Registrar, Mrs Catherine Rogers, and Assistant Registrar, Mrs Marie Holt, 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 Catherine or Marie on 01926 634201/297. 

How are places offered?

Places are considered based on the results from the entrance examinations, the confidential 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 application 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 operate 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, they should 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.

A copy of a past English paper is included in the prospectus pack and is available to download from our website here. We do not provide Mathematics practice papers.  

There is a sample CEM test available 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 range of resources are available online from www.bond11plus.co.uk

The following may also prove helpful:

  • Bond How to do 11+ Verbal Reasoning published by Oxford University Press (ISBN 978-0192776204) 
  • Bond How to do 11+ Non-Verbal Reasoning published by Oxford University Press (ISBN 978-0192776181)
  • Bond How to do 11+ Maths published by Oxford University Press (ISBN 978-0192776167)

They can be ordered online.

How many scholarships are offered each year?

Every year there is a high level of interest in Scholarships and we have recently expanded the number of categories available for particularly able or talented candidates.

The scholarships available are Academic, Art, Performing Arts (Choral, Drama, Music, Musical Theatre including Dance) and Sport.

In addition, exceptional candidates who are both academically able and gifted and talented across a number of areas may be considered for an All-Rounder Scholarship, which would be awarded at the discretion of the Headmaster.

The number of scholarships offered each year depends on the funds allocated by the trustees and is limited. Academic scholarships can be to a maximum reduction of 50% of tuition fees, however the majority are between 5% and 20%, and are awarded at point of entry. More than one scholarship can be applied for.

Do you take children with a Special Educational Need or Disability and are they entitled to access arrangements in the exam?

If your child has a special educational need or disability (SEND)*, please indicate this on the registration form and provide supporting documentation, see below.

*SEND may refer to cognition and learning, e.g. dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, SEMH – social, emotional and mental health, e.g. ADHD, anxiety, communication and interaction, e.g. Autism Spectrum, speech, language communication needs or physical, medical, sensory impairment or mobility.

Children with a special educational need or disability will be considered for access arrangements in the entrance examinations. Any access arrangements granted will be based on the child's normal way of working in their current educational environment, for which evidence will be required. 

Following receipt of a registration form from any candidate with a learning need, the registration form and all supporting documents (including for example, Personal Learning Plan/Pupil Passport/One Page Profile (PLP), Individualised Education Plan (IEP), Education Health and Care Plan (EHCP), Educational Psychologist Report, SEND Specialist Assessment Report, Autism Diagnosis Report, Medical Report or Therapist Report) will be reviewed by a panel of experts from our Special Educational Needs and Disabilities Team.

The Team will decide upon any appropriate access arrangements for the Entrance Exams based on the evidence provided and the candidate’s normal way of working.

In more complex cases or if the Team has specific questions, a meeting with one of our SEND Team will be arranged by the Registrars. Please ensure the Registrars receive your registration in good time, to enable this important review to take place.

Parents will be notified prior to the Entrance Examinations Day of the nature of any access arrangements granted or reasonable adjustments to be made.

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 either Lower or 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 are often fewer, at around 20-22 pupils. Design and Technology groups tend to be even smaller, normally around 14-16. 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 or 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 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, their form tutor 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. You will be sent a hard copy calendar each term and you will also find a wealth of information on My School Portal, which you will be introduced to when you receive your Joining Pack.

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, our supervised Homework Club, 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. 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.

The cost of external public examination fees are also chargeable and are applicable in Year 11 and Upper Sixth and occasionally in other years. Individual subject costs vary and the total cost is also influenced by the number of examinations entered.


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, prices and timetables are available on our dedicated bus service website here. You can also download the latest Transport Guide. 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. 




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. Please contact the School Shop on 01926 634272 or email uniform@princethorpe.co.uk to make an appointment.

Shop opening hours during term time are as follows:

Mondays and Wednesdays 3.30pm – 4.30pm

During the school holidays the shop is open by appointment only. This is particularly useful for new parents who need to buy the complete range of uniform etc as they will be the sole customer at the time and waiting will be avoided.

Uniform 1

Blazer with College crest, plain white shirt, House tie, black College V-neck jumper, black school trousers (not jeans or canvas material), plain black socks, plain black shoes (not trainer-type shoes).

Uniform 2

Blazer with College crest, plain white revere collar blouse, a green College V-neck jumper, a pleated school skirt, worn to the knee, and/or black school trousers (not jeans or canvas material). Black opaque tights, short plain black ankle socks, plain black low-heeled shoes. In warm weather, transparent tights may be worn.

Additional Information

Underwear, including T-shirts must not be visible under shirts or blouses. Canvas pumps, ankle boots or black trainers are not permitted. Outdoor coats must be plain in colour with no obvious logos, no leather, fur or denim. In severe winter weather pupils are allowed to wear boots or wellingtons to school but must change into shoes once inside the school building. Hats, scarves and gloves, if worn, must be plain or school branded;  

Non-school uniform items are prohibited in school.

Sixth Form Dress Code

Although College uniform is not required we expect Sixth Formers to set an example by smartness of dress and appearance.

A smart business suit with a jacket, which is to be worn at all times. Patterned fabrics are acceptable as long as they are made from a suit fabric i.e. check, tartan etc.

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

Sixth Form dress code option 1

Skirt suit with blouse or dress suit - blouse and dress must have a sleeve. Skirt or dress must be worn at the knee.

Sixth Form dress code option 2

Trouser suit with blouse – blouse must have a sleeve. 

Sixth Form dress code option 3

Trouser suit with shirt and tie – shirt must have a collar

Sixth Form shoes and accessories

  • Jumpers, tank-tops and cardigans are permitted – round or v neck only. No zips or adornments on any knitwear worn. 
  • If a student chooses to wear an item of knitwear, then they must wear this on top of a shirt or blouse not instead of.
  • Any cardigan worn must be worn underneath a suit jacket not instead of a jacket.
  • Formal shoes, no trainers or boots (see images in the Prospectus Information Booklet). Shoes may be a slip-on loafer style, laced or other formal shoe with a sensible heel.

Please click here to view the full Uniform Guide and Sixth Form Dress Code.

1:1 Digital Device Scheme And BYOD

At Princethorpe College, we aim to provide a caring, stimulating environment in which children’s individual needs can be met and their talents, confidence and self-esteem developed.

Fundamental to this is allowing children to be independent, organised, collaborative and inquisitive learners, who are ready to flourish both at the College and beyond it. Effective use of digital tools is key to this in the modern world, and as a school, we adopt a blended learning approach which allows children to develop their literacy in both the digital and analogue realms.

Key to this is access to the digital tools that allow this blended learning approach to flourish and allow for engaging, interactive and stimulating learning opportunities both in and out of the classroom. By ensuring that all Princethorpe College pupils have access to an appropriate digital device both in the classroom and beyond the classroom, we can provide a seamless learning experience which promotes and develops the 21st century skills that the children need while also allowing for the best possible learning experience in the here and now.

All pupils at Princethorpe College use a device at school every day. To provide the best access to suitable devices and support we run a Digital Device Scheme, which allows parents to rent or purchase a Lenovo 500W or 13W device through our partner, Easy4U (Class Technology Solutions), including a device assurance package.

We strongly encourage parents of incoming Year 7 pupils to use the Digital Device Scheme to purchase or rent a device, allowing us to provide true 1:1 device use and phase out BYOD over the coming years. This will help ensure that all pupils have a device that both meets all of their classroom needs, is consistent with the devices of their peers and in insured against any damage or theft. The Digital Device Scheme is launched to new Year 7 pupils in the Trinity Term prior to joining the College, and devices are distributed before on the Year 7 Activity Day at the start of September, ready to use from the start of Year 7. Pupils in all year groups can also make use of the Digital Device Scheme.

Where pupils already have a suitable digital device, we can also support the use of these in school.

Foundation Term Dates 2024-2025

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


Michaelmas Term 2024 
Tuesday 3 September to Wednesday 18 December 

Half Term
Saturday 19 October to Sunday 3 November 

Lent Term 2025  
Tuesday 7 January to Thursday 3 April

Half Term
Saturday 15 February to Sunday 23 February 

Trinity Term 2025 
Monday 28 April to Thursday 3 July

Half Term
Saturday 24 May to Sunday 1 June