BACK TO SCHOOL | We have raced through the first half of the Autumn Term! It now seems long ago since the welcome receptions occurred, 'back to school afternoon tea parties' were enjoyed, and new smart uniforms, suits and school shoes were ‘broken in’. It was wonderful to welcome our boys and girls back for a brand-new school term, smiling, well-rested and ready to learn! We hope you enjoy the holidays - for now, we will leave you with some moments from the first half of a very busy Autumn Term.
BLOWN AWAY DAY
BLOWN AWAY DAY | Our new Sixth Formers took to the West Sands for an afternoon of fun outdoor activities during the first week of the Autumn Term. Team building was the overall theme, so students enjoyed a range of exciting beach and water tasks which involved wearing wet suits, bright yellow hats and big smiles! A great way to kick start the new school year and all just minutes away from the school grounds! Thank you to the team at Blown Away for making week one for Year 12 a memorable one.
HOCKEY ACTION | Impressive hockey results have been pouring in for our girls teams since the start of term. Our Senior girls squad were the winners of the Fife Schools Hockey Tournament, for the sixth year in a row! Congratulations to Megan, Corey, Ellen, Catriona, Ellie, Millie, Amber, Rachel, Jemima, Ilona, Sophie, Helena and Iona for playing excellent hockey throughout the afternoon. The St Leonards team won against Madras 6-0, beat Bellbaxter 4-0, and drew against Dunfermline 0-0 in the competition.
Another highlight was the Year 8A Hockey victory against Dunfermline High School on Birdcage on Saturday, 16 September, with a convincing final score of 20-0. Here they are smiling with their new mascot!
Ben Caton (Year 12, Tom Morris), Laetitia Veeser (Year 13, Golf), Harry Mercer (Year 12, Sport), Alexander Samuel (Year 11, Sport), Laetitia Veeser (Year 13, Golf), Ellen Caton (Year 11, Golf).
New for 2017, the Tom Morris Award for Outstanding Achievement in Golf was awarded to Ben Caton (Year 13).
YOUNG ENTERPRISE | Representatives from Cancer Research UK visited St Leonards on Wednesday, 11 October, when they were presented with a cheque from members of the Young Enterprise Group.
The Year 13 students raised an impressive £420.82 for the charity through the sale of leavers' hoodies and the raffle at the annual Christmas Fair.
Elizabeth Swankie, Manager of Cancer Research UK in St Andrews, collected the donation on behalf of the charity, thanking the students for their excellent fundraising efforts.
DUNHILL THRILL | Some of our talented golfing students recently competed in the Alfred Dunhill Schools Golf Challenge. We are proud to announce that St Leonards was the top of the leader board: congratulations to Manuel Campos (Year 10) who won 1st place Nett Junior and Ole Specht (Year 11) who was 1st place Nett Senior. Both students, who are part of the school's Elite Golf Programme, were presented with their prizes on the final day of the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship in front of a huge crowd. They were also both interviewed by a television crew and had time to rub shoulders with some of today's top golfers! St Leonards students were also there to support our winners, enjoy the golf and spot some celebrities: all members of the St Leonards Golf Programme were lucky enough to receive complimentary tickets for the final day of the competition.
ROTARY FUNDRAISING | A group of 12 students in Years 12 and 13 also headed down to the Old Course during the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship to sell raffle tickets to spectators as part of the Creativity, Activity and Service (CAS) element of the IB Diploma. The funds raised will go to the Rotary Club. As well as supporting the Rotary Club, it was a wonderful chance for our students to cheer on our golfers and spot some famous faces, including Swedish golfer Alex Noren who came 5th in the 2017 Championship.
SPECIAL GUEST LECTURE
SPECIAL GUEST LECTURE | Students in Years 9 and 12 were challenged to think about science and religion in an engaging lecture from visiting speaker Professor Elaine Howard Ecklund, from the James Gregory lecture series.
Professor Ecklund encouraged lively discussion and debate by posing four questions to the students, who considered the difference between science and art, whether scientists believe in God and whether science and religion can ever work together. The topics provoked a range of answers, with some groups even producing illustrations of how they envisaged a “typical” scientist – cue white lab coats, safety glasses and bubbling test tubes!
Professor Ecklund, who is Herbert S. Autrey Chair in Social Sciences and Director of the Religion and Public Life program at Rice University, Houston, delivered the lecture - entitled 'What do scientists think about religion?' - in the auditorium at St Leonards on Monday, 9 October, before addressing members of the public at the University of St Andrews.
HIGHLAND FLING | Nerea Gomez-Martin (Year 11), took the spirit of Scotland to France when she joined Highland dancers from the Joyce Anderson School of Dance on a trip to Challans. The group, which also included Scottish folk musicians and pipers from the Haddington Pipe Band, set off on a longer-than-expected (28 hour) coach trip to the Vendée on Wednesday, 6 September.
Nerea spent a week performing with the group at the Foire des Minées festival, showcasing 16 dances a day, as well as evening performances. Despite a couple of 'bumps in the road' due to dance injuries and a very busy (and exhausting) schedule of performances, Nerea said it was a hugely rewarding experience:
'I had a great time improving my French, dance techniques and feeling the appreciation from the French people towards our Highland dancing.'
- (Nerea Gomez-Martin, Year 11)
Could this be a new after school activity? Watch this space!
KINDROGAN WEEKEND | Year 12 Biology and Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) students embarked on the annual trip to Kindrogan Field Study Centre near Blairgowrie on Friday, 29 September.
The group donned their wellies and waterproofs and braved the wet weather for a weekend of freshwater study in the River Ardle. Other tasks included using ranging poles to measure the angle of a slope, extracting soil samples and setting traps for small mammals. No voles were harmed in the process!
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION | As part of the Year 8 Geography Middle Years Programme (MYP), classes have thoroughly enjoyed their tasty new topic "Location, Location, Location".
One of the class challenges set was to build a practical understanding of the height and shape of land. This involved pupils constructing topographical models of real and fictional landscapes, ranging from Largo Law to Mount Cookie Crumble! A sterling effort from Year 8!
JEANS FOR GENES
JEANS FOR GENES | It was the annual ‘Jeans for Genes Day’ in the Senior School on Friday, 22 September, as students and staff members dressed in denim to raise money for Genetic Disorders UK, the national charity that supports individuals and families affected by a genetic disorder. Here are some of our pupils striking a home clothes pose! The total amount raised for the charity was £452.47 - well done to Sophie Macmillan, Ben Caton, Pol Berge and Kevin Klokov’s who helped organise this as part of their CAS project.
ART SCHOLARSHIPS | Ten of St Leonards’ budding artists tackled the Art Scholarship exam on Saturday, 16 September, and what a challenge it was!
This year, nominated students from Years 8 to 13 were asked to draw natural objects in a variety of different materials and techniques to demonstrate their skill. Materials included graphite, charcoal, pen and ink, felt-tip pen, aquarelle pencils and biros, combined with several different types of paper. The two-hour exam consisted of four timed studies which led to a one-hour drawing using the object, material and paper of their choice.
All who took part have much to be proud of and congratulations to the successful candidates for 2017. Everyone is welcome to come and see the scholarship drawings which will be on display in the art department.
YEAR 12 POSTER PRESENTATION
YEAR 12 POSTER PRESENTATION | Sustainability was the theme for Year 12’s Group 4 projects, which they presented in poster form in a special display on Thursday, 12 October as part of their IB Diploma.
The students were challenged to design and conduct their own experiments and research, spending a whole day in the Science lab before illustrating their findings on paper. At the presentation, students had an opportunity to look at each group’s finished project, ask questions and show off their own efforts. Topics were many and varied, ranging from research into solar panels to an investigation into the efficiency of bottled soaps compared with bar soaps.
GOLFING GREAT | Ben Caton (Year 13) jetted off to Japan at the beginning of term to compete in the Jack Bunny National Tour Finals at Higashi Tsukuba Golf and Country Club. After qualifying for the final in August, Ben and his family set off for the prestigious junior event with Director of Golf, Fintan Bonner. Previously run as a closed tournament for Japanese nationals, this was the second year the organisers have provided special entries for the best St Andrews golfers. Ben, a member of the St Leonards Elite Golf Programme and new Tom Morris Scholar, is also a member of the St Andrews Links Junior Golf Association.
Going into the final day of the competition, Ben was tied in 8th place, and finished 11th in the tournament overall - a truly super achievement. More than 1300 students tried to qualify for the high-profile event so well done Ben!
QUEENSFERRY CROSSING | Some of our lucky Junior and Senior School pupils and staff took their first famous footsteps across the iconic landmark, the Queensferry Crossing on the weekend of 2-3 September. There were 250,000 bridge ballot entries submitted to try and win this unique opportunity and some happy St Leonards families were among the fortunate few allowed to set foot on the bridge before the crossing opened to cars.
Parents and pupils enjoyed completing the walk across the tallest bridge in the UK and all agreed it was a memorable and exciting weekend event which they were proud to be a part of. Incredible views, positive atmosphere and dry weather!
Thank you to our boys and girls for reporting back on this once in a lifetime opportunity, and for sharing some of their 'new bridge selfies' with us!
SLM RUGBY LAUNCH
SLM RUGBY LAUNCH | 'St Leonards Madras Rugby' launched at the beginning of term with over 70 players from St Leonards School and Madras Rugby Club attending a special training session and BBQ to celebrate beginning of the partnership. Colin McAdam (President, Madras Rugby Club) and Dr Michael Carslaw were both pitch-side to welcome parents and pupils, and spoke to the group about the great opportunity we have to work together to enhance youth rugby and nurture our talented players from the St Andrews community. So far, it has been an strong season for all the teams, in particular the 1st XV for remaining unbeaten so far this term!
PHOTO READY | New House photographs have been taken to mark the start of the new school year. Here is a sneak peak of Ollerenshaw getting 'photo ready'!
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT | Year 12 Business Management students enjoyed a talk from Mr Vladimir Evtushenko, father of Evgeny (Year 12), and founder of TellME™. Mr Evtushenko visited St Leonards on Wednesday, 4 October, to speak about how he started up his company and grew it to become the fourth largest ATM software company in the world.
After a very inspirational talk and an opportunity for the students to ask questions, Mr Evtushenko treated the group to a selection of delicious Russian chocolates!
One student gave her feedback on the session:
'Mr Evtushenko gave us an insight into the life of a successful businessman. We all learned a lot from his presentation because we were able to ask him about his business and how he came that far. He gave us a great tip: ‘reinvent, not repeat’.
Talking to Mr Evtushenko was enlightening and gave us a real-life example of all the theory we are studying in our business class.'
- (Leonie Schwaerzler, Year 12 attendee)