14th September 2018

It is an important part of St. Mary’s pupils’ education to develop a sense of belonging to the school, an extended family that includes adults as well as pupils. As part of this process of development, we take time to thank by name, in person, all those whom we come across in our busy daily school routines. The school’s longest-serving member of staff is Rita Redpath who, alongside Helen McSorley, is one of our domestic staff. We never fail to be impressed by the high standards with which Rita, Helen, and the outsourced domestic staff provide us. It is easy to take for granted an immaculate environment in which to work, but it is due to the hard work of all those on the domestic team that we are privileged to do so. 
Our catering staff, led by Cheffy, are also a dedicated bunch, and Bruce, Sarah, Emma, Angie, and Kerry work alongside Cheffy to make sure the St. Mary’s community is refuelled, not just at lunchtime but during the morning, during the afternoon, at supper and before bed time for those who board. 
Whilst handing out a number of accolades, the mention of Gilbert and William in the Scottish Farmer magazine was complemented by the front cover photograph of the two, aged 7 and 5 respectively, herding eight substantial Texel tups that stood nearly as tall as the two boys. The article is charming and a tribute to the hard work that Gilbert, William, and the Greens put into their farm
Turning to curriculum matters, syllabus evenings took place for Forms 6, 7, and 8 and staff were very grateful for the opportunity to talk through with parents who attended these meetings the details of the academic challenges ahead. Tuesday evening saw the same opportunity given to Forms 1 and 2. Form Teachers of Forms 3, 4 and 5 will provide a similar opportunity to parents in the coming week. 
The first full fixture programme of the year took place on Wednesday with some splendid rugby and hockey matches played against Merchiston, Heriots, and Gala Academy. Wins, draws and losses were shared out amongst the teams, but with none of the fixtures were anything other than excellent.
With a dubious forecast coming over the horizon, staff and pupils were grateful for a dry afternoon on Thursday in which to take part in their chosen activity. These include Ball Sports, Bike Ability, Clay Pigeon Shooting, Cooking, Electronics, Fell Running, Fly Fishing, Origami, Rag and Time, Sit and Sing, Spanish, Trash Fashion, Warhammer, and Yoga.
We are grateful to Mrs Bell for holding assembly, during which she discussed facing adversity with the props of a carrot, an egg, and some coffee beans – do ask your children – and the end of a busy week has arrived with us reflecting on a most productive opening fortnight. 
We hope all concerned have settled in to the new routines, and thank you to parents for their patience and cautious approach to the busy drop-off period between 8:10am and 8:25am each morning. Your co-operation is much appreciated.
Have a good weekend.

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