What's life without a little risk?
I must begin this newsletter with a big thank you to everyone who helped with our Junior School Open morning. It was extremely well attended and the atmosphere was fantastic. It provided us with the opportunity to showcase all the amazing things that go on in the Junior School and show visiting families what a warm, friendly and welcoming community this is.
Particular thanks to the Year 6 & 7 pupils who gave excellent guided tours of the school – there has been a huge amount of positive feedback from impressed parents, commending our guides on their impeccable manners. Likewise, the Senior School pupils who gave tours and greeted visitors as they arrived. Seeing them in action served as a reminder of the importance we place upon helping our children to develop confidence and the ability to speak and present in a variety of situations.
Our Junior School musicians performed beautifully as the visitors arrived and their behaviour was outstanding. Last but not least, thank you to the Parents Association Representatives who gave up their time to share their own experiences of St Leonards. Again, this demonstrated the wonderful community atmosphere at the heart of the school.
Our Wednesday morning assembly this week was led by Mr Barrable on the theme of ‘Risk, Trust and Fun’. He spoke about the importance of taking calculated risks in life and discussed which risks might be good to take.
‘The dominant parental norm is that being a good parent is being a controlling parent,’ says Tim Gill, author of No Fear, which critiques our risk-averse society. But he asks: ‘at what cost?’, ‘what’s the alternative?’ and, most importantly, ‘when are we letting them play?’. This is a tricky conundrum for parents and teachers alike as we have all become more and more safety conscious around our children, and perhaps more conscious in general. I don’t think this is necessarily a bad thing, but I do think it is important to stop and think about how we are supporting our children to take risk, whether it is riding solo on a bike, climbing a tree, entering a competition or reaching out to talk to a new friend.
Much of our PYP curriculum is focused upon encouraging independence and embracing challenge. Outdoor learning has added another dimension to this, pushing many children out of their traditional comfort zone and encouraging them to learn new skills and apply learning in a different way.
Evidence of risk-taking success can be seen all around school. The musicians performing at Open Morning, the students taking DELF exams this week and those competing in the East Fife Tennis Tournament all demonstrate a willingness to join in and put themselves at risk of failure for the chance of success and personal growth. That willingness to take risk is the focus of C. P Cavafy’s poem ‘Che Fece…Il Gran Rifiuto’, translated below by Edmund Keeley.
I hope that all our children, whether in leaps or small steps, will dare to take a chance and try something new, to declare a ‘great yes’ and go from strength to strength as they journey on in life.
Tayside Hockey Festival
TAYSIDE HOCKEY FESTIVAL | Congratulations to the U12 mixed hockey team on qualifying for the Tayside Hockey Festival this week. Some really competitive games with goals scored by Thea x 3 (Year 6), Magnus x 3 (Year 7) and Logan (Year 6).
Polar Bear Lanterns
POLAR BEAR LANTERNS | As part of our Unit of Inquiry, Year 3 made recycled polar bear lanterns. The children used the bottom of a milk carton and decorated it with tissue paper, creating the habitat of a polar bear. They also included the colours of the Northern Lights and added stars!
Next, the children cut out a polar bear and her cubs, as well as fish for them to eat, ice for them the live on and seals. The lanterns were then finished off with a tealight.
These can be taken home and used as little night lights to remember the plight of the polar bear and the polar ice caps.
Mrs Beebee, Year 3 Class Teacher
U12 Cricket Congratulations
U12 CRICKET CONGRATULATIONS | Congratulations to the U12 boys’ cricket team, who beat Clifton Hall 178-156 in their away game last week! A great result for their first fixture of the term.
Next week we have cricket matches coming up against High School of Dundee and Strathallan’s Riley House, as well as U12 girls’ tennis vs Dundee High and the U11 and U13 girls’ invitational swimming gala here in the pool at St Leonards.
Year 4's Maths Kitchen
YEAR 4'S MATHS KITCHEN | Year 4P have been making connections between their Unit of Inquiry on healthy lifestyle choices and their current Maths focus on money. They took their Maths lesson outside and created healthy fruit kebabs, before calculating the cost of them from a given price list and then working out the change required from £5 and £10.
Once they had calculated the change, they were able to enjoy their delicious creations! An added challenge was to create a kebab within a certain budget. Year 4P are hoping to create more healthy snacks and drinks in their Maths Kitchen over the coming weeks!
Mrs Arkwright, Year 4P Class Teacher
North East Fife Tennis
NORTH EAST FIFE TENNIS | Congratulations to the St Leonards tennis teams who won the Year 3 & 4 and Year 5 & 6 North East Fife Tournaments this week. Representing the school in Years 3 & 4 were: Anna, Isobel, Julius and Kabir, and in Years 5 & 6: Xander, Logan, Eliza and Sanna. Well done to our tennis champions!
Adventure Film Night
ADVENTURE FILM NIGHT | Pupils settled in for an evening of adventure-themed films and delicious pizza last Friday night, with different movies playing in different classrooms. Organised by Mr Barrable, the film night was a huge success and tied in brilliantly with his assembly on 'risk' this week.
In one classroom, the children watched 'Free Solo', an Oscar award-winning documentary film about climber Alex Honnold's ropeless ascent of El Capitan, a rock face in Yosemite National Park, California. The second film was 'A Wrinkle in Time', a fantasy film for the younger children.
The aim of the Adventure Film Night was to expose the children to inspirational films that embraced the great outdoors and incorporated elements of challenge and, of course, adventure!
DRAMATIC EXPRESSION | Year 6 enjoyed a lesson on expression this week in Drama with Mrs Stewart. We had shocked, sad and even sassy faces on show! A brilliant interactive session, and we are sure these skills will come in handy when the time comes for next year's Year 7 production, if not before!
RUGBY RESULTS | A huge well done to the St Leonards boys who played in the Year 5 Madrascals team in the Howe of Fife Rugby Tournament and won the cup! Thank you to Ed for bringing in the cup in to show everyone - we are very proud of all those who took part.
Outdoor Learning Experiences
OUTDOOR LEARNING EXPERIENCES | Outdoor learning has come into its own this week, with Year 3 using natural manipulatives to make 2D shapes, Year 5 creating and solving their own ‘natural equations’, and Bushcraft Club learning practical skills round the fire pit.
Year 5 also stumbled upon a ‘crime scene’ in the grounds, using a sensory exploration activity to look for clues and inspiration for their own mystery creative writing pieces.
Fife Schools Gymfest
FIFE SCHOOLS GYMFEST | Our Junior School gymnasts put on a superb performance at the Fife Schools Gymfest in Levenmouth on Thursday. Medals were presented to all those who took part, and the pupils are already looking forward their next performance, which will take place at Bells Sports Centre in Perth on Saturday, 8 June.
Elie Prep Schools Cricket & Beach Hockey
ELIE PREP SCHOOLS CRICKET & BEACH HOCKEY | This afternoon, we were joined by teams from Ardvreck and High School of Dundee for our annual St Leonards Prep Schools Cricket and Beach Hockey Tournament, organised in partnership with The Ship Inn at Elie.
After the wet and windy weather earlier in the week, we were pleased to see clear blue skies and glorious sunshine for the afternoon’s matches down on the sands, which followed a delicious BBQ put on by The Ship Inn and were rounded off with tubs of ice cream!
Congratulations to the St Leonards cricket team who won the cup for the Junior School, and to High School of Dundee for winning the beach hockey. Thanks also to ourSt Leonards families who came along to support our girls and boys!
This is always a brilliant occasion, and a great celebration of summer sports.
A Note from the Lower School
After the success of our spectacularly busy Open Morning, at which all the Lower School children thoroughly enjoyed showing off their activities, the entire team has been exceptionally invigorated. There has been a wonderful sense of purpose, intent and fun in the corridors, aided by the many conversations occurring around the Book Fair.
Miss Fisher has hardly been without her wellies this week as Year 2 have been planting, digging, foraging, investigating and exploring plants. Our willow tunnel on Mentone/Dougie’s Trail is being tended to by the children under Miss Fisher’s expert direction, and when I was heard expressing dismay about the rain this week, I was immediately corrected by Year 2 who explained in detail how necessary it was for the plants. Quite right!
Meanwhile, Mrs Lindsay was delighted to welcome Leonie Macmillan, a local potter. to Year 2 who were then able to make their own clay mini-beasts. We cannot wait to see them once they are fired, ready to be glazed.
The Year 1 class has gone a little 'bird bonkers' this week! Our work on ‘Owl Babies’ has come to an end and the children threw themselves into their final task of dissecting owl pellets to investigate what owls might eat and creating dramatic artwork for mummy owl returning home.