New Prefects And Subject Ambassadors Confirmed

The new Princethorpe College Prefect Body and Subject Ambassadors for 2021-2022 have been announced. They will take on their new roles after the Easter break but the students were confirmed in their new roles and presented with their badges of office in school last Friday.

The College wishes good luck to the new prefect body and subject ambassadors for the year ahead and extends warm thanks to the outgoing prefects and ambassadors, they have given great service and we wish them all the best for their upcoming assessments and future endeavours.

As previously announced the new Head Boy and Head Girl are Anthony Convey and Caitlin Mason. They will be supported in their roles by Deputy Head Boys Ben Scares and Ciaran Smith and Deputy Head Girls Victoria Heritage and Nell Johnston.

Full details of the full 2021-2022 Prefect Body can be found here.

Details of the 2021-2022 Subject Ambassadors can be found here.

We look forward to working with the senior student teams and congratulate them all.

New Director Of Development To Take Princethorpe’s Fundraising To New Heights

The Foundation has recently announced that it is seeking a new Director of Development.

We are now actively recruiting for a highly experienced and passionate Director of Development to take our fundraising to new heights. 

Comments, Ed Hester, Headmaster, “We thank Chris wholeheartedly for all his efforts and hard work over the last two years. He has successfully raised the profile of bursaries and our Science + Campaign. Under his leadership the team has made good progress and we are now at a critical stage in our fundraising, particularly in regards to the new £8 million Science Centre, which we hope to be able to go to tender for in the autumn.”

He continues, “We are looking for a very special individual who is completely in tune with our values and ethos. They will report directly to me and will sit on our Executive Senior Leadership Team. We hope to appoint by the end of April, with a view to the new Director of Development joining us in the summer, in the meantime I will be working very closely with the Development Office and championing our fundraising efforts.”

For more information on the new role visit

Faye Roberts To Be New Head Of Benet House

Head of Benet House and English Teacher, Lisa Challinor, is to take up a new role from September, as Director of Wellbeing, Values and Skills at King’s High School.

Comments, Ed Hester, Headmaster, “We would like to congratulate Lisa on her new role. She has been an important part of the Princethorpe family for 11 years and we offer our heartfelt thanks for her commitment to and support of our pupils, as part of our teaching and pastoral teams. We wish her all the very best in her new endeavour.”

The College is delighted to announce that Faye Roberts has been appointed as the new Head of Benet House. Faye, who is currently Head of Biology and Acting Head of Science and was previously House Activities Leader, will take over the reins at the start of the Michaelmas Term.

Faye has taught at Princethorpe for 11 years fostering her many pupils’ love of the biological sciences and encouraging engagement and participation during her time as House Activities Leader. She has led the College’s Expeditions to Costa Rica, Ecuador and Borneo and during the 2018-2019 academic year took a sabbatical, to travel and volunteer in the developing world. In her spare time Faye likes to get outside and go camping and hiking.

Comments Ed Hester, "Faye is a long-standing and valued member of the Princethorpe community with a wealth of experience. Her warm, positive approach will provide a supportive environment for Benet pupils that will help get the best out of everyone."

Faye Roberts added, "The Spirit of Family ethos here at Princethorpe means so much to me and I am looking forward to getting to know all the Benet pupils over the coming months.”

Year 9 Jack Dando Takes First Place In College STEAM Essay Competition

Princethorpe’s STEAM essay competition attracted plenty of entries and Deputy Head Girl and STEAM Ambassador, Lauren Mason, was delighted with the response.

Lauren explains, “I was very impressed by both the large number and excellent quality of the essays entered into our British Science Week competition. The submissions were thoughtful and well researched, covering a wide spectrum of different careers in STEAM. It was good to see an even mix of men and women, and many different nationalities represented, smashing stereotypes and truly showing just how diverse the world of STEAM really is. Innovating for the future was the theme of this year’s British Science Week, and Princethorpe’s entries embodied this sentiment perfectly.”

After careful consideration prizes were awarded as follows:

1st – Jack Dando (Benet, Year 9) for his essay on Peter Zumthor, a Swiss architect
2nd – Mia Petrucci (More, Year 7) for her essay on Erin Smith, a teenager who developed AI technology used to detect early signs of Parkinson’s disease
3rd – Amaanya Bose (Austin, Year 9) for her essay on Issey Miyake, an innovative Japanese textiles designer

In addition, there were eight highly commended entries written by Year 9 pupils, Ed Twyman, Sammie Borland and Jack Fleming; Year 8 pupil, André Onyekwe; and Year 7 pupils, Soren Wasley, Charlie Atkins, Megan Thandi and Alex Lloyd.

For his first place Jack receives 100 house points and a da Vinci merit, in second place Mia receives 75 house points and a da Vinci and Amaanya’s third place earns her 50 house points and a da Vinci. Housepoints and merits were also awarded to all of the entries as the standard of the submissions was so high.

Congratulations to all of the entrants, we were really impressed by your thoughtful and well-constructed analysis of your chosen inspirational STEAM innovators.

You can read the winning essays in a booklet attached here

Congratulations also to all our other British Science Week competition winners who were presented with their prizes by Mrs Roberts in school this week: Soren Wasley, Kaena Wasley, Isla Farrelly, Jess Sarkies, Ben Jones, Pip Evans, Penelope Jones, Noah Nix, Cara Ridd, Martha Harris and Jonjo Boyle.

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Chloe Potts Wins Local Charity Poetry Competition

Congratulations to Year 8, Chloe Potts who has won the Warwickshire-based charity Kissing It Better's poetry competition for schoolchildren.

More than 70 children entered the Kissing it Better and Leycester House Care Home competition, helping to light up the lockdown for residents of the care home with their poems, and Chloe was one of two winners in the 11 to 14 years age group.

The theme for the poetry competition was ‘What happiness means to me’ and this week on Wednesday 25 March, Chloe was invited to read her poem to the Leycester House Poetry Club, over Zoom.

Caty Oates, Project Director at Kissing it Better commented, “The residents have been delighted by the amazing response to the competition, and touched that so many children took the time to think of brightening the day for them. The quality of writing was incredibly high and the residents were impressed with the powerful imagery in many of the children’s poems.”

Head of Benet House and English teacher, Miss Challinor, commented, “Chloe’s poem is so beautiful and I loved reading it, I found it so moving. We are all very proud of her.”

A huge well done to Chloe! You can read her lovely poem here.

1:1 Digital Device Scheme For Years 7 To 9 Update

We had hoped to give you more information on our 1:1 Digital Device Scheme in this issue of The Flagpole, unfortunately this is not possible currently. We hope to be able to communicate further after the Easter holidays.

Please be advised that while we hope to move to 1:1 devices for Years 7 to 9 before the end of the Trinity Term, we will only move ahead with this when the scheme is in place.

Andy Compton
Assistant Head - Director of Digital Strategy

Daniel Awarded Merit In Prestigious Oxford Computing Challenge

The Oxford University Computing Challenge is an invitational event for those who finished in the top 10% of the UK Bebras Challenge. Both challenges test skills such as logical thinking, pattern identification and decomposition as well as computer programming. The Oxford University Computing Challenge encourages pupils to develop their skills one stage further and consists of three sections of problems for pupils to solve.

Year 7 pupil, Daniel Oven Gibbs competed in the Junior section against just over 2,700 pupils who had qualified for this year’s OUCC competition. Daniel finished in the top 15%, achieving a Merit grade for his submission. It was a super result.

Head of Computer Science, Adam Depledge said, “This is a really fantastic achievement by Daniel. Computational thinking is an incredibly useful and powerful skill and Daniel has shown he has mastered it to a level well beyond his years. It’s great to see his abilities recognised in such a prestigious competition at such a young age and we look forward to seeing what he can accomplish in the future.”

Student Success In The RSC Chemistry Olympiad

Designed to challenge and inspire, the UK Chemistry Olympiad is a national chemistry competition run by the Royal Society Of Chemistry. Hosted annually, it is aimed at students in the Sixth Form and offers a unique opportunity for chemistry students to develop their thinking and problem-solving skills and test their existing knowledge of chemistry in situations from the real-world.

The results of this year’s competition have just been received and all three Upper Sixth students who took part in the 2021 Chemistry Olympiad have achieved a certificate. Lauren Mason and Alex Rejali are awarded Silver certificates (Lauren was just two marks off a Gold), placing them in the top 23% of all the participants. Lizzie Ridd was just one mark off a Bronze and received a well-earned participation certificate. The Princethorpe trio faced tough national competition and we congratulate them all on their excellent results.

Lent Term Celebration Of Achievement

As the Lent Term draws to a close it is time once again to recognise and celebrate the many pupils who have risen to the challenge of the College’s ethos.

This term Assistant Head Co-curricular, Neil McCollin, congratulated 142 pupils from across the College who had been nominated by members of staff for recognition for their achievements. All had tried their best; some had excelled or showed commitment to the performing arts or academic studies, whilst others had gone over and above for their House or Tutor group. All were an outstanding example for their peers.

Mr McCollin thanked each and every one of them, recognising the commitment and effort they put in and all that they do to enrich school life.

This term congratulations go to:

From Year 7: Charlie Atkins, Jonjo Boyle, Glenys Chapman, Kathryn Flegg, Ariana Gray, Alexa Holland, Conor Horan, Daisy McMurdo, Theo Memetovic, Kyla-Mae Milestone, Rosie Moreton, Daniel Ovens Gibbs, Jorja Parris, Mia Petrucci, Annabelle Ritson, Skye Rotheram, Jess Sarkies, Ellie Stern, Lucas Summers, Megan Thandi, Bella Ward, Ethan Wright and James Wright

From Year 8: Luke Abrahamson, Andre Barnett, Sean Birtley, Bobby Chapman, Emily Glover, Anna Johnson, Jessica Lane, Lorna McCloughlin, Jack Mills, Ben Moore, Sophie Nicolle, André Onyekwe, Chloe Potts and Charlie Wilcox

From Year 9: Jayden Carr, Matthew Carr, Jack Dando, Kobby Enyimayew, Chloe Henderson, Sebastian Hume-Chignell, Lottie Hunter, Giorgio Kleinmann, Harriet Louch, Hamish O’Brien, Zack Oldfield, Kate Pomerleau, James Reynolds, Robyn Shaw, Megan Shipton, Thomas Smith, Jemima Teeton and Sage Westbury

From Year 10: Joe Bird, Mary-Ellen Boyle, Emilia Case, Aryan Chima, Lara Convey, Guy Dawkins, Ella Dunkley, Jess Evans, Amelie Hancock, Darcey Heritage, Amy Hogg, Oliver Llewellyn, Julia Loftus, Oscar Low, Ben Putt, Darcy Reeve, Natasha Thomas, Kyran Vaughan, Toby West, Alice Whittaker, Izzy Wright and Erika Zanyi

From Year 11: Zoha Abbas, Roualeyn Alford, Laurel Arkesden, Elizabeth Boyes, Tom Dodsley, Eve Farquharson, Molly Harper, Mia Johnson, Tom Knight, Ben Murray, Oscar Page, Pratheesh Prabakaran, Rosie Pritchard-Jeffs, Jasmin Rose, Freddie Sutton, Dan Webb and Maddie Wilde

From Lower Sixth: Amelia Burgess, Greg Burford, Freya Caine, Joe England, Robyn Field, Poppy Hainge, Dan Hatfield, Milly Hemmings, Eve Howard, James Jennings, Elsie Kelley, Ishbel Kempton, Tobias Lambe, Caitlin Mason, Ella Mason, John Rabeti, Jack Rochford, Ben Scares, Emily Scrivens, Archie Shields, Ciaran Smith, Olivia Ward and Charlie Wollaston

From Upper Sixth: Lauren Abba, Ben Abrahamson, Hannah Bryer, Sophie Cheshire, Zara Cooke, Tom Crowfoot, Will Crowfoot, Amelia Cunnington, James Gallagher, Arran Knight, Ross Low, Josh Mander, Lauren Mason, Calan McIntosh, Angus Potter, Prajeet Prabakaran, Alex Rejali, Lizzie Ridd, Trinnie Seaman, Seb Shaw, Esme Tolley, Claudia Tyler, Isabella Wardman and Daisy Walker

More information on the pupils’ achievements can be found here.

Lower Sixth Take On The Physics Olympiad

This year the Lower Sixth undertook the Physics Olympiad while in home learning: a national competition, notorious for its difficulty. The Olympiad consisted of two multiple choice papers that encouraged students to think creatively within the subject of Physics. It was an opportunity to apply their understanding to a wider context beyond the curriculum.

While being challenging, the Olympiad offered an incredibly valuable experience, by allowing the students to compete with the country’s top young Physicists. The questions ranged from general Physics knowledge to relevant calculations, which kept the challenge fun as students weren’t constrained to only one type of question. Furthermore, due to social distancing measures at the time, the Association responsible for the Olympiad formatted all the questions to be multiple choice, which made the competition completely different from the previous year’s. As it is not graded, there was no pressure to perform and this allowed the students to enjoy the whole experience.

Caitlin Mason commented, "It has encouraged me to approach problems with a different outlook: considering the basic principles of Physics and recognising patterns. I hope to take this on in the future. It was a fantastic challenge, although daunting at the time, and I enjoyed the chance to apply what we have learnt to real-life challenges."

Archie Hancock, said, "My advice to anyone considering taking part in this challenge is to give it a try. It is no secret that it is unorthodox in the questions asked with some relating to the Nobel prizes awarded to Physicists, but it offers an incredibly fun opportunity with a recognised association and I can only thank the Physics department for encouraging me to get involved."

Dan Lee, Head of Physics, added, "The Lower Sixth students took on the Physics Olympiad with great enthusiasm. I am proud of their results and would like to take this opportunity to congratulate all those who took part."

The following students were awarded certificates:

Archie Hancock - Silver
Louis Beck - Bronze
Joshua Rawlings - Bronze
Ben Scares - Bronze
Caitlin Mason - Bronze
Mary Lomas - Bronze
Charlie Wollaston - Bronze
Daniel Hatfield - Commendation
Stan Brocklebank - Commendation


Princethorpe’s Virtual Careers Fair Offers Insights Into A Wealth Of Opportunities

The College’s fifth Careers Fair took place virtually this year but that didn’t stop it offering a wealth of insightful information and advice about a whole host of careers. Headmaster, Ed Hester welcomed a capacity crowd of pupils, parents, staff and contributors, all online, on Saturday 20 March, for what proved to be an informative and very valuable event.

Thirty-seven speakers, including current and former parents and Old Princethorpians, gave their time to present on a wide variety of careers and professions. From Accountancy and Law to Veterinary, Engineering, Cyber-Security and Social Work, individual presentations gave pupil attendees from Year 10 to Sixth Form the chance to consider careers, research jobs, listen to advice and ask questions.

The morning began with a keynote speech from guest speaker and Princethorpe parent Dr Charlotte Cowie, Head of Medicine at the Football Association. Dr Cowie’s address was full of words of wisdom. She began by sharing her route to her current role, the challenges and opportunities faced along the way and the breadth of responsibilities it includes. Before moving on to talk about the different career opportunities available in her industry. Her three myth busters were applicable to us all, encouraging but to the point they summarised the reality of the working world. Her advice that ‘talent is not enough – it is discretionary effort that counts’, ‘you need to learn to love what you do’ and ‘you don’t have to know what you want to do – just fake it until you make it’ are applicable to anyone at any stage in their career in any industry.  Dr Cowie spoke from the heart and was inspiring to all.

Thanking Dr Cowie, Ed Hester summed up with the hope that the Careers Fair would succeed in ‘getting pupils on the right track’ and with that the attendees were off for a fruitful morning of exploring careers and universities and life post Princethorpe.

Across the morning pupils attended three virtual sessions, for many this was their first step on the career ladder and it enabled pupils to have a taste of some of the different sorts of career choices available to them.  Feedback has certainly been very positive with parents and pupils commenting on how useful and informative the event was including:

“Please pass our thanks on to all involved; really inspirational and helpful stimulus for the students.”

“It was a great insight into future opportunities and ideas. Dr Cowie’s initial talk was just amazing and so inspiring on so many levels.”

“The speakers made it very interesting and gave a lot of information. It was so helpful. Also we would like to thank Dr Cowie she was so inspirational.”

“Following the Careers Fair on Saturday, I now know exactly what I want to do!”

We are immensely grateful to all the Old Princethorpians, parents, contributors and staff who supported the Careers Fair and to the Careers Team for their organisation of the event.

Recordings of all the virtual sessions are available for pupils to access here. Pupils will need to log in using their school email and password.

New Reading Resources Support French And Spanish Studies

The Library and MFL department are pleased to announce that we now have a new collection of popular books written in French and Spanish for pupils to use within their MFL lessons. The idea for the new collection came about as a result of a request made by Jess Lane in Year 8 via the Student Council, and has been generously financed by the College PTA.

The collection includes popular titles such as Harry Potter, Matilda, BFG and the characters Max and Lili. There are also short stories, picture books and factual information books for all ages.

This is a super idea from Jess to encourage pupils to extend their vocabulary and comprehension in a relaxing and fun way.  Any pupils wishing to read the books should contact the Library or the MFL department.

Many thanks to the College PTA for supporting this initiative.

Princethorpe Sixth Former Awarded Top Honours In Prestigious ISA National Art Competition

Recent leaver, Dominic Turner-Burr has been awarded first place in the Key Stage 5 Photography category of the Independent Schools Association’s prestigious National Art Competition.

Dominic’s winning work, titled Fighting Back, was part of his A-level Photography portfolio. 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.

His work took first place in the Regional ISA Art competition back in November and Princethorpe College Head of Art, Paul Hubball, is delighted that Dominic’s work has gone on to take top spot in the national event.

Paul comments, “Many congratulations to Dom, he is a worthy recipient of this award. His entry was exceptional and is a product of the many hours of work he put into it. It is marvellous to see his talent rewarded in this way.”

This recognition is also a testament to the depth and range of talent in Princethorpe's Art and Photography Department.

A huge well done to Dom!


Five Year 11 Physicists Awarded Certificates In Intermediate Olympiad

Five of our top Physicists in Year 11 took part in the Intermediate Physics Olympiad on Wednesday 17 March. It's a competition that tests pupils’ knowledge and understanding of basic physics principles, with really challenging problems that go well beyond the standard curriculum. 4,700 pupils from over 200 schools took part this year and were awarded certificates - Commendation, Bronze, Silver and Gold.

Due to the pandemic, this year's competition took the format of two 25-minute multiple choice papers sat online, a contrast to the written hour-long paper that would usually consist of short and long answer questions.

Many congratulations to the participating pupils, who were all awarded certificates:

Ed Foster - Commendation
Harry Scott - Bronze
Tom Knight - Silver
Madoc Williams - Silver
Will Hawkins - Silver

Madoc commented, "I found the Physics Olympiad a fun challenge that pushed me and made me take my Physics knowledge to the next level."

Will said, "I really enjoyed the challenge, especially seeing how physics is useful in the real world. Although I was glad it was multiple-choice!"

Tom added, "I saw this as a challenge that I could overcome, and pushed myself to see how much Physics I truly understand."

It was a great enrichment activity for the boys.

Year 10 are up next, save the date for Friday 7 May.

Dan Lee
Head of Physics