The RP Weekly: 16 September 2022
The weekly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos School - 16 September 2022 edition.
The RP Weekly
16 September 2022
Queen Elizabeth II
Rydal Penrhos remembers Britain's longest-serving Monarch
The entire Rydal Penrhos community was deeply saddened to learn of Queen Elizabeth II‘s sad passing aged 96. Her reign – the longest in British history – was marked by her strong sense of duty and a fierce determination to dedicate her life to the throne and the people.
There was a sombre mood across the school on Friday 9 September. The Rydal Penrhos family descended on St John’s Church this morning (Friday) for a special service of prayer in honour of Queen Elizabeth II, who became for many the one constant point in a rapidly changing world as British influence declined, society changed beyond recognition and the role of the monarchy itself came into question.
The service was incredibly well attended by staff, pupils, governors, alumni and parents, which further highlighted what Queen Elizabeth II meant to so many. It was observed impeccably and led by the Reverend Dr Rob Beamish, Chaplain of Rydal Penrhos.
Rev’d Dr Beamish, said: “She has been the one constant for many of us throughout our lives, we have never known a time without her in it.
“We will feel her loss keenly as a nation and the world will be changed now that she is gone. It is us now who grieve, collectively as a nation for a woman, who although only fairly short (she was only 5 ft 3) had such stature, such presence and such spirit that she has left an indelible mark on the world, on history and our hearts.
“Thousands of words will be spoken and written over the coming days and weeks about this remarkable woman. However, I will leave the last words to Her Majesty.
“Each day is a new beginning, I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.”
Flags were flown at half-mast at the Senior and Prep sites, with Rydal Penrhos also postponing the Speech Day and Founders’ Weekend events planned over the next few days as a mark of respect to a figure that meant a significant amount to many across the globe.
The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.
Her success in maintaining the monarchy through such turbulent times was even more remarkable given that, at the time of her birth, no one could have foreseen that the throne would be her destiny.
Rydal Penrhos offers our deepest condolences to the Royal Family and everyone across the country and beyond.
Queen Elizabeth II
Rev'd Dr Beamish delivers moving tribute
St John’s Church was full on the morning of Friday 8 September as the Rydal Penrhos community came together to honour the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II. Pupils, staff, governors, alumni and parents attended the special occasion, which was led impeccably by the school’s Chaplain, the Reverend Dr Rob Beamish.
Rev’d Dr Beamish began the service at Rydal Penrhos with a wonderful and emoitonal tribute to The Queen, which will have shared below in its entirety:
“I am sure that you will all have heard the news that after 70 years on the throne, Queen Elizabeth II passed away peacefully, surrounded by her family at Balmoral.
Elizabeth II took to the throne in 1952, on the 6th February, aged 25 and has spent her life dedicated to her duty and the people of this country. On her 21st Birthday, she said ‘I declare before you all that my whole life whether it be long or short shall be devoted to your service.’ – little did she know then that she would be Queen four years later and reign until she was 96.
As the child of a younger son of King George V, the young Elizabeth had little prospect of acceding to the throne until her uncle, Edward VIII, abdicated, at which time her father became King George VI and she became heir to the throne.
In a remarkable reign, she is the only monarch ever to have a Platinum Jubilee, which the whole county celebrated in June this year. In 2015, Queen Elizabeth II surpassed her great, great-grandmother Queen Victoria’s record reign of 63 years and 216 days.
Her Majesty continued to carry out a full programme of engagements, from visits to charities and schools, to hosting visiting Heads of State, to leading the nation in Remembrance and celebratory events – all supported by other members of the Royal Family.
The Queen, who was constant and unbending in her duty, was working right up until 7th September where she asked the 15th Prime Minister of her reign to form a government. Being a monarch is not something which if you don’t fancy going to work you can decide ‘not’ to do.
The official retirement age in this country for women is 66. The Queen has been working for 30 years beyond this! She has ruled for longer than any other Monarch in British history, becoming a much loved and respected figure across the globe. Her extraordinary reign has seen her travel more widely than any other monarch, undertaking many historic overseas visits.
Known for her sense of duty and her devotion to a life of service, she has been an important figurehead for the UK and the Commonwealth during times of enormous social change she has seen over one of the fastest periods of technological growth the world has ever seen.
She once said, “I am reminded of a lady of about my age who was asked by an earnest, little granddaughter the other day ‘Granny, can you remember the Stone Age?’ Whilst that may be going a bit far, the older generation are able to give a sense of context as well as the wisdom of experience which can be invaluable.”
The Queen has seen public and voluntary service as one of the most important elements of her work. She embodies the very nature of what it means to serve. The Queen has links – as Royal Patron or President – with over 600 charities, military associations, professional bodies and public service organisations which vary from well-established international charities to smaller bodies working in a specialist area or on a local basis which cover a wide range of issues, from opportunities for young people, to the preservation of wildlife and the environment.
As Defender of the Faith and Head of the Church of England, the Queen’s faith has been something she has often spoken of “At the heart of our faith stand not a preoccupation with our own welfare and comfort but the concepts of service and of sacrifice as shown in the life and teachings of the one who made himself nothing, taking the very form of a servant.”
She has been the one constant for many of us throughout our lives, we have never known a time without her in it. Throughout all the changes and shifts of society, of all the Prime Ministers that have come and gone, a global pandemic, wars and rumours of wars, she has been there steadily and stocially there as our Head of State.
The Duke of Cambridge said “I think I speak for my generation when I say that the example and continuity provided by The Queen is not only very rare among leaders but a great source of pride and reassurance.” We will feel her loss keenly as a nation and the world will be changed now that she is gone.
The Queen carried out all of her duties against the backdrop of a full personal life which has seen her raise four children and welcome grandchildren, and now great-grandchildren to the Royal Family. The Duke of Edinburgh was – in her own words – her ‘strength and stay’ during her reign, many of us will never forget the image of her sat alone at his funeral, continuing to do her duty even within the depths of her own grief.
It is us now who grieve, collectively as a nation for a woman, who although only fairly short (she was only 5 ft 3) had such stature, such presence and such spirit that she has left an indelible mark on the world, on history and on our hearts.
Thousands of words will be spoken and written over the coming days and weeks about this remarkable woman. However, I will leave the last words before our opening prayer to Her Majesty.
“Each day is a new beginning, I know that the only way to live my life is to try to do what is right, to take the long view, to give of my best in all that the day brings, and to put my trust in God.”
Everyone at Rydal Penrhos is deeply saddened by this news and sends sincere condolences to the Royal Family.
Former pupil shares stunning artwork to honour Queen Elizabeth II
A former Rydal Penrhos pupil shared her poignant summer painting of Queen Elizabeth II‘s Platinum Jubilee celebrations in tribute to the longest-serving Monarch following her sad passing.
Elysia Gilman, who attended the school from 2007-18, released the artwork as a tribute and it features a smiling Queen, Union Jack flags, a young Elizabeth from the beginning of his seven-decade reign and Prince Louis’ reaction to the Red Arrows fly-by.
She decided to release the painting after becoming incredibly moved by recent events. The country is now in a period of national mourning and Queen Elizabeth II’s state funeral on Monday 19 September was declared a national bank holiday by King Charles III.
Speaking to the North Wales Pioneer, Elysia said: “I painted this following Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee, I wanted to create a few paintings capturing the memorable moments from the celebration.
“With this one, I just wanted to paint key moments from the weekend and emphasise her 70-year reign. After the sad news last week I wanted to share the painting – not only of the happy memories of the event but to mark her long reign.”
Elysia, who left Rydal Penrhos in 2018 after some outstanding A Level results, earned her place at the University of Loughborough to study Art after developing her skills under the guidance of the school’s teaching staff.
After completing the foundation phase of the degree course with flying colours, Elysia took the bold step of going it alone after the coronavirus threatened to disrupt the rest of her degree, starting up her own business during a time of unprecedented change.
Elysia has enjoyed a phenomenal rise in recent months, with her work recently showcased at a digital exhibition situated overlooking the bright lights of Broadway Plaza in New York City that was curated by Artist Talk Magazine.
The former pupil also revealed that the painting honouring Queen Elizabeth II took around one month to complete due to its exceptional detail. Elysia is not putting the painting up for sale as a mark of respect.
“It was a big painting, it had so many elements. I just wanted to capture the Jubilee,” added Elysia.
King Charles III
When the Prince-turned-King visited Penrhos College
With the Rydal Penrhos community and everyone across the country mourning the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we are mindful of the support needed for the new Monarch, King Charles III.
King Charles III conducted himself with exceptional dignity and poise this week despite the extremely challenging circumstances. A true inspiration to all.
The new King previously visited Rydal Penrhos as the special guest of honour during landmark celebrations at Penrhos College, which took place in July 1980.
Then his Royal Highness the Prince of Wales, Charles spent time meeting many pupils during an informal walkabout and unveiled a plaque commemorating the centenary of Penrhos College.
Weather conditions were less than ideal for the occasion, but it did not dampen the spirits of anybody in attendance during an event that is still remembered fondly by those who attended.
Upon arriving via helicopter to huge cheers, Prince Charles was presented to local dignitaries, the headmaster, deputy head and junior school head before starting his tour.
On his way through the grounds, Prince Charles chatted with several pupils, including Heather Smith, Alex Wade and Rebecca Lindop. One individual who did not get the chance to talk to the Prince was his fourth cousin Princess Marie of Romania, who was in her fifth year of Penrhos College at the time.
Her father abdicated the Romanian throne in 1947 and had met Prince Charles previously during a visit to Windsor.
Another memorable highlight from the visit was Prince Charles stopping to admire the college’s coastguard shore boat named Hunkydory. A radio transmitter costing £430 was bought for the boat with a grant from the Queen’s Silver Jubilee Fund.
Prince Charles also watched a resuscitation demonstration by fifth formers including Karen Vivian and Nichola Joyce. The girls were demonstrating mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and cardiac massage, which was part of their training administered by Penrhos College staff.
He saw the school’s displays of mountaineering and camping equipment before moving on to look at Young Farmers Corner. Prince Charles took an interest in the college’s pigs, asking Mrs Kay Peacock, the headmaster’s wife several questions about them.
In the chemistry laboratory, he stopped to chat with Jaki Tout and Funke Oyalowo, two 12-year-olds who were distilling ink. He asked Nigerian-born Funke about her family and where she spent the holidays.
After he toured the college, Prince Charles sat down with 65 guests for a meal followed by strawberries and cream. Following this lavish spread, his Royal Highness took in Penrhos College’s new laboratory and unveiled the plaque to commemorate the centenary and round off an incredible visit.
Rydal Penrhos Society Preisdent praises school service
Rydal Penrhos and the entire Commonwealth are still mourning the sad loss of Queen Elizabeth II, who passed away aged 96 on Thursday 8 September. Tributes have been pouring in from across the globe for the much-loved figure, who served her country as Monarch exceptionally for seven decades.
The school gathered together last Friday morning for a specially-arranged service to mark the Queen’s life, which was incredibly well attended by the entire Rydal Penrhos community.
Pupils, staff, governors, parents, and alumni became one at St John’s Church for the service, which was led by the Reverend Dr Rob Beamish and also featured other speakers from across all areas of life at Rydal Penrhos.
We recently received a wonderful message regarding the service from Guy Watson, President of the Rydal Penrhos Society – the school’s Alumni association – via Ms Deborah McKinnel, Chair of Governors.
Guy, said: “What a truly moving service our Chaplin delivered, it was deeply appreciated and we are proud to have him working with us.
“The words and messages he delivered to our children were so well accepted by them as one could hear a pin drop throughout. The speakers were also excellent. A big thank you to everyone involved.”
James appointed Head Boy for 2022/23 academic year
The title of Head Boy is always a coveted one at Rydal Penrhos. Year 12 pupils when vying for the role have to put together an exceptional case to attain the position, including writing letters, being interviewed and being voted for by both staff and pupils within the school.
Many previous Heads of School have gone on to achieve great things in later life.
Richard Wolfendale and Arthur Hind did outstanding jobs during their stints as Head Boy in difficult circumstances over the last two years. Things were not easy for anybody thanks to educational lockdowns, COVID-19 restrictions, and the transition back to normality, but their leadership and willingness to keep spirits high in addition to progressing their studies is something that won’t soon be forgotten.
With Arthur now on the next stage of his journey at university after some exceptional A Level results, Rydal Penrhos is delighted to announce the appointment of James Copeland as Head Boy for the 2022/23 academic year.
James joined as a Reception class pupil and is proof of what can be attained from a Rydal Penrhos education. He is a strong academic who has also thrived in a sporting environment and his ability to lead is sure to be a tremendous asset to the entire school community in the coming months.
This was reflected in some outstanding GCSE grades from James before moving on to Sixth Form. The pupil attained three A* grades, one A, one 9, four 8s as well as distinctions in Additional Mathematics and Engineering.
James is also a key member of the school’s First XV rugby team and his endurance running has come in for significant praise at events such as Sports Day.
On behalf of everyone at Rydal Penrhos, we would like to congratulate James on his well-deserved appointment. We are confident you’ll thrive as our Head Boy during your final year with us.
Ester secures Head Girl position for 2022/23 academic year
Our Sixth Form leaders are exceptional role models for younger members of the Rydal Penrhos family. This is especially evident with the school’s Senior Prefect team, who are tremendous ambassadors in school and across the community, raising money and awareness for worthy causes throughout the region and beyond.
The outgoing team did a remarkable job of keeping spirits high across the school, which was vital as each year group began adjusting to life post-COVID restrictions during their welcome return to normality.
They are now heading on to the next stage of their respective journeys at university, in the working world or during GAP years, with staff at the school guiding them every step of the way to ensure they are fully prepared for the challenges that lie ahead for them.
Looking forward, the school is delighted to announce that Ester Ball-Iversen has been appointed as Head Girl for the 2022/23 academic year, replacing Shruthi Ganapathi.
Ester arrived at Rydal Penrhos as a Year 9 pupil and wasted no time integrating with her peers. Her academic accomplishments are vast, with her leadership and extra-curricular exploits also coming in for glowing praise during her time at the school.
Her sterling dedication to academic development came with some incredible GCSE results. Ester secured no fewer than five 9 marks, four A* grades, one A and a Distinction in Additional Mathematics despite the uncertain climate.
Ester is also a member of the school’s hockey and netball squads and is also making considerable progress within the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award scheme to further enhance her experiences.
Congratulations to Ester on securing the coveted Head Girl position. We are confident you’ll represent yourself and Rydal Penrhos in an exemplary fashion.
Pastoral Leads appointed
In addition to the outstanding academic and extra-curricular provision we provide here at Rydal Penrhos, we have also implemented a Pastoral system that is second-to-none, providing each child and young adult under our care to feel happy, safe and supported.
This enables them to get the very most of their time within the classroom, and we are always striving to maintain excellent standards in areas such as well-being and mental health.
The school is thrilled to announce two new Pastoral Leads for the 2022/23 academic year. Ms Sarah Bollan will be responsible for pupils in Years 7-10, with Mr Andy Thomas the lead for pupils in Years 11-13.
Ms Bollan and Mr Thomas will be on hand to offer expert support and guidance. They will be working closely with form tutors to focus on the individual and maintain an exceptional pupil-centred approach that’s been the core component behind the school’s success in recent years.
Rydal Penrhos was buzzing once again with the return of teaching staff and pupils on Monday 5 September. It promises to be another academic year to remember, with a plethora of exciting things planned across a wide range of areas.
The school celebrated yet more examination success this summer at both A Level and GCSE, which is a testament to the outstanding preparation our pupils received and their ability to come through some significant challenges positively.
We would like to congratulate Ms Bollan and Mr Thomas on their new roles. They will be a tremendous asset to our pupils at different stages of their development.
Leading science fiction author visits Rydal Penrhos
Staff and pupils at Rydal Penrhos were treated to a special talk from Britain’s foremost science fiction author when Stephen Baxter visits the school on Thursday 8 September.
Years 10-13 descended on the newly renovated Osborn Hall for the address by Mr Baxter, who has written more than 40 books, mostly science fiction novels, and more than 100 short stories.
Mr Baxter earned a degree in mathematics from Cambridge University, an engineering degree from the University of Southampton and a third in business administration, from Henley Management College.
Following his education, Mr Baxter worked as a teacher of maths and physics, and for several years in information technology. He is also a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the British Interplanetary Society.
Mr Baxter applied to become a cosmonaut in 1991 – aiming for the guest slot on Mir that was eventually taken by Helen Sharman – but fell at an early hurdle.
His first professionally published short story appeared in 1987, with Mr Baxter completing his first novel in 1991. The respected figure has been a full-time author since 1995 and is a former President of the British Science Fiction Association (2008-2020), and Vice-President of the HG Wells Society.
Mr Baxter’s novels have gained significant support from across the globe, earning him a plethora of awards along the way. These include the Philip K Dick Award, the John W Campbell Memorial Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, the Kurd Lasswitz Award (Germany) and the Seiun Award (Japan).
He was also nominated for prestigious honours such as the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the Hugo Award and Locus awards. Mr Baxter’s novel Voyage was dramatised by Audio Movies for BBC Radio and broadcast in 1999.
This was a significant honour for Rydal Penrhos and we thank Mr Baxter for delivering a fascinating talk.
A lovely start to the 2022/23 academic year!
Trio star for North Wales at major tournament
It was a busy summer for three Rydal Penrhos pupils, who helped the North Wales U13 squad secure their best-ever performance at the Regional Hockey Finals in Nottingham.
Lily Copeland, Charlotte Payne and Fleur Roberts assisted the squad to one win, two draws and two losses, including a 3-0 triumph in their final match of the national three-day competition, which was played over the hottest weekend of the year with temperatures hitting 37 Degrees Celcius.
Lily captained the 18-player squad selected from hockey clubs across the region, with Charlotte appointed vice-captain. Both thrived in their respective roles, providing support and leadership to their teammates against some of the best young talents in the country.
A 6-0 loss on day one to Irish regional champions Portadown provided a wake-up call to the squad. Something they put to good use en route to conceding just three goals over the next four games while scoring five.
An early start on Saturday saw North Wales draw 1-1 with Solent after completely dominating the match.
They then faced group favourites Staffordshire, who had massively outscored every team in the group. After a closely fought battle, Staffs scored a late winner to scrape past North Wales 1-0.
In soaring temperatures, which required the umpires to stop games at regular intervals for water breaks on the final day of action, North Wales began with a 0-0 draw with North West regional side Tensworth.
Then in the final match of the day, the North Wales girls had another opportunity to try and beat Solent. After dominating possession and spending most of the match camped in the opposition’s half, the group prevailed with a 3-0 win and their finest finish since entering the tournament.
Everyone at Rydal Penrhos would like to congratulate Lily, Charlotte and Fleur on their marvellous effort. You should be very proud!