9th March 2018

This time last week, the campus was being made accessible by several willing volunteers. We are indebted to Mr Gordon, who cleared the school car park with his tractor and front loader, to the staff of Paul and Clare Rooney, who cleared the front drive and route through to the back of the school, and to Mr Bell, Stefan, Mr Brown, Mr Whitelaw, Mr Williams and Mr Rawson, who went to work with a snow shovel each.
Whilst school was closed from Wednesday, Mrs Rawson and her team cared for the stranded boarders, the last of whom departed home in another formidable 4x4 vehicle on Thursday afternoon. Much fun was had by all, and they even carried on working from time to time while still here at school. The sense of community to which I have referred in the past was at its strongest, as offer after offer was being made by our parent body to help transport pupils, to clear snow, and to provide catering supplies if need be. Whilst the country infrastructure seemed to grind to a halt, being at the centre of the St. Mary’s community allowed me to feel confident that all would be well. We are hugely grateful to everyone for their hard work, patience, and understanding. 
It was a huge relief to be able to get back to business as usual on Monday morning, and I paid tribute to the great Sir Roger Bannister, who had died aged 88 the day before. I borrowed a quote from his book to refocus and enthuse the pupils who needed to find their stride very quickly, after the enforced three day absence: “it does not matter if you are a lion or a gazelle: when the sun comes up, you better be moving!”  In other words, I was instructing the school to hit the ground running, and to do their best to make up for lost time.

dynamic earth for mail

Form tutor meetings happened throughout the week and have proved hugely beneficial and informative to those who attended, and to staff facilitating these interviews. Form 5 had a fantastic trip to Dynamic Earth on Tuesday, and a report on how that went can be accessed on the website. Football fixtures were cancelled on Wednesday, but congratulations to Molly S, Tegan, and Jessica, who all represented the Dandylions in successful wins in netball against the WOSPS at Fettes.

dandys with Mr P

On Thursday, our Debating Team of Lara, Eliza, Hannah F, and Thomas headed to Cargilfield to compete in the IAPS Debating Competition. Mrs Hardie could not have been more proud of her charges, as they conducted themselves in an assertive, knowledgeable, and upstanding manner. Hannah and Thomas volunteered to step in and taken an alternative viewpoint in the first debate when one school did not turn up. They won praise from all in attendance as they held their end up with gusto. Lara and Eliza earned the team a fish supper on their journey home by winning the plate competition, and congratulations to Mrs Hardie and her team. 

debating March

This morning I had the pleasure of handing out three book tokens to our latest Accelerated Reader Scheme millionaires: Dicken, Mac, and Mahi. This is particularly impressive from Mahi, who is not yet in the senior part of the school, but well done to all three.
Mr Brown’s Form 8 RS group put on a short production of the parable of “The Good Samaritan”, which was in keeping with the charitable spirit presented throughout the Morrison Hall. I am referring to the very many wonderful representations of sporting heroes pupils and staff had adopted to raise money for Sport Relief in a week’s time. For example, we had a flipper-clad Jacques Couscous (Jacques Cousteau), several jockeys, many rugby players, a skiing-clad Eddie the Eagle, a helmet-wearing Formula 1 racing driver, a Lizzy Yarnold costume and helmet, and Mr P in his fishing gear! Well done to all who entered into the spirit of the day. Yet another example of the generosity of spirit that emanates from the St. Mary’s community.
Congratulations to Jessica on achieving an Outstanding Talent Award to Glenalmond College, and congratulations to Alexander F for being awarded a Drama Scholarship to Shrewsbury School.
We wish our P7-equivalent hockey team and Mrs Scott Aiton all the very best at the George Watson’s College hockey tournament at Peffermill tomorrow.
Do enjoy a snow free weekend.

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