25th September 2020 

We negotiated Monday’s assembly with a perfect form based remote login, and I use the lap top in the ICT room (Form 6 form room) as my ‘lectern’.  Form 6 are an excellent physical audience as they sit listening to my thoughts, whilst watching the responses from all other forms on the interactive board behind me.  To someone who does not particularly enjoy the public speaking or technological responsibilities that go with Headship, this is the stuff of nightmares!

My escape from this whilst the weather is favourable, is to take to the seas in my sea kayak and to ask along anyone with any degree of seamanship.  You will see from the accompanying photo, that Mr Brown joined me for a paddle round Craig Island off the coast of North Berwick.  His enthusiasm for ‘Geo’ is palpable as he nears any form of volcanic plug or unusual rock formation.  However, when a guide from a passing Sea Bird Centre tour boat mentioned that seals have been known to hop aboard the decks of kayaks, Mr Brown’s paddling quickly reached Olympic standard speeds!

HM canoe 3

The outings also included a visit to the cliffs under Tantallon Castle, and nipping in and out of a tiny harbour, reputed to be the smallest in the world.  It is amazing what one can find when exploring the coastline using this mode of transport.

HM canoe 2   HM canoe

I have enjoyed recounting the details to many interested pupils at various points throughout the week, and when life returns to normal, it would be a wonderful thing for the school to provide similar opportunities with suitably qualified water sports instructors leading any summer excursions.

Throughout the week, numerous remote meetings have taken place, and we are now well versed in identifying the areas of the buildings that are best suited to WiFi for such purposes.  In some ways, it is reassuring that much bigger organisations with whom we communicate experience similar issues.  Whatever anyone tells you, the value of a physical face-to-face meeting must never be under-estimated.

Meanwhile, our boarders have been thriving in the environment that allows for company, comradeship, community and the best form of connectivity.  Wednesday saw Mr Rooney run a five –a-side session that had many new boarders bidding for places.  Mrs Rawson and her team are providing ‘an oasis’ of normal, whilst adhering to social distancing, hand hygiene and other very necessary precautions.  To see this is energising for all of us.

This morning, Form 8 completed their annual CAT Testing process, and Mrs Redmond and her team will be assimilating all the information gleaned over the coming days.  The ICT suite resembled a silent call centre as they all tapped away at the keyboards with total focus and concentration.  A most impressive spectacle!

Please enjoy a restful weekend, and wrap up warm!


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