In this new series of weekly posts, Rydal Penrhos will explore the history behind rooms and buildings around school.
We start with the Kenworthy Room, which is a dedicated Sixth Form study space within the Ferguson Centre. As part of a major refurbishment to Rydal Penrhos’ Sixth Form centre in 2018, the Kenworthy Room was extensively updated to create a modern workspace well-equipped for both individual study and collaborative group work.
The room is named after film producer and former pupil Duncan Kenworthy OBE (RS 1962-67), who kindly made a donation towards its refurbishment. Following his time at Rydal, Kenworthy read English at Christ’s College, Cambridge, where he graduated with first-class honours.
Over a long and successful career in the film industry, Kenworthy has produced some of the most beloved classics of modern British cinema. Perhaps his most notable works are his collaborations with writer-director Richard Curtis, which include the likes of Four Weddings and a Funeral, Notting Hill and Love Actually.
His latest film, The Children Act, featuring Emma Thompson and Stanley Tucci, was released in 2018. An adaptation of Ian McEwan’s critically-acclaimed 2014 novel, written for the screen by the English novelist himself, the film follows the story of a judge who is forced to oversee a case involving a teenage boy who refuses a medical procedure on religious grounds.
Kenworthy was Vice-President of BAFTA between 2009 and 2015, a role that has also been held by the likes of Barbara Broccoli, the well-renowned James Bond producer, and Lord Attenborough, whose acting and directing credits include the likes of Gandhi, The Great Escape and Jurassic Park.
In recent years, Kenworthy has visited school to speak to pupils as part of end-of-year Speech Day celebrations. For any pupils looking to make a career for themselves in film, or those with a passing interest in the subject, his story offered a unique perspective on what goes on behind the silver screen.
The Kenworthy Room has become a firm favourite among the Sixth Form cohort as it provides a perfect place to use study lessons effectively, whether that is revising A-Level content or using the various UCAS and Careers resources that are available. As Year 13 pupil Sophie Madden put it, “the Kenworthy Room is an ideal space for independent study as it provides a consistent, quiet environment for work.”
Pupils working in the Kenworthy Room have continuous access to a senior member of staff while they put in many all important hours towards their final exams. The offices of Mr Brown, our Pastoral Lead for Years 11 to 13, and Mr Farnell, our UCAS and Careers Advisor, both sit nearby, meaning that any questions that a pupil might have about pastoral matters or their future beyond school can be discussed at any time.