Rydal Penrhos newsletter
Foreword from the Headmaster
Christmas Day, the turkey and presents already seem such a long time ago but it's a joy to now read and recall the many varied and wonderful events of the final month of the Autumn Term.
The Autumn Term is the longest and arguably most challenging of the three Terms and yet even in those final 15 days our pupils were achieving so much in so many areas of school life. It was reassuring to see academic progress continue right up until the end of term and from the touchline it was encouraging to see the pupils push their tired bodies to the limit, one final time in 2017, for the honour of the School.
However, I'm sure those of you in attendance would agree that the Christmas Carol Services and Concerts were certainly the highlight of the month and I include, in that too, the Inter-House singing.
The standard of performances were fantastic and when, perhaps, it wasn't quite as fantastic passion and enthusiasm more than compensated. Our pupils' singing, public speaking and instrument playing really can be of the highest order and we owe Mr Pete Williams and Rev. Sissons a deep debt of gratitude for organising and inspiring such performances when even they may have had half an eye on the approaching holidays.
December 2017 will in my mind be remembered as the month when we saw, even more so than usual, that Rydal Penrhos gets the balance between the academic and non-academic, the mass-participation and the elite, and the individual and the collective success that should make us all truly proud and optimistic about what lies ahead in 2018.
Blwyddyn newydd dda.
Festive spirit on display
The much-anticipated Inter-House Christmas Singing competition took place on Thursday, December 15, which saw Wesley, Osborn, Payne and Morgan compete for vital House points.
Also up for grabs was the coveted first in the queue for Christmas dinner, and after a highly entertaining showcase Wesley came out on top with their rendition of Hark! The Herald Angels Sing.
Close behind in second spot were Osborn with a superb festive medley, with stunning solo efforts from Head Girl Olivia Williams, Zahra Shamsi, Isabel Bateson and Caitriona Searl.
Morgan managed to avoid the wooden spoon in Paul Sanders’ last performance as Head of House to claim third spot, which left Payne in fourth position.
As always, no Christmas Singing competition would have been complete without a surprise contribution from the staff, which also featured a hilarious rapping Santa in the form of Duke of Edinburgh co-ordinator Dr Lewis.
Mr Williams, who judged the competition, said: “The standard, as always, was incredibly high and full credit goes to each house for their outstanding performances."
A large congregation descended on St John’s Church on Thursday, December 14 for the annual Carol Service, which is the last formal engagement at the school before the highly anticipated Christmas break.
There were a host of songs to enjoy throughout the performance, which were sang superbly by the audience and Rydal Penrhos Choir.
The audience also enjoyed a special sermon from the Reverend Rob Beamish, who was the special guest at the service, while Rev’d Sissons and Headmaster Mr Smith also spoke to the congregation.
There was also a reading from Gill Wilkinson from charity Action for Children, who visited the school once again to pick up presents that had been donated by pupils, staff and parents as part of their annual campaign to help those less fortunate.
Rev'd Sissons, said: “There was a real sense of togetherness at the event, which was impeccably observed by pupils and staff alike.
“We would like to offer our sincerest thanks to Rev’d Beamish Mrs Wilkinson for taking time out of her busy Christmas schedule to take part in the service, which is a poignant reminder to what the season really is all about."
Hundreds raised for Ty Gobaith
More than £800 was raised for a Conwy children’s hospice from our annual Christmas Market.
The school hosted the third annual extravaganza on Friday, December 8, and it was organised by a charity committee consisting of Sixth Form pupils in aid of Ty Gobaith Children’s Hospice in Conwy.
There was a huge turnout of pupils, staff and members of the public, with plenty to enjoy throughout the three-hour event.
A host of stalls were on offer in the Memorial Hall, with everything you could need for a last minute Christmas gift for a friend or loved one.
In addition there was also a Santa’s Grotto, with Head of Design and Technology Phil Sutton playing the role of Father Christmas for the evening.
The market was kept entertained throughout by the Rydal Penrhos band, which consisted of staff and pupils who played festive songs to keep people entertained.
The total was aided by the Friends of Rydal Penrhos Committee, who organised a special raffle at the market featuring a number of superb prizes.
Mr Cashell, said: “This takes out total to more than £3,000 from the three Christmas Markets we have held in aid of Ty Gobaith, which is a truly outstanding effort by our Sixth Form Charity Committee."
Term's achievements noted
We send our best wishes to our Oxbridge candidates who have recently been at interview and should find out if they have an offer in the New Year; Ben Gibson (History), Eric Zhao (Land Economy), Vivia Li and Linda Wang (Mathematics).
Another busy term in the Design and Technology department with the Year 8 first Lego League team and the year 10 4x4 in schools’ team have been finalising their designs ready for the Regional Finals in January.
The introduction of 3D Fusion has seen the 3D printers working flat out without breaking down.
There have been several firsts this term, including the use of concrete as a design material and addition of a MIG welder seeing sparks fly from the Year 12 and 13's.
Mrs Gardener would like to offer particular congratulations to Sten Lai and Brona Richardson for their exceptionally creative work during Food Styling Workshop and to Josh Peevor and Carmen Hurtado De Amezaga De La Lastra for their great effort in Year 9 pizza-making competition.
Geographers have been active around and about; the Upper Sixth taking in the Nant Ffrancon valley and the delights of the Till Fabric analysis at Aber Ogwen and Aberlleiniog.
If you want to know what it is, ask our budding Geologists/Geographers Sam Randall and Josh Meyerathken.
Year 10 have looked at some interesting flood defences in Llanrwst and some of Year 9 are looking forward to heading to Malham in March not to mention Year 11 to the Lakes in April! Fieldwork is a very important and integral part of Geography and we like to get out in the fresh air as often as possible and put what we have learned in the classroom in perspective.
In science this term we have had a Scientific Society lecture at the start of term by Rev’d Prof David Wilkinson discussing are we alone in the Universe. Biology and Physics Sixth Form trips to lectures in Manchester and last week we had former pupil Alex Bytheway coming in to give a Scientific Society lecture titled “From Alchemy to Chemistry”.
This has been a very busy but successful term in the Maths department. It all started with “The Mathematical Olympiad for girls” where we entered five of our strongest female mathematicians in the Sixth Form and four of them achieved a certificate of distinction. They were Emily Li, Linda Wang, Vivia Li and Imogen Camp.
We then had the UKMT Senior individual challenge where this year we entered 28 pupils who between them achieved 20 certificates. Seven Golds, eight Silver and five Bronze. We also had two qualify for the British Mathematical Olympiad and five have qualified for the Senior Kangaroo.
We then moved on to the UKMT senior team challenge. Our team was made up of two Year 13 girls, Linda Wang and Emily Li and two Year 12 girls, Caitlin Qu and Imogen Camp. The girls worked very well together through three tough rounds. The team scored a total of 160 out of a possible 180 and secured the first place title. We will now travel down to London on February 6 for the National final.
Clay making draws praise
Over this term the pupils have been working through a number of drawing exercises concerned with proportion, perspective and ellipses.
The pupils then all created a box with squares drawn onto the background. By putting their own objects into the box they have been able to use the background squares as a way of getting the objects drawn accurately, almost like plotting a graph. This a technique artists’ use all the time; using the background to help get the objects in proportion and drawn correctly. The Italian artist Morandi was a master painter and etcher of still life objects and we have been following some of his techniques quite closely. Not many people are aware that Morandi became so obsessed with drawing the objects and the space around them that he even started to make his own vases and clay vessels so that he could have more control over what he was drawing. I decided this year not to introduce the pupils to Morandi immediately as his work can seem a bit simplistic or cold on an initial viewing. But I hope that by introducing them to his way of working they will appreciate his skill, technique and concerns more readily when we look at his etchings. The pupils have spent the last few weeks making their own clay vessels (like Morandi) that they can eventually put in their own boxes and continue to draw. Mr Bonser, our technician and I spent time rolling out clay and storing it in preparation for the lessons. They were then given a quick five-minute demonstration in rolling and slab build and joining the clay before being let loose!
They were given no constraints or instructions as to what the object should look like, or how it should be decorated. Only that it should be joined in a certain way and have a base. Everyone did a small version (that they will eventually draw in their box) and some pupils went on to make a larger scale version once that had gained some confidence.
The results have been surprising and very varied. It have been heartening to see individual personality coming out with the modelling- some pupils cutting the clay or folding it- others using their fingers or a wet sponge. Some worked in a very organic manner allowing the clay to behave as it wanted, often curling or leaning. Other pupils were more controlling and wanted a more upright or conventional shape. We hid the first group work from each new group so that the students would approach the task with the same freshness, imagination and individuality.
Sixth Former starts own business
Emily Li has created an online platform for overseas students thinking of studying in either the United Kingdom or the United States of America, which enables them to find out more about what to expect and offers guidance in a number of areas in order to achieve their goal.
The prominent features of the platform include interview processes and techniques, entrance exam information, in addition to advice on living abroad and adapting to life in a different culture.
The 17-year-old is also offering English lessons to ready those using the platform further ahead of a possible education abroad.
She said: “I came up with this plan of building up a platform for them (students) to access information. With my Economics and Finance knowledge, I soon developed this business plan, and persuaded three other partners with amazing academic background to join the project.
“The preparation stage involved adopting the technology of the online platform, establishing our own entrance tests and interview questions bank, producing my Economics and Literature channel and so on. We are planning to open the platform to public in late December.”
The ambitious Sixth Former has enjoyed an enormous amount of success during her time at Rydal Penrhos, having achieved a host of honours as part of the British Mathematical Olympiad squad.
She is hoping to study at the London School of Economics next year ahead of a potential career within the industry.
“The project confirmed my future choice of working with Economics and Finance,” added Emily.
UKMT Senior Challenge success
Seven pupils from the school either qualified for the UK Maths Trust’s British Olympiad or Kangaroo tests as a result of their super performance during the organisations Senior Challenge, and all candidates took their respective papers on Friday, December 1.
The Upper Sixth Form duo of Emily Li and Linda Wang, who were part of Rydal Penrhos’ winning Senior Team Challenge foursome, qualified for the British Mathematical Olympiad after achieving a score of more than 104 from the original paper.
Around 1,000 invitations to the BMO’s first round, and the gruelling paper lasts three and a half hours and contains six complex and involved mathematical problems for which full written solutions are required.
There was further success as five pupils sat the Senior Kangaroo after obtaining scores of more than 86 from their initial challenge.
Year 13 pupils Eric Zhao and Vivia Li were two of the group, with Alex Sorokin (Y12) and Rune Jeremie (Y11) also making it through to the Kangaroo stage.
Juan Rajagopal also managed to secure enough points to sit the kangaroo paper, despite being a Year 9 pupil sitting an exam designed for Sixth Formers.
Mrs Williams, said: “Our Mathematics department has been a source of some incredible achievements in recent weeks, and hopefully this trend will continue in both the British Olympiad and Kangaroo stages of the UKMT competition.”
Six gain Headmaster's Prize
The Headmaster’s Prizes were awarded to six pupils in varying year groups, which are presented to those that have made a lasting impression during another extremely busy start to the academic year across all departments.
Head Girl Olivia Williams and Emily Cashell were awarded the accolade for their fantastic work in organising the annual Christmas Market, which managed to raise more than £800 for Ty Gobaith Children’s Hospice in Conwy.
Also receiving the prize were the Upper Sixth Form duo of Ben Gibson and Elinor Davies, who have recently implemented a fortnightly school newspaper entitled The RePorter.
Rounding off the awards were Year 11 pupil Kathleen Cheesley and Year 9 pupil Emily Penwright, who also secured the prize for their exceptional contribution to life throughout Rydal Penrhos during another successful term.
Headmaster Mr Smith presented the awards at the school’s End of Term Prizegiving Assembly on Thursday, December 14.
Each year, Year 11 pupils who scored very highly in their GCSE examinations may be awarded an Honorary Academic scholarship as a result of their achievements.
This year’s this honour was bestowed on Ewan Luke, Imogen Camp and Nicholas Fiorita, and they were presented with their recognition at Rydal Penrhos’ end of term Prizegiving Assembly on Thursday, December 14.
National Chess champion Imogen gained seven A* grades in Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Home Economics, Mathematics Physics and Religious Studies, while also managing to secure a Distinction in her Additional Mathematics, an A in German (Second Language) and two eight marks in English (First Language) and English Literature in accordance with the newly introduced grading system.
Ewan recorded five A* grades in Biology, Geography, Physics, Mathematics and Religious Studies, while also scoring As in Business Studies, Chemistry and Physical Education. He also achieved a seven grade in English (First Language) and a Distinction from Additional Mathematics.
Rounding off the honorary Academic Scholarships was Nicholas, who achieved eight A* grades in Biology, Chemistry, Geography, Home Economics, Italian, Mathematics, Physics and Religious Studies, while also attaining a B in German.There was yet more success for the pupil with an eight grade in English (First Language) and a seven grade in English Literature, in addition to securing a Distinction in Additional Mathematics efforts.
Nineteen hard-working pupils from various age groups were awarded with Attainment Prizes, and they received their recognition from Headmaster Simon Smith at the school’s end of term Prizegiving Assembly on Thursday, December 14.
Melissa Vos, Kosi Iwobi and George Watkins were the Year 7 pupils presented with the honour, while the Year 8 trio of Ethan Bytheway, Gregor Perry and Dominic Vos also came away with the accolade.
In Year 9, Arthur Hind and Maths sensation Juan Rajagopal were the lucky recipients of the award, with Year 10 produced two winners in the form of Richard Wolfendale and Vanessa Ma.
Tallulah Batley, Edward Farrell and Millie Collins were the Year 11 pupils that gained awards, and the Lower Sixth produced two prizes courtesy of the fantastic contributions of Gowri Pradeep and Imogen Camp.
Rounding off the successes were the Upper Sixth quartet of Emily Li, Vivia Li, Sara Owen and Amy Cole-King.
Twenty pupils from across all year groups were presented with Effort Prizes for their Academic commitment throughout the autumn, and they received their recognition at the school’s Prizegiving Assembly on Thursday, December 14.
Caitriona Searl was the solitary Year 7 pupil that picked up an award, while the Year 8 pair of James Copeland and Henry Battersby were also selected for the honour.
Year 8 saw four pupils achieve the feat in the form of Hannah Davies, Shruthi Ganapathi, Megan Gibson and Niamh Smith, with Year 10’s Alicia Zhou also acknowledged with an effort prize.
Raha Aminnejad, Niamh Hall and Bijou Rajagopal were the Year 11 trio awarded with the distinction, and the Lower Sixth Form had five winners in Malina Keil, Lennart Paulsen, Ruby James, Grace Ormerod and Caitlin Qu.
Rounding off the successes were the Upper Sixth quartet of Saxon Cowley, Jenny Johnson, Luca Leggieri and Deputy Head Girl Olivia Rogerson.
Year 7 present gift to Merton Place
Caring pupils brought some festive cheer to residents of a Colwyn Bay care home.
The Year 7 group visited five Merton Place Residential Home residents over a number of weeks, and found out more about their lives before they arrived at the facility.
Following their chats, the groups made special memory books for each resident, detailing their lives, likes and dislikes, important moments and fond memories.
Mr Cashell, together with the pupils, presented them to each resident on Wednesday, December 6.
This is the latest in a series of community initiatives organised by Rydal Penrhos over the festive period, which include charity events and singing at a number of venues including Merton Place.
Mr Cashell, said: “Both I and our pupils have found the experience very rewarding and they have also written some reflections, which I am looking forward to reading.
“I would like to thank Eleri Williams and the residents of Merton Place for taking the time to speak to our pupils, and making them feel so welcome.
“We were humbled by some of the stories they told and the experience was a fantastic one. I have thanked the pupils for their work this half term preparing the Memory books and for the way they have ‘handled’ a challenging experience and I would be glad for you to celebrate this with them too.”
Xmas Concert & Grading triumphs
The school held its annual Christmas Concert on Wednesday, December 6, which featured performances from staff, pupils and the Community Choir.
Also featuring heavily were the Rydal Penrhos choir, orchestra and jazz band, with Miles Poller, Eddie Farrell and Ben Gibson showcasing their talents in the first half of the concert with solo efforts.
The second half took on a different form this year, with all songs based around the legendary tale of Ebeneezer Scrooge the Musical, with Director of Music Pete Williams directing his version of the classic tale at Theatr Clwyd in Colwyn Bay earlier this year.
Contributions came from Amy Yue, Miles Poller, Niamh Smith, Hannah Davies, in addition to the outstanding vocal quartet of Tegid Goodman-Jones, Darcie Harker-Weston, Zahra Shamsi and Eleanor Osbourne.
A number of teachers also performed in the form of Richard Davies, Leah Crimes, Mike Pender, Pete Lavery and Paul Sanders.
Mr Williams, said: “It was a fantastic occasion and I would like to thank all who contributed to making this year’s Christmas Concert a huge success.
“I have a huge amount of musical talent to work with here at Rydal Penrhos, and they all give up a great deal of their own time to ensure their potential is maximised and events such as this just show how much their commitment is paying dividends.”
A host of talented musicians have been acknowledged for their exceptional application with music grading success.
The four pupils all secured impressive marks from their recent Grade 4 Music Theory Assessment, which were administered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music.
Leading the way was Lower Sixth Form pupil Gowri Pradeep, who produced a flawless effort to emerge with a Distinction.
There was further cause for celebration in the form of Llywelyn Cowell and Kevin Farrell, who manage attained a Merit from their gradings, while the pair of Zhara Shamsi and Suhas Shekar also passed the difficult test.
All five will now begin working with Director of Music Pete Williams and his dedicated staff in the hope of gaining further accolades in the future.
Mr Williams, said: “This was a fantastic set of results and congratulations go to Gowri, Llywelyn, Kevin, Zhara and Suhas on their Music Theory assessment successes.
“They have worked very hard in the lead-up to their respective grading’s, and this was rewarded with a superb set of results."
Caitriona Searl managed to achieve three separate accolades from the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music as a rewarded for her preparation in the lead-up to the exams.
The 11-year-old demonstrated her knowledge of the subject by passing her Grade 5 Music Theory exam, while also gaining a Merit in her Grade 3 Piano assessment.
She rounded off her triumphs with a Merit in her Grade Two Harp exam after impressing adjudicators throughout.
Father John Searl, said: “Undertaking all three exams in such close proximity to each other has been challenging, whilst she has been busy in her first term in the senior school.
“Thanks must go to her tutors Mr Alan McGuiness and Mrs Helen Wyn Parry.”
Caitriona has already proved to be a huge asset to the Music department, contributing to events such as the Young Performers’ and Christmas Concerts, in addition to aiding the school’s Choir at a series of event throughout the community.
Alex returns to give Society lecture
Alex Bytheway, who left the school in 2016, is currently studying Chemistry at the University of York and spoke on the topic of ‘Alchemy to Chemistry’ at the Carnegie Room for the latest Scientific Society lecture on Tuesday, December 5.
The ex-pupil will be discussing how alchemists tried to create gold and discover other elements along the way, in addition to speaking on modern day chemistry and how it can be used to save lives.
He also used visual demonstrations in the form of three eye-catching experiments, which wowed the large number of pupils and staff in attendance.
Alex was one of ten Chemistry students at the university that gained a special scholarship for the second year in succession, which is based on academic performance and non-course related chemistry experiences.
The former prefect was praised for his work after winning a place on the prestigious Nuffield Research Project at Bangor University, where he and ex-Head Boy Shaswath Ganapathi beat out more than 400 applicants for the role.
The STEM ambassador for Wales also made it to the final of the National Science and Engineering Competition after impressing judges with his first-round application during his time at Rydal Penrhos, and gave a public talk at the Big Bang Fair which brought thousands of people to the Birmingham NEC.
Lucy gains Panto role
Lucy Jones was part of the Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs pantomime at the Stiwt Theatre in Wrexham.
The 15-year-old will be part of the cast after a successful audition, with the series of performances ran from Saturday, December 9 until Sunday 31.
She has also been part of auditions ahead of the show, which is being produced by LHK Productions.
One of the world’s favourite fairy tales, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs is a show that is set to deliver the same mix of fun and traditional pantomime with a fresh and current twist for which.
It will feature all the iconic songs from the fairy tale and it stars former Eastenders actor Tony Discipline and Big Brother star Mark Byron.
Lucy has plenty of experience on stage that will serve her well over the coming weeks, with the pupil playing a role in the recent Rydal Penrhos Dramatic Society productions of Annie the Musical and To Kill a Mockingbird.
Food & Nutrition
Leiths Academy course revealed
Head of Food and Nutrition Ms Gardener announced that the prestigious Leiths Cookery School’s ‘Introductory Certificate in Food and Wine’ will be available to Sixth Form pupils from September 2018.
Leiths are internationally renowned as a first class cookery school and have trained TV chefs including Lorraine Pascale, Gizzi Erskine and Matt Tebut. Founder Prue Leith is currently judging for the new format ‘Bake Off’ on Channel 4 and has been judging for BBC2 hit show the Great British Menu for a number of years.
The principal techniques taught during the course include; knife skills, meat and vegetable preparation, jointing poultry, filleting fish, roasting, stewing, marinating, steaming, batters, the making of classic stocks and sauces, pasta dishes, the use of gelatine, mousses, tarts, puddings, caramel, various pastries, bread, cake making, decorating and icing. It will also focus on time management, menu planning, healthy eating, tasting wine with food and a Food Safety certificate.
Ms Gardener, said: “I am delighted and proud to be offering the prestigious Leiths Certificate in Food and Wine as an option at Sixth Form. The five-term course teaches a wide variety of practical and professional cookery methods and the basic skills necessary to become confident, capable and efficient cooks. A certificate recognised in the food industry is awarded to those who pass the final examination and continual assessment."
50km run completed
Mr Lavery completed a 50-kilometre run to raise funds for this year’s Annual Fund campaign, which centres around the Ferguson Centre renovation fund where his office is based.
The run took place on Saturday, December 16 and saw Mr Lavery take in sites such as Wembley Stadium, Canary Wharf and Westminster Abbey, will all funds raised will be going towards the Annual Fund, which has been a pupil-led scheme primarily organised by the Upper Sixth Form duo of Anna Richardson and Morgan Roberts.
Mr Lavery, said: “I am really pleased with how it went, and enjoyed the camaraderie of running in a group of three without the pressure of an organised race against the clock. This meant we just had to get round - and we did! Thankfully we managed to judge the pace and fuelling right.
“We pretty much slowed down every six miles to take on food, which worked well. Twenty miles plus was hard, but getting to marathon distance was a good moment psychologically. When you feel the training pay off was a really good feeling. Those early mornings in the wind and rain of North Wales were worth it."
A pouring of messages and donations came in both prior to the run and during, with Mr Lavery documenting his process on Twitter and streamed a portion of it live on Periscope.
“I’m absolutely bowled over by the messages of support and the donations to the Ferguson Centre fund,” added Mr Lavery.
“Thanks so much to everyone that has donated - really looking forward to reaching our target for the pupils. No immediate plans for another big run yet, but I could be tempted.”
Reverse advent for food bank
Rydal Penrhos’ Community Choir held a special festive concert in aid of a regional children’s charity.
The Christmas Carols concert place on Sunday, December 17 at Colwyn Bay Rugby Club, and all proceeds raised will be donated to Happy Faces, who help sick, disabled and disadvantaged children in the North Wales area.
The choir sang a host of carols to get those in attendance into the Christmas spirit, and this is the latest in a series of community events the choir participates in throughout the academic year.
Those in attendance were also able to join in with the carols, in addition to enjoying mulled wine and mince pies throughout.
Andrew Lee, chair of the Rydal Penrhos Society, said: “We had a brilliant turnout and can be very proud of the performance.
“I spoke to quite a few people in the audience and they all said we sounded fab! Thank you so much to Pete (Williams) for leading us as he does, I am so looking forward to him developing us as group next year.
Mr Williams, said: “Our Community Choir do so much fantastic work for the school and the region thanks to the incredible amount of time they dedicate to the group.
“It was fantastic to see so many people turn out to lend their support, and I would like to thank each choir member for the dedication they continue to show to the group.”
Staff members took part in a special initiative in aid of a charitable cause in the region.
This year the school held a Reverse Advent, where collections were made throughout the first two weeks of December until the end of term break-up on Friday, December 15.
Drama and English teacher Miss Earle donated the seven boxes of various items to the Conwy Food Bank last weekend, and they thanked the school for their collection on their Facebook page following the drop-off.
The idea of Reverse Advent is simple; instead of opening the door to a chocolate or picture, you do the giving.
People put aside a donation each day of advent, so they have a collection of goods ready to drop off in time for Christmas.
This is the latest in a series of community and charity initiatives run by Rydal Penrhos over the festive period, which has seen various regional and national causes benefit from a host of initiatives such as the Christmas Market and the Action for Children toy collection.
Mr Cashell, said: “Christmas is a difficult time for many and we strive to help some of the fantastic organisations that are making a real difference in the region and beyond.
“We are very proud of the charity work undertaken by pupils and staff here at Rydal Penrhos, and I would like to thank them all for their tireless efforts.”
News from former pupils
Jonathan Moore, who attended the school from 1993-2000, was chosen as World ParaVolley Technical Delegate for the Tokyo 2020 showcase.
Mr Moore was the successful candidate in the lengthy multi-stage selection process, which ran from late September through mid-November.
In previous Games, the Technical Delegate role typically has fallen to the Sport Director of the Federation, but World ParaVolley decided this time around to shift things up, and choose an individual whose focus would be solely on the games themselves.
The experienced sports events professional has been working for Volleyball England since 2009, and he will be responsible for organised the Sitting Volleyball event.
He was a member of the team that delivered the Volleyball and Sitting Volleyball competitions at London 2012 and has an MSc in Sports Management from Loughborough University.
Mr Moore, said: “I feel privileged and honoured to take on this important role and responsibility for World ParaVolley and look forward to the challenge and opportunity to assist Tokyo 2020 in delivering an outstanding Sitting Volleyball competition for the athletes, officials and spectators.”
Laura Nunez-Mulder, who left the school in 2013, was part of the Cambridge University Women’s side that triumphed in their annual varsity match with rivals Oxford at Twickenham on Thursday, December 7.
The 22-year-old was a prominent figure throughout the 24-0 whitewash victory, which is the second time in three years Cambridge have taken home bragging rights since the inception of the female fixture.
In torrential rain it was the Cambridge side that coped far better with the conditions, and a pair of scores from Jess Gurney and captain Lara Gibson gave them a commanding lead at the interval.
After the break saw Cambridge extend their advantage on 58 minutes when scrum-half Kate Marks crossed the white wash, and Bluebell Nicholls put the exclamation point on proceedings with a touch down of her own on 70 minutes to round off the scoring.
Alice Middleton hit two of her four conversions as Cambridge reclaimed the coveted Varsity trophy they had lost the previous year.
During her time at the school Laura scored an impressive 45 out of 45 in her International Baccalaureate (IB), making her one of only 108 pupils from 127,000 worldwide to achieve the maximum score.
Rob Hall, who left the school in 2011, is a drummer with the indie four-piece that have taken the music scene by storm in recent years, and the group announced via social media they will be headlining This is Tomorrow Festival on May 25 at Spillers Wharf in Newcastle, which will also see Everything Everything, Sam Fender and Little Comets.
They will also be taking to the stage for a landmark performance at Cardiff Castle on July 29, with a number of special guests to be confirmed at a later date.
Tickets for both events will go on sale this Friday from 10am, with further dates set to be announced in the coming weeks.
It has been another hugely successful year for Rob as part of the group, who were invited to support the legendary Green Day on their Radio Revolution tour throughout the United States.
Their second album The Ride reached number one in the UK Album Chart thanks to the cult following they have developed throughout the country, while they have also played at venues in Europe, Japan and Australia in their quest for global dominance.
Welsh netball captain and former pupil Suzy Drane guided the national side to a clean-sweep over Samoa in the Wendy White Series.
The skipper, who has amassed more than 80 caps for her country, captained the side to a 72-45 victory over Samoa to ensure that the home side emerged victorious 2-0 from the tests.
This was the first time that the Welsh side has ever hosted Samoa on home soil, and they turned in another highly accomplished performance to emerge as comfortable winners against a side that showed a great deal of improvement from their first outing.
A positive start saw the Welsh side hold a 14-point cushion at half time, and after the break they continued to demonstrate their ever-improving cohesion to pull further clear despite a spirited effort from the visitors.
Wales now turn their attentions to January’s World Cup qualifiers in Perth, Scotland, while an immediate focus for Drane is the Celtic Dragons’ first pre-season contest ahead of the 2018 Vitality Superleague season against Severn Stars.
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.
Success stories continue
Netball stars began their season in fine style with a strong performance at a regional event.
The girls’ senior side travelled to Ysgol Bryn Elian to take part in the President’s Cup, which featured a number of other schools from the region.
They began the tournament with a hard fought contest against the hosts and defending champions, and despite a determined effort they fell to a narrow 15-10 defeat.
The group responded significantly well to the setback and produced a memorable effort to come away with a convincing 20-4 triumph over St David’s College, and they followed this up with another eye-catching result as they secured a 16-5 victory over Eirias High School.
This ensured a second placed finish for Rydal Penrhos, with Head of Girls’ Games Mrs Head commending the “great communication and drive” throughout the competition.
Four pupils from the school’s Prep and Senior sites have been called-up to the Welsh National Feva Squad, and the quartet have been taking part in their winter training programme to aid their development further ahead of the new season.
Josh Manning has been rewarded for an exceptional campaign with a well-deserved selection, with the number one ranked sailor in the country in his age category joined by Megan Gibson, who also thrived on the water last term.
The brother duo of Kevin Farrell and Liam Farrell have also been included in the squad, which is the latest in a long line of sailing triumphs for the Farrell family.
Mr Boyd, said: “To have so many of our sailors represented in various national squads just shows how much the programme is thriving.
“This is a direct result of the coaching they receive from Max Todd and his staff, in addition to the hard work they are putting in at their clubs and at various competitions throughout the region and beyond.
“This, of course, would not happen without the added commitments of the parents of each pupil, who travel across the country to ensure that their children maximise their potential.”
A number of Rugby players have been making their mark as part of regional squads during the season.
Upper Sixth Form pupil Kieron McNamara has been a prominent figure within the Lancashire U18 set-up, and played a part in their high-profile victories over Cumbria and fierce rivals Yorkshire.
Tomos Davies and Henry Maitland-Davies have been a part of the RGC U18 squad, with the latter also named in two squad for the Gogs’ senior side in the Principality Premiership.
The talented Joe Morrow has also achieved regional recognition with Cheshire U17s, and George Smith-Edwards has been rewarded for his exceptional recent progression with an RGC East selection.
Josh Lynch, Sam Bixby and Finlay Hare have all contributed significantly to the success of RGC West, with the team securing some impressive triumphs in the early stages of the season.
It has been a busy few months for Josh, who skippered the West side at aged 13 and has also made his presence felt as part of the Sale Sharks Development Player Programme at U14 level.
A large number of talented Hockey stars have been rewarded for a fine season with individual awards.
After another pleasing season for school sides across all year groups, the honours for the campaign were announced at Rydal Penrhos’ end of term Prizegiving Assembly on Thursday, December 14.
The U15 Player of the Season went to both Cerys Cuddihy and Sydney Johsnon, while Amanda Sperring’s excellent development was recognised with the Most Improved Player Award.
Hannah Gasem’s contribution to the U14 success saw her take home the Player of the Year accolade, with Sophie Williams picking up the Most Improved Award due to her superb progression.
Carmen Hurtado De Amezaga De La Lastra was presented with the Most Improved Player With No Previous Experience in the U14 category.
It was another eye-catching season for the U13 side, with Emma Hackman at the forefront which enabled her to win the Player of the Season, with Alys Peake-Jones (Most Improved) and Aimee Whale (Most Improved No Experience) also acknowledged.
The ultra-consistent Lily Davies scooped the U12 Player of the Season after a series of fine efforts, with Caitriona Searl and Helen Liang collecting the Most Improved and Most Improved with No Previous Experience awards respectively.
Mrs Head, said: “This has been a very pleasing season, and it is not about the final results of the matches that count, it is the commitment, determination and individual development that makes the season worthwhile.
“As the season draws to a close we must show our appreciation to Mrs Jones, Mrs Bakewell, Mrs Harding, Miss Sellick and Mrs Cashell, for their excellent coaching and umpiring skills throughout the year.”