As we come to the end of September and our focus on being Risk Takers, we look ahead to next month's Learner Profile Attribute of being Balanced. It is always wonderful to see how our pupils embody these profiles each month, in their every day learning and approach to school.
I would like to pass on my thanks to our parents and the wider community for supporting our pupils and their learning throughout the school year. It has been wonderful over the past weeks to meet with so many families at the gates in the morning, during our whole school events on the beach, and attending our information and parents' workshops.
This week, we enjoyed a wonderful harvest assembly led by Year 5, supported by Rev Graeme Beebee. During the assembly, we awarded our newly elected Island Captains with their badges, sharing this moment with many of our parents. On Thursday, we enjoyed a cup of coffee with Year 1 to 3 parents, before attending an excellent session led by Miss Boissiere and Miss Brannen on understanding how we teach and enable our children to learn vital foundational skills in Maths and English. Whilst on Wednesday, at our U12 fixtures against Fettes, it was wonderful to see parents and family members embodying ‘Risk Taking’, braving the elements to support our hockey and rugby teams as Storm Agnes swept in!
As we head into the next couple of weeks before our half-term break we look forward to further welcoming parents to a number of events to celebrate achievements, our community and our school values.
Claire Robertson, Head of the Junior School
Island of the Week
Congratulations to Mull and Lewis who were crowned joint Island winners this week. The Island Captains of both teams raised their flags on the flagpole for the first time this academic year. Next week, we hope to see Skye or Harris at the top of the leaderboard!
Following a nail-bitingly close vote, we are thrilled to unveil this year’s Island Captains! Congratulations to:
Our Island Captains will hold great responsibility over the course of the year, collaborating with their fellow students to accumulate points in the hope of leading their Island to victory!
Year 1 have started to learn how to add in Maths, working with Numicon, beads and number games to help solve their challenging worksheets!
The pupils have been getting crafty with their phonics, creating caterpillars, kites and octopus to learn the graphemes; C, K and O!
Three Little Pigs
Year 1 have been reading the Three Little Pigs story as part of their Unit of Inquiry, investigating materials and their properties. The students were set a task to build houses out of different materials to see which one the wolf could not blow down. Great work, Year 1!
Year 1 attempted to make houses from straw this week, which is not so easy on a windy day! The girls showed their excellent problem solving skills, realising they needed to bundle the straw together, using elastic bands, to create the walls. The boys went for a more ‘piled’ approach to the straw house.
To learn the letter ‘F’ in Phonics, the children decorated beautiful rainbow fish and baked yummy flapjacks with Miss Barclay. Thank you Miss Barclay for all your help!
Year 1 have been busy this week collecting leaves around the school to help with their sound ‘L’. The pupils brought their leaves back to the classroom to have a go at leaf rubbing, see below!
Lessons and Laughter
Year 1 went down to the beach this week to practise writing their numbers and letters in the sand. They thoroughly enjoyed playing with their new beach tools, kindly gifted by the Parents Association.
Visit from Dr Stewart
Last week, Year 2P were lucky enough to have a visit from Dr Stewart, who is a GP in the army. Dr Stewart shared information about his very interesting and fulfilling job and why he enjoys it so much. He brought lots of army and medical kit with him to demonstrate with, which proved very exciting for the class, who had a fabulous time trying everything on.
Before Dr Stewart arrived, the children thought up some interesting questions they wanted to ask Dr Stewart to find out more about his job…
Olivia: Whose side are you on?
Dr Stewart: The British!
Andrew: How long did it take for you to train as a doctor?
Dr Stewart: A very long time. I went into the army as a cadet at school and then went to Uni to train as a doctor before training on top for another two years in the army.
Poppy: What do you like doing most in your job?
Dr Stewart: I like exercising in the army to keep fit, I like the people I work with and I like the travel I get with my job and the opportunities to work abroad.
Tessa: How does the brain work?
Dr Stewart: The brain helps us think and controls and runs our bodies, providing us with oxygen, blood flow and electricity, but if you want real detail about how the brain works, you need to ask a brain doctor, called a neurologist.
Hunter: If you get injured, can you treat yourself?
Dr Stewart: We like everyone to keep fit and well but if injured, each person carries their own bandages and kit and can apply it themselves if necessary. Otherwise I can help them.
Riagan: Do you help animals as well as people?
Dr Stewart: There are lots of dogs in the army so sometimes I have treated dogs too.
Anya: Is your army uniform comfortable and do you wear it everyday?
Dr Stewart: What I am wearing today - my combats - are really comfy - like a big pair of pyjamas and they are great for wearing out in the field as they blend in with the trees. They are camouflaged. Some of the formal uniform is uncomfortable though and tight, especially around your neck.
Rian: What does the food taste like in the army?
Dr Stewart: It tastes good. When we are out and about we take out ration packs of dried food. We warm the water up to cook it and I use the same water to make tea. Every morning we get our packs for breakfast, lunch and supper and lots of sweets and chocolates too to make sure we get enough calories and energy to do our job. Sometimes if we are super hungry, we look forward to a Mcdonalds though after a week out in the bush!
With many thanks to Dr Stewart for the fascinating insight into his job!
Jobs in Our Local Community
As Year 2C dig deeper into their Unit of Inquiry, ‘Jobs in our Local Community’, the pupils met with Jo McLaren this week, the school’s Domestic Cleaning Services Supervisor. Jo talked about the skills required by the staff who work so hard to keep the school looking clean. The children then had the opportunity to have first-hand experience of some of the work the cleaning team undertake; sweeping floors and cleaning windows!
See below some of their reflections:
Charlotte: Today we cleaned up. We swept floors and we cleaned windows.
Aria: Jo spoke to us. Her job is to clean. She’s a cleaner.
Rupert: My favourite job was window cleaning. I was jumping up and down! I was trying to clean the good bits - the dirty bits.
At the start of Year 2C’s inquiry, Aria posted a question on their Wonder Wall, asking if they could learn about the work of an artist. After thinking how they could best explore this, they decided to ask Ms MacIntee who is a printmaker, as well as an amazing teaching assistant. Ms MacIntee ran a workshop for them, demonstrating a monoprinting technique, which they then tried for themselves. They were provided with a sheet of polystyrene, which they drew into, creating an indent. Printing ink was then rollered onto the relief drawing, from which multiple images could be printed. It was exciting to see each image lifted from the printing block, with every subsequent print different to the last, and the results were truly wonderful.
The children have each produced a set of printed cards. These cards, and other artwork produced by the children, will be available to ‘buy’ in return for a donation at Year 2C’s upcoming Craft Exhibition, more information to follow. All monies raised will go to support Yousef’s Charity, providing aid to victims of the earthquake in Morocco.
The ongoing Unit of Inquiry in Year 3 is Let's Stay Safe and Healthy. This week, the children have been learning about road safety, participating in carefully planned safety walks around St Andrews, using various crossings. Throughout their journey, the pupils shared their knowledge on how to stay safe when crossing the road. The pupils have also completed quizzes in road safety. Great work Year 3!
This week, Year 4 have been working with different materials to help them with their addition and subtraction understanding. Well done, Year 4!
Malala’s Magic Pencil
Working within their Unit of Inquiry exploring Rights and Responsibilities, Year 5 read ‘Malala’s Magic Pencil’ this week, but with the front and back cover shielded from view. Conversation ensued about what the front and back cover could look like. This provoked the children to create their own covers before the ‘big reveal’ of the original. Which features can you spot?
Year 6 have been enjoying their library sessions this week, giving them a chance to relax and read in comfort, sharing books and exploring new authors.
A Material World
For Year 6’s Unit of Inquiry on How the World Works - A Material World, the pupils have been preparing their final presentations about fair testing. The pupils have been demonstrating their knowledge and understanding of fair testing by planning and carrying out their own investigations. The experiments included dissolving materials, testing the strength of different bags, using materials to keep water hot and to keep an ice cube frozen.
In addition, to show their understanding of materials, Year 6 worked in groups or individually to design a structure and explain what materials they have chosen and why, for their design. Fantastic work Year 6!
Congratulations to those who took part in the U12 Football Festival last week. The event was a huge success with our team securing a commendable second-place finish!
On the Field
Well done to our U12 Girls Hockey Teams who played against Fettes College this week. It was a tough game but our pupils showed some excellent skill with Sasha H and Phoebe F as goal scorers. Further congratulations to Isobel Blair who received Girl of the Game for her fantastic effort in goal!
On the Pitch
On Wednesday, our U12 Boys Rugby Team delivered an outstanding performance, securing a convincing victory over Fettes College. A huge well done to all our players!