Letter From The Headmaster - July 2019

As we reach the end of another incredibly busy school year, I write to thank you all for your support for the College. As ever, the summer term is dominated by the public examinations; we hope and pray that all our pupils did justice to themselves and the work that they have put in over the years. After the exams finished it was so good to see the Year 11s and Upper Sixth return to the College with their parents for their thanksgiving services in the Chapel followed by the Year 11 Prom at Coombe Abbey and the Upper Sixth Leavers’ Ball at Warwick House; both of which were lovely celebrations in beautiful venues.

The year has again been packed with a range of activities, trips and expeditions. We know that residential trips make a huge impact on our students in so many areas and are often a highlight of the year. This year they have had so many opportunities with a total of 679 pupil days and nights on residential trips including: the South Coast Tour, the Holland Hockey exchange; the Year 7 trip to the Pioneer Centre; the Year 8 trip to Whitemoor Lakes; the Lower Sixth trip to Marle Hall; the Ski trip; the A-level Physics trip to CERN; the Cuenca Spanish exchange trip; the Geography trip to Sicily and the recent Year 8 trip to the World War One battlefields sites. Within the next few days we will have a party of almost 100 pupils and staff departing on the Senior Sports Tour to South Africa and 34 pupils and musicians visiting Vienna where the choir and orchestra will be performing at some stunning historical venues. We wish them well and hope that their experiences are rewarding, enjoyable and also open their eyes to new horizons and opportunities. We will keep them in our thoughts and prayers and thank all the staff who give their precious holiday time to benefit the pupils. Of course, the planning for next year’s trips, which include the History Trip to Berlin and the Expedition to Malawi, are already well under way.

It was tremendous to see that within the past few weeks, despite the challenging weather, 166 pupils managed to get through the various Bronze (104), Silver (49) and Gold (13) Duke of Edinburgh expeditions. It was also lovely to see the pictures of the 21 strong group of Upper Sixth and recent Old Princethorpians together at Buckingham Palace receiving their Gold Medals. There is a large team of staff involved to thank, but special thanks must go to Will Bower for his leadership of this key pillar of our co-curricular programme. Thanks too must go to Greg Hunter for all his work ensuring we offer a wide range of educational trips that go smoothly, as well as his superb organisation of Activities Week, which is always a highlight of the year.

There is so much that goes on in school and I am sure you will all have your own personal highlights of the year. There are so many times when the pupils inspire us with their creativity, hard work and perseverance: the House Talent Show; Little Shop of Horrors; the Spring Music Concert; the Summer GCSE and A-level Art, Photography and Design Show; seeing the inspirational work produced for da Vinci projects and The Pinnacle; the Princethorpe Oscar Awards and of course the wide variety of sporting achievements and fixtures throughout the year. It’s hard to single-out individuals but some of the stand-out performances include: the U14 girls hockey unbeaten season, the U15 boys’ rugby team making the NatWest Vase quarter finals and having three cricket teams through to the Warwickshire finals this summer – with our U14s defeating Solihull on Wednesday to be crowned county champions.

The multitude of House events at all levels are also inspiring, giving each pupil the opportunity to contribute and represent their houses. The pinnacle of these events is of course the tremendous House Activity Day where every single member of the College is involved. With this year’s theme being ‘Whodunit?’, staff and pupils had nine amazing tasks to tackle including the ‘Escape Room’, ‘Forgery School’, ‘Police Academy’ and the ‘Pony Club Challenges’, all in all a really wonderful day. Huge thanks to all the House Activity Co-ordinators and prefects and particularly to Jess Newborough for her leadership of the House programme this year.

Some of the most memorable and special moments are when the whole school community comes together. This is often by giving both time and energy to some wonderful charitable causes and living out the ethos of the school by showing kindness, compassion and love for others. This has been another bumper year for projects and activities run with the sole aim of helping other people, not just by raising money but also by giving of time. We have had cake sales, ice-lolly sales, pancake races, 24 and 40 mile walks, non-uniform days, pink days, blue days, valentine’s flowers, car boot sales, visits to the Leamington night shelter, lunches and social events. Some of the charities we have been involved with are local, other are national or international. Mary’s Meals, CAFOD, Breast Cancer, UNICEF, Prostate and Testicular Cancer, Father Hudson’s Society, British Heart Foundation and Warwickshire Young Carers, our House Charity, have all benefited.

The money is still coming in, but the total raised by the Princethorpe Community so far this year is just over £21,000 which is a tremendous achievement and it is worth noting that over the past nine years we have raised over £90,000 for Mary’s Meals.  The £16,792.95 (so far) raised this year will feed 1,208 children at the Makalanga School in Malawi every day for a year.  Many thanks to all staff and pupils who have been involved in these events, but a special mention must go to Mary Benham, our Chaplain, who also co-ordinates our charity events and Rod Isaacs who leads our Youth SVP and Sixth Form community outreach programme.

We are always looking at ways we can improve and this year we have raised the profile of pupil voice with our College Councils and other feedback via questionnaires. The College Council has debated and discussed many relevant issues and I am delighted that improving our carbon footprint and environmental credentials are high on our agenda. The Council has also spent much time suggesting improvements to ‘Extended Day’ - the after-school homework club. From the start of the new academic year, Extended Day we be rebranded as ‘Princethorpe Prep’; it will take place in the Sixth Form Centre, food will be available and Sixth Form Prefects, Ambassadors and Scholars will be present to provide assistance to pupils as necessary. We will send further details before the start of next term.  As you will know, earlier in the year all pupils gave detailed feedback to their teachers via on-line questionnaires which was invaluable feedback for our teachers. We will now be extending these surveys to cover other aspects of the school such as tutoring and the co-curricular programme.  

As we move into the summer holidays our staff again will be working exceptionally hard to prepare for the new academic year. The teaching staff have a number of training days – and as I write all staff have just completed an extremely valuable day undertaking a First Aid Course run by the Red Cross.  There is also a small army of estates and grounds staff who work all through the summer to complete the annual programme of maintenance, redecoration and refurbishment of our wonderful buildings and campus.

There are no major building projects this summer as we are focused on the new Science Centre, which we hope to open in 2022. This now has planning permission and is part of a long-term strategic vision for the campus which will benefit teaching and learning, not only by providing state-of-the-art Science facilities, but enabling us improve the accommodation for many other departments too. Art will get a new home, Geography, Business Studies and Economics will have space in the main building and we will be able to offer an additional stylish dining area for 120 pupils. This programme will cost in excess of £8m. There has been an excellent response as a result of the Vision for the Future presentation in March and we are very grateful to those who have made donations already, which will greatly help our ambition to deliver the project on time. Thank you for supporting us.

The Golden Jubilee year provided us with a marvellous opportunity to broaden access to the school, when we launched our 50 + 10 Bursary Fund, to provide a further ten additional full bursary places to pupils who would otherwise be unable to benefit from a Princethorpe education. As a result of generosity, we are well on the way to fully supporting two pupils through the school. An increasing number of families are choosing to support this fund by giving and I would like to reiterate my thanks to those whose contributions make such a difference.

Please consider a one-off gift or a regular gift to our campus improvement plan or to the Bursary Fund. We value all donations, small or large. The easiest way to donate is through the Virgin Money Giving link which can be found here on the College website under the ‘Support Us’ tab.

A school, of course, is only as good as its staff and we are tremendously fortunate to have such a large number of hard-working, caring and dedicated professionals; I would like to thank them again for all that they do for the pupils in so many ways.

As always, we have a number of staff changes for the new academic year. I would like to say a personal thank you to Greg Hunter who as you know, leaves to take up a Deputy Headship at King’s Canterbury, after six extremely successful years as a key member of the Senior Leadership Team, overseeing the enormous co-curricular and trips programme. We are delighted that he has earned this promotion, though his huge presence, kindness, irrepressible optimism, Aussie wit and good humour will be sorely missed.

It is a sign of the strength of the school that we have two other teachers leaving to take up Deputy Headships after tremendous service to the school. Chris McCullough, our longest-serving leaver with 22 years of outstanding service to the College and Kenny Owen who has spent 11 years with us, leave to take up their new roles at Kingsley and Arnold Lodge respectively – we wish them both well for the challenges ahead.  As previously announced, Neil McCollin will be taking over from Greg Hunter as Acting Assistant Head (Co-Curricular), Louisa Fielding, who teaches Economics and Business Studies will become Head of Fisher, Adam Rickart, currently Head of Psychology and Sociology, takes charge of Austin. With Adam Rickart’s promotion, Fionnuala Schofield steps up to become Head of Psychology and Sociology.

In the Mathematics department, Tomi Owens and Will Uglow leave to take up positions in boarding schools: King’s Bruton and Rugby. Theo Scoutas, currently at Welbeck, and Leanne Gallagher, formerly at Uppingham, both join the department in September. We say thank you to Shirley Thomas and Steph Kent-Smith who have covered Christina Baxter’s and Davinya Munford’s maternity leave this year.

Cyp Vella now Heads up the Religious Studies Department after Spike Lane’s departure at Easter and we wish Alex Philpot well as she moves to become a Head of Year at Oasis Academy, Southampton. We look forward to welcoming back Megan O’Gorman (Old Princethorpian) and Nicola Jones, currently at Tudor Hall, into the department next term.

With three recent maternity covers in the MFL department and the phasing out of German, there are few changes. Suzy Ellis is leaving at the end of the year to take up a part-time position at Kings’ High. She is replaced by Sarah Duran, currently at Shrewsbury (Bangkok); Sarah will also take on the second in department role. Bérénice Galano and Kate Parsons return part-time from their maternity leaves in September, whilst Marianna Hunton departs to Arnold Lodge.  

Catherine Gregg, currently part-time in Art and Textiles, leaves in September to take a full-time role as Head of Department at WMG Academy, from where our new recruit to the Design Technology Department, Tom Walton arrives.

In the Science department Dr Carlos Gane from Warwick School takes up the reins as Head of Physics, replacing Sarah Sephton who moves to Birmingham University to take up a role in teacher training. Digby Carrington Howell also departs from Science and we are delighted to welcome back Faye Roberts our Head of Biology, who returns after her one-year sabbatical where she has undertaken some amazing voluntary charity work overseas.

As you will be aware, we have a number of teaching assistants and language assistants who have helped out in a variety of ways round the College – in Chaplaincy, Food Technology, Games, Administration and Learning Support to name but a few. You will have seen them at parent interviews, tutor evenings and on the games fields and they play an essential role in oiling the parts of the school which many don’t see. Ben Haden, Charlie Bond, Aimée Brookes, and Miriam Isaacs have made a huge impact and we wish them all well in the next phase of their lives. Our new Teaching Assistants for September are Upper Sixth leavers Lily Dyble and Fleur Street. Our reciprocal arrangement with our MSC partner school Downlands in Toowoomba, Australia continues.  Upper Sixth leavers Christie Wukics and Jasmine Rigg will be spending their gap year at Downlands and we will welcome two of their recent leavers in January 20120.

We thank all our leavers for all they have done at Princethorpe and wish them all well in their retirement or future careers. We will be sending details of any tutor changes to parents later in the summer. We also send out best wishes to Mike Turns and Adam Rickart who are both getting married over the summer and to Katharine Darwood-Bredin who will be going on maternity leave

For the summer holidays, we will cross our fingers that the England cricketers may finally win the Cricket World Cup and I say to all pupils ‘Carpe Diem’ – seize the day. Enjoy a good rest and break, but don’t let the time disappear without setting yourself some tangible goals for your free time.

I hope you and your families have a safe, happy and relaxing summer.

Ed Hester


Introducing My School Portal: Investing In Better Communication

The Princethorpe Foundation is delighted to announce that we will be launching a new parent and pupil portal for the Michaelmas term, in partnership with market leading school-parent communications software package My School Portal.

My School Portal, which will be used in all three Foundation schools, is an online system designed to streamline communications between the schools and parents by bringing all information and services together. Parents will have instant and easy access to information about their children, such as attendance data, fixtures, event bookings, exam results, timetables, calendars and reports, as well as key school information and documents. Staff and pupils will also have access to their own versions of the portal, streamlined to their needs.

All information is secure and accessed online via one username and password and accessible via your mobile, tablet or desktop device, with an account for each parent/guardian.

All pupil information is shown on one dashboard so there are no more multiple log-ins and passwords for different services, and all of the information about your children will be in one place even if you have children within more than one of the Foundation’s schools.

We are very excited about this new system and look forward to going live at the start of September 2019. Full details and support on how to use the system will be given upon implementation at the start of the new school year.

College Launches New And Improved Bus Services For September 2019

The College has launched changes to its bus services for September 2019 to improve the service and encourage more families to use the buses.

Currently around half of the school’s population use the private bus service which brings pupils into the College from a wide surrounding area, extending as far afield as Nuneaton and Coventry to the north, Lutterworth and Daventry to the east, Stratford-upon-Avon and Banbury to the south and Solihull to the west.

The headline changes include:

  • New sibling discounts for return and single passes – 10% discount for second children and 50% discount for third or more children

  • A brand new bus service - the S12 from Henley-in-Arden to Claverdon with stops in new areas of Warwick and Leamington

  • The S7 route effectively splits with some stops being covered by the new S12 and new stops being added in south Leamington and Radford Semele

  • Some of the outlying stops e.g. Burbage on the S4 and North Kilworth, Walton and Gilmorton on the S10, which were very infrequently used, will now only be available if a return or single bus pass is purchased by the term

  • Bus ticket prices increase slightly, having been kept static for three years

Comments Eddie Tolcher, Foundation Bursar, “We have looked long and hard at the service we provide, researched where current and potential pupils live and listened to parental feedback.

“Our aim is to provide as comprehensive and convenient service as we can, at a reasonable price. By introducing sibling discounts, we hope more families will choose to stay on the bus, which will save time for parents and have less of an impact on the environment and traffic on site, particularly in the morning.”

Click on this link to see the new services for September 2019, and to find the nearest stop to your home use the interactive map on the Getting to School page on our website here.

If you would like to start using the buses or would like to change the service your son or daughter takes or move to a different stop on your current route, please complete the short online form here by Friday 12 July.

If you have any queries about how the changes to the services will affect your son or daughter’s journey to school in September or would like further information please contact

The College is continuing to look at further changes to the service, including tracking of buses and further route improvements.

Upper Sixth Say Farewell With A Thanksgiving Eucharist And Fabulous Ball 

Princethorpe’s Upper Sixth celebrated the end of the examination season and their time at Princethorpe with a beautiful Thanksgiving Eucharist and a fabulous farewell Ball.  It was one last chance for them to gather together to reminisce over their time at the College, the friends they have made and the many adventures they have had along the way.

Parents and students enjoyed a moving Eucharist service and delicious buffet supper on Tuesday 25 June in the Chapel at school and then afterwards in the Sixth Form Centre.  The Upper Sixth Ball followed one day later on Wednesday 26 June at the beautiful venue of Warwick House in Southam.

The students smartly attired in black tie and ball gowns enjoyed a sparkling reception, followed by a delicious sit-down dinner, much anticipated speeches and then dancing until dark. As is traditional, the event was superbly organised by the outgoing Head Girl, Lizzie Carr, and Head Boy, Tom Warne, with subtle touches evoking memories of the year group’s fun-filled time at the College.

It was a joyous occasion with lots of laughter, shared memories and plans for the future. Head of Sixth Form, Ben Collie said, “We wish all the Upper Sixth the very best as they move on from Princethorpe.  We very much hope that they all keep in touch and come back to tell their teachers and future pupils all about their fascinating endeavours and achievements. They have been a delightful year group, have worked hard and we are confident they will be rewarded with success when the A-level results are published in August.”

Photographs of the event will be shared shortly with students and parents via Princethorpe Connect, the Foundation’s new alumni online community.  An email will be sent with instructions as to how to log on.

Whodunit Challenge Provides A Clue Cracking House Activities Day

Princethorpe pupils jumped at the chance to become super sleuths as they faced a detective themed, cluedo style, whodunit challenge for House Activities Day 2019.

This year held on Tuesday 2 July, House Activities Day is always a real favourite with pupils who go all out to win the whopping 1,000 house points up for grabs.

Pupils arrived at school to discover that Mr Hester was missing a very valuable and important painting.  After a briefing by DI Winterman, from the Stolen Antiquities Division, our very own Heads of House or dare we say Miss Scarlett, Mrs Peacock, Reverend Green and Colonel Mustard mustered their troops and in Tutor Groups, pupils set to work on a series of activities and challenges all around the school.  Each activity earned points for their House and won clues to help solve the dastardly crime.

Pupils faced mind-boggling tests that included; puzzling problems to break out of the Escape Room, super sleuthing in the Forensics Room, deducing in the Detective Decipher, riding the bronco in the Pony Club Challenge, chasing suspects Hiding in the Woods, debating the Moral Dilemmas, getting into shape for the Police Academy, learning life skills in Self Defence and creating their very own fake masterpieces in Forgery School.

After a busy day full of observations, interrogations and deductions the eventual breakthrough came in the Orchard when the suspects were finally gathered together and questioned.  Everyone was surprised to discover the perpetrator of the crime was none other than long-serving Geography teacher Mike Taylor.  He was summarily arrested by Princethorpe’s very own Sixth Form Officers who handcuffed him and escorted him away.

House Activity Leader, Jessica Newborough, commented, “We have had a fantastic day, pupils always enjoy House Activities Day and participate enthusiastically.  It our biggest House event of the year and everyone gets involved.  The atmosphere today has been amazing.”

A huge well done to everyone for taking part and a massive thank you to those who made the day possible especially House Activity Leader, Jess Newborough, and the House Activities Co-ordinators; Charlotte Verleure, Hannah Carminati, Katharine Darwood-Bredin and Julia Lindsay and our stalwart Sixth Formers who all work so hard to make House Activities Day so amazing.


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166 Princethorpe Pupils Complete Their Duke Of Edinburgh Expeditions

Congratulations to all the Princethorpe pupils who have completed their Duke of Edinburgh Qualifying Expeditions in the last few weeks.  An amazing achievement by all especially with the challenges the weather has offered this year.

Unaccompanied and self-sufficient they have trekked and camped their way across Snowdonia (13 pupils for Gold), the Dark Peak (49 pupils for Silver) and the Cotswolds (104 for Bronze), working together in teams to achieve their expedition objectives.

The Duke of Edinburgh Awards are recognised as the world’s leading youth achievement award. They provide young people with the opportunity to get involved, explore new interests, discover talents and make new friends.

Will Bower, Head of Outdoor Education, commented, “I am very proud that so many of Princethorpe’s pupils embrace the challenge of the Duke of Edinburgh 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.  The expeditions this year faced varied and difficult weather conditions, particularly the Silver groups and our pupils showed real resilience and tenacity to complete their expeditions.”

He continued, “We will be holding a celebration evening next year when pupils who have completed all of the sections of their Award will be presented with their certificates by Mountaineer Jon Gupta. Last year 93% of pupils fully completed their award, so pupils should make sure they get all of their paperwork for their physical, skill and volunteering sections submitted as soon as possible.”

The Gold Award winners will also receive an invitation to visit a royal palace, in London, for an official presentation.

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Issue 26 Of The Pinnacle Just Published

The latest issue of The Pinnacle has just been published, showcasing yet more of our pupils' excellent work.  

This edition showcases flair across many subjects and year groups including an award winning poet, and a number of Princethorpe's budding sports stars.  Just in time for the holidays it also includes some superb examples of Modern Foreign Languages work. There’s also coverage of the wonderful GCSE and A-level Art and Photography, which appeared in our Summer Art, Photography and Design Show in June.

A double-sized Minnacle is included too, with equally impressive work by Crackley Hall pupils from Nursery to Junior 6 and Crescent pupils from Reception to Class VI. It's wonderful to showcase their talents too!!

Copies were distributed to all pupils via their Form Tutors this week.

Click here if you would like to download a copy of The Pinnacle and here if you would like to see The Minnacle.


Sun Shines For OPs Summer Supper

This year's Old Princethorpians' Summer Supper Reunion lived up to its name as the College basked in balmy summer sunshine on Friday 28 June.

This year's event was aimed specifically at the leavers of 1969, 1979, 1989, 1999 and 2009, celebrating their respective 50th, 40th, 30th, 20th and 10th anniversaries.

The Old Princethorpians had reached out to those OPs on its database by email, post and via Facebook and had a very positive response especially from the leavers of 2009, with nearly 20 from that year's Upper Sixth attending.  There were also a small number of leavers from 1979, plus other years represented including guests who had flown in specially all the way from Hong Kong and Nice. The 80 or so guests also included the OPs Committee, former parents, former staff, staff who have worked at the College since 2007 and 2008 and staff who are leaving at the end of this academic year.

After an optional tour of school, ably-led by Alex Darkes and Eddie Tolcher, the guests gathered in the Quad for drinks, before moving to the Main Dining Room for a delicious three-course supper.

Following a very convivial meal, Headmaster, Ed Hester and OPs Chairman, Peter Rollason addressed the throng and as is tradition gifts were given to long-serving members of staff and those leaving us this year, including Greg Hunter, Suzy Ellis and Chris McCullough. As a finale to the evening, Alex Darkes or Mr Princethorpe as Headmaster, Ed Hester referred to him, was recognised for 40 years service and presented with a Fortnum and Mason hamper to a well-deserved and rapturous standing round of applause!

Commented OPs Chairman, Peter Rollason, "A good time certainly seemed to be had by all. It was particularly pleasing to see such a large number of leavers from 2009 celebrating their tenth anniversary with us and to hear how well they are doing.

"Next year's OPs Summer Supper Reunion will take place on Friday 26 June 2020 when we will be celebrating the leavers of 1970, 1980, 1990, 2000 and 2010. If you would like to come along please email Leavers of other years and partners are most welcome too.

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Princethorpe Welcomes New Year 7s For An Action Packed Induction Day

Wednesday 26 June was an exciting day for the 140 Year 6 pupils who will be joining Princethorpe College in Year 7, in September 2019.

For this new generation of Princethorpians, the Induction Day was a chance for them to meet their new classmates, familiarise themselves with the layout of the school, get a feel for the sorts of lessons they can expect and to generally ask questions, allay any fears and ease the transition from primary to secondary school.

Our incoming Year 7s arrived looking excited and a little bit nervous in readiness for an action-packed day. Head of Transition, Susan Harris greeted them warmly and soon had them organised into teaching groups before their friendly Sixth Form helpers led them off to try a variety of sample lessons. They played Diffy in Maths, learnt body parts in Spanish, explored compasses and map reading in Geography, studied Macbeth in Drama and painted cityscapes in Art.

They also met their new Vertical Tutor Groups, got to grips with the lunch queue and the dining room, talked to their Heads of House and enjoyed some fun team building activities. There was lots of excellent advice on offer from staff and current pupils and no Induction Day would be complete without a special treat, a legendary Princethorpe cookie!

During the day we saw plenty of smiling faces and it was clear that everyone was enjoying making new friends. We look forward to welcoming our new Year 7 back again just before the start of the Michaelmas Term for the Year 7 Activity Day on Friday 30 August.

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Annual PTA Summer Fête Raises Super Sum

The College’s annual Summer Fête and Motoring Festival is always a delightful afternoon with plenty for families to see and do. So much hard work goes into organising the event and the College is hugely grateful to our dedicated PTA who do such an excellent job every year.

Sunday 23 June was no exception. The Orchard was transformed thanks to plenty of enthusiasm, gazebos and bunting and the British weather remained warm and dry after weeks of dark grey clouds and dismal rain, allowing organisers and visitors to relax and enjoy themselves.

At the bottom of the Orchard there was line upon line of classic and unusual cars on show.  Polished to perfection by loving owners, proud to show off their prized vehicles, Hillman Imps sat alongside Morris Minors, Maseratis and TVRs and visitors wandered appreciatively in between, stopping to ask questions and admire their favourites.

An array of over 30 stalls offered all sorts of entertainment, goods and services, including homemade food, arts and crafts, gifts, fundraising activities, tombolas and so much more.  And around the perimeter there was a whole lot of fun to be had whether you fancied the challenge of zorbing or the more traditional sport of archery. 

A monumental number of burgers and sausages were barbequed and jugs full of Pimms poured and the crowds were entertained by members of the College’s Choir, Orchestra and Jazz Band, who are soon off on tour to Vienna. 

What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and best of all, on the day, an outstanding £4,339.34 was raised which will benefit the learning of every pupil in the school.  Huge thanks to all the organisers and visitors, see you again next year for more fun on Sunday 21 June 2020!

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Lower Sixth Practise Essential Interview Technique

Interviews can often be seen as daunting and stressful, so in a bid to better equip our Lower Sixth Formers for the challenge, the Princethorpe’s Careers Team organised a mock Interview Day on Thursday 27 June. It was an opportunity for the students to perfect interview technique, sharpen communication skills, presentational qualities and the ability to respond to feedback.

For the first time, the Interview Day was held at the end of the Trinity Term and 91 Lower Sixth students prepared for and participated in a thirty-minute interview. Each interview was conducted by one of 19 professionals, including parents, former parents and Old Princethorpians, many with senior management experience, who had kindly volunteered their time.

In readiness for their one-to-one interviews, pupils had submitted their curriculum vitae to be scrutinised beforehand. Exactly like in a real interview these documents formed the basis of questions that were discussed. At the end of their interview our professionals provided valuable feedback with constructive suggestions for improvement.

In the run up to the mock Interview Day, this year’s Lower Sixth had benefitted from an interview skills workshop.

Head of Careers, Jacqui Quinney, commented, “Our Lower Sixth were encouraged to prepare well for these interviews. Our aim was to provide them with a head start in developing their interview technique. It was an extremely important day for them all as they face the looming reality of university, apprenticeship and workplace interviews. The skills practised today will benefit all of our students and we are immensely grateful to the professionals who have given up their time to take part in the day.”

Lunchtime Fun For House Wacky Racers

As pupils began to countdown towards the end of term there was no better way to start the final full week of school than with a little bit of lunchtime fun.  Organised by the House Activities team out on the North Lawn, House Wacky Races evoked nostalgic memories of old-fashioned sports days.  With space hoppers, beanbags, wheelbarrow races, obstacle courses, wheely cars, hoops and even fancy dress; those with a ‘sporting urge’ had the chance to hop, leap, skedaddle and even dress up competing against their classmates to earn a few extra house-points.

It was a little slow to start, but as soon as word got around that House honour was at stake, more and more pupils gathered to give it a go.

The full and final reckoning of points was:

Austin 1st : 220 points

More 2nd  : 125 points

Benet 3rd : 105 points

Fisher 4th : 70 points

Special well done to star wacky racers Jemima and Tom from Austin, Freddie from More and Grace from Benet and well done to Fisher for having so many participants take part!


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College Celebrates Trinity Term Achievers

On Wednesday 19 June 51 pupils from across the College were invited to the Roundhouse for a special celebratory lunch.

Nominated by members of staff, the pupils had all risen to the challenge of the College’s ethos. They had tried their best in many different ways.  Some had excelled or showed commitment to sport, performing arts or academic studies, others had volunteered regularly to support school events and some had gone over and above for their House or Tutor group.

This time hosted by Headmaster, Ed Hester, the Celebration of Achievement Lunch recognised pupils that go the extra mile, those who commit in extraordinary ways whether by actions or achievements, both inside or outside of College life. 

In a short speech, Mr Hester congratulated each and every one of them and he gave credit to the commitment and effort they put in, he thanked them for enriching school life.

Congratulations go to:

From Year 7: Daisy Burke , Ethan Capelett, Louis Due, Ethan Edwards, Ed Grindal, Harkirit Jandu, Ashton Jones, Harriet Louch, Reneé Ndungu, Lampros Papadogiannakis and Kaena Wasley

From Year 8: Phoebe Goodfellow, Amelie Hancock, Tom Hollis, Emma Sarkies, Zoe Shayler and Izzy Wright

From Year 9: Tom Dodsley, Eve Farquharson, Amélie Friess, Florine Fuchss, George Gault, Hannah Gunn, William Hawkins, Harry King, Mia Lambeth, George Landreth, Izzy McKinlay, Robbie Minshull, Arvind Sangha and Maddie Wilde

From Year 10: Fern Boston, Jennifer Brown, Max Critchley, Anneliesa Douglas, Paddy Grace, Lucy Gribben, Archie Hancock, Dan Hatfield, Nell Johnston, Max Passantino, Jack Rochford, Tom Sears and Ethan Smith

From Lower Sixth: Juliette Carter, Leah Dunkley, Ciara Hancox, Sophie Mitchell, Will Puchy, Fred Self and Ryan Warwick

Budding Young Scientists Reach For The Stars At Princethorpe

An enthusiastic group of budding Year 5 scientists accompanied by their parents participated in an exciting race for space on Saturday 15 June when they took part in Princethorpe’s Year 5 Build A Rocket Day.  Led by Assistant Head – Co-Curricular and Physics Teacher, Greg Hunter and incoming Head of Physics, Carlos Gane, the workshop guided the children through the safe construction, launch and recovery of a mini rocket. 

The exciting challenge honed design and construction skills, whilst providing the children with the opportunity to explore the College’s well-equipped Science laboratories. As a practical Science experiment, it also offered an insight into the Physics behind space exploration.

After lunch and despite the wet and windy weather, everyone went out on to the fields and successfully launched and retrieved their rockets, although one participant’s rocket flew so well it had to be fished out of the pond in Little Switzerland by Mr Hester, the Headmaster!

All the participants, including the parents, really enjoyed the morning and were delighted to be presented with certificates recognising the successful launch of their rockets.

Mr Hunter commented, “It was great to see the children, together with their parents, really rising to the challenge we set them. They should be incredibly proud of what they achieved in such a short amount of time and hopefully this will have fuelled their love of Science.”

Huge thanks to all the staff who helped organise and run the event.

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Fr Teddy O'Brien MSC Invites You To The Heritage Open Days At St Anne's Catholic Church, Wappenbury

Friday 13 September to Sunday 22 September from 9.00am - 5.00pm

St Anne’s church sits on a large fortified Iron Age settlement dating back to approximately 700BC known as the Wappenbury camp, the river Leam forming part of its defences.

An early Catholic directory mentions a Catholic Mission at Wappenbury in 1734 and therefore this implies that there was Catholic activity in the 1600s.

The first Diocesan records of the Mission start in 1744 with a record of baptisms. The priest at this time and recorded at Wappenbury was Fr W Walmsley OSF, 1744-1768.

The small chapel built by Lord Clifford is reliably assumed to be the current Sanctuary. The new chapel was built and completed in 1849 extending from the north side of the old Clifford chapel and opened by Bishop Nicholas Wiseman and dedicated to the Mother of Our Lady, St Anne. The church was the first Catholic parish church to be built in the diocese since the reformation.

The incumbent priest of St Anne’s would offer Mass for the nuns at St Mary’s Priory, which is now Princethorpe College.

St Anne’s was completely renovated and refurbished between January and September 2014. The re-dedication of St Anne’s took place on Saturday 18 June 2016. 

The church will be open from Friday 13 September to Sunday 22 September from 9.00am - 5.00pm. Refreshments will be served on Saturday 21 September between 10.00am and 12noon and on Sunday 22 September between 10.00am and 1.00pm.

For further information about the parish of St Anne's please click here

We would be delighted to see you!


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