2nd September 2016

 I would like to start by thanking the staff for their hard work in preparing for the new academic year over the holidays, but in particular during their “in-service” training days on Monday and Tuesday.  A number of staff attended First Aid training at Live Borders HQ on Tuesday.  Other staff will be completing the same training during twilight sessions throughout the year.
It was a pleasure welcoming all pupils back on a sunny Wednesday this week, and I would like to pay particular tribute to our sixteen new starters, who have all settled in remarkably quickly to their new surroundings.  I am very grateful to everyone driving to and from the campus, for taking note of my reminder of the drop off, pick up and parking regulations we have in place to ensure the children’s safety.
There has been a very positive response from pupils and parents to the adjustments we have made to the curriculum as detailed in my letter of Wednesday, and Form 8 are looking forward to their first Design and Technology lesson with Dr Hawson as detailed in my letter of 22nd June.
In the meantime, the boarding house proved very busy on Wednesday and Thursday evenings, and it was a pleasure welcoming Mr Tom Rawson on Wednesday evening as he
made the trip down from Belhaven to familiarise himself with St. Mary’s boarding routines.
The term has started on a most positive footing, but can I remind all parents that requests for term time absence must be put in writing to me as Headmaster, and should only be made in exceptional circumstances.  I am not in a position to authorise extended holidays or time out of school unless there is a significant reason for such a request being made.  Please see the school website for the dates of academic year 2017/18.
This morning we concluded this short week with the excitement and entertainment of the squad singing songs draw.  The songs allocated to each squad are as follows:
Douglas:  Is this the way to Amarillo
Home:  Dedicated follower of fashion
Percy:  It’s not unusual
Scott:  Got my mind set on you
A reminder that syllabus evening takes place for for Forms 6-8 on Monday evening and Forms 1 and 2 on Tuesday.
In the meantime enjoy a sunshine blessed weekend.

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