Prep School newsletter: February 2020
The monthly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos Prep School.
Rydal Penrhos Prep School newsletter
Meet the Head for A+ Education Magazine
School of thought: Maths or English?
Loved both at school, have taught and led both subjects as a teacher, can’t choose between them. At a push I would have to say English because Maths would be hard if I couldn’t read the questions!
School dinners or packed lunch?
School dinners every time. I was a good eater as a school pupil although have never tried chocolate custard again after having thirds one day when I was in Year 7! Children are so lucky nowadays, our pupils have brilliant meals with so many choices.
Newsletter or Twitter?
I do both as they reach different audiences. As a parent I preferred weekly newsletters with concise information about upcoming events, and reminders to help parents get the right things to school on the right day! Life is too short for waffle!
If you hadn’t become a teacher, what would you have done instead?
I wanted to be a helicopter pilot in the army. However at that time they didn’t take girls in that role. I wrote to the defence secretary, John Nott, and complained.
He replied saying they would consider it, which they did and now women can fly helicopters. I always have been keen on equality for all.
What were your favourite lessons at school?
I was fortunate enough to go to brilliant schools with great teachers. Great teachers can make any lesson into your favourite.
I remember so many lessons fondly and particularly loved ‘nature studies’ where we just appeared to run around wildly in the woods ‘looking’ for wildlife and not surprisingly never finding any!
Was there any type of school dinner that you couldn’t stand?
No, loved school dinners
What is your favourite film?
Love lots; Local Hero, Pocahontas, The Jungle Book – I think I prefer films with good music.
Your Desert Island Disc(s)?
Very varied; Chasing cars (Snow Patrol), Stairway to heaven (Led Zeppelin), Eine kleine Nachtmusik (W.A. Mozart). Rodrigo’s guitar concerto, Wuthering Heights (Kate Bush) and anything by Coldplay.
How do you relax?
Walking the dogs.
What is the one thing that makes you most proud of where you work?
How hard everyone works, staff and pupils…there’s a fantastic upbeat, positive atmosphere.
If you could be the Prime Minister for a day, what’s the first thing you would do?
Let our young people have a greater say.
Now accepting children aged two
Rydal Penrhos’ Pre-School department is now accepting children from aged two.
Those wishing to attend the Prep School can now do so from an earlier age than in previous years thanks to a significant investment in equipment in order to make the transition to accommodate this particular age group.
This includes a specialist play and learning area for younger members of the Pre-School community, which was constructed by Rydal Penrhos’ maintenance team, in addition to changing facilities for children who are now yet potty trained.
Pre-School staff have received specialist training ahead of the move, which is the latest positive move implemented by Prep School head Lucy Davies following her appointment at the start of the academic year.
At Rydal Penrhos Prep School, young children will explore, investigate and question so that they learn while their curiosity and imagination is given full reign.
The Pre-School department consists of a large open plan area with units for role play, circle and story time, classroom activities/numeracy and literacy groups, construction/small world, art and wet activities, reading and computer activities.
There is also a secure, fully enclosed and well-equipped outdoor area.
Anyone wishing to find out more about Rydal Penrhos Pre-School can email email@example.com or call 01492 530381.
Fleur & Rupert on leadership
My name is Fleur Roberts and I’m head girl of Rydal Penrhos Preparatory School. I have been here since I was only 2 years old.
Being head girl makes me feel proud and has definitely boosted my confidence.
I love being at this school as I have very funny friends and the teachers are amazing. They make me feel happy and proud of the work I have done.
When I was little, in Early Years, I had so much fun I didn’t realise I was learning really important stuff. This school has definitely helped me learn and it has been the best thing ever to be part of this preparatory school.
I like being able to look back, see what I used to do and watch other people learn the same things.
When I was little, I loved to look at the older children and hoped one day I would be just like them.
When I first joined I loved playing with dolls and I can remember playing with a little doll set that I gave to the school.
I love helping to lead the school council as the children come up with ideas and everyone is involved even at aged 4 years old. The teachers give us some real responsibility.
I hope next year I can go to the seniors and see all my friends in Year 7. It’s great that we can just continue at the same school.
I also hope that someday, someone will be as proud as I was when I was chosen to be head girl.
My name is Rupert Barrington Chance and I’m head boy at Rydal Penrhos Preparatory School. I joined in Year 4 and settled in well.
Being head boy is a privilege because I get to do things other children might not get the opportunity to do.
I looked up to Ellis Lister-Brookes, the last head boy, because he did everything correctly and was an all-round good person. I hope that people look up to me like I look up to Ellis.
When I started at Rydal Penrhos all the teachers were kind to me and if I ever needed help they would be there straightaway.
Rydal Penrhos School is good because they do out of ordinary things and make being here really good fun.
Being head boy, to me, is a great achievement but in my class everyone is treated the same and that’s what I like the most.
No one person in my class is more superior than the other. The teachers always help if you’re worried or upset and are always there for you. Everyone is equal.
Some of my best memories have to be when we went on a residential trip to Llanrhug, the play in Year 4 and the pantomime last Christmas.
I once got lost for a whole lesson in year 4 and ended up in the art room when I was meant to be in ICT. I was found by a Year 5 pupil and was soon re-united with my class.
I lead the School Council (along with Fleur). It is very active and we are always thinking of stuff to improve the school. The teachers here really listen to the children. I hope that in the future someone will be as proud as I am to be head boy.
Pupils make a splash after refurbishment
There was plenty of excitement at Rydal Penrhos as its Swimming Pool opened for use.
The extensive refurbishment has transformed the facility and pupils took to the water for the first time during a series of exciting enrichment options throughout the second week of the spring term.
This included a Kayaking session with Rydal Penrhos’ dedicated sailing and water sports staff, and the school’s senior swim squad honed their skills with coach Andy Edgley and Head of Physical Education Nicky Head.
Prep School pupils of all abilities also got the opportunity to improve areas such as technique, breathing and try different strokes during their time at the site.
The school’s estates team, led by Richard Smith, put in a significant amount of work during the summer months and the autumn term on the £150,000 renovations, and the filling stage involved half an inch of water per hour before bringing it to temperature.
New chemical pumps were installed before treating the water to ensure it was compliant with health and safety standards and staff receiving special training ahead of the opening.
When the pool is up and running satisfactorily for the pupils, both before after and during the school day, other uses will then be considered.
Kangaroo Jump held for WWF Appeal
Preparatory School pupils got active to raise money and awareness as record-breaking temperatures and months of severe drought have fuelled a series of massive bushfires across Australia.
Rydal Penrhos Prep School held a sponsored Kangaroo Jump on Monday, January 28, which was held in aid of the World Wildlife Fund appeal relating to the Australian Bushfires.
Each year group from Pre-School up to Year 6 spent part of their day navigating a set up course for a specific period of time jumping like the famous animal from the southern hemisphere.
This proved to be extremely fun for all involved, with a significant amount raised for the cause.
Head Girl Fleur Roberts also managed to secure some additional funds from father Ben Roberts after jumping for ten minutes in a Kangaroo costume for an additional £50.
New enrichment programme launched
Rydal Penrhos’ Prep Chess Club held its first session on Monday, January 13, which is just one of the exciting options available throughout the academic year.
The club gained a significant amount of interest from pupils of all ages, where they will learn about the rules surrounding Chess and the best strategies to use during in-play situations.
Those in attendance also received considerable support from Sixth Form duo Harri Jackson and Morgan Kendall, who will be giving up their time to volunteer their services and assist the younger members of the Rydal Penrhos community during the initial stages of their development.
The school has had a great deal of success within a Chess environment in recent years, with 2019 leaver Imogen Camp earning Welsh international honours at events such as the World Youth Championships.
She also managed to scoop the Welsh senior title during her time as a pupil.
Year 6 RSPB Birdwatch
The Year 6 group participated in the Big Schools’ Birdwatch, which is being run by the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, during a special Forest School activity.
During the event, each pupil worked within a group to complete bird-related activities including making bird boxes, in addition to viewing and identifying birds in the area.
There were plenty of birds to discover throughout the one-hour event, with everything from Robins to Blackbirds documented on tailor-made statistics sheets.
Results of their findings will now be sent by event organiser and Forest School leader Jude Pyves to the RSPB to be correlated with others from across the country, which helps the charity draw a picture of the health of our bird populations.
Mrs Pyves, said: “This was a very worthwhile session for our Year 6, who managed to document a fantastic amount of different birds throughout the session.
“The RSPB do a fantastic job in not only conserving our birds, but also finding fun and interesting ways for children to become more knowledgeable and interested in nature. Events like this are important for their future studies and our pupils had a great time aiding with the scheme.”
Fantastic visit to Techniquest
The Year 2 class took a trip to Techniquest Glyndwr in Wrexham, which is located on the grounds of the town’s higher education establishment, on Tuesday, January 21.
Led by their Techniquest tutor, the pupils took part in a wide range of activities throughout the day, which were designed to enhance the group’s knowledge that will aid them during classroom sessions.
This included making various models both individually and within a group environment, in addition to improving their problem-solving skills under the guidance and support of staff at the centre and those visiting from Rydal Penrhos Prep School.
This is one of many educational visits organised by staff members at Rydal Penrhos throughout the academic year, which sees them embark on learning outside of a normal environment at venues such as the Welsh Mountain Zoo, Piggery Pottery and Bodelwyddan Castle.
Austrian success for Cam!
Cameron Pye was part of the Dragons Alpine Racing Team that participated at the Welsh Alpine Championships in Champéry, Switzerland.
This is the second time that Cameron has tested his skills in the high-profile event, and he performed exceptionally well once again in the face of some stern competition.
He knocked a massive 20 seconds off his Giant Slalom time thanks to a sensational run on his way to a creditable seventh place in the U12 boys’ category.
The Prep School ski captain followed this up with another strong showing in the U12 slalom, securing the eighth best time.
The U12 boys have the highest number of competitors of all fields and is extremely competitive, with more than 30 racers from the UK, Australia, Denmark and Switzerland taking their place in the field.
Cameron’s involvement with the Snowsports Cymru Wales Athlete Development Academy continues to provide some impressive results, and the re-opening of the Llandudno Ski Slope following a £350,000 refurbishment has been another significant element of his recent progression.
Mr McLeod, said: “Cameron’s passion for skiing has grown with every passing competition and it is great to see his hard work and commitment to improvement paying off in a competitive environment.
“This is another eye-catching performance against some of the best young skiers on the continent and beyond, so it is sure to stand him in good stead going forward.”
Charlotte thrives at MCC Hub
Charlotte Payne secured a place on the Marylebone Cricket Club Girls’ Foundation Hub based in Llandudno, which available to those who display a considerable amount of potential in a cricketing environment.
The multi-talented individual attends weekly sessions with the MCC Hub’s specialist team of coaches, working on all facets of her game including getting to grips with the complex art of wicket keeping.
It has been another memorable academic year of achievement for Charlotte, who secured the role of Snowdon House Captain alongside Nathan Richards in September.
She was given the responsibility of Netball captain, in addition to performing well at various Cross-Country events during the winter and taking part in Show Jumping away from school.
Mr McLeod, said: “Charlotte has been a credit to herself and everyone at Rydal Penrhos in recent months and beyond, so it is no surprise to see her thriving as part of the MCC Girls’ Hub in Llandudno.
“Her ability to transition her athletic talent to multiple sports is a testament to her enthusiasm, determination and fun-loving attitude to her enrichment and extra-curricular opportunities, and hopefully this is something that can continue long into the future.”
Good display at Alderley Edge
Rydal Penrhos U11, 10 and 9 squads welcomed Alderley Edge School for some competitive fixtures on Saturday, January 11, which saw plenty of quality from all involved throughout what proved to be an entertaining afternoon.
The school’s U9 side got things off to a flyer with an impressive victory against their counterparts, displaying a vast improvement in communication and teamwork that they have been working very hard on in recent weeks.
This was followed by another tremendous performance from the U10 contingent, who also emerged victorious thanks to a sterling collective effort from a group that has a great deal of potential.
The U11 squad also gave a very good account of themselves in a narrow 3-2 loss, with Fleur Roberts’ equaliser at the death adjudged to have crossed the line just after the final whistle.
Lily Copeland earned player of the match and notched another goal to continue her fine recent form.
These encouraging results is another fine indication made by each pupil within a hockey environment throughout the academic year under the guidance and support of Jude Pyves and other specialist coaching staff at Rydal Penrhos.
Football & Hockey
Inter-house double for Snowdon
Rydal Penrhos held its annual Inter-House Football and Hockey tournaments, which saw year groups join forces and work together in the pursuit of bragging rights.
It proved to be another memorable performance from Snowdon House, who managed to add to their recent Cross-Country triumph by taking home the Hockey title in fine style thanks to standout contributions from skipper Charlotte Payne, Lily Copeland, Cammie de la Mare Norris and Eryn Mart.
There was further cause for celebration from a Snowdon perspective in the Football competition, which saw the house emerge victorious following a thoroughly competitive affair throughout.
House captain Nathan Richards played a prominent role in his side’s success, as did the likes of Will Glanville and Dominic Chamberlain.
Both Pembroke and Brecon competitors performed exceptionally well during both tournaments, further adding to the overall quality of the event.
Mr McLeod, said: “This was another tremendous showcase of the sporting talent we have here at Rydal Penrhos, and it was great to see different year groups working cohesively in pursuit of the same goal."
Strong performance at Catteral Shield
Rydal Penrhos Prep School’s cross-country squad gave a very good account of themselves at a high-profile competition.
The enthusiastic group made the trip to Giggleswick School for the prestigious annual Catterall Shield event, which took place on Wednesday, January 15.
It proved to be another superb performance from the squad with plenty of individual success stories, which included another standout run from Year 6 pupil Lily Copeland in the U11 girls’ category.
The multi-talented pupil has secured a series of outstanding achievement throughout the academic year to date, and she dug deep in difficult conditions to cross the line in fifth spot.
Charlotte Payne was close behind in 18th after a determined effort in the face of some stern competition, with head girl Fleur Roberts and Cammie de la Mare Norris coming in 43rd and 60th respectively.
A special mention also goes to the commitment of Ella Craig, who finished 63rd, which represents a significant achievement for a Year 3 pupil competing in a U11 race.
There was further cause for celebration in the U11 boys’ category, which saw head boy Rupert Barrington-Chance notch another high placing after achieving 11th after a gritty display.
Others to perform well were Dominic Chamberlain and James Davies, who came 29th and 28th respectively, with Will Glanville (43rd) and Noah Roberts (70th) also emerging from the competition with an enormous amount of credit.
Strong showing from U9 squad
Rydal Penrhos' U10 squad travelled to Bowdon Cricket Club for a mini-tournament organised by the Independent Association of Prep Schools, which saw them take on St Mary’s Hall and four sides from Altrincham Prep School.
They began with a spirited display before eventually falling to a narrow 4-3 defeat to St Mary’s, but the group bounced back in fine style thanks to a 4-2 triumph over Altrincham (1).
The talented team built on this positive momentum during their third outing, producing a tremendous display of attacking rugby in order to achieve a 6-3 win against Altrincham (2), before making it three victories in a row with a 4-3 success over Altrincham (3).
A final fixture loss to Altrincham (4) did not take the gloss of a very encouraging outing for the squad, who are in the early stages of their development with Rydal Penrhos coaching team.
Mr McLeod, said: “This was a very pleasing competition from our U9 squad, especially given the strength of opposition they came up against.
“They have all shown a great desire to improve and a significant amount of potential, and hopefully they can continue in the same manner during their upcoming fixtures.”
U10 squad: Noah Roberts, Gethin Winfield, Oscar Jewsbury, Jensen Hodgson-Roberts, Steffan Atenstaedt, Finlay Brown, Charlie Lister-Brookes.