Emily and Matt were rightly beaming with pride having organised a thoroughly enjoyable, if a little raucous, GAP Surprise last Friday. A packed boarding house made the most of all Emily’s and Matt’s hard work, and the children were ready for home on Saturday morning. 
On Monday morning, I thanked Emily and Matt, Mrs Harvey, Mrs Stewart, Mr Brown, Mr Williams, Mr Hardie and Miss Pariente for all their hard work in trying to ensure the evening ran smoothly. I reminded all our pupils that especially at this time of year, when treats and extra activities are added to the busy school schedule, it is vital that they take time to thank those who have organised such additional privileges and those who help supervise. 
If you are feeling rather down in the dumps, I recommend you go on the school website and follow the link on latest news to the Kindergarten’s Christmas Carols that took place on Tuesday. I challenge you not to smile whilst you are watching it; if you manage to do so, then bah humbug!
On Tuesday evening, Miss McRae, intrepid shepherds, carpenters, expectant mothers, wise men, “camels”, sheep, goats and cattle (ponies and dogs) headed for St Boswells’ auction mart. Parents, fellow pupils, staff and an impressive number of local volunteers watched on as our pupils provided the Christmas story. Though a little chilly, the auditorium proved a wonderful setting, and despite a little bit of unfamiliarity with the microphone system, a thoroughly entertaining production ensued. Well done to Miss McRae and her cast, and I do hope that Mrs Innes and her team raised a healthy sum for ‘Clic Sargent’, a most worthwhile charity (addendum:  funds raised approx.. £3,000).

Rugby and hockey took place on Wednesday. Please see match reports on the website.
Thursday saw the Middle School - Forms 3, 4 and 5 - enjoying a Christmas party in the Morrison Hall after a morning of hard work in class, and I was delighted to hear of good manners and cooperation from all pupils throughout the afternoon. 
Today, Pre-Prep’s Christmas begins in earnest. They treated an audience to their carols and musical performances this morning, and will have Christmas lunch, expertly provided as ever by Cheffy and his team, before heading to the Morrison Hall for their Christmas party this afternoon. 
Meanwhile, onlookers could be forgiven for thinking St. Mary’s had become Santa’s Grotto for the day, as pupils and staff have embraced Bobble Hat Day. This initiative is to raise funds for Childline, and the ever-increasing pile of presents on the table in the Hamilton Building is to support Mission Christmas, a charity driven by Radio Borders. On behalf of both charities, thank you for your support.
This morning’s assembly was abbreviated, but I was quickly able to thank pupils for wearing their hats. I presented book tokens to Nicole and Celia, and I wished our four boys involved in the Scottish Prep Schools XV rugby match against an Edinburgh Schools XV at Merchiston this weekend all the very best.

Jules Birdsall, 09/12/2016

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