Traditional Yet Modern
Steeped in history, yet modern and progressive in its outlook, this school by the sea is an inspiring choice for youngsters, writes Kate Ford. Photography: Lee Parkinson
Walking around the grounds of Rossall School in Fleetwood, you’re reminded of another two famous British educational establishments, Oxford and Cambridge, with their iconic quads and imposing towers. Rossall celebrates its 175th anniversary next year, and the stunning architecture of its buildings reflects this rich history and heritage.
Inside the buildings though, it’s a different story. From the creative artwork and photography on display to state-of-the-art technology, an Astronomy Centre and some of the best sports facilities in the UK, you can see that this a school embracing the modern world and looking to the future.
“It’s a very inspiring setting,” says marketing manager, Nancy Fielden, of the impressive 160-acre campus. “All students, whether day pupils or boarders, can make full use of all the facilities, and they’re encouraged to take part in every aspect of school life.”
That includes the long list of extra-curricular activities on offer. All sports are covered, alongside music, drama, chess and debating, but the eclectic range also includes international cookery, creative writing, knitting, robotics, micro financing and even a Spanish film club.
There’s a really strong sense of community here. “Rossall takes boarders from all over the world, so a warm, supportive environment is a must,” says Nancy. “Day pupils are also attached to a school house, so they too feel part of a happy, family-like group which engenders strong friendships and excellent team spirit.”
Speaking of teams, Rossall has some of the finest sports facilities in the UK. The Golf Academy, opened in 2016, has an indoor golf studio, with video analysis technology, and a GC2 launch monitor and simulator. The Elite Football Programme has links to Fleetwood Town FC and helps youngsters develop technical, tactical and coaching skills alongside their academic study.
A brand new performing arts building opens this September and a year later the new, two-storey sports hall will open. This £4m facility is being built alongside some of the sports fields with a viewing gallery upstairs from where pupils and parents can watch competitive fixtures.
The infant and junior school is a Beach School, officially recognised as using its coastal location as a resource for outdoor play and learning. The school follows the Primary Years Programme, a highly participative learning process where children are encouraged to have significant input into the subjects they are studying.
In the senior school, pupils study for their GCSEs and, in the sixth form, they can choose between A Levels or the International Baccalaureate. Over 95 per cent of Rossall’s sixth formers go on to study at university either in the UK or abroad.
“We’re also a member of Round Square, which is an international community of independent schools,” says Nancy. “Alongside our exchange programmes and various trips and tours, this provides so many opportunities for our pupils to travel overseas and meet similar youngsters from all over the world.”
Fleetwood FY7 8JW