19th January 2018

With Monday 15th January being recognised by some as “Blue Monday”, identified as the date in the calendar which supposedly places morale at its lowest, and fatigue levels at their highest, the upbeat and ever-cheerful Headmaster bounced into assembly and threw a number of brainteasers at the pupils just to liven them up and make them smile. Two of the riddles are as follows: which of the states in the USA is round at both ends and high in the middle? And, you can use three identical digits in a simple addition sum so that the total is 12. You may not use the digit 4, so what is the answer? Within seconds, both questions had been answered correctly. The former by a Form 7 pupil and the latter by a Form 4 pupil. How did you do?
On Tuesday, my cheerful demeanour was slightly dampened by the appearance of snow. This was in direct contrast to the excitement of the pupils, who took to the all-weather and various other parts of the campus to make the most of the freshly fallen white stuff. Perhaps most entertaining was the reaction of Maddy, our new GAP student, who at the age of 18 was experiencing snow for the very first time. 

Despite a significant amount of snowfall, rehearsal took place for the middle school in the evening, and by the time Miss McRae’s session had finished, deteriorating road conditions and weather warnings were ominous.
Unfortunately, I had no choice but to close school on Wednesday, and with road conditions becoming treacherous, this turned out to be the correct decision. However, for our 28 boarders, Wednesday morning proved to be one of the best ever days at school! After a hearty breakfast provided by the unstoppable Chef, Mr and Mrs Rawson, Mr Whitelaw, Mrs Stuart, Mrs Harvey, Stefan, and Maddy set about providing fun-filled, snow-based activities. Having dug himself out of his driveway, Mr Bell appeared and set about clearing roads and paths with the help of the boarding team and senior pupils. 
Meanwhile, Ms Birdsall, who had also braved the journey, tried to cheer her miserable Headmaster up with a constant supply of tea. As you will all be aware, forecasts did not improve and unambiguous warnings were put out by Police Scotland that heavy snowfall overnight would make journeys to school on Thursday morning irresponsible. Therefore having said goodbye to nearly all of our boarders, who had stayed and been looked after superbly by Mrs Rawson and her boarding team, I had no choice but to close school on Thursday. Though the much-anticipated overnight snow did not materialise, roads and paths in and around school were still in a treacherous state. We have been able to open again today, thanks to the tireless efforts of Mr Bell and Stefan in particular, but I would also like to say a big thank you to Graham Wilson of Wilson’s Garage for moving the bulk of the snow with his front loader tractor on Wednesday.
This morning we decided to forego assembly and crack on with the day’s lessons 20 minutes early, and I must say I have been very impressed with how the pupils and staff have rolled their sleeves up to make the most of the full day at the end of a very short school week. Fingers crossed we have seen the last of the snow, and thank you for your patience and understanding when receiving news of my decisions on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings.
Have a good weekend.

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