Letter From The Headmaster - August 2019
Welcome to the first Flagpole of the 2019-20 academic year and a special welcome to all parents new to the school. As I write, we are just finishing three very productive staff training days; these allow us to both prepare for the year ahead and also to focus on how we can deliver the best possible education to all the children in our care. One of our initiatives that we will be pushing across all years is ‘Language for Learning’; as you will be aware, there is a very strong link between pupils’ attainment in all subjects and their general reading. We will shortly be sending through more specific details as to how you can encourage your child’s independent reading at home and I hope you are able to support us with this.
Over the holidays we had well over a hundred pupils and staff safely return from the South Africa Sports Tour and the Music Tour to Vienna. These were rewarding, enjoyable and in many cases life-changing experiences and I thank the staff who gave up their precious holiday time to support our pupils.
You will be aware that each year we steadily develop our campus and improve our facilities. Although we had no major construction projects this summer, we have had a major upgrading of our ICT infrastructure and refurbished many areas of the campus.
Of course, towards the end of summer, the examination results loom large. As I expect you will be aware by now, we are delighted with the results achieved by our pupils a few weeks ago both at A-level and GSCE. We strive hard to ensure that each member of the College’s community makes the most of their own talents. Princethorpe is certainly not an examination factory - when pupils leave, they do so with so much more than an examination certificate - but we do take great pride in trying to ensure that all our pupils achieve the very best possible academic results.
At A-level, we had sixteen high fliers who achieved three or more A* or A grades including Daisy Vucevic and Amy Field, who each scored three A*s and one A grade, closely followed by Ed Bickerton who had two A*s and two grade As. Good luck to Ed who moves on to Bristol University to read Mathematics and to Daisy and Amy with their Oxbridge applications.
We wish all our leavers well for the next phase of their education and look forward to welcoming them back on Friday 22 November to the annual Prize Giving, which this year will be held in the Butterworth Hall at Warwick Arts Centre. I hope that many of you will be able to attend this special occasion - further details will be circulated in due course.
At GCSE we had our best results ever: 48% of all entries were graded the coveted 9, 8 or 7 grades (A* or A grades in old money) and a stunning 36 of our Year 11 pupils achieved eight or more 9, 8, 7 or A* or A grades. Overall 96% of the grades pupils received were A*-C or 9-4 grades.
Many pupils achieved incredible results with the highest individual achievements by Lauren Mason, Grace McGrory, James Gallagher, Alex Rejali and Prajeet Prabakaran, who all achieved an outstanding eleven or more grade 9s each!
We are of course delighted with the exceptionally high number of top grades, but are proud of all our pupils who have worked hard and done their very best. Whilst academic results are important, we value their qualities of kindness, respect, determination and friendship.
As we look to the new academic year I thank, in advance, all parents for your support over the year ahead. At the first school assembly next week, I shall be talking about the importance of making a strong start and getting into good habits to ensure a successful year.
Again, I will be stressing the importance of getting a good night’s sleep, critical for the health and well-being of us all, but in particular teenagers. The evidence is that many are getting nowhere near the minimum of seven hours (eight is better) of proper regular sleep per night and that mobile phones and other electronic devices are quite often the main reason why. Of course, this can have a hugely detrimental effect on the child’s academic progress and social development. I would urge all parents to discuss these issues with their children (from Year 7 right through to the Sixth Form) and do all you can to support healthy sleep routines at home.
Finally, I hope that you and your families have had a peaceful and happy summer and look forward to seeing you over the course of the year.
With all best wishes