Many a St. Mary’s boy could be seen playing rugby for one team or another at Sunday’s Melrose rugby tournament.  It was a pleasure watching two St. Mary’s pupils playing for a courageous, winning Kelso team.  What a fabulous spectacle it is to see so many young people enjoying sport on a sunny Sunday here in Melrose. 
We were visited by Mr Mike Bonser of the University of Buckingham on Monday.  Mr Bonser has worked with Mr Phil Hawes, now at Gresham’s School, but previously a most inspiring history teacher here at St. Mary’s in the 80s.  Mr Bonser was very taken with the learning atmosphere he witnessed during his day.  During games, we welcomed Graham Smith, Glenalmond Director of Rugby, to conduct a session with our 1st XV squad. 
A busy fixture programme took place on Wednesday with a familiar mix of wins, draws and losses, and some clear evidence that teaching optimal performance can be described as “work in progress”.  As a school, we have considered sportsmanship in victory and defeat, and the importance of grit and resilience, which by necessity is a theme to which we will be paying attention in the wider context of school life throughout this term.
On Thursday, our prep school pupils embarked on the second half of the activities block, with the usual wide range of workshops on offer. 
This morning, we had the pleasure of welcoming the Headmistress of Harrogate Ladies College, Mrs Sylvia Brett, to talk in Assembly.  Mrs Brett used the recent story of the triathletes Alistair and Jonny Brownlie to reinforce her message, that it is important to be the best we can be, and in doing so we are all victorious, irrespective of finishing position.  Several pupils were gifted attractive notepads and pens for their contribution to Mrs Brett’s quick-fire quiz.  We are grateful to Mrs Brett for spending time with a number of parents after Assembly, and she was very complimentary of St. Mary’s, having been shown around the school by two of our senior girls.
This weekend sees St. Mary’s competing in the Loretto Rugby 7s and Hockey tournaments, and good luck to Mr Mill, Mr Rutherford, Mr Purvis, Mrs Bell and their teams. All we ask is that they give their best, and any silverware acquired will be an added bonus.
We would like to pass on our congratulations to Mrs Gordon, who is now fully qualified as Matron, and is attending her awards ceremony in Springwood Park this afternoon.
Have a good weekend.

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