Headmaster's Message

Letter From The Headmaster

As we approach December and move towards the end of term, I write to update you on a few key areas:

Covid Update

The number of cases at present remains relatively low, although we have had a small spike recently in Year 7, which we are keeping a close eye on. Of course, most of this year group are not eligible for vaccinations yet, being under 12. There is an important update on vaccinations for school-aged children from our Senior Matron in today’s Flagpole which you can access here.

We are trying very hard to get the balance right between the ‘control measures’ we have in place and trying to run the school as normally as possible.

As you will be aware, during the course of the term we have relaxed the rules on wearing facemasks, taken away various one-way systems around the campus, put year groups together for break times and ended ‘bubbling’ of year groups in the vertical tutor groups.

As of next week, starting on Monday 29 November, we are now asking that parents come into school in person to sign children out from Prep or from the Student Hub during the school day.

We are, of course, closely monitoring the situation and will react appropriately to any changes in infection rates in the school. The latest news on a “variant of concern” may or may not have an effect here.

Assuming that the low infection rates remain, as of the start of the Lent Term on Wednesday 5 January: pupils will come in full school uniform (not games kit) on the days they have afternoon games session.

End of Term Arrangements

We are planning to put as many of the normal end of term festive arrangements in place as possible which include:

Friday 10 December - during normal school hours: College Feast Day Celebrations and Christmas Lunch for pupils and staff

Monday 13 December - 7.00pm in the Chapel: Parents’ Carol Service

Tuesday 14 December - during normal school hours: Pupils’ Carol Service and “Christmas Jumper Day”

For all those taking public exams

We have written a letter to parents of pupils involved in public examinations next summer with some information regarding the Mock Exams and latest DfE information. To read these please click here.

Towards Net Zero

We used COP26 as a vehicle for raising the awareness of sustainability and related issues across the school. We are in the process of putting together a wide-ranging strategic plan on this which I will be sharing with the whole community in the New Year.

The Science Campaign

We will shortly be receiving results from the tendering process for our new Science Building. I anticipate being able to give further news on this in January. I would like to thank all those who have already contributed to our fundraising campaign – this is a key aspect of our financial planning. We are hopeful that we can go ahead but also remain in need of further support from the Princethorpe community; if you are able to help, please do get in touch.

Launch Parent Webinars and other Support

The personal development of our pupils is clearly the cornerstone of their education at Princethorpe. Princethorpe Pupil Personal Development (3PD) includes developing:

  • Self-understanding - developing pupils’ self-knowledge, self-esteem, self-confidence, self-discipline and resilience, including an understanding of how to improve their own learning and performance, so that they are well prepared for the next stage of their lives.
  • Decision-making - developing understanding that the decisions they make are important determinants of their own success and well-being and the tools they need to make good decisions.
  • Spiritual understanding - developing spiritual understanding and an appreciation of non-material aspects of life, whether religious, philosophical or other.
  • Moral understanding and responsibility for their own behaviour – so that our pupils can distinguish right from wrong, understand and respect systems of rules and laws, and accept responsibility for their own behaviour, including towards others.
  • Social awareness and collaboration - so that out pupils are able to work effectively with others, including to solve problems and achieve common goals.
  • Community Responsibly – developing a culture of looking after others being able to contribute positively to the lives of others within the school, the local community and wider society.
  • Respecting diversity and cultural understanding – so that our pupils respect and value diversity within society, show respect for and appreciation of their own and other cultures, and demonstrate sensitivity and tolerance to those from different backgrounds and traditions.
  • Staying safe and keeping healthy – so that our pupils know how to stay safe (including on-line) and understand how to be physically and mentally healthy, particularly in terms of diet, exercise and a balanced lifestyle.

The curriculum for 3PD is constantly being refined a developed and the diagram here shows key elements of this broad curriculum.

Parents of course have the key role in their children’s personal development, and we know that parenting in these times can be exceptionally challenging and we are keen to support parents as best we can. With this in mind, we are going to be running a series of Webinars for parents with the opportunity for Q&A covering a range of topics, such as:

• on-line gambling and addiction
• relationships and sex education
• the effect of pornography on young people
• how to support your child’s studies
• Drugs and alcohol, what’s new…
• ‘Show me your phone’ – managing the smartphone at home
• LGBTQ+, what does it mean
• Impact of social media on body image
• Puberty
• The importance of sleep for the teenager

This link will give you access to this first webinar. 

If you have not done so already, I would be very grateful if you could fill in this brief questionnaire which gives you the opportunity to give us feedback on any extra help and support you would like to see put in place.

And finally, with snow forecast for the weekend and the start of Advent, I hope to see many of you at the PTA Christmas Fair on Sunday.

With thanks for all your continued support

E D Hester