Just Two Weeks To Go Until The Registration Deadline For This Year’s Entrance Examinations

The countdown to the College's Entrance Exams for admission in September 2021 is well underway and our friendly Admissions Team are busy accepting registrations and dealing with enquiries from prospective parents. There are just two weeks now until Friday 4 December the deadline day for registrations for the College’s Entrance Examinations that will take place on Saturday 23 January 2021, government guidelines permitting.

This week the Headmaster and Admissions team hosted a Virtual Admissions Q&A for prospective parents. The event was well attended and ran through the admissions process for entry to the College before taking questions from parents on a host of different topics including the curriculum and class sizes, the plans for Entrance Examinations Day and the Admissions Panel process.

Registrar, Vanessa Rooney, comments, “Our Virtual Admissions Q&A gave prospective parents the opportunity to find out more about the admissions process and I am sure it will have answered a lot of parents’ questions but if there are any remaining points that parents need clarification on then please do just contact the team.”

If you missed the Virtual Admissions Q&A then do contact us as we can send you a link to a recording of the event.

For more information on entry to the College please visit the Admissions pages on our website or email the Admissions Team at or call on 01926 634201/262/297.

College Artists Recognised In Prestigious ISA Regional Art Competition

Recent Upper Sixth leavers, Dominic Turner-Burr and Sebastian Lloyd-Thomas have been awarded prizes in the Independent Schools’ Association’s prestigious Midlands Regional Art Competition.

Dominic’s winning work, titled Fighting Back, was part of his A-level portfolio. It took first place in the Key Stage 5 Photography category. His striking image explores the challenge of managing the negativity that people experience in their daily lives. It depicts how using numbers and codes helps people to identify and label different coping strategies.

Sebastian’s stunning painting, Interpreting The Signs took second place in the Key Stage 5 3D Class. Sebastian investigated ‘Vanitas’, still-life paintings including symbolic objects designed to remind the viewer of their mortality. Building on his studies his work comments on the world in the wake of COVID.

Princethorpe College Head of Art, Paul Hubball, applauded the prize winners, “These results reflect the depth of talent we have within our school. This year we were limited to only one entry per category, so we were especially pleased that two of the four works we submitted have received a prize.”

Dominic’s work now goes forward to the ISA National Art Competition, the judging for which takes place in February.

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Princethorpe Pupils Rise To The Senior Mathematics Challenge

At the beginning of November pupils from Princethorpe College took part in the 2020 UK Mathematics Trust (UKMT) Senior Challenge, a prestigious national problem-solving competition that recognises the best young mathematicians in the country. The Challenge involves answering multiple choice questions and is sat under normal school exam conditions. The papers are then sent away to be marked by UKMT and the best pupils in the country are awarded Bronze, Silver or Gold Certificates.

The competition is aimed at students in the Sixth Form and Princethorpe selected 18 able mathematicians from both Lower and Upper Sixth to participate in this year’s Challenge. It is a demanding exercise designed to stretch and test pupils’ mathematical skills, so the College is delighted that Princethorpe’s mathematicians achieved exceptional results.

Many congratulations go to Upper Sixth Former, Lauren Mason, who was awarded a Gold certificate, and took the award for best performing student in school, and to Lower Sixth Former, Ben Scares, who was awarded a Silver certificate, and took the award for best performing student in the Lower Sixth. Lauren performed so well that she has also qualified for the follow-on round, the British Mathematical Olympiad.

Congratulations also to:

Silver certificate winners: Rowan Tankard, Zack Ahmed, Ciaran Smith and Pablo Scopes.

Bronze certificate winners: Anthony Convey, Joshua Rawlings, Daisy Walker, Jack Fletcher, Caitlin Mason and Thomas Cleaver-Cavalier.

Well done all and many thanks to all the pupils who took part, we hope you enjoyed the challenge.

Theo Scoutas
Post 16 Mathematics Co-ordinator


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Two Talented Hockey Players Trial For England U16 Hockey Teams

Princethorpe College Year 10 pupil, James Robinson, and Year 11 pupil, Lara Tripp-Smith, trialled for the England U16 Hockey Teams over half term.

This year England Hockey invited nominations from school, club and performance centres for the England age group trials and the two pupils were nominated to take part.  

Both joined 25 talented young hockey players from across the North and Midlands in the selection process for the England U16 boys and girls teams at the Lilleshall National Sports Centre in Shropshire.

Over three days coaches drawn from England U16 and Regional Performance Centres observed the players, looking at technical, tactical, physical and mental development qualities, considering their current performance and future potential.

James said, "It was an amazing experience to trial with such talented hockey players. I was really pushed to perform at my best. I received a lot of support from my school coaches, Mr Whitehead and Miss Mack, and also from Rugby and East Warwickshire Hockey Club who helped me to prepare."

Lara added, "The trial was a fantastic opportunity, sadly an injury limited my ability to perform but I have been offered the chance to retrial at the next selection event."

Congratulations to James and Lara, we are very proud of you both, it must have been a great experience.

Year 7 Orla Wins This Year’s Amazing House Talent Show

Much anticipated and always hotly-contested, the House Talent Show did not disappoint providing a sensational evening’s entertainment for its audience in lockdown at home. Held this year on Friday 6 November, the socially distanced virtual show was watched by its largest audience ever as 541 members of the College community tuned in to view the pre-recorded show.

The 40-minute event was hosted by Jess Newborough, House Activities Leader, and included nine acts of talented, inspirational and brave pupils ranging from Year 7 up to Upper Sixth. All the acts had been given just one chance for their performance to be videoed so that the experience was as 'live' as possible.

For the first time the audience, and not the judges, decided the winner with 292 votes cast when the voting closed. The results were announced live in Tutor Time on Tuesday 10 November when a very excited Mrs Newborough visited the winners' classrooms to reveal the results.

In first place, for More, with 31% of the votes, was Year 7 Orla Fleming for her sensational performance of Abba’s much-loved hit Mamma Mia. Second, for Austin, with 16% of the vote was Year 7 Grace McCollin for her technically stunning gymnastics beam routine and in third place with 12% of the vote was Benet’s answer to the Back Street Boys, Jackson Roderick, André Onyekwe and Ignacy Librowski, who performed Ed Sheeran and Justin Bieber’s hit I Don’t Care.

We were super impressed by the enthusiasm and commitment to their House of all our performers who included: Abbie O’Carroll-Bailey, Elsa Isaacs, Georgia McCallum, Alice Minshull, Liv Underhill, Chloe Potts, Louise Gambling and Delilah Teeton.

A huge well done to all and thanks to everyone who worked so hard to put together this year’s spectacular House Talent Show.


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Princethorpe College Observes Remembrance Day

On Wednesday 11 November, just before 11.00am, the College community silently reflected on the bravery and the selfless sacrifice made by so many of our country's service men and women.

This year’s Remembrance service was virtual, with pupils remaining in their Tutor group classrooms but our community still paused to pay their respects.

Deputy Head Pastoral, Beth Sharpe began by reading a short poem by Marian Allen from Scars Upon My Heart before Father Alan Whelan MSC said a prayer. Head of Physics, Dan Lee and Chemistry Teacher, Emilie Onyekwe solemnly read the list of the Princethorpe fallen, before Year 7 Henry Corbin confidently sounded the melancholic notes of the Last Post.

The two-minute silence offered all a time for reflection, a shared moment to remember those that shall not grow old, who have given their lives for the peace and freedom we enjoy today.

Members of the Sixth Form recited For The Fallen and then performed the hymn Abide With Me. A wreath was then hung at the Pupils’ Entrance by Head Boy, Jack Neale, and Year 9, Tom Bucknall.

The Headmaster, Ed Hester then spoke to the school community before saying a final prayer for peace.

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Princethorpe Reconnects With Old Friends In Hong Kong And The Far East

On Tuesday 17 November the Old Princethorpians Association hosted a virtual reunion for former pupils from Hong Kong and the Far East. Joined by Princethorpe College Headmaster Ed Hester, former Headmaster Father Alan Whelan MSC, former Director of Boarders Father Teddy O’Brien MSC, former Director of Boarders and long-serving and much loved teacher Sean Philpott and lifelong Princethorpian and teacher Alex Darkes – the virtual reunion included Mass from the Princethorpe Chapel, a virtual tour of the school, a Quiz and a delve into the Princethorpe archives.

The evening began with a welcome from the Headmaster and from Alan Young, who heads up Old Princethorpians in Hong Kong. We were joined on the call by OPs from Hong Kong, mainland China, Singapore, Cambodia and Australia, as well as the staff team dialling in from a drizzly and overcast Princethorpe College.

Alex Darkes’ Princethorpe Quiz proved a hilarious highlight – with the unofficial prize being announced as an all-expenses paid afternoon tea courtesy of and in the company of Sean Philpott (presumably post-COVID restrictions!).

Old Princethorpians excitedly shared their news and caught up – with many telling of their lifelong and lasting friendships from their time at Princethorpe.

Melanie Butler, Old Princethorpians’ Secretary said, “The reunion was a wonderful chance to catch up with our friends from Hong Kong and the Far East again. The warmth of feeling towards their former teachers and the school, after all these years is testament to the experiences and friendships they made here. It was a pleasure for us to organise and the many messages of appreciation and thanks we’ve received from the attendees have been a real delight. On the back of this success we are now planning a similar virtual event in the spring for our OPs in the USA, so watch this space.”

Here are just some of the comments received:

“Thank you all for a treasurable evening. It never ceases to amaze me that much of the school grounds remain so familiar after all these years. Thanks for bringing this nostalgia to life for us.”

“Many thanks for hosting today’s virtual reunion. I look forward to visiting Princethorpe when I am next in the UK.”

“Thanks to Alex for the virtual tour, especially the store room in the Tower, it brought back many memories of the band practices we had there!”

“What a lovely catch up, thanks to all you guys who organised it. The Princethorpe spirit at its best!”

“Thank you everyone, wonderful chatting on zoom with you all, it certainly brings back some fond memories. Never thought I would attend Mass at Princethorpe again!”

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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 Tutor groups pupils have considered the theme of Remembrance, 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, and all pupils participated in the Virtual Remembrance Service.

Then the Junior Chaplaincy Prefects cut out over 1,000 poppies, enough for every member of the school community. Form Tutors shared the poppies with their Tutor groups and encouraged pupils to record their remembrances. They wrote 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, personalising the poppies with their dedications and messages. The poppies have been assembled into a prominent and impressive display in the glazed link to the Sixth Form Centre.

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 this contemplative month of November. It is especially poignant in this difficult year.

Lower Sixth Practise Essential Interview Technique

To better equip our Lower Sixth Formers for the challenge of interviews, the College’s Sixth Form team organised a mock Interview Day. It took place on Tuesday 10 November and was the perfect opportunity for the students to perfect technique, sharpen communication skills, presentational qualities and their ability to respond to feedback.

This year, for the first time, the Interview Day took place virtually and 124 Lower Sixth students prepared for and participated in a twenty-minute interview. Each interview was conducted by one of 22 professionals, 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.

There was some fantastic feedback from the interviewers, including, “I was really impressed by the maturity of the students. They were all very positive in their attitude and a delight to work with”, “All of the students were delightful and a credit to themselves and the school” and “What an enjoyable morning I had with some clearly talented Princethorpe 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, 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.”

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Princethorpe Joins The Vespa Academy

Exciting news for our exam classes in Years 11, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth, is that Princethorpe has joined a new venture called ‘The VESPA Academy’.

This will build on our work using the ideas of Martin Griffin and Steve Oakes and their publications of ‘The GCSE Mindset’ and ‘The A-level Mindset’. Our pupils have been using the concepts of VESPA via their Learning Skills sessions with tutors, but now they will have the opportunity to create bespoke activities for themselves to support their study skills using the online package.

The five key principles of VESPA are: Vision, Effort, Systems, Practice and Attitude. Ensuring our pupils secure these principles for their studies are our main focus. The Vespa Academy was launched to Year 11, Lower Sixth and Upper Sixth on the 19 November 2020 and they will be supported by their tutors on their journey of activities which will support their study and revision skills. 

For more information on 'The VESPA Academy please click here.

Dr Liz Pyne
Assistant Head - Teaching and Learning

Looking For Christmas Gift Ideas

If you are on the hunt for presents, we have a wonderful range of Princethorpian merchandise available from our online shop:

Our Old Princethorpian range includes ties and cufflinks, pin badges, scarves and some very snazzy socks.

On sale also are our new Fine Art Prints of The Soaring Redbrick Tower in A2 and A3 size and as a greetings card.

Copies of A Spirit of Family, the 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 14 December 2020 please.

Purchases can be made easily via our online shop

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