11th June 2021

My goodness, we have reached the last .mail of a nine week half term and I am grateful to Mrs B for standing in as the ‘blog’ writer during a particularly busy phase in May.
Monday opened with our much celebrated Stars of the Week announcement, and congratulations to Archie D on his selection for South of Scotland Boys’ hockey and as I mentioned in last week’s blog, Skye M for gaining a Sports Scholarship to Fettes.

To return to an academic theme before the senior school assessments and exams got underway, I quickly mentioned the often incorrect assumption amongst many that Sir Walter Scott was older than Robert Burns.  Scott was in fact twelve years younger, and a diary account tells us that he was so star struck as a teenager when seeing Burns at a function that he was unable to go up and speak to him.   

My point is, artist’s impressions of the two often lead us to view Scott as an older man and Burns as a young, dashing chap in his twenties.
I then returned to the story of Miss Edita Butkeviciute, the Lithuanian lady very seriously injured in an accident in Aberdeen.  Having spoken to an orthopaedic surgeon friend of mine who works in Aberdeen, I was able to report that Miss Butkeviciute’s positive outlook throughout her long, painful and sometimes frightening rehabilitation is seen by the medical team caring for her, as a major factor in her astonishing recovery.
Such positivity should be borne in mind throughout the week of exams and beyond.  Successes should be celebrated and hiccups must be seen as ‘bounce barriers’ we see at the side of race tracks, positioned to prevent more serious and irreversible car crashes. In life, ‘sofas do fall from the sky’ and we should take inspiration from Miss Butkeviciute’s amazing story of resilience and positivity.
I reminded Form 8 to call upon the superb and expert self-management techniques suggested by the ever-supportive and brilliant Flora Maclay. It has been a real testimony to Flora’s input that almost every Form 8 pupil (amongst many other strategies) has taken a deep breath in, slowly exhaled and calmly turned the first page over, in each of their CE exams throughout the week.
The week has been action packed with Forms 1 and 2 heading off to Edinburgh Zoo on Monday 20 ‘penguins’ behind Mrs Fresle and Mrs Rawson departed and 20 returned with beaming smiles but a little less bounce in the flippers after a tiring but thoroughly enjoyable outing.
This week we were delighted to welcome back Miss Gillian in to Kindergarten and wish Miss Abbie the very best of luck as Miss Gillian handed over the ‘Moses basket baton’.
We’ve had another round of delightful fixtures this week with Cargilfield.  There were wins and losses but seeing pupils playing competitive fixtures against another schools is a win for all concerned.
The Eco Committee have met and the veranda greenhouse has now been furnished thanks to the considerable generosity of Former Pupil and horticulturist John Benn (1940-45) and the superb work of the ever patient and brilliant Matt, our Estates Manager.

Also this week, Kindergarten staff have met parents via Microsoft Teams to update on the children’s progress.  Miss Wood has been working away in the refreshingly clean smelling Duffy Passage, putting up her charges fabulous stamp design display. She has also helped the children make beautiful flowers to give to businesses to celebrate Melrose Festival Week.
Meisha has become the latest Accelerated Reader millionaire – congratulations Meisha. Further news from today is that pupils in Forms 8 and 7 have been awarded their sports colours for Rounders and Cricket. Congratulations to Anna, Tiggy, Mabel, Kate, Sophie E, Emily L, Iona, Cadence, Skye, Zara, Olivia, Tristan, Josh, John, Henry, Isaac and Ollie for full colours and Kirsty, Lily BJ, Bea, Ally, Harriet, Torquil, Archie, Angus C, Nic, Ewan, Lochie MC, Fergus Y and Blair for half colours.  Good luck to Tiggy who will be back in school Tuesday to sit the UK Mathematics Trust Junior Kangaroo.
Today we had our virtual Kith‘n’Kin Day, and thank you to Miss McRae for the IT expertise to make this accessible to Kith’n’Kin, and particularly to all our pupils in their Form rooms for welcoming family and friends through the ‘magic window’.   Particular thanks and congratulations go to Cadence, Kirsty, Mabel and Angus for their musical contribution to the conclusion of a lovely morning.  However, I will sign off by saying how much we miss having grandparents, uncles, aunts and friends touring the school on this very special day in our calendar.
Well done, Form 8 and have a very happy and restful Half-Term holiday.

Jules Birdsall, 11/06/2021

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