College News

Registrations For September 2022 Entry Now Open!

The countdown to the College's Entrance Exams for admission in September 2022 has officially begun and our friendly Admissions Team are already busy accepting registrations and answering enquiries from prospective families.

The Entrance Exams will take place on Saturday 6 November 2021 and with just five months until the registration deadline, Friday 1 October 2021, we have now opened bookings for our Open Events and Taster Experiences.

Our Summer Open Evening, Wednesday 9 June 2021, is by appointment only and will operate subject to government guidelines, in order for us to keep everyone safe. There are two sessions running from 6.30pm – 7.30pm and 8.00pm to 9.00pm. This event will give prospective families a chance to look around the school and to hear from Ed Hester, the Headmaster. Places are limited and filling up fast, so please book your place via our website.

In May and June, we are also able to offer our popular Year 5 Taster Experiences. These events are aimed at giving prospective pupils a taste of senior school life through a variety of sample lessons. Younger visitors will be welcomed by the Headmaster and get to enjoy refreshments, including the legendary Princethorpe cookies.

There are three Year 5 Taster Experience sessions, Saturday 22 May 9.00am to 12.15pm or Saturday 19 June, 9.00am to 12.15pm or 1.30pm to 4.45pm. These events will also be very carefully managed within government guidelines. To register please visit our website.

There will be further opportunities to visit in the Michaelmas Term, when we hope restrictions will be lifted and visitors can be welcomed as normal.

Our Open Afternoon on Sunday 19 September from 2.00pm to 5.00pm, will provide prospective families with a chance to meet members of staff and pupils, take part in activities around the different departments and tour the school and grounds.

The final opportunity to visit before the registration deadline for those wishing to join Years 7 to 10, is our Open Morning on Thursday 23 September from 10.30am to 12.30pm. Visitors will be able to look around the school on a normal working school day with our Year 8 and 9 pupils acting as tour guides.

If you are thinking of joining us for Sixth Form in 2022, we have a dedicated Sixth Form Open Evening on Wednesday 13 October 2021 from 6.30pm to 9.00pm. You will hear from Ed Hester, Headmaster and Head of Sixth Form, Ben Collie regarding key events and dates in the Sixth Form application process. You will also receive specific A-level subject information and advice provided by the Heads of Departments and general information on the Sixth Form experience at Princethorpe.

For more information and to book your place at any of our Open Events or Taster Experiences please visit or contact our friendly Admissions Team on 01926 634201/262/297 or email

Entrance Exams for 2022 entry will take place on Saturday 6 November 2021. All candidates must be registered by Friday 1 October 2021. For those wishing to join us for Sixth Form in September 2022 you must be registered by Monday 31 January 2022.

Virtual Production A World First For Princethorpe

Princethorpe College’s entirely virtual production of the musical Jesus Christ Superstar School Production was a world first and the culmination of an astounding year of ingenuity for the Music and Performing Arts team.

Available for just eight days, over Easter, the powerful performance telling the story of Christ’s arrest and crucifixion was both moving and incredible. Together, Directors Jess Newborough and Gil Cowlishaw and their mighty team of Princethorpe players delivered a world first, a completely virtual production that simply took your breath away.

After the announcement of the lockdown in January, and in agreement with the rights holders, who also confirmed this had never been attempted before, pupils individually recorded virtual performances that were then edited together to produce a completely virtual show. Featuring all the classic rock musical numbers that everyone loves, including Gethsemane, I Don’t Know How To Love Him and the mighty anthem Superstar.

Gil Cowlishaw, Director of Music, explains, “In ‘normal’ times, we would have never been allowed to make a movie musical but the College has proved that virtual performances can work. It took a lot of determination and ‘can do’ Princethorpe spirit but the hours of rehearsing, performance and editing were certainly worth it.”

Huge congratulations to the cast and crew for their vision, tenacity and sheer effort in putting it all together and as feedback on the production enthusiastically said ‘You completely owned it’ and ‘We are absolutely astounded by you all!’

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New College Map Allows Visitors To Explore Princethorpe Online

Princethorpe College has just launched a new online interactive map that allows visitors and prospective parents to take a mini-tour around the school. Especially now, when on-site visits are limited, the virtual map provides a wonderful window into the school, its buildings and grounds and all those iconic places that are such a part of daily life here at Princethorpe.

The new College map is a good place for prospective parents to start exploring the school and getting a feel for the College before registering to visit the school. It is also great for prospective pupils helping them to imagine life here at Princethorpe amongst all their new friends.

The map will also be of interest to all Old Princethorpians allowing them to wander down the corridors of their yesteryears and will be sure to spark a host of memories of their time at the school.

If you would like to take a look at the new College map then you can find it here:

More information on how to visit the school in person as restrictions ease and on how to join our happy school community, can also be found on our website here: Alternatively you can email

Faye Roberts To Be New Head Of Benet House

Head of Benet House and English Teacher, Lisa Challinor, is to take up a new role from September, as Director of Wellbeing, Values and Skills at King’s High School.

Comments, Ed Hester, Headmaster, “We would like to congratulate Lisa on her new role. She has been an important part of the Princethorpe family for 11 years and we offer our heartfelt thanks for her commitment to and support of our pupils, as part of our teaching and pastoral teams. We wish her all the very best in her new endeavour.”

The College is delighted to announce that Faye Roberts has been appointed as the new Head of Benet House. Faye, who is currently Head of Biology and Acting Head of Science and was previously House Activities Leader, will take over the reins at the start of the Michaelmas Term.

Faye has taught at Princethorpe for 11 years fostering her many pupils’ love of the biological sciences and encouraging engagement and participation during her time as House Activities Leader. She has led the College’s Expeditions to Costa Rica, Ecuador and Borneo and during the 2018-2019 academic year took a sabbatical, to travel and volunteer in the developing world. In her spare time Faye likes to get outside and go camping and hiking.

Comments Ed Hester, "Faye is a long-standing and valued member of the Princethorpe community with a wealth of experience. Her warm, positive approach will provide a supportive environment for Benet pupils that will help get the best out of everyone."

Faye Roberts added, "The Spirit of Family ethos here at Princethorpe means so much to me and I am looking forward to getting to know all the Benet pupils over the coming months.”

Princethorpe’s Virtual Careers Fair Offers Insights Into A Wealth Of Opportunities

The College’s fifth Careers Fair took place virtually this year but that didn’t stop it offering a wealth of insightful information and advice about a whole host of careers. Headmaster, Ed Hester welcomed a capacity crowd of pupils, parents, staff and contributors, all online, on Saturday 20 March, for what proved to be an informative and very valuable event.

Thirty-seven speakers, including current and former parents and Old Princethorpians, gave their time to present on a wide variety of careers and professions. From Accountancy and Law to Veterinary, Engineering, Cyber-Security and Social Work, individual presentations gave pupil attendees from Year 10 to Sixth Form the chance to consider careers, research jobs, listen to advice and ask questions.

The morning began with a keynote speech from guest speaker and Princethorpe parent Dr Charlotte Cowie, Head of Medicine at the Football Association. Dr Cowie’s address was full of words of wisdom. She began by sharing her route to her current role, the challenges and opportunities faced along the way and the breadth of responsibilities it includes. Before moving on to talk about the different career opportunities available in her industry. Her three myth busters were applicable to us all, encouraging but to the point they summarised the reality of the working world. Her advice that ‘talent is not enough – it is discretionary effort that counts’, ‘you need to learn to love what you do’ and ‘you don’t have to know what you want to do – just fake it until you make it’ are applicable to anyone at any stage in their career in any industry.  Dr Cowie spoke from the heart and was inspiring to all.

Thanking Dr Cowie, Ed Hester summed up with the hope that the Careers Fair would succeed in ‘getting pupils on the right track’ and with that the attendees were off for a fruitful morning of exploring careers and universities and life post Princethorpe.

Across the morning pupils attended three virtual sessions, for many this was their first step on the career ladder and it enabled pupils to have a taste of some of the different sorts of career choices available to them.  Feedback has certainly been very positive with parents and pupils commenting on how useful and informative the event was including:

“Please pass our thanks on to all involved; really inspirational and helpful stimulus for the students.”

“It was a great insight into future opportunities and ideas. Dr Cowie’s initial talk was just amazing and so inspiring on so many levels.”

“The speakers made it very interesting and gave a lot of information. It was so helpful. Also we would like to thank Dr Cowie she was so inspirational.”

“Following the Careers Fair on Saturday, I now know exactly what I want to do!”

We are immensely grateful to all the Old Princethorpians, parents, contributors and staff who supported the Careers Fair and to the Careers Team for their organisation of the event.


Latest Editions Of The Pinnacle And Minnacle Published

Issue 29 of the Pinnacle and Minnacle was published in late February showcasing exceptional work by pupils from across the Foundation. 

A testament to the dedication of pupils and staff to continue with their studies in the face of the ongoing pandemic restrictions they included news of Oxbridge and Arkwright success alongside stunning sketchbooks and musical collaborations, Maths and Physics awards and creative writing challenges. The magazines showcased flair and ingenuity across a wide range of subjects and year groups.

The Pinnacle focuses on the work of pupils here at Princethorpe College, while the Minnacle includes equally impressive work by the Foundation junior schools, Crackley Hall and Crescent School. 

You can enjoy our celebration of their studies here: The Pinnacle and The Minnacle.

Do you remember featuring in the Pinnacle and if so why not let us know. The next edition will be the magazine's 30th and it would be wonderful to share examples of featured work from across the years. Email to share your memories.


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Despite The Pandemic Princethorpe’s Classrooms For Malawi Project Has Been Successfully Completed

Last summer, 25 pupils and four staff should have travelled out to Malawi to visit the African country where Mary’s Meals, a charity close to the College’s heart, first began. There they would have taken part in a two-week project with the charity Classrooms For Malawi, helping to refurbish a school block at Lauderdale Primary School.

Some of you will remember that Lauderdale School was the first school that Princethorpe College worked with in Malawi when back in 2007/8 pupils fundraised to provide new kitchens to support the Mary’s Meals feeding programme at the school.

Assistant Head of Sixth Form, Rod Isaacs, explains, “After more than 10 years of fundraising, we were looking to take the College’s charity work in Malawi one step further and a project to refurbish school buildings was a perfect choice, providing opportunity through education for the local community while allowing our pupils to actively contribute. We were introduced to Classrooms For Malawi and it all began from there.”  

A significant part of the Malawi 2020 project challenge was for pupils to raise the funds to pay for materials and supplies for the classroom refurbishment project. So, throughout 2019 pupils organised a series fundraising events that together raised £10,174. Marathon runs, wreath making, music concerts, stall at Christmas fairs, CDs, sponsored outdoor swims and sponsorship from the annual 24-mile Sixth Form walk around the Coventry Way all contributed to the total.

During their two-week trip to Malawi, Princethorpe’s pupils would have spent time helping to refurbish the school block while also assisting with teaching, sports and drama activities at Lauderdale School. They would have had the opportunity to visit the pupils at Princethorpe’s current sponsored school, Makalanga Primary School to meet the children and see Mary’s Meals feeding programme there as well as to visit the Mary's Meals headquarters in Blantyre.

With the onset of the pandemic, schools across the world were impacted and like many, the schools in Malawi were forced to close. Eventually the sad decision was taken to cancel the College trip. However, all was not lost as the classroom refurbishment project was able to continue. The work was undertaken by the local building contractors supported by the community, and the funds raised by the College were used to fund the materials and labour required.

Work on the project began in August 2020 with the removal of the roof and breeze block windows. Supporting beams were strengthened, new windows and roofing installed, drainage issues addressed, the floors levelled, the walls freshly painted, and chalk blackboards installed. The work was finished in January and the classrooms are now in use.

Amy Blake, Chief Executive of the charity Classrooms For Malawi, said, “This project has been amazing and the help and support from Princethorpe College has been so commendable especially given the circumstances, we are so sorry the team didn’t make it across to Malawi to help with the refurbishment. Lauderdale School and the local community are delighted with their building. It’s made a real difference to their ability to provide an education for their children. I really hope that one day the Princethorpe’s pupils can visit Malawi to see the result.”

You can watch a video on the Malawi project here.

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OP Friendly Faces Gears Up To Help The Next Generation Of OPs

Our OP Friendly Faces scheme aims to link new first year university students to past OP pupils already established at university. 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.

We have just contacted our current Upper Sixth with more information, to introduce them to the OP Friendly Faces scheme and to the benefits of joining Princethorpe Connect and the Old Princethorpians Association.

Comments OPs Secretary, Melanie Butler, "We have OP Friendly Faces in around 30 university towns and cities now and would like to expand on that this year and get more of our leavers matched up for the next academic year."

We are always on the look out for OPs at University who would be happy to be a friendly face so if you think you could help then do please email