Senior School newsletter: October 2018
Rydal Penrhos newsletter
Q&A with the Headmaster
What is the most enjoyable part of your role?
I'm tempted to say it's the bacon sandwiches and pastries at my Headmaster's Breakfasts for parents but it’s undeniably those moments watching a pupil achieve something they initially thought beyond them.
Sometimes it’s an exam grade, sometimes it’s a performance on stage or sports pitch or, as it was last summer, when a team of pupils completed the National Three Peaks Challenge. Whether they are eight or 18 it’s their look of delight, pride and relief which makes being a Head the best job in the world.
What is unique about your school/college?
Location, location, location. 45 minutes from the foot of Snowdon, 45 minutes from the centre of Chester and just 3 minutes walk from the beach with classroom views to die for.
I have no doubt the sea air is responsible for the utterly joyful atmosphere on campus as well as inspiring our pupils’ creative juices. It also makes for a pretty special Sailing Squad.
What is the best part of the School Day?
A tough choice between my Chaplain’s weekly Pop Gospel (Wednesday 8.30 am) in St John’s Chapel or lunch in our brand new Dining Hall followed by an espresso in the Sixth Form café.
What is the best advice for parents choosing their child’s school?
Soak up the atmosphere and don’t be frightened to ask challenging questions.
Most importantly look at the pupils and think “would I want my son or daughter to be like them, to be friends with them?”
Then look at the staff, including the Head, and ask “will they care for child, will they go the extra mile for them, will they inspire them?”
Strong performance from RP
Rydal Penrhos’ exceptional and record-breaking A-level results this summer resulted in some high rankings in a prestigious league table published by a highly respected national newspaper.
Upper Sixth Form pupils secured 45.1% A*-A grades, which was the highest in the school’s history by some margin since the introduction of the A* grade.
More than a quarter of all grades were A*, which was another record, and 63.7 per cent of grades were A*-B marks.
The school also recorded a 100 per cent pass rate, and this superb demonstration of academic excellence placed Rydal Penrhos 18th among co-educational boarding schools at A* in the league table published by The Times.
It was ranked an impressive 38th among co-educational schools at A* throughout the UK, and reached the top 100 co-ed schools for its A*-A percentage (98th).
Rydal Penrhos was also placed 45th among co-educational boarding schools at A*-A.
Mr Smith, said: “League tables of course cannot measure our 5Ls. They do not rank our pupils’ happiness or wellbeing, 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 their teachers and remind us that as well as everything else that we do so well our academic standing is in very good shape."
Fundraising campaign launched in memory of former Headmaster
Rydal Penrhos School has launched the most ambitious fundraising campaign in its history in memory of a former Headmaster.
Donald Wynn Hughes took up the post of Headmaster at Rydal School in 1946 and became a much-loved figure that cared deeply about the power of education and the children under his care.
If a family fell on hard times, Mr Hughes would arrange a financial solution under secrecy, and even paid the fees himself in some cases, which was unknown to anybody at the time.
He sadly passed away in 1967 whilst still in his role as Headmaster, and a memorial fund was set up in his honour to continue the benevolent work that he started, which still provides a contribution towards fee assistance today.
To continue Mr Hughes’ outstanding legacy, Rydal Penrhos launched a special fundraising campaign that aims to raise £1 million over a three-year period, and there are plenty of ways the school community can get involved and make a difference.
This includes individual donations and becoming a member of the 1946 Club with a standing order, and all proceeds will go towards the fund that will benefit future generations for years to come.
Mr Smith, said: “As one of Donald’s successors, I am privileged to sustain this legacy and can think of no better way of doing so than through this campaign.
“Rydal Penrhos is a special place - one of the great schools in Wales and indeed the UK. The School has helped transform the lives of generations of Rydalians, Penrhosians and now Rydal Penrhosians; so many have achieved success right across the globe, in turn helping to transform the lives of others.
“The Donald Hughes Campaign for Assisted Places seeks to ensure that the School can continue to provide life changing opportunities and a first-class education well into the 21st Century for pupils with outstanding potential but whose families are in need of financial or compassionate support.
The campaign is unashamedly ambitious but it is my experience, already, that when this School’s community puts its mind to something we inevitably reach our goal.”
For more information on the campaign or to donate visit www.rydalpenrhos.com/changelives.
Annual celebration a success
A strong Old Girls’ team returned to the school to take on its First XI for the Natalie Kate Moss Trophy on Saturday, September 15, which saw a big crowd descend on the Astro to witness the contest.
The encounter eventually went the way of the returning Old Girls’ for a third successive year thanks in no small part to the efforts of former Head Girl and Welsh international Hannah Cashell, who demonstrated her enormous talent to score four times during another accomplished display from the University of Newcastle student.
Sister Sophie Cashell was also on target during their victory, but the Rydal Penrhos side worked incredibly hard against their accomplished opponents, who had all played in National Finals during their time at the school.
Goalkeeper Tallulah Batley produced a number of superb stops throughout the clash, with Deputy Head Girl Nuria Montolio, Head Girl Gowri Pradeep and captain Lucy Carnall all performing well during the game.
Mrs Head, said: “As always, the Old Girls’ were able to gather their strongest players, all of whom played a National Hockey final.
"Our First XI played exceptionally well, working hard throughout the game. Overall, it was a very pleasing performance by all concerned, but the Old Girls' retain the cup for another year."
The school’s annual Vikings game took place on Sunday, September 16 and took on a new short game, round-robin format for the first time.
A host of former Rugby Academy stars made a welcome return to New Field, with six teams playing each other with a view to securing the overall crown.
The competition saw a large crowd descend on New Field to see old pupils and the school’s current First XV take the field, and after a hugely competitive day of action it was the 2012 Leavers’ squad that emerged victorious on tries scored from the 2010 team.
There were a host of standout performances on the day, with the school side demonstrating their outstanding defensive prowess to hold the eventual winners and a side that featured former professionals Pat Leach and Gareth Wynne to a 0-0 draw.
Harry Ormerod scooped the try of the day accolade and the overall trophy was named in honour of legendary Welsh international centre and old Rydalian Bleddyn Williams.
Mr Boyd, said: “As always, it was a thoroughly enjoyable occasion and I would like to thank everyone that participated."
The school once again hosted the fifth annual Welsh Open Fives Competition over Founders’ Weekend on Saturday, September 15 and Sunday 16.
It was a hugely competitive first day of action at the competition, which saw the team of Matty Fiorita and George Watkins triumph over schoolmates Anthony Bowe and Christian Cheesley in a pulsating final to claim the coveted Paul Bowden trophy.
Current Eton Fives World Champion Seb Cooley was among the field for Sunday’s action, which began with Jonathan Osbourne and Ella James winning the Junior Open Championship with a hard fought victory over Oliver Davies and Ariana Milligan.
The Wales Invitational Senior Championship was also hotly contested and saw Cooley and Fiorita take home the title after a standout display against Josh Stewart and his partner in the final.
This ensured that Fiorita has now won on both days and the competition in consecutive years.
Mr Cashell, who was present for both days of the event, said: “This is the fifth time we have hosted the competition and it was once again another marvellous showcase of talent both at the school and further afield."
As part of the school’s Founders’ Weekend celebrations, the second annual Mathers’ Boys’ Hockey contest took place on Saturday, September 15, pitting a team of former pupils against the current first XI.
The trophy has been named in honour of former Head of Hockey Phil Mather, who stepped down from his role after a 99-term stint at Rydal Penrhos which concluded with the U18 and U16 sides both securing Welsh National Schools’ Championships.
The game was played in fantastic spirit and saw the Old Boys’ triumph by an eventual score of 3-1 against a school squad that was depleted by illness and still in recovery from Rugby matches played earlier on in the day.
There were a host of standout individual performances from a school perspective, which saw Matty Fiorita hit the only goal of the contest for the home side and Welsh international goalkeeper Josh Thomas pulling off a host of stunning stops to keep his side in the contest.
Fellow national squad member Jacob Heaton-Rue also demonstrated his enormous talent with an accomplished display, with Rafeez Mortuza, Jack Jones and Joe Gardner also catching the eye with their respective contributions.
The inaugural Rydal Penrhos Open took place on Sunday, September 16 at the home of North Wales Golf Club in Llandudno.
A host of former and current pupils, parents and staff competed at the competition, which was played under stableford handicap rules, and after a hugely competitive day of action Sue Wood was crowned the overall winner thanks to a fantastic round.
Mike Hindley also came away with something to show for his efforts after securing the Men’s category in fine style.
There were a number of other impressive displays throughout the hugely successful event.
Barbara Easton, who is the Director of Education for the Methodist Church, gave an inspiring address at the school’s annual Founders’ Day service at St John’s Church on Friday, September 14.
The service was attended by staff, pupils, governors and parents to kick-off the Founders’ Weekend festivities, with Headmaster Simon Smith and the Reverend Nick Sissons opening proceedings with their own
This was followed by a reading from Head Girl Gowri Pradeep and Head Boy Nick Fiorita, with Maths teacher Andy Thomas also lending a contribution in the form of a prayer.
Mrs Easton then gave her highly-anticipated address to the congregation, before the service concluded with Ewan Luke laying commemorative flowers in remembrance of Rydal Penrhos’ founding fathers and a fine rendition of the iconic Welsh hymn Calon Lan.
Mr Cashell, said: “Our Founders’ Day service is always something that fills every member of the Rydal Penrhos community with an enormous sense of pride, and we were delighted that such a well-respected figure such as Barbara agreed to join us at the event.
“It was another weekend that will live long in the memory and was further proof of our rich history and the extremely solid foundations from which Rydal Penrhos is built.”
Dining Hall revamp complete
Work to significantly improve Rydal Penrhos’ Dining Hall and kitchen area is now complete.
This development began earlier this year after a period of “consultation” lasting several weeks between Headmaster Simon Smith and Holroyd Howe, who took over the school’s catering provision on St David’s Day.
The work has seen a complete restructure of the serving areas and furniture at the facility, and the kitchen has also seen a major upgrade with the installation of state of the art equipment as part of the investment, which will benefit both day and boarding pupils considerably in the coming years.
Mr Smith, said: “This will reap significant benefits in the long term which will shorten queuing time, further improve the menus and provide a contemporary dining experience which we can all appreciate and be proud of.
“I look forward to inviting everyone associated with Rydal Penrhos you to experience our new facilities.”
This is the latest in a series of exciting developments around Rydal Penrhos as part of their ongoing desire to improve each area of both the Prep and Senior sites to enhance the experience of each pupil under their care.
Construction teams have been busy improving large portions of the Prep School throughout the summer, in addition to a complete refurbishment of the Sixth Form Ferguson Centre thanks to a pupil-led campaign that raised more than £90,000.
2018-19 team announced
Rydal Penrhos School is delighted to announce its Peer new Mentor team for the current academic year.
After hopefuls went through an assessment process to judge their suitability for the role, a group of 22 have been selected by staff members following a highly successful trial period.
The team will be on hand to lend support to younger members of the school community throughout the year, while also contributing to a large number of specially organised events for Year 7 pupils, designed to improve confidence, group cohesion and team spirit within the group.
Head Boy Nicholas Fiorita and Head Girl Gowri Pradeep with head the group, which also consists of Upper Sixth Form pupils Ewan Luke, Deputy Head Boy Miles Poller, Grace Ormerod, Rafeez Mortuza and Jenny Blackman.
A large number of Year 12 pupils have also earned positions of responsibility in the months to come, with Zahra Shamsi, Mattthais Fiorita, Sam Jones, Keira Bonnington, Brona Richardson, Niamh Hall, Holly Battersby, Millie Collins, Amy Yue, Iestyn Williams, Eddie Farrell, Kathleen Cheesley, Bijou Rajagopal, Harry Hackman and Orla McGagh rounding off a big team of Peer Mentors to guide and support younger members of the Rydal Penrhos community.
Instagram initiative launched
Lower School pupils are about to embark on a special social media initiative implemented by Rydal Penrhos’ marketing and communications department.
The youngest members of the Senior School community will be tasked with taking over their very own Instagram account, which will detail their day-to-day lives at Rydal Penrhos from a pupil perspective.
Two members of Year 7 and 8 will get one week each with their own phone, working together in a pair to document their usual schedule as well as other special events on the calendar.
In preparation for the new scheme, Communications Assistant Dean Jones spent some time with the group on Tuesday, October 2, where he spoke about the dangers and correct usage of social media, the rules behind the scheme and what he wants to achieve from initiative.
There was also time for a question and answer session regarding their new Instagram and other social media related issues, with Year 8 pupil Bea Gardner piloting the account during Rydal Penrhos’ Open Morning event on Saturday, October 6.
Mr Jones, who will be monitoring the account along with Network and Services manager Gareth Robinson, said: “We are always looking for ways to get our pupils involved in promoting the school in a positive way, and this idea has really got everyone excited.
“What we are aiming to install into those who use it is the importance of using social media in a safe and correct way, in addition to taking responsibility and using their own initiative to see for themselves what makes an engaging post.
“Social Media is an increasingly significant role in everyday life and it is hugely important that our young pupils know how to use it and, more importantly, become more aware of its impact and importance in and out of school.”
Mrs McKinnel appointed to board
Rydal Penrhos School is delighted to announce the appointment of Debbie McKinnel to its Governing Body.
The popular figure is the latest exciting addition to the school’s governance following the additions of Nick Grenfell-Marten and Lucy Davies to the board earlier this summer.
Mrs McKinnel is already well-known throughout the Rydal Penrhos community, with son Harrison joining the Prep School in 2012 and is now a Year 7 pupil.
She has been chair of the Friends of Rydal Penrhos Committee, and has assisted at various charity, social and formal events including the Christmas Market in aid of Ty Gobaith Children’s Hospice, the Prep School Secrets Room, Sports Day and Open Morning.
The new governor brings a wealth of legal expertise to the board, having worked within the Judicial process for the last decade and is also an appraiser, mentor and recruiter as part of her remit.
Mrs McKinnel has previously worked at Cheshire Probation and After Care Service and was also a Cabin Crew Manager at Britannia Airways, where she met pilot and husband Stephen.
She is also a keen supporter of community initiatives having volunteered at the recent Open Day held by the Conwy RNLI, and recently accepted an offer to join the fundraising team at Ty Gobaith.
Chair of Governors’ Julian Barnes, said: “Debbie brings her inimitable enthusiasm with strong organisational and legal abilities.
“These new appointments will see a Board that is equally balanced between men and women. It will also see that we have a wide range of skill sets to guide us through the ever more complicated and legislative waters of the modern world. We warmly welcome all new governors.
“Together we are planning to become the most vibrant independent boarding and day school in the North West.
“Simon (Smith) and his team will continue, through our 5Ls philosophy, to strive for the best academic results whilst ensuring our pupils are happy, healthy and well-balanced individuals. Individuals who will make a positive impact on the world.”
Refurbished site officially opened
Ferguson Centre officially open
The Rydal Penrhos community turned out in force to officially open its newly refurbished Sixth Form Ferguson Centre.
A large number of staff, current and former pupils, in addition to Governors’ and parents attended a special ceremony at the site on Saturday, September 15 as part of the school’s Founders’ Weekend celebrations.
This was the culmination of a pupil-led initiative to renovate the site, which exceeded expectations and raised more than £90,000 after initially setting a target of £50,000.
Mr Smith kicked-off proceedings with a short address about how the fundraising campaign “embodied everything we try to install with our 5Ls philosophy”, and thanked everybody that donated to the cause.
He then read a message from former pupil and leading film producer Duncan Kenworthy OBE, who donated a significant amount to the project but was unable to attend the event due to a film Premiere in New York.
Recently departed pupil Anna Richardson, who was the driving force behind the idea alongside Morgan Roberts, cut the ceremonial ribbon to formally open the Ferguson Centre, which will be the hub for both the Sixth Form and the school community in the coming years.
Guests also enjoyed a fantastic lunch from catering providers Holroyd Howe at the facility’s new Café’ J’s, which has been named in recognition of another anonymous donor to the cause.
Trio gain Engineering scholarship
Arkwright scholarship success
Arend Franssens, Ioan Peake-Jones and Prompt Utenpattanun, Year 12 pupils at Rydal Penrhos, all successfully came through a thorough assessment process and have been awarded Arkwright Engineering Scholarships to continue the exceptional work already done by the trio in their chosen field.
The scholarship is offered to UK pupils to pursue a career in engineering, computing and related areas of technical design.
All three have been or will be paired with a sponsor, which is normally a business within the industry, and they will also attend a formal ceremony acknowledging their outstanding achievement at a later date.
As well as a variety of enrichment opportunities associated with the scholarship, Arend, Ioan and Prompt will receive £300 a year to assist with their technical studies and wider experience of engineering.
Rydal Penrhos’ thriving Design and Technology department, which continues to go from strength-to-strength under the guidance of Phil Sutton and his dedicated staff team, will also be given £200 to help with the of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths).
Mr Cashell, said: “We are very proud of Arend, Ioan and Prompt for securing such a sought-after scholarship, and full credit goes to them and to Mr Sutton for giving them the best possible chance of success."
Inspiring trips to start academic year
Lower School pupils got the chance to experience a big stage performance as part of an ongoing learning initiative.
The Year 7 contingent travelled to the Palace Theatre in Manchester on Wednesday, September 19, which is one of many such excursions organised throughout the academic year by passionate English, Music and Drama staff at the school.
Winner of 85 international awards, including 16 for Best Musical, the Royal Shakespeare Company's touring production of Matilda the Musical has been described as “a superb depiction” of the iconic Roald Dahl novel.
With book by Dennis Kelly, original songs by Tim Minchin and direction by Matthew Warchus, Matilda The Musical is the story of the extraordinary little girl.
A large number of Drama pupils got the chance to improve their learning thanks to two special trips.
The separate events are part of an ongoing initiative by the school’s thriving department to give each pupil the chance to observe some of the best actors in the country at various plays, musicals and concerts throughout the academic year, and Year 10-12 pupils paid a visit to Theatr Clwyd in Mold on Tuesday, September 11 to take in The Thirty Nine Steps.
The 39 Steps, which played for nine years in London’s West End and is based on the screenplay from Alfred Hitchcock and John Burton, has been described as “a brilliant, fast-moving spoof” and includes legendary scenes such as the chase on the Flying Scotsman, the escape on the Forth Bridge, the first ever theatrical bi-plane crash and a death-defying finale.
This was followed by another theatre trip on Thursday, September 13, which saw a group make the short journey to Venue Cymru in Llandudno to witness The Play That Goes Wrong.
The award-winning comedy was packed with finely-tuned farce and Buster Keaton inspired slapstick delivered with split-second timing and ambitious daring.
The seven successful pupils were all awarded the DofE’s Silver accolade after coming through the assessment process with flying colours in order to achieve their goal.
This achievement is a testament to how hard each of them has worked over the course of the previous academic year, with Holly Battersby, Luke Davies, Arend Franssens, Jamie Lavery, Jake Palmer-Reid, Iestyn Williams all managing to achieve this impressive feat.
In addition, as he prepares for his Gold DofE expedition in a few weeks’ time, Upper Sixth Form pupil Joe Morrow has also found time to conclude the Silver Award he began at his previous school.
West End Stage School lead role for pupil
Ruby James once again attended the West End Stage for the fifth consecutive year during the holidays, which is regarded as the top drama school of its kind in the country for young people aged eight to 21.
The passionate 17-year-old joined other young hopefuls at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama for the one-week programme, where notorious actors such as Ewan McGregor, Daniel Craig and Orlando Bloom all trained.
After impressing the coaches considerably, the Prefect was chosen as the lead role of Ariel for the performance of The Little Mermaid to conclude the week.
This included a singing and dance solo during their depiction of the Walt Disney classic, and Ruby will continue to pursue her dream over the half term break at a special intensive course to improve her chances of securing a place at Drama School.
The two-day course, which is also run by West End Stage, will be held at Glass House Studios and go through a wealth of different elements of the application process, including interview techniques and performance during devised pieces.
Ruby has been a huge part of the Performing Arts success at Rydal Penrhos in recent years, playing a prominent role in the outstanding Dramatic Society performances of To Kill a Mockingbird and Annie the Musical.
Boarders' BBQ kicks off term
Boarding pupils at met up within the school grounds for a special social event prior to the first full week of the academic year.
Mr Smith welcomed boarding pupils and staff to his Heathfield home for a Boarders’ Barbecue on Sunday, September 9.
The guests were treated to a lavish spread courtesy of Rydal Penrhos’ new catering providers Holroyd Howe, which also included salad and a vegan option.
The school’s boarding community socialised and enjoyed another beautiful evening on the North Wales coast and this the latest prominent event put on as part of the boarding life experience at Rydal Penrhos, which have been implemented with a view to enhancing the overall experience of each pupil throughout their time within the RP community.
There a huge number of examples of such events thanks to Rydal Penrhos’ thriving Weekend Activities programme, while boarders also participate in weekly sporting fixtures, trips and the all-important house competitions.
They are also given plenty of time to reflect and immerse themselves in their respective studies, with staff on hand at any given time to lend support and advice when needed.
Mr Cashell, said: “Our Boarders’ Barbecues have become hugely popular since the arrival of Holroyd Howe to Rydal Penrhos, and I would like to thank them on behalf of the school for putting on some fantastic food for staff and pupils."
News from former pupils
Dr Baker receives award from Prime Minister
Dr Mark Baker, who left the school in 2003, formed the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust aged 13 as a Rydal School pupil, and he finally managed to acquire the Grade I Listed site earlier this summer following a lengthy 22-year campaign.
In recognition of his outstanding commitment to saving the structure, Dr Baker has been recognised with a Points of Light Award from Prime Minister Theresa May.
The award recognises outstanding volunteers who are making a change in their community and inspiring others.
In a letter to Dr Baker, Mrs May wrote: “From launching the Gwrych Castle Preservation Trust at just 13 years old, to finally receiving the keys to the castle this year, your remarkable determination and years of campaigning have saved an important part of local history.
"I wish you all the very best with the restoration works which will preserve the castle for generations to come."
Dr Baker said it was "a great honour and rather humbling" to be chosen for the award, and he recently revealed a £15 million, 25-year project to completely transform the castle for the pupil to enjoy and will eventually offer holiday accommodation.
Gwrych Castle was built by Lloyd Hesketh Bamford-Hesketh from the early 1810s and completed by 1822. It was a stately home for more than 100 years with its own stables, brewery, dairy, bakery and ice house.
Jones wins Try of the Week
Efan Jones, who left the school in 2016, is a talented scrum-half that was part of the hugely successful Academy programme, which is run in partnership with the Gogs and the Welsh Rugby Union.
He won the battle for the number nine shirt following the departure of Alex Schwartz to Cornish Pirates, and the former Welsh U18 international crossed the white wash for a sensational score to round off an incredible performance to kick off the campaign in style.
Jones was nominated for the Principality Premiership try of the week for his efforts, and after a flurry of votes, he managed to come away with the overall prize.
This is the latest in a long line of successes for the youngster, who is set to play a starring role for Mark Jones’ men this season after a frustrating time with injuries in recent years, and Jones was on the scoresheet again for RGC in their dramatic 34-26 victory at Swansea to extend their perfect start to the top flight campaign.
Mr Boyd, said: “It is fantastic to see Efan hitting the ground running this season with RGC, and a big season awaits him thanks to the added responsibility he has been given which is thoroughly deserved."
Parry-Jones makes RP return
Gwen Parry-Jones, who attended Penrhos College, paid a special visit to the school on Monday, September 24 to film a portion of a television feature being produced by BBC Wales.
She was recently appointed as the director of nuclear operations by Horizon Nuclear Power, who are developers at the £12bn site on Anglesey.
During her visit, Ms Parry-Jones took a walk through the corridors and viewed some old pictures of herself at Penrhos, before visiting the Biology department to speak with a number of Sixth Form pupils.
Kenworthy's message for Ferg opening
Duncan Kenwirthy donated a significant amount to the pupil-led campaign to renovate the Ferguson Centre, and in recognition of his generosity the new study area has been renamed The Kenworthy Room.
Mr Kenworthy, said: “I’m sorry not to be there with you for the opening of the Ferguson Centre and the Kenworthy Room, but my new film The Children Act has just had its premiere in New York and opens tonight (Friday).
“How do you launch a study room? Smashing a bottle of champagne on the door is a bit impractical and would probably send the wrong message, so I hope that idea has been dropped.
“Perhaps somebody will cut a ribbon or draw a curtain? Or maybe you’ll just open the door and declare it - incontrovertibly - open. That could be just the thing.
“I hope the Kenworthy Room is a really great place for Rydalians to study. And that lots of fabulous thoughts are thought here - poems read, facts learned, dreams dreamt, schemes hatched, theories arrived at, equations resolved, arguments constructed, maybe even screenplays written – outside school hours, of course.
“In other words I hope that that it’s the perfect place to prepare for your amazing lives to come.”
Team Davies to run Cardiff Half Marathon
Hannah, Catherine and Elinor Davies will travel to South Wales on Sunday, October 7 to test their endurance at the Cardiff Half Marathon, and they are collecting donations ahead of the event which will be donated to Cancer Research UK.
The trio, who will be joined on ‘Team Davies’ by father Gareth, will be running in memory of grandfather Raymond Lewis, who died of lung cancer earlier this year.
A post on their JustGiving page, said: “Like most families across the country, we have recently been affected by cancer and we have seen, first-hand the terrible damage cancer has, not only on those suffering the disease, but those around them.
“Our granddad, Tadcu or Raymonde as he was known in our house, was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year and died a month later.
“Whilst, fortunately, he was spared months of painful treatment, unlike many other cancer sufferers, the care he received during his short illness was fantastic and in raising money for Cancer Research UK, we hope to help eradicate the disease.
“As our training gets underway and underlying injuries and excuses begin to emerge, so too do our fundraising efforts."
Anyone wishing to donate can do so by visiting Team Davies’ JustGiving page at https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/hannah-davies78.
Tom Williams, who left the school in 2014, made his Pro 14 Debut for Ospreys and started in their resounding 46-14 home success over Cheetahs last weekend.
Williams is another successful product of the Rydal Penrhos Rugby Academy, which is run in partnership with Principality Premiership side RGC and the Welsh Rugby Union.
The talented back recently received a contract extension from the region after deciding to focus more on his development as a club player following a hugely successful stint with the Welsh Rugby 7s side in recent years.
Two tries from Justin Tipuric and Alun Wyn Jones each guided the Ospreys to a second Pro14 win in Swansea.
Following a narrow win over Edinburgh, the seven-try Ospreys stormed to a bonus point victory.
Other tries from Scott Otten, George North and Alex Jeffries sealed the win.
Mr Boyd, said: “Tom has worked incredibly hard to make it to the level he is at right now, and he can be enormously proud of his achievements especially considering he is just working his way back into the squad after a very eventful World 7s Cup with Wales.
Summer Fair donation to Young Minds
The Friends of Rydal Penrhos committee have set aside £224 from their Summer Fair proceeds to donate to Young Minds, which is widely recognised as the UK’s leading charity championing the wellbeing and mental health of children and young people.
A total of £1,633.93 raised for projects throughout the school and Young Minds from the fun-filled event, which has emerged as one of the most eagerly anticipated events on the school calendar.
Young Minds recently joined forces with The National Autistic Society to form Always, the campaign for stronger rights to protect young people living in mental health hospitals and their families when they need it most.
Amplified puts young people and their parents at the heart of the mental health system to create user-centred services where their voice matters.
Their overall mission is to improve the emotional resilience and mental health of children and young people throughout the UK by informing and actively engaging with children, young people, parents, policymakers and professionals.
Mr Cashell, said: "This is a fantastic gesture from our Friends of Rydal Penrhos committee and we are indebted to them for all the hard work they put in throughout the academic year to raise money for the school and worthy causes in the region and beyond."
Arran gets Lancs' nod for India tour
Arran set for India tour with Lancs
Arran Sen has been selected to the county’s U13 performance squad that will travel to Mumbai, India for a special tour in February after impressing throughout the assessment process.
Paul Allott, director of cricket at Lancashire, said: “We aim to develop more than just cricketers – we want to see our boys and girls emerging through the pathway as durable, well-rounded, resourceful and broad minded, capable of adapting to challenging conditions and finding a way to succeed.”
In addition to a series of fixtures and an intense training schedule, the Lancashire squad will be working with Project Front Foot and the Dharavi Cricket Academy, where they will spend time coaching children associated with the scheme. This is the latest in a series of achievements from the sports scholar and boarding pupil, who has gone from strength-to-strength since joining Rydal Penrhos last year and achieved a wealth of accolades during his first year at the school.
He quickly established himself as a first XI mainstay despite his tender age, and won the Spirit of Cricket Award for his polished performance during Rydal Penrhos’ annual fixture against Marylebone Cricket Club.
Interview with S&C Intern
What attracted you to the role?
I was attracted to the role because of the opportunity to work with a wide range of talented athletes in different sports. It is also a great opportunity to gain valuable experience coaching on-field and in the gym while still learning from the coaches and teachers at the school.
How excited are you to take on the role?
I am very excited about starting the role, meeting all the staff and pupils and helping them improve. I can’t wait to use the schools fantastic facilities and continue the great work the Athletic Development department has already done.
What do you think you can bring to the role?
I have had experience coaching a variety of sports including cricket and rugby as well as working at Swindon Town Football Club as a sport scientist. I have a passion for helping people improve and relish any opportunity to coach. I can’t wait to fully engage with school life and help out where ever I can.
How did you prepare for the role this summer?
Over the past year I have been working at Swindon Town Football Club as a Sport Scientist, working with the U18 squad on a daily basis. I ran warm-ups and cool downs before and after training and matches as well as performing daily wellness and fatigue tests.
I was also responsible for all gym programs for the team ensuring they were at their physical best throughout the session. Over the summer I helped with pre-season, testing; maximal strength, agility, aerobic endurance, sprint speed and movement capacity.
During my time at Swindon I also worked with younger age groups running athletic development sessions to improve the players physical literacy.
How have you found your first weeks at Rydal Penrhos?
My first few weeks at Rydal Penrhos have been brilliant getting to meet all the staff and pupils as well as starting S&C sessions in the gym and Athletic Development sessions during games lessons.
I really looking forward to continuing my work throughout the school year.
Charley crowned county champion
Charley's championship win
Charley Simpson, has enjoyed a hugely successful summer which has seen him achieve a host of regional and national accolades, and he turned in an outstanding performance at the recent North Wales Counties Boys’ Championship at Llangollen Golf Club.
The 13-year-old produced a standout display throughout which saw him surge to the top of the leaderboard, and he held his nerve in the closing stages to be crowned U13 champion as a result of his outstanding efforts.
Charley also earned another regional representative honour with Denbighshire against Flintshire at Clays Golf Club, and he extended his unbeaten record at this level with a victory with partner Joe Williams to lead his side to glory.
The pupil has developed considerably as part of Rydal Penrhos’ sports scholarship and Golf Academy programme, which has gone from strength-to-strength since its inception thanks to the school’s dedicated coaching staff led by programme co-ordinator Ian Richardson.
"Charley has emerged as one of the shining lights of our Golf Academy programme, and it is great to see all his hard work paying off during what was a truly outstanding summer .He is hard-working and dedicated to improving all areas of his craft, and there is no telling what Charley can achieve in the future if he continues to develop at his current rate."
Success stories aplenty
Cameron's Triathlon triumph
Cameron Shaw was part of a large contingent that competed at the Conwy Tri-Stars Triathlon event, which took place in Mold on Sunday, September 9.
The 14-year-old demonstrated his outstanding talent by emerging victorious from the Tr-Stars 3 category in convincing style to further enhance his growing reputation as one of the best young prospects in the region and beyond.
This is the latest in a long line of accolades for the Tri-Stars Conwy squad member, who was ranked third in Wales within his age group prior to an injury suffered earlier in the year.
In addition to his own exploits, Cameron has been training younger members of the Tri-Stars Conwy team during their Thursday evening sessions at Parc Eirias in Colwyn Bay, especially with their work in the swimming pool.
This includes Year 7 pupil Jaydon Blears, who also triumph from his age group at the Mold showcase.
Mr Boyd, said: "Not only is Cameron achieving a remarkable amount individually, but he is also displaying superb leadership skills to inspire the next generation of young triathletes in the area, which is equally as pleasing from our point of view here at Rydal Penrhos.
"Cameron has worked very hard to overcome his injury problems and he has really hit the ground running since getting back to competitive action and hopefully this can give him an enormous amount of encouragement as he looks to rise up through the Welsh rankings once again."
Tomos Davies and Sam Bixby were involved for RGC's U18 and U16 squad for their Regional Age Grade Championship contests against Dragons on Sunday, September 16.
Forward Sam started for the U16s, who managed to secure a creditable 14-14 draw with their South Wales opponents, going ahead early on before being pegged back late on.
RGC U16 head coach Gav Hodgkinson, said: “You could clearly at the end from their reaction see how frustrated the players were with the result.
“The fact that they were so disappointed just shows how far they have come and the standards that they now expect of themselves.
“Overall we are delighted with the progress made by the boys who have shown a fantastic attitude throughout. We now have two weeks off before we come back and start prepping for our fixtures in the New Year.”
Tomos, who is part of the Rydal Penrhos Rugby Academy programme which is run in partnership with RGC and the Welsh Rugby Union, was part of the Gogs’ U18 side that fell to a 36-22 defeat on their travels. Despite the defeat it was a positive display from the group, who pulled it back within two with 11 minutes remaining before hosts pulled away late on.
Will's Welsh Rugby League success
Will Lynch, an Upper Sixth Form pupil at Rydal Penrhos, was selected to the Wales U19 side that travelled to Serbia this week to compete at the high-profile European Championships.
The 17-year-old has turned in a series of exceptional displays throughout the tournament, and crossed the white wash in Wales’ emphatic 90-0 victory over Ukraine.
After suffering a semi-final defeat at the hands of England, the Welsh side responded well to finish in third position thanks to a playoff win to conclude an outstanding collective effort from the group.
George achieves cricket triumph
George Watkins was part of the Mochdre U15 side that turned in a fabulous effort to secure the North Wales Championship with a fine win over Gwersyllt to conclude what was an outstanding campaign for the group.
The 12-year-old was one of the youngest members of the squad but demonstrated his impressive skill-set to contribute significantly to their overall success, and this is the latest in a long line of milestones throughout the summer for the aspiring star.
He has been involved heavily with Mochdre’s third XI throughout the summer, gaining some fantastic experience at senior level despite his tender age.
Eryri U18 Girls' Hockey Tournament
The tournament got off to a great start with a 1-0 win over Coleg Menai. The team dominated from the off set with everyone working well as a unit. This culminated with a goal by Anna Parry-Williams in the first half. We played equally well in the second half with plenty of chances, that just couldn't find the back of the net! The second match was played against a strong Coleg Meirion Dwyfor side. The team reacted well to the challenge presented with all players working together. The defence worked particularly well. 3-0 loss. Determined to get to the semi-finals, the team came out with confidence against Ysgol Syr Hugh Owen. This was proven by a goal from Gowri Pradeep. To follow this in the second half, Keira Bonnington scored a second goal, assisted by Amanda Sperring. The matched ended 2-0. A final push was needed against a skilled Ysgol Tryfan side in the semi-finals. Despite having played 3 previous matches, the team came out strong again. The first half ended 0-0 owing to the team working together, defending well. The match ended 1-0, but despite this, there were excellent performances from all players, particularly goalkeeper Caitlin Teece.
Jaydon wins regional Triathlon
Jaydon Blears, a Year 7 pupil at the school, was part of a large contingent that competed at the Conwy Tri-Stars Triathlon event, which took place in Mold on Sunday, September 9.
The 11-year-old turned in a fantastic display in the swim, run and cycle sections of the race, eventually crossing the line in first position in his age category.
Jaydon is a new arrival at Rydal Penrhos, having joined the school earlier this month ahead of the start of the academic year, and he has also represented Colwyn Bay Rugby Club at various youth levels to date.
He received a medal acknowledging his efforts on the day, and the notable achievement will stand him in good stead as he looks to progress in the coming months under the support and guidance of specialist coaching staff situated at the school.
"This was an absolutely outstanding result and one that Jaydon can be enormously proud of.
He has already displayed a tremendous attitude during his initial stages within the Rydal Penrhos community, and we are looking forward to helping him achieve his goals and develop both academically and from a sporting perspective."