Friday, 10 February 2017


I left for School this morning with my 20 month old boy pleading with me to watch ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’ on television. Arthur has discovered television (don’t worry, he also loves being read to!). After what felt like the Munich Treaty, I managed to appease Arthur with the promise of watching it when I got home (has to be before 6.00pm I am told by his Mother, or we will encroach on bath time). I cannot wait. This is for two reasons. Firstly, I couldn’t imagine a better start to Half Term than sitting down with my son, and secondly, I love ‘We’re going on a bear hunt’. A story by Michael Rosen, it tells the story of five children – ranging from 15 to 6 months – heading off into the fields in search of a bear. An unlikely prospect as they live in Somerset, however they set off armed with honey sandwiches, a magnifying glass, a bear hunting book and their dog, Rufus. When I read this to Arthur on a nightly basis, it sends me into an imaginary world, as ‘Just William’, ‘Stig of the Dump’ and ‘Five Children and It’ did when I was growing up. Capturing a child’s imagination like this is the very essence of growing up, and indeed has a critical role in the development of a young person. As Sir Ken Robinson argues “imagination is the source of all human achievement”. There is no doubt that fostering a creative imagination encourages children to think outside the box, problem solve, develop their communication skills and learn about the world that surrounds them. Alongside installing compassion, I would argue it is the most critical ingredient of flourishing.

Imagination doesn’t just have to be deep inside an imaginary world, as important as that is, it is also present in all that we do. As I look back on the first five weeks of this term, I wonder how much imagination has been created by the pupils in all they have achieved? Their inspiration drives everything they do, from their prowess on the games field to the mind-boggling games that are conjured up in the playgrounds. The combined imagination and compassion of 149 children continues to ensure that live is as fulfilling and productive as ever at St Leonards.

I have greatly enjoyed spending half a day in most of the year groups this term, and I have seen first hand the imaginative skills of the pupils in their problem-solving, homework heroes, independent lines of inquiry and how they approach collaborative learning. The Year 6 inventions museum this week is a prime example of what the combined imagination of 32 children can produce.

It is not only in lessons that the pupils have demonstrated their imagination or resourcefulness. It has been a very successful start to the Lacrosse and Boys Hockey term, and our Girls’ teams are playing some superb hockey at the moment. As I have mentioned before, our exceptional art and design work captures the imagination of our pupils to the core. We plan a Junior School art exhibition in the Summer Term. I see extraordinary creativity within the drama department, and preparations for the LAMDA exams, Perth Festival and our end of term production, ‘Pirates of the Curry Bean’ are all well underway. We were treated to another splendid array of performances in our half-termly informal concerts this week and the continued delight out pupils get from music is always a great pleasure to see. If imagination can be measured, then through our arts alone it is being poured out in great volume.

As teachers, our job is to capture the imagination of our pupils, and I am most grateful to my colleagues who do this on a daily basis, and also to our parents who come in and speak to classes and give of their time so generously. Children need inspiration for their imagination, and they get this from all angles both at home and school.

The sun gets higher and higher at morning drop off time, a sign that Spring is on its way. I would like to pass on my congratulations to the pupils for getting through the dark winter months with good grace. I tell them at the end of each assembly to look after themselves and each other, and they have certainly done that.

I wish all St Leonards families a relaxing Half Term break; I think everyone deserves it. Arthur certainly now deserves his treat with Dad. I wonder where his imagination has taken him today…

William Goldsmith

Years 1-3 rounded off their delightful informal concert with a rousing number


On Thursday, a packed out audience of Parents, Staff and Pupils were treated to a glorious informal concert, given by our String Ensemble and individual singers and instrumentalists. Whilst presented as an informal opportunity to play in front of an audience, the performers had all worked extremely hard to prepare their pieces and performed with confidence and obvious joy.

It was a wonderful concert and highlighted how important music continues to be at St Leonards. Many congratulations to all those who delighted us on Thursday.

Our Year 2 Violin ensemble

Having watched the older children perform and inspire them with their performances on Thursday, it was the turn of our Years 1-3 to perform in front of their peers, parents and staff on Friday morning. The String Ensemble started the concert with two fine performances, before a number of children took to the stage to play pieces they had been practising hard at. In amongst the solo performances, Year 3 sang Yellow Submarine, the Year 2s demonstrated the huge progress they have made on their violins, and the concert ended with a rousing finale with all children involved.

It is wonderful to see how much pleasure the children this young get from their music, and we would like to pass on our thanks to Mr Shiells, Miss O'Brien and Mr Bell for all their hard work.

Friday's performances by the String Ensemble can be viewed by clicking on the following links:

The Headmaster's blog, The Power of Music in Schools, can be accessed below:

Our budding engineers


Our 'Unit of Inquiry' has been about inventions and how they impact the world around us. We focused in on WEEE man (Waste, Electrical, Electronic, Equipment) which represents the amount of waste a single UK household will throw away in a lifetime. Individually Year 6 chose one of the electrical appliances used to make the WEEE man and worked with others with a similar interest to create an exhibition containing a model, information boards which held facts about how it is made, what it is made from and the impact it has on the environment as it is made and after it has been thrown away. We also created some fun activities. All our hard work came together in the form of an Appliance Museum where both classes and parents visited and took the time to see all of our hard work. We had a fantastic time creating it and sharing it with everyone.


Year 1 have finished their 'Unit of Inquiry', How the World Works, by using what they have learnt about materials to make a pair of waterproof mittens. They investigated a range of materials last week and decided that although plastic and felt fabric both kept the water out, another important factor to consider was that the mittens need to be cosy too! They all decided that felt was the best material and applied their sewing skills to make their own designs. Mrs Fynn was very impressed at how quickly the class developed their sewing skills and was delighted to see some lovely teamwork and support between all of the children.

Year 5 sweep the beach for litter
Year 5 finished their PE lesson on East Sands a little early to help clear it of rubbish


The U12's enjoyed a hard fought battle with Ardvreck on Wednesday at home. Niamh played a fast ball from deep in defence which was picked up by Fiona Branch who looked up and saw her cousin unmarked and waiting in the circle. The ball was sent across into prime shooting space were Milli swung, connected and rattled it off the back board with less than a minute and a half played.

Ardvreck equalized just before half time, with both teams just missing out on additional goals by a matter of centimeters.

Millie claimed a great 2nd goal and narrowly missed a further three.

Niamh finished off the game with a superb goal for the top of the circle. Final score 3-1.

A great game. Well done, girls.


Susan Greig, our front of house supervisor in Central Dining Room, has worked at St Leonards for 25 years. In 2014, she decided to donate one of her kidneys and her story has since resulted in notable press interest. Susie has appeared on the front page of The Courier as well as stories in the Scotsman and the Daily Record earlier this week. Susie will also be featuring on BBC Radio Scotland’s Kay Adams show on Tuesday 14th February between 9am-12noon to talk about her recent experience. Many congratulations to Susie on this wonderful and selfless act.

Below are the links to recent press releases covering Susan and Megan's story:


In the run up to World Book Day the children in Years 1-3 would like to create a display to share with everyone to show the wide variety of books they read at home. Should you read a book at home that is different to your class reader and you particularly enjoyed it then please let the class teacher know the title and author of the book and we can start to create our very own Reading Tree. It will be a fantastic opportunity to create our very own recommended book list for all the Year 1-3 children compiled by the Years 1- 3 children……Happy reading!


During assembly on Wednesday Miss Boissiere demonstrated the importance of teamwork by challenging pairs of two children to work as a team for a small biscuit treat. Oscar and James just managed it but nearly broke the hoop while Tom Logan and Euan Farquhar found a great team solution all cheered on by the school.

Many Happy Returns to...

We wish the following a very Happy Birthday: Oliver, Jaki, Millie, Harry and Fiona


Do join us for the St Leonards Family and Friends Quiz night. For further information, please contact Sandra Johnston or Gai Blyth:

Click on the link below to book:


“Imagination is not only the uniquely human capacity to envision that which is not, and, therefore, the foundation of all invention and innovation. In its arguably most transformative and revelatory capacity, it is the power that enables us to empathise with humans whose experiences we have never shared.” J.K Rowling

Do watch this RSA animation discussing the difference between sympathy and empathy:

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