Despite a rather overcast day, Mr Purvis’ Farr Out Challenge, kindly sponsored by George F White, ran superbly throughout Saturday.  A combination of hard work and obliging staff, eager and enthusiastic pupils from lots of different schools, and their appreciative parent helpers meant the day ran like clockwork.  Huge congratulations to Compass School, who ended up victorious for the first time in the competition’s seven year history.   St. Mary’s senior pupils excelled themselves in their support of our guests: well done to all concerned. 
I felt it was fitting to pay tribute to living legend David Attenborough the day after his 90th birthday on Monday.  The inspirational naturalist has provided us all with a most wonderful insight into the natural world over the last 50 years.  There are not many 90 year old TV presenters whose name is totally familiar to the young people of today.
We welcomed Amy, Laura, Sophie and Katie from Earlston High School, who were embarking on a week of work experience, and as I write all four are coming to the end of what has been a very busy but fulfilling week for them. We are grateful to all four girls for their hard work throughout the week.
On Tuesday I met up with my fellow prep school headmasters at our termly IAPS district meeting.  The main topic for discussion was the impending controversial Named Person legislation.  We headmasters share the concerns that have been raised, but need to have in place strategies and procedures to fulfil our responsibilities by the start of the next academic year.  I will write to you to clarify what this legislation entails, but would like to reassure you at this stage that scare stories in the press and media are distorting what is fundamentally a formalisation of procedures already in place.  The meeting also suggested that prep school education in Scotland is flourishing.
Back here at base, Form 8 are working with a real sense of purpose towards Common Entrance, and staff are pleased with their output.  We had a busy fixture programme on Wednesday to provide a welcome distraction from the rigours of academic study.  Please see website for match reports, and look out for an outstanding week of batting from one of our talented Form 8s, that has included him scoring 83 runs on Wednesday, and 60 not out yesterday evening in the win against Gala Cricket Club. 
This morning we were treated to a splendid assembly by Form 1 in which the ‘Rainbow Fish’ went from being a vain, self-possessed, grumpy specimen to a fulfilled and contented character once she had shared her wonderful scales with others around her.  A very sound message was given to our packed assembly hall.
This weekend we wish riders attending the Floors Castle Horse Trials all the very best, and look out for the jump that we are sponsoring, which should be appropriately challenging, but should encourage horses and their riders to “fly” on their way to completing their round.
Good luck to Mr Purvis, who takes a squad to compete in the Glenalmond 6s cricket competition this Sunday, whilst Mr Mill and his boarding team await the arrival of three international students, Daniella, Form 7 and Martina, Form 5, who have joined us for the past three years, and Antonia, Form 6, who joins us for the first time.
Finally, good luck to all Form 8 who embark upon their French Listening and Speaking Common Entrance examinations, Spanish Listening and Speaking Common Entrance examinations, and Mental Arithmetic Common Entrance examinations next week.

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