Amnesty International is a campaigning organisation whose purpose is to ‘protect people wherever justice, fairness, freedom and truth are denied.’ Rydal Penrhos School has its own dedicated Amnesty group which meets at Thursday lunchtimes in the Carnegie room. Pupils from all Year groups are welcome. It is co-ordinated by Mary Richardson, Head of PSHE, teacher of Religious Studies, and house parent of Beecholme.
The group works on lots of issues and organises a number of events throughout the year to raise money and awareness.
Art is a popular examination subject at IB, A-Level and GCSE. The club, run on a Monday lunchtime, is aimed at those wanting to develop their interest in the subject. Specific topics or foci are used to broaden and enhance the experience the pupils get within the curriculum.
The art facilities, which include print room and kiln, are open throughout the week and are heavily used by examination classes both at lunchtime and after school.
Chess is a hugely popular game at Rydal Penrhos and the Chess Club spans all age groups from Year 2 to Year 13. The Club is run by Mr Camp, Year 3 form tutor and Head of Chess at the Prep school and takes place each Wednesday afternoon in the Prep School Dining Hall.
The Club offers a number of advantages to its members including the development of their chess game, competing in local and national competitions and the opportunity to coach children from the Prep school.
Many of the skills learned in chess are transferrable into real-life situations. University interview panels are often interested in chess players who can demonstrate concentration, calculation and analytical skills, and experience in coaching younger players is invaluable for older pupils who have a desire to go into teaching.
The Comenius group encourages partnerships with other schools in Europe. Along with two partner schools in Germany and Slovakia, the group is currently working on a project based around the idea of the “virtual student”.
The aim of the project is to develop knowledge and understanding among young people of the diversity of European cultures and languages and to acquire basic life skills and competences for future employment.
Pupils from Year 11 are being invited to join the group. Please see Mr Farnell for details.
In 2007 when the club was introduced, the garden was very over grown, having not been used by the pupils or teaching staff for about 15 years. The garden originally had paths and defined beds, as well as a pond and fruit tree. Now we have claimed back the garden from the jungle that had taken over. We are always looking at new wildlife habitats to build to help the Biology department and growing herbs for the food technology department. The one fruit tree originally in the garden (conference pear) is now accompanied by a cherry, plum and apple trees (all planted in 2007). We recently built a shed for storing items for the club and hope soon to purchase a new greenhouse for the all year round growing it can provide us. The garden is divided into two parts: the vegetable section and the ornamental section (flowers and fruit trees).
The gardening club is open to all pupils in the senior school who wish to grow their own fruit and vegetables. All vegetables grown in the student part of the garden are for the consumption of the pupils who grow them. The teachers have a section of the garden for testing new ideas out on, before they are used in the pupils’ part of the garden, such as the strawberry tower. With more people finding out about the benefits of eating organically grown produce and the cost to the environment when shipping goods these days, gardening is again on the increase. More people are taking on allotments or converting parts of their own gardens into growing fruit and veg. The garden is also home to some wildlife and we hope to encourage more into the garden with various projects.
The garden is open during the week to work on at lunchtimes (weather permitting)and at the weekends again when the weather is suitable.
IB film night
The IB film night aims to underpin lesson content with films. Open to all IB pupils, the film night is an opportunity to view films that cover various topics including Theory of Knowledge, literature, history, art etc. Taking place every other Monday at 6.30pm in Hathaway, the film night can be used as prep time as well as developing subject knowledge in a relaxed environment with fellow pupils.
Model United Nations
The school runs a Model United Nations group every Monday lunchtime for Sixth formers and members of the Middle School. Model United Nations is an authentic simulation of the U.N. General Assembly and other multilateral bodies. The popularity of Model U.N. continues to grow, and today more than 400 000 junior school, high school and college/university students worldwide participate every year. UK Model UN website
The Model United Nations (MUN) group runs on a Wednesday. The aim of the group is to learn and debate world issues and educate participants about civics, current events, effective communication, globalization and multilateral diplomacy. Students take on roles as diplomats and participate in a simulated session of an intergovernmental organisation (IGO).
Group members will research a country, take on roles as diplomats, investigate international issues, debate, deliberate, consult, and then develop solutions to world problems.
Last year the club went to Stockport Grammar School for a two day ‘summit’ where Rydal Penrhos had the distinction of representing Mexico at the meeting.
Modern Languages Society
The society holds foreign language film evenings every term. All staff and pupils are welcome to attend these events.
Each foreign language department, French, German, and Spanish hold screenings. In French, pupils have seen Il y a longtemps que je t’aime, with Kristin Scott Thomas and La Classe, which won the Oscar for Best Foreign Film in 2009.
'designed to encourage partnerships across country boundaries'
The departments have in the past organised exchanges and day trips to conferences conducted entirely in French/German/Spanish for our A-level/IB pupils.
The year 9s have a four week ‘taster’ programme in which ‘people, buildings’ and ‘vegetation’ form the subjects of their interest. The club is popular amongst the older pupils who help Mr Parry oversee the members as they criss-cross the campus looking for that ‘wonder shot’. The results are impressive and are shown around the school, particularly in the Carnegie Room and LRC.
Stitching and knitting
The Stitiching and Knitting four week taster programme ensures that no pupil is without that all important skill of sewing on their top button! Dr Warrington takes the year 7 pupils painstakingly through the art of needlework; often the boys are the ones that appear less interested but gain the most out of this ‘off the wall’ experience. Basic knitting skills are also taught.
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.
A limited-contact team sport. The object of the game is to score points by passing the disc to a player in the opposing end zone, similar to an end zone in American football or rugby. Practice takes place during Tuesday lunchtimes.
Year 13 pupils are invited to research Universities, prepare applications and receive help and guidance for their personal statements, sponsorships, scholarships and job applications. Year 12 are invited to join the group during the Spring term as they begin to think about their future options.