9th February 2018

We had a quick assembly in the Sanderson Building to touch base before the middle school went off for their full rehearsal, whilst the pre-prep and the senior school headed off to lessons. As the middle school filed out past me, I sensed an air of confidence in their demeanour. Though I was unable to attend the dress rehearsal of Olivia on Tuesday, and the opening performance on Wednesday, the positivity amongst Miss McRae’s team of staff and her cast was later reinforced by so many complimentary comments from parents, grandparents, and guests who watched the show. 
We managed to squeeze in some fixtures on Wednesday and most importantly of all, Dandylions trials took place at Fettes. Mr Purvis was thrilled with how all our girls performed in the trials, and congratulations go to Tegan, Molly S and Jessica, who were selected to represent the Dandylions in the forthcoming matches against the WOSPs.  

Meanwhile, I attended the IAPS Headmasters’ meeting and made a presentation on the work being done at St. Mary’s to ensure we are compliant with General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR) that will become statutory in May. This is a complex process, and my thanks go to Mrs Bell, Miss McRae, and Mrs Tait for the work that they have done so far. I would also like to take the opportunity to thank you, the parent body, for your patience and co-operation, as the necessary fine-tuning of our record keeping and security systems have placed new demands on you too.

Returning to the middle school production, the final performance took place on Thursday evening, and was delivered to a packed Morrison Hall, at the high standard we have now come to expect from a Miss McRae-led production. In my summing up, I referred to how remarkable it is to see so many confident 7-10 year olds take to the stage, and perform in such a composed and entertaining way. The growth of these young people, from their first visits to St. Mary’s to such accomplished performers, is truly remarkable. As we conclude the half term today, equally refreshing is the humility shown by those who wowed their audience over the last two days. They have very quickly come down to earth and got on with the business of school. 

The final Friday of any half term can be a day in which focus is hard to maintain. However, Miss Wood provided us with a lovely assembly which highlighted how artists use their eyes to do so much more than just look at images. She shared with us all the techniques to help us appreciate beauty in whatever form our own individual taste is attracted to. We are very grateful to Miss Wood for sharing her artistic wisdom in such an “eye-catching” way. 
As I write, we anticipate the arrival of two Puma helicopters and Flight Lieutenant Ellie Hoogewerf on the front field. Flight Lieutenant Hoogewerf is dropping in to speak to Forms 6, 7, and 8 about her career in the RAF. She will stay on as a guest of her friends Mr and Mrs Rawson, but the two Puma helicopters will carry on their journey up to RAF Kinloss.   Mr Bell is delighted that the twigs and the leaves on the front field will be cleared within the space of five minutes!

Congratulations to Matt for having gained a Sports Exhibition Award to Loretto, to Freya for gaining an Art Exhibition Award to Loretto, to Will S for gaining a Sports Scholarship to Merchiston, and William T for gaining a Sports Scholarship to Merchiston.  And finally, well done to Maria for getting through to Stage 2 of the Oundle Academic Scholarship programme which will take place in May.
Have a restful and enjoyable half term.