11th March 2016

Last Friday, we were treated to an assembly by Form 7 on Saint David’s Day, the celebration of the Patron Saint of Wales.  I learned that in his final sermon as a monk, David encouraged his congregation to “do the little things”.  I adopted this sound advice in highlighting much of what we are very proud of here at St. Mary’s, when speaking at a most enjoyable FP Dinner on Saturday night.  Ann Wright and her committee are to be congratulated on filling the Townhouse function room, and for providing a most entertaining guest speaker in current IRB member, former Scottish and British Lions rugby legend, and current St. Mary’s parent John Jeffrey.  Many thanks go to Ann, her committee, and John for making the evening so enjoyable, and to James and Elaine Henderson of the Townhouse for their hospitality.
On Monday morning, Rugby Registrar Mr Guy Steele Bodger visited and spoke in assembly. We heard of Mr Steele Bodger’s assessment of the different types of Lego, and the very wide range of skills that this world-famous building material calls upon.  Mr Steele Bodger focussed on Lego people, and the debate surrounding what expressions they should have on their faces.  His talk was clever, entertaining, enlightening, and struck a chord with his audience, whose age range spanned from 4 years to mid-60s!  Mr Steele Bodger enjoyed meeting some parents and pupils after the assembly, and was most complimentary of the school, having been shown around by two Form 7s.
On Monday evening, Mr Mill’s boarding house was packed to the gunnels, and no wonder.  Pam and her staff, which included kitchen auxiliary Mrs Lorna Blunt, put on the most wonderful boarders’ supper, before pupils reeled the night away in the Morrison Hall with Mr Mill and all his boarding staff.    I am sure you will see the enjoyment had by all in the photographs on the boarding blog.

dinner dance 2
On Tuesday, subject teachers met with parents of our Form 8 pupils to touch base regarding their children’s progress.  For several reasons, there is a sense of optimism about the Common Entrance exams looming in May and June, not least because of the successes of our academic scholars, but more of that later.
Wednesday provided a raft of fixtures, and do look for individual match reports on our website.  However, particular congratulations go to Lucy B and Flora, who played in the victorious Dandylions B netball team. 
Many of you may be aware that over the past number of weeks, Form 7 have been involved in a Young Entrepreneur initiative, sponsored by Tricap.  Mrs Julia Wailes-Fairbairn has been a constant support to Mrs Hardie, whilst our inventive and ingenious Form 7s have developed several interesting business ideas.  This culminated in a Dragons’ Den style final, which took place last night in the Morrison Hall.  Judges Paul Yuskaitis, Kathy Kinder and Chief Judge, Paul Murray, listened to eleven different presentations before complimenting all of their business ideas and singling out eventual winners, Joseph and Liam, for their ‘Elpies’, a pencil protector and fiddle mechanism.  Well done to Mrs Hardie and to all the pupils for the work they did in preparing for a most entertaining evening. 
Today, our top three year groups are involved in a full day rehearsal of ‘Annie Jnr’, which will take to the stage next Wednesday and Thursday.  Our 7:00pm performance on Wednesday will be in aid of Sense, a charity aimed at supporting deaf and blind people.  There are still a few tickets available, so please do encourage friends and family to support the charity evening.  I guarantee their £7.50 for a ticket will be money well spent. 
We have rugby and hockey fixtures against touring Aberlour teams this afternoon, and our U13 and U11 hockey teams are heading off to Kilgraston tomorrow for a hockey tournament.  We wish all St. Mary’s teams the very best of luck ahead of their fixtures. 
Meanwhile, you may have noticed a number of new faces popping in for taster days.  We have a full school roll next term, but it is important I reassure you that many of the unfamiliar faces are aiming at a Michaelmas start.

I have been meaning to congratulate Mrs Berni and her staff since receiving a letter from the Borders General Hospital, thanking them for the money raised to support a special care baby unit.  Both the mothers and babies have received great comfort from the Miniboos, which continue to be a great success for mothers whose babies are born prematurely, and those establishing breast feeding.
I would also like to update you on Chef, who is recovering well and hopes to be back at school early next term.
Finally, congratulations go to Lucy R and Molly, who were both awarded Academic Scholarships to Fettes College, following a rigorous set of exams a couple of weeks ago.  Molly was also awarded a Sports Scholarship.  It is right to celebrate these successes but we will remain totally focused on working towards Common Entrance in May and June, remembering to “do the little things”: common courtesies, personal organisation, thoughtfulness, and considerate behaviour.
Have a good weekend.

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