Rossall School News – Michaelmas Week 1

A warm welcome back to you all. It has been a joy to see so many smiling faces back on campus, and we are so proud of all our children for handling the new safety arrangements with such ease and confidence.
We would like to wish you all a very successful and bright start to a new academic year. Floreat Rossallia!

Message from The Headmaster

NEW BEGINNINGS!

Dear All,

Yesterday was a truly joyous day and one which we have planned for since entering lockdown on 23rd March. I am not ashamed to admit that I most certainly had a little lump in my throat when I saw our day pupils streaming back into school. No face covering or visor could disguise their eagerness to see their friends and come back together as one community. Throughout the past few months they have demonstrated resilience and a cheerful determination to make the very best of a difficult situation.  Consequently, it should come as no surprise that they have adapted superbly well to the protocols and procedures that have been put in place so as to ensure that we minimise risk.  Collectively, these measures serve to maximise our ability to deliver the curriculum and it enables all of our children the opportunity to enjoy all the wonderful co-curricular activities on offer here in School. 

The return of our community has made all the meticulous planning and endless work worthwhile.  We often pay tribute to our outstanding teachers but on this occasion I would like to thank our incredible support staff who have worked tirelessly to ensure that the School is ready for this moment. A quick read of our voluminous risk assessments (which run to almost 100 pages) gives some indication of the vast amount of work that had to be accomplished so that we were in a position to welcome back all of our students. Staff have remained unflappable in the face of vague and ever changing guidance from the Department of Education and, at all times, they have strived to help us realise our ambition of ensuring a safe and nurturing environment for all of our boys and girls. Support staff have demonstrated kindness and common sense throughout the last five months and collectively, they are the glue that binds this community together and makes everything else possible. 
Our children are enjoying being back at school and some of the issues that we agonised about during the course of the last couple of months have been lost amidst the excitement of returning to School. This is how it should be and yet it is entirely natural for us parents to feel a degree of anxiety. Addressing the Sixth Form yesterday morning, Stephen Prest quoted a line from Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa’s novel The Leopard that states, ‘Everything must change so that everything can stay the same’. Whilst Lampedusa was reflecting upon the Sicilian aristocracy’s struggle to survive in the face of social change, it is clear that this paradox is relevant to our current times. In order, to preserve the essence of that which we value most, it is necessary for us to accept that things must change, even if only temporarily. Plenty has changed at Rossall in terms of routines and protocols but that which matters most remains remarkably constant. 

We are both fortunate and grateful that all members of our community are fully invested in what we are trying to achieve for our children. It makes it much easier for us to be successful when we know that our parental body understands the rationale underpinning the difficult decisions that we are sometimes forced to make. Undeniably, these are challenging times, not least because it is difficult to find any sense of consensus; even in the realm of science. Empirical evidence has, at times, been substituted for conjecture, fear, and emotionally charged rhetoric. It is healthy that we should all question the need for individual measures and there will be plenty of times throughout this year when you may well feel that we have got things wrong. Our perspective has to be global insomuch as we have to take account of the feelings and interests of all within our community.  

You should expect from us an openness and a willingness to listen and reflect. At times we will modify our position whilst at other times circumstances will mean that we stand firm. However, it will always be the case that the decisions that we take are those which we believe best serve the interests of children, staff and families.

During these times, it is for us to navigate a safe route through sometimes seemingly irreconcilable positions. If national governments struggle in this regard then we should not be surprised that schools and other institutions also struggle to establish consensus. What really matters is that we do things for the right reasons and that we lead a community based upon compassion, kindness, empathy. Concern for the individual needs to be balanced with the diverse needs and interests of over 900 children and employees – all of whom consider this place to be home during term time. As we are all beginning to suffer from COVID-19 overload, it is important that we all have a unique combination of frustrations, experiences and anxieties.

All this said, we are just grateful to begin the new academic year in such a strong position. We grew as a school and as a community during lockdown and I am immeasurably proud of all that we have achieved. However, now is a time to look to the future and embrace fresh challenges.  Just being together as a school feels like the most wonderful of gifts and I hope that we never again take each other for granted. Please do take the time to congratulate your children this evening for making such an utterly brilliant return to School. There will be teething issues as the routines of this new year become embedded. Inevitably what looks good on paper might not always work as well as we would like in practice. 

Thank you for your patience and forbearance during recent times. Working together, we will achieve great things and provide the very best possible context within which our children will flourish. 

All best wishes,

Mr Jeremy Quartermain
Headmaster of Rossall School

Message from the Junior Headmaster

Dear Parents,

To say we are delighted to welcome the pupils back to School would be somewhat of an understatement! Although many of our community returned safely in June and July, nothing compares to having all Junior children back in our School. Their smiling faces and laughter have already lifted spirits and brightened the days.


This summer has been one like no other. The preparation for the return of the pupils has been as thorough as possible. The planning of the “how” we would operate was married with the introduction of a new foundation curriculum that compliments the English scheme of work that was introduced last year. Alongside our fantastic Maths scheme and the launch of specific Science, Drama and Spanish lessons, it would be fair to say that the children across the Junior School are receiving an outstanding and broad educational offering.

The Year 1 and Year 2 classrooms have been completed, providing an incredible learning environment for the pupils. I should also highlight our visit by a high ranking OFSTED officer over the summer, as we gained registration for our Baby Room taking children from 3 months old. 

Welcome back to our pupils and a very warm welcome to our new pupils and parents. You are very much part of the Rossall community. As I mentioned, “A summer like no other,” and our Junior Rossall family are all the better for everything that has been put in place to deliver what promises to be an incredible academic year. 

Have a lovely weekend,

Mr Turner
Headmaster of Rossall Junior School

START OF TERM NOTICES
We are exceptionally proud of our pupils for the way in which they have adjusted to new routines and protocols. We are likewise very grateful to have such a supportive parent body, especially given the adjustments we know parents have had to make to daily routines to accommodate the safest of returns for our pupils.

We will continue to reflect upon our procedures over the coming days and weeks to ensure that all aspects of school life run as smoothly as possible.
In particular, We would kindly request that the online medical form is completed every morning by 7:40am. It is clear from submission times that some forms have been filled in the day before and this obviously negates their purpose. Sixth form pupils are allowed to self certificate. Please note that you can fill one form in for all children attending the Senior School.

Pupils must ensure that they bring to school a face covering (plus a spare) and must be wearing on their wrists their charged track and trace device when they arrive on site.

Our pupils and students are looking exceptionally well turned out at the moment so this is just a beginning of term reminder that we have high expectations in terms of personal presentation. This includes following the school rules on haircuts, make up and jewellery. 
THE ROSSALL JOURNEY
As you may already be aware, we are now admitting children from as young as 3 months old into our Nursery. We pride ourselves in offering a complete journey through school, so it always rewarding to see students progress all the way through to the end of Year 13. Here is Year 12 student, Georgia (Rose House) pictured on her first day of Nursery and yesterday on her first day of Sixth Form. Time really does fly!
A LEVEL RESULTS 2020
Our Year 13 students had much to celebrate in August, following the release of both their A Level results and Rossall Diploma results. The percentage of A* grades achieved tripled whilst the percentage of A grades almost doubled. A third of all grades awarded were A*/A. This is an incredible achievement; especially given the reliance upon historical data. Mr Quartermain said, “These fantastic results reflect tremendously well upon our Year 13 students. During the most challenging of times, they have demonstrated an outstanding work ethic and we are very proud of the young people they have become.”
To read the full story, please click here.
GCSE RESULTS 2020
Following on from our excellent A Level results, our students also achieved absolutely superb GCSE results a week later.

Over half of our entries were awarded a grade 7 or above, with almost 20% of grades being a grade 9, and a record number of subjects achieved over 80% grade 7-9s.

Grades awarded to Year 11 pupils this summer were determined by the Centre Assessment Grades submitted to exam boards by schools. These results were predicated upon a rigorous cycle of assessments and examinations.

Mr Quartermain commented: “Our Year 11 students and their families have coped incredibly well during recent months and I am humbled by their courage, resilience and endless good humour.”

To read the full story, please click here.
NEW BABY ROOM
We are delighted to announce that OFSTED has approved our application as a childcare provider on the Early Years Register, meaning that we can now welcome children as young as 3 months old into our nursery school. Head of Nursery, Infants and Juniors, Mr Matt Turner said, “We cannot wait to welcome our first babies into this wonderful new facility. The Nursery is an integral part of the Junior School and a fantastic place for families to begin their Rossall journey with us.”
If you would like to apply for a place for your baby, please email our Admissions Team: [email protected]
ASSEMBLY
In our first assembly of the new academic year, Mr Quartermain welcomes back our pupils to Rossall after a prolonged absence. There are also some introductions to the new members of staff and a couple of musical performances too. We hope you enjoy.
THE PRAYER
As we celebrate the beginning of a new school year, we give thanks for the opportunity to come back together as one community. A few days ago, Richard Symons, Isabelle Freeman and Adam Dobson provided us with a beautiful rendition of ‘The Prayer’ first recorded by Andrea Bocelli and Celine Dion. A beautiful piece and very apt as we pray for the happiest of years for all of our children.
SCHOOL BUS SERVICE
Our school bus service will restart on Monday 7th September. If you have not yet booked your child’s place on a bus route, please email: [email protected]
Please note that even if your child took the bus last year, you will need to confirm with the Admissions Team that you would like them to continue to use the service.
THE PETS OF ROSSALL
It may be no surprise to you to learn that we are a bit animal mad here at Rossall, so naturally, we were delighted to welcome all the new additions to our pet family! Pelican has gained two cats, Eddie and Elmo and Maltese Cross has George the dog to keep them company. 
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