11th July 2018

Forms 3, 4 and 5 all had a wonderful time at Spottiswoode camp during the penultimate week of term, aided by the fabulous summer weather. There is no question that staff and pupils have been energised by this welcome hot weather. Mrs Berni and her Kindergarten staff hosted their teddy bears’ picnic. This year it was sited around the base of the sycamore tree, and it was a delight to see Kindergarten children, their parents, Form 7, and staff basking in the sun. The previous day, Form 7 had visited Torness Power Station as part of their geography and science curriculum .
We were visited by a young band ‘Single By Sunday’ who presented, through music, an online safety message. They performed in front of Forms 6, 7 and 8 in the Morrison Hall, and their informative guidance was well-received.
Fixtures took place both here and at Loretto, and match reports can be accessed on the website. On the penultimate Thursday, the term-long swimming programme reached a crescendo with our swimming gala at Galashiels Pool. There were many outstanding swims on the day, and congratulations go to:  
Blair - Pre Junior (School Cup), Kiki - Junior (Watt Cup), Emma SW – Senior (Rae Trophy) for winning their individual championships on the day
That afternoon, the summer concert was held in the Morrison Hall, with doors ajar and fans attempting to keep the performers and the audience cool. Pianists, flautists, soloists, and various choirs followed the opening piece by the school orchestra. With exceptional talent in Alexander F, Tegan and Dicken, Form 8 could not fail to steal the show, and they did so with a number of uplifting pieces. 
The following morning, Pre-Prep headed to Harestanes and returned just in time to take part in the Friends of St. Mary’s Summer Fair. There is no doubt that the sunshine played a key part in the success of the afternoon, but the various stalls organised and run by the Friends of St. Mary’s provided excellent entertainment for the three hours of the event. Huge thanks go to Alan Mathieson and his team for such an superb afternoon.
After a much-needed rest over the weekend, pupils, staff, and parents reconvened on Monday with Fathers v Sons cricket and Mothers v Daughters rounders taking place in the afternoon. Perhaps for the first time in many years, two victories for the older generation were had, with the cricket success being largely down to two very talented mothers in Katie Francis and Jo Ballantyne. A 50 from Jamie Macpherson also helped the parents’ cause. A most enjoyable barbeque followed, and thanks go to Chef for his hospitality and hard work. 
Pre-Prep Prizegiving took place the following day, and as ever it was a pleasure for Mrs Harvey and I to celebrate all the hard work and success of our Reception, Form 1, and Form 2 classes. The stars of the morning were not yet finished and put on a show that lasted ¾ of hour. Miss McRae sees a bright future for many of our young stars who performed so capably in their production of Dick Whittington. 
Soon afterwards, for the first time in three years, Mrs Bell was able to run her Pre-Prep and Kindergarten Sports Day, and what a marvellous success it proved to be. 
The following day, Pre-Prep concluded their academic year with a tidy-up and farewells, whilst the senior school prepared for the end of term festivities. This began with a superb Form 8 assembly during which several questionable impersonations of staff were attempted, as a talent show unfolded in front of a highly amused audience. 

The tradition of paying tribute to everyone who has helped Form 8 then took place and as mums, dads, staff, and pupils, with hankies in hand, gave Form 8 a rousing round of applause. The unwrapping of a wonderful painting of the school followed. Head Boy Antony expressed gratitude on behalf of the form as he presented this portrait. After this, it was a pleasure spending time with Form 8s and their parents for drinks on the lawn as the conclusion to a most successful year for Form 8s drew ever nearer (for more photographs see the following article  
Prizegiving in the marquee that evening further emphasised what an outstanding form we have had at the top of the school, and Mr Geoffrey Aitken-Head provided wise and insightful guidance to all pupils on identifying what makes them curious and pursuing that interest. We are extremely grateful to Mr Aitken-Head for his amusing, informative, and thoughtful address. Mr Aitken-Head spent the remainder of the evening with staff, governors, and parents in the form of a buffet in the Headmaster’s House, whilst the boarders spent their last evening of their school year enjoying marshmallows, movies, and some light-hearted hijinks. 

Unsurprisingly, the sun continued to shine the following day as Sports Day took place, with Jessica and Jamie ending up as this year’s champion athletes.

Thank you to all parents who attended the Leavers’ Lunch in the marquee soon afterwards. This was a fitting way to draw a splendid academic year to its conclusion, and we wish all our leavers the very best of luck as they embark on the next leg of their educational journey. We hope their curiosity leads them down the right path of success and fulfilment. Have a very happy holiday.


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