The business end ...

Week 9 at my last school was always the moment when the wheels came off. If the children (and staff) were tired or not at their best, as likely as not it was Week 9.
Well, we had our ‘Week 9’ last week – not because either the children or the staff were badly behaved – far from it – it was simply the fact that everyone was knackered and ready for a weekend out, and who can blame them following the hectic schedule of the last two weeks.
Common Entrance got underway with Mental Maths, French Oral and French Listening; there were cricket matches against the Edinburgh Academy and the Compass; the 5 girls representing the Dandylions beat the WOSPS at Cargilfield;

the whole school sat their updated Reading and Spelling Age tests; we had Spanish Day;

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There was a lecture for the middle school on the Polar Academy Expedition; on Saturday we played a host of matches against Cargilfield in the rain (see match reports for details of how wet it really was); Mr. Gale hosted the school’s Quiz Night for parents and guests; on Sunday after chapel there was an U13 tennis tournament followed by strawberries and cream and a barbecue for all; the surfers enjoyed some gnarly surf on the Bay;
The School Council met and made some interesting suggestions; the registrar of Rugby dropped in and had lunch with the 5 Belhaven pupils off to Rugby in September; the girls played cricket against Ardvreck; we had a full day of ABRSM exams and Friday saw the renewal of the Poetry recitation competition – al fresco this year as it was swelteringly warm.
At this point we all took a quick breather for the weekend out, although the school did not stop – on Sunday we welcomed over 200 visitors to the Walled Garden and Belhaven House Garden for ‘Scotland’s Gardens’, raising funds for charity. There was, as always, a magnificent tea for all – the remnants of which were devoured, along with thirty pokes of chips, by the returning boarders on Sunday evening.
And so we arrive at the business end of term. This week is all about preparation for Common Entrance and the School exams, which begin in earnest next Tuesday. There are matches against St. Mary’s for just about the whole school on Wednesday; one of last year’s leavers is coming to talk this year’s leavers through the joys and pitfalls of arriving at their senior schools in September; the 1st XI and 1st IX will be playing their fixtures against the Old Boys and Old Girls on Friday, followed by further cricket against Merchiston on Saturday.
On Sunday there is brunch for all followed by sailing, surfing and then Ready, Steady, Cook! for the boarders, who will be given a barbecue and some raw ingredients from which to create their own supper. Dotted amongst the manifold exams next week there is just room to squeeze in some rounders against Fettes and a full Governors’ meeting, before Sports’ Day on Saturday and then half term which, conveniently perhaps, just happens to be Week 9.
That is all.

Henry Knight, 29/05/2017