College Prepares For Entrance Examinations

The College is preparing itself for this year's Entrance Examinations which take place virtually tomorrow morning, Saturday 23 January.

The Entrance Exams will comprise of three tests of 45 minutes each, English Comprehension, Mathematics and a Free Writing paper with short breaks in between.  After a brief live welcome from the Headmaster, candidates will complete the tasks and submit their responses online within a given timeframe. Detailed instructions have been emailed directly to the parents of the children registered for the examination today.

Comments Melanie Butler, Assistant Head - Marketing, Admissions and Communications,

"We have had high levels of interest this year and we know that positive recommendations from current families will have played a large part in this."

"Our change of plan to virtual examinations has been at relatively short notice, but the College believes that this new approach combined with the reference from children’s current school will be the fairest way forward for all candidates in the current circumstances."

"We wish all the candidates the very best of luck for tomorrow morning."

The Admissions Team will be on hand on 01926 634201/262/297 or by email tomorrow morning.

Sixth Formers Celebrate Oxford Offers

Huge congratulations to Princethorpe College Sixth Form students who have received offers for places at the University of Oxford. Grace McGrory will be reading Law at Pembroke College, Hannah Porter will be reading History at Trinity College and James Gallagher will be reading Law at The Queen’s College.

We are very proud of these talented young people and of all our Upper Sixth students applying to study at University next year, the majority of whom have now received offers through the UCAS system.

The University of Cambridge will be making its offers next week and we are keeping our fingers crossed for further success.

OP Jordan King Gives Sixth Formers An Insight Into His Life In Motorsport

Professional racing driver, Jordan King, returned to his old school, Princethorpe College, on Thursday 14 January. It was a virtual visit, because of the lockdown, but the welcome Sixth Form students and staff gave Jordan was just as warm.

Jordan attended Princethorpe’s Sixth Form and left the College back in 2012 to pursue a career in motor racing, a sport that he said ‘has put a smile on my face’ from the day he first sat in a go-kart at Mr Karting on Harbury Lane, just south of Leamington Spa.

Jordan’s talent and indefatigable drive have taken him from Karting through Formula 3, on to GP2, then IndyCar, World Endurance and the heights of the Indy 500 and Le Mans. An incredible career for a 26-year-old.

Interviewed by College top motor sport fan, Head of Mathematics, Sharon McBride, who could scarcely contain her excitement, Jordan spoke to Sixth Formers and staff about his life in the competitive world of motor racing. He answered questions with generosity and candour and his anecdotes helped students understand the preparation, practise, determination and resilience required to be so successful in his chosen sport.

Jordan spoke about the importance of the wider racing team, a close-knit community who work alongside him and the hard work and attention to detail that goes in to preparing cars and drivers for a race. He explained his work ethic, how he ‘always wanted to forge his own career’, how ‘his life is his work’ and ‘the days are long but thoroughly enjoyable’. He also talked about the fitness and endurance required to compete at this elite level and about how he manages mentally with the dangers drivers face.

Jordan clearly enjoyed his enthusiastic audience and the questions that came thick and fast, commenting, “It was really great to reconnect with Princethorpe, I am still in touch with many of the friends that I made there. The teachers were always supportive and friendly and I enjoyed all the subjects I studied but I particularly enjoyed the sport – it appealed to my competitive nature. I remember Mr McCollin once asking me ‘Do you play tennis?’ and when I replied yes, he said, ‘Great you’re in the team’ and that was it, off I went to Warwick to play in a match!”

Our thanks go to Jordan for such an informative session and for answering our students’ questions. The College has many connections with the automotive industry. Last term Head of Brand Marketing at Lotus Cars and OP, Nigel Bromley visited the school, and last year we welcomed the CEO of Lotus Cars and former parent, Phil Popham, together with world-famous British Jaguar car designer, Ian Callum CBE. Such visitors are great role models for our students, inspiring and encouraging our young people to follow their dreams.

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The Planet Needs You

Princethorpe College is relaunching its school ‘environmental team’ to rally pupils and staff to address the global crisis of climate change. Building on the work of the school’s ‘Green Team’, the project will bring like-minded pupils and staff together to develop and share ideas of how we can all take responsibility for the current planet emergency. Together the group will seek to identify and implement environmental and sustainable changes at the College, that reduce our carbon footprint and make the campus and the world we all live in a better place.

The Planet Needs You campaign was launched this week in a video put together by our new ‘environment’ team leaders, teachers, Jacqui Scott and Tom Walton. Including an endorsement from the Headmaster, Ed Hester, and with messages from teachers and pupils across the school, Old Princethorpians and clips from ‘climate crisis’ icons David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg, the video reminded us all of the planet emergency we face and the responsibility we have as individuals to take action.

Princethorpe College wants to lead by example and has already started to make its own small changes, switching from plastic to paper school shop bags, changing the grounds team vehicle fuel to biodiesel, installing new more fuel efficient boilers, an ongoing programme to change all lights to LED, ensuring recycling bins are available around the school site and in classrooms, reducing paper printing, reviewing and adjusting bus routes to better serve the pupil population and offering discounts for siblings to encourage take up, but the new environment team will really help the school play its part. The College knows that pupils’ skills, passion, enthusiasm and experience are vital for driving this initiative forward, not just for the College but for the wider world and that our individual small actions, the many marginal gains will all come together to make a big difference.

Assistant Head, Co-curricular, Neil McCollin, is looking forward to seeing the new group grow and thrive: “Princethorpe is keen to see sustainability embedded in everything that we do, having pupils take the lead on environmental issues will make a great difference. I can't wait to see what ideas the group bring to fruition.”

It’s an important issue and the College is encouraging all of the community to take part.


Keynote Speaker Confirmed For Virtual Careers Fair

Plans for the College’s Virtual Careers Fair on Saturday 20 March are taking shape with the confirmation that Dr Charlotte Cowie, Head of Medicine at the Football Association has kindly agreed to be the keynote speaker for the 2021 event.

Comments Head of Careers, Jacqui Quinney, "We are delighted to have Dr Cowie on board to open the event and set the tone for the day. She has forged an amazing career in elite and professional sport medicine spanning almost 30 years and covering many sports. She has attended three Olympic Games with Team GB and was the first female doctor to work in the English Football Leagues, before taking on her strategic role at the FA, her presentation promises to be one not to miss."

The Careers Fair is open to Year 10 to Sixth Form students and their parents. It provides a ‘one stop careers shop’ with a wide range of speakers and organisations on hand to offer advice and guidance.

The Careers Fair will run from 9.30am to 12.30pm and, as well as the keynote speech, attendees will be able to attend up to three workshops depending on their personal interests.

Mrs Quinney continues, "Registrations will open in February and there will be plenty to interest and inform our pupils and their parents."

Click here for more information on Dr Cowie.

Princethorpe Celebrates LAMDA Examination Success

Pupils at Princethorpe College are celebrating after receiving outstanding results in their recent LAMDA (London Academy for Music and Dramatic Arts) examinations.

Back in November, pupils from Year 7 to Sixth Form took exams in a range of disciplines including Mime, Reading for Performance, Acting, Devising Drama, Speaking Verse and Prose, Public Speaking and for the first time LAMDA’s Shakespeare certificate. Candidates impressed the two visiting examiners with the overall confidence they demonstrated, from Grade 2 up to Grade 8 (the Gold Medal). Forty-two were awarded a Distinction, with a number of candidates achieving over 90%, including Mark Dunkley with an impressive 94 marks for Reading for Performance - Grade 6, and Grace Isaacs who received an outstanding 97 marks for Acting Solo - Grade 6. Charlotte Fitzpatrick also gained a Distinction for her Grade 8 Gold Medal Acting Solo examination, a result that earns her 30 UCAS points towards her university entry.

Many pupils at Princethorpe College take peripatetic LAMDA lessons devoting additional time to the study of the performing arts. The qualifications equip pupils with communication skills which will serve them throughout life. While most pupils take the qualifications solo, a number choose to work together in pairs and sit the examinations as a duologue. This time that included André Onyekwe and Agatha Pitchers from Year 8, who know each other from primary school, and worked together to both achieve Distinctions in their Acting Duo Grade 3 examination.

LAMDA Co-ordinator, Kathy Buckingham-Underhill, was thoroughly delighted, saying, “These results reflect the hard work that pupils put into learning and rehearsing their pieces. We had a tremendous 42 Distinctions (the highest mark awarded), and 10 Merits. The examiners were very impressed with the performances presented by the candidates commenting on their ability to swap character persona with such ease.”

Congratulations to all of the pupils involved and thank you to all of the peripatetic LAMDA team for all their hard work preparing pupils for the examinations, especially while working within the social distancing restrictions.

Restoration Work Begins On Old Woodland Walk

The Grounds team are in the process of restoring and revitalising an old woodland path known as the Nut Walk. Running along the back of the Orchard wall, the overgrown path originates from Princethorpe’s days as a Priory and connects the sports field entrance to the Mile Walk to the car park by the Grounds shed.

Such was the dilapidated state of the path, that very few of Princethorpe’s current pupils and staff would have ever thought that there was ever a path there but as our very own Mr Princethorpe, Assistant Head, Development, Alex Darkes, reveals, “When I was here as a pupil (1968-75) the Nut Walk was less overgrown and made a diversion from the Mile Walk as another place to explore! The Nut Walk hugged the back of the Orchard wall from the Games field side and was bordered by a ditch. I recall seeing hazelnuts, with their distinctive husks, no doubt the reason for its name. My strongest memory is of the carcass of an old black car which was close to the Orchard wall and well hidden by the undergrowth. It might have been a Standard or even a Hillman, I remember that it had a ‘wind out windscreen’ for ventilation. Even in 1968 the car was in a pretty forlorn state. It must have pre-dated Princethorpe College and it was always a bit of a mystery as to how it got there, as the nuns were incredibly orderly in terms of looking after the place.”

So far, the Grounds team have been hard at work clearing away the undergrowth, brambles and other invasive species with Grounds Assistant, Alan Husband, spending many long hours cutting the ivy ready for it all to be pulled off the orchard walls. The team have now begun the process of re-establishing the path. They have discovered old roses and even uncovered the remains of the old car! The team are aiming to have completed their work by the end of February, so hopefully once we all return to school the lost path will nearly be ready to explore. It will be wonderful to see its mysteries revealed once again.



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Year 7 Sophie Receives #ThanksKids Award From Local NHS

Just before Christmas, Year 7 pupil, Sophie Henry was awarded a Children’s Choice Award in recognition of her fundraising, by the Coventry and Warwickshire Partnership NHS Trust Mental Health Service Rise.

The #ThanksKids Awards are all about recognising local acts of kindness by young people in Coventry and Warwickshire and are a way for the NHS to reciprocate the love and appreciation that they have felt during a very challenging year.  

Sophie and her friend Jess completed a 20-mile charity cycle ride as part of their Girl Guide Silver Award. The cycle ride was planned for November and the girls were hoping to cycle round Ryton Pools. Unfortunately, during the week before the challenge, Sophie’s friend had to self-isolate so they were unable to complete their cycle ride outside. Instead of postponing, the girls set up their bikes indoors and completed their cycle together ‘virtually’ from their living rooms on Zoom. It was a lot harder than they expected but they did it and raised £500. Their fundraising resilience was recognised with a nomination for an award.

Over 450 children and young people were nominated for their acts of kindness and resilience last year and received an NHS Stars certificate in recognition. From those just 25 were shortlisted for a #ThanksKids Award. Sophie and her friend were amazed to be short-listed and were delighted to be invited to attend a special virtual ceremony on Friday 18 December to celebrate their extra special kindness and contribution.

Jane Ralphs, Rise Nurse and Chair of #ThanksKids, said: "The #ThanksKids initiative is all about recognising acts of kindness by young people in Coventry and Warwickshire. We have been blown away by all the amazing things young people have been doing during lockdown…. small, big and everything in between. We are so proud of everything our young people have achieved during a particularly tough year."

Huge congratulations to Sophie and her friend Jess, who were one of a small number presented with the Children’s Choice Award. The College was impressed with your kindness and delighted to see it recognised with such a special award.

You can find out more about the #ThanksKids awards at

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