My last two Monday morning assemblies have both paid tribute to notable Scottish people.  On Monday 15th February, I spoke of a number of Scottish inventors, and how life would be very different without these ingenious, inspiring and determined people.  We welcomed Nicole to Form 2, and congratulated Lucy R on her successful Academic Scholarship to Loretto, Freddie H on his Sports Scholarship (Cricket) to Loretto, and Cameron W for gaining a Performing Arts Scholarship to Riley House, Strathallan.  Our support of scholars attempting various scholarships continues, and was part of the reason why I was unable to conclude last week with my usual update.
The Pupil Council gave a most interesting assembly highlighting road safety matters around the campus. They have called upon their fellow pupils to produce artwork, which will be displayed on the drive to vehicles entering our school.  I am grateful to the Pupil Council for its vital support of the road safety messages we are keen to impart. 
Squad cross country took place last Friday afternoon, and well done to all pupils who gave their best, irrespective of finishing position.
The Scot I paid tribute to at the beginning of this week was Captain Eric Melrose “Winkle” Brown, the Royal Navy’s most decorated pilot, who had died the day before.  A veteran who was born in Leith, Captain Brown flew 487 different types of aircraft, and was the first naval pilot to land a jet on an aircraft carrier, the first of 2407 deck landings successfully completed in his lifetime, a world record.  I set the pupils the task of finding out why Captain Brown’s middle name was Melrose, but up to this point, to no avail. 
During Monday morning, the Care Inspectorate representative, Mr Iain Lamb, arrived to carry out an unannounced inspection of our boarding provision.  Mr Mill and Mrs Bell gave him a guided tour of the boarding house, and provided him with paperwork and documentation that supports our boarding processes.  Mr Lamb returned on Wednesday to immerse himself in the boarding house routine, and left on Wednesday evening, leaving me with the headline “children have a fantastic time when they board at St. Mary’s.”  We are grateful to Mr Lamb, who offered some advice whilst recognising the ethos that underpins the boarding experience.  Fixtures had also taken place on Wednesday, and you can read various reports on the website as usual.
As a very busy week draws to a close, we were treated to a brilliant assembly about the different methods of communication used in today’s world.  Mrs Scott Aiton and her Form 4 enlightened us on the many different methods we use to communicate in a 1:1 situation and over distance.  Whilst the assembly was a great reminder to us about how we communicate, it also included some valuable lessons.  Thanks go to Form 4 for their presentation. 
Form 5 headed to a music workshop put on by Kelso Music Society, and I have already received feedback from a member of the Music Society about the super contribution St. Mary’s pupils made to the morning. This afternoon we have two pupils, Eliza and Maria, attending a string orchestra day at Kilgraston, and we look forward to hearing how that has gone. 
Good luck to our girls who are competing in the George Watson's hockey tournament on Saturday, and to our cross country runners, who will be representing St. Mary’s in the IAPS cross country championships at John Muir Country Park.  A busy weekend for some.

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