Message From The Headmaster - Online Parental Questionnaire

Further to the 11 January edition of the Flagpole please find below a link to our online Parental Questionnaire 2019. I would be very grateful if you could spend 15 minutes or so completing this, as it will provide valuable feedback which will help shape further development and improvements at the College. The deadline for responses is Monday 4 March 2019.

I will highlight the results from the survey as part of Princethorpe - A Vision for the Future, a presentation which will take place on Thursday 14 March at 7.30pm in the Clarkson theatre, which all those associated with the Foundation are most welcome to attend.

The presentation will outline the Foundation's vision for the next five to ten years, and provide more detailed information on the College's new Science Building and campus improvements, including an interactive walk through of the Science facility. I will also unveil the Foundation's new website and outline plans for a new, improved Foundation parent portal. There will be the opportunity for Q&As afterwards.

Refreshments will be served after the presentation in the Sixth Form Centre.

To complete the survey please click here.

To register your interest in attending Princethorpe - A Vision for the Future please click here.



Little Shop Of Horrors Will Leave You Ravenous For More

It's funny how love can grow!

Skid Row florist’s clerk Seymour Krelborn is too shy to declare his love for his co-worker Audrey – until a mysterious exotic plant brings him unexpected fame and fortune. There’s just one problem; the plant has ambitions of its own, and thrives on only one food – human blood.

Gleefully gruesome with awesome props, this tender love story has a fabulous sixties-style score that makes the deliciously campy, sci-fi spoof a 'monster' hit.

This year’s musical theatre production, Little Shop of Horrors, is produced and directed by Gil Cowlishaw, supported by Vicky Roberts, and performed with humour and panache by our wonderful troupe of Princethorpe players.

Over four performances this week, captivated audiences are being transported to a colourful world of larger than life characters as between bites, the carnivorous Audrey II brings the house down singing rhythm and blues.  What better way to combat the cold winter night!

Not for the faint hearted this classic, horror comedy rock musical will have you screaming with laughter and leave you ravenous for more.

There are still tickets available for tonight's performance (Friday 8 February - 7.00pm), the Saturday matinee is now fully booked, and just a few tickets remain for the Saturday evening performance (Saturday 9 February – 7.00pm).  Tickets will be allocated on a first come, first served basis to those who have not pre-booked and the cost will be added to next term's bill.  All performances take place in the Clarkson theatre.

A big 'break a leg' to all the cast and behind the scenes team for the last three performances!

View the gallery to get a sneak preview ....

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Louisa Fielding To Become New Head Of Fisher

We are delighted to announce that Louisa Fielding is to become the new Head of Fisher House in September.

Louisa, who is a Sixth Form tutor and teacher of Economics and Business Studies, will take over the reins from Chris McCullough, who is leaving at the end of the Trinity term to become Deputy Head at the Kingsley School.

Louisa joined Princethorpe in September from Campion School in Northamptonshire, where she was Head of Sixth Form and taught Economics and Business. She had worked at Campion for twelve years, having held a number of other key positions including Head of Year 11 and Head of House.

In her spare time Louisa has two horses, is an active member of a local riding club and competes with British Dressage. She also enjoys visiting National Trust locations, dog walks and Tudor history.

Comments Ed Hester, "Louisa has only been at Princethorpe a short time, but she has a wealth of previous experience which she will be able to bring to bear. She impressed us all with her inspirational approach to pastoral care and will I am sure make the role her own in September."

Louisa added, "I have had such a warm welcome to Princethorpe and am looking forward to getting to know all the Fisher pupils over the coming months. I'm particularly excited about my first Princethorpe Sports Day and House Activities Day and seeing Fisher in action."

Higher Education and Apprenticeship Fair - Save The Date

Building on the success of last year's Careers Fair, the Careers Team have organised a Higher Education and Apprenticeship Fair for Thursday 28 March from 5.30pm to 8.30pm.

The fair, which is aimed at Year 10 to Sixth Form and their parents, aims to showcase a wide range of universities plus employers who offer degree and advanced apprentices.  To date some 25 universities including Bristol, Lougborough, Warwick and Leeds and twelve employers including Nestle, Deloitte and Accenture have confirmed they will attend.

In addition to stalls to visit, there will be a programme of talks during the evening.

Comments Jacqui Quinney, Head of Careers, "We would urge pupils and parents to attend and discover the wealth of opportunities that are available to them post 18."

Refreshments will be available during the evening.

Registrations will open and further information on the event will be available in the Flagpole on Friday 1 March.


New Foundation Website To Be Launched This Spring

Work is well underway on an exciting, new Foundation website which is due to launch this spring.

The new site has been carefully designed as five websites in one to perfectly showcase the Foundation and its four schools - Princethorpe College, Crescent School, Crackley Hall School and Little Crackers Nursery.

Melanie Butler, Assistant Head – Marketing, Admissions and Communications, comments, “This has been a major project, which we hope will be well received by the Foundation community and prospective families. It will look better, work faster and be easier to use than our current sites. We can’t wait to share it with everybody!”

The Foundation Marketing Team have developed the site in partnership with website company, e4education.

Keep an eye on the Foundation social media platforms for previews of the site and news of the launch date.

All Welcome At Mary O'Farrell Memorial Service

The Foundation is holding a special memorial service to celebrate the life of Mary O'Farrell, the Foundation's much loved former Chair of Trustees, on Friday 29 March 2019 at 6.00pm in the Princethorpe College Chapel.

Mary joined the Foundation’s Governing Body in 2000 and held the role of Chair of Trustees for eight years until 2016, continuing to serve as trustee until her death. A former primary Headteacher with many years’ experience, Mary played an integral part in the Foundation's growing success, overseeing the merger with Abbotsford in 2010 and with the Crescent in 2016.

Comments Ed Hester, Head of the Foundation "Mary very sadly died in September last year and is sorely missed by us all. She was a remarkable woman in so many ways and with her passing the Foundation lost a true and valued friend. She was an exceptional Chair of Trustees, known for her wise counsel, collaborative approach and sense of humour, all of which she brought to bear in her role. She had an implicit understanding of education, teaching and learning and this, combined with her unique personal touch with fellow trustees, staff and children, had an immeasurable impact on the Foundation over the years.

He continues, "We hope this Memorial Service, which we have organised with her husband John, will give the many people whose lives she touched a chance to come together and celebrate her wonderful life."

The service will be followed by refreshments in the Sixth Form Centre. All are most welcome.

If you would like to attend the Memorial Service please click here to RSVP by Friday 15 March.


Physicists Explore The Fundamentals In Geneva

Princethorpe College Sixth Form physicists, travelled to Switzerland last Friday 1 February for a two-day trip exploring all things particle related.  It was the College’s third visit to Geneva and CERN; one of the world’s largest and most respected centres for scientific research.

Upper Sixth Physics student, Beth Elliott, reflected on the experience,“CERN was really impressive. The facilities there, including the anti-matter factory, the antiproton decelerator and the compact muon solenoid detector were unique. To be in the same laboratory as the world’s leading scientists who are constantly fielding new discoveries was exciting. We saw the first ever server that was made at CERN to trial the World Wide Web as well as other scientific instruments used to store data and explore the basic constituents of matter.”

Students met physicist Arnau Gonzalo, from Warwick University, and enjoyed a guided tour of the CERN laboratory, in addition to time in their excellent, Microcosm and Universe of Particles permanent exhibitions.

It wasn’t all work for the party of twenty as they also had the chance to explore Geneva with a city walk and a boat cruise, albeit in freezing conditions. 

Trip leader, Physics teacher, Mrs Sophie Rose judged the trip to have been a resounding success.  “It was an excellent trip to one of the most fascinating laboratories open to the public in the whole world. CERN hosts 10,000 physicists trying to unlock the secrets of the universe and their work with complex scientific instruments such as the Hadron Collider is revolutionising our understanding of the universe.  It was fascinating and inspirational to hear a physicist speak with passion about the work that goes on at CERN.”   

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Princethorpe Supporters Break The £100,000 Barrier!

The Development Office was thrilled to receive another regular donation last week pushing the total amount raised to date to over £100,000.

This fabulous total, is made up of regular gifts, one-off donations, and of course, the all-important Gift Aid, which can add a sizeable 25% to any gift.

Our supporters have delighted the Development Office, particularly as many of those who have been helped by the school in the past, have chosen to ‘give back’ to the College in order to assist others. Princethorpe is not a wealthy school, and unlike many others, does not have an endowment fund to rely on. Instead, Princethorpe carefully manages fee income alongside charitable gifts, to facilitate our bursaries and building programmes. We are so grateful therefore, when our friends help us to widen access to the College, to include those who would not otherwise be able to afford full school fees. Additionally, such support helps us to plan for new facilities which take teaching and learning to new heights.

Very shortly, we shall be launching an exciting capital campaign for Science, and hope that through a ‘Menu of Giving’ we will be able to offer every single member of the Princethorpe community a chance to join our fundraising plans. More news will follow shortly, and you are all invited to attend an information evening entitled Princethorpe – A Vision for the Future on Thursday 14 March. Click here to read the main article and RSVP for the evening.

A huge thank you to all our supporters who have helped us achieve this milestone. We welcome all donations, and if you would like to join the growing number of those who already help, please contact Rachel or Alex at

Hannah Owens Appointed Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate

Lower Sixth Former Hannah Owens has been appointed young poet laureate for Warwickshire.  The 17-year-old will take on the post for the next year.

Hannah was selected from a shortlist of five poets after a challenging but amazing day of workshops, interviews and performances.

The selection day started with a performance workshop hosted by Midlands based poet, Fergus McGonigal.  He was full of helpful hints on how to make the most of your performance and even performed some of his own unique work.  Next came a panel interview with questions on why poetry was important and what the candidates hope to do in the role. The day concluded with each applicant performing two poems; one themed on Warwickshire and another of their choice; to a small audience of parents, friends, local dignitaries from the county, including the Deputy Mayor of Rugby and the MP for Rugby, as well as staff from Warwickshire Libraries.

Hannah will now undertake a year of performances, which will include attending events throughout the county, starting with the Arts Council meeting in Stratford-upon-Avon and the Warwickshire Libraries conference.  Her work will also include running workshops with young people and even organising a blog. 

Hannah will also get the chance to work with a mentor, a graduate English student, to develop her writing skills.

Hannah commented, “The selection day was incredible and very inspiring - the result was completely unexpected.  It is a wonderful opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.  I would like to thank my English teacher, Mr Kerrigan, for the help he gave me in preparing.  I am looking forward to the year and I would very much like to work with younger pupils here at Princethorpe to help get them involved in poetry.”

You can read more about Hannah’s new role and the work she will be doing in the next edition of the Pinnacle, which will be published this spring.

Sixth Formers Explore National Galleries

On Wednesday 16 January, 22 Sixth Form Art and Photography students went on an A-level trip to London to explore the National Portrait Gallery and the National Gallery.

After the trip Alexis Draper commented, “The National Portrait Gallery was my favourite, especially the Taylor Wessing exhibition. It was eye-catching because each photograph had a beautiful deeper meaning.  As you walked in you were faced with the first and second prizes, they were both intriguing, then walking on through the Gallery I was mesmerised by two photographs of children, one a survivor of Grenfell and the other who witnessed the Manchester Arena bombing, the crystal clear images caught my eye, but their link to horrific events made me feel an emotional attachment to the photographs and that is why I was so captivated by the gallery." 

She continued, “The exhibition has inspired my coursework as I have recognised that I love portrait photography and especially the idea of looking deeper into a photograph from what meets the eye.”

Dominic Turner-Burr reflected, “I was overwhelmed by the amount of amazing art and photography works by different people from different backgrounds and meanings.  Many were inspirational including Rinko Kawauchi’s work with time and growing older, and Kurtiss Aaron Lloyd’s work with the Charanpreet Singh Lall when he made history in June 2018 by becoming the first Sikh Coldstream Guardsman to wear a turban during the Trooping the Colour ceremony.  If I had to sum up the trip in three words it would be; Inspiring, Creative and Amazing!”

Head of Art, Paul Hubball added, “It was a really productive day out for the students, they enjoyed three uninterrupted hours in the galleries. It was both stimulating and inspiring and will be useful preparation for their A-level exam.”