Housemother Blog: Chalmers West
27th May, 2019
Since Easter we have been fairly lucky with the weather and the warmer evenings have enabled the boys to spend more time outside, prep has even been finished early on a couple of occasions to allow this! The boys are very proactive in grabbing a ball or bat and getting out the house. The picture above shows boys from across the years mixing together to play rugby, practice in the cricket nets and have a good catch up. We are so fortunate here at Merchiston to have such beautiful grounds at our disposal!
The boys successfully completed their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh expedition earlier in May, led by Mr George. They had a training day on the Pentland Hills and then a two day hike with overnight camping. The weather was kind to them but it was very cold overnight and many tents were frosted over in the morning. The whole experience was a first for many of the boys but they all did incredibly well! They were all very weary when they returned on the Sunday evening but a hot shower and an early night did them a world of good. Many thanks goes to all the staff who guided and supported the boys out in the wild!
Dorm socials are all about getting the dorms together without the distractions of other boys and just relaxing as a group. There’s no pressure to stay too long; some choose to just pop their head in and say hello whereas others love to sit and have a blether. As these were the last socials of the year I asked the catering department to deliver drinks and bacon rolls. As Housemother, these socials are often my favourite times, the boys create such a warm environment and really appreciate the down time – and food of course!
As the end of the year is approaching, the boys are full of questions about life in Chalmers East and how it differs to Chalmers West. The short answer is the daily routines are very similar but with a few tweaks along the way i.e slightly later bedtimes and town leave at weekends The boys are excited to get to know their new Housemaster, Mr Aitchison (joining Merchiston from Hawick High School), and the rest of the House team will be announced shortly. Mr Aitchison has already been in to meet the boys and hopefully there will be a few more opportunities before the end of the year.
Starting a new year can be an unsettling time for some boys and we try to make the transition as smooth as possible.
I will also be spending time getting to know the Third Form before they move up to Chalmers West. It’s a big jump for the boys from Pringle up to the Middle Years and they initially need a lot of support to adjust and find their feet; the House Team are all on hand to make sure everyone is settled and happy. I am very much looking forward to getting to know the Third Form and welcoming them into Chalmers West after the Summer!
A last minute surprise for the boys last week was the practice landing from two RAF Puma Helicopters. They were on a training exercise and landed briefly to simulate dropping off troops. It was a big hit with the boys that managed to get out to see the action!