The RP Weekly: 21 May 2021
The weekly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos School.
The RP Weekly
21 May 2021
Moving Up Day
Smoothing the transition
Rydal Penrhos is always willing to go above and beyond the call of duty to ease this burden on those making the step up to a different year group, which will gather pace in the coming weeks before the eagerly anticipated summer holidays and includes current pupils and those joining at the start of the 2021/22 academic year.
It’s a time of emotion and excitement all rolled into one, especially for those in Year 6 who are leaving familiar surroundings behind and moving on to Year 7 and the start of their secondary school journey.
Pupils are understandably sad to be leaving somewhere they’ve been educated for years, but also looking forward to what comes next with an added sense of freedom and independence that comes with getting older.
This is something teaching and support staff at Rydal Penrhos are always keen to assist with. They are in constant dialogue with current pupils and their parents across all year groups to ensure each child receives all the right support and guidance throughout the transition process, with those new to the school also getting the same level of assistance before their arrival.
It is this attention to detail that makes Rydal Penrhos such a wonderful place. Everyone is pulling in the same direction with a primary focus on its pupils, something that has seen a surge in numbers over the last year despite the obvious concerns surrounding COVID-19.
Now that certain restrictions are being relaxed by the Welsh Government with cases remaining low, the school will be holding a Moving Up Day on Friday 2 July, giving pupils a first-hand look at what their life will be like once they return from their summer break.
Pupils in Pre-School right up to Year 6 will get the chance to spend time with those who’ll be teaching and supporting them during the next academic year, familiarise themselves with the classroom and participate in plenty of fun activities throughout their Moving Up Morning, which will run from 8.45am until 12pm.
External pupils get the opportunity to meet their new classmates, build early friendships, get adjusted to their new surroundings and become more relaxed about a big upcoming change.
Those in Year 6 heading into Year 7 will also make the short trip down Pwllycrochan Avenue for a Moving Up Day from 8.45am until 3pm.
Together will external pupils joining the school, they will spend time getting to know their form tutors, take part in activities throughout the day and enjoy a school lunch to get some useful knowledge of what to expect when they make a significant step for the next stage of their journey through education.
A similar event will also be taking place for external pupils in Year 11 embarking on their Sixth Form journey at the school, with details to be released in due course.
This is another fine example of the little things making a big difference throughout all areas of Rydal Penrhos. A combination of expert teaching and meticulous planning that centres on pupils are the key component behind the school’s recent success, with Moving Up Morning sure to be a tremendous help for children of all ages.
Harry to pursue Engineering career
Rydal Penrhos’ Sixth Form is a diverse group of talented individuals with a variety of interests and skills and aspirations for the future.
One of these, now in the final stages of planning ahead to the next stage of his journey is Harry who is aiming to pursue a career in the Engineering industry.
After receiving weekly UCAS lessons and expert support and guidance from the school’s exceptional staff team, he has seen a successful university application process result in a number of conditional offers including most importantly his first choice university.
Offers have flooded in from some of the most prestigious universities in the country, including:-
- University of Bristol – Civil Engineering
- Durham University – Engineering (Civil)
- University of Loughborough – Civil Engineering
- University of Sheffield – Civil and Structural Engineering
Harry is currently studying Chemistry, Maths, Physics and Music at A Level and is hoping to gain the necessary grades to take his place at the Durham University, which the pupil is considering as his first-choice destination.
The pupil joined the Rydal Penrhos community in Year 7 back in 2014 and has developed across all areas of school life. Harry is an exceptional academic whose progression and work ethic have been especially pleasing, with his gift in a musical environment something else that has stood out considering during his time as a pupil.
Harry sat his Grade 8 Piano assessment from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music before the Christmas break and despite the challenges that came during the preparation process, he still managed to rise to the occasion on his way to a superb Merit as a result of his efforts.
Not only this, Harry became an outstanding role model to younger pupils in his role as senior prefect, with the leadership experiences gained sure to serve him well in university and later life.
We are enormously proud of Harry for everything he has and continues to accomplish.
Year 4's Egg Drop Challenge!
“Curiosity is the wick in the candle of learning.”
Who doesn’t love a combination of learning and fun?
It’s been a very busy time for pupils young and old at Rydal Penrhos during the summer term. They are back on-site and throwing themselves into their academic subjects and the wealth of extra-curricular options available, with opportunities increasing by the week thanks to relaxing restrictions in the current climate.
Getting a bit more hands-on has been one of the more positive elements that come with face-to-face learning. STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is playing an ever-growing role at Rydal Penrhos and allows pupils to combine this with concepts more outside the box than found within typical classroom topics.
STEM is proven to improve core areas such as problem-solving, adaptability, communication, leadership and working within a team that each pupil can take with them throughout the remainder of their education and later life.
There was plenty of excitement within Year 4 for their latest STEM activity with teacher Jamie McLeod, which was the annual Egg Drop Challenge that involved designing a contraption using various materials to protect an egg from a high fall.
Using various materials provided and budgeting according, pupils worked in five groups over 50 minutes to discuss, design, and build the best possible safety vessel for their egg to have a successful flight despite the obvious concerns regarding gravity and what it could potentially do to such a frail shell upon landing.
Year 4 threw themselves into the fun-filled task with their customary enthusiasm, taking what they learned during lessons and implementing this in a more practical fashion with some brilliant results.
Once the final designs were completed, each group then put their products to the test with the all-important drop, with Mr McLeod capturing it all and putting it together with another fantastic video in recognition of their fabulous efforts.
Another worthwhile activity for Year 4 pupils and one every single one of them got a significant amount out of. Well done to all!
Luca secures place at Florida State’s College of Motion Picture Arts
Rydal Penrhos is always delighted to hear about the success of its former pupils. Many of our alumni are doing great things either at university or in the world of work.
A prime example of this is Luca Leggieri, who left Rydal Penrhos in 2018 following his Sixth Form studies. Mark Sherrington, Head of Art and an ex-pupil himself was thrilled to confirm that Luca has just been accepted to the College of Motion Picture Arts at Florida State University in the United States of America following a successful application process.
This three-year course is something Luca says he is “very excited about” and he hopes to “learn a lot” after gaining an additional diploma to become eligible for enrollment in the two years after leaving Rydal Penrhos.
Luca joined the school at the start of his Sixth Form journey and integrated superbly. He grew up in America and Switzerland, enabling him to speak three languages fluently, and although he did not do Art at GCSE level, the pupil felt A Level photography would be of interest to him, could inspire him and may lead to career opportunities.
Mr Sherrington was tasked with guiding Luca, turning his keen eye into something a little bit more, and it was clear from very early on that he had a real gift when it comes to photography and all its intricacies.
He said: “Luca was the kind of pupil who was always on Instagram or posting pictures but never really had any tuition or help. It was just something he enjoyed doing and felt he could be good at.
“From the moment he joined the photography classes it was clear he had an instinctive and deep knowledge of how to manipulate images on the computer and he would build on that skill over the two years with us at Rydal Penrhos.”
It wasn’t just in the digital aspect of photography processing that Luca demonstrated great skill, he also “immersed himself in the practical stuff”, according to Mr Sherrington.
This involved learning how to physically change pictures through texture or lighting, with Luca also excelling at film-making despite his relative lack of experience in this particular area.
“From the start, he was making small films or linking pictures to enhance his theme,” recalls Mr Sherrington.
“Luca ended the Photography A Level by taking over the drama studio for a weekend and erecting a set where he made a music video using one of his peers as a model.
“He also created another film using the local mountains as his set and placing figures on hills in incredibly windy conditions holding sheets.
“He used a steady cam and a high-quality camera to produce an incredibly professional couple of pieces that were backed up by equally good still images.”
Luca is now gearing up for the next exciting stage of his journey at Florida State. His university application featured his portfolio from Rydal Penrhos and a glowing recommendation from Mr Sherrington.
"He is definitely a student to watch over the next few years and I expect to see his name in lights or in the credits of a film soon."
We are incredibly proud of what Luca has achieved since leaving Rydal Penrhos and hopefully this is just the start of great things to come in his future.
The Next Step
Lara & Niamh highlight pupil individuality
Rydal Penrhos embraces the individuality of every pupil. Small class sizes enable teaching staff to build special relationships with pupils across all age groups, create specific goals, monitor them consistently and provide a more personal touch throughout their time at the school that has a considerable impact on whatever they go on to do next.
A rich and proud history of exceptional examination results is just a small part of what a Sixth Form education at Rydal Penrhos provides. What is equally as important for us is that each departing pupil is fully ready for the challenges that lie ahead and possess all the necessary experience and life skills that enable them to hit the ground running either in higher education or the working world.
Two prime examples of this from the class of 2021 are Niamh Cook and Lara Pyves, who are heading down different paths once their studies at Rydal Penrhos come to a conclusion.
Niamh is one of our pupils that has benefitted enormously from an all-through education at Rydal Penrhos. Her school journey began in Reception class back in 2005 and it wasn’t long before her musical ability and talent came to the fore.
Recognised and nurtured by teaching staff at school, Niamh’s love of and talent for Music has become her natural choice to pursue at university. Niamh has received an offer from her First-choice university, the University of Bangor to study Music (BA Hons) following a successful application process for this highly competitive course.
The Sixth Former is not only studying Art, English and Music at A Level, but she is in the final stages ahead of possibly attaining Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music Diplomas in both Piano and Clarinet. This is a level above the prestigious Grade 8 and would represent an astonishing achievement if successful.
Lara joined Rydal Penrhos at the start of Sixth Form in Year 12 and settled into school life superbly, contributing significantly to netball and hockey teams before fixtures were abruptly halted due to COVID-19 health concerns.
She is studying Art, English and History at A Level and has decided to accept an exciting opportunity in the southern hemisphere after being offered a GAP year placement with Letz Live in New Zealand.
It will involve a placement at a boarding school in New Zealand after Lara impressed considerably during the application and interview process. This is sure to be an incredible experience and something she can then take with her into university in her chosen field.
Passion for reading put to good use
Reading, reading, reading.
We value reading and the power of the written word enormously at Rydal Penrhos and in a time where digital seems to be the natural course of sourcing information for the modern-day pupil, staff are very keen to implement a clear strategy that highlights the educational benefits that come from a book in written form.
The school prides itself on putting learning and its pupils before anything else. This has resulted in some outstanding examination results in recent years and exceptional value-added scores -meaning that pupils not only meet their goals, but also exceed them.
Younger members of the Rydal Penrhos community are busy progressing through their Accelerated Reading programme, coupled with a fully updated Oxford Reading Tree situated in the school “Lyndon” Library.
The pupils have access to many newly purchased recent titles and resources, with the reading programme coming complete with challenging reading comprehension quizzes on more than 200,000 books and a facility that enables teaching staff to monitor each child’s progress carefully.
The importance of reading is optimised in all academic subjects and even some of the extra-curricular activities across Rydal Penrhos.
One extra-curricular activity “Podcast Club” led by teacher Catherine Culver tasked her group with producing book reviews from a personal favourite of theirs or one of the titles they had read recently.
Year 6 pupil Emily Nurse chose The Danger Gang by Tom Fletcher, which she described as “her absolute favourite”. A book which by chance was lent to her by twin brother Harry.
Another contribution came from Lexi-May Williams, who reviewed The Shark Caller by Zillah Bethell, which centres around a character called Blue Wing, who is desperate to become a shark caller. Instead, she must befriend infuriating newcomer Maple, who arrives unexpectedly on Blue Wing’s island.
The final book review came from Max Hackman, who detailed his thoughts on the Anthony Horowitz murder mystery entitled “I Know What You Did Last Wednesday“, where the Diamond Brothers get on the case after a reunion on a remote island turns into something else entirely.
It’s clear reading is flourishing in school and there is a passion for the written word and given the direct correlation between reading and academic achievement, alongside the creativity, happiness and imagination reading instills we are sure to have happy, thriving pupils across school.
Emily's book review
Lexi's book review
Max's book review
Exciting activities aplenty!
Rydal Penrhos Pre-School forms the bridge between home and school and is a young child’s first experience of an educational environment. It is therefore an important stepping stone in life and one that represents the first building blocks to a successful future.
Staff within the department provide each child with thought-provoking activities designed to boost early development, ignite curiosity and build key skills that stand them in good stead for when they are moving on to full-time education.
The staff are then essentially child led in how they want the topic to develop.
This term, Pre-School children at Rydal Penrhos are delving deeper into the topic of ‘Houses’, learning about different styles across the world, exploring castles, trees and even houses designed and built by man for animals or ones that animals create for themselves in the wild.
The “Shining Stars” group (3-year-olds) got the chance to dress up as Dragons and Princesses for a practical task surrounding the topic, which involved playing outside in the toy castle and creating their very own castle using the resources within the Pre-School department and the recently purchased wooden blocks.
Great fun, of course. But the benefits are also there for all to see.
It’s also been a busy time for the “Little Stars”(2-year-olds) contingent, who chose ‘Stick Man’ for their book of the week and took part in a walk around the school field to look for “the Stick Man and his family tree”. When they reached our picturesque Oak tree, they all sat down, read the story and looked for the animals that they could see in the book.
The “Super Stars” (Pre-School children who are entering Reception during the next academic year), have been discussing animal houses and created their own under the expert supervision of staff.
Pre-School manager Ms. Spencer says: “The children were very excited and used their imagination to create a fabulous, and a very unique, series of homes.”
Their latest trip into our very own Forest School even saw the children take their Houses topic into the woods to create their very own bug-house and go on the search for creepy crawlies to occupy their new creations.
Rest assured the bug-house is not now sitting nestled in the bottom of your child’s school bag but was taken to the Pre-School garden so that staff and children can keep track of which bugs now select their bug-house as their new home.
Learning in Pre-School extends beyond the discovery room and indeed the outside provision at school. Our childrens’ parents like to join in the fun too and so we use the Evidence Me app that has proven hugely popular since its implementation. Staff are able to set a House themed task every Friday for children to experience with their family at home.
Freddie selected to North Wales squad
Rydal Penrhos has a rich and proud history of hockey success, something we are enormously proud of.
The school has a series of national championships at U16 and U18 level to call their own in recent years, which is a testament to the expert coaching received as part of our outstanding sporting provision.
Not only this, but many pupils have also gone on to secure both county and Welsh squad selections. Recent leavers such as Josh Thomas and Jacob Heaton-Rue were capped by their country through various age brackets during their time at Rydal Penrhos, with a number of current pupils also on a similar path despite the relative lack of activity over the last 12 months due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Freddie MacLaverty recently received some good news in the form of a call-up to the North Wales hockey squad, which represents another fine achievement from the Year 8 pupil in a sporting environment.
This is not the first time Freddie has hit the headlines for his hockey exploits, with the talented youngster part of the Eirias Hockey Club U15 side that won the North Wales championship against Northop last year.
The pupil will now begin training with the regional squad ahead of some upcoming fixtures throughout the campaign, which should be another fantastic experience for Freddie and one that is sure to benefit his overall game considerably.
Freddie was awarded a sports scholarship premium from Rydal Penrhos at the start of the current academic year (2020/21) in recognition of his outstanding progress on the water as a nationally recognised sailor.
In addition to his RYA Cymru Wales squad selections, Freddie has also been part of the Team GB squad for their winter training programme and achieved one of the finest results of his young career to date at the RS Tera Pro UK Nationals Championships, finishing second overall against some of the best young sailors in the country to further enhance his growing reputation.
As part of the sports scholarship premium, Freddie receives a £500 contribution each year from the school to enhance his talent. A mentor meets with him half termly to discuss progress and how the money could be best used on equipment or specialist coaching to ensure his goals are met.
Big race win for Harrison
With things slowly returning back to some semblance of normality after a difficult 12 months, Rydal Penrhos pupils are getting back down to their passions or interests in a variety of different fields.
This is something that the school actively encourages with a strong extra-curricular provision, with many also attending clubs and organisations on evenings and weekends to further boost their development.
One such area where competition is returning is on the water. Sailing has been a huge part of Rydal Penrhos life for more than 60 years, with the school using its fantastic location on the North Wales coastline to prove a unique sailing and water-sports provision that is accredited by the Royal Yachting Association.
Many pupils have gone on to achieve national and international recognition after beginning their journey under the guidance and support of the school’s coaches, who are fully qualified and also bring a wealth of experience to their respective roles.
A number of pupils were granted Elite Athlete status by Sport Wales during the lockdowns over the last year so that their training could continue despite the restrictions. The open space on the water and the specific individuality surrounding sailing made close contact less prevalent, which enabled sailors to remain on course to achieve their respective goals.
With regional competitions now resuming across the country, one young pupil managed to pick up a notable victory at the Conwy Fife One Design ‘A’ Series Race 3 at the Royal Anglesey Yacht Club on Saturday 15 May.
Harrison Hogan, who is a Year 4 pupil at Rydal Penrhos, turned in a marvellous effort in Boat No. 18 alongside his father Mark. This saw them right in the thick of things at the closing stage of the race, with a tremendous move in the closing stages enough for them to cross the finishing line in first position.
“With the SW eventually gaining dominance, Boat 18 were the first to throw a double six and escape the chaos, and rounded B5 with a clear lead.”
This is a fantastic result for Harrison and one he can be enormously proud of. Rydal Penrhos pupils are shortly returning to the water in accordance with current guidelines and this should see plenty more in the way of achievements coming from the school’s sailing provision over the coming months.
Stars of the Week
Stars of the week – 21.05.21
- Pre-School: Kit – for working hard with all of his activities.
- Pre-School: Nina – great counting.
- Reception: Asher – for much better concentration and application.
- Reception: Gareth – for working really hard this week.
- Year 1: Paige – super progress in reading.
- Year 2: Ollie – a great persuasive letter and super leadership skills in a team activity.
- Year 3: Jacob – great maths work on data collection and bar charts.
- Year 4: Archie-Glyn – the fantastic quality of perseverance with fabulous results in his learning.
- Year 5: Ava – precision and accuracy using co-ordinates in maths.
- Year 6: April – great enthusiasm in games, especially her batting in rounders.
- Megan (Year 1) - for her fabulous Russian doll painting.
- Amelie (Year 6) - for her great keyboard playing.
21 May 2021
Admin Manager & Executive Principal's PA
Admin Manager & Executive Principal's PA
John Waszek - Executive Principal
Reports to: Executive Principal
Responsible for: Admin Team
Pay Grade: SCP 18-23 on NJC Scale Salary £24,982 - £27,741
Hours of work: 37 per week, 52 weeks per year
Purpose of the Job Role
Ensure efficient and effective delivery of administrative services within the School and support the Executive Principal with all administrative duties commensurate with the role.
Full details and how to apply can be found here