The Voice of st leonards junior school

Friday, 1 November 2019

Often Knowing, Always Imagining

Headmistress's Introduction

This temper may have been what prompted one of his elementary school teachers to say that “he would never amount to anything and that his mere presence undermined the class’s respect for the teacher.” Another teacher said that he had “a memory like a sieve”.

I am sure that when reading the above the subject of such criticism didn’t immediately spring to mind. The now undisputed genius in question is none other than Albert Einstein. Einstein was always imagining, he was always letting his mind wander, constantly thinking, growing and learning. As he grew older, he would do what he called ‘visualisation experiments’ in which he would try to imagine relationships in the universe. One of his most powerful quotes, and one which I suspect many people would automatically associate with him, is ‘imagination is more powerful than knowledge’. Einstein was able to combine creative thinking and visualisation to forge new mathematical and scientific possibilities and theories.

An angry child, he was not the best role model in school, by any stretch of the imagination. He caused daily frustration to his teachers and his behaviour was questionable, to say the least. Einstein was slow to speak and would talk to himself in whispers before committing to what he actually had to say. Before long, he left school and attended a polytechnic college. Following his graduation, applied to write a PhD, but all his dissertation ideas were rejected. Instead, he took a job filing papers at the Swiss Patent Office, somewhat ironically, collating the mail that came in from other geniuses about their ideas and inventions.

For Einstein, the path to success was not an easy one, with many, many rejections along the way. Perseverance and imagination were key to his eventual recognition. Not before time, he was nominated for a Nobel Prize in 1910 by Wilhelm Ostwald, who had rejected him previously for a research post. It wasn’t until 1921 that the Nobel Committee of Science finally acknowledged his intelligence.

This goes to show that intelligence and knowledge aren’t defined by perfection and success; they are defined, as Einstein’s journey tells us, by creativity, trial and error.

This month, our IB Learner Profile attribute is ‘knowledgeable’, and the Junior School children are busy learning about the world around them, acquiring knowledge and exploring concepts, issues and ideas that have both local and global significance. They are being allowed, indeed actively encouraged, to be creative and to use their imaginations.

I look forward to seeing and hearing about the knowledge they acquire and the paths their imaginations lead them down along the way. Who knows where their minds might take them!

Julianne Pennycook

Spotlight On

Year 1's Busy Week

Year 1 came back bursting with enthusiasm.

YEAR 1'S BUSY WEEK | A productive, busy and fun week was had in Year 1. The children have clearly benefited from a terrific holiday and came back on Monday morning bursting with energy and enthusiasm.

The Year 1 classroom has been a hive of activity this week.

The girls and boys have turned their attention to the deeper questions they want answered about our Unit of Inquiry investigating the central idea that 'We are all the same but different'. As such, we were introduced to 'Sid' this week, when we looked more closely at our bodies and specifically our bones. 'Funnybones' was a terrific book to take this learning further, and everyone enjoyed learning our 'Skeleton Dance' – very apt for Halloween!

Halloween themes in class this week.

The concept of the senses and how they work has also provoked a great deal of interest and was the focus for Beach School. I suspect that after a great deal of exploring and play on East Sands using four out of our five senses, it may have been the taste of the doughnuts at the end that remained with Year 1 the most. For some reason they didn't wish to simply look or touch them - how odd!

Learning about our senses on the beach.

The children want to know even more about their senses and we are looking forward to visits from both Grace and Eliza's fathers as we try to understand how our eyes work to help us see and what the brain actually does. It is wonderful to see the children leading their learning already.

After much debate, we have decided to change our Home Corner into an optician’s shop. Should you have anything lying around at home such as old glasses frames, cases and so on that would lend any authenticity to our area, do please bring them in. Any donations would be most gratefully received.

Claire Boissiere, Year 1 Class Teacher & Lower School Coordinator

Year 3's Superheroes

Year 3 created characteristics for their own superheroes.

YEAR 3'S SUPERHEROES | Year 3 began to create their own ‘superhero’ this week. Working collaboratively, they first drew around a friend before adding wonderful characteristics, costumes and special powers.

We had hover boots, laser eyes, and even special capes and belts that could make them invisible! The children worked well together with some very creative ideas. We now hope to use these creations in story writing.

Looking ahead to this particularly busy half of term, Year 3 will not be taking home Shared Reading on a Friday. I would, however be grateful if parents could spend this time working on the children’s Nativity lines. Our performances will take place at the start of December, so it is important that lines are learned and cues memorised, with everyone speaking loudly and clearly on stage.

We also have our Year 3 St Andrew’s Day Assembly to look forward to on Friday, 29 November, and the boys and girls will have a few lines to learn for this.

Finally, returning to our ‘superheroes’ theme, I would like each child to create a poster or PowerPoint presentation on their ‘sporting hero’, tying in with their PE lessons. Each child should be able to present their poster for 2-3 minutes in class and they should all be in by Friday, 22 November to allow us to prepare for this. Many thanks, as always, to our Year 3 parents for your support.

Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher

Riley House Hockey

Congratulations to the U12 girls!

RILEY HOUSE HOCKEY | The U12 girls’ hockey team had a superb match this week against Riley House, with goals from Emily, Eabha, Rachel and Sal leading the team to a brilliant 5-2 victory.

Riley started out strong, hitting one off the back board, but Emily was quick to equalise, scoring one further goal. Eabha closed out the half with another one for St Leonards, bringing the half-time score to 3-2. The goal keepers were kept on their toes at both ends, with Rachel striking a beautiful ball from the top of the circle. Sal scored the final goal of the game, securing a well-deserved victory.

Congratulations to the girls on an excellent performance and thank you to Mr McLeish for coming down to cheer on the team!

Kilgraston Gala

Smiles all round in the swimming pool this week.

KILGRASTON GALA | A huge well done to the U9, U11 and U13 girls' swim teams who beat Kilgraston in an away gala at end of October. Well done to both our Junior and Senior School swimmers on a superb result!

Outdoor Film Night

All wrapped up for our Outdoor Film Night!

OUTDOOR FILM NIGHT | On Wednesday night, we welcomed in the winter season and made the most of the clocks moving back by holding our Outdoor Movie Night! This was the first time that we have tried to hold such an event, and our fingers and toes were well and truly crossed that the weather would hold.

The children from Years 4 to 7 carefully selected Disney's ‘Aladdin’ from a list of films and we set up the projector in the Lower School playground. Speakers were moved, chairs arranged, sleeping bags and woolly hats brought in to keep out the cold, and everyone settled down to enjoy the film in the fresh air under the stars (and clouds!).

We are grateful to Miss Fisher who took charge of the catering and make sure that everyone was well fed - the menu included hotdogs, popcorn and hot chocolate with whipped cream! Our thanks to Mr Shiells too, for saving the day by happily being our Sound Technician for the evening.

Here's to the next Outdoor Film Night!

Mr Barrable, Head of Outdoor Learning

Celebration Assembly

Congratulations to the following pupils who received certificates at Celebration Assembly on Monday morning:

The House Captains of Lewis and Mull received a joint award for collecting the most House Points during the first half of term. Members of both houses were treated to a non-uniform day this week as their reward!

Eliza was Year 1 Pupil of the Week for being a terrific friend to others. Always caring and kind to her friends, Eliza can be relied upon to look after us all!

Hamish for working so well with his group on their brilliant irrigation experiment. They were focused and enthusiastic throughout and continued to persevere when things didn't go to plan.

Alastair for working so well with his group on their brilliant irrigation experiment. They were focused and enthusiastic throughout and continued to persevere when things didn't go to plan.

Ollie for working so well with his group on their brilliant irrigation experiment. They were focused and enthusiastic throughout and continued to persevere when things didn't go to plan.


We wish the following pupils a very...

Happy Birthday to Ollie, Ed, Katherine and Aidan. We hope you have a fabulous day!

Diary Dates

Parents Association AGM

Come along on Thursday, 7 November for coffee, cake and the AGM!

PARENTS ASSOCIATION AGM | All current St Leonards parents and guardians are invited to attend the Parents Association annual general meeting, which will be held next Thursday, 7 November. Come for coffee at the Headmaster’s House at 8.30am in the Main School Quad, followed by the AGM at 9.00am.

As current parents and guardians, you are welcome to put yourself forward as a volunteer to help run the PA and its social and fundraising events. Thursday's meeting will include a rundown of the PA’s activities and a new committee will be formed along with a new chair(s), vice chair(s), treasurer and secretary.

If you are unable to attend but would like to help, or join the committee, we can also set up a Skype call for any parents interested in following proceedings from afar.

The PA needs you and your ideas. Please support our school by supporting the PA!

Let us know if you will be able to come along on Thursday morning, or would like to call in via Skype, by emailing Nicola Carslaw at n.carslaw@stleonards-fife.org, and we will make sure there’s enough coffee and cake on offer!

Poetry Performances

Simon Lamb will be performing in St Andrews on Friday, 8 November.

POETRY PERFORMANCES | Simon Lamb, who taught at St Leonards Junior School last year as maternity cover for Mrs Fynn, will be touring Scotland this month with readings from 'Cathedral Sky'. He will be in St Andrews on Friday, 8 November. All are welcome to attend, with details enclosed on the poster above.