Senior School newsletter: November 2019
The monthly digital newsletter from Rydal Penrhos Senior School.
Rydal Penrhos newsletter
Foreword from the Head
Another extraordinary month
It has been another extraordinary month here at Rydal Penrhos School, and this newsletter is another strong indication of the diverse academic and extra-curricular provision we provide.
We began with another hugely successful Open Afternoon that saw many families descend on our Prep and Senior sites to witness our wonderful school in action, and I would like to personally thank all pupils and staff for their invaluable contribution throughout the event.
This was immediately followed by a wonderful concert from the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Girls’ Choir, which was a superb occasion and featured performances from our senior choir and Tegid Goodman-Jones.
Our Gold and Silver Duke of Edinburgh candidates were tested to the limits on their respective expeditions in difficult weather conditions and deserve an enormous amount of praise for their efforts, which will hopefully go a long way to them achieving their goals with Dr Lewis.
I was thrilled to see so many supporting both our Harvest Food Drive in aid of Action for Children and the Charity Ball that raised a considerable amount for the Anthony Nolan Trust and Ataxia UK in memory of Thomas and Scarlett.
They were much-loved by all here at Rydal Penrhos and are sorely missed.
With a new website, a rugby tour of northern Spain, a record number of Oxbridge applicants and plenty of sporting achievements to celebrate, there is not a day that goes by that I do not feel an enormous sense of pride towards our pupils and teaching staff.
They all go above and beyond the call of duty to ensure each child and young person feels safe and happy during their time here at the school.
I hope you have all enjoyed the half term break and return refreshed, invigorated and ready to hit the ground running leading into the extremely busy festive period.
Mrs S A Harding
Head of Senior School
Executive Principal agrees extension
Rydal Penrhos School is delighted to confirm that Executive Principal John Waszek has agreed to extend his stay.
The school’s Governing Body announced that the popular figure will continue in his role until the end of the 2020/21 academic year, at which time Rydal Penrhos will make a full transition to a day school.
This is another significant boost for the school, with Mr Waszek making a telling impact across all areas of Rydal Penrhos life since taking up the role in February.
With a first class degree and a Masters in Economics, Mr Waszek brings a high level of business acumen to the role. He has focussed school expenditures on having the greatest possible impact on pupils during his time at the helm.
Mr Waszek is a highly experienced Principal, having led St Edward’s College, Liverpool for 24 years from 1992 to 2016 during which time the school secured several “outstanding” inspections and was subsequently designated as “exempt” from inspection by the Department for Education.
He was previously a Head of Department and Boarding Housemaster at Rugby School.
Since leaving St Edward’s, Mr Waszek has been a School Effectiveness Adviser, working in a wide variety of settings with School Governors and Leadership teams on school improvement.
In addition to his various roles within education, Mr Waszek served as a non-executive Director of the Royal Liverpool Children’s Hospital (Alder Hey) for several years at a very challenging time for the Hospital following the publication of the Redfern Report into organ retention.
A keen proponent of Music and Sport, Mr Waszek has a PGCE in Physical Education from the University of Loughborough, an institution he represented at rugby in addition to making the English Universities squad.
During his rugby career, Mr Waszek turned out for current European Champions Saracens and he is now an ardent season ticket holder at rugby league side St Helens.
Dozens attend recruitment event
Both Prep and Senior sites welcomed a large number of prospective pupils and their families for their Open Afternoon, giving them a first-hand opportunity to see for themselves what goes on during a typical day at the school.
It took place on Friday, October 4 and gave those in attendance the perfect chance to view both facilities should they wish.
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.
Another exciting element to the Open Afternoon was the exceptional Outdoor Education programme, with the Duke of Edinburgh scheme, CCF and Sailing provisions taking centre stage.
Anyone that was unable to attend Open Afternoon but would still like an individual tour should contact admissions officer Jenny Marsden on 01492 530155 or email email@example.com.
Into Year 7
Information Evening this month
Prospective pupils and their families will have the chance to see what Rydal Penrhos has to offer at an upcoming event.
The school’s Into Year 7 Information Evening will be held on Thursday, November 21 from 4.30pm in the Carnegie Room, where key staff members will be on hand to answer any questions those in attendance may have.
During the event, visitors will get to find out more about the day-to-day life at Rydal Penrhos, the vast academic curriculum available, as well as speak individually to staff members and current pupils about what makes the school such a fantastic place to live and learn.
Scholarship information will also be available during the event for anyone wishing to apply.
There will also be an opportunity for those in attendance to take a short tour of the school, in addition to viewing some of Rydal Penrhos’ vast extra-curricular provision in action prior to the meeting from 3.30pm.
Mrs Harding, said: “Our Into Year 7 Information Evening gives everyone starting in September the perfect opportunity to hear first-hand from staff and pupils just what to expect should they choose Rydal Penrhos for their child.
“This event follows on from our immensely busy Open Afternoon, and we are looking forward to welcoming everyone that comes along.”
Anyone wishing to register their place at the Into Year 7 Information Evening, or for more information contact Admissions Officer Jenny Marsden via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01492 530155.
Thousands raised from event
Thousands of pounds were raised from a special event held at Rydal Penrhos in memory of two former pupils.
The school held a Charity Ball earlier this month in aid of the Anthony Nolan Trust and Ataxia UK, which saw a large congregation of the Rydal Penrhos community descend on the Sixth Form Ferguson Centre in support of the occasion.
It was arranged to honour the lives of Thomas Watson and Scarlett Sailsbury, two much-loved Alumni members who are sadly no longer with us.
There were a host of things to enjoy throughout the event, including a lavish three-course meal from catering providers Holroyd Howe and entertainment from a band and director of music Pete Williams.
A special raffle and auction also took place with a wealth of exciting items available to win or bid on, and more than £4,000 was raised that will be distributed between the two charities.
Mrs Harding, said: “Our Charity Ball was a fantastic event and you could see just how much Thomas and Scarlett meant to everyone here at Rydal Penrhos.
“They were incredible people to know and it was our absolute honour and privilege to hold an event in their name, and I would like to thank everyone who donated."
Gold and Silver groups test their mettle
No fewer than 19 Year 13 candidates spent four nights in the vast North Wales landscape as part of their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award expedition, which proved to be a stern test of their character and teamwork abilities.
Under the experienced guidance of programme co-ordinator Dr Lewis, the contingent worked well both individually and as part of a team in order to complete their goals, with all passing the assessment as a result of their superb efforts.
What made the achievement even more significant was the climate difficulties each pupil was forced to endure throughout the expedition, which saw torrential rain and heavy winds throughout the majority of their time in the countryside.
This was described as “the worst weather” he has experienced since he joined Rydal Penrhos’ DofE provision, adding: “Everyone that went and came back deserves all the credit in the world.”
This is another huge milestone for the candidates as they look to add their name to the long list that have achieved the same feat from a Rydal Penrhos perspective since the programme was added to the school’s exceptional extra-curricular provision.
Mrs Harding, said: “Each candidate displayed the sort of grit and determination that is evident on a daily basis here at Rydal Penrhos, with all of them working superbly well as a group in order to achieve their collective goals.”
A group of intrepid pupils took another huge leap to secure a major distinction thanks to their sterling efforts recently.
Eighteen Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award candidates at Rydal Penrhos braved difficult weather conditions for their assessment expedition, which saw them take part in a series of testing tasks in order to secure their overall goal.
Each pupil involved demonstrated a fantastic determination and work ethic, working together exceptionally well both individually and as a team throughout their time in the mountains.
This was reflected with an outstanding set of results from the assessment, which is a significant part of the award given the challenges involved.
The Duke of Edinburgh Award programme at Rydal Penrhos has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years under the passionate guidance of co-ordinator Dr Lewis, with a host of successful candidates securing prestigious Gold.
These include recently departed Head Boy Nick Fiorita, in addition to the likes of Mili Jayadeep, Sara Owen, Becky Lawton and Jessica Maudsley all achieving the feat form the class of 2018.
Record number of Oxbridge applicants
A record number of Sixth Form pupils at Rydal Penrhos have submitted Oxbridge applications this year.
The school’s Year 13 candidates have demonstrated an exceptional amount of academic excellence during their A Level studies and will now look to shine further during the assessment process in the hope of securing a place at either prestigious further education establishment.
Fourteen of the 52 Upper Sixth Formers have decided to apply for Oxbridge places, which is 26.9 per cent of the group.
Head of Careers and University Guidance Mr Farnell stated this was the highest percentage on record.
Three pupils have submitted applications for Medicine, with the others consisting of a wide range of highly competitive courses including English Literature, Physics, French, Geography and Politics, Philosophy and Economics.
Edward Patrick, Head Boy Ioan Peake-Jones, Holly Battersby, Cassie Parry, Barooj Maqsood, Abhishek Bathula, Rafeez Mortuza, Arend Franssens, Head Girl Millie Collins, Tallulah Batley, Eddie Farrell, Raha Aminnejad, Aisha Jidda and Nishita Koushik have all impressed considerably during the initial stages of their application as they look to pursue a place.
Mrs Harding, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to see so many of our Year 13 pupils applying for Oxbridge places, which is a testament to our strong academic ethos and the hard work they are putting in with our exceptional staff team.
“The large majority of applicants come from the local area and I know each of them will be working hard in the coming months in the hope of reaching their lofty goals.”
New platform launched
Rydal Penrhos School has launched a new and exciting new website that engages visitors from the outset.
The engaging site was formally launched on Thursday, September 4 in keeping with the start of the academic year, with communications manager Dean Jones working closely with the design team at Rowan Creative
It is engaging, easy to navigate and provides a fantastic insight into the wealth of academic and extra-curricular opportunities available at Rydal Penrhos from Pre-School all the way up to Sixth Form.
There is also a Sports Hub to keep up to date with the latest fixtures, match reports and team news, with the commercial section giving those wanting to utilise the school’s incredible facilities a one-stop place to obtain information.
In addition, there is a portal for current parents to view relevant documents and information, with a separate section for new parents that features everything from exam results, inspection reports and the structure of the school day.
Mr Jones, said: “We did significant research regarding other websites and felt this option was not only bold, but something that immediately catches you eye and engages you with the relevant content.
“We wanted to ask parents the question of what inspires their child, and how this can be transitioned into life here at Rydal Penrhos thanks to the truly exceptional opportunities available. This is something you don’t often see with school websites and it gives each visitor a platform from which to start their journey.
“It took a great deal of work from myself and the incredible team at Rowan Creative to get this done in a short timescale in time for the start of the academic year, and I am really proud of the results.”
Liverpool Met Cathedral Girls' Choir perform at RP
A leading cathedral choir were the special guests at Rydal Penrhos for a fantastic event.
The school welcomed the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Girls’ Choir on Friday, October 4 for a concert, which drew a large crowd of school and community members to the Memorial Hall for the occasion.
They were joined on stage by the Rydal Penrhos Choir for their first formal event of the academic year, and those in attendance were also treated to a sensational solo set from soprano Bethany Hartness.
Rounding off the concert in style was Year 12 pupil Tegid Goodman-Jones, who demonstrated his exceptional talent with a five-song contribution to what was a wonderful evening of entertainment.
The Cathedral Choir plays a significant role within the working life of the facility and is active within the Archdiocese and the City of Liverpool, singing at many civic, ecumenical and academic services.
Broadcasting regularly, the Choir has sung many times for both BBC television and radio and independent broadcasters and has also made a number of recordings.
Singing away from home since the 1970s, tours have included Belgium, Spain, Holland, Hungary, Italy, Germany, the USA and Canada as well as many cities within the British Isles.
Mrs Harding, said: “We were honoured to welcome the Liverpool Metropolitan Cathedral Girls’ Choir to Rydal Penrhos for the concert, and their performance was absolutely extraordinary."
Commando challenge completed!
Mrs Harding was part of a team that took on the Royal Marines Commandos 5k endurance course.
The popular figure was a member of the Ninja's Worriers team, and they were raising funds for the Royal Marines and the Devon Air Ambulance Trust.
More than 1,000 braved the Royal Marines’ own endurance training course, something usually reserved for the recruits to earn their coveted Green Beret.
Entrants tackled a 5k or 10k course, tackled underwater and muddy obstacles; the submersed sheep dip, tunnels, mud and a stream wades.
Caroline Creer, Royal Marines Commando Challenge spokeswoman, said: “We were probably one of the few events taking place over that weekend that weren’t too worried about the weather, as it just made the mud muddier."
Mrs Harding is one of the most popular figures in the Rydal Penrhos community and is now in her 30th year at the school.
She was appointed Head last January and has been a revelation in the role
FORPS chair on fundraising
I would personally like to say to everyone involved in raising money for Rydal Penrhos School, well done and thank you very much for your continued support in raising hard-earned money to enhance the school life of our children.
I believe it is evident that last year was a very productive and busy year for FORPS which has resulted in its great success.
Over the past year FORPS have had some very positive feedback/comments from parents/governors/teachers in our mission to be a successful PTA.
An amazing £3,466.80 has been raised, which for a small school is an enormous amount of money.
The four key fundraising events for FORPS
• Macmillan £282
• Valentines Disco (Prep) £996.73
• Valentines Disco (Senior) £148
• Easter bingo £538.26
• Summer Fair £ 919.62
And all of them achieving and improving on already fantastic results – and that is down to the hard work, dedication and commitment of FORPS (and that’s not just the committee), but to all those parents and individuals who have worked with the committee to “make it happen”.
That’s not all of it but I think we all agree events well worth doing and organising, with our learnings and insights into doing even better next time.
So what about what FORPS have spent the funds on?
• Macmillan Donation £282
• Chernobyl Charity £500
• Radio Mikes for Prep School £492.94
• Disability Ski Wales £350
• Ty Gobaith (Christmas Fair) £582.16
• Ataxia UK & Anthony Nolan Trust (Charity Ball) £400
So as a chairperson I would like to take this opportunity to say “Thank You” for all the hard work and dedicated work and efforts shown by all in helping to lighten the load of all the behind the scenes work.
I hope that FORPS keeps going from strength to strength and has many new faces with new ideas who will come forward to help with all the fundraising activities. After all, we are all doing this for the benefit of our very own children.
News from former pupils
Elishia Phillips, who left the school in 2016, has just begun her third year studying Drama at the University of Chester, took on the North West Tough Mudder in Malpas, Cheshire last month in aid of Ataxia UK.
This is a charity that is close to the heart of Elishia, with friend and fellow ex-Rydal Penrhos School pupil Scarlett Salisbury suffering with the condition until her passing earlier this year aged 21.
Elishia, who also works as a booking administrator at the Zip World Centre in Llanrwst, was joined at the event by Scarlett’s brother Henry.
She greatly surpassed her target thanks to a wealth of donations that eventually came to £1,900.
She said: “Scarlett was such an inspiration to everyone.
“My friend never let it overcome her, or become her main personality trait, and she inspired me and so many others with her determination and strength.
“The Tough Mudder was so much fun and I would like to thank all those that donated.”
The school recently raised almost £800 for Ataxia UK in Scarlett’s honour following donations from its recent Creative and Performing Arts evening, which the 2016 leaver was an enormous part of before moving to Bangor University.
Scarlett was a massive part of school life from 2009 until 2016 and she left behind a fantastic legacy at Rydal Penrhos, where she thrived in her role as Prefect during her final year at the school.
Harvey Holmes and Nick Fiorita, who left the school in 2016 and 2019 respectively, have co-founded the Rydal Penrhos Dragons, a hockey team for alumni that will compete annually at Founders’ Weekend.
The pair have already been incredibly busy during the initial stages of the club, designing a new kit, coming up with a name, recruiting players and setting up a Facebook page to increase engagement regarding the newly formed side.
Multi-talented sportsman Harvey will captain the side going forward, and Nick has also secured sponsorship from Bodnant Welsh Food to further boost the squad going forward.
The Mather Cup did not take place on Founders’ Weekend this year but it will take place at a later date, before once again joining the action-packed programme in 2020.
Anyone wishing to join the Rydal Penrhos Dragons can visit their Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/Rydal-Penrhos-Dragons-100446131334989/) or by contacting pupil liaison officer Sarah James on SJames@rydalpenrhos.com.
Imogen Camp and Nick Fiorita, who left the school earlier this summer, spoke with the Year 12 Physics group shortly before the headed off for the next stage of their education journey at two of the most prestigious further education establishments in the country.
The pair achieved some impressive A Level results in recognition of their exceptional dedication to their studies, with Imogen and Nick spending the vast majority of their progression through education at Rydal Penrhos’ Prep and Senior sites.
During the talk, the former Head Boy and Prefect both spoke about the best ways to use your time both in and out of the classroom, including preparation for revision and examinations.
Imogen left the school with no fewer than five A* grades in Biology, Chemistry, Mathematics, Further Mathematics and Physics, which confirmed Imogen’s place at Queens’ College Cambridge.
She is now studying Natural Sciences at Queens’ College Cambridge, and Imogen’s results were made even more extraordinary with the fact she scored 499 out of a possible 500 in her Chemistry and 497/500 in Physics.
Nick also managed to attain some outstanding final grades with one A* and three As, and he recently joined the incoming group at the University of Warwick, where he is studying Physics at degree level.
Jessica Maudsley and Sara Owen, who left the school in 2018, travelled to St James’ Palace on Wednesday, October 2, where they picked up their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award.
The pair worked exceptionally hard throughout the thriving scheme during their time at Rydal Penrhos and completed the final stages of the award in their own time after leaving the school.
They now add themselves to the long list of pupils that have successfully secured Gold at Rydal Penrhos, which has seen a plethora of candidates achieve their objectives in recent years.
Sara is now studying Medicine at King’s College London after overcoming significant adversity to attain some exceptional A Level results, and Jessica is also thriving at university after ending a successful time at Rydal Penrhos in the role of Prefect.
Mrs Harding, said: “This was deserved recognition for the exceptional distinction achieved by Jessica and Sara, who displayed a tremendous work ethic across their academic studies and extra-curricular activities during their time here at Rydal Penrhos.
“Our Duke of Edinburgh programme as really gone from strength-to-strength since we introduced it, and that is down in no small part to the outstanding commitment shown by co-ordinator Dr Jim Lewis and our incredible pupils.”
Young Performers' Concert held
The school held its first Young Performers’ Concert of the academic year, which saw pupils from all year groups showcase their immense talent in front of a live audience.
Year 7 pupil Violet Roberts kicked off proceedings with a superb rendition of A Million Dreams from the hit musical The Greatest Showman, with David James’ version of Howard Shore’s In Dreams was standout feature of the event.
Multi-talented musician Gwyn Davies, Pauline Merckens and Ethan Bytheway provided the middle part of the concert with some truly outstanding instrument performances, and the exceptional pianist Niamh Cook lent her support with a mesmerising piece entitled Tico, Tico.
Upper Sixth Former Zahra Shamsi treated those in attendance to a pair of powerful vocal efforts in the form of Ordinary People by John Legend and At Last by Harry Warren which drew a standing ovation from the crowd.
Year 12 trio Harry Grocott, Richard Wolfendale and Tegid Goodman-Jones brought some swing to the concert with a rendition of Fly Me to the Moon by Bart Howard, and the event concluded with the Senior School choir performing Blackbird by Paul McCartney and I Can See Clearly Now by Johnny Nash.
Mr Williams, said: “Our Young Performers’ Concert was another rousing success and that is down to the outstanding level of performances by each pupil involved.
“They are not only naturally talented but also possess a strong work ethic and desire to improve their respective skills, which makes them a pleasure to work with on a daily basis.”
A talented Sixth Form vocalist has teamed up with her sister to release a new single with their up and coming band.
Cassie Parry is part of the exciting band New Moon alongside sister Adele, who is a former pupil that left the school in 2017.
They recently released a singles entitled Fire on the streaming platform Spotify, which has been extremely well received from music-lovers across the region.
The teenager has played a significant role in various areas of Rydal Penrhos life since joining the school in 2018, showcasing her incredible vocal prowess at various high-profile events such as the Christmas Concert.
Cassie was also part of the Dramatic Society cast that wowed audiences earlier this year during Les Miserables, and she is also in the process of completing her Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award after coming through a gruelling assessment expedition with flying colours.
Mrs Harding, said: “Cassie’s singing ability is absolutely first class and it is great to see her utilising this with her sister Adele, who was a hugely significant member of the Rydal Penrhos community during her time here.
“They deserve a tremendous amount of credit for their commitment to their music during an extremely busy time of their lives."
Anyone wishing to listen to the single, or to follow New Moon visit https://open.spotify.com/artist/0FyC7LqDOOXiJa5qlCnBya.
RP becomes PQA base
The school has now become the base for the prestigious Pauline Quirke Performing Arts Academy, which was previously held at a facility in Llandudno.
PQA Conwy is a performing arts Academy, with classes for children aged four to 18.
Led by a fantastic team of teachers with specialist industry experience and knowledge, their students learn and develop skills in Comedy and Drama (acting), Musical Theatre (singing and dancing), in addition to Film and Television on a weekly basis.
The Academy will be using Rydal Penrhos’ outstanding facilities for the foreseeable future and is further indication of the high esteem the school is held from a Performing Arts perspective across the region and beyond.
PQA Conwy’s Principal April Herzog has been working as an actress since graduating from the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts with a Masters in Acting (Distinction) in 2008.
This includes roles in both theatre and film, and her educational work has taken Mrs Herzog all over the world - from a convent in Italy to the British Embassy in Dubai.
Classes take place every Saturday from 9.45am until 1pm, with a Poppets session (4-5yrs) held from 10-11.30am.
For more information contact April Herzog at email@example.com or call 07513 123776.
Autumn Social takes Halloween theme
The Year 12 and 13 groups put on their most spooktacular fancy dress outfits for the annual Halloween Social, which was held at the Ferguson Centre before the half-term break.
There were plenty of incredible outfits on display, ranging from witches, Smurfs, the Joker, knights of the realm and little red riding hood among countless other impressive costumes.
Catering providers Holroyd Howe got everybody in the mood for the festivities with some Halloween themed treats, and this year’s costume competition winners were Zahra Shamsi and Alfie Downing.
Mrs Crimes, said: “Outstanding and impeccable behaviour from every member of the Sixth Form at our Autumn Social.
“They made such a huge effort with their costumes, and the social committee decorated the Ferguson Centre beautifully.
“Thank you to Sarah, Jane and Mary for giving up their evening to help me supervise, and thanks to Mark for coming at the witching hour to help us clear up.
“Thank you to Fiona, Phil and John W for dropping by and spending time with them all! Special mention must go to Fiona’s TWO costumes!
“I would like to offer my appreciation and congratulations to all, especially members of the Social Committee, led by Orla McGagh and Zahra Shamsi.”
Chester Zoo educational trip
The Year 11 contingent travelled to Chester Zoo for a series of Biology, Business and Geography workshops on Tuesday, September 24, which saw the pupils spend considerable time at the site discussing various important topics that will boost their efforts within a classroom setting.
This ranged from marketing, conservation and the day-to-day efforts to enhance number within the wild thanks to various projects implemented by zoo staff to benefit the wildlife and in particular endangered animals.
The pupils also got the chance to take part in a series of thought-provoking activities on the subjects discussed, and they were rewarded for their efforts with some free time to view the animals for themselves once the workshop concluded.
A Chester Zoo representative was highly complimentary of the pupils’ conduct throughout their visit, saying: “I’d like to give a special thank you to your students for being so attentive throughout their three workshops with us – we do appreciate this, as having 21,000 animals just outside the door can be a potential distraction for anyone.”
This is one of many trips to prominent areas throughout the region put on by dedicated staff during the academic year, which gives each pupil a broader knowledge of their chosen subject they might not necessarily obtain in a classroom environment.
Host of national selections
Josh Manning has been selected to the Team GB 420 youth squad for their winter training programme alongside sailing partner Lucy Hughes.
The pair have been in tremendous form throughout a hugely competitive summer of competition, which saw them compete and achieve high finishes at high-profile events across the country.
They were also part of the Team GB squad for the World Championships in Portugal, which is the first time that Josh had competed at the international spectacle.
He will now join up with his teammates for a series of specialist coaching sessions during the off-season
The Sixth Former has been part of the Wales squad for a number of years and is another success story from Rydal Penrhos’ RYA Accredited sailing programme, which has gone from strength-to-strength in recent years and recently celebrated its 60th anniversary.
Mrs Harding, said: “Josh has worked incredibly hard on improving the technical aspect of his sailing and this has enabled him to reach a new level in terms of recognition and achievement."
Liam Farrell has been called-up to the UK Feva National Junior Squad for the 2019/20 season, which represents a significant achievement for the Llandudno Sailing Club member.
He achieved this feat alongside new sailing partner Felix and came as a result of a standout performance in two Grand Prix selection events in early September.
They followed this up with another exceptional display full of consistency during a special event at Hayling Island that further enhanced their prospects on selection to the squad.
Liam and Felix will now attend six coaching sessions with the set-up over the winter months to build their skills during the off-season with some of the best coaches anywhere in the country.
This will ensure both will hit the ground running when the competitive campaign gets underway once again, and this is the latest in a series of outstanding achievements from a sailing perspective from the pupil, who is thriving across all areas of Rydal Penrhos life.
Mrs Harding, said: “Liam seems to turn his hand to everything that he tries both academically and from an extra-curricular perspective, and he has shown a particular talent in sailing for a prolonged period of time."
Llion Morris was initially called up to the ITCA GBR National Topper Squad for the second successive year, but he will now be part of the RYA UK Junior Squad for their winter training programme in the coming months.
This represents a significant milestone for the pupil, who stated that this was “his final goal” that he wanted to achieve from what has been another hugely impressive campaign on the water.
It has been another campaign full of significant achievements for the teenager, who has developed his skills considerably since his involvement with the school’s RYA accredited Sailing Centre.
This has resulted in a series of impressive competition triumphs over the summer, which culminated in a tremendous victory in the Topper fleet at the British Youth Sailing Welsh Regional Championships, meaning Llion now currently holds all three national Topper titles, a feat only achieved by two other sailors previously.
Mrs Harding, said: “Llion was absolutely thrilled to have his national squad selection upgraded by the Royal Yachting Association and rightfully so.
“He works incredibly hard and travels the length and breadth of the country to test himself against other talented sailors, so for him to have his sterling commitment and desire rewarded in this way is extremely pleasing.”
Freddie MacLaverty has been called-up to the Team GB National Youth squad for their winter training programme in his single-handed Tera boat.
This represents a significant achievement for the Llandudno Sailing Club member, who has achieved a considerable amount in a short space of time both individually and alongside boat partner Keira Luke.
The pair recent came away with the U18 general handicap fleet title at the British Youth Sailing Welsh Regional Championships despite being just 11-years-of-age, in addition to scooping the mixed boat crown at the showcase.
Freddie has been a member of RYA Cymru Wales national youth squads for a considerable period and has also competed at the World Championships to further enhance his experience in a competitive environment.
Mrs Harding, said: “This is an absolutely tremendous achievement and one that Freddie can be enormously proud of.
“He is a hugely gifted sailor who not only possesses a natural ability to perform well under pressure, but also works incredibly hard to improve his substantial skill-set in order to reach his long and short-term goals."
Freddie MacLaverty and Keira Luke were rewarded for their exceptional run of recent results with a place in the RYA Cymru Wales National Feva squad for their upcoming winter training programme, which will boost their respective skills considerably in the coming months.
The pair will take part in five weekends of specialist coaching on the water alongside other squad selections, which will stand them in good stead as they look to further enhance their ever-growing reputations next summer.
Their selection was the culmination of an exceptional few weeks for the duo, who secured an unbelievable triumph despite their tender age at the British Youth Sailing Welsh Regional Championships.
They produced a sensational effort in testing conditions throughout the weekend, winning their final two races to emerge victorious in the U18 General Handicap fleet at just 11-years-of-age.
This represents an unbelievable 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: “Both Freddie and Keira have worked incredibly hard throughout the season and they are thoroughly deserving of all the plaudits coming their way."
Spain tour a success
The school’s first XI rugby side visited the stunning area of San Sebastian in northern Spain, which was organised in partnership with MSG Tours.
It proved to be another worthwhile experience for each squad member involved, with the group taking part in a series of specialist coaching sessions in unfamiliar surroundings.
They also got the chance to take on some talented young sides from the region, performing well and picking up some impressive results in the process.
It was not all hard work for the side, who also got the chance to sample the culture and take in the sites and surroundings throughout one of the most picturesque sites anywhere in Spain.
This is the second time a team has visited the area recently, with Rydal Penrhos’ first XI hockey side also choosing San Sebastian as their base for a hugely successful winter training programme.
MSG Tours have worked with the school over a number of years on successful sports tours to areas throughout Europe and a landmark trip to Japan.
Mrs Head, said: “Our rugby side got a tremendous amount out of the tour, which build cohesion, team spirit and skills in one of the most stunning areas anywhere on the continent."
British qualification secured
The school’s talented skiing squad made the long trip to Llangrannog for the Welsh Schools’ Championships, which had the most competitive field for almost two decades.
There were a host of incredible efforts from the Rydal Penrhos contingent at the event, with Year 11 pupil Cameron Shaw producing a fine series of runs to come away with first place in the U16 Boys’ category.
Chay Bonnington continued his exceptional run of recent results with a silver medal in the U16 boys’ race for registered competitors, with Ben Davies also performing well on his way to bronze.
Rounding off a strong showing for the boys was Jack Dougherty, who came second in the U12 race, ensuring the Rydal Penrhos team attained a silver medal overall and booked their place at the British Schools’ Championships later this year.
They missed out on top spot by two seconds and finished a comfortable one minute, five seconds ahead of third.
Another encouraging display came from Ester Ball-Iverson, who secured Bronze in the U14 girls’ race and narrowly fell short a medal in the U16 category.
Host of achievements
Cameron Shaw and Josh Peevor took their place in the field at the Petzl Night Trail Wales, which was held at the impressive Coed y Brenin forest park.
They were joined by James Smith, who is the son of Estates Manager Richard to form a team of three at the event.
The enduro-style solo and team event was the final race offering in 2019 from the Run Coed y Brenin team, and rounds off another record-breaking year of trail running events.
As ever the atmosphere at the three-hour race was electric, as the team and solo participants wound their way around the 3km loop.
The trio competed in a field of 100 in the team category, with Cameron, Josh and James turning in a fabulous effort in an adult field to come away with a hugely creditable third position after completing 12 laps of the testing course between them.
This is the latest in a series of outstanding achievements from Cameron and Josh, who have recorded some impressive results in a competitive environment in areas such as Triathlon and other endurance races in recent months.
The school proudly hosted the seventh annual Welsh Invitational Fives Championships, which proved to be another huge success and a fine demonstration of the enthusiasm and talent relating to the sport within the region.
Tournament veterans Gareth Hoskins, Stephen Thatcher and Tom Cotterell took their place in the field alongside a wealth of talented pupils, with Matt Chinery and Harry Asquith also aiming for debut success in the tournament.
Matthias Fiorita has taken over in recent years as the dominant force in the competition and he continued his excellent run in the Saturday tournament, partnering Raif Horrocks to a convincing win in the final against Adam McGuigan and Max Cowen-Wright.
Sunday saw the field split into a senior and junior section and the guest players involved all the way through to the final.
Matthias missed a place in the final by the skin of his teeth, losing a semi-final shootout 12-11 alongside Harry Asquith at the hands of Matt Chinery and Luke Davies, who went on to play Anthony Bowe and former pupil Tom Cotterell in the final.
Year 11 pupil Anthony has had several near misses in recent years and was determined not to miss out this time.
Tom had also never won the senior Sunday competition and the two of them flew out of the blocks against Matt and Luke, racing through the first game in double-quick time and finishing the job in the second game to claim a well-deserved win.
The junior section saw Max Cowen-Wright and August Ball-Iversen triumph over Raif and Matthew Johnson so secure the crown, with Ester Ball-Iversen and Charlotte Hourihane winning the girls’ event with victory over Alys Peake-Jones and Emily Thomas.
Reuben Bather and Charley Simpson took their place in the field at the Alexander Quin Invitational, a world-ranking event organised by the Independent Schools’ Golf Association.
This was the first time that Rydal Penrhos had been selected to compete at the competition, which is a direct result of the exceptional performances in a competitive environment from the talented duo.
Both Reuben and Charley began the scratch competition in outstanding form, with the former shooting a superb 71 that saw him tied for the lead after round one.
Golf Academy Wales member Charley was also in contention after the first 18 holes after securing a score of 79, but day two brought with it torrential rain and winds that saw play postponed.
The third and final round saw Wales U18 international Reuben fire a 77 to see the sports scholar end the event in a very creditable sixth position, and Charley’s 76 on the final day ensured an 11th placed finish as a result of his outstanding efforts.
Mrs Head, said: “Both Charley and Reuben gave an extremely good account of themselves at one of the biggest tournaments they have ever taken part in, and their ability to perform consistently on the big stage is a testament to their preparation, desire to improve and resilience.
“They have boosted the profile of our thriving Golf Academy considerably in recent months and hopefully this is a trend that can continue throughout the remainder of their time here at Rydal Penrhos.”
The school’s winter nets cricket programme got back underway last month, which has proven to be a hugely important tool in terms of developing skills leading up to the summer.
Those in attendance have been boosted considerably this year by the arrival of Colin Grindey, who took over as the school’s new cricket coach in July.
Mr Grindey joins the team with an extensive coaching background having held numerous roles with the Cheshire Cricket Board, including Development and Coaching Officer for over ten years.
A Level 3 Coach with the England and Wales Cricket Board, Mr Grindey has been involved with Eryri Cricket in the North for the last few years in addition to coaching at National Development centre level.
His knowledge and experience has already been an invaluable benefit to aspiring players in North Wales in the role of Regional Manager for the Cricket Wales Performance Centre based at Rydal Penrhos, which is an extensive pathway programme offered to talented individuals throughout the region over the winter and summer months.
Mr Grindey has also been working closely within the coaching set-up at Bangor, who are currently top of the North Wales Cricket League Premier Division standings.
Josh Peevor travelled to Cumbria to compete at the Langdale 10km Trail Race, which featured more than 100 competitors at the picturesque surrounding.
Despite being the youngest person taking their place in the field, the teenager once again proved age is no barrier with an exceptional display that saw him complete the difficult terrain in 51 minutes, 40 seconds.
This ensured a seventh-placed finish for Josh, which is another outstanding effort in adult company during what has been an immensely impressive few months for the aspiring star.
He recently finished third in the team event at the Peltz Night Trail alongside fellow pupil Cameron Shaw and James Smith in addition to performing exceptionally well at school events such as Sports Day and regional competitions.
Mrs Head, said: “Josh has demonstrated a level of consistency in a competitive environment that defies his relatively young age, and this is something that is bringing with it significant rewards."