This week’s newsletter for Rossall Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School.
I often speak of how busy a week we have in Prep School. However, this week has most certainly trumped the rest of this term. My brief (not so brief) overview below provides a flavour of the huge array of trips, sports, activities and events that have taken place over five days. There is no such thing as being too busy; if you really want things to happen you have to make time for them.
The intrepid Year 4s left the confines of Rossall as ‘Romans on a Rampage’, as they visited Ribchester Museum. Their focus on the Roman Empire, its impact on Britain and the legacy it left us has been a popular historical experience for them all. To cement their learning in the topic, they visited the Roman Museum near Preston. The historical site has excellent connections to the children’s learning, as well as lots of interactive and hands-on experiences.
Staying with trips, the Year 6 children were fortunate to visit the RNLI station at Fleetwood as part of their ‘Beach Schools’ slot of Rossall Rotation. We were delighted to receive a letter from the station following their visit, outlining just why we are so proud to take our children out of School. Below is a brief extract from a quite lovely letter that also says how welcome back the pupils from the Prep will always be.
On Tuesday we enjoyed our final Parent Lunch of this series. Once again, the lunch proved to be a wonderful success, with our Year 5 and 6 parents hosted in the Senior School Common Room. It was a lovely occasion filled with laughter, conversation, and a delicious school dinner! With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, events like these serve as valuable reminders of the importance of community and connection. Thank you to all parents who were able to attend our series of lunches and for your ongoing support and involvement. I hope to see many of you at our Afternoon Tea and Parent Forum on Tuesday 5th March; please sign up here.
Our annual Rossall Invitational Hockey tournament took place on Wednesday. Welcoming teams from across the region, we were delighted to host this prestigious tournament once again. Congratulations to all participants – please do have a read of the comprehensive review further into the newsletter.
After qualifying for the cup competition earlier in the year, our footballers travelled to Cheadle Hulme School to take part in the AJIS Football finals against some rather large schools. The children performed admirably, winning three and losing two games throughout the afternoon. They just missed out on the semi final but I was delighted that we managed to beat two of my old schools, Bury and Cheadle, the latter going on to win the competition. Our team continues to grow and develop and I am sure that the Senior School will be pleased to have their services on the pitch when they make the transition.
The Assembly Concert this morning was once again a delight to attend. The children played and sang beautifully. Our young musicians, ranging from Year 2 to 6, performed with confidence and enthusiasm, showcasing their musical prowess and infectious energy. Each performance was a testament to the dedication and hard work of our children and music teachers alike (as well as a great deal of cajoling, patience and encouragement from our parents). Well done to all who were involved.
The eagerly anticipated House Swimming Gala took place this afternoon. The gala featured a variety of swimming events, ranging from freestyle sprints to butterfly relays, and of course, the crazy antics of the ‘dressing up relay’. All events ensured that there was something for every swimmer to excel in. One of the most exciting aspects of the gala was the sense of camaraderie and teamwork on display. While the competition was fierce, the children from different houses came together to cheer on their peers, offering (some quite loud) words of encouragement and support. From the swimmers who gave it their all to the parents who cheered from the sidelines, thank you for helping make this year’s House Gala such a memorable one.
Finally, earlier this week I experienced the sensation of true excitement mixed with achievement (and relief): my first 180 in darts. My darts game is a great deal like my golf. I can hit one, maybe two good shots in a row, but rarely three! Watching professionals throw 180 after 180, I am always incredibly impressed by the skill and investment of time that it must take to be so accurate. As my final dart found its mark, I could not help but draw some parallels with education. Just as in darts, education requires focus, precision, and relentless effort. Each lesson, each learning objective, each test is like a dart thrown towards a target. Sometimes they hit the mark, sometimes they miss, but each attempt teaches us something valuable. To finally achieve my aim was like a ‘wow’ or ‘lightbulb’ moment that the children experience in School. Perhaps most significantly, was the feeling of accomplishment; a sense of fulfillment. A moment that validates effort. This is exactly how I suspect the children feel in School when a concept makes sense or a target is achieved. Whilst I may not be a Luke Littler, Luke Humphries or (for those of us who remember) a Phil Taylor, I will continue to show perseverance and determination in hitting my second 180. A journey does not end with a single success. Instead, it becomes a stepping stone towards greater challenges and higher aspirations. I am positive the children will display that same steely determination as they continue on their educational journeys in the Prep School.
Have a wonderful half term.
Mr M Turner
Headmaster of Preparatory School & Nursery
Silver Medals for Rossall Prep!
Wednesday afternoon saw a feast of hockey down on the Astro-turf pitches. Eight teams took part in the Rossall Annual Invitational Hockey Tournament, with Rossall fielding two teams. Our girls were truly focused on the task they had ahead, especially as it was on home ground. The progress each player made was quite phenomenal. Both teams gelled together marvellously and produced some top-notch hockey.
All of the games were tight and competitive. Rossall Blues played some fabulous hockey and were unlucky to be knocked out in the Plate semi-final. Meanwhile, in the Cup semi-final, Rossall Reds were drawing 0-0 against The King’s School at full time. This meant it was five minutes sudden death…still no score! Then it was penalty rushes, which we had never experienced before! Luckily Rossall had Millie in the net who managed to save all their shots and we were able to score one goal.
Next, we played an experienced St Mary’s Hall team in the Cup final. After an extremely valiant performance, we were pipped to the post in the dying seconds when SMH managed to score a superb goal from a penalty corner. What an achievement winning silver medals for the first time in the Cup competition. Well done girls!
Well done to all of the teams that took part, and to St Mary’s Hall who won the Cup competition, and to AKS for winning the Plate competition.
Year 3 Stonehenge Competition
This half term, the Year 3 topic has been all about the Stone Age and Bronze Age! As part of this, we have learnt about Stonehenge. During home learning, the children were challenged to create a Stonehenge out of any material they could! We had so many children participating in this task and it turned into a competition for the most creative and interesting Stonehenge. We had Stonehenge made of cake, lego, biscuits, kinetic sand, rice krispie treats, clay, recycled materials and even on Minecraft! In the end the winners were, as judged by Mrs Payne and Mrs Morton: 1st place Valencia, 2nd place Alicia and 3rd place Rex. Well done to everyone who joined in!
Elmer’s Big Blackpool Parade
This half term, Rossall has been participating in and preparing for Elmer’s Big Blackpool Parade. As part of this, we have been lucky to have the chance to design and decorate our very own Elmer the Elephant statues! These will be part of an Elmer Art Trail with elephants designed by schools in our local area and by professional artists.
One of our statues has been designed by our Prep pupils, and the other by Sixth Form students. Both elephants display the creativity and skills of our amazing learners, with the Prep statue having a ‘Rossall at 180’ theme.
The aim of this project has been to raise awareness and funds for the local charity Brian House, which Rossall has raised money for throughout this year through various fundraising events.
These smashing elephants will be on display with others in the Art Trail which will run from 13th April to 9th June around Blackpool.
We cannot believe that the half term is at an end, it has simply flown by! The children have had another action packed week, a hockey and football tournament, Mary Poppins Jr rehearsals and academic activities have left us ready for our week off. The children have thrown themselves into every activity and, as always, have given their very best. Mrs Scott and I (Mrs Kenmare) are both proud of them and impressed by their enthusiasm and energy.
We had a fabulous Mary Poppins rehearsal with Mr Holdsworth where the children learnt a new game with a cowboy theme. Their concentration and reflexes were put to the test amid much laughter. The eventual winners were decided by a ‘moo off’ – do ask your children if you are unsure what a ‘moo off’ entails! The rehearsals are going well and the production is taking shape.
Fractions have been the order of the week in Mathematics, we have learned how to add, subtract and solve problems involving fractions.
In English, we have continued to read Holes by Louis Sachar, and Zero and Stanley have found themselves in a rather precarious position. We have learned a great deal about their characters from the way they have dealt with the challenges that they have faced. We have also looked at the judicial system, and as you can imagine we have had some interesting discussions.
We hope you have a fabulous half term and we look forward to seeing the children on their return.
Our novel this half term The Lost Happy Endings has inspired the children to write their own captivating stories this week. The progress that the children have made with the quality of their writing has been superb, and it has been extremely rewarding to see them using a whole range of literary features to engage the reader.
Those ‘Terrifying Tudors’ have continued to fascinate us, and we have enjoyed learning about Henry VIII and his wives, as well as the royals that followed his reign, from Elizabeth I wearing the crown for 45 years to Lady Jane Grey reigning for nine days before she got the chop!
As we reflect as a class at the halfway point of the academic year, there is no doubt that this Year 5 group have made amazing progress together. The camaraderie they have shown and support of each other is outstanding and we look forward to building on our learning and friendships after half term.
How is it the final week of half term?!
We started our learning off this week by visiting Ribchester Roman Museum. We learnt where the Romans came from, the spread of the Empire, the reasons for, and the history of, the conquest of Britain, progress north and Ribchester: the fort and village settlement. We were also able to handle real Roman artefacts including fragments of pottery, bones and metal objects. One of the most exciting parts of the day was when we tried on the replica armour and helmets. We explored their most important equipment and weapons and what life would have been like in the Roman army. Before heading to the museum, we saw the visible remains of the fort outside. To finish off our visit, we did the museum trail to find answers to our Roman questions.
During our English lessons, we enjoyed reading the ending of our novel to find out that Tranio and Livia now live together after the traumatic event of the Mount Vesuvius eruption. As our final piece, we have rewritten the Escape from Pompeii story in the role of one of the characters. We included a number of writing techniques and skills as well as having a huge focus on handwriting.
In Topic, we have investigated the Roman gods and goddesses and have noticed a link between that and Greek mythology. We created a fact file on our chosen one and carried out our research to add facts to our design.
It has been a fabulous final week of the half term for Year 3, we can’t believe it has whizzed by so quickly!
Our main focus in English this week has been on our final write. To finish off our Stone Age Boy unit, the children have written their own Stone Age stories! These stories have incorporated all of the grammar and features we have learnt during this unit: progressive tense, perfect tense, speech marks, suffixes and prefixes. It has been wonderful to read the children’s stories that they have worked so hard on, a great demonstration of their creativity and imagination!
In Maths we continued looking at length, this week focussing on comparing, adding and subtracting length. After half term, we will finish this unit with perimeter.
Finishing off our Topic this week, we moved onwards from the Stone Age to the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. We used iPads to research facts about the Bronze Age, and we learnt about the features of Iron Age hillforts.
To round up our Science unit on Rocks, we did a fun quiz to revise and recap what we had learnt so far as well as a final look at our sediment jars and how they had changed since we first created them.
We loved our final Forest School session for Rossall Rotation, despite the wet weather the children loved making s’mores!
Finishing off the week with a splash at the Swim Gala was a great way to wrap up before half term. Have a great break Year 3 and see you in a week!
The last five weeks have been so busy and have absolutely flown by, and this week has been no different. The children have been finding out all about different states of matter and enjoyed acting out being solids, liquids and gases in the playground.
We completed acrostic poems all about castles in Topic, counted equal groups in Mathematics, in English we created some wonderful written work inspired by our class book The Dragon Machine, and thoroughly enjoyed our final golf session developing our swings in Rossall Rotation.
The short half term has meant we have had to pack a great deal into a relatively short time. So much learning and fun has meant that we are now a little tired and ready for a well-deserved break. Have a great half term year 2 and I look forward to another equally busy and fun half term after the break.
In Maths, we have completed our unit on place value. This week we have compared and ordered numbers, and used the concept of the Greater Gator to help us with using the correct mathematical symbols.
In Science this week we have tested the best way to melt ice to free some extinct animals. We predicted and discussed that salt could melt ice and we know this as we’ve seen salt on the roads on frosty mornings! In our investigation we discovered that our predictions were not quite correct – the salt melted the ice quicker than some of the other materials, but hot water was the quickest!
In English, we have planned and written our own stories following Oscar back to the museum for another fun-filled night of adventure. Can Oscar help the Princess find her crown? Or help the robot find his eyeball? Or help the dragon find his wing? I have seen some fantastically creative ideas for our own stories. Well done Year 1!
We have celebrated stories in every form during National Storytelling Week. Like its name, National Storytelling Week encourages people of all ages, genders, and cultures to indulge in stories new and old and participate in this centuries-old form of entertainment. Stories teach us about the world, they allow us to step into someone else’s shoes and feel empathy, they help us to relax and escape and they can help develop essential literacy skills.
Once upon a time, long ago, people would inscribe their stories on the walls of caves. These included animals, humans, and other intriguing as-yet-unidentified objects. Of course, scientists believe storytelling has existed in some form or another since the development of languages, and the earliest evidence we have are these cave drawings. The children have enjoyed listening to the story Cave Baby by Julia Donaldson and even had a go at doing their own cave paintings this week.
Over time, stories changed to incorporate modern inventions. Photographs, video recordings, and television became new ways to tell stories. In the 21st century, people can explore stories in any form they choose and enjoy any kind they want. The children have explored many ways of storytelling this week, including through roleplay, puppets, music, books and cartoons. It has been lovely to observe them retelling stories and making up their own stories in every area of the classroom. They have even become storytellers themselves and written some of their own stories together. I think we may have some budding authors in the class, as their imagination was amazing!
“Don’t just tell children about the world. Show them.” – Penny Whitehouse
This week in the Nursery we have focused on outdoor learning.
The Sanderlings love exploring the outdoor learning areas! The babies especially like going for walks around the Rossall grounds exploring all the different areas to see. Their favourite area is the little woodland area because it is sheltered with trees so the babies can sit and enjoy songs or crawl around to explore the environment – this has been a big hit this week. Outdoor learning is so important for the babies and it gives them hands-on experience in nature, being able to see, hear, smell, and touch so many different things. The Sanderlings have been using the garden as an extension of the learning taking place inside. This week the babies have been out in our garden. Whilst outside, the babies were encouraged to be physically active by kicking the footballs, climbing on the soft play and playing on the rocking horse.
This week The Sandpipers have spent time in their ‘Investigation Area’ looking closely at bugs, insects and plants. The children have been using magnifying glasses and have been encouraged to talk about what they have observed. The children said “A spider has lots of legs” and “The worm is long”. As an extension of their bug and plant investigations, the children have been talking about the life cycle of a plant and enjoyed looking at different types of plants and flowers to identify what is the same and what is different. In their forest school sessions, the children went to the secret garden and were tasked with looking for bugs and natural objects such as pine cones. Finally, on most days this week, the children have been out on walks around our environment and to the beach to look at detailed objects. Whilst out and about the children also took part in physical activities and fun outdoor games such as football, running, skipping and jumping.
Pre-School children have enjoyed taking part in a sensory shaving foam activity. They mixed shaving foam and paint together to create marks for a fluffy, colourful picture. The book of the month in Pre-School is In Every House on Every Street by Jess Hitchman. The children have really enjoyed listening to this story and having discussions with their friends about how everyone’s home is different; the children loved talking about their home lives. The Pre-School have visited the playground most days this week, where they have explored alongside their friends visiting the “magic dragon’s door” whilst collecting sticks to help build a camouflage wall. Whilst in the playground the children had a sneak peek through the farm door and watched the chickens and goats.
This week, our certificates of achievement have been awarded to Jasper for making conscious choices to contribute positively to the classroom environment; Jude for showing serious motivation and focus to succeed, resulting in excellent progress in lessons; Grace for being an excellent role model during the hockey tournament and showing super resilience, and Hollie for excellent perseverance and participation in Mathematics lessons.
This week, certificates have been awarded to Delilah for outstanding determination and endeavour in all activities, and Alfie for outstanding effort and standard of work on our Home Learning tasks.
In Year 4, our certificate winners go to Wyatt and Willow for being very inquisitive, enthusiastic and knowledgeable during our Ribchester Roman trip.
Our certificate winners in Year 3 are Darius for fantastic challenge in his writing and Rocco for wonderful perseverance and effort in his writing.
Well done to Max for outstanding home learning and Nektarios for wonderful creative writing.
This week’s awards are for Francis and Ares for making fantastic progress in their Phonics and reading skills.
This week’s certificates of achievement go to Leo and Ted. We have started a new topic in Maths, using larger numbers. Both children have demonstrated a good grasp of this concept and have been able to apply previous learning to help them tackle these larger numbers. Well done to both.
Extreme Reading Competition
We are looking forward to hosting our book fair in Prep after the half-term break. As part of this event, we are running an “Extreme Reader” competition for students. The rules are simple: children need to take a photo of themselves reading in an unusual or unexpected place, such as on a trampoline or while doing a handstand. We have five £5 vouchers for the book fair to give away to the winners. To enter, please submit your photo to [email protected]. Good luck to all participants!
Mary Poppins Musical Tickets Available
Join us on Wednesday 13th, and Thursday 14th for a supercalifragilisticexpialidocious time as our Preparatory School present Mary Poppin’s Jr. So, don’t invest that tuppence at the Dawes, Tomes, Mousely, Grubbs Fidelity Fiduciary Bank – buy your tickets now!