The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 15 June 2018

Reach for the top: be proud of success


Like us, many schools are preparing for their annual sports days, a time when whole school communities come together to take part in competitive events. Every year, the debate between competitive and non-competitive school sports rages on, with some firm advocates for individual winners emerging, whilst others have moved away from any form of competitiveness, with only the taking part that matters.

At St Leonards, the purpose of our Sports Days is twofold: firstly, they are occasions at which all the pupils represent their house, showing great teamwork and collegiality. Secondly, pupils compete as individuals, some against others, and for many, their aim is to beat own personal best or surpass their own expectations of goals for the day. Winners are crowned, and are rightly proud of their success.

As the Football World Cup kicks off, one can find many similarities with school sports days. Players from across the world represent their nations to take part in the most coveted tournament of ‘the beautiful game’. This brings extraordinary pride in individual nations, but also brings together a global community. As the official World Cup 2018 video states, 'Where there is unity, there is always victory'. Crucially though, it is a tournament where success is sought, outstanding performances are celebrated, and great individual and team pride is established.

Following on from the World Cup, Wimbledon, the British Grand Prix, the Open, Women’s Hockey World Cup, the Test series vs. India, and the Ryder Cup, to name but a few, will celebrate similar successes, expose failure at its most cruel in competition, and ignite enormous pride.

After our Sports Days next week, we will be showcasing further success in our Art Exhibition, End of Year Concert, Speech Day, and yes, the most coveted of them all: the annual Sandcastle Building Competition!

A guiding principle of ours is to see failure as a ‘first attempt in learning’, a springboard to future success, and a mechanism to grow stronger, whilst being magnanimous in defeat. We place strong emphasis on team work, celebrating other people’s successes, and showing generosity of spirit. We want to ignite as much pride in our houses and school. We value effort, often over achievement, and encourage the boys and girls to be the very best version of themselves, often using role models in sport to highlight the value of this ‘Growth Mindset’.

However, as individuals, teams and houses step up to receive their medals on Sports Day; as our soloists, ensembles and choirs take their bows at the End of Year Concert; as our artists’ work is displayed in the Atrium next Friday; and as pupils collect their prizes on Speech Day, I want each and every one to be proud of their success.

In trying to protect our young people from any form of competition for fear of causing offence or upset, we often overlook the importance of reaching for the very top, and if you get there, not shying away from success. This mustn’t be ruined by any form of arrogance or boastfulness, simply a desire to be the very best we can, set the highest targets, and when you climb that mountain, enjoying every second of that victory.

I very much look forward to celebrating every child’s success with you over the coming two weeks. If this isn’t through receiving a prize or medal, then it will be the reflection of all they have achieved this year.

Wishing all St Leonards families a happy weekend, wherever your adventures take you.

William Goldsmith


BRILLIANT BELMONT | This week it was the turn of Year 6 to set off on an outdoor adventure, travelling to Belmont Outdoor Education Centre near Blairgowrie. The group spent 48 hours practising their bushcraft skills, making fires and building shelters in the Perthshire woods.

Year 6 had a terrific time making the most of the great outdoors, flying down the zipwire, climbing trees and building trust in one another with lots of fun team-building games!

As with the Ridgway trip, our trusty camera was on hand to capture some of the highlights enjoyed by Year 6!


EAST SANDS CREST | Last Friday afternoon, Year 5 took advantage of the wonderful weather we have been having and the amazing facility we have of the beach on our doorstep.

Mr Barrable set the two classes a challenge: to recreate the St Leonards crest in the sand, using whatever items they could find to add detail to the emblem.

Both classes rose to the challenge and headed off in all directions, collecting shells, seaweed, pebbles and sticks. Year 5P started with a group discussion about who would use the spade and trowels to start to make the shape of the lozenge, whilst others were sent off to scavenge. Team work and co-operation were key.

With the guidance of Mr Barrable, Mrs Lindsay and Mrs Beebee, both classes managed to recreate the crest with great precision. It was just a shame to know that the next high tide would wash all their hard work away!


MOVING UP DAY | Last Friday’s packed programme of Induction and Moving Up Day activities culminated in a wonderful outdoor ceilidh on what was a perfect summer’s evening. Thank you to Mr Barlow and Mr Lang for overseeing the day’s events, which included a well-fought round of tug o’ war before the boys and girls settled in for a sleepover in Bishopshall.

Fun and games in house ended with mugs of toasty hot chocolate before everyone bedded down for the night.

We hope you enjoy looking through some of the photo highlights from Moving Up Day and Induction Morning!


SWIMMING SUPERSTARS | The St Leonards Junior School girls’ swim team competed in a gala at Kilgraston on Wednesday with winning performances in the medley relay, back crawl, breaststroke, butterfly, individual medley and freestyle.

Great team spirit from Jennifer, Eabha, Thea, Abbie, Katie, Fiona, Millie, Issy, Rachel and Lucy ensured an overall victory for St Leonards. Super work!


YEAR 5 MATHS | Year 5 worked together to learn about capacity on Wednesday as part of their Maths curriculum. The pupils worked with a variety of measuring funnels, comparing millilitres and litres and finding out which funnel was the best to use when measuring volumes of water. They also looked at pints and fluid ounces.

Thankfully no one got too wet!


CRICKET CHAMPIONS | The U10 and U12 boys’ cricket teams had an amazing afternoon up at Lathallan on Wednesday with the U10s winning 198-178 and the U12s winning 180-140 – a clean sweep!

Particular congratulations to Hamish and Angus who were chosen as Player of the Match in the U12s and U10s games respectively.

Wednesday’s results show a marked improvement in our standard of cricket, which is brilliant to see. Long may the wins continue!


PERFECT PEBBLES | Francis in Year 3 has developed a wonderfully unique way of practising spelling. He collected pebbles from the beach at Stonehaven, marked each on with a letter, and has been using them to spell out words. Imaginative, creative, brilliant!


As Storm Hector blows onwards, the children in the Lower School have been creating their own storm in the shape of frenzied preparations for their eagerly anticipated ‘Celebration Assembly’ next Friday morning at 9am. We look forward to sharing this with you and do hope you can join us for this very special event.

The term may drawing to a close, but our objectives are not:

Year 1

  • Maths - to use their knowledge of addition and subtraction, counting on and counting back to play the games they have created.
  • English - to be able to write playing instructions for various games of their own design. Phonics - revision of ‘igh’.

Year 2

  • Maths - to begin to able to count in steps of three and link to the learning of the three times table.
  • English - to write and present our own lines for the Assembly. Phonics ‘or’.

Year 3

  • Maths - Revision of grid references. To share mental addition strategies for larger numbers and to begin to be able to do vertical setting (chimney sums) for addition.
  • English - Completing comprehension work linked to ‘Dear Greenpeace’.
  • Phonics - ‘si’ for ‘zi’.

Don’t forget your buckets and spades next Thursday and appropriate outdoor school kit for our Sandcastle Competition!

Have a terrific weekend.

Claire Boissiere, Lower School Coordinator

Wishing you all a very...

We wish the following a very Happy Birthday for the week ahead: Rory, Ishbel, Kai, Zahara, Oscar and Charles


EDEN ART | Jaclyn Stewart of St Andrews-based Eden Art will be running art classes for children and young people during the summer holidays. Further information on the classes, which are for children aged 5-12 or 11-16, can be found via the links below.


Childe In The Wilde is running Summer Woodland Clubs at Cambo, Falkland and Strathkinness in July/August. Full details are enclosed below.

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