Inspirational Prize Giving Celebrates What Makes Princethorpe So Special

Another exceptional year of achievement, progress, creativity and contribution was celebrated at Princethorpe College’s annual Prize Giving Ceremony at the Butterworth Hall, at Warwick University’s Arts Centre on Friday 19 November. Last year’s Prize Giving was held virtually, so to have this year’s ceremony able to take place once again in person felt all the more special.

Before the ceremony, the Old Princethorpians Committee hosted a special Drinks Reception for the returning Class of 2021 and their parents, providing a welcome opportunity for last year’s cohort to get together and catch up.

Chair of Trustees, Mrs Liz Griffin, opened the proceedings, warmly welcoming parents, friends of the College and Princethorpians old and new to the occasion and then Father Alan Whelan MSC then led the assembled community in an opening prayer.

In his formal address, the Headmaster, Ed Hester, gave thanks to all those who make Princethorpe the special place it is. His warm words paid tribute to all that is done by so many in support of the College, the kindness, the compassion and the values that underpin the success stories of so many of our pupils and not just those who received prizes on the evening. He congratulated last year’s Year 11 and Upper Sixth on their resilience and tenacity over the course of the last two challenging years and applauded them all.

All evening the atmosphere was joyful and celebratory and there were superb musical interludes from the school String Orchestra, Concert Band and the Year 7 Choir, whose performance of It Must Be Love was both enthusiastic and uplifting.

Then it was time for the presentation of the awards. Listening to the citations was truly inspiring and humbling. The talent in evidence, the grit and determination, the passion, enthusiasm and commitment were all applauded and honoured.

Finally, we came to the main award, the Princethorpe Shield, the oldest and most prestigious College award presented annually to the student who is seen to embody the spirit and ethos of the College in many facets of their school life. It was a very popular decision this year, with the audience cheering a delighted and surprised former Head Girl, Abbie O’Carroll-Bailey and former Head Boy, Jack Neale who were thrilled to jointly receive the Shield in recognition of their sterling service throughout the course of the pandemic.

Then to close the proceedings the current Head Girl, Caitlin Mason, and Head Boy, Anthony Convey, gave an eloquent vote of thanks. They were joined by Abbie and Jack on stage who added their thanks to the College community for all they had done.

The evening came to a close with the singing of the College Hymn, Here I Am Lord.

The full list of Prize Winners can be found in the Prize Giving Programme here.

Emails with links to the photo galleries have been sent to the Class of 2021, GCSE certificate recipients and the Prize Winners.

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First XI Hockey Girls In The Final Eight Of Schools National Championships

Princethorpe College’s First XI Girls Hockey team have qualified for the quarter-finals of England Hockey’s Tier 2 Schools National Championships. 

The girls earned their well-deserved place in the final eight in a hard-fought match on their home turf against Cheltenham College on Tuesday 23 November. 

Talking about the match, Team Captain, Milly Hemmings, commented “It was a very close match against a talented and determined side, but we never gave up and made the most of any opportunity we had to break through. It was a very nervous last ten minutes, but the team showed real resilience to get a well-deserved win.”

Along the way the girls have beaten Solihull School 3-1, Bablake and King Henry VIII School 4-2 and Rugby School 2-0 to get to the fourth round and their excellent 2-0 victory against Cheltenham College means they will face Blundell’s School in the quarter-finals.

The girls now have an amazing opportunity to experience the knockout stages of a national competition as they look to progress into the semi-finals.  However, reaching the quarter-finals alone is a reflection of the effort, tenacity and dedication of pupils and staff over the season.  We wish them every success in their next match.


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Isla’s Design Takes First Place In The Christmas Card Competition

This year's winning College Christmas card design, chosen by Ed Hester, Headmaster, is by Year 9 pupil, Isla Lacey. Her super painting features a cheery robin and a star shining brightly as the sun sets behind the College in the Warwickshire countryside.

Head of Art, Paul Hubball, commented, “There was another strong field of entries this year, plenty of original ideas delivered with lots of attention to detail. Isla’s use of strong colour really helped her design stand out and made it a perfect choice for the College’s card.”

Congratulations also go to the Highly Commended entries, whose designs feature as cameos on the reverse of the card: Year 8 pupil, Fifi Lloyd, Year 9 pupils, Pip Evans and Bea Taylor and Lower Sixth students, Leah Burford, Ed Mitchell, Lottie Paybody and Lottie Stanley.

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Support The Princethorpe Foundation Every Time You Shop

AmazonSmile is a website operated by Amazon that lets customers enjoy the same wide selection of products, low prices, and convenient shopping features as on The difference is that when you shop through the web address, AmazonSmile donates 0.5% of the net purchase price (excluding VAT, returns and shipping fees) of eligible purchases to the charitable organisation selected by the customer.

So whenever you make an eligible purchase from Amazon via AmazonSmile, the charitable organisation benefits at no additional cost to you.

The Princethorpe Foundation is a charity and, within the Foundation the Development Office work to enable the provision of more bursaries to deserving pupils, to update our facilities and buildings, and to meet our strategic development plans. You can find out more about the work of the Development Office on our school website here

The Development Office is asking the Princethorpe community to consider choosing The Princethorpe Foundation as their nominated charity on AmazonSmile. 

How do I shop at AmazonSmile?

To shop at AmazonSmile simply go to from the web browser on your computer or mobile device.

Can I use my existing account on

Yes, you use the same account on and Your shopping cart, Wish List, wedding or baby registry, and other account settings are also the same. Simply visit and log in to your usual Amazon account.

Which products on AmazonSmile are eligible for charitable donations?

Millions of products on AmazonSmile are eligible for donations to charities by Amazon. You will see eligible products marked 'Eligible for' on their product detail pages. Recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases and subscription renewals are not currently eligible.

How do I select to support the Princethorpe Foundation when shopping on AmazonSmile?

On your first visit to you need to select a charitable organisation to receive donations from eligible purchases before you begin shopping, simply search for and select 'The Princethorpe Foundation'. Amazon will remember your selection, and then every eligible purchase you make at will result in a donation to support Development Office projects.

How will you use the donations you receive?

All donations received via will go towards our Annual Fund. Each year, this fund supports the purchase of necessary academic and extracurricular equipment, ensures educational, enrichment and entertainment opportunities for students, and helps maintain the School’s academic and sporting facilities. Your Annual Fund contributions are at the heart of all that we do, and all that we give to our students.

To find out more about our Annual Fund please visit our website here.

Holes Is A Compelling Coming Off Age Production

Over three nights this week the Drama department is delivering a wonderful creative adaption of Louis Sachar’s Holes. Transported to the heat of the Texan desert and a compelling world of larger-than-life characters, what better way could there be to combat these dark November nights.

Stanley Yelnats is in the wrong place at the wrong time. When a pair of sneakers fall from the sky Stanley is convicted through the juvenile courts and sent to Camp Green Lake, a boys’ juvenile detention centre in Texas. There is no lake there, instead the boys spend each day digging five-foot holes in the dried-up lakebed under the watchful eye of the tyrannical warden.

Stanley believes his bad luck is because of a curse placed on his family after his great-great-grandfather, Elya Yelnats, stole a pig from a gypsy, Madame Zeroni. The action transports us from New York City to Texas and Latvia of old in a fast-moving creative adaptation by our Key Stage 3 cast and creative team.

There is plenty going on is this comedy drama that explores important issues including inequality, sexism, and the general traumas of getting on in an adult world, alongside the importance of friendship and loyalty and the tragic things people do when they are desperate.

The first night was excellent, the young actors giving an enthusiastic performance that was received with thunderous applause at curtain call. Despite the pandemic significantly affecting the rehearsal process, drama clearly continues to flourish at Princethorpe College.

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Planet Princethorpe House Pledges

This month House Activities Leader, Jess Newborough, challenged pupils to make a difference environmentally in the House COP26 Environment Challenge.

With COP26 taking place and societies’ concerns regarding our environment ever growing, pupils at Princethorpe College were invited to demonstrate how they would change their behaviour to make life better for the planet.

Tutor groups shared their Planet Princethorpe pledges on Teams with the best awarded House points as part of the annual House challenge. Pupils created videos, posters, powerpoints and even poems to show how they would be making a difference. They pledged to plant trees, go litter picking, turn off lights, shop environmentally, use environmental search engines, shop locally, eat less meat, walk instead of drive, recycle more and buy second hand. Pupils had lots of fantastic ideas to inspire us all.

The House team awarded five House points to every entry but chose the following as the overall winners:

1st place - Rafferty Jones for Austin for his Protect the Planet song
2nd place - Faith Katanda for More for her Pledges powerpoint
3rd place - Elwin Williams for More for his World on Fire painting

Adding together all the points, Austin House were the overall winners of the COP26 Environment House Challenge.

You can listen to Rafferty’s song here and look through the gallery to see a selection of the entries.

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U14 Girls Qualify For Hockey Regional Finals

Congratulations to the U14 Girls Hockey team who have qualified for the Tier 2 Midlands Hockey Final after a very exciting afternoon of hockey on their home turf.

After their victory in the Tier 2 County Hockey tournament, the Princethorpe U14 girls progressed to the Midlands Zonal round, which was held here at the College on Tuesday 17 November. A tight opening game against Wellingborough saw Princethorpe fall behind in the first half but then fight back to earn a 1-1 draw in the second. After Wellingborough eased past Worksop in their second game, it was time for Princethorpe to play the same opponent, knowing a draw would be enough to go through. A much-improved performance, including a fantastic opening goal from Grace, saw Princethorpe through as tournament victors with a comfortable 3-0 win.

A huge well done to the U14 girls who now progress to the Regional Finals on Friday 26 November, and the dream of taking that all important final step on to the Nationals next year.

Professional Magician Visits College Magic Club

Princethorpe’s Magic Club had a special treat on Monday 22 November when they were visited by Mark Traversoni, member of The Magic Circle. Mr Traversoni popped into school at lunchtime to inspire our budding young magicians with a variety of tricks, and plenty of sound advice on becoming a magician.

His performance was very entertaining and included a number of card tricks, Princethorpe’s friendly ghosts even got in on the act when they helped to magically move the cards. Mr Scoutas trusted his wedding ring to Mr Traversoni and quite how it ended up in the sealed envelope nobody knows. Then there was paper that transformed into an ice cube and even a Rubik’s Cube that solved itself while inside a glass jar.

Mr Traversoni encouraged the young magicians to practise and advised them to join a local magic club for support and advice. He explained the difference between self-working tricks and sleight of hand and talked about the importance of entertainment when performing.

Teacher, Alef Rosenbaum, who runs the Magic Club said, “Huge thanks to Mark Traversoni for sharing his love of magic with our pupils. It was a marvellous session that had pupils wide eyed with wonder.”


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Annual House Sixth Form Christmas Tree Competition

Sixth Form House teams gathered excitedly at Tutor Time on Thursday 25 November for the annual House Sixth Form Christmas Tree competition. House Activities Leader, Jess Newborough, turned up the Christmas songs as the crowds gathered and the anticipation built.

The four teams of students opened boxes, took off their jackets and rolled up their sleeves. In front of them lay the components of an artificial tree and decorations. Quickly piecing together the jigsaw of branches, the trees began to take shape. Lights were unravelled and artistically draped, decorations hung and then with seconds to spare, and one final stretch, stars were positioned on the top.

Judging considered the originality, appearance, environmental friendliness and House qualities and the results were – in first place Fisher followed by Austin, Benet and then More.

Well done to everyone, the countdown to Christmas has begun.

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Sixth Form Students Explore Maths In Action

A group of 14 A-level Mathematics students travelled to the University of Warwick on Tuesday 9 November to attend the annual Maths in Action enrichment event. This event comprises of talks from leading mathematicians and maths communicators, bringing students an insight into the often asked question: “When will I ever use this in real life?”

The students enjoyed five fascinating talks on flight engineering, viral maths, statistics in the news, error correction in data transfer, and the stock market. There was also a useful session on exam technique.

The event was chaired by quiz show host, and maths social media presence, Bobby Seagull.

The Sixth Form students had a thoroughly enjoyable day and it was also a great opportunity for them to visit a leading campus based university.

Christmas Gift Ideas - Reminder

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 available.

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

Finally, the 2022 College calendar featuring 12 superb images of the College and its grounds is a perfect present and is sure to be a handy addition for any kitchen or office.

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 at or from the OPs/College stall in the Sixth Form Centre at the PTA Christmas Fair on Sunday 28 November.

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