Following its successful launch last summer, we are looking to get more OP Friendly Faces on board to widen the support network of OPs in universities across the country for the leavers of 2019.
OP Friendly Faces aims to link past pupils established at university with first year OP students. Providing a friendly, familiar face to meet up with over a coffee (compliments of the OPs) or having someone to call in their new uni town or city, does, we know, make for a smoother experience in those first few weeks away from home.
As our Upper Sixth go on study leave, it would be good to know who is willing to give them on the ground advice and tips. We are hoping that many of those who were helped last year will be prepared to be a Friendly Face this year, and that many of those already signed up to help will also be prepared to continue. We are particularly looking for help from the leavers of 2018.
Laurence Chapman, who is finishing his first year at the University of Leicester studying Law and benefited from the initiative is keen to take up the challenge, he comments, "I was given an Old Princethorpian contact, Melissa Scott, who is now leaving the university. It was great to have a friendly face and she has been very helpful this year, so I would like to do the same for another Princethorpe student."
Comments OPs Secretary, Melanie Butler, " We have OP Friendly Faces in around 30 university towns and cities and would like to expand on that significantly this year and get more of our leavers matched up for the new academic year."
If you are interested in becoming an OP Friendly Faces for this year's Upper Sixth leavers please email firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 28 June 2019.
The Old Princethorpian's Pub Meet at the Royal Pug in Leamington on Friday 1 March, was the association's most popular pub meet yet, with some 40 OPs in attendance, including current and former members of staff.
There was a lovely friendly atmosphere as OPs from across the decades socialised and caught up with each other's news over drinks and a delicious buffet. The leavers of 2014 were out in force and the prize for the OP coming the furthest to attend went to a leaver from 1980, Adrian Starbuck,who travelled all the way up from Dover with his wife Charlotte for the event.
On Tuesday 26 February five Old Princethorpians were invited to St James’s Palace, London to be presented with their Gold Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Charlie Rooney and Mollie Hughes (2017 Leavers) and Laura Baskerville, Erin Dunn-Morgan and Ben Haden (2018 Leavers) received their awards from former professional rugby player, now Welsh Director of Rugby, Cai Griffiths.
Also in attendance at the presentation was the Earl of Wessex, HRH Prince Edward, who spoke to the group about their experiences, and in particular the blood, sweat and tears of their expeditions. He was very engaging and genuinely interested in their stories and adventures.
It will have taken over five years for these young people to have earned their Duke of Edinburgh Gold Award, as they progressed through first Bronze and then Silver until they finally achieved the Gold Award. Along the way they have volunteered, learned new skills, taken part in physical activity, and for the Gold undertaken a week long residential, as well as planning and completing self-sufficient expeditions.
Head of Outdoor Education, Will Bower, was delighted commenting, “Completing your Gold Duke of Edinburgh takes commitment and resolve, and the skills developed along the way benefit both the individual and their local community. All of these young people showed dedication and perseverance and their final expedition to St James’s Palace was a well-deserved reward.”
Princethorpe College was delighted to welcome back Old Princethorpian Murray Wells into school on Thursday 28 February to talk to Lower Sixth students and Design Technology pupils about the Bloodhound SSC (Supersonic Car) Project and its plan to set a new world Land Speed Record.
Murray left Princethorpe in 2014 and went on to study Aerospace Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire. He had always wanted to be an engineer, his choice of career reinforced by a video he saw explaining just how the Bloodhound was powered. So he jumped at the chance to work on a placement with the project, amongst the UK’s best engineers, on what can only be described as a once in a lifetime opportunity.
Murray explained that the Bloodhound SSC project has two objectives. To set a new Land Speed Record at or above 1000mph but also to address the shortage of engineers, by inspiring a whole new generation of enthusiasts. He recounted the history of the Land Speed Record and of British involvement in it. From the early days of the 20th century; through Malcolm Campbell’s records in the twenties and thirties; how Richard Noble had won the title back from the Americans in 1983 when he reached 633 miles in Thrust 2; before ex-RAF pilot Andy Green finally set the current record of 763 miles per hour in the Thrust SSC in 1997.
He talked about the Bloodhound SSC project and the design challenges it faces. How it took two years to design a new body shape, the search for the right engine, the challenges of developing fuel pumps, air brakes and even wheels. He explained that the car will weigh six tonnes, be three metres tall and larger than a bus and that the plan is to drive at 1000 miles per hour over 12 miles of desert.
Murray even explained about the work done to prepare the race site in Hakskeen Pan in the Mier area of the Northern Cape, South Africa and the positive impact the project has had on the local community.
Assistant Head of Sixth, Rod Isaacs and Head of Design Technology, Paul Scopes both agreed that Murray’s talk was fascinating, saying, “The Bloodhound SSC is one of the most exciting engineering projects in the world, there really is nothing like UK engineering, it was incredible to hear about the project and its achievements so far.”
Our huge thanks go to Murray for taking the time to come into school to talk about the project and his involvement with it.
Sixth Formers were given an insight into the world of social media when they were visited by Old Princethorpian, Nico McKenzie.
Nico returned to Princethorpe on Thursday 2 May to recount his experiences since leaving the College in 2011. His talk was thought-provoking and at time humorous as he shared the highs and lows of being a social media influencer, a career path he never foresaw, and the effect of social media on mental health today.
After A-levels Nico went on to study Geography at Newcastle University, followed by a Masters in International Business Management before setting up his own company. He talked to students about the many different social media platforms and the increasing importance of digital marketing. He explained how he became interested in social media at university and how this developed into a role as a ‘social media influencer’ and the work his company now does for celebrity and corporate customers.
Nico shared statistics on social media usage and showed examples of fake social media posts. He talked about the benefits of his work, the free trips and products, but also about the isolation and loneliness inherent in social media. He reminded students to always be careful with their settings and permissions and stressed how important it is, if you are feeling isolated, to just talk to other people. He finished his talk with a list of dos and don’ts to help students get the most out of social media.
Thank you Nico for giving Princethorpe’s students an insightful look at the minefield of social media.
Our Former Parents’ Afternoon Tea on Saturday 6 April 2019 went down a treat with a small group of former parents, staff and OPs from across the decades.
Our catering team put on a wonderful spread of sweet and savoury delights and glasses of Prosecco helped add some extra fizz to the occasion.
In addition to catching up over the leisurely afternoon tea visitors were able to take an optional tour of the school campus and helped our archivist, Janette Ratcliffe, puts some names to faces on some of the old class photos.
As part of the cataloguing work done by Archivist, Janette Ratcliffe, putting names to the faces in the hundreds of photographs in the collection is key to making the archive more useable.
All of the Princethorpe photographs have now been sorted by subject and estimated date and are ready to be added to the catalogue, adding more detail in the form of names was high on Janette's wish list.
Of particular interest were the many photographs focussing on ‘Music and Drama’ and ‘Sport’ from the 1980s and 1990s.
In response to Janette's call for help, a small, but committed group of longstanding and former staff including Alex Darkes, John Miller, Mike Taylor, Margaret-Louise O'Keeffe, Fr Alan Whelan, Fr Teddy O'Brien and Colin Morgan, ably supported by OPs Mike Edwards and David Mold (leavers of 1995) took up the challenge.
The group spent two or so happy hours poring over a myriad of photos that Janette had carefully laid out for identification in the Sixth Form Centre.
Janette Ratcliffe commented, "Thanks to the hard work (and fantastic memories) of the people who came to the event on Wednesday night, it was a huge success! It was lovely to see people working together to prompt memories and many of the people in the photographs that were displayed are now named. This will make a huge difference when it comes to cataloguing the photographs and make them much more usable in the future."
If you would like any further information about the archive please contact Janette at email@example.com.
Wednesday 8 May 6.30pm to 8.00pm - Music, Drama and Sport
as we have a lot of photographs from that period and we would love to see as many former staff, parents or pupils at the event as possible.
To let us know you are able to attend either or both of these events please email Old Princethorpians.
To help energise those brain cells, plenty of refreshments will be available.
The College's Development Office has been thrilled by the response to its new Capital Campaign - A Vision for Science, which was recently launched via the Headmaster's Vision for the Future evening and a brochure mailing to the wider Foundation community.
The new Science Centre will provide state-of-the-art science facilities for Princethorpe pupils, and will in turn inspire future generations of scientists amidst this fabulous learning environment.
The Development Office is excited that the Vision for Science Campaign is now underway, and has already received many expressions of interest in the range of fundraising ideas presented. Interest is particularly strong for commemorative stones, chemical elements and naming opportunities. The Menu of Giving for Science, is designed to offer every Princethorpian a chance to become involved in the fundraising programme; there really is something for everyone.
To find out more about ways in which you can support the Vision for Science Campaign, and watch the interactive fly-through of the building, click here.
The Development Team will be hosting a Vision for Science Dinner on Friday 27 September and further details will be announced next term. In the meantime if you would like to register your interest in the evening, or would like further information on any of our fundraising ideas, please contact the Development Team at firstname.lastname@example.org
We’re delighted to announce that our new look Foundation website has been officially launched!
Developed in conjunction with website company e4education, the site has a lighter, brighter look and feel and includes features such as a News and Stories wall with social media feeds, an interactive direction map and a live subscribable calendar.
On the Princethorpe College site, you can find the dedicated OPs section on the top menu, with access to OP profiles, the OP e-newsletter, our calendar of events and a fantastic new history timeline to look through. You can also delve into our archive, meet the OPs Committee and check out OP merchandise.
We are looking for more people to become one of our OP Profiles on the website, so please do get in touch if you would like to be involved.
We hope that the OPs will enjoy browsing the new site and finding out more about the rich and varied life of the College and OP news, events and initiatives too.
To visit the OPs pages on the new website go to www.princethorpe.co.uk/ops
Pupils from Princethorpe College welcomed longstanding school bus driver Stan Griffin of Catteralls Coaches into assembly on Wednesday 10 April, the final day of the Lent 2019 term. Pupils wanted to thank Stan who was retiring, for his dedication in driving many of them to and from school.
Stan clearly loved his work as he has driven Princethorpe College school buses for over 30 years; in fact, over that time, he has driven generations of children to the school.
The presentation was organised by four Year 11 pupils, Louis Coleby, Will Marshall, George Ward and Matt Wills, who wanted to show their appreciation.
The presentation was kept a surprise and Stan was clearly delighted to be invited up on stage to receive his retirement gift – a flying lesson.
After the presentation, there was just time for a quick photo with some of his regular passengers, next to his bus, before Stan drove the S5 home for the final time.
We congratulate Kenny Owen, Head of Austin House, who has been appointed to the role of Deputy Headteacher at Arnold Lodge School in Leamington from September 2019.
Headmaster Ed Hester comments, “Kenny joined Princethorpe in 2008 and has been a key member of both our pastoral team and the Economics and Business Department. We congratulate him and wish him all the very best with his new role.”
At the end of March Princethorpe College and Crackley Hall School said goodbye to popular singing teacher Abigail Rhodes. Abigail had worked for the Foundation since September 2012 successfully teaching and mentoring pupils and staff through a range of classical and musical theatre examinations. In her latest set of examinations both of her Grade 8 students (Juliette Carter and Alexis Draper) gained the highest level of achievement, Distinction. Abigail even rose to the challenge of teaching Headmaster, Ed Hester and Deputy Head - Academic, Dr Michael Reddish to sing.
Abigail always had a strong Christian faith and left us to pursue a new career or rather a calling as a vicar, having been in training for some months she will be ordained by the Church of England in June thi year.
The fabulous relationship that Abigail had with pupils and staff as well as her professional dedication to supporting each and every one along their own musical journey has always been clearly evident so we have no doubt she will be successful in her new role.
Both music departments will miss Abigail tremendously and we all wish her well.
We are recruiting for a range of Summer Estates Assistant roles, which may be of interest to some of our younger OPs who are returning home for the summer holidays and looking to earn some extra pocket money!
Part-time and full-time are available, ideally to start in July 2019, on a casual basis. Applications from candidates interested in working until mid-evening and/or just on a Saturday will be welcome.
The Estates Assistants will work as part of the Estates team providing support services to all schools. Based at Princethorpe College the duties will primarily involve maintenance work, porterage and some cleaning. Applicants with some carpentry, plumbing or decorating skills would be most welcome. Flexibility will be required in respect of working hours.
The successful applicants will need to be able to provide a high quality service to staff, pupils and visitors and be enthusiastic as well as honest, trustworthy and reliable, able to lift and to work on his/her own as well as part of a team. Applicants should preferably have a clean full driving licence.
This is a ‘hands-on’ role facilitating the proper functioning of the schools to ensure a safe and satisfactory working, learning and recreational environment.
Interested candidates should be able to show flexibility and sensitivity to the needs of a wide range of users of the school.
Application: To apply for this vacancy applicants must submit a Princethorpe College application form, together with a CV and covering letter detailing your personal qualities, experience and how you meet the person specification for the role. Applicants must ensure the application form is fully completed, including a detailed career history with specific dates.
Closing date: Monday 20 May at 9.00am, although applicants are advised to apply straight away and interviews will be scheduled accordingly, to be held at Princethorpe College.
Further details and an application form are available from the College website www.theprincethorpefoundation.co.uk/join-us
The Foundation is committed to equal opportunities and safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and young people.
Applicants must be willing to undergo child protection screening appropriate to the post, including checks with past employers and the Disclosure and Barring Service.
The Princethorpe Foundation. Registered office Princethorpe College, Rugby. CV23 9PX. Company registered in England & Wales and Limited by Guarantee Number 4177718. Registered Charity Number 1087124
Over the last ten years, generous pupils at Princethorpe College have had an enormous impact on the lives of schoolchildren in Malawi. The school has raised over £100,000 for Mary’s Meals, money that has been used to provide vital help to youngsters in one of the world’s most impoverished areas, by providing them with a daily nutritious meal in their place of education.
Princethorpe College began its support for Mary’s Meals back in 2008 when it raised £7,000 to fund the construction of a kitchen at Lauderdale School in Malawi. For the last three years the school has sponsored Makalanga Primary School, near Blantyre in Malawi, taking part in Mary’s Meals’ Sponsor A School scheme, providing the financial support to provide all 599 pupils with a daily meal of porridge made from maize and soya beans.
Assistant Head of Sixth Form, Rod Isaacs, commented, “We are delighted to support the life-changing work of Mary’s Meals. Sponsoring a school has given a real focus to our fundraising. It costs just £13.90 to feed a child with Mary’s Meals for a year, so feeding the 599 children at Makalanga School costs £8,326.10. We are committed to raising that money every year but in practice, we are raise much more. Alongside the regular updates we receive, it is wonderful to know our school is making such a difference, it all helps to motivate our fundraising efforts.”
Each year the Sixth Form organises all sorts of different fund raising events, from regular break-time cake sales, to the inter-house welly wanging competition and the annual marathon 24/7 and 40 mile sponsored walks.
Just prior to this year’s ‘24 miles in seven hours’ walking challenge the College was delighted to welcome entrepreneur, Peter Higgins, from the board of trustees of Mary’s Meals into school to talk to the Sixth Form about the work of the charity and to express his gratitude for the fundraising the College undertakes.
He said, “Princethorpe’s support for Mary’s Meals has been incredible, they are one of our top fundraising schools, and we are extremely grateful for everything they have done to help us reach some of the hungriest children in the world."
The 24/7 challenge took place on Sunday 10 March and 50 students and 10 staff from Princethorpe College trudged a grand total of 1,476 miles on the day. Fastest on the day was the incoming Head Boy Jack Bent, along with Sixth Formers Joe Hurworth and Tom Parker, they completed the course in 6 hours and 52 minutes.
The 40-mile challenge took place on Sunday 7 April, 17 pupils and five staff walked a big circular loop around Coventry starting and finishing in Meriden, walking in total 861 miles. First home across the line were outgoing Head Boy, Tom Warne, together with Sixth Formers, James Bunting, Ed Bickerton and Oscar Doyle, the boys completed the 40 mile course in just 11 hours and 28 minutes. This year the walking challenges have together raised £12,037.74.
Building on the fundraising undertaken for Mary’s Meals the College is planning an expedition to Malawi in July 2020. Working with a project called Classrooms for Malawi a group of 23 pupils and five staff will visit Lauderdale School, the first school the College supported, to undertake a classroom refurbishment project, whilst in Malawi the students will also visit Makalanga School and the Mary’s Meals warehouse in Blantyre to see just how the fund the College raises are put to use.
Rod Isaacs, continued, “It will be amazing to come full circle and visit the school where our support of Mary’s Meals all started and also to visit Makalanga School to see the difference our fundraising is making today.”
To find out more about Mary’s Meals, and the College’s fundraising click here.
The new Princethorpe College Prefect Body for 2019-2020 was formally inaugurated into their roles in an emotional ceremony on the last afternoon of the Lent Term, Wednesday 10 April. Parents and friends of the new prefects were invited to College for a celebratory buffet lunch before joining the afternoon’s formal ceremony. The outgoing Head Boy, Tom Warne, and Head Girl, Elizabeth Carr, gave a poignant speech reflecting on their year in office and time at Princethorpe before wishing the new Prefect Body well, and handing over the keys of office. The 2019-2020 Prefects smartly attired in their blue prefect uniform for the first time, spoke to the gathered audience of pupils about their hopes for their new roles.
The roles of office are:
Deputy Head Girls
Deputy Head Boys
Gabriella Proietti Tocca
Austin - Sophie Caris and James Crabtree
Benet - Caitlin McBride and Dominic Turner-Burr
Fisher - Isobel Smith and William Cooper-Harris
More - Katherine Shorten and Oscar Phillips
Scarlet Gladwin and Amy Gordon
Joseph Connelly and Louise Way
Junior Chaplaincy Prefects
Thomas Bucknall – Year 7 – Austin
Freddie Hadley – Year 7 – More
Zoe Shayler – Year 8 - Benet
Marketing and Communications Prefect
Ellen Bucknall and Caitlin Parris
Callum Cooke and Sion Murphy
The College wishes good luck to the new prefect body for the year ahead and extends warm thanks to the outgoing prefects, they have given great service and we wish them all the best for their upcoming exams and future endeavours.
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.”
Princethorpe’s University and Apprenticeship Fair took place on Thursday 28 March. Aimed at Year 11 to Sixth Form, it was a new addition to the College calendar and proved to be popular with parents and pupils alike.
On offer was a series of informative talks that addressed subjects such as ‘Why choose University’ and ‘Applying to competitive courses’ as well as advice on ‘Researching University and Apprenticeship Courses’ and the increasingly popular subject of ‘Degree Apprenticeships’. Led by guest speakers from the Universities of Leeds, Southampton and Warwick and the Head of Careers, Jacqui Quinney, the talks offered useful guidance to pupils approaching higher education and working life.
In addition to the talks, the Sixth Form Centre hosted an exhibition of universities and employers. Universities, from as far afield as Plymouth and Sheffield to the more local Birmingham and Coventry, were on hand to answer questions and share information. Then there were employers from a range of professions such as Accountancy, Engineering, Law, Medicine and Veterinary and representatives from the Royal Navy and Royal Air Force.
The Sixth Form Lecture Theatre was dedicated to organisations offering apprenticeships such as Rolls Royce, with representatives on hand to talk to interested pupils and parents about their programmes. The Lecture Theatre also had an extra attraction, the Premier League Trophy, kindly brought along by Mondelez International, which certainly encouraged visitors to their stand.
Head of Careers Jacqui Quinney commented, “The University and Apprenticeships Fair was all about getting pupils on the right track. We wanted to help them explore different pathways and provide information on the choices they have. It was certainly popular as we welcomed over 400 attendees on the night.”
Feedback has already been very positive with parents and pupils commenting on how useful and informative the event was and exhibitors on how impressed they were with Princethorpe’s pupils.
We are most grateful to all the Old Princethorpians, parents and contributors who supported the Fair and to the Careers Team for their organisation of the event.
Many of you 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. A mainstay of the archives, much enjoyed by pupils and parents, past and present, the College has dusted off its much loved magazine and give it a new lease of life, this time as an annual souvenir review.
Charting the College’s year in words and pictures The Tower celebrates the pupils and ethos that together make Princethorpe such a very special place.
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 rewards to record.
The Tower Review was published in March. An electronic copy is available here: The Tower. If you would like to receive a hard copy of the publication please email email@example.com with your name and address.
Sixth Former, and Pastoral Prefect, Luke Daniel made College history by becoming the first Princethorpe pupil to earn an international cap playing American Football for Great Britain.
Luke’s footballing career began just two years ago when he started training with the Etone Jaguars Amercian Football Academy in Nuneaton. After only one season, Luke was selected to train with Great Britain’s development squad. From an initial 100 players he made the cut to a roster of 55 and after a long haul of training days all over the country, Luke was selected to play Right Guard on the Offensive Line for Great Britain U19s in the International Federation of American Football’s European Championships qualifier against Norway.
Saturday 30 March was a day that will live long in Luke’s memory. After walking out onto the pitch at the John Charles Stadium in Leeds he said, “It was a huge honour to put on a Great Britain shirt and represent my country. A real dream come true!”
Sadly, despite all the hard work and huge aspirations, Great Britain lost the game, but the Great Britain development programme continues and Luke is hoping to pull on the team shirt again in the future. For now it is back to League Football and preparations for the British American Football U19s National Championships in August.
The latest issue of The Pinnacle was published in March. Showcasing excellent work, it celebrated pupils' success in English, Science and Sport, included reports on da Vinci trips to the Challenger Learning Centre and the Geography trip to Sicily and an update on EPQs (Extended Project Qualifications).
There was also coverage of some of the wonderful GCSE Art, which will appear in our Summer Art, Photography and Design Show in June, which all are welcome to attend.
A double-sided Minnacle was included too, with equally impressive work by Crackley Hall pupils from Reception to Junior 6 and Crescent pupils from Reception to Class VI. It's super to showcase their talents too!!
The latest edition of the College's Admissions Update e-newsletter was published in March. It was packed with news to give prospective parents and pupils a feel for College life, information on forthcoming events and helpful advice about the admissions process, particularly for those who are looking at entry in September 2020.
The newsletter is issued twice a year to coincide with key admissions periods and the next edition will be available in autumn 2019 just prior to the Entrance Examinations.
Please click here to go to the Admissions Update newsletter.
Or for further information on admissions to the school please contact the Registrar on 01926 634201 or 01926 634262 or email the team at firstname.lastname@example.org.