From the Headmaster
|Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery
In Merrion Square, the languid figure of Oscar Wilde slouches on a quartz-like rock hewn from the Wicklow Mountains. Created in 1997, it constitutes a belated tribute to one of Dublin’s most brilliant and precocious sons. There was no place for such a statue in the decades immediately following the formation of the Irish state. Eamon de Valera’s culturally conservative vision of a theocratic state; a pastoral idyll (or nightmare) within which a cowed and socially repressed people would live out their days in fearful obedience to the Church could discern no place for the urbane, louche world of the fiercely intelligent Wilde.
Wilde is as famous for his pithy aphorisms as he is for his fabulous plays, public disgrace and the tragic trajectory of his all too short life. In recent times, his wonderfully astute reflection upon the intrinsic virtue of being imitated has struck me as particularly apposite to our community. It is no secret that Rossall is currently flourishing superbly well but before you detect a note of self-satisfied conceit, please note that I do not consider that this has much at all to do with me. I am the hired skipper of this superyacht and although I have been entrusted with the tiller for a little while, the success of the School is dependent upon a powerful dynamic which permeates through this community and inspires all of us to give the very best of ourselves. Obviously, it is my job to ensure that we harness the energy of the wind and avoid any rocks. There have been plenty of storms to weather but, right now, we are on a spectacular run and it is time to put up the spinnaker, loosen the mainsail and keep the wind behind us.
It is a matter of real pride rather than irritation that we are a School that so many others are so eager to emulate. I like to think of us as being a pretty open and generous community and we have always published our strategic development plans online for the simple reason that we see no reason to be proprietorial about such matters. Parents and pupils deserve to share in the excitement of our plans. If other schools can benefit from our acumen in this regard then good luck to them and we are pleased to be of service.
Outstanding results, superb university destinations and sporting successes only tell half of the story at Rossall. Similarly, a rapidly growing student body and a growing number of successful partnerships are great but, again, this does not, in itself, explain Rossall’s success and nor does it really explain why others watch us carefully and seek to emulate.
For me, the key to our success is to be found in the brilliance of our staff. I am surrounded by dynamic, thoughtful and creative educationalists who are endlessly ambitious for this School and our children. The collegiate manner with which we work together and our commitment to challenge and self-reflect serves to create a dynamic that is not readily reducible or transferable. Furthermore, the firepower that we now possess, in terms of our Common Room, would undoubtedly be the envy of most Heads that I talk with. Indeed, I could not be more proud of our teachers and, thankfully, they are complemented by the loyalty of our support staff, who have demonstrated such fortitude during recent times. Achieving ‘flow’ is not dependent upon alchemy but nor is it something that you can casually pick off the shelf – it is dependent upon a shared vision and the cultivation of positive relationships. It is about bringing together people who are entirely focused in their determination to ensure that a community thrives and, in terms of Rossall, that means ensuring that our children continue to benefit from the very best.
We embrace those seeking to emulate the success of Rossall but would simply note that our success does not lie in this initiative or that initiative and nor is it solely due to the passion with which we communicate our ethos and values – our success is almost entirely attributable to our staff.
Our heritage bestows upon us beautiful buildings and the resources necessary to provide young people with an outstanding education but without the right people in the right places, then none of this would be deliverable. Time and again, it is clear that whilst others are still working out how to reverse the car out of the garage, my colleagues have sped off down the highway and are wondering when or how to make the first pitstop.
However, ultimately, it is our responsibility to ensure that Rossall remains the natural choice for those who wish for their children to be inspired and enthused within a community that is progressive, compassionate and creative. You cannot imitate that passion and vision, though it is reasonable enough to try! We might be trailblazers and we certainly have the courage to be different, but when all is said and done, that is missing the point. We excel because of the outstanding commitment of the people whom I am humbled to work with and proud to call my colleagues. That cannot be imitated no matter how hard one might try, and in any case, as Oscar Wilde would conclude: ‘Be yourself; everyone else is already taken!”
Mr Jeremy Quartermain
Headmaster of Rossall School
Message from the Junior Headmaster
One of the greatest frustrations I have felt over the past year has been the lack of an opportunity to stand in front of school and deliver an assembly. Whilst Zoom has provided a reasonable alternative through our twice-weekly assemblies in lockdown and since our return, there is simply no substitute for delivering a message and ‘feeling’ the flow of that message, watching the recognition on faces, or simply having the chance to interact in person with the children, rather than having to ‘unmute’. I am buoyed that we will begin to return to mixed year group assemblies, and in the meantime, have enjoyed recently hearing from the children about their Eco-Schools initiatives. The Eco-Warriors are truly fired up about making changes, politely demanding meetings with myself and Mr Quartermain amongst others, to discuss their plans and ideas to help Rossall reduce its carbon footprint. More news to follow…
This week’s assembly focus was all about our hands. We looked at the incredible work of one of our Maintenance staff, Andy, who has been creating some quite wonderful pieces of indoor and outdoor furniture for the pupils to enjoy. All made from wood from scratch (no manual or IKEA instructions!), we have balance beams, indoor kitchens, picnic tables, and most recently, a quite incredible reading den for the Year 2 classroom. The children were wowed to see the images and the focus was very much on all the positive things we can achieve when we put our minds to it. The latest challenge is a pirate ship that is already under construction. I am sure Andy has been enjoying the huge amount of, “Thank you, Andy” comments whenever he sets foot in the Prep School!
The tragic events of this week have understandably been a topic of discussion amongst some of the children in School. Jordan Banks merely went to play football, something that lots of our children do every day. Such a terrible event is so difficult for children to understand and comprehend. When the topic has been raised by the pupils, our staff have listened and endeavoured to provide context but there are simply some questions that cannot be answered. Please do take the time to speak to your children if they want to talk about it. As Jordan’s father said yesterday, “Even moments that seem so insignificant right now.. picking them up from school, putting them to bed at night, making them a drink, have tea time together as you never know when moments like that will be taken away from you.” Every single member of the Rossall community sends their deepest and most heartfelt condolences to his family and friends. You are in our prayers.
Have a restful 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.
|ROSSALL TAKEOVER HIGHBURY
On Wednesday, the Rossall boys and girls football teams travelled the short distance to Fleetwood Town Football Club for a full day of football. The first of three games at Highbury saw an internal fixture between Rossall Red and Blue sides. The game finished 4-3. A fantastic opportunity for the boys involved. The second game saw the U18 Girls take on a mixed team from The Blackpool Sixth Form College and Myerscough College & University Centre which they won 2-1. Finally, the Headmaster’s XI took on Lancashire Schools FA. A great performance saw them win the game 7-3 with goals coming from Yacoub, Shawn (2), Blake, Glad, Matthew and Stepan. A huge thank you to Fleetwood Town FC for a brilliant day of football!
|T20 NATIONAL CUP MATCH REPORT
After success last week against Kirkham in the National T20 Cup, Rossall’s 1st XI travelled to Manchester Grammar School for the next stages of the tournament. Rossall drew the hosts in the semi-final and elected to bowl first in cold conditions. On a small ground, they hoped to restrict their opponents and chase down the total.
To read the full match report, please click here.
|SAM’S PHOTOS FEATURED IN HONG KONG MAGAZINERossall A Level Photography Student, Sam Wong has had his pictures published in Hong Kong magazine, Rikiki. Rikiki is a magazine focusing on health, beauty and skincare and one photo even shows Sam applying face paint onto a model. We are very proud of Sam for making a name for himself in the world of professional photography. Well done, Sam!
We were deeply saddened to learn of the tragic passing of nine-year-old Jordan Banks in Blackpool on Tuesday evening. All of our thoughts are with his family, loved ones and school friends at this time.
There has been a GoFundMe set up to support his family if you would like to donate.
|ENTRY SUBMISSION IS NOW OPEN FOR OUR INTERNATIONAL PIANO COMPETITION
– Three age categories (17 and under, 15 and under, 12 and under)
– Cash prizes
– Best overall competitor will win their own recital at Steinway Hall, London
– Finalists judged by Martin Roscoe
The deadline for entries is Friday 28th May 2021.
Enter now: https://www.rossall.org.uk/school-life/international-piano-competition/
|MR SHARPE’S MATHS CHALLENGE
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
Kai and the Geometry Puzzle that isn’t really about Geometry
Kai works very hard to master his Geometry skills.
Kai’s technique is to do 2 questions consecutively and he has noticed the following.
If he gets the 1st question correct then the probability of him getting the next one wrong is halved.
However, if he gets the 1st question wrong then the probability of getting the 2nd question wrong doubles.
When he does 2 consecutive questions, the probability of him getting exactly one correct answer is 0.2.What is the probability of getting the first question correct?
(Note: There are two possible answers to this question)
ANSWER: (CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW)
|Congratulations to James Wood, our youngest ever winner of the puzzle of the week. There were only 2 entries this week, so if you send me your solutions, you will have a very good chance of winning and becoming the subject of the puzzle.
For more information about Probability click here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zsrq6yc/revision/8
For more information about Geometry click here:
Here is today’s puzzle:
James and the Giant Cube
As he was wandering around the grounds of Rossall School, James found himself at the top corner of a giant cube with side length of 5,000 metres. He also found that he had turned into a snail with all the advantages and disadvantages this brings. James found that he could walk (gloop about?) at a brisk 2 km/h.
What proportion of the cube’s surface is made up of points which James could reach in one hour?
Remember to send your answer to: [email protected]
|CALLING ALL GOLFERS
ROSSALLIAN GOLF SOCIETY
Autumn Meeting at Ganton Golf Club, North Yorkshire on 28th September 2021
Light lunch from 11.00am, 18 holes Stableford Competition from 12.00 Noon, followed by dinner. £135.00 per player.
Please apply to Arthur Stephenson (Hon Sec Rossall Golf Society).
|To view all of our sports fixtures and results, please visit: https://www.rossallsport.org.uk/
The password to view the teamsheets is: rossallsport
|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.
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