Good Luck To This Year's Princethorpe London Marathon Runners

We wish the very best of luck to all the London Marathon runners who will be pounding the streets of London this coming Sunday. We are all behind you and your amazing charities.

And excitingly, this year there are some ‘Princethorpe’ runners who deserve our extra special support.

Two staff members are taking on the marathon challenge this weekend:

Assistant Head - Director of Digital Strategy, Andy Compton, is running for the UK Sepsis Trust in memory of his good friend Rich, you can find out more and support him here.

Head of MFL, Stella Keenan, who missed out on running when last year’s event was cancelled, is asking people to support her by donating to the school’s fundraising for Mary’s Meals, you can support her here.

Then there are also two Old Princethorpian runners this year:

Imo Butler (Class of 2018) who is rising to the challenge of this year’s test of endurance for Sarcoma UK. Imogen is running in memory of a family friend Ellen, who sadly lost her battle with sarcoma cancer last year. You can find out more and support her here.

Rich Sibbick (Class of 1994) ran the virtual 2020 London marathon last year and is taking the challenge on for real this time on behalf of the NSPCC, you can find out more and support him here

We hope it all goes well for everyone – just remember to start steadily and keep going! We have huge admiration for you all.

Princethorpe Help Warwickshire To Seventh Place In Schools' National Athletics Championships

Four Princethorpe pupils represented Warwickshire in the English Schools’ Athletics Association Combined Events Championships at Bedford International Athletic Stadium on Saturday 18 and Sunday 19 September 2021. The boys had qualified for the event back in June and were the only County team participating with all the athletes from the same school.

Year 10 pupils, Anjola Okusanya, Vincent McNevin and Ben Smith and Year 9, André Onyekwe, competed in the Junior Boys Pentathlon that included five different events – the 80m Hurdles, Shot, Long Jump, High Jump and 800m.

The team finished in a very respectable seventh place overall against competitors from 18 County teams. On the day the boys all ran personal bests in the 800m, a superb achievement, and Vincent delivered personal bests in every event.

Their individual finishes were as follows:

  • André Onyekwe 20th
  • Vincent McNevin 24th
  • Ben Smith 28th
  • Anjola Okusanya 36th

Director of Sport, Lee Cassell, commented, “It was a fantastic effort from the boys, they did brilliantly. They have been training hard with limited opportunities to compete. They faced the best athletes from across the country and really rose to the challenge. It was an impressive performance from them all, and they are already looking forward to the athletics season next year.”

Congratulations to them all but especially to Ben who discovered subsequent to the event that he had competed all day with a broken metatarsal but still managed to deliver his best.

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Molly Wincott-Thomas Reselected For ISFA U18 National Football Squad

Princethorpe College Lower Sixth Former, Molly Wincott-Thomas, has been reselected for the Independent Schools Football Association (ISFA) U18 Girls National Squad.

As part of the ISFA U18 Squad, during the 2021/22 season, Molly will take part in a programme of development camps, first in Cambridge over the October half term and then at the English FA’s national football centre, St George’s Park in December, before representing England in ISFA fixtures in early 2022.

Molly started playing football with Rugby Town Girls when she was four years old. She also played for Leicester City Ladies Development Centre Junior teams for three years and now plays for Birmingham City Football Club’s Academy. She first qualified for the ISFA teams back in 2019 and is delighted to have been re-selected.

Director of Sport, Lee Cassell, comments, “We are delighted for Molly this is great recognition for her, it’s a real achievement.”

Molly Wincott-Thomas said, “Although, unfortunately I was unable to attend the selection trials last weekend due to injury, I’m really glad I was still selected based on my performance the previous season. It’s an amazing to be picked out by the selectors and have the opportunity to play in the national squad.”

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André Onyekwe Selected For Swim England National Development Programme

Year 9 pupil, André Onyekwe, along with five of his teammates from Leamington Swimming Club, has been selected for the Swim England National Development Programme. His training is about to increase as he also moves into the performance squad at his local club.

André has been on form, at the West Midlands Region Festival of Swimming in July, André swam long course personal bests in the 100m Freestyle, 100m Butterfly and in the 100m Backstroke.

Foundation Director of Sport, Lee Cassell, comments, “We are very proud of André and how he manages his academic and sporting endeavours. We were absolutely delighted to hear this exciting news and will continue to support him as his training schedule moves to the commitment of daily training.”

A fantastic achievement, good luck to André!

Hope Is The Chaplaincy Theme For The Year

Princethorpe College pupils and staff have marked the start of the new academic year by participating in an online Assembly led by Father Alan Whelan MSC. Over the last two weeks, in their Tutor groups, pupils have paused to consider and reflect on this year’s whole school Chaplaincy theme of ‘Hope’.

Father Alan explained that hope is a powerful force for good and one that is especially appropriate in these pandemic times. It is the belief that things will work out, especially when it might seem otherwise. The theme for this year is symbolised by an anchor, a sign of strength and security and in his prayers Father Alan reminded pupils that ‘Lord you are our hope, our anchor and our harbour of safety’.

All pupils were invited to complete a card to record their own personal hopes for the year and the cards have been collected and put on display just outside the College Chapel. Surrounding the anchor and pegged individually by the Chaplaincy prefects they make a powerful visual representation of the hopes of the College community.

The theme of Hope is one that will be revisited across the school year.


Year 8 Take On The John Muir Award

Year 8 have a new addition to the curriculum this year, Outdoor Education. Led by Head of Outdoor Education, Will Bower, ably supported by Foundation Grounds Manager, Edd Robertson, pupils have been enjoying getting outside in the early autumnal weather and participating in different conservation activities. Whether maintaining the orienteering course, installing a new seating area by the beehives or cutting back overgrown brambles, it’s been a great opportunity to discover and explore Princethorpe’s own wild places. In their Outdoor Education lessons, Year 8 are working towards the John Muir Award, a recognised scheme that encourages awareness and responsibility for the natural environment. They will complete the Discovery Award this year. It's been great to see them out in the fresh air doing good while having fun – well done Year 8!

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Year 7 Have A Wonderful Weekend At Whitemoor Lakes

Year 7 were lucky with the weather last weekend as they enjoyed a wonderful three-day programme at Whitemoor Lakes Outdoor Residential Centre.

128 pupils took part in an itinerary that included fencing, canoeing, climbing, high ropes and problem solving. In small groups they rotated around the different activities, working together to complete the challenges they were set. In the evenings they enjoyed team games and dancing at the fabulous Saturday night disco. With no mobiles, Year 7 were off the grid and had time for plenty of old-fashioned fun.

There were lots of opportunities for pupils to develop their team working skills and the activities all helped to encourage initiative and develop resilience and social awareness. Over the weekend Year 7 all grew in confidence having approached new challenges with determination and enthusiasm and enjoyed a memorable three days.

Deputy Head – Pastoral, Beth Sharpe said, “This was a fantastic opportunity for our Year 7 pupils to bond together as a year group. They had an amazing time and were really supportive of one another as they worked together.  I know they have come back into school with new friends and better able to work together as a team.”

Well done to everyone and a big thank you to all the staff and sixth formers who supported the trip.

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Year 7 Explore The Origins Of Princethorpe College

Year 7 begin their RS studies at Princethorpe with an introduction to the origins of the College and its predecessor, the catholic community of St Mary’s Priory. Exploring the College’s history gives an excellent insight into the school and its ethos and is a really great way to bring pupils’ initial RS studies vividly to life.

In their first few lessons pupils tour the school exploring the Chapel, the Cloisters and even the Nuns’ cemetery. They also all take part in one of the must dos for pupils and staff at Princethorpe College, a climb to the top of the Tower. It can be seen from miles around, is integral to the College’s identity and even features on the school crest.

The Foundation’s archivist, Janette Ratcliffe, also leads a lesson sharing the story of the Benedictine nuns’ journey from Montargis in France, to England and their travels until they eventually settle at Princethorpe in 1835. Her fascinating potted history of the College includes the key figures involved in the construction of the buildings the school community uses today, as well as insights into the daily lives of the people who lived here. Pupils even get to handle some of the intriguing items held in the College’s archives including the ceremonial mallet used to lay the first stone for Our Lady of the Angels Chapel, presented by the builders who constructed the Chapel for the occasion.

Year 7 have found it all fascinating and have asked plenty of interesting questions but it’s their turn now to add to the College’s unique history.

You can find more on the College's history on the OPs Page of our website here.

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Pupils Enjoy European Day Of Languages Fun

In the UK four out of five adults regret not having learned another language, but that is something no Princethorpe pupil will ever be able to say. At the College there are many opportunities to get excited about languages and celebrating European Day Of Languages is always a popular activity every year. Originally set up by the Council of Europe in 2001, Journée Européenne Des Langues promotes the importance of language learning and takes place every year on 26 September.

This year the MFL and House teams have once again challenged staff and pupils to take part in fun language-based activities. Staff were challenged to use a foreign language in their lessons, either speaking it or including it in the lesson activity with pupils acting as judges and completing feedback forms, the results will be announced next week.

Pupils gathered excitedly outside at break time to answer a wide range of language-based questions in a trivia quiz. Every correct answer won a point for their House, with Benet claiming victory excitedly. It was fast and furious and very competitive, all a lot of fun while helping to inspire all our pupils too!

A-level Biology Field Trip Visits Brandon Marsh

In the third week of term, across two days, 35 Upper Sixth Formers visited Warwickshire Wildlife Trust’s Brandon Marsh Nature Reserve to take part in an essential field trip.

The students each spent a day on the reserve collecting data and writing up two core ecology practicals. The first investigated the effect of an abiotic factor (light) on the distribution of plant growth (grass, moss, bramble). The second investigated the effect of sampling technique on estimating plant density (silver birch saplings, bramble, thistle). Both investigations involved collecting raw data, drawing kite diagrams and box and whisker plots and statistical analysis on data.

Located just north of Princethorpe, Brandon Marsh is a hidden gem and well worth a visit. The Sixth Formers made the most of the experience, as they carried out their practical work, the weather was gorgeous, and the students were happy to be outside working hard, and they also enjoyed their lunch!

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St Augustine’s Are U10 Football Champions At Princethorpe's Primary Schools Tournament

Princethorpe’s primary schools' sports programme kicked off early this year with the U10s football tournament in only the third week of term. Taking part were four teams from local primary schools, who were all more than delighted to get out in the glorious autumn sunshine and enjoy the chance to play football on the College’s playing fields.

Princethorpe’s Primary School Sport Liaison Teacher, Hannah Carminati, masterminded the event and had the teams straight out on to two pitches playing 10 minute, each-way matches. Refereed by Princethorpe Sixth Form Sports Leaders, the mixed teams of girls and boys threw themselves into each game enjoying the opportunity to put their skills to the test in a competitive environment.

The coaches gave good side-line support, shouting advice to their players whose enthusiasm was clear to see. Matches were fast paced, and the teams focused. The ball was moved skilfully up and down the pitch and there were plenty of shots at goal.

Congratulations go to overall winners St Augustine’s Catholic Primary School, who were delighted to go one better than last time and take the title, and to St Lawrence Primary School who came second.

Miss Carminati enjoyed seeing all the talent on display commenting, “We had lots of positive feedback and the event was a real success. It was lovely to see the children having so much fun; they all deserve huge congratulations for their energy and enthusiasm. It was fantastic to have teams visiting us again and to see everyone with a smile on their face.”

Our thanks go to all of the staff and pupils involved in the organising and running of the tournament and to the many parents who turned up to support the children.

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