Welcome to the final edition of The Flagpole this year, and what a busy end of term it has proven to be.

Term finishes today and we wish everyone a relaxing, happy and successful summer holiday, especially those awaiting their examination results!

Watch out for the first edition of The Flagpole, just before term begins next academic year on Friday 30 August 2024.


Headmaster's Message

Message From The Headmaster

The final Flagpole of an academic year is always a great letter to write. The sense of excitement, setting off on holidays, waiting for results, and hopefully spending restful days in glorious sunshine, all add up to what a summer holiday should be about. However, it is important to remember how hard we, as a community, have worked to get to the end of the academic year. This time last year saw me complete 100 days in post. Looking back, I am blown away by how quickly this year has gone and how much has happened. It has been filled with highlights of our pupils flourishing at Princethorpe.

We had the bi-centenary celebration of Jules Chevalier, the founder of the MSCs, on whose ethos and values we as a school stand. Ours is a Spirit of Family and we have raised more than £13,000 for charity this year. Our pupils are off to Malawi again for an outreach and the donations they are taking along, further adds to our ethos of caring for others. A special mention goes to Trutex who have sponsored 1,000 items of clothing, and their shipping to Malawi, for the children our pupils will be supporting. Our Development Office have also seen incredible buy-in from our community. Our bursary fund remains a focus to support current and future pupils for whom Princethorpe may not be possible without the help we can offer through the generosity of others. Our Smallholding/Farm project is gathering momentum and future projects around exciting developments in the enhancement of our sporting facilities are very much on their agenda. I know Mr Kowal and his team massively appreciate every interaction in improving the College and making it more accessible. If you have any questions or if you wish to support any aspect of Development, please do get in touch – it genuinely makes a difference.

In terms of calendar highlights, this year has been busier than ever. It would be almost impossible to list everything that is in our calendar, but I feel it is most important to acknowledge that we have stayed true to our broad approach in offering our pupils so many opportunities both in and outside of the classroom. Princethorpe pupils get stuck in and enjoy being busy – very busy! We have run 71 trips this year and 96% of all pupils in Year to 11 have participated in a co-curricular or sporting event. Every Year 7 pupil has represented Princethorpe in a competitive sports fixture and 170 pupils have been on a Duke of Edinburgh expedition. On 40 occasions our sports teams have been part of the final stages of various competitions at regional and national level. Our pupils have also thrown themselves into various Olympiads with great success and Theo Sparks in Year 11 deserves special mention for being awarded a highly competitive Arkwright Scholarship. We are eagerly awaiting the Results Days in August as they will once again show the hard work of our pupils. Add to this the Drama production, Musical, Music concerts, Performing Arts Week, PTA events, Charity events, Outreach, the Art, Photography and Design Show, House Activity Day and events, IAD days, Trip Day, and Make a Difference Day and I hope you would agree that, as a school, Princethorpe is an exciting place to be where all our pupils have a chance to find and pursue their passions. As I said, this holiday is deserved and needed!

The staff at Princethorpe remain one of the key reasons we can offer the excellent and broad education we are known for. Their commitment and willingness to give extra, enriches the experiences of all our pupils and I would like to say a massive thank you to all my colleagues for their efforts this year. I will write to you in August to introduce new teachers joining us in September – we have again recruited an incredibly strong group of staff. However, that means we have to say farewell to some staff.

I would like to start by thanking our non-teaching staff who are moving on from Princethorpe. Helen Shayler (Payroll Assistant), Amanda McKenzie (Sixth Form Administrator) and Jim Hardwick, who has worked for the Foundation for 17 years, all leave us this summer. They have made such a difference as colleagues who ensure the wheels turn behind the scenes and they go with our very best wishes.

Our Graduate Teaching Assistants are coming to the end of their year at Princethorpe and we wish OP Lilli Draper good luck with her next adventure and look forward to seeing Sam Harding return next year as a Trainee Teacher.

In the RS department we say goodbye to Lizzie Hester who is relocating to The Hall School in Hampstead, London, and from the Sports Department Vicky Howell finishes her maternity leave cover and leaves us to join Bloxham School – I’m sure we’ll see Vicky again on the opposite side of the touchline. We are also saying goodbye to Jo Evans and Jess Proudlock from the English Department. Their contributions in the classroom and beyond will be missed and I know there are numerous pupils who wish these teachers could have stayed longer. Nurturing a love of language and literature is so important and the passion Jo and Jess show for their subject has left their pupils inspired.

Bérénice Galano is relocating to Penzance in Cornwall to become Lead MFL Teacher at the Humphry Davy School, while Lizzie Caisey, Teacher of Psychology and Sociology, is also moving onto new ventures. They have both made significant contributions to our House system as House Leader for Austin and formerly Head of House for More respectively and we thank them for the impact they have had.

We will be saying goodbye to Fionnuala Schofield after eight years as a Teacher of Psychology and Sociology and five years as Head of Department. She takes on the challenge of Head of Department role at Cardinal Newman Catholic School in Coventry. Will Bower is leaving us to take on the post of Head of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme at Abingdon School near Oxford. He has helped a total of 1,240 Princethorpe pupils achieve Duke of Edinburgh Awards (Bronze 758, Silver 341, Gold 141) in his tenure as Head of Outdoor Education at Princethorpe and he will be missed both in and out of the classroom.

And finally, once in your career you will come across someone that is truly of “legendary status”. Rachel Taylor is retiring as Teacher of Classics. Formerly Head of Classics, Rachel is one of our longest serving members of staff and joined St Joseph’s school in Kenilworth (now Crackley Hall) in May 1974. She has served the Foundation for 50 years! I have never met a person in education with such a track record, and I am sure I will never do so again. We wish Rachel well in her retirement, although we may still see her invigilating an exam or two!

To all our departing colleagues we want to say a huge thank you for their services and impact on our pupils. Even though you won’t be here in September, be assured your memories will linger.

A couple of more general reminders for the holidays:

·  In our continued drive for sustainability, we are making a change to normal practice. We are not going to print the little calendar books as we normally do. Instead, you will receive an electronic copy via email and/or instructions on how to access the calendar through MySchoolPortal towards the end of August. This should be easily accessible from your phone and ensures we can update any changes to the calendar immediately.

·  Mrs Sharpe did write to all parents recently about uniform expectations and I request that you ensure your child arrives in September with the correct unform. Summer breaks are notorious for growth spurts, so please ensure trousers, shirts, skirts, and sports kit are long and big enough.

·  Mr Compton has a section in this Flagpole about our Digital Device scheme for any parent who wishes to access it over the holidays. A reminder that pupils must have their own device, however, our scheme is but one option and families are more than welcome to provide their own device as long as it meets the required specifications.

·  The academic timetable for 2024/25 will be published shortly before the start of term. If there are any questions or concerns about subject choices, please get in touch with Mr Spencer.

It would be remiss of me not to mention the challenges that may be facing us next year associated with the election taking place tomorrow. When challenged, there is sometimes a danger that we so focus on those things that we cannot control, that we forget about the things firmly within our grasp. Whatever, the outcome and resulting actions from the election, I want to reassure you again that we are working very hard behind the scenes to be able to respond as robustly as possible to any changes. Most importantly, please be assured that the excellent education we offer will not change – we can control that, and we will never be complacent. Our pupils deserve the very best we can offer. What is really encouraging is the fact that many families outside of Princethorpe are recognising this too. We currently have 35 external pupils signed up to join our Sixth Form in September, which shows our strong reputation. We will be in touch with any updates or news if relevant, otherwise, know that all is in hand.

Finally, may I take this opportunity to personally thank you for all of your support. As I get to know more families, I continue to be impressed and encouraged by our school community. As parents, your input and support are what schools fall or flourish on, hence our gratitude and appreciation. I hope you and all your loved ones have a restful and safe holiday wherever your travels may take you. Make sure to slow down and be selfish. We look forward to seeing all our community back in September.

With best wishes

Grove du Toit


College Sports Day Was Fantastic Fun 

The College’s annual Sports Day took place today, Wednesday 3 July, and it was a fantastic afternoon of friendly, but fiercely competitive sport. A limited programme of events took place because of the drizzle but that didn't stop the fun. The track was action-packed from the moment the starting gun fired. College staff were kept busy timing and recording all the running taking place.

Pupils' performances were superb, and pupils and staff cheered all the competitors on. Our very own Clare Baldings, aka Mrs White and Mrs Allen were kept busy announcing all the races and the new school records set, adding to the excitement of the event.

Foundation Director of Sport, Lee Cassell, said, “Despite the delayed start and the ever present drizzle we had another super Sports Day with plenty of excellent performances. As always the atmosphere was incredible, pupils were very supportive of each other, appreciating every individual effort.”

Huge thanks to all the staff and Sports Leaders involved in organising the event. 

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For House Activities Day Pupils Went On A Viking Quest

It was House Activities Day on Thursday 27 June, the biggest event of the House year. It is always a real favourite with pupils who go all out to win the house points up for grabs.

This year pupils went on a Viking Quest taking part in a series of challenges and activities with their Tutor Groups. They told Viking Sagas, solved Taskmaster Thor challenges, and the puzzle of Aegir’s Banquet, played Hnefatafl (Viking Chess), took on King Canute’s Kickball and the Battle of Assandun, faced the Gods of Asgard and helped to make the Skidbladnir’s sails.

After all the activities had been completed, the school came together for a finale and the Vikings roared as the Houses hoisted their sails.

An absolutely massive thank you to those who made the day possible, especially House Activities Co-ordinator, Meg O’Gorman, House Leaders; Ellie Callan, Vicky Howell, Bérénice Galano and Laura Wilford and our stalwart Sixth Form House Captains who all worked so hard to make House Activities Day so much fun.

It was another epic adventure, and as always Princethorpe you were amazing!

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Another Successful Music Tour

38 pupils from the College’s Choir, String Orchestra and Concert Band, from Years 7 to the Sixth Form, have just returned from a five-day trip to Rhineland, Germany where they took part in an enjoyable and successful music tour.

Their action-packed adventure included the opportunity to perform in beautiful locations, as well as visit and tour the Seigfrieds Musikkabinett (mechanical instrument museum), explore the picturesque towns of Boppard, Cologne and Koblenz, take a boat cruise on the river Moselle and visit the Phantasialand Theme Park.

Princethorpe’s talented prodigies confidently performed to appreciative and sizeable audiences in Rűdesheim and Kohlbachhaus. They were fabulous ambassadors for the College, and everyone had an incredible time.

This is the third time that the College has taken its instrumental and choral groups on tour (previously having had wonderful trips to Vienna in 2019 and Belgium in 2022), and the entire trip was once again a resounding success.

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Princethorpe’s Smallholding Project: Progress Update And Call To Action

I’m delighted to provide another update on the Smallholding Project, which continues to rally the enthusiasm and support of our entire Princethorpe community. Since our last update, we’ve made significant strides, raising over £40,000 and surpassing 80% of our target amount. This progress is a testament to the incredible generosity and commitment of our supporters.

How You Can Make a Difference

As we near our fundraising goal, we invite everyone to join us in supporting this important project. Your contributions, whether financial or in-kind, will help us bring the Smallholding Project to life. If you or someone you know can assist with fencing, supply polytunnels, greenhouses, or other resources beneficial to our project, please do get in touch.

Impacts and Benefits

The Smallholding Project promises numerous benefits for Princethorpe. It will provide a dynamic outdoor classroom where pupils can engage hands-on with agriculture, enriching their educational experience across subjects like Science, Geography, and Business Studies. This practical learning environment will foster a deeper connection to nature and cultivate valuable life skills in all our pupils.

Moreover, the project extends its impact beyond our school, strengthening our community ties. By integrating farming practices and offering educational workshops, we aim to enhance community engagement with nature. This initiative not only supports our educational mission but also contributes positively to our wider community.

Join Us in Creating a Sustainable Future

Your support is crucial as we enter this final phase of fundraising. Together, we can make the Smallholding Project a reality, leaving a lasting legacy of learning and growth for our pupils and community. Whether through financial contributions or valuable resources, your involvement will make a significant difference.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to all who have supported us thus far and encourage those who are able to join us in this exciting journey. For more information on how you can contribute or to discuss potential donations, please contact Steve Kowal, Development Director, at stevekowal@princethorpe.co.uk.

Thank you for being a part of this remarkable initiative. Together, we are cultivating a brighter future for Princethorpe.

Steve Kowal
Development Director

103 Year 9 Pupils Complete Bronze Duke Of Edinburgh's Qualifying Expeditions

Congratulations to all the 109 Year 9 pupils who have successfully completed their Duke of Edinburgh's Award Qualifying Expeditions.

Unaccompanied and self-sufficient, they trekked and camped their way through the Cotswolds, working together in teams to achieve their expedition objectives.

The Duke of Edinburgh's Awards are recognised as the world’s leading youth achievement award. They provide young people with the opportunity to get involved, explore new interests, discover talents and make new friends and they are a big part of life here at Princethorpe.

Here at Princetorpe College, the overwhelming majority of pupils in Year 9 take part and we are delighted to see them embracing this co-curricular opportunity.

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Year 11 Celebrate At Coombe Abbey

Princethorpe College welcomed pupils to Coombe Abbey in Coventry on Friday 21 June to celebrate the end of their time in Year 11. In time honoured tradition the boys, handsome in black tie, and the girls, bedecked in beautiful gowns, arrived at the venue in their choice of transport to be greeted by members of staff. The backdrop of the atmospheric architecture and grounds of Coombe Abbey lent an extra special magic to the air.

Deputy Head Pastoral, Beth Sharpe, said, "It was a wonderful event and the end of an era for this year group. We are immensely proud of them all, and it was a pleasure to welcome them to their celebration. It is always an emotional occasion, but the mood was full of optimism for their next steps and the journey ahead."

The professional photos are now available and a link to a gallery has been emailed to parents.

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Year 8 Explore The Battlefields Of Belgium

Year 8 have explored the Battlefields of World War One in trips to Belgium in support of their history studies. Travelling in two groups, they had plenty to reflect on across their three days away as the size of the cemeteries brought home the scale of the conflict.

Pupils visited the Allied cemeteries, including the Essex Farm Cemetery and Dressing Station and the Tyne Cot Cemetery, as well as the Langemark German Military Cemetery. They took time to explore the In Flanders Field Museum, the Memorial Museum at Passchendaele, the Hill 62 Sanctuary Wood Museum and the Hill 60 Caterpillar Crater. Year 8 also took part in moving Last Post Ceremonies at the Menin Gate with pupils laying a wreath on behalf of the College at the evenings' services. Pupils were incredibly respectful at all the memorials visited.

It was a thought provoking and informative trip for them all.

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Plenty Of Inspiration At The British Motor Museum Girls In STEM Workshop

13 girls from Year 9 and Year 10 and our Lower Sixth STEAM Ambassador, Jemima Teeton, visited the British Motor Museum on Wednesday 26 June to take part in a special Girls in STEM workshop.

They enjoyed an exclusive keynote presentation and Q&A with Louise Reynolds, Director of Procurement at Aston Martin, followed by an interactive tour of the collection. They then got to race remote-controlled Jaguar D-types around a special track and try out some hands-on science activities with the STEM Ambassadors from MoD Kineton.

The day culminated with the opportunity to meet Eliza Seville, Formula Woman 2022 winner, and hear from, Senior Programme Manager, Kerrie Earl, on what it takes to be a successful woman in motorsport.

During the day there was also time for a self-guided tour of museum that included Max Verstappen’s F1 shoes, gloves and racing helmet, plus a F1 steering wheel and carbon fibre brake drum assembly.

Head of Physics, Dan Lee, commented, “The girls were an absolute credit to the school - they asked thoughtful questions, engaged in all of the activities and had a really positive experience.”

What an inspirational opportunity – we hope you enjoyed yourselves!

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Plenty Of Smiling Faces On Induction Day

On Wednesday 26 June, we welcomed 140 pupils to Princethorpe who will be joining the school this coming September. Most will be starting in Year 7 but some are joining in higher years. Amongst them were an amazing 39 siblings of pupils already here at the school.

Induction Day was a chance for them to meet their fellow pupils, familiarise themselves with the layout of the school, get a feel for the sorts of lessons they can expect and generally to answer questions, allay fears and ease the transition to their new school.

Our prospective Year 7s arrived looking excited and a little bit nervous in readiness for an action-packed day. Headmaster, Grove du Toit, and Head of Transition, Sue Harris, greeted them warmly and soon had them organised into groups. They began by spending time with their new Heads of House before our friendly Sixth Form helpers led them off to their first lessons.

During the day, they also met their new Tutor Groups, got to grips with the lunch queue and the dining room, as well as experiencing a number of different lessons. They also enjoyed some fun team building activities. There was lots of excellent advice on offer from staff and current pupils and of course no induction day would be complete without that special treat, a legendary Princethorpe cookie!

We had plenty of smiling faces and it was clear that everyone enjoyed making new friends. We look forward to welcoming our new pupils back again just before the start of the autumn term. For the Year 7s that will be on their Preparation Day on Monday 2 September.

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OPs Summer Supper Reunion 2024

As has become our Summer tradition, it was a pleasure to once again host the OPs Summer Supper Reunion at the College on Friday 28 June.

Representatives from the classes of 1974, 1984, 1994, 2004 and 2014 returned for their respective 50th, 40th, 30th, 20th and 10th anniversaries of leaving, and in one case an OP was celebrating his 60th anniversary of starting at Princethorpe in 1964! These guests were joined by a smattering of OPs from other years, as well as former and current staff, and it was special to see such a broad representation of the College's history.

The evening started with an optional tour of school at 6.00pm, ably led by Melanie Butler and Eddie Tolcher. The large group meandered excitedly around the campus, visiting historic areas such as the Chapel, the Library, the cloister corridors and the Roundhouse, along with the newer Limes Building and Sixth Form Centre and the most recent addition to the site, the Science Centre.

After a Drinks Reception in the Quad, the group was warmly welcomed by Foundation Principal, Ed Hester, and invited to take their seats in the Refectory. Fr Alan Whelan MSC said grace and the refectory became a hubbub of chatter and laughter as guests sat amongst their peers from the same or similar leaving decade. The gathered OPs happily caught up and reminisced over a delicious three course meal. Conversations were bolstered by a rolling powerpoint, meticulously prepared by our Archivist Jo Wong, which featured images of many of the attendees, taken from year books, prize giving programmes and the College’s magazine, The Tower.

After dinner, Ed Hester thanked the College’s wonderful catering team and spoke to the assembled gathering about developments at the College, particularly regarding new initiatives in both Development and Alumni engagement across the Foundation. He referenced the recent OPs Workshop where over 40 alumni from our Foundation schools met to share ideas about how to better support and engage all alumni. Ed then thanked all those who had stepped up to join, or continue serving in, the OP Committee under a newly defined structure that directly responds to the feedback at the workshop. Some of these members were present at the reunion and able to give a wave to the room, including Melanie Butler who continues to serve faithfully as OP Secretary, and Caroline Spencer who was recently appointed as Alumni Relations and Development Officer. A huge thanks was extended to Peter Rollason for his long service as Chair of the Committee, and he was presented with a small gift to acknowledge this and his continuing support as Honorary President.

There have been some significant retirements this year which Ed paid tribute to. Alex Darkes retired after 45 years working at the College and Rachel Taylor has dedicated 50 years across St Joseph's (now Crackley Hall School) and Princethorpe; both were sadly unable to attend the event but sent everyone their best wishes. We also love to honour current long-standing members of staff, and were happy to be able to thank Kieran McCullough in person, with a gift presented by Peter Rollason on behalf of the Association, for his 12 years to date. Kieran enjoyed reconnecting with former colleagues and pupils over the course of the evening.

As the supper came to a happy close, guests mingled, teachers enjoyed hearing of their pupils’ achievements, and plans were made for keeping in touch with more informal reunions in the future.

Thanks go to our wonderful catering team, the OPs Committee and all who contributed to the success of the event.

We will shortly begin planning for the 2025 Summer Supper Reunion, which will be aimed at leavers of 1975, 1985, 1995, 2005 and 2015, and will take place on Friday 27 June 2025. We encourage you to spread the word amongst your Old Princethorpian acquaintences, as we are keen to keep the Princethorpe Spirit of Family alive and well for generations to come.

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New General Secretary Of CISC Visits Princethorpe

The Princethorpe Foundation was delighted to welcome Sarah Harcombe-Barreto, the new General Secretary of the Catholic Independent Schools’ Conference (CISC), to Princethorpe College on Tuesday 25 June. Sarah met with Foundation Principal, Ed Hester, who has recently been appointed to the committee of CISC, a role that will see him help direct the work of the charity. Sarah also enjoyed lunch with staff, including Head of Religious Studies, Cyp Vella, and Father Alan Whelan, and was taken on a tour of the school.

Another Exceptional Summer Art, Photography And Design Show

This year’s Summer Art, Photography and Design Show opened on Thursday 27 June with a special evening reception for the artists and their families, friends and guests. The displays remained on show until Sunday 30 June allowing visitors to the College’s Summer Fête and Motoring Festival to enjoy the superb standard of work this year’s GCSE and A-level pupils have produced.

Those who know the College will be familiar with its formidable reputation for quality Art and Design and this year’s show was no exception. On display was work from pupils exploring a diverse range of mediums and themes. In the Sixth Form Atrium and Lecture Theatre fascinating portraiture sat alongside superb studies, imaginative illustrations and phenomenal photography. Intermixed were intricately stitched dresses and jackets, showcasing this year’s Textiles pieces. Recycling or repurposing was a theme running through many Resistant Materials’ final products.  

Visitors were audibly impressed with what they saw, stopping to stare in wonder, exclaiming over the ingenuity and talent and enjoying the fine collection of work. 

Our congratulations go to all our GCSE and A-level pupils for producing such a worthy display. Thanks go to the Art and Photography Department and the Design and Technology Department for all their support and inspiration to pupils this and every year and for putting together such an outstanding display.

Images of their work will be shared with our community once all their work has been moderated and any exam appeals finalised.

The College’s exhibition was once again one of many venues across Coventry and Warwickshire taking part in Warwickshire Open Studios 2024.

PTA Summer Fête And Motoring Festival A Delightful Event

The College’s annual Summer Fête and Motoring Festival is always a delightful afternoon. So much hard work goes into organising the event and the College is hugely grateful to our dedicated PTA who do such an excellent job every year.

Sunday 30 June was no exception. The Orchard was transformed thanks to plenty of enthusiasm, gazebos and bunting and the British weather stayed dry, allowing organisers and visitors to relax and enjoy themselves and their ice creams.

At the bottom of the Orchard there was line upon line of classic and unusual cars on show. Polished to perfection by loving owners, proud to show off their prized vehicles, Hillman Imps sat alongside Morris Minors, Maseratis and TVRs and visitors wandered appreciatively in between, stopping to ask questions and admire their favourites.

An array of stalls offered all sorts of entertainment, goods and services, including homemade food, arts and crafts, gifts, fundraising activities, tombolas and so much more.

A popular, new attraction this year was the 'Alpaca Pals' with Dante in particular wooing the crowds. Many enjoyed the opportunity to get up close and personal with these gorgeous animals. 

What a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon and best of all, on the day, £4895.07 was raised which will benefit the learning of every pupil in the school. Huge thanks to all the organisers and visitors, see you again next year for more fun!

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Year 10 PSHE - OP Ed Hunter

During their last PSHE lesson of the academic year, all Year 10 pupils attended an inspiring talk from OP Edward Hunter. During his talk, Mr Hunter led the pupils through his career choices and opportunities, sharing some of his biggest successes and also some of his experiences when he had to learn lessons and show resilience. Mr Hunter spoke passionately about having strong personal values including accountability and a relentless pursuit of excellence, while also maintaining a sense of fun and humour. During the Q&A session, pupils were interested to know whether Mr Hunter preferred being employed or self-employed, and also asked what impact his A-level choices had had on his career. To finish, Mr Hunter talked about how to build a network of contacts and find mentors in specific career areas. 

Overall, it was a fantastic experience for our Year 10 pupils, building on careers work from their classroom PSHE lesson last week, and looking forward to their one-to-one careers interviews at the start of Year 11.

Alison Wakeley
Teacher of Music & Head of PSHE


New Summer Holiday Camps - Reminder

Monday 15 July to Friday 23 August, 8.00am to 5.00pm

It was great to see Team Super Sports in action at last Sunday's Summer Fête and their activities certainly seemed to go down well with the younger visitors.

The team will be offering an action-packed summer experience for children aged 5 to 16 years, from Monday 15 July to Friday 23 August, 8.00am to 5.00pm.

Children aged 7 to 16 can choose from a variety of sports, including rugby, cricket, football, gymnastics, netball, hockey, and tennis to create their own personalised sports camp! For our younger campers (ages 5 to 7), along with sport we’ve got arts, crafts, and dance activities to keep them engaged and having a blast!

Why Team Super Sports? They’re experts in sport and multi-activity holiday camps, providing top-level coaching for all abilities.

Click here to visit the Team Super Sports website to secure your child’s spot.

Camps are priced at £37 per day or £150 per week. Sibling discounts and flexible booking options available!

OPs vs College Sports Day 2024

Saturday 31 August 2024 - 10.30am to 4.30pm

We are gearing up for the 13th Annual Old Princethorpians Vs College Sports Day (and 15th John Shinkwin Trophy Match) on Saturday 31 August 2024. 

This will be a relaxing day that mixes sporting matches with music, a BBQ and ice cream van, and a bar. 

As before, points will be accumulated throughout the day, with the Alex Wallis Memorial Shield being awarded to the victors at the end of the day.

The format of the day is as follows:

10.30am to 11.45am Football OPs vs Staff

11.45am to 12.45pm Hockey Princethorpe College Mixed Team vs OPs XI

12.45pm to 1.45pm Netball Princethorpe College 1st VII Girls vs OPs VII

2.00pm to 3.30pm Rugby - John Shinkwin Trophy - Princethorpe College 1st XV Boys vs OPs XV (leavers of 2024 and 2023)

3.45pm - After Match Awards by the BBQ

We are keen to get as many leavers of 2024 and OPs from across the generations participating, so please spread the word amongst the OPs and 2024 Leavers that you know, and encourage them to sign up to what is always a fun-filled and celebratory day. Those OPs interested in participating in any of the sports can complete the short online form here ASAP, or by Tuesday 27 August at the latest. College teams will be notified via SOCS as usual.

Parents, students and staff are particularly welcome to spectate, support the teams and enjoy the refreshments, so do put it in your diary and register your attendance on Princethorpe Connect, via this link, so that we have an idea of numbers for refreshment purposes.

If you have any other queries please contact Caroline Spencer, Alumni Relations and Development Officer, at oldprincethorpians@princethorpe.co.uk.

We hope to see you there!

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Heritage Open Day

Sunday 8 September 2024 - 2.00pm to 4.00pm

Princethorpe College is pleased to open its doors again in partnership with Heritage Open Days to share and celebrate the rich history of the school with the wider community.

Heritage Open Days is England's largest community-led festival of history and culture, involving thousands of local volunteers and organisations. Every year in September it brings people together to celebrate their heritage, community and history. Stories are told, traditions explored, and histories brought to life. It’s the nation's chance to see hidden places and try out new experiences – and it’s all free!

Our Archivist, Jo Wong, is busy preparing so that we can display key items from our diverse catalogue of archive materials and share the rich history of our iconic setting with visitors on Sunday 8 September.

Built in 1832, St Mary's Priory was one of the first Catholic buildings in England after the reformation. Come for a tour of the magnificent building and discover its history, including the routes and connections that made it the place it is today.

Guided Tours will be staggered, taking place at 2.00pm, 2.30pm and 3.00pm, with last entry at 3.00pm. All welcome.

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Princethorpe College Open Afternoon And Year 6 Taster Days

Sunday 15 September 2024 - 2.00pm to 5.00pm

Princethorpe will be holding its annual Open Afternoon on Sunday 15 September from 2.00pm to 5.00pm. All are welcome to visit the College and for younger visitors, there will be many fun subject related activities organised by the departments.

The Headmaster will address visitors in the Chapel during the afternoon and refreshments will be available. 

To book your place please click here.

Year 6 Taster Days - Tuesday 17, Thursday 19 and Wednesday 25 September

Our Year 6 Taster Days are aimed at Year 6 pupils who wish to join the College in September 2024 and who have not already attended a Year 5 Taster Day. 

Taster Days are available on:

  • Tuesday 17 September 2024
  • Thursday 19 September 2024
  • Wednesday 25 September 2024

Taster Days typically involve lessons, a question and answer session with some of our current pupils and a chance to talk to the Headmaster, Mr du Toit. They run from 9.30am to 3.00pm. Snacks and lunch are provided and there is no charge for the day.

To book your place click here.

Headmaster's Quiz And Curry PTA Social For New Parents And Pupils

Friday 20 September 7.00pm – 9.00pm

Parents of pupils new to the school in Sepember are invited to the Headmaster's Quiz and Curry PTA Social, which will take place in the College Dining Room on Friday 20 September. 

Year 7 Social

At the same time, there will also be a Year 7 Social organised by the Parent Teacher Association and school prefects in the Sixth Form Centre. This is a fun evening for our newest pupils, at which there will be a disco and a ‘chill out’ area.

Further information on how to book will be emailed out to new parents over the summer holidays.

Grove du Toit

OPs London Meet 2024

Friday 27 September 2024 - The Clachan, London, W1B 5QH - 6.00pm to 10.30pm

Our annual OPs London Meet, always a popular and sociable affair, moves this September to the upstairs function room at a unique city centre pub with a rich history, The Clachan, on Friday 27 September.

Described as 'your local pub in London', the The Clachan is perfectly located on Kingly Street, a little street behind the iconic Libertys, just off Regent Street, and only a brief stroll to the likes of Carnaby Street, Oxford Circus, Piccadilly Circus and the ever bustling Soho.

Our London Meets offer an ideal opportunity for OPs who have moved further afield to gather in an accessible and popular location, and it is always a pleasure to witness OPs from across the generations mixing and networking together. The Old Princethorpians Association welcomes the guests with a complimentary drink and the evening unfolds happily from there.
If you are an OP and would like to attend please RSVP via the events page on Princethorpe Connect by Friday 20 September 2024, or follow this link: OPs London Meet 2024

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, ‘Clachan’ is Gaelic for ‘meeting place’.


Digital Device Scheme

Please be reminded, that should you be looking to upgrade or update your child's device this summer, the Digital Device Scheme is open for orders. We offer both the Lenovo 500W, aimed at pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9, and the Lenovo 13W, aimed at pupils studying GCSEs and A-levels.

The devices can be bought through up front payment, or rented via a deposit and then monthly payments for the duration of the chosen assurance package

To purchase or rent either device for your son or daughter, simply click on the link below, enter the school code PRIN24, select the relevant options, and complete the details and online payment. 

Easy4U Online Portal

School Code: PRIN24

For those pupils in receipt of bursaries, there is support available to help meet the cost of the scheme. If your son/daughter accesses a bursary and you would like to take advantage of this support, please email feessupport@princethorpe.co.uk for more information. Please ensure you email Fees Support before purchasing through the portal. We will then get back to you regarding how to order.

Please note that for devices ordered between now and the end of August will be delivered to the school on Monday 2 September. If you require the device before this date, please email andycompton@princethorpe.co.uk, so we can make alternative arrangements. 

We continue to be very excited by the continued enhancement of the learning experience for our pupils through this scheme and the use of digital devices in the classroom.

Andy Compton
Assistant Head (Director of Digital Strategy)


Summer Holiday Reading 2024

One great way to relax, whether at home or on holiday, is by reading and we hope you have already got some great books lined up and are possibly already in the middle of one. However, you might feel like something different to what you usually read, or not know where to start when it comes to choosing a book. The books on the book list attached here have been picked from a selection of new releases and recommendations. Hopefully there should be something to please everyone. We hope that you will choose a few of these to try over the summer holiday. We are looking forward to talking about what you have been reading when you arrive back in September.

Happy holiday reading.

Nicola Treadwell
Head Librarian


Public Examination Results

We will write to Year 11 and Upper Sixth pupils and parents the week before their results days to provide more detailed instructions.

If a pupil is unable to collect their own results, please be aware that results cannot be given out over the phone. If a pupil wishes to nominate a third party to collect their results, the Examinations Officer must be informed of this before the end of July. Please email examinations@princethorpe.co.uk from your school email address with the following information: 

Full name of third party
Full address
Relationship to student

The person collecting the results must bring their own photographic ID with them.

Thursday 15 August 2024 – A-level results

School will be open at 8.00am. Results will be published to student accounts on My School Portal at 9.00am. 

Thursday 22 August 2024 – GCSE results

School will open at 8.30am. Results will be published to pupil accounts on My School Portal at 10.00am. 

Michael Spencer                   Sarah Tsang
Deputy Head - Academic     Examinations Officer


Homework Expectations For The Summer Holiday 2024

Please click here for the summer holiday homework expectations.

Thank you 

Dr Liz Pyne
Assistant Head - Teaching and Learning


Confirmation - Lent Term 2025 - Reminder

The Sacrament of Confirmation will be celebrated in the College Chapel in the Lent Term 2025. We are waiting for the Bishop to confirm the date.

Confirmation preparation will begin in October 2024. The preparation takes place over the lunch break. There will be four sessions in the Michaelmas Term and four in the Lent Term. Each 20-minute session will be offered twice during the week to avoid clashes with other activities.

If you would like further information, please email marybenham@princethorpe.co.uk.

Please complete the enrolment form here if you would like to register a pupil for Confirmation.
Mary Benham
Chaplaincy Co-ordinator

End Of Term Prayer

The end of another academic year is upon us. Maybe for some, it could not come quick enough as they look forward to eight weeks away from their studies and time to be with their family and friends. For others, this time is a period of transition, moving away from and moving to. Away from Princethorpe after so many years in the Foundation and moving to university or the world of work. Or moving up a Year group on their journey of education. Farewells are a time of mixed emotions, a looking back but the excitement of a new adventure about to begin. To all our students we remember in our prayers as we encourage them to say:

Lord as the summer holidays begin, I give thanks for the past term.
Yes, exams were a burden but now I have time to explore and pursue my interests.
Time to be with those who love me and time to give thanks for their enduring patience.
Time to relax, time to think, time to reflect.
May my summer holidays be a time to think not only of my own needs and wants but that of others.
May the coming weeks be filled with laughter, fun and adventure with family and friends.
May I return renewed and refreshed.
I make this prayer through Christ Our Lord


Fr Alan Whelan and Mary Benham

SchoolsMobile Webinar - Recording

Princethorpe College works closely with SchoolsMobile to provide a digital safeguarding and wellbeing tool for parents, to support their child's online safety and healthy habits.

SchoolsMobile hosted an excellent webinar for Princethorpe parents on the topic of Digital Wellbeing and Online safety on Wednesday 26 June, and the recording of this is available on the link below:

Password: Princethorpe24

SchoolsMobile work with schools around the UK to support parents with the challenge of ensuring children are safe online and can develop healthy digital habits. Tonight's webinar covers the challenges both young people and parents face in this area, and how schools, parents and young people can come together to overcome these.

You can find out more about SchoolsMobile at https://schoolsmobile.com/princethorpe/

Andy Compton
Assistant Head (Director of Digital Strategy)


Sixth Form

Trinity Term - Sixth Form Update

As we approach the end of the year, I wanted to take a moment to reflect on the incredible achievements and experiences our students have had over the past few weeks. It has been a time of growth, learning, and community spirit that has made us all immensely proud.

Alton Towers Trip Success

Last week, our Sixth Form students enjoyed an exhilarating day at Alton Towers. The trip was a well-deserved break from their academic commitments, providing an opportunity for fun and camaraderie. It was wonderful to see the students bond and create lasting memories. Their behaviour and enthusiasm throughout the day were exemplary, and we commend them for representing our school so positively.

Birmingham UCAS Day

In addition to the Alton Towers trip, our students also attended the UCAS exhibition in Birmingham. This event was a significant step in their journey towards higher education. The students engaged with representatives from numerous universities, explored various courses, and gathered valuable information to help them make informed decisions about their futures. Their mature approach and thoughtful questions were noted by many of the exhibitors, and we are confident they have gained a clearer vision of their paths ahead.

Inaugural Make a Difference Day

Perhaps most heartwarming was our inaugural Make a Difference Day. Our Sixth Form students took the lead in supporting local communities through various projects and initiatives. Whether it was volunteering with charities, helping at community centres, or organising environmental clean-ups, their dedication and compassion were truly inspiring. This day highlighted the importance of giving back and making a positive impact on the world around us. We are particularly proud of our students for their commitment to service and their ability to make a real difference.

Looking Ahead

As we look back on these events, we are filled with pride and optimism for the future. Our students have demonstrated resilience, leadership, and a strong sense of community, which are qualities that will serve them well in all their future endeavours.

Thank you parents, for your continued support and encouragement. Your involvement is crucial in helping our students achieve their best and we are grateful for your partnership.

We wish you all a restful and enjoyable summer and we look forward to welcoming the students back for another exciting term.

Ben Collie 
Head of Sixth Form 


Support The PTA Online - Reminder

Did you know you can support the Princethorpe PTA online?

Follow, like, and share our social media posts to help us reach a wider audience. The more people who are aware of our fundraising events, the greater impact we can make for the school community! Please see below the links to our social media pages:

Facebook: PTA Princethorpe

Instagram: @princethorpepta

X (Twitter): @PrincethorpePta

Thank you for all your support this academic year. 

Princethorpe PTA

PTA Easyfundraising - Reminder

Please don’t forget that Princethorpe College PTA is registered with easyfundraising. 

When you shop via the easyfundraising website or app, with over 4,100 of your favourite retailers, including John Lewis & Partners, eBay, Amazon and many more, you will raise FREE donations for the school.  

If you’re not already registered, please visit our easyfundraising page here.

This will really make a difference to our school! Thank you for your support.

Join Our Princethorpe PTA Community - Reminder

Are you interested in joining the PTA Committee?

Comprising a dedicated group of volunteer parents and guardians of Princethorpe students, the committee orchestrates and assists in various school events, including the immensely popular Summer Fête and Christmas Fair, aimed at raising funds for projects within the school that enrich the student experience and foster a sense of community.

If you are interested in offering your support or wish to become more actively involved in event planning by joining the committee and attending meetings, please don't hesitate to email us at ptassociation@princethorpe.co.uk.


Duke Of Edinburgh's Award 2023-24

Well done to all who completed their qualifying expedition over the last month. Your expedition assessors are adding your reports onto eDofE. We will add photographs and approve this section for you.

Please now focus on signing off your volunteering, physical and skills sections. For Gold participants, prioritise booking your residential. Guidance can be found on MySchoolPortal here. For further help, DofE clinic resumes in September on Tuesdays at 1.05pm in LG02.

If you still have any expedition kit borrowed from school please could this be returned by Friday 5 July. Please label the items with your name so we are able to sign them back in.

Will Bower
Head of Outdoor Education


Term Dates - 2024-25 And 2025-26

Please find below the Term Dates for 2024-25 and 2025-26.

2024-2025 (two page document) - revised Sixth Form Open Evening and Christmas Fair dates. Updated June 2024

2025-2026 (two page document)

Employment Opportunities

Please see below our current vacancies:

Princethorpe College

  • Head of Estates and Sustainability
  • Site Supervisor - Crackley Hall
  • Estates Operative - Crescent School
  • Estates Operative - Princethorpe College
  • Sports Coach - Hockey
  • Sports Coach - Rugby

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.

Bus Services 2024-25

Current bus users (who had not given notice by this half term or who are not leaving the school this summer) will very shortly be receiving an email from Vectare inviting them to make their booking for 2024-2025.

Bus passes are booked on an annual basis and are invoiced termly, starting with the Michaelmas Term fees. Payment must be made by the start of each term in order to guarantee the place.

Those wishing to book a new single or return bus pass will be able to do so from mid July.

Ad hoc journeys for the next academic year will be available to book from the bus website from the end of the summer holidays. All ad hoc users must pre-book a seat to travel. A £10 penalty fare will be charged per journey for those who fail to do so.

Should you have any queries please email princethorpe@vectare.co.uk.

Return Of Deposits

Parents may recall paying a deposit when their son or daughter first started at the College. We will email parents of pupils from the Upper Sixth during July with instructions for the return of deposits, which will be returned by the end of August.

Parents of Year 11 pupils who do not return to the Sixth Form in early September, will be contacted regarding their deposits in early September. Deposits will then be returned at the end of September/beginning of October.

Eddie Tolcher
Foundation Bursar

Communication - Reminder

We would like to remind parents of some useful contact details.

To report a pupil absence please do so on My School Portal.

For other enquiries please use the email addresses below:

Bus related queries - princethorpe@vectare.co.uk

School Shop - uniform@princethorpe.co.uk

Medical Centre - pcmatrons@princethorpe.co.uk

School fees -  accounts@princethorpe.co.uk

General enquiries - post@princethorpe.co.uk

Lost property - lostproperty@princethorpe.co.uk

Wisepay catering - cashless@princethorpe.co.uk

Email addresses for members of teaching staff can be found on My School Portal.