The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 30 November 2018

Pride in our Parents

Behind the Study Door

It is lovely to see so much tartan being worn today in recognition of St Andrew’s Day, as we celebrate the feast of Scotland’s patron saint. National days provide great pride in one’s heritage, and rightly so. St Leonards has a rich history in St Andrews, and we are immensely proud of our place within this historic town. We are also immensely proud of our recent accolade of being the Sunday Times Scottish Independent School of the Year. This is a great testament to our pupils, teachers, and as Dr Carslaw has said in his Sunday Times interview, our parent body also.

It is very easy to attribute the success of a school to its staff and pupils and fail to mention one key stakeholder – the parents, carers, wider family members and guardians. When Catherine and I arrived at St Leonards, we were instantly struck by the warmth, generosity and thoughtfulness of the families here. This extended to other families, members of staff, and to children of different year groups, not least any arriving new to the school. The sheer willingness to stop and chat, to help others, to scoop up any children who need it, and to take a real interest in the school is a really special quality of St Leonards.

There has always been a genuine desire from all our parents for St Leonards to be a successful school, and this is clear by the volunteers at so many events, our vibrant Parents Association, those who run the second hand uniform shop, all those who give up their time for our classes, and indeed all our families who show such an interest – and contribute to – the various conversations that lead to developments and change. This appetite to make a community continuously improve and develop comes from all quarters, and in no small part our key stakeholders – the parents – and we would be poorer without it.

We all enjoy success, whether this be on an individual or collective level, and it is healthy to strive to be the very best we can. The Sunday Times has quoted one of our important values as being to ‘be the best version of ourselves’, and this is indeed something that sits at the heart of the school. Success leads to pride, and as long as this pride remains modest, it is a very healthy feeling to have.

We all feel immense pride in our children, for their efforts, achievements, their kindness, humour, affection and indeed how they can pick themselves up through adversity. Next time you feel pride for your children, do also have a proud moment for yourself – after all, their successes are a product of your effort, determination, patience and unfailing love.

We are so very proud of the children here at school, and have the privilege of seeing their journey to success on a daily basis. We are also very aware that you are invested in your child’s education, and wish to thank you for your loyalty to St Leonards, your unwavering support, trust and contribution to our community. Our Sunday Times recognition is just as much your award as it is the pupils’ and staff’s.

Wishing all St Leonards families a wonderful weekend, wherever your adventures take you.

William Goldsmith

St Andrew's Day Celebrations

ST ANDREW'S DAY CELEBRATIONS | Lots of different coloured kilts have been spotted around the Junior School today, with the boys and girls celebrating St Andrew's Day. Even a couple of members of staff dressed up for the occasion!

Celebration Assembly

The following pupils received certificates at Celebration Assembly on Monday:

Amol for working extremely hard at a tricky fractions problem in Maths, demonstrating due diligence.

Shreyas for creating an excellent fact-file on his electrical appliance for the Unit of Inquiry.

Eliza for creating an excellent fact-file on her electrical appliance for the Unit of Inquiry.

Sofia for creating an excellent fact-file on her electrical appliance for the Unit of Inquiry.

Archie for consistent good behaviour in class and always showing willingness to help others.

Thea received a Spirit of St Leonards Award for her work and support in producing the 'Lower School Playground Rota', and for running the bake sale to raise money for Water Aid.

Eabha and XiuRong both received Spirit of St Leonards Awards for displaying great kindness.

Maya received a Headmaster's Commendation for her consistent good behaviour in class and always showing willingness to help others.

Kyle for consistent good behaviour in class and always showing willingness to help others.

Harry for working diligently on a piece of creative writing, producing an interesting story, and responding very well to a deadline for completion.

Ryan for creating an excellent fact-file on his electrical appliance for the Unit of Inquiry.

Sal received a Spirit of St Leonards Award for her work and support in producing the Lower School Playground Rota.

Lana was presented with her 'Conditioning Queen' certificate, which she was awarded by the Tay Trampoline Club.

Olivia received a Headmaster's Commendation for sharing facts about her family with the class as part of the Unit of Inquiry.

Ramsay for sharing interesting artefacts with the class, including an old copy of Shakespeare's plays, as part of the Unit of Inquiry.

Annie for sharing some fascinating family photos and artefacts during the Unit of Inquiry.

Amber for inquiring into her 'Wonder Wall' question in a thorough way, and subsequently producing and excellent PowerPoint presentation.

Bethany was Year 1 Pupil of the Week for her super engagement during independent tasks, and for displaying excellent manners around the school.

James was Year 2 Pupil of the Week for excellent concentration in Language, and for working extremely hard to produce a lovely reflection of a museum trip. Monty received a Headmaster's Commendation for producing an excellent 'filmed' interview with his granny for the Unit of Inquiry. Harris also received a Headmaster's Commendation, for creating an informative poster about his grandfather, who was a Science teacher.

Angus for making a special effort to participate in the weekly spelling lesson.

Katherine for quietly focusing well on her weekly tasks, and for helping with the organisation of homework for the class.

Isabella was Year 3 Pupil of the Week for working very hard in Maths and working independently, completing all tasks with great enthusiasm.

Kamilah received a Headmaster's Commendation for showing considerable progress in swimming.

Congratulations to Thea, Rachael, Eabha, Jennifer, Emily and Sal, who were all awarded medals following their brilliant performances in a gymnastics competition last week.

In the House Points this week, Lewis had an average of 4 points per person, Harris and Mull had 6, putting Skye back in the lead with an average of 7 points per member of the house.

Year 4-7 Informal Concert

YEAR 4-7 INFORMAL CONCERT | In our final Informal Concert of the term, the audience enjoyed a very impressive 28 performances from the boys and girls in Years 4-7, starting with the Junior School Orchestra playing the classic film soundtrack (with a superb St Andrews connection) from Chariots of Fire.

A series of spectacular soloists followed, including Jennifer singing 'I Feel Pretty', Tom playing Rondell on the violin, Isha's 'Soldiers' March' on the flute, and Brendan performing 'Presto' on the viola.

Eliza, Sophia, Jennifer and Maya had been practising a group number during break times, and treated the audience to 'Morning' on the cornet, guitar and flute, while Luke's brilliant rendition of 'All I Want for Christmas is You' brought a festive twist to the concert programme.

Last to take to the stage was the Boys' Choir, singing Funiculi, Funicula, bringing another wonderful Informal Concert to a close.

Well done to all who signed up and performed on the day!

News from the Lower School

As the wind blew and the rain hammered down, we were forced to take a more imaginative stance on playtime. Who knew that the introduction of musical instruments under our colonnade would provide such entertainment. There were bands being created left, right and centre as once again the children demonstrated their enthusiasm and ingenuity. We’ve also had yet more fun in puddles and our ever-popular tyres have been utilised to create a bridge.

With Nativity songs being sung at every opportunity and the children well versed in their lines, it is clear that the festive season is very nearly upon us. We up the ante next week with rehearsals every morning, and we can’t wait to show you the fruits of our labour.

Beyond this week, there will be no set English or Maths Homework, and we are beginning to collect in the reading books as the holiday provides us with the chance to consolidate our resources. When it comes to holiday reading, do continue to make sharing books at night a priority. Encourage your child to read the occasional word, and help them to appreciate that as they develop their reading all books are increasingly accessible. If writing is something your child enjoys, Christmas lists, thank you cards and so on, as well as a holiday diary, might well appeal. On the other hand, after such a busy term, it may well be that you would prefer to take my approach and enjoy family time, films, days out and so on. Whatever anybody does, see that there is plenty of time to rest, we’re only one term in and there is so much more to come!

It may be ‘beginning to look a lot like Christmas’…………….but we still have our objectives (for now!)

Year 1

  • Phoneme: ‘m’ Words: ‘can’ ‘you’
  • English – Relying heavily on our sense of hearing this week we have used the rhyming patterns to read ‘What the Ladybird Heard’ before creating and labelling our very own imaginary farms. We have also taken care to distinguish between ‘m’ and ‘n’ sorting out some words with these initial sounds.
  • Maths – To be able to read o’clock time in both analogue and digital as well as extending to half past. To consolidate the language associated with addition and begin to be able to add within at least ten using cubes to help.

Year 2

  • Phoneme: ss and zz
  • English – Talking and reading about the meaning of Christmas. The lesson of celebrating different festivals and respecting how we all celebrate them. Making Christmas craft to sell at the Christmas Fair – potato printing Christmas wrapping paper and making Christmas trees and stars to hang on the Christmas
  • Maths – To begin to consolidate fractions – quarters, halves and wholes. Halving and doubling to arrive at a fraction. How to write fractions. What fractions represent in cut up fruit.

Year 3

  • Phonics - " u-e" "ew"
  • English - completing our Autumn senses poems. Grammar - Looking at plurals and the rule for adding "s" or "es"
  • Maths – To be able to subtract 2 digit numbers whilst understanding and investigating the best strategies for doing so.

As excitement begins to build, our objectives will naturally turn increasingly festive. There is a great deal to look forward to in the diary and I’m sure we shall all be seeing rather a lot of each other!

Before I sign off, we have had a few bouts of sickness and diarrhoea in school, and in order to prevent us developing into a serious situation may I please reiterate the message from the school nurse. Any child who experiences sickness of diarrhoea must remain away from school for at least 48 hours from the last episode.

I thank you all for your understanding on this very important health matter. We certainly don’t wish anybody to be missing the festive fun due to sickness and your assistance to contain it is vital.

Happy St Andrew's Day to you all and I hope you all enjoy opening your advent calendars tomorrow morning.

The whole team hope you have a terrific weekend,

Claire Boissiere, Lower School Coordinator

Christmas Countdown

CHRISTMAS COUNTDOWN | With just one week to go until our Junior School Christmas Fair, now is the time to book your space to visit Santa in his Grotto, and sign up to decorate a festive gingerbread house. Details of how to book are included in the posters above, as well as a reminder about next week's Christmas Tree Festival. We look forward to seeing the Junior School corridors decorated with lots of imaginative trees!

St Leonards School Christmas Cards

ST LEONARDS CHRISTMAS CARDS | This year's beautiful St Leonards Christmas card is now on sale for parents, pupils and staff to purchase.

In print, the card design features gold foil stars in the sky, and showcases our iconic St Leonards clock tower on a winter's night.

The Christmas cards are being sold in packs of ten - each pack costing £6.50.

Should you wish to order cards this year, please complete the form which was sent out via email earlier this week, and return it to the Junior or Senior School Office. Alternatively, email contact@stleonards-fife.org

We wish the following a...

We wish the following a very Happy Birthday... Anna, Cameron, Harry, Ewen, Lucca

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