Rydal Penrhos Prep newsletter
Foreword from the Headmaster
Once again, this has been an amazingly busy term culminating with a most exciting climax to the Cooper Cup, the wonderful Year 4 Play,
“Bombs and Blackberries”, our brand new Coastal School, our inaugural Interhouse Music and Art Competition and our amazing Art Exhibition – to name but a few. Time and time over I am reminded of just how strong a community we are with parents, pupils and colleagues all pulling together to achieve the very best for our children. One could be forgiven for forgetting, with so much going on, that we are also here to make progress in the classroom. With the large number of Stars of the Week presented for academic endeavour and with the excellent progress that is evidenced in our assessment schedule, I am pleased to let you know that all of our children continue to flourish academically.
Charity continues to abound at the Prep School and we are grateful to you, as parents, for your enormous support in this area. This term, alone, we have raised £1300 for Red Nose Day, World Book Day and Ski Disability North Wales. FORPS continues to support the school by running super events ranging from the Christmas Ball to the Easter Bingo. We are most grateful to them for providing such wonderful occasions and for the financial support that allowed us to purchase Early Years play equipment, a school harp, and easels for the Art Department.
I know you will join with me in thanking Debbie McKinnel and her committee for all of their hard work and enthusiasm.
Earlier this term a number of our children sat for scholarships at the senior school. We are very proud of all of those who sat and were delighted to hear of the results. Particular congratulations go to all who were offered awards and we are pleased to announce the following successes: Lily Davies – academic, Eve Durrans – sport, Martha Hind – art, Ruby Merrick – drama, Ariana Milligan - academic & sport, Jonathan Osbourne - academic & sport, Zac Roberts - art & music, Caitriona Searl – academic & music, George Watkins – academic.
Good news of former prep pupils flows from the senior school and I know many of you follow the Twitter and Facebook feeds. Most notable were the performances in the senior school musical Annie. It was a truly fantastic show and wonderful to see our former pupils continuing to flourish. There are a number of flagship events across both parts of the school coming up next term which I would like to remind you about and invite you to join.
Senior School, Prep and Pre-prep Sports Days – Friday 26th May
Senior School Speech Day – Saturday 27th May
Pre-prep Speech Day – Monday 3rd July
Prep Speech Day – Friday 7th July.
Last term we said goodbye to Mrs Curle, our Year 1 Teaching Assistant, is leaving us to spend more time looking after the family. She has been an enormous asset to Rydal Penrhos and we will miss her awfully. This has been a busy term in more ways than one and I am grateful to all of the children and the staff who have worked so hard to make it so successful.
Learning enhanced on visits
Our reception class visited Pili Palas Nature World, which is situated on the Isle of Anglesey.
During their trip the group got to learn more about the wide range of wildlife situated at the site, while also getting the chance to learn more about the life cycle of a butterfly with a special talk.
In addition the pupils also got the chance to hold a number of creatures including cockroaches, giant millipedes and farmyard animals, before enjoy some activity in the outdoor play area.
The highlight for most of the pupils however was seeing the multi-coloured chameleon that is one of the star attractions at Pili Palas.
Mrs Devillefort, said: “All of the class had a great time and also learned a great deal about the different species they have at Pili Palas.
“Trips like this are key in a child’s learning as it gives them a hands-on look, rather than just seeing videos and textbooks, so it was a very worthwhile trip and one that continues to be very popular.
“We are already looking forward to coming back next year.”
Our pupils got the learn more about the life and times of the Roman Empire on a recent visit.
The Year 3 pupils took a trip to the Grosvenor Museum in Chester on, which was organised to aid them with their history topic on Romans.
They began their visit by looking around the two galleries to find out about Roman life and the fortress in Diva, before participating in a workshop in the museum, where they learnt about topics such as food, armour and homes during the time of the Caesars.
During the educational trip the group also got to dress up as Roman soldiers for a march through the streets of Chester to the amphitheatre, where they practised battle formations and learnt everything about the architectural structure that still stands in the city today.
“The children thoroughly enjoyed the experience, in particular the tour with the Roman soldier when they loudly chanted battle songs as they marched through the streets.”
– Mrs Woodthorpe
The annual ski trip headed to Madonna di Campiglio, in the heart of the Brenta Dolomites in Italy.
They took part in a host of activities throughout their stay, including ski school lessons,
Mr McLeod, said: “For some this was the first time skiing on snow and they quickly found how much easier it was than on the artificial surfaces they’d been practicing on at home.
"The weather was incredible and we were blessed with sunshine for the vast majority of the week whilst the recent snowfall prior to our arrival ensured that the pistes were in great condition each and every day.”
As the trip progressed pupils were split into beginner, intermediate and advanced groups, tackling a number of jumps and rails on the snowparks and pistes.
After six days the group headed to Verona and were given a guided tour of the ancient roman city prior to their departure
During the whistle-stop tour they took in sights such as the first century Roman amphitheatre, Piazza Bra, Piazza delle Erbe and the 14th-century residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a courtyard which is said be “Juliet’s House” from the Shakespeare play Romeo and Juliet.
“Having previously been to Bormio, Italy for the last three years it was always going to be difficult finding somewhere on a par but the setting of Madonna di Campiglio, the fabulous range of skiing, the charming village, as well as the hotel all made this both a fantastic ski holiday to remember as well as one difficult to beat,” added Mr McLeod.
“This was a fitting way to finish off what had been a fantastic week spent with a brilliant group of pupils and parents alike and already plans are being made in readiness for the next ski trip in 2018.”
– Mr McLeod
Disability Skiing benefits from disco
Hundreds of pounds were presented to a national skiing charity thanks to the hard work of our pupils and staff.
The school held their Pre-Prep and Prep Valentine’s Discos in February and they managed to raise a total of £730 for Disability Skiing Wales.
The cheque was presented to instructors Lloyd Gilliat and Huw Cunningham, together with Steve Jeacock, head of the Llandudno ski school, by Head of Boys’ Games Jamie McLeod and a number of pupils at their final ski session last month.
Mr McDuff, said: “We are extremely humbled by the work that Disability Skiing Wales do, and it is an honour for us to be associated with such a fantastic organisation.
“A huge thanks must go to all staff who worked so hard in making the Valentine’s Discos a success, and we were delighted to raise a considerable amount for what we consider to be an incredibly worthy cause.”
There were a host of things for pupils to enjoy throughout the dance, including dressing up for their very own photo booth.
In addition there was plenty of music to enjoy from their favourite artists, and pupils kept their energy up with cakes, drinks and other Valentine’s Day treats.
The money raised contributed towards the Welsh sides trip to Bulgaria.
Week long scheme a success
Budding scientists have been praised for their efforts during a special learning initiative.
The school, across all age groups took part in a series of activities as part of Science Week, where pupils battled it out to in the hope of achieving prizes.
During the week teams tackled a number of experiments and thought-provoking tasks that have been designed to encourage pupils’ learning of all things scientific and after a highly enjoyable five days Eloise Brown and Lucy Ranales-Griffiths came away with the best in Year 3 for their efforts.
Year 4 honours belonged to Maggie McDuff and Keira Luke, while the team of Will Rutherford and William Hibbert emerged victorious in the Year 5 category.
Rounding off the success were four Year 6 pupils, with Jonathan Osbourne, Freddie James, Martha Hind and Lily Davies coming out on top.
The winning pupils all received Easter eggs for their fantastic work throughout the week.
Mr McDuff, said: “As they do with everything, our pupils demonstrated a tremendous application throughout the whole week, which was great to see.
“Our staff here at do a fantastic job of making sure that our pupils have opportunities to learn by doing, and it is something they get a great deal out of.”
Exhibition work praised
We hosted our annual Art Exhibition on Wednesday, March 8, which was designed to gives parents and families of pupils at the school a first-hand look at what they get up during their art lessons.
There were a host of sensational creations on display from Year 4-6 pupils, with everything from sculptures drawing inspiration from African fertility dolls to self-portraits covering the walls.
A special wall detailing our success in the Colwyn in Bloom competition last summer brought plenty of colour to the event, while parents went through the art books with their children to discuss their work.
The exhibition also drew the interest of a number of senior school staff, including Headmaster Simon Smith, Chaplain the Rev’d Nick Sissons and Head of Art Mark Sherrington.
He said: “They do some fabulous work up here and full credit goes to teacher Suzy Morris for her excellent efforts in conjuring up such a wonderful exhibition.”
Mr McDuff, added: “This truly was a wonderful exhibitions which highlighted the immensely gifted talent we have here at our prep school.
“Mrs Morris does a fantastic job of getting the most out of every pupils’ creative side, which is a key component in their development and learning."
St David's Day
Pupils celebrate patron saint
We held special assembly to commemorate St David's Day, where teacher Mrs Pyves and the Year 4 group spoke about the history of St David.
They also told pupils about some of the myths surrounding the patron Saint of Wales, while also interacting with pupils to discover the extent of their knowledge.
The highlight of the special assembly came from Year 4 pupils, who performed a beautiful Welsh dancing piece and received rapturous applause for their efforts.
A prayer was read out in both Welsh and English by pupils Maggie McDuff and Fflur Pierce, and the entire school sang the popular hymn Calon Lân to end proceedings.
Mrs Hind,, said: “It was a wonderful occasion and the Year 4 pupils did themselves proud with both their storytelling and dancing at assembly.
“St David’s Day is a vitally important occasion in the Principality, and at Rydal Penrhos we encourage pupils to both learn more and celebrate the life of our patron Dewi Sant."
Pupils flew their flags with pride as part of Colwyn Bay’s St David’s Day celebrations.
The Year 2 group took part in the annual parade to mark the Patron Saint of Wales. They joined more than 800 children from other schools at the march, which brought traffic to a standstill and attracted a large number of onlookers.
There were also a number of dignitaries at the event including Cllr John Davies, mayor of Colwyn Bay.
Pupils dressed up as daffodils and Welsh ladies whilst singing Sosban Fach and chanting 'Oggy, oggy, oggy', popularised by Welsh comedian Max Boyce, as traffic in the town came to a standstill.
Following the parade, there was a special service held at St Paul’s Church which featured a variety of Welsh recitals, song and dance.
Mr McDuff, said: “The parade is something we have taken part in for a number of years, and it was great to see so many children from across the region celebrating St David’s Day.
“Well done to the Bay of Colwyn Town Council for their continued commitment to recognising one of the most prominent dates on the Welsh calendar.”
Year 4 bring WWII to life
Year 4 pupils’ performed the World War Two drama entitled Bombs and Blackberries, which is based on the play by Julia Donaldson.
It revolved around the Chivers family, who are forced to send their children to the countryside from their Manchester home.
Ellis-Lister-Brookes and Violet Roberts gave a pair of fantastic performances as Mr and Mrs Chivers, with Cieran Milligan, Tori Maddocks, Theo Roberts, Zack Coverley and Rana Abou-Samra doing a superb job in their roles of children.
Nurse Christine will be played by the gifted Chloe Tillman-Lennon, while Gabriel Donohue also catching the eye in his role of Mr Biggs.
Also starring in the play are Tristan Griffiths, Biv Gilmartin, Maggie McDuff, Pip Roberts, Damla Emek, William Hibbert, Olivia Newman, Sophie Morris, Freya Berkley, Fflur Pierce, Keira Luke, Adam Williams, Grace Watkins, Gracie Tavernor, Benjamin Richmond, Freddie MacLaverty and Dylan Pugh.
Mr McDuff, said: “The Year 4 play is always one of the highlights of the year, and this year’s production was another fantastic occasion.
“Every single pupil performed exceptionally well, which is down to their hard work and that of our staff led by teacher and director Catherine Culver.
“World War Two may now be a distant memory for some, but its significance should never be forgotten and our pupils got to experience through the play a small taste of what it was like for thousands of families across the country during that time period.”
Year 6 head to senior school
Our pupils got the chance to experience life at Rydal Penrhos’ senior site at special event this week.
The Year 6 group took part in a familiarisation afternoon at the Senior School. During the event they participated in a pair of classes – Business Studies and Modern Foreign Languages – giving them a taste of what classes will be like when they make the step up.
They were given the task of rebranding Welsh Water for specific events in their Business Studies session, which including implementing a marketing strategy, finding an event/business/sports team to back the brand and designing a new bottle.
The MFL group split into two teams and focussed on Spanish and French, where they were given the task of memorising different food and drink items in both languages before competing with each other in a relay event relating to their initial task.
Mrs Hind, said: “These events are fantastic for our young pupils, as it gives them the perfect opportunity to see what life at Rydal Penrhos senior school is all about.
“The transition from Prep to Senior can sometimes be a daunting one, so it is essential that their integration process is as smooth as possible.
“Putting our Year 6 pupils in a senior environment gives them a head start in their preparation, and this is something that proved most beneficial.”
Pupils perform at various events
A large number of pupils performed at the annual Spring Concert, which was held at the Prep School Hall last month.
There were a host a fine performances throughout the event, which drew a large crowd of pupils, parents and family members for the occasion.
In addition to the strong individual songs, there were also strong efforts from different year groups which further highlighted the strength of musical talent currently at the school.
This is the latest in a long line of concerts put on by the prep school throughout the academic year, which have been designed to not only showcase the pupils’ talent, but also to improve their confidence of performing in-front of a large crowd.
Mr Williams, said: “It was a wonderful event and every single pupil did themselves and the school proud.
“It never ceases to amaze me how much musical prowess we have here, which is a testament to both the pupils’ hard work and the teaching they receive."
Do concerts like this help pupils?
Musicians and Artists battled it out for bragging rights at a special competition recently.
The young stars competed in the first ever inter-house Art and Music competition, which was held on Friday, March 31.
There were a number of exceptional group and solo performances throughout the showcase, which was open to all year groups and demonstrated the plethora of talent at the school.
Among the highlights were a strong piano solo from Melissa Vos, while the vocal performances of George Watkins, Caitriona Searl and Ada Vonbank also caught the eye.
Zac Roberts demonstrated his fantastic guitar skills with a polished solo effort, while the Year 2 group singing contest was very well received by everyone in attendance.
After a highly competitive afternoon, Brecon House emerged as the victors, pipping Snowdon to the title by a solitary point, with Pembroke in third place.
“I am incredibly proud of Rydal Penrhos Prep School pupils, who sailed through their first ever Inter-house Music and Art competition.”
– Music teacher Mr Davies
Stars retain trophy
We retained the Cooper Cup after a resounding success over Colwyn Bay.
Our rugby stars followed up their first leg success by going unbeaten in the second round of fixtures, eventually winning 6-2 after a fantastic competition.
Holding a 3-1 lead, the U8 side ensured the school retained the trophy with a 13-8 triumph thanks to standout performances from the likes of Dominic Chamberlain, Will Glanville and Archie Jeeves.
They also fielded three female players in Lily Copeland, Ellie Knight and Charlotte Payne, who all contributed to their success.
The U9 side drew 8-8 with their Bay counterparts after a thrilling clash, while the U10 squad produced a superb effort to come away with a 35-21 success.
This was followed by the U11s, who shared the spoils after a 28-28 draw, and captain Zac Roberts lifted the trophy named in memory of Ken Cooper, who had connections to both Rydal Penrhos and the rugby club.
Mr McLeod, said: “We are delighted to have once again won the Cooper Cup, but both teams can go away from the tournament with enormous credit.
“There was some fantastic rugby on show and the future of both sides is very bright as they progress through the ranks.
“We are proud with our community involvement at Rydal Penrhos, with many of our players also turning out for local sides in order to progress their development further.”
Talent shines at Festival
Our amazing dancers took part in a special event recently.
The group travelled to the Zion Arts Centre in Cheadle Hulme, Manchester, where they took part in a special dance celebration.
The Year 5 and 6 dancers’ met during their lunch break to prepare their routine, and their preparation stood them in good stead as they performed in-front of a bumper crowd at the celebration.
They have been working on their routine since the Christmas break, and the talented pupils produced a wonderful performance that was met with rapturous applause.
As a reward for their efforts, each pupil received a certificate and photo that was presented to them at the school’s weekly Celebration Assembly on Friday, March 10.
Mrs Chamberlain, said: “The girls choreographed the routine themselves during a lunchtime club that I have been running since Christmas. They all worked incredibly hard to produce the final performance.”
Eight accept offers
A host of pupils are celebrating after accepting scholarships to the Senior School.
No fewer than eight prep pupils have been awarded the distinction in a wide range of areas as they look to make a keen contribution to life at Rydal Penrhos’ senior site in September.
Lily Davies has been rewarded for her fine efforts during the assessment process with an Academic scholarship, while Eve Durrans also impressed considerably to earn herself a Sports scholarship.
The creativity and artist talent of Martha Hind shone through on her way to an Art scholarship, and Ruby Merrick’s performances on stage caught the eye enough for her to be awarded a Drama scholarship.
Track and field star Jonathan Osbourne has accepted an Academic and Sports scholarship, while George Watkins will join the Rydal Penrhos ranks on an Academic scholarship.
Rugby captain Zac Roberts promises to be another valuable addition to the school community after securing an Art and Music scholarship, and singing sensation Caitriona Searl was granted the duel honour of Academic and Music scholarships.
Mr McDuff, said: “We are very proud of all of those who sat the examinations and everyone at Rydal Penrhos were delighted with the results.
“All nine pupils are going to be an incredible asset to the Senior School and I look forward to watching flourish further when they make the short trip down the hill.”
Success stories aplenty
No fewer than five pupils were rewarded for their excellent preparation with various belts across a number of levels at a special assessment.
The budding martial artists are part of the Little Dragons group at John Lynn’s Black Belt Academy, which is situated on Conway Road in Colwyn Bay.
Reception pupil Charlotte Knight produced a fantastic effort to gain her yellow belt, while the Year 2 pair of William Cheesley and Floyd Curtis bagged a green and purple belt tab respectively.
There was further success in the form of Year 3 pupil Dominic Chamberlain, who secured a purple belt tab, and Ellie Knight is now just a few steps away was gaining a prestigious black belt after performing brilliantly in her brown belt assessment.
All five received their belts and praise from Master Lynn (8th dan) and they have already set their sights on further success at the next grading in June.
Mr McDuff, said: “This is yet more fantastic work from our pupils outside of the classroom and all of them are to be congratulated on their efforts.”
Year 6 pupil Matthew Stubbins produced a stunning effort to come away with a winners’ medal from the National Topper Championships, which were held at Carsington Reservoir.
The 11-year-old caught the eye in his first ever national event, and finished the day by securing the Age 12 category despite being one of the youngest competitors in the field.
The gifted sailor, who is a member of the RYA Cymru North Wales Regional Topper Squad, coped well with both the pressure and the blustery conditions to cross the line first and add to his growing list of accolades.
Mr McLeod, said: “What Matthew has been able to do in just a short time sailing is absolutely fantastic, and to achieve so much in his debut national event gives everyone at Rydal Penrhos a special sense of pride.
“He is just one of many talented sailors we have at both our prep and senior sites, with the school programme producing a number of national squad members thanks to the tireless work of our staff.
“If Matthew continues his rapid rate of progression then he has a massive future in the sport.”
Skiers battled it out for bragging rights at the annual inter-house competition recently.
The competition took place during the final ski session of the season, and there were a number of exceptional performances throughout the close-knit affair.
In the first group, Agatha Favill’s time of 17.40 seconds looked to be enough to secure a victory, only for Dylan Lloyd-Bloom to hurtle down the slope in a swift 16.62.
Other notable times came from Ellis Lister-Brookes, Zac Hay and Laurence Richardson.
Next up was the squad group, which saw the standard set by Henry Hibbert with a blistering run to secure a time of 15.90 seconds.
This was bettered by ski captain Ariana Milligan, who led by example once again to set the fastest time of the day at 15.81 seconds.
Once all slalom times had been correlated, Pembroke were crowned runaway winners with an average time of 17.72 seconds, followed by Snowdon and Brecon with times of 21.26 and 24.4 respectively.
Martha-Rose Johnson, who began Year 2 last term, successfully completed her 50 metre distance award at Cheadle Swimming Pool.
The impressive feat is made even greater by the fact she is just six-years-of-age, and during a chat with Mr McDuff the swim star stated the triumph only took her “a couple of minutes”.
It proved to be a highly successful first week at the school for the pupil, who was also given Star of the Week at Celebration Assembly for adjusting seamlessly and settling in so well.
Mr McDuff, said: “This is quite an achievement for someone so young, and it is great to see that Martha-Rose has hit the ground running with us at the Prep School.
“She has settled in superbly and I am sure that this will be the first in a long line of successes we will hear about during her time with us.”
The U11 netball side travelled to nearby St David’s College and produced another outstanding display to come away with a 7-0 success.
There were a number of impressive performances throughout the triumph, with Ariana Milligan and Eve Durrans combining well in the early stages to help get Rydal Penrhos in front.
This pattern of play continued during a dominant first period, with the likes of Lily Davies, Caitriona Searl and Martha Hind working extremely hard, while the sharp-shooting of Phoebe Pritchett and Ruby Merrick gave them a four-point cushion at the interval.
After the break saw us continue to launch a constant stream of attacks thanks to some impressive play from Phoebe Pritchett and Melissa Vos, leading to three more goals to complete the victory.
Prep School head Roger McDuff, said: “It has been an outstanding season for our netball squad and their togetherness and talent makes them a joy to watch.
“They have achieved so much during their time together and I am sure that each and every one of them will make a significant contribution to the senior school side next year.”