FAMILIES FIRST | We were delighted to welcome Morag Coleman of local charity Families First to St Leonards on Monday, 15 January, for a special cheque presentation following the sale of our beautiful school Christmas cards.
The card, which featured a beautiful print of the iconic “Moongate” at St Leonards by St Andrews artist Frank Sproson, proved popular with parents, pupils and staff, selling out in the first batch and raising £100 for the artist’s chosen charity.
Morag Coleman, Manager at Families First, and the artist’s grandson Chris Sproson of A & M Sproson Picture Framers in St Andrews were met by Head Boy Jamie MacAulay and Head Girl Elizabeth Crockatt, who presented the donation on behalf of the school.
Thank you to everyone who bought and sent St Leonards Christmas cards. The funds raised will go towards covering the costs of the Families First New Year Party, which is a favourite event in the charity’s calendar for children and young people living throughout North-east Fife.
FIRSTS FOOTBALL | Our 1st XI boys kicked off the football season with a match against Strathallan on Tuesday, 23 January. A well-played game finished with a 3-1 victory for the Strathallan team, but some great defence and techniques from the St Leonards side certainly made it a match worth watching. Roll on the rest of the season!
BURNS ASSEMBLY | Pipes, drums and poetry turned Senior School Assembly into a wonderful celebration of the life and work of Robert Burns on Tuesday, 23 January. Led by our Head of English, Mr Alfonso Iannone, students took to the stage to recite traditional verse including ‘To a Mouse’ by Burns and ‘The Bus Queue’ by J. K. Annand.
Year 8 performed a gentle rendition of ‘Ye Banks and Braes’ before each year group processed out to music from Callum Cummings on the drums and Hector Long on the bagpipes. Thank you to everyone who took part and made Burns Assembly such an informative and memorable start to the school day!
RUSSIAN CELEBRATIONS | The festive cheer lingered a little longer at St Leonards with the Russian New Year celebrations at Fingask Castle on Friday, 12 January. Our Year 11 and Sixth Form Russian students enjoyed a beautiful banquet complete with haggis and Christmas crackers, made resolutions for the year ahead and were treated to a tour of the 17th century castle's extensive grounds. A great way to celebrate in the first week of Spring Term!
LOTS OF LACROSSE | The girls have been getting stuck into lacrosse season with plenty of practice both on the field and in the sports hall. The snow and ice led to a number of fixture cancellations but our teams grasped the opportunities to squeeze in some extra training at home, ready for a busy term of matches against Loretto, Fettes and Glenalmond.
There’s lots to play for between now and the Spring Term Holiday, including the U13, U14 & U15 Scottish Junior Lacrosse Tournament at Fettes, the 1st and 2nd XII Scottish Senior Lacrosse Tournament at Glenalmond, and the Years 8, 9, 10 & Seniors Easter Lacrosse Festival in March!
COMMUNITY CONSCIENCE | When he’s not busy studying towards the IB Diploma at St Leonards, Year 12 student Albert Badia is looking for ways to give back to the community in his hometown of Barcelona. Albert spent last summer working with disadvantaged children and young people in one of the most deprived areas of the city after volunteering with the Spanish organisation Caritas, and he was happy to share some insights into his experiences of leading day trips and activities during a two-week summer camp in Ciudad Meridiana, a neighbourhood on the outskirts of Barcelona.
‘I wanted to do a volunteering course over the summer but found initially it hard to find somewhere that would admit someone under 18,’ explains Albert.
He came across Caritas, which works with children between the ages of about six and 17 in an underprivileged neighbourhood in Barcelona and signed up to work there for two weeks.
Albert's role was to help organise a summer camp for these children so that they could have fun. He helped plan a programme of different activities, such as taking the train to the beach and cookery classes. Caritas aims to give young people the opportunity to do things that they wouldn't normally be able to do.
Albert thoroughly enjoyed his experience: ‘I would definitely like to do it again because I felt it was a really rewarding experience,’ he says. ‘It was rewarding because not only did I make friends but I left with the feeling that I had been able to help people who don’t have the same opportunities as us.’
COMPUTER CLUB | The new term has seen the start of a Computer Club as an after-school activity to allow students the opportunity to work on computing programming projects. The club members range from complete beginners to very experienced coders and the collaboration and discussion that is helpful for coders of any level is fostered.
ESCAPE ROOMS | Some of our boarders took on the Escape Rooms challenge during a recent Sunday afternoon outing to Dundee. Splitting into three teams, the pupils solved puzzles and looked for clues to unlock the doors from the Black Pearl, Gold Rush and C.A.R.A rooms. At the end of the activity, each group was presented with a certificate stating how quickly - or slowly - they had managed to escape!
SPECTACULAR STYLES | Pupils in the Senior School were sporting some very cool hats and hairdos today to raise money for national children’s mental health charity Place2Be. Organised by some of our Sixth Form students for their IB Diploma CAS project, there were some super styles spotted around the grounds. A towering tartan top hat and a bright red wig were just some of the hat and hair highlights!
Thank you to everyone who participated and donated, raising a total of £155.72 for Place2Be.
BYRE FILM TRIP
BYRE FILM TRIP | Geography and ESS students settled into their seats at the Byre Theatre on Wednesday, 31 January, for an educational screening of Piotr Cieplak's documentary 'The Faces We Lost'. The film follows nine Rwandans (survivors, relatives of victims and professional memory-makers), who guide viewers through their stories and share their experiences of what, tragically, was the most rapid genocide ever recorded.
We are fortunate that our close relationship with St Andrews University and, in turn, the Byre Theatre, enables our students to participate in events that will benefit their learning as part of the IB Diploma Programme.
BOOK LAUNCH | It was wonderful to hear in January that former St Leonards English teacher Mick Kitson has been named by The Guardian as one of their ‘new faces of fiction’ for 2018! His novel ‘Sal’ is set to be independent publisher Canongate’s lead debut for this year.
Mr Kitson will be at Topping & Company Booksellers of St Andrews on Thursday, 8 March for a special book launch. Doors open at 7.40pm for an 8pm start. Members of staff and pupils in Years 10-13 are invited to attend. Anyone wishing to go to the Scottish launch should contact Mr Kitson by email (email@example.com) at least 4 days before the event.
Click here for more information about the event.
EXTENDED ESSAY FAIR
EXTENDED ESSAY FAIR | This week, Year 12 students attended our Extended Essay Fair in the Main School Hall. This was the perfect chance to speak to staff in different departments about their essay topics and options for next year. Students had the opportunity to look at examples of Extended Essays for inspiration before they choose their final topic for Year 13.
SUPER SWIMMERS | Congratulations to our U11 and U13 swimmers who competed at the Kilgraston Gala on Thursday, 1 February. The girls finished in second place in both age groups - a super result for St Leonards!
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