The RP Weekly: 2 October
The weekly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos School.
The RP Weekly
2 October 2020
Executive Principal extends stay
Rydal Penrhos School is delighted to announce that Executive Principal John Waszek has agreed to stay in the post until August 2022.
Mr Waszek was due to retire in August 2021 but will now remain in the role for another year to see through Rydal Penrhos’ ambitious strategic development plan that is already having a significant benefit on those living and learning at the school.
Julian Barnes, Chair of Governors at Rydal Penrhos, said: “This brings very welcome stability for the school and assures we continue on the plan to deliver the best experience for our pupils and a very bright future.”
This is another boost for the school, with Mr Waszek having a considerable impact since taking up the position in February 2019.
His focus on improving pupils’ learning and opportunities has already brought a marked improvement in educational standards, which is further reflected with the school’s historic A Level and GCSE results this summer.
In addition to this strong academic success, Rydal Penrhos’ extra-curricular provision, outdoor education programme and university preparation are other elements to a thriving all-round education that is provided from Pre-School to Sixth Form.
Mr Waszek is a highly experienced Principal, having led St Edward’s College, Liverpool for 24 years from 1992 to 2016 during which time the school secured several “outstanding” inspections and was subsequently designated as “exempt” from inspection by the Department for Education.
Since leaving St Edward’s, Mr Waszek has been a School Effectiveness Adviser, working in a wide variety of settings with School Governors and Leadership teams on school improvement.
In addition to his various roles within education, Mr Waszek served as a non-executive Director of the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital (Alder Hey) at a very challenging time following the publication of the Redfern Report into organ retention.
Mr Waszek has a bachelors degree (first), a Masters in Economics and also obtained a PGCE in Physical Education from the University of Loughborough, an institution he represented at rugby in addition to making the English Universities squad.
Deputy Head Boy
Rydal Penrhos School is delighted to announce that Kevin Farrell has been appointed as joint-Deputy Head Boy for the 2020/21 academic year.
Kevin has been a valued contributor across a large number of academic and extra-curricular areas of Rydal Penrhos life, and he successfully came through the assessment process in order to secure the role.
Kevin will now work alongside Head Boy Richard Wolfendale and Head Girl Anna Parry-Williams in the coming months to boost the school’s profile, support younger members of the Rydal Penrhos community and emerge as strong ambassadors.
The Sixth Former arrived at Rydal Penrhos as a Year 3 Prep School pupil back in 2010 and has made the most out of the opportunities available to him.
His academic efforts have come in for significant praise during his time at the school, with Kevin developing considerably under the guidance and support of Rydal Penrhos’ exceptional teaching staff.
This resulted in some outstanding GCSE results in 2019, which saw Kevin attain three 9’s, three A*’s and a distinction in Additional Mathematics as a result of his efforts.
Kevin’s talent on the water has brought a wealth of national sailing squad selections and competition accolades over the years, and the pupil was also part of the hockey teams that scooped the Welsh Schools’ Championships.
He has also shown a real talent for performing on stage. This was reflected in his outstanding performance as Marius in the Dramatic Society production of Les Miserables and his vocal ability at events such as the Christmas Concert.
The teenager is following in the immediate footsteps of his brother, Eddie Farrell, who was joint-Deputy Head Boy alongside Ollie Gibson last year and has now moved on to the University of Durham after some incredible A Level results this summer.
Kevin is a fine example of what can be achieved from a Rydal Penrhos education, which centres on a strong academic ethos coupled with a rich and encapsulating extra-curricular provision from Pre-School to Sixth Form.
Rydal Penrhos is pleased to announce the appointment of Morgan Kendall as joint-Deputy Head Boy for the 2020/21 academic year.
The popular Sixth Former proved an impressive candidate during the senior prefect assessment process, which began with a shortlist created from votes by pupils in the year group and by Rydal Penrhos staff.
Following shortlisting candidates were interviewed by Executive Principal John Waszek and Senior School Head Sally-Ann Harding.
Morgan has become a valued member of the Rydal Penrhos community and has spent the entirety of his education at the school.
He began his journey as a Reception class Prep School pupil back in 2008 and is another fine example of what can be achieved from an all-through education at Rydal Penrhos.
Morgan has played a significant role in helping younger members of the senior school as a Peer Mentor, which is a fantastic initiative proven to aid transition into a new environment.
As well as being active in his role as joint-head of the Sixth Form Charity Committee, raising a significant amount for worthy causes across the region and beyond partially through the hosting of virtual events in aid of care homes during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown.
His academic development has been exemplary, with Morgan securing some outstanding GCSE results in 2019 after working exceptionally hard under the care and support of teaching staff at the school.
The pupil is also a very talented long-distance runner, winning regional events in his age category such as the Nick Beer 10km. Morgan was also one of five aspiring athletes at Rydal Penrhos who qualified for the Welsh Schools’ Cross-Country Championships after coming through a stern challenge at the Eryri qualifiers with flying colours.
Morgan has contributed to the Scientific Society and has represented the school at the United Kingdom Mathematics Trust’s team challenge last year.
He will work closely with fellow Deputy Head Boy Kevin Farrell and Head Boy Richard Wolfendale in the coming months on raising the school’s profile, contributing to various areas of Rydal Penrhos life and providing leadership from a pupil perspective.
Amelie secures Head Girl role
Rydal Penrhos Prep School is thrilled to confirm Amelie Skinner as its new Head Girl for the 2020/21 academic year.
Amelie managing to secure the prestigious position after coming through the application process with a significant amount of credit, and Lucy Davies, Head of Rydal Penrhos Prep School, presented the successful pupils with their leadership badges last week.
This represents a fine achievement from Amelie, who joined the Prep School community last September as a member of Year 5 and has made the most out of every academic and extra-curricular opportunity available to Rydal Penrhos pupils from Pre-School to Sixth Form.
Her development from an academic perspective has been particularly pleasing, with Amelie thriving across all subjects under the care and guidance of the Prep School’s highly-skilled teaching staff.
Amelie has also been keen to have her voice hear as part of the Prep School Council, which has been given an increased voice during Mrs Davies’ tenure.
The pupil has also achieved plenty from a sporting perspective during her short time at Rydal Penrhos. Amelie contributed to a memorable unbeaten campaign for the U11 Netball side during the previous academic year despite playing one year above her age bracket, turning in some impressive displays for a talented group.
Amelie also produced a fine effort at the IAPS North West Cross-Country Championships in November 2019 against older and more experienced opposition.
She promises to bring a great deal to the role of Head Girl and will work closely with members of the Prefect Team on assisting with the smooth running of the Prep School during an ever-changing time due to the coronavirus pandemic.
This will include supporting younger pupils, providing them with a strong role model to which they can aspire in the coming years.
Amelie is replacing Fleur Roberts, who held the title during the last academic year and has now moved on to Rydal Penrhos Senior School.
Noah appointed Head Boy
Rydal Penrhos is delighted to confirm the appointment of its new Prep School Head Boy for the 2020/21 academic year.
After an application process that brought some highly-impressive entries, Noah Roberts was chosen for the prestigious role and was presented with his leadership badge by Lucy Davies, Head of Rydal Penrhos Prep School, last week.
Noah has been at the Prep School throughout the entirety of his education, starting in Pre-School back in 2013.
His enthusiasm and ability to ask thought-provoking questions in the classroom are well known and loved by Rydal Penrhos’ exceptional teaching staff, and his efforts in a sporting environment with the school’s football and rugby sides has also come in for significant praise.
Noah’s love for the stage has seen him take a leading role in school concerts and drama productions, which has further heightened his overall influence across the Prep School and among his peers.
As part of his new role, Noah will work closely with Head Girl Amelie Skinner and the Prefect Team on providing role models to younger members.
Another role awaiting Noah in his recently secured position with the Prep School Council, which has been given a bigger voice on matters across the site under Mrs Davies’ leadership.
Noah is a fine example of a Prep School pupil and we are looking forward to him achieving great things as he progresses through the school as we have seen exhibited by the number of Prep pupils who went all-through to Sixth Form and attained some exceptional A Level results this summer.
His brother, Zac, has recently started his GCSE modules in Year 10 and is another who has been at Rydal Penrhos since Pre-School.
Thoughts from the Prep School
Rydal Penrhos Prep School head Lucy Davies returns with her weekly thoughts, with the topic of the School Council at the forefront of her mind.
Having established our School Council, house representatives, eco committee and monitors last week we have started to meet this week in a bubble friendly series of meetings.
Nothing is too serious for our pupils when it comes to representation, even the five-year-olds arrive at the meeting with solemn faces and hushed voices, ready to represent their classmates in the serious business of school improvement decision making!
A long tradition of pupil leadership has led to this reverence and the pupils are well aware of how things happen and that everything is done just like the ‘real world’ as one pupil put it today.
Today we learnt the alternative meaning for the word ‘minutes’ and by the end of the meeting, we knew what ‘matters arising’ and ‘actions’ are.
I’m not sure that the younger members fully understood this but they certainly know that the shiny badge on their jumper means something. Only two had forgotten to wear their badge and they both immediately blamed their mum!
A little more work to do on taking responsibility then!
The photograph shows our Deputy Head Boy, Gethin and Deputy Head Girl, Emily, leading the first meeting of our school monitors; lots to discuss, minute and put onto their online ‘team’.
Mrs L Davies Head of Rydal Penrhos Prep
Former pupil returns for wedding!
A former Rydal Penrhos pupil returned to his roots for an emotional and special occasion over the August Bank Holiday Weekend.
Rydal Penrhos was absolutely thrilled to host the wedding of Henry Lee at St John’s Church, who tied the knot with Victoria Dean at the school’s place of worship on Saturday 29 August.
Henry, whose parents took a ship from Hong Kong to Liverpool in the 1960s and were the first to establish takeaway restaurants in several towns across North Wales, was a pupil at the school from the ages of 12 to 18, leaving in 2000.
His sister Lisa also attended the school under Michael James’ headship in those years following the merger of Penrhos College and Rydal School on the present site in 1999, and she was given the honour of reading from the bible during the ceremony.
The bride Victoria hails from Devon and she met her new husband through their shared medical professions. They live in Manchester and have a 15-month-old daughter called Primrose.
Reverend Nick Sissons, Chaplain of Rydal Penrhos, conducted the service and Director of Music Pete Williams played the organ. (An event in itself which was risk assessed by Prep School head Lucy Davies, who is leading the school’s COVID-19 protocols during this unprecedented time).
The couple chose Calon Lan to be played – which is always a big hit with pupils at the school – even though they couldn’t sing it due to restrictions.
The congregation were carefully socially distanced across the church, with reserved and named seats, making sure that nobody was closer than two metres to the central aisle, leaving plenty of room for the bride and her father to walk down it.
Rev’d Sissons, said; “It was a lovely occasion, the confetti flew and the sun made a rare appearance, which was a great blessing after the awful rain of the previous few days.
“I am sure that staff and alumni who remember Henry and Lisa will want to join us in wishing them all the very best for their married life together.”
Y1 & 2 explore sense of sound
Year 1 and 2 pupils at Rydal Penrhos Prep School got to explore the topic of sound during their latest outdoor learning activity.
Rydal Penrhos Prep School‘s impressive Forest School site is a key component in aiding pupils’ initial development, providing them with the opportunity to learn useful skills that they do not necessarily learn in the classroom.
The Forest School sessions continue to flourish under strict guidelines in accordance with Welsh Government advice surrounding the coronavirus pandemic. This transition has been smooth thanks to the industry-leading precautions implemented by Prep School head Lucy Davies in a risk assessment that is constantly being updated in an ever-changing climate.
During their latest sessions under the supervision of Rydal Penrhos’ dedicated staff team, Year 1 and 2 worked together and individually on various activities relating to the sense of sound, which was highly enjoyable for each pupil and also provided them with some useful information to take back into their lessons.
There is always a great source of excitement across all year groups for their weekly Forest School sessions, which makes use of Rydal Penrhos’ unique woodland setting to promote an innovative approach to outdoor learning.
Forest School focuses on providing a safe, outdoor learning experience where children and young people are encouraged to explore, discover, take suitable risks and learn in a secure area of woodland.
Pom-Pom Club a big hit!
Rydal Penrhos Pre-Prep pupils have been busy learning additional skills during their initial few weeks with an exciting new club.
The Prep School’s incredible Clubs and Activities programme following the end of classroom lessons has been an enormous hit with pupils across all age groups during the first half term of the academic year, with the wide and varied provision offering something for everyone learning at Rydal Penrhos.
This has been especially evident within the Pre-Prep department, which caters for pupils in Reception to Year 2.
It is the perfect place to build a solid foundation for a successful education at Prep School level and beyond at Rydal Penrhos and some of the more creative members of the department have made the most out of their opportunity to become part of the Pom-Pom Club.
What is the Pom-Pom Club, you ask?
The sessions involve craft-making designed to inspire creativity. Pupils learn how to design and make their very own puppets and pom-poms, or anything that takes their fancy under the supervision of Rydal Penrhos’ exceptionally dedicated staff team.
Their latest examples took on an animal theme, which saw each pupil spend considerable time honing their respective creations with intricate precision, something that brought some outstanding final pieces.
Prep School Stars of the Week
2020 leaver Owen represents Wales
A former Rydal Penrhos pupil and aspiring cricketer gained further national recognition during a summer of unprecedented disruption.
Owen Reilly, who was part of the Year 13 cohort at Rydal Penrhos that secured historic A Level results this summer, managed to boost his reputation as one of the brightest young talents in the country with a starring effort for Wales U18s in a fixture against Warwickshire.
The teenager, who was also the school’s First XI captain during his time at Rydal Penrhos, produced another memorable bowling performance against high-quality opposition, securing five wickets for the loss of just 15 runs from a blistering ten-over spell.
Owen was unable to participate in the national youth side’s two other games throughout the summer due to injury, but he was able to recover and participate in the shortened domestic season with North Wales Cricket League Premier Division champions Bangor.
His contribution last year played a leading role in Bangor wrestling the title back from Menai Bridge and Owen managed to finish second in their scoring charts despite missing three games with a side strain.
This saw the youngster attain 406 runs from 12 appearances in the middle, which is an average of 36.91 and was aided by a season-best score of 104 in Bangor’s narrow one-wicket loss to Prestatyn.
Owen arrived at Rydal Penrhos as a Lower Sixth Form pupil and wasted no time in making his presence felt in a sporting environment.
His performance during the school’s annual contest against Marylebone Cricket Club earned Owen the Spirit of Cricket Award, with his leadership during fixtures in his role as captain also coming in for significant praise.
The former pupil combined his cricket development (with specialist coaching staff at Rydal Penrhos) alongside his studies and resulted in Owen securing his first-choice university destination (Cardiff Met), where he will study Sports Conditioning, Rehabilitation and Massage Therapy.
Richard Watson wins Pochin Cup
Rydal Penrhos Golf Society members got to meet one of the game’s best talents during their annual Pochin Cup competition.
The society, which consisted of former Rydal Penrhos pupils, travelled to the picturesque Sandiway Golf Club in Northwich for the competition on Friday 25 September.
They were greeted by perfect golfing weather and there was an added attraction prior to the even getting underway.
As each participant was getting ready for their round, they were met by five-time European Tour winner Tommy Fleetwood, who has also been part of the Ryder Cup team in recent years.
Fleetwood was doing some filming on-site for an upcoming BBC broadcast, but he had the time to stop for a photo with members of the Rydal Penrhos family.
This gave the competitors all the inspiration they needed, with the Society boasting a full complement of players for their allotted tee times.
They were also joined by former Sandiway member and scratch county player, Henry Branch, who travelled up from Surrey for the event.
Despite the sunny weather, there was a blustery cold wind that made scoring more difficult thanks to there being little run on the ball.
It proved to be a highly competitive afternoon that brought some memorable highlights and a first-time winner in the form of Richard Watson.
The son of Society chair Guy Watson held his nerve in the closing stages to secure 29 points, which beat out runner-up Ian Cochrane, who finished on 28.
Guy Watson, said; “Many thanks must go to John Millington and Sandiway Golf Club for making this event possible whilst following strict COVID-19 social distancing rules.”
Of Rydal Penrhos School
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