The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 4 October 2019

Every Little Helps

Headmistress's Introduction

Harvest: traditionally, it is the time of year when all the crops have been gathered and we celebrate the food grown on the land with the Harvest Festival. Thanksgiving ceremonies for a successful crop take place around the world and have done for centuries. In Britain, for example, we have given thanks for successful harvests since Pagan times.

The name derives from the Old English word ‘Haerfest’ meaning ‘Autumn’, a season which this week in St Andrews has proved it is most definitely upon us, and with our fantastic location in Fife, with its rich farming and fishing roots, it only seems right that we mark the occasion at St Leonards.

Year 5 spoke about how we can help at Harvest Assembly on Wednesday.

The Year 5 children did a wonderful job of presenting this to us on Wednesday morning at assembly, when they spoke clearly, confidently and with real knowledge of the subject. The beauty of our annual Harvest Assembly is that it doesn’t follow a formula, and every Year 5 class coming up has the freedom to interpret and deliver it as they wish. In previous years, we have looked at the miles generated from the journey of a pizza and learned about the work of Storehouse NE Fife.

This year, the focus was, quite appropriately given our latest arrivals at the Junior School, on bees and their connection with the environment, especially here at St Leonards. We welcomed buzzing bees from Mr Barrable’s class into St Katharines Hall to tell us all about it, before handing over to Miss Brannen’s Year 5s, who explained about the use of food banks in our town.

We heard how one in four children in St Andrews has used or is using a food bank. For most of us that may seem incomprehensible, but for some it is a reality. More than one in three families in England are a monthly pay packet away from losing their homes, according to research by Shelter highlighting how many households have almost no savings. The housing charity found that 37% of working families would be unable to cover their housing costs for more than a month if one partner lost their job. These figures go some way to presenting the struggle that some families face, and some of us will have more bumps in the road than others.

With that in mind, I would like to thank the school community for their many donations so far for the Storehouse St Andrews. Donations close on Tuesday morning when Year 5 will transport and sort the food and toiletries collected, ready to go out to local families who need them most.

Thank you to Rev. Beebee for speaking so engagingly at our assembly. He summed it up beautifully, by reminding the children that alone we can do our bit to help (a bit like the bees), but together we can do so much more.

Julianne Pennycook

Spotlight On

MS Trust Assembly

MS Nurse Fiona Sneddon spoke at Celebration Assembly.

MS TRUST ASSEMBLY | On Monday morning, the Junior School Assembly included a brief talk from an MS nurse, Fiona Sneddon.

Fiona works for NHS Fife and is based at Cameron Hospital in Windygates. She had very kindly agreed to talk to the children in advance of our Annual Charity Fun Run on Friday, 11 October, as the money raised will be donated to the MS Trust.

The children heard how MS nurses provide vital support for people who are newly diagnosed with the life-long condition, as well as on-going support and advice for those who have lived with the developing illness for many years. Some of these nurses are funded by the MS Trust, as are many of the courses and conferences the nurses attend. All online resources and printed booklets are also paid for by the Trust.

Fiona explained that they receive no government funding and that all money comes in the form of donations from charity events such as our own Fun Run. To tie in with our ‘Risk-Taker’ themed run next week, Fiona explained how she, herself, felt like a risk-taker as this was the very first time she had spoken in public.

At the end of the assembly, she joined Year 4C, where she answered many questions. After much discussion with Fiona in class, we have decided to aim to raise a total of £500 next week for the MS Trust.

The wide-ranging total amounts suggested by the pupils will remain on our classroom wall as a reminder of targets over the next few weeks. We would love to exceed £500 and to reach a high total for that big cheque she has promised to come back to collect!

Mrs McKimmon, Year 4 Class Teacher

Maps and Directions

Year 3's maps in the sand.

MAPS AND DIRECTIONS | This week, Year 3 have been looking at maps and directions. Down on the beach, we recreated our walk down from school, remembering all the landmarks that we pass on the way and thinking about which are on the right and which are on the left!

We had maps with the local graveyard, St Rule’s tower could be seen, the steps down to the harbour, the harbour itself with boats in it, and not forgetting the ice cream shop!

After that, we crossed over the bridge past the bay and made our way onto the beach to create our maps in the sand before the fast-incoming tide washed them away.

The children described their maps to each other, all using different objects to recreate the landmarks.

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

USA Golf Success

Julius competed in the Drive, Chip and Putt Competitions in the USA.

USA GOLF SUCCESS | Over the summer holidays, Julius (Year 5), competed in the Drive, Chip and Putt Competitions in the USA. A joint initiative founded in 2013 by the Masters Tournament, United States Golf Association and The PGA of America, Drive, Chip and Putt is a free nationwide junior golf development competition aimed at growing the game by focusing on the three fundamental skills employed in golf.

Julius won the local qualifier in the Boy’s 7-9 division in June at Willow Brook Golf Club in South Windsor, Connecticut. He then proceeded to win his sub-regional qualifier in July at the First Tee of Connecticut.

Last weekend, Julius flew back to the USA to compete in the Regional Championships at TPC Cromwell, Connecticut, and placed 3rd.

Congratulations to Julius on a wonderful set of achievements in this competition and we look forward to hearing more about his golf throughout the year.

Likes and Dislikes

Year 1's work on display.

LIKES AND DISLIKES | This week, Year 1 have been learning about each other's likes and dislikes during Circle Time. Here are the posters they have made to show their favourite, and least favourite, things!

Celebration Assembly

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

Ruben for setting high standards in all aspects of classroom life, from good manners and an understanding approach towards his peers to focus and concentration in every subject.

Hayder was Year 1 Pupil of the Week for his determined and focused approach to all his jobs, no matter what.

Jamie was Year 2 Pupil of the Week for showing good, attentive listening skills on the recent class visit to the Fisheries Museum in Anstruther.

Thea for her wonderful focus and hard work in Maths.

Jonathan was also awarded Year 2 Pupil of the week for pushing himself to add lots of information and some impressive adjectives when writing a tourist brochure for the East Sands - it really persuaded you that you should visit!

Amber for creating a wonderful poster for European Day of Languages.

Aryaman for creating a wonderful poster for European Day of Languages.

Adam for creating a wonderful poster for European Day of Languages.

Rodrigo for creating a wonderful poster for European Day of Languages.

Ramsay was Year 3 Pupil of the Week for good knowledge and understanding of the new Maths work.

Bella for showing great progress in her reading by using expression and phrasing more accurately.

Mohamed for concentrating on his presentation and for always doing his homework to the highest standard.

Rowan for demonstrating so well in his classwork the difference between a 'want' and a 'need'.

Rachael for working quietly and conscientiously on all tasks and always being willing to help students.

Brodie for a perfect spelling test of 20/20 - the only person in all of Year 6 to spell every word correctly.

Verity received her LAMDA certificate for performance Grade 2.

Charlie for his positive attitude and enthusiasm for learning.

Simon for his enthusiasm and fastidious approach to all that we do in class.

Aidan for high levels of engagement in our Unit of Inquiry and for being the first to bring in his Homework Heroes task.

Emmy for demonstrating great maturity, confidence and responsibility by helping one of her peers do a Maths problem. By sharing her knowledge and learning, she allowed a peer to understand more effectively how to complete a mathematical calculation.

Jonny for being extremely knowledgeable during our capital cities and flags quiz. He showed enthusiasm towards Geography.

Congratulations to the winning houses from the European Languages Quiz:

  • 1st Place - Lewis
  • 2nd Place - Mull
  • 3rd Place - Harris
  • 4th Place - Skye

Lower School News

What a gloriously, sunny week with the crispy edge that tells us that Autumn is definitely upon us. How lucky, then, for the Lower School that this was our week to attend Beach School! Years 1 and 3 have visited East Sands and all have had a fantastic time. Year 3 drew maps of the local school area on the sand, including as many features as they could remember, be they on the left or right. The level of detail and the intricacy of their work was a clear reminder of observant and mindful our children are.

Year 1, for their inaugural Beach School, were given autonomy to explore freely and see where the setting took them. We were collecting treasure and placing it in a huge circle in readiness for pirates, collecting precious items and securing them in our ‘safe circle’, digging holes, washing sea glass, practising writing numbers and letters and digging up buried treasure which, it transpired through some detective work, was a very large lump or wood.

Year 1's inaugural Beach School lesson.

It was fantastic to see the children across the year groups displaying their inquiry skills, teamwork, resilience and natural curiosity. Their independence shines and their confidence grows as they do what they do best; make their own amusement, embark on their own learning journeys and importantly, ‘have fun!’

We may not be quite so fortunate with the weather in forthcoming visits so do please ensure that your child is equipped with waterproofs, hats, gloves and spare socks. We are very happy to keep these items in school.

For all Lower School pupils, Maths has been a very practical matter this week with Year 2 investigating properties of 2D and 3D shapes and Year 1 examining length and width. Happily, both of these activities also allowed for outdoor learning.

Year 1 and 2 have enjoyed indoor and outdoor learning this week.

Year 2 have embarked on their second Unit of the year, tuning in with family trees and genealogy as they explore the Central Idea , ‘Where we come from shaped who we are’. Their initial discussions have revealed that within even their small class, they have links to nine different countries. This Unit is going to open up many more conversations surrounding their backgrounds. All very exciting!

This is the merest snapshot of the week across Lower School. You can forgive their silence upon collection whilst they tell you snippets about pasta, fruit and Mars Bar cake. It is fair to say that all that children can recall after half past three on any school day is what they ate, and even that may prove challenging at times. In a bid to improve this, Year 1 have begun reflecting on their days learning in their ‘Year 1 News Report’, the day in their own words.

Year 1's first daily 'News Report'.

The holidays are looming large and all teachers are looking forward to sharing your child’s progress at Parents' Evening on Wednesday. Your teacher will meet you in their classroom. Time is tight with just ten minutes allocated, so we do ask that parents try to keep to their slot and, of course, feel free to make an additional appointment for next term should you feel that there is more to discuss.

With our Lower School Informal Concert next Friday, we invite you all to come and celebrate the burgeoning musical talents of a youngest children. All are welcome and it should be concluded by 9.30am. We would be delighted to see you there.

I appreciate that the forecast is a bit dismal this weekend, but I know that you’ll make the most of it!

Claire Boissiere, Lower School Coordinator


We wish the following pupils a very...

Happy Birthday to Adam, Francis and Amber! Have a fabulous day!