Parents 

20.5.16

With the athletics season well underway, Adam L competed in the U15 East of Scotland high jump at Grangemouth last Saturday.  Adam jumped a personal best of 1.65m to win the competition, having cleared every height first time.  We made something of this remarkable performance in assembly on Monday morning, by using metre rulers taped together and a piece of black tape around the relevant height.  It brought home to the pupils just what standard Adam is at when highlighting that he can clear five Mrs Bells standing side-by-side!
 
Adam Leighton May 2016

We also congratulated Stephanie, Lucy B and Molly for representing the South of Scotland U14 hockey squad at the Inter-District competition, and then we celebrated a St. Mary’s first.  Mr P’s Glenalmond Cricket 6s squad returned with the trophy, having defeated Loretto, Arbroath, Ardvreck and Cargilfield.  Freddie, Lucas, George, Samuel, Adam L, Harris and Lachlan performed to the best of their abilities throughout the competition, and Mr P was rightly extremely proud of his boys.  I then moved on to a more academic theme in congratulating Molly and Lucy R for achieving a UK Mathematics Challenge Gold standard, placing them in the top 6% of 300,000 entries! Annabel E and Adam L achieved highly commended Silver awards and Harry, George GF, Harris and Abbie achieved a reputable Bronze standard.  Dr Morgan is quietly satisfied with yet another strong performance from St. Mary’s in this national competition.
 
Having celebrated this splendid list of achievements, I had the pleasure of welcoming back Dani and Martina, and for the first time Antonia from Germany.  Dani has joined us during the summer term since Form 4, Martina has joined us for the second time and this is Antonia’s first visit to St. Mary’s. All three are making the most of their two-week visit to the school.  It is a delight to have them with us.
 
Form 8 went straight from assembly to the Maths classroom before embarking upon their Common Entrance Mental Arithmetic examination.  Their minds had been focused by calculating what 6% of 300,000 was during assembly, but rather worryingly, and in some ways pleasingly, it was a Form 7 who provided me with the answer!  Well done Liam!  Dr Morgan was pleased with the Form 8 paper.  On Tuesday, Madame Syme facilitated the Common Entrance French Listening and Speaking examinations, and in her usual composed, calm and collected way, Madame Syme’s process ran without a hitch.  She was pleased with our pupils’ performance.
 
The same day, Form 4 visited the Countryside Day at Springwood Park with Mrs Scott Aiton, Mrs Redmond and Mr Brown.  They thoroughly enjoyed their day and please see the photographs on the website highlighting all the activities in which they were involved.
 
On Wednesday morning, Kindergarten had a pyjama party, which sounded great fun with fresh fruit, croissants, cereal and toast on offer.
 
Prior to a busy fixture programme, Lucas completed his Listening and Speaking Spanish Common Entrance examination, and Miss Pariente was smiling even more than usual, which suggests he has fared very well so far. Fixtures took place in the afternoon, with pleasing results against Longridge; our second girls’ rounders team drew with their firsts 13½ : 13½ which sounded like a very exciting game. Victory for all other St. Mary’s teams took place, even for teams playing within restricted time matches, to allow the Longridge buses to get back to fulfil their drop-off commitments.
 
Congratulations to the victorious Dandylions rounders teams, which included Lucy B, Stephanie, Flora and Annabel.

 Dandylions girls May 16 2

This morning in assembly, for once there were spaces amongst the audience as Form 7 had already headed off on their fashion show and art gallery trip to Edinburgh, and Form 3 had headed to Dumfries to visit the Samye Ling Buddhist Monastery. 
 
I took the opportunity to talk about my visit to Harrow School on Wednesday, which proved enlightening.  I gave all pupils a background to the history of the school before talking about the Finch Room, a beautiful room donated to the school by parents of Second Lieutenant Finch, a 19½ year old Harrovian who was killed in the final week of the First World War.  The wonderful oak-panelled room has, above the fireplace at one end, a portrait painted of Second Lieutenant Finch with a picture light illuminating the face of this brave young man.  His parents asked that the lamp remains on 24 hours a day.  This has been the case ever since the room was completed in 1918, except during the Second World War, when blackout regulations meant the lamp had to be temporarily turned off.  This is just one of many moving and inspiring historical stories attached to the school.  I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, and was well looked after by the very busy staff.
 
We concluded assembly with Form 6 volunteering to sing “Will Ye Go Lassie Go {Wild Mountain Thyme}” with their rendition including harmony and melody, and quite frankly it brought a lump to the throat and was a wonderful way to finish off the morning’s gathering of the school.
 
We have a team representing St. Mary’s at this weekend’s mixed doubles tennis competition at Belhaven Hill, and I wish our budding Wimbledon stars of the future all the very best.
 
Finally, Common Entrance and other exams are approaching, and I would urge all parents and teachers to find an appropriate level of encouragement in supporting our pupils from various year groups.
 
Enjoy the weekend.