The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 13 December 2019

Forever Young

Headmistress's Introduction

Handwritten signs, excited faces, pride beaming from ear to ear; all were signs that the Christmas Fair had arrived in the Junior School. Hours and hours of preparation goes into this magical event - it doesn’t simply happen.

Saturday saw another fantastic Christmas Fair.

In the run-up, I love hearing the children excitedly planning their stalls as they walk along the corridors to class. I love seeing the collaboration within and outwith year groups. It truly is a great event. The entrepreneurial nature of their stalls is truly inspiring and no two are the same. Above all, I love the fact that all they money raised is selflessly handed over to our chosen charity the MS Trust and PA funds.

I would like to extend my thanks to the many parent helpers who arrived on Friday afternoon like a tribe of army ants, turning the Year 4 classroom into the Retreat Café, Year 1-3 classrooms into ‘The Avenue’, the Atrium into a winter wonderland of gingerbread houses and my study into an unrecognisable cosy Santa’s Grotto - tremendous effort! Then, as if by magic, a squad of CAS students arrived at the end and helped to lift tables, vacuum and mop, and within an hour it was as if it had never happened. We are truly very lucky to have such a great school community.

At Celebration Assembly on Monday morning, Miss Boissiere showed this wonderful advert from Hafod Hardware (#BeAKidThisChristmas). It depicts a family business and the message is simple - shop local and support your community, something that I am very proud to say our school did on Saturday, taking the opportunity to buy from the brilliant array of external vendors who joined us on ‘The Avenue’, selling everything from jewellery to ceramics, soaps and delicious gingerbread biscuits. These small businesses were able to sell their products and crafts and gain exposure rather than losing out to the high-street giants. It is so important that we support them.

As we wind down today after weeks of teaching and learning, as well as our many Junior School festivities, all of which have been entered into with great enthusiasm and excitement by the children, I hope that all of us, no matter our age, take the opportunity to #BeAKidThisChristmas.

Wishing all our families a relaxing and enjoyable festive season and a Happy New Year.

Julianne Pennycook

Spotlight On

Christmas Fair

The full photo album from the Fair can be viewed below.

CHRISTMAS FAIR | Saturday’s Christmas Fair saw the Junior School transformed into a festive wonderland, thanks to seasonal stalls in St Katharines Hall, gift inspiration along The Avenue, gingerbread house decorating in the Atrium and not forgetting Santa’s Grotto!

Thank you first and foremost to the St Leonards Parents Association and parent volunteers for their hard work in organising the event and assisting with arrangements on the day, from stands to crafts, decorations, and providing delicious home baking and hot drinks in the Retreat Café.

The children put in outstanding efforts to come up with creative ideas for their stalls – we had candy floss and waffles, handmade gifts and decorations, a teddy bear tombola, magical reindeer food and much, much more.

The full album of photos is available to view via the link below – we hope you enjoy looking back at what really was a wonderful day!

Christmas Jumper Day

Colourful Christmas jumpers on display for Save the Children.

CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY | ‘Colourful’ and ‘creative’ were certainly the words to describe the Junior School on Monday, which was awash with sparkling Christmas jumpers, festive headbands and touches of tinsel in support of Save the Children’s Christmas Jumper Day.

For a small donation, pupils (and staff!) made a special effort to dress up and start the final week of term with a day of celebration. Thank you to all those who took part. Over the course of the Autumn Term, together we have raised an impressive £2010.70 for charity!

Remember, second hand Christmas jumpers can be handed in to the PA-run Second Hand Uniform Shop, where they will be sold on for the following year - a perfect opportunity to recycle when festive knits are outgrown!

Junior School Carol Service

Thank you to all those who joined us for the Carol Service this morning.

JUNIOR SCHOOL CAROL SERVICE | Autumn Term ended with our traditional Carol Service in Holy Trinity Church, which is always a special occasion, and an opportunity for pupils, staff, family and friends to come together and celebrate as we look forward to Christmas.

Carols were sung and lessons read, and the church looked wonderful, as always, thanks to the sparkling tree at the communion table.

Thank you to all the pupils who participated in the service, as readers and in the year group choirs, as well as Jennifer (Year 7), who started proceedings with a beautiful solo verse of ‘Once in Royal David’s City’. The retiring collection this year will go to the Multiple Sclerosis Trust.

Festive Food and Fun

Christmas Lunch in Restaurant 1877 included an amazing chocolate cake!

FESTIVE FOOD AND FUN | The menu for Christmas Lunch in Restaurant 1877 described dessert as an ‘amazing’ chocolate cake and amazing it most certainly was! There were ‘oohs’ and ‘aahs’ from the children as they arrived in the dining room to find an incredible festive scene constructed from chocolate sponge, icing, marshmallows and topped with a beautiful miniature gingerbread house. It truly was a masterpiece (and tasted delicious too)!

Pudding was preceded by turkey and all the trimmings, crackers, jokes and hats, making for a real festive feast.

Our thanks to Catering Manager Darren Tonge, and the Restaurant 1877 team, for all their hard work and for throwing such a super Christmas meal!

Grow a Loaf

Year 2 have started stage one of growing their own loaf of bread!

GROW A LOAF | Inspired by our visit to the Stevens’ farm earlier this term, Year 2 are attempting to ‘grow a loaf’, following the process from planting wheat this week, to harvesting, milling flour and finally baking our own bread next Autumn.

Watch this space to see how our plot develops over the coming months!

Miss Fisher, Year 2 Class Teacher

Party Time

Year 2 and 3 played traditional Christmas party games.

PARTY TIME | Years 2 and 3 had a mini Christmas party on Wednesday. Party hats were made, games played and then it was followed up by Christmas lunch.

The children played musical statues, corners, icebergs and shapes. All were great sports and had fun participating in our traditional party games!

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

Mother Goose

Everyone enjoyed a trip to the pantomime.

MOTHER GOOSE | This week, the celebrations continued with a trip to the Byre Theatre to see this year’s pantomime, Mother Goose. The children joined their favourite fairy tale characters for a fun-filled Christmas adventure, with fabulous costumes and plenty of classic jokes!

Christmas Mix

Can you spot any of our Junior School pupils in the Christmas Mix line-up?

CHRISTMAS MIX | The Music School Auditorium was packed on Sunday evening for the annual Christmas Mix Concert, which saw a series of festive performances from ensembles, soloists, choirs and duets. Whilst most of the performers were Senior School pupils, some choirs featured Junior School pupils, who confidently took to the stage and performed superbly well.

Christmas Mix is one of the most popular events in the school calendar (we really do need a larger Auditorium!) and was streamed live on the school Facebook page for all to enjoy at home, too.

The full photo album is available to view via the link below.

Christingle Creations

Year 3 have been learning about the tradition of Christingles.

CHRISTINGLE CREATIONS | Year 3 have continued their festive theme this week by learning all about the traditional Christingles, making their own using oranges, red tape and cocktail sticks with sweets on!

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

Taekwondo Grading

Well done to Hari, Sophia, Emil and Lewis who took part in their first Taekwondo grading.

TAEKWONDO GRADING | Hari (Year 5), Sophia (Year 4), and Emil and Lewis (Year 6), all attended their very first Taekwondo grading last Friday evening. All four have only been learning Taekwondo for a short while as an after-school activity, and taking part in their first grading was a big step!

The grading took place under strict exam conditions, and the children were they were tested on their knowledge of the history of the Taekwondo Association of Great Britain, as well as their ability to translate names of body parts, moves, kicks etc from and into Korean, before being asked to perform their routines.

All did an amazing job in front of the panel, as well as older students and parents. Well done to Hari, Emil, Sophia and Lewis, all of whom passed their grading and received a certificate as well as their 'yellow tag' belt!

Staying Safe Online

STAYING SAFE ONLINE | As we head off for the holidays, we would like to take this opportunity to share some links about keeping children safe online, which may be of interest. Whether Santa has a new tech device in store for Christmas morning, or more hours will be spent browsing the internet, these resources have been specially created by the CEOP Education Team, including blog tips and advice for keeping your connected home secure.

We will be holding an awareness evening in the Junior School during Spring Term, details of which will follow in the new year.

Celebration Assembly

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

Xander for in-depth research into Webb Ellis, the man who first ran whilst holding a football, thus investing 'rugby football'.

Harry for perseverance and patience when casting on in knitting. He really showed an open mind and pride in his work.

Rebecca received a Spirit of St Leonards award for showing maturity and thoughtfulness towards others when plans were changed at the last minute.

Rachel for excellent work in her Dracula stage design assessment.

Holly was Year 3 Pupil of the Week for loud and clear narrating in the Nativity. Holly was also presented with two medals for swimming and trampolining - well done Holly!

Sal for excellent work in her Dracula stage design assessment.

Paula for realising the importance of manners even when we are busy and in a rush by holding the doors open for parents leaving the school as she was heading to lunch and very hungry!

Ramsay received a Spirit of St Leonards award for showing kindness and asking a member of staff if they enjoyed their special family event.

Harry for realising the importance of remaining calm and polite, even when we are very busy and in a rush, by displaying impeccable manners in Restaurant 1877.

Amber was Year 3 Pupil of the Week for stepping in at the last minute in the Year 3 Assembly, reading lines she had not learnt.

Harry for demonstrating a more mature attitude to his learning and working with focus and application in lessons.

Eliza for excellent work in her Dracula stage design assessment.

Sofia for excellent work in her Dracula stage design assessment.

Hayfaa for realising the importance of manners, even when we are busy and in a rush, by always being willing to help, particularly when clumsy Mrs Arkwright drops a box of books!

Shreyas for excellent work in his Dracula stage design assessment.

Harry for excellent work in his Dracula stage design assessment.

Ting for excellent work in her Dracula stage design assessment.

Congratulations to Harris!

Drum roll please... The winning House of the term was announced at Celebration Assembly on Monday. Congratulations to Harris who came out in the lead with the most points gathered throughout Autumn Term! All members of Harris will be treated to a non-uniform day in the Spring Term - details to follow in due course.


We wish the following pupils a very...

Happy Birthday to SophiaBen, Isaac, Charlie, Freddie, Maya, Freddie, Thea, Simon, Will, Jimmy and Cecilia, all of whom will be celebrating in the next few weeks! Have a fabulous day!