So, after a well-deserved and much-needed first ‘out’ weekend, the school reconvened for the second section of term.
Forms 5 & 6 went on a mission to Butterfly World, but the photos that came back suggested that this was in direct contravention of the Trades Descriptions Act; I take my hat off to the bravery of the younger members of the school – there are plenty of us older folk who wouldn’t stay in the same room as a python or tarantula, let alone wear one. Apparently, if you stroke a tarantula it makes you sneeze – this job never ceases to amaze me…..
On the first Wednesday back we had matches against Craigclowan, St. Mary’s, Fettes and Dean Park – there was a particularly comprehensive victory for the 1st XV who had been champing at the bit for a first run-out of the season.
On Friday we held a Macmillan Coffee Morning – this time, only the Dailies were allowed to bake as, last time, there was so much cake, of so many flavours and varieties, that it took three consecutive coffee mornings to finish it all off and the staff all got fat. Once again there was an extraordinary range of cakes, meringues, cookies, brownies and so on but, this time, in slightly more manageable quantities. £145 was raised from the children’s Eagle Bank accounts.
On Saturday the children went riding on the beach at Seacliff. There were further hockey matches against Strathallan and Cundall Manor; these were in final preparation for the Loretto 7s tournaments on Sunday – hockey for the girls and rugby for the boys – and what a day it was!
We had been invited to take A and B teams at U13 for both the boys and girls, as well as U11 teams, in the hockey and rugby tournaments. As such we had over 40 boarders out at Loretto for the whole day, leaving the other 40 boarders here to go to the beach and swim.
I am sure there is a run-down elsewhere of the full excitement of the day, so I will just bring you up to speed with the results. No joy for the U11 girls this year or the U13B boys; the U11 boys won the Cup; The U13B girls won the Bowl, narrowly avoiding the U13 A girls in the final and the U13A boys also won the Cup. The mantelpiece in the Hall is groaning under the weight of silverware already and we are only five weeks into the academic year!
Last week there was a whole host of fixtures against Cargilfield on Wednesday and on Thursday the local representative from UNICEF, Margaret Laidlaw, came to talk to the children about the work that UNICEF does and to thank them for raising money at the school fête. A Belhaven Hill cheque was then presented to her for £1,123.00….with the rest of the money raised going to a local charity, the Teapot Trust.
On Thursday evening Susannah and I spent the evening at a drinks party in Morayshire, to which a whole host of prospective parents had been invited. We had a most enjoyable evening chatting to them all and very much hope that many of their children will become Belhavians in the not too distant future.
We raced back to Belhaven on Friday morning, in the hope that we would be in time to meet Charles Compton who is currently walking the 6,100 miles around the coast of the UK, to raise money for the Mental Health Foundation. He set off from Tower Bridge on 2nd January and hopes to get back there by the end of November – here is a link to his website https://www.charleswalk.com/about/
As it happened, he was walking past the back gates of Belhaven on 5th October and had promised to drop in and talk to the children about his odyssey but, sadly, he was delayed and arrived just as everyone was leaving for the 2nd ‘out’ weekend. We have made a donation to his charity and have asked him to return to Belhaven once he has finished his walk, to talk to the children then – it will, I am sure, be well worth the wait.
We have just returned to school for the next twelve days, in the run-up towards half term. The scholarship season has just begun with the first of our 19 candidates heading off to his senior school to test his mettle against his peers.
Let us hope we can do even better than last year’s 17 awards – this year’s Form 1 will need to be at their very best to get there but, judging by the way they have carried out their responsibilities as rôle models to the younger ones so far this year, in all areas of school life, I have every faith in their abilities.
That is all.