BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR
Term is well and truly underway now, and it is great to see the children getting back into the routines and St Leonards continues to buzz. I am delighted that so many children take part in the after-school clubs and activities, and to have the school still full and alive at 5.30pm each day is just wonderful.
I have absolutely loved looking through many book reviews and project work undertaken by pupils during the holidays, indeed it is one of the highlights of my role. Our third Unit of Inquiry for the Primary Years Programme is well underway and the Year 7s have started their new units with equal enthusiasm. I have the great privilege of shadowing all the classes this term. Getting into the classroom is so refreshing for me as this is right at the heart of what we strive to achieve as a school, and it is a delight to watch the children at work. I started with 6C this week, and have spent Tuesday and Thursday morning immersed in their study of inventions. So engrossed was I in making cubes out of straws that I completely forgot to undertake my main purpose which was to observe how the children were working together! Having researched famous inventors, the children watched a clip from a 1985 episode of ‘How stuff works’ where the very first inkling of a digital camera was being uncovered (right at the start of the floppy disk days). They then came up with their own inventions to solve a problem of 2017, with their presentations filmed this afternoon. The skills this exercise covered are numerous, but the sheer enjoyment the children got from all they were doing was just great to see.
Another highlight this week was the homecoming of our U11 boys football team who played Clifton Hall on Wednesday. The elation in their faces indicated that something truly exciting had happened. 3-1 down at half-time, they went on to draw 4-4 in what was a nail-biting game. Whilst it is right to celebrate the result, the real victory here was the sight of these chaps who returned feeling like the Leicester City players having won the FA cup! They had played a closely contested match, kept their heads held high and battled on in the face of failure. This was the theme of my assembly on Wednesday morning, when I spoke to the school about four immensely famous and successful individuals who have confronted and overcome failure in their journey to great accomplishment in their fields.
As part of their 'Unit of Inquiry', How the World Works, Year 1 have been learning to be scientists. On a trip to the Dundee Science Centre this week they took part in a workshop to carry out investigations. They used their senses to make observations, made notes and even set off a chemical reaction! The children all agreed that the museum "was great" and are looking forward to applying their new investigative skills next week as they choose the best materials for making winter clothing.
MAJOR USMANI VISITS YEAR 4
Word had reached higher levels that our Year 4s were in urgent need of some dental hygene intervention, and so the Army dispatched Major Usmani to St Leonards to spend an afternoon with our boys and girls!
The children enjoyed a fascinating afternoon learning about dentistry, oral hygiene and our teeth. Major Usmani brought a number of implements and objects with him, and the children greatly enjoyed a hands on session. We are most grateful to Major Usmani for giving up his afternoon and providing such an entertaining and educational insight for our Year 4s.
"We learnt that the first part of the tooth is called the enamel, then comes the dentine and then the pulp". Maya
"Wisdom teeth are called wisdom as you get them usually when they are older. When you get older you get wiser." Shreyas
"I learnt that gum disease is really disgusting!" Alanya
"If you don’t brush your teeth properly you will have a red gum". Logan
"What I enjoyed was eating the purple disclosing tablets and then brushing my teeth". Rachel
"We asked Major Usmani how many filling he has and he said ‘none’." Ben
"When he needs his teeth checked his wife does them". Emily
NEW UNITS OF INQUIRY
Year 4 Sorting packaging according to their own criteria as part of exploring the processes involved in making products.
Heroic Efforts from Year 7
Our current inquiry theme in Year 7 involves examining the roles of heroes and villains in literature – from novels and poetry to short stories and in the media. Earlier in the week pupils were tasked with producing a flier to promote a food or drink product using a superhero or cartoon character for inspiration. While the artwork is impressive in itself, their catchy slogans, quirky quotes and original ideas are well worth a look and on display on the top floor of Hepburn House.
In conjunction with this, heroes have been very much a focus in recent Latin sessions as the children have researched key figures in the Trojan War, assessing their merits and impact on the conduct of the fighting and its aftermath. Their legendary exploits have a timeless appeal and can still teach us important lesson today.
In PSHE we have also been thinking about how both good guys and bad guys can influence our lives and how as the top year group, they themselves can act as positive role models for the younger members of the school.
Year 1 have started their new 'Unit of Inquiry', How the World Works, and have been talking about cold places. In a few weeks they will be using their Science skills to carry out investigations on materials we can use to keep us warm so they have thought about what it is like to be in a cold place, who might live there and what we might see in that landscape. The class have created an ice palace. Using phonic skills to create signs and word cards, art and design skills to make snowflakes, they have experimented with blending techniques. The class got some of their ideas from the story Big Bear, Little Bear and they really enjoyed making pictures to retell the story. A busy week for Year 1!