Senior School newsletter: May 2019
Rydal Penrhos newsletter
Engineering added to options
The school will be introducing the Engineering GCSE course from September, which is part of ongoing improvements under Executive Principal John Waszek, Senior School Head Sally Ann Harding and Rydal Penrhos’ Governing Body.
GCSE Engineering is a practical subject perfect for pupils who prefer a more hands-on approach to learning.
This vocational GCSE will provide those taking it with a taste of the real working world as well as an opportunity to explore the engineering sector, so they can figure out whether it is right for them in terms of a career and further education option in the future.
Candidates will be assessed through a mixture of exams and controlled internal assessments, with this non-traditional subject providing the opportunity to carry out research independently, participate in group work, role play, go on trips, use real business resources and benefit from the advice of people who are actually working in engineering.
This is the latest in a series of changes implemented by the school in recent weeks as part of their Project Bold initiative, which has also seen Computer Science added to the Years 7-9 curriculum and 20 A-level subject available to Sixth Formers.
Mrs Harding, said: “GCSE Engineering is a practical, exciting and useful subject and is a valuable opportunity for practically minded pupils interested in learning more about engineering."
Ioan secures role
Ioan Peake-Jones will take over from current Head Boy Nick Fiorita, who has done a considerable amount over the last 12 months and will now focus primarily on revision ahead of his A-level examinations in the coming months.
He made a lasting impression during a thorough assessment ahead of the appointment, which included an interview with Executive Principal John Waszek on what he would bring to the Head Boy role.
The 17-year-old joined Rydal Penrhos as a Year 5 pupil in 2011 and achieved some exceptional GCSE results last summer, where Ioan secured A* marks in Biology, Chemistry, Design Technology, History, Mathematics, and Physics, in addition to a Distinction in Additional Maths.
He also secured nine marks in English (first language) and English Literature, an eight in Religious Studies and a seven in French in accordance with the new grading system to cap off a memorable set of results for the pupil.
Ioan also successfully attained the prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarship and attended a lavish ceremony in London to receive his award, and he has boosted his employment opportunities during the holidays after achieving his RLSS Pool Lifeguard qualification.
He has formed part of the F24 Greenpower Race team and recently stepped in at the 11th hour to support the Dramatic Society production of Les Misérables, which wowed audiences over a three-night period.
Ioan recently travelled to Madrid, Spain with Head of Careers Mike Farnell and Sixth Formers Luke Davies, Edward Patrick, Harry Hackman and Tomos Cole-King, who form the school’s Erasmus Project team who are working to produce educational material on the Cold War.
Millie gets responsibility
Millie Collins’ hugely impressive Head Girl application and subsequent interview with Executive Principal John Waszek has resulted in her taking over the role.
She will be replacing Gowri Pradeep in the position, who has achieved an incredible amount and will now focus on A-level examination revision to ensure the Sixth Former gets the necessary results to secure a place at King’s College London, where she will study Medicine.
Millie arrived at Rydal Penrhos as a Year 7 pupil in 2013 and has emerged as one of their real success stories of the school’s Academic scholarship initiative.
The 17-year-old has been a hugely influential member of the school community and has taken full advantage of the wealth of different and varied academic and co-curricular activities offered across all areas of Rydal Penrhos, something that has aided her overall development considerably.
This was further reflected in Millie’s truly exceptional GCSE results last summer, with the pupil securing A* marks in Biology, Chemistry, Geography, History, Mathematics and Physics, in addition to eight grades in English (first language), English Literature, French and Religious Studies in accordance with the new grading system.
There was further cause for celebration in the form of her Distinction in her additional Mathematics paper.
During her time at Rydal Penrhos, Millie was also appointed to the Amnesty International Youth Advisory Board following a successful application process and travelled to London for various meetings with the select group, where they will discussed different ways to improve Amnesty and offered thoughts on the work being done to highlight major human rights issues affecting people worldwide.
She has been a valued member of the Sixth Form community throughout Year 12 and is the co-chair of the Eco Committee.
Deputy Head Boy
Eddie and Ollie take on role
After a thorough assessment process, the school confirmed that Eddie Farrell and Ollie Gibson will officially take over as the new Deputy Head Boy team from Miles Poller.
Eddie’s time at Rydal Penrhos began as a Year 4 pupil back in 2010 and has been littered with exceptional achievements across a wide range of different areas.
He is an RYA Cymru Wales Sailing international and has secured a wealth of regional and national competition successes.
Eddie is also a superb musician and contributes regularly to the school’s productions and concerts throughout the year, in addition to securing some outstanding GCSE results last summer in recognition of his impressive academic commitment and progress.
Ollie has made a massive impression of school life in a short space of time, turning his hand to almost anything to see him quickly emerge as a key cog in Rydal Penrhos’ thriving Sixth Form provision.
His performance as Javert in the Dramatic Society production of Les Misérables drew widespread plaudits, and Ollie has played a key contributing role in the school’s senior hockey and rugby sides during his initial period at the school that began in September.
Both Eddie and Ollie will no work with Head Boy Ioan Peake-Jones and the rest of the Prefect team in the coming months to boost the overall profile of the school and add to Rydal Penrhos’ legacy.
Deputy Head Girl
Holly & Tallulah appointed
Mrs Crimes confirmed that Holly Battersby and Tallulah Batley has secured their respective Deputy Head Girl positions after impressing considerably during the application procedure, and they will take over from Nuria Montolio.
Both Holly and Tallulah have made a lasting impression on all areas of Rydal Penrhos life during their time as pupils, achieving a substantial amount from an academic perspective and playing a massive role in boosting various events both within the school community and for worthy causes throughout the region and beyond.
Tallulah joined Rydal Penrhos community as a Year 7 pupil in 2013 on an Art scholarship, and she achieved a superb set GCSE results last summer with A* grades in Biology, Design Technology, Mathematics and an A in Chemistry, a nine mark in Art and Design and English (first language), in addition to two seven scores in English Literature and Religious Studies and a Distinction in Additional Mathematics.
She recently took the stage as part of the Dramatic Society production of Les Misérables and is a fantastic hockey goalkeeper with the senior side.
Holly’s time at Rydal Penrhos has spanned a decade after arriving in Year 3, and she is the current co-chair of the Sixth Form Charity Committee and made an exceptional start to life in the role with a fun-filled fundraising day in aid of Comic Relief.
She has done an outstanding job of supporting younger pupils in her role as Peer Mentor, and her academic results (4A*, A, Two 7s, Distinction at GCSE) are other standout feature of her overall contribution.
The new appointments with work closely with Head Girl Millie Collins and the rest of the Prefect team in the coming months as they look to continue Rydal Penrhos’ rich history of success.
Host of pupils rewarded with roles
A total of ten successful applicants have been awarded the coveted roles by Mrs Harding, Mrs Crimes and Mr Waszek, and they started their new roles at the start of the summer term.
Keira Bonnington, Niamh Hall, Cerys Howells, Orla McGagh Alexandra Williams, Zahra Shamsi and Angharad Rowlands will form the female contingent of the Prefect team, with all contributing significantly across all areas of Rydal Penrhos life during their time at the school.
Rounding off the team is Harry Hackman, Sam Jones and Jamie Lavery, with each Prefect working with Head Boy Ioan Peake-Jones, Head Girl Millie Collins, their deputies and House Captains to ensure the smooth running of the school from a pupil perspective in the coming months.
Mrs Harding, said: “Our newly appointed Prefects all demonstrated a tremendous determination to secure their respective positions, and I am confident they are all going to be a massive success during the final year of their time here at Rydal Penrhos.
“They are great role models for the younger members of the school community and also represent Rydal Penrhos in a positive way at various community events throughout the academic year."
Brona Richardson and Matthias Fiorita will assume the role of Morgan House Captains following a successful application process, taking over from Upper Sixth Form duo Will Lynch and Jule Mayer.
All House Captains this year will also be part of the Prefect Team, working with newly appointed Head Boy Ioan Peake-Jones and Head Girl Millie Collins to ensure the smooth running of the school from a pupil perspective.
Brona and Matthias joined the Rydal Penrhos community as Reception class pupils during the 2004/5 academic year, and they have contributed significantly across a wide range of different areas of school life.
They are both co-chairs of Sixth Form committees, have shown a great deal of progress academically and have also played a huge role with sporting sides and other co-curricular options such as the Duke of Edinburgh programme.
Mrs Harding, said: “Brona and Matty are extremely deserving of being Morgan House captains and I am confident they are going to be a huge success in the role.
“They have been part of the furniture here at Rydal Penrhos since they began their education, and both are incredibly passionate about the school.”
Raha Aminnejad and William Stewart will assume the role following a successful application process, taking over from Upper Sixth Form duo Grace Ormerod and Josh Thomas.
Raha has been one of the standout contributors to Lower Sixth Form life and joined the school in Year 7, developing her academic skills considerably and also demonstrating a key eye for art.
She is also co-chair of the Sixth Form Eco Committee and recently scooped an Effort and Attainment Prize thanks to her outstanding dedication to her studies.
Will is another that is thriving thanks to the opportunities afforded to him at Rydal Penrhos, with the pupil part of the recent landmark trip to India last summer.
His GCSE results last summer were of a very high standard, and he has carried this on during the first year of his A-level options.
Iestyn Williams and Nia Humphreys will assume the role following a successful application process, taking over from Upper Sixth Form duo Ewan Luke and Louise Weis.
All House Captains this year will also be part of the Prefect Team, working with newly appointed Head Boy Ioan Peake-Jones and Head Girl Millie Collins to ensure the smooth running of the school from a pupil perspective.
Iestyn arrived at Rydal Penrhos as a Year 7 pupil in 2013 as has made a large impression across a wide range of different areas of school life, and the talented footballer was recently appointed as the First XI captain thanks to his overall leadership across the provision.
Lower Sixth pupil Nia has made a considerable impression on the school after joining on a sports scholarship in September, immediately integrating herself with her peers and becoming a key component in the school’s Netball side in her role as First XI skipper.
Arend Franssens and Bijou Rajagopal will assume the role following a successful application process, taking over from Upper Sixth Form duo Ruby James and Joe Morrow.
All House Captains this year will also be part of the Prefect Team, working with newly appointed Head Boy Ioan Peake-Jones and Head Girl Millie Collins to ensure the smooth running of the school from a pupil perspective.
Arend is a very strong academic who has been part of the Rydal Penrhos community since Year 9, and he was recently awarded a prestigious Arkwright Engineering Scholarship, which is offered to UK pupils to pursue a career in engineering, computing and related areas of technical design.
Bijou is another fine example of what can be achieved from a Rydal Penrhos education, and she has also lent her support to younger members pupils as a Peer Mentor, and has performed at various concerts throughout the academic year.
Lower School support national campaign
Enthusiastic pupils raised a considerable amount as part of a national fundraising drive.
To encourage its pupils to read for pleasure, Year 7 and 8 pupils at the school recently completed a very successful Readathon sponsored read.
Pupils rose to the challenge and raised more than £200 for the initiative, which will be used to provide books to seriously ill children in hospital.
Their achievement also earned free books provided by Readathon in partnership with Scholastic Book Clubs to boost Rydal Penrhos’ library stocks.
Readathon, a nationwide charity, uses the sponsorship money raised to provide brand new books for children in hospital up and down the UK, as well as supporting charities who help seriously ill children.
Miss Earle, said: “I recommend Readathon to any teacher or librarian who wants to get their pupils reading for pleasure.
“Readathon creates a real buzz about books in the school. I found children talking about books, sharing and swapping favourites and genuinely motivated to read.
“Parents became involved in what their children were reading and shared precious time together talking about books."
Lower School take in Venue Cymru event
The Year 7 contingent made the short trip to Venue Cymru in Llandudno, where they took in the live show entitled Horrible Histories.
Using actors and ground-breaking 3D special effects, these two astounding shows enable historical figures and events to come to life on stage, with Terrible Tudors and Awful Egyptians forming the two parts of the festivities.
From the horrible Henries to the end of evil Elizabeth, the group heard the legends (and the lies!) about the torturing Tudors.
They also discovered more about the fate of Henry VIII’s headless wives and his punch up with the Pope.
Other topics discussed were the Spanish Armada, which sailed into the audience in attendance!
The Awful Egyptian segment was another fascinating element of the show, which ranged from the different Pharaohs to the power of the pyramids.
Miss Earle, who was part of the Rydal Penrhos group in attendance, said: “The Horrible Histories show really brought some of the most significant periods of history to life, and it left our Lower School group with an enormous amount of excitement and keen to learn more about both topics.
“This is a fantastic way for them to engage with each other and discuss what they have witnessed and how it relates to their classroom studies, and trips like this are a great way to enhance their learning in a less formal environment.”
Creative & Performing Arts
Second annual dinner celebrates talent
All things related to the Performing Arts were celebrated at a special event.
The school welcomed staff, pupils and parents to the second annual Creative and Performing Arts Dinner, which was held at the stunning Sixth Form Ferguson Centre on Wednesday, April 3.
Those in attendance were treated to a lavish spread from catering providers Holroyd Howe, with Executive Principal Mr Waszek kicking off proceedings with a special welcoming address.
Year 13 pupil Sean Hughes was joined by primary cast members from the Dramatic Society production of Les Misérables for an incredible performance, and Jenny Blackman’s emotional solo was another standout feature during the event.
Mr Williams, Mr Sherrington and Mrs Jones gave speeches outlining the incredible academic year from the school’s Performing Arts provision, with Senior School Head Mrs Harding on hand to dish out the prizes.
A host of awards were presented throughout the evening to those that have shown exceptional application and commitment throughout the academic year under the dedicated support of staff across the Art, Drama and Music departments.
Other performances of note came from Cerys Cuddihy, who performed a monologue from her recent GCSE Drama examination, with the duet of Ollie Gibson and Zahra Shamsi also demonstrating their exceptional vocal talent during their time on stage.
Mr Williams, said: “It was a wonderful evening and a fitting way to acknowledge the contributions of each pupil involved in the schools’ Creative and Performing Arts programme here at Rydal Penrhos.
“To work with such a well-rounded and talented group of pupils is an absolute privilege, and they continue to go above and beyond both in terms of their commitment and overall progression.”
Prizes galore at Chester Festival
The school’s Speech and Drama candidates demonstrated their incredible talent at the recent Chester Festival, which saw the group compete in various categories and secured some notable accolades as a result.
Leading the way were the Year 8 quartet of Eve Durrans, Ruby Merrick, Ada Vonbank, Lily Davies and Ella James, who finished first in Prepared Scene and second in Improvisation.
Eve and Ruby picked up first place in the Duologue, with Lily scooping a trophy after finishing first in Prepared Reading.
The Year 7 trio of Philo Rozek, Harrison McKinnel and Ben Alefounder secured second spot in Prepared Scene and fourth in Group Mime, with Philo also achieving fourth place in the Prepared Reading category.
Abdul Khurram, Louis Ashby and Jake McDonald achieved a Merit in Group acting, and Year 8’s Freddie James, George Watkins, Will Tavernor, Christian Cheesley and Dylan Lloyd-Bloom winning the Improvisation category and coming third for their Prepared Scene.
Middle School pupils Damisola Animashaun, Philippa Thomas and Sophie Williams achieve a notable double with first in Prepared Scene and Improvisation, and other to achieve considerable success were Sophie Madden, Emma Hackman, Jasmin Lewis, Sten Lai, Manson Lo and Aisha Jidda to round off another exceptional set of results from a Rydal Penrhos perspective.
Each member of the team worked hard in the lead-up to the competition under the expert guidance of Speech and Drama tutor Mrs Bloomfield, with many performers unable to take part due to their involvement with the Dramatic Society production of Les Misérables.
Mrs Bloomfield, said: “Our courageous team members certainly made their presence felt with the quality of their work."
Mr Sherrington gives a detailed account of the recent GCSE examination:
The pupils arrived on the Tuesday morning (April 2) and all found their allocated space in the top studio of the Art department.
The idea of a ten-hour exam held over two days in silence in the Art room is a daunting prospect but the pupils had prepared superbly.
Each pupil had approached me the week before and had a board prepared, canvas stretched or materials sourced ready for an 8.30am start.
The pupils had all planned what they would be doing and the first day saw them initially blocking in areas of colour, drawing out and laying the groundwork for the afternoon session.
By day two, all the pupils had their work underway and it enabled them to push the standard of their work and improve areas or create detail or a better finish.
This has to be one of the best-prepared group of pupils I have ever had and as a result, we have some cracking final pieces ready for the exhibition.
It feels like they have all reached their potential. They have the holidays to finish off their coursework now before the final show where the moderator will check the marks.
What with the Arts awards dinner this has been a great end to a productive term.
Les Mis Orchestra receive plaudits
A host of talented musicians received praise for their superb contribution to the recent Dramatic Society production.
No fewer than 18 pupils were part of the musical accompaniment during Les Misérables, which was held over three sold-out nights at the Memorial Hall.
The brother/sister duo of Juan and Bijou Rajagopal were tasked with keyboard duties during the production, with Jan Christoph Franzius and Vanessa Weining playing keyboard horn.
The incredibly talented Harry Grocott played keyboard trombone with aplomb, and the duo of Ethan Bytheway and Arend Franssens’ composed performance on the trumpet further aiding the orchestra.
Louise Weiss and Alicia Zhou were prominent members of the contingent on the flute, with the clarinet responsibility handled supremely by Johanna Pieper.
Alto and Tenor Saxophone and Recorder was played by the hard-working and committed Samuel Jones, and Ivo Vonbank highlighted his enormous potential as Soprano Saxophone.
The talented trio of Eddie Farrell, Johanna Schmidt and Adrian Lewis also contributed significantly on the violin, as did Gwyn Davies on the Cello and Richard Wolfendale on bass guitar.
Mia Cole’s exceptional drumming was another notable highlight, with two professionals also lending their expertise in the form of Jasmine Leach (Clarinet/Bass Clarinet) and Melanie Cross (Oboe and Cor Anglais).
Mr Williams, said: “I am enormously proud to say that all but two of the Les Misérables orchestra were formed by our wonderfully talented pupils, who fill me and everyone at the school with a great sense of pride on a daily basis.
“Their work behind the scenes was exemplary and they dedicated an exceptional amount of their own time to ensure the production was a roaring success, and each of them deserve all the plaudits coming their way.”
Harry Grocott, a Year 11 pupil at the school, recently sat his Grade 6 Piano assessment, which was administered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and the 15-year-old produced a fantastic performance in front of adjudicators to receive a Merit mark for his efforts.
He has now decided to skip his Grade 7 assessment and move on to Grade 8, which he plans to complete during his Sixth Form studies before moving on to University.
This is the latest in a series of notable achievements for the Middle School pupil, who was part of the Orchestra that contributed significantly to the recent Dramatic Society production of Les Misérables.
He also turned in a standout effort during the recent Intermediate Inter-House Music competition, and Harry is also thriving from an academic perspective in addition to his musical exploits.
Mr Williams, said: “Harry is an immensely talented pianist who has grasped all areas of his study exceptionally well."
Cyprus beach clean organised by pupil
Ethan Davies, a Year 12 pupil at the school, arranged the two-day activity as part of his volunteering commitments for his Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, and he liaised with local environmental groups before making the journey following the end of term.
He also designed and distributed posters/flyers and utilised social media to promote a Weekend Beach Clean Up event on the beaches of the Sovereign Base Areas in Episkopi, Cyprus where his parents are stationed with the Royal Air Force.
The event coincided with Surfers Against Sewage UK Spring Beach Clean Up campaigns running throughout the UK, of which Ethan is a member.
The beaches of Cyprus are turtle nesting sites for the Loggerhead and Green Turtles. Plastic pollution and litter can deter turtle nesting and endanger local sea and wildlife.
Ethan’s event ran from April 13-14 and was supported by volunteers of all ages.
Random and curious plastic items were unearthed as well as the all too familiar bottles and single use plastic items, glass, cans and eroded fishing tackle/nets that litter many coastlines.
All items retrieved were sorted and delivered to the local recycling centre, and Ethan hopes to encourage and influence his fellow pupils at Rydal Penrhos to be aware of the effects of plastic pollution and personal responsibility, and continue to support events in the UK and Cyprus.
Silver and Bronze Award success
Four hard-working pupils have achieved a significant milestone as part of a thriving outdoor education initiative.
The quartet successfully completed their Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award after a strenuous assessment process, and each of them received their respective distinctions at the school’s End of Term Prizegiving Assembly on Friday, April 5.
Upper Sixth Form pupil Nia Seenan successfully secured the Award, with the Year 11 trio of Amanda Sperring, Cerys Cuddihy and Sydney Johnson also achieving the feat.
Each pupil had to spend considerable time in practice expeditions before their assessment, in addition to theory work and volunteering as part of their award.
This is the latest in a series of exceptional achievements relating to the Duke of Edinburgh programme at Rydal Penrhos, which has seen a host of pupils secure Gold and book their place at a lavish ceremony at St James’ Palace later this year.
Dr Lewis, said: “This is another fantastic achievement from Nia, Amanda, Cerys and Sydney, who all showed a truly outstanding level of commitment to attain their Silver Award.
“None of this activity would be possible without the dedicated support of the staff involved, particularly Miss Margerison, Miss Jones and Mr Sanders, who are all thanked for sharing their expertise and endless enthusiasm.”
Baptiste Mazars, Ben Davies and Megan Gibson, Year 10 pupils at the school, are now the proud owners of the Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award after successfully coming through their respective assessments.
The trio all worked incredibly hard under the guidance and support of programme co-ordinator Dr Lewis, which saw them take part in community volunteering and a series of expeditions in order to secure the accolade.
They will now begin working towards their Silver Award in the coming months as each pupil aims to add to Rydal Penrhos’ incredible history of success from the initiative.
Head Boy Nick Fiorita became the latest to secure a Gold Award during his time at the school, and he will attend a special ceremony at St James’ Palace later this year as a result of his efforts.
Dr Lewis, said: “None of this would be possible without the dedicated support of the staff involved, particularly Miss Margerison, Miss Jones and Mr Sanders, who are all thanked for sharing their expertise and endless enthusiasm.
“We are thrilled with the progress made by Baptiste, Ben and Megan, who have demonstrated the sort of enthusiasm and drive that has become the trademark of the exceptional pupils we are lucky to work with here at Rydal Penrhos.”
News from former pupils
Hundreds of pounds were raised by the Rydal Penrhos family for a national charity in memory of a former pupil.
The school held a collection at the second annual Creative and Performing Arts evening on Wednesday, April 3, which was raising funds for Ataxia UK.
This was done to honour the life of ex-pupil Scarlett Salisbury, who suffered from the condition and passed away on Monday, March 18.
She left behind a fantastic legacy at Rydal Penrhos, where she thrived in her role as Prefect during her final year at the school and also contributed significantly to the Performing Arts and Dramatic Society provisions at Rydal Penrhos.
Almost £800 was donated at the event, which will be sent to the charity in Scarlett’s name.
A service of thanksgiving for her life was held at St John’s Church in Colwyn Bay.
Some members of the Rydal Penrhos family came together for a special reunion event.
The school hosted its Annual Anniversary Tea on Saturday, March 30, with former pupils coming from far and wide to link-up with their old classmates at the newly refurbished Sixth Form Ferguson Centre.
The festivities began with afternoon tea thanks to a lavish spread by catering providers Holroyd Howe, before those in attendance were split into groups and taken on tours of Rydal Penrhos and led by the school’s Prefect team.
This was followed by a trip to the Richards Room, where they explored the rich history of the school and looks at some historical items that take pride of place.
The reunion was open to those who graduated from Rydal Penrhos in a year ending with nine (1999, 2009 etc), and plans are already being formed for next year’s event.
Mrs Harding, said: “It is always wonderful to welcome back members of the school community, whether they attended Rydal Penrhos, Rydal School or Penrhos College.
“They have all left a lasting legacy here in their own way and formed some lifelong friendships, which is a testament to the sense of community through all areas of Rydal Penrhos throughout history."
Becky Lawton, who left the school last summer, has successfully completed her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award after coming through the final stages of a strenuous assessment process.
The 19-year-old managed to secure the exceptional distinction under the expert guidance of programme co-ordinator Dr Jim Lewis to ensure she adds her name to the long list of success stories emanating from Rydal Penrhos.
In order to achieve the accolade, Becky had to take part in gruelling expeditions under testing conditions along with other candidates, and she will now attend a ceremony at a royal venue later this year with other successful pupils from across the country to receive her award.
Becky made a lasting impression at Rydal Penrhos after arriving as a Year 6 pupil in 2010, with the former pupil excelling in Art and Sport on her way to some outstanding A-level results.
Rob Hall, who left the school in 2011, is a drummer with Catfish and the Bottlemen, who released their highly-anticipated third album entitled The Balance.
There are a host of outstanding tracks on the 12-song record, which has drawn rave reviews from the music media.
One review, said: “It’s important to acknowledge the consistency of Catfish and the Bottlemen’s music — nothing about their music is ever shocking and surprising. We never expect to be taken aback because they’ve managed to perfect the sound and take this genre of music for themselves — very few bands can replicate what they’ve done.
“Few artists feel allowed to remain the same throughout their careers, but Catfish and the Bottlemen have set a new precedent for others — they don’t feel obligated to change everything about themselves for their fans; people love them for their sound.”
The group have also announced a UK tour that is set to take place in the autumn, which will see the Bottlemen play to adoring fans across the country during the four-gig schedule that begins on November 4 at the Birmingham Arena.
This will be followed by a performance at the Newcastle Tuilita Arena on November 5, before the Bottlemen perform a mini-homecoming gig at the Liverpool M&S Bank Arena.
Gwen Parry-Jones OBE, who attended Penrhos College, will assume the role of Chief Executive Operator at Magnox Ltd, which sees her career come full circle after she started her career in 1989 as a reactor physicist at Magnox’s Wylfa power station.
In 2008 she became the Station Director of Heysham 1 power station and the first woman in the UK to have run a nuclear power station.
During her time at EDF Energy, Gwen was also awarded an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) for services to science and technology.
Gwen is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics and the incoming President of the Nuclear Institute.
She joins Magnox following her role as Executive Director of Operations Development at Horizon Nuclear Power. Previously, Gwen was Generation Development Director and Safety and Assurance Director at EDF Energy.
The appointment is a vital step towards Magnox Ltd becoming a subsidiary of NDA in September 2019, when Gwen will officially take up her post.
Before starting work as CEO of Magnox, Gwen will be seconded into NDA to support the incoming Magnox leadership team and help lead the transition process.
Henry Williams, who left the school in 2016, was part of the Bangor University contingent that managed to seal a 28-15 aggregate victory over their counterparts at the University of Aberystwyth, extending their rich and proud history of success in the competition.
Going into the main day, Bangor had a 10-4 advantage after wins from Surf, Athletics, Sailing, Badminton and others.
The athletes in Green and Gold started as they meant to go on, with BU Rowing trouncing their opposition 4-1.
Halfway through the day, Bangor managed to speed away with a ten-point advantage, leading 15-5.
Emphatic wins came from Karate, who fought their way to a 20-4 victory, and Volleyball who took both the Men’s and Women’s category 2-1.
Aber launched a brief fightback, showing their class in a 7-1 win at the Pool for Octopush and a closely contested 67-52 win in the Men’s Basketball.
However, the men and women of Bangor stayed resolute, consolidating a commanding 19-8 overall lead by 3pm.
Success was secured for Bangor after Rugby League, Men’s Lacrosse and Squash all finalised positive results.
Henry has enjoyed a hugely impressive time at the university since leaving Rydal Penrhos, and was appointed Vice President of Sport and Club Captain for their senior rugby side.
Jessica Maudsley, who left the school last summer, has successfully completed her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award after coming through the final stages of a strenuous assessment process.
The 18-year-old managed to secure the exceptional distinction under the expert guidance of programme co-ordinator Dr Jim Lewis to ensure she adds her name to the long list of success stories emanating from Rydal Penrhos.
In order to achieve the accolade, Jessica had to take part in gruelling expeditions under testing conditions along with other candidates, and she will now attend a ceremony at a royal venue later this year with other successful pupils from across the country to receive her award.
Jessica quickly established herself as a well-respected member of the Rydal Penrhos community after joining as a Lower Sixth Form pupil, and her influence was rewarded with a Prefect appointment for the 2017.18 academic year.
The departed Sixth Former is the latest in a long line of candidates that have secured Gold from Rydal Penrhos in recent years, with Jenny Marsden, Jack Sissons, Katie Marsden, Jenny Johnson, Sara Owen, Becky Lawton and Mili Jayadeep all attaining the coveted feat.
"This is another excellent achievement for our programme and I would like to congratulate Jessica on reaching her Gold Award, which is something she can take an enormous amount of pride in."
Hundreds raised from Chocolate Bingo
Hundreds of pounds were raised from a special fundraising event organised by the Friends of Rydal Penrhos.
The group held their annual Chocolate Bingo event on Thursday, April 4 at the school’s Dining Hall, and the initiative was once again hailed as a tremendous success by organisers.
A total of £538 was raised from the event, which will be distributed to a number of projects at Rydal Penrhos.
This is the latest in a long line of fundraising initiatives by FORPS, who have raised thousands for the school since their inception.
In addition to the bingo, there was also a collection set up, which resulted in a large number of Easter eggs being donated to global charity Action for Children.
FORPS secretary Rachel Simpson, said: “Easter Bingo was a really great event - the senior dining hall was full, it was loud, it was rowdy, there were Easter Eggs galore and plenty of laughing going on!
“Apart from when the numbers were being read out when an eerie hush descended upon the room as everyone concentrated on their sheets.
“We raised a fantastic £538.26 - and we had around 20 eggs left over which were donated to Action for Children, making sure that the Easter Bunny will arrive at a few more houses this year.
"The money raised will go into the FORPS account, to be spent on items for the schoolchildren. FORPS’ latest purchases have been radio mics for the Prep school drama department, and a brand new lighting rig which will be primarily used for the Prep school, but is fairly portable and so can be moved around the school where needed."
Special guest confirmed
A former pupil and professional rugby star will be the special guest at a prominent sporting occasion.
Andrew Fenby, who attended the school from 1997-2004, will be the guest of honour at the annual Sports Awards Dinner, which will take place in the Dining Room on Thursday, May 16.
The ex-pupil and qualified chartered accountant enjoyed a fantastic career in the domestic game, turning out for the likes of Scarlets, Newcastle Falcons and London Irish before announcing his retirement.
He was then tempted back into the sport on a short-term deal at Saracens, and Mr Fenby began his career at National League side Blacon, where he scored 73 tries in 77 contests before a move to the Falcons.
After saying goodbye to rugby on his own terms, Mr Fenby secured a job in the City with a sustainable investment fund set up by former United Stated vice-president Al Gore, before setting up his own rugby agency in Certo Management, which he described as “one of the greatest and rewarding” challenges of his career.
Mr Boyd, said: “Andrew is one of the shining lights in our rich history of rugby success here at Rydal Penrhos, and we are thrilled that he has agreed to attend our Sports Awards as the special guest speaker.
“His achievements at the very top level have served as a great source of inspiration.”
Josh earns Team GB selection
Josh Manning will be part of the Great Britain contingent that will compete at the upcoming World Championships, which takes place from June 29 until July in Portugal.
The Middle School star will take part in a five-day training camp on the continent prior to the competition, which is set to run over a five-day period.
Josh, together with sailing partner Lucy Hughes, will be competing in the 420 category and secured their place in the squad with impressive performances at the Welsh Youth Nationals, the Inland Nationals and the Start of Season competition.
This feat is made even more impressive as only 14 were chosen for the Team GB set-up, and he will meet his new teammates at a two-day coaching weekend in Weymouth prior to the championships later this year.
The sailing hopeful has been part of the Wales squad for a number of years and is another success story from Rydal Penrhos’ RYA Accredited sailing programme, which has gone from strength-to-strength under the guidance of provision head Max Todd and Petrina Blomeley.
Triple gold for Zach at Easter Nationals
Zach Speakman, a Year 11 pupil at the school, competed against some of the best young swimmers in the country at the Swim Wales Easter Nationals, which took place in Swansea during the termly break.
The sports scholar was competing in the 17+ category and managed to turned in an incredible performance throughout, securing three Gold medals as a result of his outstanding effort.
He achieved this feat in the 400-metre individual medley, 200m backstroke and 100m backstroke events, and he received his medals from World and Commonwealth Games medallist Chloé Tutton.
Zach reached the finals in all the competitions he entered in, achieving qualification times to compete in Glasgow at the British Championships but decided to compete at the Swansea showcase due to a clash in fixtures.
He is currently ranked in the top-24 in three sections at 17+ level, which represents a considerable feat given the fact Zach is juggling his training with his GCSE coursework and examinations later this year.
"This is another exceptional performance from Zach, who continues to show why he is so highly regarded in swimming circles and he really has such a bright future in the sport if he continues to show the same desire in the months and years ahead.
He is such a driven individual who always rises to the big occasion, and to come away with three gold medals from such a competitive event is a testament to his overall ability and his tremendous will to succeed."
Outstanding month for Academy
Reuben Bather took his place in the field at the Scottish Boys’ Open Championship, which was held at West Kilbride Golf Club.
The sports scholar opened with a round of 74, before getting himself back into contention with a superb 69 during his second round.
This was followed by a sensational joint-best score of 67 in round three, with Reuben demonstrating the nerve and overall shot ability that has seen him make a considerable impact with the Wales U18 squad in recent months.
The Maesdu Golf Club junior captain concluded the competition with a final round of 70, giving him a four-under-par score overall that saw him finish in joint-fifth place to add to his ongoing list of exceptional achievements on the national stage.
Mr Boyd, said: “Reuben has consistently shown why he is so highly rated within the game, and he has developed his game considerably since joining our Golf Academy and Sports Scholarship programme.
“His achievements are vast and Reuben demonstrates a composure on the course way beyond his relatively young age, and he really does have such a bright future within the game and we will work hard to ensure his objectives are met during the remainder of his time here at Rydal Penrhos.”
Richard Wolfendale hit a hole-in-one during a round at North Wales Golf Club in Llandudno, which is a first for the aspiring star in a competitive setting.
The Middle School standout secured the accolade with a stunning approach shot at the 17th hole at the Llandudno course, and he watched as his shot found its way into the hole at the first opportunity.
This is the latest in a long line of successes for the pupil, who has developed his game considerably under the watchful eye of Ian Richardson and other coaching staff at the Academy.
Richard has recorded some outstanding results in recent months as his handicap continues to plummet, which included the overall nett title at last year’s ISGA Northern Open and the Simon Robertson and Collins Trophies at Rydal Penrhos’ Golf Academy partners at North Wales Golf Club.
Mr Boyd, said: “This is one of the most sought-after milestones that any golfer aspires to achieve, and for Richard to do this at such a young age is a testament to how much ability he has.
“He is a very studious pupil who is thriving academically, but he has also discovered a real talent on the golf course that has ensured some really positive performances and overall results during his short but very promising career to date.”
Two Golf Academy members have surged up the national rankings after a series of exceptional performances in recent weeks.
Reuben Bather and Charley Simpson have both secured top-20 placings in the Independent Schools’ Golf Association UK ranking thanks to their sterling efforts on course.
Wales U18 international Reuben, who recently scooped the ISGA Northern Open title with a sensational score of 66, currently sits in sixth position in the standings ahead of a busy series of fixtures throughout the summer term as he looks further establish himself as one of the brightest young prospects anywhere in the country.
There was further cause for celebration from a Rydal Penrhos perspective in the form of Golf Academy Wales member Charley, who is in 19th place in recognition of his exceptional recent form.
Both Reuben and Charley took their place at the ISGA Matchplay Championships after winning the northern regional heat.
Mr Boyd, said: “Reuben and Charley have been the shining lights from our Golf Academy since its inception, and they have come along a significant amount thanks to the dedicated programme devised by Ian Richardson and his coaching team.
“They are enormously dedicated to their craft and are always striving to improve, and there is going to plenty of success coming their way in the coming weeks if they continue to develop at their current rate.”
Owen & Arran make strong start to season
Owen Reilly and Arran Sen turned out for Bangor and Colwyn Bay 2nds respectively and made a lasting impression on the opening weekend of competitive action.
Sports scholar Owen, who joined Bangor from North Wales Cricket League Premier Division rivals Pwllheli, made a huge impact with the ball and took the wickets of Daniel Monk (3), Martin Turner (0) and Mohamed Jayman (5) on his way to figures of 3-12 from a seven-over spell.
He also opened the batting as Bangor secured a comfortable seven-wicket triumph over Brymbo.
There was further cause for celebration from a Rydal Penrhos perspective as Arran performed incredibly well as part of the recently promoted Bay side in their first Liverpool and District Competition 2nd XI Premier Division clash with Orrell Red Triangle at Penrhyn Avenue.
The 13-year-old Lancashire youth squad member was given the responsibility of bowling ten overs and did a marvellous job, claiming the scalps of opener Graham Talbot (52) and David Naylor to end the day on 2-42 as the home side ensured the contest was drawn.
Outstanding achievements continue
Mr Boyd brings us a rundown of the schools’ U18 and U16 Rugby 7s sides from the high-profile Rosslyn Park 7s competition last week.
This was the last outing on the rugby pitch for this group as a collective.
Before the competition we had targeted games we needed to win and we won those which is testament to their ability to play 7s.
With two incredibly good sides in our group we did struggle to up our game to their level which was disappointing, however, that should not take away from the achievements of this group on the 7s pitch this season.
With a long list of schools beaten over the course of the season they have shown that they can achieve and hopefully they have enjoyed the sport enough to wish to pursue it and then move on to pastures new in September.
For those who remain, they can look forward to playing with a promising group of U16s coming through behind them.
With three previous winners of the tournament in our group and 160 teams entered into the competition this was always going to be a tough competition.
However, this group of players did incredibly well in the group stages, the highlight being their well-deserved victory over Mount St Mary’s School.
It was a pleasure to see the team develop over the course of the season and I am sure there are great things to come from this group on the 7s pitch in the future.
It has been another campaign of encouraging progression across all year groups at the school during a busy series of netball fixtures over the spring term, and a select few were chosen by Mrs Head and announced at Rydal Penrhos’ Prizegiving Assembly on Friday, April 5.
The Year 7 Player of the Year accolades went to the hugely committed Jasmin Beckett-Donald, with Sophie Hall’s outstanding development securing her the Most Improved Player of the Year title.
Sports scholar Ariana Milligan came away with the Year 8 Player of the Year after a series of standout displays, and Martha Hind’s tireless commitment was acknowledged with the Most Improved Player of the Year.
Emily Thomas’ contribution to the Year 9 squad saw her come away with the Player of the Season accolade, with Ester Ball-Iverson’s exceptional start to life at Rydal Penrhos continuing with the Most Improved Player of the Year honour.
Rounding off the achievements were the Year 10 duo of Gloria Johnson and Megan Gibson, who were the Player and Most Improved Player of the Year recipients from this particular age group.
Mr Boyd, said: “It has been very pleasing to see our young netballers progressing their respective skill-sets both individually within their respective teams."
Payne House secured a notable double from a special annual sporting competition prior to the Easter break.
Aspiring footballers competed for bragging rights at the Girls’ and Boys’ Inter-House Football tournament on Wednesday, April 3, which saw those involved compete against each other in a round-robin format to determine the overall winner.
The female section of the event was dominated by Payne, who won each of their three contests to claim the crown, scoring eight and keeping a clean sheet throughout.
Osborn finished in second spot on goal difference ahead of Morgan, with Wesley House rounding off the places in fourth.
Conditions worsened considerably during the senior boys’ event, but Payne dug deep to secure a 100 per cent record to emerge victorious.
Only goal difference separated the remaining House, with Morgan (2nd), Osborn (3rd) and Wesley (4th) all contributing to the overall success of the tournament.
Mr Sanders, said: “Everyone that competed deserves a tremendous amount of credit given the conditions, which made things very interesting to say the least."
A number of Boys’ Hockey stars have been rewarded for their excellent efforts throughout the campaign with individual awards.
The Lower and Middle School groups received their respective prizes at the end of term Prizegiving Assembly on Friday, April 5, which were presented by Mr Waszek and Mrs Harding.
Liam Farrell’s exceptional season saw him come away with the Year 7 Player of the Award, with Arun Ramesh scooping the Most Improved Player of the Year distinction in recognition of his impressive development.
The ultra-consistent and hard-hitting Laurence Richardson was the deserved winner of the Year 8 Player of the Year distinction, with pacey player Jonathan Osbourne claiming the Most Improved Player of the Year Award.
North Wales U14 squad member Alex Starling enjoyed a fine first season at Rydal Penrhos which culminated in him winning the Year 9 Player of the Year, and goalkeeper Niall Richardson’s shot-stopping prowess saw him claim the Most Improved Player of the Year title.
Rounding off the successes were Ben Davies and Simeon Murphy Thomas, who earned Year 10 Player and Most Improved after both contributed significantly to the programme over the course of the season.
No fewer than six pupils from the school secured podium finishes at the Conwy Schools’ Athletics Championships, which took place at Stadiwm Zip World in Colwyn Bay.
Lower School pupil Lily Davies was one of the standout performers from a Rydal Penrhos perspective on the day, turning in a sensational effort to cross the line first in the 800 metres.
This was replicated by fellow Year 8 pupil Laurence Richardson, who recorded an impressive height of 1.42 metres to emerge victorious from the high jump category in fine fashion.
Others who performed notably were Eddie Hackman, Zac Speakman, Ella James and Kosi Iwobi, who finished second in their respective events and secured qualification to the Eryri Championships later this month.
Mr Boyd, said: "Considering this was their first taste of competitive action this season it was a hugely encouraging performance and it will be an experience that stands them in good stead ahead of their upcoming challenges following the Easter break.
"Hopefully this will be the start of great things for them as the Athletics season gathers pace, and they have all been working immensely hard with our coaches and strength and conditioning team which is bringing some very impressive results."