2nd June 2017

As we entered our seventh week of term at the beginning of the week, it is fair to say that endurance levels are being tested. However, having witnessed on television the most amazing example of resilience and fortitude shown by those who took part in the Great Manchester Run, and all those from Greater Manchester who had come out to support them, we in our cosy little prep school here in Melrose should not feel too sorry for ourselves. In Assembly, I briefly spoke of the attack on Manchester the previous week, but focused more on how the city had set an example to us all by bouncing back and getting on with business as usual.  Hugely impressive.
On Tuesday, Hamish R, Fergus H, Lucy W and Jess K, accompanied by Dr Morgan, went to the Borders College Engineering Challenge, at which they designed their own rocket cars. Dr Morgan and the team were pleased to finish mid-table amongst many senior school pupils from all over the area. Meanwhile, Form 3 headed off to the Samye Linge Buddhist temple near Dumfries, and Form 5 headed off to the Wallace Monument and the Bannockburn Visitor Centre to conclude their work on Scottish Wars of Independence in the medieval period.

On Wednesday morning, as advertised, we had our official opening of the new Kindergarten facility. Parents, pupils, staff and the Chairman of the Governors gathered to hear Mrs Berni talk of how wonderful the new facility is proving to be, before our Head Boy Lachlan, who has been at St. Mary’s for 11 years and attended Kindergarten for two of those, cut the ribbon. It was an opportunity to pay tribute to Mrs Berni, Mrs Gordon, Mrs Townsend, Miss Fraser and Mrs Forbes for their excellent work with our youngest members of St. Mary’s community. We also highlighted the dedication of Helen, who keeps the facility shipshape and enhances the feeling of team spirit by her sense of pride in what she does. It was also appropriate to thank MEH Builders for the superb refurbishment, particularly as Mr Horsburgh was attending as a parent on the day.


The sun shone on fixtures both here and in East Lothian, with St. Mary’s coming up against some very skilled opposition both on the cricket field and the rounders pitch. Several comments were made about the excellent conduct of  pupils from both schools in playing their fixtures in the right spirit, and there was a lovely atmosphere on the boundaries of the cricket fields and in amongst the spectator lines at the side of the rounders pitches. 
This morning Reception provided us with the best assembly the school has seen this year. All eight pupils stood and spoke of their family pets and the importance of taking responsibility for various types of pets. Each pupil spoke loudly, clearly and was sure of their lines, and the pictures they held up were clearly visible to all in a packed assembly hall. Mrs Currie’s “gaggle” concluded proceedings with a rendition of “How Much is That Doggie in the Window” with a highly amusing adaptation of the second verse that made reference to the much-loved Oscar, faithful friend of the Headmaster, his family and indeed, the school. If that assembly did not put a smile on one’s face, then nothing would; it was terrific.
I then had the privilege of awarding UK Maths Challenge certificates to the following:
Bronze Medal: Hamish R, Rowan, Eloise, Abbie, Harris, Wilfie.
Silver Medal: Ollie C, Thomas M
Gold Medal: Jess K
To give you a feel for the challenge involved, here are two of the twenty five questions from this year:
In William Shakespeare’s play As You Like It, Rosalind speaks to Orlando about “He will divide a minute into a thousand parts”.  How many seconds are there in one thousandth of a minute?
I add up all even numbers between 1 and 101. Then from my total I subtract all the odd numbers from 0 and 100. What is the result?
If you enjoyed these questions you can download the full paper (and the solutions!) from:
I concluded by wishing Form 7A the very best of luck with their extension examination in English and Maths being sat today. Next week the full tranche of assessments and examinations will get underway, and we wish Form 8 all the very best with their CE examinations. 
Enjoy your weekend.

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