15th February 2019

As we are making our way through the mid-academic year phase, the main focus at the top end of the school is towards next term’s Common Entrance exams.  This is our main purpose, but the expertise and dedication of the staff accommodates scholarship avenues whether that be down an academic track, music, drama, sport or art.
Monday’s assembly allowed me to congratulate publicly Libby B, Ollie E and Caelan on receiving Sports Exhibition Awards to Loretto School and I made special mention of Lucy Macpherson who had been awarded both a Music Scholarship and a Drama Scholarship to Loretto.  These successes were warmly applauded by the school.
A full day of rehearsal then followed for the Middle School, and significant ground was covered towards the first dress rehearsal. This took place the following day with many problems being ironed out and Miss McRae’s latest production coming together, right on cue.  Meanwhile, Form 8 attended a fabulous science clinic, with dissection and investigations proving hugely exhilarating and informative for some, and something of a test for others.  Hands on/in learning in this subject never fails to impart good knowledge, even to the more queasy! 
At Wednesday’s matinee performance, it was great to see so many familiar faces.  Lord and Lady Sanderson came along, as did former Bursarial Assistant, Neil Miller and the legend that is Mrs Linda Simpson.  Forms three, four and five did not disappoint with their first full performance of “Rock Bottom”.  Most seniors took part in football and netball matches, home and away, and the reports can be read on the school website.

As the half term neared its conclusion, the Middle School cast stepped up to the mark one last time on Thursday evening.  They delivered a final, stellar performance of their show with an exhausted but very proud Miss McRae and her helpers rightly receiving as much applause as our time travellers good and bad.
rock bottom

rock bottom 2

This morning, Mr Jim Ballantyne drove the St. Mary’s bus in to the car park for the final time, after providing the school with four and a half terms of friendly, reliable and punctual service.  We handed over a small gift and a card to demonstrate our gratitude and wished Jim well as he turns his full attention to his court duties.  We look forward to Tommy Hill stepping in to Jim’s shoes and are grateful to Tommy who has stood in temporarily before.
As the school day started, the final assembly of the half term to a bleary-eyed school, called for pupils to consider carrying out an unexpected act of kindness over the half-term holiday.  The Head Boy and I collaborated to illustrate a rescue of an upturned ewe and its lamb that led to a sense that even animals have the ability to appreciate help when it is given.  Thomas dressed in a Shaun the Sheep outfit, provided a splendid impersonation of the stranded ewe, and even added his expert input in to the value of a ewe and its new-born lamb, from within the woolly outfit!

Finally, a long hard January is behind us.  Though the weather has been fairly kind, viruses of varying descriptions and severities have tested endurance levels and a well-earned rest is much needed by all.  I do hope you all have a very restful and enjoyable half-term break.


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