Friday, 5 May 2017


The road not taken

After days of ‘Superworm’, ‘Fender’, ‘The Tiger that came to tea’ and ‘Snail and the Whale’, Arthur suddenly seemed totally disinterested in his normal routine of demanding to be read the same books each evening, and reached for a completely new title last night. ‘Scaredy Squirrel’ was chosen excitably by him, and as I began down this unchartered territory, I felt out of my comfort zone in veering away from our normal, predictable evening routine.

Scaredy Squirrel, for those of you who haven’t read it, tells the story of a squirrel who lives every day the same as the next, a comfortable and predictable routine, indeed very safe and secure. He never leaves the safety of his oak tree, and is seemingly prepared for every eventuality. This all changes rather dramatically one day and he is forced out of his comfort zone – without any preparation – into a new and exciting life. It is a wonderfully written story, and like so many books for children of this age, it has a incredibly powerful message, as one review of the book states: “if you take a flying leap into the unknown once in a while, you may learn something new about yourself”.

Taking oneself out of your comfort zone once in a while is not only ultimately satisfying, it is so very important. Venturing into the unknown, choosing the less easy option, having the determination to challenge oneself, seeking a risk and not shying away from bold or adventurous decisions are all critical to a child’s social, emotional and cognitive development.

Through our PYP curriculum, children have considerable input into where their learning takes them and they are able to run with their ideas. For the most part, our children choose the less travelled path and this gives them insight into an imaginative, creative, bold and daring world. I was amused, but also delighted when the Year 4s decided yesterday that they wanted to completely change the direction of their Unit of Inquiry and learn about how the sun works instead. The children have taken their learning on a new pathway and I applaud this.

It is not only in the classroom that children must deviate off the ‘A’ roads and take the longer, more exciting – and at times more risky – path. As they grow up they will face decisions, and whilst at times they must stick to the sensible route for a variety of reasons, we should at all times encourage them to have the courage, grit and imagination to veer off course and take the ‘B’ roads. Even at the risk of unforeseen challenges and hurdles, possibly setbacks and most certainly a degree of uncertainty, the B road will open up many more opportunities, experiences and excitement than the trusted and safe A road. Both roads arrive at the same destination, but our children mustn’t be confined to the predictable and safe option in whatever they do.

Whilst we will all remember times when we took the road less travelled, it is thrilling to think of the opportunities these young people have to deviate off course at times and see where this takes them. Grit, zest, courage, challenge seeking and independence are key skills for them to succeed in a world full of opportunities.

Who would have thought ‘Scaredy Squirrel’ could lead me onto this ramble. I will have to stick to ‘Fender’s day at the harbour’ tonight, it won’t evoke such wandering in my mind!

Robert Frost’s compelling poem, ‘The Road Not Taken’ reminds us to choose a less trodden path sometimes.

Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,

And sorry I could not travel both

And be one traveler, long I stood

And looked down one as far as I could

To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair,

And having perhaps the better claim,

Because it was grassy and wanted wear;

Though as for that the passing there

Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay

In leaves no step had trodden black.

Oh, I kept the first for another day!

Yet knowing how way leads on to way,

I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh

Somewhere ages and ages hence:

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—

I took the one less traveled by,

And that has made all the difference.

Have a wonderful weekend,

William Goldsmith

Is this the best view from any classroom in the UK?


We were delighted to welcome 27 families to our Open Morning on Monday. After assembly, coffee and a brief welcome by Will, the families were toured around the Junior and Senior Schools by our outstanding Year 7s and 5s. Every single visitor commented on the quality of the pupils giving the tours and spoke of their infectious enthusiasm, good cheer, eloquence and impeccable manners.

Following the tours, we congregated on the adventure playground area to enjoy smores, hot chocolate and a story telling workshop, led by author Catriona Wilson. Our thanks to Laura Jacks for giving up her morning to keep the fire pit going, and to Michelle Wilkinson, Rita Dhasmana, Kerri Munro and Jacqueline Hyde-Clement for joining us to speak to our prospective parents.

We couldn't be more delighted with the interest from families in the area, and would be thrilled to welcome any prospective parents at any time.


The pupils who attended the Prep Schools Orchestra Day at Fettes on Friday had a fantastic time and a truly enriching musical experience. An incredible 140 pupils from various schools across Scotland got together to rehearse three rather challenging pieces, culminating in a terrific concert in the evening. When they weren't busy rehearsing, the boys and girls were put into groups to take part in a varied activity programme, featuring challenges such as untying impossibly difficult knots and balancing the whole group on a tiny folded up sack! Many new friends were made and great fun was had by all. The concert in the evening demonstrated just how hard everyone had worked throughout the day, with the strings, brass, percussion and woodwind families combining to create a most impressive sound. The concert climaxed with a performance of Themes from 'Pirates of the Caribbean'; such a demanding piece with its changing time signatures and tempi.

Mrs Love and Mr Shiells are immensely proud of the pupils and so pleased they had this chance to play in such a large ensemble, making wonderful music. This is what music-making is all about!

A glorious afternoon of cricket (the Headmaster felt very at home on Wednesday!)


Year 3 have started to investigate how to write instructions. What better way than to write instructions for one of our favourite games….hopscotch. Firstly, as a class, we sequenced instructions on how to create and play hopscotch. Then in small teams we followed our own instructions to make sure we had sequenced them correctly….Good job Year 3!


This week has seen some exciting changes happening in the early years playground. We have been busy transforming the play areas to make them even more fun for the boys and girls in Years 1-3. We have built a mud kitchen, we have bought lots of exciting new toys and we have made a start on the new planting areas. It is clear to see that the children are loving their new play area!

Red, White and Blue Day | Friday, 5 May 2017

We are all now now full to the brim after buying delicious cakes and sweet treats, baked by our wonderful Year 7 class! Scrumptious rocky road bites, crispy cakes and colourful sprinkled goodies were enjoyed and devoured, raising a wonderful total of £466.13 for their trip to Normandy, later this month. The Year 7 bake sales team also dressed to impress for Red, White and Blue Day', helping them get into the French mood!


Year 2 had a fantastic time at the Botanical Gardens with guides, Gillian and Andrea. We went on a minibeast hunt, planted some wild flowers and explored the glass houses. We learnt about the life-cycle of a butterfly before heading into the wonderful tropical butterfly house.


Many congratulations to all those who represented the school in the St Leonards Golf Championship on Friday, 28 April. There was a terrific atmosphere on the Balgove and Strathtrym courses and some excellent golf played by all those who took part. Special mention to Verity who came 2nd in the U9 Girls category, and Niamh who came 2nd in the U13 Girls category.

The Mighty Year 2
The Cycling Proficiency club got underway this week



The Year 3 children have been working extremely hard and earned more than enough marbles for their marble treat. The class voted for their treat and decided on a picnic and play on the beach…….what a wonderful way to spend a Friday afternoon!

We wish the following a very...

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO... Eilidh, Malakai, and Evie

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