The November Review
The Senior School community gathered for a poignant Remembrance Day assembly on Friday, 10 November. Mr Brian opened the ceremony by reminding us of the significance of the day and the sentiment of the poppy. Additionally, he spoke about the roles of St Leonards' pupils during the war and the work they undertook to support our troops. A group of students who recently went on the Battlefields trip, took to the stage to share their reflections. The pupils spoke of the profound impact the trip had on their understanding of history, the sacrifices made for peace and the importance of honouring those who are no longer here. To end the assembly, Costanza F read a verse from ‘For the Fallen’ by Laurence Binyon.
We Will Remember Them
Our Heads of School, Jamie and Maddy, also laid a wreath on behalf of all at St Leonards, at the war memorial in St Andrews on Remembrance Sunday. They were joined by the Head, Mr Brian, as they paid their respects, following a service in Holy Trinity Church and a military procession in the town.
Pupils, families and staff were blown away with the outstanding performances of the St Leonards Players in the premier of ‘Sluiced’. Written and directed by Mrs McQuade-Powell (Director of Drama), the performance covers the hard-hitting topic of domestic violence. Congratulations to the cast and crew for their exceptional work on this unforgettable production!
Take a Bow
There have been a number of musical moments to celebrate this term including the Autumn Concert, Jull Singing Award and the Strings Concert. All these performances were hosted in the beautiful newly-renovated Music School Auditorium with a full audience of parents, peers, staff and friends.
The Autumn Concert was packed with musical talent from the drums and violin to the cello and piano. There were also incredible vocal performances from individual singers and boys and girls choirs. The crowd favourite, St Leonards Ukulele Group (or SLUGS as they’re better known) performed a wonderful rendition of ‘Use Somebody’.
The Jull Medal for Singing was originally awarded in 1916 and is always an incredible event to attend. This year’s judge was Matthew Brown, former St Leonards music teacher and current Director of Music at Heriot Watt University. The talented students mesmerised the audience with an array of songs, genres and even languages! Head Girl and winner of the Jull Medal in 2021 and 2022, Maddy, entertained everyone whilst Mr Brown was deliberating. Before announcing the winners, Mr Brown shared feedback and tips on each and every one of the performers. The winner in the Year 7 to 10 category was Arabella H who stunned with her operatic number. Lana M and Phoebe F were also named ‘Highly Commended’ in this category. In the Years 11 to 13 section, Archie B and Weronika Z were named ‘Highly Commended’, with the Jull Medal 2023 being awarded to Shreyas D in Year 11. Congratulations to all our performers!
Year 8 Museum Visit
On Friday, 3 November, Year 8 enjoyed a guided tour of the St Andrews Preservation Trust, Museum of Local History. This was an exciting opportunity to engage with some first-hand sources, complimenting Year 8's current unit, 'What is history?’. The unit examines how historians use a variety of source material to investigate and understand the past - including museum artefacts. Students have carried this learning forward and applied it to their history summative assessment taking place this week, analysing items held in the school’s own archives. Excellent work, Year 8!
Sixth Form Steps
Our Year 11 pupils spent the morning offsite at Hotel Du Vin St Andrews, to learn more about the various Sixth Form pathways and routes for life beyond St Leonards. With talks from Will Gaisford, Deputy Head (Academic) and Hannah Cooney, St Leonards Senior and former Deputy Head, the students had the opportunity to discuss and explore future pathways.
At the peak of their St Leonards journey, the students were introduced to our two Sixth Form curriculum options - the IB Career-related Programme and Diploma Programme and what subjects are available. They participated in open conversations regarding University choices and gained unique insight from Ms Cooney as to where the IB can take you and the career opportunities that arise along the way. The pupils felt this was an exceptionally worthwhile experience, gaining insight from a former student while also understanding the requirements of the programmes on offer.
In November, students in Years 8 and 9 received a visit from the charitable organisation Oddballs, dedicated to raising awareness about Testicular Cancer. The engaging session aimed to educate the students on this critical health issue. The pupils actively participated, demonstrating maturity by both answering and posing thoughtful questions during the session.
Well done to all the pupils who took part in the STEP (St Leonards Enterprise Programme) launch event. This year seven companies presented their products that they’ve been developing since the start of this academic year. As part of their projects, they are required to develop their ideas into feasible products or services as well as looking at finance, business operations and marketing. The products are on sale around the school now and will be available to purchase at the School Christmas Fair on Saturday, 9 December. A fantastic effort from all the young entrepreneurs!
The companies are Altera (Phone Wallets), Hooked (Handmade Crochet Items), Güzel (Handmade Bookmarks), Sonder (Fluffy Blankets), Kinter Klizer (Reusable Hand Warmers), Collect It (Stickers) and Cozy (Fluffy Socks).
A group of Biology students had an enriching trip to Surgeon’s Hall in Edinburgh to attend their Christmas lecture. Led by the charity Kids OR, the lecture delved into the difficulties and importance of surgery in developing countries. Students who attended were members of the Medical Society and STEM Club, enhancing their understanding of the global healthcare landscape. A special thanks to Ms Coyle for arranging this excursion.
A number of determined Year 13 students ventured North to The Burn in Angus, to take part in a Theory of Knowledge essay writing weekend. The pupils used the beautiful surroundings as an opportunity to focus their minds on one of the six Theory of Knowledge essay titles, with the aim of completing a first draft of their essay. The TOK essay is a compulsory part of the IBDP course, encouraging all pupils to engage deeply with critical thinking across subject boundaries, which is superb preparation for university life and beyond.
Students in Years 11, 12 and 13 met with six universities from around the world at our International University Roadshow, run by The University Guys. It was fantastic to be joined by educators from EHL Hospitality Business School, ESCP Business School, High Point University, Hult International Business School, IE University and McGill University. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed the event and embraced the opportunity to gain valuable insights on locations and courses of study!
Last month, four Year 13 Business Management students attended the Independent Schools Enterprise Challenge 2023 at Glenalmond College. The teams were tasked with creating and presenting a plan to convert a church into a successful business. Well done to Reiss M, Emil H, Henri W, and Michael S for securing second place with their outstanding idea for a social enterprise and for winning the award for the best presentation!
Year 12 and 13 Careers-related Programme students attended an informative Skills Scotland event in Aberdeen in order to research future pathways and careers. They also seized the opportunity to connect with several St Leonards Seniors, now at Aberdeen University, and had a wonderful tour of the campus. This experience not only broadened their understanding of prospective professions but also offered a glimpse into the university life they may soon embark upon.
Well done to the Senior and U16s Girls’ Hockey squads in their successful matches against Kilgraston. The teams played exceptionally well with both a great defence and attacking approach, securing a 1-0 victory in the Seniors’ match, with Julie S scoring the winning goal. The U16s game ended with a fantastic result of 3-1, showcasing goals from Lana M, Harriet F and Sophie L. There was also incredible support on the sidelines and it was great to see so many friendly faces cheering the girls on!
Congratulations to the Golf Academy’s November Medal Winner, Johann B, who finished with a fantastic score of level par on the New Course. Second place went to Elisabeth G, and Mike S finished in third. A great effort from all the players who used their knowledge and technique in particularly testing conditions.
St Leonards golfers had a wonderful day at the Independent Schools Golf Association Finals, beating Glasgow Academy 3-0. The team included Ewen F (Captain), Summer J and Johann B. This now guarantees St Leonards a place against Merchiston or Strathallan in the Scottish Region. Great work from you all!