The RP Weekly: 13 May 2022
The weekly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos School - 13 May 2022 edition.
The RP Weekly
13 May 2022
With Mrs Lucy Davies and Mr Phil Sutton
Events for the upcoming week:
It is time to register for the Trinity Half Term Sailing and Water-sports days!
If you head over to your SchoolsBuddy app you will find four days at half term in which your child or young person can take part in the school’s RYA Training Centre Sailing and Water-sports days, including sailing, windsurfing, paddleboarding, kayaking, rafting, bodyboarding and beach games.
- Monday 30 May: Water-sports Activity Day for Years 3 to 6. £65 per participant per day from 09:00 to 16:30
- Tuesday 31 May: Water-sports Activity Day for Years 7 to 13. £65 per participant per day from 09:00 to 16:30
- Thursday 2 June: Water-sports Activity Day for Years 7 to 13. £65 per participant per day from 09:00 to 16:30
- Friday 3 June: Water-sports Activity Day for Years 3 to 6. £65 per participant per day from 09:00 to 16:30
- Saturday 14 and 15 May – Welsh Fives Tournament for Years 9 to 13.
- Wednesday 18 May – U11 ski team competition.
Trips/events for pupils:
- Monday 16 May – GCSE exams begin.
- Monday 16 May – Options evening for Year 9 pupils and their parents.
- Monday 16 May – Year 2 fossil hunting trip to the Great Orme.
- Wednesday 18 May – Year 8 History trip to Penrhyn Castle.
- Thursday 19 May – Year 5 trip to Bodnant Gardens.
- Friday 20 May – Year 13 Leavers’ Lunch.
- Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 May – DofE Bronze practice expedition.
Parent and pupil events:
- Tuesday 17 May – Pre-School Bikeability Stay and Play (08:00 – 09:30), all Pre-School parents are invited to bring their child’s favourite ride-on toy or bike to school for one day.
Looking further ahead for pupils' trips and events:
- Thursday 26 May – Year 3 Roman trip to Chester.
- Wednesday 6 July – all day whole school sponsored walk, covering various distances along the coast from Colwyn Bay Pier to Llandudno Pier and back in aid of Blind Veterans UK.
Looking further ahead for parents’ events:
Tuesday 24 May – parents' dinner for parents of Year 9, 10, 11 and 12 pupils. 19:00 start to conclude at 22:00 in the Ferguson Centre. The booking link is available in the parents' email. If any parents are unable to attend this dinner but would like to attend the dinner for Years 5, 6, 7 and 8 instead on Tuesday 14 June please book using their link (included in parents' email).
Friday 27 May – Sports Day and the great Jubilee Picnic for parents, pupils and staff. (For Pre-School to Year 6 sports will be from 09:00 to 12:00, and for Years 7 to 13 sports will be from 13:00 to 16:00). From 12:00 to 13:00 all parents across the school are invited to our great RPS Jubilee Picnic. Children will get Jubilee Party lunches from school; we invite parents to bring their own picnic. Soft refreshments will be available from the pavilion all day. This event will also be the launch of our Just Giving page for Blind Veterans UK which culminates in the whole school sponsored walk on Wednesday 6 July.
Moving to after half term:
Friday 10 June – the much-requested return of parents attending the Prep Celebration Assembly (also on 17 June and 24 June). Parents are invited to the library between 08:00 and 08:30 for refreshments and will then be able to attend assembly in the hall, which finishes at 09:00. There is no need to book.
Tuesday 14 June – parents' dinner for parents of Year 5, 6, 7 and 8 pupils. 19:00 start, to conclude at 22:00 in the Osborn Hall. Please book on the link in the parent email. If any parents are unable to attend this dinner but would like to attend the dinner for Years 9, 10, 11 and 12 instead on Tuesday 24 May please book using their link in the parent email.
- Monday 20 June – Prep ballet club show from 16:00 to 16:30.
- Thursday 30 June – LAMDA Celebration Drama Evening at 19:00 in the Memorial Hall, please book using the link in the parent email.
- Monday 4 July – Pre-School Celebration in the Prep Hall from 09:00 to 10:00 (no tickets required).
- Tuesday 5 July – KS1 prize-giving in the Prep Hall from 09:30 to 10:30 (no tickets required).
- Tuesday 5 July – KS2 Speech Day (Years 3 to 6) in the Prep Hall from 11:00 to 12:30 (no tickets required).
- Tuesday 5 July – Years 7 to 10 Speech Day in the Memorial Hall from 14:00 to 15:00 (no tickets required).
Come and see what Rydal Penrhos can offer!
Did you miss our Open Day?
Anyone that was unable to attend Rydal Penrhos' May Open Day can book an individual tour of the school.
This will give prospective pupils and their families a first-hand look at the wide range of opportunities available from Pre-School to Sixth Form, with the tours being led by one of our exceptional staff team, giving you all the key information surrounding life at Rydal Penrhos.
Book your individual tour online here
Booking Open for Half-Term and Summer Holidays
It promises to be another exciting half term and summer for those attending the Rydal Penrhos Holiday Club, which is open during the school holidays and provides an extensive programme of activities for the children to experience.
This is not only a lot of fun, but it also helps assist them with their emotional, physical, social, intellectual, language and creative development.
Staff have done a wonderful job of devising a comprehensive provision full of adventures and exciting challenges, which includes plenty to enjoy across prominent landmarks across the North Wales region.
There are also a large number of activities for Holiday Club members to participate in within the school grounds, which boosts their overall development and progresses key skills in a relaxed setting under the supervision of staff.
The Rydal Penrhos Holiday Club has something for everyone and this half-term promises to be no exception thanks to the sterling commitment of our dedicated staff team.
Starting on Monday 30 May and going to Wednesday 1 June there are three days of holiday club available to book over the half-term holiday. And the Summer Holiday Club will run from 11 July to 26 August (Monday to Friday).
For those aged 5 to 12, the Holiday Club is open for external children. For current Rydal Penrhos pupils, the Holiday Club is open for Pre-School to Year 8.
The cost is £45 per day and includes all trips, activities, sports and crafts as well as two snacks, a packed lunch and a fresh-cooked meal. Sibling discount of 5 per cent available.
To book now as a current Rydal Penrhos parent please log in to your Schools Buddy App.
To book now as a family who does not attend the school, click here.
For any further enquiries contact email@example.com or call 01492 530155.
Q&A session arranged ahead of GCSE choices
This is an important time for our Year 9 pupils, who are about to leave Key Stage 3 behind and embark on their GCSEs.
The group will decide which subjects of interest to pursue, which will hopefully be another building block to a successful future as Rydal Penrhos Sixth Formers, in higher education and the working world.
Our staff are constantly discussing the best possible avenues for each pupil with them, giving advice and guidance before final decisions are made. This attention to detail forms a key part of the school’s rich and proud history of academic achievements, with examination results of an exceptional standard under the new Senior Leadership Team in recent years.
Before the end of term break, staff spent two PSHE sessions with Year 9, speaking about each of the subjects which are available at GCSE and giving them information about what each course involved. They also got the chance to view provisional blocks alongside a copy of the curriculum booklet.
Rydal Penrhos has also arranged a special question and answer session with key staff members for Year 9 pupils and their families, which will take place on Monday 16 May from 4-6pm at the school’s Ferguson Centre on Combermere Road.
Mrs Rhian Williams, who is Assistant Principal and Director of Studies at Rydal Penrhos, said: “We will allocate a member of the Senior teaching team to each family that wishes to attend so that you can discuss the options you are considering and ask for advice if you are unsure."
Anyone wishing to attend the session that has not yet registered their interest can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01492 530155.
Sports Tour 2022
Holland Trip confirmed
After a huge period of disruption to sporting fixtures and significant events at Rydal Penrhos over the last two years, things are now back in full swing. And the school is thrilled to announce a special Senior Sports Tour, which will take place in October 2022.
The school’s staff have devised an action-packed schedule for the tour, which will see Rydal Penrhos’ rugby and hockey hopefuls travel to Holland for training sessions and competitive matches in unfamiliar surroundings.
This is the latest in a series of exciting tours arranged by the school in recent years, with excursions to Japan, Spain and Ireland among the most memorable highlights that benefitted our pupils considerably.
Mrs Nicky Head, who is Head of Physical Education at Rydal Penrhos, said: “The tour is set to provide both sporting opportunities and experiences and cultural highlights for those who wish to attend.
“This is going to be an immensely beneficial experience for our hockey and rugby squads, who have done a remarkable job of keeping progress on track alongside their studies in challenging circumstances.”
The tour is set to run from Sunday 23 October until Thursday 27 and the intention is for the girls to play two hockey fixtures and the boys one hockey and one rugby contest against opposition from the continent.
Those on the tour will also get the chance to sample some Dutch culture by visiting prominent landmarks, building friendships and gaining new experiences that will be a tremendous boost to their overall development.
We would like to thank the Rydal Penrhos staff involved in arranging the tour. The school is looking forward to hearing all about it later this year!
Senior Summer Concert
Pupils shine in St John's
Thank you to one of our Rydal Penrhos alumni who attended the Senior Summer Concert last night at St John’s school-room for their lovely words about the evening.
“If music be the food of love, play on.”
What an evening of absolute joy – the Rydal Penrhos Senior Summer Concert.
We were welcomed into the school-room within the church and found ourselves in just the most perfect space for an intimate concert showcasing some of the school’s very talented young musicians.
Mr Pete Williams, Director of Music at Rydal Penrhos, introduced the evening and we started with two exceptional and might I say very difficult pieces played by Gwyn Davies on the cello – Ballade by Suk and a Breval piece.
In contrast, Year 11 pupil Ivo Vonbank went next with two saxophone pieces which took us into the heart and the heat of Latin America, Tango til you Drop by Kershaw and Girl from Ipanema by Antonia Carlos Jobim.
Our next performer was one of the younger pupils in school, I believe a relatively new pupil – Nestor Pento – whose talent for singing was an absolute delight.
The contrasting pieces of the Welsh A Deryn Pur, a traditional piece, followed by Shubert’s An Die Laute held us silent and transfixed.
As Ms Debroah McKinnel, Chair of Governors said in a short talk to the pupils at the end about their performances, they had the ability to move us and change our moods which is truly a gift to be treasured.
Our youngest performer, a pianist Cary Evans from Year 7, played an upbeat piece called The Boys Round Dance by Grade and then as if by magic we were in New Orleans as night fell for her next piece, which was absolutely beautiful.
David Tate combined his talent for piano with his not inconsequential gift for creating backing tracks and we were treated to a very interesting and absorbing Radiohead piece.
And to finish the evening we had the master of the trumpet Ethan Bytheway soothe us with “In a Sentimental Mood” by Duke Ellington himself.
This was followed by Taurus the Bull by Wilkins – a real Tijuana brass number which did the opposite and roused us in preparation for the end of the concert and the incredible refreshments.
I could not recommend the evening enough.
If anyone gets the chance to see these performers again or indeed any others Mr Williams puts into the spotlight for a musical concert they should jump at the chance to secure a ticket, I certainly will.
Impressive results for U11 and U10 sides
One of the most heart-warming elements throughout the academic year so far at Rydal Penrhos has been the return to normality after a concerning period of disruption to routines and learning methods.
The COVID-19 lockdowns will forever be remembered, but pupils have been able to get back down to doing what they love under the supervision of staff in various different academic and extra-curricular fields of interest.
This has been especially prevalent within a sporting environment. Something that’s played a big part in the school’s illustrious history and remains a key element to the progression of key skills such as communication, teamwork and thriving in a competitive setting.
Shortly before the Easter break, Rydal Penrhos’ U11 and U10 netball teams welcomed Ysgol Frongoch in Denbigh to the school for an eagerly-anticipated fixture that was played in glorious sunshine.
Both squads worked exceptionally hard in the lead-up to the games with Mrs Jude Pyves and other staff, something that brought two impressive performances that the group can build on moving forward.
The U11 side managed to put together a performance of the highest quality to emerge with a 4-2 triumph, with Lexi-May winning Player of the Match and every member of the squad working together superbly in pursuit of the same goal.
This was followed by an encouraging display from the U10 squad, who secured a 2-2 draw as a result of their exceptional commitment throughout.
Ella L-B secured the Player of the Match distinction, which rounded off another worthwhile outing for every pupil involved.
Rydal Penrhos would like to thank our friends at Ysgol Frongoch for making the trip to us for the game. We look forward to welcoming you back very soon.
Jack Bowley's train driver dream realised
Rydal Penrhos are always pleased to see former pupils thriving and making their dream careers a reality.
We are fortunate enough to have had many talented young people go out into the world and do just that; Jack Bowley (RPS 2007-12) is the latest to share his story with us. Jack, the son of long-time and beloved RPS Maths teacher Mrs Jean Mottershead, explains the steps that led him from a childhood fascination with trains to a career driving them for a living:
“Ever since a young age, I’ve always been that nerdy kid at school who liked trains. For those who knew me, you’ll be able to back me up. Anyway, having left Rydal Penrhos after finishing my GCSEs, I spent a year at college to get qualifications in electrical engineering, hoping it would lead to an engineering career in the railways. After numerous failed attempts at apprenticeships, I spent some time volunteering at the Ffestiniog and Welsh Highland Railway only a short drive from Colwyn Bay. There, I met some incredible and inspiring people, along with gaining some valuable skills. Conversations in the pub after the working day led to me getting a few contact details, and I eventually managed to make contact with a company that was looking for station staff at Manchester Piccadilly. Low and behold, January 2015 arrived and so did chapter one of my railway career, albeit on the customer service side of it.
“After just shy of a year on the platforms, I worked my way onto the trains themselves as a guard. From collecting tickets, to opening and closing the doors, I certainly found myself at ease with my feet up in the back cab of the train.
"The views were amazing at times, and not so much at others. It certainly gave me solid grounds for a lifetime career. A couple of years passed, and I applied for a job with another company doing the same job in York. Travelling further distances, and gaining more experience along the way, I was certainly loving my time on the iron road. However, come early 2021, and as the country was back in lockdown, I was about to start my next chapter – sitting at the front of the train. Yes, that’s right, they were desperate enough to give me the job of a train driver.
“This is by no means an easy job. Yes, it involves drinking tea by the bucket-load, and staring out of a window at a pretty sunset… But the thought of transporting hundreds, possibly thousands, of people at speeds of up to 125mph in a metal horizontal rocket is not easy to appreciate. A year of classroom and practical based days has resulted in bringing me to where I am now. March 2022 – now deemed competent to drive a train. You’ll be pleased to know that I’m not quite solo just yet. Despite all the rules-based stuff in my head, I still must go out and learn the routes that I’ll be driving. I mean, who wouldn’t want to go to Birmingham every day for a month, right?
“Despite all the ups and downs I’ve had since leaving Rydal Penrhos to get my dream job, I’ve not given up, and have just tried various ways of achieving my goal. I guess the moral of the story here is this – don’t give up. If you’re passionate about something, keep going and show the world who you are. You won’t regret it. I don’t, and I don’t think I ever will…”
Thank you Jack for sharing your experience with us. Your story is a perfect example of the kind of enthusiasm and perseverance that we hope to inspire in all the school’s children and young people. With so many of our alumni travelling up and down the country for business, family and leisure, there is little doubt that many readers will travel in a Jack Bowley-driven train over the coming years.
Incredible response to Prep Spring Concert
Seeing our young pupils back on stage in front of a live audience was simply incredible during the Rydal Penrhos Prep Spring Concert.
This was one of the first major events at the school since Welsh Government officials relaxed COVID-19 restrictions and saw more than 200 people fill the Memorial Hall to mark the occasion.
The concert was a tremendous success thanks to some sterling commitment from pupils and staff during the rehearsal process. Our aim is to have every pupil learning an instrument of their choice and we have a full group of talented peripatetic teachers who all have spaces to take on pupils from Year 1 onwards in any instrument.
Everyone’s hard work paid off with a remarkably entertaining evening with many polished group and individual performances, with a little bit of humour thrown in thanks to a sketch featuring Mrs Lucy Davies, Deputy Principal and Head of Prep, together with some willing pupils.
The concert received a standing ovation at its conclusion and many parents took the time to write in and offer their personal congratulations – which were gratefully received and shown below.
If you would like your child to have lessons in a 1:1 situation, please contact email@example.com and we will put you in touch with the relevant peripatetic teacher.
“Wow! The spring concert was absolutely wonderful. Thank you so much to you, the staff and all the children for all of the hard work and dedication. It’s what we all needed after missing nearly two years of concerts and plays.”
“Many thanks for the wonderful concert, it was great to be back together again and to see how confident all the children were on stage. They all performed brilliantly!! They are a credit to you and all your staff, although as you said all the talent comes from the parents!!”
“I just wanted to write and say how much we enjoyed tonight’s concert; such hard work and talent on show and some very heartwarming pieces which made us all smile. Thanks SO much to all the staff and students.”
“Just a quick note to say a big congratulations to all involved with the Spring Concert – it was a real pleasure! Very ambitious with such a variety of instruments as well. Utterly adorable and really well put together. I can only imagine the effort involved especially from the music staff. It was a really uplifting event and I haven’t smiled/laughed/cried happy tears so much in a long time!”
Stars of the Week
Stars of the Week
*some missing as away of a residential trip
- Reception - Kit
- Year 1 - Gareth
- Year 2 - Tilly and Haydn
- Year 6 - Huw
- Artist of the week: Jacob in Year 4 for his wonderful portrait of the Queen and her corgis
Former pupil gives talk about Jaguar Land Rover apprenticeship experience
Rydal Penrhos has a proud tradition of nurturing outstanding engineers. Ollie Sharples, who attended the school from 2011-13, is a Project Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover and he kindly shared some of his technical wisdom with our current crop of budding minds.
Ollie gave up his time to provide Sixth Form pupils with some very useful information regarding his experience within the prestigious degree apprenticeship, which was a different avenue into successful employment than simply attaining the necessary qualifications within higher education establishments across the country.
Among those who attended the presentation was Year 12 pupil Ethan Bytheway, who provided an account of Ollie’s talk for the recent addition of the Rydal Penrhos Society Newsletter.
I recently attended one of Oliver Sharples’ talks on degree apprenticeships as an alternative route to university. This was specifically tailored to engineering and closely tied to his own experience.
Ollie is a former Rydal Penrhos pupil, who studied Maths, Physics and Geography at A-Level. He initially wanted to follow the typical university route but eventually decided to go into one of the relatively new degree apprenticeship courses, training with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).
Instead of the typical £9,000 fees and concurrent student debt, this course gave him a good salary, a large and varied amount of work experience, and access to all of its associated university facilities (from the University of Warwick). At JLR, Ollie had access to facilities beyond the reach of an ordinary student.
These included tear down stations, a design studio, a test track and an acoustic testing facility. Alongside all this JLR arranged facilities overseas to test products in hot, cold or extreme climates (for example, the sand dunes of Dubai).
For Ollie (and for most degree apprenticeships) the course is roughly structured in three parts. In Years 1 and 2, you follow a normal university schedule and work during holidays. In Years 3 and 4 the workload increases before the focus move predominantly towards work for Years 5 and 6, with much less time devoted to study.
One of the main differences between the apprenticeship route and university, Ollie mentioned, is that you are paid to be at work and paid to complete assignments.
This principle closely ties the course to a work environment, perfect for preparing you for your eventual full-time job, which is guaranteed after the apprenticeship is over (provided all necessary work is completed). With attendance checked and assignments keenly marked, there is a real drive for the individual to achieve.
When Ollie was asked if he would pursue a degree apprenticeship again, he said ’absolutely, it’s the best way to go’. With the opportunity to earn a salary, gain work experience and pursue university opportunities, what’s not to like?
Rydal Penrhos would like to thank Ollie for taking the time to talk to our pupils. We look forward to the next steps in his Sixth Form success story.
Jubilee bunting art project
Estates Assistant Job Information
- 37 hours per week – full time
- £18,516 pa (SCP 2 - £9.60 per hour)
Rydal Penrhos School are looking to recruit an Estates Assistant to support the Estates department in facilitating the day-to-day operational use of the School site.
The successful candidate will communicate effectively with the Estates team to ensure projects are completed on time and will be able to confidently carry out day-to-day maintenance and some minor repairs.
A happy, cheerful can-do attitude and an ability to deliver high levels of customer service to external customers is a must. Working as part of a team to move furniture and set up for events will be key, as well as safely transporting food to various parts of the site.
Please note, a valid full Driving Licence is an essential requirement of the role.
Completed applications should be emailed or posted to Kay Walters: firstname.lastname@example.org by 4pm, Friday 20 May 2022.
All shortlisted candidates will be invited for a visit to Rydal Penrhos School. If you have not heard by 27 May, you have not been successful on this occasion.
Rydal Penrhos is committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people and we expect all staff and volunteers to share this commitment. As such an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) disclosure will be sought along with other relevant employment checks deemed appropriate.
Full information can be found in this digital document.