The half term holiday proved a welcome break for all, and many took the opportunity to take holidays abroad during this time. Pupils have returned fresh and ready to negotiate the seven week half term up to Christmas. The clocks going back this Saturday evening will provide us with the relief of lighter mornings for a time, but will shorten daylight in the afternoon. This often affects pupils’ energy levels, if they let it.
During the break, alterations to the main boarding house have been taking place, with the landing bathroom being converted into a compact but purposeful sick bay. The two top floor rooms next to the Housemaster’s Flat have had ensuite bathrooms added for staff use. This work has been carried out following some constructive advice from the Care Inspectorate, and will help with the efficient running of our boarding house, whilst adhering to new regulations. It is pleasing to see that boarding remains as popular as ever, and we are working to ensure that the alterations will not compromise our boarding capacity.
On return, pupils were thrown into fixtures on Wednesday. There are match reports in the usual place on the website. As I write, pupils from Forms 4 – 8 are involved in the lecture heats. It is evident that many have embraced this challenge with enthusiasm over the ten day break, and we look forward to hearing the finalists on Tuesday afternoon next week. 
Ahead of a busy week next week, I draw your attention to the following important events:
Pre-Prep parents’ evenings
Sunday 6th November Rugby Tournament at Ardvreck for the senior boys
Town’s Remembrance Parade which will start at 10:15am on Sunday 13th November. Mrs Harvey and I proudly lead a St. Mary’s representation and I would be thrilled to see St. Mary’s pupils turn out in their number 1 uniform, and any accompanying parents, as part of the school’s contribution to Melrose remembering the fallen. 
We met in the staffroom today to honour Rita Redpath who turns 70 next week and is about to go on a trip to New York.  Rita is the longest serving member of staff at St. Mary’s and has worked as a domestic for over 32 years at the school.   It was an honour to present her with a card and a few dollars for her lifetime dream to go to New York. We also presented flowers to Sarah Douglas of the catering team who turned 21 last week.
Meanwhile, though your children have only been back in school for three days, I suspect they will be ready for a rest this Saturday and Sunday.
Enjoy your weekend.

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