The September Review
Back to School
It was wonderful to welcome back pupils for the beginning of the Autumn Term. With a new academic year, came new aspirations, new opportunities, and a sense of excitement for the learning journey ahead. Our pupils got stuck in straight away, settling quickly into routines and getting involved in a variety of activities. See below for some of this month's highlights!
In the first week back, our students gathered on Birdcage for the Island Launch. New students were assigned to Islands based on their interests, popping a balloon to find out their Island colours either; Blue for Skye, Green for Mull, Yellow for Harris or Red for Lewis. After the ceremony, our Islands went head to head in a whole school ceilidh, a traditional Scottish dance. Everyone had a blast!
Higher Education Fair
Years 11 to 13 were invited to the Higher Education Fair in the Main School Hall to meet with a variety of world-leading educational institutions including the University of Edinburgh, the University of Glasgow and the University of St Andrews. Academic staff from across 18 educational institutions were in attendance to kindly share their advice and guidance on university life and specific courses of study.
Pupils in Year 10 have been investigating distance-time graphs in Physics, exploring the fundamental concepts and practical applications of this graphical representation.
Well done to the Year 13 pupils who took part in the British Biology Olympiad challenges, putting their biological knowledge and problem-solving skills to the test. The pupils excelled in the competition receiving publicly recognised certificates for their outstanding efforts.
Events Management Workshop
The Career-related Programme pupils in Years 12 and 13 attended an Events Management workshop hosted by Claire Reid-Warrilow from Glion and Les Roches Universities in Switzerland. The pupils stepped up to Claire's challenge and managed to present a whole event plan in less than 45 minutes. The winning pair was Izzy S and Carlotta T who presented a very clear, structured and viable plan.
Scottish Debating Team
We are delighted to share that Hamish in Year 8 has been selected by the Scottish Debating Team’s Development Squad. Hamish is a loyal member of the St Leonards Debating Club and we are beyond proud of his achievement. We look forward to hearing about his experiences over the coming year!
To celebrate the Jewish New Year, Harry E in Year 7 brought in apples and honey to share with his peers. The pupils enjoyed dipping the apple slices into honey for a wholesome treat.
The Baby SLUGS, St Leonards Ukulele Group, have got off to a flying start, with each pupil making great progress in their group sessions held in the newly refurbished Music School Auditorium. The group is currently six ukuleles short - if any families have any unwanted ukuleles they would like to donate, please get in touch.
Trip to Blencathra
In late September, our Year 12 pupils studying Environmental Systems and Societies (ESS) headed to the Field Studies Centre at Blencathra to spend a weekend trying out new fieldwork techniques and considering the impacts of humans on the natural environment.
The centre is located in the Lake District National Park and provides a stunning location for pupils to explore and consider the natural and man-made environment.
Pupils investigated changes in vegetation, abundance of species in ponds and rivers, and measured light intensity, soil temperature and wind speed to name a few. Whilst waterproofs were required, the weather failed to dampen spirits and pupils gave the centre and trip excellent feedback.
Learner Profile Awards
Congratulations to Aarnie in Year 7, Harry in Year 8 and Kuzma in Year 9 who were selected as Student of the Month for excellently demonstrating the Learner Profile of Risk Taker throughout September.
As a team-building activity, Year 7 students set out on a hike along the Fife Coastal Path. Despite the wet weather, the students appreciated the adventure, providing them with valuable opportunities to improve their teamwork, leadership, and communication skills along the way. Great work Year 7!
A record number of 37 delegates came together to address the pressing issue of Brain Drain, which refers to the significant emigration or migration of individuals. During the gathering, participants engaged in a constructive dialogue about the various challenges faced by both affluent and less affluent nations, seeking collaborative solutions to manage and ultimately overcome these problems.
PollyAnne across the Atlantic
Years 7 to 9 were thrilled to welcome Mr Cheape into School to hear about his upcoming challenge to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic in an open top rowing boat. Setting sail in the Canary Islands, Mr Cheape, father to Florence (Year 7), George (Year 6) and John (Year 5), plans to row to Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua, the Caribbean. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the expedition and asked some very interesting questions. Mr Cheape proved to be a true Risk Taker, inspiring many of our pupils. We wish the very best to Mr Cheape as he prepares to set off in mid December 2023. You can follow more of his adventure on his Website or Instagram, linked below!
This year’s cohort of Career-related Programme students were welcomed into the Head’s Study to discuss their experience on the course and their aspirations for the future with Mr Brian. It was clear that the CP is empowering our pupils in their chosen fields, whether vocational or academic!
Preseason Hockey Training
Before the start of the term, a remarkable number of Year 8 to 13 girls enthusiastically took part in Preseason Hockey Training. This allowed students to hone their skills on the hockey field before the official fixtures began. The event was a resounding success and was followed by a delightful supper at Restaurant 1877 to celebrate the girls' hard work and dedication.
Commonwealth Youth Games
Before the beginning of the Summer break, Reiss M in Year 13 was delighted to be selected by Team Scotland to compete in the Commonwealth Youth Games 2023. Reiss M travelled to Trindad and Tobago for the competition in August, competing in the 3000m race. Despite the very hot and humid conditions, Reiss performed exceptionally on the track, proudly representing his country and school.
Reiss M received an overwhelming amount of love and support as he returned to St Andrews. All staff and pupils at St Leonards are incredibly proud of Reiss M and his achievements.
Summer Show Success
A big congratulations to Madi S in Year 7 for her outstanding performance at the Glenrothes Pony Club Summer Show. Madi achieved remarkable success, securing 1st place in Dressage, 1st place in Tack & Turnout, 2nd place in Working Hunter, and 3rd place in 70cm Show Jumping. These impressive results reflect Madi's skill and dedication to the sport. Well done, Madi!
Florida Day School
It was a delight to welcome Florida Day School from Buenos Aires, Argentina, to St Leonards to compete in some end-to-end rugby and hockey matches. Both teams were ceremoniously piped onto the pitch, adding an extra layer of excitement to the already impressive atmosphere. Parents, peers and family members gathered on the sidelines to rally behind our teams. Thank you to all who joined us for this special event!
We are delighted to share that Year 8 pupil Cara L was recently selected to represent the North of Scotland in the U12 County Cup. Cara travelled down to Newcastle for the tournament, where she showcased her exceptional skills and sportsmanship on and off the court. This opportunity has ignited Cara’s aspiration to reach greater heights in her tennis career. We have every confidence that Cara will continue to flourish throughout the year!
Huge congratulations to Miss Mowbray, Teacher of English, who ran the Berlin Marathon on Sunday, 24 September to raise money for Brain Tumour Research. Miss Mowbray impressively took a quick 24hr pitstop to Germany to run the renowned race before making it back for a full day of teaching on Monday. Miss Mowbray is still collecting final donations, if you would like to make a contribution, please use the link below.
Well done to pupils in Year 6 and 7 who recently took part in the U12 Football Festival on Big Field. The tournament welcomed local schools to St Leonards to compete to win the title. The event was a huge success with our team securing a commendable joint second-place finish.
On the Hockey Field
Our Girls' Hockey Teams from Year 7 to 13 have kicked off the season with exceptional performances, playing against St Margaret’s School for Girls, High School of Dundee, Fettes College, Morrison’s Academy, and Albyn School. Notable moments from the month include; Year 7 and 8’s end-to-end play against High School of Dundee, a hard-fought Year 9 game against Morrisons Academy, trailing 1-0 down at halftime but rallying together in the second half to level the score with a last-play short corner. In an astonishing display, Lois Wood from Year 10 scored an unprecedented six goals in their match against Albyn School, and our Senior girls secured a 3-1 victory over Albyn School, with Katie A scoring two sensational goals and earning the title of Girl of the Game. A huge congratulations to all of our players!
On the Rugby Pitch
Congratulations to our U12 Boys Rugby Team for their recent impressive victory against Fettes College at home. Similar success was achieved by the St Leonards-Madras (SLM) Blues U13 and U15 squads, winning against North Berwick. It was especially wonderful to see the U15s work hard to keep out on top in their nail-bitingly close game, with the final scoreline of 31-28!
To celebrate Scottish Women in Sport Week, our girls enjoyed an action-packed week of sports fixtures and competitions; including our U11 Girls Hockey team playing against Strathallan School, our U12 Girls team competing in a Hockey Tournament at High School Of Dundee, and our Senior girls participating in the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) tournament at the Fairmont St Andrews. Our girls truly showed their incredible skills and unwavering determination throughout the week!