From the Headmaster
|THE DUKE OF EDINBURGH
It is almost a century ago that the infant Prince Philip was smuggled out of Corfu in a fruit box, aboard the British naval vessel HMS Calypso. Like so many children, Philip was destined to experience a traumatic childhood. In exile, his father, Prince Andrew of Greece, became a somewhat dissolute character who lived on the French Riviera before dying in the Hotel Metropole, Monte Carlo, towards the end of the Second World War. His mother, Princess Alice, suffered a breakdown and was institutionalised before becoming a Russian Orthodox nun. In 1937, Philip attended the funeral of his older sister Cecile who died alongside her husband and two young children when the light aircraft within which they were travelling crashed into a factory in Ostend. Sixty years later he would walk behind the coffin of his daughter-in-law in support of his grandsons Harry and WIlliam. Philip’s older three sisters all married Germans and his brother-in-law Prince Christoph of Hesse became a member of the Nazi Party and Waffen SS. It was a wretched and disjointed childhood.
A cruel distortion of the tragic accident in Ostend was served up in The Crown. It was a version of events that served to indirectly project the blame for the accident upon Philip who was, at that point, a sixteen year old student at Gordonstoun, a progressive school set up by the German educationalist, Kurt Hahn. Prince Philip thrived at Gordonstoun and relished the focus upon outdoor adventure and personal leadership. Kurt Hahn was an early architect of the International Baccalaureate and the IBO is suffused with his educational philosophy. After Gordonstoun, a glittering naval career followed. In 1947, he married Princess Elizabeth. From that point on, his life became one of service to the monarchy and the British people.
The Duke of Edinburgh’s death last week marked the end of an extraordinary era which started 69 years ago, when Elizabeth ascended to the throne in 1952. He carried out more than 22,000 solo engagements, authored fourteen books, visited over 140 countries and gave 5,496 speeches. He was the patron of 785 organisations and charities and flew 6000 hours in 59 different types of aircraft. For 73 years, he walked a few steps behind his wife and accepted that it was his duty to do so.
We live in a world which appears to favour binary judgements about people’s characters. It is true that Philip’s acerbic wit was challenging and occasionally offensive – even allowing for the social mores of times gone by. Her Majesty doubtless winced each time another ‘gaffe’ threatened to cause a minor diplomatic outrage. Imagine the outrage when Prince Philip complained, during an interview on NBC in 1969, that if the royal family’s financial situation did not improve, ‘ we might have to move to smaller premises’. He continued to muse that perhaps he would have to give up polo or sell a yacht. Whilst he might not have garnered much sympathy for such comments, Philip did plenty else to earn the enduring respect and admiration of people at home in the UK and overseas. Philip was co-founder and first president of the World Wildlife Fund and did much to champion British technology. He was fascinated in comparative theology and yet shunned the ceremonial aspects of church life and fought to modernise the monarchy. Perhaps his greatest personal achievement was the establishment of the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme which is as relevant today as when it was first conceived back in 1954. He understood the importance of adventure in terms of developing confidence and a sense of accomplishment in young people.
Above all else, Philip was a man of action. A pragmatist and private soul who had little time for self-absorption, his life serves as an outstanding example of service. It is the steadfast nature of his commitment to his wife, monarch and nation that serves as a compelling example of an ideal that is becoming rather unfashionable in this atomised and increasingly individualistic world. Communities depend upon service and the impulse to serve others is a virtue worth celebrating. Some schools claim to ‘develop character’ whilst others argue that ‘character’ is intrinsically personal to the individual and, as such, cannot be taught. What is clear, is that schools such as Rossall have, for generations, encouraged young people to dedicate their lives to serving others. That service does not need to take place upon a warship or in a theatre of war. It need not require physical suffering or personal sacrifice but at its heart lies an empathy for our fellow human beings which leads us to conclude that our true purpose is to serve others and to enrich the lives of those with whom we have contact.
So Philip was a fascinating and complex character. There is nothing contradictory about recognising his great achievements and outstanding contribution to this nation whilst gently acknowledging that some of his foibles were challenging. We are all capable of being of service to others and the ability to do so is not dependent upon a saintly disposition but an understanding of our extraordinary potential to enrich, support, encourage and provide leadership to those around us. During this last year, that sense of service has been incredibly important to institutions like Rossall and it has been our lifeblood during the worst days of the pandemic. Many of our staff exemplify what it means to serve. The great author Iris Murdoch observed that:
Philip’s death resonates with people around the world because he was relatable and despite his flaws, served with a constancy and devotion that serves as a great example of faithfulness and fortitude. It is my hope that the virtue of ‘being of service to others’ will gain a fresh sense of meaning as the tangible link with those who experienced the very worst that the twentieth century had to offer begins to fall away.
It was lovely to read the reflections of Old Rossallians who met the Duke of Edinburgh and the Queen when they visited School. This Saturday afternoon, we will assemble in the Square to remember the Duke of Edinburgh and to give thanks for his service to the crown and country.
Mr Jeremy Quartermain
Headmaster of Rossall School
Message from the Junior Headmaster
Welcome back to what promises to be a wonderful term for the pupils. The weather has certainly helped to lift the mood around School and there is a palpable buzz of excitement as we begin to resume many of the activities that have been lost over the past year.
Seeing the children using our wonderful dining room this week, some of whom have been eating in there for the first time, has been a lovely experience and I know they have thoroughly enjoyed the extended selection of foods and drinks on offer.
The resumption of swimming lessons has been greeted exceptionally well and, after some exciting staff training during our recent INSET day, many of the children have been exploring our new forest school area.
The Pre-Prep building is nearing completion and is looking absolutely splendid, both externally and internally. We have removed the green fencing to open up the playground to create a much more usable space that will be designed by our new School Council.
All this and we have not yet mentioned the new topics that have been started in earnest this week. Year 2 have discovered evidence of dinosaurs at Rossall, Years 5 have booked in their sessions with Dr Lister in the Astronomy Centre, Year 4 are exploring rainforests, and Reception are looking at pets and animals (there are no shortage of those at Rossall!). Please do take a moment to read our extended newsletter section for photos and further details of what the pupils have been learning about.
Our virtual open day aired last Saturday and was exceptionally well received. My sincere thanks to the pupils, parents and staff who took part. If you have not had an opportunity to view it yet, a link may be found in the newsletter. If you have any friends who are thinking of Rossall for their children, please do let them know that tours can be organised through our admissions department.
I wish you all a relaxing weekend.
Headmaster of Rossall Nursery and Preparatory School
|NURSERY, PRE-PREP & PREP SCHOOL NEWS
Please click here for this week’s Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School Newsletter.
Mr and Mrs Gair were thrilled to welcome former Anchor House Captain, Year 12 student, Emily Yang (Rose House) back to the House to complete a piece of artwork for them. Emily was the Gair’s first House Captain in 2016 when they started in Anchor and they now have a lasting (and stunning!) memory from her.
|COMPETITIVE FIXTURES RETURN TO ROSSALL
Fixtures are finally back at Rossall! Our Under 12 Girls’ Football Team were all smiles for yesterday’s match against AKS.
|NURSERY, PRE-PREP and PREP SCHOOL OPEN DAY
Saturday saw our first ever Nursery, Pre-Prep and Preparatory Virtual Open Day, presented by Prep School Headmaster, Mr Matt Turner. Whilst we cannot wait to welcome you onto campus and show you all of the fantastic renovations in person, we can show you digitally, all the hard work our fabulous Maintenance Team have done. The Nursery and Pre-Prep School building is almost unrecognisable and we are so pleased with how it has turned out.
If you would like to watch Saturday’s event, please click on the above video. We would like to thank KRS Digital for all their help with this.
|EASTER IN THE LAKES
Over the Easter Holidays, the boarders that remained at school travelled to the Lake District for a whole host of activities and team bonding exercises. The students enjoyed laser tag, exploring the great outdoors and gathering in front of a campfire in the evenings, as well as many other fun activities. We are immensely grateful to all the staff who accompanied them and to the YMCA Lakeside for their fantastic support. It’s safe to say that the students had a great time and many wonderful memories were made.
|BRITISH BIOLOGY OLYMPIAD
This year was the 25th anniversary of the British Biology Olympiad and we entered eleven Sixth Form students for the competition. We were absolutely delighted with the results!
More than half of our students achieved a certificate of commendation with Anna-Sophia Mäckel and Terje Mildner being awarded a silver medal and Andres Hernandez Maduro achieving a gold medal. Well done to all who took part!
Catherine Stacker – Head of Upper School
I am delighted to inform you that Catherine Stacker has been appointed Head of Upper School (Key Stage 4). Catherine has been a phenomenally successful Head of Lower School and her leadership of this phase has been characterised by compassion, dynamism and superb strategic vision. The success of the Lower School is attributable to Catherine and the strength of the team that she has established. We are very excited that she has agreed to become Head of Upper School and our boys and girls in Key Stage 4 will be in very safe hands indeed.
Clare Cohen – Head of Lower School
Clare Cohen has been appointed Head of Lower School. Clare teaches Chemistry and was a Housemistress at Haileybury School before joining Rossall in October 2020. In a very short period of time, she has established excellent relationships with students and her intuitive understanding of the needs of our children has impressed staff and parents alike. Clare will work alongside Catherine for the remainder of this academic year in order to ensure a smooth handover and a fantastic transition for boys and girls moving into Year 7 from Year 6.
Sophie Robinson returns from maternity leave
We are delighted to welcome back Sophie Robinson, who rejoins us after a period of maternity leave. She will be returning to her year group (Year 8) as Head of Year.
We are absolutely thrilled to welcome back Catherine Cox to the Art Department as we have missed her tremendously during her absence.
Nick Crombie – Head of Sixth Form
You will be aware that Stephen Prest has become Deputy Head (External Relations). Consequently, we needed to appoint a new Head of Sixth Form. In Nick Crombie, we have found an excellent replacement. Nick read English at Durham University and he is currently Head of English at Caterham School in Surrey. In what was a very competitive process, Nick impressed all of us with the clarity of his vision and his understanding of the culture and ethos and aspirations of our Sixth Form community.
|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
|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
Dr Paul and the Wonderful Wallaby Trip
Dr Paul had a free weekend and so he decided to take a 210km trip to Hull to adopt some Wombats from “Tony Montana’s Animal Sanctuary”.
He packed plenty of Pickled Onion Monster Munch into his Wallaby drawn cart, started his movie montage music playlist and set off.
The Wallabies were so inspired by tracks such as “Push it to the Limit”, “You’re the Best” and “Win in the End” that they “boinged” along, on average, 5km/h faster than Dr Paul had planned.
As a result Dr Paul arrived an hour earlier than his appointment with Tony Montana.
The fact that Tony was a bit hot tempered about people being early or late meant Dr Paul and the Wallabies had time to eat Monster Munch and buy plenty of jam for the Wombats.
So, how fast, on average, were Dr Paul and Wallabies travelling?
ANSWER: (CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW)
|Dr Paul does it again with his squillionth win (or 4th, I am unsure). But some new names entered the fray: Collin Lawton and John Riley both getting the answer right. So will Dr Paul be dethroned this week?
The last puzzle involved a plethora of different things; Wallabies, montage music, Monster Munch and a bit of maths, mainly Distance/Speed/Time.
If you want to know more about Distance/Speed/Time then check out: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/z4swxnb/revision/1
If you want to know more about Wallabies then check out: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wallaby
If you want to know more about Monster Munch then go to a shop.
So here is the next puzzle for you to solve
Dr Paul and the Poorly Wallabies
After over-indulging on Monster Munch whilst partying with their new Wombat friends, Dr Paul’s Wallabies wake up with upset stomachs.
Thankfully Dr Paul is on hand and needs to mix a huge quantity of a Wallaby health drink using carrot juice and liquidised grass.
Good luck all you maths puzzle whizzes. I look forward to receiving your solutions!
Remember to send your answer to Mr Sharpe: [email protected]
Rossall’s very own Film Festival returns for a SECOND YEAR!
The TWO-MINUTE FILM FESTIVAL is open to ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE – all you need to do is create a film that runs for 120 seconds or less!
You can find out everything you need to know (including last year’s entries and ROSSCARS!) from this year’s site:
Closing date for submissions: Sunday 4th July
ROSSCARS Awards Ceremony: Wednesday 7th July
Due to our growing numbers, we are once again on the lookout for Nursery Assistants to join our wonderful team in
Rossall Nursery School
We are looking for both full and part-time staff members, as well as ad-hoc assistants too. For more information and to apply, please visit: https://www.rossall.org.uk/about-rossall/job-vacancies/
|PREPARATORY INSTRUMENTAL LESSONS
At Rossall Preparatory School, all pupils have the opportunity to receive one-to-one instrumental tuition.
Whether students wish to learn purely for fun or to achieve ABRSM/Trinity/Rock School qualifications, we have a dedicated team of expert teachers to support and guide them along the way.
Lessons take place before, during and after the school day (subject to availability). Students who take instrumental lessons will have the opportunity to participate in co-curricular clubs and perform in school concerts and external events.
We offer tuition in: Piano, Organ, Singing, Guitar, Trumpet, Trombone, French Horn, Flute, Bassoon, Oboe, Saxophone, Clarinet, Drums, Violin and Cello.
Lesson packages of 10 one-to-one sessions (30 minutes each) cost £210.
In the Summer Term, we are launching shared 30-minute violin lesson packages for students who are interested in playing the instrument. The loan of a violin, equipment and music is all included in the cost of the package, which is £105 per child for 10 sessions.
Please click here to apply for instrumental lessons.
All fees are subject to periodic increase in accordance with Rossall School’s Terms and Conditions. Please note that a half-term’s notice is required to cancel lessons.
If you have any questions regarding instrumental lessons at Rossall Preparatory School, please contact Mr Adam Dobson on[email protected].