Headmaster's Half Term Letter Spring 2017

Dear Parents,

I hope you are enjoying the new Senior School e-newsletter which is now emailed out to you on a regular basis. This will continue to give you an overview of the range of wonderful achievements and activities happening at St Leonards.

I know many parents also like to keep up to date with what is happening at school on Facebook and other social media. This gives me an opportunity to review the nature of my letter to you and move into a more 'reflective mode', so here it is!

The interest in our Mental Health Awareness Week struck a chord with many. It is certainly the case that today’s young people often have a tough time of it. A recent survey (click here) indicated that two thirds of 10 and 11 year olds are worried ‘all the time’. 15-21 year olds in the UK also show alarmingly low levels of mental wellbeing (click here).

What’s more, our worrying about our children’s worrying takes this on to another level. Add to the mix the concern that the coming generation of young adults are a ‘snowflake generation’, so emotionally delicate and molly-coddled that they are unable to cope with even the smallest perceived barrier, when things don’t go well for them.

Providing an excellent education is the duty and commitment of every school. At St Leonards we understand and recognise that pupils’ emotional well being must be placed right at the heart of this. It is why we also place so much value on building resilience, encouraging risk-taking and an acceptance of making mistakes in a safe, secure and supportive environment, preparing children more fully for life beyond school.

The result is a strong and happy community, academically able and awarded the title for the second year running of being the Sunday Times top IB/A level Sixth Form in Scotland.

Ad Vitam is our motto at St Leonards: we are preparing our boys and girls, our young men and women, for life beyond school. It is a motto that underpins our pastoral care and our all-through curriculum, as dynamic and enriching as they are.

It is why we choose the International Baccalaureate Primary Years Programme in the Junior School and the Middle Years Programme in Years 7, 8 and 9. They complement our well-established GCSE/IGCSE and Diploma Programmes in Years 10 to 13. A coherent and consistent approach to learning and education in its fullest sense can now stretch from Year 1 to Year 13. Academic rigour in a nurturing and supportive community, encouraging resilience and character, are all built in. For our pupils this means deeper learning, wider options and richer minds. Each stage of schooling is intended to reinforce resilience and inner strength, as well as encouraging caring and knowledge-building. In spite of writing this while the snow falls outside, I know that St Leonards pupils are far from snowflakes. And I always enjoy meeting our leavers who tell me how much their education at St Leonards has benefited them in university and later life.

New Staff Appointments

I look forward to welcoming our new Head of Maths, Mr Russell Hall, who is joining us from Fettes College at the start of next term.

Following Mr Ben Seymour’s appointment as Diploma Programme Co-ordinator, I am pleased to tell you that Mrs Amy Henderson will be the next Head of Geography and Environmental Systems and Societies starting in the Autumn Term. Mrs Henderson is returning from maternity leave next term.

I am also delighted to let you know of the appointment of our new Head of English. Mr Alfonso Iannone will join us from the Autumn Term. He is currently Assistant Principal Teacher of the English Department at George Watson’s College, Edinburgh, and has experience of the IB Diploma Programme. He has also been a Head of Year. He has an upper second, with Distinction, MA (Hons) in English Literature, and a PGDE (Postgraduate Diploma in Education) with Distinction from Edinburgh University.

Head Boy, Head Girl & Prefect Appointments

My sincere thanks to the current Head Boy, Justus Imkampe, and Head Girl Linsey Scott, their Deputies and their team of Prefects for everything they have done over the last year. Now they will be concentrating on their Diploma revision in preparation for the exams in May. Congratulations to the new Prefects who will be taking over after half-term:

Head Girl: Elizabeth Crockatt | Head Boy: Jamie Macaulay

Our new Head Girl & Head Boy

Deputy Head Girls: Noor Jarigsma and Catriona Cleary

Deputy Head Boys: Moritz Nave and Ryan Millar

Senior Prefects:

Megan Andrews, Amber Edmiston, Sheenie Hung, Ilona Maclean, Livia Plaumann, Georgia Rubidge

Jack Boag, Yaroslav Chechel, Ben Caton, Jan Friebe, Max Palm, Zhong Xing Zheng


Corey Cargill, Lauren Galloway, Li Rong Hou, Mary-Lou Jansen, Bea Livesey-Stevens, Iona Purvis

Matthew Bruce, Pol Berge, George Rees, Ryan Stuart, Charlie Webb.

Senior School Office Bearers 2017


Thank you to the families who joined us for our Breakfast taster. After half-term day pupils will be able to come early for breakfast and stay late for supper, joining our boarders. If you are interested in booking your son or daughter in for either, contact Mrs Laura Paterson, our catering manager, on l.paterson@stleonards-fife.org .


Please join us at one of our local drinks receptions and bring along a friend. A chance to socialise, meet other families and 'talk St Leonards'. The first drinks date is being held on Friday, 24 February at The Byre Theatre, prior to the final performance of Les Misérables. The future dates are listed below:


My thanks to the wonderful group of Chinese students at St Leonards for an amazing Chinese New Year celebration in the CDR. What a wonderful way to celebrate the Year of the Rooster.


Finally, I can’t wait to see our Year 11-Year 13 production in the Byre Theatre of Les Misérables after Half Term. Break a leg, to all those involved!

Enjoy your half term!

Michael Carslaw

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