centre team, Lara and Karen, in assembly to talk about the importance of washing our hands properly, especially before meals, after Beach School and after going to the bathroom.

After assembly, they visited each class to show the children how to wash their hands and dry them properly - germs just love moist warm areas to breed on. In order to do this, the children had a magic lotion put on their hands that they then had to wash off. Lara and Karen supervised the washing as well as the drying. The children were reminded to sing two renditions of Happy Birthday while they made sure they cleaned their hands, remembering their nails, wrists, between their fingers, and backs of hands.

Once washed and dried they put their hands into ‘glitter ball’ and it revealed who was good at cleaning their hands. Spots glowed blue where germs could still be seen. Most children did a fantastic job, and on the few we found glowing the dirt was around the nails.

It was a fantastic lesson on hand washing and we hope the children will continue to wash their hands as thoroughly at home and at school. We don’t want any upset tummies this year!

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

Celebration Assembly

Congratulations to the following pupils who received certificates at Celebration Assembly on Monday morning:

Scott was Year 1 Pupil of the Week for fantastic knowledge in the class's Unit of Inquiry, great listening and fabulous questions.

Elin received a Commendation for outstanding Family History Inquiry work and presentations to the class, and was also Year 2 Pupil of the Week for calmly stepping in at the last moment on behalf of an absent friend, for remembering and saying a line from the class poem, Little Poppy, in front of all our families.

Jonathan for outstanding independent Family History Inquiry work and presentations to the class.

Abdulla for outstanding independent Family History Inquiry work and presentations to the class.

Matilda was Year 3 Pupil of the Week for a great start to her superhero story, with wonderful planning and ideas.

Hayfaa for such great improvement in her organisational skills, both in and out of the classroom.

Sophia for being able to listen to the opinion of others as well as making her own relevant contributions during group work.

Ruben for his quiet and unassuming manner, matched with his unfailing interest and enthusiasm in all lessons.

Mia for her positive attitude to all school work and her pleasant, caring approach towards her friends and peers.

Willow for excellent work in English. She used very interesting sentence openers in her story and also answered the comprehension questions perfectly. Well done!

Sophia for her continued dedication to all her school work and the cheerful manner in which she undertakes everything asked of her.

Scott for working with great effort and imagination to produce a fantastic fireworks poem.

Cecilia for working carefully and conscientiously during the Unit of Inquiry to produce two wonderful posters on technological changes over the last 100 years.

Cameron was presented with the full spectrum of medals - bronze, silver and gold - following success in the Fife Schools Gymnastics competition at the weekend. He also won a rosette for fourth place and finished as the second top gymnast in his category in Scotland.

Sal and Emily received Commendations for demonstrating maturity, patience, encouragement and excellent communication skills whilst coaching Year 6 girls' hockey.

Alexander for creating this brilliant broom, inspired by Harry Potter. By the sound of it, it was not an easy project to make!

Lewis for his fantastic work in Maths.

Harry for excellent listening all week - long may it continue!

Many of our Year 6 pupils received their first Mathletics certificates at Celebration Assembly on Monday, having achieved the Bronze award already!


Diary Dates

We wish the following pupils a very...

Happy birthday to Ava, Bethany. Joe and Isobel J. Wishing you all a fabulous day!

Diary Dates

Christmas Tree Festival

CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL | The countdown is on to our annual Christmas Tree Festival, organised by the St Leonards Parents Association. Details for entries can be found on the poster above. We look forward to seeing the corridors lined with lots of imaginative trees!

Christmas Cards

This year's St Leonards School Christmas card.

CHRISTMAS CARDS | This year's beautiful St Leonards School Christmas card is now on sale for parents and pupils to purchase. This wonderful winter scene in the Quad was designed by Sixth Form student Nerea Gomez-Martin.

The cards are available to buy in packs of ten, each pack costing £6.50. Should you wish to order cards this year, please complete the online form via the link below:

Cards will then be ready for collection from the School Office. Happy card writing!

We Are The Words

Copies are on sale now!

WE ARE THE WORD | All parents and families are warmly invited to join us on Monday morning, 18 November, for our We Are The Words launch assembly, which will be a chance to hear all about our beautiful St Leonards Junior School poetry book. We will be joined by Mr Simon Lamb, who returns to speak to pupils and parents about this exciting project.

Copies of the book are available to order at a cost of £8.00 per copy via the form below: