Rydal Penrhos Community
Feature: Department Head Peter Lavery talks all things Sixth Form

Feature: Department Head Peter Lavery talks all things Sixth Form

How has this year been for Sixth Form pupils?

It's been another exciting, busy year for the Sixth Form. With certain examination boards changing to linear courses comes different challenges, but our pupils have responded well.

I continue to be impressed by the balance our pupils achieve between their academic studies and the amount of co-curricular activities in which they are involved.

What changes have you seen since the appointment of Headmaster Simon Smith?

Mr Smith has spent a significant amount of time getting to know the Sixth Form pupils since his arrival. He has listened to their opinions on a wide range of issues and gradually we will see a variety of projects come to fruition.

We are currently developing the Ferguson Centre space; have invested in Unifrog (an online Post 18 destinations  platform) and the Sixth Form Council continue to bring forward ideas for implementation.

How impressed have you been with exam preparation this year?

There is always a noticeable upward shift in gear in the summer term. The Upper Sixth and those in the Lower Sixth with exams suddenly have their 'game faces' on and the Ferguson Centre especially becomes a quieter place.

Pupils have made good use of departments' support clinics throughout the year, as well as boarding tutors in the evening, who have offered invaluable support.

What have been your best/fondest memories of the academic year?

The Charity Committee's Christmas Market was once again an incredible achievement, as well as their Comic Relief Day events.

Fabulous performances in sport  (the girls' athletics team and the RGC boys' efforts in supporting the local team's success); musical performances (Nick and Alex singing Father and Son in chapel was special), drama (Annie, as well as the A Level Drama performances) and some breathtaking artwork have all been standout moments; not to mention Maths competitions, the Sixth Form debate, Dr Lewis' lecture, DT projects, volunteering... I could go on!

What plans do you have for next year?

I'm excited by working with the current Lower Sixth as they enter their final year. They are a dynamic year group with a huge amount of leadership to offer the school - their current engagement with the Rydal Penrhos Mock Election is clear evidence of this!

We are looking to develop the Ferguson Centre space further and a number of pupils have shown interest in completing MOOCS. We take great pride in responding to the feedback from the Sixth Form Council and I suspect the new Upper Sixth will take full advantage of this.

Are you excited by the intake of Lower Sixth pupils?

There are some wonderful characters coming into the Sixth Form in September.

As ever, I want the Upper Sixth to set the tone for them very early on and I hope that the new Lower Sixth hit the ground running, firstly in their academic pursuits, but also in their contributions to the co-curricular programme. Time in Sixth Form flies by quickly, so they must arrive prepared to get involved immediately!

Do you have any advice for Upper Sixth pupils that are starting their further education journey?

School leavers are entering a world that is more competitive than ever, so they must simply make the most of every opportunity afforded them.

I am confident that the experience they have gained at Rydal Penrhos has given them a varied set of life skills to cope with whatever challenges arise in their next steps and I wish them all the luck in the world.


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