The Rydal Penrhos Society is a lifelong connection to the school long after our pupils depart into higher education or the working world.
What do you think of when you think of a school? Many of us picture pupils in classrooms, or outside on the hockey pitch, or in the art or music rooms. We think of the hustle and bustle and sometimes forget that a school is far more than the current generation of pupils. At Rydal Penrhos, it is a community that includes not only the pupils learning, but also all those who have done exactly the same in the past.
It’s in school that we cultivate our sense of wonder, develop and exercise our curiosity, and learn how to treat our peers with respect and kindness – that, in summary, we are prepared to enter the world. In Ancient Greece, the young people entering the community of adults for the first time were called hoi neoi (οί νєοι), the new ones. This reflects the fact that leaving school – entering this community – is a beginning and not an end – and that’s why leaving is exciting and terrifying in equal measure.
It’s only when a pupil leaves school that we can ask, what will they do with their education? What sort of world will they build?
Leaving school is not the moment a pupil’s connection with the school comes to an end, but rather the moment this is realised most fully.
Staff at Rydal Penrhos make leaving school easier for our pupils in two ways. First, we give them lots of opportunities to make their own decisions in the years prior – our small A Level classes, for example, mean that pupils can work with teachers to guide their own learning.
Second, we ensure that when they leave, they do so knowing they are entering an alumni community that spans generations and whose programme connects ‘new ones’ with those who have already ventured somewhat further down life’s path.
Recently a Professor at the Australian National University emailed the school to ask if we held any material on his father, who had attended Rydal Mount School, the predecessor to Rydal School, back in 1906.
Indeed we did.
The material included the register book where his father signed his name upon first enrolling, reports from his teachers on his performance on the cricket field, and copies of the school magazine in which, as an Old Boy, his military honours were announced.
This also illuminates the other purpose of our alumni work. Not only does the programme connect our former pupils with each other and involve them in the present life of Rydal Penrhos, but it also honours and celebrates their history.
Being a pupil at Rydal Penrhos institutes a life-changing connection, symbolised by lifelong membership of the Rydal Penrhos Society, our alumni association.
The activities of the alumni association are varied. It works to help our current pupils in very practical ways, securing them career advice, professional mentors, and work experience opportunities. It also publishes a termly newsletter that shares stories both from Rydal Penrhos life and alumni themselves.
The Society also organises events. In the past, we have held Regional Dinners in London, Chester, Cambridge, and Oxford, and abroad in Paris and Hong Kong. Last September’s Founders’ Weekend saw a host of celebratory events, while this summer we are delighted to host the class of 1982 for their reunion.
Our alumni secretary is always delighted to welcome back former pupils to our wonderful campus. While over time our buildings change, the values that sustain Rydal Penrhos remain the same – that our alumni will always continue to feel about us the way they felt about it as pupils – as a second home.
Anyone wishing to enquire about Rydal Penrhos School can do so by calling 01492 530155, email firstname.lastname@example.org or register your interest online here: https://rydalpenrhos.com/admissions/apply-now.