From the Headmaster
As the green shoots of Spring gradually appear, we find ourselves in a position where we need to look to the future and begin to emerge from the strictures of lockdown. There is now a wealth of positive data to suggest that we should be cautiously optimistic. The Rossall Roadmap which we sent you yesterday demonstrates how the School will incrementally reintroduce those elements of our provision that have been suspended since March 2020. It is exciting to contemplate a summer term of outdoor fun and endless sports. Whilst it is possible that aspects of the Roadmap will need to evolve in accordance with regional and national circumstances, we believe that all within our community will benefit from the knowledge that our plans for the future are well-considered. For many, the open-ended nature of lockdown has caused real uncertainty and a good deal of frustration. Hopefully, this plan will serve to answer the understandable questions that we all have regarding the loosening of restrictions.
As news about COVID begins to assume less prominence (at least in the UK), the headlines have been dominated by Meghan and Harry’s interview with Oprah Winfrey and the tragic death of Sarah Everard. Last night, I caught the end of a heartbreaking documentary about the life of the TV presenter Caroline Flack and it was difficult not to conclude that it serves as a powerful exploration of the extraordinary times within which we live. Helping young people to unravel some of the complex issues raised by this media coverage is extremely challenging but it is our role as educators and parents to be ready to discuss such matters with our children.
At times, it appears that COVID-19 restrictions have heightened our personal sensibilities and sharpened our collective sense of outrage. Perhaps after so much suffering, there is a profound desire to create a better world, one within which racism and sexism are countered with a reflectiveness, sophistication and nuance that has been lacking up to this point. The last year has been dominated by useful discussions about race and unconscious bias. I have no doubt that the level of reflection that this has approached has been helpful. The invitation or challenge to think more deeply about the perspective of others has to have positive outcomes.
The murder of Sarah Everard was an act perpetrated by an individual who cannot and should not be considered representative of men in general. However, that women feel unsafe walking the streets should in itself cause us to reflect very deeply on how we bring up boys. It is a source of collective shame and one which should not be explored simply as a direct consequence of such a horrific act. Melissa Benn’s excellent book, What we should Teach our Daughters’ explores the role that casual sexism has on girls growing up. It considers the objectification of women and the lack of parity which still exists in so many areas of modern life. Last, the Headmistress of Magdalene School, Helen Pike, suggested that mothers should talk openly to their sons about sexual harassment. Recently she made the point that ‘consent’ is not necessarily sexual and, in reality, relates more to respect for others’ boundaries. This respect has been diminished in some instances by the misuse of social media. It seems clear that as a society we make progress when we are open to considering the perspectives of others. Sometimes, empathy and critical reflection can feel uncomfortable or unnecessary but the way we behave and the values that we impart really do serve to shape the future society within which our children will live.
The Caroline Flack documentary was heartbreaking on many levels. She had clearly made mistakes in her life but her position as a celebrity role model who thrived upon competitive social media made her acutely vulnerable. Her friends and family reflected upon her obsession with Twitter which meant that she sometimes struggled to be ‘present’. She courted attention and enjoyed the adulation that she received from fans. However, the fickle nature of such feedback meant that she was unprepared to endure the backlash that ensued following the dramatic episodes that led up to her death. Away from the public persona, Caroline was a woman who struggled with low self-esteem and was prone to self-harm. The savagery of the media’s pilloring of her and the cruel unkindness of comments left on her Twitter feed was too much for her to endure. Living life through the distortive prism of social media means living a life which lacks authenticity. It means exposing yourself to the judgement of those whom you do not know but profess to know you. Social media is ubiquitous and constitutes an aspect of teenage social discourse that is impossible to ignore or deny. However, it is the case that there remains a startling contrast between the way people treat one another in real life and the way they are prepared to behave online.
We are at an interesting moment in time. Perhaps it is a moment filled with angst and hope which will pass in due course. One thing is for sure, that once the heat has subsided from the current media debate, what really matters will be the quality of conversations that we have with our children. We need to help them make sense of the world around them. Whilst it is tempting to wince at the overused and peculiarly postmodern phrase ‘his truth’ or ‘her truth’, we do now need to listen and reflect.
I understand that the repairs to our gas supply have caused delays when dropping off and picking up children. However, I would urge everyone to drive with consideration. We are a School and at any given moment in time, we have babies from the age of three months and upwards being pushed through the carpark. We all know how toddlers and young children are prone to wander off in an instant. An unforgiving moment, a split second of impatience, and the consequences could be devastating. Please drive with particular care and it is worth all of us remembering that people who have caused serious accidents will never have thought for one moment that going into that situation they would be to blame for causing such devastation.
Mr Jeremy Quartermain
Headmaster of Rossall School
Message from the Junior Headmaster
What an exciting week the children have enjoyed. All around our wonderful campus, I have seen the pupils enjoying a great deal of outdoor learning. Whether it is our Nursery babies and toddlers looking at the trees or the Prep pupils exploring materials and their properties, looking at habitats or building dens, the weather has enabled some exciting opportunities to learn beyond the confines of the classroom.
The release of our Preparatory School Roadmap out of Lockdown has provided a real sense of direction in the gradual removal of restrictions and I know that the children will be excited to be taking their lunches in the Dining Hall and getting back in the swimming pool.
We are looking forward to meeting with you next week in our online Parent’s Meetings – if you have not yet signed up, please do so via the link in this newsletter.
Next week, the children are eagerly anticipating some exciting Easter activities that have been planned. The belated House Pancake races that took place last Friday were participated in with great enjoyment and a competitive spirit. Congratulations to Clifton, who emerged as the overall winners after the three races.
Have a relaxing weekend.
Headmaster of Rossall Nursery and Preparatory School
|JUNIOR & NURSERY NEWS
Please click here for this week’s Junior and Nursery Newsletter.
|ASSEMBLY – MONDAY 15TH MARCH 2021
In this week’s assembly, Mr Quartermain discusses Rossall’s road map back to normality; Ms Porovic commends this week’s winners of the Headmaster’s Award; and Year 12 student, Erica Qumu (Wren House) performs a wonderful piece on the piano. We hope you enjoy.
|WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU
We pride ourselves on delivering the best school life for your child/children and we would appreciate your review.
If you could possibly spare a couple of minutes to comment on our google page, we would be very grateful.
|To view the School’s recently published roadmap out of lockdown (March to July 2021), please click here.
|In celebration of the launch of our International Piano Academy and forthcoming ‘All-Steinway School’ status, we are hosting our very first International Piano Competition.
The inaugural event will take place this Spring, providing an excellent performance platform for current students as well as young pianists from schools and colleges from across the world.
This year the competition is being held online, however, in future years the competition final will be held on campus.
The competition will comprise three categories: age 12 and under, age 15 and under and age 17 and under, and the deadline for submission of entries is Friday 28th May 2021.
CLICK HERE FOR MORE INFORMATION AND TO ENTER THE COMPETITION
|NURSERY, PRE-PREP & PREP SCHOOL VIRTUAL OPEN DAY
We hope you will join us for our next Virtual Open Event. This event will be focusing on our Nursery (0-4), Pre-Prep (4-7) and Prep School (7-11). Find out all about our wonderful provisions for our younger pupils, including our bespoke curriculum, fantastic facilities and outstanding pastoral care. Book now: https://www.rossall.org.uk/news/open-days/
|ROSSALL’S INTERNATIONAL PIANO ACADEMY
We are delighted to announce the launch of Rossall’s International Piano Academy – the first of its kind in the UK!
“The Rossall International Piano Academy is committed to providing a world-class musical education, enabling our pianists to develop the skills, confidence and tenacity required to achieve their fullest musical potential.” Mr Jeremy Quartermain, Headmaster.
Our commitment to providing an outstanding musical education for future generations of pianists has been further enabled by Rossall becoming an All-Steinway School from early Summer, 2021.
|MR SHARPE’S MATHS CHALLENGE
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
After performing at a Morris Dancing festival, Abba, dressed in rainbow shell suits, were riding around on ponies when Benny shouted a mathematical challenge to Agnetha:
“Oy! Agnetha! What is the value of:
To Benny’s surprise, Agnetha thought about it, put down the lego kitten she was making at the time and confidently shouted back the answer.
What is the answer?
ANSWER: (CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW)
|Congratulations to Elias Fink who has, for the second time, given the first correct response to the Puzzle. This puts him joint top with Dr Paul on the Leaderboard of Winners (which didn’t previously exist until I just typed it then).
Elias is well known for his love of fruit but as we found out in a previous puzzle, it does cause him to have strange dreams…
THIS WEEK’S PUZZLE
Elias and the Square Apples
After a long night of revision and fruit consumption Elias went to bed. In his dream, he was in a two-dimensional world of square apples, each proportionally smaller than the last.
It was his task to pack them into a two-dimensional square box. He decided to go for aesthetically pleasing rather than a sensible use of the space.
This is what he opted for.
Despite wasting large amounts of space he still managed to pack an infinite number of apples in the box. So good job Elias!
His two-dimensional boss then appeared and demanded to know the answers to the following questions:
1) How much smaller is each apple compared to the last?
2) What fraction of the box does the largest apple fill?
3) What fraction of the box do the largest two apples fill?
4) What fraction of the box do all of the apples fill?
Unfortunately, Elias woke up before answering these questions but he fears that he will meet his two-dimensional dream boss again soon. So can you help him??
The questions are of varying difficulty so hopefully, I will get lots of responses this week! Don’t feel that you have to answer all four to send me a response. I had 5 replies last week which was pretty good, but I know you can do better Rossallians. Do it for Elias!
Remember to send your answer to Mr Sharpe: [email protected]
The Eco-Society has had a very productive week this week. On Wednesday we had a meeting with the Head of Boarding, Mr Roberts about certain changes we want to implement within school and we have also finalised plans for our bake sales next week.
After our meeting with Mr Roberts, we’re aiming to introduce more vegetarian options to the school menu. Not only is vegetarian food healthier, but it also has a much lower impact on carbon emissions due to the amount of greenhouse gases produced by livestock. We have had a lot of feedback from pupils saying they want to see more vegetarian food available at lunch and so we’re hoping these extra menu options will go down well and add much more variety to the food Rossall offers As well as this we discussed eliminating single-use cups, plates and cutlery from the dining hall, improvements to the recycling infrastructure within Rossall and the feasibility of introducing various renewable energy sources to Rossall.
As well as this we have also finalised plans for our bake sales next week. We will be selling an assortment of cakes as well as holding a raffle for Easter Eggs. The Bake Sales will be taking place from 13:20 outside maths on both Monday and Tuesday. All proceeds will be going towards future Eco-Society Projects including our recycling initiative. We hope to see you there.
Max and Ryan, Rossall Eco Society Co-Leaders