29th March 2019

Our final week of term began with two of last year’s leavers, Isla and Freya returning to complete a day of work experience.  It was lovely to see both girls and they certainly had a busy day, helping around campus and with preparations for our senior production – Mary Poppins.
The previous Saturday, Mr Brown’s ‘Band of Brothers’ had excelled at the Mowden 7s Rugby Festival.  Throughout Saturday evening, I received WhatsApp communications from a coach glowing with pride.  Mr Brown and Mr Rutherford had watched on as the squad won four very competitive fixtures, drew two and lost one.  Tristan was named ‘Leader of the Tournament’, which was just reward for leading his troops in to battle in such an inspirational way.
We held assembly on Tuesday morning as the hall was ready for the dress rehearsal by then, and I paid tribute to the Under 11s effort at that time.  I then went on to deliver an assembly about Friendship and with the help of photographs on the drop down screen, I told the school about ‘My Friend Danny’.  If you are interested, a PDF document of my presentation is attached to the .mail.
A successful and useful dress rehearsal of Mary Poppins took place that afternoon, prior to two exhausting but successful performances in front of large audiences the following day.  The latter of these was in aid of the Hazel’s Footprints Trust, a charity very close to Mrs Scott Aiton and her family’s hearts.  I am delighted to report over £1200 has been raised on the back of your generosity in supporting this charity performance.

Meanwhile, Ms Wood attended a presentation ceremony of the John Byrne poster competition.  We had two pupils listed amongst thirty winners.  This is no mean feat as the competition attracted over 7ooo entries.  Hannah C and William E proudly attended the evening, accompanied by a glowing Miss Wood and members of the Cully and Earnshaw families.
Thursday, the penultimate day of term, signalled the busiest day imaginable, with Mrs Hutchison running Squad Day and the final evening performance of the senior production.  As ever, Squad Day was fabulous, with quizzes, tower building, art work and potted sports activities all being run by our ever enthusiastic staff and with clockwork efficiency.  Mrs Hutchison proudly pulled proceedings together at 4pm and announced Scott as the winning squad.
And then came a most splendid climax to the show season.  The seniors put on a near faultless, energetic and entertaining performance of Mary Poppins for a packed Morrison Hall audience.  Our star performers will be mentioned in the play report, but huge congratulations to the entire cast, Miss McRae and her ever loyal team of helpers.  Miss McRae had pulled this performance together with Poppinsesque like magic and the emotion evident in the hall as the final curtain came down, said everything that needed to be said.  Well done, to all concerned.

As we concluded term with our final assembly today, we said a fond farewell to Leila who has been with us in Form 2 for a term, and to Emerson who relocates to Edinburgh.  Emerson was presented her painting of her and her cat, Bosscat, painted when she was in Reception. 
Next term we welcome four new pupils to St. Mary’s and look forward to them adding to the Form classes they will be joining.  I have little doubt they will.
Holiday commitments include Ms Wood heading to Edinburgh Castle with our Head Boy and Head Girl and their family members, to attend a function recognising all 1918 Poppy Pledge fundraising.  This is an invitation of which Ms Wood and St. Mary’s can be very proud.  Kindergarten work on for another week and Helen, Rita and Bruce from our domestic and catering teams busy themselves towards an extremely well-earned holiday.
Finally, we look forward to seeing many of you at Melrose 7s.  I shall be keeping a watchful eye over the campus, as will the new state of the art CCTV system, the timely instillation of which will give the school that extra sense of security.
I wish you all a very restful and enjoyable Easter holiday. 

Jules Birdsall, 29/03/2019


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