Welcome back ...

Welcome back everyone and what a tremendous start to the term we have had! I was delighted to see so many of the boarders returning at 3pm on the first day of term, especially as the communication about this was not quite up to standard! It seems eminently sensible to start a new term at this time – there is less hanging around at home and much more time to catch up with friends back at school.

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Games and a barbecue seem to be the way forward and we will certainly do the same again in September, although we may need to rethink things for January. The Form 1 boys and girls were absolutely delighted with their new beds – desk beds for the boys and more storage for the girls. The dormitories are full to bursting – we are at maximum capacity this term.

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All the children looked very happy to be back and when I asked at assembly the following morning which term was their favourite, Summer was the unanimous winner – one can’t ask for a more positive endorsement than that. Let us hope that it lives up to expectations!
 
It certainly has so far – the cricket and rounders seasons are both well underway; it was lovely to be able to walk out onto the games fields on the first full day of term and see the whole school playing games together. The weather has been (mostly) kind and we have not yet lost any fixtures to it. We have already had a very successful Saturday against Ardvreck and a mildly less successful Wednesday against Fettes, Loretto and Cargilfield.
 
The tennis courts are up and running, both on the Astro and grass – the grass courts are particularly good and my grateful thanks, as ever, to the Head groundsman and his team (of 1) for preparing them so perfectly, as they have also done with the cricket wickets, rounders pitches, putting greens and croquet lawn. It has been great to see the children all outside in the evenings, either instead of, or after, prep. The walled garden has also become a hive of activity as they start digging over their gardens. It’s idyllic.
 
We have been visited three times already this term; firstly by Mr. Mike Jeffers from Glenalmond who gave a talk about The Red Baron to the top 3 Forms; also by Dr. Felicia Kirk, the Headmistress of St. Mary’s Calne, and finally by Mrs. Alex Hems, the new Headmistress of St. George's Edinburgh, who came to preach to the congregation at the first ‘In’ Service of term.
 
After the service, Mrs. Knight had organised for a host of bouncy castles and inflatables to be delivered to the school and the children (and some of the staff) spent a most enjoyable afternoon in the sun. The pool was also open so everyone had a swim too.
 
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We have had various new children for their taster days and we also had the school photograph (between hail showers – which was a first for me). I am hoping to persuade the photographers / council etc. to allow us to have it on the beach next year.
 
Next week there are various educational visits for individual year groups; there are cricket matches against Loretto and tennis and rounders against Strathallan; there is the IAPS clay pigeon shooting competition and the Headmaster of Gordonstoun, Titus Edge (great name), is coming to preach. It promises to be another busy week in a very busy term but everyone is in a good mood – even the ducks have started laying!
 
That is all.

Henry Knight, 29/04/2017