The Voice of st leonards

Friday, 15 September 2023

Our Island Communities

This week in the Junior School we continued to think about this month's Learner Profile Attribute, Risk-Taker, whilst also thinking about what it means to be part of our community. In particular, we have highlighted the importance of belonging to our Islands at St Leonards; Harris, Lewis, Mull and Skye.

Our Islands bring pupils from across Year 1 to 6 together and form a core part of daily life throughout the school, as well as give a focus for many of our events during the school year. They provide a sense of team spirit and give the opportunity for all pupils to live the IB Learner Profile in everyday life at school.

This week we celebrated the new pupils who have joined the Junior School and welcomed them to their Island. Tuesday’s Sorting Hat Assembly brought great excitement for pupils and staff as we woke up the sorting hat from its long annual sleep, blew off the cobwebs and it burst into life. Each of our Year 1 pupils was a Risk Taker, as they courageously took their seat on the grand chair, and placed the sorting hat on their head to hear which Island they were destined to join. The hat described what made each of our Year 1 pupils unique and special before sorting them into their Island that they will remain in throughout their time at St Leonards. All of the pupils cheered and clapped as they welcomed the new members and each of our Year 6 pupils came to collect and present the Year 1’s with their Island badges which now adorn their school blazers.

Next week, our Year 6 pupils will have the opportunity to be Risk-Takers as they take to the stage to stand for Island Captaincy before the rest of the school votes. We wish all of them great courage as they do this, reminding them that in stepping forward they are Risk-Takers and that we are immensely proud of everything they do.

Claire Robertson, Head of Junior School

Year 1

Letters and Numbers

In Phonics, Year 1 have been mastering the "p-p-p" sound, making delightful porridge, and crafting adorable pink pigs. The pupils have also studied the ‘t-t-t’ grapheme and reinforced their learning with some tasty toast! In addition to their phonics exploration, they have also been working diligently to sort their number bonds and honing on their writing skills to craft the stories that make 10 on their whiteboards.

Golden Time

The children have enjoyed having fun in the sun, playing with their friends and getting rather wet in the water tray during Golden Time.

School Nurse Visit

Year 1 were delighted to be visited by Karen the school nurse, to discuss the importance of handwashing to keep us fit and healthy, especially before we eat, after we have been to the toilet and playing outside.

During the visit, Karen demonstrated handwashing using a "magic glitter bug." Firstly, the pupils were asked to rub a special cream into their hands before washing. They then added water and soap, singing Happy Birthday twice, whilst rubbing between their fingers, round their thumbs, their palms and their wrists. After drying, the pupils placed their hands under the glitter bug to see if they had managed to wash off all the cream - if they hadn’t scrubbed enough, it showed under the ultraviolet light. Karen was very impressed by how well our pupils washed their hands - well done Year 1!

Fossils and Rocks

A big thank you to James who brought in a rather big rock he found on the beach that contained many fossils. James was very good at explaining to the class about the fossils after their game of ‘Guess the Fossil’.

Trip to the Beach

Year 1 had their first trip to the beach this week, where they practiced their numbers and letters and had fun with a game of ‘Number Body Parts’. What a wonderful sunny day!

Year 2

Beautiful Oops!

Year 2 have been learning about how mistakes make learning beautiful. Being risk takers is so important and even if it doesn’t look great to begin with, we can make our mistakes into fantastic learning experiences.

Perfect Portraits

Year 2 have been creating picture perfect portraits in Art this week. What wonderful artists we have!

Year 3

Place Value

The Year 3 children have been busy exploring Place Value this week. They have been creating 2, 3 and 4 digit numbers using a variety of resources and ordering these accurately. Great job, Year 3!

Year 4

Buddying Up

Year 4 really enjoyed reading with Year 6 this week. They chose which books they wanted to show their Year 6 buddy. The children loved this time, and we hope to do this more each week!

Year 5

True Origin

Year 5 were thrilled to welcome Mary Popple into their classroom to talk to them about the work she carries out with her social enterprise - True Origin. They learnt about the importance of Fairtrade and how they can make a difference to people's lives by changing their actions ever so slightly. Mary works very closely with farmers in Malawi so Anwen was able to share some stories with her!

Beach Fun

Year 5 enjoyed a visit to the beach at the end of last week, soaking up the last of Summer sun.

Year 6

Science Investigation

On Friday, Year 6 made the most of the sunshine by carrying out their science investigation outside. Following some discussion about carrying out fair tests, the students explored which rocks absorbed water and which did not. Careful observation was required to check what happened to small drops of water placed on each of the different types of rock. Afterwards they reflected on a busy week and how they had been risk-takers by trying new activities and foods, and making new friends.


This week’s writing focus has been to use paragraphs correctly in their story-writing. In Maths, pupils have been investigating place value.

Sorting Hat Assembly

In true Harry Potter style, our newest pupils were sorted into their respective Islands during assembly on Tuesday. The enchanting Sorting Hat used the pupils' personality, hobbies and interests, to categorise pupils into their destined Island. Now the teams are assigned, the pupils are ready to compete and accumulate Island points!

Sporting Highlights

Well done to our U11 and U12 girls who played against Erskine Stewart's Melville Schools this week. A special mention to Sasha H our goal scorer in the U11 match, and to Phoebe F in the U12’s that scored all four goals!