Headmaster Simon Smith urged the school community to “rise to the occasion” during his weekly Chapel address.
Speaking in-front of the Senior School on Monday, May 8, where he highlighted his own experiences throughout what was a busy week, in addition to some of the world’s main talking points and how they affect our everyday lives.
Mr Smith began by praising the efforts of staff and pupils during the highly successful Music Week, where he urged every member of the Rydal Penrhos community to “live and breathe the performing arts and be both brave and spontaneous” every week rather than wait for such themed initiatives.
He then went on to speak about the inspiring attempts of the Kenyan runners who looked to break the two-hour marathon last weekend, stating: “They may not have broken any records but it’s a remarkable and inspiring achievement and I hope will encourage more people young and old to put on their trainers and take up running – especially in our stunning location.”
Thirdly, he explained he was fortunate to attend the Boarding Schools Association Heads’ Conference, in York, and shared the two key messages he took from the conference.
He added: “Boarding schools whether you are a boarder or a day pupil have the power to transform lives and positively affect all of us within the community.
“The time available, the independence we have and the care received really does offer the opportunities to discover talents and be the best and happiest you can be. Secondly, and more of a challenge, the young people of today face pressures and challenges from a range of people, technologies and society.”
Mr Smith also reassured them he genuinely feels they are in the "best place to be supported in facing those challenges" by the staff and each other but warned against complacency and reiterated the need to "help each other in being open, honest and supportive".
Finally, he commented on the recent and forthcoming UK elections as well as the Presidential elections in France.
He reminded the pupils sitting in Chapel how fortunate they were to be in a country and a continent that values and protects free speech and democracy. He noted that even though the majority of pupils are not of voting age it’s vital that we all know the issues, the views and the policies. He implored the pupils to find time to read and discuss the political issues of the day.
Concluding his address, Mr Smith said: “We shouldn’t need exams to suddenly make us work hard, we shouldn’t need elections to make us read the news and discuss politics, we don’t need Music Week to play and appreciate music, I shouldn’t need a conference to make me and you aware of teenage mental health and we certainly don’t Nike sponsored events to make us want to achieve personal goals.
“So let’s adopt as a school motto that we will always plan, prepare and rise to the occasion but let’s live, learn, listen and lead by example here and now, in the moment, too.
“Let’s be the best, happiest and ready we can be – starting today and every day.”