FAQs COVID-19 And College Admissions

The COVID-19 pandemic and Government guidelines have impacted on the College's admissions process. So we have produced a set of FAQs in response to the most common questions parents have been asking us.

What will happen regarding Taster Days at Princethorpe College? 

During the Michaelmas Term the College is planning on holding taster experiences for children currently in Year 6 (children born between 1 September 2009 and 31 August 2010), who are interested in admission to the College in September 2021.

There will be four sessions over two dates - Saturday 7 November and Saturday 14 November. Places will be limited and need to be booked.

To book your child's place please complete a booking and consent form, available on our school website here.

What about other Open Events e.g. Open Morning?

Princethorpe College is planning on holding an Open Day on Sunday 4 October from 10.00am to 3.00pm. The day will be split into three hour-long sessions and visitors will be asked to book a specific session, so we can manage numbers and adhere to government guidelines.

This event is aimed at families who have not had the chance to visit the College previously and have a prospective pupil for Years 7 to 10 specifically interested in September 2021 entry. A maximum of two family members will be able to attend with the prospective pupil.

Each session will open with a Welcome Address by our Headmaster, Ed Hester and then visitors will follow a route around key school locations.

Light takeaway refreshments will be available.

To register for the Open Day please click here.

If we are unable to hold Open Events normally we will hold virtual versions that will give prospective parents and pupils an excellent insight into life at the school and will allow parents to ask questions. 

Will the fact that children have missed school during lockdown be taken into consideration when allocating places?

One of the reasons that we have elected to move our entrance examination date to Saturday 23 January 2021 is to give all candidates the chance to have time to return to school and a more normal learning environment. The Admissions Panel always review each applicant using a holistic approach; giving careful consideration to all aspects of the application, not just the examination results. We need to be confident that a child is able to access the academic curriculum and co-curricular activities on offer at Princethorpe but we are very conscious that we are working in exceptional circumstances.

How will children with Special Educational Needs or Disabilities be accommodated during the admissions period?

Another reason for moving our entrance examination date is to allow time for appointments to be made for any children with SEND (which includes social, emotional and/or mental health needs) to meet with one of our Learning Support team. They will be able to advise what measures may need to be put in place in order for a child to be able to access the entrance examination and any support that might be required should a child come to Princethorpe College as a pupil. We would recommend you register your child as early as possible (please click here for a registration form) if your child has any special needs, indicating the nature of those needs on the second page of the form. We will then get in touch on an individual basis regarding the appointments.

Will Sixth Form admissions be affected by the COVID-19 situation?

We are currently hopeful that the route to Sixth Form at Princethorpe College will not be impeded by the COVID-19 situation and that key dates will remain unchanged. However, we are keeping our timelines under constant review and will keep in touch with all potential applicants if anything changes.

The College is planning a Sixth Form Open Evening aimed at Year 11 pupils and their parents who do not currently attend Princethorpe on Wednesday 14 October from 6.30pm to 9.00pm.

The evening will be split into two hour-long sessions and visitors will be asked to book a specific session, so we can manage numbers and adhere to government guidelines. To book a place at the event please click here.

The College is also planning specific Sixth Form Taster Days for December 2020 and January 2021 for external Year 11 pupils who might be interested in joining us for Sixth Form in September 2021.

For more details please see the Events section and contact admissions@princethorpe.co.uk.




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 634201/262, 07930 601877or 07951 075247.

How are places offered?

Places are considered based on the results from the entrance examinations, the reference which the College requests from the candidate's 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.

What is assessed during the entrance examinations?

Pupils for entry into Year 7 will take papers in mathematics and English (1 hour each) and a 50 minute online assessment (CEM test) which will cover verbal reasoning, non-Verbal reasoning and numerical reasoning. There will also be a 45 minute Free Writing paper which will ask them to write something about themselves.

How can I prepare my child for the exams?

There is no one way to best prepare your child, but we recommend they read widely, look up words they do not understand, use their imagination in their writing, practice their number skills (including times tables) and play word and number games.

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 trickier 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. Please encourage your child to just try their best and to show any working out, as some marks might be awarded even if the answer is incorrect.

'Bond Books' practice assessment papers may be helpful preparation for entry into Year 7.  They can be ordered online or bought from bookshops like W.H. Smith or Waterstones. Look for the 11+ age category. They are available in English, mathematics, verbal and non-verbal reasoning.

There is a sample CEM test available at here. Note – for the best experience please use Microsoft Edge or Chrome on a computer or laptop, rather than a tablet or mobile phone. The software works better on these platforms and also the children need to be confident to use a mouse to navigate and select their answers.

A copy of a sample English paper is available to download from our website at here.

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 5% and 50%. Art and Music can be from 5% to 25%. All-Rounder scholarships are generally from 5% 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 strong academic ability who also achieves highly in their activities outside of school. This could be sport, music, drama, art, cubs, brownies etc. If you wish to apply for this scholarship please complete the all-rounder scholarship application form, available here. We will also require a portfolio of evidence of your child’s extra-curricular activities and achievements in order for them to be considered. All families present these to us in different ways but, essentially, we usually receive letters, references from their activity leaders or coaches and any supporting certificates, letters, photographs or other documentation your child feels demonstrates their ability as an excellent "all-rounder". Any original documents will be returned to you after offers have been made. For further information, please see our Scholarships and Bursaries page on the Princethorpe College website.  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. Potential all-rounder scholars may be invited to an interview with the Head of Co-Curricular in the few days following the entrance examinations.

Do you take children with a Special Educational Need or Disability?

If your child has a special educational need or disability (SEND), which includes social, emotional and/or mental health needs, 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 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 new pupils when they spend a day in class and get to meet their Head of House and other members of the Princethorpe community. This year we are holding a Virtual Induction Event instead. 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. You will also find a wealth of information on our Parent Portal.

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. Princethorpe Prep 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 annual 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.

Current Princethorpe College Bus Service

A comprehensive private bus service brings pupils into the College from a wide area, extending as far afield as Nuneaton and Coventry to the north, Lutterworth and Daventry to the east, Stratford-upon-Avon and Banbury to the south and Solihull to the west.

The two coach operators are Catterall's of Southam and Ridley's of Leamington Spa.

Buses arrive in school for 8.30am in time for the start of the school day.

All buses leave at 3.55pm at the end of the school day. Arrangements need to be made for the collection of those children staying on for extra-curricular activities until 5.15pm or Princethorpe Prep until 6.00pm.

The current bus routes and timetables are available on our dedicated bus service website here. Use the map and postcode search to choose your service and then click on the bus number at the top of the screen for details of the timetable and stops. 

For a copy of our current Bus Briefing, which includes timetable information, please click here




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Uniform and Sixth Form Dress Code

Uniform is compulsory for College pupils and helps to create a sense of shared identity, community spirit and a pride in oneself and in the College.

Uniform can be purchased from the School Shop.

Normally the School Shop is open from 3.30pm to 4.30pm Monday to Friday during term time. Additionally during the summer holidays the shop is open on selected dates on an appointment only basis.

Sixth Form Dress Code

Although College uniform is not required we expect Sixth Formers to set an example by smartness of dress and appearance. Smart clothes suitable for a work environment, including a jacket are compulsory.

High standards of personal appearance and presentation are expected of pupils at all times.


Foundation Term Dates 2020-21 and 2021-22

For those who like to plan ahead the Foundation Term Dates are:


Michaelmas Term 2020

Tuesday 1 September to Tuesday 15 December

Half Term

Saturday 17 October to Sunday 1 November

Lent Term 2021 

Tuesday 5 January to Friday 26 March

Half Term

Saturday 13 February to Sunday 21 February

Trinity Term 2021

Monday 19 April to Tuesday 6 July 

Half Term

Saturday 29 May to Sunday 6 June


Michaelmas Term 2021  
Monday 6 September to Tuesday 14 December 
Half Term

Saturday 16 October to Sunday 31 October  
Lent Term 2022  
Wednesday 5 January to Tuesday 5 April 
Half Term

Saturday 19 February to Sunday 27 February 

Trinity Term 2022 
Monday 25 April 2022 to Wednesday 6 July
Half Term

Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June 2022