Starting High School is a big deal. It’s one of the most important events of an 11-year-old’s life. Nerves and excitement go hand in hand when thinking about starting high school, and questions like, ‘Will I make friends?’, ‘What if I get lost?’ and ‘What do I need to take with me?’ are questions that every new starter will ask themselves.
We decided to ask some of our current Year 7s what they wished they had known before starting at Rossall. We hope these responses will help and reassure you. We promise that you will love it here.
- The Campus is HUGE
Okay, so unlike the comfort of your own primary, prep or junior school, the Rossall campus is very big. 160-acres big, to be exact. You will easily complete your 10,000 steps a day walking to and from your lessons. All new pupils are given a map at the beginning of the year but don’t worry – you will still get lost! The Science, English, Art, DT and MFL (Modern Foreign Language) buildings are all located close to each other. However, the other subjects are situated at the opposite end of the campus. It will take a couple of weeks for you to get used to the size but don’t let that worry you. The teachers themselves had to get used to it when they joined the School and so they understand. And if you do get lost, please do not hesitate to ask an older pupil or a member of staff. They will all be happy to help you.
- You will become fiercely loyal to your house and extremely competitive
Rossall prides itself on having a well structured house system. In Years 7 and 8 you will be put in either Assheton, Hesketh or Clifton and compete for your house in various events including House Singing (we’ll get to that later) and Sports Day. In Year 9, you will join one of the senior houses. For girls, these are either Dolphin, Rose or Wren, and for boys they are Maltese Cross, Mitre Fleur de Lys, Pelican and Spread Eagle. You may not be put with your best friend but don’t worry – you will have plenty of opportunity to spend time with them on your breaks.
- There are tons of options for lunch
Lunch is served in our beautiful Dining Hall every day. There is a choice of three hot meals (one vegetarian/vegan option), as well as a soup option, a salad bar and a pasta bar. There are also jacket potatoes with a variety of fillings and a yummy dessert option. Last but not least, there are hot drinks and water, along with fresh fruit available. We hope you will make the most of our wonderful dining hall and if you have any special dietary requirements, our Catering Team will be more than happy to accommodate them. You just need to tell them!
- You can purchase Pre-owned uniform
We know how expensive school uniforms can be and since 2018, we have been running a pre-owned uniform service. The pre-owned uniforms we stock are in good condition, much cheaper and can be purchased from our school shop, The RosShop, on campus. However, it really depends what we have in stock and we cannot guarantee they will have your size. However, if you do opt to buy a pre-owned uniform, take it from us – no one will notice if you are wearing a brand new blazer or a pre-loved one.
- We have our own Shop
Yes, we have our own shop. And, yes, it’s called The RosShop. The shop sells a variety of items including stationery, toiletries, confectionary, sports equipment and pre-owned uniform. You can also buy birthday cards, stamps and house-related items (including keyrings and lanyards).
- You will spend a lot of free time at Mondo’s
Talking about shops on the campus, you will also become very well acquainted with our on-site café, Mondo’s. Mondo’s is a hotspot for most pupils at morning break time, with many opting to purchase a sausage, bacon or hash brown barm cake. Mondo’s also sells confectionary and other food items.
- Activities, Activities, Activities!
In your first week of School, you will be given a copy of our activities programme and be asked to choose at least 3 after-school activities to sign up for. We have absolutely everything on offer, from sport to music to cooking, and even helping out with the Rossall Farm. There is something for everyone!
- Saturday Sport Fixtures
Saturday!? We hear you cry! Yes, Saturday. It’s the day when most of our sporting fixtures take place. If you are lucky enough to be chosen for one of the sports teams, you will need to make sure that you are available to play on the weekends. Some of the fixtures are at home but others are away, and because we play schools such as Giggleswick and Stonyhurst, you will find yourself on a nice long bus journey. But don’t worry – a packed lunch is included!
- There are academies for football, golf and piano
You may not know this but Rossall is very proud to have elite academies in the following disciplines: piano, golf and football. Our golf academy is ranked number 1 in England and our Elite Football Programme is run in conjunction with League 1 Team, Fleetwood Town FC. Last year, we launched our Girls’ Football Programme which is backed by England Lioness, Millie Bright. This year, we launched our piano academy and we are to become an All-Steinway School in Summer 2021.
- Mobile phones are a big no-no
We understand how important a mobile phone is with keeping in contact with your friends and family. However, we operate a no-phone policy. Whilst you are allowed to bring your phones to school, you are not permitted to use it around campus. This includes using your phone in between lessons or during break. However, you are allowed to use your phone in your Houses/designated areas. We would recommend that you leave your phone at home if you can!
- Once a year we travel to Blackpool for a singing competition
Just like Strictly Come Dancing, we have our own big Blackpool event. The House Singing Competition usually takes place at Blackpool’s Grand Theatre. If you want to know what exactly the House Singing Competition is, we recommend you visit our Youtube page and watch some of the past years (especially Maltese Cross 2016 and Rose House 2015!)
- We have our own swimming pool and yes, you can use it!
As well as using the pool for PE lessons, the swimming pool is also available to pupils at certain times. There are swimming sessions at the weekend and on certain evenings.
- We have goats, rabbits, guinea pigs and chickens living on-site
The Rossall Farm was opened in 2019 and is home to six chickens, five rabbits, four guinea pigs and three pygmy goats. The Farm Manager, Mr Collins, is always looking out for farm helpers and so if you love animals, you too can get involved with the Rossall Farm!
- Chapel is a big deal
Not only are our Monday assemblies hosted in Chapel but also our Friday Chapel services too, along with key events (Christmas, Remembrance Day, Prize Day etc). Do not worry if you are not religious, we accept all faiths and beliefs. Our Chapel is also home to our award-winning choir who have performed all over the world. If you like singing, socialising and having the opportunity to visit some wonderful places, we recommend that you join them.
- We have favourite hymns and our own School song
There are certain hymns that every Rossallian knows off-by-heart and you will get to know these very well when you join us. Hymns such as: Jerusalem, Shine Jesus Shine and You Shall Go Out with Joy are classic Rossall songs, and it isn’t unusual to sing them as often as possible! We also have our very own School song called, ‘The Carmen’. It is in Latin and is difficult to sing if you are not familiar with how to pronounce Latin words but don’t worry, we will teach you!
- You will make friends from all over the world
Don’t believe us? Well, did you know that international students make up for 35% of all students at Rossall? We have almost 40 nationalities represented at the School, and we promise you, by the time you graduate, you will know and be friends with someone from a different country.
There are many more things that you will discover when you get here. We guarantee that by the end of the first month, you will know your way around and won’t even need the map! We’re really looking forward to you becoming a Rossallian (former students are called Old Rossallians) so please do not be nervous. You will make lots of friends and happy memories here.
Until we see you in September,