Parents 

8th February 2019

A huge ransom paid to Europe leaving England nearly bankrupt, was the focus of an “on this day in history” tale told in assembly on Monday morning.  825 years later, it would seem history might be repeating itself!
 
On the 4th February 1194, Prince John paid a huge ransom to have his brother King Richard the Lionheart released after being kidnapped by Duke Leopold of Austria, on King Richard’s journey home from the Third Crusade.  Some would say the size of ransom was the price to pay for the English King’s arrogance in announcing himself as the leader of the Christian forces in the Holy Land a year earlier.  The newly arrived English King had brushed aside Duke Leopold, and assumed control, dismissing the efforts of the recently killed Emperor Barbarossa of Germany but recognising fellow crusading King Phillip of France as almost an equal.
 
Teamwork and cohesion might have boosted the Christian campaign to reclaim the Holy Land.  Instead, self-importance and ego ultimately led to the Christians’ efforts coming to nothing.  Perhaps our politicians could learn a thing or two from history!
 
Another hectic St. Mary’s week has unfolded since, with Middle school rehearsals reaching the final stage, science clinics after school and meetings and courses for staff of various types on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday.
 
Wednesday fixture programme saw some excellent netball and football matches home and away, with match reports available on the website.  Special mention should go to the U11A netball team as their unbeaten record continues, despite a tough test against Fettes here at St. Mary’s.  Congratulations also go to our Dandylion netball trialists, all of whom performed well, with selection won by Molly, Eliza, Mhairi and Hannah.
 
As the sun made a glorious appearance despite the cold temperatures, boarding numbers have increased accordingly.  Mrs Rawson and her team have been as busy as ever and you can follow the weeks programme by looking at the boarding blog https://bit.ly/2tc2ujV
This morning we welcomed Mr Jonathan Anderson, Headmaster of Merchiston Castle School.  Mr Anderson gave an address on the difference between knowledge and wisdom, best summed up by his saying “knowledge is knowing tomato is a fruit, wisdom is knowing it does not go in a fruit salad!”
Mr Anderson also gave us an insight in to some of his senior prefects’ choice of inspirational quotes and these highlighted the essence of Merchiston and the quality of the boys who lead such a proud school.  We are very grateful to Mr Anderson for taking the time to talk to the school and to parents and some staff afterwards, over tea and coffee.

Whilst referring to members of school communities who contribute in their own quiet, understated way, I highlight three acts of kindness this week, that sum up the best of our proud little school.  Helen McSorley, one of two much loved St. Mary’s domestic staff, went out of her way to visit her local Chinese restaurant this week; not to pick up a chicken chow mein for her supper, but to collect eleven fortune cookies to give to our Reception pupils as a good luck token to celebrate Chinese New Year.
 
Meanwhile, Immy and Emilia had a combined total of 44 centimetres of hair cut off, to go towards at least one wig for a child with cancer.   These acts of kindness are most uplifting and some up the best of our fabulous prep school.

Finally, we congratulate Lucy M who has been awarded both a Music Scholarship and a Drama Scholarship to Loretto.   Congratulations to Caelan and Libby B who have been awarded Sports Exhibitions to Loretto.
 

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