Message From The Headmaster

Next week we will be welcoming two representatives from the Archdiocese of Birmingham into the College.

Over the course of Wednesday and Thursday they will spend time with our Religious Studies Department and the Chaplaincy, and talk to pupils and members of staff about the Catholic life of the school, our ethos and collective worship.

They will report back on their findings and we will share these with you in due course.

Many thanks.

Ed Hester

Helena Lintott Awarded First Place In National ISA Art Competition

Following on from success in the Regional ISA Art competition the College is delighted to announce that recent Upper Sixth Leaver, Helena Lintott, has just been awarded first place in the prestigious Independent Schools’ Association’s National Art Competition.

Helena’s stunning painting ‘The Gift’ was awarded first place in the coveted Over 16 Painting category. ‘The Gift’ refers to the Three Graces who in Greek mythology are the personifications of beauty, charm, and grace; they were the daughters of Zeus and given these ‘gifts’ by him to bestow on the world. Her work is a superb, striking painting and a well-deserving winner.

We are also pleased to tell you that Lower Sixth, Sophie Cheshire’s GCSE design project, that won the Midlands Regional Key Stage 4 Textiles class received a Highly Commended in the National competition.

Many congratulations to both Helena and Sophie.

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U13 Girls Take Bronze At ISA National Hockey Tournament

Princethorpe College's U13 Girls Hockey team finished in third place taking the bronze medal after a sensational performance at the Independent Schools National Hockey Tournament. The competition took place on Thursday 21 November at the Lee Valley Hockey Centre on the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park. 18 teams had travelled from across the country to take part in the prestigious event.

The girls stormed through the group stages without conceding a single goal. Their opening match was played against Luckley House School and confident stick work led to an easy 7-0 win. Then they moved on to Quinton House School, who they dispatched just as quickly 5-0. The next match in the group stage was against a strong Bedstone College team and they put up more of a fight, the match was fast paced but Princethorpe’s girls still came out on top 2-0 before finishing the initial round with another win against Finborough School 2-0. The girls were delighted to qualify for the knockout stages of the Cup competition.

In the semi-final they were up against an experienced Ballard School squad. It was a much tougher game, both sides played well and the match finished in a 1-1 draw. Disappointingly Princethorpe then lost out on sudden-death flicks. The girls were down-hearted, but remained resilient as they went on to face Finborough School in the play-offs. Another super performance won their final match and earned them a third-placed finish overall.

Team coach Hannah Carminati was thrilled and commented, "The girls played fantastic hockey all day and taking the bronze medal is a brilliant reward for their commitment and tenacity on the pitch. I am very proud of them, they were amazing."

Playing for Princethorpe were Year 8 pupils Bea Boakes, Georgia Dowling (Captain), Honor-Mae Minshull, Kate Pomerleau, Anna Reay, Rosie Reeve, Liv Sarkies, Jemima Teeton and Sage Westbury.

Year 7 Get A Buzz About Books

It has been Bookbuzz week in school causing much excitement amongst Year 7 pupils as they all received a book of their choice from the Bookbuzz collection.

Mrs Borman’s class were first to collect and they were delighted and very happy to pose for a picture with their new books.

Bookbuzz is a reading programme from the Book Trust that aims to help schools inspire a love of reading in 11 to 13-year-olds. Pupils choose one of 17 different books, from a range of genres, all carefully selected to ensure quality, suitability and to encourage reading for pleasure.

Research shows that allowing pupils to choose their own reading material increases the likelihood that they will engage more in reading and that reading for pleasure has a real impact on educational outcomes.

English Teacher, Nicola Borman, explains, “Bookbuzz is a wonderful way to get pupils interested in books, we had plenty of excitement when pupils made their choices and just as much enthusiasm when I handed them all out today. I hope you enjoy reading your new books Year 7.”

Glow For Myton - Around The World In 5km Fundraiser To Take Place At Princethorpe

Princethorpe is delighted to be hosting a major fundraising event for the charity Myton Hospice on Saturday 28 March 2020.

Glow For Myton - Around The World In 5km is a night walk that will wind its way through the beautiful grounds of the College campus, taking in the sights and sounds of some of the world’s best celebrations along the way. Myton Hospice has been running sponsored night walks for a number of years in city centre locations. The events have proved so popular that the charity started looking for a new venue and Princethorpe College was delighted to step in. Ideally situated midway between the charity’s three hospices in Coventry, Warwick and Rugby, Myton Hospice is hoping to attract hundreds of walkers from across Warwickshire for what it is describing as its biggest and best Glow fundraiser ever.

The 5km walk will begin and end in the Orchard where there will be entertainment and food available both before and after the event. The route will take walkers off around the College grounds. There will be plenty of volunteer marshals to cheer all the walkers on and along the way will be exciting zones showcasing festivals and cultural celebrations from around the world including Oktoberfest, Chinese New Year and the Holi Colour Festival. The event isn’t timed, instead it is all about enjoying the experience and the sights and sounds laid on for the event.

Comments Clare Cropp, Myton’s Community and Events Fundraising Manager, “We are hoping to raise £60,000 from this event and are really looking forward to holding it at Princethorpe. The event is already generating a lot of interest and we’re very grateful to the College for so generously supporting us.”

Glow For Myton - Around The World In 5km is open to all, and pupils and parents are encouraged to sign up for the event at the early bird price of £15 for adults and £10 for children on the charity’s website here.  (Children of all ages are welcome but under 18s must be accompanied by an adult.)

The event is sure to be great fun for a good cause so we are hoping lots of families and friends of the Foundation will want to get involved.

Poppies Symbolise College’s Reflections On Remembrance

During November the College has been reflecting on the theme of Remembrance. The month is the last in the Church’s calendar and commemorates all those who have departed from life. It begins with the Feast of All Saints, a tribute to the saints, and is followed by the Feast of All Souls, when we pray for those who have died, particularly our loved ones.

In November our Junior Chaplaincy Prefects have led House Assemblies for the school on the theme of Remembrance. The Prefects have talked about the legacies of war and why we commemorate today those who fought and served in the World Wars, and in recent conflicts, and the sacrifices they made. 

During each of the four House assemblies pupils have had the opportunity to write down the name(s) of a special person or people in their lives whom they wish to remember, or wish to say thank you to. This year instead of inviting pupils to write their names on a card which we have traditionally placed on the altar, pupils were invited to personalise the centre of a poppy and write their dedications and messages on the reverse.

In preparation for the assemblies, pupils in Year 7 and Year 8 had cut out over 1,000 poppies, enough for every member of the school community and then extras for the Parish to allow them to record their remembrances too.

Our Junior Chaplaincy Prefects then spent their lunch breaks assembling all of the poppies into a prominent and impressive display.

The poppy is our society’s symbol of collective remembrance and the symbol of all our hopes for a peaceful future. The display provides our community with a powerful focus for prayer during the contemplative month of November.

Tom Takes To The Stage In The New RSC Production The Boy In The Dress

Huge congratulations to Princethorpe College Year 9 pupil, Tom, who is currently performing in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre’s new musical adaption of David Walliams heart-warming tale The Boy In The Dress

Tom is one of a team of four young actors playing the main character, Dennis, and he took to the stage for the very first time on Thursday 14 November.  Tom thoroughly enjoyed himself and the performance went very well.  At the end Tom and the cast were delighted to get a standing ovation.

This is the fourth RSC production Tom has been involved with, most recently he was part of the touring cast of the marvellous musical Matilda just last year.

It is fantastic to hear that Tom is having a great time and everyone here at Princethorpe wishes him the very best of luck.

If you would like to see the production then tickets are on sale on the RSC website here.


Bumper Number Of Candidates Sit College Entrance Examinations

It was all systems go on Saturday 9 November as Princethorpe welcomed some 280 children to take the Entrance Examinations for September 2020. Seamless organisation made the day run smoothly with candidates being efficiently organised into colour coded groups for their busy day.

Headmaster, Ed Hester welcomed girls, boys and parents before members of staff and Sixth Formers ushered the prospective pupils to their respective ‘base camp’ classrooms.

Papers were sat in English, Maths and Free Writing alongside an online CEM test of verbal, non-verbal and numerical reasoning.

With regular comfort breaks (involving Princethorpe’s legendary cookies of course), as well as a hot meal provided in the middle of the day, the prospective pupils were well supported at every stage.  Even the dismal weather couldn't dampen spirits on the day.

Comments, Melanie Butler, Assistant Head - Marketing, Admissions and Communications, "We played host to some 280 prospective pupils across four year groups making this one of our largest exam sessions. Feedback from parents and candidates alike has been very favourable indeed, which bodes very well for next year's intake."

"The marking machine swung into action, even before candidates had left the building on the Saturday, and the Admissions Panel sat last week to decide on who will be joining us in September."

Over the last few days the top achieving academic and all-rounder scholars have been invited back to interview with Ed Hester, the Headmaster or Neil McCollin, Assistant Head - Co-Curricular.

Results will be posted, first class on Thursday 28 November. The deadline for acceptances is Thursday 5 March 2020.

Our thanks go to all the pupils, prefects, parents and staff who helped in the run up to the exams, on the day and, last but by no means least, all those who helped mark the papers so efficiently.

Sixth Form Mathematicians Take On Senior Team Maths Challenge

On Thursday 14 November, Princethorpe Sixth Formers, Lauren Mason, Caitlin McBride, Aidan O’Rourke and Rowan Tankard, took part in the Regional Final of the AMSP (Advanced Mathematics Support Programme) Senior Team Maths Challenge.

Run in conjunction with the UK Mathematics Trust, the Challenge is a prestigious problem-solving competition for the best post-16 mathematicians.

After overcoming the first hurdle of the day, the dreadful weather, and making it to the University of Warwick, the students took part in an intense three hours of problem-solving, progressing through a series of rounds that tested their mathematical, communication and team-working skills.

Princethorpe’s team did very well and were pleased to finish seventh overall.

Mathematics Teacher, Theo Scoutas, was delighted, commenting, “Many congratulations to all of the students who represented the College in this competition, we are very proud of your achievements.”

There’s No Debate That Princethorpe's Parliament Trip Brought Politics And History Vividly To Life

On Friday 8 November 24 A-level Politics and History students ventured to Westminster to visit a dissolved Parliament and join in activities taking place as part of UK Parliament Week.

The visit started in Trafalgar Square, a place that has seen many large protests over the years, from the Chartists of the 19th Century, through to the 20th Century Poll Tax riots and the modern-day People’s Vote protests.  They admired the statue of Charles I looking back down Whitehall towards his former home and place of execution, took in 10 Downing Street, passed many government department buildings on their walk down to Parliament Square, before reaching the UK Supreme Court. Here they sat in courtroom number 2, in the very seats the Justices sit in.

After lunch the group enjoyed a comprehensive and fascinating tour of Parliament which included the House of Lords, a Bill Committee room, Select Committee room, the Public Gallery and Westminster Hall. The students were allowed in the House of Lords chamber, though they were not actually allowed to park their bottoms on the prestigious red leather seats.  There were plenty of highlights on the tour with students describing the second chamber as rather rad (excellent) and super cool.

They felt similarly awed by Westminster Palace itself stating the architecture was overwhelmingly beautiful and commenting on the paintings and statues on every corner. The students were also inspired and impressed by the Youth Parliament debate they observed on ‘Knife Crime and the Environment’ in the House of Commons.

The Palace interior helped bring their current History and Politics studies alive with students saying, "We got to see the place Charles I was put on trial and history was made!" Such excitement and wonder was lovely to witness, with students visibly impressed, also commenting, "It was amazing to see the depictions of the civil war and to see previous monarchs decorating the rooms and corridors."

Finally, the students participated with vigour in a discussion and debate on ‘Is Parliament an effective check on Government?’. Students were convincing with their powerful arguments, and they all joined in enthusiastically with the ‘jeers’ and ‘here, here’ comments, Calan even shouted ‘Ordeerrrr’ John Bercow-style!

History and Politics Teacher, Abi Adams commented, “It was a pleasure to accompany such an enthusiastic and engaged group of students on a trip to Parliament, they were great ambassadors for the school.  They all agreed that the trip was, above all else, inspiring, with one exclaiming as we left, ‘I’m just absolutely gutted I can’t vote in the election now’ and ‘Youth Parliament has inspired me to consider a future career in the Commons!’  Our day was packed full of activities, it was a great learning experience, an impressive and thoroughly enjoyable day.”

She added, “We hope to see all our students voting with excitement and eagerness in the years to come, potentially even running for political office, and always proudly wearing their free but hard-won, ‘IT STARTS WITH YOU’ Parliament t-shirts.”

Huge thanks to Abi Adams and Julia Lindsay for running such an inspiring and informative trip.



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A Very Successful Sixth Form Interview Day

Put together 107 Sixth Formers, 24 professionals and one day, Tuesday 12 November, and you get a very successful Sixth Form Interview Day.

To better equip our Lower Sixth for the future, the Princethorpe’s Careers Team organised a special Interview Skills Day. Designed to perfect interview technique, sharpen communication skills, presentational qualities and the ability to respond to feedback, each of our Lower Sixth students took part in a twenty-five-minute mock interview.

Taking the role of interviewer were record numbers of senior professionals including Chief Executives, Managing Directors, HR Directors, Sales Directors and Consultants, from a variety of different business backgrounds. All were past or present parents, with years of interviewing experience out in the working world.

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

Feedback was very positive with many of the interviewers commenting on how impressed they were with the College's Lower Sixth students.

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 and workplace interviews. The skills practised today will benefit all of our students and we are immensely grateful to the volunteer interviewers who have given up their time to take part in the day.”

Christmas Gift Ideas

If you are still 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 still available.

To ensure UK orders can arrive in time for Christmas, orders and payment will need to be received by 12 noon on Monday 16 December 2019 please.

Purchases can now be made easily via our new online shop.

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