College News

First Review For Princethorpe By Prestigious Good Schools Guide

Princethorpe has received its first ever review by the prestigious Good Schools Guide. The Guide, which selects schools to be included on merit alone, is famous for its unbiased and candid reviews of state and private schools, and is trusted by families worldwide. Princethorpe is now one of just 1,300 schools currently reviewed by the Guide, out of over 30,000+ schools in the UK.

An editor from the Guide visited the College in May, interviewed Ed Hester, the Headmaster, toured the campus, observed lessons and spoke with pupils and parents.

The 2,500-word review, which now appears on the Good Schools Guide’s website and will be included in the next hard copy edition, includes a pen portrait of the Headmaster, plus insights into exam results, teaching and learning, co-curricular life, discipline and the College’s ethos and heritage.

Commenting on the College's approach to pastoral care, the Guide says: 

“There are two rules at the school: be kind and do your best. The whole school runs on this ethos and it appears to be all that is needed as pupils and staff adhere to it. The school is renowned for its pastoral care and kindness. Every parent we spoke to mentioned it and for virtually all of them it was the reason they chose the school. ‘It really is like a family and we are included too.’ These two old fashioned values shape the school. It’s open minded and all are very welcome but the Catholic teaching permeates throughout. Every child is treated as an individual ‘and they really are,’ said parents. The overall feeling that this is a kind school, we would concur.”

The very comprehensive and positive review concludes with a Last Word, which sums up the Guide’s findings:

We have the impression that Princethorpe College just gets on with things, modestly feeling no need to blow its own trumpet. But during the long-term tenure of this head it has gained in confidence, reputation and status and parents have sat up and taken notice. They know that one size doesn’t fit all when it comes to educating their children and have found the school that agrees with them; a good outcome for all.

To read in full What the Good Schools Guide says click here.

Comments Ed Hester, Headmaster, “It was a pleasure to welcome the Good Schools Guide to Princethorpe. We are delighted that they have recognised our ‘spirit of family’ and found us to be a ‘kind school’ and that every parent they spoke to was ‘hugely impressed by the diligence and commitment of our staff’. They have successfully managed to get under our skin and paint what we feel is an accurate picture of life at the school.

He continued, "Thank you to all the parents and pupils who kindly spoke to the Guide's editor about their experience of the school."

Princethorpe College Celebrates Excellent Exam Results

In spite of the unprecedented challenges that the last 16 months have presented, Princethorpe College is celebrating another year of excellent exam results.

Out of a cohort of 104 Sixth Form students who completed their A-levels, BTEC and Extended Project Qualification this year, at the top end 55% of all A-level grades were A* or A and overall 95% of grades were A* to C. Impressively, 39 high-flyers achieved three or more A* or A grades. Special mention must go to Sophie Cheshire, James Gallagher, Charlotte Lister, Lauren Mason, Grace McGrory, Prajeet Prabakaran, Alex Rejali, Carmel Spelman and Daisy Walker who all achieved straight A*s.

At GCSE Princethorpe pupils also performed well, from a cohort of 137 pupils over two thirds of all entries were graded 9, 8 or 7 and 56 Year 11 pupils received nine or more 9, 8 or 7 grades. There were many exceptional personal achievements, special congratulations go to Joshua Apaya, Keira Eaton, Amélie Friess, William Hawkins, Freya Mills, Eleanor Page, Oscar Page, Pratheesh Prabakaran and Madoc Williams, who all achieved eight or more grade 9s. Overall, over 99% of the grades achieved were levels 9 to 4.

Ed Hester, Headmaster, commented, "This year’s A-level and GCSE results have been arrived at in a very different way to normal. That said we are delighted that the results are a fair reflection of the hard work and achievements of these year groups. Pupils remained resilient throughout periods of lockdown, home learning and self-isolation. It has been an extremely demanding time and all credit goes to our pupils and staff for their commitment and hard work."

He continued, "We are proud of their academic achievements but all these pupils have many other fine qualities: kindness, respect and a strong sense of right and wrong, which will be tremendously important for them as they move on to the next phase of their lives. We congratulate them all on their well-deserved success."

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Father Brown Spin Off Series Filmed At Princethorpe Over The Summer

There was much excitement at Princethorpe College over the summer holidays as filming commenced for a new series – a spin off from the world of Father Brown, The Sister Boniface Mysteries.

BritBox first announced the commission of The Sister Boniface Mysteries in February 2020 as a brand-new period drama.

The official synopsis for the series reads:

“The Sister Boniface Mysteries is set in 1960s rural Warwickshire and follows the investigations of Sister Boniface, Bride of Christ, vintner, and Crime Scene Investigator. Police forensics is rudimentary by today’s standards. DNA is yet to be discovered. Blood testing can take days. The notion of trace evidence is in its infancy and the preservation of crime scenes is shockingly hit and miss. Fortunately the Great Slaughter Constabulary has a secret weapon in its fight against crime.

“Hidden deep in the countryside is St Vincent’s Convent, (aka Princethorpe College) a small community of wine making nuns where ensconced in a laboratory is Sister Boniface. An IQ of 156 and a PHD in forensic science, plus an addiction to popular detective fiction and a fully equipped crime laboratory make Boniface an invaluable aid to Police investigations. Mud, blood, stains, hairs and fibres. If there is evidence to be found Boniface will find it. Poisons, trace evidence, blood stains, etymology. She’s more up to speed on the latest forensic techniques than the Police.”

For those of us a little older it was wonderful seeing the College taken back in time but it was quite surreal to occasionally round the corner and find yourself confronted by a nun.

Coincidentally, OP and actor Emilio Doorgasingh (Class of 1983) will also be appearing in the series, though sadly he did not film any scenes at his old school.

Once we hear more from the producers and know when the new series will air, we will be sure to share the details with you all.

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Issue 30 Of The Pinnacle Just Published

The latest issue of The Pinnacle has just been published, showcasing yet more of our pupils' excellent work. First published back in 2010, across the years the Pinnacle has celebrated our pupils at their best. This bumper edition includes success in Science, Maths and Computing Challenges, news of independent research project achievements as well as excellent examples of da Vinci work. There’s also coverage of the wonderful GCSE and A-level Art, and innovative Product Design and Fashion projects which were featured in our Summer Art, Photography and Design Show in June.

A double-sized Minnacle is included too, with equally impressive work by Crackley Hall pupils from Nursery to Junior 6 and Crescent pupils from Reception to Year 6. It's wonderful to celebrate their talents!

Click here to read The Pinnacle and click here if you would like to read The Minnacle.

Heritage Open Day A Huge Success

Princethorpe College was delighted to take part in the 2021 Heritage Open Days festival on Sunday 12 September. The festival, organised by the National Trust, runs annually celebrating England’s local history by giving access to thousands of places usually closed to the public. The College has taken part in the festival for many years and this year’s event was one of the most successful yet.

On the day, the College welcomed 139 visitors through the doors, all safely socially distanced, hand sanitised and masked of course. From near and far, including local neighbours as well as parents of old and new pupils, new staff and those interested in local history, all were made welcome and enjoyed a fascinating tour that took in Pugin’s magnificent Chapel, the Cloisters, Nuns’ Cells, Library (formerly a church) and the unique Roundhouse.

The College was particularly delighted to welcome back former archivist Rev. Nick Baker who joined our current archivist Janette Ratcliffe and Assistant Head (Development) Alex Darkes as the tour leaders sharing wonderful insights into the history of the magnificent building and the amazing people that made it the place it is today.

A huge thank you to all who kindly organised and supported this super community event.

And for those who weren’t able to visit on the day there is still the option of the virtual tour which can be found here:

Countdown To Entrance Examinations Underway

With just four weeks to go now, the countdown to the College's Entrance Exams for admission in September 2022 is well underway. This year the exams for Year 7 to 10 entry will take place on Saturday 6 November from 9.30am to 3.30pm.

Our friendly Admissions Team have been kept busy over the summer and so far this term accepting registrations for the examinations from prospective parents. 

Comments Melanie Butler, Assistant Head, Marketing, Admissions and Communications, "Interest is at an all time high, we had a very busy Open Afternoon and since then registrations have just not stopped coming in. Once again we have had lots of interest from Old Princethorpians who are keen for their children to follow in their footsteps. The results of the examinations will be out for the end of November, making for an exam-free Christmas holiday, which has got to be good news."

For more information on the admissions process click here to visit our Admissions Update newsletter or call the Registrars on 01926 634201/262/297 or email





July 2021 Staff Leavers And Long Service Awards

As we finish the last academic year, at the end of the Trinity Term it was lovely to have a short event outside to celebrate and thank our longstanding members of staff as well as those leaving the College this year for pastures new.

Long service awards were made to Special Projects Officer, Gill Price and Lab Technician, Angela Morris for 20 years of service, Peripatetic Music Co-ordinator Felicity Coulson for 30 years of service, Catering Assistant, Colin Jamie, Head of Geography, Mike Taylor and Chaplain, Fr Alan Whelan MSC for 40 years of service, Latin Teacher, Rachel Taylor for 45 years of service and last but by no means least Estates Assistant, Gerry Lovely and Cleaner, Judy Vick for 45 and 46 years of service respectively.

Leaving us this year were Health and Safety Manager, Dave Cotton, Teaching Assistants, Laura Baskerville, Maddie Downey, Will Cooper-Harris and Katie Shorten, Graduate Teaching Assistant Jack Forsythe, Teacher of Music, Helen Dean, Teacher of Politics and History, Abi Adams, Teacher of Physics, Peter McLeish, Teacher of English, Nicola Borman, Teacher of Psychology, Jo Powell, Head of Benet House and Teacher of English, Lisa Challinor and Deputy Head – Academic, Dr Michael Reddish.

Thank you to these new Old Princethopians and best wishes to them all.

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Train To Teach At Princethorpe Through School Direct

Thinking of becoming a teacher? Then why not consider training with the Princethorpe Foundation.

Whether you are a new graduate or contemplating a career change, we have a wide range of opportunities available across the subjects including: Art & Design, Biology, Business Studies, Latin, English, Geography, History, Maths, MFL - French & Spanish, PE, Psychology, RE and at Primary.

Though our association with the Lion Alliance, we offer a year’s training as part of the School Direct scheme, leading to Qualified Teacher Status. Placements would be at Princethorpe or Crackley Hall and also at other schools within the Lion Alliance. Our training is supported by Warwick University, Birmingham City University, Coventry University and by our experienced mentors here at the Princethorpe Foundation.

You can preview the courses on offer here: by searching the database using the details: 1K1 – The Lion Alliance

Our Assistant Head for Teaching and Learning, Dr Liz Pyne is happy to offer advice about the different routes into teaching and what Princethorpe can offer you. Please email Dr Pyne at

Further information about the Lion Alliance can be found at

Applications are through the DfE portal here: Apply for teacher training - GOV.UK ( Applications open Tuesday 12 October 2021.

Why Not Hire The College Facilities?

The facilities at Princethorpe College can be hired for a variety of purposes, from sporting activities to day conferences, weddings in our Chapel (subject to approval by our parish priest) and receptions.

Lettings tend to be at weekends, in the evening or during the school holidays, when the facilities are not being used by our own pupils.

Facilities available for let include our Astroturf and Sports Hall, our Refectory and Theatre and our Sixth Form Centre.

It is also possible to erect a marquee in the College grounds.

In addition to the hire of the premises, we are able to provide extensive catering facilities via our caterers Holroyd Howe.

For further information or to discuss your requirements in more detail you can contact us through our website here or call 01926 634200.