Rossall School News – Michaelmas Week 6

This stunning shot captured after a heavy shower of rain was captured by Year 13 student, Anastasia Guledani (Dolphin)

Message from The Headmaster

Success, Compassion and Community 
As the weeks slip by and Autumn fast approaches, it is worth reflecting upon all that we have achieved since we reunited as one community. In the outside world, outdated software, conflicting data and bungled spreadsheets have become an enduring feature of our political landscape. Across the pond,  Trump’s novel approach to managing (or should that be stage managing) his own health woes looks increasingly like a scene from some futuristic dystopian drama; the script of which would never have made it past the commissioning editors at Netflix or Amazon Prime.   

We live in an increasingly fractured world. I have just started reading Anne Applebaum’s Twilight of Democracy which laments the evaporation of the euphoria which accompanied the fall of the Berlin Wall thirty or so years ago. She points out that the polarisation of politics has torn apart friendships and families. The re-emergence of authoritarian or nationalist ideas in many European states compels individuals to take sides. The falling away of the middle ground has coincided with the pedalling of conspiracy theories and the appropriation of historical narratives for political gain. Pernicious algorithms serve to reinforce existing prejudices via social media. In the UK our response to Covid-19, Brexit, Black Lives Matter and a whole host of other issues often serves to provoke division where consensus and understanding would be so much better. Lively debate is healthy and children learn best when provided with countless opportunities to challenge, explore and develop their own authentic responses to the issues which preoccupy so many of us.
Our Human Universe Course provides the perfect context for our Year 10 and 11 students to grapple with some of these issues whilst acquiring the evaluative skills necessary to critically examine conflicting media stories and reportage. In the Sixth Form, an increasing number of our students are electing to study A Level Politics and I am sure that this is because we really do live in interesting times. In the Lower Sixth, we are exploring the differences between Classical Liberalism and Modern Liberalism and distinguishing between Isaiah Berlin’s conception of Negative and Positive Liberty.  As states adopt strikingly authoritarian approaches to the global threat of Covid-19, it seems inevitable that young people will find solace in liberal values and principles first espoused by writers like John Locke back in the seventeenth century.  It is fascinating to speculate upon how young people will respond to the experience of living through such intrusive restrictions. I tend to imagine that they will value freedom all the more keenly. 

Here in School, we remain vigilant but this vigilance is balanced by an appreciation of the need to provide a safe place where children can be children once again. School without co-curricular activities would be an anodyne one-dimensional experience and I am delighted that we are doing so much more, albeit with attendant risk assessments in place and sensible precautions. 

This term we established a weekly ‘kindness’ award which is announced in our Monday afternoon assemblies. It is a recognition of the value that we put upon compassion and the need to serve others. This is especially true during a time when it is impossible for us to physically congregate as a community. Kindness, compassion and empathy protect against the potential atomisation of our community. One thing we have all learned during these times is the importance of feeling connected to one another.  Certainty sometimes seems in short supply and we have perhaps learned that there is much which lies beyond our control. However, we can choose to be kind, considerate and caring and these are attributes which our boys, girls and members of staff display in abundance. 

As Half Term approaches, we have a tremendous amount to celebrate. I do believe that we have found a workable balance between caution and our commitment to ensuring that  children can continue to flourish within a school environment which provides much more than outstanding teaching and learning. There are many frustrations but many of these are social. The Staff Common Room remains closed and we miss our friendly chats at lunchtime. Teachers are sociable beings so enforced distancing is counterintuitive for all but the most introverted amongst us. 

Gradually, we are learning to live alongside the presence of the virus. In countries around the world, schools are remaining open and the lives of young people are resuming. There is a recognition that life must go on and that we must not simply hibernate until a vaccine appears. Back in the Spring, a sense of alarm and agitation swept across the world. That has now receded. 

At Rossall, it has been replaced by a calm and pragmatic approach that arises out of a collective sense of confidence in the measures that we have put in place. We have learned that we can mitigate risk and contain potential problems effectively. We have become accustomed to precautionary periods of self-isolation and such measures are now seen as little more than tiresome necessities. 

There will be a few more bumps in the road ahead but we accept that with an equanimity that is predicated upon the fact that we have evolved into a community that has taken every conceivable measure necessary to reduce risk for staff and pupils. We long for this to be over but we have fallen into a sustainable rhythm that preserves the very essence of what it is to be a community. We are living our lives in a context which allows for joy and fulfillment. More importantly, our children have picked up the threads of their school lives and once more have the opportunity to laugh, play and learn everyday. That, above all else, makes this term a success beyond compare.   

All best wishes,

Mr Jeremy Quartermain
Headmaster of Rossall School

Message from the Junior Headmaster

Dear Parents,

I was delighted to be involved with our virtual open day on Saturday and hope that any of you that joined us received a rounded picture of just what a fabulous School your children attend. This was enhanced on Sunday evening, as I listened to our wonderful Year 6 Chapel choir sing at Evensong. It was such a shame that the event could not be attended by family members, as I am positive they would have enjoyed it as much as I did. I am pleased to report that singing is very much alive and well in the Junior School. 

The service also included harvest celebratory elements, with the Junior School donations being fantastically well received; my thanks to all of you who sent in produce on Friday that we loaded into a van at drop-off.

The children have thoroughly enjoyed being back on School lunches this week (not that their packed lunches were bad!) and I know that the catering staff were delighted to serve the pupils with hot food, once more.

Friday provides us the opportunity to take part in Mental Health Awareness Day. The children will enjoy a range of activities that promote both their own and other’s mental health. Being aware of mental health, even from an early age, is hugely beneficial and I am positive the children will continue to be reflective as the year progresses.

Have a relaxing weekend.

Mr Turner
Headmaster of Rossall Junior School
“My comfort zone is like a little bubble around me, and I’ve pushed it in different directions and made it bigger and bigger until these objectives that seemed totally crazy eventually fall within the realm of the possible” – Alex Honnold, Free Climber.
In this week’s assembly the Headmaster explores going beyond your comfort zone highlighting Alex Honnold’s free climb of El Capitan back in 2017, and Mrs Lee provides us with a number of fascinating historical facts relating to our beach and coastline.
Do put your feet up for a moment and take a listen to the beautiful rendition of John Rutter’s ‘Look at the World’, sang by the Rossall Chapel Choir during this week’s Evensong.
Thank you to all those that joined us for our Virtual Open Event on Saturday, we hope you found it informative. If you missed the live event, please be aware that you are able to watch on-demand. Follow this link to sign-up and enjoy at your leisure:
If you have any questions or you would like to pre-book a private tour of the School, please email: [email protected].
Announced during Biology Week 2020, Year 12 student, Emily Yang, (Rose) was shortlisted for the Nancy Rothwell Award in the 15-18-year-old category. That’s highly impressive to have made the shortlist out of over 800 entries. Well done, Emily!
The Nancy Rothwell Award celebrates specimen drawing in schools and highlights the benefits of combining art and science.
Well done to Rossall School Golf Academy Student, Lydia Cryer (Rose) who won the Girls’ Prize at yesterday’s Southern Singles Championship at Berkshire Golf Club.
The combat beach fitness Rossall CCF conduct is a fun and exciting activity, with the fantastic Rossall beach behind the School, it’s a brilliant resource for focusing on character building, discipline, physical and mental resilience, teamwork and most important is the context to why we do what we do.
All the cadets have been fantastic in getting stuck in, a few reluctant to fully submerge but once in the water…it’s all forgotten.
We all had a fantastic time and Mr Quartermain was disappointed he was not dressed appropriately, he assures me he will come with us next time we plan to get wet and dirty!
This Year 9 cohort has the opportunity to excel and their enthusiasm is reassuring me that the oldest CCF in the country is on its way back to being the best!
– Major L Magowan
Uniforms were issued on Thursday afternoon. It is the cadets responsibility to ensure their uniform and boots are clean, ironed and maintained. 

Please do not write names on the uniforms until they have been tried on for size. For some, they are not the most flattering but they are not designed to be. If any cadet needs a different uniform please return as issued.

If any uniform is lost/stolen and if I have spare items, I will replace it at no extra cost, however, if this is not possible, there will be a small cost to replace it. Please urge the cadets to look after their issued kit.

There are still uniforms outstanding including boots, these will be ordered for those outside of Year 9. There will be a small charge to your accounts of £25 for these – this is at trade value as RRP is £39.95.

The expectation is that the cadets will return after half term and begin wearing their uniform on a Thursday. They have been shown how to wear the uniform and will be reminded and corrected upon their return. 

At Rossall CCF, we reward courage, discipline, respect, integrity, loyalty, commitment and leadership. I have briefed those cadets in Year 10 and above that are not JNCOs that I will be looking at them very closely over the coming months. If they demonstrate to the staff and I that they are deserving, then they will be promoted to Lance Corporal, and shortly after will be expected to attend the Junior Cadet Instructors Course, this will see them develop their skills and learn how to deliver lessons so they can teach and mentor other cadets. 

Finally, I am impressed with the enthusiasm being shown, and I look forward to watching their growth and progression hopefully through the cadet ranks and becoming a model and rounded cadet and student.

Thank you, 

Major Lee Magowan
Officer Commanding CCF
DofE Manager
Director of Adventure Leadership
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.
As part of our commitment to our local area as a school community, this year we will be helping a charity based in Blackpool; The Locals Helping Locals appeal. This charity is working with Hayley Kirkham from Radio Lancashire and the aim is to help the estimated 10,000+ children in Blackpool who are living below the poverty line. In order to do this, we need your help to collect food for The Locals Helping Locals Christmas appeal. This collection has taken place for the past 5 years and has proven to be a valuable resource for the children in Blackpool that live in poverty. The collection is split between local charities and food banks to ensure that it gets to those who need it most. 

From within our school and from our wider school community, we are asking for any donations that can be brought into school. Specifically, we would like non-perishable items such as tinned vegetables or pasta that we can donate to this worthy cause.

Please could any donations be given directly to Mr Bradley, or left in Sports Centre reception by Monday 16th November. This will give us time to sort out the donations and then take them down to the donation centre during the week.Thank you in advance for your support.
The Rossall 6th Form Outreach Team
Did you know that 110,000 young people in the UK are homeless or at risk of homelessness? Some are facing serious danger on the streets. Many are too scared to sleep. For this reason, some of our students have decided to support Centrepoint’s STAY:UP fundraiser and are asking you to help them.

If you are able to please consider donating to their JustGiving page to support us Centre Point or even just sharing the link, it would be greatly appreciated.

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

To see the full list, please click here.