A Sense of Social Responsibility
We are, by definition, very fortunate in the location of our school. The views from Mr McLeish’s classroom towards the East Sands and the sea beyond are unrivalled, St Rule boarding house overlooks the iconic ruins of St Andrews Cathedral, and pupils have the privilege of seeing the rolling hills and beautiful Fife coastline from the playing fields. We are certainly very lucky. But with that privilege comes a responsibility; one which our Junior School pupils have been fully immersed in this week as they have worked to care for, protect and enhance the environment around them.
St Leonards pupils use the East Sands on a regular basis for Beach School; it is a fantastic resource and one which cannot be taken for granted. The Great British Beach Clean has been tackling pollution in our seas for 25 years and is making an immense impact on reducing beach litter. Awareness in these formative years can go a long way to pathing the future of our seas and oceans, and I am incredibly proud that the pupils from Years 1-6 have been actively involved in this initiative, taking to the East and West Sands today to do their bit.
At Wednesday’s assembly, Mr Barrable spoke to the children about Beekeeping, sharing with the children the reason why our two new hives have been named ‘Amelia’ and ‘Beatrix’. The hive Queens are named after female figures who have made a difference, inspired others, brought kindness and served as an inspiration for all. Through this project, we recognise Amelia Earhart, the pioneering aviator, and Beatrix Potter, with her close links to Scotland and there is even a ‘bee’ in there too! The children learned how bees communicate with one another and do a ‘waggle’ dance as a way of accurately guiding other bees in the direction of nectar and pollen - fascinating! Mr Barrable will take each class to the hives for a visit before the winter to increase the children’s knowledge and awareness.
As we look forward to all that next week brings, we will be joined at Monday morning’s Celebration Assembly by Keith and Ida Waddell, who are the Presbytery’s mission partners in Zambia. They will be leading an assembly about climate change and its effects on Zambia. I am sure that the pupils will be very receptive to this. This week alone, our children have been exposed to the many factors that can affect our planet, and social responsibility must be recognised as intergenerational, since the actions of one generation have consequences on those following.
‘Education is the passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to those who prepare for it today.’ - Malcolm X
The Great St Leonards Beach Clean 2019
THE GREAT ST LEONARDS BEACH CLEAN 2019 | The second Great St Leonards Beach Clean took place today under gloriously blue skies. It is a wonderful opportunity for our children to take part, so visibly, in an activity that is for the improvement of a community resource. It was with pride that I watched the children head out of the school for the morning to clean and survey East and West Sands beaches.
Years 1 -4 cleaned East Sands and conducted a survey of what plastics were found. Years 5-6 walked to West Sands and were met by a ranger from Fife Coast and Countryside Trust. There, we learnt about our local beach ecosystem and how pollution effects it. Pupils also conducted a survey of the plastics and litter they found. Pleasingly, but somewhat disheartening to the children, the West Sands had very little to find and so we moved on to beaches around the aquarium. There, the pupils found more success and in a short space of time had retrieved all manner of things that had the children wondering aloud how it came to be that people could be so careless. With full bags collected, we returned to school. Our surveys will be used in class and the data be passed onto the Marine Conservation Society so that they can further track the health of our beaches.
The St Leonards Beach Clean day was a wonderful combination of taking our learning outside the classroom and making a meaningful difference to our community and we received several compliments as to how impressive the children were!
Mr Barrable, Head of Outdoor Learning
Drama, Drama, Drama
DRAMA, DRAMA, DRAMA | There has been a lot of activity in Drama this week, including a re-enactment of Hansel & Gretel by the Year 4 pupils, whilst Year 6 were practising their expressions up in the Senior School Hall. Some very active and expressive classes going on!
Numbers, Numbers Everywhere
NUMBERS, NUMBERS EVERYWHERE | Year 2 have been out and about at the harbour and on the beach looking for numbers. They discovered them on car registration plates, house numbers, speed limit signs, fishing boat model numbers, the Harbour Café pricelist, and even the harbour clock!
The children agreed that numbers are all around us in everyday life and are very important!
Next was a Beach School session using natural objects on the sand to create addition sums, before heading back to the classroom, full of enthusiasm for Maths!
Mrs Lindsay, Year 2 Class Teacher
Sports Results Round-Up
SPORTS RESULTS ROUND-UP | What a packed programme of sports fixtures we have had this week, starting with rugby matches last weekend. The SLM Blues squads had games against Royal High School from Edinburgh, and the U13s, including some of our Junior and Senior School pupils, finished their match with a 31-31 draw.
The Year 6 boys played a round robin tournament against Riley House and Cargilfield As and Bs this week, too, securing three wins from three.
Meanwhile, the Year 7 rugby team played a very close and competitive game, narrowly losing 6 tries to 4.
On the hockey pitch, the U10 girls had a super opening game against Riley House, with Sanna scoring in under 30 seconds! She followed this up swiftly with two more great goals. Captain and birthday girl Willow claimed another two, with further goals from Anna and Abbie bringing St Leonards to a fantastic 7-0 victory!
It was a win for the U12 girls, too with a score of 5-2 at the final whistle - four goals from Thea, with Eliza scoring the fifth!
Well done to all our hockey and rugby players!
Exploring Different Jobs
EXPLORING DIFFERENT JOBS | This week, the Year 2 girls and boys have been finding out all about different jobs, starting with Mrs Pennycook's job! They interviewed Mrs Pennycook in her study about what skills are needed for the job of Acting Headmistress, and discovered that she does a multitude of things behind the scenes.
As well as running our assemblies and saying hello as the pupils and parents arrive at school each morning, Mrs Pennycook shows new families around our school and organises events. The class learned that she spends much of her time talking to children, parents and teachers, and her favourite part of the job is working with them!
Year 2 then took a trip up to the St Leonards Medical Centre to find out about the work of the school nurses. They found that the nurses are very busy keeping our boarders healthy and looking after our day children during the week as well! They need top people skills, great observation and good listening skills to do their jobs.
The highlights of the visit were seeing the blood pressure monitor in action, finding out what a stethoscope does, and handling skeleton models of knees and feet!
Great fun was had by all, and the skills learned were taken back to the classroom for role play activities later on!
Mrs Lindsay, Year 2 Class Teacher
Congratulations to the following pupils, who received certificates at Celebration Assembly on Monday:
The whole Year 1 class for a most impressive start to school. The boys and girls are always ready, always listening, always helping and always smiling. A fantastic way to begin!
Abbie was presented with her Speed Flash award for excelling in the pool.
Sophia for settling in so well to her new class and working with focus and enthusiasm in all areas of school life at St Leonards.
Harry for settling in so well to his new class and working with focus and enthusiasm in all areas of school life at St Leonards.
Patrick for settling into Year 4P amazingly well and for already embracing school life at St Leonards.
Jamie for settling into Year 4P amazingly well and for already embracing school life at St Leonards.
Emily for settling in so well to her new class and working with focus and enthusiasm in all areas of school life at St Leonards.
Florence for settling in so well to her new class and working with focus and enthusiasm in all areas of school life at St Leonards.
Shreyas received a Spirit of St Leonards award for showing care and kindness towards a fellow pupil.
Lower School News
What a start to another fantastic week! Nothing quite beats the magic, the atmosphere and the spooky knowledge of our annual ‘Sorting Hat’ Assembly. Our Year 1s and, indeed many of the school community, were suitably enthralled as the Sorting Hat once again took centre stage to decide which of our four Houses; Mull, Skye, Harris or Lewis; would best suit our newest and youngest members of the Junior School. I am reliably informed that this seminal event was the hot topic in every Year 1 household that evening and indeed many others. The debate in my car on the way home was whether the hat was able to know everything and how concerning that might be. Sadly, exhausted from his efforts, it is rumoured that our Hat has gone for a good long snooze in the special cupboard for another year.
The finale of the week was the Beach Clean. The Lower School and Year 4 were tasked with litter-picking on the East Sands. Plenty of opportunities to get wet and sandy, so a big thank you to all those who managed to cobble together an outdoor uniform. Fortunately, the weather was in our favour, but it never hurts to be prepared! You can never have enough pairs of socks - there is something about small children and water. No matter what you do, fresh socks are always required! I’m sure that I am not alone in this observation.
I’d like to say that sandwiched between the excitement of the start and end of the week, all was calm and still. But, this is the Lower School, and we do like to keep busy!
Year 1 have been using adjectives to describe themselves and write a very special poem. Year 2 have been visiting the nurse to establish all that her job involves, and Year 3, despite having to postpone their cathedral visit until next Monday due to the poor weather, have had their first parent visitor as they continue to ‘tune in’ to their Unit of Inquiry, exploring St Andrews under the Central Idea: 'People come from many different parts of the world to make St Andrews their home'.