10th May 2019

As a busy week concluded for most last Friday, senior pupils stayed on to assist with the preparation for Saturday’s Laser Vision Farr Out Challenge.  The reward was a trip to the swimming pool, pizza and TV in each other’s company and the ever positive and energetic company of Mrs Rawson, Mr Inwood, Mrs Stuart, Pam, Stefan, Will and Lily.  Both boarding houses were packed and this allowed the seniors to be on hand to help Mr P, first thing the next morning.

All the staff involved in running last week’s Laser Vision Scotland Farr Out Challenge felt the same as they reflected on the previous day, during a quiet Sunday.  A warm sense of pride as St. Mary’s senior pupils had been at their unassuming very best, making the day enjoyable, efficient and welcoming for all concerned.  Alongside this, St Mary’s staff and hired activity representatives provided stimulating, exhilarating and thoroughly enjoyable challenges.  

Monday’s assembly provided the opportunity to highlight how the senior pupils set the tone, and did so with good manners, thoughtful awareness and unconditional attentiveness to the groups they were looking after.  After all his hard work organising the sixteen team event, Mr Purvis was positively purring!

Mrs Currie, Mrs Hardie and Charlotte who helps in pre-prep as part of her course, all took Reception to Biggar Puppet Theatre.  Animated and entertaining puppets were on display with intervals providing music and dancing for our youngest prep school class.  The day proved most enjoyable for all concerned, including the puppeteers! (see report below).

A Form 5 trip to Bannockburn took place the following day, with Mr Brown, Mrs Routledge and Lily leading their charges into battle in the fabulous interactive workshops and cutting-edge 3D technology that brings to life the experiences faced by medieval warriors from both armies.  Costumes were donned as pupils absorbed the gruesome realities, trials and tribulations that go hand in hand with medieval warfare.
Meanwhile, in the early evening, Mrs Stuart ran the next in the sequence of her Science clinics for senior pupils wanting to polish their knowledge as Common Entrance looms on the horizon.  At the same time, in keeping with the constant buzz of activity that encapsulates St. Mary’s boarding environment, the second session of ‘Bike Ability’ was led by students from Borders College and attended by boarding staff.  This is proving an extremely popular option and it is heart-warming to see pupils like a grinning Mathilda cycling past my office window with her fantastic bike helmet in the design of a bear’s head!
A wet Wednesday afternoon called for games staff to adapt a programme that involved some extra classroom time rewarded with various outdoor opportunities, despite the rain.  Pupils responded superbly and made the most of the opportunities, despite the disappointment of losing their fixtures.
A number of our ophidiophobic staff dived for cover on Thursday as Zoolab visited pre-prep, but there was enough of our more intrepid staff on hand to ensure no snakes or reptiles ‘accidently’ ended up in a Reception pupil’s school bag or jacket pocket!
This morning, Form 5 delivered a talk on their John Muir Conservation awards and the process that has led them to gaining this most worthwhile qualification.  The work done has included the use of motion sensor cameras recording visits to the school grounds from foxes, badgers and many rabbits.  The informative power point presentation represented how worthwhile Mrs Stuart’s award initiative is proving to be.
Another busy weekend for some lies ahead, with Emma, Daisy, Libby, Eliza, Kiki and Anna competing in the Floors Castle Horse Trials, and we wish the girls (and their horses) the best of luck.  U13 and U11 cricket sixes competitions are taking place at Glenalmond on Sunday and again, thank you to staff for supporting this event on the prep school calendar and providing their respective selected squads with the privilege of representing St. Mary’s.  We wish the boys the best of luck.
Finally, the audible mental arithmetic and French Listening CD sounds resounding down the Hamilton classroom corridor since the start of term, indicate that these two sections of the Common Entrance process are upon Form 8.  These exams will be sat on Monday and Tuesday of this coming week and we wish all Form 8s the very best of luck.
Have an enjoyable weekend.             


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