BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR
Ambition for the Next Generation
Roy Blatchford, founding Director of the National Education Trust, wrote in an educational journal last week: ‘Achieving excellence in any sphere is rooted in caring more than others think is wise and risking more than others think safe. Furthermore, excellence is rooted in dreaming more than others think is practical and expecting more than others think is possible.’ I paused and considered this quote and reflected on how it relates to our children at St Leonards.
Caring: Looking after ourselves, others and the environment around us. Being aware of those less fortunate than ourselves and striving to do good, no matter how small it may be.
Risking: Embracing mistakes. Trying out new things. Taking oneself out of their comfort zone. Constantly challenging oneself.
Dreaming: Capturing those moments to let our minds wander. Designing things in our heads. Imagining ourselves as those we seek inspiration from. Building that life-size castle out of Lego in our minds. Scoring the winning FA cup goal. Performing Rachmaninov’s Piano Concerto Number 3 in front of hundreds of people in Sydney Opera House. Winning the Grand National.
Expecting: Setting goals and striving to be the very best we can be. Not being afraid to succeed, but to do this with humility and modesty. Responding well to the high expectations put upon ourselves. Being the very best version of ourselves.
As we surround ourselves today with news of a bomb attack in Egypt killing over 230 people; Zimbawbe’s new president Emmerson Mnangagwa promising a new era of fairness and rights for all; and ‘Black Friday’, whereby everyone from big tech firms down to independent high street retailers are offering extraordinary discounts to tie in with Thanksgiving and the start of the festive season, it seems a pertinent time to remind ourselves what core capacity we are developing in our young people.
If we can balance a school culture, curriculum, and provide opportunities for our children to temper their care for themselves, one another and the environment around them; take appropriate risks to develop independence, resilience and confidence; take time to dream big and develop their imagination, ambitions and creativity; and allow themselves and us to expect a great deal from them – in fact far more than they felt possible – we will play a small part in providing outstanding outcomes for our young people destined for a global community.
Monday, 20 November was Universal Children’s Day, established in 1954 by the UN to promote international ‘togetherness’, awareness among children worldwide and intent on improving children’s welfare. This year the theme was ‘It’s a #KidsTakeOver’, whereby children from around the world took over key roles in media, politics, business, sport and entertainment in support for millions of their peers who are unschooled, unprotected and uprooted. I have no doubt that children from across the globe exceeded all our expectations as they took on this important role to broadcast this message. Each and every child involved will have demonstrated care, a degree of risk, ignition of dreams of them as politicians, decision makers and influencers, and of course putting their own expectations of themselves to the test, and far outperforming these.
Bringing this all back to St Leonards, every day we see examples of enormous compassion, risk-taking, dreaming up big plans and ideas, and we, in turn, expect a great deal – and rightfully so – of our children. Every day they surpass our expectations, and as we become a product of consumerism in a screen-obsessed world, we should look with optimism and sheer delight on the fact that the next generation, armed with these skills and qualities, have already proved that they will be ready to take on – and triumph in – a world interconnected through human innovation, technology, conflict and challenges, which humankind has never before experienced.
Wishing all St Leonards families a happy weekend, wherever your adventures take you.
FISH, CHIP AND FILM NIGHT
FISH, CHIP AND FILM NIGHT | Junior School pupils donned their cosiest pyjamas and warmest onesies for Fish & Chips and Film Night last Friday in aid of the Year 7 French trip to Stella-Plage in April. It was the perfect antidote to the cold and dark November evening with everyone hunkered down indoors for a few hours of movies, accompanied by the all-important fish suppers. Thanks to a whopper of a delivery from the Tailend in St Andrews, the pupils enjoyed boxes of battered fish and crispy chips as a fantastic Friday night treat. Everyone enjoyed screenings of Boss Baby, Despicable Me 3, The Simpsons Movie and Daddy’s Home!
FIFE JUNIOR SCHOOL GALA
FIFE JUNIOR SCHOOL GALA | Milly, Izzy, Sam, Thea, Jennifer and Abbie all swam for the St Leonards U11s team on Sunday morning at the Fife Junior Schools Gala. Well done to the team for some super individual swims and a great girls' 200m relay!
ODD SOCKS FOR ANTI-BULLYING
ODD SOCKS FOR ANTI-BULLYING | The usual school uniform was brightened up on Monday with pairs of colourful odd socks with cool patterns ranging from stripes and spots to pirate prints and sparkly stars. Even some of the teachers joined in! The stand-out socks were for the Junior School's 'Dare to be Different' day in support of anti-bullying. The children couldn't wait to put their best foot forward for a photo!
A MONK'S TALE
A MONK’S TALE | Pupils in Year 7 were lucky enough to be invited to attend a special performance of ‘A Monk’s Tale – Relics, Revolt and Reformation’ in the Senior School Hall on Monday. Along with Years 8 and 9, they were treated to an afternoon of music and comedy as the actors played out the story of Martin Luther and what the German theologian was trying to do with his 95 Theses, which sparked off the Reformation. The theme of the play tied in perfectly with what Year 7 have been learning about in their ‘Individuals and Societies’ unit of inquiry this term.
The actors have only performed in a select number of schools as part of their fourth-month UK public tour, making St Leonards very fortunate to secure a visit! The show, written and produced by award-winning comedy writer James Cary, was a sell-out at the Fringe in Edinburgh in August. Mr Carey has written for many popular TV and radio shows including the BBC Miranda series.
Thank you to the RE and Drama departments for arranging such a fun and educational afternoon's entertainment!
MATHS MASTERS | A big congratulations to everyone who won an award in the Primary Maths Challenge! Zachary Sewell received a coveted Gold Award for earning an outstanding number of points. Molly Donaldson was a Silver Award Winner, while Bronze Awards went to Brendan Hawley, Ewen Farquhar, Amol Singh Loomba and Anna Black. Here they are showing off their well-deserved certificates!
Eva, Mille, Katie, Sophie and Bruce for showing leadership skills in arranging a bake sale and raising over £220 for Children in Need.
Alfie was awarded a Headmaster's Commendation for producing well-designed packaging for 'Pullin's Oats' as part of the Unit of Inquiry.
Cameron for noticing a Year 1 pupil who was upset, immediately coming to help and showing great kindness.
Paula for a superb research project on Family Histories, formulating questions and presenting the findings to the class.
Clara was awarded Year 1 Pupil of the Week for consistently showing a positive attitude towards her learning, setting a good example to others and for mature behaviour.
THROUGH THE WARDROBE
Birthday wishes to the following for the week ahead: Alyssa, Isha, XiuRong, Ben, Ezra, Anna and Cameron.
CRAFTS AT CAMBO