Rydal Penrhos Prep School newsletter: October 2019
The monthly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos Prep School.
Rydal Penrhos Prep School newsletter
From Prep School Head Mrs Davies
"A brilliant start to the academic year"
What a brilliant start to the academic year we have had in the the Prep School. In just four weeks we have seen 11 sports teams out at fixtures, classes from Pre-School to year 6 out on trips to enhance their class topics and the week long Year 6 residential visit to Llanrug.
We have also started out extensive provision for after school activities and clubs as well as holding a special music assembly to promote our 1:1 music lessons in all instruments.
The pupils in the Prep school certainly have a huge range of stimulating activities in order to keep their learning alive inside and outside of the classroom.
It is obvious from the pages of this newsletter what a wonderful education our pupils receive.
As the new Head of Prep I can’t let the opportunity pass to say how mature and helpful the pupils are. In my first assembly I said that the most important quality in a person is to be kind and that I hoped that I had come to a kind school.
The pupils and staff have certainly proved this to be the case! From good manners to unselfish acts I can truly say that Rydal Penrhos is an uplifting place to work and small acts of kindness are evident everywhere.
I looked out of my study window today and noticed a younger pupil fall. Immediately he was surrounded by other pupils helping him up and asking if he was ok.
The unusual thing was that the pupils came from a wide range of ages; they had been playing the game together.
All the pupils in this school regard each other as friends, surely proof that this is a wonderfully kind school!
Latest news from thriving department
Pre-School children boosted their early numerical development thanks to an ongoing outdoor learning initiative.
The group made the short trip to the beach for the first Coastal School session of the academic year on Wednesday, September 18, which took on a mathematical theme with practical tasks.
During the session, each child collected natural materials found along the shoreline and sorted them into sets according to size, weight and size using mathematical language.
They were then tasked with producing their own picture boards using the materials, before ending the session with a beach-themed story before returning to the department.
On a weekly basis, Pre-School children have the opportunity to participate in Coastal School, which incorporates topical work from the classroom through various problem-solving methods along the picturesque Colwyn Bay coastline.
The activities devised by Rydal Penrhos’ incredible staff team have been implemented to enhance creativity, investigative techniques, numeracy and literacy.
Examples of activities include moulding sand to create beach related animals, searching for and investigating different sea life, confidence and relationship building exercises, in addition to general ecology and weather-related tasks.
Pre-School children began another special initiative at a Colwyn Bay care home this week.
The youngest members of the Prep School community made the short trip down Pwllycrochan Avenue to Merton Place on Monday, September 16, which is their first visit to the site of the academic year.
During their opening visit to the site, the children sang songs, played games and chatted to staff and residents during a hugely entertaining stay.
This will be the first of many visits to the facility in the coming months, with the initiative strengthening links between Rydal Penrhos and the nearby community.
It is carrying on from the fine involvement between Rydal Penrhos and Merton Place last year, which saw the Pre-School group visit the site on numerous occasions over a prolonged period of time.
New Culture Club launched
Aspiring Preparatory School artists have been taking part in a special project as part of a new extra-curricular initiative.
The Year 3 contingent spent some of their time with passionate teacher Mrs Morris at the Prep School’s stunning Art Room for the first Culture Club session of the academic year.
This is another exciting addition to the after school club programme implemented by Prep School teaching staff, which gives each pupil from Pre-School to Year 6 the chance to heighten their overall experiences in their field of choice.
As part of their opening session, each pupil was tasked with creating their very own Guatemalan Worry Dolls, which is an ancient ritual where children from the country tell them their troubles before they go to bed.
The Art Culture Club will focus on looking at inspiration about art and culture of different societies across the world.
It could be Aboriginal, Indian, Greek, Portuguese, or anything else that inspires those taking part.
The pupils will be creating artefacts, listening to music and reading stories too under the expert guidance and support of Mrs Morris.
Miss Hughes, said: “Our Art department is such a vibrant place for our children to enhance their creativity, which in turn boosts their overall development considerably."
Y6 take part in annual residential
Year 6 were treated to a variety of action packed activities on the Isle of Anglesey at the Arete Outdoor Centre, situated in Llanrug.
During the five-day residential each pupil got the chance to trek around some of the picturesque mountains of Snowdonia, and they also rafted through lakes and even explored underground slate mines.
The fearless group also took part in Surfing, Coasteering, a night assault course, orienteering, kayaking and spending time in the site’s chillax room.
In addition, pupils also got to investigate the local wildlife as part of number of educational projects devised by the centre staff.
This annual trip has been installed by staff into the calendar for a number of years, which gives the Year 6 contingent the chance to test themselves in a safe and supported environment, build friendships and cohesion as a group to give them the best possible platform for their final year of Prep School life.
Mrs Davies, said: “Our residential trip to the Arete Outdoor Centre in Llanrug is something that our Year 6 really look forward to, and all of them deserve an enormous amount of credit was representing Rydal Penrhos in an extremely positive fashion.
“They threw themselves into every challenging activity during the week and really pushed themselves to their limits, something that will do a considerable amount for their confidence and overall development."
Y2 travel back in time
The Year 2 class visited the Groundworks Wrexham on Monday, September 16, where they took part in a special Celtic workshop.
During the day, they reverted back to Celtic times by wearing woollen tunics, having lime washed spiked hair and adorning their faces with woad, which was custom before a battle.
Among the activities the pupils took part in were spear throwing, in addition to learning how to weave wool on a loom and make clay thumb-pots.
This is the latest in a series of trips planned throughout the Prep School during the term, which will see them take in places from Manchester City’s Football Academy to the Welsh Mountain Zoo in Colwyn Bay.
Miss Hughes, said: “The Celtic Experience is something that our Year 2 group always look forward to, and they came back from their visit fully enthused to put what they actively learned into their classroom sessions on the subject."
Home Front Museum
Y4 boost learning at Llandudno venue
The Year 4 group made the short trip to Llandudno on Monday, September 23, 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.
Teacher Catherine 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 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.”
The group also explored plenty of interesting facts including how road signs were swapped round to confuse the Germans if they did invade and black cows were painted with white stripes to keep them safe during the black out.
Ty Mawr trip
Y5's Religious Studies knowledge boosted
On an extremely wet morning, Year 5 travelled to the tiny valley of Wybrnant near Penmachno to visit the home of one of the champions of Welsh language and culture: Bishop William Morgan.
Ty Mawr is a National Trust property and the curator Mr Nathan Munday, took the children around the stone farmhouse where a roaring fire had been lit and explained what life would have been like in the 1550s as William grew up.
We learnt that drovers would pass this way on their 200 mile trip to London taking livestock to market. It was such a long way they even made special shoes for their geese’s feet.
Upstairs we saw a bed where four people would have slept sitting upright; they did this because they were afraid that if the angels saw them laying down they would think that they had died and needed taking to heaven.
In a separate room a collection of bibles, including one of the surviving copies of William Morgan’s first Welsh Bible, were on display.
After a tour of the house we dodged the large puddles and crossed to the education Centre where the actor Llion Williams was waiting to take us on a dramatic whistle-stop tour of William Morgan’s life.
There were lots of props and sound effects and costumes for the children to really immerse themselves in the performance and for nearly an hour they were spell bound as Mr Williams recounted how William Morgan was educated at Cambridge and how, at the command of Queen Elizabeth I, he was asked to co-ordinate the translating of the Bible into Welsh for the very first time, thus preserving the language for future generations.
Harry Nurse was clearly made for the role of Henry VIII, whilst Jorvan Toor and Felix Griffin excelled themselves as royal trumpeters; everyone enjoyed the roles they were asked to play although April Williams was not sure she wanted to be married off as Mrs Morgan and the Chaplain clearly felt awkward playing the Pope!
The life of Bishop Morgan is part of Year 5’s study of the Bible and how it came down to us. This is the first time we have visited Ty Mawr in its beautiful setting and we hope we may be able to do so again in future years.
Rev’d Sissons, Chaplain
Activities held for European Day of Languages
A host of exciting activities took place at Rydal Penrhos’ Prep and Senior sites for a prominent cultural occasion across the continent.
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.
Department head Susan Livingstone and teacher Charline 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.
"Our Modern Foreign Languages department always make European Day of Languages extremely exciting and fun for all of our pupils, and this year’s occasion was another wonderful celebration of culture and diversity."
Distinctions galore from assessments
A large number of pupils achieved considerable success from their recent Performing Arts assessments.
The successful Rydal Penrhos candidates achieved some exceptional results as part of their London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts examinations, which are part of the opportunities offered in the school’s thriving Speech and Drama provision.
No fewer than four fantastic performers came away with Distinctions from their Solo Introductory Stage Two attempts, with Steffan Atenstaedt, Siham Clarke, Lexi-May Williams and Ifana Wyn Jones all securing the impressive feat.
There was further cause for celebration at Solo Introductory Stage Three level, which saw Lewis Jellicoe, Joshua Williams, Martha-Rose Johnson and Areesha Owais all attaining Distinctions as a result of their incredible efforts.
Year 6 duo of Keira Luke and Sophie Edwards managed to sign off in style with a Distinction in their Acting Grade One Combined assessment, with Molly Alefounder achieving a Distinction in her Acting Grade One – Solo.
Rounding off the accolades from a Prep School perspective was Lucy Ranales-Griffiths, who came away with a Merit from her Acting Entry Level (Solo) grading.
Mrs Bloomfield, said: “This was a remarkable effort from our young Prep School performers, and each one of them deserves a tremendous amount of credit."
Prep squad shines at national championships
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.
Year 6 pupil 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 Rydal Penrhos 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.
Ellie achieves Black Belt
Ellie Knight is now the proud owner of a First Dan Black Belt after coming through the testing assessment with flying colours.
The multi-talented youngster has worked incredibly hard to secure this feet, attending twice-weekly sessions at John Lynn’s Black Belt Martial Arts Academy in Colwyn Bay, developing her skills considerably under the watchful eye of experienced coaches at the facility.
Never one to stand still, Ellie will now begin working towards her Second Dan Black Belt at the site, which will take around eight gradings and two years to formally complete.
Ellie received recognition for his outstanding achievement at Rydal Penrhos Prep School’s weekly Celebration Assembly on Friday, September 13.
Mrs Davies, said: “This represents a significant achievement for Ellie and one she can look back on with an enormous sense of pride.
“Her determination, perseverance and will to succeed to secure this feat is something that is evident on a daily basis here at Rydal Penrhos Prep School, both during Ellie’s academic efforts within the classroom and in an extra-curricular environment.”
U9 side play at Man City Academy
The U9 squad travelled to the home of Barclays Premier League champions Manchester City on Friday, September 30 for a special football festival organised by the Independent Association of Prep Schools.
It took place at the Citizens’ incredible Academy complex, which cost £200 million to construct and also boasts a 7,000-capacity stadium, education facilities and medical and sports science services.
The 80-acre site was funded by City’s owners and built in partnership with Manchester City Council following the takeover of the club by Sheikh Mansour in 2008.
Built on the site of a former chemical works, it includes: 16.5 pitches, including a full-size synthetic indoor pitch; A 56-seat TV auditorium for players to review video clips; Four-star accommodation with king-sized beds and bathrooms; 40,000km of artificial turf on 5.5 pitches, each one different so the team can tailor match preparations for away games.
The squad took on Manchester Grammar School, Terra Nova School, King’s Chester and Forest Green School throughout the morning and turned in some hugely encouraging displays, with defender Oscar Jewsbury and goalkeeper Jenson Hodgson-Roberts impressing considerably.
Mr McLeod, said: “This was another extremely worthwhile experience for our young footballers, who will all benefit considerably from testing their skills at such an impressive venue.
“Hopefully they can take these good displays into a busy series of fixtures in the coming weeks, and we would like to thank Man City and the IAPS for having us once again.”
Cameron claims national title
Cameron Pye took his place in the U12 category at the Welsh Open Ski Championships, which was held over a two-day period in Pontypool.
The youngster began the first day in fine form, turning in a series of outstanding runs to scoop a silver medal for his efforts.
This was followed by another strong showing during day two of the event, with Cameron remaining incredibly consistent to pick up another medal in the form of a bronze.
Cameron’s development on the slopes has come on leaps and bounds in recent months, something that has brought with it a wealth of different achievements both regionally and against some of the best young skiers in the country.
Mr McLeod, said: “Cameron’s ongoing commitment to his skiing is a testament to how far he has come in a relatively short space of time and his enthusiasm to get better on a daily basis within his sport of choice.
“To perform so well in the face of such experienced opposition is sure to stand him in enormously good stead ahead of what is going to be another very busy few months on the slopes for him.”