Our model of a distinctive, successful education aims to allow all our pupils to be individuals, to discover their talent, be the best they can be and ready themselves for the future while also being happy in the now.

Much has been written about what constitutes a good education. If we are not careful such attempts can be too focussed and narrow that they ignore the diversity that exists in our community. Or they can be so bland and generic as to be meaningless.

An education must be rooted in a school’s values and principles but mindful of the fact that children have different needs, talents (some known some not yet) and interests.

We pride ourselves on an exceptional academic education and thriving extra-curricular programme here at Rydal Penrhos, which allows each child to learn and develop in a happy and safe environment, receiving expert care and guidance from our dedicated staff team.

Learning Support

The Additional Learning Needs department’s role is to cater for pupils from Year 7 through to Sixth Form who have a specific learning disability or difficulty or who require specialist assistance.

Rydal Penrhos is committed to providing an appropriate and high-quality education to all of its pupils. We believe that all children, including those who are identified as having additional learning needs have a common entitlement to a broad and balanced academic and social curriculum, which is accessible to all of them, and to be fully included in all aspects of school life.

If a literacy or numeracy need has been identified prior to joining, or during their school life, pupils are offered support in consultation with parents. All lessons are taught by specialist teachers who create and deliver individualized educational programmes through a multi-sensory, cumulative approach.

Decisions regarding the allocation and timing of Learning Support lessons, are based on a number of factors, which include the needs of the individual student, the wishes of the parent and student, as well as the views of the relevant Head of Department and subject teacher.

  • All pupils in years 7 and 8 are screened. If we have any concerns, parents are contacted and a full assessment by the Heads of Department is undertaken.
  • A referral process is also used throughout the school, whereby if a teacher has concerns over a pupil’s learning, we observe work, question staff, speak with parents and assess.
  • If further investigation is needed into a pupil’s possible learning need, we refer them to an educational psychologist assessment or another appropriate external body.
  • Pupils who show some difficulty are monitored by us.
  • Pupils are usually exempt from a foreign language, depending on how many lessons they need, in agreement with parents. However, some pupils are exempt from their weakest subjects if this is deemed more appropriate.
  • Lessons are taught on an individual, paired or group basis, but are determined according to the need of the pupil. These lessons are structured, progressive and multi-sensory.
The School Day

The school day starts at 8.30am, with a formal finishing time of 4.20pm and academic teaching will conclude at 3.30pm.

Extra-curricular activities will take place from 3.30-4.20pm. After-school provision is available until 6pm.

School buses will run in line with the start of the day and will depart from Monday to Friday at 4.30pm.


At Rydal Penrhos we strongly believe in developing the whole person. Whilst academic progress is our undoubted and committed priority, we also encourage our pupils to find out about themselves through challenge and endeavour. This is structured through a comprehensive activity programme where vital life skills are developed such as team building, initiative, resourcefulness and self-help.

For more information, please visit our Senior Extra-Curricular page.

Pastoral Care

In addition to the outstanding academic and extra-curricular education we provide here at Rydal Penrhos School, we have also implemented a Pastoral system that is second-to-none and enables each child and young adult under our care to feel happy, safe and supported.

This enables them to get the very most of their time within the classroom, and we are always striving to maintain excellent standards in areas such as wellbeing and mental health.

The Tutor System

The wellbeing of each and every pupil is at the heart of everything we do in school; a happy child is also a child who will learn effectively and make the most of the many opportunities Rydal Penrhos offers. At the heart of our pastoral care is the Tutor System.

Every pupil in the school belongs to one of four competitive School Houses (Morgan, Osborn, Payne and Wesley), and each pupil is also a member of a tutor group. A tutor group is made up of around 12 pupils and the form tutor meets the group formally in a timetabled period once a week, as well as registering them twice each day.

Each tutor in Years 7, 8 and 9 is part of the Key Stage 3 team, tutors in Years 10 and 11 are part of Key Stage 4, and Years 12 and 13 tutors are part of the Key Stage 5 team.

A system of tutor cards (interim reports by teachers) enables regular monitoring of academic progress, so that good work can be commended, and any problems can be identified and addressed. Tutor cards, often with a self-assessment, are also seen by the Headmaster and the Deputy Head. A tutor will get to know tutees well and will encourage their wider interests and participation in extra-curricular activities, and the cultural and sporting life of the school.

For parents, the tutor is an important first point of contact, and parents are always welcome to email tutors with any queries or concerns they may have.

Peer Mentoring

The Peer Mentoring Programme at Rydal Penrhos helps pupils to learn how to support each other by offering a listening ear. Volunteers from Year 11 and above attend an eight-week training course in which they learn basic counselling and mentoring skills, giving them the ability to:

  • act as a support to younger pupils
  • provide support and encouragement for these pupils
  • help their mentee to explore ways to move forward for themselves

Mentors also benefit from training by:

  • Improving communication and personal skills
  • increasing confidence and motivation
  • understanding how to offer empathy without taking sides
  • benefiting from a sense of fulfilment and personal growth
  • developing leadership skills

All Year 7 & 8 pupils are assigned a peer mentor who will help them to settle in, make progress and to achieve their full potential within school life. Mentors are supported by two trained mentoring teachers.


Channels of Communication Sequence (academic and pastoral):

  • Form Tutor for any general queries or concerns regarding your child;
  • Heads of School Section: for pastoral or academic queries, or concerns which may remain unresolved or give rise for greater concerns;
  • Vice Principals: for pastoral or academic queries or concerns of a more complex nature or regarding matters that may remain unresolved;
  • Principal.


There are Designated Safeguarding Persons across the School community. For more information, please see our staff list.

All DSPs and Deputy DSPs are trained to the same level, and Senior and Prep DSPs may deputise in the case of absence across the school, as required.

We have strong pastoral structures within the school, as above, with the additional layer of support provided by our School Chaplain, who also lends key support from a spiritual, emotional and pastoral perspective.

The School is also supported by the services of the Conwy Schools’ Nursing Team, and School-Based Counselling support, as required.

Global Citizenship

Rydal Penrhos is thrilled to announce a twelve-month partnership with Edukid, marking a significant step in the school’s commitment to global citizenship and development. 

Serving as a spiritual successor to the school’s long-time engagement in Uganda, Rydal Penrhos’ new partnership with Edukid not only offers our pupils an extraordinary opportunity to visit Peru in twelve months’ time, but also provides them with a chance to contribute to an ongoing development project and make a positive impact on the world.

For more information, please visit our Global Citizenship page.