Rydal Penrhos newsletter
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Foreword from Mr Smith
It is amazing to think that we are already into October and Week 6 of Term. The Week 1 New Boarders’ Lunch and wonderfully attended Parents’ Drinks on New Field seem like only yesterday.
The start of any academic year is primarily focussed on welcoming new members into the School community and encouraging everyone to “hit the ground running".
As I walk around the site I have been struck by the seamless transition they’ve made, how happy they appear as well as how hard they and all the other pupils are working, training, rehearsing and encouraging each other. I am also incredibly appreciative of the parents who have been supporting events in increasing numbers.
The School Newsletter is a fantastic barometer of how much our pupils have achieved collectively, individually, academically and as part of our rich co-curricular programme.
I am particularly pleased to see so many initiatives starting to take shape - some from the Staff and some from the pupils - encouraging the children to engage with opportunity and help them to be everything they can be.
I have, for example, been impressed by how well the pupils have engaged with our new RPL lessons in Years 7 and 9. It’s been a joy to teach them along with Mr Lavery and Mrs Richardson.
It would be invidious to pick out any particular highlights but I thoroughly enjoyed my first Founders’ Weekend; meeting so many alumni proud of their School and enjoying each other’s company.
If I have one criticism it’s that they could have let us win one of the four trophies up for grabs! Better luck next time pupils.
Karen and I have also loved hosting parents, staff and pupils in our new Heathfield Room. Hospitality is such an important part of a Boarding School ethos and I hope that you will be able to join us at an event soon.
It's very hard to put into words the real sense of momentum we are building at the School – you need to experience it - but this newsletter gives a flavour of that shift and I have no doubt I will be writing the foreword of the October newsletter before I know it.
Mr Simon Smith.
Seminars enhance learning
Academic scholars got the chance to explore the life of a famous French artist as part of a special seminar.
During their first seminar of the term Madame Vallée gave a talk on Claude Monet, a founder of French Impressionist painting who is still widely regarded as the most consistent and prolific practitioner of the movement's philosophy.
Madame Vallée spoke in the artist’s native language about his life, education and his rise to prominence, with pupils given translation sheets in order to fully understand the context of the talk.
Once the talk had concluded, they heard more about the notorious painter in English to round off the seminar.
Over the coming months the Academic Scholar sessions will be held on a weekly basis thanks to the extremely positive response it received from pupils following the launch.
Madame Vallée, said: “It was a great little session! The pupils were so lovely and attentive, I hope it'll inspire them to find out more about Monet.
“I strongly recommend the Academic Scholar seminars.”
Academic scholars also explored the origin of philosophy as part of their second seminar.
The session was taken by the Reverend Sissons, and explored Plato's famous story of the Cave, which stands as one of the earliest philosophical explanations of the nature of reality.
They thought about how reliable our senses are and whether we can gain true knowledge by using them, before contrasting those who, like Plato, think knowledge can only be grasped by the mind and those, like Aristotle, who believe you have to go out and observe the world and conduct experiments.
One of the challenges for the pupils was to be ready to question received wisdom and to think things through for themselves.
The session concluded by examining the meaning behind one of Plato’s famous quotes: “The philosopher is in love with truth, that is, not with the changing world of our senses, which is the object of opinion, but with the unchanging reality which is the object of knowledge.”
Plato was a philosopher in Classical Greece and the founder of the Academy in Athens, the first institution of higher learning in the Western world. He is widely considered the most pivotal figure in the development of philosophy, especially the Western tradition.
2017-18 team announced
We are delighted to announce our Peer Mentor team for the current academic year.
After hopefuls went through an assessment process to judge their suitability for the role, a group of 23 have been selected by staff members.
The team will be on hand to lend support to younger members of the school community throughout the year, in addition to offering advice on any other matters they may need assistance with.
They will also be present at a large number of specially organised events for Year 7 pupils, designed to improve confidence, group cohesion and team spirit within the group.
Mili Jayadeep, Elysia Gilman, Finn Batley, Deputy Head Girl Olivia Rogerson, Emily Cashell, Sam Randall, Jenny Johnson, Carmia Kendall, Sammy Sherrington, Sara Owen, Jess Maudsley, Daniel Pearce are the Upper Sixth Form pupils that have been handed the responsibility after impressing during the trial period.
Lower Sixth Form pupils are also well represented with Ewan Luke, Nick Fiorita, Miles Poller, Grace Ormerod, Rafeez Mortuza, Caitlin Teece, Sean Hughes, Mia Lynch, Gowri Pradeep and Imogen Camp accepting positions.
Mr Cashell, said: “Our Peer Mentor initiative is something that is hugely beneficial to our younger pupils as they look to establish themselves within our Senior School, and it is wonderful to see so many Sixth Form pupils showing an interest this year.
“Mr Smith has outlined ‘Leading’ as one of his five key tenets for building a successful all-round education, and the role is one that each of our pupils take a great deal of pride in which should ensure the scheme goes from strength-to-strength in the coming months.”
Juan claims silver medal from Olympiad
Juan Rajagopal scored a highly impressive 53 out of 70 in the Junior Mathematical Olympiad, which put him in the top 50 entries from the 1,200 that qualified for the event.
The top 25 per cent of scorers that sat the paper received a Certificate of Distinction, the top 210 pupils were awarded a medal and only the top 50 were given a book prize.
The 13-year-old performed exceptionally well to achieve all three of these awards in order to be recognised with the silver medal, and he managed to successfully gain three perfect solutions to a series of difficult questions which left him just one mark shy of gold.
This is the latest in a long line of achievements for the pupil, who qualified for the competition after gaining a Gold certificate, Best in School and Best in Year 8 for his efforts in the UK Maths Trust Junior Challenge earlier this year.
He was also part of the Rydal Penrhos team that gained the Best in Wales crown at the UKMT Junior Maths Team Challenge, after winning the regional heat alongside Alicia Zhou, Baptiste Mazars, and Jerry Zhao.
Group take in comedy on learning trip
The Lower Sixth Drama group travelled to The Lowry Theatre in Salford, where they took in the comedy How the Other Half Loves on the latest step of its national tour.
This is the first in a long line of educational trips put on by the department, which have been implemented to allow those studying Drama to get useful tips on stage performance from experienced professionals.
Another highly recognisable face was Charlie Brooks, who played villain Janine Bitcher in the BBC soap Eastenders.
The all-star cast consisted of Robert Daws, Caroline Langrishe and the Bafta-nominated Matthew Cottle, and the Alan Ayckbourn comedy is described as “ a hilarious tale of matrimonial mishaps and London’s funniest comedy of 2016”.
It revolves around the story of Bob and Fiona, who clumsily try to cover up their affair and their spouses’ intervention only adds to the confusion.
Mrs Crimes, said: “How the Other Half Loves was an absolute triumph and the actors were magnificent.”
University visit for recruitment afternoon
Representatives from Cardiff Metropolitan University visited the school as part of their North Wales recruitment afternoon.
During the event, which also saw pupils from Ysgol Eirias, Ysgol Bryn Elian and Coleg Llandrillo in attendance, the South Walian team discussed a number of important topics surrounding sporting options at the establishment, in addition to their career specific courses which have been recently introduced.
They also spoke about the benefits of taking a sport-related degree, the extra-curricular activities that the university provides and optional additional qualifications that are made available.
The presentation followed a netball master class from national captain and former pupil Suzy Drane, with the Celtic Dragons standout passing on her expertise to young hopefuls during the session.
Mr Boyd, said: “It was great to welcome Cardiff Met University here to for what was a very worthwhile afternoon for our Sixth Form and Year 11 pupils.
“It is never too early to start planning the next step of your education, and events like this are a very good way of gathering as much information as possible before making what is a very important decision.”
Junior Book Club
New initiative for young pupils
An exciting new reading initiative was launched for young pupils, and the Junior Book Club congregated at the Learning Resource Centre on Monday, September 18.
This scheme has been implemented to encourage reading and discussion and was open to Year 7 and 8 pupils with a passion for the written word.
During the session each pupil discussed particular books they had enjoyed recently, before joining together to read the opening chapter of Walkabout by James Vance Marshall.
All Book Club attendees have taken copies of the novel to read individual, and they will meet after the half term break to discuss the author’s style and content, in addition to lending their own thoughts on the story to the group.
Walkabout is a timeless tale about two children who get lost in the Australian Outback and are helped by an Aborigine, and the session was taken by English and Drama teacher Mrs Earle.
She said: “This is something new we are offering our pupils and it has received a very positive response in its early stages.
“Reading outside of the classroom is a key component in a child’s learning and something we actively encourage, and it was clear to see that everyone who attended the Junior Book Club has a great passion for the creative side of writing.”
National Poetry Day
6th Form Poe-tree highlights event
A special visitor wandered the halls as part of our contribution to National Poetry Day.
Throughout the afternoon Daniel Pearce dressed up as the Poe-tree to bring the joy of poems to various departments within the school, which coincided with the nationwide awareness initiative held annually.
He was joined by fellow Sixth Form pupils Ben Gibson, Head Girl Olivia Williams, Saxon Cowley and English and Drama teacher Mrs Earle to mark National Poetry Day throughout the country.
Staff were also asked to put on their creative thinking caps for a Haiku competition, which also brought with it some fantastic contributions.
A Haiku has three lines which consist of five, seven and five syllables, with Freedom the chosen theme of each submission.
Our Prep School also got into the spirit of the occasion with Reverend Sissons reading a series of poems to the Early Years group, while the Drama Club took part in an inter-house poetry competition.
National Poetry Day is an initiative of the Forward Arts Foundation, a charity that celebrates excellence in poetry and widens its audience.
It was founded in 1994 by William Sieghart and has engaged millions of people across the country reading, writing and listening to poetry.
From 1999, National Poetry Day has been loosely themed: the theme meant to kick-start inspiration rather than be prescriptive.
Pupils achieve ABRSM grading success
Seven pupils achieved various levels of the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music grades, and they all received their certificate at a school assembly on Monday, September 11.
Gifted vocalist Zahra Shamsi managed to secure a Distinction in her Grade 5 Singing assessment, with Year 10 pupil Emma Hourihane also achieving the same mark at the exact same level of difficulty.
Another to be awarded a Grade 5 singing Distinction was Arthur Hind, and all three will now begin working hard in the hope of further recognition in the future.
Others to gain certificates were Niamh Hall, who passed her Grade 4 singing exam with a merit, with Shruthi Ganapathi also presented with a merit for her outstanding effort during her Grade 4 Piano grading.
Bella Rutherford earned a Distinction for her Grade 2 Cello assessment, and Naina Babbar rounded off the triumphs with success in her Grade 1 Music Theory.
Elysia claims public prize
Elysia Gilman received the Public Vote distinction for her portrait of sister Lydia, which was on display at the Machyntheth Arts Festival.
In order for her stunning piece to appear at the event, Elysia was crowned winner in the Under 18 category at the annual Museum of Modern Art for Wales national competition, and her painting was one of three she produced based on members of her family during the previous academic year.
The Art scholar recently collected her cash prize and saw her painting on display at the opening of the exhibition, which was part of a growing event that included classical music concerts at the Tabernacle Arts centre.
Mr Sherrington, said: “The public 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 pupil of only 17 and I am excited to see what she will produce in her final academic year in the Art department.”
Study Skills Workshop
Helpful tips for Lower Sixth
A group of pupils were given a host of information to aid their transition to Sixth Form study at a special event.
The annual Study Skills Workshop for the year group took place at the Ferguson Centre on Monday, September 18, which was run by Sixth Form Head Mr Lavery.
During the event each pupil was encouraged to reflect on what motivates them, and how much does their own motivation contribute to their success in-and-out of the classroom.
They were also given tips on what makes effective Sixth Form study by looking at all the different factors that make every academic success that is obtained, such as organisational skills and time management.
Mr Lavery then challenged the group to identify specific ideas for studying that enable them to bridge the gap between Year 11 and 12, and looking at different techniques of learning to help them respond to the higher demands that come with A-level and International Baccalaureate modules.
“This is an annual event I run every year that will hopefully help them pick up effective study skills from the beginning of the year,” said Mr Lavery.
“All Lower Sixth pupils were thoroughly engaged in the workshop, and hopefully the information they acquired will stand them in good stead as they look to continue the outstanding tradition of excellent A-level and International Baccalaureate results in recent years.”
Special chapel held on charity mission
The staff and pupil team that travelled to Uganda for a charity mission this summer gave a presentation on their unforgettable experience in-front of the Senior School on Tuesday, September 20.
Josh Meyerratken and Sam Randall were first up to the pulpit to talk about what touched them most during the trip, and they were followed by the Lower Sixth pair of Ruby James and Nia Seenan.
Staff member Mr Sanders, complete with a colourful shirt purchased from the country, then addressed the congregation about aiding a family financially and what we consider to be very little means a significant amount to those in need.
Olivia Rogerson and Gowri Pradeep then talked about the plans that have been put in place following the trip, and the upcoming charity efforts that will be announced in the coming weeks to aid projects in Uganda even further.
This was the fifth charity mission that we have undertaken in Uganda, with the school also fundraising throughout the academic year through specific events.
Reverend Sissons, who was dressed in Ugandan attire which included leopard print shoes, also contributed to the presentation and the team closed the ceremony with a song and a pair originating from the country, which was read by Becky Lawton.
European Languages Week
Week long celebration from MFL dept
The school once again lent its support to European Languages Week, and there was plenty to enjoy throughout the initiative thanks to the excellent effort of Modern Foreign Languages staff and gap year students.
There was an opportunity to sample a taste of Spanish cooking with teacher Senor Rodriguez on Monday, where those in attendance found out how to make the perfect Paella before trying the traditional dish for themselves.
Senor Rodriguez also managed to fit in some useful phrases in his native language for the pupils to take home with them.
The second session saw Suzanne Boxleitner joined by a number of pupils from different nationalities for a task involving the translation of famous Welsh hymn Canon Lân.
Prep School pupils were given the opportunity to take part in a French-themed challenge with teacher Madame Vallée and gap year student Fabiola Guesnon on Tuesday, where they tried to knock over tin cans in the hope of winning a prize.
Lower Sixth Form boarding pupils Julie Mayer and Jonas Lucas-Nuelle were tasked with being chefs for the afternoon alongside teacher Miss Boxleitner, department head Mrs Livingstone and gap year German student Chiara Graf also on hand to lend their support for a German themed Waffle Sale.
Sixth Form pupils Elysia Gilman, Daniel Pearce, Ben Gibson and Luca Leggieri sat down with Modern Foreign Languages staff members and gap year students for a Linguists’ Lunch on Wednesday to round off the festivities.
More than 100 Alumni return
We hosted its annual Founders’ Weekend festivities on Saturday, September 23 and Sunday 24, with a host of activities taking place to mark the occasion.
A large number of Alumni were given a tour of the grounds to see their old haunts and witness the changes that have transpired at the school since their departure, and a number of pupils were on hand to answer any questions the returning visitors had during the walk-round.
An exciting new addition to the schedule saw the Old Boys’ challenge our first XI Hockey side, and the Alumni managed to secure a comfortable victory to get their hands in the inaugural trophy.
The Natalie Kate Moss trophy was up for grabs as the Old Girls’ took on the school’s First VII and XI netball and hockey teams for the coveted honour, and the returning group managed to triumph after a pair of hugely competitive contests.
Those with a taste for all things music were treated to a Choir Workshop, which was run by Director of Music Pete Williams and the Rydal Penrhos Community Choir.
Attention then turned to the 1990s reunion dinner at St George’s Hall, where those in attendance were treated to a lavish three-course meal and danced the night away to music from the era.
Sunday brought with it the highly-anticipated Vikings clash between rugby stars past and present, and the veterans managed to make it a clean sweep of trophies from the weekend with a hard fought victory.
Host of events to mark return
Boarding Houses brought in the new academic year in style with a series of individual trips.
Netherton boarding pupils’ proved they have a head for heights after pushing their limits at the Beacon Climbing Centre in the heart of Snowdonia, which is the largest venue of its kind in the region.
During the day staff and pupils got the chance to take in activities such as Bouldering, Crazy Climbing challenges and the more advanced high rope climbing.
The competitive spirit situated within Hathaway House was evident during their visit to the Apextrak Go-Karting venue in Deeside, where
After a highly exciting series of races, Director of Sport Mr Boyd emerged victorious, and Edwards boarders’ were also treated to a visit to the Deeside Ice Skating Rink for a fun-filled afternoon.
The following day saw each boarding house compete against one another in the annual Inter-Boarding Sports Competition, and this was followed be a special Boarders’ Barbecue to reward each pupil fort their exceptional attitude and application throughout the weekend.
Mr Cashell, said: “This was a fantastic way for our new boarding pupils to become more familiar with their housemates, and for our returning pupils to acclimatise themselves once again with life at the school.
“Our staff do a wonderful job of ensuring that each pupil gets maximum enjoyment from their boarding school experience, and I would like to thank them for their continued dedication.”
Distinction at West End stage school
Ruby James earned a Distinction for her fantastic work with West End Stage, which is regarded as the top summer school of its kind in the country for young people aged eight to 21.
The passionate pupil was inspired to apply after a number of Dramatic Society performances under the guidance of Head of Drama and English Mrs Crimes in 2016, as she has continued to develop her craft with the programme this summer.
Throughout the week, Ruby joined other students at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama, where notorious actors such as Ewan McGregor, Daniel Craig and Orlando Bloom all trained.
She was put through her paces in Singing, Dance and Drama, as well as receiving specific industry based workshops, led by West End stars with a plethora of experience.
The group also got the chance to experience a West End musical in person, and rounded off their time at the school with their own performance, and she was awarded with the highest mark possible for her exceptional commitment throughout the week.
West End Stage gives young people from all over the UK the chance to perform at Her Majesty’s Theatre in the heart of the West End, home to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera.
Speech & Drama
Twenty pass LAMDA exams in style
No fewer than 19 pupils came away with hugely impressive final results from their London Academy of Dramatic Art examinations, which they sat prior to the summer break.
The Lower Sixth Form pair of Miles Poller and Grace Ormerod managed to attain their Silver Medal in Acting, with the former receiving a Distinction for his efforts.
Year 11 pupils Zhara Shamsi and Holly Battersby were awarded a Merit from their Grade 5 assessment, and Niamh Hall achieved a superb final mark of 97 to gain a Distinction in her Grade 4 exam. Ethan Davies and Harry Hackman secured a Merit at the same level. Amanda Sperring led the Year 10 achievements with a Distinction in her Grade 4 test, while Anna Parry-Williams was awarded a Merit. Another from the same year group to achieve success was Alicia Zhou, who passed her Grade 3 Acting with Distinction.
There was further cause for celebration in the form of Year 9 trio Bella Rutherford, Josh Peevor and Beau Holden, who all successfully obtained a Distinction from their Grade 4 exam, and Sophie Williams managed to gain a Merit at the same level of difficulty. Shruthi Ganapathi sealed a Distinction in her Grade 3 assessment, with Isobal Rogerson, Ellen Jones and Pip Thomas all achieving Merits. Rounding off the triumphs were Lili Northcott and Sophie Madden, who achieved a Merit and Distinction at Grade 4 and 2 respectively.
Achievements of former pupils
Two former Rugby Academy stars made their presence felt in the Principality Premiership.
Dan Owen and Adam Sabri, who left the school this summer after successfully completing their A-level studies, turned out for RGC and Newport respectively and were huge contributing factors in their success.
Welsh U18 international Owen, who is about to embark on his further education journey at Aberystwyth University where he will study Agriculture, produced a stunning display during the Gogs’ 32-24 win over Aberavon at Stadiwm Zip World, which saw him power over for the first senior try of his career.
He was also recognised for his sensational performance with the Man of the Match award.
There was further cause for celebration in the form of former Head Boy Sabri, who was given his first start by the Amber and Blacks in their 27-25 triumph at Ebbw Vale.
The Dentistry student at the University of Cardiff made his debut count with a number of penetrating runs which were the catalyst behind their victory.
Both were members of the Rydal Penrhos Rugby Academy, which is run in partnership with RGC and the Welsh Rugby Union and has seen a host of top flight and international players emerge from the programme.
Mr Boyd, said: “Both Dan and Adam are going to have glittering careers thanks to their incredible talent and work ethic, and to be not only playing in the Premiership but to be making a huge impression is no mean feat."
Dr Alan Nicholas Chantler, who attended Rydal School, was presented with his Order of Australia Award “for service to computer science, particularly as a contributor to the development in security concepts and methodology, and as an educator”.
He said: “I'm humbled, I feel privileged for the recognition.
"This recognition is also a recognition of all the people who have given me opportunities and allowed me to do things and achieve things."
The old Rydalian arrived in Australia in 1973 and after qualifying as a teacher from the University of Queenslan, he went on to become an Education Officer with the Australian Regular Army from 1981-1993.
During this time he also worked with the Australian Intelligence Corps after developing a hobby of monitoring Russian imagery satellite with home-built equipment.
Dr Chantler stayed in the active reserves whilst lecturing at Queensland University of Technology and the Defence Intelligence Training Centrem and completed a PhD on the subject of computer hackers in 1996.
From 2001 he worked with the United Nations for three years in Kosovo to rebuild information and communications technology which had been devastated by war.
Suzy Drane, who plays for Celtic Dragons , has been selected to lead the Welsh charge at the Netball Europe Open Championships, which will take place at the Sport Wales National Centre in Cardiff between Thursday, October 5 and Sunday 8.
The talented athlete, who is also a lecturer in Sport Development and Performance Sport at Cardiff Metropolitan University, will be hoping to put her experience to good use and help the 15-strong squad continue their impressive list of recent tournament performances.
Drane recently returned to her roots to provide Rydal Penrhos and Coleg Llandrillo hopefuls with a special master class as part of Cardiff Met’s North Wales recruitment afternoon, and she was also part of the school’s coaching staff on their tour to Greece.
Wales are currently ranked eighth in the world and they will be taking on England, Northern Ireland and Scotland, and Cardiff will also welcome Fiji’s national netball team the Fijian Pearls for the very first time, who currently hold seventh place in the rankings.
Mr Boyd, said: “Welsh netball has gone from strength-to-strength under Suzy’s leadership in her role as captain, and hopefully this will continue at the Europe Open Championships.
“She has also been hugely influential on our pupils in recent months, and her achievements continue to be a great source of inspiration to our young athletes in all areas of sport.”
An Armed Forces veteran claimed a podium finish at the Invictus Games in Toronto.
Flt Lt Nathan Jones, who left the school in 2001, is part of the Great Britain side competing at the games, which is an international Paralympic-style multi-sport event in which wounded, injured or sick armed services personnel and their associated veterans take part in sports.
After crashing out on the final corner when leading during the 2016 event, Jones more than made up for this disappointment by claiming a silver medal in the Men’s Road Cycling IRB3 Final.
This is the second time in as many years that the athlete has made the podium, having secured a bronze medal in the 50 metre backstroke at last year’s event in Orlando.
The former international skier and rugby player was involved in a flying accident while serving as a Royal Force Air Force pilot at Camp Bastion, which resulted in a broken back.
After extensive rehabilitation, Flt Jones has been left with nerve damage and partial paralysis of his calves. Although he is now unable to take part in his specialised sports of rugby and skiing due to their high impact nature, the son of ex-teacher Ken won a series of competitive skiing titles after competing for six months following the injury.
Rob Hall, who left the school in 2011, is currently touring the United States with the Llandudno four-piece, who are the chief support for iconic rock band Green Day on their landmark Revolution Radio tour.
The indie band, who secured number one in the UK Album Chart earlier this year with their second release The Ride, have played at a number of large arenas throughout the 24-date tour including the Oakland Coliseum, the Holywood Casino Ampitheatre and AT&T Centre in Texas.
A review from Chris Conde, who writes for the San Antonio Current, said: “Starting the evening at the AT&T Center were British rock band Catfish and The Bottlemen. The band seemed pretty stoked to be on tour with Green Day and throughout their five-song set kept thanking the crowd for being there as well as the band for letting them open.
“The sound of the Wales four-piece had a distinct alt-'90s rock vibe but would transition into these mini post-rock intervals with echoing guitar reverb and interesting drum breaks from the talented Bob Hall.”
The tour concludes on Wednesday, September 13 when they take the stage at the Sleep Train Amphitheatre in Chula Vista, California.
Mr Williams, said: “To be invited to perform alongside one of the most successful bands in history just shows how far Catfish and the Bottlemen have come in such a short space of time, and it is fantastic to see Rob doing so well on the international stage.”
School makes top 100 list
We have been named as one of the top schools in the country by a leading cricket magazine.
The Cricketer has placed Rydal Penrhos in their top 100 schools in Britain after being selected from 500 applicants to feature in the November issue entitled “The Playing Fields of England: An A-Z Guide to the Summer Game’s Top 100 Schools”, which will appear both in-print and online.
Mr Boyd, said: “This is a tremendous honour and one that I hope will be very beneficial to the school.
“We are working hard at to give potential sporting stars the best platform to help them fulfil their potential, and it is fantastic to see the hard work we have put in throughout the year recognised by such a respected magazine such as The Cricketer.”
It has been a hugely busy year for the department, which recently became the North Wales hub for the prestigious Marylebone Cricket Club Foundation.
The MCC will fund three coaches for 25 two-hour sessions at the school for under 13 and 15 players, which equates to a session every week in the off season, with Menai Bridge duo Dion Holden and Jack Gower leading the programme alongside Mr Boyd.
The school has also invested in an outdoor nets area which is currently under construction, and high-profile visitors throughout the year include former England international Gareth Barry and cricketing icon Andrew Flintoff.
Latest news from our gifted athletes
Tom Hughes came away with three separate honours from Prestatyn Cricket Club’s annual Presentation Evening, which was held last month.
The 13-year-old, who has been put forward for county trials as a result of the standard of his play with both bat and ball, scooped the U13 Player of the Season Award after averaging 25 at the crease, which also produced eight unbeaten scores.
He was also the recipient of the U13 Batsman of the Year and the Rising Star Award for his exceptional performances, which also saw the pupil take 12 wickets in 14 games.
Coach Paul Wiggin, said: “Tom is a focused player that gives 100 per cent to achieve the highest standard he can. He always wants to learn and listen to all the coaching he is given.”
Mr Leach, added: “Tom has progressed considerably throughout the season with both the school side and Prestatyn, and this is testament to the exceptional commitment he has shown to improving all areas of his game."
Chay Bonnington, a Year 8 pupil at the school, was named as the top U14 Boy at the Anglo-Welsh Ski Championships, which were held at the Chill Factore in Manchester.
The 12-year-old produced a number of impressive runs down the indoor slope to claim the crown, which is one of a host that the pupil has achieve since taking up the sport at an early age.
The talented skier will look to continue his fine form at the North Wales Ski Championships tomorrow (Thursday, September 14) at Plas y Brenin, with the pupil aiming to make a significant contribution in the hope of qualifying for the national finals.
Mr Boyd, said: “Chay has a long list of achievements to his name despite his tender age, which bodes extremely well in terms of what he can achieve in the future.
“Our skiing programme has received a very positive response from our pupils and has also brought with it a great deal of success, which is testament to the hard work put in by programme leader Dave Robson.
“Chay is a key component of the squad and hopefully this latest competition win will be the catalyst for another strong year on the slopes.”
Adrian Lewis, a Year 10 pupil at the school, was part of the Golf Academy team that travelled to Edinburgh for the annual ISGA Scottish Open on Monday, September 18.
The 14-year-old produced a number of impressive shots on the difficult Kingsacre course, and his superb showing earned the pupil a seventh place finish in the individual net competition, which featured more than 80 of the brightest young talents in the country.
There was further success in the form of Charley Simpson and Reuben Bather, who continued their fine season with a top 15 finish in the pairs’ event
The trio were also key components in Rydal Penrhos defeating Denstone College in the first round of the HMC Foursomes North competition, and they will take on Oswestry School in the next round this week.
Welsh international Reuben made light work of his opponent in an 8 and 7 win, which was followed up by Charley securing a 3 and 2 triumph.
Adrian held his nerve to claim a final hole victory in dramatic fashion to round off another successful outing for the Academy, which has gone from strength-to-strength in recent months.
Charley Simpson, a Year 8 pupil at the school, added to his list of recent achievements with a high finish at the ISGA Radley Putter Championship, which was held at Radley College on Sunday, September 10.
The golf scholar produced a number of exceptional strokes throughout what was a promising opening round of 33, and he improved on this performance during the afternoon round where he managed to produce a score of 28.
This left the 12-year-old with a tied sixth final placing in a competition that featured some of the most talented golfers in the country.
This is the latest in a long line of successes for the pupil since his arrival in September 2016, which has brought with it regional and national triumphs in what has been a highly promising career to date.
Mr Boyd, said: “Charley continues to demonstrate immense potential and this performance is another that he can be hugely encouraged by.
“He has shown a tremendous work ethic since arriving with us, which is a good trait to have and will go a long way to ensuring his natural talent is maximised to its full potential.”
Henry Maitland-Davies has been out of action for a number of weeks due to an ankle injury, but made an instant impact on his return to the RGC U18 rugby side.
The scrum-half was named among the replacements for RGC’s clash with Newport Gwent Dragons, and came off the bench to aid his side’s cause with a pair of tries in an impressive outing.
There was further reason for encouragement in Sunday’s clash with Cardiff Blues at Stadiwm Zip World in Colwyn Bay, with Davies started for the first time in since his lay-off and scored the hosts only try of the contest.
It promises to be a huge year for the 17-year-old, who narrowly missed out on the Wales U18 squad last year after reaching the final stages of the trial process and he is hoping to go one better this time around as one of the more senior members of the U18 squad.
Also turning out for the Gogs was fellow pupil Tomos Davies, who also gave a good account of himself in his role as part of the pack in both contests.
Mr Boyd, said: “Henry has worked hard to overcome his injury and this has ensured he has picked up where he left off for RGC.
“He is one of the most talented players in his age category anywhere in the country, and hopefully this will bring with it a great deal of success in his final year with the school and our Academy, which is run in partnership with RGC and the Welsh Rugby Union.”
We are delighted to announce that Emily Cashell has been appointed Hockey captain for the forthcoming season.
The Upper Sixth Form pupil was given the news at a whole school assembly on Monday, September 11, and she take up the position with immediate effect ahead of a busy term for sides across all age groups.
The 17-year-old is following in the footsteps of sister Hannah, a 2016 leaver who represented Wales at youth level.
Also given leadership roles were Elinor Davies and North Wales squad representative Sammy Sherrington, who were named as Vice Captains and will work closely with Emily in the hope of a successful campaign.
Our first XI will be taking on Eirias High School, Oswestry School and Altrincham Grammar School in the coming weeks, in addition to their recent contests with an Old Girls’ side at the annual Founders’ Weekend clash for the Natalie Moss Shield.
Mr Boyd, said: “Emily is a fantastic choice as captain as she not only is a very talented individual, but also demonstrates the right leadership qualities which we also look for prominently in the role.
“All three will serve as role models to younger members of the school community, and we are confident that they are going to thrive in their respective roles.”
Head Boy Alex Benfield will take up the role of rugby captain for the First XV ahead of a busy term of fixtures for the group.
Working with the skipper will be Harry Dean, who has been given the role of vice-captain after demonstrating significant leadership qualities during his time at the school.
The new captain, who is also Rydal Penrhos’ Head Boy for the academic year, will be looking to put his experience to good use to aid what is a very talented team which has been further boosted with the additions of RGC U18s player Tomos Davies, Welsh rugby league international Will Lynch and Pwllheli standout Jan Lotter.
Talented forward Harry, who has represented Chester Rugby Club at senior level, is a strong personality with a tremendous attitude and the pair were part of the school side that took part in a pre-season festival at King’s School Macclesfield.
Mr Boyd, said: “Alex and Harry have shown the right qualities since being part of the side to thrive in their respective roles.
“Not only are they popular members of the school community, but they both lead by example both on their field and in the classroom.”
Josh Manning is now ranked number one sailor in the country after achieving the feat at the RYA Welsh Zone Championship Regatta.
Together with RS Feva partner and Pwllheli Sailing Club teammate Lucy Hughes, they managed to claim a notable double from the event which has propelled them to first place in the Welsh rankings after a highly consistent campaign on the water.
After a highly competitive weekend of action, Josh and Lucy emerged victorious in the General Fleet Handicap Race, with fellow pupils Eddie and Kevin Farrell finishing in a creditable sixth position.
This result also ensured they secured the Overall Fleet in what has been an exceptional season for the Welsh RS Feva squad member, who recently received a £500 grant from the Royal Yacht Association which enabled him to make significant improvements to his boat.
A number of other sailing squad members were also in action, with Felix Corson (15th), Llion Morris (17th), Christian Cheesley (22nd) and Zac Hay (23rd) all giving a good account of themselves in the Topper Main Fleet.
No fewer than eight pupils came away with notable finishes at the RYA Bala Onboard event.
Year 7 pupil Llion Morris continued his exceptional season on the water by emerging victorious from the RYA North Wales Festival Topper Gold Fleet event, with fellow pupil Felix Corson close behind in second.
Aidan Skinner produced another fine performance to come away with a fourth placed finish, while the Prep School trio of Fflur Pierce, Freddie MacLaverty and Keira Luke crossed the line in fifth, sixth and tenth respectively.
There was yet more success for the school’s squad in the Regatta event, which saw a one-two finish from Zac Hay and Isabel Rogerson to round off yet another fantastic event from the talented group.
Mr Boyd, said: “Our sailing squad has demonstrated their immense promise throughout the summer, which is thanks in no small part to the dedication of Max Todd and his staff and they are to be congratulated for their continued efforts.
“Llion has enjoyed a very busy summer and his passion for sailing is matched only by his determination to succeed, and we are excited to see how he develops further when he makes the transition from prep to senior school this year.”
Josh Lynch and Sam Bixby were part of the RGC West U15 squad that took on RGC East at Bangor Rugby Club last week, and the duo produced strong efforts to contribute to their seven tries to four victory.
They will now begin training with the squad on Monday evenings in the hope of further success in the future and add to the impressive list of RGC success stories that have emanated from Rydal Penrhos in recent years.
Loose head prop Sam, who represents Bangor, gave a very good account of himself during his time on the field, with the 14-year-old also recently winning the Most Improved Cricketer award after a fine season in school colours.
Outside centre Josh, who is also part of the Sale Sharks Rugby Player Development programme, is part of the Bethesda set-up and also turned in a highly encouraging display despite being one of the younger members of the squad.
Mr Boyd, said: “Both Josh and Sam have shown significant development for both school and club in recent months, and they are thoroughly deserving of their squad selection.
“We have had an enormous amount of success with our RGC Rugby Academy partnership, which has brought a number of internationals and many graduates are still involved in the senior squad as they continue to establish themselves as an elite force in the Principality Premiership.”
Teddy Roberts, a Year 10 pupil at the school, has been rewarded for a highly successful return to the pool after an eight month absence with a call-up to the Swim Wales Skills Academy Squad for the 2017/18 season.
The 14-year-old caught the eye of selectors thanks to a triumphant return at the Welsh Summer National Championships, which saw the pupil re-establish himself as the number one 100 metre butterfly swimmer nationally in his age category.
He also received further recognition for his efforts in the form of a congratulatory letter from Aberconwy Assembly Member Janet Finch-Saunders.
She wrote: “It is with upmost admiration that I write to congratulate you (Teddy) on your triumph at the Welsh Summer National Championships.
“The magnitude of these achievements is apparent when considering that you are now placed third in the national 100m freestyle rankings, and first in the 100m butterfly. More so, I believe that all this was achieved after an eight month periods out of the pool.
“Evidently, you are extremely talented, and have the potential to have a successful professional career as a competitive swimmer. Good luck!”
Mr Ruszkowski, said: “This is fantastic news and is sure to aid Teddy’s development considerably.
“He has an enormous amount of potential in a number of disciplines and if he continues to show the right commitment to improving then the next few months for Teddy will be very exciting indeed.”
Zach Speakman, a Year 10 pupil at the school, has achieved his pre-season target after earning a call-up to the Welsh National Youth Squad.
The 14-year-old was named as part of the set-up after earning a top 15 UK ranking in the 200 metre Individual Medley, confirming his status as one of the most talented young swimmers anywhere in the country.
It has been another outstanding campaign from the sports scholar, with the pupil turning in another standout effort at the Welsh Summer National Championships last month.
Zach produced another memorable performance to come away with one gold, one silver and one bronze from the event, which showcased the best swimming talent throughout Wales.
Mr Ruszkowski, said: “I have been a huge admirer of the way Zach has applied himself throughout the season, and nobody deserves this national squad selection more than him.
“He has demonstrated a tremendous work ethic and has plenty of scope to improve even further, which he is sure to do now he is part of the Welsh set-up.
“Everyone is thrilled with this selection and hopefully we have just scratched the surface in terms of what Zach can achieve in the future.”