4th November 2016

The start of the week happened to be Halloween, though before any fun and games in the evening, a hard day’s work in class was required. Kindergarten invited their pupils to dress up for the day, and I am delighted to say that amongst the costumes there were no clowns! There was however, a Spiderman, a Superman, an elf, a princess, a dinosaur and a fairy. Twenty five boarders set off to “trick or treat” to the home of Clan Macpherson, then the Headmaster’s house, and finally “Brownton Abbey”, in the corner of the campus. It would seem that the days when any sort of performance that might merit a reward from the household visited have somewhat petered out, as many a “lame” joke was told in an attempt to receive sweets of one description or another. Most importantly however, Mr Mill and his team said the boarders made the most of the evening and conducted themselves appropriately. Pre-Prep parents’ evenings took place, with a positive feel about this collaboration.
halloween 3

On Tuesday, inevitably the focus turned to our Lecture Final and the visit of Mr Michael Osborne, former Headmaster of Belhaven Hill School. Mr Osborne was very impressed by the standard of lectures, along with the “delightful, polite children, and positive and happy staff”. He described St. Mary’s as looking “spick and span with a lovely buzz about the place”. He congratulated all participants, but selected Tiggy (Being a Child in World War II) as the junior competition winner and Oliver (Joe Powell, War Hero and Stuntman) as the senior competition winner. We are very grateful to Mr Osborne for returning to St. Mary’s to judge our competition, and for his heartfelt compliments bestowed on the school. 
Wednesday’s raft of fixtures might better be described as an “island” of fixtures, as there were so many taking place. As usual, please see match reports on the website, but particular congratulations go to the five boys who represented the victorious Dandylions rugby side: Tommy, Lachlan, Harris, Hamish and Joseph, with Lachlan, Harris, Hamish and Joseph winning selection for the Scottish Prep Schools Select side. I would also like to pay tribute to the U9 boys’ rugby team and Mr Brown for their undefeated contribution at the Fettes U9 rugby tournament. I understand they conducted themselves in a skilful and courageous manner, showing exemplary manners when off the pitch, and total commitment on it. 
On Thursday, a steady trickle of staff from the Prep School ventured across to Kindergarten to take part in their Diwali celebrations. The Kindergarten pupils and staff cannot have been more welcoming, and hosted a very tasty drop-in buffet. Please see the photographs on the website.
This morning, Mrs Scott Aiton presented a thought-provoking and amusing assembly on forgiveness. Mr Mill, Mr Brown, Mrs Bell and Mrs Runciman were chastised in a light-hearted way for various misdemeanours, but Mrs Scott Aiton summoned up a sense of forgiveness for the miscreants, dressing them up in embarrassing costumes as a light-hearted sanction. Our thanks go to Mrs Scott Aiton for starting our school day in such an upbeat and positive way, and with a simple but important message.
This Sunday, we wish our U13 and U11 rugby 7s squads all the best at the Ardvreck and Cargilfield tournaments. 
Finally, once again can I remind parents that we have a 5 miles-per-hour speed limit on campus, and that vehicles can only be parked in vacant bays, and not left unattended in any other area of the school; to do so compromises the safety of pupils. Please see my letter to you all in the protected area of the website. 
Have a good weekend.

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