The RP Weekly: 26 November 2021
The weekly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos School.
The RP Weekly
26 November 2021
2022 event confirmed
Rydal Penrhos warmly invites you to attend its 2022 Assessment Day, which is for all year groups and will take place on Saturday 22 January 2022 from 9am.
This is for any child looking to join Rydal Penrhos for September 2022 entry and the Assessment Day will all be conducted with consideration of COVID-19 safety protocols at the time.
This will be open to those looking to join the Rydal Penrhos community from September 2022 across Years 7-13.
Academic scholarship premiums are available in Years 7-10 for anyone that demonstrates potential from their Cognitive Abilities Test and during an interview with a senior staff member.
The school is offering several free day places for Year 7 and Year 12 entry in 2022, which is a means-tested scheme that has proven hugely popular since the initiative was launched.
All applications must be in by Friday 14 January.
It is an enormously exciting time to join the Rydal Penrhos family. The school achieved historic results at A Level and GCSE this summer, which also came with some truly exceptional value-added scores.
This added to the rich history of academic achievements throughout Rydal Penrhos’ illustrious history, which is coupled with an outstanding extra-curricular provision from Pre-School to Sixth Form.
Here is a more in-depth look at the initiatives available for incoming pupils.
Academic Scholarship Premiums
Academic scholarship premiums may be awarded to children on entry to any academic year (from Year 7 upwards).
These scholarship premiums are open to pupils already within the school and those joining the school and are based on clear testing/results and interviews. There is no limit to the number of these awards.
These awards are not means-tested and the reward is the title of scholar and also a £500 contribution each year for the pupil from the school to further their academic studies through the purchase of books etc.
A mentor will be attached to the pupil for this purpose and would meet half termly to discuss progress in that area and help the money be spent wisely and appropriately.
Art, Drama, Sport and Music scholarship premiums may also be awarded to pupils with “exceptional talent” at any point during their senior school years. They do not require an application.
Fully-funded day places
Rydal Penrhos offers fully-funded day places based on academic ability and financial eligibility. Occasionally, the number of places in Year 7 and 12 may increase, or the scheme may become available for entrants into other academic year groups.
The Year 7 places are awarded based on school reports, a Cognitive Ability Test (CAT) and an interview with a senior staff member.
These are means-tested awards, intended as an “opportunity” for an academically able child or young person residing in North Wales who is currently being educated within the state school system.
The scheme is transparent and is based on financial criteria.
Eligible candidates are part of a financial assessment which only considers families in which family income is less than £35,000 per annum and there are no other significant assets that could be monetised.
An external assessor carries out a thorough assessment, including publicly available data that is not part of the submission and carries out a home visit to establish the family’s suitability for the award.
Once a candidate is awarded a place, they will have it until they leave at the end of Sixth Form assuming they continue to be an exemplary member of the Rydal Penrhos community and are not subject to a significant change in circumstances.
Anyone wishing to register can do so by emailing email@example.com, calling 01492 530155 or using the online form which can be located at this link.
Children in Need
More than £1,000 raised so far!
Rydal Penrhos pulled together to raise funds for an extremely worthy cause during the annual BBC Children in Need fundraising day on Friday 19 November.
Staff and pupils devised an action-packed schedule for the occasion, which drew a huge response from the entire school community and raised a four-figure sum in the process.
Years 7-13 were given the option of coming in their own clothes or dressing to a Superhero theme for a small donation, which saw everything from Captain America, Superman and Zorro come into school.
Plenty of tasty treats were on offer at a charity cake sale during Rydal Penrhos’ morning break, with other activities held during lunch to raise further funds for the nationwide campaign to provide assistance to those less fortunate.
Things were equally as busy at the Prep site, with pupils dressing in Pudsey-themed attire and the entire Pre-School-Year 6 community taking part in a day-long Dance-a-Thon that saw a sensational collective effort from all involved.
A total of £1,085 has been raised from the school’s JustGiving page online, with more set to come in over the next few days to boost the total further.
Our Charity Committee and Prep site did an incredible job of organising this year’s BBC Children in Need Day, and it was great to see the entire Rydal Penrhos community enthusiastically supporting every activity for a very worthy cause.
They can be enormously proud of the amount raised and everyone at Rydal Penrhos would like to thank everyone that donated.
Children in Need is the BBC’s official UK charity and raises money for disadvantaged young people around the country, such as those experiencing poverty, with disabilities, or victims of abuse or neglect.
Superb recent results!
It’s been fantastic to see the return of competitive sporting fixtures throughout the autumn term at Rydal Penrhos.
Although everyone at the school is still taking every possible precaution relating to COVID-19, improved restrictions from the Welsh Government ensured our young athletes could get back doing what they love and working as a team to achieve their goals.
This return to action has seen Girls’ Hockey take centre stage in recent weeks, with age category teams testing their skills against other schools from across the region and developing key areas such as in-game adjustments, communication and technique.
The school’s First Team took on Oswestry School on Saturday 20 November and turned in a fabulous display to secure a tremendous 3-1 victory.
There were a host of fine individual contributions during the encounter, with goals from Eloise Chapman and Jasmin Beckett-Donald getting Rydal Penrhos ahead and some crucial saves courtesy of Zara Whelan got them over the line.
This represents another fine collective achievement from the First Team, who can all be proud of their commitment, work ethic, and ability to motivate throughout.
There was further cause for celebration courtesy of the U13 squad, who came away with a resounding 5-1 triumph thanks to a sensational attacking display.
Charlotte Payne continued her fine run of form with two goals, with Lily Copeland, Olivia O’Leary and Isabella Thomas also hitting the target.
A special mention also goes to Cammie de la Mare Norris, who stepped in as goalkeeper at the 11th hour and made some eye-catching stops.
Rydal Penrhos’ U13 squad also emerged victorious from their recent fixture at Liverpool College thanks to a 3-1 scoreline, with Cammie and a brace from Charlotte playing a significant role in another encouraging team performance.
The U12 team continue to impress, which bodes well for their future at the school with additional development in the weeks, months and years ahead.
Well done, girls! We look forward to hearing of further successes.
Prep site celebration
There was a big surprise for Rydal Penrhos pupils recently when they got the chance to find out more about and participate in a series of activities relating to a prominent festival held across the globe.
Diwali is the five-day Festival of Lights, celebrated by millions of Hindus, Sikhs and Jains, which for some also coincides with the harvest and is a festival of new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil and light over darkness.
On Wednesday 17 November, West End in Schools held a dance workshop at the Prep site for all the pupils from Year 1 up to Year 6 and centred on the theme of Diwali.
The workshop covered the Hindu story of The Ramayana, which is the story behind the festival of Diwali.
It began with warm-ups and activities which involved steps and movements to represent characters in The Ramayana. The final dance retold this important story, starting with group freeze-frames of different scenes followed by traditional dance moves and culminating with Rydal Penrhos pupils depicting fireworks with movement.
By retelling the story through dance, the pupils developed their knowledge of the background to the festival of Diwali. They also widened their understanding of a different culture and developed Religious Studies skills of respect and empathy.
The workshop supported the RS topic “Light and Dark” currently being undertaken by Year 3 pupils.
All the classes had briefly covered the story of Rama and Sita in their RS lessons and learnt about how Diwali is celebrated in recognition of the festival being held at the beginning of November.
In readiness for the workshop, pupils also took part in a Diwali-themed activity within Rydal Penrhos’ incredible Forest School site with Mrs Jude Pyves.
This saw them work in groups, using materials across the forest to create Rangoli colours that resulted in some eye-catching creations from the school’s eager learners in an outdoor setting.
Learning for life at Rydal Penrhos
We are enormously proud of the well-rounded education provided to our fantastic pupils at Rydal Penrhos.
This comes through an exceptional academic curriculum and a rich, varied extra-curricular programme that builds key skills and allows each member of the school community to gain new experiences that serve them well throughout their time with us and in later life.
A testament to the school’s ongoing commitment to developing the individual is reflected not only with superb examination results and value-added scores. But it’s also evident in our pupils’ development and progress evident on a daily basis.
Another area of this development that’s been highly beneficial is our PSHE sessions, which have taken a “Learning for Life” theme and give our young learners a broader understanding of important social and topical issues that are also a key part of their day-to-day lives.
Personal, Social, Health and Economic (PSHE) Education focuses on strengthening the knowledge, skills, and connections to keep children and young people healthy and safe, preparing them for life and work.
The key topics discussed during PSHE sessions at Rydal Penrhos are vast. Issues such as Health and Wellbeing, Substance Abuse Awareness, Relationships and Sex Education are becoming increasingly important in modern society, so providing pupils with a platform to learn and understand these subjects is of critical importance.
Not only this, but the school also covers areas such as Citizenship, possible Career opportunities in specific fields of interest and the best way of attaining them, broadening understanding of Financial Education and money management in higher education and beyond, in addition to First Aid awareness and training.
A new element to PSHE sessions implemented by Rydal Penrhos recently is Enterprise/Entrepreneurship, which gives pupils the opportunity to delve deeper into the world of business with tasks and exciting projects.
One such example came recently with Year 10, who were tasked with devising a business plan to present in a Dragon’s Den type scenario to a panel of respected local business people in order to raise funds for Ty Gobaith Children’s Hospice in Conwy.
Preparing the child for the road, not the road for the child. An ethos that’s been prevalent throughout the proud history of Rydal Penrhos and something that continues to be a focal point in 21st Century education.
Incredible Year 1 blanket project
Matilda the Musical Jr.
Pupils outline excitement over rehearsals
Excitement is building as pupils and staff put the final touches on preparations for the Dramatic Society production of Matilda the Musical Jr. next week.
This is the first major showcase since Les Miserables due to COVID-19 restrictions and something the entire school is looking forward to immensely.
The school’s gifted performing artists have wowed audiences over the years with plays and musicals. These productions are always one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the calendar, with the likes of To Kill a Mockingbird and Annie the Musical becoming can’t miss spectacles enjoyed by hundreds of people over multiple nights.
Matilda the Musical Jr. will take place from 1-3 December, with a special matinee performance also scheduled within Rydal Penrhos’ Memorial Hall. It is being held a little earlier than usual performances, with the change giving pupils more time to focus on examinations during the spring term and also allowing every year group an opportunity to participate.
Rehearsals have been taking place over a number of weeks under the guidance of Head of Drama Rachel Jones and Director of Music Pete Williams, two experienced staff members with a real passion for the performing arts.
Fayeth Jones, who is playing the role of Acrobat, said the cast is like “a second family” and rehearsals are going extremely well ahead of their big moment on stage.
“What inspired me to get involved was not only past experiences within the theatre but also that the cast is almost like a second family. You meet a group of people and make amazing friends who you keep for years.
“Going to rehearsal is the highlight of my day and we always have a great time. Mrs Jones and Mr Williams are so supportive and have done an amazing job with everything from music and choreography to props and staging the scenes.”
Rana Abou-Samra, who is playing the role of Lavender, echoed Fayeth’s sentiments and lauded more deserved praise on Mrs Jones and Mr Williams for their exceptional guidance and commitment throughout the rehearsal process.
“I enjoy performing and jumped at the chance to be a part of the Matilda the Musical Jr. cast. Rehearsals have been so much fun with my friends, and I’ve also learned a lot from Mrs Jones and Mr Williams in a short space of time.”
Another who was thrilled with the way rehearsals have gone so far is Emily Jones, who is taking on the role of Amanda Thripp. She also revealed how much fun the cast is having despite all the hard work going into the production.
“All the cast get along so well, and going to rehearsal is the best part of my day. I’ve made many friends and we always laugh and have fun learning the new dances.
“Mrs Jones and Mr Williams are so kind and have done a great job to put this show together in such a short time. I think the shows are going to be great and so much fun.”
Tickets are still available for anyone wishing to attend, although they are limited for Friday’s performance.
Anyone wishing to book a ticket for the production can do so here.
Diwali Dance workshop & Children in Need Dance-a-Thom
Cricket Wales/Glamorgan coaching day hailed a success
Rydal Penrhos has a long-standing history of cricketing achievements, with many pupils going on to play professionally and gain international youth honours thanks to their outstanding development.
Not only this, but the school has also formed strong links with prestigious organisations such as Cricket Wales and Marylebone Cricket Club to further enhance our status.
The school’s incredible sporting facilities have regularly hosted Welsh youth cricket internationals in recent years, and a Rydal Penrhos was thrilled to host a special coaching event on Saturday 13 November in partnership with Cricket Wales and Glamorgan County Cricket Club.
The Coaching CPD Day ran from 10.00am-5.00pm and covered a number of topics from the disciplines of batting, bowling, fielding and wicket-keeping to athletic development and talent identification.
Among those attending the session was Matt Maynard MBE, a former England international and Glamorgan star who has since gone on to become a successful coach on the domestic scene.
He was joined at the event by Rich Almond (Head of Talent Development at Glamorgan Cricket Club), Aimee Rees and Matt Thompson, who is Head of Talent Pathway at Cricket Wales.
The aim of the day was to provide coaches up and down the North Wales region with a refresher of technical, tactical and practical coaching content that can be applied throughout the Welsh cricketing pathway.
This focused on everything from club level to regional cricket and County Age Group cricket.
We would like to thank Glamorgan and Cricket Wales for choosing Rydal Penrhos for the event and look forward to welcoming you all back to our fantastic campus very soon.
Year 6 finish season on a high
Rydal Penrhos is incredibly fortunate to find itself in a stunning location on the Colwyn Bay coastline just a stone’s throw from the beach.
This is something our teaching staff take full advantage of, using the outdoors to enhance the school’s provision and gain new experiences outside of a classroom environment.
This also allows the school to organise a diverse and exciting extra-curricular provision for our pupils, which includes a popular sport that has been part of Rydal Penrhos’ proud history for more than 60 years.
The school has a dedicated Sailing and Water-Sports Centre – which is accredited by the Royal Yachting Association and was implemented to allow pupils to enjoy the freedom of boating, windsurfing, canoeing and kayaking in a safe and fun environment.
One of the few schools in the United Kingdom that has Sailing as part of the curriculum, Rydal Penrhos offers this to pupils from a very early age and the programme has gone on to attain a wealth of national accolades, with aspiring sailors competing at regional, national and international events, gaining plenty of success along the way.
Despite COVID-19 restrictions meaning sessions could not take place for a large part of the previous academic year, it’s been fantastic to see things return to some semblance of normality this time around.
Year 6 were without their curriculum Water-Sports lessons for around 18 months, but their enthusiasm and willingness to learn under the direction of specialist staff means they are now back under sail once again.
This was evident during their last session of the sailing season recently, with pupils demonstrating their sailing and windsurfing skills in abundance to round off what’s been a hugely impressive few weeks for all involved.
Mrs Lucy Davies, who is Deputy Principal of Rydal Penrhos, said: “Thank you to our wonderful sailing team for the brilliant lessons this term. These involved sailing, windsurfing, surfing and kayaking as well as plenty of background theory on winds and waves.
“Our pupils can’t wait until Easter to be up and on the water again!”
Mr Sherrington on teaching during lockdown
Teaching online during lockdown was a challenge for Head of Art Mark Sherrington and Suzy Morris.
The idea of teaching a practical subject from the comfort of their own homes was an obvious challenge, but one they rose to extremely well as part of Rydal Penrhos’ outstanding provision during such a challenging time.
For the latest edition of the Rydal Penrhos Society newsletter, Mr Sherrington explained in detail the experiences gained and the incredible commitment displayed by pupils to ensure progression remained on course.
“We managed to get through it by coming up with creative ideas or projects which we delivered from home every week but at times we did feel a bit like a combination of Tony Hart and a ‘YouTuber!’
One of the most surprising things about that period was how the GCSE and A Level pupils in most cases created more work. Not only were they obviously enjoying time away from the screen making Art but the work was also more personal and considered.
The time doing Art quickly had become a time of solace and escape from their situation.
The online lessons became a supportive, self-help group where each week one of us would share our artwork online and the rest of the group would give feedback.
This form of teaching reminded me of being back at Art school in seminars or ‘group crit’ sessions where we would all chip in and discuss each other’s work. The result of this more mature approach to criticism and peer assessment was that the pupils would respond and act upon the advice.
Even the A Level photographers seemed to be motivated to make stronger images and relished the chance to visit different locations.
It was a period that reminded me too of the advice given to me on my Teacher Training when, a very experienced and gifted Art lecturer had said to me, that most of Art teaching could be summed up in one phrase…
“Spend longer on it.”
And that is what the pupils were doing and with tremendous results.
The exhibition at the end of the year was not only a success but perhaps, more importantly, it looked as strong and as thorough as any year.
It was an important lesson to have learnt from the whole period of COVID-19. I needed to make time in the school year for more group assessment, peer assessment and time for discussion and reflection about the work.
Most of making Art is after all reacting to what you have just done – it is recognising that one particular part, or an area, is working better than another and trying to respond to the work and make the work better.
The lockdown online teaching period had brought that into very strong focus and demonstrated how imperative it is to Art education.
I felt that in my busy school term I had perhaps lost sight of that a little. So the lockdown was a learning experience for everybody in that sense.”
We are indebted to Mr Sherrington and all our exceptional teaching staff at Rydal Penrhos for their efforts during this period. Their remarkable commitment enabled pupils young and old to hit the ground running during the autumn term once they were permitted to resume face-to-face learning.
You can read the full feature with Mr Sherrington here.
Stars of the Week
- Reception - Erin
- Year 1 - Edith
- Year 2 - Isabella and Demiana
- Year 3 - Logan
- Year 4 - Angus
- Year 5 - Connie
- Year 6 - Ceri
- Artist - Lily (Year 4) - for her ‘mend the earth’ painting
- Performers – Ella C (Year 5) for piano and Demiana, Megan and Immie in Year 2 for their group trumpet playing