Lara reflects on GAP year journey so far
April 20, 2022

Former Rydal Penrhos pupil Lara Pyves has been reflecting on her GAP year journey at a boarding school in New Zealand.

Our pupils at Rydal Penrhos go on to the next stage of their journey fully prepared for whatever they plan to do next. The large majority head straight to higher education at prestigious universities across the country and beyond, others begin working apprenticeships and some even broaden their horizons on GAP years before resuming their long-term career paths.

It’s been an unusual time for our recent leavers, who have had to deal with the stresses of planning and also the added uncertainty surrounding COVID-19. Pupils were forced into online learning, lockdowns and assessment rather than normal examinations to further increase stress during an already trying time.

Teaching staff at the school went above and beyond to ensure our pupils remained on track in all areas. Something that’s enabled our most recent alumni to thrive – reaching and often far exceeding their goals.

Lara Pyves, (RPS 2019-21), opted for a GAP year working at a boarding school in New Zealand before embarking on university later this year. Something the school was incredibly supportive of and assisted her every step of the way.

She said: “They didn’t push me towards applying to a university, they happily provided me with references and contacts in New Zealand. It’s so much fun! I’m thoroughly enjoying myself. The fact that I have a job that I enjoy is amazing.”

Lara has wasted no time in throwing herself into every task presented to her by the school. She described the quarantine period upon entering the country as “one of the most difficult things to overcome” so far, but it’s obvious the former pupil is acquiring plenty of memorable moments along the way.

“Having fun with the boarding pupils is great”, she added. “Most evenings we go out to the cricket pitch and play man-hunt, girls cricket or gymnastics. They’ve always got something they want to do. And just before bed they all want hugs good night, it’s such a lovely environment. Every week there are students off because they’re self-isolating due to COVID-19, but life still carries on as usual. The main challenge has been tiredness, it’s so full on all the time!”

Although Lara is extremely busy with her current commitments, she has already begun preparing for what comes next. She plans to travel the South Island “properly” and is also aiming to backpack across the east coast of Australia before returning to the United Kingdom.

Lara also offered some advice for any Sixth Form pupils looking to follow this particular path before university, something that has had a profound impact on her and

“Absolutely do it”, Lara said. “There’s no race to get to university, you’re not going to be left behind if you go a year later! Also, the experiences you gain from being in a different country and from challenging environments will help you grow so much. Plus it’s so fun.”

Everyone at Rydal Penrhos would like to thank Lara for speaking with us and we are enormously happy with how things are going on the other side of the world!


Anyone wishing to enquire about Rydal Penrhos School can do so by calling 01492 530155, emailing admissions@rydalpenrhos.com or registering your interest online.