Rydal Penrhos newsletter
Foreword from the Headmaster
First allow me to wish you all a warm welcome after the summer break, especially to our new families. I hope that you very much enjoy being part of the Rydal Penrhos community whether it be for the next 15 years or two years.
I hope too that after nearly two months away your children are refreshed, ready and excited at the prospect of the new academic year commencing next week.
I trust that they have found time to read, relax, have interesting experiences and maintain a healthy lifestyle. I have enjoyed hearing of a number of pupils’ successes over the summer and look forward to hearing more about them when they return.
Whilst many of us have been enjoying a well-earned rest the School’s Support Staff have been hard at work and I wish to publically thank them for their excellent efforts in refurbishing and developing a number of areas of the School site.
The children will see plenty of improvements when they return, in parts of the Prep School, the Senior School Dining Hall and the Economics and Business Studies Department for example, but it is the redecoration of the Chapel which I think really stands out.
The teaching staff have been busy too giving up their own time leading trips such as the Senior School expedition to Uganda and more recently the first XV pre-season rugby camp. I hope the former led to memories which will last a lifetime whilst the latter will lead to success in the more immediate future!
The main story of the summer, of course, is always the publication of examination results and I have been very pleased with this year’s outcomes. The release of the IB Diploma results in July saw some very good individual results including one pupil achieving 44 points, just 1 point shy of the maximum 45, placing her in the top 1% of pupils around the world who sat this year’s Diploma exams.
The A Level results were truly excellent both at an individual and collective level, enabling our Upper Sixth to go on to the universities and courses of their choice. A number of pupils secured straight A* and A grades. The Rydal Penrhos percentage of A% grades was double the national average and the overall figure of nearly 40% A* and A, when including the IB Diploma results, was our best for a number of years. The results were also recognised in last Saturday’s broadsheet Independent School League Tables. The Times and Daily Telegraph showed Rydal Penrhos to be the 69th best co-educational - boarding school in the UK, higher than a number of other schools in the region and placing us higher than many schools across the country who might claim to be of a higher academic standing.
League Tables of course cannot measure pupils’ happiness nor well-being, nor do they reflect the high participation rates in co-curricular pursuits. Neither do they recognise the achievements of pupils who may not have achieved those headline grabbing top grades but are nonetheless delighted to have either fulfilled or even surpassed their potential.
Here at Rydal Penrhos we value such things far more. However, the League Tables do recognise the academic achievements of the pupils and remind us that as well as everything else we do so well, our academic standing is in very good shape.
Such good health was also reflected in our GCSE results. This year’s percentage of A* grades was not only an improvement upon last year but also one of the highest in the School’s history. History was also made when our pupils received, in English and English Literature, the first ever Grade 9s, placing them in the very highest echelons of the country.
Of course we must not stand still academically and as we begin to prepare the Class of 2018 for their public exams I would like to welcome a number of new teaching staff to the Senior School. Mrs Sarah Seenan arrives as our new Head of Learning Support, Mr Andy Thomas and Mr Matthew Hubert join the Mathematics and Physics Department respectively. Ms Laura Gardener starts as the new Head of Food and Nutrition whilst Mrs Jo Wilkins will be teaching Psychology for the first time in the school’s curriculum.
I hope you will join me in welcoming them and their families to the school community and wish them well in their new roles.
Other more familiar staff are also beginning new roles. Mr Paul Sanders is now Assistant Head of Middle School (Year 9), Miss Fleur Jones is Head of Geography and Mrs Rhian Williams is Head of Mathematics. In the Prep School Mrs Clare Chamberlain takes up the position of Prep School Mathematics Co-ordinator whilst Mrs Catherine Culver has the equivalent position for English. We also have a number of staff joining our Strength and Conditioning team and the MFL Department as Language Assistants.
I am always excited by the arrival of new teachers, coaches etc. bringing fresh ideas and impetus to our academic and sporting programme. I look forward to seeing their impact on the school’s development and pupils’ learning.
2017-18 is going to be an exciting year in both the Prep and Senior School’s development and should you wish to speak with me about our plans then please do come along to one of my breakfast or tea sessions – these will be advertised in due course. We will invite you to our newly created Heathfield Room (part of the Headmaster’s residence) where Karen and I very much look forward to getting to know you all a little better and discussing what really matters in your child’s school life.
Thank you for your continued support of the school; leading this school remains a humbling privilege.
Exceptional grades from Sixth Form
As A-level results were published nationwide on Thursday, August 17, the school announced that it achieved a 93.9 per cent pass rate for the academic year, with A* and A the most frequently awarded marks once again.
A total of 34.3 per cent of total submissions received top grades, which combined with earlier International Baccalaureate Diploma results boosts the school's overall A*-A percentage at A-level or equivalent to nearly 40%.
In addition 60.6% of entries achieving A*- B marks and 77.8% securing A*-C, which is up from the previous year.
Chemistry pupils gained superb results, with 85.7 per cent achieving A*-B grades, with Drama and Theatre Studies candidates also excelling with 100% A*-B and English Literature pupils gaining 100 per cent A*-C.
Mr Smith, said: “We are all delighted with these results. The pupils are to be, rightly, congratulated for their hard work and dedication to their academic studies whilst contributing in so many ways to the co-curricular life of this outstanding school.
“Certain pupils and grades will grab the headlines but I am equally pleased for those pupils who have achieved above and beyond what they might have expected at this time of exam reform and resultant uncertainty.
“I also wish to thank all the staff and the pupils' parents, who contribute in so many ways, for their care, professionalism, support and inspiration in contributing to these results. We now wish all our 2017 leavers well as they begin the next chapter in their lives prepared, I hope, to make a difference in the world and trust they come back and see us soon."
There were a host of individual successes which were led by Jack Sissons, who claimed four A*’s in Chemistry, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics and he has now secured a place at the University of Durham where he will study General Engineering.
Twins Katie and Will Marston also gained significant grades, with the pair achieving three A*’s, three A’s and two B’s between them, and they are now heading to Liverpool and Durham to study Medicine and Politics, Philosophy and Economics respectively.
Outgoing Deputy Head Girls Adele Parry (one A*, two A’s) and Grace Patrick (two A*’s, B and C) also performed superbly, while Head Boy Adam Sabri rounded off his time at Rydal Penrhos with one A* and two A’s in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics, and will now study Dentistry at Cardiff University.
Other success came from Nick Dundee, Euan Humphreys and Dan Owen, who obtained A* grades in their OCR Technicals Diploma in Sport, while Ed Lunt, Elishia Phillips, Sanjita Kumar and Alice Waltham were also rewarded with outstanding grades at A-level.
School named among best in UK
Rydal Penrhos has been named as one of the top co-educational boarding schools in the UK in recently published League Tables.
After an exceptional set of results earlier this month, the school was ranked 69th, as a co-educational boarding school, in Saturday's Times and Daily Telegraph's A-level (and equivalent) League Tables, putting Rydal Penrhos ahead of some of the most recognised boarding schools in the country.
It was also listed 11th overall in the same tables for day and boarding schools from across North Wales, Cheshire and the North West based on their exam performance.
A* and A were the most frequently awarded A Level grades once again with 34.3 percent of entries receiving the top grades. 17.2% of pupils managed to collect A* grades, which is significantly higher than the national average of 8.3%.
This combined with July's International Baccalaureate Diploma results boosts the school's overall A*-A percentage at A-level or equivalent to nearly 40% and thus placing it well within the top 100 of similar schools.
Mr Smith, said: “Whilst such League Tables do not give a full picture of a school's strengths and achievements they are one indicator of pupil success at this school. Pupils' well-being, happiness and co-curricular involvement are incredibly important too but it is gratifying to see the school so high up the league tables and above other schools of our type or in our region."
Very strong grades from pupils
The school announced that over 20 per cent of all grades were A* or equivalent at GCSE level.
This was up from the previous year and is the second highest percentages of A* grades recorded by GCSE candidates since 2010.
There were also a number of pupils that achieved the new Grade Nine in English (First Language) and English Literature, which puts them in the top two per cent nationwide in accordance with the new grading system.
Mr Smith, said: "Our Year 11 pupils have achieved so much, individually and collectively, during their time in Middle School.
“I am delighted that their results have not only enhanced the school's academic standing but more importantly given themselves the confidence and foundations to begin the next chapter of their learning in the Sixth Form.
“I congratulate them all and thank their parents and teachers for their incredible support and inspiration."
Among the individual successes was Gowri Pradeep, who was rewarded for exceptional application to her studies with eight A*s, two nines and a Distinction in Additional Mathematics, while Caitlin Teece attained seven A*s, a 9, an 8, an A and a Distinction in Additional Maths.
Welsh international chess sensation Imogen Camp produced impressive overall marks with seven A*, two scores of 8, an A and a Distinction, and Will Sissons secured nine and eight Grades in English, six A*s, two As and an Additional Maths Distinction.
Year 10 success
A* marks highlight early GCSE exams
Year 11 pupils were not the only ones with cause for celebration as Rydal Penrhos School announced its GCSE results.
Mathematics GCSE candidates from Year 10 produced an extraordinary set of results, with all 15 pupils managing to attain A* grades.
Abhishek Bathula, Tallulah Batley, Holly Battersby, Amelia Collins, Eddie Farrell, Matthias Fiorita, Arend Franssens, James Lavery, Edward Patrick, Ioan Peake-Jones, Eric Poon, Bijou Rajagopal, Williams Stewart, Prompt Utenpattanun and Amy Yue all secured top grades, and they will now move on to their Additional Mathematics studies in the hope of obtaining a further GCSE qualification next summer.
The incredible achievements continued in the languages results, with all five pupils that sat either Chinese, Italian or Welsh Second Language achieving A*s.
In addition, of the Year 10 candidates that sat modules in iGCSE exam papers, 48.8 per cent Biology, 44.19% Chemistry and 39.5% Physics managed to attain A* grades.
These achievements complemented the Year 11 results where over 20% of grades were at A* or equivalent with a number of pupils awarded 9s in English which puts them in the top 2% nationwide.
Headmaster Simon Smith, said: “To have achieved these results a year early is tremendous. Rydal Penrhos' reputation as an academically ambitious school is in very safe hands."
Message from Mr Boyd
Our Director of Sport has stressed the importance of putting education first after the recent revelations of a former Olympic athlete.
Mr Boyd also outlined the ways that the school helps its sports scholars academically after an emotional interview with the BBC by ex-badminton sensation Gail Emms.
He said: “Pupils are expected to be performing at their best academically and sport should always be their plan B, plan A is an education and a career.
“They can’t really choose a career in sport, it chooses them but they need to be prepared for when that decision comes. There we very few sports that are professional and very few opportunities within those that are.
“One way we help our scholars to stay on track is through our Talented Athlete seminar programme where pupils and parents are fully involved in target setting with pupils, both sporting and academic, to ensure we all know what our responsibilities are, especially the scholar as they are the one who will need to be incredibly hard working and diligent to make it all happen with a strong support network around them.
“With so many internationals here at Rydal Penrhos, keeping them focussed on their studies is essential despite the amount of intense training they have to do throughout the week both in-and-out of school. There must be a rigid structure in place to ensure that they do not miss out on any studies during their time away on competitive action for their country and regional teams, and especially with the likes of Sailing it can be very time consuming so it is essential to find the right balance.
“While many of them hold ambitions to compete at the top level for many years to come, statistics show that the percentage of those that can actually do this are very slim so having a good education and final grades to fall back on is something that we strive to ensure when they leave us to follow on their path to further education at universities across the country."
Mr Smith offers advice
Headmaster Mr Smith has offered advice to boarding pupils on how to cope with homesickness.
As part of a special upcoming feature in Independent School Parent Magazine, Mr Smith stated than feeling homesick was a “perfectly natural emotion” and provided suggestions on how best to cope with this issue should it arise.
He said: “Pupil homesickness is a perfectly natural emotion and whilst more likely to happen at the start of a new academic year can occur at any time.
“For parents it can be unsettling too. In addition to worries about how much they are missing you, you are naturally missing them. Boarding House staff are trained in dealing with such incidents but parents too can play a part in managing the transition.
“Firstly, sending the Housemaster or Housemistress a family memento or two eg. Family photographs in advance of the first day means the staff can prepare the room to have more of a homely feel.
“Counter-intuitively this familiar feel to their room will help settle them in. After the first day it’s important to give your child and the school some space. Resist the temptation to call or Skype every evening in the first week or two.
“Many boarding schools insist on the pupils staying in the first weekend to help their child form those all-important friendships and it’s important to support the school in this regard.”
Mr Smith also highlighted Rydal Penrhos’ strong social media presence as a great way for parents to see for themselves the wealth of exciting experiences their children are participating in on any given day, with the wide breadth of platforms providing visual and written ways for them to stay in-touch without picking up the phone.
“I would also recommend keeping a close eye on school and House activities through the school’s website or Twitter feeds,” he added.
“Parents can then see the many varied and positive events taking place and send supportive texts or e-mails asking their child if they enjoyed X or Y rather than focussing on what they might be missing back at home.
“Boarding school life provides enormous opportunities and should be a home from home but whilst nothing can quite replace home comforts parents by trusting the professionalism of the staff, accentuating the positives and communicating with a light touch parents will soon realise that no news from school is good news; they are too busy enjoying boarding school life.”
A-level Psychology now offered
The school revealed that Psychology will now be offered at A-level, and the latest change has seen a host of pupils choose the recently added subject as part of their studies for the upcoming academic year.
Psychology looks at questions in the study of the human mind and behaviour. It is a science with cutting edge research that has real world applications to issues in everyday life, ranging from things such as artificial intelligence to social change.
If you study psychology you’ll be able to hone your analytical and organisational skills and learn about scientific research methods, including collecting and working with data.
Learning about human behaviour can also help to build your communication skills and improve your teamwork and leadership skills.
Psychology is useful for any job that requires lots of interaction or an understanding of human behaviour and development.
People with skills in psychology are sought after in business, management, teaching, research, social work and careers in medicine and healthcare.
We have also announced the decision to move from German to Spanish, with Year 8 pupils being offered two lessons per week as part of the new plans.
This will coincide with the French studies before each pupil gets the chance to choose which of the languages they will take on as part of their GCSE curriculum.
Those wishing to study German can still do so, with department head Susan Livingstone confirming that enrichment sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4.30-5.10pm will give pupils’ this opportunity.
Moving to Spanish is the latest academic change at the school since the arrival of Mr Smith, which has also seen the new A-level Psychology course met with a hugely positive response.
Mrs Livingstone, said: “It is imperative that we provide pupils with the best possible tools for success, in order for them to leave Rydal Penrhos equipped to take on the wider world and thrive in a highly competitive job market.
“Languages are a skill for life and will always be seen as an asset to any employer, and we aim to give them the opportunity to achieve as well as they possibly can in one or more languages and to develop a cultural sensitivity which will carry forward into future contexts.”
Anyone wishing to more about the changes to the Modern Foreign Languages department can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Journalism work experience praised
Elinor Davies spent the week with Communications Assistant Dean Jones over the summer, where she received a crash course in journalism.
During the four-day learning experience she took part in a series of tasks which covered all aspects of the profession, including news reporting, feature writing, opinion pieces and investigative journalism.
Elinor was also given advice on the avenues to pursue in terms of further education, and was given a Teeline Shorthand book from which to learn as the skill is still regarded as the gold standard for any aspiring journalist.
Mr Jones also enlisted the help of friend and TV chef Bryn Williams, who agreed to do an interview on all aspects of food and his restaurants, while Elinor also had the opportunity to review a new healthy eating café in Colwyn Bay, The Fresh Hut.
The budding food journalist was also given helpful hints on how to improve her blog and how best to get the most out of social media.
Mr Jones, said: “I was thoroughly impressed by Elinor’s writing style and her willingness to learn throughout her work experience.
“She was really engaged during the four days and was not afraid to ask questions, which was also very pleasing.
“Giving her a broader perspective of journalism seemed to be very beneficial and something that she enjoyed, which was much to her surprise.
“Elinor can be hugely proud of her efforts and I look forward to seeing how her career develops in the future.”
Silver and Bronze candidates praised
Duke of Edinburgh candidates moved one step closer to claiming their respective awards thanks to a pair of gruelling expeditions before the summer break.
A large number of pupils took to the hills for their Silver and Bronze expeditions, which were held over three days at two prominent North Wales landmarks.
The Silver group, which consisted of Year 10 pupils, were given a wide range of strenuous tasks as part of their Practice Expedition on the Clwydian Range, which was implemented to maximise their preparation and experience ahead of their assessment in the coming months.
The final weekend of the academic year also saw the Bronze team travel to Carneddau for their Assessment Expedition, with the results set to be announced later on this year.
It has been another hugely successful year for DofE pupils at the school, which was highlighted by Jack Sissons, Will Marston and Katie Marston visiting Buckingham Palace to collect their Gold Awards from a prestigious ceremony attended by HRH the Duke of Edinburgh, Prince William.
Course co-ordinator Dr Lewis, said: “The Duke of Edinburgh Award continues to be a worthy and popular activity within the school, available to all pupils from Year 9 through to Year 13.
“This year has seen an increase in the number of participants who have successfully completed their award – and we look forward to receiving submissions in the near future from those who have started, but for whom the scheme is ongoing. “
Elysia Gilman scoops national award
Elysia Gilman emerged victorious from the Under 18 category at the annual Museum of Modern Art for Wales competition, and her work will now be on display at a high-profile exhibition held in Machyntheth during the summer.
Her painting was one of three she produced this term based on members of her family, and the portrait of her sister Lydia is acrylic on canvas and is one metre square.
The 17-year-old collected her cash prize and saw her painting on display at the opening of the exhibition, which is open to the public until the end of August and became part of the Machyntheth Arts festival from August 20-27.
This highly regarded and growing event includes classical music concerts at the Tabernacle Arts centre which is part of the gallery.
Mr Sherrington, said: “The judges were clearly as impressed as me by the freedom, confidence, accuracy and maturity of this piece.
“The earlier paintings in this series were excellent but you can see how much she has learnt and improved in this final painting.
“Elysia has a touch and understanding of the medium that is remarkable for a student of only 17 and I am excited to see what she will produce in her final academic year in the Art department."
Duo achieve grading success
Bella Rutherford recently sat her Grade Two Cello examination, which was administered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and the 13-year-old produced another exceptional performance in-front of adjudicators to earn a Distinction for her effort.
It has been a memorable year for the young performer as part of the school community, with Bella playing the lead role in the annual Dramatic Society production of Annie the Musical, which attracted almost 1,000 people over a four night period.
Her vocal talents have also been a particular highlight, which has seen her claim an accolade from the Chester Festival alongside a large number of other pupils at the school.
The feat is made even more prominent by the fact she only began playing the instrument at the start of her senior school journey in Year 7, in order to join our choir on at the various concerts staged throughout the year.
Mr Williams, said: “Despite only playing the Cello for a short period of time, she has developed her skills considerably in recent months, and it just shows how far you can come if you take up a new instrument."
Niamh Cook produced another immensely polished performance to come away with a Distinction from her Grade Two Violin examination, which was administered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
The pupil gained a superb 137 out of a possible 150 marks, and has already begun working hard in the hope of further recognition at Grade Three level.
This is the latest in a series of accolades the multi-talented pupil has secured in a short space of time, with Niamh gaining a Distinction in her Grade Eight piano exam earlier this year, scoring an incredible 130 for her efforts.
She was also the recipient of a special grant from the Sir John Henry Morris Jones Trust, which was set up in 1975 at the request of the former MP and GP’s will, with young people under the age of 19 from the Colwyn area invited to apply.
Mr Williams, said: “What Niamh continues to achieve is a testament to her passion to her craft, and she works incredibly hard to nurture her incredible gift."
Ethan Davies takes vow of silence
Ethan Davies, a Year 10 pupil at the school, took part in a special 24-hour silence to raise funds for our educational trip to India, which will take place next year and has been arranged by Global Action.
The Beecholme boarder enlisted the help of RAF staff in the School of Physical Training based at RAF Cosford, and Ethan was prohibited from using his phone or any other gadget to limit communication further.
His efforts raised £260 so far with donations still being taken.
Mr Cashell, said: “The India trip will be a once in a lifetime experience for our pupils, and it is great to see Ethan dedicating part of his summer break to raise funds for the event.
“Keeping silent is something that is a strange notion to the majority of teenagers, and well done to Ethan for remaining focus to complete what was surely a strenuous task.”
The trip starts by visiting Amritsar’s Golden Temple, and will later visit the spectacular Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Based in the foothills of the beautiful Indian Himalayas, the group also plan to have a special audience with The Dalai Lama to learn about respect for all religions.
We recently to highlight two worthy charities on our Rugby and Netball kits ahead of a busy series of fixtures throughout the academic year.
The new Canterbury New Zealand rugby shirts will have the logo of Wooden Spoon at the forefront, which was set-up with the purpose of positively transforming the lives of children and young people with a disability or facing disadvantage across the UK and Ireland through the power of rugby.
From sensory rooms, specialist playgrounds and sports activity areas to respite, medical and community care, they fund around 70 projects each year that support disadvantaged and disabled children.
Since their founding in 1983, Wooden Spoon has distributed in excess of £24 million, helping over one million young people.
We will also be supporting The Bodie Hodges Foundation on the school’s Netball kits this year, which was formed in 2012 with a view to supporting families who have been bereaved of a child of any age, in addition to promoting organ donation.
Mr Boyd, said: “We are delighted to be supporting two very worthwhile causes on our new Canterbury sports kit this year, and hopefully it will increase the exposure of both in the coming months."
Work praised by community figure
Year 8 pupils who gave up their time to help transform a community garden have been praised for their selfless efforts.
Led by teacher Miss Vallee, the group spent their Community Action Day during our annual Activity Week reinvigorating St Cynbryd's Community Gardens and the adjacent Glebe.
Their tireless work throughout the day was commended by John Dickson, who wrote to Ms Vallee and thanked her and the Year 8 pupils that gave their all to help improve a valuable asset for local residents.
He said: “All of the pupils (and staff) behaved impeccably and are a credit to the school. All contributed to the day but a large number went well beyond the call of duty and performed brilliantly.
"The amount of progress achieved went way beyond what we hoped for with the key achievements being; clearing the banks of the river in the Glebe, emptying the compost bins - a very physical piece of work, clearing the memorial and a number of graves, cutting back the tree in the Remembrance Garden a lot, tidying, cutting back and clearing the rose garden and all flower beds around the Remembrance Garden, lots and lots of work in and around the herb gardens - the Bay trees look great and the herb gardens look like herb gardens again, raking and burning the dried grass - we removed over 35 barrow loads, getting rid of all the cuttings, branches, weeds etc. and leaving the gardens tidy.
“A number of people have already commented on the improvement and the work performed has given a real boost to the volunteers who maintain the gardens.”
Success of former pupils
Vicky Thornley will spearhead the Team GB charge at the Florida event, which will run from September 24 until October 1.
Thornley finished second in the double sculls at Rio 2016 alongside rowing great Katherine Grainger, and has since moved to the singles in the hope of replicating last year's success on her own.
She further enhanced her reputation with gold at the European Championships in Racice, Czech Republic, with two World Cup silvers has raised expectations of a podium place further.
Speaking to Express Sport, Thornley said: "I know the event I'm now in has big entries, there are a lot of girls at a similar standard. You have to be on your A-game pretty much every round and making the final is the first port of call.
"Semi-finals in the single are like finals. They're fierce. You've got to be on your game. There's no point just waiting for the final because you could be caught out.
"All I can do is prepare best myself, training hard as I can and make the technical improvements I need to make."
Great Britain will be sending a total of 17 teams crews to the United States to compete at the event, with the team boasting no fewer than 14 Olympians in the group.
Thornley will be looking to put her new found experience to good use against some tough competition, stating she has always been “fascinated” with the prospect of competing in singles action.
Dr Mark Baker, who left the school in 2003, has led a group of volunteers’ intent of fixing the historic Gwrych Castle, which overlooks Abergele and can be seen from the A55 expressway.
The Grade I listed site was left to rot for decades, but the Trust, which comprises of 65 volunteers and was formed in 1997, has restored the impressive Gardener’s Tower and they lit the stove and main fireplace for the first time in 100 years at their Open Day last year.
The project was recently shortlisted for a public vote in Tesco’s #BagsofHelp initiative, and after a frantic voting process the trust were awarded the maximum grant of £12,000, which was raised from the 5p bag charge.
Dr Baker, who has been working on the project since the age of 12, recently revealed in an interview that the castle is now “80 per cent complete” and it is open to the public throughout August to mark the 20-year anniversary of the commencement of its restoration.
Speaking to the Rhyl Journal, Dr Baker said: “We are 80 per cent there. We have nearly finished the gardens. We want to rebuild the conservatory next and it will be then complete. There is still a lifetime of work ahead, particularly the main building
“Looking back to when I was 12, I guess it does seem quite odd but to me, it wasn’t odd. It [the restoration of the build] was something I could see becoming a reality. I am quite a passionate person, I look to achieve. I was quite determined."
Charlotte Frobisher LLB (hons); GCILEx, who left the school in 2006, has become the Prestatyn and Meliden Mayors Consort for the 2017/18 term.
The 27-year-old currently works at PJW Law in Llandudno and she will be working under her father Gerry, who was named as the mayor for a third time earlier this year.
She has now begun her role and was a key figure in the recent success of the Prestatyn Carnival, which attracted hundreds of people from across the region last month.
The former pupil, said: “My father, Gerry, became the Mayor of Prestatyn for the third time in May 2017, and asked me to be his Consort.
“I was delighted and honoured to take on the role and to help him represent the Town until May 2018. My mother was his Mayoress in 2002/03, and my sister his Consort in 2009/10.
“Being the Mayors Consort sees me attending all sorts of Civic Events such as Civic Services, meeting other Town mayors, Freedom of the Town Celebrations, and a host of community events not only in Prestatyn, but across North Wales.”
Mary Hill, who left the school in 2015, will be studying Fine Art at Liverpool University after spending time studying privately and building up her portfolio.
The 20-year-old she has continued to paint and has produced several large paintings including one massive portrait of a Stag in recent months, something which impressed selectors enough to earn her a place on the course.
In a recent conversation with the Head of Art Mark Sherrington she said she has “become increasing less interested in creating a conventional, photographically real image and more concerned with what paint can say and do in its own right”.
Mr Sherrington, said: “Mary was one of the best painters we have had at Rydal Penrhos in a number of years and was unusual in her ability to work with real intensity for long periods of time on the same subject.
“This gave her work an all-over clarity and focus that at times seemed difficult to comprehend.
“Her work has always been concerned with what is actually real and what we actually see as opposed to a camera or phone. We wish her real success as she embarks on a three-year course and can’t wait to hear form her to see what she produces for her degree show.”
Alex Sharples has been speaking from the Southern Hemisphere where he is training to be a pilot.
The 2016 leaver is currently based in Hamilton and has just one year to go before he can take to the skies on a commercial airline.
Alex took part in a special question and answer session with Communications Assistant Dean Jones, where he spoke about the challenges he has faced, what he has enjoyed and how a Rydal Penrhos education prepared him for the next step:
How has your first year been in Pilot School?
“It’s been hard work. My first year was all theory exams. I had to do 14 exams in the space of six months, each exam is around 50 questions and it’s a 75 per cent pass mark.
“Classes started at 8am and finish at 4pm Monday to Friday. I found each subject very interesting as it was about something I'm very passionate about!
“For example learning the in depth technical details to how aircraft generate lift, how aircraft use satellites and ground based navigation aids to navigate around the world, learning how to plan commercial flights with regards to fuel and mass and balance and a lot more.”
To read the full article click here: http://www.rydalpenrhos.com/Alex-Sharples-speaks-on-Pilot-training-programme-in-New-Zealand?returnUrl=/Alumni-News
Reuben Bather gets Welsh call-up
Reuben Bather will be part of the Wales U15 squad that will take on Surrey on Sunday, September 17 at Wenvoe Castle Golf Club near Cardiff.
The 14-year-old will look to continue his exceptional progression since joining our Golf Academy last year, something that has brought with it a host of regional and national successes.
He recently turned out for the Welsh side in a prestigious fixture against England, where he managed to secure a four and three victory alongside partner Abe Forsyth in their opening doubles match.
This was followed up by a narrow defeat to a more experienced opponent in his matchplay singles contest to close out the event, with Reuben putting up an outstanding effort before succumbing to a final hole loss.
The clash against Surrey will feature foursomes competition in the morning, before the two sides will square-off in singles action during the afternoon’s play.
Mr Boyd, said: “Reuben has proven that he belongs on the international stage and we are delighted his fine form has been acknowledged with another Welsh selection.
“His game has come on an enormous amount thanks to the practice he is putting in on the course, while he has also been working incredibly hard with our dedicated Strength and Conditioning with has also benefitted his overall game considerably.
“Reuben’s passions and dedication to the sport are matched by his natural talent and this is sure to bring with it a great deal more success in the future.”
New arrivals make instant impact
Will Lynch was part of the Wales U16 Rugby League squad that will took on Ireland on August 4.
The talented youngster plays club rugby for one of the best amateur sides in Great Britain – Leigh Miners Rangers Academy – a set up that has produced numerous professional and international players over the years.
Lynch has been at the side since he was just six-years old, and his international selection rounds off a memorable 18 months for the soon-to-be sports scholar.
He was recently awarded an U16 scholarship at Salford City Red Devils and has just completed the season playing the likes of Widnes, Hull, Cumbria, London Broncos, Newcastle and the Midlands.
The Benllech native has also represented RGC U16s in rugby union in games against Scotland and other regional sides for the past two seasons and has decided to attend Rydal Penrhos on a sports scholarship to combine A-levels with his love of rugby.
Mr Boyd, said: “This is tremendous news and all credit goes to Will for achieving a national squad selection.
“We are delighted that he has agreed to join us this year, and we are confident that he can develop all aspects of his game during his time at the school.
“He is immensely talented with a great passion for the sport, which are two things that will stand him in good stead as he looks to progress on to bigger and better things in the future.”
Tom Roebuck was part of the Sale Sharks Rugby Academy that achieved further success at the Regional Academies Festival in what has been an action packed summer for the U18 group.
Following on from their victories against Leinster and Munster the previous week, the young Sharks followed this up with triumphs against Leicester Tigers and London Irish in their final outings before their first Premiership under 18 league fixture in January.
After an impressive performance in their win over Leicester, Roebuck was in ruthless form against London Irish and was rewarded for his exceptional attacking play with three of the team’s nine tries throughout the contest.
The outside back’s constant threat proved too much for the opposition and his hat-trick and defensive prowess was a huge contributing factor in their win.
The squad now return to their school and club rugby programmes where they will play until Christmas, and they will be back in action for the Sharks in January when they will compete in the Premiership Under 18 League (North) against Northampton Saints, Leicester Tigers, Wasps, Yorkshire Carnegie, Worcester Warriors and Newcastle Falcons.
Mr Boyd, said: “This was yet another superb performance from Tom and further demonstrates the immense potential he has.
“His performances as part of the Sale Sharks Academy this summer have been nothing short of outstanding, and we are looking forward to watching him develop further with our dedicated coaches here.”
Josh and Jacob represent Wales
Josh Thomas and Jacob Heaton-Rue produced a number of standout efforts at the EuroHockey5s U16 Championships, which were held in Poland.
The Welsh squad began their campaign with a sensational 12-5 victory over Georgia, before falling to a narrow 7-5 defeat to a strong Austria outfit.
They were undone by Denmark in a 9-4 reverse in game three, but the side bounced back and ended their campaign on a high with three successes to take their tally to four wins from six contests.
A superb display against Finland saw them secure a 10-2 triumph, before carrying this momentum into their clash with Lithuania, where they ran riot in a 7-1 win.
Last up for the group was a stern test against Croatia, and they turned in another resolute display to come away with a 6-4 result.
Mr Boyd, said: “This was another superb display as part of the Wales squad for both Josh and Jacob, who are proving that they really belong at national level.
“They have demonstrated on numerous occasions that they are two of the most talented young players in the country, and to get this experience will do their confidence the world of good."
Host of summer successes
Martyna Ruszkowska and Zach Speakman competed against some of the most gifted swimmers in the country at the British Summer Championships, which were held in Sheffield.
The duo gave a good account of themselves in the face of some stern competition, with both enhancing their growing reputations throughout the competition.
Welsh international Martyna, aged 16, competed in three individual races in addition to a pair of relays as part of the Swim Gwynedd team.
She managed to secure sixth spot in the 50 metre Butterfly despite injury hampering her preparations, and also finished seventh in the 100m event in the same discipline.
There was another final berth to celebrate as the 4x100m medley team from Swim Gwynedd made it to the final round, although they narrowly missed out on a medal.
Fourteen-year-old sports scholar Zach was taking part in his first ever British Championships after a standout season which has seen him surge up the UK rankings, and he produced a time of four minutes, 51 seconds in the 400M individual medley representing Nofio Clwyd.
Teddy Roberts ended a period of eight months out of the water with a series of strong efforts at the Welsh Summer National Championships.
The scholar narrowly missed out on a medal in the 100 metre freestyle on day one despite being ranked in ninth, with the sports scholar reaching the final and achieving a fourth place finish with a time of 58:05.
There was further success in the 100m butterfly event, where he produced another sensational effort to beat the odds and claim a silver medal with a time of one minute and five seconds.
This sensational effort propelled the Swim Conwy star back to number one in the national 100m butterfly rankings in his age group, and he has also moved up to third in the 100m freestyle rankings.
Mr Ruszkowski, said: “Teddy has not missed a step despite having a short break from competitive swimming, and it is great to see all his hard work during training has paid off with a medal. To get back to the top of the national rankings in such a short space of time just demonstrates the immense talent he has, and if he continues to work hard then the sky really is the limit in terms of what he can achieve.
“Hopefully this event will be a stepping stone to great things in the future and we will endeavour to ensure that Teddy reaches his potential.”
A host of new faces will be part of our rugby squad for their first pre-season competition.
The school’s first XV travel to King’s School Macclesfield on Saturday, September 2 for an U18 tournament to kick-off their campaign ahead of a busy series of fixtures.
The competition will be played in a festival format and will see us come up against Reed’s School, Solihull School, Queen Elizabeth Grammar School Wakefield and Kirkham Grammar School.
A strong squad will feature a number of new arrivals, which include outside back and Sale Sharks Academy prospect Tom Roebuck, who recently scored a hat-trick for their U18 side against London Irish at the Regional Academies Festival.
Wales U16 Rugby League star Will Lynch is another exciting talent to join the ranks, while Harry Pulford is another addition after arriving from St David’s College.
Joe Morrow is a Chester U17 representative and will also be part of the set-up, while big things are also expected of Pwllheli standout Jan Lotter, who rounds off the new contingent of players.
Mr Boyd, said: “We are delighted that these five players have decided to join our programme here at Rydal Penrhos, and we look forward to watching them develop under the guidance of our coaches and Strength and Conditioning team.
“All of them have enormous potential both in sporting and academic terms, and hopefully they can get off on the right foot this weekend at our first competition of the season.”