The RP Weekly: 30 July 2021
The weekly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos School.
The RP Weekly
30 July 2021
Open Day 2021
25 September event details confirmed
Rydal Penrhos has confirmed details of a special Open Day for prospective pupils and their families in September 2021.
There has never been a better time to join the Rydal Penrhos community. The school has gone from strength to strength over the last year, which is reflected in outstanding examination results, high value-added scores and an incredible display of adaptability and resilience throughout the COVID-19 challenges to ensure no learning loss took place.
The school's strong academic ethos coupled with a diverse extra-curricular provision is integrated with a pupil-centred approach that has seen numbers across all year groups surge in recent months.
Rydal Penrhos' teaching staff left no stone unturned with a comprehensive online provision during the second educational lockdown at the start of the year, enabling pupils young and old to meet their targets and achieve notable goals in ever-changing circumstances.
Looking ahead, Rydal Penrhos is pleased to announce details of a special Open Day, which will take place on Saturday 25 September and gives prospective pupils and their families a first-hand opportunity to see for themselves what goes on during a typical day at the school.
The Open Day will be held in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines at the time. Booking is advised initially, although this is obviously a fluid situation with the prospect of moving to Alert Level 0 in the coming weeks.
Those in attendance will get individual tours from the school and speak with teaching and admissions staff to get a broader perspective of the day-to-day life of a pupil, the diverse curriculum and exceptional pastoral care.
There will be a host of things to enjoy throughout the showcase, which will feature core academic departments such as English, Mathematics, Art, Drama, Music and Science.
The school’s thriving extra-curricular provision will also be providing demonstrations throughout the Open Day event.
Full timings will be released in the near future and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone to our wonderful school.
Anyone wishing to book their place at our Open Day, or for more information, please call 01492 530155, email firstname.lastname@example.org or use our online form here: https://rydalpenrhos.com/admissions/open-day/.
Founders' Weekend 2021
Booking is now open!
After the annual Founders’ Weekend was unfortunately cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19, Rydal Penrhos is absolutely thrilled to confirm full details of this year’s event, which runs from September 10-11.
The festivities begin on Friday 10 September with a special Founders’ Day Service at St John’s Church in Colwyn Bay at 9am, which will formally start what promises to be a memorable weekend of fun-filled activities and events.
This will be followed by the school’s Speech Day Years 11-13 (2020/21 academic year) in the Memorial Hall at 3pm, which was unable to take place in its usual form during the summer term thanks to social distancing measures implemented by the Welsh Government.
Following Speech Day, there will be refreshments in the Memorial Quad from 4.15pm.
There is something for everyone on Saturday 11 September. Girls and Boys Hockey will start things off on the school’s Astro surface at 10am, with a Fox Trot Fell/Trail Run also organised by former Rydal Penrhos pupil Richard Watson from 11am.
Another welcome return to the calendar is the School vs. Alumni netball fixture that takes place in the Sports Hall from 12pm, which comes just before lunch in the Dining Hall at 1pm.
Those former pupils who wish to tour either the Senior or Prep School sites can do so from 1.45pm. There will also be an archive display from 1.30-4.30pm in the Haley Memorial Pavilion on New Field with plenty of interesting items from the school’s illustrious history.
The Vikings Rugby fixture is an event not to miss and begins at 2.30pm. This historical fixture is always one of the true highlights of Founders’ Weekend and features some top talent that developed their skills as pupils.
The Rydal Penrhos Society‘s Annual General Meeting will take place from 6-6.45pm in the Kenworthy Room situated in the Ferguson Centre on Combermere Road. There is an open invitation to any alumni who would like to attend.
This will be followed by……..
Rydal Penrhos Society Dinner 2021
Get excited! Get very excited! A reunion within the iconic school buildings with drinks and food – what is not to love?
What better way to reunite with friends and old schoolmates after a difficult year than at the Rydal Penrhos Society Dinner.
This incredible reunion event is always a Founders’ Weekend highlight and this year’s event promises to be bigger and better than ever and we want YOU to come.
Saturday 11 September
- 19.00 Welcome drinks reception in The Ferguson Centre, Combermere Road
- 19:45 Rydal Penrhos Society Dinner – 3-course gala dinner with coffee for the incredible price of £32.50 per guest
- Carriages at 23:00
- Dress is evening/cocktail (black tie or suits)
- Cost – £32.50 per person
- Complimentary for Year 13 2021 and Year 13 2020
Although there is no golf event scheduled over Founders’ Weekend, the Pochin Cup will take place on Tuesday 14 September at Sandiway Golf Club.
A full rundown of events and how to book your place throughout Founders’ Weekend can be found in this digital document. We cannot wait to welcome everyone back to Rydal Penrhos once again!
Book your place
Rydal Penrhos Society Dinner – Year 13 and Year 14 complimentary tickets – BOOK HERE
Rydal Penrhos Society Dinner – Alumni/Staff tickets BOOK HERE
More information can be found in this digital document
Significant milestone reached
Rydal Penrhos reached another significant milestone in the school’s revitalisation project. Building firm Castle Green Homes (formerly Macbryde), will be submitting plans for the redevelopment of the iconic former Pwllycrochan Hotel and estate.
The school, which is a registered charity, has been a significant part of Colwyn Bay life for 140 years, and has nearly 400 local pupils after a surge in numbers over the last year.
It is also one of the town’s largest employers, contributing more than £6 million a year to the local economy.
In January 2019, the school announced ambitious plans to significantly enhance the provision for pupils. This includes modernisation of all teaching and learning facilities for the whole school.
It was also simultaneously announced that boarding provision would end from summer 2021.
The former Pwllycrochan Hotel had provided the largest boarding accommodation and the hub for pupils from Pre-School to Year 6.
Castle Green Homes are now planning to restore the iconic building to the glory of years gone by. The school has always prided itself on its architectural heritage and these plans not only preserve but will enhance the Estate.
John Waszek, Executive Principal of Rydal Penrhos, said: “The starting point for everything we do has to have at its heart the impact it will have on the pupils – this revitalisation project personifies this goal.”
Since the 2019 announcement, Rydal Penrhos has invested almost £500,000 on improving facilities and the overall provision in keeping with its pupil-centred approach.
The school spent £250,000 on its IT provision including providing an iPad for every pupil. This ensured pupils did not suffer the “learning loss” which has blighted the education of millions of children throughout the world during the coronavirus pandemic.
Amongst other improvements the swimming pool has been completely renovated and is now in regular use not only by pupils but the wider Conwy community.
More information can be found here.
A Welsh version is also available here.
Key Stage 5
Paul appointed Head of Wesley House
John Wesley was a leader of a revival movement within the Church of England known as Methodism. The societies he founded became the dominant form of the independent Methodist movement that continues to this day.
This is something that is still a significant part of the vision and ethos of Rydal Penrhos. Even in ever-changing times, the school remains committed to its strong values developed by its founding fathers more than 130 years ago.
Throughout his life, Wesley remained within the established Church of England, insisting that the Methodist movement lay well within its tradition.
In his early ministry years, Wesley was barred from preaching in many parish churches and the Methodists were persecuted; he later became widely respected, and by the end of his life, was described as “the best-loved man in England”.
The spirit of John Wesley lives on at Rydal Penrhos. His name was bestowed on one of the school’s houses for Years 7-13, which is always a source of great pride at events and competitions throughout the academic year.
Activities such as this have been few and far between over the last 17 months due to COVID-19 restrictions, although it was fantastic to see some sort of normality return during the summer term with the Sports Day spectacle showcasing the school’s incredible community spirit to its fullest extent.
Looking ahead with more optimism, Rydal Penrhos is pleased to confirm that Paul Kenyon as the Head of Wesley House for the 2021/22 academic year.
Paul is a relative newcomer to the school, enrolling at the start of his Sixth Form journey last year. He has integrated himself among his peers superbly well in challenging circumstances, which also included a second educational lockdown throughout most of the spring term.
The Year 13 pupil will be tasked with organising pupils in Wesley House and becoming a strong role model as part of the Senior Prefect Team. Paul is sure to gain a tremendous amount from the role, which includes building core skills such as communication and leadership that should stand him in good stead both at university and upon embarking on the working world.
Everyone at Rydal Penrhos would like to congratulate Paul on securing the position and wish him the very best of luck in the coming months.
Holiday Play Scheme
Day at the zoo
Although Rydal Penrhos pupils are now enjoying their summer break, some are also taking advantage of our Summer Play Scheme initiative to further boost friendships and gain new experiences before returning to the classroom in September.
The Holiday Play Scheme is open during out of term time and provides an extensive programme of activities which the children can experience, and helps assist them with their emotional, physical, social, intellectual, language and creative development.
All while having some great fun in the process.
The latest example of this came from a recent trip made by the Play Scheme to one of the region’s most prominent tourist attractions situated just a short distance away from Rydal Penrhos.
Under the expert care of staff, children descended on the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay, where they got to find out more about the wildlife residing at the facility and were treated to glorious sunshine to mark the occasion.
One of the main sources of excitement during the trip was seeing the new £1 million Snow Leopard enclosure, which recreates the mountainous regions in which the vulnerable species lives in the wild.
The snow leopard enclosure has been designed to offer visitors a nose-to-nose visual experience through glass, whilst an elevated walkway journeys around the site, offering panoramic views across the zoo and the surrounding Carneddau Mountains.
Monkeys, penguins, flamingoes and the Sumatran tigers were other popular animals during their time at the zoo, which was another fantastic way to enhance knowledge and make the most out of the school’s fantastic location on the North Wales coast.
It was a fantastic experience for all involved and one that everyone enjoyed to the fullest extent!
Ben gains 1st-class degree from Cambridge
We are always proud to hear of our alumni‘s success when they leave Rydal Penrhos for higher education or to make their way into the working world.
The strong foundation they receive at the school not only comes with exceptional examination results and impressive value-added scores, but it also gives them key life skills that stand them in good stead throughout the next stage of their respective journeys.
Another fine example of this is Ben Gibson, who left Rydal Penrhos in 2018 and earned a place at the University of Cambridge, which is regarded as one of the finest higher education establishments in the world.
Ben received some amazing news in the form of a first-class degree in History, which is a testament to his outstanding commitment despite the challenges over the last year relating to COVID-19.
He is now staying on to complete an MPhil in Medieval History, which forms an integral part of the teaching and research in the Cambridge History Faculty, which is a world-leading provision.
The course offers students intensive training in medieval concepts and methods and helps develop skills in Latin and palaeography which they will use to research a key theme in medieval history.
Ben’s journey began in 2011 as a Year 7 pupil. Although new to the Rydal Penrhos family, he settled in extremely well and it wasn’t long before his love for all things academic came to the fore.
This was something that became prevalent throughout Ben’s time at the school. He was polite, conducted himself in an exemplary fashion and provided younger members of the school community with support as part of the Senior Prefect Team.
There were plenty of memorable highlights from his time at Rydal Penrhos.
His campaign address during the Mock General Election as leader of the Labour Party who eventually emerged victoriously was memorable, with Ben’s expert violin playing contributing to many concerts put on by Rydal Penrhos.
He was also responsible for forming a pupil-led school newspaper alongside Elinor Davies and came away with a wealth of individual accolades during Speech Day events throughout the years.
Everyone at Rydal Penrhos is absolutely thrilled for Ben and wishes him all the success in the world as he embarks on his MPhil.
Vicky narrowly misses out on rowing medal
Vicky Thornley and her dream of securing a medal from the Tokyo Olympics came to a dramatic end in the women’s single sculls final early on Friday morning.
The former Rydal Penrhos pupil progressed well in the heats, quarter-final and semi-final stages to reach the showcase, giving her a good chance of coming away with her second consecutive medal for Team GB.
Vicky produced a rousing effort over the second half of the race to put her right in contention, but she eventually finished fourth despite a fantastic effort from the 33-year-old.
She was pipped to bronze by Austria’s Magdalena Lobnig, with just 67 hundredths of a second separating the two rowers.
New Zealander Emma Twigg, who finished ahead of Vicky in the semi-finals, crossed the line first to secure gold.
Speaking after the race, Vicky said: “Fourth is tough, but I don’t think I could have done any more, especially in the second half of the race.
“I didn’t have quite enough at the end, but I am proud of what I have delivered over the last eight days. There have been some hellish days, especially the three days waiting for the semi-final.
“The last five years have been incredible – some of my darkest days and some of my best days. I am proud of the race I put together.
“I thought I had the momentum, but I didn’t have quite enough.”
Despite missing out on a medal, Vicky can be enormously proud of her accomplishments, She is the first Team GB athlete to ever reach the women’s single sculls final and already has a silver medal from the women’s double sculls alongside Dame Katherine Grainger, which the duo achieved at the Rio games.
Everyone at Rydal Penrhos would like to congratulate Vicky on an incredible effort during the games. She gave absolutely everything and we are incredibly proud of her!
Noah lends support to Snowdon trek
Helping out in the community is something that forms a big part of life at Rydal Penrhos.
The school holds a large number of fundraising days throughout the academic year, with schemes such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award and Activity Week focusing on helping out throughout Colwyn Bay and the wider Conwy region.
Our pupils also do their utmost to help worthy causes across the community and beyond. Many of them partake in fundraising initiatives both individually and with specific groups that they’re involved in away from school, which is a testament to their selfless nature and willingness to help others.
Noah Lewis, who will be entering Year 10 in September, will be lending his support to an upcoming charity challenge on Saturday 31 July along with his sister Ruby.
The pair will join two other volunteers from the Kind Bay Initiative in trekking up Mount Snowdon carrying a stretcher weighing 80 kilograms. This is to symbolise carrying an average body and the weight mental health issues can have on someone’s life.
This is not the first time that Noah has assisted with the KBI, which is a homeless charity that was set up with a view to tackling isolation and poor mental health by bringing people together and providing them with food, clothes, entertainment, and a listening ear.
As part of his involvement with the KBI, Noah offered to put his culinary skills to good use by cooking several times outside of school hours, which has received some impressive feedback from those receiving the meals.
His chicken curry was described as “one of the best meals they’d ever had at KBI”, with the charity remaining steadfast in their commitment to providing those in need with a vital service over the last year despite the obvious complications surrounding COVID-19.
We would like to wish Noah, Ruby and everyone doing the challenge the very best of luck. Anyone wishing to donate to their cause can do so here.
Partnerrship launched with North Wales Crusaders
Rydal Penrhos is fortunate to have exceptional facilities and an incredible location for sailing, sport and outdoor education, helping many people go on to achieve remarkable sporting careers throughout the school’s illustrious history.
Since the club’s move to the region, the North Wales Crusaders have been busy forming links with local businesses and people to grow their presence in the area.
This latest partnership with Rydal Penrhos will see the club host events at the school and make use of the first-class facilities on offer during training weekends in the future.
Andy Moulsdale, chief executive of the Crusaders, said: “They’ve been really supportive since our move and are very keen to see both us and the sport of rugby league develop in the area.
“After being shown around the facilities, you can see how brilliant it is at the school and I’ve no doubt this partnership will benefit us massively both on and off the field.
“The response we’ve had from many local people and businesses since our move to the area has been fantastic and I can’t wait to see how things grow in the future.”
Crusaders have offered all pupils free season tickets and will be working on further incentives so there are plenty of benefits for everyone involved.
Maria McLean, who is the school’s new commercial manager, added: “Rydal Penrhos has been a strong community presence over many years and has formed close partnerships with many successful businesses across the region.
“We are delighted to be working with North Wales Crusaders, who will bring a fantastic amount to the area after relocating their fixtures to Parc Eirias.
“This will be a long-standing mutual arrangement that will have a lasting impact on our pupils moving forward.
“We look forward to working with Andy and the Crusaders team.”
Admin Manager and Executive Principal's PA appointed
Rydal Penrhos is delighted to confirm the appointment of Anne Wallace as the school’s new Admin Manager and Executive Principal’s PA.
Anne is originally from Rugby in Warwickshire and currently lives in Holywell with her partner and daughter. She was educated at Leamington College for Girls before attending college to train as a secretary, which is something she’d always wanted to do from an early age.
After successfully gaining the necessary qualifications, Anne threw herself straight into the working world and has worked for some high-profile companies such as Virgin Care, Lloyds Pharmacy and Galliford Try before joining Rydal Penrhos’ incredible staff team.
In addition to her expertise in the world of administration, Anne is also a qualified swimming coach and worked at a swim school in Leicestershire. This is something that runs in the family, with her niece currently on a swimming scholarship at an American university.
Anne will now begin her new role of leading the school’s Admin team and working closely with Executive Principal John Waszek throughout the summer and the 2021/22 academic year once it commences in September.
Her hobbies include gardening, cars and rock music (particularly The Who). Anne’s family also has a pet tortoise called Rocket.
She said: “The position was something different as I have never worked in a school before. It’s a new challenge and I absolutely loved Rydal Penrhos from the moment I visited.
“The school offers some fantastic opportunities for pupils coming here and I am very much looking forward to being part of a brilliant team who’ve made me feel very welcome so far.”
Welcome to Rydal Penrhos, Anne. We are thrilled to have you.