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24th September 2021

It was a brave endeavour of Miss McRae to head up a virtual version of Bang Goes the Borders this year, but the school had the generous backing of Laser Vision Scotland, Mirador Analytics and the ever industrious, resourceful and creative Mrs Stuart, Miranda Weir and Alex Church. 
 
To those who took part, this was a marvellous opportunity to experience exclusive TED talks from extremely clever, engaging and interesting scientists with various areas of expertise.  Friday’s sessions were fascinating, informative and inspiring.  This morning, pre prep are heading to conduct river-based experiments, on the back of The Tweed Foundation’s Patrick Barbour’s interesting presentation on Life Cycles, River Life and the River Tweed.
 
Saturday’s contribution ‘Dundee Researchers Respond to the Pandemic’ felt like an exclusive tour for those who logged on, led by leading experts whose humility matched their astounding contribution to facilitating the country’s response to Covid-19.
 
Professor Ian Gilbert introduced us to David Gray, Dr Amy Rogers, Suzanne Duce and PhD student Holly Keir.  A whole host of insights left their audience with vastly improved knowledge of Covid-19 testing procedures at The Lighthouse Lab in Glasgow, research being done to help Covid-19 patients, variants of concern and the safety of vaccines.   
 
Personally, I felt like these brilliant people had provided us with our very own live documentary and, given that the Lighthouse lab for example, are producing upwards of 50,000 PCR test results per day, to be given so much time and insight, as well as a question and answer session, felt like an extraordinary privilege. 
 
We were shown a short, simple but heart-felt message of gratitude, written on a post-it note and stuck to the outer side of a specimen tube containing one of the millions of PCR samples tested over the last year.  This meant so much to the scientist who came across it; it was duly passed around the entire Lighthouse Lab staff, and featured as a standout moment in David Gray’s talk.

Bang Goes the Borders was the brainchild of Dr Sara Shinton back in 2011.  Sara was the energy and driver behind the first few annual events between 2011 and 2016.  How proud Sara must have felt as part of Saturday’s virtual audience, seeing her idea more than hold its own in these unusual times. Well done Miss McRae!

Other news in the week;
 
Some brilliant, but sadly still spectatorless fixtures took place on Wednesday against Loretto and Cargilfield; some at home, some away.  Each of these hockey and rugby matches offered up worthwhile learning experiences, and pupils and staff are enjoying being back playing competitive fixtures again. 
 
Today, as Form 3 await the arrival of the dental nurse, we tip our hat to Mrs Berni in Kindergarten.  Louise has worked at St. Mary’s for 20 years, and her loyal and dedicated service was marked with the presentation of a vase during yesterday’s staff meeting.  It is quite something to think that some of Louise’s earliest charges are now 24 years old!

Louise 20 years service
 
Colds and sickness frequency is waning.  Please keep encouraging handwashing and enjoy a healthy, restful weekend.

 

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