The Voice of st leonards

The October Review

St Leonards Day

The students of Years 7 to 13 came together just before the October Half Term break to compete in an afternoon of sports and activities to celebrate St Leonards Day. The pupils competed for points in their Island Houses; Skye, Harris, Mull and Lewis. The festivities included games of hockey, football, touch rugby, ultimate frisbee and most popular of all, the inter-island tug of war. The entire Senior School, including staff, proudly donned their Island’s colour to participate and support their teammates in our annual event.

After a hard-fought but fun competition, the winning Island was announced as Lewis for its members’ exceptional skill out on the field. Congratulations!

Happy Halloween

The school was full of spooky celebrations on Halloween! Years 7 to 9 set the standards high with their costumes, featuring minions, pumpkins, a shark and much more! The MYP team also dressed-up, led by a fabulous Ghostbusters Squad! At lunch, Restaurant 1877 was transformed with haunting decorations by the team from Thomas Franks. To top it off the boarding houses hosted traditional pumpkin carving activities for all to get involved. Everyone made a great effort and looked brilliant in their costumes!

Year 8 Dook

A number of brave Year 8 pupils took on the waves in the termly dook at the Castle Sands. The sun was shining as the young adults braved the North Sea temperatures. Well done to all Year 8 swimmers for their dedication in St Leonards unique tradition!

East Sands Fieldwork

Our Year 11 Geographers have been delving into the fascinating world of fieldwork at the beach. Exploring the dynamic changes along the coastline, they honed their fieldwork techniques and investigated the evolving landscapes. We are incredibly lucky to have the beach right on our doorstep, allowing our students to experience hands-on learning. Thanks to Mrs White for arranging this visit. Great work, Year 11!

IBDP Music Trip

The IBDP music classes experienced an enriching cultural outing when they attended a exhilarating performance by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra in Dundee. Our young musicians were captivated by the orchestra's rendition of 'Icarus', a musical composition that notably incorporated the ethereal sound of a Theremin. The performance offered a unique and inspiring opportunity for students Will, Maddy, Andy, Violet, Marie, Isla and Nicky to witness the interplay of classical music with innovative instruments!

The French Institute

The Year 13 French Language pupils enjoyed a day of immersion at the French Institute in Edinburgh (IFE). Engaging in a captivating workshop, they delved deeply into encompassing topics such as media conflicts, political landscapes, and the intricate dynamics within the French banlieues. Additionally, the students had the enriching experience of attending a screening of 'Les Promesses,' a thought-provoking film directed by the talented filmmaker Thomas Kruithof. The film is linked to the IB themes of Organisation Sociale (Social Organisation) and Ingéniosité Humaine (Human Ingenuity) shedding light on complex issues related to politics, life in the French suburbs, and the impact of modern media on communication.

Maths Week

At the end of September, we celebrated Maths Week Scotland, an annual event that promotes numeracy, problem solving and critical thinking. Our pupils participated in a huge variety of activities, tasks and competitions, both at St Leonards and other schools around Scotland. Years 7 to 13 also took part in the BBC Bitesize Maths Week daily challenges during tutor time. See below some of the activities and challenges!

Desmos Art Competition

Mr Gough launched our Year 10 Desmos Art Competition, showing students how they can use Desmos, a computational package to create a ladybird. Students then used Desmos, their mathematical knowledge of functions and their creativity to produce a piece of artwork!

Maths Wi Nae Borders Challenge

A number of Year 8 and Year 9 Maths classes enthusiastically took on the Maths Wi Nae Borders Challenge, featuring maths problems with a Scottish twist. Students thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to engage with these locally-inspired puzzles, creating a fun and unique approach to problem-solving. Have a go at one of the challenges yourself!

Enterprising in Maths Competition

Ms Struck took a team of four pupils from Years 10 and 11 to Fettes College in Edinburgh to compete against other independent schools in the annual Enterprise Maths challenge. The team challenge consisted of several rounds, including a ‘build the highest tower’ challenge and the grand finale, an exciting relay race which required pupils to solve maths problems quickly and fluently. Well done to Ben S, Emil Z, Eliza K and Matylda K for their hard work and enthusiasm at the event!

Additionally, Mr Gough joined Ben L, Jake L, Riya B and Lottie R at Bell Baxter High School in Cupar to take part in the the annual Enterprise Maths Challenge, Fife. Like the independent school competition, the day consisted of four rounds; a team problem solving round, a speed numerical round, a head to head round and a relay race. They were also asked to design a poster on the theme, Maths in Motion. The team had an excellent day and did a fantastic job with their eye-catching poster!

UKMT Senior Individual Challenge

The UKMT Senior Individual Challenge is a 90 minute, non-calculator challenge, comprising of 25 multiple choice problems aimed at students Year 13 or below. They are stimulating problems for both beginners and experienced problem-solvers. A huge congratulations to the top five St Leonards students below!

UKMT Olympiad for Girls

A group of talented mathematicians from Years 11 and 12 attended the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust Olympiad for Girls. The St Leonards team consisted of Grace H, Charlotte K, Polly M, Jil R, Emma V and Matylda K. This competition is aimed at girls and young women across the UK and involves five very challenging non-calculator problems. Well done to the whole team and congratulations to Jil R and Charlotte K for achieving Merit Certificates for their solutions!

Curle Lecture, University of St Andrews

A large number of St Leonards students made the short walk with Mr Hall and Mr Pennycook across town to the North Haugh for the Curle Lecture. This public lecture, organised by the University of St Andrews School of Mathematics and Statistics, was an excellent academic enrichment opportunity. The talk centred around the question, 'Should we be perturbed about AI?’ and was engaging and thought-provoking. Pupils savoured the experience and the opportunity to be inside a lecture theatre, sitting amongst current undergraduates, postgraduates, lecturers and Professors.

Interactive Session with Dr Harris

Dr Harris from the Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling (CREEM) at the University of St Andrews delivered a talk and interactive session to our Year 12 Applications and Interpretation students. Dr Harris spoke about why and how we monitor wildlife populations, and the challenges involved. She shared several examples of the methods used to collect data. Students were given an opportunity to carry out some of those methods including plot sampling, mark-recapture and capture-recapture. The session concluded with Dr Harris discussing her area of interest and research. The talk enabled students to draw links between the statistics work covered in their DP Maths classes, with their work in Biology, Geography, ESS, and its application in the real world!

GCSE Concert

We welcomed friends and families to join us in the Auditorium last Thursday, for the first GCSE Concert of this academic year. The concert featured a wonderful variety of music, from Bach, to Aerosmith! As part of the GCSE Music course, students are required to submit a solo and group performance recording. The concert allowed our pupils to show off their musical skills and have the opportunity to record their pieces. A huge round of applause to all the talented performers!

Perfect Poppies

A number of Year 12's have been attending lunchtime workshops to make felt poppies, as part of their CAS, to sell for Remembrance Day. They planned to sell them around school for a couple of weeks but they were such a hit, they sold out within two days. Fantastic work, Year 12!

Sporting Highlights

Running Club

The Running Club enjoy exploring a range of routes around the town and recently took a trip down to East Sands Beach. Seventeen students across the Junior and Senior Schools enjoyed either fast paced games and relays on the beach with Mr Brian, or a lung-busting run along part of the coastal path, led by Junior Scotland International athlete, Reiss M (Year 13), and supported by Mr Gough. Well done to you all for embracing the experience and being great risk-takers!

Hockey Success for Brendan

Congratulations to Brendan H in Year 12 who played in the Scottish Hockey U18 Boys National Club Cup last month! He was on the winning team for Grove Menzieshill Hockey Club against Uddingston at Peffermill in Edinburgh. Well done Brendan!

On the Hockey Pitch

The Girls Hockey teams have played in many fixtures this month. A highlight were their games against Queen Victoria School from Dunblane. The field was full of energy as the talented players showcased their skills and teamwork. Year 8 had a goal-fest with Captain Cara L scoring 3, Phoebe F scoring 2 and Willow W and Chloe B both also hitting the back of the net. Year 9 were triumphant in their match, ending on a final score of 3-2, with Sophie A, Susannah L and Daisy F all scoring successfully for St Leonards. The Senior girls showed the true meaning of sportsmanship out on the field and the U16 girls remained victorious with a 4-0 win. A massive congratulations to all the players who participated!

La Manga Golf Camp

Our High Performance and Performance Golf squads took some time out during the October break to attend a fantastic warm weather coaching camp at La Manga Resort, Spain. Our students had a jam-packed trip, immersing themselves in a week of intensive training, playing six rounds of golf, and making the most of the state of the art facilities to really perfect their swing!

St Leonards Golf Programme also celebrated the success of Ewan F who was selected for the Scottish Golf Boys Development Squad. Annie P and Laurenz B were winners in the Alfred Dunhill Schools’ Challenge, and Martin S was selected to represent Switzerland U16s in the quadrangular event in Golf Nationale, a Ryder Cup venue. Congratulations to you all!