A happy new year to you all, and I hope you have all had a restful break. Your children have returned in fine form, and it would appear they are raring to get underway in this busy Lent term. 
Over the holidays, building work for the new Kindergarten has taken place, and I am pleased to report we remain on schedule at this stage. We also took the opportunity to replace the boiler that feeds the toilets and boys’ changing rooms, which will hopefully result in more manageable shower temperatures and a more efficient and economical system all-round.
It was a pleasure to welcome Mr and Mrs Rawson and their sons to St. Mary’s during the Christmas break, and they have certainly made impressive progress in making the lodge and New Buccleuch House their home. Their eagerness to get started in their new roles has been apparent as we welcomed our two new house tutors: qualified teacher Pablo Mateos, Assistant Rugby Development Officer Andrew Whitelaw, and our two new GAPS from All Saints, Jessie McRae and Max Cummins. It has been uplifting watching the new team set about their business since their arrival, and by the smiles on the faces of our many boarders last night, it would appear this new chapter is getting underway in a most encouraging fashion.
The new staff joined our staff training day on Wednesday, during which policies and procedures were gone through, departmental meetings took place, and some school management system training made up a day of useful preparation.
As well as the new staff, we have welcomed a new starter, Fergus R in Reception, and four new pupils into Kindergarten: Geordie, Ruben, Calum and Hector. This morning we had our first full school assembly of 2017, and congratulated Dicken and Georgia for both being chosen to represent the National Youth Choir of Scotland, following a highly selective and rigorous selection process. As I write, the school feels very much as if it is in full flow, and it is lovely to start 2017 with such a positive stride forward. 
Enjoy your weekend.

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