The RP Weekly: 4 March 2022
The weekly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos School.
The RP Weekly
4 March 2022
GCSE Revision Courses
BOOK NOW for help with this summer’s GCSE exams, whether you are a Rydal Penrhos pupil or not.
Easter is the key revision period for GCSE pupils and so we are holding a special revision week during the Easter holidays with our warm, friendly teaching staff for those across the North Wales area to assist with their exam preparations.
The GCSE Revision Week will take place over three days from 11-13 April 2022.
Excellent value for money at £150/day for eight hours of distraction-free study, including lessons and all food and drink.
This is a can’t miss opportunity for any GCSE pupil sitting exams this year.
Current GCSE pupils at Rydal Penrhos can book their place for FREE using the Schools Buddy App.
For external pupils, register and book here.
Anyone else wishing to book their place on our GCSE Revision Week, or for more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01492 530155.
Exceptional iGCSE Maths results for Year 11
Rydal Penrhos is delighted to confirm a truly remarkable set of results for the Year 11 iGCSE Mathematics group. A total of 100 per cent of candidates secured 9-7 marks, which is the equivalent of A*-A.
64 per cent of these attained 9 marks, with 91 per cent securing 9-8 (A*).
After two years of immense uncertainty for examination candidates up and down the country, restrictions surrounding COVID-19 are now being lifted and things have a much more normal feel to them for GCSE and A Level pupils at Rydal Penrhos. Teaching staff have done an incredible job of preparing each learner for every eventuality both in school, at home and online, which has been a significant boost for all during such a difficult period.
The school has enjoyed some outstanding examination results in recent years, which is the culmination of the well-rounded education provided from Pre-School to Sixth Form. Not only, this, but Rydal Penrhos’ value-added scores remain of the highest standard and a testament to each pupil reaching and far exceeding their initial targets.
There was nervous excitement in the air within Year 11 on Thursday 3 March, with pupils gathering in the Hovey Room to formally receive their iGCSE Mathematics results – the first true exams they’ve ever sat in a structured setting.
Mr Darren Baker, who is a Maths teacher at Rydal Penrhos, was responsible for steering candidates through the process and was incredibly proud of what they managed to achieve despite the ever-changing climate during their exam preparation period.
He said: “They’ve been a fantastic group, who’ve always endeavoured to improve each and every lesson since I took them on in Year 9. They’ve done this by supporting each other and maintaining consistently excellent standards.
“These results are a symptom of what we do as a mathematics department. Always focussing on developing curiosity, self-reliance and strong mathematical technique that holds up under pressure.”
Everyone at Rydal Penrhos would like to offer our congratulations to Edward Altoft, Prune Chasteau, Lily Davies, Martha Hind, Kosi Iwobi, Emily Jones, Ruby Merrick, Jonathan Osbourne, Zac Roberts, Ivo Vonbank and Leo Weis. You should all be very proud of your efforts and we wish you all the best for future examinations later this year.
St David's Day 2022
Prep hold special Assembly
There was a significant amount of excitement across Rydal Penrhos Prep on Tuesday 1 March, with staff and pupils descending on the School Hall for a special Assembly to mark St David’s Day.
This saw contributions from every year group and brought a real sense of celebration surrounding one of the most important dates within the Welsh national calendar.
Pre-School pupils got the chance to dress up in some Welsh-themed attire to mark the occasion, with the Assembly featuring everything from Welsh cards, poems and songs under the supervision of the school’s fantastic Welsh teacher Mrs Hughes.
Some pupils even took to the stage to perform a traditional Welsh dance to round off another hugely successful occasion for those in attendance.
St David – or Dewi Sant in Welsh – was born on the south-west coast of Wales, near to where the city of St Davids is today. We don’t actually know the exact year when he was born, but it is believed to be some time between 462 and 515 AD.
There are many stories about miracles happening around St David. One of the famous stories is from when he was speaking to a large crowd and someone in the crowd shouted: “We won’t be able to see or hear him.”
Then, the ground David stood on is said to have risen up so that he was standing on a hill, making it easier for everyone to see him. It is said that he lived for more than 100 years and died on Tuesday, 1 March 589.
A huge well done to our Prep staff and pupils for ensuring St David’s Day was recognised in exemplary fashion at Rydal Penrhos once again.
Former pupil Sean signs for Dragons
One former Rydal Penrhos pupil making significant waves on the professional rugby scene will be returning to domestic soil following a hugely successful spell in England.
Sean Lonsdale, who attended the school from 2011-15, is widely regarded as one of the brightest young prospects anywhere in the nation and has agreed on a move to Dragons from English Premiership side Exeter Chiefs.
This represents a significant coup for the region and the Welsh Rugby Union, who tried desperately to stop Lonsdale from leaving for England initially.
Lonsdale was part of the Rydal Penrhos Rugby Academy before going on to make his debut for RGC 1404 at a very early age, playing a substantial role in the Gogs’ meteoric rise through the Welsh pyramid right up to the Principality Premiership.
His outstanding production attracted plenty of suitors from across the border. Despite a strong push from the WRU to keep him, Lonsdale decided to leave in favour of a move to Exeter Chiefs before spending time on loan at Plymouth Albion and Cornish Pirates to gain vital experience before making the step-up to the top flight.
A series of exceptional displays secured a new contract and Lonsdale has scored five tries in 61 appearances so far, winning two Premiership titles as well as the European Champions Cup. He will now look forward to joining Dragons in time for the 2022/23 season.
Speaking about the move, Lonsdale said: “I really liked what Dean (Ryan, director of rugby) had to say about the region and I can see it being a great fit for me. His vision for where the team is heading is exciting. The region has a huge potential and I’m looking forward to being a part of it.
“It’s going to be a big change playing rugby back in Wales and in the United Rugby Championship. It’s a very competitive league which will present new challenges, but I’m confident that it will only help me grow and develop as a player.”
Everyone at Rydal Penrhos is absolutely thrilled to see one of our own excelling at the pinnacle of domestic rugby. We wish Sean the very best regarding his upcoming switch.
Harry Potter-themed Potions project
Becoming inspired through learning is something that is especially evident within the younger members of the Rydal Penrhos community.
It’s about exciting, stimulating opportunities that form a core part of the curriculum from Pre-School right up until pupils get ready for the next stage of their respective journeys in Year 13.
Year 6 pupils are getting ready for their big step up to Senior School later this year and benefit significantly from a thought-provoking curriculum that captures their imagination, develops key academic areas and also builds essential skills under the exceptional guidance of the school’s staff team.
Pupils get the chance to broaden their horizons with special projects centring on various topics, some of which transition from one subject to the next seamlessly. One such example was a cross-curricular activity that took place in the laboratory that was inspired when Year 6 began their English studies surrounding the hugely successful Harry Potter novels and the exceptional writing of JK Rowling.
The life of the young wizard has been a worldwide sensation and provoked Year 6 into combining their scientific knowledge for a Potions project with ‘Professor’ Pyves after becoming inspired by the novels and all the weird and magical things within them.
During the session, pupils worked within groups to mix liquids and produce some ‘magical’ potions, much like Harry Potter got to grips with during his time in Hogwarts.
This brought some real excitement among the group, who were extrtly guided by Mrs Pyves and other staff every step of the way in a safe, relaxed setting. Another very worthwhile exercise that incorporated their love of reading with the wonderful world of science.
A huge well done to Year 6 for the way they applied themselves throughout the task and to ‘Professor’ Pyves for bringing their English topic to life.
Community Wind Band
Superb turnout for first session
Within the emerging freedoms from lockdown restrictions, there is an appetite to re-engage with music-making amongst regular practitioners and those who have not picked up an instrument for some time.
This is something that Rydal Penrhos recognises and the newly-formed Community Wind Band is another fine example of how the school is always looking to engage with Colwyn Bay and wider region.
The Rydal Penrhos Community Wind Band held its first-ever session on Wednesday 2 March, which brought a superb turnout of 20 musicians in the Senior Music Room to mark the occasion.
The session and Community Wind Band is led by ex-Rydal Penrhos parent and current governor Clive Wolfendale. It is open to current pupils, alumni, parents, staff and local musicians.
Twenty players, including professional musicians, school pupils from the area and community members enjoyed a lively evening of music making under the direction of Mr Wolfendale. After so long without practice and musical events, it was refreshing to see and hopefully, this is a trend that can continue long into the future.
New members are welcome for the Rydal Penrhos Community Wind Band, which will meet every Wednesday moving forward from 7-8.30pm. There is no charge and instruments are available to borrow if required by anyone wishing to attend.
It’s an exciting time for music across Rydal Penrhos, with concerts scheduled over the second half of the Lent Term and the full schedule of activities now back in full swing after so much disruption.
Anyone wishing to register their interest in the Rydal Penrhos Community Wind Band, or for more information, please email email@example.com.
U16 tournament draw and full schedule
There is growing excitement in the air as one of the most prominent dates on the sporting calendar makes a welcome return later this month.
The Rydal Penrhos U16 Rugby 7s Tournament will take place on Saturday 12 March 2022 from 9am-4pm on the school’s stunning New Field site, which has drawn an incredible amount of interest from across the region once again.
It is a competition that always draws a significant amount of high-quality teams and this year’s event promises to be no different. Rydal Penrhos will be welcoming a large number of schools and clubs from across North Wales and the North West for what is sure to be an exceptional showcase of talent from some immensely talented rugby hopefuls.
Earlier this week, Rydal Penrhos staff made the draw for the competition, which will be played in a round-robin, pool format before teams are split into various sections based on their standings.
Teams have been placed into two Pools for the competition, which can be found below:
- Wirral Grammar School
- Colwyn Bay Rugby Club
- Llandovery College
- Stonyhurst College
- St Ambrose College
- Ysgol Glan Clwyd
- Rydal Penrhos
- Stockport Grammar School
- Newcastle Under Lyme School
- Mold Rugby Club
- Cathedral School
- Ysgol Glan Clwyd (Blues)
A tuck shop will be available for refreshments all day and those in attendance will also enjoy a lunchtime barbecue complete with vegan options that can be pre-ordered.
The Rugby 7s season is always a fantastic experience for pupils, with competitions taking place across the country and Rydal Penrhos will once again be part of the prestigious Rosslyn Park National 7s event this year, which is regarded as the pinnacle of school competition in this particular discipline.
We look forward to welcoming all teams to Rydal Penrhos for what promises to be a memorable occasion.
Full information on the Rydal Penrhos U16 Rugby 7s tournament can be found here.
Department continues to thrive
After a period of significant change amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Rydal Penrhos pupils with a talent for all things music are getting back down to doing what they love under the expert guidance of staff.
Development has continued encouragingly over the last two years despite the uncertainty, and things now look much more promising moving forward with concerts scheduled and many activities resuming as planned since the start of the academic year.
Among the popular initiatives well underway are the Senior Choir, Instrumental Ensemble and Jazz Band, which feature pupils of all ages who wish to improve their confidence and ability to perform in front of an audience.
Chamber Choir has also begun once again, with rehearsals taking place every Monday and Thursday during form time. The group performs weekly at the stunning St John’s Church and during major occasions such as the Christmas and Easter services.
There are pupils who currently meet in the music department at break times who have formed their own band, and some of the Senior Choir members sing as smaller groups as well. This all bodes well for future concerts, which have been sorely missed since Welsh Government restrictions began.
Plenty of activity is also transpiring at the Prep, with experienced conductor Alan McGuinness running the Key Stage 2 Choir and Sue Hughes in charge of the choir comprised of Key Stage 1 pupils.
Pete Williams, who is Director of Music at Rydal Penrhos, has also organised a Steel Drum group as an extra-curricular activity every Friday.
The second half of the Lent Term will be a memorable one, with two concerts scheduled within the school’s impressive Memorial Hall.
A Four Choirs Concert is scheduled for Tuesday 22 March from 7-8pm, with the annual Prep Spring Concert taking place on Wednesday 30 March from 6-7pm at the same venue.
Our pupils and staff deserve all the credit in the world for remaining resolute through such tough times. Now, they have much to look forward to and we cannot wait to see them all flourishing on stage.
Busy half-term for Llion
Sailing has been a significant part of the rich and illustrious history of Rydal Penrhos for more than 60 years.
The school has produced a large number of national and internationally recognised sailors who’ve gone on to great things. This continues to inspire the current crop of pupils looking to follow in their footsteps at the Rydal Penrhos Sailing and Water-Sports Centre, which is accredited by the Royal Yachting Association.
One such individual was extremely busy during the half-term break, participating in two separate training camps due to his involvement with two prestigious national development squads.
Llion Morris, who is a Year 11 pupil at Rydal Penrhos, had the benefit of some tremendous sailing weather throughout the week, which began by linking up with the RYA Cymru Wales ILCA squad for two days of building technique and other skills at the stunning Plas Heli Pwllheli, which is also the National Welsh Sailing Academy and Events Centre.
This was followed by a visit to the Weyland and Portland National Sailing Academy over the weekend, which is the training base for British Sailing squads that Llion has been involved with for a number of years now.
It promises to be another busy upcoming season for Llion, who is looking to enhance his status as one of the brightest young sailors anywhere in the country.
Training weekends such as this will stand the pupil in enormously good stead, with Llion balancing commitments on the water with his GCSE studies exceptionally well.
We would like to wish Llion the very best of luck with his sailing exploits in the coming months and look forward to hearing about his accomplishments.
Gallery & Video
Inter-House Shrove Tuesday Pancake Race
Stars of the Week
Stars of the Week