The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 28 April 2017


Bouncing forwards: Setbacks as Springboards

It has been a super first week back and the children have bounced back into the term with their usual energy, humour and excitement. If school seems a little quiet today, it is because over sixty of our pupils are either involved with the Junior Golf championship here in St Andrews, the Orchestral Day at Fettes or the St Leonards Techno-Challenge. This wide variety of curricula and co-curricula opportunities continues through the term and my colleagues and I can’t wait for all that the summer term brings.

In Assembly on Tuesday I spoke to the children about the power of turning setbacks into springboards, a recurring theme throughout the year.

James Taylor

One of my great passions - though not matched by my skill level(!) - is cricket, and whilst it seemed ironic to be using cricket as an example on Tuesday when St Andrews had a dusting of snow, I spoke of the inspiration given by a young English batsmen. In April last year, James Taylor, a 26 year old Nottinghamshire batsmen, had reached his lifetime dream of playing cricket for England. With 7 Test Matches and 27 One Day Internationals under his belt, he saw himself as the luckiest person alive and had a long and illustrious career ahead of him. This was cruelly cut short two weeks later when he was diagnosed with a serious heart condition, which meant he could no longer play club or village cricket, let alone pursue his professional career. Most people in his position would give up the dream, pursue another career and see this as a unachievable hurdle. Whilst his playing career is over, James made the decision to turn this ultimate setback into a positive. One year on, he works for the charity, ‘A Chance to Shine’, where he coaches cricket to youngsters who would have no opportunity to take part in any sport, and he visits schools to encourage children to use his story as inspiration to turn their own setbacks into positives.

Three quotes from James stand out as particular pertinent to us all as we reflect on his story in helping us deal with setbacks:

“Make the most of the opportunities and you will be in a great position to enjoy a great life”

“If you get knocked down, get back up and try again”

“Roll up your sleeves when setbacks occur”.

James Taylor now does amazing work for 'Chance to Shine'

James Taylor bounced back and gets enormous personal satisfaction and happiness from what he does now. He won’t head out to the crease as 3rd batsmen at Lords this summer against South Africa, but he is making a difference to the lives of young people and spreading the most important message of all: we all face setbacks, but these setbacks must never get in the way of us making the most of every opportunity we have.

The children here at St Leonards have already - and will continue to face setbacks this term . With our support, they must pick themselves up from these setbacks and bounce forwards. Not only will it take them into bolder and bigger future opportunities, but it will help them when the inevitable storms of life test them.

Finally, if we ever need a reminder of compassion and selflessness, it is in this clip below.

Fife is just glorious at this time of year, and in planning your weekends I do hope you will all be able to take advantage of this incredible corner of the country. Whether it be mucking around on the beach, rambling over the hills or fields, heading off to a local attraction, or cheering One For Arthur (The Grand National winner) at the Balcormo Races tomorrow, I wish you all a very happy weekend.

William Goldsmith


We are very much looking forwards to welcoming our visiting families to our Open Morning on Monday, 1 May 2017. If you know of anyone who would be interested in joining us, please do let them know.


This week Year 1 have been tuning in to their new 'Unit of Inquiry', Where We Are in Place and Time, with a bit of classroom camping! They had fun sitting in the tent to talk about what a shelter is, why we need shelters and how the tent compares to our homes. They then made their own shelters out of Lego and other modelling toys and created a checklist of what shelters need to have. The children loved the tent so much that Mrs Fynn kept it up in the classroom for the whole day and they even enjoyed their home time story book in the tent!

Congratulations to the St Leonards team


Report by Jack, Robert, Millie and Lily

The Techno Challenge was brilliant and everyone in the team enjoyed it. The second we got to the senior school hall it was an eruption of excitement. We were paired with a welcoming year 8 guide. The first event we attended was the I.C.T challenge. In this event we solved mind-bending puzzles, including a mixture of math's, science and coding. It challenged our team work but eventually we got the hang of it. Secondly we went to the coach house to do the library challenge. In this event we worked in pairs and answered questions on sheets about books and Mary Queen of Scots (considering the library is named after her).

After that we proceed to Maths 2 for the maths challenge. This event had lots of up and down sums of all difficulties. We split up the work so that we could cover it all easily. Then we had Lunch, this was a great time to relax. After that we proceeded to science 1 and science 2. In these we built a balloon powered car and a catapult out of a spoon elastic bands and straws. We enjoyed having to use construction in this task, and also a bit of design and art.

Then we had break and tea in the hall. After that we subsequently had the maths relay race in pairs with a teacher in between us and we got handed different coloured pieces of paper with maths questions on them. Every time one team finished, the other half of the team began. soon after we went into the hall for prizegiving.

In conclusion we had loads of fun and it was an amazing experience.

Year 7 Drama in full flow!


Tuning into our new Unit on the relationship between plants and minibeasts took Year 2 the Edible Gardens beside East Sands Beach. Here we were met by two gardeners from St Andrews Botanical Gardens and St Andrews University's Transition organisation who, with the help of a couple of university students, got us digging, raking, hoeing and planting a crop of potatoes and beetroot. We had a great time and now have lots of ideas for plants that we would like to try growing back at school.

Many Happy Returns to...

We wish the following a very Happy Birthday: Tyler and Beth,


CBBC are looking for applicants of all abilities, aged between 9-13 years to take part in a new fantasy gameshow that will be filmed in Scotland over the summer months. The successful candidates will get a chance to test their skill, determination and bravery against a series of physical and mental challenges.

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