Rydal Penrhos newsletter
Foreword from the Headmaster
It has been a wonderful 95 days in post so far, not that I am still counting, though it feels that we have done so much in those days that is must be longer - testament to the pupils and the whole school community. The pace hasn’t slackened since I previously wrote informing you of our mathematics and sporting successes.
Academic endeavour remains our number one priority and it has been a busy period of mocks, feedback, self-evaluation, revision and report writing. For those pupils with public examinations in the summer, I would encourage a judicious balance of rest and active revision. University offers have been coming in thick and fast and it is heart-warming to see our Upper Sixth being offered places to some of the country’s most prestigious universities to study on the most competitive of courses. I hope such opportunities inspire the pupils to great heights next term. Knowledge is important but so too is the ability to communicate it and I am delighted that our debating teams are through to the Rotary International Youth Speaks National Finals in May.
The holidays are also a good time to read and I hope you will encourage your children to invest time in a good book over the next two weeks; perhaps for those pupils in Lower School one or two from the Carnegie Medal Shortlist. Learning takes place in many guises and nowhere has this been more evident than in our recent Silver Duke of Edinburgh Expedition: in three days they covered 45km of demanding terrain with full pack, the equivalent of climbing Snowdon twice!
Leadership and teamwork is at the heart of our philosophy of education and our Year 11 pupils have demonstrated this in spades in completing this demanding assessment.
It has been a busy term of sport with Netball, Hockey and Rugby Sevens taking centre stage, but huge credit must be given to our girls’ Cross-Country team for making the Welsh National Finals. It always feels wrong to single out individual success in a school community, but we must acknowledge the outstanding achievement of Upper Sixth pupil Dan Owen in securing his first Welsh U18 Rugby Cap and helping Wales to victory over England last month.
Those who saw our rather superb production of Annie, will understand why I must single it out as the highlight of the term. There are not the words for me to truly express my admiration for the best school production I have seen in 20 years – I may be biased but it is true. The cast, crew, band, Art Department and audience all contributed to four magical nights in the Memorial Hall. My sadness at it coming to an end has been tempered by Mrs Crime’s plans for next year’s production already. Next term’s Summer Music Concert, as part of Music Week, and Art Exhibitions, are giving me, and I hope you too, a great deal to look forward to.
Community and family have been a recurring theme throughout the Spring Term. I have thoroughly enjoyed my teas and breakfast with you, the parents, this term and I look forward to more coffee, croissants and conversations next term.
Last weekend I enjoyed lunch with our alumni from the 1960s and 1970s. They were terrific company and I hope to have half the energy and vitality they do when I am of a similar age. Their pride in the school and warmth of feeling towards each other bode well, I hope, for the class of 2017 and beyond.
The FORPS Committee have, as ever, been busy raising funds and purchasing equipment for our pupils’ benefit. I thank them and you for all your support. Thanks too to those of you who have so far contributed to our Annual Development Fund and should you still wish to, the link can be found at https://rydalpenrhos.fluencycms.co.uk/Annual-Fund.
Our pupils have been leading by example in their fundraising. So far £875 has been raised by the Amnesty Group to support the Methodist “All We Can” campaign for refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan. Comic Relief saw some wonderful costumes, much merriment and more importantly £731.28 raised for this worthwhile cause.
If learning effectively, leading successfully and living joyfully are all at the heart of a good education, then our pupils have certainly delivered an outstanding term.
Mr Simon Smith
Annie the Musical
RPDS performance attracts 1,000
Talented actors have been praised for their efforts in their annual Dramatic Society production.
Almost 1,000 people packed out the Memorial Hall over four nights for Annie the Musical, which took place from Tuesday, March 28 until Friday 31.
Leading ladies Bella Rutherford and Eliza Harrison-Dine were brilliant in the role of Annie, while Edward Lunt, Elishia Phillips and Adele Parry produced sensational efforts in their respective roles.
There were plenty of hilarious performances from Harry Hackman as Drake, Omer Tahir as Bundles and Ben Gibson as President Roosevelt.
Miles Poller, Olivia Williams and Grace Patrick gave beautiful and sincere acting performances, following their successes in ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ last year.
There were also a number of exceptional singing efforts, with Tegid Goodman-Jones, Sam Randall, Zahra Shamsi and Elinor Davies catching the eye, while the dancing of Tallulah Batley, Ruby James and Jenny Blackman was another highlight of the four-night showcase.
Plans are already being made for the 2018 performance, with Mr Smith giving the green light for another musical to be produced.
Mrs Crimes, who directed the musical, said: “The orphans (led by Beau Holden, Pip Thomas, Shruthi Ganapathi and Jenny Blackman) and servants were really the group of performers who were the stars of the show - the youngest, busiest and brightest group of young people on the stage, keeping all of the musical numbers energetic, the audience singing along and the show progressing."
More amazing success for pupils
The team of Baptiste Mazars, Juan Rajagopal, Jerry Zhao and Alicia Zhou emerged victorious from the United Kingdom Maths Trust Team Challenge regional heat.
A total of 12 schools across the region took part in the event, and the team will now head to Lindley Hall in London for the national finals in June.
Working well as a group, the four started the competition strongly in the group round and crossnumber challenge, and found themselves occupying a top three position heading into the afternoon.
They continued their exceptional teamwork and surged clear of the other schools after the shuttle round and relay, which propelled them into top spot ahead of Ruthin School and Ysgol John Bright, who finished second and third respectively.
Mr Richmond, said: “It is so nice to see pupils enjoying working on their mathematics and problem-solving with one another, doing something that they don't always get the opportunity to in the day-to-day classroom situation.
“Well done, too, to the runners-up, Ruthin School, and to Ysgol John Bright who gained third place.”
Mr Smith also expressed his delight at the news, and added: “It is excellent to see this sort of academic success.
“We are a school which prioritises learning and a love of that learning. These talented pupils and their maths teachers are to be congratulated for their efforts and the hard-work which goes into preparing for such events.”
No fewer than 28 pupils achieved certificates from an Intermediate Challenge that was run by the United Kingdom Maths Trust, after taking the special test earlier this year.
At the highlight of the school’s success is Juan Rajagopal, who earned a Gold certificate, a place at the Grey Kangaroo stage and Best in School despite only being in Year 8, something Mr Richmond described as a “phenomenal” achievement.
Imogen Camp, Caitlin Qu and Ioan Peake-Jones also achieved gold and will now compete in the Pink Kangaroo.
A host of pupils were rewarded for their hard work with a Silver certificate, with Carol Chen, Eddie Farrell, Gowri Pradeep, Will Sissons, Amy Yue, Jerry Zhao and Alicia Zhou all achieving the impressive accolade.
Rounding off the triumphs were Abhishek Bathula, Holly Battersby, Tallulah Batley, Zac Blomeley, Alan Chan, Matthais Fiorita, Jamie Lavery, Edward Patrick, Nicholas Fiorita, Miles Poller, Eric Boon, Bijou Rajagopal, Ryan Roche, William Stewart, Caitlin Teece, Celina Wiedenmann and Richard Wolfendale, who all secured a Bronze certificate for their efforts.
This success is the latest in a long line for our Maths Department, with the school recently crowned UKMT Junior Team Challenge regional winners to book their place in the national finals in London.
Lower Sixth pupil Emily Li gained a place on the British Mathematical Olympiad squad last year, while eight pupils achieved Gold certificates from the Trust’s Senior Challenge.
Mr Smith, said: “To hear about such academic success is a credit to the pupils and the Mathematics Department.
“These pupils are involved in so many other areas of life too. They prove that it is possible to combine scholarship with all the other elements of our 5Ls Rydal Penrhos education.”
Rugby star makes Wales U18 debut
Dan Owen, an upper sixth form pupil at the school, was presented with his Wales U18 colours by Lee Selby following their narrow 38-36 International Series loss to Ireland.
The 17-year-old, who is a member of the school’s Rugby Academy which is run in partnership with RGC and the Welsh Rugby Union, performed well during the tournament and contributed significantly in both his starts, which were victories against Scotland and Canada.
It has been a season to remember for the pupil, who has risen through the ranks with the Gogs to make a number of senior appearances in their highly successful debut season in the Principality Premiership.
Owen has also captained the U18 side in a number of high profile fixtures throughout the campaign.
Mr Boyd, said: “Dan can be immensely proud of his achievements as part of the national side, and everyone is thrilled with his progress.
“We were delighted to have the only North Wales representative in the national squad, which is a testament to his talent and the hard work of our staff and coaches at RGC.
“He has an incredibly bright future in the game if he continues to develop at his current rate, and Dan now joins the long list of internationals we have produced.”
Trio make national finals
Cerys Cuddihy, Kevin Farrell and Sydney Johnson, all Year 9 pupils at the school, were crowned champions of the Rotary International’s Youth Speaks competition regional heat, which was held in Darwen, Lancashire.
Competing against schools from across the North West, the trio delivered an outstanding performance and received numerous complimentary comments from the panel of highly skilled and acclaimed judges.
They were awarded first place for their wonderful efforts, and they will now look further success in the national showcase, which will be held on May 7.
This is the third successive heat that the pupils have won first place, with their journey beginning at the local heat at Colwyn Bay Cricket Club.
Mr Cashell, said: “This is a remarkable achievement and everyone is thrilled with Kevin, Cerys and Sydney.
“They have worked hard together as a unit to make sure their presentation was perfect, and they were absolutely flawless on the night and thoroughly deserving of the title."
– Mr Cashell
“To reach the national finals of such a prestigious competition is a testament to their dedication and hard work, and we wish them well as they look to secure the national title next month.”
Bench honours Mr Tickner
A memorial for a much-loved teacher and historian has been unveiled.
Rob Tickner, who passed away last year aged 62, was a huge figure at the school and a special bench has been made in his honour thanks to the fundraising efforts of staff and pupils.
Mr Tickner had been part of the Rydal Penrhos community for 32 years, and a huge number of pupils and staff gathered in the Memorial Quad for the unveiling on Wesley Day.
Also in attendance were his wife Birgitta and three of their children: Emily, Paul and Dominica.
Rev’d Nick Sissons conducted the brief service during morning break, while poems were read out by pupils and memories shared by staff.
Funds for the bench were raised from last year’s Wesley House Day and Modern Foreign Languages Week.
Mr Tickner was a key contributor to both the house and department and was extremely passionate about both.
The memorial will now be placed on New Field, where you would see the teacher often during rugby or cricket matches.
Rev’d Sissons, said: “Rob was such a cherished member of the school and it was very fitting that we were able to unveil this bench on a day he held dear as a proud member of Wesley House."
School hosts Red Nose Day
The school held a special fancy dress day in aid of Comic Relief, where they joined thousands of others across the country in raising much-needed funds for the long-standing initiative.
The theme was Superheroes and Villains, and pupils once again made a fabulous effort for the worthy cause, which has raised more than £71 million for worthy causes both at home and abroad.
Everyone from Sherlock Holmes to Buzz Lightyear featured prominently, while Upper Sixth pupil Jack Sissons looked the part dressing as his father and chaplain the Reverend Nick Sissons.
A host of fundraising events took part throughout the day, including a cake sale, joke book and musical chairs.
This is the latest in a long line of charity days held at Rydal Penrhos throughout the year, which contribute to both regional and local causes.
Mr Cashell, said: “Our fantastic pupils always make a wonderful effort when it comes to raising money, and this was once again evident at this year’s Red Nose Day.
“Our charity committee do a fantastic job of coming up with fun-filled things to ignite the interest of the whole school, and congratulations go to each and every one of them for making the day a success.”
GCSE exam efforts draw praise
Art pupils produced some stunning pieces as part of their GCSE examination.
The group took part in the two-day exam last week, and worked on a variety of themes and processes in the hope of impressing the examiners.
The work varied in content from a piece about dance to another about Russian Roulette, and their wok will be put on display during a special exhibition which will be held at the Art department in June.
During the exhibition there will also be a chance to go through the pupils’ coursework once it has been completed, and they will be on hand to answer any queries regarding their work.
The exam concludes months of preparation from each pupil, and their commitment and dedication to their pieces have earned praise from Mr Sherrington.
He said: “I was really impressed with how well prepared the pupils were.
“All of them have managed to reach their potential and I am excited to see their final exhibition. This year has been dominated by painters and the proficiency and skill with which they have handled the medium is exceptional at this age.”
Unprecedented success at Chester Festival
Fifteen pupils across a number of year groups were awarded first place prizes in the Speech and Drama section of the Chester Festival, which was held last month.
Leading lady from the Dramatic Society production of Annie the Musical, Bella Rutherford, picked up a pair of awards in Verse Speaking and Prepared Scene, while also gaining a second in solo drama.
Others to achieve a first in the prepared scene category were Anna Parry-Williams, Amanda Sperring, Zahra Shamsi, Grace Ormerod, Beau Holden, Josh Peevor, Ethan Davies, Alicia Zhou and Ruby James.
There were a number of other pupils that took away double successes from the showcase, with Harry Hackman gaining firsts in both Spiritual Reading and Prepared Scene, while Miles Poller and Shruthi Ganapthi came away with first place from both Prepared Scene and Sight Reading categories.
Sophie Williams (Prepared Reading) and Elishia Phillips (Spiritual Reading) also has a first to show for their efforts.
In addition to the first places, a large number of other placings were achieved by the pupils mentioned, and Sophie Madden, Lili Northcott, Pip Thomas and Isobel Rogerson added to the plethora of achievements from the young stars.
A host of pupils descended on the Rick Maple Drama Studio for the annual Intermediate inter-house competition, which produced a number of exceptional performances.
The plays were judged by former pupils Lydia Dickson and Alex Rowlands, who took time out of their university holidays to run the rule over the current stars at the school.
After a competitive afternoon Osborn were given the title of best play thanks to their tale surrounding a pair of couples in a restaurant, with the likes of Cerys Cuddihy, Teddy Roberts and Zahra Shamsi shining in what was a comical and dramatic tale.
Not to be outdone, Payne house were given the best acting title for their fantastic play around scandal at a summer fete, with outstanding performances from Sydney Johnson, Kevin Farrell and Tegid Goodman-Jones, who produced a hilarious effort as the drunk, jilted cub scout leader.
Miss Earle, said: “It was another competition where all pupils put in a smashing effort and the standard was really high throughout.
“Well done to all who took part and it was great to see Alexa and Lydia back at Rydal Penrhos, where they continue to inspire the next generation.”
Term success acknowleged
The school hosted its End of Term Prizegiving Assembly, which acknowledged the plethora of achievements since the start of the year across all areas of school life.
The ceremony was conducted by Mr Smith, Mr Cashell and Director of Studies Sally Harding.
During the event presentations were made in areas such as Music, Sport and Creative Writing, while the performances of the Annie the Musical cast receives particular praise from Mr Smith as “the highlight of the term”.
Almost every inch of Rydal Penrhos was covered thanks to reports, ranging from Sixth Form life to the expeditions of the Duke of Edinburgh Award hopefuls, who have braved difficult terrain in recent weeks in the hope of achieving either their Gold, Silver or Bronze certificates.
Concluding the ceremony were the awards given to pupils who, in the opinion of the Headmaster, have made an outstanding contribution to the life of the school, and Youth Speaks national finalists Sydney Johnson, Kevin Farrell and Cerys Cuddihy, together with Jasper Richardson, received this honour.
Mr Smith said: “It has been an extraordinary term and my first, but is feels like I have been here at Rydal Penrhos much longer than that, which is a good thing.
“Those who saw our rather superb production of Annie, will understand why I must single it out as the highlight of the term. There are not the words for me to truly express my admiration for the best school production I have seen in 20 years.”
Rugby legend to attend Sports Awards
A Welsh and British Lions legend will be the special guest at our annual sports presentation evening.
Mike Phillips, who surpassed the record set by Dwayne Peel as the most capped scrum-half Wales’ history, will be on hand to give out the prizes on Friday, May 5.
The 34-year-old has enjoyed a standout career and represented the Welsh side on 94 occasions, while also being part of two tours with the British and Irish Lions squad.
Phillips, who is currently plying his trade with Sale Sharks, played in all five matches of the 2008 and 2012 Grand Slams and all five of the Championship retaining season of 2013, as well as playing in six of the seven fixtures at the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand in 2011.
It has been another tremendous year of sporting achievement at Rydal Penrhos, with a host of regional, national and international successes in a number of areas including Sailing, Swimming, Hockey, Rugby and Weightlifting.
During the presentation various awards will be given out to pupils who have made an outstanding contributions throughout the academic year.
Mr Boyd, said: “We are delighted that Mike will be joining us for this year’s presentation evening, which promises to be another great celebration of our pupils’ extraordinary achievements in their respective fields.
“He is one of the most recognisable faces in recent memory on the Welsh scene, and it will be great for our aspiring athletes to learn more about his experiences with both the national side and the Lions.
“We have so much sporting talent here at Rydal Penrhos, and the end-of-season presentation evening is a great way for all their hard work to be acknowledged.”
Year 7 visit Buddhist Centre
The Year 7 group visited the Kalpa Bhadra Buddhist Centre in Craig-y-Don, where they learnt more about the religion and community work that goes on at the facility.
Along with an introduction to all things surrounding the Buddhism religion and way of life, the centre’s Education Co-ordinator, Richard, spoke to the pupils about the projects they are currently working on throughout the area in the hope of making it a better place.
They were then given tips on meditation and how this can relieve stress, before participating in exercises involving breathing techniques.
This is the latest in a long line of educational trips undertaken by different departments throughout the year in a bid to enhance the learning experiences of each pupil at the school.
Mrs Murphy said: “Pupils responded very positively to the experience, which will not only be of benefit to their ongoing study of Buddhism, but also contribute in developing an understanding and appreciation for multi-faith communities, which is a key element of Religious Studies and a reflection of the ethos and values of the school.”
Do trips like this aid pupils in their learning?
Guest speaker confirmed
A former British cycling champion has been confirmed for the most prominent dates on the school calendar.
Denise Hampson, who attended Penrhos College, will be the special guest speaker at the school’s annual Speech Day, which will take place on Saturday, May 26.
After quitting the track to pursue a career in business, Mrs Hampson become a behavioural economist and worked on the British Aerospace Eurofighter Typhoon project.
She became self-employed in 2006 and started with web design work, which helped generate income while she pushed forward with longer term plans in health improvement and behaviour change.
Now considered an expert in the subject, Mrs Hampson moved on to delivering training, designs programmes and resources and speaks at national conferences on the subject.
She even presented at the House of Lords on the subject of behaviour change within the NHS.
Mrs Hampson is currently residing and working in Vancouver, Canada working on “stretchy pants”, which she will reveal more about during her Speech Day address.
Mr Smith, said: “We are delighted that Denise will be joining us for our Speech Day, and she embodies all the elements of the education we provide here; the learning, the leading, the living and the listening.
“Without giving too much away, Denise will be speaking about how we are all designers, and that each pupil here at Rydal Penrhos is developing skills for designing a great life.”
Tegid shines at competitions
Tegid Goodman-Jones, a Year 9 pupil at the school, came away with two first prizes from the County Urdd Eisteddfod in Mold, ensuring he once again qualified for the national showcase in Bridgend.
The gifted vocalist triumphed in both the Folk Song Year 7-9 and Boys’ Solo in the same category, and he will be searching for further Welsh honours after succeeding at last year’s event.
There was further cause for celebration with the news that the 14-year-old has been accepted to compete at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod in July, where he will be featured in the open folk song and vocal solo under 16 categories.
The music scholar wowed judges with example performances that were sent via MP3 player.
Mr Williams, said: “This is yet more fabulous news for Tegid, who continues to enhance his reputation as one of the most gifted young singers anywhere in the country.
“He not only possesses an enormous amount of natural talent, but also shows a great willingness to improve his craft which has brought with it some phenomenal results so far.
“Hopefully this is just the start of his accolades and we are confident he can do himself and the school proud at the two competitions.”
We also held our annual Senior Inter-House Music competition, which was one of the final activities before staff and pupils break up for the Easter holidays.
A total of seven acts took part in-front of a packed Memorial Hall audience, with Osborn’s upper sixth form pupil Shannon Yang coming away with the crown after a stunning violin solo.
Judges awarded joint-second place after a highly competitive afternoon, with the Payne house trio of Adele Parry, Adam Sabri and Amelia Perring sealing one of the spots for their highly popular version of country roads.
They were joined in joint-second spot by Wesley’s Sara Owen, who gave an exceptional performance in her piano solo.
The remaining competitors also performed to a very high standard, with Elishia Phillips, Alex Roberts, Imogen Camp and Charlotte Owen all drawing huge applause from the crowd.
Mr Williams, said: “As always, the standard of each performance was to a very high standard and congratulations to all for their wonderful efforts.
“It is a very daunting experience getting up in-front of the whole school, but our pupils always take it in their stride and it was great to see every one of them flourishing.”
– Mr Williams
Best in Wales for Twitter savvy schools
We have been named as one of the country’s most social media savvy schools in a recent list.
The school ranked fifth in the UK in the “Best Marketed Schools on Twitter” list, which was administered by global Marketing and Communications company Interactive Schools.
Finishing just five spots behind top spot, we have seen a surge of activity across all social media platforms over the last 18 months, something which has increased not only the exposure of the school, but the interest surrounding it and our amazing pupils.
Staff at various departments have also joined Twitter to give those associated with the school and members of the public an in-depth and wide ranging look at day-to-day and boarding life at the school.
Communications Assistant Dean Jones, said: “We have worked hard over the last 18 months to make sure the wonderful things that take place at Rydal Penrhos on a daily basis are given the best possible exposure.
“Huge credit also goes to our pupils, who work tirelessly to gain significant achievements across all areas of the school, which is a key marketing tool as we look to promote just how wonderful Rydal Penrhos is to work, live and learn for your child.”
– Dean Jones
Success of former pupils
Heidi Nash-Smith, who attended Penrhos College from 1992-99, will be taking part in the Australian Outback Running Festival in aid of So They Can, a charity who work together with communities in Africa to educate and empower, so they can break the poverty cycle and realise their own potential.
This is the latest in a long line of fundraising efforts from the ex-pupil, which have ranged from comedy nights, taking part in the Maasai Mara Marathon in Africa and the New York Marathon.
She said: “The trip to Kenya had a profound impact on me. I returned enriched, but also conscious that there was much more I could do to support So They Can’s work.
“The rights of the child and gender equality are cross cutting issues across all of So They Can's projects. Every child has the right not to live in poverty so they design and delivers projects to ensure real, tangible and lasting improvements to the lives of children in Kenya and Tanzania.
“While inequality can impact on both genders, it is generally women and girls who are disadvantaged. Therefore So They Can's projects have a strong emphasis on building the power of girls and women aiming to advance their rights and overcome deprivation, exclusion and vulnerability.”
Tom Williams, who now plays for Ospreys and is a former member of the school’s academy which is run in partnership with RGC and the Welsh Rugby Union, helped the national side take the Challenge Trophy at the HSBC World Rugby 7s Series, which was held in Vancouver.
The 21-year-old contributed significantly throughout the competition after being given an increased role by head coach Gareth Williams, which culminated in a 19-12 win over Samoa to claim the trophy.
“It's been one of the most surreal days I have experienced in my time coaching on the series," admitted Williams.
The talented youngster will now return to Ospreys for some training with the senior side, and will look to be part of the national set-up once again as they begin preparations for both the Commonwealth Games and World Cup next year.
Things could have been even better for the Welsh side had they not been undone by a last gasp penalty kick which denied them a place in the overall competition’s quarter finals.
Mr Boyd, said: “What Tom has been able to contribute to the Welsh 7s side in a relatively short time with the squad has been extremely pleasing, and congratulations go to him and the whole squad on their success.
“We have had a host of international players come through our academy ranks, which is a testament to both our coaching staff here at Rydal Penrhos, and the care and support they receive to improve every aspect of their game from our partners RGC.”
A host of former pupils got the chance to reminisce with old classmates at a special reunion event.
Around 90 ex-pupils from the 1960’s and 1970’s met up at the school on Sunday, April 2, which was one of a number of alumni events put on for ex-pupils of Rydal School and Penrhos College throughout the year.
The guests were treated to a three course meal in the dining hall, before being split into groups and led on tours of the grounds, which were given by current Sixth Form pupils.
Those interested were also allowed to view the extensive archives exhibition in the Richards Room, where they could see how things such as school uniforms have altered over time.
Alumni and Development Director Sarah Ritchie, said: “The event was a great opportunity for people to return to the school and see what has changed, and what hasn’t.
“There was a fantastic atmosphere throughout the event, and it was great to see so many old pupils having a fantastic time together catching up.”
Would you like to see more event for former pupils?
Yvie Johnson took the stage at the TEDx Conference at the Ucheldre Centre in Holyhead, where she spoke about her experiences and challenges in-front of a large audience.
The mother of Year 9 pupil Sydney suffers from Bi Polar and last year drew nationwide plaudits to become the first ever person to complete an ultra-marathon which saw her run from Land's End to John O'Groats - and then remarkably back again – covering the 1,686 miles to land a new Guinness World Record.
During the talk she will be talking about the issues surrounding mental health and well-being, in addition to sharing ideas on how to improve perception surrounding these topics.
TED is a global community, welcoming people from every discipline and culture who seek a deeper understanding of the world.
They devised TEDx so that people could hold smaller regional conferences to further highlight issues that affect the community in the hope of inspiring people.
Pupils draw inspiration from celebs
Food and Nutrition pupils drew inspiration from leading industry figures as the last of their practical assessments were completed.
Katie Marsden and Alice Waltham, Upper Sixth pupils at the school, created some mouth-watering dishes as part of their A-level assessment, which were inspired by a visit to the Good Food Show in Birmingham last November.
During the visit the pair got to rub shoulders with celebrity chef Lisa Faulkner, while also meeting and getting a cooking master class from none other than TV icon Mary Berry.
For their final assessment 17-year-old Alice produced homemade pasta for an Italian Pancetta Carbonara, fresh cheese and garlic pizza bread and a traditional Bakewell tart, all made from scratch in just two hours.
There was also a taste of India in the kitchen as Katie cooked-up a Lamb Jalfrezi, Lentil and Spinach dahl, with Rosemary and Sultana naan bread.
For dessert, she chose to make a stunning chocolate and orange cake with a dark chocolate ganache with candid orange peel.
They took photos of the cooking process to be send to examiners, while her fellow pupils were given the enviable role of taste testing the delicious final product.
World Book Day
Pupils embrace global initiative
As part of global initiative World Book Day, Year 7-9 pupils at the school came as their favourite characters from different books, with costumes ranging from Harry Potter to Alice from the smash hit Alice in Wonderland.
Miss Earle, said: “The main aim of World Book Day is to encourage children to explore the pleasures of books, and it was fabulous to see so many of our pupils make an effort to support the very worthy scheme.”
There were a variety of activities throughout the day, including a “Drop Everything and Read” throughout every department, where pupils and staff stopped what they were doing in their respective lessons to read a book of their choice for 20 minutes before break.
Lower School also held a special book swap, where pupils brought in a plethora of reading material to trade with their classmates.
Posters were scattered all over school of favourite books, which were available to read in the staff common room.
“It is great that everyone was so involved, and we hope to have even more going on next year as part of World Book Day, which is something we are very proud to endorse here,” added Miss Earle.
Design and Technology
School hosts Rocket car comp
We hosted the open race meeting for a national engineering competition recently.
Eight schools from across North Wales took part in the Race for the Line Rocket Car competition, with numerous other similar events taking place throughout the UK.
More than 40 races took place during the day, with Year 8 pupils designing their own vehicles prior to the competition.
After a fun-filled and highly competitive day of action which saw the model rocket cars reached speeds of up to 45 miles per hour, Rydal Penrhos, Ysgol Craig Y Don and Ysgol Bryn Elian were eventual winners and will now compete in the regional heats in April for a chance to win a trip to South Africa to watch Bloodhound SSC challenge for the World Land Speed Record.
Mr Sutton, said: “It’s been a very successful day with the main focus to engage young people in Engineering in a fun and educational way.”
Are events like these beneficial for pupils?
Pupils shine in various areas
Adam Sabri, an upper sixth form pupil at the school, will be part of the legendary Samurai Bulldogs Rugby Sevens squad that will compete at the East Grinstead Sunshine 7s later this year.
The Head Boy has enjoyed a fine season in both school and RGC colours, with the 18-year-old representing the Gogs’ U18 side as part of the academy that is run in partnership with the school and the Welsh Rugby Union.
He also took part in the national U18 squad selection process and was unfortunate not to be called-up, according to RGC player-coach and development officer Josh Leach.
Sabri will be part of four teams that will consist of the finest young talent in the country, in addition to established squad members from the world renowned side.
Mr Boyd, said: “Adam has been a fantastic role model and he is thoroughly deserving of this selection.
“He has an enormous amount of talent and his game has come on so much since he arrived here at Rydal Penrhos, which is thanks to the hard work of both the coaches we have her and those at RGC."
– Mr Boyd
“This will be a fine way to round off an incredible school career and I am confident he can make a huge contribution for the Samurai Bulldogs.”
Hockey stars have picked up a notable treble to qualify for the finals of a national competition.
No fewer than three sides have made it through to the Welsh Schools’ Championships, after all secured regional honours at a series of tournaments recently.
Following on from the U16 success, the U12 side comfortably made it through to the Newtown showcase by emerging as one of the two qualifying teams from the area.
There were a number of strong performances throughout the event, with the likes of Osca Clark, Callan Earle and Jacob Cousins all shining in what was a dominant tournament from the hosts.
Not to be outdone, the talented U14 side were also booked their spot at the finals with a superb outing to ensure that three sides will represent the area in the hope of securing national success.
Josh Lynch turned in a commanding performance to compliment Tegid Goodman-Jones’ outstanding display, while squad members Tom Hughes and Anthony Bowe also caught the eye.
Mr Boyd, said: “To have three teams going to the national finals is a wonderful achievement and one that we have worked very hard towards.
“We have so much talent here at Rydal Penrhos in a variety of areas, and it is great to see their commitment to excellence being rewarded in a number of areas.
“Hopefully we can continue this success by bringing home a trophy or two back to North Wales.”
Netball pupils ended the season in style with a 29-9 success over Oswestry School.
The first VII produced another memorable performance to come away with a convincing success, with a number of pupils turning in strong efforts in their last game together as a group.
Their success was down predominantly to a number of turnovers in the early stages, with the likes of Emily Cashell, Sam Randall and captain Soumini Peeka all standing out in the one-sided affair.
Things got even better as the game progressed and they saw out the remainder of the contest in comfortable fashion, with the sharp shooting Becky Lawton turning in an outstanding display which contributed significantly to the triumph.
Mrs Head, said: “We carried the intensity through all the quarters and worked extremely hard, working together as a unit.
“We have made a massive improvement since our first match, so well done to the first team for their win and their efforts throughout the season.”
Ewan Luke and Zac Blomeley, both Year 11 pupils at the school, are now ranked first junior team in the UK 29er class after just a few short months of making the transition to the new boat.
They increased their reputation further by finishing first in the junior category at the Zhik Noble Marine 29er Sprint Finals held at Grafham Water Sailing club, and they added to their list of accoldes with a 12th overall placing at the Harken Grand Prix in Pwllheli.
The duo held their nerve in blustery conditions to once again put in a standout effort, which also saw them record a second place finish in the junior category.
This is the latest in a long line of successes for the pair, who were recently selected to train with Great Britain head coaches and 49er/FX sailors at the 29er class invitational squad training.
Mr Boyd, said: “What Ewan and Zac have been able to do in such a short space of time in the 29er class is nothing short of extraordinary.
“They are extremely dedicated and have a keen willingness to learn despite the enormous amount of natural talent they possess, which have been two contributing factors in their triumphs as they continue to be recognised as one of the best young pairs anywhere in the country.”
Jack Jones, a Year 11 pupil at the school, started at flanker for the RGC U16s in their International Series encounter with Scotland Reds at Parc Eirias.
The 15-year-old has enjoyed a standout season for the school and was a key contributor to the side that secured the Chester Cup.
Having re-joined the North Wales development region squad last year, Jones will now look to impose himself further after making a number of appearances in their WRU Age Grade competition clashes against the likes of Scarlets and Cardiff Blues.
RGC player-coach and North Wales Performance Manager Josh Leach, who is a former pupil, said: “U16s is an important age group in identifying players who have potential to progress through the performance pathway.
“This is the first opportunity for them to be pitted against international level opposition. It is an exciting challenge and the team have trained hard all year playing regional level competition and now they will get their just rewards being involved in this exciting event.”
– Josh Leach