Rossall School News – Michaelmas Week 5

Thank you to Year 13 student, Artem Chernyshov for this fantastic image taken from Pelican House. A stunning sky and an amazing silhouette!

Message from The Headmaster

A busy afternoon and a plea to rethink assessment for 16 year olds! 
This has been a really fabulous afternoon and the school is so full of life. Whilst some of our cadets enjoyed an introduction to archery, others were on the beach playing games in the late afternoon sun. Soaking wet uniforms but happy and smiling children demonstrate just how far we have come since those early dismal days of lockdown. Elsewhere, our musicians were auditioning for choral scholarships and our Junior School children were enthusiastically throwing themselves into a game on the freshly cut lawn.  A few of the older boys and girls were sitting out in the Square spending time together before tea and homework. Over on the fields behind the Chapel, our footballers were hard at work training.  A brief shower caused a rainbow to form over the School and as the Isle of Man ferry picked its way through the wind farm everything seemed just perfect  – the sort of moment you want to capture and bottle up!  For me, all this action constitutes a source of intense happiness. This is what our children deserve and this is what childhood should be all about. 

Rossall excels at afternoons like this and, ultimately, it is the aggregate of these opportunities for fun, friendship, laughter, adventure and creativity that our children will remember and it is why so many of them love this place. 

There has been much talk in the media about a rethink regarding public examinations. The current uncertainty is desperately unfair for Year 11 and Year 13 students but one senses that COVID-19 will have a profound impact upon the educational landscape in the UK. I have never been a fan of GCSEs and I do believe it is now time for us to rethink assessment. Our current system of public examinations (unlike the Rossall School Diploma) gives little credit to teamwork, communication, problem solving or creativity; all of which are essential skills for the workplace of the twenty first century. At a point in young people’s lives when they are at their most vulnerable, we compel them to sit a barrage of public examinations which assess their ability to consolidate and deploy knowledge effectively but often tells us little more about them as a people. Every year algorithms are employed to decide how many people should pass exams. The algorithms might not be as mutant as the one employed this summer, but it still seems a curiously arbitrary way to decide the future of our children. Civil servants at the Department of Education fret about ‘grade inflation’ whilst admissions tutors at universities make binary judgements which give little or no consideration to context, potential or holistic perspective. 

GCSE specifications are overflowing with content but it is often at the expense of opportunities for deep learning. As a history teacher, I felt that the GCSE syllabus was unwieldy and, from a skills perspective,  did not provide a particularly useful platform for A level study. There has to be a better way of assessing children and I do struggle to understand the need for GCSEs at all. After all, this summer, we made perfectly sound judgments without our children sitting a single public examination. Earlier this week, various educationalists wrote an open letter to The Times and amongst the signatories was Lord Kenneth Baker who was responsible for the introduction of GCSEs back in 1988. Even he concludes that our examination system has had its day. If we want our children to become well adjusted adults then let’s not submit them to a barrage of examinations that measures their worth in a context which is unforgivably narrow and ignores their uniqueness as individuals. We can and must do better.  

It was such a pleasure to attend our first lunchtime concert of the term. It was a triumphant return to live performance for our musicians. In terms of quality, it was by far and away the best concert that I have attended here at Rossall. There was some outstanding playing and what really impressed me was the maturity and confidence with which all of our musicians performed. It served as the best possible launch for our new team within the music department and, if this is a measure of things to come, then we are blessed indeed. 

We have our second virtual open day tomorrow morning at 11:00 am. We are tremendously proud to showcase our fabulous School in this way and we are incredibly grateful to Sven Knight and KRS. 

Have a lovely weekend!

All best wishes,

Mr Jeremy Quartermain
Rossall School

Message from the Junior Headmaster

Dear Parents,

In a week where the pupils have been asked to think about finding additional ways to be kind to each other, I have been delighted to see the true Rossall spirit shine through. The staff and I have witnessed great tolerance, understanding and acts of real friendship; well done to all of our children who have made additional efforts to go above and beyond their usual high standards. As a community, we are also looking for that little extra, as we collect donations for our Harvest festival on Friday. I am positive that we will once again be able to provide a great deal of food to local good causes and look forward to receiving your generous donations.

I am delighted that we will be moving to a hot lunch provision for Junior and Nursery pupils from Monday. A great deal of time and effort has gone into ensuring that we are able to make this provision and I am positive that there will be a number of relieved parents when not having to create culinary delights as part of a packed lunch. My thanks to the catering department at school but also to all parents for your patience and understanding as we have moved to this position.

The children have been thoroughly enjoying their learning through the week. We have had some fabulous writing, wildlife discovery and maths visits to the beach, alongside some fantastic clubs and activities. Even the chickens got involved in a good game of chess!

Have a wonderful weekend.

Mr Turner
Headmaster of Rossall Junior School
In this week’s assembly Mr Quartermain shared his relief of being out of isolation, and after nine days at home with Disney fan daughters, he asked, ‘Who is the real Pocahontas?’. We looked back at Mrs Pendlebury’s time in Dolphin House as she continues with her marketing role in her new home in China, and Ms Porovic defined ‘social responsibility’ as a Rossall pupil.
This is the first in the series of lunchtime concerts that we will be holding at Rossall over the forthcoming academic year. It has been wonderful to see the return of live music to the School. This began two weeks ago with the first of our Choral Evensongs held in the beautiful Chapel and continued this week with this concert that we are sharing with you today, featuring our Year 12 and Year 13 musicians.

The programme included works by Bach, Chopin, Debussy and Gershwin amongst others, and was filmed in front of a social distanced audience. We are delighted that you are able to enjoy this in the comfort of your own homes.

Our next concert will be on Wednesday 14th October, featuring our Year 10 and Year 11 musicians and we will bring that to you shortly afterwards.

Congratulations to students: Emily Yang, Oscar Wood, Xavana Walker, Harry Platt, Ekaterina Kuzina and Lan Lan Chieu Le.

Please follow @rossallmusic on Twitter for all the latest news from the Music Department.
Meet Mila, the new recruit in Pelican House. Mila has been adopted by Miss Finney and Mr Wareing, Pelican’s Deputy Houseparents. It is doubtful that they will ever have Mila for themselves though, as aptly demonstrated by House Captain, David Jones Barraso!
Congratulations to Rossall Golf Academy students: Kieran Hogarth, Lydia Cryer and Connor Owen for securing a victory for Rossall in the qualifying round of the Independent Schools Golf Association National Championship. We wish them the very best of luck for the next stage.
Three of our Elite Football Programme students-athletes represented Fleetwood Town U18s in their match against Blackburn Rovers. Fleetwood drew 4-4 with Blackburn. This was an amazing opportunity for Joe Hunter, Ollie Leggett and Matthew Fogo. Well done, boys!
Black History Month is a celebration, and this year we will mark this by filling the hallways, classrooms, and boarding houses with imagery and information on some of Britains most influential authors, scientists, performers, activists, and sportspeople of African and Caribbean descent. It’s a month to revel in our shared humanity, to take pride in the achievements of noteworthy people, and to see Black role models portrayed in a positive light. 

The American poet, Lucille Clifton, wrote that “We cannot create what we can’t imagine”. At Rossall, being in pursuit of a culturally exciting and intellectually creative community means imagining myriad ways of living and being able to express these lived experiences. Throughout Black History Month, we will be highlighting the remarkable lives of Black icons so that we all may grow our understanding of what is possible, and for whom it is possible. Most importantly, we’ll be handing the microphone over to our Black students, who will share with the community how they experience being Black in Britain. Sharing and listening to personal narratives is what helps to develop young people who are caring and compassionate.

We hope that this will be the first of many years where we take the time to celebrate and reflect. As we grow forward, we will be looking for ways to expand our celebrations to include food festivals and cultural events, as well as ensuring that our curriculum affords our students the opportunity to examine the perspectives and histories of all people.
Major Lee Magowan, Officer Commanding of the CCF shared the promotion of a number of cadets who have shown and demonstrated the core values and standards of the cadet forces. To read the news in full, please follow this link:
The Rossall Outreach team need help with a collection for Fylde Coast Women’s Aid – this charity is based in Blackpool and offers support and refuge for victims of domestic abuse. The charity has three refuges in the local area as well as a crisis team, and a dedicated young people and children support team. We are collecting donations of any unused makeup and beauty products to donate to the women in the refuges. All products should still be in sealed packaging and can be given to tutors for Mr Bradley to collect or you can drop them off directly at his office in the Farrell Building by Thursday 1st October.Thank you, 
Rossall Outreach Team

We have an action packed weekend of activities for our boarders and day students.

To see the full list, please click here.
Our school uniform provider, SchoolBlazer has recently rebranded it’s sportswear, ‘Squadkit’. This will now be known as ‘Limitless’. As well as this, SchoolBlazer’s labelling service will be back in operation as of Thursday 1st October. Any garments ordered from the 1st will have name tags sewn in for free, as part of their school uniform and/or sportswear order.