Reasons to be Reflective
"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.
The Three Giants
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
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
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
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 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
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
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
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
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 | 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
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.
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.
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.