Joint-Deputy Head Girl reflects on challenging year so far
February 23, 2021

Rydal Penrhos’ joint-deputy head girl Cerys Cuddihy has spoken of her experiences during a challenging academic year so far.

To say things have been difficult for pupils up and down the country over the last 12 months would be something of an understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced children young and old into a significant period of adjustment that included a robust online learning provision provided by Rydal Penrhos during the various lockdown measures implemented by the Welsh Government.

It has been especially complex for Sixth Formers, who have faced exam uncertainty and a university application process that looks far different in the current climate.

Teaching staff at Rydal Penrhos have been there every step of the way for them, providing expert support, guidance, and up-to-the-minute information regarding what’s been an ever-changing situation.

Cerys Cuddihy, who is a Year 13 pupil and joint deputy-head girl alongside Luiza Gratton, spoke to the Rydal Penrhos Society newsletter about how she’s adapted to the big changes at a critical stage of her learning and praised the school for making this transition smooth to ensure goals remain unaltered.

She said: “My mentality and approach to life has changed since the first lockdown, I used to be incredibly fixated on the future and would always stress about little things that now seem so trivial and unimportant.

“Now, three lockdowns in, I live by simply taking one day at a time because I’ve realised now, more than ever, how truly precious life is and the importance of making the most of the time we have on Earth.

“My most notable achievement has to be applying to university and managing to get my UCAS sent off in time, thanks to the incredible support and guidance I was given from Rydal Penrhos.

“The transition into the latest lockdown has been made much easier due to the iPad provided for each pupil. This, combined with the timetable I would be on if in school, has allowed me to keep to a familiar routine and provided me with a sense of normality.

“The introduction of “Fitness and Wellbeing” sessions during our extra-curricular time has also been of tremendous value to pupils and encourages everyone to be active for 30 minutes at the end of each day.”

Cerys has been a member of the Rydal Penrhos community for the entirety of her education after enrolling as a Reception class Prep School pupil in 2006. She has developed into a fantastic role model for younger pupils and has achieved a significant amount with the opportunities available.

This includes strong performances for the school’s hockey sides, contributing to drama productions and also developing considerably from an academic perspective.

As Cerys gets set for the next stage of her journey in higher education, she clearly feels a strong bond with the school and the experiences gained over the last 15 years.

“It’s sad to think in six months’ time I will be leaving,” added Cerys.

“However, I can say with complete certainty that I will have nothing but the fondest memories of this school and the community I have been fortunate enough to be a part of.

“I have nothing but admiration and gratitude for all the teachers who have taught me over the years, who have also helped shape me into the person I am today.

“Rydal Penrhos has provided me with some of my best memories that I will cherish forever. I genuinely can’t stress enough how much this school means to me and how thankful I am that I have had the privilege of being here for my entire education.”

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Anyone wishing to enquire about Rydal Penrhos School can do so by calling 01492 530155, email admissions@rydalpenrhos.com or register your interest online here: https://rydalpenrhos.com/admissions/apply-now.