The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 31 March 2017


I do hope your children have enjoyed the first weekend of the Easter holidays, and have been able to wind down after a busy term.

As I have reflected on the term just past, I have been able to consider many of the events we have enjoyed over the last 12 weeks, as well as the individual and team achievements of the children. Most recent in our memory is the tremendous production of 'Pirates of the Curry Bean', which delighted the audiences with imagination, colour, excitement and a refreshing tint of humour. In short, the children had the audience in stitches of laughter, whilst trying so desperately hard to stifle the laughter themselves. It was splendid to see the performers having such a great time, and this permeated to the audience as well.

It is humour I wish to devote this week's preamble to. One must never underestimate the value of a good sense of humour, and the ability to laugh with others and indeed at oneself. I wonder if you, like the Goldsmith family, enjoyed April Fool's Day on Saturday? Families up and down the country are afforded the opportunity to do what is so quintessentially British: spend the morning intent on tripping others up into believing the sublime and ridiculous (I won't share any of ours this year!). Even the media manage to jump on the bandwagon, and I especially enjoyed BBC's quip: "Government ban social media to under 18s".

Having a sense of humour has always been seen as an incredibly important pre-requesitive. Indeed, many job adverts specify a sense of humour as being an important quality for any successful candidate (this is especially important in teaching posts). As educators, we have seen a considerable emphasis placed on developing core skills in our children in order that they flourish in a rapidly changing global landscape, increasing their resilience to cope with changing pressures, and focusing on the soft skills required for them to make a difference to the world they are to inherit. These are absolutely vital, and as I have written and spoken about, we at St Leonards strongly believe our curriculum is best placed to enhance these skills for life.

There is no doubt that, as a society, we are navigating our way through unchartered waters, and the last twelve months have been no exception: Brexit, Donald Trump, even Celtic winning the Scottish Premiership(!). The art of collaboration, problem-solving, communication, kindness, tolerance, imagination and agility will be the skills our young people will need to engage with as they tackle global issues head on. Maintaining a sense of humour - not purile and superficial, but in the deeper sense of not taking oneself too seriously and being able to put set backs into perspective - will also be key to maintaining a compassionate society.

In assembly on Friday, I was delighted to present a number of class awards (as seen below). One of my favourite citations was the Class Teacher's Hero of the Term, awarded to a boy for "having the most wonderful sense of humour and being able to diffuse tensions within the class with great skill". I thought this was a wonderful reason to award this young lad this special prize, and it was rightly deserved. Yes, he is prepared to be serious and sober at the appropriate times and is in no way a show off, however he will be remembered by his friends as the one who sorted out issues with a calm and masterful sense of humour. The production last week will - in part - be remembered for its wonderful humour, a great art for children of this age. My feeble attempts at throwing some April Fools at Arthur will not be remembered, but I do hope we continue to promote and encourage our children's wonderful sense of humour, and we don't allow them to let societal pressure dampen their ability to laugh at themselves; it is going to be an important facet for the global community for years to come.

I wish all St Leonards families a happy Easter break.

William Goldsmith

Pirates of the Curry Bean


Captain's Log... April 3rd 2017... on the sofa in a darkened room and reflecting on the perilous journey on the 'Curry Bean'.

Oh those Pirates: Fearsome, wreckless, and so full of BEANS. Would I ever get them to stop playing with those swords and actually perfect a slow motion fight scene?

Luckily my first mate Miss Walker, ex St Leonards pupil and Angel of the first order, helped me to whip them into shape without the help of a 'cat o' nine tails' just a smile from her was all that was needed and lo! The fight scene with its frightening facial expressions and hilarious cheerleaders was born!

This was just one of many scenes in our school play 'Pirates of the Curry Bean' a musical romp across the rolling seas from the Docks of London to the treasure Island of Lumbago in the sea of Sciatica, involving the Periwinkle Family led by mother of four Pearl played by Edward Clement whose future on the stage is assured. On their adventures they came across Pirates, Sailors (Captained by very able seamen Angus Graham and Hector Lindsay) Health and Safety Officers, Rats, Monkeys, Native Islanders, Limbo Dancers and Chief Wonga who turned out to be Dad Periwinkle!

After only 8 weeks rehearsal and a few moments where I thought we were just going round in circles, the cast of 'Pirates of the Curry Bean' put everything together in a whirlpool of song, dance and acting to produce an entertaining and uplifting production to see us into the Easter Holidays! Many Congratulations to all of them!

Ah harr.

Mrs Stewart


Ahead of the final performance of 'Pirates of the Curry Bean', the School gathered together to celebrate the term, and congratulate the last Headmaster's Commendations, Artists of the Month and ABRSM Music Exam success. It was also an opportunity to recognise individual children in each class for their efforts in various ways. As has become customary at the end of each term, there are four awards for each class, presented during the final assembly:

Good Egg Award: Awarded to the boy or girl in each class who has amassed the most number of House Points throughout the term.

Children's Hero of the Term: Voted for anonymously by the children in each class for a peer who displays the following qualities: kindness, courtesy, helpfulness, care of others, selflessness, positivity and generosity of spirit.

Class Teacher's Hero of the Term: Chosen by the teachers and awarded to a boy or girl in each class who has had a particularly impressive term.

Growth Mindset Award: Awarded to a boy or girl in each class who has triumphed over a challenge he / she has faced over the term.

Congratulations to all those who were recognised with these awards, and to all the children who have received commendations, certificates, house point stars, sporting awards, art & music recognition and Spirit of St Leonards awards this term. Our weekly Celebration Assembly is an opportunity for the whole school to gather as a community to recognise achievements.

The overall House winners will be announced at the start of the Summer Term.

I ended the assembly with a recommendation that the children found time over the Easter break to...:

1. Read

2. Plan micro adventures

3. Help with the Washing up

Congratulations to Ollie and XiuRong for reaching 200 House Points and earning their Gold Stars
Boys U12 Football team vs. Greyfriars Primary School on Wednesday
Year 2 have been rolling Easter eggs down the slope on Big Field. As you can see, the seagulls swooped in to clear up after us!
Year 5 pupils performing musical pieces as part of our Unit Of Inquiry 'How we express ourselves'. The Pupils had to rehearse and perform to classmates as part of their Homework Heroes.
We wish the following a very...

We wish Happy Birthday to: Sienna, Jack, Grace, Meredith, Tom and Abbie

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