Prep School newsletter: March 2020
The monthly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos Prep School.
Rydal Penrhos Prep School newsletter
Foreword from the Head
It seems that every month I want to start this foreward with the words, ‘what a busy month we’ve had!’.
I have been at Rydal Penrhos for six months now and have never worked in a school that provides so many opportunities for our pupils.
"This is down to the staff who are willing to organise both an exciting curriculum and also wonderful extra-curricular opportunities, but it is also down to our pupils."
Many of the activities are a result of the pupil groups, both the Eco committee and the school council. Pupils meet and discuss issues and ideas every week and they directly impact school life.
For example, the eco committee led an assembly to introduce our penguin sculpture, a wonderful piece of art that is now being filled with plastic bottle lids in an effort to show us how much plastic we are using and hopefully directly affect our family shopping habits.
Also this month the school council saw the collection of £2,727 in aid of the World Wildlife Fund Australian Bushfire Appeal.
It was entirely the idea of council members to hold a sponsored kangaroo jump for this cause and they too led an assembly to show the plight of the many animals caught up in this tragic event.
Our pupils have a voice, a powerful one that is used for kind and thoughtful acts in school and beyond.
A glance through this month’s newsletter reflects the skill, team work and determination that emanates from this small, inspiring school on the North Wales coast…enjoy reading!
Mrs Lucy Davies, Head of Prep.
Exciting plans announced
Rydal Penrhos has announced exciting plans to significantly develop all areas of the school with substantial investment.
The school’s Governing Body announced the landmark proposals on Monday, February 10, which will transform the Nursery, Prep and Senior sites to provide a 21st century education for pupils and lay the foundations for a successful long-term future.
These include the construction of a new Prep School and Nursery. Further details will be revealed in due course once the development’s plans have been finalised.
A large investment at the senior school site is also part of the five-year strategic development plan, which will see classrooms receive full refurbishment, science laboratories upgraded and modern Information Technology systems installed.
Rydal Penrhos performing arts provision will receive a boost with Art and Drama suites will also enjoy a makeover as part of the proposals.
The school’s Governing Body is also looking into a pre-University residential Sixth Form Centre, which will aid Year 12 and 13 with their transition to higher education.
Rydal Penrhos also has big plans for its picturesque New Field area that involves a noteworthy upgrade of the Pavilion, and increased parking on site.
Another of improvement is the planned construction of a second all-weather surface within the school grounds for football, tennis, netball and hockey, which will further enhance Rydal Penrhos’ class-leading facilities in a sporting environment.
This announcement comes following the recent refurbishment of the school’s Swimming Pool site and Donald Hughes Memorial Hall in recent months.
Julian Barnes, Chairman of Governors at Rydal Penrhos, said: “In drawing these exciting plans together, the views of parents, staff and pupils have been most helpful in assisting our decision-making.
“The plans are aimed at enhancing a school that is fully-equipped for many generations of Rydal Penrhos pupils to come, one which will enable us to continue to deliver our values.
“The Governing Body is committed to the delivery of these significant developments by lending its full support to the management team.”
May date announced
Details of Rydal Penrhos’ latest Pre-School, Prep, Senior and Sixth Form Open Morning event have been announced.
The school will be welcoming prospective pupils and their families, giving them a first-hand opportunity to see for themselves what goes on during a typical day at the school.
It will take place on Saturday, May 2 from 10am to 12.30pm, and all visitors will meet at the Sixth Form Ferguson Centre on Combermere Road before making the trip to their area of interest.
Among the highlights of the Open Afternoon will be individual tours of the school with pupil tour guides.
There will be a chance to speak with teaching and admissions staff, current parents and alumni to get a broader perspective of the day-to-day life of a pupil, the curriculum and pastoral care.
Anyone wishing to book their place at the Open Afternoon, or for more information, contact admissions officer Susan Williams on 01492 530381 or email email@example.com.
Alternatively, you can book your place online here: https://rydalpenrhos.com/admissions/open-days-visits/.
Taster Morning this month
Prospective families can get a hands-on look at what Rydal Penrhos Prep School has to offer at a special event.
Rydal Penrhos will be holding a Reception taster morning on Tuesday, March 24, which will run from 9.30am until 11.30am.
The morning will begin with a ‘show and tell’ from current Reception pupils to those in attendance, getting a broader perspective about what life is like at Rydal Penrhos Prep School and their experiences so far.
A musical performance is also set to take place during the initial stages of the event, before children will be split into groups for some fun-filled activities.
During this time, parents will get the opportunity to speak with Prep School head Lucy Davies about all areas of Rydal Penrhos and the exciting plans for the future, before entering the group sessions for the final 15 minutes.
For more information on the Reception Taster Morning contact admissions officer Susan Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01492 530381.
U11 squad crowned Urdd Conwy champions!
The Rydal Penrhos U11 side competed at the Urdd Conwy Championships in a field of 16 other sides on Wednesday, February 4, with a place in the prestigious national finals at stake.
They began their quest for the crown with a convincing 8-0 victory over Ysgol y Plas Llanelian, before continuing their exceptional start with a 7-0 win against Ysgol Llandrillo yn Rhos.
A sterner test awaited them in their next outing against Ysgol Glan Morfa, which saw two sides come away with a share of the spoils in a dramatic 4-4 draw.
The talented squad returned to winning ways in fine style during their next outing, which resulted in a clinical 7-0 success over Ysgol Craig y Don, before rounding off the group stages with a tremendous 6-0 victory against Ysgol Llanddulas.
Their outstanding performance during the preliminary stage saw Rydal Penrhos qualify for the semi-finals and a test against Ysgol San Sior, which they overcame in stylish fashion that eventually came with a 7-0 win to book their place in the final.
Once again, it was Ysgol Glan Morfa that stood in their way, but the Rydal Penrhos side turned in another incredible performance to come away with a 5-1 triumph and secure the crown.
The U11 squad will now take their place at the Urdd National Netball Finals later this year.
Thousands raised from Kangaroo Jump
A significant amount was raised from a recent Prep School fundraising initiative in aid of the World Wildlife Fund appeal relating to the Australian Bushfires.
Rydal Penrhos held a sponsored Kangaroo Jump last month that involved all year groups, and thanks to the sterling efforts of pupils a substantial sum of £2,727 for the global campaign.
Pre-School up to Year 6 navigated a course for a specific period of time jumping like the famous animal from the southern hemisphere, which proved to be extremely fun for all involved.
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.
Fleur and fellow Year 6 pupil Amelia Williams received special pencils for being the school’s highest individual collectors, raising £350 and £185 respectively.
"This is an incredible amount to raise for a cause that really captured the hearts of our wonderful pupils, who were keen to do whatever they could to assist with the WWF’s operation.
Congratulations to them all on raising almost £3,000 and thank you so much to everyone that donated."
Year 3 boost STEM topic
The Year 3 contingent at Rydal Penrhos participated in another fun-filled Forest School morning on Thursday, February 6, which was led superbly by programme co-ordinator Jude Pyves.
During the session, each member of the group focused on bird feeders they had designed and made in a special STEM activity.
They worked in groups comparing each bird feeder with simpler designs made from natural and recycled products.
This brought some impressive overall products and the enthusiastic pupils were rewarded with some free time to play around the superb site.
The Rydal Penrhos Forest School makes use of our unique woodland setting to promote an innovative approach to outdoor learning.
The philosophy of Forest School is to encourage and inspire individuals of any age through positive outdoor experiences. The Forest School programme originated in Scandinavia and is underpinned by thorough research into the learning behaviour of children at an early age and how best to develop this.
Rydal Penrhos Forest School focuses on providing a safe, outdoor learning experience where children and young people are encouraged to explore.
Reception get creative on visit
Reception took a trip to the Snowdonia Mountains where they visited Piggery Pottery, situated in Llanberis on Wednesday, February 12, which was part of their termly topic surrounding materials.
Piggery Pottery is a small, family run business that hand crafts an enormous range of beautiful pottery pieces all of which guests can paint how they wish using their vivid imaginations to create a design they can treasure forever.
There were a host of activities to take part in throughout the day, including painting their own pot, pebble painting, canvas painting, mask painting and slate painting.
Each pupil received praise for their attitude and behaviour during the trip and got to take their creations home.
Mrs Davies, said: “Trips like this are important for our young pupils, as it helps them get creative outside the classroom in a relaxed and friendly environment, which also boosts their confidence in unfamiliar surroundings.
“Our Reception classes throughout the years have thoroughly enjoyed their trip to the venue and this time was no different, and as always we are very grateful to the staff at Piggery Pottery for making us feel so welcome.”
Distinctions galore from LAMDA assessments
Five Preparatory School pupils secured some outstanding results from their latest performing arts assessment.
Year 6 duo Archie Jeeves and Tilly Trueman, in addition to Year 4 pupil Honey Hodgson-Roberts and Year 3’s Ela Lloyd-Bloom and Alexandra Lopez-Moreno, recently took part in various examinations that were administered by the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.
Each pupil worked incredibly hard in the lead-up to their respective assessment as part of Rydal Penrhos’ thriving Speech and Drama provision, ensuring they were fully prepared for the challenge.
This brought four outstanding marks, with Archie, Tilly, Honey, Alexandra and Ela all attaining Distinctions as a result of their superb efforts.
They received their well-deserved certificates from Prep School head Lucy Davies at Celebration Assembly.
Successful event held
Preparatory School pupils got the opportunity to enjoy the company of their grandparents at a special social event.
Rydal Penrhos welcomed family members for a Grandparents’ Afternoon Tea on Tuesday, February 25.
Those in attendance were welcomed by Prep School head Lucy Davies, before descending on the Dining Hall.
They enjoyed refreshments provided by Holroyd Howe - the school’s catering providers - which included everything from cakes, scones and pancakes to mark Shrove Tuesday.
Following the Afternoon Tea, grandparents then met up with pupils and were taken to their respective classrooms to witness first-hand the fantastic work being done on a daily basis under the guidance and support of Rydal Penrhos’ dedicated staff.
This is the latest in a series of social events organised by Rydal Penrhos during the academic year to date, with the recent Prep and Senior Parent Dinners proving to be a huge success to start the spring term.
Disco fundraiser for Disabililty Ski Wales
There was fun and laughter aplenty in the name of charity thanks to a special event at Rydal Penrhos Prep School prior to the half term break.
The Friends of Rydal Penrhos committee held their Pre-School, Pre-Prep and Prep Valentine’s Discos on Friday, February 14, which was in aid of a regional sporting charity and projects across the school.
The committee, who comprise of school parents, decorated the Hall with hundreds of balloons and colourful lights, while the new addition of a Popcorn machine proved to be most popular.
Pre-Prep and Prep children danced the evening away, played games and even got the chance to dress up in the ever-popular photo booth.
Although the final total has not been revealed, hundreds of pounds were raised from the event, which will be donated to Disability Skiing Wales.
DSW train volunteers and work with disabled people on dry ski slopes in Wales, including the dry slope situated in Llandudno.
Valentine's activities at Merton Place
Pre-School children at Rydal Penrhos participated in Valentine’s themed activities as part of their ongoing work at a Colwyn Bay care home.
The enthusiastic group paid another visit to Merton Place Care Home on Monday, February 10, which is part of their community outreach programme at the facility.
There were a host of activities for the children to take part in during their latest visit, which included making Valentine’s hearts with residents and singing some well-known songs and nursery rhymes.
They also spend considerable time chatting with staff and those living at the facility, in addition to playing with toys to round off another worthwhile trip.
Sand activities aplenty for Pre-School children
Pre-School children got to grips with all things sand during an ongoing outdoor learning initiative.
The youngest members of the Prep community made the short trip to the picturesque Colwyn Bay coast for their latest Coastal School session on Wednesday, February 26, which was greeted with some rare sunshine after weeks of heavy rain and winds.
Their latest series of activities centred on sand, with each child deciding which type would be more beneficial for making sandcastles before making as many as they could.
This also involved numeracy as staff aided them with counting how many sandcastles they had made in a specific period of time during the challenge.
A total of 37 were made in a short space of time from the group, which they also wrote in the sand to mark their achievement.
Prior to the task, the children warmed up by participating in team games, working together as a team to boost their communication.
To conclude their latest Coastal School activities, they practiced their bat and ball skills to round off another successful outdoor learning session.
Rydal Penrhos Pre-School is now accepting children aged two, and for more information contact admissions officer Susan Williams via email at email@example.com or call 01492 530381.
Brecon claim inter-house title
Rydal Penrhos held an inter-house Chess tournament for Years 3-6 in the Lyndon Library, which was the latest fantastic occasion organised by the Prep School Council.
The Year 3-4 tournament was full of excitement and resulted in Oscar Jewsbury, Archie-Glyn Chesworth, Oscar Kennedy-Evans and James Mart reaching the semi-final stage.
Oscar J and James managed to book their place in the showcase thanks to final four victories, with Oscar claiming the win over Snowdon house member James for Pembroke after a fiercely competitive final.
Oscar K-E managed to achieve some valuable points for Brecon following a playoff win over Archie-Glyn to round off a hugely successful event.
The Year 5-6 competition was also extremely competitive and saw Pembroke duo Gethin Winfield and Izhran Shah take on the Brecon pair of Fleur Roberts and Archie Jeeves.
An all-Brecon final was confirmed thanks to semi-final successes for Archie and Fleur, and the head girl managed to rise to the occasion to attain the crown.
Izhran took third place by beating out his housemate in a third-place playoff.
After the final scores were tallied, Brecon were crowned overall winners after a standout effort, with Pembroke coming in second ahead of Snowdon in third.
Charlotte & Ellie's leadership roles
Two talented Preparatory School netballers have been appointed to leadership positions.
Charlotte Payne and Ellie Knight assumed the roles of captain and vice-captain of the school’s netball squad for the current season after impressing coach Jude Pyves considerably during the assessment process.
The duo both operate in the attacking end of the court and have contributed significantly to a superb campaign to date from the U11 squad thanks to their play and communication.
This has seen the group achieve a host of impressive victories in a competitive environment, with their crowning glory coming earlier this month with a convincing victory at the Urdd Conwy Championships.
Both Charlotte and Ellie provided the firepower to lead Rydal Penrhos to success from the goal attack and goal shooter positions, which they are aiming to continue at the Urdd National Finals later this year.
The pair are multi-talented individuals in various areas of Prep School life, with Charlotte also thriving in areas such as hockey and girls’ cricket at the Marylebone Foundation Hub in Llandudno.
Ellie is a prolific sailor who has secured RYA squad selections, and she managed to attain a black belt in Karate last year.
Rupert appointed captain
Rupert Barrington-Chance was given the responsibility of rugby captain by Head of Games Jamie McLeod at the start of the school season.
The talented youngster has been a tremendous success in his role so far thanks to a series of outstanding displays in a competitive environment.
Rupert joined Rydal Penrhos as a Year 4 pupil in 2018 and instantly settled into his new surroundings thanks to the welcoming atmosphere at the Prep School.
He integrated himself tremendously well into the U11 rugby squad last year and played a significant role in their Cooper Cup victory over Colwyn Bay.
In addition to his exploits on the rugby field, Rupert is also a strong academic and has thrived in other sporting areas such as Cross-Country.
Mr McLeod, said: “Rupert showed all the necessary leadership skills to become our Prep School captain, and he has done a brilliant job in the role so far."
Snowdon scoop inter-house crown
A large number descended on the School Hall for the annual inter-house Gymnastics competition prior to the half term break.
Each year group were tasked with coming up with short routines with a view to impressing the judges in attendance, and their total scores were averaged to determine the victor.
After an action-packed afternoon full of quality, Snowdon House were crowned the overall winners of the competition, which is the second consecutive year they have managed to get their hands on the coveted trophy.
Snowdon House captains Nathan Richards and Charlotte Payne lifted the trophy on behalf of their teammates.
There was a wealth of exceptional efforts throughout the competition, with the likes of Will Glanville, Dominic Chamberlain, Nathan, Emily Nurse, Sophie Morris, Robyn Borg Barthet, James Davies, Benson Hodgson-Roberts, Harry Nurse and Lewis Jellicoe all scoring high marks.