From the Headmaster
|Sharing Perspectives |
This has been an incredibly challenging eighteen months and it is easy to focus upon the negatives. However, we should be heartened by the resolve that our young people have shown when engaging with complex problems such as climate change, social injustice and racial inequality. It is worth remembering that our children really will inherit the world and it is no exaggeration to observe that the future of humanity lies in their hands. Young people are more politically engaged than ever before and they possess a sophisticated understanding of cultural and social issues.
The seductive power of highly charged rhetoric often serves to create division rather than build consensus. Over time, those who hold particular views on this or that topic tend to become more entrenched; rarely do they become more considered. Online, our affirmation often comes from viewing content selected by dismal algorithms that serve to amplify our views rather than offer competing perspectives. The internet serves as a digital echo chamber. At those points when we would do well to listen and reflect meaningfully upon the lived experiences of others, we see only a distorted version of ourselves reflected back. This unthinking reinforcement of partisan perspectives all too often gives way to self-righteous indignation, sanctimonious pomposity and a depressing reluctance to truly engage with differing world views.
One thing for sure is that young people do not like to be patronised and nor do they like to be on the receiving end of endless lectures. As educators, it is our responsibility to teach children how to think and not what to think.
It is our responsibility to provide a context within which issues related to cultural identity, race and gender can be explored. As a child I learned about apartheid by reading the novels of Alan Paton. The searing prose of ‘Ah, but your Land is Beautiful’ and ‘Cry, the Beloved Country’ influenced my developing moral framework. Similarly, Pamela Jooste’s novel, ‘Dance with a Poor Man’s Daughter’ dealt with life in Cape Town’s District Six, and this helped me understand the gross injustices of apartheid from the perspective of a child. Years later, I would visit South Africa and find myself in Soweto and the Cape Flats during the very height of the AIDS crisis. Having the opportunity to listen to the stories of those who had lost loved ones was so much more powerful than reading about the problem in newspapers.
I am a historian and I have a fascination with human life. At points in my life, my intellectual sensibilities have been stimulated by drawing close to events that seem of monumental contemporary relevance. Living in Ireland in the years immediately following the Good Friday Agreement taught me a lot about human nature and conflict resolution. In a sense, it felt like my friends and I were playing a tiny part in a brave new world that was no longer dependent upon religious division and long-standing prejudices.
For me, the opportunity to travel provided an opportunity to experience life in places that were markedly different to Essex. I think I wanted to understand the richness and diversity of humanity and to understand what makes communities become fractured. I wanted to immerse myself in places where I could really learn.
I found myself in Nepal during a Maoist Uprising. I was in Northern Macedonia for the very tense elections of 2002 and I remember the influence of Albanian separatists in the suburbs of Skopje. I was in Jerusalem the day Yasser Arafat died and in Abu Dhabi when Sheikh Zayed passed away days earlier. In 2005, I witnessed the social and economic impact of life in a failed state when visiting Yemen. In 2007, I was in Beirut and visited the Hezboullah controlled stronghold of Baalbek. I listened to young men reflecting upon their role in the devastating war with Israel. Looking back on this period of my life, there is a clear pattern.
I would be worried if one of my daughters told me they intended to experience life in a conflict zone. However, we should be encouraging young people to learn from listening to accounts from those who have experienced lives which are entirely different from our own. Young people do need to know, from a human perspective, what happens when prejudice is not challenged. If we want them to recognise injustice then it must be because they are engaged with such topics from an entirely human perspective.
Realistically, most children are not going to potter around the world stumbling across conflicts and, in any case, gross injustices occur much closer to home and are all too often perpetrated by those with whom we are familiar. Listening to the personal testimony of those who have experienced any form of prejudice is powerful because it is relatable.
For the last fifteen years, I have worked for the Holocaust Educational Trust sporadically. Much of their work has been predicated upon the importance of listening to survivors deliver their testimony.
Personal testimony serves to rehumanise issues that have become politicised by the media. It serves to remind us of the destructive impact of all forms of prejudice or intolerance. It provides an opportunity for compassion which transcends differences of opinions.
If we are to ensure that young people are prepared for the challenges of the world which they are going to inherit then it will not be because we have asked them to pick sides in a weaponized war of words. It will be because they are committed to realising a compassionate vision which is based upon acquired knowledge of the world around them. Schools have a vital role to play in terms of modelling what it means to be an inclusive community within which cultural differences are celebrated and understood.
Next year, all School assemblies at Rossall will have a section entitled ‘Perspectives’. This will consist of a member of our community sharing a little bit of their personal history in the hope that it inspires children to think and engage in narratives which sit beyond their own personal experiences. We need to stimulate children to ask questions – it is not always for us to provide all the answers.
Mr Jeremy Quartermain
Headmaster of Rossall School
Message from the Junior Headmaster
With only one week of term left, you might be forgiven for thinking that Prep School is winding down. Nothing could be further from the truth! Today the children have experienced their transition day, a chance to get to meet their new teacher and for Year 6, an afternoon finding out all about the next stage of their educational journey. I have no doubt that the children have come home with stories of their afternoon. It is a time to look forward and a time for the teachers to remember just how far their classes have progressed over the last year!
Yesterday was the day many of our pupils had been looking forward to. “The best day ever,” was one comment I overheard on our way back from a Beach Party to rival all others. The children had the chance to limbo, play cricket and rounders, paint pebbles, create beach art, play quoits, build sandcastles, eat ice lollies and have a picnic. Learning takes many different forms and the pupils most certainly learnt to play together, be patient in their turns, and of course, to have fun! They deserved their party to end what has been a tough year for them and it was an absolute pleasure to watch them enjoy themselves. How lucky are they to attend a beach party that does not involve a trip on a coach?
Of course, Wednesday was our Prep Sports Day as well! The children ran, threw and jumped their way to both individual and team success. I was so pleased that family members were able to watch some of the action and was proud of each and every one of them for the effort and determination they displayed.
It is fair to say it has been a week to remember for the children and the staff… and I haven’t even mentioned the football!
Have a relaxing weekend (although a certain game on Saturday may put pay to that!).
Headmaster of Rossall Nursery and Preparatory School
|NURSERY, PRE-PREP & PREP SCHOOL NEWS|
Please click here for this week’s Nursery, Pre-Prep and Prep School Newsletter.
It is with great sadness we share the news of the passing of Helen Lockyear.
Helen was an inspirational English teacher, and the beloved Houseparent of Wren. The ‘adoptive mum’ to many Wren girls, nothing was ever too much for Helen who always went above and beyond for her girls.
Our thoughts go out to Helen’s family and friends, and all the Rossallians whose lives she impacted upon.
|YEAR 13 PRIZE DAY|
The Sixth Form Prize Day is now available to view on our Youtube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BBugG9bTSzI and to view and download the photos, please click here. Floreat Rossallia!
|YEAR 11 PRIZE DAY|
The Year 11 Prize Day is now available to view on our Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/FZQY3xn_bGM and to view and download the pictures from the event, please click here. Floreat Rossallia!
|CCF SUMMER CAMP|
BY MAJOR LEE MAGOWAN
The Army Camp has been an interesting activity to plan and organise. The initial plan was for the cadets to deploy to Altcar Training Camp and remain there for three days, however, this was not to be with COVID developments. The alternative was for the Cadet Training Team to provide a one day non-residential training day, all schools were given the option to take part, Rossall jumped at the chance to get a day away doing military skills with a difference.
To read the full story, please click here.
A slightly different Spanish lesson this week for the Year 12 IB students.
Cooking Paella de Pollo! Yum!
|MR SHARPE’S MATHS CHALLENGE|
LAST WEEK’S PUZZLE
Well, the Kai-valry continues this week with both Kai Wagner (and the Quiz Gang) and Ky Hutchinson getting the solution to the puzzle correct. But I have decided to start fresh with the puzzle this week and keep it simple, in hope of attracting some new puzzlers into sending me a solution.
So here is the new puzzle, enjoy!
A Flighty, yet Puzzling Sum!
In the following column addition, each of the letters represents a different non-zero digit.
What are the values of each of the letters?
ANSWER: (CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW)
ANSWER: (CLICK ON THE VIDEO BELOW)
|A massive congratulations must go to Mr Arnaud Million for getting the first correct solution to last week’s puzzle. So, here we have this week’s puzzle.|
Mr Million and the Geometric Masterpiece
As a result of submitting the first correct solution, Mr Million wins a prize. The prize is an original piece of artwork made by Mr Sharpe. These pieces of art are very rare and worth many, many tens of pence. The masterpiece, titled “Two Circles and Another Circle and some Lines” can be seen below.
The piece of art consists of 3 circles each touching at the same point. Each circle’s radius is 80% of the previous circle’s radius. The two straight lines are tangents to each of the smaller two circles and originate from the same point on the largest circle.
What is the size of the marked angle between the two tangents?
Next week’s prize will be an original piece of artwork for the first correct solution I receive.
Remember to send your answer to: [email protected]
|CALLING ALL GOLFERS|
ROSSALLIAN GOLF SOCIETY
Autumn Meeting at Ganton Golf Club, North Yorkshire on 28th September 2021
Light lunch from 11.00am, 18 holes Stableford Competition from 12.00 Noon, followed by dinner. £135.00 per player.
Please apply to Arthur Stephenson (Hon Sec Rossall Golf Society).
|To view all of our sports fixtures and results, please visit: https://www.rossallsport.org.uk/|
The password to view the teamsheets is: rossallsport
Rossall’s very own Film Festival returns for a SECOND YEAR!
The TWO-MINUTE FILM FESTIVAL is open to ABSOLUTELY EVERYONE – all you need to do is create a film that runs for 120 seconds or less!
You can find out everything you need to know (including last year’s entries and ROSSCARS!) from this year’s site:
Closing date for submissions: Sunday 4th July
ROSSCARS Awards Ceremony: Wednesday 7th July