16th December 2019

One week before me writing this final blog of the term, Mrs Rawson, Will, Lily and the entire boarding team were finalising preparations for the ‘Super Hero’ adventure to Fountain Park in Edinburgh. .  This adventure was this year’s Gaps Surprise and the 37 boarders able to attend and the 9 staff, all had a blast.  Laser Tag and Adventure Golf proved extremely popular.  The Hulk, Groot, Cat Woman and some Ninja Turtles were among the Super Heroes in attendance and all should be congratulated for making such an effort to get in to the spirit of the evening. 
It seemed highly appropriate on Monday morning to make mention of the fabulous Friday night they had all had, but also to add mention of movie nights, football on the 3G, dodgeball in the pre-prep gym, Halloween Games and Trick or Treating, Art room activities including Warhammer and sketching, Just Dance, karaoke, music room ‘jamming’ and sardines in the Sanderson Building.  These boarding activities were nominated as the favourites of the term.  I noted however, that there was no mention of supervised prep!
Assembly concluded and the final week of term got in to full swing.  Christmas parties for Forms 3 to 8, outstanding Christmas lunches for pre-prep and then the following day for the entire prep school, fabulous Form 1 and 2 Carols in the Morrison Hall, a brilliant Nativity Play by Kindergarten and Reception and the tireless boarders carolling at the Macphersons’, Kirkness’, Gibson and Walker households, are just a few of the major and memorable elements to the week.
Thursday was the busiest of these days, with final assembly allowing me to reflect on the great term drawing to a conclusion.  We said our fond farewells to the brilliant Will and Lily who have become dyed in the wool St. Mary’s people in their year with us, though their contribution at that stage in the week, was not yet over.  Cheffy and his team of Sarah, Kerry, Bruce and Emma produced the most magnificent feast as a Christmas lunch for the school and then, as tradition has it, we were provided amusing entertainment by our senior pupils in the form of a popularity contest among various well-known Christmas characters.  It is also important to mention how beautifully the dining room was decorated with a large number of Christmas pictures produced by the school as part of their art curriculum over recent weeks. The standard of work was breath-taking.
gappies Will and Lily 2019

Tradition also then dictates a staff pantomime or a ‘talent’ contest ensues, and this year, the latter took place.  Will, Lily, Mr Rooney, and a mystery character from among the staff, seemed to pip the fearsome competition that took part, but it is safe to say this was as loose a translation of the term ‘talent’ as you might find!
Fortunately, on Friday morning Miss McRae and Mrs Davies were able to stage some real talent in the form of our school choirs, orchestra and Form representatives for the Christmas readings.  This year’s Carol Service was as uplifting as the wonderful total of £750 collected from the generous donations made by parents at the end.  This year we are donating to Cash for Kids. 
However, thanks to the generosity of parents and staff at St. Mary’s, a minibus load of food has been donated to the St. Peter’s Church Foodbank in Galashiels, on top of the £300 donated to ‘Soupalunch’ in Hawick.
Finally, we had two new recruits to our staff team at the beginning of this term.  Both have proved a huge success.  Mrs Helen Bruce has picked up the reins of heading up Modern Languages, ably assisted by the wonderful Lorna Hutchinson and charismatic Conchi Amado.  Mrs Bruce has quickly become part of the happy team we have here at St. Mary’s.  And, in the office, we have the most affable and patient of recruits in ‘Ernie’.  What a hit he has proved to be!

Happy Christmas. 


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