HAPPY CHRISTMAS 

As I sit here in the study, trying to concentrate on my final ‘blog' of the term, Stewart is in the Front Hall setting up lights and a sound system for the end of term staff party. We are currently listening to Billy Jean by Michael Jackson and the windows are rattling. It promises to be an excellent night!

I thought I would take this opportunity to look back over the last couple of weeks of term - and what a great term it has been.  On the Tuesday evening following the final Exeat of term, we had the youngest boy boarders over to the HM’s house to make and decorate their own Gingerbread House - the youngest girl boarders had their turn on Friday and you can guess whose was better. If you’re struggling, here are some photos.....

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The final weekend of term saw the renewal of the Mothers v Daughters Hockey and the Fathers v Sons Rugby. I’m afraid to say that the Mothers were rather put to the sword by their offspring - I won’t embarrass them with the score. The Fathers fared rather better, losing the first two games by the smallest of margins, but then winning the final game by a single try, scored by the honorary mother on the team, to everyone’s satisfaction. A great time was had by all...

On Sunday the four boys who had been selected to represent the Scottish Prep School s went off to play their match against the Edinburgh Day schools at Merchiston, which they ended up winning comfortably. Once again, Robbie captained the side and was presented with the trophy.

Meanwhile, we loaded a double-decker bus with the boarders and 12 staff and took them all to the Edinburgh Christmas Market. They had an hour or so to wander round the stalls, filling themselves up on chocolate crepes, waffles, doughnuts, churros, marshmallows, candy floss and gobstoppers before we took them on the Big Wheel, affording them a stunning view of the city at sunset.
 
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We returned for a feast tea (I don’t know where they put it all) and then we had our Carol Service in the Hall. As one of the ‘readers’ I got to sit in the Drawing Room listening to the carols and readings, but it was unlike any other Carol Service I have ever been to. A couple of the readings have made their way onto the website and will, I hope, give you some idea of what the evening was about.  Seeing the School singing carols and listening to Christmas stories around a beautifully decorated 18 foot tree, certainly put us in the Christmas spirit, although I am sure that the Champagne & Canapes in the Drawing Room afterwards helped.

On Monday it was the turn of the staff to take on the boys at rugby. It was a great game that ended 5 tries all. I was hugely impressed by the fitness and athleticism of the staff; I, on the other hand, hobbled around for three days afterwards. The choir sang carols at Asda, Dunbar. (I couldn't have wished for a better piece of marketing with the position of the strap lines above the Choir!)

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On Thursday we had our Christmas service, again in the Hall, followed by the Christmas Party. The chef, David, and his team had laid on a magnificent Christmas Dinner and after mince pies, Christmas Pudding and chocolate log, we went down to the Sports Hall for a couple of goes at the ‘Dashing White Sergeant’.

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I cannot tell you how lovely it was to watch the entire school reeling together and it was especially good to see the older ones teaching the younger children how to do it. Following this, we returned to the Front Hall for carols around the tree, before Father Christmas delivered presents to every child in the school. The evening finished with Mrs. Knight and me judging the dormitory Christmas decoration competition - not only did we have to decide on which dorm was best, we were also treated to a song or play (or both) by every single one!

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Friday was Christmas Jumper Day. Enough said.

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We also had a huge treasure hunt in the grounds for the children and in the afternoon the whole school descended on the Sports Hall for Belhaven’s Got Talent. There was certainly something for everybody: singing, plays, piping, sketches, magic and a youtube phenomenon called ‘pen pineapple apple pen’ - utterly bizarre. Thankfully, it was left to the judges, Stella and Jackson (our Gaps), to sort that lot out!

This morning we had Prize Giving, which afforded me the opportunity to review the term, which I tried to do as succinctly as possible; not easy when so much has happened since September. This is what I came up with:
Pimping the Landy; Saturday sweets; Sunday services; Ice Skating, Ice creams; Barbeques; Making a film; Loretto 7s; Bubble Football; Spoken English; Sports Scholarships; Dandylions; Curling with a mobile phone; Kim Kardashian; Donald Trump; Fireworks; School Council; Food Committee; Remembrance Sunday; Come Dine with Me; Balloon Debate; Lifeboat Crew; Seal dissection; Shakespeare Rocks; Mothers Hockey; Fathers Rugby;  Staff Rugby; Christmas Market; Sunday Carols; New Santa; Crisps and Wine; Dashing White Sergeant; Christmas Party; Dormitory Comp; Belhaven’s Got Talent ...

Finally, it was time to head down to Belhaven Church for our end of term Carol Service with all parents. It was a great service, after which the children all came back to my study to collect their reports; an early Christmas present, if you will.

Right, the lights are flashing in time to the music and Billy Ocean’s Caribbean Queen has just started; definitely time to go and get my glad rags on ...

Wishing you all a very peaceful and happy Christmas.

That is all.

Henry Knight, 18/12/2016