31st May 2019

Ahead of the middle school exams starting this week, and senior school exams and Common Entrance starting next week, I talked a little bit about five categories of revision style on Monday morning.  We all have our own preference when working to remember the information we need to tackle exams and assessments, and most have a combination of styles that suit them; Kinaesthetic learners like to carry out practical tasks to revise (dissecting plants, using scales for learning weights and measures). Visual learners like to produce or view illustrations, usually in colour, relating to the topic studied.  Oral learners like to talk through their subject with friends, relatives and even in to mobile phones or tablets, for the purpose of listening back to their own voice.  Reader learners prefer to do just that.  Reading over notes and reading around topics.  Writer learners learn best by writing out notes or sections of text books. (Not my personal favourite, but who am I to say?!).
This reminder that we all have different styles of learning was not unfamiliar to our senior pupils but helped them focus on what sort of preparations they should be making in the run up to exams.
To divert away from the topic of exams, we congratulated Miss Simpson for running a very respectable time in the Edinburgh 10K event over the weekend.  Miss Simpson is raising funds for Macmillan Cancer Care, and just to add, she finished 204th out of approximately 2000 female runners.
On Tuesday, Dr Morgan headed off with Ted, Tiggy, Robert and Isaac S to compete in the Borders Primary Chess Tournament.  Our budding ‘Grand Masters (and Mistresses)’ performed creditably, but we will have to wait until next year if the trophy is to move ‘across the board’ to Abbey Park.

Firefighter Poe (father of Kira and Ruben) welcomed our Reception class and Mrs Currie to Galashiels Fire Station on Wednesday.  The pupils enjoyed all the privileges their mums and dads would love to experience, like pressing the siren button on the fire engine and other exciting tasks.
In the afternoon, the weather finally provided an undisrupted fixture programme which produced the odd victory, one particularly narrow defeat in U11A cricket and some hefty defeats administered, not least by a very capable Belhaven cricketing XI.  Reports as always are available to view on the school website.
Earlier in the week, Mrs Bell had raised concerns that the weather forecast was looking less than favourable ahead of Thursday’s school photograph.  However, those of you who know Mrs Bell well, will not be surprised to hear she refused to be defeated.  Close monitoring of the developing forecast meant the plan went ahead an hour or so ahead of schedule and the school were on standby to be rounded up by Mrs B at very short notice.  By 10.30am the photograph was done, and by midday the heavens had well and truly opened.  Top marks ‘Mystic Meg’ Bell!
Parents, staff, governors and those closely associated with St. Mary’s all received encouragement to respond to the Local Government and Communities Committee’s call for evidence regarding the Non-Domestic Rates (Scotland) Bill proposed by the Barclay Review.  This is not the platform for me to stand on any soap box but I would like to express my sincere thanks to all parents, staff, governors and local businesses who emailed their views to the committee.
The ongoing angst caused by this proposal left my mind for the duration of this morning’s wonderful assembly by Reception.  The class put together a very well prepared, entertaining and brilliantly delivered resume of their trip to Biggar Puppet Theatre.  All pupils contributed learned lines to the back of a packed Morrison Hall, which included proud beaming parents who could not have failed to be moved, impressed and delighted by what they saw.  Quite simply, it was the best assembly this year so far.  Well done, Mrs Currie, Charlotte, Mrs Lewington and all thirteen Reception pupils.  Mr and Mrs Lee, please do not forget to take your daughter to the Biggar Puppet Theatre this Summer!
Have a restful weekend and good luck to Form 8 ahead of their Common Entrance exams, which start on Tuesday.

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