The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 8 March 2019

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Headmistress's Introduction

"A book is a dream that you hold in your hands." - Neil Gaiman

Happy Book Week everyone! In this albeit incredible age of digital technology, it has been wonderful to see so many pupils with their heads in a book or listening to a story at playtime. We had a wonderful start to the week with a Book Aid International Assembly on Monday morning, led by Dr König. A total of £120.00 was raised through our many and varied World Book Day celebrations, which will be donated to this worthwhile cause, supporting the education and stoking the imaginations of children and young people all over the world.

Dr König spoke at assembly about the work of Book Aid International.

Words, stories and books open up doors to endless, previously unimagined possibilities, and Book Aid International works with young readers and refugees in 25 countries to help them explore these new places.

On Wednesday morning, Mr Lamb read aloud his favourite poems book, ‘Green Eggs and Ham’ by Dr Seuss, giving a fabulously dramatic performance that the children thoroughly enjoyed.

Mr Lamb's Book Week Assembly.

All of the classes have visited a local bookshop to exchange their tokens for a World Book Day book, and our story chair in the Atrium has been filled with teachers from across the Junior and Senior schools reading to the children.

On World Book Day itself, on Thursday, the children came in to school sporting some incredible costumes and we had a fantastic Character Parade in St Katharines Hall, which gave every pupil a chance to shine. I recognised characters from Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, Harry Potter and many more. We will be announcing House Points for the most popular costumes next week, following the children's vote.

Sometimes we can take for granted our access to books at home, in school and in libraries across the country. Books can be a source of information, a comfort, an escape or an inspiration. I hope that this week’s celebration of books is something that can continue every day, all year round.

Have a wonderful weekend and perhaps take the time to find a comfy spot, transport yourself into another world, and maybe even share a story or two.

Eve Moran

Spotlight On...

Rotary Quiz Win

Our winning quiz team at the Rotary Club competition.

ROTARY QUIZ WIN | A four-strong team of Year 7 pupils Tom, Lucca, Polly and Daniel had a very successful time at the Rotary Primary Schools Quiz on Wednesday afternoon. After tough rounds of questions, our St Leonards quizzers were crowned the winners.

Securing the title means that St Leonards goes through to the Area Final, which will be held in St Andrews Town Hall later this month, and will host the local heat of the competition next year.

Congratulations to Polly, Tom, Daniel and Lucca!

The Museum of Communication

Year 3 learned about methods of communication through history.

THE MUSEUM OF COMMUNICATION | On Monday afternoon, Year 3 had a visit from Tom, Dorothy and Marion from the Museum of Communication in Burntisland.

They gave a very insightful talk on communication through the years, including Morse code, Semaphore, the Murray Optical Telegraph, the Pony Express and many, many more ways to communicate.

The children had a wonderful time listening to the talk and then trying out the various items the volunteers had brought from the museum. They enjoyed sending Morse code messages, trying to spell out their names in Semaphore with flags, as well as using Aldis lamps to send messages across the room. The tricky part of the Murray Optical Telegraph was that there is no sign for a J or a U!

We were very grateful to the team for coming to visit us and bringing a selection of the items they have in the museum. If you are interested in communication, it is a wonderful museum to visit. The Museum of Communication is open from May and entry is free – a nice summer holiday venue to visit!

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

Belhaven Cross Country

Pupils took part in the Belhaven Cross Country Championships last weekend.

BELHAVEN CROSS COUNTRY | Congratulations to all our Junior School runners who took part in the Belhaven Hill Invitational Cross Country competition last weekend.

Logan, William, Ben and Archie in Year 6, and Daniel and Adam in Year 7 represented St Leonards in the U11 boys’ race, and Willow (Year 5), Eliza, Sal, Maya and Emily (Year 6) competed in the U11 girls’ race, finishing in eighth place overall.

A brilliant effort from all involved!

Book Week Workshops

Pupils in Years 5, 6 and 7 made origami books before filling in the pages.

BOOK WEEK WORKSHOPS | Pupils in Years 5, 6 and 7 have been taking part in Book Week activities with Mr Lamb this week, as part of our Junior School literary celebrations. After looking at a series of different books as examples, the boys and girls created their own origami books, which they could then take home and fill in with a story of their own.

We are looking forward to seeing some of their creations!

Pancake Day in Year 5

Reading round the fire pit while the pancakes cooked.

PANCAKE DAY IN YEAR 5 | The Year 5 pupils combined Book Week and Pancake Day celebrations on Tuesday afternoon, reading round the firepit while it started up and then cooking delicious pancakes over the flames.

Books in hands, the boys and girls took their seats outside and waited for their Shrove Tuesday treats to cook.

Story Corner

Mrs Sneddon reading to the children in our story corner.

STORY CORNER | We have been very fortunate to have staff volunteers from both the Junior and Senior Schools reading in the Atrium and the Year 1 story corner during breaktimes and lunchtimes this week.

Thank you to Mrs Sneddon, Mrs Greenwood, Mr Durward, Miss Fisher, Mrs Radons-Harris, Ms O’Brien, Mrs Young, Mr Lamb, Mr Knight, Mrs Beebee and Mrs Cremonse for sharing their favourite stories with the children!

Exploring Numbers in Year 1

Addition in the Year 1 classroom this week.

EXPLORING NUMBERS IN YEAR 1 | Year 1 have been investigating addition this week. The children had great fun exploring their number and seeing how many different calculations they could find. It made for a terrific inquiry!

Peter Pan in Year 2

Mrs Inesta-Hernandez came in to read to Year 2.

PETER PAN IN YEAR 2 | As part of Book Week and our Unit on stories from around the world, Year 2 were visited by Mrs Inesta-Hernandez. She introduced us to bilingual story books and read us the tale of Peter Pan in Spanish. We were all really impressed by Rodrigo’s ability to translate the words into English!

Miss Fisher, Year 2 Class Teacher

Creative Costume Parade

Our World Book Day Costume Parade was a highlight this week.

CREATIVE COSTUME PARADE | What a brilliant array of costumes there were on display at our World Book Day Costume Parade in St Katharines Hall yesterday!

We had some very imaginative outfits including Where’s Wally, Voldemort, Mary Poppins, Wendy from Peter Pan, Horrid Henry, Princess Jasmine from Aladdin and quite a few Harry Potters!

Everyone in Years 1-7 walked a circuit around the room, showing off their creative costumes to parents and friends, before going into class to start a series of World Book Day Activities. Year 1 were about to walk along the road to Waterstones and some of the other classes settled down for story time.

Then there was the matter of the voting, with pupils and staff casting their votes on the best costumes this year. The 'best dressed' will be announced next week!

Perform in Perth

Pupils have been rehearsing for and taking to the stage at Perform in Perth.

PERFORM IN PERTH | Many of our children have been busy preparing their poems, readings and performances for the Perth Festival this week. They have been spotted rehearsing in the corridors of Hepburn House and were even filmed reading extracts from their favourite books to tie in with World Book Day.

Thank you to Mrs Stewart – we have some very clear, confident speakers in the Junior School and look forward to hearing how they got on!

Little Tommy Morris

Author Roger McStravick read 'Little Tommy Morris' to Years 1-3.

LITTLE TOMMY MORRIS | Local author Roger McStravick paid a visit to the Lower School today, reading his children’s book ‘Little Tommy Morris’ to the boys and girls in Years 1-3. Mr McStravick explained that he had been passionate about both golf and writing from a young age – about the same age as our Lower School children are now – and was inspired to write the book for his son, Sam.

In addition to ‘Little Tommy Morris’, the St Andrews-based author has written a number of books about the history of golf, and he has very generously donated a selection of his books to St Leonards!

After a story reading, the children had a chance to ask lots of questions, and the Year 2 pupils were particularly engaged, as they have been producing their own books as part of their current Unit of Inquiry on Storytelling.

Thank you to Mr McStravick for coming in for our special Book Week author visit!

The Boy Who Cried Wolf

Year 13 students taught some Chinese words to Year 1.

THE BOY WHO CRIED WOLF | From the youngest to the oldest, Year 1 were joined this afternoon by a group of Year 13 Chinese students for a lesson based around the story ‘The Boy Who Cried Wolf’. After introducing themselves in Chinese, the boys and girls had a chance to practise using their own names, and learned how to say ‘hello, my name is…’.

They then watched a video of the story in Chinese, before learning the words for ‘wolf’ and ‘boy’, and finally ‘goodbye’, as they said farewell to their Sixth Form guests.

Thank you to Mrs Cremonese and her IB Diploma English B class for joining us!

Year 7 Pupil-led Conferences

Parents came in this week for Year 7's Pupil-led Conferences.

YEAR 7 PUPIL-LED CONFERENCES | This week the Year 7 boys and girls sat down with their parents and guardians for the MYP Pupil-led Conferences. This was an opportunity for the pupils to share all that they have been learning in class this year, explaining different areas of the curriculum and focusing on their highlights.

Thank you to our parents for coming in - we hope your children were able to teach you something interesting!

Parkour Moves

Years 1 & 2 trying our parkour in PE.

PARKOUR MOVES | The boys and girls in Years 1 and 2 had their first taste of parkour this week. They were springing and jumping and rolling and climbing all over the gym equipment during Friday morning’s PE lesson with Miss Carroll and Mr Hislop. Needless to say, they all had a fantastic (and very energetic) time!

Outdoor Learning

Shelter Building

Pupils in Years 4 &5 were challenged to build shelters on the beach.

SHELTER BUILDING | Last week’s shelter building session was an interesting activity that involved combining Year 4 and Year 5 together. The overall aim was to build a shelter using a tarpaulin, a few poles and some rope on the beach.

In order for that simple task to be achieved, the children had to work together to communicate with each other. Communication is one of the IB Learner attributes and its importance in this task really came to the fore. The children were divided into squads with an assigned team leader. Each team leader was briefed on the type of shelter and the resources they needed to accomplish their task.

A cold and windy day provided challenging conditions, and each squad had to communicate clearly and work constructively. All the shelters were built and the success was deservedly rewarded with marshmallows around the fire. Our school motto is 'Ad Vitam' and giving children an opportunity to experience leadership is one way of preparing them to lead into life.

Mr Barrable and Mrs Arkwright, Year 4 & 5 Class Teachers

Celebration Assembly

The following pupils received certificates during Celebration Assembly. We are incredibly proud of each and every one of them.

Dylan for producing a wonderful piece of news and remembering to use finger spaces. Wonderful!

Ramsay for writing a very Gothic and atmospheric spooky story. He also planned and developed a story-writing play activity for the class to enjoy.

Holly for retelling a Horrid Henry story in her own words.

Kamilah for creating a poster all about the Rosetta Stone as part of Year 3's Unit of Inquiry, 'How the World Works', with a focus on communication.

Rakan was Year 2 Pupil of the Week for exemplary behaviour and kindness towards others.

Jamie was Year 1 Pupil of the Week for displaying full focus and attention all week. Fantastic working during Year 1's Unit of Inquiry thinking about changes of state, wonderful 3D shape work and terrific 'have a go' writing. All of this as well as super manners and kindness to others.

Sofia was Year 3 Pupil of the Week for her enthusiasm in reading and quiet hard working in class.

Katherine for asking more thoughtful, deep and searching questions at the start of the new Unit of Inquiry, relating to the Tudor portraits being studied.

Anna for being such a great team player during Beach School.

Francis for being such a great team player during Beach School.

Julius for displaying an excellent work ethic in all aspects of school.

Jimmy for taking responsibility of a situation and then finding a constructive solution to solve it.

Ollie for good leadership during a combined Year 4 and 5 shelter building session and for remaining positive in the face of challenges.

Tom for demonstrating outstanding comprehension skills in reading, not only in retrieving facts but in developing his ability to identify an author's purpose by analysing the language and stylistic devices used to achieve this.

Grace for demonstrating outstanding comprehension skills in reading, not only in retrieving facts but in developing his ability to identify an author's purpose by analysing the language and stylistic devices used to achieve this.

Brendan for demonstrating outstanding comprehension skills in reading, not only in retrieving facts but in developing his ability to identify an author's purpose by analysing the language and stylistic devices used to achieve this.

Daniel for demonstrating outstanding comprehension skills in reading, not only in retrieving facts but in developing his ability to identify an author's purpose by analysing the language and stylistic devices used to achieve this.

A Note from the Lower School

It has been a book crazy week! All the children have enjoyed a multitude of stories, author visits and their dedicated shopping spree at Waterstones. The highlight of course, was the Book Day Parade, where all the Lower School children really threw themselves into proceedings with a glorious display of characters.

One could have been forgiven for thinking that we had become Hogwarts for the day, such were the number of Harry Potters, but we have also taught, dragons, Stormtroopers, Wallys and princesses aplenty.

On Friday, the Lower School enjoyed a dedicated World Book Day Quiz during their Assembly, where Harris was declared the winning House after a hard-won competition. All the Houses showed wonderful literary knowledge and a great deal of fun was had by all. It has been a terrific week, all topped off with the ever popular Fish, Chip and Film Night this evening.

Year 1 began their new Unit investigating the wonders of animals with a visit to the beach, exploring evidence of life at the East Sands. It prompted a wider discussion around what lives under the North Sea and we embarked on ‘Commotion in the Ocean’ as a direct result, although our research tells us that we are more likely to find ragworms than angel fish at our particular beach!

Year 2 were treated to a storytelling session at Toppings complete with chocolate brownies and juice – what could be better – as they continue their immersion into the craft of writing, whilst Year 3 were visited by volunteers from the Museum of Communication.

The amazing learning that all our children are doing was reflected in a question and answer session from local author Roger McStravick today, who marvelled at the complexity of their questions. I began to write them down as they were asked as I so was impressed. Below is a small sample.

  • Do you like reading?
  • What age were you when you wrote your first story?
  • Do you have to work with the person who does the pictures?
  • How many pages is your longest book?
  • Which of your books is your favourite?
  • How long does it take to write a book?

There are plenty of new books to enjoy reading this weekend, have fun!

Claire Boissiere, Lower School Coordinator

Spotty Book

This week I would like to nominate Ben in Year 5 for writing an incredible poem. It made me smile and laugh out loud, and in this week of books I thought I would include it for you all to enjoy.


We wish the following pupils a very...
"There are 364 days in the year when you might get un-birthday presents and only one for birthday presents, you know!" – Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

Wishing Calum, Molly, Rachel, Mia, Mohamed and James a most wonderful birthday next week.

Reasons to be Cheerful

I was incredibly impressed to hear that Lewis (Year 5) and Molly (Year 3) have raised £55.00 for the British Heart Foundation during their ‘Dechox’ month.

They have both shown great will-power and determination during this challenge and managed to go chocolate-free for the whole of February, raising money for an extremely good cause.

I am not sure that I could manage that long without chocolate! I hope that you are both extremely proud of your achievements.

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