14th January 2022

As we concluded term in December, we ran our final assembly from the Form 8 classroom where trophies and colours were awarded, long, loyal and exemplary service to St. Mary’s was recognised, and a summation of the highlights and achievements of the term was given.
In the summing up, whilst congratulating pupils on their successes, I imagined the scenario that I was given the choice of headship of one of two different prep schools; one with a reputation for winning every inter-school competition entered whether that be sporting, artistic, academic, debating, musical or technological.  The other, renowned for sheer endeavour and spirit among its pupils, with winning and losing being of secondary importance.
The choice of the latter would be a ‘no-brainer’!  However, when proud and excited pupils come bouncing towards you having pulled off an unexpected and hard-fought victory against formidable opponents, you cannot help but feel a sense of exhilaration when sharing in their collective elation.
‘You promised us the rest of the term off if we all won’ exclaimed one ‘imp’ from the ranks of the grinning and excited faces.  Thinking quickly, I suggested they had misheard, and that I had actually said ‘I’ could have the rest of the term off, if all our teams won on Wednesday.  This brought a mumbled, less enthusiastic response, but I think I pulled off a bit of a ‘Houdini’ style escape from that clumsily considered incentive.
As it turned out, one of our eight competing teams did in fact lose on Wednesday, but Miss Burn reported that they had played with the aforementioned endeavour and spirit, which genuinely stimulated the same feelings of pride among all of us (fellow pupils, parents and staff) to whom it mattered how they fared.
The importance of spirit and endeavour needs borne in mind as we enter the cross-country running season.  No other activity requires as much courage, because it is just the individual runner and their determination that is being tested.  Relying on teammates is not really an option. 
As a small rural Scottish prep school, we are proud to be invited to cross-country events at various venues and next week we will be represented by a team heading to Sedbergh to take part in the Rawthey Run.  Our runners will compete with heart, do their best, and uphold the reputation of which St. Mary’s is so proud.  Our runners may not win, but Mrs Bell, Miss Burn, Mr Inwood and Mr Rooney will have selected these individuals because they are triers who will ‘fill the unforgiving minute, with sixty seconds’ worth of distance run’.  
In fact, apply that analogy to all aspects of school life at St. Mary’s, not just cross-country running, and win, lose or draw, these experiences will lead to rewards…but not the rest of the term off!

Thanks to the Friends of St. Mary’s for hosting the outdoor after-match refreshments on Wednesday.

Helen birthday

Happy Birthday to our wonderful and loyal domestic help, Helen, this Saturday.
Have an enjoyable weekend


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