Headmaster’s Headlines

Headmaster’s Headlines

2nd July, 2018

Thank you to all the audiences who supported the Merchiston End of Term last week! Barbara and I particularly enjoyed attending the Middle Years’ Gathering in the marquee with the parents and pupils of our Fourth form, Shell and Fifth Form and there was a wonderfully relaxed ambience!

Equally the Merchiston Juniors Celebration of the Year on Friday hummed with happy young folk! Merchiston-Castle-School-Pringle-Prizegiving Merchiston-Castle-School-Pringle-Prizegiving Merchiston-Castle-School-Pringle-Prizegiving Merchiston-Castle-School-Pringle-Prizegiving Merchiston-Castle-School-Pringle-Prizegiving Merchiston-Castle-School-Pringle-Prizegiving

As I was in my study with the door open, I was struck by the various musical renditions. On Friday evening we had our Whole School End of Year Service, including First Prizegiving with our guest speaker Mrs Marion Muetzelfeldt

Merchiston School Leavers ceremony 300618

who has just completed 39½ years of service to Merchiston! How remarkable is that! Her message on how she had loved teaching Maths at Merchiston and being amongst the young people of Merchiston was well received. Equally, she reminded one and all of the importance of being kind to each other.

And ‘Handshaking’ with our leavers and their parents was an important symbol as we wished these young people all the very best as they embark upon the next stages of their lives. The sense of celebration continued on Friday evening as the marquee hosted the Leavers’ Ball for the Upper Sixth leavers, parents and guests. The firework display and the wonderful reels will remain long in the memory!

Merchiston School Leavers ceremony 300618And then on Saturday, our Prizegiving and Upper Sixth graduation ceremony.





Merchiston School Leavers ceremony 300618Proceedings always start with the Pipe Band playing Highland Cathedral, accompanied by the organ, and this sound is truly evocative! The Chairman, Mr Gareth Baird, sets the scene, and please follow the link to his words. please follow the link to his words. 


Merchiston School Leavers ceremony 300618

Readers of Headmaster’s Headlines may be interested in my words and please follow the link if you would like to do so: Headmaster’s Prizegiving Speech.



Merchiston School Leavers ceremony 300618However, we all came to listen to our guest speaker James Kerr, an expert on leadership in high-performance and author of the global bestseller ‘Legacy’. Indeed, James was in School on Friday working with 35+ of younger pupils in Chalmers West upwards on the importance of values, character and culture. That says it all really! Please follow the link to find out more about James and I really recommend that you look  at his address, entitled ‘This is your Time’   and I promise you, you will enjoy it!

Merchiston School Leavers ceremony 300618Once each member of our Upper Sixth graduates, receiving his Merchistonian silk tie and copy of Mr Kerr’s address, fittingly this part of the ceremony concludes with the Captain of School speaking. I really liked Oliver’s wise words based around Dr Seuss from the book ‘The Places You’ll Go’. Please follow the link!

And it’s a wonderful new tradition that the graduating Upper Sixth stands at the front of the Memorial Hall, leading us in Ready ay Ready, and they then leave the Memorial Hall first and receive our applause. I really enjoyed a private moment with these wonderful young people outside the front of the School, as I congratulated them for the way in which they had celebrated on Friday night (and wished them well for future celebrations!) and rather charmingly they proffered three cheers for the Headman.

On Saturday night, the School kindly hosted a reception for Barbara and me and our family: Edward and his fiancée, Alice, Oliver and Laura. This was a wonderful Gathering in the Memorial Hall and then in the marquee. I will do a final Headmaster’s Headlines entry towards the end of the week and I will return to this topic.

And it always feels strange when a term and an academic year have ended. But all schools now do this and we already have the residential Language School and Kings Camps operating on this campus! It is right that we ensure that non-fee income contributes towards the running of Merchiston and it is only fair to you our parents.

But the most important people, the pupils and staff (apart from the leading staff who still have much to do before they step back and recharge their batteries!) and parents are no longer in the place giving it that giving it that extraordinary buzz.

Thank you to one and all for participating in all the various events of our end of term. We hope that you enjoyed them as much as we did! And we sure have been blessed with some gorgeous weather. Our campus looks splendid and the sunshine brought a joyful smile to everyone’s faces!

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