This club derived as a request from the pupils and is run on a Wednesday lunchtime by Mr Jones.
True architectural model making is mainly confined to 3 areas. Planning models, test and development models, sales models and occasionally exhibition models. The first come in several forms, the initial model can be made in block forms with very little detail, these are usually constructed in either a foam tooling board or in card box forms, or styrene as a substitute for card.
From these come the more detailed models in laser cut styrene or acrylic sheet, showing windows elevation details and sometime the interior spaces depending on the type and scale of development.
Lastly the fully finished model showing the colours, building details, landscaping, window finishes, parking spaces, underground car parks, street lights, and all the street furniture we come to expect in our busy environments.
We believe a Rydal Penrhos education is a fine preparation for life. Oh, and we’d save Cheryl Cole ahead of President Obama and Homer Simpson. These are just some of the topics considered recently by the Debating Club.
Year 8 pupils follow a four week programme where they are introduced to the special etiquette involved in debating as well as preparing for a debate that is competed between the houses. Ms Ashworth (former coach of the Scottish School Debating Team) is the driving force behind the club, which takes place on a Tuesday lunchtime, and pupils ‘graduate’ to the senior debating club, Thursday lunchtimes, which is run by the Headmaster.
Debate or debating is a formal method of interactive and representational argument. Debate is a broader form of argument than logical argument, which only examines consistency from axiom, and factual argument, which only examines what is or isn’t the case or rhetoric which is a technique of persuasion. Though logical consistency, factual accuracy and some degree of emotional appeal to the audience are important elements of the art of persuasion; in debating, one side often prevails over the other side by presenting a superior “context” and/or framework of the issue, which is far more subtle and strategic.
All in all, there is a lot of fun to be had arguing your case and the decision as to the winner, either by guest judge or invited audience ensures that emotional appeal is high on the list of the debaters’ armoury. Debating encourages quick thinking, articulacy and positive listening – all invaluable life skills.
Plus, it’s fun and you can win chocolate.
The Eco Committee has been set up to help the school become more eco-friendly. This includes the setting up of recycling schemes such as paper, plastic and tin cans. All year groups are welcome to participate.
Mr Farnell runs the Economics Society for Sixth form pupils who are currently studying economics or business studies. The group looks at some of the issues raised in the syllabus in more details and also enters competitions organised by banks, accountants etc. The group will also produce a magazine which will explain the business and economics issues in the news.
A popular with many junior pupils on a Thursday lunchtime, the club is run by Mr Baxter. Simulated battles with teams taking responsibility for attack and defence ensure that a competitive but safe military campaign is fought. Many historic battles are recreated as pupils develop strategy, flair and, sadly in some cases, a determination to end it all far too quickly.
Each year all pupils in Years 7-10 are expected to hone their public speaking skills by delivering a talk to their English class on an issue they feel strongly about, or one of their interests or hobbies. Some of the more confident speakers are then invited to address a combined audience of two year groups in the Memorial Hall with an outside adjudicator who will judge them on their ability to deliver an engaging and thoughtful talk to a larger audience. As they progress through the school further formal opportunities are provided not only by debating societies, house debates, and the hugely popular Model United Nations, but by the Rotary Youth Speaks competition in which we enter several teams, with a chairperson, main speaker and the “vote of thanks” role in each team. We have been extremely successful in recent years, not merely in winning through against local schools, but in entering several teams – a sign of keen interest, particularly from our Sixth form.
Obviously less formal situations for public speaking, ranging from individual subject presentations to full school assemblies, from an impromptu vote of thanks for an outside speaker to a welcome to an opposition touring team, abound in the school. And these are perhaps more important to the lifeblood of the school than such keynote addresses as the annual Headboy and Headgirl speeches at Speech Day – although the latter are keenly anticipated for their witty depiction of life at Rydal Penrhos. Altogether public speaking is a key part of life here, both inside and outside the classroom.
There are not just opportunities for budding actors and singers – the Stage Crew is a popular activitiy for those looking for experience behind the scenes. For some, taking part in the Stage Crew has led to increased interest and participation in stage work, with recent leavers working in professional theatres and areas, including this year’s BBC Proms.
Key to the success of our drama productions, is the work of the ‘back-stage’ team. Lighting, sound, scenery and set movement skills are developed to ensure the high standards on stage are complimented by those behind the scenes. Pupils join the Stage Crew for a Thursday lunchtime to develop these skills but, at the time of major productions, the crew are often working late into the evening and at weekends. Undoubtedly dedicated, they are, without question, the unsung heroes.
Time and Space
The school’s Chaplain, Rev’d Sissons takes this Thursday lunchtime club for year 7 pupils who have a four week programme usually directed to a topical event of the period of the year they are in. The group have also participated in some interesting forays into relaxation with silent group meditation amongst the most memorable. Like the Pied Piper, Rev’d Sissons leading a group of yr 7s in silence around the campus was a sight to behold.