The Voice of St leonards senior school



PIPE BAND | The Pipe Band travelled to Edinburgh to compete in the annual Scottish Schools Pipe Band Championships, held at James Gillespie's High School. Over 100 schools were represented from across the country at this prestigious event, creating quite an excitable buzz around the campus as the bands were warming up and preparing to take to the stage.

St Leonards Pipe Band performed powerful renditions of 'The Hills of Perth' and 'Australian Ladies' to the panel of judges. A particular highlight for the group was the Freestyle Competition, where a category of Pipe Bands combined with non-traditional instruments such as bass guitars and drum kits. This 'rocking sound' created a festival atmosphere with crowds enjoying the music! Well done to our Pipe Band members Finn Morran, Callum Cumming, Tristan Rees, Harry Mercer, Catherine Fleming, Hector Long, Alfie Love, Molly Kavanagh and Charlie Adam. A great weekend gig for the band, who were commended in particular for their musicality and smart dress. We think so too! We await the winners being announced...!


DELF SUCCESS | On 7 March 2017, St Leonards welcomed Emmanuel Cocher, the Consul General for France in Scotland, to speak at our School Assembly and present our DELF (Diplôme d’Études de Langue Française) exam certificates to our talented Year 8, 10 and 11 budding linguists. M. Cocher spoke passionately about the importance of learning languages, encouraging our students to continue this discovery of other cultures, respecting diversity and to always consider the changing world we live in. He finished by commending our language learning efforts and presented the DELF certificates.

DELF has been a world recognised certification for knowledge of the French language since its creation in 1985. It can be taken at the 7 different levels of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) –from A1.1 to C2. This international exam is now part of our school curriculum, as it is a helpful way to document the progress of our students before they go on to sit their language GCSE.

Every pupil passed their exam – star mentions in the A1.1 category include Oscar Morris who scored 98%, and Isla Thomson who achieved 97%. In the A1 level exam, Cormac Morran scored 97.5% and Karolena Brown, 97%. Out of our 5 candidates who sat the A2 exam (equivalent to GCSE level), the top result was 95.5% attained by Aenghus McGregor. Many congratulations to our successful exam candidates. These certificates have boosted the confidence of our linguists as they now look ahead to their next level to conquer! There are currently some St Leonards students who are studying for their B1 exams which, as a guide, is the standard of language ability required to apply for French Citizenship! Well done to our students.


HOCKEY HOOLIE | Our Year 8 girls squad recently played in the Fife Schools Hockey tournament and were successful, winning their pool against Dunfermline, Madras and Waid Academy. A strong performance by our girls and a perfect setup for the next school hockey event - the Commonwealth Day Hockey Tournament for Years 6 and 7 in the Junior School.


COLOURFUL CONCERT | On a Friday evening, the Auditorium was full of students, teachers and parents to cheer on some of our Upper and Lower Sixth Formers who devised, organised and staged a glorious LGBTQIA+ concert in aid of Stonewall, Scotland. There was an excellent programme of acts enjoyed by the audience, but the greatest appreciation was awarded to an 'unforgettable performance' of Village People's YMCA, by four of our very own teachers - Mrs Love, Mrs Ledger, Mr Kitson and Mr Shiells. If you missed it, you missed out! Beatrix Livesey-Stevens introduced the event with a speech explaining the importance of tolerance for those who are different around the world; Master of Ceremonies Jack Boag kept proceedings running with wit and repartee, and event leader, Ian Yang, thanked all those in our St Leonards community for their unswerving support. Thank you to everyone who attended the celebratory concert!


SCIENCE IN ACTION | The St Leonards Science Club team won the regional 'Construct a Crane' competition at the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) Challenge Day in Dundee. The entered Year 8 team demonstrated great teamwork and logic, managing to load six x 2litre bottles from quay side onto the ship's deck. Operating the crane took a lot of concentration but the St Leonards team managed it with ease. They enjoyed the challenge day and being ‘out of the office’. Well done to the winning team: Francesca Calder, James Drever, Oscar Morris, James Mackenzie Page and Elizabeth Atkin Wright.


ART DRAGONS DEN | The latest batch of St Leonards Year 8 students entered the ‘Design & Technology Dragons’ Den’. Once again, Head of Art & Design Donna Rae set the brief of designing a logo and packaging for a product of their choice. Working in groups, pupils had to research, develop, experiment and select their chosen design, documenting every step in their sketchbooks.

This time, the judging panel celebrated a winning entry from a sporty bunch of Year 8 graphic designers! Clova Angus, Isla Thomson and Emma McBarron won 1st prize this term for their logo and packaging design for ‘Sunsii’. This fabulous new company makes ‘smart’ sunglasses and goggles for young techies everywhere. Their logo and packaging was excellent as was their presentation enhanced by their props and costumes! Well done to our creative, clever, budding entrepreneurs and a big thank you to our friendly Dragons - Mrs Michelle Wilkinson, Mr Andrew Travers and Ms Paula Murray. In second place were ‘Mini Me’ baby products, invented by Charlotte Travers, Jennifer Kirchacz and Sophie Brown, and in 3rd Place, ‘Kitty Kouture’ with Olivia Turnbull Smith, Natasha Reid and Libby Clark.


FRENCH EXCHANGE PT 2 | Our Year 11 French Exchange students recently welcomed their Collège Émilie de Rodat exchange partners from Toulouse to St Andrews and St Leonards. The group received a typical ‘Scottish welcome’ with the weather, as they experienced all four seasons during their week-long trip! The students shadowed their exchange partners at school in different classes, as well as venturing out to explore Scotland. The highlights for many (apart from the weather of course) was a golf clinic beside the Old Course with our Director of Golf; project work in the Art Department, using clay and shells, stones and sand from their local beach walks to create pieces to take home as a memory of their trip; and attending a Six Nations Rugby Match at Murrayfield. As well as exploring our special town, they travelled to Edinburgh to hear ghostly tales on the famous tour and walked around the castle, viewed the impressive three bridges from South Queensferry, as well as visiting Stirling and Dunfermline to learn about the lives of William Wallace and Robert the Bruce. A successful partnership and we look forward to taking our new Year 11s to Toulouse again next year!


LADIES GOLF | The last Sunday of term featured a fantastic winning round for the St Leonards Ladies golf team. They were victorious against the St Regulus Ladies Golf Club 2 and 1/2 to a 1/2. Fintan Bonner, Links Senior Instructor and Director of Golf at St Leonards, believes the St Leonards Golf Programmes are bearing fruit: four students on Sunday were from our Elite Programme and two from the Development Programme:

“This win is a credit to the hard work and dedication all of the students put in through the winter months in their respective golf programmes at St Leonards. We had students representing the school from different tiers featuring in this competition and this shows the improving performance of the students. Golf training being more available in the school is encouraging more pupils to engage with the game and there is no better place to play in the world.” There are currently over 50 students enrolled in the different programmes and this number is continuing to grow throughout the academic year.

The format of the match was a four ball and the St Leonards team consisted of Ellen Caton (Captain) and Lara Schmitz (win), Constanze Schultz Buschhoff and Megan Branch (half), and Edna Buell and Leonie Zillikens (win). Thanks to St Regulus for the great game! It was an exciting round paired with wonderful St Andrews weather! If you would like to learn more about our Golf Programmes, please contact Fintan Bonner


OUTDOOR MATHS | A Year 9 Maths class ventured outside with Mrs Struck to walk the St Leonards grounds, working out the height of various objects. Through measuring the distance to the object and the angle of elevation, students then had to use their favourite tangent formula to calculate the height of the object. Students tried and tested this method in the classroom first, to establish the height of the ceiling. The next step was putting this into practice in the open air – they collaborated in groups of threes and fours to find their own objects and collect data to complete the autograph program. Outdoor learning at its best!


MAGICAL MUSIC | People are still talking about the final concert of the Spring Term, the joyful and vibrant Easter Mix. Featuring a brilliant line-up, it is no surprise that the auditorium was again full (a similar story to the wonderful Spring Concert the week before).

It's tough to single out any one performance because all the musicians were on tip-top form. A Pipe Band drumming routine was a highlight for many - meticulous timing, order and rhythm kept by absolutely every member of the group. If you don’t believe us, watch for yourself below! If you look very closely, you will notice drum sticks are purposely swapped by the members in a rather timely fashion! Millie Love (Year 6) and Evie Hayward-Daventry (Year 11) stood poised behind the seated drummers, twirling and twisting their sticks with rhythm and precision. A truly mesmerising performance by the entire group, causing lots of foot tapping by the audience. And those Demon Barbers certainly 'get around'... Dressed to impress in their bow ties, tuxedos and Bermuda shorts, the boys gave a spirited rendition of the Beach Boys number, 'I get around' - and oozed charisma and soul.

A wonderful, upbeat evening enjoyed by all. The audience’s ‘casual and colourful’ dress code suited the overall mood of the event and everyone left the concert with a spring in their step!


MODEL UNITED NATIONS | Last month, our MUN team were preparing their debate techniques, resolution writing and lobbying for the conference weekend at George Watsons College. And so it was that our team took the stage and enjoyed a successful weekend in Edinburgh, representing Senegal on a range of committees from Human Rights to Education Science and Culture. All of our students participated strongly and eloquently in the debates and immersed themselves in the Model United Nations philosophies. Jack Boag gave a powerful speech in the General Assembly on the emergency debate about a power struggle in Zimbabwe, whilst Beatrix Livesey-Stevens tackled the topic of Gender Equality and Identity from the point of view of an extremist country. Congratulations to all of our MUN students who were an excellent representation of our school: Beatrix Livesey-Stephens, Ruaridh Angus, Rosie Banks, Liam Tooman, Rudy Newton, Jack Boag, Elizaveta Fishman, Emma Hamilton, Elizabeth Crockatt, Megan Andrews, Matthew Bruce, Natanel Gottlieb, and Hannah Woods.


SCOTLAND SQUAD | Congratulations to our Year 11 student Harry Mercer, who has been selected for the Scotland U16 Rugby Squad. Harry will represent Scotland during the Easter Holidays at the 2017 Colwyn Bay Rugby Festival in Wales. We are delighted with the news announced by Scottish Rugby and so is Harry: "It's a great privilege to be selected for the Scotland U16s, and it is an opportunity that I will grab with both hands. I would like to thank the school, in particular my coaches, for their guidance and support. I look forward to the future of rugby at St Leonards and I hope that this will be the first of many national selections at our school."

We are all extremely proud of Harry's achievement and the hard work he has demonstrated to make his dream a reality. Mr Turnbull comments on Harry’s selection: “The school are delighted with the news announced last week by Scottish Rugby and immensely proud at what Harry has achieved with years of hard work, training and determination. He has shown great dedication to both his school team, Madras Rugby Club and his training development so far with the Scottish U16 Squad, so it is great to see his hard work being rewarded. Harry is an intelligent and skilful rugby player with a great attitude on and off the pitch, so we look forward to seeing how he progresses during this season and in years to come.” We will be cheering you on every step of the way!


INTERNATIONAL DAY | On the final week and weekend of term, St Leonards celebrated cultural diversity with an array of festivities for staff, students and parents for International Day. Held in St Katharines Hall, stalls representing different nations were manned by our Junior and Senior School pupils, selling delicious traditional food. Fun board games and activities were also held, raffle tickets were sold, a flag parade and there was even an outdoor American ‘S’mores’ Station that proved to be very popular! To kick-start the International celebrations at school the day before, St Leonards was injected with a splash of colour – staff and pupils were encouraged to attend school wearing the colours of a country’s national flag. Lots of pupils represented Scotland (an easy colour to wear perhaps), as well as Canada, Austria, South Africa, Italy and Switzerland to name just a few! Donations on the day were made to chosen charity World Vision. The final amount is still to be tallied up, but so far, a total of over £700 has been raised.


CLIMATE WORKSHOP | Year 8 relished the opportunity to be part of a series of workshops run by volunteers from the St Andrews Environment network. The workshops focused on the impact of climate change and what we can do, as individuals and as a school, to help make a difference. An important topic in today’s world, so our Year 8 teams went straight into brainstorming mode!


RUNNING TEAM | A team of St Leonards Junior and Senior School runners competed in the Scottish Prep Schools Cross Country Competition, held at the John Muir Country Park, Dunbar. In the U14 girls section, Catherine Fleming had a great race and came 3rd and Grace Adam placed 27th.


CREATIVE WRITING | One of the Senior School Assemblies this term was dedicated to the results of the Leveson Creative Writing Competition. This year’s competition did not have a set theme, encouraging our budding writers and poets to be led by their own creative processes. The entries were reviewed by guest judge Mr Niall Griffiths, Professor of Creative Writing at Wolverhampton University and Tutor at Moniack Mhor – a well renowned residential creative writing course.

Sixth Form student Alexandra Gordon-Gibson won the poetry section, commended for her clever use of rhyme in her mighty poem considering the state of today’s world. Sonika Jaiganesh (Year 11) won the prose section, praised for her open, ambitious, and innovative use of language that demonstrated Sonika’s writing about people and relationships. Congratulations to both girls on their deserved awards.


EGG HUNT | The sun shone for the great St Leonards Egg Hunt. Excited children scoured the school grounds following clues in order to get ever closer to the treasure. Upon completion, they each received a large chocolate egg as a reward! Small yellow chicks were also well hidden in the gardens, waiting to be spotted by our treasure hunt teams. There were many creative entries in both the Spring Bonnet and Egg Decorating competition and the PA Cafe in the Junior School was bustling as ever! Thanks to everyone who attended and helped out on the day, but most of all a special thank you and congratulations to the PA (Parents Association) committee for 'running the show'! A wonderful atmosphere was captured around our beautiful campus.


PHOTOGRAPHY COMPETITION | After George Rees’ success (detailed in a previous newsletter) winning 3rd place in the national final of last year’s Rotary Club Young Photographer of the Year Award, St Leonards Art Department has entered this nationwide photography challenge once again. This year, seven talented young photographers from across the Senior School submitted a set of three prints, each focused around the set theme ‘Reflection’. We have recently learnt that three of our students have successfully made it through the local heats to the next regional round of the competition. Congratulations on reaching this stage.

Have a look below at some of the impressive artwork that has been submitted. And fingers crossed that Emilia Forges-Puccio (Year 8), Livia Plaumann (Year 12) and George Rees (Year 12) receive some good news over the Easter Holidays!

By Flora Macrae
By Johannes Reimann
By Lucy Saddler
By Xiaojia Chen


GREAT DEBATE | Some of our Senior School pupils took part in the annual St Leonards vs Madras Debate last week. Emily Challice (Year 10) and Sasha MacAulay (Year 9) argued that technology is good for society. Roma Dhasmana (Year 11) and Rudy Newton (Year 9) had to convince the floor that Trump is a breath of fresh air, and Catherine Bouchard (Year 13) and Ryan Millar (Year 12) proposed the notion that War is never justified.

Some topics were definitely tougher to support than others but each team pitched their arguments well to the audience and indeed the opposition. St Leonards narrowly lost overall to Madras but congratulations to Rudy who was awarded best Junior Speaker and the winning team was Emily and Sasha.


GERMAN EXCHANGE | Early in the morning on Tuesday, 21st March, our year 10 German students travelled to Dresden to spend a sunny week with our partner school, Sankt Benno. The German Exchange allows each class to experience life, language and school in a different environment – students were impressed with the Sankt Benno’s modern buildings and enjoyed using their film studio on site to create a short film documenting their school trip. St Leonards students took part in a walking tour, discovering Dresden’s notable art museums, churches, classic architecture and the Semperoper opera house, where the group enjoyed a beautiful performance of ballet. Other visits included a trip to the VW factory to oversee the production of the new eGolfs as well as an extensive array of concept cars; a hillside hike to the top of Festung Königstein, one of the largest hilltop fortresses in Europe – worth it for the impressive views and selifes; and a day trip to Berlin where the group visited the German Parliament building.

Our budding German linguists had fun practising the language, trying new foods (currywurst seems to be a new favourite) and living with their exchange partners. Next term in June, we shall welcome Sankt Benno to St Leonards for another action packed week of langauge learning.


SIX NATIONS | A rugby pack of St Leonards boys and girls travelled to Edinburgh in style, by coach, (like the Scottish and Italian players to the stadium) to watch a rather important rugby game. 45 students were full of excitement for the early 12.30pm kick off at Murrayfield. Our day pupils and boarders were ready to take their seats with flags, face paint and food for the exciting Scotland v Italy rugby match. The highlight of the afternoon – the final score of course! Scotland were victorious against Italy, 29-0. This made up for the cold wind and rain, unless you were Mr Prisco, who was accompanying the students on the trip and supporting Italy!


GEOGRAPHY FIELDWORK | Our Year 10 and 12 Geographers visited the West Sands as part of their IA (Internal Assessment). Each student had to design a research methodology to investigate sand dune succession. Sunshine, fresh air and the beautiful rolling beach waves helped make this project a breeze!


LACROSSE RUNNERS UP | The cradling of the lacrosse ball was tinged with sadness when girls in Year 13 played as a team for their school for the final time on Saturday. After a long and gruelling fight to the finish in the Rathbones Scottish Schools Championships, our Under 18 lacrosse squad took second place in the prestigious tournament, narrowly losing to Fettes in the final, 3-1. It was then that the Upper Sixth Formers linked arms and looked proudly back over their years of playing lacrosse for their school.

Now the girls look forward to their futures - and no doubt they will carry on, as so many former pupils do, playing lacrosse at university and beyond! Well done to our entire 1st XII squad on a very successful season.


SUIT SWAP SPLASH | The Year 13 students made their final splash of the Spring Term, getting up to old tricks! They arrived at school one morning, not in their typical smart suits, but instead making an 'impact'. Final year Sixth Form boys and girls swapped suits and looked out their old kilts, school blazers and ties! Lunchtime featured a water fight on Birdcage - an annual event that our students remember eagerly watching their elder peers enjoy, wishing it was them! Finally, it was their turn!

A day of much hilarity, nostalgia and fun before their summer term exam session begins. It was however, strictly back to 'normal dress code' the next day!


FINAL ASSEMBLY FOR YEAR 13 I Our Year 13 students have now experienced their final Sixth Form Assembly. Dr Carslaw addressed the Sixth Form in the school hall, followed by a talk from Jane Claydon, former Deputy Head, now Secretary of St Leonards Seniors Society, who spoke about the benefits of staying in touch with school, and the many generations of pupils who had been at St Leonards, and her work with the archive. The guest speaker was Grace Collison-Owen, a former pupil, who left in 2012, and is currently a final year student at St Andrews University. Grace spoke about her time at school and beyond, and the ways to keep in touch with St Leonards through social media. Finally, a lovely group photograph was taken in QML gardens to commemorate the occasion. We told you they were back to smart suits for the final few days of term!


TERM ENDS | And now, to finish off a busy March round up. Here are some of our Year 13 students slip sliding away into the Easter Holidays after a successful Spring Term...! Let's hope we can soak up the sun!

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