Rydal Penrhos newsletter
Foreword from Mr Smith
June has been by almost every measure an awful month on the national stage. Horrific attacks, the Grenfell Tower disaster and political instability have tested most people's resolve, though I hope our pupils have remained largely protected from all this in this 47 acre sanctuary in North Wales.
As ever there is an extraordinary range of stories in the June newsletter, proving that both in terms of the scale of achievement and the breadth of activities Rydal Penrhos punches well above its weight.
As a school we have been primarily focussed on supporting our senior pupils through their public examinations, but there have been two real highlights for me since the last edition.
Speech Day was as successful and memorable as I could have hoped for. The weather, the speeches and the mood was so overwhelmingly positive. I'm already looking forward to #RPSpeechDay18 so please do save the date (Saturday, May 26)
For those of you wondering, my Speech Day tweet has been viewed nearly 6,000 times and I already have some interesting ideas for next year.
Secondly, the Sxith Form led Mock General Election from the speeches to the live debate went far beyond what I have seen at other schools.
Ben Gibson's victory on behalf of the Labour Party was as much a victory for his personality and preparation as for his 'policies'. In many ways his approach personifies a Rydal Penrhos education. The flavour of which can be again be read in this month's newsletter.
New Head Boy/Girl
Alex Benfield & Olivia Williams
We recently revealed that Alex Benfield and Olivia Williams have been given the responsibility for the 2017/18 year, with Headmaster Mr Smith officially making the announcement during the recent Speech Day festivities.
Head Girl Olivia, aged 17, has become a huge asset to the Rydal Penrhos community and achieved no fewer than six A* grades at GCSE, while also securing four A’s and a Distinction in further Mathematics.
Upper Sixth pupil Alex was part of the First XV rugby side that went on to secure the Cheshire Plate in fine style this season, and his strong academic efforts saw him gain one A*, seven As and a B in his GCSE examinations both last summer and as a Year 10 pupil.
Mr Smith, said: “In a rigorous, and very competitive process Alex and Olivia ultimately stood out above their very impressive peers as a Head Boy and Head Girl who embody those values of Learning effectively, Leading successfully and Listening respectfully which we seek to develop in all our pupils.
“Their achievements, thus far, speak for themselves and they have enormous potential to help shape the role further to the benefit of all our pupils. I very much looking forward to working with them.”
Matthew Trumper and Olivia Rogerson have been appointed as Deputy Head Boy and Girl, and they will both work closely with prefects’ and newly appointed Head Boy Alex Benfield and Head Girl Olivia Williams in the coming months.
Upper Sixth pupil Matthew, aged 16, is an extremely gifted pupil academically, as was demonstrated by his phenomenal GCSE results last summer, where he achieved no fewer than nine A*’s and one A in what was a sensational reward for his hard work.
The talented footballer was also at the forefront of Rydal Penrhos’ recent Mock General Election as Leader of the Scottish National Party, and managed to acquire 20 votes in the face of stern competition.
Deputy Head Girl Olivia is in her sixth year at the school, having joined as a Year 8 pupil, and has established herself as a significant role model to younger pupils thanks to her approachability and willingness to aid others.
She was also a key component in the success of the Mock General Election, where the 17-year-old took on the role of Theresa May to lead the Conservative party to a second placed finish.
Host of appointments made
A host of Sixth Form pupils have been handed a significant honour ahead of the next academic year.
The school has announced its Prefect team for the 2017/18 year, and they will work under Head Boy Alex Benfield and Head Girl Olivia Williams, together with their deputy heads Matthew Trumper and Olivia Rogerson.
Academic standouts Mili Jayadeep, Amy Cole-King and Sara Owen have been chosen for the role, in addition to talented artists Amelia Berthold and Elysia Gilman and Rydal Penrhos’ Charity Committee head Emily Cashell.
Sporting and academic successes Elinor Davies, Sammy Sherrington, Mollie Smithfield and Sam Randall will take up the position with immediate effect, with the quartet of Daniel Pearce, Morgan Roberts, Luca Leggieri and Joshua Meyerratken rounding off the team.
The team, who were selected for their respective positions by Rydal Penrhos’ Senior Management Team and Headmaster Simon Smith, were informed of their recognition prior to the school’s annual Speech Day festivities last month.
Mr Cashell, said: “This year’s Prefect team are going to be an enormous asset to everyone associated with the Rydal Penrhos community, and each are very deserving of their appointments.
Our Sixth Formers are expected to lead the way with their actions, enabling them to be a group that is looked up to by young members of the school, something that this current crop are fully aware of which is why we are confident that each of them will be a success in their roles.”
Summer break balance
Mr Smith offers advice
We’ve all seen the MasterCard advert for Schools Out. Teachers pouring out of classrooms, heading off to exotic destinations, celebrating the end of a long academic year.
I’m sure pupils feel the same but I suspect that for many parents 6 or 7 weeks “off school” is less a cause for celebration. In fact the holidays are even longer for pupils at independent schools, like mine, where we break up early July, or for those who have finished their examinations in June.
Much has been made of material being unlearned during an overly long period away from school and moving away from a model which has its roots in a time when people were needed to collect the harvest; a four Term year for example? For now, however, how do children get the right balance during the long break.
Firstly, rest is not to be underestimated. We forget how physically, emotionally and intellectually demanding school is. I only have to shadow a pupil for a day to be reminded of the levels of stamina they need.
But their powers of recovery are great too and I wholeheartedly support strategies to get them off the sofa. Much depends upon their age; summer jobs or work experience is an option not open to 11 year olds, for example.
So here are three ways which teachers would love to see their charges spending some of their time off.
Reading should be at the centre of their restful learning. This can take many forms. For 11 to 13 year olds I recommend the Carnegie Medal Shortlist.
For older children perhaps trying a Classic or two, historical fiction, audio books or even articles from magazines such as The Economist or National Geographic.
Good schools should also provide Year 11s with subject specific preparatory reading lists for forthcoming Sixth Form courses. Reading of newspapers, most easily on-line, is an excellent way of keeping up with current affairs and becoming accustomed to different writing styles.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is essential too. After a couple of “pyjama days” getting outside is vital not just for avoiding cabin fever but in preparation for whatever Autumn Term sports may lie in wait. It’s easy to tell, in pre-season training, who has attempted to keep up a modicum of fitness. Taking advantage of warmer days and lighter nights, especially here in North Wales, is a great way to socialise as well as staving off lethargy.
Finally, cultural visits are an opportunity to broaden minds and be exposed to those things which overly narrow curricula don’t allow. Whilst trips to art galleries may not appeal to all the North West (and further afield) has a fantastic range of museums, theatres, festivals, university campuses and exhibitions to ensure all tastes are catered for.
Sometimes even the most reluctant teenager can return surprisingly inspired by such days out.
So as parents and educators let’s be brave and encourage or cajole our children to embrace the mantra that all play and no work make Jack a dull boy. Good luck but roll on September 1.
#RPSpeechDay17 hailed a success
A plethora of gifted pupils were recognised for their fine efforts throughout the year at the our annual Speech Day event.
The large crowd descended on the New Field marquee on Saturday, May 27, where pupils’ across a wide range of year groups were awarded numerous prizes to acknowledge their commitment to excellence throughout the year.
The special guest at this year’s event was Denise Hampson, a former Penrhos College pupil and British Cycling champion who is a behavioural economist and has worked on the British Aerospace Eurofighter Typhoon project.
The awards ranged from academic to music, with all departments also nominating a standout pupil for an award.
Some of the big winners included Head Boy Adam Sabri and Head Girl Charlotte Owen, while the gifted pair of Isabel Demel and Will Marston also picked up numerous prizes.
There were also speeches from Headmaster Simon Smith and newly appointed Chairman of Governors Julian Barnes, while there were musical performances from Zahra Shamsi and Rydal Penrhos’ Senior Choir.
Charlotte and Adam then gave their own address recalling some of their fondest memories of their time at the school, with everything including stage selfies to cricket mishaps featured in the highly entertaining speech.
Following the occasion there was a chance for everyone to enjoy refreshments while watching the annual cricket contest between Rydal Penrhos first XI and the Dolphins.
Mock General Election
Labour take RPS constituency
The Conservative, Labour, Liberal Democrat, Scottish National and Plaid Cymru parties gathered at St John’s Church on Thursday, June 8 to find out which campaign had won the Rydal Penrhos constituency.
After weeks of campaigning, Head of Sixth Form Pete Lavery revealed that the Labour Party led by Benjamin Gibson had emerged victorious with 68 votes, narrowly beating out Olivia Rogerson’s Conservative Party who finished second on 44.
The outstanding campaign of Plaid Cymru masterminded by Llywelyn Cowell earned them third spot with a total of 26 votes, with Head Girl Olivia Williams’ Liberal Democrats fourth with 21 ballots in total.
Rounding off the list was the Matthew Trumper-led Scottish National Party, who finished in fifth with 20 votes.
Mr Lavery, who had the privilege of revealing the results to the whole school, stated that 187 votes had been cast, which was a 75 per cent turnout.
Eight ballots were rejected, which included two filled in by staff members!
Following the announcement, Lower Sixth pupil Ben delivered his acceptance speech, where he thanked the other candidates for their efforts and Mr Lavery for his “untold enthusiasm” towards the project.
Ballots were finally cast on Wednesday, June 7 after a fierce few weeks of campaigning, which saw everything from social media accounts, posters, a live debate and a soapbox session included in the process.
Interview with 6th Form head
How has this year been for Sixth Form pupils?
It's been another exciting, busy year for the Sixth Form. With certain examination boards changing to linear courses comes different challenges, but our pupils have responded well.
I continue to be impressed by the balance our pupils achieve between their academic studies and the amount of co-curricular activities in which they are involved.
What changes have you seen since the appointment of Headmaster Simon Smith?
Mr Smith has spent a significant amount of time getting to know the Sixth Form pupils since his arrival. He has listened to their opinions on a wide range of issues and gradually we will see a variety of projects come to fruition.
We are currently developing the Ferguson Centre space; have invested in Unifrog (an online Post 18 destinations platform) and the Sixth Form Council continue to bring forward ideas for implementation.
How impressed have you been with exam preparation this year?
There is always a noticeable upward shift in gear in the summer term. The Upper Sixth and those in the Lower Sixth with exams suddenly have their 'game faces' on and the Ferguson Centre especially becomes a quieter place.
Pupils have made good use of departments' support clinics throughout the year, as well as boarding tutors in the evening, who have offered invaluable support.
What have been your best/fondest memories of the academic year?
The Charity Committee's Christmas Market was once again an incredible achievement, as well as their Comic Relief Day events.
Fabulous performances in sport (the girls' athletics team and the RGC boys' efforts in supporting the local team's success); musical performances (Nick and Alex singing Father and Son in chapel was special), drama (Annie, as well as the A Level Drama performances) and some breathtaking artwork have all been standout moments.
What plans do you have for next year?
I'm excited by working with the current Lower Sixth as they enter their final year. They are a dynamic year group with a huge amount of leadership to offer the school - their current engagement with the Rydal Penrhos Mock Election is clear evidence of this! We are looking to develop the Ferguson Centre space further and a number of pupils have shown interest in completing MOOCS. We take great pride in responding to the feedback from the Sixth Form Council and I suspect the new Upper Sixth will take full advantage of this.
Are you excited by the intake of Lower Sixth pupils?
There are some wonderful characters coming into the Sixth Form in September.
As ever, I want the Upper Sixth to set the tone for them very early on and I hope that the new Lower Sixth hit the ground running, firstly in their academic pursuits, but also in their contributions to the co-curricular programme. Time in Sixth Form flies by quickly, so they must arrive prepared to get involved immediately!
Session Two gets scientific
Academic Scholars took part in the second session of a special learning programme recently.
As part of a new initiative, a large number of pupils took part in the Science-related session on Tuesday, May 16, which have been designed to stimulate discussion and development beyond the main curriculum, and to allow those whose academic potential has been recognised to expand it further.
The session, which was taken by Head of Science Dave Robson, was an attempt at making the scholars think more about questions than answers.
Mr Robson began with the Rosetta mission to land a probe on a comet as an example of what man can accomplish.
The Rosetta chases comets through space having been propelled there by slingshot orbits to fire the probe off for an encounter that would happen at a very precise point in space, several years into the future.
He said: “The main idea was that there is a lot more that we don’t know than we do.”
They then spoke about light being a wave and used the ripple tank to demonstrate two wave properties and repeated this with the laser.
This was followed by Young’s double slit experiment to show that light must be a wave, before using animation of the photoelectric effect, which demonstrated the need for individual discrete photons.
Lower School project
Group delve into school's history
Our Lower School group were set a task of creating something associated with Rydal Penrhos, which was designed to get their creative juices flowing and to allow them to apply any skills they have learnt in class.
During the planning process a number of pupils enlisted the help of various staff members to come up with their designs, with projects ranging from a new school uniform to a detailed account of what occurred at the school during the Second World War.
They each spent around 20 hours working hard on the task, which has brought with it a host of spectacular pieces that will be judged by Headmaster Simon Smith, who stated that “some of the work is truly remarkable”.
Mr Cashell, said: “All of our Lower School group have dedicated a tremendous amount of time to making this project a success, which is clearly evident when you see the overall standard of their final submission.
“Congratulations to all for their wonderful efforts and well done to those who came away victorious from the project."
Horizons expanded on visits
Our Lower School group travelled to Manchester to visit the Central Gurdwara, which was part of their study on Sikhism.
Educational and interactive, the presentation by Sikh teacher, Bobby Sahni, captured the pupils’ interest and helped to consolidate, as well as expand on, their prior knowledge of their religion.
As has been the case with this trip for the past five years, a highlight was the Langar – free vegetarian curry – which was prepared and served by volunteers and the high priest, as part of their service to God.
Mrs Murphy, said: “The trip also allowed the pupils to experience another culture and way of life, let alone see how Sikhism values equality and religious freedom, values which are reflected in Rydal Penrhos’ own Methodist ethos and mission statement.”
This is the latest in a long line of educational trips put on by the school throughout the academic year, which are designed to enhance learning and experience different ways of obtaining information that you may not find from a classroom.
Year 8 Religious Studies and Science pupils at the school visited Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), in addition to the city’s Jewish Museum (MJM).
The MOSI’s interactive displays and range of exhibitions kept the pupils very busy and engaged, including the Graphene exhibition which enabled those that attended to gain an understanding of the material, its properties and uses.
They also explored Manchester’s industrial past and visited the Air and Space hall to observe the collection of aircraft and space-related objects, with a particular highlight being the flight simulators.
The MJM rounded off the day with talks and activities run by the museum’s staff to bring the pupils’ current study of Judaism to life.
Junior Challenge brings success
No fewer than 11 pupils came away with Gold, Silver or Bronze certificates from a Junior Challenge which is run by the UK Mathematics Trust.
Year 8 sensation Juan Rajagopal followed up his success in the Intermediate Challenge with Gold accolade, which also saw him awarded the Best in School, Best in Year 8 and qualification to the Junior Mathematical Olympiad later this year after managing to obtain an astonishing score of 127.
Also earning a Gold for his efforts was Arthur Hind, who scored an impressive 81 during the test.
There was further cause for celebration in the form of Rebecca Mann, who secured a Silver certificate thanks to her mark of 69, while Shruthi Ganapathi, Emily Penwright, Rhys Seenan, Alys Peake-Jones, Noah Langford, Dominic Vos and James Copeland gained a Bronze certificate.
Another to gain a Bronze certificate was Prep School pupil Zac Roberts, who defied his age to gain a 52 mark.
Head of Maths Peter Richmond, said: “I am delighted to say that in the recent UKMT Junior Mathematical Challenge, pupils from across Years 6, 7 and 8 continued to emulate the successes of their older peers from the Senior and Intermediate Mathematical Challenges earlier in the academic year.
“While all pupils can be enormously proud of their efforts, Zac’s is a great achievement for someone in Year 6, competing in a competition aimed primarily at pupils in Years 7 and 8.”
- Mr Richmond
Jack Sissons, together with twins Will and Katie Marston, travelled to Buckingham Palace on Wednesday, May 24, where they received their Gold Duke of Edinburgh Award.
The event was attended by HRH Prince Phillip in what is expected to be his final appearance at the Presentation before retiring from public duties.
The trio had the chance to speak with the Prince after receiving their award, and they also got the chance to speak to BBC Breakfast presenters Carol Kirkwood and Steph McGovern.
Olympic rower Jessica Eddie was on hand to present the certificates, and she also gave an inspiring speech on how hard work and determination can help achieve your goals.
The threesome joined others from across the country who have also gained the Gold distinction at a special garden party at the Palace, which is put on to recognise their superb achievements during the academic year.
Mr Cashell, said: “To gain a Duke of Edinburgh Gold award is something that takes an enormous amount of commitment and Jack, Will and Katie deserve an enormous amount of credit for their achievements."
Group finish second at Analyst Comp
Sara Owen, Mili Jayadeep and Alys Cole-King, all Lower Sixth Form pupils at the school, formed the team that competed at the Royal Society of Chemistry "Schools Analyst Competition", which was held at Bangor University recently.
The competition is open to sixth form pupils who are taking an AS level in Chemistry, with the teams taking part in a problem solving experiment in one of the university’s teaching Laboratories.
After a fiercely competitive day of action, the trio managed to secure second place for their effort, narrowly missing out on top spot and a place in the national finals later this year.
This is the latest in a long line of scientific success at the school in recent months, with the team consisting of Gowri Pradeep, Arend Franssens, Richard Wolfendale and Alicia Zhou also coming second in the RSOC’s Top of the Bench regional heat.
Mr Pender, said: “While the girls came agonisingly close to finishing in top spot, they can be incredibly proud of their achievement in what was a highly competitive event.
“Competitions like this are a fantastic way for our pupils to practice what they have learned in a different and challenging environment, and I know that Sara, Mili and Alys got an awful lot out of the experience.”
Talent highlighted at Showcase
The highly anticipated Summer Concert took place in-front of a packed out crowd at the Ferguson Centre, which coincided with the school’s Music Week initiative.
Boarding pupil Amy Yue kicked-off the showcase with a stunning portrayal of Bian lian, a magical Chinese SiChuan drama which had the audience mesmerised.
Successful singing duo Arthur Hind and Tegid Goodman-Jones also gave amazing performances, as did the duet of Zahra Shamsi and Sean Hughes, who performed the Rihanna hit Stay.
Sixth form pupils Nick Dundee and Adam Sabri also produced memorable efforts, while Rydal Penrhos’ Community Choir and Jazz Band lent their support to the concert after playing at the community event Creative Rhos.
The Prep School also gave a significant contribution, with Year 5 and 6 performing You Raise Me Up which they rehearsed in-front of Senior School chapel the previous day.
The second half of the concert brought plenty of diversity in the form of Sammy Jones, Miles Poller, Alex Roberts, Juan Rajagopal and Richard Wolfendale, and Head Girl Charlotte Owen put her stunning voice to good use with a rendition of the Radiohead anthem Creep.
The supremely talented Niamh Cook was another performance of note, while Edwards House, the school’s Sixth Form and Senior Choirs performed various songs to close out the show.
Mr Williams, said: “It was another fantastic concert and full credit goes to the pupils who gave up their time to both rehearse and perform.
“This is the latest in a series of concerts we put on throughout the year, which give us a great platform to build the confidence of our pupils and showcase the immense talent we have here.”
Music head reflects on first year in role
How have you found your first year as Director of Music?
I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year as Director of Music. It has been really inspiring, working with solo and ensemble singers and instrumentalists as well as teaching the core curriculum and continuing to develop practical and theoretical musicianship.
I have absolutely loved observing progression from EYD to Year 13. I have also thoroughly enjoyed working with our wonderful community choir. Brilliant!
What have been your highlights of the year?
That’s a very difficult question to answer as there have been so many. I would have to say that the above answer also illustrates the highlights, as well as the competitions such as the Rotary Young Musician and Chester Festival.
What sets Music apart from other subjects?
It’s a subject which requires pupils to develop many skills, both practical and theoretical. (which is also true of other subjects). However, in music, you are required to perform (both singing and playing), improvise, compose, learn to read music and listen and appraise music using an extensive musical vocabulary organised in an academic manner.
You are supposed to develop practical skills, which takes practice and requires careful coaching. It also means that pupils need have a variety of performance opportunities. We have to also challenge those pupils, who have lessons outside of school, e.g: Grade 5 pianists etc and provide a specific path for our scholars.
This, all has to happen with one 55 minute lesson a week at the Senior school, 80 minutes a week at the prep school and 30 minutes in the Pre-Prep department. We have to consider that pupils don’t have time to do huge amounts of practice for concerts and therefore to carefully plan for concert preparation within our curriculum.
We have to be right up to date with the latest musical tastes and be able to analyse what interests our pupils have on a weekly basis. Music is also constantly on show. For me, that’s really exciting!
Have you been impressed with pupils’ application this year?
Yes I have and this applies across the board. I will pick one example however, which has really encouraged me and that is Year 9 pupils, asking me if they can sing during a lesson. Great step forward!
What are you expecting in terms of exam results?
I am expecting some good results at both GCSE and A2 as well as International Baccalaureate. In terms of our internal examinations, I am looking to see higher grades being achieved.
What would you attribute the success of the department down to?
It is a department that cares deeply about music and deeply about the pupils’ interests. It is also made up of a team of professionals, who actively support and encourage each other and ensure that they are aware how much they are valued.
How has Rydal Penrhos changed since the appointment of Simon Smith as Headmaster?
I believe that there is a positive energy and optimism that is really inspiring. There is a way forward to firmly believe in and I think that has made a difference.
It’s also the small things, like saying ‘well done’ to colleagues and ‘ thank you’, as well as being someone who the pupils can have a chat too and feel relaxed with.
What things do you have planned for the future?
This is largely dependent on new resources, however with updated keyboards and more computers, I am looking to establish a situation in classroom music, where pupils can compose modern music, according to their tastes, to record themselves, to understand the building blocks of modern song construction as well as being able to undertake theoretical work that can be individually accessed.
I also intend to continue our concerts, as well as establish a greater variety of performance opportunities such as informal concerts, promoting diversity and inclusivity.
There will be specific things required from our music scholars, created according to their great strengths.
I will also be launching a taxonomy of musical reward systems from Pre-Prep to Year 13, as well as working with other creative and performing arts departments to establish a creative and performing awards dinner at the end of the school year.
Photography pupils produced some stunning pieces as part of their examination recently.
The A2 group took part in their assessment earlier this month, where they worked hard on their final pieces in the hope of impressing adjudicators.
Chinese pupil Joanne Yau chose ‘translucent’ as he theme, and she created a huge reflective metal piece which included photographs of plastic in trees.
These photos move across the piece in an alternate progression from light to dark and of course are reflected, with the design creating a semi-circle which is “both confusing and stimulating at the same time”, according to Head of Art Mark Sherrington.
Another eye-catching creation came from Lily Walsh, who used vertical structures as her theme and looked at electric pylons.
Mr Sherrington, explained: “She used wire as if from a real pylon to hang her photographs from.
“Lily stitched and transferred her images on fabric and then sewed the work onto the wire. The piece almost ended up looking like Nepalese prayer flags or a criss-cross of washing with powerful photographs.”
Louis Delve also selected translucent as his theme for the exam, and used the process to set images into resin combined with ink.
Wesley claim bragging rights
Staff and pupils waited with baited breath as the winner of the hotly contested House Cup was revealed.
Mr Cashell revealed the winner of this year’s Yeung Bowl House Cup during the Speech Day festivities on Saturday, May 27, and after a fierce battle for points throughout the academic year the accolade went to Wesley House.
Pupils from all year groups have been working hard on tallying points for their respective houses both in-and-out of the classroom over the past few months, in addition to competing against each other at various events including the inter-house Drama and Music showpieces.
It proved to be an emotional triumph for Wesley, who unveiled a special bench in memory of much-loved former staff member Rob Tickner earlier this year.
Funds for the bench were raised from last year’s Wesley House Day and Modern Foreign Languages Week.
House captains Louisa Weber and Nick Dundee posed with the cup at the bench honouring Mr Tickner, which is situated outside the New Field pavilion where the historian and teacher was a regular at Rydal Penrhos’ rugby and cricket fixtures.
Mr Cashell, said: “Congratulations go to Wesley House on their victory, which is a result of their superb efforts across all areas of Rydal Penrhos life throughout the year.
“It was a close fought race and well done to all pupils who worked tirelessly in the hope of gaining prizes for their houses.”
Wesley claim overall prize
Our annual Sports Day took place at New Field and featured a number of thrilling and competitive races, with both house points and individual awards up for grabs for those that perform best on the day.
Year 8 pupil and Welsh Weightlifting star Josh Lynch turned in a number of eye-catching efforts to claim the Junior Boys’ title, and Emily Stubbings was rewarded for a series of fine performances to secure the Junior Girls’ crown.
A competitive Intermediate Boys’ category saw Zach Speakman emerge victorious, while the pair of Sydney Johnson and Keira Bonnington could not be separated in the Intermediate Girls’ section and shared the honour.
Lower Sixth pupil Mollie Smithfield marked her first Sports Day with the Senior Girls’ title, with Elliot Wilkinson’s performance in the 100 metres was his highlight en route to the Senior Boys’ cup.
Osborn house were successful in the Inter-House Relay Shield, while Elinor Davies scooped the 100 metre girls’ title with a time of 14 seconds.
Tom McCloskey produced another rousing display to make it back-to-back Boys’ Mile victories, with Sydney showing incredible determination to finish first in the Girls’ Mile.
After a highly competitive day of action, Wesley House were crowned overall winners of the competition, which went a long way to them taking home the Yeung Bowl House Cup at Speech Day.
Staff triumph over Leavers
Staff claimed bragging rights over Sixth Form pupils in the annual Leavers’ football match.
The clash, which took place at the home of Welsh Premier League outfit Llandudno, took place on Friday, May 19 and the staff turned in a virtuoso display to emerge with a resounding 6-1 victory.
A superb start to the contest saw the staff race into a comfortable advantage, with Head of Sixth Form Pete Lavery and a penalty from the Reverend Nick Sissons giving them a two-goal cushion early on.
Tennis coach Craig Stock took advantage of some hesitant defending to fire home a third soon after, and Sissons finished well after finding space to put the tie beyond doubt with half an hour gone.
Credit to the Upper Sixth group, they continued to battle hard and got their rewarded when Head Boy Adam Sabri finished confidently past keeper Darren Baker to give them a consolation.
That was as good as it got for the Leavers’, with Stock continuing his fine form in-front of goal with his second of the afternoon, and despite bodies tiring on the staff side they rounded off the scoring courtesy of a neat effort from Purchase Ledger Stephen O’Neill.
The coveted trophy was presented to Mr Baker and Mr Lavery following the contest, which the joint-winners of the inaugural Golden Boot award were Rev’d Sissons and Mr Stock.
The Upper Sixth kits were sponsored by Exile Sports, which is owned by former pupil Marcus Copeland.
Talented stars hit the headlines
Dan Owen came away with the Academy Player of the Year accolade from RGC’s end of season Presentation Evening.
The 17-year-old has enjoyed a memorable campaign for the Gogs, which has seen him turn out for Mark Jones’ side on a number of occasions during their highly successful first season in the Principality Premiership.
He has also gained recognition for his stellar play on the international stage, winning four Wales U18 caps after impressing officials during the assessment process.
Owen has been a member of the Rydal Penrhos Rugby Academy, which is run in partnership with RGC and the Welsh Rugby Union, something that has produced a plethora of internationals including Efan Jones and Danny Cross.
A host of former pupils have also made a significant contribution to the Gogs’ success this term, which saw them reach the Premier ship Playoffs and win the WRU National Cup for the first time in their history.
Mr Boyd, said: “Dan has enjoyed an exceptional for school, club and country, and he has a very bright future in the game if he continues to develop at his current rate."
Staff took the spoils with a 5-2 success in a match-play event vs pupils.
The “Rydal Cup” made a welcome return to the calendar on Friday, May 12, with golfers taking to the picturesque North Wales Golf Club course in Llandudno in what were very testing conditions throughout.
Despite the eventual result it was the pupils who got up to a good start courtesy of Leo Ludwig and Jonas Lucas Nuelle, who overcame Gareth Robinson and Mike Leach 3 and 2 to secure the first point.
The staff responded very well courtesy of Riven Earle and Bryn Jones, who claimed a 3 and 2 triumph over Jacob Cousins and George Smith-Edwards, while Golf co-ordinator Ian Richardson and Darren Baker notched a one-hole win over Welsh international Reuben Bather and Adrian Lewis.
Things then went the way of the academy stars once again when Niall Richardson and Richard Wolfendale produced a fine display to beat Rev’d Nick Sissons and Tim Cashell 4 and 2, but order was restored when Sally Harding and Dawn Jones came away from their contest with Emely Stern and Celina Wiedenmann with a 3 and 2 success.
The cup was sealed thanks to a dramatic win for John Murphy and Lee Williams, who downed Charley Simpson and Prompt Utenpattanun by a solitary hole.
German pairing Louisa Weber and Josh Schultz were unable to and fell to a 2 and 1 defeat to staff members Phil Hilton and Tony Scarborough to conclude a highly competitive day of action.
No fewer than four pupils will represent Eryri at the Welsh Schools’ Athletics Association Championships, which will be held next month.
The quartet booked their place at the national showcase thanks to standout efforts at the regional heat in Bangor, with Lower Sixth pupil Mollie Smithfield produced another memorable effort to come away with the 800 metres crows.
She will be joined at the event by Year 9 pupil Zach Speakman, who will test his skills against the best high jumpers in the country after a dominant display which saw him clear 1.60 metres.
Kieron McNamara comfortably won the Javelin event to qualify, while sprint king Sean Hughes will also be representing Eryri after finish a close second in the 100 metre sprint race.
Unfortunate to miss out was Elinor Davies, who came second in both the 100 and 200 metres, while Emily Madden came fourth in the highly competitive long jump.
Mr Boyd, said: “This was a fantastic result and full credit goes to all four of our pupils that have qualified for the national championships.
“They all worked incredibly hard in the lead-up to the regional event, and I am delighted that this has been reflected in their overall results.
“Special mention goes to Elinor, who can count herself extremely unlucky to be missing out after two very strong performances.”
Three of our rugby stars were involved with representative and regional clubs and managed to come away with silverware after once again impressing on the big stage.
Head Boy and RGC U18 star Adam Sabri was part of the Warriors 7s squad that emerged victorious from the high-profile Hartpury Sevens tournament, with the pacey back turning in a number of eye-catching efforts to lead his side to the title.
The 18-year-old was in sensational form throughout the tournament which was rewarded with a plethora of tries, with the Warriors overcoming Navy 21-17 in a thrilling final to secure the crown.
There was further success in the form of Lower Sixth pupil Harry Dean, who was part of the Chester side that won the Cheshire Cup after a convincing win over Caldy.
The boarding pupil continued his superb campaign with another committed and dominant display, which contributed significantly to their triumph.
We almost secured a notable treble after ex-RGC U18 forward Euan Humphries turned out for Colwyn Bay’s senior side, who were on the wrong end of a narrow final defeat to Caernarfon in-front of a packed Parc Eirias crowd.
Mr Boyd, said: “These exit routes are crucial to our young athletes in terms of their life-long participation.
“It has been a thriving year for the sports department here at Rydal Penrhos in a multitude of areas, and all examples of club links and representative opportunities have been working exceptionally well.”