20th April 2018
Whilst the erratic weather over the Easter break continued to place huge demands upon the farming community, work continued here at school to prepare for the busy term ahead. Mr Bell battled against the conditions to make preparations for the cricket and rounders seasons. Heavy rainfall in the week building up to the Melrose 7s tested his almost inexhaustible patience to the limit, and we are very grateful to him for his hard work and resilience. The FP Committee further emphasised the strength of community spirit, by offering such warm and generous hospitality in our cricket pavilion during the tournament. Standing back and surveying the St. Mary’s campus on the day gave me the opportunity to recognise the wonderful revelry amongst the St. Mary’s people and their guests, and how strong the bond seems to be. We also had many visitors to the campus with no affiliation to the school, and whilst most of them joined in and added to the party, we recognised that a rethink of our admissions process may better preserve the oasis we aim to provide St. Mary’s people.
Also during the holidays, a further refurbishment of the main boarding house has led to two more dorms with ensuite facilities, new carpets and decoration. Already this new section of the house is proving popular. Our staff inset day on Monday provided various departments within school to dot the ‘i’s and cross the ‘t’s for the term ahead, and we were also very grateful to Mrs Runciman and Mrs Fresle for providing feedback and input from their ongoing training to promote emotional health and wellbeing in school. There was a particular focus on how to promote resilience amongst young people, and further down the line Mrs Runciman and Mrs Fresle will be sharing their expertise with parents as well as their colleagues here at school.
We welcomed two new pupils at the start of term: Ted to Form 6, and Max to Form 2, and we are delighted with the start both have made in their first week.
Thursday marked the beginning of the swimming programme, and a Form 5 Mathematical team headed off to the Merchiston Maths day with Dr Morgan and Mrs Routledge. Henry, John, Tiggy, Sophie, Kate, Mabel, Ollie, and Isaac B faced complex Maths challenges throughout the day. They were alongside stiff competition from Edinburgh’s biggest state primary and independent junior schools. Dr Morgan was rightly thrilled that both St. Mary’s teams finished in the top half, and St. Mary’s A team finished in the top quarter.
Given the relative size of the year groups teams were picked from, this is a valuable illustration of the high standard of Maths apparent amongst St. Mary’s pupils.
Poetry recitals replaced school assembly this morning, but we will congregate as a school for the first time this term on Monday.
In the meantime, we wish Mrs Gillian Townsend the very best as she goes off on maternity leave today, and our best wishes also go to Rosie Cully and her team of organisers with the 7th Tour de Lauder http://www.tourdelauder.co.uk/, in memory of Josh and Hannah’s late father Steve Cully, tomorrow. A reminder that all proceeds go to Chest, Heart and Stroke Scotland, and it would be great to see St. Mary’s people support the event, either by cycling, or coming along to cheer on those fit enough and mad enough to take on the challenge. St. Mary’s are proud sponsors of the participation medals.
Finally, so far I have made two new appointments to the staff team for next year, and I will be writing to parents with the details of these exciting additions.