Prep School newsletter: November 2019
The digital monthly newsletter from Rydal Penrhos Prep School.
Rydal Penrhos Prep newsletter
Foreword from the Head
What a month we have had!
Pupils have been busy learning in and out of classrooms and have undertaken a whole range of learning experiences in all areas of the curriculum.
Rydal Penrhos aims to equip every pupil with the learning skills required to excel and alongside this we give the range of opportunities for pupils to find out what it is that they actually excel in!
Underpinning this love of learning are the vital skills of reading, writing and mathematics and our teachers and teaching assistants are experts at providing stimulating activities for every type of learner.
This month we have introduced ‘global’ learning for our time tables and all of our classes from year 1 upwards will be filling in their ‘passports’ as they have fun learning these important mathematical facts.
We have also focussed in on our cursive handwriting and all the pupils, even those in Reception, are practising their joins, we’ll soon have lots of brilliant, imaginative writing to put in our new writing focus zone in the library.
And for reading….not to be left out…our school pupil council has chosen over 100 new books for our library and these will arrive in time for our book fair in mid-November.
We finished the half term with a lovely Harvest service and impeccable behaviour from every child as they walked to and from the church and listened to a very entertaining and enlightening service from our school chaplain.
Next term promise to be even busier in the lead up to Christmas and we are looking forward to welcoming our parents in to many events.
I look forward to meeting as many families as possible and to showing many potential families our wonderful school.
Mrs L Davies
Head of Prep
Mrs Davies to stay on as Head
Rydal Penrhos is thrilled to confirm that Lucy Davies has agreed to stay on as Head of Prep School.
The experienced and hugely popular figure has been a revelation since taking up the role in August, and the former Rydal School pupil has now removed the interim tag from her position and will lead the thriving school on a permanent basis going forward.
Having completed a degree in Anthropology at Durham University, Mrs Davies worked in marketing before moving to Exeter University to take her teaching qualification.
Mrs Davies worked in two different maintained schools in Nottingham holding management positions in the subjects of science and maths, as well as being in charge of different year groups in large schools.
Having had four sons the family took the decision to work abroad and Mrs Davies found herself as Head of Mathematics at a large primary school in Qatar.
During her years in the Middle East, Mrs Davies held various leadership positions until finally becoming the Head of Juniors with the responsibility for nearly 1000 students, before taking a second postgraduate qualification in dyslexia and learning.
She has also completed her National Professional Qualification for Headship and was appointed Head of The Firs Prep School in 2014, in addition to completing her Masters in Educational leadership at Chester University in October 2017.
Mrs Davies, said: “As a former pupil of Rydal School I feel extremely privileged to have been asked to continue in my role as Head of Prep.
“The school certainly gave me a love of learning and I know that it still has that special blend of academic rigour alongside excellent individual pastoral care.
“I have always enjoyed teaching and leading learning. I am passionate about education and the benefits that it can bring to a child.
“My leadership style is collaborative, and I like to think I am organised, passionate and approachable. I like clear systems that work and that everyone understands.
“Rydal Penrhos certainly is a strong, well-resourced and vibrant school with wonderfully committed staff in all departments and I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here so far.”
Successful showcase held
Both Prep and Senior sites welcomed a large number of prospective pupils and their families during Open Afternoon.
Among the highlights of the Open Afternoon were individual tours of the school with pupil tour guides, and there was also a chance to speak with teaching and admissions staff, current parents and alumni.
This gave visitors a broader perspective of the day-to-day life of a pupil, the curriculum, pastoral care and what it is like to be a part of the school community.
There were a host of things to enjoy throughout the showcase, including lesson demonstrations from core academic departments such as English, Mathematics and Science.
Staff and pupils took part in classroom and outdoor activities as they would during a normal school day, which included sessions in the Forest School and other facilities.
The school’s thriving co-curricular provision also provided demonstrations throughout the event, with Music, Art and Design, Drama and Sport featuring prominently.
Anyone that was unable to attend Open Afternoon but would still like an individual tour should contact 01492 530155 or email email@example.com.
Fleur and Rupert appointed
After a thorough assessment process involving the Year 6 group, Mrs Davies announced that Rupert Barrington-Chance has been appointed to the Head Boy position, with Fleur Roberts given the Head Girl distinction.
Both pupils will be working with Rydal Penrhos’ newly appointed Prefect team to ensure the smooth running of the school on a day-to-day basis and during specific events for parents and the public.
They will also be lending their support to school and community events in the coming months, in addition to taking the stage for their eagerly awaited addresses at the annual Speech Day event on the final day of the summer term.
Rupert is a hugely popular member of the Prep School community who is thriving both academically and during co-curricular activities Rugby and Science coming in for significant praise.
Fleur is another that has made a considerable impact both with her peers and with younger members of the school, serving as a role model thanks to her attitude and leadership, as well as achieving a superb amount in sport and drama.
They will also be leading School Council as part of their new role, which is formed of selected individuals from all year groups.
Mrs Davies, said: “I would like to congratulate Rupert and Fleur on their respective appointments, and we are confident that both are going to make an exceptional Head Boy and Head Girl.
“They are both extremely well-liked throughout our wonderful school, with their confidence, communication and self-motivation coming to the fore on a daily basis.
“These are traits that are going to serve them very well in their respective roles.”
2019/20 team announced
Mrs Davies revealed the news at Rydal Penrhos weekly Celebration Assembly on Friday, October 4, which saw leadership positions awarded to members of the Year 6 group.
Taking on the Prefect positions are Archie Jeeves, Dominic Chamberlain, Will Glanville, Lily Copeland, Tilly Trueman and Ellie Knight, who all impressed during the assessment and interview process in the lead-up to their respective appointments.
All six have made a fantastic contribution to Prep School life and have taken full advantage of the wealth of opportunities afforded to them as part of Rydal Penrhos’ diverse academic and extra-curricular programme organised by dedicated teaching and support staff.
Each of the new appointments will work closely with Head Boy Ruper Barrington-Chance and Head Girl Fleur Roberts to ensure the efficient running of the school from a pupil perspective in the coming months.
They will also be undertaking peer mentor training to ensure that all pupils feel happy in their friendships.
"Archie, Dominic, Will, Lily, Tilly and Ellie have all left a considerable impression on life here at Rydal Penrhos and they are significant and deserved additions to our Prefect team.
Their confidence, determination and the respectful way they conduct themselves will serve as a fantastic inspiration."
Six given leadership roles
Rydal Penrhos Preparatory School has appointed its House Captains for the current academic year.
The group, who were presented with their badges by Mrs Davies at the school’s weekly Celebration Assembly on Friday, October 4, will be working with newly appointed Head Boy Rupert Barrington-Chance and Head Girl Fleur Roberts in the coming months through a variety of different areas of Rydal Penrhos life.
Taking on the role of Brecon House Captains are Lucy Ranales-Griffiths and Clarence Chasteau, who will be tasked with organising fellow House members during inter-house competitions and prominent events such as Sports Day.
Amelia Williams and Izrhan Shah will assume the captaincy of Pembroke House ahead of a busy series of important events, with Charlotte Payne and Nathan Richards securing the Snowdon House captain roles after demonstrating their leadership and organisational qualities during the assessment and probationary period.
Mrs Davies, said: “The House Captain role at Rydal Penrhos is an extremely important one at both our Prep and Senior sites, and with the added responsibility of Prefect attached it is a significant milestone for Lucy, Clarence, Amelia, Izrhan, Charlotte and Nathan.
“They are a credit to themselves and the Prep School and we are extremely proud of the young people they are developing into under the stewardship of my wonderful staff team.”
Busy month for department
Pre-School children got more than they expected during their latest visit to a Colwyn Bay care home.
The youngest members of the Rydal Penrhos community made their weekly trip to Merton Place on Pwllycrochan Avenue, but this was no ordinary visit to the site as they were joined by a wide selection of reptiles and insects for a special exhibition.
During the exciting afternoon, both residents and children found out more about the creepy crawlies and reptiles on show at the facility.
There was even the opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals in attendance during a supervised petting session with staff.
Pre-School department head Mrs Roberts brings you a rundown of all the latest goings-on in her latest staff blog, which outlined what went on during the final week of half term.
This week the children found out about hot deserts. We talked about sand, the heat and the special plants that can be found in a desert.
We discussed the hot days and the cold nights and discuss suitable clothes to wear in such climates. The children used their phonic knowledge to write down words such as sand and sun.
They also played word games to extend their vocabulary and created camel eyelids with ten lashes and use them for simple problem-solving. We tried to create pictures of prickly cacti using flat shapes and also investigated the features of a camel.
They also created pictures of themselves in a hot desert, made tents and decorated them and designed their very own sandy pictures.
The children continued to have small group literacy and numeracy, music and physical education, and they also participated in a Forest School session.
A busy week concluded with a visit Merton Place to meet the residents and some interesting reptiles.
We hope everyone had a wonderful half term and thanks for your continued support.
Mrs L Roberts
Projects enhance creativity
Year 1 have been enhancing their artistic skills under the guidance and support of dedicated teacher Mrs Morris since the start of the academic year.
They rounded off the half term in style with a thought-provoking project to demonstrated what they have taken on board during the initial stages of their learning.
As part of their ongoing creative development, each pupil was tasked with producing their first even self-portrait based on the topic of what they perceive their dream job to be.
There were a host of interesting and superb creations that ranged from superheroes, police officers and space men, with the particular topic also drawing some lively discussion between pupils and staff members.
Mrs Davies, said: “Our Year 1 have thoroughly enjoyed their Art lessons during the first half term of the academic year, and their unrivalled enthusiasm to throw themselves into every challenge that come their way was further evident during this particular classroom session."
Year 3 are in the midst of creating their very own self-portraits, with each pupil using the style of American Andy Warhol to form their respective pieces.
Each pupil was given an introduction into Warhol’s exceptional portfolio before putting their initial design into place, before studying the style of paintings further before getting down to the actual portraits.
Mrs Davies, said: “Mrs Morris does an extraordinary job of incorporating the work of some of the greatest artists in history to inspire our young children across all age groups, and this is something that really captures their imagination on a consistent basis.
“The Warhol-inspired self-portraits created by Year 3 are going to be a tremendous addition to the wonderful art we have throughout our wonderful Prep School once they have been completed.”
Warhol was an American artist, director, and producer who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art.
His works explore the relationship between artistic expression, advertising, and celebrity culture that flourished by the 1960s, and span a variety of media, including painting, silk-screening, photography, film, and sculpture.
Year 5 worked incredibly hard on a recent project with Mrs Morris, which saw them create self-portraits in a style implemented by an industry leader.
Their work was based on that of Shani Rhys James, MBE, a Welsh painter based in Llangadfan, Powys.
She has been described as "arguably one of the most exciting and successful painters of her generation" and "one of Wales’ most significant living artists".
In addition to dozens of critically acclaimed exhibitions featuring her work, Mrs James was elected to the Royal Cambrian Academy of Art in 1994.
In the 2006 New Year’s Honours, she was appointed Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for "services to art".
Each pupil worked exceptionally hard on their respective pieces and their work will now be added to the colourful and superb displays situated both in the Art department and throughout the Prep School site at Rydal Penrhos.
Miss Hughes, said: “Our Year 5 group have brought their artistic skills on considerably since the start of the academic year and this is in no small part down to how energised they are under the expert leadership of Mrs Morris.”
Project raises funds for charity
The Year 4 STEM Club took on the task of designing an allergy-free snack, which was also healthy under the guidance and support of dedicated teaching staff and two Year 9 pupils.
The group researched lots of current snacks on the market and analysed lists of ingredients to consider which would be the tastiest options but also, the healthiest.
They came up with a range of ideas and performed market research to find out which product would be the most popular before beginning production.
Eve Durrans and Ruby Merrick assisted the STEM club as part of their Duke of Edinburgh work experience, providing plenty of insight into nutrition and ensuring each pupil worked productively as a member of the team.
Once the tasty treats had been finalised and made, the club held a very successful snack sale that raised £80 for a worthy cause.
Miss Hughes, said: “Each member of our STEM Club contributed significantly to the project and all deserve an enormous amount of credit for their efforts.
“They took on the task with their customary determination and enthusiasm, learning a significant amount in the process.
“It was also fantastic to see Eve and Ruby guide the younger children, who were all very excited to have seniors on board.”
Bear topic heightens curiosity
As part of their curriculum on Bears, Reception visited the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay on Wednesday, October 9.
During their visit, the group went into the education room and were given a cardboard tube to decorate and fill with various food, putting a straw in each end to stop it falling out.
They even entered the bear enclosure to hide the tubes when the formidable animals were safely locked away.
Once they exited the enclosure, they witnessed the bears having fun looking for the food tubes that each pupil had created.
The Welsh Mountain Zoo opened on May 18, 1963 by the wildlife enthusiast and naturalist Robert Jackson and spans an area of 37 acres.
Mrs Davies, said: “This was a truly magical learning experience and very hands-on.
“Our annual trip to the Welsh Mountain Zoo is something that our children always really look forward to, and they had a marvellous time once again and got an enormous amount out of the experience."
As part of the school’s Forest School scheme, the Reception class spent the morning at the school’s impressive Coed y Plant base for a special morning of activities designed to boost knowledge outside of the classroom.
The primary focus of the session was a Teddy Bears’ picnic, which saw each child bring their favourite cuddly toy to school and find it within the forest after it had been hidden by staff members.
One they located their bears, the group were then tasked with looking after them before enjoying a bear-themed picnic together.
The session was designed to encourage empathetic play and learning, in addition to having great fun in the process.
Miss Hughes, said: “There was plenty of excitement within our Reception class relating to the Teddy Bears’ Picnic, which was another fantastic way for them to learn within an outdoor setting and enjoy themselves outside of the classroom.They have been a credit to themselves and everyone here at Rydal Penrhos during the first half term of the academic year, transitioning to school life and learning exceptionally well which bodes well for every one of them in the weeks and months ahead.”
History visit to Home Front Museum
Year 4 took a trip to Llandudno, where they visited the resort’s Home Front museum to enhance their learning as part of their topic on World War Two.
During the trip they found out about what it would have been like to have been a child living in the UK during the war, including the black out, rationing, evacuation, and some were given the opportunity to dress up as an Air Raid Precaution (ARP) Warden.
Mrs Culver, said: “The children were very well behaved and learnt a vast amount about life at home during WW2.
“Unlike previous trips, we had a guide this year (Michelle from the ‘Women’s Voluntary Service’) and she expertly led the children around the museum and answered as many questions as she could.
“The children (and the staff) were most upset to find out that families had to kill their pets because there wasn’t enough food to feed people, let alone animals.”
Visit stunning Bryn Euryn
Year 2 paid a visit to Bryn Euryn nature reserve prior to the half-term break, which overlooks the coastal town of Rhos on Sea which is situated just a short distance away from the school campus.
It proved to be another very worthwhile experience for the group, who walked across the stunning landscape and found out more about the animals and plantation living and growing within the area.
They motivated each other tremendously well throughout the visit, reaching the summit to witness some spectacular views.
Bryn Euryn is a rich mixture of grassland and woodland, part of it being a Site of Special Scientific interest.
It also has great historical interest with Llys Euryn - a house dating from the 15th century - and a hilltop fort from the sixth century.
The area is well served by a network of paths, including the Summit Trail, which links Llys Euryn and the fort at the summit.
Year groups thrive in outdoor setting
Year 5 took part in their latest Forest School morning prior to the half-term break, which saw them participate in a series of thought-provoking activities under the guidance of programme co-ordinator Mrs Pyves and another dedicated staff.
The focus of this particular session centred on structures, with each pupil using their initiative to work within a group and utilise natural material within the forest to created various elements such as fences and huts.
They also tested each stricture for strength and stability to ensure the project was a success, before enjoying some free time around the picturesque landscape of Rydal Penrhos’ Coed y Plant base.
Mrs Davies, said: “This was another very worthwhile learning experience for our Year 5 group, who improved their problem-solving skills and also worked exceptionally well as a team throughout.
“We are fortunate to have such a fantastic outdoor education facility as our Forest School."
Year 2 spent a recent morning at the impressive Forest School site prior to the half-term break, which once again centred on the Celtic era.
Under the guidance and support of dedicated staff at the school, the group took part in a series of testing activities designed to boost various skills outside of a classroom environment.
The main feature of this was creating dyes similar to what would have been produced during the Celtic era, before enjoying some free time for supervised play around the outstanding facility.
Mock Christening held
Rev'd Sissons provides an account of a recent mock Christening with Year 1 as part of an ongoing project:
In our Religious Education lessons in Year 1, we have been looking at belonging to a Christian family. We held a Christening service in the Wedgewood Room, led by myself.
I explained that people are Christened to welcome them into a family and also into the family of the Christian Church.
Then we began our service with a short prayer and song.
On the table there was a candle, a cross and a font which contained the water.
The cross reminds us that Jesus died on the cross and came back to life.
I then reminded the pupils of the story of Jesus being baptized by John the Baptist to help us understand why water is used.
Next, the parents stood at the front with the Godparents. I explained the role of the Godparents was to support the family as the baby grew up.
We named the baby ‘Issie Rose’. I baptized Issie by pouring water three times onto her forehead and then making the sign of the cross. He then presented her to the congregation.
The family were presented with a certificate, prayer book and a candle. The candle is a symbol that Jesus is The Light of the World.
Rev’d Sissons, Chaplain
Service and Collection draws support
The entire Prep School community gave a significant contribution to their annual autumn food drive.
The collection for this year’s Harvest Festival was seeking cans of dried or tinned foods to donate to the two worthy causes, which have now been split between Action for Children and the Conwy Food Bank, who will distribute it to needy families throughout the region.
A host of items were donated by staff, pupils and their families to ensure that the campaign was a tremendous success.
Pupils brought the goods into the Prep School reception in the lead-up to the collection, and they were placed on display during their annual Harvest Service at St John’s Church prior to the half-term break.
They will now be sent to the chosen initiatives for immediate use.
Mrs Davies, said: “We received an amazing amount of items for this year’s Harvest Food Drive and I would like to sincerely thank everyone that donated to what we consider to be a very worthwhile cause.
“We are rightfully proud of our community involvement and charity efforts throughout all areas of life here at Rydal Penrhos, which teaches our young children empathy, to consider the plight of others and to be compassionate to those who may not be as fortunate.”
Staff, pupils and family members gathered at St John’s Church on Friday, October 18 for the Harvest Service, which is the final item on the calendar before everyone headed off on their well-deserved two-week break.
Rev'd Sissons kicked-off proceedings with a welcoming address, and there were also reading from Layko Driver, Eryn Mart, Steffan Atenstaedt and Sophie Winters-Jones.
There were musical performances from the Prep School Choir and the Treble-Makers to further enhance the occasion, with Rev’d Sissons enlisting the help of George Rozek and Sophie Morris to tell a story about an Irish saint.
The service proudly displayed a large amount of food items donated for the annual Harvest collection, which have now been distributed between Action for Children and the Conwy Food Bank.
A representative from Action for Children was also present at the event and spoke briefly about where the items will go and to thank everyone who donated.
Eloise secures impressive grading
Eloise Brown recently took her Grade 3 Modern Theatre Dance assessment, which was administered by the Imperial Society Dance Examinations Board.
The talented pupil was the youngest out of this specific group of candidates taking the grading by some distance, but this did not stop Eloise performing exceptionally well to secure a Merit as a result of her outstanding commitment.
This represents a considerable achievement from Eloise given her tender age, and she has already begun working hard during weekly coaching sessions with a view to achieving further success in the coming months.
Miss Hughes, said: "Eloise is a multi-talented individual who is extremely determined both academically and during every extra-curricular activity she applies herself to, and to secure such a tremendous result from a Grade 3 assessment is a direct result of her overall attitude.
“Her enthusiasm for the performing arts is something that really strives Eloise to excel, and this assessment performance will be another massive confidence for her ahead of the exam challenges that lie ahead relating to dance in the weeks and months ahead.”
Welsh Championships success
The Prep School skiing squad travelled to Llangrannog for the Welsh Schools’ Championships, pitting their skills against some of the best young talent anywhere in the country.
It proved to be another worthwhile experience for the group, who turned in a fine effort to come away with some impressive individual and team finishes.
Cameron Pye showed his quality throughout to claim first spot in the U12 boys’ category, adding to his fine list of results in a competitive setting.
There was further cause for celebration in the form of Lily Copeland, who secured a podium finish after coming third in the U12 girls’ event for unregistered racers.
The A squad also came away with a medal as a result of their outstanding efforts, with Cameron, Will Glanville, Felix Griffin and Clarence Chasteau accumulating enough points to come away with a very creditable third place.
Rounding off the achievements were Lily, Harry Nurse, Charlotte Payne and Rupert Barrington-Chance, who came sixth overall in the team event.
Hopefuls gain experience at Man City Academy
Another group of aspiring young footballers got the taste of Premier League life at one of the best facilities anywhere in the country.
The Prep School’s U8 squad travelled the Manchester City’s Etihad Academy Complex for a special Football Festival that saw the team take on sides from Cheshire and the North West in a round-robin format.
Archie-Glyn Chesworth, Freddie Griffin, Harrison Simmons, Keelan Shilton, Oscar Kennedy-Evans and James Mart formed the Rydal Penrhos team on the day, and all performed exceptionally well in the face of stern competition to reach the Plate semi-final before eventually falling to a penalty shootout loss.
Their participation was part of the Prep School’s annual excursions to the Barclays Premier League champions, which involves a series of visits to the multi-million pound Academy site during the winter term thanks to the Independent Association of Prep Schools.
Mr McLeod, said: “Our U8 side, as always, got a tremendous amount of the experience and they came back from the Manchester City Academy Football Festival thoroughly motivated and inspired ahead of a busy series of fixtures.
“It is a remarkable venue that we are privileged to be involved with, and hopefully this will spur the team on to great things throughout the season from a Rydal Penrhos perspective.”
The Year 2 squad took an exciting trip to the Manchester City Academy complex for a Football Festival organised by the Independent Association of Prep Schools.
The tournament involved a host of fixtures against other schools from across the region, and the young hopefuls acquitted themselves extremely well in a competitive environment.
They managed to record a wealth of victories throughout the day, gaining valuable experience that is sure to stand them in good stead for future fixtures.
This was the final visit from Rydal Penrhos to the state of the art facility this autumn, with the school’s fledgling stars performing exceptionally well during their annual competitions at the home of the Barclays Premier League champions.
Mr McLeod, said: “Each member of the squad were a credit to themselves and everyone here at Rydal Penrhos during another visit to one of the most impressive Academy facilities anywhere in the world.
“They performed extremely well and played some very good football in the process, something that is going to do wonders for their overall development and cohesion as a group.”
Y2 squad: Will Culver, Rufus Glanville, Angus De Ferranti, Jacob de la Mare Norris, Svaksh Singam, Archie Green.
Unbeaten effort at Terra Nova tournament
The hockey team comprising of U9 and U8 players descended on Terra Nova School for a tournament featuring a host of different other education establishments in the region.
It proved to be a very worthwhile exercise for the squad, who produced a series of consistent performers to emerge as one of the standout teams in the tournament.
They hit the ground running and continued this trend as the competition progressed, eventually finishing with three victories and a draw from their four contests.
This is another hugely encouraging series of results from the ever-improving group, who have all displayed a tremendous work ethic and desire to improve during coaching sessions with Rydal Penrhos’ committed staff team.
Miss Hughes, said: “This represents another marvellous showing from our young hockey players, who are developing their skills and teamwork impressively and it is really coming across during their competitive fixtures."
Three pupils have been handed leadership positions in a sporting environment.
Mr McLeod and Mrs Pyves selected the trio to captaincy roles in Skiing, Football and Hockey for a busy series of fixtures throughout the autumn term, with each pupil displaying exceptional talent and motivational prowess to secure their respective positions.
Year 6 pupil and national U12 champion Cameron Pye will be tasked with leading the Prep School skiing squad, who have already achieved considerable success this season both at regional and national level.
Multi-talented Lily Copeland will skipper the hockey squad after demonstrating a high level of consistency in a competitive environment, making an impact last season despite being a year younger than most opposition.
Rounding off the appointments was Will Glanville, who is the Prep School football skipper after developing his skills considerably both with the U12 squad and at JD Cymru North side Conwy Borough’s youth set-up.
Mr McLeod, said: “Cameron, Will and Lily are thoroughly deserving of their respective captaincy roles and I am confident they are all going to thrive with the extra responsibility.
“All three have achieved success from an individual perspective, but they are also great communicators and have the ability to inspire others around them.”