Registrar, Mrs Vanessa Rooney, Assistant Registrar, Miss Helen Morgan, and Admissions Administrator, Mrs Catherine Rogers, deal with many enquiries from prospective parents, here are a few of the most frequently asked questions about the admissions process, with their responses.
If you have a query that isn't covered here, please feel free to contact Vanessa, Helen or Catherine on 01926 634201/634262.
How are places offered?
Places are considered based on the results from the Entrance Examinations, the reference which the College requests from the current school and any other information which is contained on the registration form. The Admissions Panel looks at each individual at length before a decision is made regarding the offer of a place. The decision making process runs over three days.
How many places are offered each year?
The cohort each year is different in number and ability so it depends upon the examination results and the references from the current school. We usually offer slightly more places than we have space for because we recognise that some children may take entrance examinations for more than one school and some live in areas which still use the 11+ examination.
How can I prepare my child for the exams?
For more information on the online assessment please visit the CEM website at
(If you experience difficulties opening this link, please try Internet Explorer. NB - swf file formats may not function properly on Apple devices.)
There are no practice papers available for the online assessment. CEM advises parents that children can best prepare for their online assessment by learning to work quietly on their own, completing homework set by their school, and by reading and making sure they understand all the words in any books they read. Children should also, wherever possible, be encouraged to try to solve problems by looking things up for themselves. Children should be familiar with using a keyboard and a mouse including the ability to click, drag and slide with a mouse.
The following practice papers may prove helpful:
- Bond How to do 11+ Verbal Reasoning published by Nelson Thornes (ISBN 9 780192 742292)
- Bond How to do 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning published by Nelson Thornes (ISBN 9 780192 742285)
- Bond How to do 11+ Maths published by Nelson Thornes (ISBN 9 780192 742278)
They can be ordered from Waterstones, 1 Priorsgate, Warwick Street, Leamington Spa, CV32 4QG, Tel 01926 883804.
You can also work with your child on a copy of a past English paper which is included in the prospectus pack.
As a general rule on the paper tests advise your son/daughter to answer the easy questions first on the paper and then go back and work on the more tricky ones. Practice at timing themselves while they are working is important too, as they often run out of time. None of the questions on any of the papers need to be answered in order. If the child thinks a question is difficult leave it and go onto the next one and then go back and try again if there is enough time.
Do you take children with a Special Educational Need or Disability?
If your child has a special educational need or disability (SEND), please indicate this on the registration form. He/she will then be invited in for an assessment with a member of our Learning Support department before the entrance examination takes place. The findings from this assessment then go forward to the Admissions Panel together with the entrance exam results, current school reference and, where appropriate, an up to date specialist report from, for example, an Educational Psychologist or Occupational Therapist.
Are children with a SEND entitled to access arrangements in the exam?
Children with a special educational need or disability may be considered for access arrangements in the entrance examinations. Any access arrangements will usually be based on the child's normal way of working in their current educational environment, for which evidence will be required. We would ask that any Educational Psychologist reports or other supporting information, are forwarded to the Registrars at the earliest opportunity.
All children with a SEND should see a member of our Learning Support department, prior to the entrance exams taking place, who will be happy to discuss their needs. Please ensure that you register in good time, to enable us to arrange this meeting.
How many scholarships are offered each year?
The number of scholarships offered each year depends on the funds allocated by the trustees. Academic scholarships awarded vary between 10% and 50%. Art and Music can be from 10% to 25%. All-Rounder scholarships are generally from 10% to 25%. All awards are at the discretion of the Headmaster.
What does an All-Rounder Scholarship mean?
The All-Rounder scholarship is for a child with a good academic ability who is involved with activities outside of school. This can be a sport, music, drama, art, cubs, brownies etc. If you wish to apply for this scholarship we ask you to collect evidence and references from coaches and activity leaders outlining the child’s enthusiasm, commitment and ability. This information should be collated and submitted by the registration deadline. The Admissions Panel frequently sees applications for All-Rounder scholarships which have minimal supporting paperwork. Please make sure that we have sufficient evidence to consider.
How are the children put in the new form groups?
At Princethorpe new pupils to the school will join an existing house tutor group comprising pupils from Years 7 to 11. They will stay with this 'family' and form tutor up until Year 11. The Sixth Form have form tutor groups which consist of both Lower and Upper Sixth students.
The Y7 to Y11 house tutor groups have approximately the same number of children from every year group, a mix of girls and boys and ability.
What sizes are the classes at Princethorpe?
The maximum class size is 24 but this year's Year 7 classes are at around 20 pupils. Design and Technology groups tend to be smaller, normally around 14. Maths and English sets vary according to need – pupils in lower sets will be in slightly smaller groups – usually around 16 or 17. Students in top sets work very well in slightly larger groups, up to 23/24.
How are the children allocated to a House?
Houses are allocated by the Deputy Head - Pastoral. Where there is an existing connection with the school pupils usually go into the same house as a sibling or the same house if the parent is an Old Princethorpian. Otherwise the houses are allocated to ensure that the boys and girls are evenly distributed across all four houses.
Will my child get lost when they come to Princethorpe?
Princethorpe has an excellent induction programme that is offered in two separate ways. We have an Induction Day in June for all the new pupils when they spend a day in class and get to meet their Head of House and other members of the Princethorpe community. We also have a Year 7 Activity Day which takes place at the end of the summer holidays. This is a fun day with all the new Year 7 children taking part in games, treasure hunts and activities in and out of the classroom. This is another opportunity to find their way around and meet more staff and children in their House just before they begin school, in September.
How do we find out what is happening at school?
The College has a bi-weekly electronic newsletter, The Flagpole, that includes news articles, events, important information and advice. We start sending it to new parents towards the end of the summer term and it is the best place to find out what is happening in school.
Do you offer before and after school care?
The school is open from 7.30am each day with breakfast available in the Sixth Form Centre for early birds. Period 1 and registration is at 8.40am. School finishes at 3.45pm with buses departing at 3.55pm. Extended day is available for pupils until 6.00pm.
What extra charges, apart from the school fees are there likely to be?
When your child first joins Princethorpe there will be the cost of the school uniform and the initial pack of exercise books. All text books are loaned to the child and there is no charge unless one is lost or badly damaged. There are school trips, usually for each year group and these are always connected to the curriculum. Children will need to buy food from the Refectory or bring a packed lunch. We use a fingerprint system so money does not need to be brought into school. Princethorpe takes great care to ensure that costs are kept to a minimum and are always good value.