BEHIND THE STUDY DOOR
MAKING EVERY VOICE HEARD
The best way to master school life is to find your personal sources of passion. Think about what goal is important to you. The more you care about a topic, the more comfortable you’ll feel speaking up about it
I start today with a scenario for you all: imagine you arrive at a course, conference or seminar. You walk into the room and your heart sinks because you realise that you will have to be seated around tables, which undoubtedly means engaging in discussion. As you sit down, you see the first PowerPoint slide and the word on the screen jumps out at you: ‘ICEBREAKER’. At this point, you wish you had scheduled in a tactical stop at Starbucks to ensure you arrive five minutes into the first session, thus avoiding the awful charade of ‘getting to know everyone on the course’. You recover from the impromptu introductions, and settle into the session, listening to the speaker who rattles through his points. Slide ten arrives and your worst fears are realised: ‘GROUP TASK or DISCUSSION’. And so the day goes on….
In my quest to be as informed as possible about the best education practice, one of the most interesting books I have read is Susan Cain’s ‘Quiet’. In this she sets out the case to promote the power of those whose voice is sometimes the quietest. She cites the Harvard Business School approach of promoting confidence and presence by ensuring your voice is the loudest, whilst highlighting Rosa Parks’s ability to galvanize a crowd through sheer silence, and yet demonstrating equal presence. Her sequel to ‘Quiet’, ‘Quiet Power’ is aimed at supporting introverted children in growing up in a world that is about confidence, collaboration and sometimes shouting the loudest to get heard.
BURNS ASSEMBLY | Year 7 pulled out all the stops with a wonderful Burns Assembly on Wednesday morning. They recited one of Robert Burns’ most famous poems, Tam o’ Shanter, complete with props and pipes. The boys and girls really brought the tale to life, giving everyone a flavour of Burns’ works in time for Thursday’s ‘splash of tartan’ celebrations.
A big thank you to Year 7 for putting on such a fantastic performance and to Mrs Stewart and Mrs Donald for all their hard work. It was certainly an assembly to remember!
GONE FISHING | Year 5P created a fantastic magnetic fishing game as part of their Unit of Inquiry looking at forces. They had great fun inventing their own games with their own rules - some were timed, some had to miss a go, and others lost by picking up the pond weed! It certainly made for a fun Friday afternoon!
SIMPLE MACHINES | The boys and girls in Year 2 are currently inquiring into the structure and application of simple machines, and have set up a workshop in their classroom. Everyone enjoyed a visit from Mr Graham Mackenzie from the St Leonards Estates Department, who dropped into the Junior School to teach the class about how to use tools safely. Year 2 can now use hammers, drills, screws, hacksaws and clamps safely as part of their small group activities, enabling them to gain hands-on experience of using wedges, screws, levers, wheels and axles.
It has been an exciting week for Year 2, as they also indulged in a spot of ice cream – homemade! To learn about another simple machine, the ‘inclined plane’ they mixed up the ingredients for the sweet treat before placing them in a tub full of ice and salt and rolling it down the slide in the playground. Within 15 minutes, the concoction had transformed into delicious ice cream. Yum!
GYMNASTICS WIN | Our talented St Leonards gymnasts represented the school at the qualifying heats of the BSGA Scottish Gymnastics Finals in Perth on Sunday, 21 January. After a fantastic display, Melissa Alexander (Year 6) finished in first place in the national Level 4 heats and will go on to compete in the Scottish finals on Sunday, 18 March.
The St Leonards Level 2 Primary team also finished in second place in their category, with Corinne Dumbreck (Year 7) coming first overall. Their super performance will see the team compete at the Scottish finals in May.
Congratulations to all our Junior School gymnasts on a terrific set of achievements!
TOUCH OF TARTAN
TOUCH OF TARTAN | There were kilts of all colours spotted around the Junior School yesterday as students marked Burns Night with a splash of tartan. A traditional and rather delicious Burns’ supper of haggis, neeps and tatties featured on the menu for lunch. Here are some of the boys looking particularly smart in their traditional Scottish dress!
The following pupils received certificates at Celebration Assembly on Monday:
Abbie for creating an interesting fact book about light.
Archie for displaying amazing handwriting (in his quest for a pen licence!).
Eabha for demonstrating a superb science experiment with food colouring.
Francis for creating a wonderful poster about Sir Chris Hoy, after meeting the Olympic cyclist in person.
Grace received a certificate and a £5 voucher for Toppings for earning 100 Good Marks.
James was presented with a Spirit of St Leonards Award for adopting a positive, 'can-do' attitude to his work across the curriculum, working diligently and willingly in the areas he is strongest, sharing these strengths with others, showing perseverance in areas of challenge, and making special efforts to be open minded.
Jennifer received a Headmaster's Commendation for creating a PowerPoint presentation about her experiment, in which she made a working volcano at home.
We wish the following a very Happy Birthday for the week ahead: Eliza, Ruben, Logan, Amol, Lana and Evie.