We returned after the last weekend out to news that eight children (I know there’s only seven in the picture) had been awarded prizes in the Garvald Poetry competition, this year based around the theme of ‘Messages’. This was an outstanding result and the winners have all had their poems published, both online and in print.
 Belhaven Hill School winners at Garvald poetry competition
There were rugby matches against Craigclowan and Merchiston and hockey against Craigclowan. We also had two girls representing the Dandylions hockey side who were victorious against the WOSPS at Loretto.

Last Friday the Form 2 & 3 children all went to Glenalmond to watch their version of Jesus Christ Superstar – one of the lead parts being played by a Belhaven Old Girl. They returned just in time for this years’s Balloon debate...

The Form 1s came up with the theme of ‘gods’ this year and seven of them took part in the debate. They were: Zeus, Apollo, Ares, Athena, Nike, the Sun god and Mother Nature. They all came up with astonishingly good reasons why they should remain in the balloon, but I was equally impressed with the thought and effort that had gone into their costumes too.
The debate began with a blind vote so that we could measure how good their arguments really were, but one god led from pillar-to-post, helped somewhat by some judicious advertising! After some sensible questions and votes of support from the floor, the second votes were cast and Zeus was the outright and popular winner, but all who took part should be highly commended for their debating and oratory skills which will stand them in very good stead for the future. More on the Balloon debate...

On Saturday, Mrs. Knight and I hosted the first round of ‘Come Dine with me’ – a chance for the Form 1s, in groups of six, to cook dinner at the Headmaster’s House. I left Mrs. K to take them shopping and returned home at 6:30pm to find my kitchen overrun with children eating Pringles like they were going out of fashion.

It is hard to cook when there is so much to watch on the television and their focus on the task in hand was not perhaps as sharp as it should have been with the choice of The X Factor, Strictly and the rugby all on in the next room. Nonetheless, the Melon and Parma Ham starter was a triumph.

The main course was Paprika chicken, chips and a haloumi salad all of which were simply delicious. This was washed down with a cocktail – Ginger Ale and Cranberry juice. Whilst it is not perhaps quite the style or strength of cocktail usually consumed in the Knight household on a Saturday evening, it was most refreshing all the same.

If the first two courses were tremendous, pudding was their ‘aristeia’ – a chocolate and orange cheesecake. Sadly the biscuit base hadn’t had enough time to set, so it looked like a dog’s dinner, but the taste was nothing short of exquisite.
 Pudding made for Belhaven come dine with the headmaster
I didn’t realise that this had become a competition and that we have two more teams to come. The conversation was fascinating, with the children very keen to know what food, if any we disliked - I have a feeling that the next lot might have been tipped off to serve gravadlax, beef stew and dumplings and rice pudding – for their sake, and my digestion, I sincerely hope not!

After port and cigars, I escorted the budding chefs back to their respective houses.

On Sunday we had an excellent sermon from Mike Spens, the Headmaster of Fettes. Years of experience have taught him how to hold the attention of a prep school audience – there were sweets flying everywhere!

In the afternoon, we were incredibly fortunate to welcome the crew of the Dunbar Lifeboat to Belhaven. They brought with them their inshore lifeboat and spent a couple of hours talking to the children about the boats and their experiences of saving lives at sea. They were then invited for tea in the Drawing Room, where apparently I was mistaken for the ‘caretaker’ – I’ll take that any day; I’ve been mistaken for far, far worse!
 RNLI bring life boat to Belhaven Hill School
This week has really been all about exams. I have been amazed and impressed in equal measure by the level of industry shown by many of the children and the diligent manner with which they have gone about their revision. This has been borne out in some excellent exam results across the board.

On Wednesday there were rugby and hockey matches against Fettes. Special mention at this point must go to the U11 As who completed an unbeaten season – a fantastic achievement against some really strong opposition teams. They also won both the Loretto and Cargilfield 7s tournaments. See more Sports Reports...

Finally, we end this section of term with the Form 3 and 4 play, ‘Shakespeare Rocks’. What can I say other than it was an absolute triumph. There was some outstanding acting but the cast as a whole should be applauded (and were) for their performance. This truly was prep school theatre at its very best.

So, to summarise: Award-winning poetry, sporting greatness, brilliant debating, culinary excellence, exam success, and outstanding drama – all in a 12 day period.
Is there no end to their talents?  #BeProud

Oh.....and they dissected a seal too.

That is all.

Henry Knight, 06/12/2016