Luiza Gratton, joint-Deputy Head Girl of Rydal Penrhos, reflected on her incredible time at the school before heading onto the next stage of her journey.
These seven years have gone so quickly just like our parents and teachers at Rydal Penrhos said it would.
It feels like just yesterday we were all in lower school house – the only weight on our shoulders being the backpacks that were basically the same size as us. Now we’re all grown up and getting ready to leave, all I can say really is thank you to Rydal Penrhos and the class of 2021.
One of my earliest memories has to be Mr. Lee-Browne saving me from the celebratory round of applause in Year 7 by taking credit for a dropped lunch tray, an embarrassment that would’ve taken months to live down.
I think it is clear and quite obvious to say that this has been a very trying year for pupils and staff alike.
It’s easy to get swept away by the weight of anxiety surrounding these unprecedented times. But in the midst of the worries, there have been many silver linings.
From simple things like spending more time with family to the global improvements such as the carbon emissions falling drastically.
Like many of my classmates, I have loved having time to reconnect with my family.
Between playing board games and going out for our daily exercise, I explored more of my hometown than I have ever seen before and I most likely wouldn’t have had the chance to without this precious time.
On the flip side, which we cannot dwell upon too much without a sense of grief, we have missed out on social events, peer mentoring and Speech Days, to name a few.
All of which prepares the Sixth Form for leaving school, our safety net and gives us the right of passage into our careers and adulthood. We will all have technically been catapulted from our GCSE results to university preparation.
One of the main challenges that faced us in Year 13 was applying to universities to start our careers, without even a first-hand experience at the campus of choice.
Everything from the applying process is flipped on its head even down to the interview process being on Microsoft Teams in our own front rooms. Preparing a portfolio online was challenging; I count myself extremely lucky to have had the support of pastoral staff and a careers advisor at Rydal Penrhos to guide me in the process.
Despite this being a new process for not only the pupils but the staff too, we are so fortunate to have received many offers, including a handful of unconditional, so we can breathe a sigh of relief before we receive our results in August.
As our year comes to a close, I’m extremely grateful that the alumni at Rydal Penrhos is so incredibly strong as I know our end-of-year closure can be recreated as a reunion, sometime very soon.
Joint-Deputy Head Girl 2020/21
Luiza was speaking to the Rydal Penrhos Society Newsletter, which can be found below.
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