The RP Weekly: 4 June 2021
The weekly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos School.
The RP Weekly
4 June 2021
Richard Greenwood OBE visits Rydal Penrhos
Rydal Penrhos was delighted to welcome a leading figure within the world of rugby for a special visit to the school and a meeting with Executive Principal John Waszek on Wednesday 26 May.
Richard Greenwood OBE, who enjoyed a glittering playing career before becoming a driving force in community initiatives across the region, discussed the possibility of a partnership between Rydal Penrhos and the North Wales Crusaders/Welsh Rugby League with Mr Waszek after the 79-year-old recently joined as a Patron.
Mr. Greenwood is keen for the Crusaders and the WRL to become more prevalent across the North Wales region – similar to what has been achieved by the Welsh Rugby Union – who started out their Academy system at the school that resulted in many pupils going on to achieve national honours and play professionally.
The father of World Cup winner Will Greenwood attended Merchant Taylors’ School before earning a place at Emmanuel College, Cambridge.
A fine player himself, Mr. Greenwood represented Waterloo, Cambridge University and Lancashire and earned five England caps from 1966-69.
His playing journey also saw Mr. Greenwood represent The Scorpions – an East African invitation team – which came following a coaching stint in Kenya. The former flanker also spent three seasons at Rugby Roma in Italy.
Mr. Greenwood was a Geography teacher and Head of Rugby at Stonyhurst College and also spent time coaching the England team from 1983-85 with great success.
A little closer to home, Mr. Greenwood has been a hugely influential presence in the progression of Rhyl and District Rugby Club and was instrumental in the team’s move from The Waen to their impressive new facility at Tynewydd Fields after securing a £1.5 million investment.
Mr. Waszek also enjoyed plenty of success on the rugby field, representing Loughborough Students and English Universities and going on to play for Saracens and Cambridgeshire during his playing career.
We were thrilled to welcome Mr. Greenwood to Rydal Penrhos and hope to see him back at the school very soon.
Exciting changes made
We have made some changes to our Pre-School, Pre-Prep and Prep sections of the school website, putting all the information you need in one handy place.
This gives prospective families the chance to explore deeper into each department within the Prep School, and we've also updated our pictures across every page thanks to some fantastic images from the very talented Martin Vaughan.
We will be doing the same to our Senior School and Sixth Form sections in the coming weeks, with a photoshoot planned once restrictions regarding masks are lifted.
The feedback we received regarding our galleries has been noted. Changes to the format now in slideshow form.
Prep School Website
Year 12 podcast praised by Radio 4 producer
“Fellow-citizens, we cannot escape history” – Abraham Lincoln.
History is a fascinating subject to study and one that is always popular at Rydal Penrhos – inspiring pupils to pursue the subject both in higher education and possible career paths in the future.
The past causes the present, and so the future. Any time we try to know why something happened—whether a shift in political party dominance, a major change in the teenage suicide rate, or a war in the Balkans or the Middle East—we have to look for factors that took shape earlier.
The Rydal Penrhos A Level History pupils were recently tasked with researching and producing a podcast based on the motives for The Crusades, which lasted from 1095-1192 and saw European Christians invade the Middle East on several occasions; a moment in History which saw a vast amount of knowledge return from Europe and the loss of thousands of lives.
And so in the style of BBC Radio 4‘s “In Our Time” all pupils involved sat in front of their microphones to record the podcast using all the knowledge they had worked long and hard to accumulate, phrasy and make work in this particular format.
Mrs Maria Freeman, who is Acting Head of the Humanities Faculty at Rydal Penrhos, said: “I am so proud of all of them.
“At the start of the year they knew nothing about the Crusades and they have worked so hard even during lockdown to expand their understanding.”
Mrs Freeman was so impressed with the standard, she sent the podcast to Simon Tillotson, a senior producer at BBC Radio 4, who was also highly complimentary of the knowledge Year 12 demonstrated surrounding the topic and praised them accordingly.
He wrote: “Thanks for sharing this with us. I only really know about the Crusades from programmes I’ve made, such as those on the Baltic Crusades, Melisende and Pilgrimages, and found this really interesting.
“Your Year 12 class should be proud of this very clear and wide-ranging explanation/exploration of this fascinating and significant period in history. Congratulations to all who took part, especially for their command of the detail as well as the bigger picture.”
Year groups delve deeper into iconic Russian artists
“We would like to thank Rydal Penrhos for your wonderful art lessons, particularly one last week amongst many others. My child has been enthused by the topic of Matryoshka since and it has helped him to explore his Russian roots and language along the way. Inspired by the CD cover featuring the Russian doll, my child put on a Russian for beginners CD and started repeating the words.
“Through your art lessons the children are exploring many different cultures in an engaging and creative way – and your lessons are one of the reasons we came to Rydal Penrhos.” – A current parent.
Art brings so much joy to pupils young and old. Rydal Penrhos looks to inspire every child whether they are laying foundations for a successful education in Pre-School or a Sixth Former getting ready for the next stage of their journey at university or in the working world.
Rydal Penrhos is fortunate to have an exceptional art provision with impressive facilities. Our passionate teaching staff always put together thought-provoking topics that engage the mind, improve academic knowledge surrounding art and building key skills that pupils can progress throughout their time at the school.
One example of this has been a recent topic that has drawn inspiration from two iconic Russian artists.
Year 5’s topic centred on Jawlensky, a Russian expressionist painter active in Germany. He was a key member of the New Munich Artist’s Association and was heavily influenced by the work of Gauguin, Van Gogh and The Fauve.
Using black paper as a backdrop to make the colours vivid and alive, Year 5 used mirrors to draw their features and then applied colour in the same fashion as Jawlensky, which brought some incredible results.
Year 2 focused their work on the legendary Kandinsky, who is generally credited as the pioneer of abstract art and whose paintings are sold for tens of millions when they go up for auction almost 80 years after his death.
Developing this knowledge of some of the leading figures throughout art history is a great way for our pupils to expand their early horizons and become inspired to explore art and all its forms as they get older.
Incredible Grade 7 Cello success for Gwyn
We are fortunate to have a wealth of gifted musicians across every year group at Rydal Penrhos.
Our pupils often choose music as part of their curriculum later in their school life and develop their skills on a specific instrument from an early age under the guidance of specialist tutors or Rydal Penrhos’ incredible teaching staff who are on hand to assist and advise every step of the way.
This not only comes with superb examination success in recent years, but pupils are also given the opportunity to perform at various concerts throughout their time at the school and many also look to gain additional qualifications from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music or other examination bodies.
Pupils progress through grades that grow increasingly difficult. Once a successful candidate reaches Grade 8 standard, they have the option of taking ABRSM diplomas which is the scheme’s gold standard and something Year 13 pupil Niamh Cook is pursuing in both Piano and Clarinet.
Another pupil that is making outstanding progress is Gwyn Davies, who is a Year 10 pupil at Rydal Penrhos and his latest ABRSM Grade 7 Cello grading came with a jaw-dropping final mark on his way to a deserved distinction.
Despite preparations with Cello teacher Sian Merrion being disrupted slightly due to COVID-19 restrictions, Gwyn was still able to produce a fantastic effort to receive 141 out of a possible 150 marks, which was a truly exceptional score in the circumstances.
Gwyn received praise from his examiner following the assessment, who said: “This was a varied and balanced programme, showcasing a range of styles and moods.
“The sequence and pacing of items was effective throughout. Interpretations showed high levels of musical understanding and insight, and the expressive range of the playing was always impressive.
“A good sense of performance awareness was evident and musical involvement was always to the fore.”
Gwyn will now begin working on attaining his Grade 8 certificate, which is normally undertaken during Key Stage 5 (Sixth Form). This is another strong indicator of just how well the pupil is developing and everyone at Rydal Penrhos is absolutely thrilled with his progress.
Hopefully, there will be many more accolades for Gwyn to celebrate during his time at the school and we wish him the very best of luck.
Fab Four selected to North Wales U13 squad
Rydal Penrhos has a rich and proud history of hockey achievements, which is part of the school’s outstanding sporting provision.
Many pupils have achieved regional and national recognition thanks to their exceptional development from an early age, which is coupled with plenty of national schools’ championships at U16 and U18 levels in recent years.
The next generation of Rydal Penrhosians are continuing this fine trend despite the obvious complications surrounding training and competitive games over the last 15 months due to COVID-19 restrictions.
With some semblance of normality returning thanks to the Welsh Government‘s gradual easing of restrictions, aspiring young hockey players have been busy re-familiarising themselves with school and club coaching, with some even taking part in trials for regional squads.
Year 8 pupils Keira Luke and Fflur Pierce, together with the Year 7 duo of Lily Copeland and Charlotte Payne, were part of a 48-strong group that attended assessments ahead of a possible selection for the North Wales U13 hockey squad, which involved taking part in individual drills and game situations.
After impressing considerably during the trial, all four were selected into the 18-person squad, which represents a significant achievement considering how little time they’ve had to practice in recent months.
Lily and Charlotte earned their place in the squad despite being a year younger than the typical age bracket, with Keira and Fflur’s respective selections adding to their long list of sporting achievements during their time at Rydal Penrhos.
This is the latest piece of good hockey news celebrated by the school, with Freddie MacLaverty also earning a spot in the North Wales U13 boys’ squad after catching the eye in a separate trial.
We are incredibly proud of all five pupils for rising to the occasion and secure their places in the North Wales squad. Hopefully, this will be the start of bigger and better things to come from them all during what is sure to be a fantastic experience against some top opposition.
Holiday Play Scheme
Half term fun in the sun
We understand that for our parents at Rydal Penrhos, things can be difficult in the holidays regarding childcare and having to keep little ones entertained alongside the pressures of work.
Our Holiday Play Scheme is available all year round during half terms and holidays for those looking to use the service at any point.
It gives pupils the opportunity to be in school throughout the day, where they get stuck into group activities with their friends under the supervision of our very own staff, their teachers and teaching assistants.
Not only does this scheme ensure children are safe, happy and thriving but it also enables them to learn new skills as well as mixing with older and younger children and gives parents peace of mind that their children are in familiar surroundings, having fun and getting the very most out of their time away from a typical classroom environment.
There has been plenty going on during the latest half-term Holiday Play Scheme, with those in attendance making the most out of the recent glorious weather on the North Wales coast with some fun-filled activities in the sun.
This included physical activity with the ever-popular Joe Wicks workouts, which have been a revelation over the last 15 months during the coronavirus and something our pupils have thoroughly enjoyed both at home and during their time in school.
Our Holiday Play Scheme also enjoyed a picnic out in the sunshine, socialising with their friends and enjoying time together in a relaxed setting, with dance activities also forming part of the week.
The Holiday Play Scheme is open for all Rydal Penrhos pupils from Pre-School through to Year 8.
We vary the activities throughout the day to retain the interest of every pupil under our care. Outdoor play and sports activities are included most days, which was especially prevalent this week thanks to the beautiful weather.
Local outings are arranged on a regular basis and most weeks we have the use of the school swimming pool for a session, which caters to almost every interest under the expert support of our amazing staff team.
Artwork inspired by Russian icons
Admin Manager and Executive Principal's PA
John Waszek - Executive Principal
Admin Manager & Executive Principal's PA
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.
More information and how to apply