Rydal Penrhos newsletter
Foreword from the Acting Head
Welcome to November’s Newsletter. A month where winter starts to rear its face but nevertheless a month where the warmth of our school community shines through.
Nowhere more is this seen than at our Remembrance Service. Pupils, staff and a number of parents came together to remember the many former pupils who paid the ultimate sacrifice in order to preserve our freedom.
The Last Post was played brilliantly, silence kept, Reveille called and names remembered.
Wreaths were laid and individual memorial crosses placed under the mulberry tree.
Many thanks go to all who took part in ensuring that we kept our promise that ‘When You Go Home, Tell Them Of Us And Say, For Their Tomorrow, We Gave Our Today.’ May they rest in peace.
Rydal Penrhos remembers
School honours war heroes
Pupils and staff remembered fallen war heroes and veterans at a special Armistice Day Service.
The school gathered in the Memorial Hall on Friday, November 11, where a service was held before a two minute silence at 11am to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front.
During the service there were readings from a number of pupils, including Head Boy Adam Sabri and Head Girl Charlotte Owen, while Eddie Farrell played the Last Post following the silence.
Mr McDuff read out the names of those who died that were members of Rydal Penrhos during both wars, and a wreath was laid outside the WWII memorial outside the hall.
Following the service 106 individually named crosses were planted in the Memorial Quad to commemorate school members who lost their lives during the two World Wars.
Mr McDuff, said: “It was a very moving service and one that was observed impeccably by staff and parents.
“It is so important that we remember what those who came before us sacrificed so that future generations never forget what the impact of war has on so many.
“It was wonderful to see so many of our pupils getting involved in the cross planting, which is an indication of their respect for our fallen heroes at the school.”
Staff, pupils and those associated with the school played a significant part in Colwyn Bay's Remembrance Sunday service, which took place on Sunday, November 13 at Queen’s Gardens.
A large crowd gathered near the war memorial to pay respects to those who had fought and died during battle.
A small service was conducted where Eddie Farrell played the Last Post beautifully, before the parade moved on to St Paul’s Church.
Dignitaries at the service included Clwyd West MP David Jones, Cllr John Davies, mayor of Colwyn Bay and veterans from the region.
The school were one of many establishments that laid a poppy wreath at the town’s cenotaph to honour the fallen.
Mr McDuff, said: “It was a poignant service and it was lovely to see the school so well represented.
“It was also nice to see so many staff members there as part of different organisations, highlighting the good work that they are doing in the community.”
Into the Sixth
Pupils learn about next step
Mr Lavery speaking at Into the 6th
Sixth form discussion
A host of prospective pupils visited us for our Into the Sixth Form Information evening.
The event, which took place on Wednesday, October 12, attracted a large number of current Year 11 pupils, together with potential newcomers and their families.
During the evening there were presentations from Mr Lavery, director of studies Mrs Harding, while Headmaster elect Mr Smith was also on hand to speak with those who attended.
There were also first-hand accounts of the benefits of Sixth Form study at the school from current pupils Adele Parry, Euan Humphries, Omer Tahir, Louisa Weber and Isabel Demel.
The event came on the back a hugely successful Open Morning, where dozens of families were given an all-access tour by a number of pupils.
The school announced that the offer is open to any gifted pupils from the local area that are predicted to achieve A* and A grades at GCSE next summer.
Anyone who wishes to apply for the fully funded day scholarship to Rydal Penrhos’ Sixth Form, or for more information call 01492 530155 or email email@example.com.
Mr Smith's 'delight' at Lonely Planet list
Mr Smith has spoken of his delight after North Wales was named among the top places in the world to visit in 2017 according to Lonely Planet’s annual Best in Travel list.
The region was the only UK destination to be featured in the rankings, which are compiled by a panel of the travel publisher’s experts.
Our Headmaster elect, who will take up his position in January, said: “I was delighted to see that the Lonely Planet team have recognised the region's beauty and benefits.
“Our pupils, staff and many of our parents already know what a privilege it is to live and learn in such an inspiring part of the world.
“North Wales offers something for all our pupils be they sailors, skiers, artists, climbers or someone looking for an outstanding all-round education.
"Rydal Penrhos is uniquely placed to take full advantage of both the physical features and ongoing leisure developments in the area.
"They enable us to provide a boarding education that emphasises the importance of leadership and character building in a safe and healthy location."
Director of Music Mr Williams
We sat down with Director of Music Mr Williams for an in-depth interview, where he spoke about a wide range of topics regarding the department.
Can you tell us about your music department and the resources it provides?
The music department also provides music for internal services and concerts as well as external events such as charity concerts, remembrance services and festivals. We prepare pupils for competitions such as the Chester festival and work in close collaboration with the Drama, Art and DT departments helping to prepare them for performance in musicals.
We have a small recording studio which pupils use to record compositions as part of their coursework as well as for their own musical development.
There are two class teachers in the department, a whole school music teacher, Mr Richard Davies and I both create music specifically for classes, ensembles and individual students to perform as well as programming work by other composers.
How important is music education at Rydal Penrhos?
We believe music to be vitally important both as a curriculum subject and as an extra-curricular activity. Susan Hallam discusses the importance of music as a subject in both its own right and as an aid to other subjects in ‘The importance of music education’ (Hallam, 2010) and we certainly support her views.
As an extra-curricular activity all pupils from early years to year 9 are involved in school concerts at certain times through the year. We work hard to maintain an interest in and enthusiasm for singing by performing in a variety of styles.
It won’t surprise anyone that popular music in its various forms is enjoyed by both prep and senior pupils; pupils in the senior school have responded well to its inclusion over the last couple of years.
We also encourage staff to take part in concerts, pop gospels and services and many of them are in the choir. We have a vision for singing that we will eventually be a singing school were a huge percentage of pupils and staff enjoy singing.
How many music lessons a week do pupils have?
All classes from early years to year 9 have curriculum lessons. Early years to year 2 have half an hour a week, years 3 to 6 have 80 minutes and years' 7 to 9 have 55 mins.
We also have GCSE, A level and IB students studying music at a higher level.
What essential skills can music teach?
It can teach many thinking, literacy, numeracy, PSHE and Global learning skills.
In the areas of thinking skills, pupils plan, develop and reflect upon their musical work in its various forms. Within those areas they discover intrinsic activities such as determining a process, method or strategy.
There are oracy, reading and writing skills that are developed during the study of music as well as aspects of numeracy such as identifying processes and connections and using number facts and relationships.
Do you consider Music an important part of learning?
Within the area of PSHE pupils learn to develop confidence and by doing so reflect upon the path and elements that enabled that confidence whilst learning the value of themselves and others in a team.
That spurs them onto to thinking about the wider global community and the importance that music has, both as a subject as a way of life.
It’s a bold view and one that certainly would be challenged, but I firmly believe that music teaches you a way to being an emotionally intelligent human being, who understands the importance of a unifying language.
Hundreds raised from WaterAid day
Hundreds of pounds have been raised thanks to a special fundraising day.
The school held WaterAid Day on Friday, October 7, with a host of activities taking place throughout the event.
Pupils’ dressed up in themes beginning with H and O, or came in their own clothes for a small donation.
Teachers' getting a soaking
There were a pair of cake sales during break and lunch in the Quad, with a host of tasty treats on offer.
The highlight of the event – at least for pupils – was wet sponge throwing at teachers, which drew a large crowd wanting to see staff members get a drenching.
A total of £748.58 was raised for the charity, who work with local partners to deliver clean water and toilets and promote good hygiene, and campaign to make change happen for everyone everywhere.
Mr McDuff, said: “This was a fabulous fundraising day and congratulations go to all pupils and staff for their efforts.
“It was a great spectacle seeing our staff get a soaking in aid of charity, and the enthusiasm shown by everyone at the school throughout the day for a very worthy cause was extremely pleasing.
“This is reflected by the substantial sum raised, which continues our exceptional charity work for regional, national and global charities.”
Religion at RPS
Year 7 explore Methodist foundation
Year 7 pupils got to learn more about the links between the school and its Methodist foundation.
The entire year group spent the afternoon of Wednesday, October 19 at St John’s Church with Religious Studies department staff where they took part in three sessions.
The first session was thinking generally about ‘being connected’, and about how we express our connectedness by working together.
Pupils’ formed four groups to create a body which they then decorated, cut up and made walk across the room.
The second session was an exploration of the lives of the four founders of the school houses: Bishop William Morgan, the Rev’d John Wesley, the Rev’d Frederick Payne and Thomas Osborn.
To find out information pupils’ had to hunt the clues down around the church and then present their findings.
Finally they thought about the words of John Wesley, the founder of Methodism, who said that “children should not come to school to be taught like parrots”.
The pupils discussed things they had been told as children to do or believe without any chance to think it through themselves. They then put these ideas in speech bubbles and made coloured parrots to speak them.
These were also put up in chapel as a reminder that we come to school to think for ourselves and to not to be taught ‘parrot fashion.’
Senior side take tour of Greece
Netball squad with Suzy Drane
Welsh netball captain Suzy Drane has praised pupils for their efforts on a recent tour of Greece.
The senior squad descended on south-eastern Europe for the five-day tour on Wednesday, October 19, with Celtic Dragons star Drane – a former pupil at the school – part of the coaching staff during the trip.
The lecturer and first team coach at Cardiff Metroplitain University, said: “I'm extremely thankful to have had the opportunity to be part of such a successful tour.
“Everyone was extremely welcoming and I thoroughly enjoyed being part of the team for five days.
“The pupils were very receptive throughout and improved as a team over the course of the tour.
“They demonstrated this during the organised fixtures where both teams’ performances improved substantially.
“I look forward to hearing that they have taken what they have learnt in training back to school for their upcoming games."
During their trip the team stayed at the Loutraki Sportcamp near Athens, where they trained, received analysis of their performances and played in a number of competitive matches against teams from the region.
Golf challenge for BBC CiN
The mother of fundraiser Charley Simpson has given her account of his dawn-till-dusk golf challenge for BBC Children in Need.
Rachel Simpson, who accompanied the Year 7 sport scholar along with father Paul, have given their thoughts on the day-long event, where Charley visited 18 courses around North Wales for a “dream round” challenge.
“Charley successfully completed his Dream Round of Golf in one day challenge. Waking up at 6am is always hard, particularly knowing the length of the day ahead, but we managed to coax him up and into the car to start the day.
“We arrived at Caernarfon Golf Club at 7.25am to a dull, wet outlook. However, energy abounding and ready for the challenge, off he went and played the hole. With a quick pause for pictures we set off for St Deinol Bangor Golf Club and with the weather beginning to clear he teed off at about 8.10 am for hole two.
“We got going again at about 8.40 am heading for Llanfairfechan Golf Club, where we were greeted by our first champions of the day, members who had come along to cheer Charley on. The setting of Penmaenmawr Golf Club in its nest of wooded mountains was beautifully lit by deep yellow autumn sunshine as we played the next hole, again supported by the lady members who were arriving for their Ladies Day.
“Then onto some clubs that are familiar with Charley; Conwy Golf Club, where his Junior Organiser was ready to tee him off, Maesdu and North Wales Golf Clubs and of course Rhos On Sea Golf Club – Charley’s home club and where the members came out to wish him well for the rest of the day.
“Luckily the traffic had been kind to us and we were running on time, so we managed to attend Abergele, Rhuddlan and St Melyd Golf Clubs to schedule, and along to Rhyl and Prestatyn Golf Clubs to complete holes 10 to 14 of the round.
“With four holes still to play at 3.15pm light was becoming an issue, plus Charley wanted to carry his bag of clubs for the whole round, and was visibly tiring despite the number of snacks he was putting away. The final four Golf Clubs were not so easily accessible and so we got going to Pennant Park, where the groundskeeper ensured an exciting buggy ride to the hole which cheered everyone up and gave us a fantastic view across the valley and estuary.
“Holywell Golf Club members greeted us with enthusiasm, and cheered Charley on so much that he managed to chip in to the hole from about 40 yards. A quick High Five from the club professional and we were back in the car for Flint Golf Club.
“Arriving here in the - let’s say it – dark, we wondered whether Charley would be prevented from completing his challenge, but with a couple of strong torches hole 18 was completed and a most welcome cup of tea provided by the club to finish our day."
Charity visit for annual service
Members of a Methodist charity were the special guests at our annual Harvest service.
Laura Cook, communications manager at All We Can, took part in the school’s annual event before the half term break on Friday, October 21.
During the service there were also talks from Reverend Nick Sissons and deputy head boy Will Marston.
All We Can works through partnerships to end the cycle of suffering caused by poverty, inequality and injustice.
They support and strengthen local partners – organisations, churches and emerging initiatives that share our vision and values – to implement effective and sustainable solutions for people living in some of the world’s poorest and least served communities.
In addition the charity also responds to humanitarian crises with emergency support and help communities to be better prepared for disasters.
During the service Mrs Cook spoke about the initiatives and encouraged pupils to “make a splash”, which is the charity’s campaign to celebrate God's gift of water and raise support for people who lack such vital resources.
Generous pupils once again gave a significant contribution to the school’s annual autumn food drive.
The collection for this year’s Harvest Festival was seeking cans of dried or tinned foods to donate to the two worthy causes chosen this year by the school.
A host of items were donated by staff, pupils and their families to ensure that the yearly campaign was a tremendous success.
Rev. Sissons, said: “The need is still very great, so we asked that every student become involved – whether it be individually or as a group – so that we can help those less fortunate than ourselves this autumn.
“We managed to collect a considerable amount of produce to send away to those less fortunate, and we would like to thank everyone who took the time to donate.”
All food that was collected will be donated between Action for Children and the Conwy Food Bank, who will distribute it to needy families throughout the region.
The items were on display at St John’s Church during the annual Harvest Festival.
Young Performers' praised
Talented musicians have been praised for their efforts at their first concert of the year.
A host of gifted pupils took part in the Young Performers’ Concert, which was held at St John’s on Tuesday, October 11.
Alicia Zhou and Arthur Hind kicked off the concert with separate piano and voice pieces, and they were followed by superb singing solos from Zahra Shamsi and National Eisteddfod winner Tegid Goodman-Jones.
Lower sixth pupil Emily Li performed Little Cowboy on the Chinese bamboo flute, while Emily Osbourne gave a stunning performance of Good Grief.
The gifted duo of Nick Dundee and Vincent Kohm paired up for a special duet, and guitarist Alex Roberts brought an element of rock and roll to the concert with a rendition of Freightshaker.
Further piano performances came from Niamh Cook, Nicholas Riding and the amazing Bijou and Juan Rajagopal.
Sean Hughes’ version of Photograph was a huge hit, as was the spectacular Violin solo from Shannon Yang.
Ethan Bytheway, Arend Franssens, Linda Zhou and Harry Grocott also caught the eye, and Samuel Jones closed out the show with a fantastic saxophone solo.
Mr Cashell, said: “It was a wonderful Young Performers’ Concert and congratulations to all pupils’ and Director of Music Pete Williams on their efforts.”
Pupil joins Sale Sharks rugby Academy
Josh in action
Josh Lynch, a Year 8 pupil, has been accepted to join the Sale Sharks’ Developing Rugby Player Programme after impressing at a trial held on Monday, October 10.
The talented 13-year-old, who netted a hat-trick for Rydal Penrhos U14 side against Arnold KEQMS last weekend, will now begin training with the academy in January.
Father Timothy Lynch, said: “We as a family are so happy that all Josh's effort, sweat and at times tears are beginning to pay off at such an early age.”
The Sharks’ academy is recognised as one of the finest of its kind in the country and has received a number of excellent assessments from the games governing bodies.
This is the latest in a long line of successes for the Colwyn Bay resident, who is also a Welsh Schools’ weightlifting champion and holds a pair of national records.
The programme has recently produced a trio of England internationals in Josh Beaumont, Mike Haley and Ross Harrison.
Mr Boyd, added: “The Sharks academy is one of the most prestigious in the country and for Josh to achieve a place in it is a sensational achievement.
“He is an extremely gifted individual who also works incredibly hard to improve all facets of his game, which is bringing with it huge reward and everyone at Rydal Penrhos is immensely proud of him.”
Lynne Morris gives Photoshop masterclass
Lynne Moore with pupils
A leading graphic designer and photographer gave a photoshop masterclass with Art pupils.
Lynne Morris visited the department on Thursday, October 20, which was her second visit to the school in as many weeks.
During the masterclass the designer went over the most prominent features of photo editing, how to maximise your effects and other useful techniques that will stand A-level pupils in good stead ahead of their upcoming submissions.
They were also to try out what they had learnt under the watchful eye of Mrs Morris on their own photographs.
During her previous visit Mrs Morris wowed pupils with her imaginative digital images based around photographs she has taken in and around the local area.
Mr Sherrington, said: “It was great to have such a prestigious, talented and award winning artist come into the studio and show us directly some of her techniques and ways of working.
“I think what the pupils got out of it most was the realisation that subjects are all around them and that one does not need to rely on a studio created shot to find inspiration.
“It is great having an artist come into our space to give this kind of workshop and seminar and this is something we want to do more of in the next year."
A talented artist has been praised for her application in the first period of her A-level studies.
Elysia Gilman, a lower sixth pupil at the school, was awarded an art scholarship and had her stunning portrait displayed at our Into the Sixth evening on Wednesday, October 12.
The 16-year-old has been working on portraits and natural forms, creating a portrait of a former pupil with stunning petals behind.
Mr Sherrington has praised Elysia and all other pupils that are currently adjusting to the demands of A-level, who have been aided by the department’s new study area, which was set up with the aim of improving the quality of submissions.
He said: “I am really impressed by how all the pupils have challenged themselves in terms of scale.
“Elysia seems to have no fear and has already made huge strides from GCSE. Those extra hours spent in the Art studio during free lessons and extra curriculum time can really be seen in a tangible way.”
News from former pupils
Rob 'Bob' Hall
Rob Hall, who left the school in 2011, is currently a drummer with Llandudno rockers Catfish and the Bottlemen, and has been nominated for Best British Rock Drummer by leading online music site Music Radar.
It has been a memorable few months for the group, who are currently in the midst of a sold out UK Tour.
They topped the Album Chart for the first time with their second release The Ride, and have drawn rave reviews from their recent tour of the United States.
The drummer will look to add an individual accolade to the many Bottlemen triumphs over the last year, which include winning Best Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards.
There are a number of high profile names among the list of nominees, including Gary Powell of the Libertine, Matt Helders of the Arctic Monkeys/Iggy Pop, Will Champion of Coldplay and Kasabian’s Ian Matthews.
Mr McDuff, said: “This is a fantastic recognition for Rob and one that is thoroughly deserved after such a fantastic year with Catfish and the Bottlemen.
“To be nominated in such a prestigious list just show how far they have come, and I hope everyone that everyone takes the time to vote.”
Anyone wishing to vote for Rob can do so at http://www.musicradar.com/news/drums/who-is-the-best-british-rock-drummer-of-2016-643970
Dr Mark Baker, who left the school in 2003, is leading a group of volunteers’ intent of fixing the historic Gwrych Castle, which overlooks Abergele.
The project has been shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’s #BagsofHelp initiative, which will see three community projects awarded grants of £12,000, £10,000 and £8,000 – all raised from the 5p bag charge.
A post on the Trust’s Facebook page, said: “When you shop you will be given a token and with that you will have the opportunity to vote for the Gwrych Castle Garden Restoration!
“This grant will enable the Trust to restore the historic formal gardens back to its former glory. The aim of the Trust is to ensure that the public has access to this great heritage asset. The re-creation of this designed landscape as a community garden provides a new chapter in the castle’s history.”
The Grade I listed site was left to rot for decades, but the Trust, which comprises of 65 volunteers and was formed in 1997, has restored the impressive Gardener’s Tower and they lit the stove and main fireplace for the first time in 100 years at their Open Day in May.
Rower Vicky Thornley, together with her partner Kathy Grainger, were situated on float 10 during the parade, which took place on Monday, October 17 and drew more than 150,000 to the city.
Speaking at the time, Thornley said: “I am so thankful to Katherine because she did such a great job.
“It was quite a big head wind. I am not sure what happened in the end where it just got a bit tight or whatever.
“You think about the last 100 metres but a silver medal is pretty nice.”
The parade to celebrate achievements during Rio 2016 featured a host of stars including Jade Jones, Jess Ennis-Hill and Max Whitlock.
The procession started at the Museum of Science and Industry and ended in Albert Square where 400 athletes gathered on stage.
Team GB set an Olympic record in Rio 2016 by winning 67 medals - two more than they managed at London 2012.
Singer Rebecca Ferguson and Kaiser Chiefs performed live to the crowds in Albert Square, where the parade ended.
Andrew Fenby in action for Leicester Tigers
Andrew Fenby, who left the school in 2004, has penned a three month deal with Saracens after initially announcing the end to his playing days whilst a member of the London Irish squad.
It is expected that the Rhos on Sea native will join the second placed side in time for their clash with Aviva Premiership leaders Wasps this weekend.
The chartered accountant can play either wing or full-back and will provide some much-needed depth to a back line that has been plagued by injuries since the season began.
Director of rugby Mark McCall, said: “With a number of injuries and suspensions to our backline we are very happy to bring a player of Andrew’s talent into the group.
“He’s 30-years of age and has played over 100 professional games in the Pro12 and the Aviva Premiership, so he is an experienced player. We feel that he can make a valuable contribution to our squad.”
Fenby, who announced his retirement in May, scored a hat-trick for Irish against Edinburgh in the European Challenge Cup pool stage last season, and lists Newcastle and Scarlets among his former clubs.
He began his career playing for school sides as well as turning out for Llandudno Rugby Club.
Portugal tour success
The senior side travelled to the Mediterranean on Wednesday, October 19, where they took on three Portuguese sides in as many days.
Led by Director of Sport Allen Boyd and teacher Mike Leach, the pupils recovered well from a 36-18 defeat to Cascais Rugby in the opening game of the visit to triumph in their next two contests.
The first success came with a 12-0 shutout victory over CT Technico in what was an extremely physical contest throughout.
This was followed up by a 31-0 win over Agronomia U18s, which featured a starring performance from Lancashire U17 squad member and sports scholar Kieron Brogan.
During the tour they took part in a number of training methods, including cool down sessions in the hotel pool, video analysis of each contest and specialised coaching sessions.
Mr Boyd, said: “It was a fantastic tour and each member of the Rydal Penrhos side acquitted themselves very well in the face of stern competition.
“They are a close-knit bunch and this was evidence in not only the performances they put on, but also the way they conducted themselves and aided one another throughout the trip."
Dan Owen, an upper sixth pupil, made his first senior RGC start after impressing in three substitute appearances this season, and produced another standout display in what was the Gogs’ fifth win in their opening six Principality Premiership outings.
The 17-year-old forward showed age is no barrier with an assured performance throughout and the triumph leaves Mark Jones’ side in third place as the first block of fixtures came to an end.
Player-coach Josh Leach, said: “During the warm up Mark challenged the team to start the game well which in fairness the starting 15 did, putting a lot of pressure on Swansea in the early minutes with some solid carrying up front and from the midfield.
“With the ball in hand we looked dangerous, creating a lot of chances for our outside backs who dominated the wider channels and made a number of line breaks running the ball back from deep.
“Our problems came when we couldn't control our restarts, and repeatedly we would score and then immediately put ourselves under pressure with a spillage or a penalty. That was very much the story of the game.”
Pupils take part in alternative test
A group of Business Studies pupils got the chance to take part in an alternative formal test recently.
The Year 10 GCSE pupils were asked to produce a board game to put into practice the different types of Business Ownership they had studied so far this year.
This was devised as a different method of applying knowledge learnt throughout the half term, rather than taking a normal test.
A project manager was chosen and the pupils worked individually on specific tasks to put together the finished product.
Mr Sanders, said: “As well as building key communication and team-working skills, the pupils produced a game which showed good knowledge and understanding of the wider business world.
“As an exercise for testing knowledge, it certainly allowed the pupils to consider how everything they have done so far is linked.
“They all did really well and I would like to congratulate them for all their hard work.”
The Year 12 A-level group descended on Bangor University for the event, which was organised by the Institute of Chartered Accountants for England and Wales (ICAEW).
Pupils were representing an accountancy firm and where tasked with solving a number of scenario’s based upon issues with the firms supply chain.
Each team then presented their findings to all of the other groups and the judges, and were required to use teamwork, communication and presenting skills to be successful.
The ICAEW also put on a presentation, giving the pupils an insight into how to become a chartered accountant and what the job actually entails.
Mr Sanders, said: “Upon leaving at the end of the day, some of the pupils were interested to find out more about what they had learnt throughout the day, so it was a very worthwhile trip.”
National Poetry Day
Pupils get creative for initiative
A host of activities took place to celebrate National Poetry Day.
The nationwide initiative, which took place on Thursday, October 6, has been devised by the Forward Arts Foundation, a charity that celebrates excellence in poetry and widens its audience.
Its aim is to bring together leading poetry, literacy and literary organisations around a shared purpose: promoting the enjoyment, discovery and sharing of poetry.
To celebrate the event pupils took part in a number of fun-filled events, including a special poetry competition on the theme of messages.
Pupils were also given a task of finding hidden poems dotted around various locations throughout Rydal Penrhos, and there was also a poetry quiz with a wide range of questions and thought-provoking tasks situated in the Costain building.
Miss Earle, said: “National Poetry Day is something we always get behind, and it was another sterling effort from our staff in organising a number of activities for our pupils to get involved with.
“Events such as these are a great way for pupils to explore their creative side and learn more about a wonderful pastime such as poetry, and they are all to be congratulated for their contributions.”
Euro Languages Week
Five day events hailed a success
The five-day showcase was organised by the school’s Modern Foreign Languages department and Wesley House, and took place from Monday, September 26 to Friday 30.
There were two aims throughout the week; to celebrate the many European Languages and to raise funds for a bench in memory of teacher and school archivist Rob Tickner, who passed away earlier this year.
Among the fundraising activities were a cake sale and waffle sale, which proved extremely popular with pupils and staff alike.
Dr Rhian Atkin, Senior Lecturer in Portuguese at Cardiff University, kicked off the week with a special lecture, while German and French film theme nights were held at boarding houses.
Traditional German game Topfschlagen took centre stage in the Ferguson Centre on Wednesday, while French pastime Lancez les Chaussons was also enjoyed by pupils, in addition to a number of European board games.
Mr McDuff, said: “This proved to be a hugely successful event and one that our pupils enjoyed immensely.
“Having pupils from other countries spread across all years at the school enables them to learn about different parts of the world and broaden their horizons, and all benefit hugely from the mix of nationalities here."
Host of successes for pupils
Kieron Brogan, a lower sixth pupil at the school, has been selected for Lancashire U17s’ development day, which was held at Sedgley Park on Sunday, October 30.
The 16-year-old forward has turned in a number of eye catching performances in school colours during the early stages of the campaign, and has played a pivotal role in the First XV so far.
Brogan, a Manchester native, will now seek to impress coaching staff further at the event in the hope of selection to a number of upcoming contests, and his call-up comes on the back of additional school success in the form of Sean Hughes, Jack Jones and Daniel Pearce, who have all joined the RGC Academy programme.
Mr Boyd, said: “Kieron has really impressed since he arrived, and he is thoroughly deserving of the call-up.
“He has been a breath of fresh air here at the school and possesses an enormous amount of talent with a willingness to be better, which is a good trait to have going forward.
“Everyone wishes him the best of luck at his development day and we are confident that he can make an impact in Lancashire colours.”
Conwy U14 selection Anna Parry-Williams
Anna Parry-Williams, a Year 9 pupil at the school, has been selected for the Conwy U14 squad after impressing during a recent trial day featuring some of the most gifted players in the area.
The 13-year-old will now begin training with the squad ahead of a series of fixtures over the coming months as she looks to establish herself on the regional circuit.
"This is fantastic news and full marks go to Anna for achieving a place on the Conwy squad.
"She has worked very hard on improving all elements of her game in recent months, and it is great to see her application paying off.
“Everyone wishes her the best of luck and we are confident she can make a huge impact for Conwy’s under 14 side.”
– Mrs Head
Brothers Eddie and Kevin Farrell, Year 10 and 9 pupils at the school, have been invited to join the RS Feva Class UK National Squad, which will run largely in parallel with the RYA UK Junior Squad.
The duo, who were recently crowned Welsh champions, will begin their training programme in November, which will consist of a comprehensive range of Squad Training weekends, on and off-water training and workshops with the aim of achieving success at key national and international regattas the following summer.
In addition the duo will also receive sports science support including advice on psychology, fitness, meteorology, nutrition, hydration, growth and maturation.
It has been a memorable season for the pupils, who have enhanced their growing reputation with a number of success in what has been another superb campaign.
Mr Boyd, said: “This is a sensational achievement from Eddie and Kevin and everyone is thrilled for them.
“They have worked very hard on the water over the summer, which has brought them a number of thoroughly deserved regional and national successes.
“We wish them the best of luck with the UK squad, and hope that they can achieve further accolades as part of the group.”
Daniel Pearce in action for our 1st XV
Daniel Pearce, a lower sixth pupil at the school, was recalled to the RGC squad for the WRU Super Series, which was held during the October half term.
Unfortunately Dan was unable to participate in the showcase due to injury.
The academy has provided a number of senior squad members for the Parc Eirias based side, including current stars Danny Cross, Mei Parry, Joe Simpson, Efan Jones, Sam Jones and player-coach Josh Leach.
Mr Boyd, said: “This is fantastic news for Daniel and a testament how hard he has worked to improve his game in recent months.
“He is a very talented individual who will hopefully contribute a great deal to the squad, in addition to the other five members that have played a significant role in RGC’s success at youth level.
“Together with Jack Jones and Sean Hughes joining the U16 programme, it has been a fantastic start to the campaign for our players and they deserve enormous credit for their success.”
Zac Blomeley and Ewan Luke
Ewan Luke and Zac Blomeley, both Year 11 pupils at the school, came away with the Junior category at the Harken 29er Grand Prix in Weymouth.
The talented duo achieved the feat in testing conditions despite this being just their second event since switching from the RS Feva class following their success at the World Championships in July.
In the three competitive races they took part in, the pair managed to secure second, fourth and ninth to finish first in the junior section and 15th overall out of 55 boats.
Their success has also caught the eye of scouts, who have invited the young stars to attend a series of T1 transitioning training classes after a recent profiling at Salford University.
Mr Todd, said: “This is yet more fantastic news for Ewan and Zac, who have made the transition over to the 29er class seamlessly to continue their success.
“They work extremely hard on improving their craft and work very well as a team, which is bringing them a great deal of recognition at national and international level.
“We are confident that this is just the start of bigger and better things for the pair and our sailing programme will strive to ensure that their goals are met.”