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.



A CCF is a Combined Cadet Force. Within a CCF there are ‘Sections’, these can be either Royal Navy,  Army, Royal Airforce or Marines. Rydal Penrhos School will be starting with an Army Section and we hope within a short space of time to have expanded sufficiently to start either a Royal Navy or Royal Air Force Section.  The CCF will meet weekly to conduct training, this will include, drill (marching), fieldcraft (survival and administration during outdoor pursuits), field tactics, navigation Skill at Arms (weapon handling & marksmanship), as well as lots of adventure training (biking, hiking, kayaking, parachuting, sailing, diving etc).

The CCF aims to promote the qualities of responsibility, self-reliance, resourcefulness and a sense of service to the community.

Forty per cent of a cadet’s time will be spent on adventurous training activities. By joining the CCF  cadets also have the opportunity  to  get involved with volunteer and charitable work in the community and to  gain nationally recognised qualifications such as the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award and BTECs.

Joining the CCF provides an opportunity to take part in Army activities and events, all of which will focus on building confident, responsible and independent thinking young people.


There is lots on offer in the CCF, with so many activities to choose from, there’s bound to be something for everyone!

The Combined Cadet Force offers an exceptional range of exciting activities for cadets to enjoy. As well as adventurous pursuits, many of the activities cadets can explore are focused on helping to gain new skills, improving teamwork, confidence and leadership.

Training will be split over parade afternoon/evenings, field days and occasional weekend camps and courses. Parades take place weekly at the school. This provides the basic training across a number of different areas, which is further built on during field days and weekend training camps. In ‘the field’ cadets will be given more time to develop particular skill, or work towards qualifications.



One of the major strengths of the school is to be found in the school’s Drama department. Not only are academic examination results outstanding, but throughout the year the department produces a range of whole school, senior, junior, house and examination productions.

Interested pupils also take part in the prestigious Chester Drama Festival every year, with much success. There they can take part not just in acting, but in poetry and rehearsed readings.

The school offers extra-curricular Speech and Drama lessons for pupils who want to improve all areas of performance including reciting, acting and elocution. Pupils can further their study through LAMDA examinations.

School Show

Every year the Rydal Penrhos Dramatic Society stages a school production involving pupils from Year 7 -13.

Past plays include:

  • A Servant to Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni
  • The Little Shop of Horrors by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare
  • Oliver by Lionel Bart
  • A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum by Stephen Sondheim
  • To Kill a Mockingbird
  • Annie the Musical
  • Les Miserables


Key to the success of our drama productions, is the work of the ‘back-stage’ team. Lighting, sound, scenery and set movement skills are developed to ensure the high standards on stage are complemented by those behind the scenes.


There are a number of other opportunities to participate in Drama, including the Lower School Drama Club and the Drama Society. In addition, the annual House Drama Competition is an opportunity for all pupils of all ages and abilities to be fully involved in creating performances.




Since it began in 1956, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award has been dedicated to the personal development of young people from all backgrounds and is now widely recognised as the world’s leading youth achievement award.

It certainly is a real adventure from beginning to end, helping young people to develop their independence and leadership qualities.

Rydal Penrhos School is a DofE Directly Licensed Centre and offers all three levels of the Award, beginning with Bronze in Year 9, continuing on to Silver in Years 10 & 11, and culminating with the prestigious Gold Award in Years 12 & 13.

The Award is achieved by completing a personal programme of activities in four sections (five if you’re going for Gold).

You’ll find yourself helping people or the community, getting fitter, developing skills, going on an expedition in the Welsh mountains and taking part in a residential activity (Gold only).

The programme can be full of activities and projects that get each pupil excited, allowing them to develop existing talents and discover new ones, whilst meeting new friends and learning a great deal about themselves along the way.

The Award Scheme at Rydal Penrhos is supported by several enthusiastic staff, including Dr Lewis and Mrs Coates.

Expedition training, advice and encouragement are delivered throughout the year as part of the co-curricular programme.



There are a wealth of opportunities for pupils at Rydal Penrhos to be involved in music. There are numerous concerts and performances both in school and in the wider community that allow all our musicians to develop their crucial performance skills with full support from the school’s highly experienced team of music professionals.

We actively invite all pupils to learn a musical instrument and/or study singing.

Opportunities for music at Rydal Penrhos include:

  • Choirs and Vocal Groups
  • Schola Cantorum: The school’s chapel, concert and tour choir. Beautiful choral music from the Medieval period to the present day. Performs regularly in chapel, competitions and services in the local community. Invitation/audition only to Years 7-13.
  • Senior Vocal Ensemble: A mixed choir that sings music from a wide range of styles including pop, jazz, rock and music theatre. Open to all.
  • Junior Pop Vocal Ensemble: A vocal ensemble ranging from years 7 – 9 that sings mostly popular music.
  • Tenors and Basses: Open to all boys in Years 10-13; singing a wide range of repertoire.
  • Individual vocal opportunities: Pupils are actively encouraged to perform as solo singers in a variety of performance situations both within the school and the wider community.

Instrumental Ensembles

  • Chapel Band: A small ensemble of instrumentalists who work with the organist to provide accompaniment at weekly chapel services and at occasions such as the harvest, Christmas and Easter services.
  • Orchestra: Ensemble for all strings, woodwind, brass, percussionists and keyboard players performing a wide range of orchestral repertoire. Open to all.
  • Advanced Instrumental Ensemble: For string, woodwind, brass players, percussion and keyboard players by invitation; performing and developing small ensemble skills to a high standard and playing a wide range of chamber repertoire.
  • Jazz Band: For all those players who wish to explore jazz and fusion within music.
  • Other smaller ensembles: There are many occasions throughout the year when smaller instrumental groups perform and form for particular occasions. These are derived from the Orchestra and Advanced Ensemble. These groups include woodwind, strings, percussion, keyboard and guitar. Rock band, acoustic groups, pop bands, world music and folk groups are also created by the students at various times throughout the year. The music department also actively encourages the formation of new and unique ensembles.


Why choose Speech and Drama?

The future of our nation depends on our ability to create and be creative. During the coming decades our most important natural resources will be human resources. If our nation is to continue to meet the challenges of the future, today’s schools need to develop creative leaders.

At the centre of speech and drama is communication. S&D allows pupils to communicate with and understand others in new and exciting ways and provides training in the very practical aspects of communication so necessary in today’s increasingly information-centred world.

Pupils who have participated in speech and drama activities are less likely to have difficulty speaking in public, will be more persuasive in their communication, will be better able to be empathetic and will have a more positive, confident self-image.

Participation in S&D activities requires self-control and discipline that will serve the pupil well in all aspects of life. Pupils will learn to work together, to co-operate with one another, to listen to and accept the viewpoints and contributions of others and to contribute innovative and creative ideas to projects.

No art form is more collaborative. Speech and Drama are important tools for preparing pupils to live and work in a world that is increasingly team-orientated rather than hierarchical.


The modern workplace demands successful people to demonstrate confident attitudes and behaviours; much sought after traits in today’s world.

‘Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference’ – Winston Churchill.

Speech and Drama course content

It involves all or some of the following, tailored to the individual:

  • Speaking verse and prose.
  • Acting – solo or in pairs.
  • Learning interview techniques and presentation skills.
  • Sitting LAMDA examinations.
  • Entering drama festivals.
  • Performing in school arts events.
  • Correcting dictation and pronunciation.

Skills developed:

  • Clarity of speech – enabling others not just to understand, but want to engage with the speaker.
  • Self-confidence – performing in drama exams, festivals and school events and productions.
  • Command over language – enhancing the use of a range of communication forms in both formal and informal settings.
  • Developing empathy – relating to others in an appreciative way.
  • Development of soft skills – interpersonal, listening, persuasion, leadership, team-working, self-motivation, working under pressure. Being able to acknowledge other people’s ideas and opinions and still be able to put forward their own ideas using language to explain, persuade and convince.
  • Problem solving – including developing decision making, problem solving/conflict and resolution abilities.
  • Creative thinking – learning to be spontaneous and effective.
  • Control over vocal skills – using contrasts in pitch, pace, pause, inflection, volume and tone to convey meaning.
  • Research, evaluation and written/oral communication abilities when composing presentations.


Our sporting provision is vast and has brought with it some truly incredible achievements that stretch back for generations.

The diverse and challenging sporting opportunities on offer cater to any child or young person interesed in sport, giving them a great platform to boost additional skills they may not learn within a classroom environment.

Sports offered:

  • Athletics
  • Badminton
  • Cricket
  • Cross-Country
  • Dance
  • Fives
  • Football
  • Golf
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Rugby
  • Sailing
  • Skiing
  • Squash
  • Swimming
  • Tennis
  • Triathlon


Rydal Penrhos School is an important part of the local community in North Wales, and pupils are actively encouraged to give something back by taking part in community service or charity work.

As well as allowing pupils to develop a wider understanding of the world around them, such work helps to foster vital communication, leadership and teamwork skills.

Community Action Days

Held every year during Activity Week at the end of the Summer term, All pupils undertake volunteer work in the local community such as cleaning up local graveyards, clearing debris from rivers or tidying parks and woodland.

Teas for the Elderly

Teas for the Elderly are held once a month for people over the age of 75. The Colwyn Bay Tea Party had been under threat of closure due to the former host moving away from the area; however Rydal Penrhos School stepped in to organise the event and to secure its future on behalf of the charity Contact the Elderly. Taking place on the last Sunday of every month, pupils give up their afternoon to prepare food and entertainment for the event as well as chatting over a cup of tea.

Project Uganda

Rydal Penrhos School has set up links with Kitooha Primary School and the Development Studies Centre in Mbarara in southwest Uganda. In addition, Rydal Penrhos works with the Methodist Relief and Development Fund and partner organisation Rural Health Promotion and Poverty Alleviation Initiative (RUHEPAI). Working trips to Uganda are held every two years and many events take place throughout the academic year to raise money for the projects.

Tŷ Gobaith

Tŷ Gobaith is a children’s hospice run by the charity Hope House. It was opened in 2004 and provides regular periods of respite care to more than 70 terminally ill children and their families living in the North Wales area.

Rydal Penrhos is regularly involved in fund-raising projects for Ty Gobaith, the latest being a very successful Christmas Market organised by the Sixth form Charity Committee.



Rydal Penrhos offers a broad range of clubs and societies to allow every pupil in the school to follow their interests and develop their talents. Clubs and societies meet at lunchtimes, in enrichment time, and in some cases during the evening. In addition, academic departments run catch-up clinics throughout the week to allow pupils to access one-to-one help with their academic work.

  • Amnesty International
  • Badminton
  • Ballet
  • Classics for Fun
  • Conversational Welsh
  • Dance Club
  • Debating Club
  • Economics Society
  • Enterprise
  • Fencing
  • Film
  • Fives
  • French Culture Club
  • Golf
  • Greenpower Project
  • Horrible Histories
  • Indoor Hockey
  • Languages Club
  • Lefevre Erasmus
  • Literature to Film
  • Jazz Ensemble
  • Junior Drama
  • Percussion Group
  • Performance Centre
  • Photography
  • Maths π Club
  • Mindfulness
  • Scientific Society
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Club
  • Squash
  • STEM
  • Swimming
  • Table Tennis
  • UCAS Preparation