From the Headmaster
|Yesterday evening I had the privilege of watching A Christmas Carol performed by our fabulous pupils. As I sat here alone in a rather drafty old Suffolk cottage, it was difficult not to feel moved by the emotional power of some utterly beautiful performances. Perhaps there has never been a Christmas when it has been more important to cherish and hold close those whom we love.
Sudden family illness has necessitated my absence from School for the last couple of days of term. Like many families, we are now grappling with the difficulty of being present for a loved one, in this case my mother, when physically we are compelled to resist that which is so instinctive and so human. There is nothing special or remarkable about the circumstances we find ourselves in – it has become all too commonplace and my heart goes out to the many Rossall families who have faced similar issues this year. It has not been an easy year but I do hope that being part of this community has provided comfort and strength to those in times of need. Our ambition is to provide much more than an education and, at times, I hope we are an anchor in a storm and a comfort in distress.
There is much to celebrate and much for us all to look forward to in the new year. Our pupils have achieved the best results in a generation and more and more families are choosing Rossall. In a year when we could have been forgiven for standing still, the development of the School has continued apace. We have successfully overcome the challenges presented by Covid-19 and our teachers have been utterly amazing. Please also spare a thought this year for those who have kept us safe throughout these times. In particular, our cleaners have worked tirelessly and we owe them a debt of gratitude for their cheerfulness and utter dedication to this most important of roles. They have been at the forefront of our fight against the pandemic.
It is easy to highlight positives that are measurable such as examination results. However, the true story of this year and the one that serves to elevate us as a community is the courage and resilience of our children. They have found a way to negotiate through these difficulties and they have done so with humour and good grace. Those who imagined that social distancing, masks and bubbles would result in a miserable experience were totally wrong; though, admittedly, it is a fear that I secretly shared at the beginning. The children have found a way to make this work and, remarkably, our children seem happier than ever. So many of them have told me just what it means to them to be back at school with their friends after months of isolation. No headteacher could be more proud of the children in his or her school. Our children are amazing and a tribute to your love and hard work as parents. Kind, considerate, thoughtful, funny, (occasionally exasperating!), our children are the essence of this school and the reason why we are all here. The unshakeable determination to welcome them back sustained us through those bleak months in the Spring and early Summer.
I think it would be remiss of me not to apologise for the times when, as a school, we have faltered or not seemed to be present in the right way or at the right time. In the maelstrom of this challenging year it is inevitable that there will be things that we have overlooked. As head, I will always take responsibility for the occasions when we get it wrong and it is my responsibility to ensure that we listen, reflect and learn. Individuals, communities and institutions are all work in progress and it is not possible to truly flourish unless one embraces the lessons to be learned from past mistakes. This year, we have had to make some decisions at lightning speed and there were times where I feel that, from a strategic perspective, we slipped up; managing testing ahead of the October half term was one such example. You should know that, above all else, you can expect us to be honest and open at such times.
Do enjoy Christmas and whilst I know that it will be different this year, it might well prove to be very special in ways that we have not anticipated. We will return in 2021 and I wish all Rossallians far and near, young and old, a year filled with happiness, love, laughter and, above all else, hope.
Mr Jeremy Quartermain
Headmaster of Rossall School
Message from the Deputy Head (Academic)
|It’s at the end of each term that I marvel at the way that “time” works in schools. We measure out our lives in lessons, weeks and terms (the children possibly in break times, lunchtimes and favourite clubs). The cyclical nature of the year brings with it definite beginnings and endings whilst at the same time creating a sense of timelessness for teachers that is punctuated by the realisation that their once tiny members of a Year 7 class are now eagerly and anxiously awaiting the outcome of their university applications as accomplished young men and women.The end of this term is unquestionably different to any Christmas send off of years gone by and yet, in spite of all of the adjustments and compromises we have all had to make, it has been a beautiful and life affirming end. Thank you to all of our pupils, all of our staff, our governors and all our parents for the way in which we have all worked to support, grow and love this wonderful community. It is in the individual efforts of each and every one of us that Rossall has continued to thrive.
Deputy Head (Teaching and Learning)
Message from the Junior Headmaster
Christmas really is a time of giving and the Junior School have been truly altruistic at this most special time of year. This week, we were able to present a cheque to ‘The Pantry’ food bank for £350 from the sale of School photographs. We have also raised a working total of an incredible £1726.40 for ‘Brian House’ from the sale of baubles, the elf run, and the Christmas tree decoration competition. What an amazing achievement! My genuine thanks to all parents who supported each of these charity initiatives. The money collated will really make a huge difference in people’s lives.
That theme continued for many of the Junior pupils, as they sent Christmas cards and letters to people in care homes, this week. The residents of such care homes have faced uncertainty, worry and a great deal of turmoil in not being able to see their relatives. Receiving a card or letter may just brighten their day a little and help some to realise that the world is still turning beyond the confines of their home. We have taken some time at School to reflect on others’ situations and how the pandemic may have affected them. This has been a wholly positive experience for the children, taking a moment to truly reflect on how others feel. They have displayed great empathy.
As the term, and indeed year, comes to a close, the children have thoroughly enjoyed so many wonderful experiences that I am positive they will look back on with great fondness in the future. From pantomimes to elf runs, Christmas lunches and jumpers to hanging home-made baubles, I am positive they have all enjoyed the run up to the end of term.
After one of the most difficult terms for a variety of reasons but I would like to congratulate the children, parents and staff for their resilience, adaptability, and understanding throughout the year. As the academic year of 2020 sets and we eagerly await the dawn of 2021, I am reminded of an old saying, ‘the darkest hour is just before the dawn’. We have faced such a tough year but we have endured.
I wish you all a wonderful and relaxing break and look forward to seeing the children on 5th January.
Headmaster of Rossall Junior School
|NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS
Our beloved Carol Service has had to be recorded this year. However, we hope you will all enjoy watching from the comfort of your own home.
|JUNIOR CAROL SERVICE 2020
The Junior School would like to share with you their Carol Service which was recorded earlier in the week. Although the pupils would have loved to welcome you into School to watch, on this occasion, they thoroughly enjoyed the process of filming the service.
|JUNIOR CHRISTMAS TREE FEST
In the Junior School Carol Service, Father John Hall announced the winner of Rossall Christmas Tree Fest 2020 – an event we hope is set to be annual as the pupils had so much fun decorating the Christmas trees as class groups.
The winner of Rossall Christmas Tree Fest 2020 is YEAR 4 and the £100 donation will be made to their chosen charity, Brian House.
The Year 4 Christmas tree shows a hopeful end to 2020, adorned with handmade paper decorations, including rainbows dedicated to the NHS.
‘After a very tricky 2020 we wanted to show that things are going to get better in 2021! Our tree has rainbows and colour to represent ‘hope’!’
Well done year 4!
|A CHRISTMAS CAROL
Four weeks ago, a cast and crew of nearly forty students set about filming our very own adaptation of ‘A Christmas Carol’ by Charles Dickens.
Production wrapped on Friday night, and (after what must be one of the quickest turnarounds in cinema history) I am hugely proud to say that we are now ready to share our Christmas ghost story with you.
I hope you enjoy.
Mr David Newell
Head of Drama
|CHRISTMAS CARD COMPETITION
Our annual Christmas Card Competition saw some outstanding entries from our very talented students. We were absolutely blown away by their artwork and are pleased to share these with you.
The winning entries were as follows:
1. Thumble Sit (Year 12, Rose House) – For both her painted piece and her graphics entry
2. Emily Yang (Year 12, Rose House) – Snowy Towers painting
3. Leona Donnelly (Year 8) – Gnomes
Lan Lan Le Chieu (Year 13, Wren House) – Chickens
Mia Tinghu (Year 12, Wren House) Coloured pencil drawing of Towers
Ronnie Porter-Bailey (Year 8) – Pencil drawing of Chapel
Kate Rattray (Year 12, Rose House) – Graphics of Towers and pupils
Doireann Oshaugnessy (Year 12, Wren House) – Graphics/photography – Bauble
Laurie Chang (Year 10, Dolphin House) Father Christmas, Sleigh and Towers
Sophie Welsh (Year 12, Rose House) – Boy chasing hat
Isabelle Reagan (Year 8) – Snowman
Angus Brindle (Year 12, MF House) Graphics of Towers
Please click here to see all the photos.
The Junior School pupils had a fantastic morning taking part in the annual Elf Run and made a great amount of money for charity in the process. Well done to all the boys and girls for their energy and enthusiasm, and a huge thank you to Rossall Rabbit and Rossall Elf for helping us out.
Please click here for more photos.
|DONATING OLD UNIFORM TO MALAWI
This week, the outreach team delivered the boxes of uniform to Preston where they will start the journey to Malawi, as part of the next container to be sent to the orphanage. It was stunning to see how much has been collected by the Friends of Mulanje Orphans for the children and our donation sat amongst many boxes of uniform, toys and even football kits donated by Manchester United. We are looking forward to following the container’s journey and seeing the uniform being used for such a worthy cause. Keith and his wife, Mary have been running the charity for many years now and it has really changed the lives of countless young people in Malawi. We are delighted to be working in partnership with Keith and Mary, and we are looking forward to taking up Keith’s offer of visiting Malawi and being part of the wonderful work that the charity does.
|FISH AND CHIP WEDNESDAY
F&CW is for those in the know; for the rest of us, it is fish and chips Wednesday. Following on from the amazing donations of colleagues, David Clarke and I delivered the fish and chips to the food bank in Fleetwood. Father John was on hand to help us and guide us through the incredible, but more importantly, vital work that the Fleetwood Community Trust does in order to help those in our community who need support. David and I tried to blend in to the background, but we were spotted and thanked by people using the service. One parent simply told us that her daughter was so excited as she knew that she was going to have a “chippy tea” when she got home from school. I need say no more.
– Mr Mark Bradley
|CHRISTMAS JUMPER DAY
On Wednesday, we held a Christmas Jumper Day in aid of Fleetwood Community Trust Foodbank. We are delighted to have raised £230 for this wonderful charity and we wish to thank parents and guardians for supporting us.
|MR SHARPE’S MATHS CHALLENGE
LAST WEEK’S ANSWER
Did you manage to solve Mr Sharpe’s puzzle?
Lazy Dave Day-Dreams of 2019
Dave remembers the good old days of 2019 and sat down and had a good think the other day. He was wondering:
What is the last digit of the smallest positive integer whose digits add up to 2019?
(Let’s be honest! Who hasn’t wondered that at some point? Or is it just Dave and me?)
Here is the answer to last week’s puzzle:For the number to be as small as possible, we need its number of digits to be as small as possible. For example, the digits of the number 111…1 (2019 1s) has a sum of 2019 but is a truly massive number. Similarly, 122…2 (1 followed by 1009 2s) would have a sum of 2019 but only 1010 digits (the 1 could go in any position but makes the number smallest by appearing first.
Using this logic we would need as many of the digits to be 9s. So 2019 ÷ 9 =224 remainder 3. This means that the smallest number will be 399…9 (3 followed by 224 9s). So the last digit is 9.
THIS WEEK’S CHALLENGE
Alex’s Occasionally Christmassy Tie and Jumper Shop
Alex recently bought Awkward Audrey’s Illogically Priced Suit Shop and renamed it. The shop now sells only four types of clothing.
In order to boost sales in the festive season Alex puts out an advert which claims:
“Over half of our stock is Christmas-Themed!”
The ratio of Jumpers to Ties is 3:7
The ratio of Christmas Jumpers to Asymmetric Shawl Collar Jumpers is 4:5
The ratio of Christmas Ties to White Ties is 4:3
Is the claim in the advert true?
The answer will be revealed in the first newsletter of the Lent Term.