The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 17 November 2017


All different; All Equal

As I sat down in my study on what can only be described as a wonderful Wednesday evening, I was able to do what many Prep School Heads do and reflect on an extraordinarily busy and varied day for our pupils. In the space of two hours, our U10 and U12 Girls' Hockey teams hosted Lathallan on our Astro and enjoyed a stunning afternoon of excellent hockey; our Year 2 pupils hosted their friends and relatives at their ‘Family Histories’ museum; we hosted our annual U9 Rugby tournament which involved seven visiting prep schools and our own U9 team, which consisted of Year 4 boys, (the mutual respect and sportsmanship shown on and off the field by all teams was very significant in the success of the afternoon); Year 5 enjoyed a very successful trip to Dundee; I received very exciting feedback from the staff who are busy working on a new, dynamic and forward-thinking literacy programme; and to top it all off, we learned that our Year 2s had been put forward for publication in a national riddle competition. It was some day, and in amongst everything else that happened, it showed that, as the wonderful children’s book 'The Crayon Box that Talked' states: 'each one of us is unique, but when we get together, the picture is complete' (Shane DeRolf). If we look at Howard Gardner’s Eight Aptitudes, there is no doubt that for all our pupils, many of these have been stimulated at some point this week.

Howard Gardner's theory of 'Multiple Intelligences'

Shane DeRolf's book is an excellent example that we are all different, not just in terms of looks, but also character and personality, as well as strengths and weaknesses. Individually, this is what makes us unique. It is what forms our own individual fingerprint on the world and on those around us, and it is what means that each of us really do matter. Collectively, we come together with all our different aptitudes and temperaments and we create something wonderful.

Year 2's work on 'The Crayon Box that Talked', Shane DeRolf

This week’s national anti-bullying campaign focuses on the celebration of difference, but also on the fact that we are all unique, we all matter and we can make a positive impact on other people’s lives. Kindness, modesty and selflessness are the key attributes in creating a happy, tolerant community that celebrates differences. This development of key emotional intelligence in our children is even more important as we see many traditional societal networks breaking down. At the click of a button, our children have access to a wealth of information about a huge variety of different lifestyles and opinions, that don’t necessarily promote diversity of thought or acceptance of differences. The fact that young people have the ability to connect with these contemporary ideas is very exciting, but it is those key values that one learns when part of a community that are vital if we are to avoid our children being drawn into some of the narrow prejudices that we see around the world.

Our young people do matter, they are unique and they have the ability to make a huge difference to all that they interact with. Through this and through a shared desire to be proudly different from one another, we can ensure that like the box of crayons 'when we get together, the picture is complete'.

We all have an impact on those around us.

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

William Goldsmith


YEAR 2 FAMILY HISTORY | Year 2 concluded a unit of inquiry into their family histories this week by setting up a museum to showcase their work. The class invited family members, friends and other classes to visit their excellent exhibition on Wednesday afternoon. It was the result of a tremendous amount of work, from deciding which aspects of their family history they were interested in learning about to writing questions to research. They conducted their own research and recorded their findings in a variety of ways including posters, books, PowerPoint presentations, movies and stop-motion film.

The children brought in artefacts relevant to their family history and wrote captions to go with them, before displaying and presenting their work to a very appreciative audience!

Thank you to everyone who visited Year 2’s museum and who helped to make it such a special afternoon. It was a wonderful way for the children to share their learning!


ALL ABOARD | On Wednesday, Year 5 travelled to Dundee to visit the RSS Discovery as part of their Unit of Inquiry, 'Where we are in Time and Place'. Designed for adventure, the ship, now docked at Discovery Point, took Captain Scott and Ernest Shackleton on their first expedition to Antarctica in 1901.

Tour guide Ali made it a trip to remember, taking the pupils on board Discovery and sharing lots of amazing facts about the ship, including how it was built and what supplies the sailors would have taken with. They even loaded animals on to the boat with huskies at one end and sheep at the other!

Year 5 were surprised and horrified to learn about the cramped conditions on the ship, with men only able to wash once a week (they shared one bath between 36 men!), however with the time it took to get dressed and undressed in the cold, many of them ended up not bathing for as long as six months, just staying in the same clothes to keep warm!

The class also heard how the men worked in shifts known as 'eight bells'. Every half hour the bell would ring and shifts would change after four or eight hours.

The food on board the Discovery didn't sound terribly tempting - when it sailed the seas the ship's biscuits had weevils in them from the flour, which the crew would scoop from the top of their drinks after dunking the biscuits and eat as a source of protein.

After hearing reports of how the crew ate and lived compared to the officers and scientists on board, the children definitely knew who they would have rather been travelling as!

The class enjoyed many more stories of hardship and determination from the Discovery's expedition, all wonderfully regaled by Ali.

Back in the visitor centre, Year 5 had the opportunity to dress up in clothes that the explorers would have worn on the trip, including reindeer boots. The crew took 500 pairs of them on the expedition to keep their feet warm. Eliza and Shreyas found the traditional clothing a bit on the scratchy side!

A final, interactive trip around the museum completed the big day out. The children learned a lot and had an absolutely fantastic time!


HOCKEY VS LATHALLAN | The U12 girls' hockey match against Lathallan on Wednesday afternoon was a game full of end-to-end action! With a final score of 5-5, it was a truly fantastic game with four goals coming from Millie Love and one from the 'man of the match' Elisenda Tortajada.

The U10s also took on Lathallan on Wednesday, romping home with a 12-0 score against the visiting squad. Playing in ten-minute quarters, there were goals from Emily Logan, Thea Wright, Ophelia Bell, Anna Black and Melissa Alexander.

Well done to everyone who played - a super result!


OLD COURSE HOTEL TOUR | Lucky Year 3 were treated to a private tour of the five-star Old Course Hotel this week to tie in with their Unit of Inquiry from last term. Everyone admired the grand ballroom, luxurious hotel suits and stylish conference room, as Mrs Steven (Anona's Mummy) showed the class around.

The children had the opportunity to interview Tom, who is the Head Concierge at the Old Course Hotel. He moved to St Andrews from Poland 12 years ago and has since earned the prestigious 'Golden Keys' because he is such a good concierge!

A very big thank you to Mrs Steven and to Tom for giving up their time and making Year 3's visit so enjoyable!


WINNING RIDDLES | | Year 2 received some very exciting news on Wednesday, when a letter arrived from the organisers of the Young Writers’ Little Riddlers competition. Miss Fisher was delighted to open the envelope and find that out of 12,000 entries submitted to the competition by schools across the UK, all of the riddles sent in by Year 2 had been selected for publication in ‘Little Riddlers – Poets from Scotland’!

The book is scheduled for publication on 31 January, 2018, with all participating schools receiving a complimentary copy. Further copies can be ordered at a special pre-publication price of £15.99 each, and for every two books purchased, a third copy will be included free!

In her letter to Miss Fisher, Young Writers Editor Allie Jones wrote: ‘I’d like to close by congratulating St Leonards Junior School, I am sure your pupils will continue to keep up the great writing. As Albert Einstein once said, ‘Creativity is contagious, pass it on.’’ A fantastic effort from St Leonards Junior School! Can you tell by their faces how excited they were to receive the news?


Congratulations to the following pupils who received certificates during Celebration Assembly on Monday:

Anna for creating a poster about her horse, Misty, as part of the 'Homework Heroes' tasks.

Emily for researching and producing a poster about Florence Nightingale as part of the 'Homework Heroes' tasks.

Francis for producing a poster about Isfahan, Iran, following a trip during Half Term, as part of the 'Homework Heroes' tasks.

George for researching and producing an information sheet on Virginia Woolf and Ruth Gruber as part of the 'Homework Heroes' tasks.

Ruben for a superb research project on Family Histories, formulating questions and presenting the findings to the class.

Ishbel for a superb research project on Family Histories, formulating questions and presenting the findings to the class.

Kamilah for a superb research project on Family Histories, formulating questions and presenting the findings to the class.

Cara for a superb research project on Family Histories, formulating questions and presenting the findings to the class.

Mohamed for a superb research project on Family Histories, formulating questions and presenting the findings to the class, and for producing a poster on the community in Carnoustie.

Charlotte and Ingrid for producing a booklet outlining what life was like for a young girl and slave growing up in Roman society as part of a Classics project.

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.

James was awarded Year 2 Pupil of the Week for welcoming and looking after a new girl in the class and being exceptionally kind to her during lessons, free time, and during the Remembrance Service.

Nikolas was awarded Year 3 Pupil of the Week for continuing to develop his ability to be 'Open Minded' and for working hard in class to become increasingly knowledgeable, particularly in Maths.

Cameron received the Spirit of St Leonards award for showing impeccable manners at the Pumpkin Party, and for being an excellent role model by waiting for the younger children to be served their drinks first.


Some pupils received a Bronze Award this week for the number of House Points collected. Here are just some of the excited recipients waiting to collect their awards!


BOOK FAIR FUNDS | The Scholastic Book Fair, which set up shop in the Junior School this week and last week, took in a massive £1127.31, raising £676.39 for the school to spend on new books! Great news and happy reading!


U9 RUGBY TOURNAMENT | It was wonderful to welcome Craigclowan, Ardvreck, Fettes, Lathallan, Loretto, Cargilfield and Clifton Hall to St Leonards this week for our annual U9 Rugby Tournament!

The boys enjoyed a busy afternoon of matches on Wednesday with Fettes claiming first place and Cargilfield runners up at the end of the day. St Leonards finished in 4th place and played some really excellent rugby. They certainly did the school proud!

Great sportsmanship was displayed throughout the afternoon with an incredibly high standard of rugby displayed by all teams and a wonderfully positive approach from all involved!


CHILDREN IN NEED BAKE SALE | This morning's Children in Need Bake Sale at the Junior School was a huge success! The queue for cakes and sweet treats snaked through the foyer as everyone waited patiently to pick out their favourite break-time bake. There were star-shaped biscuits, marshmallow top hats, flapjacks, fairy cakes and rice crispy slices galore!

The sale raised a really impressive £220, which will be donated to BBC Children in Need, the charity which has raised over £600 million for disadvantaged children and young people in the UK since it started in 1980. We are so proud of all the boys and girls who organised the event!

Tune in on BBC One from 7.30pm tonight to find out how the money raised at today's St Leonards Bake Sale can help transform young lives.


GREAT GARDENING | Kamilah (Year 2) has been nurturing her plant from a seed, which she planted in Gardening Club last year. Just look how much it has grown! Well done Kamilah!


PIZZA EXPRESS | Year 4 enjoyed a brilliant visit to Pizza Express this morning, where they learned some fun facts about the restaurant chain and had a chance to get ‘hands on’ with the pizza production process! Did you know, the St Andrews branch alone gets through around 3000 balls of pizza dough every week? That’s an awful lot of pizza!

After hearing about the secret recipe for the delicious dough (minus the secret ingredient, of course, which was kept well under wraps!), the children donned chefs’ hats and aprons for the main event – making their own pizzas!

Thank you to the team at Pizza Express for looking after us so well and for the delicious pizzas which went down a treat!

We wish the following a very...

Happy Birthday to the following for the week ahead: Melissa and George


ST LEONARDS CHRISTMAS CARD | Now that Bonfire Night and Halloween have passed, we can officially start feeling festive! This year's beautiful St Leonards Christmas card is now on sale for parents, pupils and staff to purchase.

The special print of 'The Moongate', by local artist Frank Sproson, depicts just one of the many idyllic and iconic scenes in and around our school campus.

The cards are being sold in packs of ten at a cost of £6.00 per pack. Proceeds from this year's Christmas card will be donated to St Andrews charity Families First. 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. Happy list writing!


WINTER WONDERLAND CLUBS | 'Childe In The Wilde' has outdoor activities covered this Christmas and New Year with outdoor woodland holiday clubs for 6-12 year olds at Falkland and Cambo estates.

On Thursday 28 and Friday 29 December, the Forest School/Beach and Earth Education organiser will be running activities at Falkland Estate, near Cupar, including den-building and wildlife spotting!

Cambo Estate, near Crail, is the venue for the New Year Woodland Club from Wednesday 3 - Friday 5 January, 2018. Full details and contact information on the posters above.

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