2020 Admissions Cycle Commences

As the College looks forward to welcoming its new pupils to the school in September, the Admissions Team now turns its attention to entry for 2020.

Entrance Examinations, for entry to the school in September 2020, will take place on Saturday 9 November 2019 and we are already busy accepting registrations.

There are plenty of opportunities for prospective pupils and their parents to visit the College before the Entrance Exams take place; including our Open Afternoon on Sunday 24 March 2019, our summer Open Evening on Wednesday 5 June, Year 5 and 6 Taster Days in May, June and September, and a last chance to look round before the Entrance Exams at our Open Morning on Thursday 26 September. 

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

Following the entrance exams, offer letters will be sent out on Thursday 28 November 2019 and the acceptance deadline will be Monday 2 March 2020. The acceptance deadline for places is, by a nationally agreed code of practice, the same for all independent schools, allowing parents and children time to review all their options, including those from the maintained sector, before making a final decision.

If you have any questions about the admissions process please contact the Registrar, Vanessa Rooney, on 01926 634201 or email


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 plans for a new state-of-the-art Science building. Planning was submitted last 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.

The Princethorpe Foundation Shortlisted For Two Awards

The Princethorpe Foundation was thrilled to be shortlisted in two categories in the Independent School of the Year Awards.  Crackley Hall School was shortlisted for the coveted Independent Prep School of the Year Award.  Whilst the Foundation’s senior school, Princethorpe College, was shortlisted for Independent School of the Year - Student Careers Programme Award.  They were both selected ahead of hundreds of independent schools from across the country who had entered the awards.

The Awards Scheme was in its inaugural year and has been introduced to celebrate the independent education sector, showcase excellence in student experience and recognise the varied and imaginative way in which independent schools prepare young people for their future lives.

Ed Hester, Foundation Headmaster commented, “We are delighted that the Awards committee have recognised our Foundation schools. Our dedicated staff are committed to providing the very best experience for our pupils, supporting them as they grow into confident, resilient young people. This is a testament to the hard work they do every day and we are very proud to have been shortlisted.”

Brand New College Magazine - The Tower Review

A brand new College magazine, The Tower Review, has just been published. The magazine is designed to be an annual souvenir review of the previous academic year celebrating the life of the school and  the wealth of activities and opportunities available at Princethorpe College.

Some families will remember that The Tower used to be the College’s magazine which provided termly updates on life at school, before the advent of our fortnightly e-newsletter The Flagpole.

The magazine showcases term by term a whole host of events, achievements and successes that our pupils from Year 7 to Upper Sixth were involved in over the course of 2017/18, and includes highlights such as Prize Giving, the Careers Fair and House Activities, such as Sports Day.  

2017/2018 had a lot to live up to following on from the glorious celebrations of the Golden Jubilee year.  It had its own challenges, with some of the heaviest snowfall in a long while, but there were many wonderful and memorable moments and plenty of achievements and successes to record.

To view a copy click here.

Hard copies are free of charge and will be available for collection at a number of upcoming events including:

  • Open Afternoon - Sunday 24 March
  • Open Evening - Wednesday 5 June
  • Year 5 Taster Days in May and June

If you are unable to collect a copy and would like to receive a hard copy in the post please email with your name and address.


U15 Rugby Boys Reached The Final Eight Of Prestigious NatWest Plate

This year Princethorpe College’s Boys U15 Rugby team qualified, for the very first time, for the quarter-finals of the NatWest Schools National Plate competition. 

The boys earned their well-deserved place in the final eight in a hard-fought match on home turf against RGS Worcester on Monday 14 January.  Their delight in their success was only heightened when the team got a shout-out later that evening on national radio thanks to an enterprising parent, Mr Richard Draper, who contacted the new Sara Cox Radio 2 Drivetime Show.

Talking about the match, Team Captain, Oscar Blunsom-Washbrook, commented “We had a good first half, but in the second we gave away too many penalties.  It was a very nervous last ten minutes, but the team showed real resilience to get the win.”

Along the way the boys had beaten King Edward’s Birmingham, Old Swinford Hospital and Ellesmere College to get to the fourth round and their excellent 15 – 9 victory against RGS Worcester secured their place in the final eight.

Reaching the quarter-finals was a great achievement and a reflection of the effort, tenacity and dedication of pupils and staff over the season. 

Little Shop Of Horrors Leaves Audiences Ravenous For More

The College’s musical theatre production this year was Little Shop of Horrors.  It was produced and directed by Director of Music, Gil Cowlishaw, supported by Joint Head of Drama, Vicky Roberts, and performed with humour and panache by our wonderful troupe of Princethorpe players.

It told the story of Skid Row florist’s clerk Seymour Krelborn who is too shy to declare his love for his co-worker Audrey – until a mysterious exotic plant brings him unexpected fame and fortune. There’s just one problem; the plant has ambitions of its own, and thrives on only one food – human blood.

Gleefully gruesome with awesome props, this tender love story had a fabulous sixties-style score that made the deliciously campy, sci-fi spoof a 'monster' hit.

Over four performances captivated audiences were transported to a colourful world of larger than life characters as between bites, the carnivorous Audrey II brought the house down singing rhythm and blues. What better way to combat the cold winter night!

Not for the faint hearted, the horror comedy, rock musical had the audience screaming with laughter and ravenous for more.


Oli Thomas Celebrates England Hockey Call Up

Princethorpe College Year 11, Oli Thomas, made his England Hockey debut when he played for the winning U16 team in a match against Ireland at the Lilleshall Hall National Sports Centre on Thursday 21 February.

As well as playing for the College Oli also plays club hockey at Hampton-In-Arden and is on the England Hockey player pathway. He trains with the England Squad and supplements that with training at the South Midlands Regional Performance Centre.

Back in the summer last year, Oli played in the Mercia Lynx team in the England Hockey Futures Cup, a high intensity tournament that is an important part of the England National Age Groups selection process, and he was delighted to subsequently be selected for the National U16 Boys’ Squad.

Oli said, “The Futures Cup tournament was incredible, three challenging matches plus training sessions and workshops all in four days.  We even had the chance to meet players from the GB team.  It was fantastic to win but then even better to find out that I had made it into the England squad.”

Since then Oli has attended monthly national training camps before making his successful debut in the amazing 3-2 win against Ireland.  He is looking forward to possible matches against Germany, Scotland and Holland, and to travelling to Belgium to play with the squad.  At the end of the season he hopes to play in the Home Nations Tournament.

Proud Princethorpe Hockey coach, Paul Whitehead, was delighted to be invited to watch Oli play at Lilleshall.  He commented, “Oli’s speed and precision are what makes him special, we are delighted to support him in his hockey ambitions and of course to have him play in the College’s 1st XI.”

Unfazed by the demands of GCSE studies, Oli believes that organisation and focus are the key to his success.  Adding, “It can be tough juggling my studies alongside hockey but if you are determined and work hard you can achieve anything.”


Lauren Mason Invited To Join New York Academy Of Sciences 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures Programme

Year 11 pupil, Lauren Mason, has been invited to join the New York Academy of Sciences 2019 cohort of 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures – an innovative initiative designed to engage young women interested in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM), and advance their pursuit of STEM careers through a programme of mentoring, study and 21st-century skills development.

Lauren has been a part of their Junior Academy programme for the last few years and won her place on the 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures initiative after impressing the admissions committee with her deep passion for STEM. 

As part of the programme, Lauren will participate in one-to-one mentoring from real scientists and engineers, take coursework modules focusing on skills such as leadership, communication, and critical thinking and have the opportunity to network with peers and female STEM professionals.

To celebrate her acceptance into 1000 Girls, 1000 Futures programme, Lauren has also been accepted as a Young Member of the New York Academy of Sciences.  The Young Members are an incredibly diverse group of innovators, explorers and problem-solvers, united by a shared curiosity about the universe and a strong commitment to changing the world through STEM. 

Ed Hester, Headmaster, commented, “It is fantastic to see Lauren’s passion and excellence in the realm of STEM recognised on an international level, we know she will make the most of this wonderful opportunity to further her knowledge and skills.”

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Hannah Owens Appointed Warwickshire Young Poet Laureate

Lower Sixth Former Hannah Owens has been appointed young poet laureate for Warwickshire.  The 17-year-old will take on the post for the next year.

Hannah was selected from a shortlist of five poets after a challenging but amazing day of workshops, interviews and performances.

The selection day started with a performance workshop hosted by Midlands based poet, Fergus McGonigal.  He was full of helpful hints on how to make the most of your performance and even performed some of his own unique work.  Next came a panel interview with questions on why poetry was important and what the candidates hope to do in the role. The day concluded with each applicant performing two poems; one themed on Warwickshire and another of their choice; to a small audience of parents, friends, local dignitaries from the county, including the Deputy Mayor of Rugby and the MP for Rugby, as well as staff from Warwickshire Libraries.

Hannah will now undertake a year of performances, which will include attending events throughout the county, starting with the Arts Council meeting in Stratford-upon-Avon and the Warwickshire Libraries conference.  Her work will also include running workshops with young people and even organising a blog. 

Hannah will also get the chance to work with a mentor, a graduate English student, to develop her writing skills.

Hannah commented, “The selection day was incredible and very inspiring - the result was completely unexpected.  It is a wonderful opportunity and I can’t wait to get started.  I would like to thank my English teacher, Mr Kerrigan, for the help he gave me in preparing.  I am looking forward to the year and I would very much like to work with younger pupils here at Princethorpe to help get them involved in poetry.”

You can read more about Hannah’s new role and the work she will be doing in the next edition of the Pinnacle, which will be published this spring.

Chloe Comes Second In Regional Futurechef Final

Many congratulations to Year 8 pupil Chloe O’Carroll Bailey who came second in the Coventry and Warwickshire Springboard Futurechef Regional Final that took place, just before half term, on Monday 11 February at Coventry College’s Henley Campus.

Food and Nutrition Teacher, Jacqui Scott, commented, “Chloe did brilliantly coming second by only three points. The judges were absolutely blown away by the dishes Chloe produced all saying that they couldn’t cook like her at 13 years-old and that many chefs twice her age would struggle to match her skill! One judge, the national winner from 2017, has even offered to arrange for Chloe to have some experience in the kitchen at the award-winning Mallory Court Hotel!”

There were four contestants in the final including Chloe, they had all come through two previous rounds, a school heat and a local final to reach the regional final.  The aspiring chefs all prepared a main course and a dessert.  Chloe cooked a ballotine of chicken with a prune, apple and shallot confit and served it with baby roasted potatoes, French beans wrapped in courgettes and a cream and cider sauce.   Her dessert was a melting middle chocolate fondant with orange crisps and clementine cream, finished with toasted pistachios.

At the event Chief Judge George Outhwaite, from the Hilton Birmingham Metropole said: “The quality of today’s dishes was exceptional and I’ve seen really some high standards, the competition seems to get better every year”.

Many congratulations to Chloe who clearly has the makings of a master chef.

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Minor Girls, Junior Girls And Inter Boys Are County Cross Country Champions

The Warwickshire Schools County Cross Country Championships took place on Saturday 19 January 2019 at Moreton Morrell College.  It was a cold, damp and rainy day and a hilly, challenging, grass course but the runners doggedly turned a blind eye to the filthy weather as they tackled the tough, undulating terrain.

35 Princethorpe runners took part from Years 7 to 11 competing against runners from some 25 Warwickshire schools.  All the early morning cross country training runs paid dividend with another excellent set of results for the College; team placings are based on the positions of the first four runners from a school.  The Minor Girls, Junior Girls and Inter Boys all placed first overall claiming the County Cross Country Championship titles.  The Minor Boys also ran well to come second and the Junior Boys third.

The Minor Girls and Minor Boys ran 2.3km, the Junior Girls 3.25km, the Junior Boys and Inter Girls 3.85km and the Inter Boys 5.2km.

Year 7, Kate Pomerleau ran superbly to finish second overall in the Minor Girls race, with Sage Wesbury coming in close behind (6th), Kaena Wasley (14th) and Jemima Teeton (15th).

For the Junior Girls an excellent team effort saw Evie Phillips come home first (9th), followed by Grace Darcy (10th), Julia Loftus (12th) and Jess Evans (15th). 

Helping the Inter Boys team to first place were Will Crowfoot (7th), Luke Palmer (8th), Tom Crowfoot (9th) and Ben Scares (10th).

For the Minor Boys, Oscar Reynolds was first across the line (8th) followed by Ollie Farquharson (11th) and Thomas Windley (15th).  

Best placed in a competitive Junior Boys race was Ed Mitchell (14th).

Molly Minshull and Erin Darcy ran their nearly 4km course confidently to place (7th) and (11th) respectively for the Inter Girls.

Princethorpe’s runners’ excellent individual placings mean that many will now be considered for selection to represent the Midlands in the English Schools Athletics Association (ESAA) Cross Country Cup taking place in Leeds later this year.

Year 7’s Kate Pomerleau, Sage Westbury and Oscar Reynolds will also be considered for the Primary and Year 7 National Cross Country Finals, which will be held at Prestwich Hall in Loughborough in March.

Head of Outdoor Education/PE Teacher, Will Bower commented, "It was good to see the College so well represented at the County Championships.  Well done to all of our competitors, we saw some excellent personal performances in a tough race in freezing, wet conditions. I am delighted with the overall team results, not least placing first in three of the age groups we entered."

Everything Is Awesome At Princethorpe’s Choral Fun Day

Nearly 80 young singers from local primary schools enjoyed a super day of singing when they joined Princethorpe's Director of Music, Gil Cowlishaw, Music Teacher, Alison Wakeley, Peripatetic Music Co-ordinator, Felicity Coulson and twenty members of the Princethorpe College Choir for a fantastic Choral Fun Day.

The Year 5 and 6 pupils tackled a variety of choral pieces from popular favourites such as Katie Perry’s Roar, classics such as Abba’s I Have A Dream and The Beatles’ Nowhere Man, traditional works such as Joshua Fought The Battle Of Jericho and The Sally Gardens, to the wonderfully corny hit Everything Is Awesomefrom the LEGO movie.

As well as rehearsing furiously, the visiting children took part in a musical team scavenger hunt and enjoyed lunch in the Refectory.

The day culminated in an impressive gala performance of their newly learnt pieces in front of an enthusiastic capacity audience of family and friends in the College's newly refurbished Clarkson theatre, followed by afternoon tea for all.

Commenting on the day, Gil Cowlishaw said, "We were really impressed by the children. They achieved such a lot in just a few hours, learning six songs and then taking to the stage to perform is no mean feat, well done to them all!”

A special thank you to all of the fantastic Princethorpe pupils and staff involved in supporting the day.

Stunning Sicily Was Spectacular And Unforgettable

Year 10 Geography pupils travelled to the Italian island of Sicily for a four day trip to visit some of Sicily’s most stunning geographic features including Mount Etna, the Alcantara Gorge and the small volcanic island of Vulcano.  It was an unforgettable opportunity to experience geography first-hand, supporting their GCSE studies and bringing the subject spectacularly to life.

Leaving early on the morning of Monday 22 October, the group travelled to Luton Airport to board the plane for Sicily, by lunchtime they had well and truly left the cold of England behind and were on the coach heading for their first stop at Taormina on the hill of Monte Tauro and the chance to take in breathtaking views of the Mediterranean sea across the sweeping bays to the south of Mount Etna. From there it was straight to Pizzeria Al Varo to get hands on with the culture of the island, making traditional Sicilian thick crust pizzas.

Day two started with an early morning swim and then the group headed off for Mount Etna. Before ascending, they visited a lava field left after the 1992 eruption, which put into perspective the explosive power of the volcano. Mount Etna was followed by a trip to the Alcantara Gorge, where the group explored the spectacular rock formations sculpted by lava mixing with water.

The next day Princethorpe’s geographers visited Vulcano, a small volcanic island north of Sicily. There they climbed to the top of Fossa di Vulcano.

Pupils Georgie and Abbie, commented, “A huge thank you to everyone involved with the trip especially the teachers that put up with 22 of us for four days. It was an amazing experience full of extreme environments and unforgettable landscapes.”


Residential Proves Princethorpe’s Year 7 Are Great Pioneers

Our Year 7 Princethorpe Pioneers returned happy, exhausted and more than a little muddy from their residential trip to the Pioneer Centre at Cleobury Mortimer in Shropshire. They all grew in confidence having approached new challenges with determination and enthusiasm and enjoyed a memorable three days of organised activities.

We took 110 pupils on the three-day programme that included caving, climbing, abseiling and zip wire, high ropes, archery, raft building and last but not least the challenge course. The group also got to participate in a nerve testing tropical reptile experience, enjoyed a Friday night disco and a Saturday night sing song around the camp fire.

They tested their nerves as they climbed the big wall, swooped down the zip wire and explored the depths of the caving systems with only a little light on their helmets to see by.

They developed leadership and team building skills as they built rafts to sail on the pond, and despite the mud all jumped in for a splash around in the cold. Then, the very brave overcame their fears as they got ‘hands on’ with snakes and lizards in a tropical animal session.

Deputy Head – Pastoral, Beth Sharpe said, “It was a fantastic opportunity for our Year 7 pupils to bond together as a year group. They had an amazing time and were really supportive of one another as they worked together. They showed resilience and initiative and I know they came back into school with new friends and better able to work together as a team.”

The Pioneer Centre is a superb purpose built activity holiday centre situated in stunning countryside on the edge of the Wyre Forest.


Princethorpe College Invaded By Roman Centurions Again!

The Romans returned to Princethorpe in October, armed with swords and scutums (shields) and ready to do battle. It was Year 7 Roman Day, a day when every pupil in the year enjoys lessons full of tales of blood and gore, as they learn about the Roman invasion and settlement of Britain.

The Centurions’ passion and knowledge of the period was vividly dramatised as the two men, dressed in full legionnaire’s costume, brought to life the strategic tactics and organisation of the Roman fighting machine. With replica costumes and equipment based on real archaeological finds the sessions complimented the lessons Year 7 have been studying in History this half term.

Lucky class ‘volunteers’ dressed up in full body armour and attempted to carry a soldier’s kit, as Roman Tours expert, Centurion Occratius Maximi Gittus, accompanied by Titus Didius Felix, captivated the new recruits with graphic stories of life in the Roman Army and fascinating facts about all things Roman.

Frankie was just one of the lucky pupils who donned the Roman Tunica, Lorica (armour) and Galea (helmet) and then picked up his soldier’s kit and prepared to march.  Frankie and his classmates were also treated to lessons in sword skills and battle tactics from the greatest army of the time.

Peter Bucknall, Head of History at Princethorpe College said, “Year 7 always enjoy coming face to face with a Roman Centurion.  Their visit has, as always, left pupils buzzing with excitement and curiosity and keen to find out more, it was a lot of fun and a fantastic day’s learning for all who took part.”

A School Day, But Not As We Know It

On Tuesday 12 February, 34 pupils from across the Princethorpe Foundation travelled to the National Space Centre in Leicester to take part in a simulated space mission called Rendezvous with a Comet. The STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) based adventure took place in the Challenger Learning Centre, one of only two educational space mission simulators outside North America.

For the mission pupils took on the roles of navigation experts, medical officers, data officers, scientists and engineers; the Year 6 and 7 pupils worked as a team to plot a successful course to rendezvous with Comet Enke as it streaked across the solar system, and then launched a probe to collect scientific data.

The first task was to construct the space probe before then plotting the correct intercept course but what seemed at first to be a routine exploration was soon filled with exciting challenges and emergencies along the way. Giving concise instructions, documenting the research and analysing data enabled pupils to maintain the safety of their team in space and ultimately accomplish a successful mission. And how exciting it was to discover that they had chanced upon a much rarer comet than Comet Enke. The new comet was so rare that no living human being had ever before observed it, so pupils got to name it! Our cross-phase pupils voted on the name Comet CCP to ensure that Crackley, Crescent and Princethorpe were equal partners in this extra-terrestrial mission.

The teams got a heroes’ welcome home when they returned to Mission Control safely. Da Vinci Co-ordinator, Mrs Pascoe-Williams commented, “It was another excellent mission – I was impressed with how well the pupils from our three schools worked together. The atmosphere was fantastic and the enthusiasm boundless, all in all it was a great opportunity for cross-curricular learning. Well done everyone!”

New Foundation Website To Be Launched This Spring

Work is well underway on an exciting, new Foundation website which is due to launch this spring.

The new site has been carefully designed as five websites in one to perfectly showcase the Foundation and its four schools - Princethorpe College, Crescent School, Crackley Hall School and Little Crackers Nursery.

Melanie Butler, Assistant Head – Marketing, Admissions and Communications, comments, “This has been a major project, which we hope will be well received by the Foundation community and prospective families. It will look better, work faster and be easier to use than our current sites. We can’t wait to share it with everybody!”

The Foundation Marketing Team have developed the site in partnership with website company, e4education.

Keep an eye on the Foundation social media platforms for previews of the site and news of the launch date.