Alumni News

Eggciting New Princethorpe Connect Easter Prize Draw

Online membership of Princethorpe Connect, our alumni network for former pupils, staff and parents from across all the Foundation schools, has been steadily building over the last few months and now stands at over 1,000.

We’d like to see the number of online members increase and we would also like to see our current members engaging more with the platform. To encourage more interaction the Princethorpe Connect Team is inviting you to connect with the platform by Monday 4 April to be in with a chance to win a delicious Easter Egg gift box.

Online membership brings with it many benefits, members receive the termly OP e-newsletter including the latest news and events, are able to view private photo galleries, connect with other online members and access our Careers and Networking pages.

For your chance to win, simply ‘Create a Profile’, or if you are already an online member add to your current profile with a photo, update your work or contact details or invite a friend to join from your profile page. Do any or all of the above at by Monday 4 April 2022 to qualify for the draw.

The draw will be pulled from all online members who have interacted with the site from 11 February to Monday 4 April and the lucky winner will be notified on Tuesday 5 April.

Good luck to all!

OP Friendly Faces Support The Next Generation Of OPs

This year we were delighted to be able to introduce eighteen new students to an OP Friendly Face during the Michaelmas Term. In universities across the UK, as far afield as Edinburgh and Exeter and Nottingham to Plymouth, the students enjoyed the benefits of a friendly face whilst settling into their first year.

The scheme links 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. So 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 2022.

Many of our current Upper Sixth are receiving offers and will shortly be choosing their first and second choice destinations, so it would be good to know soon 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.

Lauren Mason, pictured, who left the College in 2021, has already volunteered to help.  She comments, "I am a current student at Cambridge (first year), studying Natural Sciences at Selwyn College. I would love to be a friendly face to anyone coming to Cambridge from Princethorpe, and am looking forward to getting involved."

Comments OPs Secretary, Melanie Butler, " We now have OP Friendly Faces in around 35 university towns and cities and would like to expand on that again this year so we can get more of our leavers matched up for the new academic year."

If you are interested in becoming an OP Friendly Face for this year's Upper Sixth leavers please email



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Our Alumni Are All Around The World

The Princethorpe Foundation alumni network stretches across all four corners of the world as the visual mapping of the alumni we have addresses for shows. Wherever former pupils, staff and parents are now based, they remain a valued member of our alumni community and we are always delighted to hear news of or about them.

Our Princethorpe Connect community now has over 1,000 active members and is an ever-expanding network.

Our highest concentration of OPs is not surprisingly in the UK, with London and the Midlands being hotspots. Overseas we have a sprinkling of OPs living and working across Europe with Ireland and Spain among the top locations. Further afield Australia and the US have the highest number of OPs followed by Hong Kong. Some of the most unusual locations where we have OPs based currently are Mauritius, Barbados, Malawi and Taiwan.

We have alumni representing pretty much every profession and many are happy to act as mentors for fellow alumni.

The Connect community also offers regional clubs to help those based in different continents find each other more easily.

So wherever you live, let us introduce you and help you stay in touch with your alumni community. You can find out more and sign up for Princethorpe Connect here.  

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OPs October London Meet A Great Success

What a fabulous time we had on Friday 8 October at the eagerly-awaited OPs London Meet. The venue, Le Grand Salon Prive, on the first floor of French restaurant, Balthazar in London’s Covent Garden proved to be very popular indeed with some 45 OPs in attendance.

Past pupils from the 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and recent leavers mingled and chatted happily together, reminiscing about Princethorpe and their time at the College. Tall stories were swapped, old friendships rekindled and new friendships made as the guests caught up with each other over some delicious food and drink courtesy of the OPs Committee.

Longstanding Assistant Head, form tutor and Physics teacher, Alex Darkes, who had travelled down from Warwickshire, was kept very busy all evening, chatting to his former pupils.

Just before ten o’clock the Princethorpe contingent, including Peter Rollason, Chair of the OPs, said their farewells before making a dash to the train for their journey home.

It was so good to have such an excellent turnout for our first face to face OPs event since March 2020 and we are looking forward to our next Meet on Friday 4 March 2022 at Inside the 22 in Rugby. If you are interested in coming along, please sign up via Princethorpe Connect here. Places will be limited, so we would encourage you to sign up as soon as possible.

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OPs Support Lower Sixth Careers Carousel

To support our Sixth Form CoRE programme we have a number of Old Princethorpian speakers joining us on Thursday 17 February to talk about their journey post-Princethorpe and the different career paths they have taken. Our Lower Sixth pupils will each be attending three of the short talks to gain insights into some of the different options available to them.

The 'Careers Carousel' will broaden their awareness and knowledge on a range of careers relevant to their interests and aspirations and the event will help the students make more informed decisions about their future work options.

Our thanks go to all the OPs who are supporting the event including:

  • Harvey Broadbent - Product Design (Positive Outlook Clothing)
  • Ben Oliver – Psychology (Positive Outlook Clothing)
  • James Ireland - Mechanical Engineering (with Red Bull Internship)
  • Jacob Stone - Medicine (Qualified)
  • Carmen Simpson - Physiotherapy (Qualified)
  • Zoe Hyland - Psychology (Nursing)
  • Etienne Callaghan - Business Management and Entrepreneurship (Broadcast Media)
  • Charlie Rooney - Sports Science (Army)
  • Lucy Coulson - Law (Barrister)
  • James Carney - Real Estate (Property Asset Management)

Later this year we will also be on the look out for any Old Princethorpians who would be happy to help at our Interview Skills day, where the Lower Sixth all prepare their CVs and then take part in short mock interviews providing them with an opportunity to perfect their interview technique, sharpen communication skills, presentational qualities and their ability to respond to feedback. If you think you can help out please do get in touch.

Jock Gillespie Wins Christmas Princethorpe Connect Prize Draw

Congratulations to OP Dominic (Jock) Gillespie (Class of 1987), who was the lucky winner of our Princethorpe Connect Christmas Prize Draw. 

The Prize Draw saw a surge in online membership registrations to the platform, taking us over the 1,000 online member mark just before Christmas.

Jock is pictured with his prize at his home near Newcastle where he has lived since leaving Princethorpe almost 35 years ago.

Jock has worked in the Automotive and Engineering industry since leaving University specializing in HR and Employment Law.
He is married to Justine who he met at University. Jock is a keen outdoor swimmer, a hobby which has taken him far and wide including a swim across the Hellespont and one from Alcatraz to San Francisco.

Good to hear that he is still in touch with a number of people from Princethorpe, both virtually and actually, and always happy to hear from others.

Old Crescentians Enjoy Tour Of New Horton Centre

It was a real pleasure to welcome back a group of Old Crescentians to the Crescent on Friday 12 November to tour the latest addition to the school’s facilities, the new Horton Centre.

This was the first opportunity for OCs to visit the school since the start of the pandemic and was much appreciated by all.

The group of mainly former staff enjoyed some welcome refreshments with current staff before taking in the new facilities. What was once the old nursery building now includes a new teaching room, break out learning spaces, dedicated Music and Drama rooms and space for the school’s After Care Club. Linked by a new corridor, the fully refurbished block makes a perfect addition to the school’s growing needs.

Following their visit to the Horton Centre the group were keen to take a look around the rest of the site. There was plenty of reminiscing, catching up and admiration for the recent developments at the school, including the news of its recent ‘Excellent in all areas’ ISI Inspection.

Present were former Headmaster, Huw Marshall and his wife Magda who had travelled up from Wales, former teachers Anne Boys, Sandra Clayton, Patricia Davis, Clare Gove, Susan Haynes, former nursery manager, Carolyn McGrellis and former parent, Sarah Channing,

Comments, Joe Thackway, Headmaster, “It was great to get the OCs seal of approval on all that has been happening at the Crescent over the past year or so. We hope they enjoyed their visit and we very much look forward to our next OCs event.”

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Alumni Merchandise - Gifts For Everyone

Stuck for a gift idea for the OPs in your life? Look no further as items from our alumni range of merchandise make the perfect present for birthdays, anniversaries or even just for yourself!

Our new Zaini hats and headbands are now back in stock (at £18 and £15 respectively) and there are just a few 2022 calendars left that have now been discounted to £4. 

If you are looking for a gift with a difference you could consider sponsoring a Brick, Paver or Element in the new Science Centre, the deadline for these is Wednesday 1 December 2022. Click here for more details.

Other popular items on our online shop include:

  • Socks with the distinctive Tower design on dark blue background with thin diagonal stripe - priced £9.00 + postage
  • A university style scarf (in 100% wool with navy blue, red and gold stripes) - priced  £31 + postage
  • T-bar cufflinks with a gold Tower design - priced £26 + postage
  • The Old Princethorpian tie. A classic 100% silk tie with a repetitive gold Tower design and thin red diagonal stripes on a dark blue background - priced £19 + postage and packing.
  • Tower pin badge. The 2cm high badge in nickel with recessed metal detail is based on the Tower logo - priced £11 + postage
  • A Spirit Of Family: The First Fifty Years Of Princethorpe College - produced to mark the College's Golden Jubilee this beautiful keepsake is a relflection on the first fifty years of Princethorpe College written by Nick Baker and Alex Darkes, it was published on 1 September 2016 - priced £21 + postage.
  • The Soaring Redbrick Tower Fine Art prints and cards sized at A2 for £40, A3 for £25 and as an A5 greetings card for £3. 
  • St. Joseph's Convent and School Fine Art print for £12.

Stocks are available to order online from Princethorpe Connect, please click here.


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