Be Adventurous ...

This last stretch began with further charitable works – the children returned from the ‘Out’ weekend with bags of food for the local food bank; their donations were greatly appreciated by all, and it was particularly apt as we celebrated Harvest Festival.
 
The first of our many potential scholars went off to sit his award to Stowe and I invited to Belhaven an old friend whom I hadn’t seen for probably 20 years who, I recently discovered, not only teaches at St. George’s but is also a House mother at Merchiston. Small world.
 
On the Wednesday we had perhaps the most fascinating talk I have ever heard at a prep school from an adventurer and explorer called Benedict Allen. He is currently touring the UK, talking about his latest adventure in Papua New Guinea, but dropped into Belhaven between evenings at Musselbugh and Berwick upon Tweed to spend an hour and a half with the children talking about being an explorer and reminiscing about his many adventures; everything from a solo crossing of the Amazon basin at its widest point to riding across the Gobi desert on a reluctant camel called Nelson. He was brilliant, the children were captivated and their questions at the end were superb.
 
There then followed a whole host of hockey matches against St. Mary’s and rugby against Merchiston (results and reports in the usual places) in glorious sunshine. Hall Hill was positively balmy.
 
On Thursday Form 3 went off to Merchiston for their annual Science Day - the highlights being playing with the reptiles and eating exploding jelly babies! On Friday we had the Dandylions trials in both hockey and rugby and are thrilled that 3 girls and 4 boys were selected for these two representative sides.
 
The weather was inclement on Saturday so the riding on the beach was cancelled but on Sunday it cleared up beautifully and after the service at St. Anne’s Dunbar, the children were back in the outdoor pool. The senior boarders went off to the Glenalmond Choral day – leaving at 9am and not returning until 9pm but the evensong at which they sang was incredible.
 
This week began in high excitement as one of the mothers brought her puppies in for the children (and staff) to play with – try as she might to contain them, they seemed to have a mind of their own and all good intentions of the form teachers’ period went out of the window as these little bundles of joy bounced around all over the classroom block!
 
On Wednesday we had the annual Patrol football competition, won this year by the Owls. There is some excellent drone footage of the event on our FaceBook page, which shows the school in a whole new light.
 
On Thursday we received the results of the Stowe Scholarship and I am delighted to say that our candidate was successful – that is one from one with another 23 potential scholars still to go; the next one is to Rugby in November.
 
Tomorrow it is the Spoken English final – every child in the school has stood in front of his or her class and given a speech of 3 or 4 minutes on the subject of their choosing, written by themselves – the topics have ranged from “What it’s like being a ginger” to “Being the youngest of 5” – I can empathise with both! From the 125 talks, 18 have been chosen for the final tomorrow, to be performed in front of the whole school and all parents and staff – an audience of 300 or more! These children are far braver than me and I wish them all the very best of luck. They will then all disappear for a richly deserved half term break.
 
That is all.

Henry Knight, 23/10/2018