The Voice of st leonards

Friday, 22 September 2023

Jumping for Joy

As another week draws to a close, we start to notice the change in season that is happening around us - the weather turning colder, the darkness arriving earlier and the leaves falling off the trees. What does not change though is the enthusiasm, fervour and risk-taking that all the pupils exude every day, never dampened by rain or grey skies.

This was never more true on Wednesday morning as I greeted pupils, clutching my umbrella and looking towards the heavy rain clouds drifting past us hoping they would stay away for our first ‘dook’ of the year. Indeed, none of us could have wished for better weather, as the clouds gave way to blue sky and sun beamed down on us as we swam, jumped and splashed in the sea. A truly unique part of life at St Leonards, I constantly have to pinch myself to know how lucky I am to be living and working in such a beautiful part of the world with such wonderful pupils, staff and parents.

The enthusiasm and joy that radiated from our pupils on the East Sands is not only seen at these school events but reflected every day in their learning, lessons and club participation. Indeed, the latter forms the focus for this week’s newsletter. With almost every pupil in the Junior School taking part in one of the many activities on offer, you will find pupils gardening, crafting and being active, to name but a few, in all corners of our school and campus every day of the week. These opportunities to participate in activities and clubs with children from other year groups enables them to develop new friendships, skills and interests. Above all, it lets each of them learn about what they enjoy, try new things and be risk-takers.

Claire Robertson, Head of Junior School

Thinker Club

Every Tuesday, children gather for Thinker Club. An opportunity to explore or learn chess, Mastermind and Othello, there’s something for everyone with Dominoes, Connect Four and traditional jigsaw puzzles as well as mental challenges and conversation with like minded peers.

Beach Club

Thursday night is Beach Club. Wrapping up warm with waterproofs and wellies (and spare socks!) to spend time in the fresh air and have fun on East Sands Beach. The children have been learning about the tides and how not to get their feet wet! As the activity covers Year 1 to 6 it is a lovely opportunity to get to know different children in a variety of year groups. The pupils have recently been very lucky with the weather, enjoying the warm sun and sparkling sea, giving the pupils an opportunity to build, explore and investigate!

Netball Club

The turnout for Netball Club has been fantastic this year. All 16 children have been incredibly enthusiastic, some are experienced netballers and others are trying it for the first time. There are many new rules to learn but this has not put anyone off, we have been very impressed with the teamwork on display as well as their passing skills. Special mention to David H who scored not one but two goals this week!

Mindfulness Colouring Club

Colouring Club is a time to be calm and quiet, a time to relax with soft music, and get involved in colouring - using colouring sheets and a candle to help focus.

After-School Prep

Prep gives pupils a time to reflect, complete homework, or spend quality time with their friends. This week, Magnus entertained his peers by reading with expression, demonstrating his Communication and Social Skills. Watch below this wonderful moment!

Film Club

In Film Club, the children have been watching Ratatouille as part of this term’s theme ‘Animal Animation’. Letting the children have the choice of movie is key to the success of this club so a voting system is put in place. With a real focus on the Balanced Learner Profile Attribute, this club is an opportunity for the children to relax and unwind, alongside being thoroughly entertained. All the smiles and enthusiasm for movies makes for a perfect Wednesday afternoon!

Nature Club

At last week's meeting of Nature Club, Bella in Year 6 asked if they might be able to try their hand at building dens. So, this Tuesday, equipped with tarpaulins and bungees, they started planning their building project. The children decided that a successful den should have various features, such as walls, a roof, a frame to keep the den rigid, it should be able to protect you from the elements, withstand wind and offer protection from rain. It should also incorporate natural materials, both within the structure and any interior furnishings.

The team chose to build two separate dens and quickly got to work, showing high levels of collaboration, communication, problem solving, and resilience when things didn't always go as planned.

At the end of the session they admired each other's creations and were delighted to find that both met all the criteria for a successful den. They had a lot of fun, but also left feeling a great sense of achievement.

Story Club

This week in Story Club, the children selected Julia Donaldson’s Paper Dolls to be read to the group. The pupils enjoyed listening to the story and then got stuck into a craft activity, creating their own paper dolls!

Gardening Club

In Gardening Club, the children have been collecting fallen leaves and flowers to create beautiful pictures. They have been discussing what colours we can see at this time of year and how our surroundings will change.

They have also been cooking delicious soup, using the vegetables they have been growing and harvesting. The children dug up potatoes and cut the remaining squash and chard to add to their soup. It was all hands on deck to peel and cut everything up, with the older children helping the younger club members. Everyone worked really well together as a team, and as the club drew to a close, the finished product was bubbling away happily on the stove!

Running Club

This week at Running Club, after the younger pupils had finished their training, the pupils gathered on East Sands Beach to make a turtle in the sand.

Construction Club

LEGO and KAPLA are always popular in Construction Club, giving our budding architects and engineers space to let their imaginations loose. The younger children love playing together to create all kinds of wonderful and amazing creations, see below!

Daring Dookers

Pupils in Years 1 to 6 thoroughly enjoyed heading down to East Sands Beach on Wednesday morning for their first dook of the new academic year. With Years 1 to 3 taking a paddle and Years 4 to 6 going all in - the pupils felt refreshed after the North Sea’s cooling temperatures. A big thank you to all who joined us on the shore, with many families cheering on our pupils or going for a dip themselves!

PollyAnne across the Atlantic

Years 4 to 6 were thrilled to welcome Mr Cheape into School to hear about his upcoming challenge to row 3000 miles across the Atlantic in an open top rowing boat. Setting sail in the Canary Islands, Mr Cheape, father to Florence (Year 7), George (Year 6) and John (Year 5), plans to row to Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua, the Caribbean. The pupils thoroughly enjoyed hearing about the exhibition and asked some very interesting questions. Mr Cheape proved to be a true Risk Taker, inspiring many of our pupils. We wish the very best to Mr Cheape as he prepares to set off in mid December 2023. You can follow more of his adventure on his Website or Instagram, linked below!