The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 15 March 2019

Reasons to be Reflective

Headmistress's Introduction

"We don’t learn by doing, we learn by reflecting on what we have done." - Unknown

As a PYP School, there are 10 ‘Learner Profile’ attributes that we look for in a life-long learner. Pupils at St Leonards aspire to be: Inquirers, Knowledgeable, Thinkers, Communicators, Principled, Open-Minded, Caring, Risk-Takers, Balanced and Reflective.

The International Baccalaureate Organization defines ‘reflective’ as ‘thoughtfully considering the world and our own ideas and experience and working to understand our strengths and weaknesses in order to support our learning and personal development’.

Part of learning to be reflective is requesting and accepting feedback and ideas, and as we near the end of our parental consultation, this value really comes into its own.

Reflective thinking is widely recognised as a critical skill in learning and in learning to learn. It is important that we take a moment and think about why, what and how.

Sue Gough, a PYP Leader in Australia notes that reflection has numerous benefits for pupils:

  • It deepens understanding, encouraging them to probe their thoughts in more detail and to articulate what it is they know and still need to know.
  • It helps pupils to consider themselves as a learner – their strengths, weaknesses and learning preferences.
  • It helps students understand more about how they think and leads to the capacity to modify and extend their thinking in subsequent learning episodes.
  • Reflection can help to monitor impulsivity.
  • It can widen points of view on a topic and expand the possibilities for thinking and understanding.
  • Reflective thinking can help students see the purpose in something they are doing or have done.
  • It connects the student with the meaning behind the learning and therefore increases engagement.
  • Reflection assists in transferring what has been learned in one context to other contexts.

Throughout their school life, our children will continue to be encouraged to reflect upon their learning. This reflection will continue outside the classroom and beyond the school gate into their adult lives. Reflection in any situation is an integral part of our learning. Knowing how we know and reflecting on this enables us to engage in higher-order thinking. We begin to assess the evidence we have collected and collated, reflect on classroom practices, learn from others around us and screen for bias, inconsistency or error. A vital tool in the modern age when unchecked access to information is so prevalent.

May I take this opportunity to thank everyone who has taken the time to complete the online questionnaire this week. There have been so many positive comments, as well as some very thoughtful and constructive ideas about areas that we may be able to develop further.

I look forward to sharing my vision with parents towards the end of Spring Term, and I know that your feedback will be integral in enabling me to shape our plan for the Junior School going forward.

I will be issuing a questionnaire to the children in due course, as it is so important that their voices are also heard. I am sure that they too will have some excellent thoughts and ideas about their school. Indeed, some of our children came to me with a fantastic home-made suggestion box for pupils to drop their ideas into. The box will be placed in the foyer, near my office, and I look forward to receiving any suggestions our thoughtful children may have.

As a school, and as a community, it is vital that we continually reflect on what we are doing in order to continue to grow and ensure the very best education for our children. I look forward to reading though all your comments, thoughts and ideas and then meeting with our parent body to discuss the next steps in our school journey.

Wishing you all a very happy and relaxing weekend.

Eve Moran

Spotlight On

The Three Giants

'The Three Giants' was performed by Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre.

THE THREE GIANTS | Pupils in Years 1-4 had a visit from Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre on Wednesday afternoon. The company set up their stage in St Katharines Hall and told the traditional Irish folk tale of ‘The Three Giants’.

Using life-sized puppets, Leigh and Steve told the story of Finn MaCool, the biggest and strongest giant in Ireland, who defeats the great Scottish giant McGonigle with the help of his wife Oonagh, who manages to outsmart the competition.

After the show, Steve and Leigh showed the children some of the different types of puppet that they use, many of which come from countries all around the world. They explained how the puppets work and how, as a puppeteer, you have to use your own body movements to bring the puppet to life.

Thank you to the Clydebuilt team for delivering a wonderful comic story!

Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries

Author Robert J. Harris led a dramatic, detective-themed assembly on Wednesday morning.

ARTIE CONAN DOYLE MYSTERIES | We were thrilled to welcome local author Robert J. Harris to the Junior School on Wednesday morning for a fantastic assembly and book signing.

Rob Harris is the author of the very popular Artie Conan Doyle Mysteries, which includes ‘The Gravediggers’ Club’ and ‘The Vanishing Dragon’. He has also written the World Goes Loki series, including ‘Odin Blew Up My TV!’, ‘Thor is Locked in My Garage’ and ‘The Day the World Went Loki’.

He led a brilliant interactive assembly focusing on the mystery of a stolen gem. Luke portrayed the character Professor Pringle, Eliza was the hat-obsessed Lady Matilda, Sanna played Watson, Mungo delivered Inspector Lestrade’s catchphrase ‘I have nothing to report’, Ben displayed super improv skills as Major Briggs, Kyle was chosen to play Jeeves, Ting stepped into the role of Agnes the Maid, and Ruby was Mrs Pancake the Cook.

After the assembly, pupils queued up in St Katharines Hall for a special book signing, which was so popular that there was not a single copy of any title left at the end!

Thank you to Rob Harris for another great visit, and we look forward to welcoming him back to St Leonards for future events.

ESMS Hockey Win

The U12 boys beat ESMS on Wednesday afternoon.

ESMS HOCKEY WIN | Congratulations to the U12 boys’ hockey team on their 5-4 victory against ESMS on Wednesday afternoon. A brilliant game with goals from Luke (x 3), Lucca and Tom. Great to see our game continuing to improve!

Book Week Winners

Our World Book Day Costume Parade winners.

BOOK WEEK WINNERS | Congratulations to our Book Week prize winners! Ruby (Year 7), Connor (Year 5C), Xander (Year 5P), Cara (Year 3) and Harry (Year 5C) were chosen as the ‘best dressed’ during the World Book Day Costume Parade last week, following a pupil vote.

Each of the winners was awarded House Points, as well as a book of their choice!

Year 9 Visit

Year 9 pupils visited the Year 3 class on Thursday afternoon.

YEAR 9 VISIT | Year 3 were very excited to have a visit from Year 9 and Ms Adrain on Thursday.

The boys and girls from her Geography class had created ‘child friendly’ books all about Tectonic Plates, which they shared with the children in Year 3.

The Year 9 class were very enthusiastic in the sharing of their books and the younger children were very receptive to the information that they taught them. They learnt all about how volcanoes can be created by tectonic plates moving, as well as big waves known as tsunamis, which can also be created when plates move.

The books were very imaginative, information was delivered through the Telly Tubbies with songs, dragons, robots and many other wonderful creations.

I am sure that Year 3 will have gone home and shared all their new-found knowledge with their parents!

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

Clifton Hall Hockey

The U12 girls lost narrowly to Clifton Hall.

CLIFTON HALL HOCKEY | The U12 girls welcomed Clifton Hall for an afternoon of hockey on Wednesday, losing narrowly to the visiting team in an action-packed game. Great team spirit and super to see smiles all round at the final whistle!

PE Problem Solving

Year 3 had a tricky challenge involving hoops in PE this week.

PE PROBLEM SOLVING | In their PE lesson with Mr Hislop this week, Year 3 were working together in teams to tackle some problem-solving tasks.

The children were given five hoops, which they had to stack together without them falling over. They then had to transport the hoops without them collapsing and place them at the other end of the hall, making sure they could stand on their own for five seconds.

This was a very tricky challenge! The children worked well together with this activity and some managed to get their hoops to stand alone.

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

A Day at Cambo

Year 1 had a brilliant day out at Cambo Estate.

A DAY AT CAMBO | Year 1 enjoyed a wonderful, if somewhat wet and windy trip to Cambo on Tuesday. After exploring animals we might find on the beach last week, we took our thoughts around animals further inland.

Cambo Estate has recent acquired some Tamworth pigs, which have had 12 piglets between them. As we broaden our investigations into the life cycles of many animals, highlighting this as just one of the ways in which animals of all species are amazing, we turned our attention to pigs. After a walk around the estate we were given a talk about Tamworth Pigs in particular, before heading out to feed them. What we learnt most acutely, as we stood in the pouring rain, is that it is true that pigs are eminently intelligent. They watched us with curiosity from their tin home, no doubt bewildered at this selection of humans attempting to encourage them into the elements.

Having admitted defeat, save for their snouts, we withdrew to enjoy a pig quiz, a pig story and made our own ‘apple pigs’ before toasting marshmallows on the fire and having a play outside in the grounds. Tremendous thanks to the staff at Cambo for making our day out so much fun.

Miss Boissiere, Year 1 Class Teacher

Year 5 Business Visit

Taste testing chocolate ice cream as part of Mr Wright's Business Visit to Year 5.

YEAR 5 BUSINESS VISIT | Year 5P and 5C had a visit from Mr Wright, who came in to speak to the boys and girls all about business. After identifying different kinds of businesses on the board, the pupils were asked to give examples of the different departments and jobs that make up a company. Lots of hands went up, with answers covering all aspects of a business from CEOs and management to security staff, receptionists, sales people and the marketing team.

Next was a taste test, with two brands of unmarked chocolate ice cream in the line-up. One was from Jannetta’s (which Mr Wright had already established was everyone’s favourite ice cream shop!), and the other was from another St Andrews supplier. Year 5 tried a spoonful of each before giving their verdict.

The boys and girls chose Luvian's over Jannetta's, despite their initial instinct to favour Jannetta's. They deduced, through their experiment, that it is often not the best product that makes the most sales, but the product that is marketed the best, for example by having the most attractive shop front or seating. An interesting conclusion!

Thank you to Mr Wright for giving a brilliant business talk!

Shoebox Dioramas

Year 7 have been making shoebox dioramas.

SHOEBOX DIORAMAS | The Year 7 pupils have been busy in Drama this week making a set of very creative shoebox dioramas, inspired by Tam o' Shanter. As you can see from the examples above, there are some brilliant creations telling Robert Burns' epic tale.

Year 3's Telephones

Year 3 made simple telephones to tie in with their Unit of Inquiry.

YEAR 3'S TELEPHONES | As part of their inquiries into Communication, Year 3 made simple cup telephones this week, before learning how to set out instructions to explain how they made them. The boys and girls had great fun sending messages along the corridor to one another – some even tried to send a ‘group’ message between inventions.

Aboriginal Stories

Mrs Manifold read Aboriginal stories to Year 2.

ABORIGINAL STORIES | On Thursday, Year 2 enjoyed a visit from Mrs Manifold, who came armed with Aboriginal stories from Australia and kept us entertained with stories of ‘The Rainbow Serpent and The Story of Creation’ and ‘How the Kangaroo got her Pouch’.

We learned how the Aboriginal people were the first Australians and date back over 60,000 years. Mrs Manifold told us how, through storytelling and painting, the Aboriginal people hope to keep the understanding of their people and culture alive. Many of the stories talk about the most important thing to the Aboriginal people: caring and loving the Earth we live in, that has been given to us and looking after it as a sacred place, with the belief that it will then look after us.

Mrs Lindsay, Year 2 Class Teacher

Celebration Assembly

The following pupils received certificates at Celebration Assembly on Monday:

Lucca for achieving a perfect score of 100% in a recent Latin assessment.

Amol was presented with his Merit Certificate, which was awarded at Perform in Perth last week. We look forward to celebrating the achievements of more of our Perth performers in next week's Celebration Assembly.

Jonathan for working exceptionally hard in all areas of the curriculum. Moreover, for showing a growth mindset attitude to learning whilst independently furthering his knowledge and skills.

Paula for always being kind and helpful to others.

Molly and Lewis received Spirit of St Leonards awards for raising £55.00 for the British Heart Foundation during their recent 'Dechox' month.

James for his engagement, enthusiasm and hard-working attitude, particularly in his writing.

Sanna for maintaining a positive mindset when overcoming obstacles in order to complete a task on time.

Willow for working, with great zeal and joy, on a written piece about where the United Kingdom imports its food from.

Eabha for designing a well-crafted flyer advertising Dunino Den, presenting factual information in an attractive, engaging way.

Harry for showing great determination to complete set tasks within a dedicated time frame.

Thea was presented with a swimming award from her club, Step Rock, for displaying great speed in freestyle.

Sofia for designing a well-crafted flyer advertising Dunino Den, presenting factual information in an attractive, engaging way.

Archie received a Spirit of St Leonards award for being really kind, patient and helpful towards a classmate on the Year 6P trip to Waterstones.

Sophie for always listening most attentively to instructions, to comments from her peers and to any advice given, thereby achieving her best in each activity she undertakes.

Jasper for displaying increasing confidence in the classroom and participating more regularly and more willingly in all group work.

Angus received a Spirit of St Leonards award for being really kind, patient and helpful towards a classmate on the Year 6P trip to Waterstones.

Lochie received a Spirit of St Leonards award for being really kind, patient and helpful towards a classmate on the Year 6P trip to Waterstones.

Ed for creating a superb unicorn cushion, demonstrating great skill and imagination.

A Note from the Lower School

What an incredible week this has been for the Lower School! Well, every week is fabulous, but this was even more so than usual, with so many exciting learning opportunities across the curriculum.

We had the rescheduled author visit from Robert J. Harris, Year 1’s trip to Cambo, Clydebuilt Puppet Theatre treating us to the most amazing show, as well as parent story-telling sessions in Year 2 and practical design and technology in Year 3 as the children grappled with various cartons, tubes and boxes to create their own communication devices.

Year 2's Aboriginal art, inspired by Mrs Manifold's story-telling visit.

The eclecticism of our week can perhaps only be matched by the weather. The gale force winds of Wednesday are long forgotten, as today I write this basking in glorious sunshine in my classroom.

Learning is an adventure. Both the children and staff prove themselves on a daily basis to be intrepid explorers and I am extremely grateful to all the parents and teachers who help to make our travels as interesting and exciting as possible. Such a glorious week and still so much more to come.

We look forward to welcoming Lower School parents to the forthcoming Year 1 Assembly on Wednesday, 20 March and to Year 2’s the following Wednesday, 27 March. The children are very excited!

Have a glorious weekend.

Claire Boissiere, Lower School Coordinator

Claire Boissiere

Spotty Book

Evie in Year 4C has nominated George for the patient help and understanding he showed to her during one of the class fractions activities this week. Mrs McKimmon tells me that her face was beaming with delight. I think George's explanation had enabled the 'penny to drop'!


We wish the following pupils a very...

Happy Birthday to Mohamed, James Sever-Smith, James Brown, James Manifold, Mungo and Ethan. Have a fabulous day!

Reasons to be Cheerful

My reason to be cheerful actually happened last week, but links in nicely with our assembly thought on Monday morning, which was about remembering to notice the smaller things around you.

Last week, an extremely excited group of children arrived in my office having returned from snack in the CDR. They were excited because they had stopped on their way back to watch a hedgehog travelling along the path. Equally excited, I tiptoed back to the path with them and enjoyed watching and discussing this marvellous creature together.

The hedgehog and its finders.

These considerate children are now looking into the development of hedgehog signage for our path, but in the meantime do look out for and take care of the hedgehogs who also call St Leonards their home.

Well done children for stopping to notice and taking delight in the world around you.

Diary Dates

The Great St Leonards Egg Hunt

THE GREAT ST LEONARDS EGG HUNT | Next Sunday, 24 March, the Parents Association will be hosting the fourth annual Great St Leonards Egg Hunt. Booking is essential via trybooking.com. We look forward to seeing lots of you there.

This event is open to the public, so please do feel free to invite friends and spread the word beyond the school community!

Cambo Crafts & Camps

CAMBO CRAFTS & CAMPS | Please see the poster above for details of kids' camps, clubs and events coming up at Cambo Estate, which may be of interest to our families.

Summer Sports Camps

SUMMER SPORTS CAMPS | Details of summer hockey and rugby camps in St Andrews and Dundee are included above. The St Andrews camp will be held at Station Park (Madras RFC) from 15-19 July 2019.

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