Last Sunday, our U11 and U13 cricket teams took part in the Glenalmond Sixes competition. Whilst the U11s found the day’s competition tough, Mr Rawson was pleased with his boys’ performance, and Mr P was particularly pleased with his U13 squad of seven, who finished runners-up after a close final.
After thanking Mr Rawson and Mr P and the boys who represented St. Mary’s on Monday morning in assembly, I gave a “two good, two bad” update. The two bad stories related to carelessness with tennis rackets and cricket bats (pupils) and careless scoring in a golf competition (HM!). The two goods were mini-tales about Lottie and Tallulah running to help raise funds for the Rowan Bowland Trust, and a good deed for the day, in the rescuing of a dying, upturned sheep and its desperate lamb the day before. Whilst assembly took place, Form 8s were sitting their mental arithmetic exam for Common Entrance; Dr Morgan was very pleased with the composure shown, and indicated that in general, all had gone very well. The following morning, Form 8 completed their French Listening and Speaking exam for Common Entrance and again, Madame Syme, though somewhat worn out by the intensity of the process, was very happy with how things had gone. 
The Board of Governors met on Monday evening to support the school in plans going forward. 
On Tuesday, Forms 3, 4 and 5 took part in the brass band demonstration in the Morrison Hall, organised by Miss McRae and run by Mr John Mabon, eager to inspire those with some brass band experience and indeed those who had never tried a brass band instrument before. I am told there was some splendid noise coming from the Morrison Hall. 
On Wednesday, Kindergarten’s ‘tour de tennis courts’ saw our Kindergarten pupils pedal for pennies, in an attempt to raise funds to enhance their outdoor play area. Many of our youngest pupils covered significant distances, though not always on the temporary velodrome set out. Well done to Mrs Berni and her team and supporting parents for pointing any strays in the right direction.
Wednesday saw a raft of fixtures take place in the sunshine, and congratulations to Lucy B (Captain), Louisa, Millie, Georgia and Abbie for their victories in the Dandylions A and B teams against their WOSPS counterparts. See website for match reports.
This morning we have been treated to a splendid assembly by former pupil Harry Letts, who is currently in Lower Sixth at Fettes. In support of the Polar Academy Charity, Harry came down to talk about his experience when taking part in a Greenland expedition. We heard of the challenging distances the party towed sledges across the polar ice cap, and the erecting of polar bear fences around the camp overnight. Harry talked of how inspiring his trip with fellow Fettes pupils and pupils of Broughton High School had been. 

fp harry letts 2

He then gave us an amusing update on a number of St. Mary’s former pupils doing very well in the years below and above him. Harry then awarded a book token for the first five book reviews to Ewan, and I congratulated Form 3 pupils on a superb performance in the Scottish Sumdog competition. With entrants from P3-P7 totalling 2,335 classes overall, and over 6,500,000 questions answered in total, Form 3 finished 42nd !  Given the competition included pupils aged up to four years older than them, this is no mean feat and congratulations to them all.
Soon after assembly, Form 3 headed on a field trip to the Hirsel Estate, whilst Form 7 headed off to the Edinburgh College of Art and Fashion. Meanwhile back here at base camp, lessons resumed as normal but Forms 4 – 6 were given the opportunity to go and listen to author MG Leonard talk about her book in the Morrison Hall. We also welcomed Langlee Primary School and Gordon Primary School to join St. Mary’s, and thanks goes to Kelsey Jubin of SBC and Ros de La Hay for organising this with Miss Simpson.
Good luck to Jessica W and Lucy B who will be representing the South District in U14 Scottish Interdistrict hockey at Peffermill.
Have a good weekend.

Jules Birdsall, 19/05/2017

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