The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 6 September 2019

Make Every Day Count

Headmistress's Introduction

At Celebration Assembly this week I shared a childhood memory. This may come as a big surprise to you all, but my friends and I when we were 7 years old, were not behaving quite as we should in class. Mrs Hughes, my lovely, inspiring Year 3 teacher was, in her words, 'disappointed’.

Never have I felt so bad; I had let her down and I was mortified. I remember her telling us that we had wasted our time and we would never get that moment back, ‘there would never be another Wednesday, 12 September 1986, you need to make everyday count’. Until that point dates didn’t mean anything to me, they were just numbers. These words have continued to resonate with me, even over 30 years later.

Some days we achieve more than we planned and some days we don’t. How often have we said to ourselves ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’? Or, ‘It can wait…’? Putting things off can become habitual. What I asked of the children on Monday was to make every day count at St Leonards and not to ‘put things off’. Every one of our children should take pride in putting in the effort each day, and they should feel satisfied as they leave the school building.Going forward, this will be our theme for the year in the Junior School, and I look forward to seeing and hearing how all of the children make the most of their days.

Back to this week, and it may be a cliché but the words ‘it feels like we have never been away’ spring to mind, and I genuinely mean this is a good way! The children have hit the ground running, and when I have dropped into classes this week they have been calculating, analysing, writing, counting, creating, crafting and sorting to name but a few of their activities.

There has been huge excitement at our lunchtime dance classes, too, and I am delighted that these, with the exception of ballet, are now able to increase to 30 pupils per class. If your child is interested in participating in POM, Street Dance or Cheer Leading, then please do let Mrs Dewar know.

Looking to next week, Monday is our Sorting Hat Assembly, at which our new Year 1 pupils will be sorted into either Mull, Harris, Lewis or Skye. In true Harry Potter style, the sorting hat will determine the house each of our youngest pupils will join, and they will stay in that house as they move up through the Junior School. Parents are welcome to join us at Celebration Assembly every Monday morning, but this one is particularly special!

Between now and then, I hope you all enjoy a wonderful weekend, making every second of each day count.

Julianne Pennycook

Spotlight On...

Year 3 Beach School

YEAR 3 BEACH SCHOOL | Year 3 headed to the beach on Thursday for a Maths lesson. This week, we have started our new 'Maths No Problem' by doing lots of investigating.

Down at the beach, were were looking at numbers up to 100, and creating numbers more than 10 but less than 100. We gathered lots of different objects we found on the beach and grouped them in tens, then counting in tens and ones we were able to make lots of different numbers showing their 'place value'.

We hope to have more visits over the coming weeks and using our new maths methods to help us.

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

John Muir Discovery Award

Pupils received their certificates at Wednesday morning's assembly.

JOHN MUIR DISCOVERY AWARD | “Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature's peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn."

These words are written by the great Scottish environmentalist, John Muir. A man, whose love of nature and through the use of just his pen, made provision for some of the greatest nature reserves in the world and a conservation movement that continues to shape how we protect our natural spaces today. The John Muir Trust is a conservation charity dedicated to the experience, protection and repair of wild places. An integral part of this is the John Muir Award, which schools and families can take part in. It is made of three levels: Discovery, Explorer and Conserver.

The current Year 7s earned their Discovery level award through a combination of study, exploration and conservation efforts. The learned about the local environments of the West Sands, as well as the woodlands of Glenlivet. They learned about the dangers of erosion and took part in a project run by the University of St Andrews to help restore the salt marshes along the Eden Estuary. Some projects involved clearing trails on the Glenlivet Estate or exploring Tentsmuir Forest and conducting red squirrel surveys.

The ethos behind pupils taking part in the John Muir Award, is realising the 'power of one'; that they as individuals can have a meaningful impact on the world, just as John Muir did, and that collectively they can do even greater good!

This is the first time, St Leonards pupils have taken part in the John Muir Award and our intention is for every child to complete the Discover and Explorer levels whilst they are in the Junior School. This complements our Outdoor Learning programme and will hopefully inspire many to complete the Conserver Award in due course, and to begin the Duke of Edinburgh journey in the Senior School.

Mr Barrable, Head of Outdoor Learning

Year 5's Monthly Treat

Year 5 visited the newly-refurbished St Rule boarding house.

YEAR 5'S MONTHLY TREAT | The boys and girls in Year 5 spent some time exploring St Rule boarding house and trying out the newly refurbished Games Room and Common Room this afternoon. A brilliant first for their 'monthly treat' - the only problem was that they didn't want to leave!

Plants and Buzzing Bees

We have grand plans for bee-friendly plants in the school grounds.

PLANTS AND BUZZING BEES | Our bees arrived at St Leonards just before the start of term, ready to go into hibernation in their new homes.

In order to be ready for them to come out of hibernation in the spring, the generous staff at Caulders Garden Centre in Cupar kindly donated their 'end of season' plants for us to plant now in readiness for next year. We are very grateful for these and thank Colin, Mark and Robert at Caulders hugely for this wonderful donation, and for their time in helping to select the right plants for our bees.

Our aim is to have far more 'bee friendly' plants around the school so that they do not have too far to travel for food once they do come out of hibernation.

While on holiday in Yorkshire this summer, I visited Yorkshire Lavender, where they had row upon row of lavender plants all buzzing with bees. If my garden is anything to go by this summer, lavender is the way to go and the smell is also amazing! In the autumn we can harvest the lavender to make lavender scent bags for drawers, an enterprise opportunity for the children to make and sell for outdoor learning projects.

Our plan going forward is either to hold a house competition in the spring to see which house can bring in and plant the most lavender plants, or simply ask each family to donate a lavender plant so that we might have row upon row of lavender plants for our St Leonards bees.

To help with our gardening and continued work in the polytunnel we are always grateful for any donation of plant cuttings or old tools. If you have any plants that you are able to 'split' or take cuttings from this autumn or early spring, we would be most grateful for them to make our grounds more insect friendly. Any old spades, forks, trowels, hoes would also be well received!

Thank you to all our families for your continued support!

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

Summer Gymnastics Success

Emily (Year 5) has gained a place on the new Women's 4-Piece Artistic Squad.

SUMMER GYMNASTICS SUCCESS | Congratulations to Emily (Year 5), who attended a trial at a new gymnastics facility in Dundee last week, and was successful in gaining a place on the new Women's 4-Piece Artistic Squad.

In her first competition on Sunday, Emily did exceptionally well, winning bronze on the Vault, silver on the Floor, plus Golf and Overall Under 10 Champion! A big well done to Emily!

Celebration Assembly

Congratulations to the following pupils who received awards from the end of last term at Celebration Assembly on Monday:

Kai was awarded his Level 2 Scottish Cycle Training Scheme certificate.

Monty, now in Year 3, had been awarded Year 2 Pupil of the Week at the end of term for excellent independent division work during Maths.

ABRSM and Trinity Guildhall music certificates were presented to a number of our Junior School musicians, following successful examinations in a wide range of instruments, from cornet to jazz flute! Well done all!

Our Year 7 House Captain and Vice House Captain nominees spoke at Celebration Assembly, putting themselves forward for leadership positions in Mull, Harris, Lewis and Skye. Well done to all involved; everyone spoke clearly, made brilliant cases for the roles, and there was a spot of entertainment thrown in from some pupils as well! The 2019-20 House Captains and Vice House Captains will be announced in due course, following voting by the pupils.

Lower School News

A hearty welcome back to school from all of the Lower School Team and an enormous welcome to all our new members of the school community!

Having scrolled down, read, absorbed and assimilated all that ‘The Voice’ has to offer, you are now being rewarded by the jewel in the crown which is our very own ‘Lower School News’. Here you will find information and news dedicated to what's been happening in Years 1-3.

Here we are already at the end of our first full week and I am sure your children are full of tales of what they ate for lunch and how there was fruit instead of cake at snack - all the most important things!

Year 1 have been getting stuck in to their new school routine!

The children, I am pleased to say, have actually been incredibly busy getting stuck into their routine of learning. Classes have embraced into new Units of Inquiry, Beach School is back, we have had time for reading, and of course the staple diet of English and Maths. Children have been laughing, playing, making new friends, learning new games and establishing the routines for their class and the school.

Year 2 have been learning out and about as well as in the classroom.

You may have noticed the new collection arrangements at home time; we have brought forward the end of the Lower School to allow for easier parking and a sharper exit for our youngest, most exhausted members of the school.

We ask that you access the Lower School playground (head towards the AstroTurf along the colonnades and follow the wall around to the right to come through the gate!) for 4.00pm. Please wait outside your child’s classroom and we shall sign them out from here. We very much appreciate your assistance with these arrangements as it keeps our end of day calm and smooth.

We hope that you have all enjoyed the first week back as much as the children. I’m sure that they will all sleep very well!

Until our adventures next week, have a restful weekend.

Claire Boissiere, Lower School Coordinator


We wish the following pupils a very...

Thomas, VerityGemma, Kabir, Sanna, all of whom celebrated in the week just passed, and Harris, Willow and Alfie! We hope you had, or have if still to come, a fabulous day!

Open Morning 2019

OPEN MORNING 2019 | Our next Whole School Open Morning takes place on Saturday, 28 September 2019 at 9.30am. As mentioned in the weekly mailing email, pupils in Years 4-7 are expected to be in school for Open Morning, either for classroom and outdoor activities or to act as tour guides for visiting families.

If you know of anyone who may be interested in learning more about life at St Leonards, please do feel free to share the details and information. We look forward to another successful event!