Open Day 2019

Thank you so much to all the families who joined us on Saturday for our Open Day. Below is our Headmaster’s speech from the day.

Good Morning Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls and the warmest of welcomes to Rossall School on this October morning. My name is Jeremy Quartermain and I am the Headmaster here at Rossall.

You will be aware that there is a real buzz about Rossall at the moment and I believe that this is because people in this part of the world recognise that we are a modern, liberal and progressive school which promotes high aspirations within the context of a truly outstanding quality of education.

Furthermore, the fact that this is such an exciting time in the history of Rossall School’s development is in no small part due to the energy, vision and courage of my fantastic colleagues. The fact that we have attracted such a strong team of teachers from across the UK and overseas, to my mind, constitutes an enormous vote of confidence in our mission.

Our recent ISI inspection highlighted the outstanding nature of our community and recognised that children at Rossall demonstrate an excellent attitude towards learning and that they behave towards each other with kindness and compassion. The report also noted that they are excellent communicators – as I am sure that you will discover this morning. Finally, in terms of supporting the personal development of children, Rossall School was judged to be absolutely excellent.

So what does make Rossall such a special place?

Our mission is very simple – we seek to inspire young people to develop a life-long love of learning within a pastorally nurturing, culturally exciting and intellectually creative community. We are committed to providing young people with the opportunities, encouragement and support necessary for them to fulfil their potential – both personally and professionally. Whilst we are committed to ensuring that learning is exciting and engaging, this is our beginning point rather than an end in itself.

I believe that, as parents, we want our children to develop the confidence and resilience necessary to thrive in this increasingly complex world. Over 60,000 books have been published about parenting and yet most have only a very slight evidential base. This is because what really matters is taking the time to know each and every child and understanding his or her context. There are certainly no ‘one-size-fits-all’ solutions here at Rossall – the uniqueness of each child is celebrated.

A strong focus upon mental and emotional well-being is an important aspect of life here at Rossall and, we have an outstanding pastoral team with experienced Heads of Years, Heads of Houses, Tutors and counsellors.

Additionally, we have recently launched the Rossall School Learning Community and this has proved enormously popular initiative with our parents. We work in close partnership with families and, we believe, that when a child enters Rossall, you as parents also become actively connected members of our community. Increasingly, we work with parents to navigate through the challenges of adolescence. As the parent of a child at Rossall, you are never alone – you are part of a community within which open discussion is embraced and reassurance provided.

Rossall is much much more than a school – we are an inclusive and diverse community, we are an international village situated on the Lancashire coast. It is this additional dimension that really serves to set us apart from day schools. Everything is possible at Rossall and our boys and girls benefit from the most extraordinary array of opportunities and activities, for the benefits of a boarding education are not restricted to our boarding pupils. Our day pupils benefit from:

  1. Enhanced support from teachers who are often available in the evenings and at weekends to provide additional one-to-one support and coaching.
  2. Access to a wealth of activities, trips and opportunities that take place outside school hours.
  3. The pastoral support and study facilities which comes with being a member of a boarding house.
  4. The benefits of flexi-boarding and wraparound care means that Rossall is much more accustomed to meeting the needs of busy working parents than a normal day school.

We are very proud of our international dimension but we are, first and foremost, a school that serves the people here in Lancashire and the North West. We are proud to be part of the rich fabric of life on the Fylde Coast, and nearly 500 of our pupils and their families live locally. Over a third of our pupils benefit from some level of bursarial support and we are committed to continuing to support as many local children as possible. Our Changing Lives Foundation really does just that – it changes lives as will become apparent when you hear from a number of our current boys and girls. There is a good deal of debate about private education at the moment but as someone from a low-income single-parent family, I believe that an outstanding quality of education is a privilege which should be extended to all young people. Here at Rossall, we do all within our power to make that a reality.

This is a time of political and economic uncertainty and it can sometimes seem that society is changing very rapidly. Young people deserve to be supported within a nurturing environment, one in which they can make mistakes, explore new concepts and try new activities without fear of judgement or failure. They deserve the opportunity to grow up to become their own person. At Rossall, we recognise and celebrate the uniqueness of each individual.

Our core purpose is to ensure that at the conclusion of the Rossall journey, young people leave our Sixth Form determined to make a positive contribution to society. Equally as well, we want to ensure that they gain the emotional skills and personal knowledge necessary to live happy and fulfilling lives. Michelangelo reputedly stated that every block of stone contains a statue waiting to be carved. Here at Rossall, we believe that every child possesses untold potential and it is our role to help them discover their creative, intellectual and sporting interests.

In terms of recent developments, Rossall School has been extraordinarily busy. We have recently introduced a digital learning environment and tablet technology across the School. In just the last year, we have opened a Sixth Form Centre, Performing Arts Studio, state-of-the-art Learning Development Centre and multi-million pound Sports Centre. We are driving forward at a remarkable pace. I am delighted to announce this morning that our Infants School is about to undergo a complete refurbishment and our nursery provision is being extended so that Rossall has the ability to provide for children from 0-18. The environment is close to our hearts here at Rossall and we have just opened an animal sanctuary and taken delivery of two Giant Flemish Rabbits, we also have some pygmy goats on the way. Our children are learning to cultivate their own fruit and vegetables so that they can learn to be part of a more sustainable future.

The desire of our children to engage in the world beyond Rossall is reflected in the expansion of our debating society and membership of organisations such as the Model United Nations and Amnesty International – our children leave Rossall caring about the world within which they live.

In terms of sports, we are performing superbly well. Our partnership with Fleetwood Town Football Club provides our pupils with access to world-class training facilities and last year we were the top golfing school in the country. Our Golf Academy is led by PGA Coach Stuart Hemmings and several of our top golfers are now in the States on golfing scholarships. A number of our pupils in the England Developmental Squads for Under 18 Hockey and the Welsh hockey goalkeeper is in our Lower Sixth. Our pentathletes perform well within a European context and one of our Upper Sixth Formers has just joined Leeds Rhinos netball team.

But enough from me, our best ambassadors are our pupils and I believe that they are the living embodiment of the ethos and virtues of this remarkable School. I could not be prouder of our children for they are compassionate, caring, confident and creative. When I look at our Upper Sixth Formers, I never fail to be impressed by the fine young men and women that they have become. For me, speaking as a father, I find it tremendously reassuring that Rossall produces such wonderful young people. For ultimately, it is the children within this school that convince me, as a parent, that this is the best investment that we can possibly make for our three young daughters.

Ask questions and wander freely. For some, this will be the beginning of your relationship with us and we look forward to getting to know you better. Personalised visits and taster days are all available and we want to provide you with every opportunity to make an informed choice for your sons and daughters.

Thank you.