2019 has proved to be yet another exceptional year for the College – full of achievement, progress and success. This evening we will celebrate these achievements at the annual Prize Giving Ceremony - welcoming pupils, parents, staff and Old Princethorpians to Butterworth Hall, Warwick University.

Before the ceremony the Old Princethorpians Committee will host a special drinks reception for the returning Upper Sixth, their parents and VIP guests, providing a welcome opportunity for the class of 2019 to get together and catch up on their news since the summer.

Guests to arrive by 7.00pm (seated by 7.15pm for a 7.30pm start)

We look forward to seeing you this evening. 

Watch out for the next edition of the Flagpole on Friday 6 December.

Click here to email The Flagpole



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. https://connect.princethorpe.co.uk/shop

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Prize Giving Ceremony

Friday 22 November - Butterworth Hall, University Of Warwick
Doors Open 7.00pm

We're looking forward to another fantastic evening of celebration tonight at our annual Prize Giving Ceremony. We will be welcoming back the Class of 2019 and their parents, along with last year's GCSE candidates and other prize winners.

The event is invitation only and ticketed. It promises to be a full house, so please arrive in good time to take your seats, doors will open at 7.00pm, in time for everyone to be seated by 7.30pm.

Free parking is available and clearly signposted.

School Production - The House Of Bernada Alba - Reminder

Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 November 2019 - 7.00pm

The Drama Department wish to inform you of our upcoming production of The House of Bernada Alba/La Casa de Bernarda Alba by Spanish dramatist Federico Garcia Lorca. The play was Lorca's last, completed on 19 June 1936, two months before Lorca's death during the Spanish civil war.

Lorca’s rural tragedy centres on the events of a house in Andalusia. Upon her second husband's death, domineering matriarch Bernarda Alba imposes an eight-year mourning period on her household in accordance with her family tradition. Bernarda has five daughters, aged between 20 and 39, whom she has controlled inexorably and prohibited from any form of relationship. The mourning period further isolates them and tension mounts within the household.  Frustrated and angry, the women respond in their individual ways to their mother’s cruelty, and the play ends in violence.

The play will of course be of interest to students of Spanish A-level as it is a set text as well as Drama and Theatre Studies pupils. All pupils studying Drama in Year 9 and above will have a complimentary ticket.

Performances will take place on Thursday 28 November, Friday 29 November and Saturday 30 November at 7.00pm in our Clarkson theatre here at Princethorpe College.  Please click on the day you require in order to book tickets on My School Portal.  Tickets are priced at £4 each.

We do hope you can join us for this event.

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Christmas Fair - Reminder

Sunday 1 December at 2.00pm - 4.30pm

With only one week to go before the PTA Christmas Fair, activity is ramping up.  We would welcome any bottle and chocolate donations for our tombola – please drop off at the Student Hub.  Hopefully you should have received two books of raffle tickets for the Christmas Draw.  The prizes are fantastic - £250.00 for 1st prize, a Fortnam & Mason Hamper for 2nd Prize, £100.00 cash for 3rd price plus many more!  Please return your completed tickets (and any unsold tickets) with payment to the Student Hub, for the attention of Anne O’Rourke, PTA Treasurer.

We have over 50 venders signed up for the Christmas Fair with stalls selling a wide range of goods including; jewellery, Christmas gifts, flowers and Christmas wreaths, candles, bird houses, cushions, hand knits, vintage products, crafts, fabric gifts, Neals Yard, home décor, Parisian Chic, original paintings, skincare plus many more.  Santa and his helpers are making an appearance so get there early.  Entry is £2 per car, refreshments are available including mulled wine and mince pies or beer and bratwurst!

And finally, we are still looking for volunteers to help make the day a success!!! If you can help at this event or any future events; Please sign up here. This is our PTA social where you can register your name and interest. Once you have joined the PTA social you will be able to view all of our events and see where you can help! Also if you are on Social Media please follow us on: 

Twitter - @PincethorpePta

Instagram - @princethorpepta

Facebook - Princethorpe PTA

The Princethorpe PTA

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Christmas Soiree - Reminder

Wednesday 4 December 2019 at 7.00pm in the College Chapel

The Music Department extends a warm invitation to all parents and friends to join us in a Christmas celebration of music and poetry.

This will be an informal evening offering pupils the opportunity to perform a range of out of the ordinary Christmas pieces.  Pupils from the various music ensembles, LAMDA lessons, as well as individual music recitals will be taking part in the evening.  Please feel free to enter into the spirit of the occasion by wearing a Christmas jumper or similarly festive outfit.  There will be an award for the finest example of Christmas knitwear!

This promises to be an enjoyable and memorable introduction to the festive period. If you would like to join us then please note that due to our restrictions on numbers this will be a ticket only event. To apply for and print tickets please click here and complete your details.  Please note that due to the number of seats available in the Chapel there is a limit of 4 seats per family.  If you think you may need any more, please contact me directly.

We hope that you will partake in a little festive mulled wine and mince pies following the performance in the Sixth Form Centre. Please note that tickets are free of charge, but there will be a retiring collection in aid of our House Charity, which this year is MIND.

With thanks for your continuing support.

Gil Cowlishaw
Director of Music

College Feast Day

Friday 6 December 2019

College Feast Day is fast approaching and will take place on Friday 6 December. This is a celebration involving the whole of the College community, marking the day back in 1854 that the Missionaries of the Sacred Heart were founded and the Feast of the Immaculate Conception. To celebrate, the whole school will come together in the afternoon to take part in the hotly contested House Singing Competition, as well as to hand out awards to those pupils receiving House Progress and Achievement Prizes from the last academic year.

Pupils will be asked to wear their house shirts on the day, along with their normal school trousers or skirts.  

Christmas Jumper Day and Christmas Lunch will both take place on the last day of term, Wednesday 18 December 2019.

Beth Sharpe
Deputy Head - Pastoral




Parents' Book Club - Reminder

Wednesday 11 December 2019 - 7.30pm

As ever, there was some lively discussion at our last meeting about both books.  Year of Yes by Shonda Rhimes is a quick and entertaining read – a little strident at times – but it offers a very engaging insight into the inner angst of someone which seems on the surface to have had a superbly successful life.  The Binding by Bridget Collins divided opinion somewhat.  The concept of binding away past memories and having a clean slate in life seemed engaging and original, but some felt that the book degenerated into a rather spurious romance which failed to really convince on a number of levels. 

Our next meeting will be on Wednesday 11 December in the library at 7.30.  We’ll be discussing Circe by Madeline Miller which comes warmly recommended by those who have read it.  Please do join us we are a welcoming group of book enthusiasts who are always ready to try anything new.

Chris Kerrigan
Head of English

Parents’ Christmas Carol Service - Reminder

Monday 16 December at 7.00pm

Parents and friends of the College are invited to a special Carol Service in the College Chapel on Monday 16 December at 7.00pm.

The service will follow the traditional form, with the College Choir leading our singing.

There will be seasonal refreshments after the service in the Sixth Form Centre.

Due to the popularity of this event, seats need to be reserved in advance. You will understand that the Chapel can only hold a finite number of people and for health and safety reasons we need to limit numbers and seats are available on a first come first served basis.  Please click here to reserve places and reply by Friday 13 December 2019. 

Mary Benham
Chaplaincy Co-ordinator

Christmas And New Year Masses 2019-2020

Old Princethorpians, parents, pupils and staff would be made very welcome at the Christmas and New Year Masses in the College Chapel and at St Anne’s Catholic Church, Wappenbury, CV33 9DW.

Details are as follows:

Sunday 22 December 2019

  • St Anne’s, Wappenbury 8.30am Mass
  • St Anne’s, Wappenbury 10.15am Mass
  • Please note there will be no Mass at Our Lady of the Angels' Chapel, Princethorpe College

Tuesday 24 December 2019:

  • Our Lady of the Angels' Chapel, Princethorpe College 5.00pm Family Mass for Christmas
  • Our Lady of the Angels' Chapel, Princethorpe College 10.00pm First Mass of Christmas. 
  • Please note there will be no Midnight Mass.

Wednesday 25 December 2019:

  • St Anne’s, Wappenbury 9.00am Mass - Christmas Morning
  • St Anne’s, Wappenbury 10.30am Mass - Christmas Morning
  • Please note there will be no Mass at Our Lady of the Angels' Chapel, Princethorpe College

Sunday 29 December 2019:

  • St Anne’s, Wappenbury 8.30am Mass
  • St Anne’s, Wappenbury 10.15am Mass
  • Please note there will be no Mass at Our Lady of the Angels' Chapel, Princethorpe College

Sunday 5 January 2020:

  • St Anne’s, Wappenbury 8.30am Mass
  • St Anne’s, Wappenbury 10.15am Mass
    Please note there will be no Mass at Our Lady of the Angels' Chapel, Princethorpe College

Sunday 12 January 2020:
Both Masses resume as normal:

  • St Anne’s, Wappenbury 8.30am Mass
  • Our Lady of the Angels' Chapel, Princethorpe College 10.15am Mass

Further information about St Anne's, Wappenbury please use the link

The parishioners of St Anne's, Wappenbury look forward to celebrating this very special season with you - all are welcome.

Fr Teddy O'Brien MSC

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Ten Essential Revision Tips

So now we are moving towards the mock exams for Year 11 and Upper Sixth (from 6 January 2020), it’s time to focus on the best way to revise. Your youngster will be getting lots of advice from their subject teachers, but support at home is crucial for confident learners.

1. Start revising early

— i.e. weeks or months, not days before the exam. 

2. Plan your revision using a timetable

Planning out your revision means you can spend more time revising and less time worrying you've forgotten something. Use a revision timetable. Your tutor can help you with this.  

3. Set up a nice, tidy study space

You'll need somewhere with good lighting, your pens close by, your phone out of sight and your TV unplugged.

4. Vary your revision with different activities

Try a variety of different revision techniques — answering practice exam questions, writing down notes from memory, creating mind maps or revision cards, watching appropriate clips on Youtube or use revision sites such as Seneca.

5. Set aside time to do fun things

Don't totally stop yourself from having fun. This'll help you stay motivated, relax, and allow you to keep up with your favourite hobbies. 

6. Keep your phone and other distractions away

Phones are great, but they're a one-stop shop for procrastination. Heed our warnings and stick it in a drawer while you're revising.  

7. Don't just read your notes

You have to WRITE INFORMATION DOWN. This is really basic "how to revise" stuff.

8. Take your revision wherever you go

If you find books aren't quite portable enough, lots of revision guides and textbooks with handy online editions — great for revising on the go!  

9. Sleep and eat properly

Sleep is more important than you'd imagine — it helps your brain store all the juicy information you've learned throughout the day. Drinking plenty of water and eating healthy foods will also boost your concentration throughout the day.

10. On exam day, make sure you arrive in plenty of time

Nothing adds extra pressure to exam day like the fear of being late. Just make sure you set off at a little earlier than usual. While you wait, if people around you seem stressed about the exam, try to relax and not let their worries affect you.

Year 11 Parents' And Pupils' GCSE Revision Evening - Reminder

Monday 25 November 2019 - 6.15pm to 7.45pm

"Good character education is good education - we need to take character education as seriously as we take academic education." Berkowitz and Bier (2005)

Too often disappointing student progress is ascribed to cognition, with young learners described as 'weak', or their performance diagnosed in terms of their intelligence: 'they aren't capable of this work', 'they're not bright enough to grasp this'. There is a growing body of research that suggests something very different: that successful students approach their studies with a specific set of behaviours, skills and attitudes and that despite not differing cognitively from their peers they can significantly outperform them. In short, academic success can be as much about character as it is about intelligence.

At Princethorpe College, we are committed to supporting our pupils in all aspects of their education and development and over the forthcoming academic year we will continue to embed our programme of character education, alongside our learning skills programme and our excellent Da Vinci Programme.

At the start of the academic year our key stage 4 pupils have been introduced to the five key principles of a GCSE Mindset:

·         Vision

·         Effort

·         Systems

·         Practice

·         Attitude

These key principles will be the focus of a number of tutor sessions, whereby pupils will have the opportunity to develop and explore them further in order to support their GCSE exam preparation. 

As part of this strategy, Princethorpe College will be holding an interactive GCSE revision evening, on Monday 25 November between 6.15pm and 7.45pm, for the parents and pupils in the Sports Hall. It will be hosted by Martin Griffin and Steve Oakes, both of whom have worked with more than sixty schools to develop effective character education systems. They are also authors of The GCSE Mindset (Crown House, 2017).  During the evening, Martin and Steve will explore the key principles of having a positive and proactive learning mindset and share tools and strategies for effective coaching and intervention with parents and equip parents and pupils with practical ideas and strategies to support their children throughout their GCSE courses. Pupils will be given the opportunity to trial out different revision strategies on the evening in a unique workshop style event.  These presentations have always been very well-received and we do hope that Year 11 parents and pupils will be able to join us for what promises to be a very useful and informative evening.

If you wish to attend, please complete the form here.  

We look forward to seeing you at the event. If you have any questions please feel free to contact me at lizpyne@princethorpe.co.uk or Mrs Fionnuala Schofield at fionnualaschofield@princethorpe.co.uk

Dr Liz Pyne
Assistant Head - Teaching and Learning

Upper Sixth Full Reports

Reports for Upper Sixth will be posted out on Friday 29 November 2019. They will also be available to view on My School Portal.

Dr Michael Reddish
Deputy Head - Academic

Years 7 And 10 Progress Reports

Progress Reports for Years 7 and 10 will be published on Friday 29 November 2019 and will be available to view on My School Portal.  

Dr Michael Reddish
Deputy Head - Academic 

Year 7 Parents’ Evening

Thursday 5 December 2019 - 6.00pm to 8.30pm

The Year 7 Parents’ Evening takes place on Thursday 5 December from 6.00pm to 8.30pm in the Sports Hall.

We will continue to offer the option of a two course supper for you and your family, at a cost of £2 per head, and served across three sittings, 5.30pm to 6.00pm, 6.00pm to 6.30pm and 6.30pm to 7.00pm. Supper will be served in the Refectory.

We will also provide two supervised areas where siblings can wait whilst you and your son or daughter meet with the teaching staff. There will be a film screening in one room and for those looking for a quieter environment a second area will be provided where they can relax or study.

To help us with the smooth running of Parents’ Evening, and so that we can cater efficiently, we would be grateful if everyone who would like to book for supper could complete the RSVP form by clicking here no later than 10.00am on Friday 29 November 2019.

Please make sure to arrive by 7.30pm at the latest. Parents arriving later than that may not be able to see all the relevant teachers before the event closes at 8.30pm.  Please leave the building by the main entrance to The Limes and sign out at the exit as you leave.

Here is some additional information that you may find helpful:

  • Parking will be available on the school playground
  • Please enter The Limes building through the main entrance only
  • Please ensure you sign in and collect your name badge from the reception desk before entering the Sports Hall
  • There is no appointment system. You should allow approximately 5 minutes per teacher – a timer will sound every five minutes to assist with keeping discussions within this timeframe. Teachers with a large number of pupils may not be able to provide five minutes per family; if that is the case, they will email parents to let them know in advance.

We look forward to seeing you.

Dr Liz Pyne
Assistant Head – Teaching and Learning

Years 8 And Lower Sixth Progress Reports

Progress Reports for Year 8 and Lower Sixth will be published on Friday 6 December 2019 and will be available to view on My School Portal.  

Dr Michael Reddish
Deputy Head - Academic 


Outdoor Coats

There are a number of outdoor coats in lost property at present, all unnamed.  When purchasing new outdoor coats for school please can I reiterate that they should be dark in colour, preferably black, no leather or denim and clearly labelled.

Coats can now be worn inside the school buildings, but not in the classrooms themselves.

Thank you for your continued support.

Mrs Beth Sharpe
Deputy Head - Pastoral

Universities and Careers

Work Experience Placements

This year, Work Experience Placements at Princethorpe College, as part of our Careers programme, will take place at the end of the summer term for both Year 10 and Year 11.  We believe that all pupils can gain immeasurable benefits from their placements; not only can a good placement teach a pupil a lot about an area of work that he or she may be interested in, but it can also develop communication skills, self-confidence, initiative and teamwork.

Many thanks to all Year 10 and 11 parents for helping your son/daughter to find a work placement, in anticipation and if you already have done so.  It can be done at any time after the last GCSE exams for Year 11 and the week beginning 29 June for Year 10. We normally expect at least one week, although historically we have had many undertake more than this, often in more than one placement. Such experience is invaluable for considering a future career path, getting used to the world of work, and for references.

So that we can action the necessary paperwork, including references, we would be grateful if you could complete the form that have already been sent out for both year groups.

Queries relating to work experience should be sent as follows:

Year 10 – Mrs Quinney: jacquiquinney@princethorpe.co.uk

Year 11 – Mr Taylor:  miketaylor@princethorpe.co.uk


Generous Liv Donates 50 Boxes To Operation Christmas Child

Year 7 pupil Liv Fox has put together an amazing 50 shoe boxes for the charity Samaritan’s Purse - Operation Christmas Child.

Liv used her own savings to purchase 50 boxes and then spoke to friends and family asking them for donations to help her fill the boxes. She also used her own money to purchase items to fill some herself. She then sorted all the boxes, labelled and sealed them last weekend dropped them all off at the local collection point.

Staff at the Samaritan Purse’s local warehouse were astonished by her donation as they had never had a child organise so many before.

Head of More House, Simon Robertson, was equally impressed saying, “Liv’s family are incredibly proud of her and so are we.  In this one kind act she has demonstrated in grand style all we could ever hope a Princethorpe pupil to be.”

Well done Liv, what a kind and generous girl you are.


Faith In Action

As part of the build-up to College Feast Day on December 6, we have the opportunity to put “Faith into Action”.  One way we can do this is for each member of the school community to bring in at least one item of non-perishable food that can be donated to the St Vincent de Paul Society.  The Society will distribute our donations to those in need in the local community just before Christmas.  This was very successful last year and items donated included pasta, tinned food, biscuits and rice.  Donations can be taken to the School Hub before Monday 16 December in time for delivery at Christmas.

Kieran McCullough
Director of Ethos



Irish Night With Live Ceilidh Band

Why not combine supporting our school trip to Malawi with a fun night out.

We are holding an Irish Night and Ceilidh on Saturday 14 March at 7.30pm in the Sixth Form Centre. Music will be provided by The Ivy Leaf Band. There will be a two course meal and drink included in the ticket price. Early bird tickets are still available for £25 per person or a table of eight for £180.

Amazing raffle with superb prizes and cash bar all evening. 

Please reserve tickets with Marion Mitchell at marionmitchell@princethorpe.co.uk


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Have you been away over half term? Maybe you have some left over foreign currency? Maybe there are a few old coins or notes lurking in the back of a drawer, a pocket or a handbag? Why not round them up and put them to good use? All donations would be gratefully received and all money raised will be split between UK projects of the SVP (St Vincent de Paul Society), including support for the homeless, elderly, handicapped and those coming out of prison and an overseas SVP project helping to fund secondary school education children - especially girls - in India. Click here to discover what the SVP organisation is about and how your donation can help.

The money can be current or out of date, British or foreign; anything is welcome. We already have 8kg, but we need more.

Click here and watch the video to see how cash4coins works. This is what you can donate:

All foreign coins and banknotes
Current UK coins and banknotes
Any old British and Irish money
Even obsolete currency
Please send in money in a strong envelope labelled ‘Rod Isaacs - Cash4Coins’.

We raised a spectacular £231.85 last year.

Many thanks

Rod Isaacs
Assistant Head of Sixth Form


PE And Games Guide For Michaelmas 2019 - Reminder

Our PE and Games Department have created a helpful new guide for pupils and parents ahead of the Michaelmas Term 2019 (click here), which includes further information about: 

• List of team coaches and how you may contact them
• Instructions on how to access the Princethorpe Sport app
• Information about fixtures, including selection and cancellations
• Sports kit expectations
• Postcodes for away fixtures (which can also be found in the Michaelmas Termly Calendar)

If you have any questions, please direct them to your son/daughter's team coach or email Mr Turns (Acting Head of Boys' Games) or Ms Law (Head of Girls' Games)

Neil McCollin
Foundation Director of Sport 


Co-Curricular Activities - Reminder

I would like to take this opportunity to remind you, particularly those new to Princethorpe College, about the wide variety of co-curricular activities and clubs that are on offer during lunchtime and after school. Whether it’s drama or archery, cooking or robotics we cater for a wide variety of interests. 

All co-curricular activites are listed at the front of the Michaelmas 2019 Termly Calendar which you will have received by post during the summer.  Alternatively, click here to view an electronic version. 

You are not required to pre-book however some activities and clubs operate on an invitation only basis. If you have any questions about an activity or club, please speak to the teacher in question listed.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our co-curricular programme. 

Neil McCollin
Assistant Head - Co-Curricular

Duke Of Edinburgh's Award - Final Deadline For Completion

There is still time to sign off your award before the Certificate Presentation Evening.  The following steps are required to be completed by the end of the month:

· Log onto your eDofE account

· Submit your signed Assessor Reports for the physical, skills and volunteering sections and upload onto your account

· Submit each section for approval

If you are having problems with any of these steps, please come to the DofE Completion drop-in sessions on a Tuesday or Wednesday lunchtime in the Limes computer rooms. There is also a Duke of Edinburgh's Guide and Frequently Asked Questions document available if you click here which you may find useful.

Will Bower
Head of Outdoor Education

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Duke Of Edinburgh's Award - Next Steps

The Bronze, Silver and Gold welcome packs have been handed out at meetings over the last two weeks.  If you missed your meeting, please attend a final opportunity to hear this information on Wednesday 27 November at 1.05pm in LG02.

All participants are required to complete the following by Wednesday 18 December:

1. Login to eDofE website and update personal details – DofE will then send your Participant Handbook directly to you
2. Set the timescales for your award (for example at bronze physical 6, volunteering 3 and skill 3 months)
3. Complete the ‘programme planners’ for physical, volunteering and skill sections. This includes:

  • selecting the activity
  • inputting start dates
  • setting a goal to achieve
  • recording your assessor details

They must then be submitted online to your DofE Leader for approval.

I hope this information proves useful in the short term.  I will contact all participants and parents by email shortly to confirm further details.

Will Bower
Head of Outdoor Education


Trips and Visits

Inaugural Paris Fashion Trip - Reminder

17 - 20 October 2020

There are still a few places available on our inaugural fashion trip to Paris next October.  

Itinerary to include visits to the Yves Saint Laurent Foundation, the Pierre Cardin Museum, Louis Vuitton Museum and the Eiffel Tower.  We will also enjoy a fashion tour of Paris and a bag making workshop.

The trip is open to current Year 9 - Lower Sixth pupils and students.  Pupils in Year 9 and Year 11 who are interested in taking GCSE/A-level Textiles during the next academic year should strongly consider signing up for this trip.  The visits align to the curriculum of both the GCSE and A-level courses.  A must for Princethorpes' budding fashionistas.

The cost of the trip will be approximately £495.  If you are interested in a place please contact Mrs Porter as soon as possible at mirandaporter@princethorpe.co.uk

Miranda Porter
Teacher of Design and Technology

Ski Trip Easter 2020 - Reminder

Please could all parents complete and return the forms given out at the first parents' meeting by Monday 25 November.  If you were not able to attend the meeting these forms have been sent by post.

An Evolve email has now been sent regarding the second practice ski trip to the Ackers. Please complete the consent for this voluntary trip by 25 November.

Please order the free Princethorpe College tour hoody on the Snowunion website (snowunion.co.uk). See the attached flyer here for more information and how to order.

Lockwoods Ski Shop in Leamington have kindly offered all students on the trip a 10% discount, valid until 30 April 2020, on all products. To take advantage of this offer, please print this voucher and show it at the till or use the online voucher code.

The second parents' meeting is on Thursday 27 February 2020 at 6.00pm-7.00pm in the Clarkson theatre. 

Please contact me at catherinewarne@princethorpe.co.uk if you have any questions regarding the trip.

Kind Regards

Catherine Warne

Major School Trips - Update

Please see here for the planned school trips in the coming years. This document will be updated each term, but it should allow you to make an informed decision when deciding on trips for your child to attend.  For any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Neil McCollin
Assistant Head - Co-curricular



Bus Service Update - December 2019

For the start of this half term an updated Bus Briefing document was published. We are continually monitoring the routes and seeking to make improvements to the services we provide. In particular we want our pupils to arrive at school in good time to ensure that they make the best possible start to the day. To facilitate this, we have revised the timings on five routes by approximately five minutes - the routes affected are: the S1, S3 (temporary change due to ongoing roadworks), S5, S10 and S12.

Click here to see the updated Bus Briefing.

In addition, we have added new bus stops to the following routes, the S2, S5, S10 and S12.  Typically, these additions are at the beginning or end of the route and do not affect other timings.

We hope that these changes will be well received and make for a more positive start to the school day.

We will continue to monitor all routes and will make further amendments if or when required.

If you have any queries please contact the bus team at buses@princethorpe.co.uk.

Mrs Gill Price
Buses Team 

School Jumpers

With the cold weather setting in, just a reminder that school jumpers are available from the School Shop.  The school jumper for girls is red in Years 7 and 8 and green for Years 9 to 11.  The boys' school jumper is black.  Sixth Form students wear a plain dark coloured jumper.

Written permission from home is needed to add items to the school fee account.  Cash, cheque or card payments are of course welcome.

Nicola Browne
Uniform and School Shop Manager

Traffic - Campus Safety - Reminder

The College takes the safety of pupils, staff and visitors very seriously and we have taken various measures to minimise the risk of an accident involving a vehicle.  Please take care when driving on campus particularly at busy times such as the start and end of the business day. In particular please do not stop and let passengers alight on the road in the playground, this causes traffic to build up and is unsafe.

In the morning we would highly recommend that those travelling by car endeavour to be on site before 8.20am to avoid getting caught up in the arrival of the buses.

For busy times we usually have staff managing traffic on site and all drivers are asked to co-operate and to follow instructions.  Our aim is to make it safe and as easy as possible for everyone.

The College has updated its risk assessment on the management of traffic on site to ensure the safety of pedestrians and vehicle which you will find here.  Parents are asked to review this document and to discuss with their children, how to keep safe.

Eddie Tolcher
Foundation Bursar

Employment Opportunities

Please see below our current vacancies:

  • Foundation Director of Sport
  • Teacher of Latin - part-time
  • Teacher of Mathematics
  • Graduate Sports Coach (2020-2021 academic year)

Full details and how to apply are available via the following link: Join Us

Should you know anyone who might be interested in these posts, please do share this information with them.

Severe Weather Arrangements - Reminder

In the light of last week's flooding in the local area it might be helpful for everyone to be familiar with the arrangements should there be significant rain or snowfall. Where possible and if it’s safe to do so, we always remain open, even if we have to end the school day earlier than usual.

Should there be bad weather overnight, we talk to the bus companies a little before 6.00am and they brief us about their ability to operate our services. The Headmaster then makes a decision about whether the school will open.

Information will be available via the channels detailed below:

  • The home page of the website www.princethorpe.co.uk will normally be updated shortly after 6.00am.
  • We will also post on the College Twitter page @PrincethorpeCol and Facebook Page www.facebook.com/PrincethorpeCollege shortly after 6.00am.
  • If there is likely to be disruption we will send text messages to parents’ mobiles and the mobiles of pupils who use the buses, usually by 6.30am. Please note that we are not able to receive text replies on this service. 

If you want to look online at reliable weather forecasting, then www.weather.co.uk and www.metcheck.com are both sites which we use. In the case of flooding, then www.environment-agency.gov.uk is also useful. If you look under Flood and then use the river search word Leam, that will give you a good idea of the conditions around Princethorpe and the surrounding villages.

Usually, website updates are made in the course of the day, but if the school is likely to remain closed for a further day the same process will take place on the second and subsequent days. Should we have to close in the course of the day we will send text messages to let you know arrangements.

Where possible, we will make sure that our main number 01926 634200 is staffed or carries a recorded message.

Eddie Tolcher
Foundation Bursar