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Head Teacher's Update

19 December 2014

As we reach the final hours of the term, I sit here typing to the sound of the S6 Panto in full swing. The S6 and staff have written it, and are performing it three times (once to each house) before we close for the holiday. I would like to thank everyone involved for making it a wonderful event that gets to showcase the acting, singing, musical and comedy-writing talents of our pupils and staff.

Talking of talented people, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know of two major successes that pupils have had recently. Scott Thomson in S5 has been crowned the Under 60Kg British Cadet Champion in Judo. This is his third British Championship title. Scott is an incredibly modest pupil who wears his honours very lightly, but I feel the need to congratulate him publicly on this great achievement.

Equally talented, but in an entirely different sphere, is Claire Thomson in S4. She recently came first in the “15 and under Bass Drumming” class at the Craigmount Solo Piping and Drumming Competition. She was accompanied by pipers Euan Naysmith and Grant Campbell, and on the snare drum by Hannah Green. This competition is hard fought and Claire has done herself, and the school, proud with her win.

The Christmas Concerts went off without a hitch on Tuesday. Everyone played and sang beautifully and we have received many compliments as a result. Again, I would like to thank everyone for taking part and, in particular, the music staff, the music instructors, and the stage and lighting teams.

On Wednesday, Michael Cavanagh, from Commonwealth Games Scotland, came in to judge the Christmas Box Competition. He is still very busy with the Games’ legacy work, but managed to spend a good couple of hours in the school, bringing along with him one of the Queen’s Batons. It was lovely seeing the pupils able to have go at holding it and examining it in detail. We had a massive turnout of boxes – so thanks to everyone who contributed. The winners this year, were 6G2, whose box depicting “12 Drummers Drumming” was both striking and full of goodies. The boxes and their contents were distributed to Haddington Day Centre, the Butts Sheltered Housing, the east Lothian Food Bank, and to various elderly residents via the Social Work Department. The pupils who helped deliver the boxes were: Ewan Macpherson, Elli Robertson, Eve McBain, and Andrew Syme. Some senior pupils also went to the Day Centre (but this time on Monday) to sing Christmas Carols and entertain the elderly. It was very much appreciated and congratulations for getting this event off the ground go to Rhona Taylor and Kate Farmer in S6.

Also, on Wednesday, I had the hard task of helping to judge our annual S1 Nativity Scene competition. We had a diverse range of scenes – some made out of cake, others marshmallow, one was knitted, another embroidered, and still more were drawn. The overall winner was Murran Bland who produced a short film on the birth of Christ that was by turns funny, touching, and perceptive. I think she might have a career in film making ahead of her. Runners up were: Sarah Greenwell, Mollie Hastie, and Amy Mill-Irving.

So, it just remains for me to wish everyone all the best for the festive season and 2015.

The school reopens on the 6th January 2015 for everyone at the usual time. I look forward to hearing how the holidays have gone.

S Ingham



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