In a special series of features over the summer break, we will be looking back at the prominent stories that made the headlines over the course of the academic year at Rydal Penrhos.
It has been another outstanding year of achievement across the board, and in our latest instalment we look at part two of January’s big stories:
Martyna Ruszkowska was selected to the Swim Wales team for the upcoming Golden Tour, which will be held in Marseille, France from March 2-5.
The 15-year-old made to the tour after producing qualifying times for three events, the 200 metre backstroke, 200m freestyle and 400m individual medley.
Niamh Cook recently sat her Grade 8 piano exam administered by the Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music, and the 14-year-old scored an incredible 130 for her efforts.
This score ensured that Niamh achieved a distinction, which represents a significant achievement for someone so young.
Father James Cook, said: “We are extremely proud of Niamh’s achievement and it was a sense of relief to finally get results after a couple of weeks of not knowing.”
No fewer than five pupils were selected for RGC U18s clash with Ospreys, where the Gogs suffered a 22-6 reverse.
Dan Owen, who has made a host of senior appearances this term, captained the side, with Adam Sabri and Henry Davies both giving a good account of themselves after being named in the starting XV. Euan Humphries and Nick Dundee were named as replacements.
The school held a special PHSE Day for Sixth Formers, and the morning began with an interactive presentation by Dr Alys Cole-King, liaison psychiatrist and specialist in suicide prevention at Connecting with People.
Following this there was another presentation from Mr Clive Wolfendale, Chief Executive of CAIS, who gave an informative talk on substance abuse. Pupils also received a powerful message through a colleague of Mr Wolfendale, who described her previous addictions to drugs and subsequent recovery.
Pupils had the option of two sessions in the afternoon, choosing from Self-Defence, Yoga, Meditation, Mindfulness and Music Therapy; a well-deserved relaxing afternoon at the end of another busy term.
There were a number of impressive performances from the swimming squad at the Urdd National Gala, with UK-ranked sensation Zach Speakman coming away with a pair of silver medals.
Despite racing against older and more experienced opposition, the 14-year-old produced podium finishes in both the 20m metre individual medley and 200m butterfly.
Narrowly missing out on a medal was lower sixth pupil Mollie Smithfield, who produced a fine effort to finish fourth in the freestyle event, while Samiya Garrod came seventh in the girls’ backstroke.
There was further success in the relay events, with the Year 9/10 boys’ relay team of Speakman, Teddy Roberts, Finlay Hare and Eddie Farrell achieving a fifth place finish in what was a highly competitive final.
The Year 7/8 freestyle relay team of John Williams, Osca Clark, Tom Hughes and Josh Peevor came sixth in their final, in a time of 2:23.79.
Rydal Penrhos also announced it has organised an educational trip to India, which has been aimed at enhancing pupils’ learning in global issues.
The expedition starts by visiting Amritsar’s Golden Temple, and will later visit the spectacular Taj Mahal, one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
Based in the foothills of the beautiful Indian Himalayas, the group also plan to have a special audience with The Dalai Lama to learn about respect for all religions.
In addition pupils and staff will also take part in unique workshops with experts at international development agencies, to learn about: Sustainable Development, Fair Trade, and Environmental Protection throughout the Himalayas.
The team will then work on a well-planned poverty-reduction project with a UK charity, where we will assist in the building of a new children’s hostel, so mountain children can attend school for the first time in their lives.
They are set to finish the expedition by visiting Buddhist monasteries, to learn from renowned lamas how to practice positive mindfulness in our lives. The expedition will give all participants a unique opportunity to learn about leadership, teamwork, and self-reliance: crucial life-skills.