24th April 2019

Whilst pupils enjoyed their final day of the holidays on Monday, staff returned to review the previous three and a half weeks’ activities and news, and to take part in the latest workshop on Children’s Emotional Health and Wellbeing, expertly run by Mrs Runciman and Mrs Fresle. 
Those staff involved in holding the fort, running Kindergarten and ensuring the safety of the Abbey Park guests for Melrose 7s, during the holidays, all reported back and we thanked them for their work done over the Easter break.
We welcomed four new starters to St. Mary’s on Tuesday morning.  Heather, William, Isaac and Angus have all found their feet and have adapted very well to their respective routines.  The same can be said for our three new starters in Kindergarten, places for which continue to be in high demand.
Pupils and staff found themselves quickly moving up through the gears as the planned schedule that seemed such a good idea back at the beginning of last term, unfolded.  Orchestra practice, poetry recitals and a super 1sts Rugby Squad Dinner had all been concluded by close of play on Wednesday.  Couple this with buoyant and vibrant boarding numbers in both houses and you might gain a sense of what I mean.  Hitting the ground running has been very necessary!
The aforementioned Rugby Dinner was a privilege for the boys, organised by Mr Inwood, as a thank you for their commitment to the season.  The boys gave a warm welcome to their parents, but an even warmer reception was reserved for the Guest of Honour Mr Jamie Farndale, Scotland 7s Captain and one of only six professional 7s players contracted to the SRU. 

Jamie spoke to the gathering about injury, defeat and non-selection, and how to cope with these inevitable setbacks that all elite sports people need to endure.  He spoke of his own experiences in overcoming these challenges and all in attendance could not have failed to be inspired.  We are extremely grateful to Jamie for taking time out of his own hectic schedule to visit St. Mary’s and for being so generous with his time spent with the boys afterwards.  

Summer Term swimming and tennis lessons were intertwined with the busy Thursday curriculum and this morning a cohort of musicians have headed off with Miss McRae and Mrs Harvey to attend the annual Fettes Orchestra Day.  Their early departure deprived them of witnessing a rather unorthodox assembly delivered by Mrs Bell and Mrs Runciman.  From what I can gather, this involved the cycling of bikes and the donning of luminous cycling attire to promote tomorrow’s 8th Tour de Lauder in memory of Josh and Hannah’s late father, Steve Cully.  This incredible and now famous fundraiser sees proceeds going to Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland and St. Mary’s is proud to be one of the main sponsors of the event
Mrs Runciman (50 miles) and Mr Bell (89 miles) are participating, but there are several members of staff and parents lending a hand either as marshals or by providing baked goodies for the intrepid cyclists. Well done to Rosie for driving this initiative on and for her endless courage in making sure her much loved husband, Steve is remembered.
This evening, Libby, Emma and Daisy are competing in the Scottish Schools’ Aquathon at Glenrothes.  Along with our intrepid cyclists tomorrow, we wish them the very best of luck.
Have an enjoyable weekend.

Jules Birdsall, 26/04/2019

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