Rossall School News – Lent 2021 Week 9

The gorgeous sunset on Monday evening. A great first day back at school.

From the Headmaster

Dear All,

The wind is howling and the rain is falling but we are absolutely delighted to have our school community back together once again. Smiling faces and the excited chatter of friends who have been kept apart for far too long is the perfect antidote to the challenges of the last few months. I am incredibly grateful to our wonderful staff for ensuring such a smooth return to the classroom. 

Next week, we will publish the Rossall Roadmap 2021 which will outline the steps that we intend to take in order to ensure that school life gradually returns to normal. This plan will be driven by data rather than dates but it will provide all within the School community with a clear understanding of how we intend to progress towards our ultimate goal. Inevitably, it will be informed by the government’s own roadmap but there are unique aspects of school life which we need to consider very carefully. As we are all aware, consensus is not always easy to establish when tackling such issues. However, we are driven by the desire to minimise health risks and maximise educational opportunity. As parents, you should expect us to plan as carefully for the lifting of restrictions as we did for their implementation. 

I am sure that you will wish to join me in congratulating Grace Finney who has been appointed Head of the Pre-Prep. The redevelopment of what was the Infants building has continued throughout lockdown and we are incredibly proud of the fact that, apart from the structural shell, the building is essentially new. We cannot wait to welcome you into School to share our delight in what is now a state-of-the-art provision. Alongside the launch of the international piano academy and girls’ football programme, it is clear that our forward momentum has not been dampened by recent events. Rossall’s spirit is unstoppable! 

 Kathleen Ferrier (1912-1953) 

I have become a little obsessed with listening to old vinyl records of late. The other day, I put on a 1950 recording of Kathleen Ferrier singing Brahms lieder. I have to confess that I knew next to nothing about Kathleen Ferrier other than the fact that she was an English contralto who achieved an international reputation for the rich beauty of her voice. She was born in Blackburn in 1912 and died at the age of forty-one in 1953. The German conductor Bruno Walter declared that, ‘the greatest thing in music in my life has been to have known Kathleen Ferrier and Gustav Mahler – in that order’. 

Kathleen’s career was very short for it only really took off in the late 1930s. Her father was the headteacher of a primary school in Higher Walton and her family were involved in amateur music-making. She was an accomplished pianist and entered local music competitions such as the Lytham St Annes Music Festival. She even recorded a short recital for BBC Radio in Manchester and she won a Cramer upright piano as a prize in a competition organised by the Daily Express. With no prospect of being able to afford to attend music college, Kathleen trained as a telephonist, moved to Blackpool and married a local bank manager. She still harboured a desire to sing professionally but such a career must have seemed a long way off when she auditioned (unsuccessfully) to become the voice of the GPO’s new speaking clock. Humphrey Burton wrote ’For more than a decade when she should have been studying music with the best teachers, learning English literature and foreign languages, acquiring stagecraft and movement skills, and travelling to London regularly to see opera, Miss Ferrier was answering the telephone and winning tinpot piano competitions’. However, she went on to have a staggeringly successful career which included recording with the New York Philharmonic and working with figures such as Herbert von Karajan, Benjamin Britten and Elisabeth Schwarzkopf. She carried on singing after being diagnosed with breast cancer and she is feted by music lovers as much for her courage as the radiance of her wonderful voice. 

A generation or two earlier the wonderful conductor Thomas Beecham was fortunate enough to attend Rossall School. In terms of conducting, Beecham was self-taught but he was born into a fabulously wealthy family who was rich enough to fund his musical aspirations. In the early days, he bankrolled the orchestras that he conducted. The contrast with Kathleen Ferrier’s path to international stardom could not be more marked. Both were hugely influential figures in the classical music scene of the twentieth century and both spent plenty of time on the Fylde. However, the odds were most definitely stacked against the Blackpool switchboard operator who had had few lucky breaks before her mid-twenties.  Her early failures, meteoric rise to the very top of the musical world and her resolute courage in the face of desperate adversity makes her a really worthy source of inspiration for all young people who feel that they have yet to find their voice or that circumstances are frustrating the realisation of their dreams.  Blackpool and the Fylde should be very proud of her.

Wishing you all a peaceful and relaxing weekend!

Mr Jeremy Quartermain
Headmaster of Rossall School

Message from the Junior Headmaster

Dear Parents,

After writing making the announcement earlier today, I am delighted to confirm that we are to become Rossall Preparatory School & Nursery. Even before my arrival at Rossall, plans have been in place to redevelop and refurbish the facilities for our youngest children. These plans have evolved and taken shape with us now able to be immensely proud of a growing Nursery that is rated as 10/10 on, alongside our state of the art classrooms for our youngest pupils from Reception to Year 2. Rossall Preparatory School and Nursery are going from strength to strength, not only in our exceptional facilities but also within our inspiring curriculum that offers so much to all of our pupils. As such, we feel the time is right to officially recognise ourselves as a Preparatory School with the three distinct phases of Nursery, Pre-Prep (Reception – Y2) and Prep (Y3 – Y6). Our Pre-Prep and Nursery building now houses children from 3 months to 7 years in a fantastic learning environment and we very much look forward to welcoming you to our official opening in May. 

In further exciting news, I also announced the appointment of our new Head of Pre-Prep, Miss Grace Finney. Grace is delighted to have been appointed and looks forward to assuming her new role from the beginning of the Summer Term. She is a highly experienced practitioner and committed to ensuring an inclusive and inspiring learning environment for all young children. These truly are exciting times for Rossall Preparatory School and Nursery and this fantastic news ends what has already been an incredible week! 

All children physically returned to School with renewed energy and vigour, delighting us with their appetite for learning and desire to move on from the most difficult of periods for them. As a staff, we have been incredibly impressed by the calmness of the children and how it has felt as though we have just returned from a holiday period, rather than a full three months away from being in school. Our aims are now fixed upon ensuring that the children learn from their experiences, as we plan their route to return to as normal school life as possible, once more. 

I spent much of last weekend painting the wooden train in the Pre-Prep playground, in the company of Miss Finney. It really was a labour of love (at times) in renovating equipment that would once more feed the imagination of the pupils. It has been a delight watching them play on it in between the rain this week! 

There has been so much happening this week, both inside and beyond the confines of a classroom; please do take a moment to read about the variety of activities that the children have enjoyed in our extended news section.

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mr Turner
Headmaster of Rossall Nursery and Preparatory School

Please click here for this week’s Junior and Nursery Newsletter.
Mr Turner made an exciting announcement this morning – ahead of September 2021, we will lose the appellations, ‘Infants’ and ‘Junior’ and will become Rossall Preparatory School, consisting of three areas: Nursery (3 months – 4 years), Pre-Prep (4-7) and Prep School (7-11). This coincides with the redevelopment of our Nursery and Pre-Prep building which is nearing completion. Mr Turner also announced the new Head of Prep-Prep, Miss Grace Finney. To read all about these exciting developments, please click here.
Major Lee Magowan had a tough challenge ahead of him when organising this year’s Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award Expedition. Due to the restrictions in place because of COVID-19, our students were not able to travel afar for their expedition, meaning that Major Magowan had to get creative. Read all about how he utilised our very own campus and the wonderful Fylde Coast to challenge, educate and inspire our pupils. We are so proud of all he and the pupils achieved and want to thank all the staff who helped with this. Well done to all. Floreat Rossallia!
On Saturday, we hosted our Senior School and Sixth Form Virtual Open Day. It was great to catch up with parents, pupils and Old Rossallians alike! Thank you to all who took part and to KRS Productions for enabling us to deliver such an informative event.
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:
A warm welcome back to each and every one of our pupils. We are finally back together and plan to make the most of the remaining few weeks of the Lent Term. Floreat Rossallia!
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.


Kai loves triangles so much that when he saw the following diagram, he had an urge to make a triangle.

Lengths in cm.

He imagined rotating the line segment BC by 90° so that AB and BC formed two sides of a right-angled triangle (right-angled triangles are his 3rd favourite type!).

If he did this, how long would the new side joining A and C need to be?
A massive congratulations to our very own Eco-Warrior. Max Watson was the first correct response to this problem a mere 11 minutes after the newsletter appeared in inboxes around the world!

Max is a cheery young man and has a passion for many things; ponies, rainbows, lego, kittens, ABBA, Morris Dancing, patterns, multiplication and fractions. So this week’s puzzle has all the things in it that Max loves.


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?

Remember to send your answer to Mr Sharpe: [email protected]
(NB: The … in the question signifies that there are more sets of brackets in the product, not just the six shown)
As always the first correct reply will be honoured in the next puzzle. 5 responses last week in total.
Rossall Eco-Society Co-LeadersBins, Windows, Bake Sales!!! 
This week, the first of our trial recycling bins arrived and are already being used in Rose House. A second lot of bins are also on their way and will hopefully be put to full use in MC by the end of next week. We are also formulating plans to insulate all boarding room windows and to implement regular vegetarian days into the menu.

The main news this week is that on Monday 22nd and Tuesday 23rd March, we will be holding an Easter-themed bake sale at lunchtime. After the success of our lockdown bake sale for boarders, we wanted to run another one for the whole school to enjoy and we will be selling Easter themed cakes as well as holding a raffle for some Easter eggs. There may even be a special appearance from the Easter Bunny! The current plan is to hold the bake sales in the walkway gallery outside Maths, starting at 13:20 on both days.

In other environment news this week, I would like to talk about a group of Swiss energy companies who have seen a massive rise in their customers using green energy. Four years ago they chose to make “green tariffs” using purely renewable energy the default. Despite only 3% of customers opting for the green tariffs before this and residential customers having to pay 3-8% more, 4 years on, out of the 234,000 households affected, 80% are still on the green tariff. Similarly, the vast majority of businesses remained on the scheme despite having to pay $2,300 more a year in some cases. Whilst this is down to the phenomena known as the default effect, with people being more likely to stick with the default option rather than purposely choose the same option, it is very promising news for the future of green energy and could its use increase in a similar manner to how the opt-out system increased organ donation in the UK. Here’s hoping that more energy companies around the world will see this study and follow in its footsteps!

Thank you for reading and please do email [email protected] or [email protected] if you have any queries.

Max and Ryan, Rossall Eco Society Co-Leaders
Yesterday, over 300 students involved in extracurricular sport on the first day back. The first session started at 6.45am and the last finished at 10pm. Start how you mean to go on!