The Voice of st leonards

Friday, 10 November 2023

A Peaceful Future

Now that we are in November, our attention has turned to cultivating Knowledge within our school community. This was recognised and celebrated by our visiting IB Evaluation Team this week, who were incredibly impressed by the learning and inquiry taking place in the Junior School. Our pupils' thirst for knowledge across the Primary Years Programme is matched by the depth of knowledge that was observed in our teachers and the incredible learning experiences that they craft for our pupils.

This afternoon, Years 4 to 6 had the opportunity to visit the Senior School to hear from Mr Ben Seymour, who leads the Diploma Programme and Careers-related Programme for our Year 12 and 13 pupils. As part of today’s focus on Remembrance and building our Knowledge of why we mark this day as a community, Mr Seymour shared the history of the International Baccalaureate which was born out of a post-war Europe, with the aim for education to create a more peaceful future. He reflected how proud his own father, who served in World War II, would be if he could see pupils from so many cultures and backgrounds learning together, and how lucky we are to participate in an inquiry-based International Curriculum.

Claire Robertson, Head of the Junior School

Island of the Week

Congratulations to Lewis who was crowned Island of the Week!

Year 1

Medals and Memorabilia

As Remembrance Day approaches this weekend, Miss Barclay shared stories and memorabilia with Year 1 and Year 2. Miss Barclay’s grandfather served in the Navy during the Second World War in Korea and was photographed with Royals such as King George and the late Her Majesty the Queen. Miss Barclay also showed the class her Grandfather’s medals and explained the importance of Remembrance Sunday. A big thank you to Miss Barclay for bringing in this special memorabilia and sharing stories with Years 1 and 2!

Perfect Poppies

As part of their current Unit of Inquiry, Year 1 have been studying Remembrance Day and what it means. They asked four very important questions:

  • When is Poppy Day?
  • Why do we wear Poppies?
  • Who makes the Poppies?
  • Who do we remember when we wear our Poppies?

After having discussed all of the important inquiries, the children made poppies and created acrostic poppy poems, see below!

Memorial Memoir

After having been shown Miss Barclay’s memorabilia and hand-crafted poppies, the children of Year 1 visited the War Memorial beside the Cathedral to look at the names of all of the local heroes who died for us during both World Wars. They saw all the different regiments of men as well as which countries they were from. There were names of men from Canada, Australia and India on the memorial and placed at the top of the memorial they noticed was a Celtic cross and sword.

A Little Ditty

The children have been working in pairs on phonic ‘ditties’. Taking turns to be teacher and pupil and listening to each other as they say their sounds, read simple CVC words, then read the sentences to each other. They then wrote out their little dictated sentences, making superb progress in both reading and writing.

Year 2


Terrific Timelines

Year 2C’s inquiry into their Family Histories are now well underway, and the children have been learning about how timelines can help organise historical events in chronological order. After working together to place world events on a large timeline, the children started creating their own personal timelines, documenting events that have happened in their own lives. These have now been sent home in order to add further information with the help of their parents.

Victorian Photography

Inspired by the many photographs in black and white that the children have found in books and family photograph albums, alongside interesting internet research into Victorian photography technology, the class of 2C dressed in old fashioned clothes and took their own black and white photographs, creating some very interesting characters, see below!

Independent Inquiries

Year 2 have also spent time this week redeveloping their role play area, building furniture out of cardboard boxes as they begin to turn it into a home from the past. So far, they have kitted it out with a blazing fireplace and a grandfather clock, complete with a roman numeral clock face and opening door. As well as recreating a home, the children have set up a World War II hospital. After hearing Toby’s family history presentation about his great grandfather’s amazing career as captain of a hospital ship during World War I, a hospital ship was constructed in the classroom, captained by Toby!


Family Histories

The children in 2P have been tuning into their new Unit of Inquiry, ‘Where We are in Place and Time’ as they look into their own family histories. They started by thinking of probing questions for their Wonder Wall, which could be asked to their grandparents and great grandparents. Questions included, ‘what would you use for light if there was no electricity’, ‘what did you write on at school and what kind of toys did you play with?’... After a big brainstorm, they have made a play plan of all the children's ideas for their Unit, including bringing old fashioned games in to play with, dressing up in old style clothing from the costume cupboard and having an old style tea dance with waltzing!

The children have done a sterling job investigating their own family histories, with their very own presentations from Tessa, Andrew, Riagan, Dominic and Anya. They were very lucky to have a visit from Anya's Grandfather or her Dadu, who grew up in Calcutta and came armed with his own formal dress that he wore as a young man in Bengal, as well as a costume for Anya and lots of tales from his childhood. Anya did a great job, interviewing her grandfather, with the brilliant questions she asked him. They discovered that some of the games he played were similar to the games that Andrew's grandparents played in China. He even demonstrated some of the marble games he played with as a boy, which have been quickly put into practice with their own classroom marbles. Huge thanks to Anya's Grandfather for taking the time to visit 2P!

Year 3

Role Models

The Year 3 children have immersed themselves into their latest Unit of Inquiry on Heroes and Role-Models. They have researched historical heroes such as Florence Nightingale, Grace Darling and Isambaard Kingdom Brunel. They also learned about the story of Katherine Johnson whose mathematical skills saved Apollo 13! The children wrote words from the story and then put these in alphabetical order, combining their Grammar lesson with their Unit of Inquiry!


This week, the Year 3 pupils identified what made Superworm so super and have used these adjectives to inspire them in creating their very own hero. The children asked the question 'What makes a good story?' by ordering two stories and summarising what happened in the beginning, middle and end. An added surprise was one of the IB Evaluation Team visitors is an author and happily shared how she goes about creating her hero and thinking about a problem that needs to be solved. The children have recognised what makes a super story and are now writing an adventure story for their hero....superb work, Year 3!

Year 4

Natural Materials

Year 4 and Year 6 spent some inquiry time together outside investigating how to make a house out of natural materials. The challenge was to create a freestanding structure with four walls, a roof and a door. Look at some of the fantastic creations below!

Year 5

The Age of Exploration

Year 5 have been busy finding out about 'the age of exploration'. Using books and the internet they have mapped the routes of some notable explorers and placed these explorers on a timeline. Inspired by Magellan's epic journey, they began crafting diary entries as if they were on one of his ships, placing special emphasis on diverse and engaging sentence openers. Well done explorers!

Year 6

Think Boards

The Year 6 children have been working on multiplication up to 4 digits. To start with they were asked to delve deeper into what multiplication is and how it is used in real life. They completed "Think Boards” using any times table of their choice and were encouraged to know the answer was not the focus but instead they had to show their understanding. They represented this using materials, arrays and drawings. This really inspired some interesting questions as the children had to go back to their foundations to ensure they could explain their thought process. Wonderful work, Year 6!

Pupil Representatives

Several of our Class Representatives, House Captains and Vice Captains had the opportunity to tour Mr Brian’s office. They had the chance to quiz Mr Brian before answering some questions from Cindy and Handan from the IB Evaluation Team. Alex even asked “did this used to be a castle?” During their visit, they enthusiastically discussed the Learner Profile Attributes, highlighting the best parts of St Leonards, and shared insights into their lives at our school. The pupils made the school exceedingly proud. Overall, it was an exciting and enriching experience, well done all!

Pumpkin Party

Everyone had a spook-tacular time at the Pumpkin Party! Years 1 to 6 (and many parents) enjoyed the ever-popular costume parade, pumpkin carving, games and a disco. There was a fantastic atmosphere across the whole event. A huge thank you to the Parents Association for all their hard work, enthusiasm and organisation!

Gardening Club

The gardeners have been very busy in the stormy weather, making pumpkin soup from the three pumpkins they harvested from the garden. The delicious soup made a hearty snack at morning break. The better weather this week allowed them to plant up garlic and wintering red and white onions, but it will be a bit of a wait to reap the reward. Stay tuned!

Balanced Certificates

Congratulations to all those who received their Balanced Certificates in Years 1 to 6 this week!

In Years 1 to 3 we celebrated Alex M, Aria O, Tessa S, Zachary H, Andrew Z and Flossie P.

In Years 4 to 6 we celebrated Marnie, Jessica D, Bonnie I, Johnny C, Flora L and Roddy M.