Cramming it in ...

Following the first 'Out' weekend of term, the Form 3s went to the Risk Factory and the Form 2s to Hadrian's Wall. I profess to know absolutely nothing about the Risk Factory but my knowledge of Hadrian's Wall has been somewhat refreshed by an excellent assembly given by the Form 2s on their return, even if some of the slides (are they still called slides?) were upside down.
On Wednesday of last week I was interviewed for the Old Belhavian magazine. It was to be a sort of review of my first 100 days in office (245 days, but who's counting - the interviewer and I have both been very busy!) I was expecting a range of questions on what has lived up to expectations and my vision for the next five years, but apparently the OBs are more interested in my favourite television programme, the naughtiest thing I did at school (as a boy, not a teacher, thankfully) and my most embarrassing habit. I have completely forgotten the answers I gave, so I suggest you get hold of a copy, should you wish to find out!
The weather continues to be glorious (although there was a tremendous sea haar at the weekend) and we have enjoyed a raft of sporting fixtures: cricket against Loretto (boys and girls) and Riley House, rounders against Strathallan, St. Mary's, Cargilfield, Craigclowan and Loretto, and tennis against Strathallan. We took a team to the IAPS Clay Pigeon tournament (also at Strathallan) in the school's Defender, obviously!

Our swimming team won the plate final at the recent Merchiston Gala.

The U13 and U11 6s are currently away at the Glenalmond Cricket festival - and I have just heard via the jungle drums (text message) that they have won both tournaments! Yet more silverware for our burgeoning mantelpiece!

Last weekend, we sent a team to the Farr Out challenge at St. Mary's on a blisteringly hot Saturday. Apparently we finished equal third, along with 13 other teams but, far more excitingly, I was presented with the most colourful picture frame which goes perfectly in the newly decorated Drawing Room. I just need to find something suitable to put in it ...

The school enjoyed a wonderful talk from Titus Edge, the Headmaster of Gordonstoun, who spent the weekend with us, on being careful not to sell one's soul to the devil, as Robert Gordon, the 3rd Baronet (and Wizard) of Gordonstoun had done in the 17th Century. The children, and their parents and grandparents, were enrapt, so much so that Titus received a round of applause at the end of his sermon - that was a first ... nobody claps when I preach!
Following on from this excitement, the boarders were ferried down to Fox Lake to attempt the mighty Fox Falls - an assault course over water. It looked to be tremendous fun (I would have had a go but arrived, sadly, just too late) and they all enjoyed it, and got very wet - the final obstacle was a death slide into the drink!
For those more musically minded, there was a trip into Edinburgh on Thursday evening to watch the Scottish Chamber Orchestra perform. The 2nd 'out' weekend of term began with a lunch party for all Form 4 and 5 parents - it was another very jolly affair and great to see everyone there.
This week, the CE timetable begins in earnest with Mental Maths and the French Oral and Listening exams. There are matches on Wednesday against the Edinburgh Academy for the older boys and Compass for the younger ones. The 5 girls selected for the Dandylions will be playing Rounders against the WOSPS, whilst the rest of the girls will be taking on Cargilfield. On Friday we have Spanish Day - the chef is providing a delicious Spanish menu for breakfast, lunch and supper and the children (and staff) will be sporting red and yellow clothing; in the evening there is a talk on the Polar Academy Expedition given by one of the girls from Fettes who undertook the challenge.
There are further cricket fixtures against Cargilfield on Saturday followed by the annual Quiz Night hosted by Mr. Gale. On Sunday there will be surfing on Belhaven Bay followed by a barbecue. The school council meets on Monday 22nd and we have another visitor on Tuesday - Guy Steele Bodger the Registrar at Rugby, who knows our school well but is dropping in for lunch on his return from a more northerly outpost. There is girls' cricket on Wednesday and a host of ABRSM exams on Thursday and Friday of that week, before the Poetry Recitation finals bring the next section of term to a conclusion. There is so much to look forward to and the term is only going to get busier in the run up to CE, School Exams, Sports Day, the Year Group trips and then everything the final weeks of the Summer term have to offer, and that I have yet to experience! I don't know who's more excited ...
That is all.

Henry Knight, 15/05/2017