Rydal Penrhos newsletter
Foreword from the new Headmaster
I write this sitting, proudly, at my desk as the new Headmaster of Rydal Penrhos School.
I have very much appreciated the warm welcome I have received from the staff , the pupils and the parents. It has affirmed my belief that this is a great school with a terrific heart and much potential.
Towards the end of last term I had a thoroughly enjoyable evening at the FORPS Christmas Ball and in the fundraising auction became the proud owner of a set of Rob Hall’s drumsticks which now have pride of place in my Study. Rob’s meteoric success with Catfish and the Bottlemen (as mentioned later in this newsletter) alongside, for example, the amazing achievements of Will Broadway winning the James Dyson Award for his “Isobar” invention only serves to show the incredible diversity of our successful alumni and reflects the all-round education we offer at Rydal Penrhos.
This newsletter showcases the wide ranging, recent, accomplishments of our current pupils from academic success to triumphs on both pitch and stage.
I have reassured families of current and prospective pupils that a Rydal Penrhos education will enable their son or daughter to discover their talent and be the best they can be.
These news stories show that vision in action. I now look forward to actually seeing such stories unfold in the months to come rather than just reading about them.
My recent message to the staff and parents was that whilst I want our pupils to succeed in whatever ways they can I also want them to leave with friends for life, fond memories and pride in their school.
This newsletter suggests we are already well on the way to achieving that. My thanks too to the staff whose commitment, tireless energy and professionalism enable the pupils to rise to such heights.
Should you wish to follow my journey as Headmaster as well as that of our staff and pupils please do feel free to follow me on Twitter @SimonSmithRPS.
School among best in UK in league table
We been named among the best schools in the country for International Baccalaureate results in a league table.
The school was named 11th overall in the Top 20 Small Cohort Independent IB Schools list, which was administered by education advisers IB Schools.
In addition, it was also named sixth best in the country for co-educational boarding schools offering both International Baccalaureate and A-level.
The standout performer was Anjalina Mitra, who achieved an incredible 44 points, one point from a perfect score, and she is now studying Economics and Maths at the prestigious London School of Economics.
Hannah Patrick scored 40 and was awarded a place at Somerville College in Oxford, while other scores of note came from German pupil Karl Holthaus, who scored 37, with Molly Jones and Tobias Broering both scoring 35 for their efforts throughout the two-year course.
Mr Smith, said: “Rydal Penrhos’ position in this table is recognition of the staff and pupils’ tremendous efforts over the two years.
“The pupils have succeeded academically but also contributed so much more in their time at the school both through the CAS programme and their wider involvement in school life.
“Whilst we appreciate such League Tables, based on average scores, we also must remember the individual characters and their achievements. We now wish these pupils well as they go on into the world to make a difference.”
Simon Smith takes up role
Mr Smith with Adam Sabri & Charlotte Owen
Our new Headmaster Mr Smith has officially begun life at the school.
He took up his position on Monday, January 2, and has already held numerous meetings with staff and senior figures as he looks to put his plans into place.
He said: “Much has been written about what constitutes a good education. If we are not careful such attempts can be too focussed and narrow that they ignore the diversity that exists in our community.
“Our Five L model of a distinctive, successful education aims to allow all our pupils to be individuals, to discover their talent, be the best they can be and ready themselves for the future while also being happy in the now.
“Learning is top of the agenda and recognises that traditional scholarship, innovation and academic success are what we must be about, but it also recognises that we (pupils, staff and parents) are all learners in our community and that our learning is not confined to the classroom.
“Living is our appreciation of the importance of our community, well-being in a boarding school and the importance and advantage of a first-class pastoral system.
“Leading is a belief that not only are we a leading school, but that we must prepare our pupils to be able to lead successfully, effectively and humbly. All our pupils will have the opportunity to learn to lead others.
“Listening is how we improve. By being open to the feedback and ideas of all members of our community, we show a respect for others and a recognition that, through reflection, we can be even better.
“Our Location is a blend of beautiful, well-resourced school, a warm town community and the UK’s adventure playground on our doorstep. We use all these advantages for the benefit of the pupils while recognising we must serve our local community too.”
Tributes paid to much-loved staff member
Rhianwen 'Nan' Washington
Tributes have been paid to a long-serving employee who sadly passed away recently.
Rhianwen Washington, a much-loved catering supervisor at the school, passed away on Saturday, December 31 aged 63.
Known affectionately as ‘Nan’ to pupils, the staff member began life at Rydal Penrhos in 1987 as a dining room assistant.
She left briefly to give birth to her youngest son, Kevin, and then returned to the senior school, eventually to become one of the dining room supervisors in 1994, a role she has enjoyed for the last 23 years.
The family-orientated grandmother leaves behind partner David, two sons, one daughter and four grandchildren.
Domestic Bursar Julie Chmara, said: “In the time Nan worked at the school she has seen many pupils grow up, and served thousands of meals, also seeing the relocation of the dining hall from Old House and the opening of the sports hall and Ferguson Centre.
“She will be greatly missed by all her colleagues, especially by Gina, who has shared all of Nan's working career together at Rydal Penrhos.”
Mr McDuff, added: “We were all so sad to hear the news of Nan’s passing. She welcomed everyone at her food counter with a warm smile, a ‘how are you?’ and a dry witty comment.
“She was a great comforter both to me and to us all, and we miss her. Our thoughts and prayers are with David and her family.”
Festive season activities
More than £1,000 was raised for a Conwy Hospice from a charity Christmas Market held at the school.
The second annual extravaganza on Friday, December 9, was organised by a charity committee consisting of Sixth Form pupils in aid of Ty Gobaith Children’s Hospice in Conwy.
There was a huge turnout of pupils, staff and members of the public, with plenty to enjoy throughout the three-hour event.
A host of stalls were on offer in the Memorial Hall, with everything you could need for a last minute Christmas gift for a friend or loved one.
In addition there was also a Santa’s Grotto, with Head of Design and Technology Phil Sutton playing the role of Father Christmas for the evening.
Head Girl Charlotte Owen revealed that £1,163.30 has been raised so far from the event, with the sum set to increase once all donations have been counted.
The market was kept entertained throughout by the Rydal Penrhos band, which consisted of staff and pupils who played festive songs to keep people entertained.
There were also an abundance of refreshments available in the form of a cake stall and barbecue, while committee members put on games, a raffle and festive face painting.
There was plenty of festive cheer as all four houses battled it out for the Christmas Carol singing crown.
A long standing tradition on what is the penultimate day of school, all pupils gathered at the Memorial Hall on Tuesday, December 15 to battle it out in-front of judge and Director of Music Mr Williams.
The winners would be granted the privilege of getting to be first in line for the annual Christmas Dinner, which was held following the competition.
Bragging rights this year went to Wesley house for their version of Wham’s classic Last Christmas, which featured some impromptu acting from Henry Davies and was led in song by Eliza Harrison-Done and Sean Hughes.
While the votes were being tallied up, staff at the school also gave a performance of their own, which was the smash charity hit Do They Know it’s Christmas from Band Aid.
Mr McDuff, said: “It was a hilarious way to end the school year and every single pupil deserves credit for their efforts.
“A great deal of practice went into each performance and the standard was very good, with a little bit of humour and Christmas cheer thrown in too.
“Congratulations to Wesley for their victory and to the staff who braved the stage to perform in-front of every senior school pupil."
Gifted singers spread some Christmas cheer across a number of North Wales sites.
The choir, which consisted of both prep and senior pupils, took part in three special carol singing sessions across three venues on Monday, December 12.
Shoppers at the Victoria Centre in Llandudno were greeted with a variety of festive carols on the tour’s first stop, where the group were also raising money for charity via collection boxes.
They then descended on Merton Place Residential Home in Colwyn Bay, where they treated residents’ and staff to songs such as Silent Night, Jingle Bells and the 12 Days of Christmas.
The final venue was Redcroft Nursing Home, situated on Alexandra Road, where they thrilled a large audience to round off a very successful day.
Mr McDuff, said: “This is something we do every year and I would like to thank all choir members who performed brilliantly throughout the day.
“To sing for long periods can become very tiring, especially for our prep pupils, and they showed a tremendous amount of application to ensure that everyone listening got the most out of the experience.
“We are very proud of our community links here at Rydal Penrhos, in what is a truly stunning part of the world at this time of year.”
Festive concert showcases talent
Gifted musicians have been praised for their efforts at the annual Christmas Concert.
A large group of pupils and staff, together with the school’s Community Choir, thrilled the audience on Tuesday, December 6, which is one of the most prominent dates on the calendar.
In addition to the group performances, there were a number of exceptional displays from the likes of Alicia Zhou, Arthur Hind and National Eisteddfod winner Tegid Goodman-Jones.
Upper sixth pupil Nick Dundee performed a spectacular version of the chart hit Iris, with Vincent Kohm and Niamh Cook also catching the eye with their respective contributions.
The second half of the concert was equally as entertaining, with Linda Wang, Richard Wolfendale and Charlotte Owen all producing marvellous musical efforts.
The concert concluded with performances from the community and senior choirs, before every performer and audience member joined in a series of carols to send everyone home with plenty of festive cheer.
Performers: Alicia Zhou, Arthur Hind, Zahra Shamsi, Tegid Goodman-Jones, Nick Dundee, Alex Roberts, Niamh Cook, Vincent Kohm, Juan Rajagopal, Linda Wang, Samuel Jones, Emily Li, Ben Gibson, Richard Wolfendale, Emma Hourihane, Charlotte Owen, Amy Yue.
MCC Foundation kicks off
Young cricketers from the region have received a boost thanks to a prestigious programme.
The school will be the latest venue for the Marylebone Cricket Club Foundation Hub, which offers high-quality cricket coaching to talented children in the state school system, who have displayed the potential to become good cricketers.
The MCC will fund three coaches for 25 two-hour sessions at the school for under 13 and 15 players, which equates to a session every week in the off season.
The Hubs are put together, funded and mentored by the MCC Foundation. The day-to-day running of each Hub is left to a local manager, who runs local trials to identify talented children and who oversees the coaching sessions, which are open to male and female players from state schools across North Wales.
Director of Sport and Hub manager Allen Boyd announced that former Glamorgan and Wales star Dion Holden will be leading the coaching team.
Holden, who will captain ex-North Wales Premier Division champions Menai Bridge next season, said: “I'm very excited to be a part of this new scheme and can't wait to get started.
“It's a brilliant opportunity to work with young aspiring cricketers from North Wales and I feel a block of structured sessions at Rydal Penrhos can only aid their cricket development.
“We will look to target all three disciplines of the game before testing our skills against other MCCF hubs around the country in the summer.”
A-level group praised for exam performance
A group of talented drama pupils have been praised for their efforts in a special exam performance.
The Upper Sixth A-level group took to the stage last week over two nights for their exam performance, which was performed in-front of a live audience and filmed for examiners.
This year’s performance was an adaptation of the Mike Leigh play entitled Abigail's Party, which is described as a suburban situation comedy of manners, and a satire on the aspirations and tastes of the new middle class that emerged in Britain in the 1970s.
Adele Parry, Edward Lunt, Elishia Phillips, Lodovica Cadena Torrero and Tom Hamilton-Pritchard all gave outstanding performances over both nights and received praise from department head Mrs Crimes.
She said: “They were absolutely outstanding performances from Year 13 and I could not be more proud of all of them.
“They were absolutely sublime and hopefully this will be reflected in the grades they receive next summer.”
During rehearsals the group were also visited by Mr Smith, who added: “It was an absolute joy to watch some of the rehearsals on Friday. There was some frighteningly good acting from particular characters.”
Maths whizz makes British Olympiad squad
A gifted problem solving pupil was invited to a prestigious mathematics training event.
Emily Li, a lower sixth pupil at the school, was one of a small group of number crunching pupils from around the country that were selected to attend a special British Mathematical Olympiad training camp in Budapest, Hungary from Tuesday, December 27 to Wednesday, January 4.
The Chinese native, said: “I am very excited to be going to Hungary, and I can’t wait to get going.
“It’s also fantastic that I will go back to China and see my family for Christmas just before I set off, and I hope it is going to be a fantastic experience.”
The 16-year-old booked her place by performing exceptionally at the BMO’s first round event, which she was selected to after achieving a certificate of distinction from the UKMT Maths Olympiad, where Emily gained no fewer than three perfect solutions to the opening three questions of the test.
During the trip, the group of around 10 will train with their Hungarian counterparts before taking part in a competition, while there will also be time to take in some of the picturesque sites around the city.
Mr McDuff, said: “This is yet more fantastic news for Emily, who has achieved a remarkable amount during her time here.
“She is an immensely gifted pupil with a willingness to do better, and to be selected for the BMO’s camp really is an incredible honour."
Bank of England challenge success
A group of pupils finished runners-up in the regional heat of a prestigious economics competition.
The upper sixth pupils, who are studying both International Baccalaureate and A-level, joined forces to present a proposal to Bank of England representatives which centred on monetary policy and the prospects for inflation.
Kalina Tsaneva, Will Marston, Omer Tahir and Quentin Jeschka recommended an immediate increase in interest rates to 0.5% to try to lessen the likelihood of higher inflation during the presentation in-front of a panel of judges, and all pupils “spoke well”, stated Head of Business Studies, Economics and ICT Mr Farnell.
Thanks to the impressive nature of the proposal they finished in second place from a region that covered North Wales and Cheshire.
Acting head Roger McDuff, said: “This is a fantastic result and congratulations to all four pupils on their efforts.
“They worked incredibly hard in the lead-up to their presentation and their efforts were rewarded with a fantastic final placing, which was very pleasing indeed.”
The Bank of England Target 2.0 Challenge Target is a competition that gives teams of pupils aged 16 to 18 the chance to take on the role of the establishment’s Monetary Policy Committee.
Each team will assess economic conditions and the outlook for inflation and then set the interest rate to meet the Government’s inflation target of two per cent.
Year 7 surprise Merton Place residents
Caring pupils brought some festive cheer to residents of a Colwyn Bay care home.
The Year 7 group visited five Merton Place Residential Home residents over a number of weeks, and found out more about their lives before they arrived at the facility.
Following their chats, the groups made special memory boxes for each resident, detailing their lives, likes and dislikes, important moments and fond memories.
Deputy Head Mr Cashell, together with the pupils, presented them to each resident on Wednesday, December 12.
This is the latest in a series of community initiatives organised by Rydal Penrhos over the festive period, which include charity events and singing at a number of venues including Merton Place.
Mr Cashell, said: “Both I and our pupils have found the experience very rewarding and they have also written some reflections, which I am looking forward to reading.
“I would like to thank Eleri Williams and the residents of Merton Place for taking the time to speak to our pupils, and making them feel so welcome.
“We were humbled by some of the stories they told and the experience was a fantastic one.”
Success from former pupils
Emily Hickman, who left the school in 2014, is currently studying Agriculture at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, and she has secured a scholarship in conjunction with Faccenda Foods and the British Poultry Council.
The 21-year-old competed in a scholarship essay competition run by the BPC on Tuesday, December 6, which was held at the Institution of Civil Engineering in London.
She gave a presentation on the role of British poultry post Brexit as part of the evaluation process, which also involved writing a 1,000-word essay on the subject.
Despite not winning the competition, Emily’s essay received the highest mark out of the 11 scholars who were entered.
For her efforts, the former pupil received an invitation to the House of Commons for the BPC’s annual awards ceremony.
Mr McDuff, said: “We are always delighted to hear of news of our former pupils, and this is a truly fantastic achievement from Emily.
“She was a much-loved pupil during her time here and has returned to speak about Agriculture to our current pupils at our annual Careers Fair, something which she will be attending again in 2017."
Dr Mark Baker
Dr Mark Baker, who left the school in 2003, has joined forces with Dr Greg Stephenson to write ‘50 Buildings that built Wales’, which is now available to buy.
The book explores the idea of identity as expressed through a nation’s ‘bricks and mortar’, considering the industry, culture and language of Wales and the way in which these have all come together to form the country we know today.
In an interview with Rhyl Journal reporter Suzanne Jordan, Dr Baker, said: “We decided to look at buildings which have contributed to Welsh history.
“We took 25 each and we were looking at material culture and buildings that show the development of an intricate and highly cultivated cultural heritage.
“Some of the sites included are personal to us as authors, but we felt that they illustrate the breadth of architectural history and buildings archaeology that Wales is famed for.
“One of mine was the Abergele Kinmel Hall which has links to copper mining. Another one is Hafodunos Hall [in Llangernyw], a gothic-style house and obviously Gwyrch Castle is very close to my heart in terms of architectural features, the medieval building techniques and its structure.”
The book also includes photographs by noted photographer David Wilson, and topics include industrial and economic boom, Welsh culture across the globe and protests that have helped preserve the native language in Wales.
The former pupil, who went on to study at Bangor and Cardiff Universities, added: “It was so important to obtain the right photos – we didn’t want pictures of daffodils, sheep, rugby – it was important to concentrate on Wales’ rich history.
“It was about weaving a tapestry – each building is part of the weave.”
Rob Hall, who left the school in 2011, is a drummer with chart topping indie sensations Catfish and the Bottlemen, who have been invited to join Green Day as special guest in their North American tour this summer.
The “Radio Revolution Tour” is in support of the group's 12th studio album, Revolution Radio. It is currently set to have 77 dates in North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand from September 2016 through July 2017.
This is the latest in a long line of successes for the former pupil as part of the Bottlemen, who have gone from strength-to-strength over the last year, which has seen them top the UK Album Chart with their second release The Ride, in addition to winning Best British Breakthrough Act at the Brit Awards.
The four-piece, led by Van McCann, are currently in the midst of a New Year tour of Japan, before heading to South America and the United States for seven special gigs.
Rob generously donated a signed poster and used drumsticks to the recent Friends of Rydal Penrhos Christmas Auction, which were snapped up by new Headmaster Simon Smith and will be on display in his office.
Mr Williams, said: “What Rob has achieved with Catfish and the Bottlemen is something that fills us with great pride, and for them to be included on a tour with a band as popular and renowned as Green Day is a marvellous achievement.”
A former Head Boy at Rydal Penrhos has shared a video of his speech at a prestigious school event.
Shaswath Ganapathi, who left the school last summer, returned to Rydal Penrhos over the festive break to share the video, which was shot at the school’s annual Speech Day event.
The 18-year-old, together with ex-Head Girl Hannah Cashell, spoke about their time at Rydal Penrhos and shared their fondest memories in-front of a packed out Memorial Hall in what is considered to be one of the most prominent dates on the school calendar.
Shaswath, who gained an impressive two A* grades in Biology and Chemistry, while also achieving two A’s in Mathematics and Physics, is now studying Medicine at the University of Birmingham.
Former Wales Hockey international Hannah is currently on a gap year in New Zealand, where she is working at St Peter’s Independent School in Cambridge, which is just a short drive from Hamilton.
She will then head to the University of Newcastle to study Geography.
First XV win Cheshire Cup
Tawanda Harris on the attack
The senior squad claimed the Cheshire Plate after defeating The Grange School 43-5 thanks to a blistering first half display.
Sean Hughes touched down for the first score of the game in typically stylish fashion on seven minutes, with the boot of Nick Dundee adding the extras.
Things got even better when Dan Owen crossed the white wash following fine approach play from Tawanda Harris. Dundee adding the conversion.
Sean Hughes crosses the white wash
The Grange got back into the game with a fast-break try midway through the half, but normal service was resumed thanks to a try from skipper Adam Sabri, who took his individual tally to over 100 points in what has been an immense campaign from the RGC Academy star.
This spurred them further, with Owen and Hughes both notching their second tries of the afternoon to head into the break with a comfortable advantage.
The same pattern of play emerged after the interval, with Owen producing another barnstorming run to complete his hat-trick.
Yet another well-worked try rounded off the scoring, with Dundee scoring under the posts after a blistering run from Alex Benfield to secure the plate.
Mr Boyd, said: “You would be hard pushed to find a better 40' of Rydal Penrhos rugby than the way we played at the start of this match.
“The most pleasing parts of the game were our willingness to attack both from deep and turnover ball and how we varied our play at the line out including a try from a rolling maul.
“Some of the play was really exciting to watch, the back row worked hard all day and the running lines of Dan and Euan Humphreys were quite superb."
Upper sixth pupils Adam Sabri and Dan Owen, together with Year 12’s Henry Davies, were part of the Wales East camp as the selection process for Wales U18 fixtures next spring got underway.
The young hopefuls joined around 40 of the best players in the country from RGC, Scarlets and Ospreys at Parc Y Scarlets.
This will be the first in a series of camps for the our Rugby Academy stars, which is run in partnership with the Gogs and the Welsh Rugby Union.
Talented forward Owen has made huge strides this season which has resulted in a number of senior appearances for Principality Premiership surprise package RGC this season.
Sabri and Davies have also caught the eye as part of the U18 set-up, which saw the pair shine at the Fosters 7s and Conwy International Festival.
Director of Sport Allen Boyd, said: “This is the first step on the route to a possible national squad selection, and we are confident that Adam, Dan and Henry can make a huge impact.
“All have made significant contributions to RGC under 18s’ recent success at a number of high-profile tournaments, and this experience is sure to stand them in good stead as they look to make the leap to the national stage.
“We have a rich tradition of international rugby stars here at Rydal Penrhos, with Efan Jones and Danny Cross among the most recent, and we wish all three the very best of luck as they look to add to our fine tradition.”
Jack Jones and Sean Hughes, both Year 11 pupils at the school, are now part of RGC’s U16 squad after impressing staff at a recent trial at Parc Eirias on Wednesday, November 23.
They were invited on to the programme after catching the eye of player-coach Josh Leach, who was in attendance for Rydal Penrhos’ 54-0 NatWest Cup win over Hilbre High School.
Holywell native Hughes is described by Director of Sport Mr Boyd as “the fastest boy in school”, and scored a blistering try in the cup success.
Fifteen-year-old Jones, who hails from Glan Conwy, has been a part of the RGC West squad in the past and hopes to make a huge impact for the region to continue his development.
Mr Boyd, said: “This is also significant for us here at Rydal Penrhos as there has been no club involvement for either player, so it shows that what we are doing here with our young athletes is working.
“Our rugby academy partnership with RGC has brought great success in recent years, and we hope that Sean and Jack can add to this fine tradition in the coming years.”
Global Action trip planned
Lucky pupils will have the chance to go on the trip of a lifetime next year.
The school has announced it has organised an educational trip to India, which has been aimed at enhancing pupils’ learning in global issues.
The trip will be of particular benefit to A-level pupils that are studying either Religious Studies, Geography, Business Studies/Economics, or Biology.
Are trips like these beneficial for pupils?
The expedition starts by visiting Amritsar’s Golden Temple, and will later visit the spectacular Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Based in the foothills of the beautiful Indian Himalayas, the group also plan to have a special audience with The Dalai Lama to learn about respect for all religions.
In addition pupils and staff will also take part in unique workshops with experts at international development agencies, to learn about: Sustainable Development, Fair Trade, and Environmental Protection throughout the Himalayas.
The team will then work on a well-planned poverty-reduction project with a UK charity, where we will assist in the building of a new children’s hostel, so mountain children can attend school for the first time in their lives.
They are set to finish the expedition by visiting Buddhist monasteries, to learn from renowned lamas how to practice positive mindfulness in our lives. The expedition will give all participants a unique opportunity to learn about leadership, teamwork, and self-reliance: crucial life-skills.
Young stars gain national honours
A talented hockey star has been rewarded for a fine season with a pair of awards.
Alejandra Ortuno Guilera, a Year 11 pupil at the school, turned in a number of excellent performances throughout the campaign, and was awarded with the Girls’ Hockey Player of the Season award at the end of term Prize Giving Assembly, which was held on Thursday, December 15.
The gifted 15-year-old was also presented with her half colours by Head of Girls’ Games Nicky Head before returning to her native Spain.
Mr Boyd, said: “This is a well-deserved recognition for Alejandra, who quickly established herself as one of the most gifted hockey players at the school, which is a testament to her attitude.
“She is not only very talented, but her work ethic is exceptional and this is reflected in the standard of her overall play, and Alejandra should be very proud of her efforts.”
Josh Thomas, a Year 11 pupil at the school, turned out for Wales U16s for the first time at the Cardiff Met Invitational Pre-season Tournament.
The 16-year-old turned in a number of fine performances against the likes of Cardiff Met University Hockey Club, Kings School, Bruton, Dauntseys School, Stamford School and Colstons School.
The talented goalkeeper received the Bill Beattie award for Young Player of the Season at Colwyn Bay Hockey Club’s end of season presentation evening, which took place on Saturday, April 17.
He is no stranger to big events, having been part of both Gemau Cymru and the England Hockey Futures Cup in recent months, while also playing an instrumental role in our national championship win at U16 level.
Mr Boyd, said: “Josh has worked extremely hard to make it to the national setup, and the recognition is richly deserved.
“He is a very talented individual in a number of sports and has enjoyed a fine year, and the sky is the limit in terms of just how much he can develop in the future.
“Everyone at Rydal Penrhos would like to congratulate Josh on his award and hope that this is just the first of many more accolades to come.”
Jack and Will Sissons, Upper Sixth and Year 11 pupils at the school, are widely regarded as two of the best young prospects in the region and will begin playing for their respective clubs once their school commitments have concluded.
Talented youngster Will, who co-captained Wales U15 last season and narrowly missed out on the South and West squad for the Bunbury Festival, will once again play for North Wales Premier Division champions Llandudno after contributing to their title win in the closing stages of the campaign.
The 16-year-old averaged an impressive 53.50 in his four innings, which included a superb 62 not out against rivals Bangor which all-but sealed the title for Jack Rimmington’s side.
Brother Jack, who is the school’s first XI captain, will look to gain further senior experience with Liverpool and District Premier Division outfit Colwyn Bay after making 13 appearances for the club in all competitions in 2016.
Mr Leach, said: “Both Jack and Will have demonstrated an incredible amount of potential so far, and I am confident that they are going to have a big part to play for both Colwyn Bay and Llandudno this season.
“For them to achieve what they have despite their young age is a testament to not only their ability, but their willingness to listen and get better, two traits which will stand them in good stead as they look to make their mark on the game in the future.”
The school's netball stars were invited to be mascots for the Celtic Dragons’ clash with league leaders Manchester Thunder, which was held on Saturday, January 14 at Deeside Leisure Centre.
The girls accompanied the team on to the court before the contest, and posed for pictures with the players following the game.
Celtic Dragons also feature Welsh Netball captain Suzy Drane, who is a former pupil who was part of the school’s recent Netball tour to Greece, where she was a special guest coach.
Mrs Head, said: “It was a fantastic experience for the girls, to meet top flight netball players, including our very own Suzy Drane.
“It was a great opportunity for the girls to see how the game is played at a higher level and what they should be aspiring to achieve.
“After the match the girls were able to chat with the players and get autographs. Both the Celtic Dragons and Manchester Thunder teams were kind enough to sign two of our netballs which will go on display.”
A swimming sensation has been speaking of her excitement at the news she has been given a national call-up.
Martyna Ruszkowska, a Year 11 pupil at the school, will be part of the Swim Wales team for the upcoming Golden Tour, which will be held in Marseille, France from March 2-5.
The 15-year-old made it to the tour after producing qualifying times for three events, the 200 metre backstroke, 200m freestyle and 400m individual medley.
She said: “I'm really excited! Being given the opportunity of travelling internationally to compete and represent the country gives you a sense of pride and acknowledgement that you're improving.
“Training is difficult to get into after the Christmas break but with so many ambitious goals to aim for you have to keep going because everything you do matters.”
This is the latest in a long line of successes for the Swim Gwynedd athlete, who has set her sights on a possible Commonwealth Games spot in the near future.
In addition to her French adventure, Martyna will be competing at the Burns Meet in Sheffield on January 28-29, in addition to the regional championships over a two-week period at the start of next month.
Following the tour the number ranked swimmer in the country will look for further honours at the Welsh and British Championships, which will take place in Swansea and Edinburgh.
A talented table tennis star turned out for a regional side in a prestigious competition.
Abhishek Bathula, a Year 10 pupil at the school, was part of the North Wales side that competed at the TT County Championships, which were held in Draycott.
This is the latest in a long line of successes for the 14-year-old, who recently made his Wales debut in a national tournament, reaching the semi-finals in the U15 category.
He was also part of the Conwy county team that gained a bronze medal at Gemau Cymru, and is the youngest player currently performing in the Llandudno and District Table Tennis League.
Mr Boyd, said: “Abhishek has worked very hard to improve all facets of his game in recent months, something that has brought with it great reward.
“He receives specialist one-to-one coaching here at Rydal Penrhos, which ensures that his potential is maximised as he looks to pursue further regional and national honours in the future.
“We wish him well as part of the North Wales side this weekend and hope he can make a huge contribution.”