Year 8 art therapy focuses on expression and wellbeing
April 21, 2021

Year 8 pupils at Rydal Penrhos expressed their feelings and enhanced wellbeing during a recent art therapy session.

One of the main focuses at Rydal Penrhos over the last 12 months has been the health and wellbeing of the entire school community. COVID-19 has caused a significant amount of disruption and isolated people from their friends and loved ones, which has led to an increase in depression and anxiety in children and young people worldwide, according to a recent study from The Prince’s Trust index.

Jonathan Townsend who is UK Chief Executive of The Prince’s Trust, said: “The pandemic has taken a devastating toll on young people’s mental health and wellbeing. They face a disrupted education, isolation from their friends and loved ones, and as a result, too many are losing all hope for the future.”

Staff at Rydal Penrhos has strived to provide expert support for pupils young and old amid so much disruption. This includes being there at any time of day for learners during the school’s thorough online learning provision during the spring term, in addition to keeping their spirits up with various activities and projects during their time on-site.

Another fine example of this emanated from the school’s art department in the week prior to the Easter break. Suzy Morris and department head Mark Sherrington have done an exceptional job of providing thought-provoking, topical projects for pupils, which not only enhances their artistic skills but also allows them to improve general knowledge in the process.

Mrs Morris used her first lesson with Year 8 as an art therapy session to alleviate the anxiety some were feeling regarding their transition back to Rydal Penrhos.

The group embarked on face-to-face learning for the first time this year during the final week of term as a gradual transition before things returned to some semblance of normality for the start of the summer term on Tuesday 20 April, which was an exciting but nervous step considering how long they’ve been a home studying remotely.

Using art, pupils were given the freedom to express themselves surrounding their return to school as well as what each of them experienced over the last year during some extreme disruption to the normal routine throughout COVID-19.

This brought around some powerful final projects once again from the group, who got a tremendous amount out of the session. It focused not only on development from an artistic and creative standpoint but also improved the ability to communicate any problems or doubts they may have had in such an uncertain time.

Hopefully, with a full return for each year group and things looking up with vaccine rollouts and a decrease in COVID-19 cases across the country, there are now things to look forward to on the calendar should restrictions allow and some light at the end of the tunnel.

Rydal Penrhos will still make the mental health and wellbeing of its pupils a top priority, as it has done for many years. The school’s mission to be a safe, happy environment where pupils thrive has been the cornerstone behind some exceptional success and this is a trend that staff are working hard to maintain long into the future.

Year 8 art therapy work at Rydal Penrhos.



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.

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