Generous Donation Supports The Foundation’s Fundraising Efforts

The Princethorpe Foundation has just received a significant donation of £100,000 thanks to the generous philanthropy of a Princethorpe family. At their request, the donation is to be spilt £75,000 towards the Science Campaign and £25,000 as an unrestricted gift to support projects at Crackley Hall School. Gift Aid takes the value of the donation up to £125,000.

The generous donors, who wish to remain anonymous, have children who attended Crackley Hall School and are now at Princethorpe College. Their support will have a significant impact in helping the Foundation move forward with our plans to improve and develop both schools.

This latest donation is another large step towards the realisation of our vision for Science. Together, the gifts and pledges we’ve received, including contributions through naming rights, sponsoring an element, and engraving pavers and bricks, will help to deliver a Science building that provides cutting edge, state-of-the-art facilities that will inspire generations of Princethorpe scientists for years to come.

The new Science Centre, Princethorpe’s largest campus project to date, will cost £8 million and provide 10 brand-new, state-of-the-art science laboratories. It will also enable the College to redevelop and cluster several other departments within the main school building.

Comments Ed Hester, “We are really thrilled with this donation that comes at such a critical time for our Science project. I would like to thank the donors for their generous gift. It is particularly pleasing that this contribution comes from a current Foundation family who can see the positive impact of an education at the schools.”

He continues, “We know that our pupils need the very best facilities to enable them to make the most of the opportunities for their future. The new Science building will provide inspirational facilities but will also enable us to improve facilities for other departments across the school.”

If you are interested in further information about supporting us and the Science Campaign, please contact Steve Kowal at or the Development Team at or call 01926 634265.

Princethorpe Falls Silent In Remembrance

At the Eleventh Hour on the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month – We Will Remember Them.

On Thursday 11 November at 11.00am the College community gathered together to silently reflect on the bravery and the selfless sacrifice made by so many of our country's service men and women. This year’s Remembrance Service was held outside on a cold and damp school playground.

Father Alan Whelan MSC opened the proceedings with a prayer. Year 9 pupil, Sean Birtley read out a thought-provoking poem for Remembrance and then College trumpeter, Year 8, Henry Corbin sounded the melancholic and mournful notes of the Last Post.

The one-minute silence offered all a time for reflection, a shared moment to remember those who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today. Sixth Form students then read out For The Fallen before the College community sang the hymn Abide With Me.

A wreath was hung at the Pupils’ Entrance by Michael Spencer, Assistant Head, Director of Studies.

Ed Hester, Headmaster, then brought the proceedings to a thoughtful close with a final prayer for peace.

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Bumper Number Of Candidates Sit College Entrance Examinations

It was all systems go on Saturday 6 November as Princethorpe welcomed some 280 children to take the Entrance Examinations for September 2022 entry. Seamless organisation made the day run smoothly with candidates being efficiently organised into colour coded groups for their busy day.

Headmaster, Ed Hester and our team of friendly receptionists welcomed girls, boys and parents before members of staff and Sixth Formers ushered the prospective pupils to their respective ‘base camp’ classrooms.

Papers were sat in English, Maths and Free Writing alongside an online CEM test of verbal, non-verbal and numerical reasoning.

With regular comfort breaks (involving Princethorpe’s legendary cookies of course), as well as a hot meal provided in the middle of the day, the prospective pupils were well supported at every stage.

Comments, Melanie Butler, Assistant Head - Marketing, Admissions and Communications, "We played host to some 280 prospective pupils across four year groups making this one of our largest exam sessions. Feedback from parents and candidates alike has been very favourable indeed, which bodes very well for next year's intake."

"The marking machine swung into action, even before candidates had left the building on the Saturday, and the Admissions Panel sat this week to decide on who will be offered places to join us in September."

Over the next few days the top achieving academic and all-rounder scholars are being invited back to interview with Ed Hester, the Headmaster or Neil McCollin, Assistant Head - Co-Curricular.

Results will be posted, first class on Thursday 25 November. The deadline for acceptances is Monday 13 December 2021 for Year 8 to 10 places and Thursday 3 March 2022 for Year 7 places.

Our thanks go to all the Sixth Formers and staff who helped in the run up to the exams, on the day and, last but by no means least, all those who helped mark the papers so efficiently.

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Introducing The Princethorpe Foundation’s Annual Fund

The Annual Fund is the cornerstone of philanthropy at The Princethorpe Foundation and allows parents, supporters, and friends in the wider community to make a voluntary contribution to support the school. Those who give to this fund, including many members of staff, have the satisfaction of knowing that their donations have a significant impact. Such gifts touch the lives of every pupil in all our schools, every day of the year.

Each year, this fund supports the purchase of necessary academic and co-curricular equipment, ensures educational, enrichment and entertainment opportunities for pupils, and helps maintain the Schools’ academic and sporting facilities. The Annual Fund helps us to move forward with our plans to improve and develop the schools and the teaching and learning experiences that take place within them.

Gifts to this fund are unrestricted, allowing the Foundation’s leadership to determine where support is most needed, and can do the most good. The Annual Fund contributions are at the heart of all that we do, and all that we give to our pupils.

Every contribution is meaningful, regardless of amount and many of our supporters choose to make regular contributions, monthly or annually, big or small. These regular donations are helpful and popular as they provide critical and predictable support for the School, year on year, whilst also allowing donors to plan their giving. Those that give regularly, make a significant difference to our pupils' experiences.

Every year, parents, grandparents, Old Princethorpians, staff and friends of the Foundation donate to the Annual Fund. We invite you to help us by donating to the Annual Fund.

To find out more or make a donation visit the school website here.

Victory For Girls Hockey First XI In Second Round Of National Plate

The Girls First XI Hockey team took on Moreton Hall on Wednesday 10 November in the second round of the Independent Schools Hockey National Plate.

The girls were dominant in a fast-paced match, controlling much of the play. Their speed and tenacity helping them to a super 9-0 victory.

Team coach, Rachael Mack, said, “It is fantastic to see the girls getting better, game by game, working hard as a team to improve their play. I am really proud of them. They now face Cheltenham College in the next round, and they will be a much tougher challenge. The girls will need to pull together and dig deep to overcome them.”

That game is on Wednesday 23 November at home, so do come along to support the girls as it is sure to be an exciting match.


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Great Effort By All At The Warwickshire Inter Area Cross Country

The Warwickshire Schools Inter Area Cross Country took place on Saturday 6 November in Stratford-upon-Avon. Taking part were 200 runners from 27 schools. Princethorpe College entered a team of 23 from Years 7 to 11 in the Minor (Year 7), Junior (Years 8 and 9) and Inter (Years 10 and 11) events. Thankfully for the runners, the weather remained dry.

The College had the largest team of competitors on the day and for a significant number of the runners this was their very first race. Cross country running has always been a strength of the school, so it was great to see so many new faces upholding the tradition.

In the Minor Girls race, Year 7, Rosa Davis placed 11th, she was followed home by Jessie Murphy 23rd, Ellie Maffey 27th, Charlotte Gower 29th and Clea Roach 30th. For the Minor Boys, Year 7 Will Smith finished in 9th, Freddie Stephenson was next over the line for Princethorpe in 20th then Freddie Young 25th.

For the Junior Girls Matilda Palmer finished in 37th place. In the Junior Boys race Eddie Arkesden and William Gower ran well together to finish in 10th and 11th respectively they were followed by Charlie Atkins in 15th, Toby Iley 23rd, Sam Grindal 28th, Connor Darcy 29th and Archie Dowling 40th.

For the Inter-Girls Julia Loftus finished in 12th, followed closely by Lottie O’Connor in 16th and Kaena Wasley in 17th. While for the Inter Boys Felix Batty finished in 7th, Albert Jackson-Bettles in 25th, Tom Smith in 26th and Rory Sarkies 27th.

Head of Outdoor Education, Will Bower commented, "Well done to all of our runners, a great effort against strong competition. I am very pleased with the results. A huge thank you to all the parents who took the runners to the race. It was great to have so many pupils competing.”

The next cross-country competition is the Warwickshire County Cross Country Championships at Kineton High School on Saturday 22 January, and this will provide a second opportunity for our runners to gain county selection.

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Near Perfect Marks In Mime For James

Many congratulations to Lower Sixth Former James Maclean who recently achieved the near-perfect score of 98 in his London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts (LAMDA) Grade 5 examination in Mime.

The College community will all be familiar with James’ skill in the performing arts as he has starred in many productions and performances over the years, including Jesus Christ Superstar, Little Shop Of Horrors and Loserville.

LAMDA’s examinations in Mime are designed to develop the skills to articulate emotion and characterisation in storytelling without using a single word. It is a silent performing art using only movements, gestures and facial expressions.

James prepared and performed two scenes for the examination including a challenging piece called Brothers In Vietnam that called for a diverse range of movements and isolations as it told the story of the Vietnam war.

His LAMDA teacher, Chris Carpenter, was delighted and impressed with James’ examination result, commenting, “I have had James as a LAMDA student since he arrived in Year 7 and he has proved himself to be very talented in all the performance skills we have tackled – Reading for Performance, Acting and Mime. I knew his two pieces of Mime for the exam were good but didn’t realise just how well he would do – I believe this is the highest Mime mark ever achieved in LAMDA examinations here at the College. A huge well done to James, we are all very proud of you!”

Two Princethorpe College Pupils Qualify For National Swimming Championships

Two Princethorpe College swimmers have qualified for the ISA National Championships at the London Aquatics Centre in the Olympic Park, at the end of November, after success in their events at the Midlands ISA Swimming Gala at Walsall Gala Baths on Thursday 14 October. Princethorpe’s squad of 14 put in some excellent performances helping the College achieve fifth place overall after the 36 events were completed.

Year 9 pupil, André Onyekwe swam a terrific race to claim the Gold medal in the Year 9/10 Boys 50m Freestyle in 26.63 seconds. Year 8, Sam Grindal was on form too, finishing in second place to claim the Silver medal in the Year 8 Boys 25m Butterfly in 16.34 seconds. Both boys will now swim for the Midlands regional team in the finals in London.

For the girls, stalwart of the pool Lower Sixth's, Jess Mackenzie earned herself a Silver medal when she finished in second place in the Year 11-13 50m Backstroke in 33.35 and then swam strongly to take the Bronze medal in the 50m Freestyle in 30.13. Year 8 pupil, Emma Becker claimed a Silver medal too, by finishing the 50m Breaststroke in 43.37.

For the boys, Year 8 pupil, Ewan Pearce put in a solid performance for a Bronze medal in the 50m Backstroke after completing the course in 38.50.

Across the team the swimmers pushed themselves in all their heats and many were unlucky to just miss the medal positions finishing in fourth place overall.

Foundation Director of Sport, Lee Cassell commented, “These results are a great achievement, the result of many long hours of training for our pupils with their swimming clubs. The ISA Championships are a superb opportunity for our swimmers to showcase their skills in the competitive school environment. Princethorpe is always a force in the water, and I was delighted to watch the scores build over the day.”

Across the Foundation’s Junior Schools pupils have seen success too, with Issey Cleary and Elora Hughes qualifying from Crackley Hall School and Stephanie Bolton from Crescent School. We wish them all good luck in the national final.

Representing Princethorpe on the day were - Year 8 pupils: Emma Becker, Matthew Crawford, Sam Grindal, Alexa Holland, Sophie Henry and Ewan Pearce. Year 9 pupils: Raef Dolly, Amelia Fry, Harrison Guest and André Onyekwe. Year 10 pupils: Jamie Bexon-Walsh and Charlotte Gledhill. Sixth Formers: Jess Mackenzie and Lucia McCosker-New.


Poppies Symbolise College’s Reflections On Remembrance

During November, the College has been reflecting on the theme of Remembrance. The month is the last in the Church’s calendar and commemorates all those who have departed from life. It begins with the Feast of All Saints, a tribute to the saints, and is followed by the Feast of All Souls, when we pray for those who have died, particularly our loved ones.

In Tutor groups pupils have considered the theme of Remembrance, the legacies of war and why we commemorate today those who fought and served in the World Wars, and in more recent conflicts, and the sacrifices they made.

The Junior Chaplaincy Prefects cut out over 1,000 poppies, enough for every member of the school community. Form Tutors shared the poppies with their Tutor groups and encouraged pupils to record their remembrances. They wrote down the name(s) of a special person or people in their lives whom they wish to remember, or wish to say thank you to, personalising the poppies with their dedications and messages. The poppies have been assembled into a prominent and impressive display in the Limes building. Thanks to Emily Knight, Isabella Kay and Annie Kowal (not pictured) for all their hard work.

The poppy is our society’s symbol of collective remembrance and the symbol of all our hopes for a peaceful future. The display provides our community with a powerful focus for prayer during this contemplative month of November. It is especially poignant for us all this year.

Foundation News: ISI Inspection Finds Excellent Pupil Achievement And Personal Development At Crescent School

The Crescent School in Bilton, Rugby, has received the highest possible ratings across all criteria from the Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) following an inspection in September 2021. The report, which has just been published, consists of two elements, a focused compliance inspection, encompassing statutory standards, and an educational quality inspection evaluating the achievement of pupils, including their academic and personal development.

Headmaster, Joe Thackway, comments “We are thrilled with the report, it is a real vote of confidence for everything we do here at Crescent School and reflects a huge team effort. Every single member of staff shares the same care and devotion to the education and wellbeing of the wonderful children entrusted to our care and I believe this sentiment shines through every word of the report.”

Mr Thackway continues, “Academic achievement and personal development are two key benchmarks for any successful school and being graded as excellent in both of these broad areas demonstrates the incredible talent, commitment and professionalism of our staff, the outstanding attitude and approach of our pupils and the support of our parents.”

During the inspection, the ISI inspectors observed that, ‘Pupils have excellent and positive attitudes to learning’, that ‘They are highly curious, resilient learners’, and that ‘Pupils’ excellent knowledge, skills and understanding are reflected in their achievements across the curriculum’. The report also says, ‘Children in the Early Years Foundation Stage attain well above national age-related expectations’, ‘Older pupils consistently exceed expectations for their age and abilities’, ‘Pupils are consistently successful in entrance examinations to their first-choice school’, and that ‘Many pupils win scholarships for music, drama, art, sport and academic achievement’.

Pupils’ personal development was also judged as ‘excellent’ with inspectors recognising that ‘behaviour is excellent’, that pupils ‘behave with empathy and care towards one another’ and that ‘the open and embedded culture of kindness underpinned by deep mutual respect ensures successful outcomes for all’.

The ISI Inspectors also noted that, parental feedback ‘praised the school’s preparation of former pupils who had successfully and easily transitioned into their new senior school’.

Mr Thackway concludes, “At Crescent School we are committed to providing our pupils with an outstanding all-round education, instilling in our children life-long learning skills while fostering the qualities of kindness, tolerance and mutual respect. I am very pleased that ISI Inspectors have so comprehensively recognised what we do.”

The ISI is the Government-approved body responsible for the inspection of independent schools and they consider every aspect of the provision. A copy of the full report is available from the Crescent School website here.

Bronze Group B Finally Complete Their Qualifying Expeditions

Congratulations to all the Year 10 pupils in the 2020-21 Bronze Group B cohort who finally completed their qualifying expedition over the half term.

Walking a route on the borders of Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire including the villages of Cropedy and Upper Boddington, unaccompanied and self-sufficient, the pupils walked together in teams to achieve their expedition objectives.

Conditions were good for both walking days with just the one heavy downpour early on Sunday morning and it was great to see everyone outside and working so well together.

Will Bower, Head of Outdoor Education, commented, “Well done to all the walkers for completing their Qualifying Expedition. Despite all the disruption and delays this last year they just got on with the challenge, it says so much about the resilience and tenacity of our young people.”

He continued, “I am proud that so many Princethorpe pupils continue to embrace the challenge of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. They take the opportunity to develop skills and try new experiences, pushing themselves both mentally and physically to be the best they can be and all with such commitment and enthusiasm.”

A super effort by them all.

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Christmas Gift Ideas

If you are on the hunt for presents, we have a wonderful range of Old Princethorpian merchandise available from ties to cufflinks, pin badges to scarves and, not to mention, some very snazzy socks that would make a perfect Christmas gift.

Copies of A Spirit of Familythe first fifty years of Princethorpe College, by Alex Darkes and Nick Baker are also still available.

We also have prints and greetings cards available featuring the Soaring Red Brick Tower image and prints also of St Joseph's School.

To ensure UK orders can arrive in time for Christmas, orders and payment will need to be received by 12 noon on Monday 13 December 2021 please.

Purchases can now be made easily via our online shop.

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