17th May 2019

Our Monday morning congratulations included a big thanks and well done, to Emma and Daisy SW, Eliza, Libby B and Anna.  They had all competed in the Floors Castle National Schools Equestrian Association event, with both Emma and Daisy winning an individual class, and the team qualifying for the next stage at Addington.  The proud group brought in their numerous rosettes and sashes, but also some advice for their hard of hearing Headmaster.  Repeatedly I thought I heard them say they wanted sponsored numbers, so made a note to provide these for the next event.  I did think it was out of character for them to bang on about this oversight, with more volume each time, and this all made sense when in the quiet of a classroom setting later in the week, Daisy came up and explained they were asking for ‘numnahs’!  

We also congratulated the U13 and U11 six-a-side cricket teams that had represented St. Mary’s at the Glenalmond the previous day.  Mr Purvis and Mr Rutherford’s U13s had fought hard without success, but Mr Rawson’s U11s gave a splendid account of themselves in reaching the final against Cargilfield.  They came runners up but did their coach and the school proud.

IMG 6885

I congratulated Angus C who came 1st in The Robert Burns Competition in Ayr over the weekend in both the bagpiping category and he also won a trophy for ‘Best Piper in the Borders’.  Mr Bell must have been cycling that day!
Then our attentions turned to the Mental Arithmetic CE paper to be sat by Form 8 later that morning.  To focus their minds I asked them to carry out the following task.  Try it;
Write down the first two DIGITS in your postcode.
Multiply by 2
Add the number of days in a week
Multiply by 50
Add your age in years
Subtract the number of days in a year (not a leap year)
Add 15
Write the number you now have.  What is unusual about this number? 
On Tuesday, comings and goings from the library, with Madame Syme looking even more efficient than usual (if that is possible) highlighted that Common Entrance French Listening and Speaking exams were underway.  We always know how those exams have gone by Madame Syme’s body language, and the quiet smile of pride on her face after a very busy and intense day, suggested that our Form 8s have done just fine. 
At this point in my report on the week, I am handing over to Mrs Bell to complete the weekly update.  This is because I am accompanying Mr Brown, Lily and Form 8 to Bannockburn Visitors’ Centre as part of Form 8’s field research on Scottish Wars of Independence.  All part of preparation for writing a detailed essay, whether it be on a related topic or not.
Wednesday saw a raft of fixtures, with 9 teams playing cricket or rounders, both home and away. On tallying the results Mr P was very proud to announce that we had won 9 out of 9 (not that winning is everything!) Special congratulations were given to our 5 Dandylions, who represented St Mary’s in the last ever Dandylions v WOSPS fixture; Eliza (captain) Rosie, Mhairi, Emma SW and Libby B played very well and all added to the Dandylions’ winning score lines.  


From August, in order to ‘level the playing field’ the Scottish Prep Schools will have a 3 way competition for representative sport with new teams called: The Caledonians, The Thistles and the Saltires.
St Mary’s will join with Belhaven and Loretto as part of The Thistles and we are all very much looking forward to this new and exciting development.
Form 3 came back to school yesterday raving about their very ‘hands-on’ trip to Hawick Museum; this worthwhile trip complemented their topic on Egyptians and it was super to hear them outside my office, discussing all that they had seen and done (see report later in .mail). Swimming and tennis continued, though I believe swimming may have been more popular given the red faces I observed running around the courts. To that end, in Assembly this morning, I reminded all pupils and staff to ensure they are drinking enough water and I pressed home the importance of hydration.
With Form 8, Mr Harvey, Mr Brown and Lily away to Bannockburn, the rest of the school was treated to the most wonderful musical performance by some extremely talented F6 pupils; Isaac S, Kate and Ollie de G sang to us, Emily L played the piano, Robert the trumpet and Mabel, the violin-these pupils are all about to sit an ABRSM exam and we wish them luck.  Angus C won the Burns Competition for piping last weekend and we were all able to hear and see why the judges selected him - Angus gave us a flawless performance on the bagpipes, there were toes tapping and I’m sure a few pupils inspired after listening. I congratulated all musicians and told them that one of my biggest regrets is not being able to play a musical instrument….then again, I didn’t have a music teacher as kind and dedicated as Ms McRae!  Hot off the press, and another cause for celebration, is the news that Ms Wood has yet again heard we have winners in the National Galleries of Scotland art competition. Congratulations to Lara Y, Angus W, Sholto and Imogen (see Ms Wood’s report) - this is a fabulous achievement and again we are very proud of our winning artists who range in age from 3-12!
Form 7 too are out of school today on their annual Art trip with Ms Wood and Mrs Hardie; we wish them and the F8 a good and productive day out.
for 7 art gallery

Well done to Kindergarten, pupils and staff for organising and hosting today’s Open Day.
Lastly, Good Luck to Tiggy and Freyja who this Sunday are the youngest players representing the South of Scotland in the U14 Inter District hockey championships - a just reward for all their hard work.
Have a good weekend.

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