23rd November 2018

Whilst our November Remembrance theme will live long in the memory, it was important I paid tribute to the work of the pupils and staff, and how all pupils have conducted themselves appropriately through the moving ceremonies in which they have been involved.  I am proud of how the school has marked the 100th Anniversary of the Armistice and the moving write up St. Mary’s has been given on the Poppy Scotland website . This sits alongside a wonderful photograph of George R and Ed and Matilda, highlighting some of the hard work attributed to this important anniversary.
I then moved on to PAFS (post assessment fatigue syndrome), and how this can stifle probably the greatest learning opportunities of the term. We all enjoy and celebrate pleasing marks and getting things right, but we cover the greatest ground by focusing on where we have gone wrong to ensure that we learn from our mistakes.  As the bleary-eyed seniors stared back at me, I thought I’d sharpen them up with a brain teaser.  A triangle has three sides, a rectangle has four sides, and a hexagon has six sides and so on.  How many sides does a circle have?  The synchronised turning of cogs in the hall suggested pupils were awaking from their slumbers, but it was Madame Syme who gave the correct answer (see bottom of blog for the answer!).
As the weather deteriorated, Mrs Currie and Reception took to the great outdoors with a character building autumn walk at Bowhill.  Mrs Currie and her Tuesday assistant, Charlotte Scott, and the Reception pupils embarked on this active learning process, fully prepared for the elements. The photographs below and the report illustrate how well they were looked after by Ranger Michael Paton and how much the pupils enjoyed their day out.
We sent our U11 Hockey team, Mrs Bell and Mr P and their substantial support team off with our best wishes as they headed to compete in the IAPS Hockey Finals at Rugby. The report on how they did can be found on the website as are all reports from Wednesday’s fixtures.  The U11 pupils whether playing or spectating are to be congratulated for conducting themselves in the manner we would expect.  Parents too deserve to be thanked for their enthusiastic support and for keeping Mr Jeffrey calm as his daughter bore down on goal on several occasons.  Mr Jeffrey and one other mischievous parent enjoyed their trip so much that they thoughtfully “acquired” this memento for us to display at St. Mary’s.

U11 IAPS Hockey team Nov 18

As the U11s competed in Warwickshire, our Dandlylion players Hannah C, Molly S, Anna M, Rosie, Eliza and Mhairi were starring in their representative match against the WOSPs.  In a 9-3 victory for the A team, Hannah scored 7 goals and Mhairi scored 2 goals; nice to see St. Mary’s playing their part. The B team won 3-1 and I understand all St. Mary’s girls contributed significantly to that victory too.

21 nov dandys

The week has also seen our parent teacher consultation meetings conclude for Forms 3 and 4 with thanks to parents for their contribution to this vital feedback process.

This morning Mr Rawson and Form 7 gave a splendid assembly address on the topic of Movember, with an explanation of how this annual event linked to the splendid appearance of a range of different moustaches.  We were treated to a stylish presentation not only by the Form 7 pupils, but also staff and visiting parents to illustrate the different types of moustaches one might come across at this time of year, or indeed at any time during the year.   Mr Rawson highlighted the value to men’s mental and physical health of this global initiative.  Thank you to Mr Rawson, Mrs Hardie, Form 7 and the sporting staff and parents who took part.
As I write, we anticipate a visit from Mark Shopland, Directof of Hockey from Sedbergh School, who will be working with our senior hockey players this afternoon.  At the end of an extremely busy week, pupils will no doubt be looking forward to a well-earned rest over the weekend.
Behind the scenes work is progressing towards a couple of exciting developments for the school, and I would like to thank the members of the governing body assisting me with taking the school forward in this promising phase. More will be revealed in due course.

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