6th November 2020

Rewards come in all sorts of packages, and on Monday it was a pleasure presenting Rose and Charlie with their beautifully wrapped stationery gifts, sent by the Modern Art Gallery.  Knowing both as I do, I think they will gain just as much pleasure from seeing their depictions of a mystical creature (Charlie) and childhood toys (Rose) hanging in the exhibition, as they will from using the packs for future masterpieces. 
A couple of years ago, Mr P rewarded himself with a new car – a Skoda Estate – and those of us who are old enough to remember Lada’s ‘raised an eyebrow’ at his choice.  Seizing on the opportunity to gently tease our much-loved Assistant Head, I told a few Lada/Skoda jokes in assembly;
‘What do you call a Skoda with twin exhausts?’ – ‘A wheelbarrow’
‘How do you overtake a Skoda?’ – ‘Run faster’
‘How do you make a Skoda more sporty?’ – ‘Wear a tracksuit when driving it’
Two years on, as Mr P has just purchased a second Skoda, the message remains strong; ‘You gotta make your own kind a’ music’. Thank you, Paloma Faith.  You (and Mr P) are quite right!  Furthermore, the magazine ‘What Car?’ now ranks various models of Skoda: Estate Car of the Year 2020, Small Car of the Year 2020 and Family Car of the Year 2020.  It would appear Mr P has been rewarded for his freethinking libertarianism, with the last laugh!
Following her happiness for her aforementioned charges; Rose and Charlie, Miss Wood’s creative mind led to yet another fabulous initiative being thought of, prepared over the weekend, and launched on Monday.  She spent time developing her giant poppy idea to support Poppy Scotland, and by Tuesday Miss Wood had recruited Mr Brown and Mr Rooney to assist her with small groups of Form 5 pupils visiting local shops to promote the brilliant giant poppy initiative.
Our three staff talked of what a splendid reception our pockets of pupils received, and how exemplary their manners were when calling upon the local traders.  Until last evening when walking down a deserted Melrose High Street with Oscar, I had not quite appreciated the fabulous uptake there had been for the idea.  Just about every shop window donned a giant poppy and the office has been inundated with further requests ever since they started to appear. 
Typically, Miss Wood shuns any attempted plaudits, but the ever-present satisfied smile on her face throughout the week suggests she knows her work has yet again, given so much satisfaction and comfort to others.  I understand the Sanderson Building is now a remarkable sight, but sadly, the most appropriate way to view this at this time is by studying the accompanying photos included.

poppy display by Form 8 of For

With no Town Remembrance Service around the War Memorial at the Parish Church this Sunday, Heads of School, Josh and Mabel accompanied me to the Weir Hill site this afternoon.  Together they laid a wreath of remembrance on behalf of the St. Mary’s community, and paused to remember all the fallen.

Heads of school with 2020 popp

Throughout the week, there has been much happening.  As ever, the boarding houses have been busy, and sparklers around the Abbey Park sycamore tree seemed an apt way of commemorating Bonfire Night.  Appropriate because the tree may just have been a seedling around the time Guy Fawkes was trying to blow up the Houses of Parliament!  Also this week Pre-Prep staff were delighted to be able to talk to parents and update them on their child’s progress.  With only a couple of exceptions, these meetings were conducted via Teams and give the opportunity for parents and staff to have a face to face discussion. Information will be forthcoming for parent meetings in the middle and upper school.
Our congratulations go to Angus Mac (Highland Bagpipes) and Hector J (This Lecture Is Giving Me A Headache) for winning the senior and junior lecture finals.  Special mention also goes to Kirsty M (Accents ) who gained a highly commended form of recognition from Madame Syme, our fabulous judge for this year’s competition.
Final congratulations go to Mr Rooney, who has successfully completed his course for Childcare Practitioners titled SCQF Level 7.  There is no one better suited to working with young people than our highly rated Assistant Housemaster.
Have a great weekend.

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