A Welly Happy New Start to Term

I think I can probably squeeze in one final ‘Happy New Year’ as there is still a week or so of January left. It does seem to have been a particularly long festive season, perhaps because we broke up early and had a lovely long run up to Christmas (and avoided the dreaded ‘flu doing the rounds of the other schools as a result.)
Heads-WelliesIt was a tremendous Christmas, made even merrier by the fact that our year of abstinence had finally come to an end, along with the fact that I was given a new pair of wellington boots for Christmas to replace my rather worn out Hunters. These are even more comfortable and, I am afraid to say, I am rarely parted from them.
I was also given membership of Musselburgh Racecourse, to go with our membership of Kelso – perfect timing for the newly formed Belhaven Hill Turf Club which has met twice already this term and is full with serious punters race-goers.
Term has begun very happily indeed; the children arrived after lunch on the first day back and enjoyed a host of silly games before supper and films – a pretty gentle way to sashay from home to school.
There were several Netball matches on the first Saturday of term against Ardvreck although the U11s did not get a run out as the opposition sadly couldn’t field a team. The first team won by 30 hoops to 3 and the U9s had a terrific battle in the relative warmth of the Sports Hall, running out eventual winners by 6 nets to 4.
On the first Sunday in, the boarders went off to Wet ‘n’ Wild in Newcastle. It seems to me a very long way to travel to splash around in communal bath water but apparently they all love it, especially the flumes (?) – there is one called Kamikaze, from which one free falls into the collective froth – not my idea of a good day out but who am I to argue with 75 boarders (and several members of staff!)
Last Monday the Form 2s spent the day at the National Museum of Scotland doing something geographical, I believe, and then on Wednesday our hopes of fixtures against Craigclowan and St. Mary’s were scuppered due to snow – more there than here but enough for a blanket cancellation. Instead, I visited Form 5 to hand out their StudyLadder certificates – they are all doing so well, with some at Platinum level already!
In the evening, four of the boarders represented the school at the Dunbar Rotary Primary School Quiz. Although 2nd at one point, they finally finished in 3rd place – losing marks on how to spell Meghan (as in Markle) and which Scottish politician featured on I’m a Celebrity. I couldn’t be happier that they didn’t know…..
On Thursday we were fortunate enough to engage James Ketchell, an explorer to come and give two lectures at Belhaven – one to the children from West Barns Primary along with out Forms 4,5 & 6 and then a second lecture to the top three Forms. I got James to talk to the Woodcote boys when I was there – he was extremely impressive, although he was 3 months late for the lecture having been stuck in Ulan Bator (or some such place) while cycling around the world – part of the ultimate triathlon.
True to form, he managed to arrive over an hour late at Dunbar station – impressive for a man who has also scaled Everest and rowed the Atlantic that he struggles with a train timetable, but there we are. To his eternal credit, he had left Basingstoke at 5am to get to us and was travelling home the same evening – an impressive feat of derring-do on its own. Anyway, all the children loved it and professed it to be one of the best lectures ever – my Turf Club activity, which followed straight afterwards, was never going to be able to compete!
We have just returned from an Out weekend and there are matches tomorrow against Riley House, Loretto and Kilgraston and, fingers crossed, the Prep Schools Ski racing at Glenshee on Thursday. On Saturday, the Form 2s are off to Torness Power Station (why do I keep thinking about the opening credits of The Simpsons?), the U13 and U11 hockey teams are playing against the East Lothian development squad in the afternoon and on Sunday, after the first ‘In’ Service of term, the Zoo is coming to Belhaven. Watch this space…..
That is all.

Henry Knight, 23/01/2018