Pearson Family Support Princethorpe’s Science Campaign

Brothers Ben and Alex Pearson, leavers of 2014 and 2016 respectively, and their family have recently become the first donors to take up the opportunity to name a laboratory in Princethorpe’s proposed new Science Centre. The good news was communicated to the College recently at an opportune time for the fundraising campaign.

The new Science Centre, Princethorpe’s largest campus project to date, will cost £8 million and provide 10 brand-new, state-of-the-art science laboratories. The school is aiming to fundraise over £1 million towards the overall build cost and donors are being offered a variety of giving options including naming a laboratory ahead of work commencing. It is hoped that the centre will open its doors for teaching in autumn 2023.

The Pearson family’s major donation, given in memory of Ben and Alex’s late father and in thanks for the support given to the boys during their time at the school, is the first gift that the College has received to go towards naming one of the new Science labs – the Pearson Laboratory.

Commenting on the gift, Ed Hester said, “It’s wonderful that the Pearson family have been able to support Princethorpe so generously, and it’s exciting to see our first donors come forward to name one of the laboratories in the new Science Centre.”

“Both Ben and Alex contributed hugely to College life during their school years here and this is a wonderful tribute to their legacy and that of their late father.”

Since leaving Princethorpe Ben has completed a degree in Law at UCL and is now living and working in London as a solicitor for a City firm, working on investments into energy and infrastructure projects. Younger brother, Alex, studied Business at Liverpool John Moores University and is still based in the city, now working in the hospitality industry.

Ben and Alex Pearson commented, “We are delighted that our family have been able to support Princethorpe with this donation towards the Science Centre which we hope will benefit the learning of generations of pupils.”

“We both really enjoyed our time at Princethorpe and it’s fantastic to see the school going from strength to strength. We very much look forward to seeing the progress on the new Science Centre over the next year or so and visiting our named lab when it opens for teaching.”

If you are interested in opportunities to donate towards the Science Centre or to the College’s Bursary Fund, please get in touch with the Development Team on 01926 634265 or email

Registrations For September 2022 Entry Now Open!

The countdown to the College's Entrance Exams for admission in September 2022 has officially begun and our friendly Admissions Team are already busy accepting registrations and answering enquiries from prospective families.

The Entrance Exams will take place on Saturday 6 November 2021 and with just five months until the registration deadline, Friday 1 October 2021, we have now opened bookings for our Open Events and Taster Experiences.

Our Summer Open Evening, Wednesday 9 June 2021, is by appointment only and will operate subject to government guidelines, in order for us to keep everyone safe. There are two sessions running from 6.30pm – 7.30pm and 8.00pm to 9.00pm. This event will give prospective families a chance to look around the school and to hear from Ed Hester, the Headmaster. Places are limited and filling up fast, so please book your place via our website.

In May and June, we are also able to offer our popular Year 5 Taster Experiences. These events are aimed at giving prospective pupils a taste of senior school life through a variety of sample lessons. Younger visitors will be welcomed by the Headmaster and get to enjoy refreshments, including the legendary Princethorpe cookies.

There are three Year 5 Taster Experience sessions, Saturday 22 May 9.00am to 12.15pm or Saturday 19 June, 9.00am to 12.15pm or 1.30pm to 4.45pm. These events will also be very carefully managed within government guidelines. To register please visit our website.

There will be further opportunities to visit in the Michaelmas Term, when we hope restrictions will be lifted and visitors can be welcomed as normal.

Our Open Afternoon on Sunday 19 September from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, will provide prospective families with a chance to meet members of staff and pupils, take part in activities around the different departments and tour the school and grounds.

The final opportunity to visit before the registration deadline for those wishing to join Years 7 to 10, is our Open Morning on Thursday 23 September from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Visitors will be able to look around the school on a normal working school day with our Year 8 and 9 pupils acting as tour guides.

If you are thinking of joining us for Sixth Form in 2022, we have a dedicated Sixth Form Open Evening on Wednesday 13 October 2021 from 6.30pm to 9.00pm. You will hear from Ed Hester, Headmaster and Head of Sixth Form, Ben Collie regarding key events and dates in the Sixth Form application process. You will also receive specific A-level subject information and advice provided by the Heads of Departments and general information on the Sixth Form experience at Princethorpe.

For more information and to book your place at any of our Open Events or Taster Experiences please visit or contact our friendly Admissions Team on 01926 634201/262/297 or email

Entrance Exams for 2022 entry will take place on Saturday 6 November 2021. All candidates must be registered by Friday 1 October 2021. For those wishing to join us for Sixth Form in September 2022 you must be registered by Monday 31 January 2022.

Inauguration Ceremony Welcomes New Princethorpe Prefect Body

The new Princethorpe College Prefect Body for 2021-2022 was formally inaugurated into their roles on Thursday 29 April. The ceremony took place in the Sports Hall and was streamed to pupils watching in their form rooms across the school and to parents online.

Headmaster, Ed Hester began by thanking the 2020-2021 prefects and subject ambassadors for their support over the last year before the outgoing Head Girl and Head Boy, Abbie O’Carroll-Bailey and Jack Neale, opened the proceedings with a prayer. Head of Sixth Form, Ben Collie then introduced the new prefects and Assistant Head, Dr Liz Pyne introduced the new subject ambassadors. Representatives of both bodies spoke about their plans for their new roles. The keys of office were formally handed over and the incoming Head Girl and Head Boy, Caitlin Mason and Anthony Convey, spoke of their excitement and hopes for the coming year.

The College wishes good luck to the new prefects 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.

Virtual Production A World First For Princethorpe

Princethorpe College’s entirely virtual production of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar School Production was a world first and the culmination of an astounding year of ingenuity for the Music and Performing Arts team.

Available for just eight days, over Easter, the powerful performance telling the story of Christ’s arrest and crucifixion was both moving and incredible. Together, Directors Jess Newborough and Gil Cowlishaw and their mighty team of Princethorpe players delivered a world first, a completely virtual production that simply took your breath away.

After the announcement of the lockdown in January, and in agreement with the rights holders, who also confirmed this had never been attempted before, pupils individually recorded virtual performances that were then edited together to produce a completely virtual show. Featuring all the classic rock musical numbers that everyone loves, including Gethsemane, I Don’t Know How To Love Him and the mighty anthem Superstar.

Gil Cowlishaw, Director of Music, explains, “In ‘normal’ times, we would have never been allowed to make a movie musical but the College has proved that virtual performances can work. It took a lot of determination and ‘can do’ Princethorpe spirit but the hours of rehearsing, performance and editing were certainly worth it.”

Huge congratulations to the cast and crew for their vision, tenacity and sheer effort in putting it all together and as feedback on the production enthusiastically said ‘You completely owned it’ and ‘We are absolutely astounded by you all!’

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Spring Recital Was Inspiring And Uplifting

On Friday 23 April, Princethorpe College hosted its Spring Concert, thanks once again to the wonders of technology. Masterminded by our fantastic Director of Music, Gil Cowlishaw, it was another virtual recital for the school community to enjoy. It included a second Foundation-wide musical collaboration after last summer’s super performance of The Climb.

The concert included solo performances from a number of extremely talented Princethorpe musicians from Year 8 upwards, alongside the Princethorpe Orchestra, the cast of this year’s incredible virtual Musical, Jesus Christ Superstar, and a rousing finale from the, 90-strong, Foundation Virtual Music Group. Together they performed You Will Be Found from the musical Dear Evan Hansen. This latest ‘Big Sing’ once again brought together the talents of our community playing and singing from the safety of their own homes. Its message of hope was both inspiring and uplifting for us all and serves as a reminder to anyone who feels lost or uncertain that, as the song says - you are not alone.

A huge thank you to Gil and the wonderful Princethorpe Foundation vocalists and musicians for providing such wonderful entertainment for a Friday night.

If you haven’t yet seen the performance you can watch the finale here:

New College Map Allows Visitors To Explore Princethorpe Online

Princethorpe College has just launched a new online interactive map that allows visitors and prospective parents to take a mini-tour around the school. Especially now, when on-site visits are limited, the virtual map provides a wonderful window into the school, its buildings and grounds and all those iconic places that are such a part of daily life here at Princethorpe.

The new College map is a good place for prospective parents to start exploring the school and getting a feel for the College before registering to visit the school. It is also great for prospective pupils helping them to imagine life here at Princethorpe amongst all their new friends.

The map will also be of interest to all Old Princethorpians allowing them to wander down the corridors of their yesteryears and will be sure to spark a host of memories of their time at the school.

If you would like to take a look at the new College map then you can find it here:

Year 8 Amelia Chard Wins The College’s Anatomical Art Competition

The College’s Anatomical Art competition has been won by, Year 8 pupil, Amelia Chard. Her stunning specimen drawing of a wolf, amazed Head of Biology, Faye Roberts and Head of Art, Paul Hubball and as you can see from the image, is very deserving of its win.

The co-curricular competition encouraged pupils to bring together their artistic skills and knowledge of Biology in an anatomical drawing on a subject of their choice. Entrants could choose any subject and submit their work in any style.

Amelia’s drawing was impressive, demonstrating both her artistic skill and biological knowledge, and her work will now be submitted into the Royal Society of Biology’s national competition, ‘The Nancy Rothwell Award’.

Congratulations also go to, Year 8, Dylan Williams who took second place with his drawing of coral and to, Year 8, Roxy Glenn and, Year 7, Hetty Frost who both received a Highly Commended for their drawings of a chameleon and guinea pig respectively.

Combining Art and Science in a co-curricular competition is part of the College’s ongoing promotion of STEAM. An approach that builds links between the subjects and helps to cement learning and encourage pupil creativity.

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Zander Hammond Was On Standby For The England U15 Football Camp

It was great to hear that last weekend Year 10 pupil Zander Hammond was on standby for the England U15s football squad’s three-day camp at St George’s Park. It was fantastic news for Zander and bodes well for his future selection and the College was delighted for him.

Zander plays in goal for Aston Villa Academy and has regularly played for the College and for the ISFA (Independent Schools Football Association). He is a talented, determined player and we were all delighted to hear his news!

This time he wasn’t called up but it’s a real honour for him to have been selected. A huge well done from all of us here at Princethorpe - we have our fingers crossed that he gets to play next time!

Charlotte Secures A Place At Top Drama College

Upper Sixth Former, Charlotte Fitzpatrick is celebrating after securing a place at the much sought-after Read College. Read College provides Foundation training for students wishing to pursue a career in the Performing Arts and is incredibly difficult to get into. Their course provides an introduction to degree courses in acting and helps to prepare students for the incredibly competitive drama school audition process.

To secure her place at Read, Charlotte completed three rounds of auditions performing a contemporary monologue, a classical monologue and then a final demanding interview and, as an added extra challenge, this year the whole process took place online. She is delighted that she will be attending Read College and to be taking the next step on the path to achieving her dreams.

Charlotte auditioned for a number of Foundation courses and was pleased to also receive offers from East 15 Acting School, The Performance Preparation Academy, The MGA Academy and the Oxford School of Drama.

Charlotte comments, “I am really looking forward to starting at Read College as their training is of a very high standard. Their patron is Judi Dench and they only take 15 students a year and work with them intensively. I am very excited and grateful to have been given such an opportunity.”

Over the years Charlotte has taken part in many school performances and productions and we are delighted that she now has the oportunity to train professionally. It’s fantastic news and we congratulate her on her success.

College Equestrian Teams Have A Great Start To The Season

The College's equestrian teams have had a great start to the season.

Some notable performances include Year 7 Rosie Moreton placing 5th at the Schools Equestrian Games Competition at Calmsden near Cirencester. Her super result secures Rosie and Mountain a place in the Schools Equestrian Games Championships in September. Rosie was proud to represent Princethorpe College and is already working hard in order to prepare for the Championships.

Meanwhile Lower Sixth Former Robyn Field has been out at Dallas Burston NSEA Arena Eventing and took a 4th place in the 100cm class – sadly just a rolled pole away from a victory, but that is the nature of the sport!

Then other amazing equestrian news includes Year 9 Harriet Boyd's selection as reserve for this year's England Pony Club mounted games team. Mounted games requires athletic ability, great hand-eye co-ordination and plenty of competitive spirit. It's a fast and exciting sport and last Sunday Harriet rode against riders from all over the country in the selection trials. She is delighted and incredibly proud to have been chosen as reserve for the national team. Huge congratulations to Harriet!

All our eventers are now busy preparing and looking forward to competing on home turf at our own two-day-event that takes place at the end of May.

Louisa Fielding
Senior Head of House and Head of Fisher House 


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Lower Sixth First Aid Training Provides Valuable Life Skills

On Saturday 24 April, 11 Lower Sixth students completed an Emergency First Aid At Work course and all passed with flying colours.

The whole day course covered everything from the Recovery position to CPR, from helping someone with a head injury to responding to someone who is choking - essential first aid skills that could make a critical difference.

Knowing what to do when faced with an emergency is a hugely valuable life skill, and completing first aid training gives students the confidence to put their skills into practice if ever needed in the future.

Many thanks to Carla Burlington from Mini First Aid who led the course.

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Science Faculty Lead Session On Forces At Our Lady's

The Science Faculty were asked to visit Our Lady’s Primary School to give a talk on the topic of ‘Forces’ as part of their celebration of British Science Week for 2021.

The magic of Physics (the best Science) was brought alive with demonstrations lead by Lower Sixth student and recently appointed Head Girl, Caitlin Mason.

Levitation, flight, momentum and high voltages provided by the ever-popular Van de Graaff generator were used to demonstrate forces such as magnetic, lift, contact and electrostatic force.

The pupils were inquisitive, enthusiastic and were even kind enough to laugh at some of my jokes.

Mr Dan Lee
Head of Physics

The Princethorpe Connect Community Keeps Growing

Just before Easter, Princethorpe Connect, the Foundation’s online alumni community, passed another amazing milestone with membership numbers reaching 700. Our congratulations went to OP Zainah Darr whose name was pulled out of the hat and became our latest membership prize draw winner.

Zainah was delighted to hear the news and to receive a lovely spring bouquet of flowers from the Foundation. She left Princethorpe back in 2018 and gave us an update on what she has been doing.

She said, "Since leaving Princethorpe, I have been studying Neuroscience at Queen Mary University of London. I have thoroughly enjoyed my degree and it has been fascinating to explore an area of science where so little is understood. Studying in such a dynamic and exciting city has also been amazing and I couldn’t think of a better place to be! With my university being in one of the most multicultural areas of London, I have formed friendships with people from all walks of life. Alongside my studies, I work part time at Selfridges on Oxford Street, which again, has allowed me to interact with a diverse range of people and even serve the odd celebrity! Over the past three years, I have also occasionally helped out at Save the Children in Leamington Spa on the weekends when I have come back home."

"As fascinating as my degree has been, I have decided to pursue a career in law and have been accepted to study the GDL Law Conversion Course at the University of Law, starting this September - I will be studying at the Moorgate Campus so will be continuing my education in London. I am extremely passionate about child safeguarding and wish to specialise in family law, specifically, child protection as I believe all children deserve to excel towards a thriving future."

It was lovely to hear from Zainah and to hear of her future plans. The Foundation is keen to engage with all former pupils, parents and staff and build a thriving alumni community so please do encourage all those you know to register.

Over the Easter holidays Princethorpe Connect has seen a further boost to its membership as a result of the Easter Telethon campaign. Numbers have now reached 773, so it looks like it won't be too long before we have our next membership milestone prize draw winner!


Recycling And Sustainability Presentations For Earth Day

Marking Earth Day last week pupils at Princethorpe enjoyed two visiting speakers on the topics of recycling and sustainability. Organised by the Planet Princethorpe team the talks took place on Tuesday and Thursday in Tutor Time and the College was delighted to welcome Victoria Head from Tony Team and Hannah Irvine of Holroyd Howe to inspire and engage our pupils on topics relating to this year’s Earth Day theme ‘Restore Our Earth’. Their presentations were inspiring and informative and they spoke about how we can all do our bit to reduce, reuse and recycle and how we all have to take responsibility.

As part of the Foundation’s ongoing commitment to sustainability and the environment, the Estates team have installed two new machines to help the College more effectively manage its waste. Installed over the Easter holiday, by Tony Team, both machines are already in use and, the new Baler for cardboard and Compactor for general waste and mixed recycling, will help to reduce landfill use and improve the College’s carbon footprint. The installation of the new machines was filmed to share with pupils as part of Victoria's presentation.

More news on the sustainability front includes the introduction of recycling of food waste which featured in Hannah’s talk. Food waste recycling has commenced this term and will also play its part in reducing the College’s wider impact on the environment.

Princethorpe College is committed to leading by example, embedding sustainability in everything that we do, making changes, individual small actions, that can come together, alongside others, to make a difference to the world we live in.

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Duke Of Edinburgh's Award Expedition Season Is Upon Us Again

The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award expedition season is underway albeit taking account of the current Covid restrictions. A key part of the award, the expeditions provide an unforgettable experience that develops team and leadership skills and builds independence and confidence and it really was wonderful to see pupils taking part in them again.

It was especially poignant and appropriate to have pupils out on expedition on Saturday 17 April, when along with the nation, pupils observed a minute’s silence to remember His Royal Highness Prince Philip.

Both Silver and Bronze participants have been out over recent weekends and they were blessed with beautiful sunshine and near perfect walking conditions.

45 Silver pupils walked a route around Upper Boddington and Cropedy on the borders of Northamptonshire, Oxfordshire and Warwickshire while 140 Bronze pupils walked a circular route down to Long Itchington and back.

Will Bower, Head of Outdoor Education, said, “I was really pleased with how the expeditions went and that our pupils were able to pay their respects to the Duke Of Edinburgh while out on their expeditions. The positive impact of the Award Scheme on young people has rightly been recognised as one of his greatest achievements.” He continued, “The expeditions went well and pupils certainly all worked hard showing good navigation and camp-craft skills and there were plenty of happy, tired faces at the end.”

Pupils now need to start planning for their qualifying expeditions that take place later in the term when, if all goes to plan with the lifting of restrictions, they will also be able to take part in overnight camping once again.

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Drama Department In Full Flow

Before the Easter holidays, the Drama Department were in full flow as they held bubbled year group auditions for their exciting autumn production, Louis Sachar's Holes!

Year 8 and 9 delighted Ms Cefaliello and Miss Roberts with their initial responses to the play. They took on rapping and Latvian clog dancing as well as impressing with their Texan drawls! It was the turn on Year 7 on Monday 19 April and the department is now casting parts and confirming bubbles before they begin to rehearse.

Meanwhile Key Stage 4 and 5 performed both non-examined assessments and exam pieces.

Year 10s original devised work comprised of Roots a moving and visual piece ensemble full of pathos exploring the theme of dementia. We Shall Be Seen And Heard was a powerful political narrative exposing the injustices of discrimination. The duet explored Rosa Parks and the bus boycott of the American Civil Rights movement.

Year 11 performed a range of monologues and small group pieces from Shakespeare's Hamlet to Phil Porter's Blink.

Year 12 examined Tim Berners-Lee's creation of a monster and confronted spectators with a hopeful vision of our uses and abuses of the internet in their kaleidoscopic political piece WWW The Web.

Year 13 performed scenes from Martin McDonagh's Beauty Queen Of Leenane and Laura Wade's local play Colder Than Here as well as Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream taking us from the west coast of Ireland to an enchanted forest in one fell swoop!

We were extremely impressed by the level of commitment and professionalism of all our pupils and students and congratulate them on their performances on the day.

Aileen Cefaliello and Vicky Roberts
Joint Heads of Drama