Princethorpe College – What’s It All About?

That’s the question followers of the College on social media will be seeing over the course of the next week, starting today (Friday 7 September) at 4.00pm.

The cryptic message along with a teaser video and photographs will repeatedly pose the question in a countdown to the big reveal next Friday 14 September at 4.00pm. 

Make sure you check out the posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at 4.00pm every day.

Countdown To Entrance Exams For 2019 Entry Begins

With just nine weeks to go the countdown to the College's Entrance Exams for admission in September 2019 has begun. This year the exams for Year 7 to 10 entry will take place on Saturday 10 November from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

Our friendly Admissions Team has been kept busy over the summer accepting registrations from prospective parents. The deadline for registrations is ideally Friday 5 October, to enable the seeking of references from junior schools.

There are plenty of opportunities for prospective pupils and their parents to visit the College before the Entrance Exams, including Taster Days and our Open Morning on Thursday 27 September from 10.30am to 12.30pm, when pupil tour guides will be available to show visitors around the school.

Comments Melanie Butler, Assistant Head, Marketing, Admissions and Communications, "Parents and pupils still have plenty of time to prepare and opportunities to visit the College in the run up to the exams. The results will be out at the end of November, making for an exam-free Christmas holiday, which has got to be good news."

If you have any queries relating to admissions please feel free to email the Registrars at or call them on 01926 634201.


Another Year Of Outstanding Results For Princethorpe’s A-level And GCSE Pupils

Princethorpe College is celebrating another year of excellent exam results.

This summer over a third (34%) of all A-level grades were A* or A and more than 80% of grades were C or better; at GCSE 43% of all entries were graded the coveted new 9, 8 or 7 grades (A* or A) and 39 pupils achieved eight or more 9, 8, 7 grades (A* or A).

Ed Hester, Headmaster, said, “Our students have worked so hard and we are incredibly proud of their achievements.”

A-level summary:

  • 107 candidates
  • 34% A* and A
  • 80% grade C or better

Amongst the seventeen high fliers who achieved three or more A* or A grades were Head Girl, Miriam Isaacs, Head Boy, Tim Duffy, Ed Williamson who received his results on his 18th birthday and the College’s highest achieving student James Fletcher who will now go on to read Law at Trinity College, Oxford.

Many Princethorpe pupils nailed the new 9 grade with the best individual results achieved by Caitlin McBride who achieved nine 9s, two A*s and an A grade and Sophie Mitchell who achieved nine 9s and two A* grades.  

Princethorpe pupils performed well in all the core GCSE subjects but the College is particularly delighted with its best ever English results with 64% of pupils achieving 9, 8 or 7 grades.  Given the rarity of the new 9 grade, and the new more demanding GCSE courses, Princethorpe’s pupils really excelled themselves: the College also had 11 pupils achieve a grade 9 in Art and its Scientists secured no less than 41 grade 9s.

GCSE summary:  

  • 154 candidates
  • two thirds of all grades 9-6 or A* to B
  • 92% of grades 9-4 or A* to C

Headmaster, Ed Hester, continued, “All credit goes to our pupils and staff for their commitment and hard work.  Our 2018 A-level and GCSE results are very strong indicators that the school’s academic achievements across the ability range continue to go from strength to strength."

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Princethorpe Passed ISI Inspection With Flying Colours

Earlier this year Princethorpe College passed an Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) regulatory compliance inspection with flying colours.

The College was inspected in mid-February and judged to have met all of the eight standards required of it. Areas examined in terms of compliance include the quality of education provided, welfare, health and safety of pupils and the quality of leadership and management of the school.

Amongst its findings the report comments on ‘GCSE performance from 2014 to 2016 (the period covered by the inspection) being above the national average’, ‘that principles and values are actively promoted which facilitate the personal development of pupils’ and that ‘the leadership and management demonstrate good skills and knowledge and fulfil their responsibilities effectively’.

Regulatory compliance inspections report on a school’s compliance with the Independent School Standards Regulations. All schools are required to meet all standards applicable to them and the judgements are either met or not met.

Comments Headmaster, Ed Hester, “We are delighted to have met all the ISI’s regulatory standards, the report is testament to the hard work and dedication of the whole team at Princethorpe and my thanks go out to them.”

To access the full report please go to the ISI website or click here.

The Independent Schools Inspectorate (ISI) is the body approved by the Department for Education for the purpose of inspecting schools belonging to Independent Schools Council (ISC) Associations and reporting on compliance with independent school regulations. ISI inspections are also carried out under arrangements of the ISC Associations for the maintenance and improvement of the quality of the membership.

Science At The Forefront Of Princethorpe’s Vision For The Future

Princethorpe is putting Science at the forefront of its vision for the future, with the announcement of plans for a new state-of-the-art Science building. Planning will be submitted this September for the two-storey, £8 million building, which will see Biology, Chemistry and Physics sited together in one dedicated location. It is hoped that construction will start on the project within the next three years.

This is the latest in a programme of capital investment in the infrastructure of the College, including recent projects such as the refurbishment of the Clarkson Theatre and the Roundhouse for the Performing Arts, the Limes Building for Modern Foreign Languages, English and ICT and restoration of the wooded lake area known as Switzerland for outdoor education.

At just over 1,600 sq metres, the building will provide contemporary, spacious and well-equipped accommodation for the three Sciences including ten new laboratories, preparation areas, staff bases and toilets.

Comments, Headmaster, Ed Hester, “In a demanding world, where scientific progress is essential across the spheres of discovery, development and innovation, we need to provide the very best facilities for teaching and learning to stimulate the intellect, ambition and creativity of our pupils. This tremendous new building will enable us to do just that.”

The main entrance of the new block will face the Lime Walk and the side of the building will abut the existing Limes Building at the top of the North Lawn. The two buildings will be connected on both floors creating free flow for pupils and staff between them. The area in front of the new building will be attractively landscaped with a central square feature.

The project will also enable the College to redevelop and cluster other departments, providing permanent homes for Economics, Business Studies, Geography and Classics and dedicated laboratory areas for Academic PE. Plans are also afoot to provide additional catering and seated dining facilities. This last major phase of the upgrading of the school’s accommodation will benefit all of the College’s 900 plus pupils.

The project has been designed in collaboration with Leamington-based AT Architects.

New Senior Appointments Boost Foundation Leadership Team

The Princethorpe Foundation is delighted to announce that two new senior members of staff joined the Leadership Team this September.

Dr Liz Pyne, joined Princethorpe College from Finham Park School in Coventry, in the new role of Assistant Head (Teaching and Learning). Dr Pyne is an outstanding History teacher, who has had a wealth of strategic leadership and training experience in Teaching and Learning at her current school. An experienced practitioner, Liz is a Professional Mentor for Warwick University and has been rewarded with an Honorary Fellowship. She regularly shares best practice and the latest developments in pedagogy with colleagues from other schools.

Her role will be to inspire, support and develop pupils and staff to achieve the highest possible standards in teaching and learning.

Joining her is Andy Compton, who takes on the new role of Foundation Assistant Head (Director of Digital Strategy). Andy is an experienced Spanish and French teacher who has had responsibility for leading on new technologies and championing digital learning at his current school, Sidney Stringer Academy in Coventry. A passionate advocate of the power of digital technology on teaching and learning, he will draw on these experiences to develop strategies to use technology to its full potential, improving the ICT, learning and teaching across the whole Foundation, including the College and its two junior schools, Crackley Hall in Kenilworth and the Crescent School in Rugby.

Headmaster, Ed Hester, commented, “The Foundation is moving forward in very exciting ways and it is so important for us to have first class staff in leadership positions. We are therefore delighted to welcome Liz and Andy and wish them both well in their new roles.”

Seven Year 7 Teaching Groups For September

Princethorpe College moved to seven teaching groups in Year 7 for the first time this September when 143 new pupils joined the school.

Headmaster, Ed Hester, commented, “We had a high level of interest in Year 7 so each of these groups will start with around 20 pupils, enabling us to give the children the very best start to their senior school education, both inside and outside the classroom.”

He continues, “We are now oversubscribed in most year groups, this move enables us to maintain the school community at an optimum size of around 900 pupils. Competition for places was high and we are excited to have such a fine and talented group of children joining us this year.”



Princethorpe’s ‘Bright Spark’ Wins Electronic Engineering Award

Princethorpe College Upper Sixth Former, Michael Gucluer, celebrated after receiving a Bright Sparks 2018 Award. Michael was presented with the award in May in the Maxwell Library at the Institution of Engineering and Technology, in London.

Run by Electronics Weekly in partnership with RS Components, with support from Harting and the IET, the Bright Sparks Awards are presented annually to the 30 brightest and most talented young electronics engineers in the UK. Judged by a respected panel of industry experts, the awards recognise outstanding performance in the field of electronics.

To qualify for the award students must be aged 30 and under, so at only eighteen-years-old Michael was this year’s youngest recipient, with the majority of the awards being presented for university projects.

The award recognises work undertaken by Michael for his GCSE Electronics and Control Project, which has subsequently been developed further with support from the UK Young Engineers Mentoring Programme.

Michael commented, “The electronic product I’ve been developing is a multi-purpose, modular control system which can be re-programmed for industrial applications. It includes a range of optoelectronic components (electronic devices and systems that source, detect and control light) so that data related to important processes can be displayed simultaneously in real-time and recorded for future use.” He continued, “The judging panel were particularly interested in the details of the design, they wanted to see innovation, creative problem solving and thorough technical electrical knowledge.”

A previous winner of the UK Young Engineers National Award for Engineering Excellence Michael successfully took A-Levels in Chemistry, Physics and Maths and will be going to Warwick University to study Electronic Engineering.

Golden Goal Seals U13 Netball National ISA Championship

During the Trinity Term the College's Year 8 Netball Team were crowned U13s ISA National Netball Champions.

On Saturday 12 May the team took on 11 schools from across the country in the Independent Schools Association’s National Netball Finals. The championships took place at the excellent facilities of Queen Ethelburga’s Collegiate in York.

The girls stormed though the Group Stage hitting the ground running with fast attacking play. They won all their first round matches dispatching Alderley Edge School for Girls 8-6, St Michael’s School 15-1, Hull Collegiate School 16-4 and Claires Court School 11-10.

Keeping the momentum up and their shooting sharp, the U13s had another easy win in the semi-final against St James Senior Girls’ School 12-4.

They were then pitted against Ballard School in the final and from the start it was a tight match. The girls had to fight for every ball and work tirelessly together, grabbing every opportunity to turn over, transition down the court and convert. Ballard fought back hard, testing the Princethorpe defence again and again. The teams were well matched and with goals aplenty from both sides at full time the score stood at 12-12. The game then went to sudden death and, Goal Attack, Rosie Pritchard-Jeffs kept her nerve and shot the golden goal to seal the national championship title for Princethorpe College.

Congratulations to all the girls involved, everyone played fantastically and the College is super proud of their achievement!


Another Exceptional Summer Art, Photography And Design Show

This year’s Summer Art, Photography and Design Show opened on Thursday 21 June with a special evening reception for the artists and their families, friends and guests. The displays remained on show until Sunday 24 June allowing visitors to the College’s Summer Fête to also enjoy the superb standard of work this year’s GCSE and A-level pupils produced.

Those who know the College will be familiar with its formidable reputation for quality Art and Design. The walls of the College are adorned with exceptional examples and the work at this year’s show was no exception with striking portraiture and photography sitting alongside technically complex product design.

The Sixth Form Centre and Lecture Theatre were transformed into an eclectic exhibition space, the light and airy atrium helping to showcase the work at its best. The exhibition was one of 138 venues across Coventry and Warwickshire taking part in Warwickshire Open Studios 2018.

On display was work from A-level and GCSE pupils exploring a diverse range of mediums and themes. In the main hall fascinating portraiture sat alongside superb studies, imaginative illustrations and phenomenal photography. In the Design and Technology studio, intricately stitched dresses and tutus showcased this year’s Textiles pieces, whilst Resistant Materials’ final products included fine oak chests, swooping seating and even games tables, and from our Electronics pupils there was a range of different sized and shaped amplifiers.

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 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 exhibition.

Red Flags Fly High As Benet Claim Victory At College Sports Day

The College’s annual Sports Day took place on Friday 15 June. It was a fantastic afternoon of friendly, but fiercely competitive sport. Field and track events took place simultaneously so the playing fields were action-packed from the moment the starting gun fired. College staff were kept busy measuring, timing and recording all the running, jumping and throwing taking place.

House colours and flags were spread across the field and the Heads of House: Lisa Challinor, Kenny Owen, Chris McCullough and Simon Robertson cheered on every participant all hoping that this year their House would be victorious. In the end it was Benet that just snatched victory, followed very closely by More, then Austin and Fisher, but it was a close run competition where every performance, sprint, middle distance or field event counted and the result was only decided after the very final event – the nail-biting relay.

It was a lovely sunny day and after a week of internal examinations pupils were more than ready for an afternoon of competition and the chance to let off a bit of athletic steam. Yes, there were the winners, who are to be commended for their exhilarating performances, but there were also the moments of camaraderie where pupils pulled together and willed along those who were finding the going tough. And in the heat of the afternoon our Sixth Form Prefects helped to keep pupils cool selling over 700 popsicles that has helped fund a £250 donation to the Grangers Club.

Foundation Director of Sport, Neil McCollin, said, “This was another super Sports Day with plenty of excellent performances. The atmosphere was incredible, pupils were very supportive of each other, appreciating every individual effort and there was very little in it at the end.”

As always we give huge thanks to all involved in organising the event especially the House Activities Co-ordinators.

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173 Princethorpe Pupils Complete Their Duke Of Edinburgh Expeditions

173 Princethorpe pupils completed their Duke of Edinburgh Qualifying Expeditions in the last few weeks of the Trinty term.  An amazing achievement by all especially in the baking hot sunshine.

Unaccompanied and self-sufficient they trekked and camped their way across Snowdonia (20 pupils for Gold), the Dark Peak (40 pupils for Silver) and the Cotswolds (113 for Bronze), working together in teams to achieve their expedition objectives.

The Duke of Edinburgh 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.

Will Bower, Head of Outdoor Education, commented, “Record numbers of Princethorpe pupils have embraced the challenge of the Duke of Edinburgh Award. They have taken the opportunity to develop skills and try new experiences, pushing themselves both mentally and physically to be the best they can be. We are delighted with their commitment and enthusiasm, and very proud that so many have completed their expeditions. Pupils coped very well with hot conditions and the challenges they faced along the way.”

Princethorpe College has excellent completion rates for the Duke of Edinburgh Award, and is currently ranked third in Warwickshire in terms of successful participants.

The Pinnacle - Issue 24 - Be Inspired!

The latest issue of The Pinnacle, the College's school magazine, was published at the end of the Trinity term.  It showcases yet more of our pupils' excellent work.

This edition includes updates on our da Vinci programme and celebrate pupils' work across many subjects and year groups including English, Music, History, Georgraphy and Computer Science. There’s also coverage of some of the wonderful GCSE and A-level Art and Photography, which appeared in our Summer Art, Photography and Design Show in June.

Editor and da Vinci Programme Co-ordinator, Helen Pascoe-Williams says, “There are pages and pages of excellent work in this issue from across our expanding Foundation. It’s always a pleasure and a privilege to bring everything together in one place.”

The Pinnacle includes a double-sized Minnacle showcasing the impressive work produced by pupils at the Foundation Junior Schools’ Crackley Hall and Crescent.

You can view the latest edition here The Pinnacle and The Minnacle.

Loserville Was Brilliant And Energetic

Loserville the musical, think Grease meets The Big Bang Theory, had the audience laughing one moment, then cringing the next, in a non-stop, bouncy and energetic production.

It told the story of Michael Dork and his closest friends, a group of socially awkward teenage boys struggling through 'High School' in 1970s America. Michael is trying to invent email, Lucas is writing his first Sci-Fi novel (Galaxy Battles; Episode 4) and Marvin and Francis spend all their time building a space ship from a shopping trolley. They are constantly being thwarted by popular and privileged school quarterback, Eddie Arch and his cronies.

Then one day, a new girl arrives at the school. Holly is intelligent, funny and harbours a desire to become NASA’s first woman in space. Her sudden arrival throws everyone’s world into turmoil.

Loserville was filled with brilliant and energetic rock songs by James Bourne of Busted, who even gave the crew a good luck shout out on Twitter!  The production was fabulously farcical but huge fun and the audiences really enjoyed seeing the heroes get their “Ticket Outta Loserville”.

Thanks to the performers and the technical team for putting together such a brilliant and energetic performance and to English Teacher, Mrs Jessica Newborough and, Director of Music, Mr Gil Cowlishaw who masterminded the production.