On Monday morning during assembly, we celebrated the performance of a Scottish team in England the previous Saturday: St. Mary’s U13 Sevens rugby team. The team, Mr Rawson, and some parents ventured down to Mowden Hall to watch a fantastic afternoon of rugby.  Victories against St. Martin’s, Ampleforth, Mowden Hall and Austin Friars saw St. Mary’s taking on Barnard Castle in the final. Our boys finished proud runners-up, after a close-fought final during which the tactical use of replacements led to the fresher team coming out on top. Well done to our boys, and in particular Harris, who was named Player of the Tournament. Meanwhile, a senior girls hockey team, under the care of Mrs Scott-Aiton and Mr P, competed in the George Watson’s College hockey tournament. This draws some of the largest schools in Scotland. It is huge credit to Mr P’s and Mrs Scott-Aiton’s team that they ended up as beaten but proud finalists in the bowl, losing to the High School of Glasgow on running penalties.
We then considered what “van the man”, “Tiny Dancer”, “the moon”, “nursing”, “a necklace you got when you were 16”, “Nancy and William”, and the mathematical symbol “÷” had in common. Answer: these all feature in Ed Sheeran’s album. Every song on the album is in the top 20, and to help put the success of this album in perspective, I added that the album sales totalled more in number than the next 499 albums total added together. I knew I should have kept my guitar lessons up at school!!
On Tuesday we were visited by Mrs Kathryn Watson of Tatler Magazine. Mrs Watson is a fond supporter of St. Mary’s, and it was a pleasure talking to her about how the school has moved forward in the last few years. She could see for herself that St. Mary’s is in fine form.
Form 8 parents met with subject teachers on Tuesday, and whilst there is a lot of work to complete moving towards Common Entrance in June, it is generally felt that our top year are on course.
A busy fixture programme took place on Wednesday; please look out for the report on the U11A girls unbeaten season, and the U13 seconds teams spirited fightback in their match against Riley House.
Form 1 had the privilege of a cooked breakfast on Thursday morning, thanks to winning a RHET farmhouse breakfast drawing competition.
Dr Morgan and Lieutenant Routledge took a Form 6 maths team to compete in a maths challenge down at Mowden Hall on Thursday. The team performed commendably, and no prep school represented finished above them in the table, though some large senior schools provided the toughest of competition. We congratulated our mathematicians following a splendid Form 2 assembly on the wonders of the human body. Well done to Mrs Fresle and Form 2 for such a “full-bodied” performance!
This morning we welcomed IAPS Heads of Department and geography teachers to St. Mary’s for a training day. Mr Purvis, Mr Brown and Mrs Bell are hosting this event, and we are very grateful to those who have made the journey to Melrose to take part. Any geographer worth their “basalt” would enjoy a visit to our picturesque little market town in the Scottish Borders, which sits in the shadow of the Eildon Hills.
You may have seen the most wonderful watercolour paintings of various birds in the form of greeting cards displayed in the Hamilton Building. This superb display and sale is in aid of Children’s Hospice Association Scotland, and the creations are the work of “Scottish Borders most talented junior artist” Freya D in Form 7. 

CHAS cards 2017
I have already purchased a significant number of these cards, and I would encourage you to hurry up if you intend to do the same as, unsurprisingly, they are selling like hotcakes. I applaud Freya for selecting such a worthy cause to support.
Finally, I would like to congratulate Jess K on gaining an academic scholarship and music scholarship to Sedbergh School: a combination of talent and her hard work. Well done, Jess.

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