Parents 

30th November 2020

You may have seen some coverage in the Border Telegraph of Miss Wood’s initiative to support the Poppy Scotland Appeal.  If you have not, here are a couple of links; https://bit.ly/3pylVPU and https://bit.ly/2IK0t9r. The endeavours of Miss Wood and her team of senior pupil helpers has helped raise £1,180.90 and the Poppy box at the office hatch collected £85.34.  A total of £1266.24 has been gratefully received by Poppy Scotland, in a year when raising any funds at all has proved hugely complicated.
 
Your contributions as St. Mary’s parents and other members of the St. Mary’s community are central to this achievement, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank you all for supporting Miss Wood’s initiative.
 
As a school, St. Mary’s has also made a small contribution to this year’s Children in Need Appeal.  For the ‘privilege’ of wearing a colourful hoodie or jumper, pupils and staff were asked to donate £2.  In the Spring Term, Miss McRae, Ollie L and Form 8 were cruelly deprived of the opportunity to perform the senior production – Joseph and His Amazing Technicoloured Dream Coat.  However, one could be forgiven for thinking she was running auditions for the same stage show, given the colourful attire on display, and all for a most worthy cause.  £367.20 was raised.

Last weekend, a large box arrived containing books, wooden objects and various other intriguing items.  It transpires this was a gift from the Don Hanson Charitable Foundation. This charity supplies over 10,000 educational boxes every year to schools across the World.
 
Also featured is Mr Rawson receiving the Scottish Land & Estates Conservation Award for his Borders Primary Schools Birdbox Project.  This has gained deserved media recognition and had such a positive impact on wild bird populations in the Borders.  Scottish Land and Estates Regional Director Trevor Jackson presented Mr Rawson with the award.

The workshop also saw the arrival of our new head of Estates Maintenance, Mr Matt Brydon.  Matt has been trying to keep on top of the various estate jobs both expected and unexpected, by working weekends until he could start full-time.  He also completed a number of cover shifts in the school kitchen amongst a team that have excelled in providing hot meals every day to all pupils, by trolleying form lunches considerable distances, and always safely.   I am delighted to say Matt is now with us full time and is working hard to get ahead of the demands placed upon him by the buildings, the trees and the staff!  It is great to have him aboard.

Grace in Form 3 also depicted another challenge for Mr Brydon in her entry for this year’s Tesco Bank Schools Art Competition, organised by The National Gallery.  Grace has been awarded a runner up place so many congratulations to her.
 
Some Form Tutor/Parent meetings have taken place this week via Teams (Form 3 and Form 4).  Mrs Kirkness and Mrs Runciman have both been impressed by their charges composure and concentration during the assessments completed and this has led to many positive follow-up discussions.
 
Forms 6, 7 and 8 are gearing up for their assessments next week, but have been pleasingly mature and appropriate in the attention given to these throughout this week.  Sensible and measured preparation over the weekend should see them ease in to the process with little fuss and plenty of purpose.
 
We have sixteen and a half school days left this term.  It is important we all keep working together as a school community to see us over the line and in to the Christmas holidays. 

The collective efforts of pupils, parents and teaching, support, office, domestic, catering and grounds staff has made this term a huge success so far.  Keep going and thank you.
 
HM
 
 

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