From the Headmaster
|We live, breathe and grow through connection with each other.|
You have heard more than enough from me these last few weeks but I thought that I would share with you a Facebook post from an old university friend of mine; she wrote recently that:
“Calling to place a phone order for groceries in south-west London, I just want to say thank you to Shane who answered with so much warmth and courtesy. I seem to be quarantining my way around the world – three weeks in Kolkata in March and April, and now almost two weeks in London. You gently steered me towards ordering online but you also totally got it when I said ‘I know this can be done online – but I wanted to talk to another human being.’
Here’s the thing – what we’re experiencing now is not only about a virus. It’s an opportunity to remember that humans aren’t equipment. We can’t be folded up in a packing box and put away in storage for an indefinite time. We live, breathe and grow through connection with each other – and the sound and sight of another living being is valuable medicine. Just as much as a mask, hand sanitiser and the forthcoming vaccine – or probably more so.
Keep your humanity alive and warm, everybody, and let it breathe. It’s not expendable – it’s the reason that we’re even here. I am not – nor, to the best of my knowledge have I ever been – sick because of the blessed virus. I’m just respecting the rules of the places I have been to, this year. I am a little tired of the literalism with which we seem to be approaching the virus – as though the only things happening are physical and medical consequences. People need movement, light, air and company and we need to address the impact of living the way we have been living since March this year.”
As we enter Half Term, I would like to pay tribute to our extraordinary staff. I am proud to call them friends and colleagues. Their care for our children is exemplary and compassion, kindness and calm professionalism have been the hallmarks of this term. Thank you to our wonderful body of parents – your feedback and encouragement enables our staff to know that you appreciate all that they do.
It is time for a well earned rest and though our boarding community will be very much with us during the next couple of weeks, we are looking forward to spending time with them doing fun activities and switching off a little from classroom activities.
There are some very exciting announcements to be made about forthcoming development projects here at School and we will do this once we have returned from Half Term. I am delighted by all that our children have achieved during these past few months and we have successfully learned to navigate our way through this new world calmly, pragmatically and with a cheerfulness and optimism that comes from a heartfelt appreciation of all that we are and all that we may yet become as one community.
I should feel exhausted but, in truth, I feel energised and excited by all that this year has yet to bring. On that note, I must sign off and get ready for my A Level Politics class.
Whether far or near, we wish you the most relaxing of breaks!
All best wishes,
Mr Jeremy Quartermain
Headmaster of Rossall School
Message from the Deputy Head (Academic)
|A half term of learning|
It should fill the heart of every single member of our community with pride the way that we have all adapted and flourished this half term. Back in August, as we were preparing for our return, the thought of being together was exciting, maybe even a little daunting, but purely theoretical. Months of planning, meticulous scrutiny of best practice elsewhere and a communal effort on an unprecedented scale meant that our doors and hearts were wide open to receive our pupils as they returned to our boarding houses and our classrooms.
The pupils, of course, adapted with ease, grace and resilience. In the first days of term they navigated through changes to what were once familiar routines, welcomed new friends with warmth and were understanding and patient as the teachers adjusted also. What makes our community so incredibly special is the speed at which we all help and support each other to make the most of new situations and to use transition and change as an opportunity to grow together.
If you were to make your way around the school site during this half term, you would have been warmly buoyed by the purposefulness and gentle ease with which learning is taking place wherever you look. A peek inside each classroom reveals the now seamless relationship between in person and digital learning. Our use of Google Classroom and Zoom to teach means that whether you are in the classroom or not, as a pupil, you are still part of the learning process. There is an undeniable joy however in the in person interaction and nobody would now question that being in a classroom, learning with your peers and your teacher could ever find a suitable digital substitute.
Human contact and emotional social closeness in a time of physical social distance is the heart of why going to school is so important for all of us. For all of the learning and routine of lessons, it is what happens outside of them also that frames and shapes our days and our experiences. We have worked tirelessly to ensure that as many clubs, activities and sports are available and our pupils, to their credit, have embraced these opportunities with open arms and flourished. The school has been alive with performance, sport, outdoor learning, intellectual pursuits and social projects. The music scene is rapidly evolving with two spectacular lunchtime concerts having taken place and a number of occasions when sections of the choir have filled the Chapel with beautiful voices that have successfully crowded out the painful months of silence. On the sports fields the return to healthy competition and the joy of being part of a team are evident as so many of our pupils give their all every afternoon and for much of the weekend. Both new and old members of the school community have really been inspired by the increase in opportunities to shape the culture and ethos of the school through assembly contributions, focus groups and academic societies. Nominations for the Headmaster’s kindness award pour in every week from both teachers and students – a reflection of our communal desire to look after each other and to notice the very best in others.
As the half term draws to a close it is so important to acknowledge therefore how far we have come, how many obstacles on an individual and communal level we have risen above, how hard we have worked to make the most of the gift of being and learning together and to look with excitement at all that is yet to come. Now that routines are well established, and we know that we have agility and resilience hard wired into our psyche, a committed body of wonderful teachers and support staff and pupils who value the learning opportunities available to them whilst at Rossall, there is very little we can’t achieve.
Wishing you all a most wonderful half term break.
Deputy Head (Academic)
Message from the Junior Headmaster
Despite the countless hurdles and obstacles that we have faced over the last few months, it has been a genuine pleasure to watch our pupils regain confidence and begin to address the many difficulties that were caused by an enforced absence from school. The children have completed half a term back in the warm embrace (albeit a socially distanced one) of their friends and teachers at school, and they are all the better for it. They have all displayed admirable qualities and have adapted incredibly well to the numerous changes that have been imposed upon them as part of living through a global pandemic. In years to come, I am positive they will reminisce of memories of not only face masks and social distancing, but more importantly the spirit and resilience that has shone through. Throughout the term, children have maintained a magnificent sense of humour and have forged a true sense of belonging that emanates from the very heart of our wonderful Junior School.
Our House Cross Country event took place today and I would like to congratulate all pupils who took part; not just the winners but especially those who do not enjoy this event as much as others! The children all participated with great commitment. For the first time, the older pupils were joined by the Infants for a ‘fun run’ out on the field and it was lovely to see the level of enthusiasm for running.
The effort grades were made live on the iSAMS parent portal yesterday. We are also hosting our Parents’ Evenings through the portal and these take place in the first week after half term; please do not forget to book your appointment times.
If ever a half term break has been earned by the pupils, this is it and I wish all of them and yourselves, a relaxing and safe break from School. Happy half term!
Headmaster of Rossall Junior School
|ASSEMBLY – MONDAY 12TH OCTOBER|
In the final assembly of this half term, Mr Quartermain reflected on the successes of both our students and our teachers, and shared some exciting news. Also included in this week’s assembly: Mr Symons discussed why Black History Month is so important; our Year 7 students reflected on their first weeks at Rossall; Ms Porovic commended those students who have been mentioned for their hard work and kindness; Harry Platt performed a solo on the guitar, some of our sportsmen delivered the week’s sports reports; and the Rossall Choir ended the assembly with a beautiful performance. We hope you enjoy!
|NUMBER 1 NURSERY|
We are delighted to announce that we are the number one nursery of choice on Daynurseries.co.uk for the town of Fleetwood. If you have a child currently at our nursery or if your child attended our nursery, we would be immensely grateful if you could leave us a review.
Tuesday saw the opening fixture in the National ISFA U18 Cup competition for our Football Programme which saw Rossall run away 4-0 winners against Moorland. The game was dominated by Rossall from start to finish. The boys dominated possession throughout the game and controlled the football, minimising any opportunities Moorlands had to score. The goals were scored by Matthew Fogo, Henry Welles, Yacoub Basweidan and Joe Hunter however this was a really strong team performance. We look forward to travelling to St Bede’s after half term for our second round fixture.
|YEAR 6 CONSCRIPTION DAY|
The Year 6 students have been learning about war and peace and the conscription of men to war. To assist the CCF organised three activities, an assault course, a parade (with history and drill involved) and shooting airsoft rifles in the indoor air rifle range.
Once introduced to the staff, the pupils paraded and they were shouted at in the funniest of manners! (Think carry on movies)
Major Pilkington took the parade and drilled them, they listened and did as instructed, they demonstrated good discipline and reacted well to the words of command.
Lt Baldwin delivered the airsoft shooting at targets, an element that lots of pupils/cadets enjoy, and although there was some serious competition amongst the Year 6 pupils, they found it fun and engaging.
Major Magowan took them through an assault course, it is thrilling being outside, crawling and running around… but actually they were building their teamwork skills and learnt to never leave anyone behind, to always stay together and to only go as fast as the slowest person. In the beginning, we saw individuals racing ahead, by the end of the session they were working together to help each other through each obstacle and giving encouragement where needed. We saw respect for others, understanding, teamwork, discipline, commitment and most of all leadership from many. They should all be very proud of themselves!
Overall the Year 6 pupils were fantastic, a great bunch of students and will make excellent cadets in the future. (They just need to be reminded that they can’t listen when they are talking!)
We in the CCF really enjoyed delivering this activity for Year 6, we were impressed by their enthusiasm and fortitude when challenged. Well done Year 6!
– Major Lee Magowan
For more pictures, please click here.
Our Music Department put on their second lunchtime concert of the term, featuring our KS4 musicians. We enjoyed performances from Georgina Bamber, Laurie Chang, Leonie Beswick, Oscar Knight, Connie Lupton, Yemi Ajiteru, Joe Davies and Jessica Sanderson. You can watch the concert here: https://www.facebook.com/RossallSchoolUK/videos/712868472678377
Our Choir have been performing regularly together and their most recent performance saw them singing – Anthem: Amy Beach – Peace, I Leave Unto You.