Cast your mind back to Friday 24th June on the morning of which we were treated to a fantastic assembly by Reception. They explained to those gathered about the well-being indicators in the form of the mnemonic shanarri wheel. Mrs Currie was rightly very proud of her young charges who delivered their lines clearly and with great composure.
Later on in the day, Melrosian Struan Hutchison and his party came in to visit with the pupils. He spent time in class and in the dining room chatting about his role before heading off to the next venue on what is a jammed pack schedule.
Since that time there is much to report on. Form 8 returned safely from their 5 day outward bound experience at Loch Eil, sporting a few midgey bites but reminiscing about a great time they had all had together.
Cricket and rounders took place with a number of unfit fathers and teachers attempting to overcome the highly skilled 1st XI and much fitter and more glamorous mothers taking on their daughters in the 1st daughters’ teams. Both teams of pupils claimed the honours in fixtures played in a wonderful atmosphere and absolutely in the right spirit. Whilst enjoying the subsequent bbq put on by Cheffy, our U11 cricketers returned from a tournament at Loretto in which they had finished runners up. Most pleasingly they had competed with some very able opposition whilst winning the praise of parents and staff for their conduct both on and off the field. We thank Loretto for their hospitality on the day.
Exhausted but awash with interesting tales, Madame Syme, Mrs Hardie and Mr Williams arrived back with Form 7 following their trip to Dinard in Northern France. They had mixed with the local community, enjoyed some changeable weather and were the recipients of many favourable comments from those who they met in the Dinard community. Madame Syme reported that the trip had been different to those of the past, likely due to the time of year selected but that there was much to be pleased with.
Pre-Prep Prizegiving went smoothly and our Pre-Prep pupils received their certificates whilst demonstrating the most delightful manners, which rightly filled their on looking parents with great pride. They then took to the stage later that morning to put on their wonderful performance “Stella the Starfish”. For an indication of the visual display, think “Finding Nemo”. Colourful costumes complemented the consummate acting on display and left everyone feeling decidedly upbeat and happy with life, despite the inclement weather outside. Sadly true to forecast, the rain put paid to Pre-Prep Sports day that afternoon.
Tradition has it that Form 8 appear on stage in the guise of many of their teachers or people involved in their care. A clever and highly amusing series of sketches unfolded leaving staff, parents and the rest of the school in fits of laughter. Hilarity was quickly replaced by sentiment, as Form 8 presented the most beautiful clock and accompanying plaque, to be located in the Hamilton Building.
This was a fitting gift given the contribution of two hugely loyal St. Mary’s families, the Campbells and the Godfrey-Faussetts, who between them, have amounted nearly 200 St. Mary’s terms with their seven offspring.
A more formal assembly took place in the afternoon to which President of the Former Pupil Association, Mr Billy Hamilton was invited. Mr Hamilton handed out ties and broches to our leavers and spoke a little of how important the FP Association is to many and wished them well on the next leg of their educational journey.
We welcomed Sheriff Kevin Drummond and his wife Margaret to Prizegiving and Sheriff Drummond gave a most amusing but thought provoking address on ‘Rules’, for which his large and attentive audience shared their genuine appreciation. During my contribution to the evening, I paid tribute to Madame Syme who has taught expertly at St. Mary’s for 20 years and I presented her with bouquet of flowers as a small gesture of the school’s appreciation for her exemplary service.
We paid tribute again to our fabulous Form 8 pupils who we send off very ready for various senior school experiences. They leave behind a sense that they were a particularly kind year group who led the school exceptionally well in their final year.
Amazingly Mrs Bell got the luck her hard work deserved, with sports day unfolding between patches of heavy rain but our athletes completed the programme with great determination, skill and courage. Mrs Bell and the team of staff and all spectating parents warmly applauded as Mrs Redmond, mother of head girl Lucy, and Mrs Stephen, mother of head boy Harry, presented prizes to our winners.
A special atmosphere existed in the prizegiving tent as Leavers’ Lunch allowed one final gathering and Cheffy and his team put on the final banquet of the year for all those lucky enough to attend. A fitting end to a most successful school year in which St. Mary’s roll reached its highest ever, 169 pupils. It might go some way to explain that success, if you take time to read the school’s inspection report by following the link on the school website under the ‘Information’ tab.
I hope you all have a very enjoyable holiday and all the very best to our leaving pupils.