Rydal Penrhos’ insistence on small class sizes is something that continues to benefit our pupils, giving them a real connection with the teaching staff and their peers.
One of the keys to success with a Rydal Penrhos School education is the fact we insist on small class sizes, where every child is challenged to succeed, progress and achieve their short and long-term goals.
Supported by an exceptional staff team, we are able to treat every child and young person as an individual with high levels of support so that children quickly build strong literacy and numeracy skills alongside those in debating, presenting, writing and analysis.
Reducing class size, particularly in the early years, at a time when firm foundations are laid for a thriving education and a strong attitude towards learning is acquired, is one of the key educational strategies shown to impact achievement in young and old alike.
This was recently highlighted by the NASUWT – The Teachers’ Union – who will reportedly be lobbying for class size numbers to be restricted in the state school system.
Teachers in the survey (across primary and secondary phases) reported an average class size of around 28 pupils. However, more than 75% said their class sizes have increased in the last five years.
Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of the NASUWT, said: “Increases in class size numbers are having a detrimental impact on both the learning experiences of pupils and the health and safety of teachers and students.
“The damaging impact of increased pupil numbers in classes has been further exposed during the pandemic, creating the perfect conditions for the transmission of COVID-19.”
Rydal Penrhos has long recognised the benefits of small class sizes to pupil development. Our pupil-to-teacher ratio remains at 9:1 despite a significant increase in numbers across the school over the last 18 months – an ethos that has brought exceptional examinations results consistently and high value-added scores – which highlight a pupil far exceeding expectations.
The numbers are all well and good, but no research could possibly capture the intricate classroom processes that underpin the outcomes. There is an outstanding focus on children’s attitudes to learning, their enthusiasm and confidence, learning independently, thinking critically and developing personal creativity and practical skills.
These are all attributes we actively seek to nurture at Rydal Penrhos.
We place great emphasis on levels of well-being, cooperation and positive personal relationships.
Couple this with broad curriculum options at A Level and GCSE, a diverse extra-curricular and outdoor education provision and thorough preparation for the next step, it’s not hard to see why Rydal Penrhos has been a core part of the community since 1885.
It’s the little things that make a big difference to a child’s education. That extra bit of attentiveness from teaching staff goes a long way, even if it might not seem like it.
Knowing a child’s personality and learning approach, which can be very different, and harnessing this in a positive way is something else that sets small class sizes and Rydal Penrhos apart. Individuality is everything to a young person, so whether that’s in academia, sport, the arts, or another specified interest, identifying passions and integrating this into a well-rounded education that prepares pupils for whatever comes next.
Small class sizes are a big reason why Rydal Penrhos is a close-knit community. We strive to make sure that every pupil is happy, safe and thriving, which comes from incredible support not only from staff but other year groups, too.
Things have been incredibly challenging over the last two years. But the school’s commitment to ensuring each child gets the most out of their education at Rydal Penrhos remains unaltered.