Life @ EA

Rector's Blog

Thursday 6 February

There is something very poignant about a 7ths’ Parents’ Evening. Yes, there are always some pretty tough conversations to be had, especially with those students who perhaps are losing their focus on academics, something that can happen in this modern era of unconditional offers. Amongst those tougher conversations, however, comes the sudden realisation that this is the beginning of the ‘Season of Lasts’: my last Parents’ Evening (and that can be for parents as well as child), my last home game at New Field, my last Burns Supper, Spring Concert, Yards Race (tomorrow in case you wanted to know) – it is a time when things begin to be ‘ticked off’ and the days before Exhibition start to be counted. I know that to be true, as I had my first “I’ve got a good topic for your Exhibition Speech” conversation yesterday! In this ‘Season of Lasts’ comes the realisation that a school career is nearing the end. For parents in particular, this can be a sudden and impactful change, especially as so much of daily life revolves around the school drum beat – drop off, pick up, Team, rehearsal, Saturday sports in cold and wind, drinks and dinners with friends, camps, trips, performances and all the myriad of other things that make up school life. Can I just take this opportunity to say thank you to all our parents, and in particular to those in the 7ths. Sending sons and daughters to EA can be an enormous sacrifice and, often, a life-impacting decision but we would not be the school that we are without your support and belief in what we do. Thank you.
I would also like to take a direct quote from the Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions at Edinburgh University, who are beginning a campaign to write to any S6 (7ths) student across Scotland who has received an unconditional offer from them. They are going to write: “The purpose of this letter is to encourage students to continue to commit fully to their S6 studies in preparation for their move to university, whether at Edinburgh or elsewhere. Studies undertaken at the University of Edinburgh show that students who have worked hard and done well in S6 make the smoothest transition to university and get better degrees as a result. This may seem like a long way away now, but doing well in S6 is also likely to give you an edge when coming to apply for jobs after university.” Of course, one might say an easier way to achieve these desired results is for universities not to give a slew of unconditional offers but I am sure this letter campaign will send an important message to all those studying in S6.
Last Saturday saw the Burns Supper at school, which was a marvellous evening of fine food, wonderful entertainment and great fun. I would just like to commend Lucas R, who not only delivered the Address to the Haggis (with Pablo E and Luc H) after a rugby injury prevented Bruce P from appearing, but then had the audience captivated with his rendition of the Tam O’Shanter. It was absolutely amazing and had the audience stunned in awe. Zara E kept the evening under control as MC and revealed her ‘silent ninja assassin’ side with her pointed put downs, humorous barbs and witty introductions. I made a quiet note to myself to always stay on the right side of Zara. Callum C and Freya S engaged in playful interchanges in their Addresses to the Laddies and Lassies and Ailsa C  gave a stunning musical performance with her accompanying band (Manuela D-V and Honey R.) Many thanks to them all. I was going to give a special thanks to Joe B, Callum C, Alastair H, Angus R and Ben S for their wonderful piping performance also, but in a terrible ‘Rector seating error’, I found myself positioned seven inches from the assembled pipe band and my head has only now stopped ringing. Thank you to all involved.
I would also like to congratulate Louis S (4ths) and Jonathan N (7ths) for making it into the finals of the British Council Mandarin Speaking Competition from schools across the UK.  This was an incredible achievement given how competitive this competition has become and both should be very proud in being selected. Congratulations to both.
In sad news, tomorrow we say goodbye and thank you to Graeme Trotter, who had kindly stepped into the English Department when Mrs Walker left at the end of last term, and also to Alison Wardrop, who leaves the Alumni Office. Alison has done an enormous amount of wonderful work with our Accie community and we wish her all the best for the future. After Half Term, we welcome Flora Murray as our new English Teacher. I would also like to wish all those heading away to Austria on the Ski Trip the very best of luck. Travel safe, ski safe and look after each other.

Kind regards

Barry Welsh

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