Prep School newsletter: December 2019
The monthly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos Prep School.
Rydal Penrhos Prep School newsletter
Foreword from the Head
A Fantastic month with the first hint of Christmas!
Another fantastic month at the Prep School was brought to a close with the first hint of Christmas!
The Saltmine Theatre Company came to perform their version of the ‘Nutcracker’ story and it was brilliantly staged in our senior school Memorial Hall.
There was quite a lot of audience participation and they undertook this role with vigour!
We are looking forward to our final three weeks of term with lots of extra special events to celebrate this important time of year.
During November we held our first Parents’ Evening of the year and it was fantastic to see so many happy parents and proud pupils, what a great start to the academic year everyone has made and the link between home and school is vital.
Rydal Penrhos has small classes and experienced teachers and support staff and the result is every pupil is well known and their talents can be picked up and extended whatever they are.
I’m sure that this newsletter shows the wealth of opportunities that pupils have had over just one month is fantastically varied, what an education they are having!
Mrs L Davies
Head of Prep
Poignant service held
The school held an Armistice Day Service on Monday, November 11, which saw pupils, teachers and support staff congregate for the annual event to honour the 106 Rydal Penrhos community members who lost their lives during World War One and World War Two.
Mrs Davies opened proceedings with a reading, before Head Boy Rupert Barrington-Chance, Head Girl Fleur Roberts, Tilly Tureman and Will Glanville also addressed those in attendance.
The Year 6 duo released poppy petals into the air as a mark of remembrance, with a two-minute silence taking place at 11am to commemorate the armistice signed between the Allies of World War One and Germany at Compiègne, France.
Special guest Sue Hughes had the privilege of playing The Last Post.
Mrs Davies, said: “We always strive to ensure that each pupil under our care understands the importance of the incredible sacrifices made by those that have gone before us, and it was great to see different year groups getting involved in some way to ensure their legacy lives on.
“The service was incredibly poignant, especially when you consider how many Rydal Penrhos pupils lost their lives during the two World Wars, and we will always be eternally grateful to them for their invaluable contribution in changing the course of human history for the better.”
Children in Need
Hundreds raised from fundraiser
As part of Rydal Penrhos’ fundraising activities for BBC Children in Need on Friday, November 15, the Prep School Council devised some exciting games for all year groups to participate in during a ‘Fun Fifties Day’.
There were a host of games situated in the Library, which ranged from a Pudsey Treasure Hunt to Beanbag throwing, and each pupil was able to take part for a 50 pence donation.
After all donations were collected, the event raised a total of £365 for the nationwide campaign.
This represents a significant achievement for the group, who planned each phase of the process themselves and conducted themselves superbly throughout.
Mrs Davies, said: “Our School Council deserve all the credit in the world for the planning and implementation of Fun Fifties Day, which proved to be a huge hit with everyone taking part.
“They were a credit to themselves and our wonderful Prep School here at Rydal Penrhos, and each one of them can look back on this achievement for such a brilliant cause with a great sense of pride and accomplishment.”
Year groups have their say
Rydal Penrhos Prep School has announced its Student Council for the 2019/20 academic year.
The deserving candidates were selected by Head of Prep Mrs Davies following a successful assessment process, and features children from all year groups.
They will be chaired by Rupert Barrington-Chance and Fleur Roberts, who were appointed Head Boy and Girl earlier this year.
Amelie Skinner and Felix Griffin are the Year 5 representatives on the council, with Ava Culver and Steffan Atenstaedt chosen from the Year 4 contingent.
Year 3’s thoughts on Prep School issues will be brought forward by Ella Ffowcs Williams and Harrison Simmons.
Archie Green and Layko Driver were selected as the council members from Year 2, and the ultra-enthusiastic Year 1 group will be represented by Hania Ffowcs Williams and Jack Brookes-Fazackerly.
Rounding off the Student Council are William Oliver and Megan Roberts, who will be the youngest members of the initiative from Reception.
Mrs Davies, said: “Our Student Council will discuss all matters relating to school life here at Rydal Penrhos, and their opinions and thoughts are highly valued by each member of the staff team.
“Each pupil is thoroughly deserving of their place on the council, and I am confident they are going to bring a great deal to their respective roles in the weeks and months ahead.”
Host of pupils elected
Three Preparatory School pupils will take on some digital responsibility thanks to an ongoing initiative.
Some of Rydal Penrhos’ most tech-savvy young minds have been appointed to Digital Leader positions, and the trio will be working with teaching staff on topics such as internet safety and other tasks relating to technology throughout the Prep School and the wider world.
Year 6 pupil Eloise Brown is one of the new Prep School Digital Leaders, with classmates Cameron Pye and Rasfe Tunstall also securing positions after a thorough assessment process.
Each Digital Leader received a badge acknowledging their respective selections from Prep School Head Lucy Davies at a weekly Celebration Assembly prior to the half term break.
"Each pupil selected to our Digital Leaders’ Committee has demonstrated fantastic knowledge of a subject that is changing significantly on an almost daily basis, and I am confident they are all going to be a massive success in their roles.
It is imperative that our children are fully aware of the impact all areas of technology are having and will continue to have on their everyday lives, and this is something we look to implement into each child under our care from a very early age."
Cammie de la Mare Norris, Sonny Murphy-Peers and Sophie Winters-Jones will be the school’s Librarians for the 2019/20 academic year.
They will be tasked with a number of different aspects including organisation and structure of the Lyndon Library, in addition to promoting the benefits of reading both inside and outside of school hours.
Each new librarian has already made a considerable impact in their new roles, which bodes well for the remainder of their time in the position.
The appointments were part of a wealth of leadership opportunities for all year groups at Rydal Penrhos, which includes the Prefect team, the School Council and Eco Committee.
Mrs Davies, said: “Cammie, Sonny and Sophie are all very strong academics who are passionate about reading and the written word, so their appointment to Librarians is a welcome move and should be mutually beneficial for both them and the school as a whole."
Each year group will be represented within the popular Eco Committee initiative in the coming months, which will be once again led by dedicated teacher Mrs Woodthorpe.
The group will be led by older members of the Prep School community, with Sophie Winters-Jones, Clarence Chasteau, Dominic Chamberlain, Ellie Knight, Cammie de la Mare Norris, Amelia Williams and Will Glanville volunteering their services from the Year 6 contingent.
Emily Nurse, Martha-Rose Johnson, Jorvan Toor, Lewis Jellicoe and Josh Williams are the Year 5 representatives within the committee, and Year 4 have three pupils involved in the form of Ella Payne, Eryn Mart and Kenzie Livingstone.
Rounding off the committee are James Mart, Charlotte Knight and Ella Ffowcs-Williams, who are the youngest members of the group and will represent Year 3.
Fun-filled afternoon at Senior School
.Year 6 got the opportunity to sample senior school life during an activity-themed event.
The enthusiastic Prep School contingent participated in an integration afternoon on Wednesday, November 27, which is one of a series of visits to Rydal Penrhos during the academic year to assist each pupil with the transition to a new environment.
They were split into two groups, with one taking part in a special Design and Technology session with Deputy Head Phil Sutton and Technician James Bonser.
The group honed their woodwork skills to create a personalised toy, which saw each pupil use the tools and machinery available under supervision within the impressive facility.
Another group headed to the Food Studies department for a cake-making afternoon with Laura Gardener
Culture Club produces stunning work
Aspiring Preparatory School artists drew inspiration from the picturesque African landscape for a special project during enrichment.
The new Prep School Art Culture Club with teacher Suzy Morris has proved a huge hit since the start of the academic year, further boosting Rydal Penrhos’ provision outside of classroom hours.
Their latest project saw them take on the task of examining different paintings and pictures of African sunsets, studying elements such as lighting, contrast and background during the initial stage of the process.
Under the expert eye of Mrs Morris, each member of the club then took when they had seen and produced a painting of their own, which saw them spend considerable time on the
This brought with it some exceptional creations from the group, with the paintings now taking pride of place within the stunning Prep School Art Room.
Mrs Davies, said: “This was yet another fine example of the truly incredible impact that the Art Culture Club has had in such a short space of time here at Rydal Penrhos, which is down to the ongoing commitment of Mrs Morris with some of our most creative children.
“Inspiring creativity through Art and other enrichment elements of a well-rounded education is something that has been prominent throughout our Prep School for a significant period of time, and each member of the Art Culture Club is benefitting considerably from the experience.”
Police workshops raise awareness
PC Vicky Roscoe spent the day at Rydal Penrhos on Thursday, November 14, where she spent time with multiple year groups to speak about many different topics relating to their everyday lives.
She began with a talk to Year 6 on the topic of “I Didn’t Think”, before addressing the Year 4 pupils for a workshop featuring the title “Friend or Foe”.
This was followed by a “Sticks and Stones” workshop with the Year 3 contingent, and PC Roscoe concluded her time at the Prep School with a session entitled “Safe Haven” with Year 2.
PC Roscoe is a frequent visitor to Rydal Penrhos’ Prep and Senior sites as part of an ongoing initiative to heighten awareness on matters such as safety, bullying and prevention.
Mrs Davies, said: “We were thrilled to have PC Vicky Roscoe with us for a day of very informative workshops, which provided some invaluable information to our pupils that they are sure to benefit from going forward.
“The sessions really captured the imagination of our young and older pupils in equal measure, and we are always striving to enhance experiences and boost knowledge in a positive way here at Rydal Penrhos."
Thriving programme continues to benefit
The Year 6 contingent held a special Forest School morning to gather valuable information for the “What’s Under Your Feet?” campaign, a nationwide science scheme designed to collect data regarding invertebrates found within the soil.
During the session, which was supervised by programme leader Jude Pyves and other staff members, each pupil dug up a specific part of the vast Forest School area before sorting, identifying and recording specific things relating to the initiative that they found.
They then put the invertebrates found back carefully in the ground and recorded their finding, which were then correlated and put into the WUYF pod online.
Mrs Davies, said: “Engaging in this project provides an excellent opportunity to answer questions, and each member of our Year 6 group had a fantastic time getting their hands dirty in the name of science. By digging randomly selected turf samples, we managed to gather some extremely useful information to help the What’s Under Your Feet scheme relate long-term declines in some familiar bird species to climate change.”
Year 3 have been working hard on their current Literacy module based on ‘Folktales’, which formed the prominent focus of a special Forest School morning.
During the session, the pupils used the story of ‘The Tiger Child’ to practice vocabulary, such as prepositions, by hiding animal characters from the story ‘under’ or ‘inside’ different places throughout the Forest School for others to find.
This was followed by the group sitting around the campfire to hear Forest School programme co-ordinator Jude Pyves read ‘The Tiger Child’, before working in groups to their own version of the story, replacing the character of the tiger with a British woodland animal.
Committee holds thought-provoking assembly
Eco Committee members spoke in front of their schoolmates during a special assembly, which centred on ‘Switch Off Fortnight”.
During the assembly, each member of the committee spoke about the initiative being implemented throughout the Prep School during the scheme, which will involve more than 1,300 other schools from across the country.
The pupils wrote and led the whole assembly themselves under the guidance of Rydal Penrhos’ chief eco-warrior and Year 3 teacher Julie Woodthorpe, and called on those in attendance to be more environmentally aware during the fortnight.
Switch Off Fortnight is a popular energy saving campaign and also acts as a rewarding and impactful activity for the whole school.
Mrs Davies, said: “Our Eco Committee did a fantastic job of not only delivering a really thought-provoking assembly, but also preparing themselves expertly in order to get their message across in the best possible way.
“We are proud to lend our support to Switch Off Fortnight and I would like to thank each member of our Eco Committee on their sterling efforts to make Rydal Penrhos Prep School a more environmentally efficient place to learn on a daily basis.”
Llandudno Junction Mosque visit
Year 6 paid a visit to the Canolfan Iman Centre Mosque situated in Llandudno Junction, where they took part in a series of activities designed to enhance their knowledge of Islam.
The group were led by Imam Mohamed, who is a good friend of the school, and he began by speaking about the five Pillars of Islam and their significance both throughout history and in today’s society.
He then showed the pupils the wash room where those using the facility to pray start their ritual, before moving to the main hall to give those visiting a demonstration of the postures of prayer.
Finally, the pupils went into the upper prayer hall to be taught about the Qur'an, the holy book of Islam, and to be shown how Muslims pray.
As a special gift before they left, the Imam wrote out everybody's name in Arabic for them to take away.
St Asaph Cathedral visit
All of Year 4 went to St Asaph cathedral on November 5th as part of their classroom learning about the Church and its festivals.
Once again the Education Team at the cathedral offered us several engaging workshops about the life of the cathedral and its famous copy of Bishop Morgan's Welsh Bible.
Kenzie Livingstone and Steffan Atenstaedt were this year's lucky people chosen to dress up as the bishop!
We listened to the organ with its 3,000 pipes and created our own tunes using bell plates; we also studied the stained glass in the great East window and had a chance to dress up in vestments, which proved to be another exciting exercise for everyone involved.
This final workshop in particular will help inform our forthcoming lessons about the way the Church uses colour to reinforce its teaching through its annual cycle of festivals, and I would like to thank everyone at St Asaph Cathedral for making us feel so welcome throughout our visit.
Rev'd Sissons, RS Co-ordinator
Annual event a success
The annual autumn Book Fair took place at the school’s Lyndon Library, and there was a wide range of children’s books available to purchase ranging from Pre-School level up to Year 6 reading standard and beyond.
The collections featured everything from Peppa Pig and Super Mario to Harry Potter, and this is the latest in a long of initiatives and opportunities put on by Rydal Penrhos’ Prep School staff with a view to improving reading and vocabulary in each pupil under their care.
Mrs Davies, said: “Our Book Fair is a great way for children to boost their own personal collections, while also improving their reading outside of the classroom.
“This is something was actively encourage at every opportunity here at Rydal Penrhos, and it is something that continues to progress the academic accomplishments and development of each pupil considerably.
“It is also a superb way for them to explore their curiosity, engage with friends, teachers and family members, in addition to enhancing their creativity, which are all tools that are essential both during education and in later life.”
Fairytale Ball rewards hard work
Pre-School and Reception descended on the School Hall for a Fairy Tale Ball, which took place on Wednesday, November 20.
Children were invited to come dressed as their favourite fairy tale character, and the event is the culmination of weeks of learning incorporated to stories such as Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and Goldilocks and the Three Bears.
There were plenty of eye-catching costumes from those in attendance, which ranged from Snow White, Knights of the Realm, Ariel from the Little Mermaid and Elsa from the smash-hit Frozen.
Each pupil posed for pictures before dancing to various songs from their favourite films, before enjoying some tasty treats to round off the event.
Amazing stories aplenty
A large number of aspiring sailors received recognition for their outstanding commitment with special certificates.
The group have been working exceptionally hard during a number of coaching programmes at Rydal Penrhos’ RYA Accredited Sailing and Water-Sports Centre during the summer and into the academic year, and they came away with impressive qualifications after passing their respective assessments with flying colours.
The variety ranged all the way up to RYA Level 4, which represents a considerable achievement across all year groups.
Rydal Penrhos’ dedicated programme offers a diverse range of courses for both prep and senior pupils, including; Taster Sailing; RYA Level 1-4; RYA Seamanship Skills; RYA Sailing with Spinnakers; RYA Day Sailing; RYA Powerboating Level 1-2; RYA Windsurfing Level 1-2 and Kayaking.
With the term’s sailing recently coming to an end, each pupil was acknowledged for their excellent achievements with their certificates at a Prep School Celebration Assembly earlier this month.
Department Sailing has concluded for the winter season and will resume with Easter Holiday Courses in 2020, in addition to forming a significant part of the school’s outdoor education and enrichment club sessions.
Those that received certificates:
Rufus Glanville, Felix Griffin, Will Glanville, Archie Jeeves, Cammie de la Mare Norris, Tilly Trueman, Lucy Ranales-Griffiths, Charlotte Payne, Lily Copeland, Cameron Pye, Sophie Morris, Martha-Rose Johnson, Joshua Williams, Jorvan Toor, Ivan Wang, April Williams, Harry Nurse, Emily Nurse, James Davies, Lexi-May Williams, Ava Culver, Steffan Atenstaedt, Freddie Griffin.
Well done to all!
Felix Griffin and Will Glanville have formed a special bond in recent months and this brought further success at the school’s RYA Accredited Sailing Centre.
Both Felix and Will managed to secure their RYA Level 3 and 4 awards after coming through their respective assessments with flying colours, and they received their distinctions from Prep School Head Lucy Davies at a recent Celebration Assembly.
This represents a considerable achievement for both, with Felix managing to secure the feat a year ahead of schedule.
Felix and Will have been friends since Pre-School despite the difference in year groups due to them being born four months’ apart.
In addition to sailing, windsurfing and surfing together, they also participate in rugby, football, rugby and cross-country together, with both being huge Manchester United FC fans.
The pair also managed to secure a bronze medal at the Welsh Schools’ Skiing Championships and have recently started playing guitar together.
Ellie Knight has been working exceptionally hard with dedicated staff at the school’s thriving Sailing Centre, which received accreditation from the Royal Yachting Association last year.
This has enabled pupils from all year groups to gain additional qualifications through RYA courses, and Ellie was the latest to secure a notable feat thanks to her sterling recent efforts.
The Prefect is now the proud owner of a Powerboating Level One Award, which she formally received at a recent Celebration Assembly.
This is the latest in a series of outstanding achievements from Ellie, who achieved another significant milestone in the form of a Karate Black Belt earlier this year.
Mrs Davies, said: “Ellie works tremendously hard not only on her academic development, but also gaining additional skills within her activities of choice.
“This has brought with it some truly exceptional recent accolades thanks to her ongoing commitment and determination, and she has really benefitted from her involvement with our Sailing department and the significant benefits it provides.
“Hopefully this is a trend that can continue long into the future and everyone at Rydal Penrhos is absolutely delighted for Ellie and what she continues to accomplish.”
Cam continues to shine
Cameron Pye made the long trip to Scotland for a pair of high-profile competitions against some of the best young skiers anywhere in the country.
The youngster was in tremendous form throughout a series of testing runs in the Gordon Skiers Cup, and he was rewarded with a hugely creditable top-ten finish as a result of his efforts.
He followed this up with another positive display in the Scottish Indoor Challenge Cup, which saw Cameron accomplish a second top-ten finish in consecutive competitions to add to his exceptional recent list of performances on the national stage.
Cameron is the current Welsh U12 champion and has developed his skills considerably over the last 18 months, both during school sessions and as part of his involvement with the Rossendale Ski Club.
Mr McLeod, said: “This was undoubtedly another extremely worthwhile experience for Cameron as he continues to emerge as one of the brightest young skiers anywhere in the country.
“His development over the current season has been nothing short of phenomenal, which is testament to how hard he works to improve all areas of his craft and the commitment shown by both Cameron and his family in getting him to competitions such as these.”
Muddy Inter-House competition
The annual Prep Inter-House Cross-Country competition saw some thrilling finishes and outstanding performances during what was another hugely successful event.
The Year 3 boys’ race saw Harrison Simmons take control from the outset to cross the line in first place after a fantastic display, with James Mart coming in second and Freddie Griffin in third.
A strong effort from Ella Craig saw he come away with the Year 3 girls’ crown for Snowdon, narrowly pipping housemate Beatrice Brookes-Fazakerley and Pembroke’s Ella Ffowcs-Williams, who came second and third respectively.
The Year 4 boys’ race saw Oscar Jewsbury of Pembroke come away with bragging rights ahead of Finlay Brown (Brecon) and Charlie Lister-Brookes (Snowdon), and a thrilling girls’ event saw Snowdon’s Eryn Mart cross the line first over Ella Payne (Snowdon) and Ifana Wynn Jones (Payne).
Much was expected of Brecon star James Davies in the Year 5 boys’ competition and he duly obliged with a first-place finish, with Pembroke duo Felix Griffin and Jorvan Toor digging deep to secure podium places.
The Year 5 girls’ race was equally as competitive, with Harper Burke rallying late on to finish in first spot to secure points for Pembroke, ahead of Amelie Skinner of Snowdon and Brecon’s Sophie Morris.
All eyes were on the Year 6 boys’ event thanks to a standout field of aspiring athletes, and Head Boy Rupert Barrington-Chance (Pembroke) produced another memorable performance to secure first spot for the second straight year in his age group, with the Snowdon pair of Dominic Chamberlain and Nathan Richards securing second and third.
Rounding off the event was the Year 6 girls’ competition, which saw Snowdon’s Lily Copeland extend her impressive recent run of results to attain first spot, with Charlotte Payne and Head Girl Fleur Roberts in second and third.
After all points were tallied, Snowdon took home the overall team crown ahead of Pembroke and Brecon, with Head of Games Jamie McLeod also praising Jorvan Toor, Nathan Richards, Gethin Winfield, Charlotte Knight, April Williams and Siham Clarke for their exceptional commitment throughout the cross-country season.
The overall Endeavour Trophy went to Tilly Trueman, who has experienced pain in her foot and ankle of late but still managed to complete the course with her customary smile in another demonstration of her guts and determination.
Busy month of achievements
Rydal Penrhos’ U11 and U9 football squads welcomed nearby Ysgol Bod Alaw for two contests that produced plenty of quality on both sides during what was a hugely entertaining afternoon from those in attendance.
The U9 side started on the front foot and managed to see out the game to seal a fantastic victory, with the likes of Harrison Simmons, Oscar Jewsbury and Oscar Kennedy-Evans playing a leading role in the success.
This was followed by another exceptional outing from the U11 group, who secured a 4-2 victory despite a spirited effort from the visitors.
A wonder goal from Nathan Richards was the undoubted highlight of the encounter, with James Davies demonstrating his excellent ability with another impressive showing throughout.
Mr McLeod, said: “It was very pleasing to see both our U11 and U9 side coming away with victories against some very good opposition, which is a testament to how well they have improved individually and as a group during the season so far.
“This is another massive confidence boost for them and one they can take great heart from going forward.”
The U12 hockey squad welcomed Birkenhead School on Saturday, November 23 for their latest competitive fixture during what has been a busy campaign to date, and they produced another performance of genuine quality to come away with a 5-0 success on home soil.
There were a wealth of strong individual performances to go alongside an exceptional team ethic, which enabled them to secure victory on a drizzly morning.
Year 6 duo Charlotte Payne and Lily Copeland were drafted into the U12 squad for the encounter, with both catching the eye despite their age with leading contributions to Rydal Penrhos’ comfortable triumph.
Charlotte’s prowess in front of goal was evident throughout the contest, with the talented youngster netting four of Rydal Penrhos’ five goal thanks to a clinical display.
The other strike was secured by player of the match Lily, and the Prep School pair was guided superbly throughout by teammates Amber England-Bryant, Fflur Pierce, Sophie Edwards, Safa Maqsood and Pippa Roberts.
Mrs Head, said: “This was an outstanding performance from our U12 hockey side and one that is in keeping with the season they’ve had so far.
“They work so well together as a team and possess plenty of individual skill to turn a game on its head, and this bodes very well as they continue to develop at Rydal Penrhos in the weeks, months and years to come.”
A large number of pupils performed well at the IAPS North West Cross-Country Championships.
There were a host of impressive individual displays from the team at the competition, with Lily Copeland demonstrating her customary grit and determination to finish sixth in the U11 girls’ category.
Classmate Charlotte Payne was close behind in 20th, with Eryn Mart (23rd) Robyn Borg-Barthet (44th), Amelie Skinner (52nd), Harper Burke (56th) and Sophie Morris (61st) all emerging from the race with an enormous amount of credit.
Head Boy Rupert Barrington-Chance was the standout performer in the U11 boys’ race, digging deep in difficult conditions to come away with a creditable eighth placed finish for his efforts.
Other performances of note came from Dominic Chamberlain (27th), James Davies (31st), Nathan Richards (52nd), Felix Griffin (55th), Oscar Jewsbury (57th) and Harrison Simmons (68th) in a field of almost 100 competitors.
This enabled the U11 boys’ to secure an impressive ninth position in the overall team standings, with the U11 girls’ coming sixth thanks to a series of exceptional displays.
Mr McLeod, said: “This was a very impressive performance from our Prep School Cross-Country team and they all displayed the right attitude and commitment throughout a very testing course to run.
“To perform so well in a hugely competitive environment is a testament to their ongoing drive and dedication to grasp every opportunity that comes their way, and they can take a great deal from this latest experience.”