21st June 2019

It was evident that a restful half-term holiday had been had by all on Monday morning, and even those who had represented St. Mary’s at the Gordonstoun Challenge looked remarkably fresh ahead of the busy week still to come.  Mr Inwood and Lily were delighted with how our five pupils; Cadence, Isaac, Josh, Archie and Emily had embraced the challenges in Morayshire and thank you to all for representing St. Mary’s so positively.
Form 8 were not with us in assembly as they had departed for The Galloway Activity Centre earlier that morning.  However, in their absence, I congratulated them for a fine performance in their Common Entrance exams.  They have done themselves and St. Mary’s proud.  I also took time to thank all staff who have taught/assisted or teach/assist the Form with their teaching and learning.  They too, can feel very proud of all that has been achieved.
Form 7, Mrs Hardie, Mr Rawson and Stefan headed off to Inverkeithing and the MyAdventure experience soon after assembly, and later that morning Miss McRae, Mr Inwood and Miss Simpson took Form 6 for a three days, two nights adventure to Ford Castle.  This meant that there was space for our Form 2s and Form 3s to sample boarding if they wished, and Mrs Rawson and her team were very pleased to welcome some new faces in to the boarding set up.
The Hamilton Building has been a bit like the Marie Celeste this week, but any peace and quiet being enjoyed by the Headmaster has led to withdrawal symptoms caused by lack of pupil activity in the corridors and classrooms nearby.  I have treated myself to more visits to Pre-Prep and the Sanderson Building, which I can assure you, is a much more welcoming place than attending Parliamentary Committee meetings to do with removal of Non-Domestic Rate Rebate for independent schools. Having said that, the experience on Wednesday was fascinating, for all sorts of reasons.  Time will tell if the Committee were listening!
The few fixtures that took place on Wednesday have been reported on in the usual way and you can download match reports from the website.
Miss McRae, Mrs Runciman, Mrs Harvey, Will and Lily all accompanied our 35 strong choir to perform with Melrose Primary School at the Crowning ceremony at the Abbey on Thursday evening. What a pleasant sound came from all involved under some picturesque evening sunlight.  Mr Justin Sinclair, Head of Earlston High School, who gave a most enjoyable address to the gathering, expertly acknowledged the sense of community apparent to all who attended.
Meanwhile, Mrs Currie gathered the parents of next year’s Reception class to talk through how she so expertly eases them in to a slightly more formal stage in the education.  I passed by to see parents just as charmed and entranced by Mrs Currie’s presentation, as her adoring pupils are on a daily basis.
Today we had a slightly off the cuff assembly, during which we welcomed and then said goodbye to Martina Mateos who joined Form 7 for their residential trip.  We have also had the pleasure of Anna Lo Russo’s company in Form 5 for the week.  Anna is the cousin of Freya M in Form 5 and it has been lovely having her in the class for the week.  The topic of assembly was a discussion about relatives that took place in Form 5 at Registration but not even the superbly eloquent Mr Brown could explain the complexities, so I’m not even going to try in this news update.
Finally, well done, to all who have been away on trips this week.  A real mark of their success is whether the staff feel as though they have enjoyed the outings.  Without exception, staff have returned full of praise for their charges, and the pupils in Forms 6 and 7 have excelled themselves in all sorts of ways.  We await similar feedback from the Form 8 trip, which will return with Mr P, Mrs Bell and Mrs Wright later this afternoon.  Photographic evidence would suggest this too has been a most fabulous set of experiences and the ever present smiles are just wonderful to see.
Good luck to our IAPS Athletics athletes ahead of Sunday.  We are proud to support this annual event and I have no doubt our pupils will impress with their skills and endeavour. 
Enjoy your weekend.

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