Rydal Penrhos newsletter: October 2019
The digital monthly newsletter from Rydal Penrhos Senior School.
Rydal Penrhos newsletter
From Senior School Head Mrs Harding
It has been a hugely eventful first month back for our staff and pupils, and the latter have conducted themselves exceptionally during academic lessons as well as extra-curricular activities.
We are enormously proud of our wonderful school and its community ethos; this has been particularly evident as our new Year 7 pupils are so visibly well-supported by the older members of the School community, and in particular by our Sixth Form Prefect team.
There have been plenty of highlights during the month of September, and three of especial note have been the European Day of Languages, our annual Osborn House Day Tug of War, and Founders’ Weekend, an event which saw a large number of former pupils attend various events at Rydal Penrhos over two action-packed days.
It was heart-warming to see so many familiar faces throughout the weekend, and I would like personally to thank everyone who came along to lend his or her support.
As always with our incredible pupils, there has been plenty to celebrate, thanks to a wealth of individual achievements across all year groups, with our Speech and Drama group producing some of the best London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art assessment results that we have ever recorded at the School.
Our Golf Academy continues to go from strength to strength, thanks to the sterling work of Mr Richardson and his team, and our Sailing Department also secured exceptional success at a nationally-recognised competition.
Also to be found in this newsletter is a fascinating account by Mr Sanders of our recent charity mission to Uganda, in addition to full details of the places that we are offering at a fee reduction of 100% to Year 7 and Year 12 pupils for entry in September 2020.
I would like to thank all of our parents for their support during the initial stages of the academic year, and hope that you enjoy reading our monthly newsletter.
Mrs S-A Harding
Head of Senior School
Fully funded day places
For Year 7 and Year 12 pupils
Rydal Penrhos School will be offering four fully funded day places for prospective pupils entering Sixth Form and Year 7.
Executive Principal John Waszek and Senior School Head Sally Ann Harding, with the approval of the Governing Body, have confirmed that the four places in total are available for 2020 entry in September and applications are now being taken for anyone wishing to apply.
Year 7 places will be awarded based on Entrance Examination results and interview, with Year 12 Sixth Form places awarded on predicted GCSE grades and subsequent interview with a senior staff member during the assessment process.
This is a means tested scheme for families with a combined income of less than £30,000 per annum.
Anyone residing in North Wales is welcome to apply, and all applicants must attend a state school.
Two places have been allocated for Year 7 entry, with a further two set to be awarded for Year 12.
The deadline for applications is Friday 17 January, with Entrance Examinations to be held on Saturday 1 February.
Anyone wishing to apply for either the Year 7 of Year 12 Sixth Form places should contact Admissions Officer Jenny Marsden on email@example.com or by calling 01492 530155.
Event in memory of former pupils
The school announced that a Charity Ball will take place at the Sixth Form Ferguson Centre on Friday, October 11 from 7pm, and all proceeds will be split between Ataxia UK and the Anthony Nolan Trust.
These are two charities that are close to the heart of the Rydal Penrhos family, and the donations will be made in honour of former pupils Scarlett Salisbury and Thomas Watson.
Tom was Head Boy during his final year of school life before moving on to the University of St Andrews, where he gained a degree in Ancient History and Archaeology.
In 2010 Tom was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. He underwent aggressive chemotherapy and through the support of The Anthony Nolan Trust a bone marrow donor was found.
Sadly, despite a successful bone marrow transplant, the leukaemia returned and Tom passed away in 2012.
Scarlett was another popular member of the school community during her time at Rydal Penrhos, something that saw he appointed to the role of Prefect and contribute significantly to the success of the school’s Dramatic Society.
She was diagnosed with Friedrichs Ataxia at the age of eight but that never stopped her pushing on with her life and getting everything out of it. She was full of life, fun, compassion, grit and determination.
Tickets for the event are priced at £40 per person, which includes prosecco on arrival and a lavish three-course meal courtesy of catering providers Holroyd Howe.
Anyone wishing to book their tickets can do so by contacting Sarah James via email at SJames@rydalpenrhos.com or call 01492 530155.
Mr Sanders reflects on charity mission
As school finished for another academic year in July, four members of staff and 12 intrepid pupils headed off to Manchester airport to embark on the biannual visit to Uganda, the sixth trip of its kind run by the school.
This year’s visit nearly didn’t happen as there was talk of it being postponed due to the ongoing Ebola outbreak in the DRC which borders Uganda. Luckily, the staff team were able to change the itinerary in order to reduce the risk and the trip was given the green light with a week to go!
As well as providing an insight into life in a developing world, a vital education for the pupils who have visited Uganda; the visit also serves to cement ongoing partnerships with various charities and organisations we have worked with over the past 12 years.
Mr Sanders, the group leader felt that this year’s visit was the most successful yet, borne out of the hard work put in by Mr Sissons in developing constructive and ongoing links with our various partners out there.
Money from fundraising through the school year, alongside the generous donations of parents has meant that we were able to make a real impact this year.
We provided much needed footwear and clothing for street children in Kampala courtesy of the work of the Hope Street organisation. Hope Street look out for large numbers of boys living on the streets in the capital city and meet with them three times a week in some parkland to provide food, counselling, first aid and a bit of downtime in the form of a football match.
Some of the success stories include sponsoring the boys to go to school and even getting them back to live with their family.
Later on, we worked alongside RUHEPAI, an organisation which supports the rural communities in the Mbarara region. Here they teach collaboration, family planning and farming skills to help rural communities work together to become more self-sufficient.
For the two days we were with them, we visited a school in need of some renovation and worked alongside the staff and pupils in gathering mud and manure and plastering the external walls of one of the school buildings.
Gifts of two footballs for the pupils to play with went down very well indeed, as did the bottle of bubbles and lots of fidget spinners!
The third project we contributed to is perhaps the most rewarding. In 2013, the group visited St Deos Primary School, Kitooha, a very isolated and rural school high up on top of a hill surrounded by banana plantations.
The Headteacher of this school, Mr Pancratius is an extremely forward thinking professional. He is passionate about his school and has a clear plan for what he hopes to achieve. Consequently, after our last visit in 2017, he asked if we could help him in providing desks for the school as all but the oldest pupils were taught whilst sitting on a dirt floor.
After our successful Buy a Desk Appeal at Christmas of that year, we were able to send over enough money to provide desks for all but one of the classrooms. This year, with further generous contributions from the Rydal Penrhos community, we were able to contribute more funding to complete the number of desks to ensure all classrooms have pupils off the floor.
I received a WhatsApp just last week from Mr Pancratius to say that they have been able to make ten further desks and now all pupils in St Keos School are sat at desks during lessons.
To see these desks in use, embossed with the Rydal Penrhos name, was a proud moment for all of the Uganda 2019 team and we now move on to supporting them further by contributing to a school renovation and eventually, solar panelling to provide much needed electricity.
Staff and pupils also got to visit Ngamba Island and the chimpanzee sanctuary situated in Lake Victoria (after a very choppy and very wet boat ride out to it) and a safari at Lake Mburo National Park staying at the very lovely Leopards Rest Camp (although no leopards where spotted, unfortunately).
"After some well-earned rest, the team are already planning for our 2021 visit so watch this space for further fundraising opportunities!"
New initiative launched
Rydal Penrhos has launched another exciting extra-curricular opportunity with the introduction of the Combined Cadet Force.
Head of English Alun Brown, together with Transport Manager and Armed Forces veteran Phil Hilton, are leading the new scheme at the school that began at the start of the academic year earlier this month.
CCF is a youth organisation sponsored by the Ministry of Defence that offers a range of activities, opportunities and experiences for pupils and staff alike.
The organisation has become an integral part of many state and private schools, giving pupils challenges and training that would usually not be available to them.
The CCF aims to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness and a sense of service to the community.
Forty per cent of a cadet’s time will be spent on adventurous training activities. By joining the CCF cadets also have the opportunity to get involved with volunteer and charitable work in the community and to gain nationally recognised qualifications such as the Duke of Edinburgh Award.
Joining the CCF provides an opportunity to take part in Army activities and events, all of which will focus on building confident, responsible and independent thinking young people.
The Combined Cadet Force offers an exceptional range of exciting activities for cadets to enjoy. As well as adventurous pursuits, many of the activities cadets can explore are focused on helping to gain new skills, improving teamwork, confidence and leadership.
This provides the basic training across a number of different areas, which is further built on during field days and weekend training camps. In ‘the field’ cadets will be given more time to develop particular skill, or work towards qualifications.
Former pupil returns for Society lecture
Professor Emerita Joy Hendry, who attended Penrhos College, was the Scientific Society’s first special guest speaker of the academic year on Thursday, September 19.
The topic of the lecture was Anthropology and Social Anthropology, which proved to be of considerable interest for anyone wishing to pursue a possible career in science, psychology, history or geography.
A large number of Sixth Form pupils attended the lecture, with joint-Deputy Head Boy Eddie Farrell introducing Professor Hendry prior to her talk.
Mrs Hendry is a Professor Emerita in Anthropology at Oxford Brookes University, senior member of St. Antony's College, Oxford University and Honorary Fellow of the University of Edinburgh.
She graduated with B.Sc in General Science from Kings College, London, and after living and working abroad for five years, studied for a Diploma, B.Litt and D.Phil Social Anthropology at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, completing her studies in 1979.
Mrs Hendry taught at Oxford Brookes (and formerly Oxford Poly) from 1980 until 2010, with periods away at Keio University in Japan, Stirling University in Scotland, the CNRS in Paris, the University of Melbourne, McMaster University in Canada, the Institute for Japanese Studies, University of Vienna, and the University of Freiburg. Since becoming professor emerita in 2010, she has been the McGeorge Fellow at the University of Melbourne, and de Carle Distinguished Lecturer at the University of Otago.
She has carried out anthropological fieldwork several times in Japan, but more recently has also been working in a context that requires travel to different countries (see Research section below). She was the founder of the Erasmus programme in the Anthropology Department, Brookes Japan Interest Group and the Europe Japan Research Centre.
European Day of Languages celebrates culture
As part of the school’s annual support to European Day of Languages, staff at the Modern Foreign Languages devised a fun-filled schedule on Thursday, September 26.
Mrs Livingstone and teacher Miss Vallée held a special Prep School assembly to highlight the importance of the European Day of Languages, introducing a quiz that involved teachers wearing flags from different countries.
Pupils worked in pairs or small groups to write down the name of the teacher on their quiz sheet, with plenty of exciting prizes on offer.
Prep children then enjoyed some tasty French pastries during break, and lunch took on a continental theme with a lavish spread from catering providers Holroyd Howe.
They were greeted by MFL staff as they arrived for lunch, who encouraged them to practice their language skills.
In the Senior School, Food and Nutrition department head Ms Gardener and Sixth Form Prefect Nia Humphreys hosted a Churros and chocolate making demonstration, which also drew a tremendous amount of interest.
Speech & Drama
LAMDA exam triumphs
A host of young Performing Artists achieved considerable result from their recent examinations.
The Year 8 and 9 Speech and Drama candidates were rewarded for their exceptional preparation under the guidance of teacher Christina Bloomfield with a plethora of Distinctions from their London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art assessments.
The trio of Philo Rozek, Harrison McKinnel and Benjamin Alefounder achieved a Distinction and 89 out of a possible 100 in their Grade 2 Group Devising Drama exam, with Ell Northcott also securing a Distinction in her Acting Grade 2 Solo assessment.
Tedi Holden’s outstanding performance saw her come away with a Distinction in her Acting Grade 3 Solo test, and the talented pair of Abdul Khurram and Louis Ashby both secured Merits in Grade 2 Acting Solo and Grade 3 Devising Drama respectively.
There was further cause for celebration as Noah Lewis gained a Distinction in Grade 2 Devising Drama, with Jake McDonald and Perry Williams’ performance in their Grade 2 Acting Combined deservedly coming away with a Distinction.
This included a 94/100 overall score from Perry, and a group consisting of Lily Davies, Ella James and Ada Vonbank also securing a Distinction from their Grade 3 Group Acting assessment.
Rounding off a jaw-dropping set of results were Ruby Merrick, Arran Sen, Llion Morris, Dylan Lloyd-Bloom, Emily Jones, Christian Cheesley, Will Tavernor, George Watkins, Freddie James, Isabel Stubbings and Sophie Hall, who all attained Distinctions.
Annual Tug of War held
As part of the Osborn Day celebrations, all four houses battled it out during the annual Tug of War event, which drew a large crowd to the Astro to witness the clash.
Pupils from Year 10 to Upper Sixth represented their respective houses in the hope of securing some valuable points in pursuit of the Yeung Bowl House Cup, and after a competitive series it was Morgan that ended up securing the title thanks to a rousing effort.
They managed to seal their triumph by besting Wesley House in the final, with Osborn and Payne also giving a good account of themselves to round off another successful demonstration of House spirit at the school.
Rydal Mount was founded by T.G. Osborn on 19 September 1885. The School, which was to be a boys’ boarding school in the Methodist tradition, was named after the house (now called Old House) on Lansdowne Road which Osborn had acquired through the good offices of the Reverend F.W. Payne, a wealthy benefactor and Wesleyan minister who lived in Colwyn Bay.
Mrs Harding, said: “Our House system is not only something that fills every pupil with an enormous sense of pride here at Rydal Penrhos, but also allows us to honour those that founded and played a leading role in the origins of our wonderful school.
“The annual Osborn Day Tug of War is always a fun-filled event and congratulations to Morgan.”
RP Family return for annual celebration
Alan Davies JP, chair of the Wesley Trust, gave an inspiring address at the school’s annual Founders’ Day service in front of a large congregation at St John’s Church on Friday, September 13.
The service was attended by staff, pupils, governors and parents to kick-off the Founders’ Weekend festivities, with the Reverend Nick Sissons, Senior School Head Sally Ann Harding, Prep School Head Lucy Davies and Head Girl Millie Collins among those also speaking throughout the event.
Mr Davies is a lifelong Methodist from the Warrington area and had a senior executive position in industry until he was in his late 30s when he felt called to move into teaching.
Before his retirement, he was Head and Executive Head in secondary schools in the North West, being awarded the status of National Leader in Education for his capacity to lead school improvement across groups of schools.
He also had experience of academisations at school and group level.
Mrs Harding, said: “We were honoured to welcome Mr Davies to Rydal Penrhos as the special guest speaker at our Founders’ Day Service, and his address left those who were fortunate enough to hear it with plenty of food for thought.
“Our Founders’ Weekend is always a time for great reflection and celebration to honour those who laid the foundations for the wonderful school we work and are taught in today.”
Rugby stars past and present concluded the annual Founders’ Weekend celebrations in an eagerly anticipated competition.
Rydal Penrhos School’s annual Vikings game took place on Sunday, September 15 and took on a new short game, round-robin format for the second time.
A host of former Rugby Academy stars made a welcome return to New Field, with a number of teachers also lending their support and taking part.
The competition saw a large crowd descend on New Field to see the contest, with recent leavers such as Sean Hughes, Ewan Luke and Joe Gardener making their presence felt with an impressive showing.
Another to catch the eye throughout was former RGC Academy member and Henry Davies, and after a very competitive morning of action the 2014 leavers’ side emerged victorious from the event.
Matty Griffiths received the Bleddyn Williams trophy from Senior School Head Sally Ann Harding, with the silverware named in honour of the former pupil and Welsh rugby international who was nicknamed “The Prince of Centres”.
Girls’ hockey and netball stars past and present turned out for a special fixture over the annual Founders’ Weekend celebration.
A strong Old Girls’ team returned to the Rydal Penrhos to take on its First XI for the Natalie Kate Moss Trophy on Saturday, September 14, which saw a big crowd descend on the Astro to witness the contest.
The encounter eventually went the way of the returning Old Girls’ for a fourth successive year, with the former pupils claiming victories in both hockey and netball encounters despite a spirited effort from the school’s senior squads.
There were a host if impressive individual performances from a school perspective, with the likes of Tallulah Batley, Keira Bonnington, Alexandra Williams, Ava Gardener and Brona Richardson all performing well throughout.
"Our First XI played exceptionally well, working hard throughout the game. Overall, it was a very pleasing performance by all concerned, but the Old Girls' retain the cup for another year.
It is always great to see those who have come through the ranks here at Rydal Penrhos and have gone on to bigger and better things both in the careers and in a sporting environment, and their success is always a great source of inspiration for our current pupils as they look to follow in their footsteps."
News from former pupils
Elysia Gilman, who left the school in 2018, produced a sensational painting that captures the moment Ben Stokes hit the winning runs in England’s extraordinary third test triumph over Australia at Headingley this summer.
With England heading to defeat, Stokes stepped up to produce arguably the finest innings’ in English cricket history, hitting 135 not out to seal a narrow one-wicket victory.
Elysia was asked to paint a portrait of the incredible moment by brother and Year 8 pupil James, who is a very keen cricketer and has spent the season representing Mochdre Cricket Club’s second and third teams at senior level.
The painting has had a hugely positive reaction on social media, which prompted Elysia to make prints of the painting that are now being sold. For every print bought, the former Prefect is donating 25 per cent of the proceeds to Mochdre Cricket Club.
Elysia enjoyed a hugely successful time at Rydal Penrhos and is now studying Art at the University of Loughborough after some impressive A Level results last summer.
She also managed to claim a prestigious national completion run by the Machyntheth Arts Festival, which also saw the aspiring artist win the public vote prize from the subsequent exhibition.
Rydal Penrhos School was very sad to learn of the death of Anne Perrin, matron of Costain in the 1970s and 80s.
Mark Sherrington, Head of Art and a former boarder, paid a glowing tribute to the popular figure who played a huge part during her time at the school.
He said: “Pupils at Rydal will remember Miss Perrin as a force of nature. For perhaps three decades she cared for boys and girls in the Prep School as a matron.
“But of course like many support staff of the 70’s ,80’s and 90’s she was far more than just a matron. Boys from the 70’s and 80’s will remember “Ma Pez” with her bright red lipstick, immaculate hair and infectious smile with enormous affection.
“She was like a second mother to us, hundreds of miles from home, with no contact other than letters from our parents for months at a time. It was a time when there was only one phone in the Prep school, in Mr Underwood’s flat (the Headmaster), which we could use on our birthday only.
“Her partnership with Mr Arthur Pitman, the housemaster of Costain House was legendary and together they ran a tight ship where humour was never far from the surface.
“Even as an adult and long after her retirement one might run into Miss Perrin walking along the prom in Rhos (she walked everywhere and stayed fit long into her retirement) and she seemed not to have changed a jot. Her interest in you was genuine and her memory incredible.
“I am sure I speak on behalf of many old boys and girls when I say we feel lucky and grateful to have fallen under her care. Her infectious humour, interest and understanding made all our time at school fun. RIP Ma Pez.”
Rydal Penrhos pupils past and present gathered for one of the most long-standing social events on the school calendar.
The annual Rydal Penrhos Society North Wales Dinner was held at the Sixth Form Ferguson Centre on Saturday, September 14, which saw a large number of Alumni travel the length and breadth of the country to catch up with old friends and return to the school once again.
This was the first time that the event had been held within a school facility and it proved to be another tremendous success.
In addition to a lavish meal produced by Rydal Penrhos’ dedicated staff team from Holroyd Howe, Upper Sixth Form pupil Amy Yue entertained those in attendance with a stunning acapella vocal performance.
The multi-talented boarder recently scored an incredible 95 out of a possible 100 in her Grade 8 London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art Gold assessment, and she also featured on national television in her native country during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Newly appointed Head Boy Ioan Peake-Jones and Head Girl Millie Collins also gave addresses on the rich history of the school and the exciting plans for Rydal Penrhos, with temporary President Graham Knowles also talking about his fond memories to round off another thoroughly entertaining evening.
The dinner was held as part of the Founders’ Weekend celebrations, which also saw the Society’s Annual General Meeting take place.
Strong month for Academy stars
Golf Academy members at Rydal Penrhos turned in a hugely encouraging performance at a high-profile national competition.
The school’s talented squad made the long trip to Kings Acre Golf Club in Lasswade for the Independent Schools’ Golf Association Scottish Open, which took place on Monday, September 16.
The competition featured the best young prospects in the country and proved to be another hugely competitive event once again, with the Rydal Penrhos contingent producing a fine effort to come in a very respectable fifth position overall in the Gross score standings.
This was secured by some notable individual efforts, with Adrian Lewis continuing his exceptional recent development with fourth overall in the Nett Competition with a score of 68.
Wales U18 international Reuben Bather was another to catch the eye, and he will look to continue this fine run of form when he meets up with the national squad in the coming days for their clash against England.
Tim Schalken managed to score an outstanding 70 on his Golf Academy debut, with Welsh U14 champion Charley Simpson and Richard Wolfendale also performing well at the event.
National success for talented trio
Freddie MacLaverty and Keira Luke travelled to Mumbles for the British Youth Sailing Welsh Regional Championships to test their skills against some of the best up and coming talent anywhere in the country.
The duo produced a sensational effort in testing conditions throughout the weekend, winning their final two races to emerge victorious in the U18 General Handicap fleet despite their tender age.
RYA Cymru Wales High Performance Manager Paul Simes, said: "To have a Feva win in the General Handicap fleet is unusual, Freddie and Kiera won the last two races and that was one of the highlights because they are aged 11, beating 17-year-old children."
This represents a significant achievement for the pair in their junior RS Feva boat, with Freddie and Keira also finishing first in the Mixed Boat category thanks to their sterling performance.
Mrs Harding, said: “This is an absolutely staggering achievement from Freddie and Keira.
“To perform so well against much older and more experienced opposition to achieve victory is a testament to their ability to perform in a competitive environment and their overall talent on the water."
Llion Morris also travelled to Mumbles to compete at the British Youth Sailing Welsh Regional Championships last weekend, which saw him take his place in the extremely competitive Topper fleet.
The hard-working individual was at his brilliant best throughout a testing four races on the water, coming away with two triumphs to finish top of the podium and secure the coveted trophy.
This is the latest in a series of outstanding achievements from Llion, who has developed his skills considerably under the guidance and support of dedicated coaching staff at Rydal Penrhos’ sailing centre, which was accredited by the Royal Yachting Association last year.
He has secured a wealth of regional and national competition victories and medal placings, something that has seen him called up to both the RYA Cymru Wales youth squad.
Mrs Harding, said: "Llion’s dedication to his sailing has been evident from a very early age, and he is emerging as one of the brightest young prospects anywhere in the country thanks to his exceptional commitment and perseverance.
"He is also a tremendous role model for our younger sailing squad members given how much experience he has gained in a short space of time."
Owen wins regional championship
Owen Reilly is now a North Wales Cricket League Premier Division championship winner after Bangor clinched the crown last weekend with victory at Pontblyddyn.
Although the first XI captain was unable to participate in the fixture due to injury, Owen played a leading role in his side’s success after making the move to Bangor from Pwllheli prior to the campaign.
The Cricket Wales U17 international has opened the batting and bowling for his club, amassing 420 runs at an average of 35.
This includes a season’s best score of 64 not out in their home encounter against Denbigh, and Owen has also claimed 19 wickets at the average expense of 21.74.
In addition to his exploits on the domestic scene, Owen has also been a hugely influential figure for the national youth set-up during some high-profile T20 fixtures during the summer.
Mrs Head, said: “Owen has worked incredibly hard with the Bangor squad during the summer, who were thoroughly deserving of their championship victory.
“This will be another massive boost for a player that has benefitted enormously from the specialist training we provide here at Rydal Penrhos, and hopefully he can continue his impressive development during our winter nets programme.”
Cameron ends campaign on a high
Cameron Shaw enhanced his reputation as one of the brightest young prospects anywhere in the country with a consistent series of performances throughout the region.
This included a hugely impressive victory at the Aberystwyth Junior Triathlon last month, and Cameron followed this up by crossing the line first at the Chester Junior Triathlon on September 15 to bring a superb season to a close.
In order to boost his overall experiences in a competitive environment, the teenager has also been competing at Cross-Country events and secured a pair of podium finishes at national level which included third place in the U16 category at the Welsh Mountain Running Championships.
He also managed to secure a silver medal from the U17 category at the North Wales Mountain Running Championships, which represents another significant achievement for the ever-improving athlete.
Mrs Head, said: “Cameron has developed his ability to perform consistently within a competitive environment extremely well over the last few months, and this is reflected with the superb results he has achieved at various events across the region and beyond.
“Hopefully this is a trend that can continue long into the future as Cameron has a great deal of potential to very far within the sport.”
National Award shortlisting
The school has been shortlisted in the Independent School Grounds Team category at the Institute of Groundsmanship Awards, which will take place in Birmingham later this year.
The event will be hosted by BBC TV presenter Dan Walker and the shortlisting marks a significant achievement for head groundsman Tony Owen and his dedicated team.
Despite overseeing only a small team, Mr Owen has implemented a strategic ground development plan around Rydal Penrhos’ 42-acre site over the last year, with the school’s facilities used by high-profile organisations such as Marylebone Cricket Club and Cricket Wales for their regional development programmes.
Much of the hard work went into constructing a new five-bay outdoor cricket net area that was opened by legendary former teacher Mike Leach earlier this summer.
In addition to the sporting fields, Mr Owen and his team have worked tirelessly to enhance the overall condition of the site, which has seen the implementation of new flowerbeds, a longer cut to bring out fuller lawns and reducing nutrients in the wildflowers that grow around the site.
The grounds staff also maintain the Forest School area that has proven to be an immensely beneficial outdoor learning tool for prep and pre-school children.
An aspiring footballer has been selected to one of the most prestigious academics in the North Wales region.
Harley Doyle formally signed Academy forms at Prestatyn Town FC after impressing scouts considerably for his local side and during a subsequent trial.
The youngster will now attend weekly training sessions with the Seasiders’ and contribute during their competitive fixtures throughout the campaign, and Harley stated he is “extremely excited and motivated” to have joined the set-up and work with coach Anthony Gomez.
Harley has been playing for Holywell Town FC since their U6 side and has developed both his skills and enthusiasm during this period, and he now heads on to a Town structure that is riding on the crest of a wave so far this term.
The club are currently top of the JD Cymru North standings and feature a host of Academy graduates within their squad, including high-profile figures such as Michael Parker and Dave Hayes.
Mrs Head, said: “Harley has demonstrated a real talent with a ball at his feet and we are thrilled that he has earned a place at the Prestatyn Town FC Academy."
A talented young skier enhanced his growing reputation with a strong showing at a high-profile national competition.
Chay Bonnington travelled to the Pontypool Ski Centre for the Welsh Dry Slope Championships, which featured some of the best prospects anywhere in the country.
The teenager took his place in the U16 boys’ category throughout a testing weekend on the slopes, which saw Chay turn in a series of exceptional runs to put him right in contention heading into the closing stages.
He remained consistent during the most crucial part of the competition to come away with a superb silver medal as a result of his sterling efforts, continuing his fine recent run of form within a competitive environment.
This feat is made even more impressive as there is currently no training facilities in North Wales at the present moment.
Mrs Head, said: “Chay is a very driven individual who continues to excel on the slopes, and for him to perform so well at a competition of this magnitude with little preparation is further proof of just how much natural talent he actually possesses."
Rydal Penrhos’ U13 rugby side took on Oswestry School on Saturday and turned in a fine display to emerge victorious by a 45-20 score after a hugely entertaining affair.
The squad contained a mix of Year 8s and 7s for the fixture, allowing development in a wide range of areas for all players.
A good start from Rydal Penrhos saw them go up by three scores thanks to some dazzling attacking play, with Ethan Akroyd and Max Cowen-Wright demonstrating their impressive qualities with some surging runs.
Oswestry School managed to pull things back with a pair of tries from their captain, but a strong finish to the half saw the home side take a commanding cushion into the interval.
After the break saw Oswestry get themselves back into the contest with another two scores despite a stunning effort to repel the attacks by Year 7 pupil Freddie Barrington-Chance, but the Rydal Penrhos contingent dug deep to weather the storm and secured their eye-catching success late on by crossing the white wash twice in quick succession.
Mr Kitchen, said: “All in all, a very successful game against a tricky opponent.
“Having the Year 8 boys set an example allowed others around them to see what could be done, and that’s exactly what happened – specifically the moment of the match for me, a strong tackle coming from Kenan Buckley.
“The boys will continue to work hard and develop, and have a very bright future ahead of them.”