13th September 2019

With the first week of the school year completed, and the adrenalin fuelled start back well behind us, Monday morning seemed an appropriate stage (phase and platform), to remind all pupils that if they are harbouring any ‘silly’ worries, they should share these with someone.  We all have little things that disproportionately preoccupy us, and nine times out of ten, sharing these can lead to a better perspective or provide a simple solution.
I used the example of my own fear as a seven year old of being given a fireman’s lift during the weekly warm up at mini rugby at Berwick Rugby Club which, for the most part, I really enjoyed.  I had an irrational anxiety that I would be sick, so instead of declaring that worry, I told my parents I did not want to go anymore.  With a bit of gentle probing, my father got to the root of the problem, and simply advised me to tell the coach.  So I did, and he said ‘just do the carrying, don’t be carried’.  Solving the problem was as simple as that!
To help pupils visualise what I was talking about, one of our two brilliant gappies, Will, ‘volunteered’ to be carried up the middle of the Morrison Hall.  This caused some amusement, and I am pleased to report, Will was neither dropped or sick! 
Problems, no matter how daft and embarrassing we think they are, tend to have a solution.  Week 2 got in to full swing soon after, with this year’s Debating Society meeting on Monday lunchtime and Syllabus Evenings for Forms 1,2,6,7 and 8.  These information gathering sessions were well attended and we hope parents feel informed about the curriculum plans going forward.
The boarding houses are busier than usual at this time of term and Mrs Rawson and her team are enjoying the contributions to, and the appreciation of the various activities being organised.  Boarders and staff enjoyed a pleasant walk by the Tweed on Wednesday evening, for example.
The day to day hive of activity with pupils coming and going from lessons is occasionally interspersed with break from routine.  We were reminded that the Squad singing competition is emerging on the horizon and the two rehearsals that took place within earshot of my office this week, reminded me “Rome wasn’t built in a day!”
Form 3 “welcomed” the dental nurse to come and chat about oral hygiene and Reception welcomed a visit from Oscar and Wilma, two of St. Mary’s resident K9s.  A third, Ernie, has settled in to his nest at the feet of Miss Birdsall in the office and he has quickly become another favourite amongst staff and pupils. 
To conclude a busy week, Mr P has been particularly busy.  He and Miss Amado took Form 8 on to the Eildons on Thursday evening, to provide them with the opportunity to make good headway with their Geography fieldwork studies.  All came back unscathed, though Miss Amado seemed to have collected soil samples as part of her investigations!
ce geog study sept 19

With the support of our Heads of School, Geordie and Imo this morning, Mr P delivered an assembly on what being kind really means.  He reiterated that acts of kindness have a positive impact on those delivering them as much as they do on the recipient, and cited a number of simple examples.  One St. Mary’s former parent is currently involved in an act of kindness that is anything but simple. 
Many of you will be aware that Phil Morris, accompanied by his brother Gareth, is nearly seven tenths of the way through completing ten Ironman Triathlons in ten days.  Phil, much like his incomparable wife “Woody” who also did some fund raising last year, is raising money for Cash for Kids.  Cash for Kids responds to the needs of children in our communities so they can live life to the full and realise their individual potential.  Based across 22 areas in the UK, at the heart of your favourite radio stations, the charity supports children aged 0-18 who are disabled, disadvantaged or suffering from abuse or neglect.  In case you are unfamiliar with what an Ironman entails, it is the completion of a 3.8km swim (in Colshiels Loch), a 120km cycle and a 42km run.  Please reward Phil for his efforts by donating to Cash for Kids following the link below:
More acts of kindness are being coordinated by a St. Mary’s grandparent in the form of an initiative called Volunteering in the Borders.  Please see details at the end of the .mail.
Finally, we wish Mrs Tait’s 21 year old son Liam the very best of luck as he represents Scotland in the British Bowling Championships in Southend, this weekend.  His proud mother will be chewing her saltire clad nails in the stands alongside.
Have an enjoyable weekend and make sure you have in your diaries next Saturday’s Bang Goes The Borders Science Festival.  Bring along as many young guests as you wish.

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