The RP Weekly: 24 September 2021
The weekly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos School.
The RP Weekly
24 September 2021
Executive Principal extends stay through 2022/23 academic year
Rydal Penrhos is indebted to the school’s Senior Leadership Team. They are a driving force behind some landmark changes over the last two years, which have seen pupil provision improve and opportunities increase despite the obvious challenges surrounding COVID-19.
The school reacted quickly to an ever-changing situation with a comprehensive online learning provision and striving to ensure each pupil reach or exceeded their goals both on-site at Rydal Penrhos and during their period of remote learning.
Executive Principal John Waszek heads up the team and we are thrilled to announce that he has agreed to extend his stay at the school through the 2022/23 academic year.
Mr Wazsek has been instrumental in the school’s ambitious strategic development plan – entitled Project Bold – that is already having a significant benefit on those learning at the school.
Pupils across all ages are flourishing, numbers have increased significantly, with GCSE, A Level and value-added results remaining at an exceptionally high standard over the last two summers.
Mr Waszek was educated at St Joseph’s College, Stoke-on-Trent where he became Head Boy and represented Staffordshire at rugby. He has an Economics degree from City, University of London, a Master’s degree in Public Sector Economics from the University of Leicester and a Postgraduate Certificate in Education from the University of Loughborough (Physical Education).
After teaching posts at Mill Hill School and Rugby School, where he was also a Boarding House Master, Mr Waszek was appointed Principal of St Edward’s College, Liverpool. During his 24 years (1992-2016) in the role, St Edward’s secured seven consecutive “outstanding inspections” and was subsequently designated as “exempt” from inspection by the Department for Education.
Following the organ retention revelations, Mr Waszek was appointed a Non-Executive Director of Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital (Alder Hey). He also served as a Chair of the Northern Division of the Choir Schools’ Association (for Cathedral and Collegiate Choir Schools).
Following retirement in 2016, Mr Waszek became a School Improvement Advisor, working in particular with School Governing Boards and Leadership teams to advise them on steps to take following their receipt of “poor” inspection reports. He has also been the Chair of Governors at St Aidan’s Primary School in Huyton, Knowsley.
Mr Waszek has a keen interest in sport. He played football and rugby at university, representing Loughborough Students and English Universities at rugby. He subsequently played rugby for Saracens and Cambridgeshire. John has coached rugby at school and county level (Middlesex) and is currently a season ticket holder at St Helens Rugby League Football Club.
Open Morning 2021
What to expect
Excitement is building at Rydal Penrhos ahead of the school’s Open Morning event on Saturday 25 September, which will take place from 9.30am-1.30pm. The final tour is scheduled to leave at 12pm.
Prospective pupils and their families will get a first-hand look at the exceptional facilities and opportunities on offer, with the chance to speak to key staff and current members of the school community also offered to get a better indication of what life is like day-to-day at Rydal Penrhos.
Ahead of Open Morning, we wanted to provide those attending with a preview of what to expect from the occasion.
Interested in Years 12 and 13?
Upon arrival at Rydal Penrhos, you will be greeted by a member of our Admissions team before going on a personal tour of the school’s various departments, including the impressive Ferguson Centre, which is the base for pupils in Years 12 and 13.
You can ask questions about the school’s A Level options, Rydal Penrhos’ outstanding extra-curricular provision, university preparations, exceptional examination results this summer and the leadership opportunities available to every Key Stage 5 (Year 12 and 13) pupil.
The tour will take between 1 and 1 ½ hours so leave yourself plenty of time to get a real feel for Rydal Penrhos.
Interested in Years 7-11?
Those interested in Years 7-11 will also get the opportunity to view everything from academic classrooms, science laboratories and the outstanding sporting facilities available to our pupils, which also includes a 25-metre Swimming Pool.
Those with a more creative flair can explore the Art, Music, Design Technology and Drama departments, and there will be a chance to ask questions about anything and everything associated with Rydal Penrhos with our Admissions team and teaching staff following the tour.
Visitors can also get a sneak-peek of rehearsals for the upcoming Dramatic Society production of Matilda the Musical in the Memorial Hall.
This is a great time to become a member of the Rydal Penrhos community. There are some exciting ongoing plans to develop the site and the school’s value-added scores and GCSE results this summer were extraordinary.
Interested in Reception-Year 6?
Reception to Year 6 children at Rydal Penrhos are given the freedom to express themselves and develop key skills under the guidance and support of the school’s highly skilled teaching staff while finding their passion from an extra-curricular perspective with the incredible activities and clubs on offer.
Mrs Lucy Davies, Deputy Principal, will provide a more in-depth discussion about the superb education offered during a tour of the school, which includes classrooms, the IT suite, science labs, the music department and the ever-popular Forest School site.
She will also be more than happy to answer any queries about the curriculum and activities, in addition to the free wraparound care provided.
Interested in Pre-School?
Another thriving area of Rydal Penrhos is its Pre-School department, which is the perfect place for a child to begin their journey through education. They are given licence to express themselves, be creative and improve essential early skills that benefit them considerably in later life.
Visitors can see the specialist area for two-year-olds, the art room, reading area, imaginative play and a more typical classroom.
There is also an outdoor play area for them to enjoy and Pre-School children also benefit enormously from Rydal Penrhos’ Coastal School initiative, which is another way we use our stunning location on the North Wales coast to benefit our pupils.
Pupils lend support to Rob's marathon!
We are enormously proud of the close association our alumni maintain with our school. From serving on the committee of the Rydal Penrhos Society to helping at the annual Careers Fair, our alumni stay in touch with us in a host of different ways, long after departing as pupils.
Our close-knit community, a key part of our School’s ethos over the years, ensures that our former pupils hold Rydal Penrhos close to their hearts.
One shining star amongst our alumni is Rob Lloyd, who attended Rydal School from 1976 to 1981.
On Friday 24 September, Rob returned to familiar surroundings for the latest in a series of gruelling charity challenges – a marathon around Colwyn Bay.
Rob’s marathon forms part of a year-long fundraising enterprise to raise funds for Sense – a national disability charity that supports people living with complex disabilities, including the deafblind, empowering them to experience the world in ways that would otherwise be unavailable to them.
The marathon began at the Haley Memorial Pavilion on New Field at 9.30am, where Rob ran three laps around the field accompanied by some staff and pupils.
In 2019, shortly after having run the London Marathon, Rob was diagnosed with lymphoma and was admitted to Glan Clwyd Hospital, where he received nine months of chemotherapy treatment.
Since then, Rob has helped to set up 20 charity shops in Wales and has embarked on his year-long fundraising drive for Sense, which began last March with a non-stop, six-hour stationary bike ride outside the Llandudno Sense shop.
Other fundraising challenges have included a James Bond-style skydiving stunt and an SAS boot camp in the Brecon Beacons – and Rob has raised more than £50,000 so far.
We are proud to be supporting Rob during such an incredible charity initiative and wish him the very best of luck with his efforts.
You can sponsor Rob here.
Active start to Llanrug residential
With restrictions surrounding COVID-19 relaxed by the Welsh Government ahead of the new academic year, Rydal Penrhos pupils are enjoying a much more familiar time in school with their academic subjects and the wealth of extra-curricular opportunities on offer.
This also includes some exciting excursions planned for pupils of all age groups, which have been implemented by staff to broaden their horizons and enhance development away from the classroom.
One of the most eagerly-anticipated of these is the Year 6 residential to the Arete Outdoor Centre situated in Llanrug. A fantastic way for the group to build friendships, test their limits and have plenty of fun in the process.
A very enthusiastic Year 6 contingent arrived safely at the centre on Monday 20 September and immediately got stuck into an action-packed schedule which began even before their arrival with a trek up Conwy mountain.
Under the supervision of Mrs Pyves, Mrs Tebbits and qualified instructors at the centre, Year 6 got the opportunity to participate in some bouldering before lunch and evening activities.
Our residential trip to the Arete Outdoor Centre in Llanrug is something that our Year 6 really looks forward to, and this latest trip promised to be no different.
Trips such as this have also been proven to enhance wellbeing, which is always at the forefront of every staff member’s mind at Rydal Penrhos after plenty of obstacles being thrown at pupils over the last 20 months.
It’s fantastic to see Year 6 really getting stuck into their early activities. We hope they had a brilliant week and get a significant amount out of the experience.
Charlotte qualifies for NSEA Championships
Staff at Rydal Penrhos are always looking at ways to enhance the provision of our pupils, Whether it is academically or adding to the wide range of extra-curricular opportunities, the school endeavours to explore every possible avenue to endure each child gets the most out of their education.
Another recent change has seen the school become a member of the National Schools Equestrian Association, which is the recognised body for equestrianism in schools throughout the UK, providing inter-school competitions for team and individual riders at state and independent education establishments as well as colleges.
Charlotte Payne was the first Rydal Penrhos competitor to compete at an NSEA event on Sunday, which saw the talented showjumper compete for a place at the prestigious national championships.
The Year 8 pupil has accumulated plenty of competing experience despite her tender age, with this serving her well during his first official representation of the school.
Charlotte handled the qualification phase extremely well in the face of some stern competition, something that enabled her to qualify for the NSEA Championships, where she will compete for the 2021 NSEA Championship Plate.
The NSEA’s aim is to promote and encourage the participation in and recognition of equestrian sport within schools in Great Britain.
It is run by a number of industry experts with many years of experience both in schools and the highest levels of equestrian sport as organisers, judges, owners and competitors.
They are an Independent Partner of the British Horse Society and work closely with other British Equestrian Federation member bodies on a number of projects in order to produce the best opportunities for inter-school equestrian sport.
Everyone at Rydal Penrhos is delighted for Charlotte and wish her all the luck in the world at the NSEA Championships, where she is sure to do herself and the school proud.
If anyone else has their own horse and would like to join the Rydal Penrhos team, please contact Sarah James at SJames@rydalpenrhos.com.
A new wedding venue in town!
There is a new wedding and event venue on the scene and it is incredible!
Rydal Penrhos has listed buildings, is set in beautifully landscaped gardens and is the perfect venue for your wedding or event.
Founded in 1885 the school buildings sit amidst landscaped gardens and can host weddings and events for between 40 and 250 guests inside or for the larger events outside in marquees.
Whether you want your wedding or event to be surrounded by history and grandeur or be more relaxed and outdoors there is something for you at Rydal Penrhos. And they are thrilled to let people know that they still have Saturdays free in 2021 and 2022.
Rydal Penrhos has exceptional wedding facilities for hire.
“The Osborn Hall” which was formally the school chapel and dining hall is a beautiful room that boasts a vaulted ceiling, wood panelling, stained glass windows and parquet flooring. Steeped in history it has to be seen to be believed.
Now converted into a wonderful event space it is suitable for a wedding ceremony, a reception, or a lovely party or Christmas function. Able to host larger events for up to 250 guests the library opens onto the quad and gardens, perfect for pre-dinner drinks.
“The Memorial Hall” is one of the grandest, oldest most beautiful buildings on the Rydal Penrhos estate. As you dance the night away or walk up the aisle you can look up and enjoy the beautiful painted ceiling and be enveloped by the history that echoes around this dramatic room.
The hall can host up to 150 guests and is perfect for dances, weddings, and once again opens on to the quad and gardens and treasured “cloisters” that form just one of the many photographic opportunities on the estate.
“The Pavilion” is perfect if you dream of a room with a view. Here it is possible to host events for up to 40 guests in a relaxed and less formal setting, perfect for a smaller afternoon tea style wedding or christening party.
Opening on to our cricket field this is a great setting for a marquee or stretch tent style wedding or event too if you wish to go large.
“St John’s Church” is also part of the Rydal Penrhos estate. This well-loved and cared-for school church is a beautiful setting in which to be married, host a family ceremony or a memorial service. And the church school has its own chaplain who will be pleased to discuss your service with you.
Rydal Penrhos has a team of dedicated event planners available to help you plan and enjoy your perfect day or evening. They are also working with handpicked local wedding and event suppliers to ensure that everything is on hand to create the wedding or event of your dreams.
Come and discover this new wedding and event setting on Sunday 24 October 2021, from 11am to 3pm by booking at email@example.com, be sure to book to secure a lovely welcome drink and canapes.
Anyone wishing to book their place at our Wedding Open Day can do so easily online here. More information can be found on the school’s Facebook page.
Team RP finishes 2nd at British Schools (North) Indoor Ski Championships
It’s been a busy start to the academic year for Rydal Penrhos pupils, who are now permitted to compete in team sporting activities, matches and competitions in accordance with Welsh Government guidelines surrounding COVID-19.
This is something we saw during the previous summer term with the annual cricket fixture between the school’s First XI and the MCC and the First XV rugby team set to compete at New Field for the first time in almost two years this Saturday against Oswestry School.
Hopefully, this is a trend that can continue long into the future after such a difficult period. Thankfully, our incredible teaching and coaching staff have kept developing ticking along in a determined fashion during sessions on-site and a comprehensive online schedule.
The first competitive competition for our talented young skiers came on Monday 20 September, with Cameron Pye, Louis Hollingsworth and Jack Dougherty travelling to the Chill Factore in Manchester for the British Schools (North) Indoor Ski Championships.
All three raced really well throughout a competitive event featuring some of the brightest young skiers in the country, with Year 8 pupil Cameron producing a fabulous effort to finish fourth in the U14 male category.
Jack was also competing in this particular category, coming in a creditable 11th place.
There was further cause for encouragement with the performance of Louis in the U16 male event. The pupil earned 7th position in the standings, leaving the Rydal Penrhos team coming in second overall as a result of their outstanding consistency.
This represents a significant achievement for the trio and everyone at Rydal Penrhos is absolutely thrilled by this accomplishment at such a high-profile competition.
A busy start to the academic year!
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 a child’s life and something our teaching staff strives to ensure they get the most out of before moving on to Reception and beyond.
The aim of our Pre-School Department – which is available for children aged 2-4 – is to provide a stimulating setting in which every child can thrive and develop at their own pace; socially, physically, emotionally and academically.
We believe in encouraging our children to be self-motivated and independent, yet aware of their peers. Something that’s formed a key component of the school’s ethos and develops each child individually using a pupil-centred approach in a safe facility they feel comfortable in.
It’s certainly been a busy start to the academic year for Pre-Schoolers, who’ve thrown themselves into a variety of different activities to improve knowledge and basic skills under the supervision of qualified staff.
During their weekly Forest School sessions, children have been discovering more about autumn using the stunning grounds at Rydal Penrhos to collect different coloured natural materials and discussing why things like trees change colour during this time of year.
Staff also linked these sessions to their topic about “Themselves” by discussing appearances – something that brought about some impressive discussions among the group.
Pre-Schoolers also got the chance to get creative, learning about bones and the skeletal system before discovering how to draw one for themselves.
It’s been fantastic to see so many smiling faces around campus. Our Pre-School children are clearly loving every minute of their time at Rydal Penrhos and long may it continue.
Josh takes first steps to success
We are always encouraging our pupils to gain new experiences at Rydal Penrhos.
Whether that’s in the classroom or during the wealth of extra-curricular activities available across all year groups, it all plays a leading role in a child or young person’s development from Pre-School right up until they are ready for the next stage of their journey in Year 13.
Not only this, but the school is happy to see many of our pupils thriving in groups, sports teams, activities and community initiatives in their own time. This is also a vital component of progressing key cognitive skills and enhancing early passions that could eventually lead to something bigger as the years go on.
One particular area where Rydal Penrhos pupils attain success is in the martial arts. Many have gone on to achieve prestigious Black Belts within various disciplines, which have been proven to boost confidence, communication and the ability to follow instructions efficiently in the process.
The latest young pupil whose beginning on this path is Josh H-Mc, who is a new member of the Rydal Penrhos community having joined at the start of the academic year.
Josh has been attending sessions at John Lynn’s Black Belt Martial Arts Academy and has taken to his Karate lessons extremely well despite his lack of experience.
There was further evidence of this during Josh’s first formal grading held under the watchful eye of instructors. He came through the assessment with flying colours after working tremendously hard during the preparation stage to become the proud owner of a Yellow Belt as a result of his efforts.
Josh is now working hard in pursuit of gaining further accolades in the weeks and months ahead. Everyone at Rydal Penrhos would like to congratulate the pupil and look forward to hearing of many more achievements to come in the not-too-distant future.
Rob's big marathon send-off!
Stars of the Week
24 September 2021 - congratulations!
A huge congratulations to swimming coach Mr Edgley, who got married to the lovely Helen right here at Rydal Penrhos last week. We wish you many happy years of wedded bliss together!