Admission To Crackley Hall - Reception To Junior 6

Most of our pupils enter at Nursery and progress through to Reception. Some pupils also join us at Reception and pupils are welcome at any age dependent on a place being available. Places in other years may be limited and, in years where there is no place available, we operate waiting groups.

We encourage prospective parents and pupils to visit us both formally and informally to get a true flavour of the school. We hold various Open Events throughout the year, including a specific Nursery and Reception Open Evening in November, which prospective parents and pupils are most welcome to attend. A meeting with Mr Robert Duigan, the Headmaster, is also a key part of the admissions process.

Our Admissions Secretary, Mrs Jenny Vaughan will be pleased to talk you through the admissions process and current availability, please contact her on 01926 514410/514444 or email her at To request a prospectus pack please click here.

To download our current Crackley Information Booklet click here.

Reception 2020

Little Crackers applicants and siblings

Those already attending Little Crackers in the pre-school year, and siblings, are given priority for places in Reception. The deadline for taking advantage of this priority arrangement for Little Crackers and sibling Reception applications is Monday 25 November 2019. Please return your completed Registration Form with the accompanying fee of £50 (non-returnable) by this date. Offer letters will be sent out first class on Monday 16 December 2019 with a Confirmation of Acceptance Form, which we ask you to complete and return to us together with a deposit of £300 by the acceptance deadline of Monday 6 January 2020.

External applicants (those attending nursery elsewhere)

External applicants interested in a place in Reception need to register by the deadline of Monday 3 February 2020; you will be invited to bring your child in for a taster session in pre-school once we have received your completed Registration Form and accompanying fee of £50 (non-returnable). Subject to availability and a satisfactory taster session, offer letters to external candidates will be sent out first class on Friday 6 March 2020 with a Confirmation of Acceptance Form, which we ask you to complete and return to us together with a deposit of £300 by the acceptance deadline of Monday 27 April 2020.

Current Reception to Junior 6

Applications for places in the current Reception to Junior 6 will be treated on an individual basis as places are limited.  In years where there is no place available we operate waiting groups. Please contact Jenny Vaughan, our Admissions Secretary, to discuss these on an individual basis.

Should a potential place be available you will be invited in to meet with Mr Duigan, the Headmaster, then if appropriate you should complete a Registration Form and return it with the accompanying fee of £50 (non-returnable), after which time your child will be invited in for a taster day.

During the taster day children in Reception and Junior 1 will be assessed informally. Children in Junior 2 to 6 will be given assessments in Mathematics and English.

Once a taster day is arranged, we will contact you to advise that we plan to seek a reference from your child’s current school. Following the taster day, confirmation of a place being offered would be made in writing subject to a satisfactory reference being received. To secure your place return your completed Confirmation of Acceptance Form with a deposit of £300 within 14 days of the date of the offer being made.

The final deadline for applications and completed registration forms for entry in September 2020 is Friday 22 May 2020. All incoming pupils need to have completed the admissions process by Friday 12 June to enable the applicant to attend our Induction Morning at the end of that month. (Although a place at Crackley Hall may become available after this date, and applications will be processed, we cannot guarantee availability of places.)

New pupils are given the opportunity to familiarise themselves with the school, staff and fellow pupils when they are invited to our Induction Morning in the Trinity Term, normally at the end of June. 

Bursaries are available for pupils wishing to join Crackley Hall although these are normally awarded to children from Junior 3 and above. Application forms are available from the Foundation Bursar’s office and from our website. Completed applications should be forwarded to the Foundation Bursar with supporting documentary evidence.

Note: Deposits are refunded after the end of the final term which the pupil spends at the school.

For more information and to download a registration form please click here.

What To Expect On A Taster For Reception Applications

We ask all external applicants for the following year’s Reception to join us for a taster as it helps to give us some information to pass on to the Reception team and to flag up any areas where we may need to provide additional support.

The taster takes place in our Little Crackers Nursery as we feel that it is best for the child to be with his or her peer group.  Taster sessions are much shorter than for other year groups and are typically in the morning for no more than two hours.  As soon as a child is settled, parents may leave for the duration of the session although, should they prefer to stay near, they are very welcome to remain in the foyer outside the nursery. 

During a taster, applicants join in with a normal session at Little Crackers which will be play-led and may include listening to stories and playing outside in our external nursery area.

The areas that the staff will look at are:

  • How do they respond to instructions?
  • How do they communicate with peers/adults?
  • Are there any concerns for joining Reception the following year?
  • Can a child toilet independently?

Following the taster, we will contact you to provide feedback.


What To Expect On A Taster Day - Current Reception And Up

We ask all prospective pupils for Crackley Hall to join us for a taster day which they will spend with their current year group participating in lessons and activities. 

A taster day can be arranged with Mrs Jenny Vaughan, our Admissions Secretary, or another member of the office staff at Crackley Hall.  We are flexible about when we can offer taster days and will look to find a mutually convenient date.  Where possible, we will choose a day when the timetable includes a child’s favourite subjects so that they get the most out of the day and we can see them at their best.

If parents have not already met with Mr Duigan, the Headmaster, we will ask them to do this prior to arranging a taster day.  This is an important step in our admissions process as it gives us an opportunity to find out more about individual children so that we can pass on information to the form tutor should they go on to join us for a taster.

Taster days typically run from 9.00am to 3.00pm for applicants for Years 1 to 6.  For those children who will be entering Reception the following academic year, we arrange taster sessions of two hours in our nursery so that we can see them with their peer group – see 'What to expect on a taster for future Reception Applicants'.

Children in Years 2 and above will be asked to take a paper in maths and another in English, although we take care that this is done in a low-key manner so that they do not feel that they are sitting an exam. In Reception to Year 1, the teacher will ask children to produce some written or number work so that we can gauge their levels.

In offering a place, we take the child’s performance on these papers into consideration, however we look at the results together with feedback from the class teacher regarding the child’s behaviour, involvement in class and willingness to learn. 

Occasionally we may ask a child to join us for a second taster in order to gain additional feedback from the class teacher if we felt that the first day did not give us sufficient information. 

Children participating in a taster day should wear their current school uniform and may bring either a packed lunch or choose a hot lunch from the menu on arrival. In the current Reception class and above children should also bring a water bottle and a snack for break time. They may also require a games kit including trainers for outside use and football boots.

We ask that you let us have a completed registration form and accompanying £50.00 registration fee ahead of a planned taster. Please include any medical and dietary information of which we should be aware and any information regarding specific learning needs. 

Mr Duigan, the Headmaster, will provide feedback as soon as possible following a taster day.  We may wait to receive references from the child’s current school or nursery setting before deciding on the offer of a place.

Overseas Applications

The Crackley Hall community is enriched by the inclusion of children from many different countries and we are happy to assist parents relocating from overseas with their applications. The Crackley family currently includes children who have joined us from the USA, China, Brazil, Spain, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland and Korea.

If parents are visiting the UK we ask them to meet with Mr Duigan, the Headmaster.  Where a taster day is not possible and where children are English-speaking and in Year 2 or above, we can arrange for assessment papers in English and Maths to be sent to the child’s current school for them to administer and send back to us for marking.

Where children do not speak English as a first language or are too young to take assessment papers, we ask for school reports and a reference from the current school prior to offering a place.

We work closely at Crackley with a trusted partner who is experienced in English Language teaching and who can tailor a programme to meet the individual needs of children joining us.  This normally focuses on an initial intensive period of English Language support, tailing off as the child becomes more proficient and settles into life at Crackley Hall.

Our Admissions Secretary, Jenny Vaughan will always be happy to answer any questions regarding applications from overseas and to ensure that the admissions process runs as smoothly as possible.

You can email her at or telephone her direct line on 01926 514444.

Princethorpe Admissions For September 2020 Entry

The Foundation's senior school Princethorpe College is still accepting registrations for September 2020 entry.

The Entrance Exams for 2020 take place on Saturday 9 November 2019. The deadline for registrations is Friday 4 October 2019. There are still opportunities for prospective pupils and their parents to visit the College, including an Open Morning on Thursday 26 September from 10.30am to 12.30pm.

For more information click here to see the latest Princethorpe Admissions Update newsletter.

If you have any questions about the College's admissions process please contact the Registrar, Vanessa Rooney, on 01926 634201 or email