The Voice of st leonards senior school



CAROLS AT HOLY TRINITY | With a sparkling tree by the Communion Table and tasteful decorations by the door, Holy Trinity Church on South Street, St Andrews, looked magical as our boys and girls processed down South Street to take their seats for the annual Senior School and Sixth Form Carol Service. Thank you to all who attended the beautiful service, to the readers, the choir, and to the Music Department, without whom this ever-popular festive event would not be the incredible success that it is!

The retiring collection will be divided between the work of Holy Trinity Church and Childreach International.


CHRISTMAS MIX | The musical highlight of the Autumn Term for many, the Christmas Mix was a wonderful sell-out success. The Music School Auditorium was full to the brim with parents, family and friends ready to enjoy the evening performances including festive favourites such as Rockin' around the Christmas Tree and other Christmas performances from the Jazz Band, Show Choir, Concert Band and Orchestra. The ‘Daemon Barbers’ donned their festive accessories and performed a sincere version of My Girl, dedicating their sweet song to Mrs Love, who was watching from home. The second half of the show started with a pipe-tastic rendition of ‘We wish you a Merry Christmas’ by ‘The Rolling Drones’ - Harry Mercer on pipe drums and Hector Long on the bagpipes! We also enjoyed beautiful solo vocal performances from Ilona Maclean and Amber Edmiston and of course, the concert would not have been compete without Love's Angels' beautiful rendition of Carol of the Bells. The ‘show ready’ audience also participated in perfect harmony during the evening, jingling their keys to the ‘Sleigh Ride’ festive tune and clapping along to the musical beat! A truly wonderful evening enjoyed by all.

If you were not lucky enough to make the performance, it was live streamed on Facebook and watched around the world – click here to view the concert again, and again!


YEAR 8 DEBATE | The Year 8 Debating Day on Tuesday, 5 December, was a great success. The theme for the day was ‘Using Language to Change the World – should sport reflect a free and fair society?’

Rounds looked at television companies that are forced to give equal coverage to men’s and women’s sport, not awarding international sporting events to countries with suspect human rights records, and punishing sports teams for their fans’ behaviour.

Judged by the University of St Andrews Debating Society, the award for Best Team went to Tess and Ava Neilson, Lucy Rathbone-Tulleth and Cole Tooman. Runners up were Pablo Gomez Martin, Sam Gosmore, Malakai Mackenzie and Faith Mackenzie Page. Best Speaker was awarded to Tess Neilson, while Nieve Greener was named Best Opening Speaker. Jamie Pennycook received a certificate for Best Closing Speaker.

Many thanks to the University Debating Society who provided expert judging and kept the students entertained throughout the day!


CHRISTMAS CARD COMPETITION | North East Fife MP Stephen Gethins visited the Art Department last week to deliver good news to some of our Year 8 budding artists. Several of our Art Club students entered a Parliamentary Christmas Card competition – their task was to design a card incorporating a ‘festive gingerbread treats’ theme, and the winning design would to be used as the Parliamentary Office Christmas cards.

Elisabeth Koenig was awarded runner up, receiving a signed book from St Andrews children’s author Roger McStravick. Ava Neilson and Faith Mackenzie Page were also commended for their creative and humorous designs. Proceeds from sponsorship of the competition will be donated to the charity Fife Gingerbread in the new year.

Here are some of our Year 8s who were delighted to meet and greet Mr Gethins in the Art Department.


CAROLS FOR A CAUSE | The St Leonards Choir joined Waid Academy to lead the carols at the Worldwide Cancer Research Christmas concert at Holy Trinity Church on Thursday, 7 December. In addition to the congregational classics, our students performed ‘Christmas Tide’ by Bob Chilcott, and an arrangement of ‘In Dulci Jubilo’.

Thank you to all at WWCR for inviting our choir to perform, to the Music Department for all their hard work in preparing the set, and to our students for singing so beautifully!


CEILIDH NIGHTS | Years 8 & 9 and Years 10 & 11 danced the night away to live music from Sandy Smith's Ceilidh Band on Monday 11 and Tuesday 12 December in the Main School Hall. Some students even dressed up with a touch of tartan, in keeping with the Scottish dances! Everyone had a great time dancing Strip the Willow, the Dashing White Sergeant and other favourites. Thank you to Mr Baxter for organising two great nights!


DINNER WITH A DIFFERENCE | Ten Year 12 students gathered at the Headmaster’s house on Tuesday, 5 December for the latest in a series of ‘Dinners with a Difference’. They had the chance to put some business etiquette skills into practice in a social setting, taking part in activities before and after the formal dinner designed to enhance interview techniques and develop presentation skills.

‘At the end of the evening we all felt so much more confident than at the start. It was an honour to take part.’

- Carl, Year 12


FESTIVE HOCKEY FESTIVAL | At least 60 St Leonards girls turned out in their finest festive gear for a special seasonal hockey festival down on the Astroturf on Saturday, 2 December. Equipped with tinsel-covered sticks, Christmas jumpers, Rudolph headbands and Santa hats, the girls played a series of small-side games, making for a fun day of sport!


TOP TALENT | Senior School students took to the stage on Thursday, 14 December for the end of term Talent Show. First prize went to the Bishopshall flash mob, followed by Callum Cummings (Bishopshall) who played the drum and Lexi McGregor (Ollerenshaw) who played Silent Night on the flute. Well done to all who stood up and showed off their top talents!


BASKETBALL BOYS | Our Senior boys’ basketball team had a great game away against Madras on Tuesday, 5 December, winning 43-16! Well played!


ST NICHOLAS DAY SERVICE | St Leonards Chapel was looking lovely on Wednesday, 6 December, as students, parents and staff arrived for the St Nicholas Day Service or ‘St Nikolaus Gottesdienst’. The congregation heard a series of German readings and poems, read by some of our German students, and Mrs McGregor’s Year 7 German class sung ‘Lasst uns froh und munter sein’.

As is traditional, the service was followed by refreshments served at the back of the chapel, including ‘Weihnachtsgebäk’ or Christmas cookies cut into festive shapes. Thank you to all who attended, organised and took part for making it such a memorable occasion.


A DAY IN PARLIAMENT | On Monday, 27 November, Archie Clarke (Year 9) and Hannah Wood (Year 10) travelled to the Scottish Parliament in Edinburgh to take part in the St Andrews Day Debate. Both finished in second place out of four and first in their team of four against the opposition. Hannah’s report below gives more detail about the pair’s interesting day in Parliament:

‘Archie and I went on Monday (27 November) to Holyrood Scottish Parliament to take part in the St Andrews Debating Day. When we arrived we were greeted through security and to the office where we were directed to a busy room full of more students ready to take part in the day. Although the directors of the day seemed very flustered and busy, they were all very kind and helpful.

‘I was a speaker and not so quickly but eventually partnered up with a student, Holly. In our first debate, Holly and I were first prop for the motion ‘this house would hold CEOs criminally responsible for environmental damage’. We placed second after two very talented and experienced debaters who, thankfully, were on our side!

‘In the second debate, we opposed the motion ‘this house would make learning Gaelic in school compulsory’ and we came first, which we didn’t expect as the other debaters were very well spoken.

‘In our final debate, we debates ‘this house would make the BBC implement diversity quotas’. Unfortunately we came third, however the people who were placed first and second well deserved it.

‘Overall the day was very good and Archie and I highly recommend the day as we gained much experience, which we can put to use in our debating society.’

Well done to both Hannah and Archie for taking part and speaking so well on the day!’

- Hannah Wood (Year 10)


ST ANDREWS SWITCH ON | The St Leonards Choir delighted an outdoor audience at the official St Andrews Winter Lights Switch On on Friday, 1 December. They treated family, friends and town residents to festive favourites including Ding Dong! Merrily on High and Oh Little Town of Bethlehem, receiving rousing rounds of applause. The carols were followed by Beating the Retreat, performed by the City of St Andrews Pipe Band, with the twinkling lights switch on saved for a glittering finale!


CHRISTMAS LUNCH | Lunchtime on Tuesday was extra special with crackers, hats and turkey with all the trimmings! Even dessert was a treat with a choice between ice cream stars and homemade Christmas pudding. Senior School students enjoyed the festive feast - thank you to the catering staff for preparing such a wonderful meal and for dressing up in such fantastic festive outfits!


CHRISTMAS FAIR | Thank you to all who came along to support this year's Junior School Christmas Fair on Saturday, 9 December, raising a fantastic £737.19 for Scottish Air Ambulance. It was lovely to welcome back former pupils, meet prospective families and see so many familiar faces!

Organised by the wonderful St Leonards Parents Association, the fair was a huge success with imaginative stalls run by students and plenty of Christmas gift inspiration from the lovely vendors who set up shop in 'The Avenue'. The Retreat Café offered the perfect place for a piece of homemade cake, coffee and a break from all the festive activities, which this year included gingerbread decorating and the ever-popular Santa's Grotto!


On Friday, 15 December, the school said farewell to our Head of Chemistry, Miss Carla Grilli, who joined the staff at St Leonards in 1981, more than 35 years ago. After graduating from the University of St Andrews, she completed teacher training in Dundee and first started at the School as a House Assistant in Day Girls, before joining, and heading up the Chemistry department. Miss Grilli also formed a Young Enterprise Company at the school for students to try out running a business. Due to the demand and success over the years, we now have two companies that operate every year!

During her time at St Leonards, Miss Grilli has also been a Tutor to Years 8 and 9 and, more recently, to some of our Sixth Form students. A dedicated teacher, she gave up breaks, lunchtimes and evenings to support students and mark their work - conscientiousness and diligence were her hallmarks.

A huge thank you to Miss Grilli for all that she has done for St Leonards – she will be missed!


JUMPER DAY | | It was Christmas jumpers all round for the last day of Autumn Term with students and staff looking very festive, ready to head home for the holidays! On Friday, 15 December, colourful Christmas knits wandered around the school grounds, featuring classic characters from Rudolph to robins, cheery snowmen and Santa Claus. The question is who wore them best, staff or students? Funds raised on the day totalled £288.64, which will be donated to BBC Children in Need.

Wishing students, staff, friends and families a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from all at St Leonards!

Report Abuse

If you feel that this video content violates the Adobe Terms of Use, you may report this content by filling out this quick form.

To report a Copyright Violation, please follow Section 17 in the Terms of Use.