11th May 2018

Eighty pupils from other schools and twelve from St. Mary’s took part in our Farr Out Challenge last Saturday. It was a wonderful occasion and thoroughly merited the emergence of the sun for the afternoon’s activities. It was a pleasure welcoming so many familiar faces who came along as helpers from thirteen visiting schools, and a big thank you goes to our Forms 7 and 8 pupils, staff, and in particular Mr P for pulling the teamwork and leadership challenge together so efficiently.
Being true to yourself was the theme of my Monday morning’s address, and I used the clip of Paloma Faith singing in the new Skoda advert to illustrate this important point. To link the advert to the message, I made reference to several unkind jokes attributed to this make of car such as “why do Skodas have heated rear wind screens?” To keep your hands warm while you are pushing them. “What does a Skoda and a baby have in common?”  Neither can go anywhere without a rattle. And finally, “what do you call a Skoda with a twin exhaust?” A wheel barrow. It was at this point in proceedings that it dawned on me that Mr P drives a Skoda! However as a person, there can be no better example of someone who is true to himself and his own beliefs. I think I got the point across.
The kitchen team welcomed Bruce Hughes, who replaced Caitlin, and his arrival with home baked chocolate brownies has immediately endeared him to his colleagues on the staff. On Tuesday morning we welcomed three work experience pupils from Earlston High School: former pupil Murray Mason, Livvy Hogg, who has close ties to St. Mary’s on her father’s side, and Ellen White. All three have settled in very well and made an excellent contribution to life around school. A busy fixture programme took place on Wednesday: see the website for details.

On Thursday, Mr Rawson welcomed two representatives of Surfers Against Sewage, who came along to present us with our award for the school’s endeavours to reduce the amount of plastic we use. It is heartening that Mr Rawson, his fellow staff, and pupils appear to be coming up with fresh initiatives almost on a weekly basis in an attempt to demonstrate the school’s care for the environment. 

plastic free schools

Mr Rawson had also welcomed the Forestry Commission earlier in the week. The school has reached the final shortlist for their Scotland’s Finest Woods Schools Award  and the judges were visiting to see all that we have been doing, and plan to do, with regard to Outdoor Learning and wildlife conservation. We eagerly await their response.
This morning I had the great pleasure of awarding six millionaire book tokens to Caelan, Amelie, Iona S, Tiggy, Kiki and Archie Mac, and congratulated Miss Simpson, who now has twenty-four millionaires, despite this initiative only running for eight months. We were then treated to an excellent assembly by Mrs Runciman and Form 5 on the topic of ‘Anger’. The class explained what anger is and the many different scenarios that lead us to experience anger and strategies to deal with these feelings. The presentation was fascinating and informative.
Before we headed off to class, I wished the St. Mary’s team of Emily, Daisy, Libby B, Anna B, John T, Kiki, and Eliza all the very best of luck as they compete at Floors Castle Horse Trials on Saturday. I emphasised how grateful we are to their parents, and to them for calling the two teams the Hamilton and Sanderson, illustrating their pride in their St. Mary’s membership. We also wish our U11 and U13 cricket 6s squads the best of luck at Glenalmond on Sunday.
Have a good weekend.

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