Headmaster's Welcome

I would like to extend a very warm welcome to Crackley Hall School. Our Admissions Update is designed to give you the latest information on the admissions process here, as well as news and developments at Crackley Hall and Little Crackers Nursery. We also hope that the newsletter will convey a feel for the family atmosphere at Crackley and a taste of the many opportunities available, as well as achievements of the children in our community, from academic to sporting and the arts.

This has been the most unusual year of my teaching career but throughout pupils have continued to learn thanks to the hard work of staff and parents alike. The seamless transition to online learning provided continuity and routine that supported the children through this most difficult of times and minimised the interruption to their learning. 

We continue to thrive following our last 'outstanding in all areas' inspection. The report was a real vote of confidence for everything we do at Crackley Hall and a recognition of the positive impact a Crackley education has on our pupils' lives. I would encourage you to visit the ISI website to read the full report here.

Inspectors from the Archdiocese spent two days at school at the end of last year, visiting Religious Education lessons and classes, interviewing pupils and staff and attending the School Council and assemblies. The focus of their inspection was on the impact, quality and leadership of the school’s provision of Catholic Life, Religious Education and Collective Worship and once again in all aspects the inspectors were incredibly impressed with the School’s pupils and staff.  Our pupils and their families continue to benefit from our inclusive and caring ethos within a setting that will inspire and support everyone. You can read their report here.

As a result, Crackley continues to be very popular. We continue to maintain our small class sizes which allows us to give the attention needed for each child at this critical time in their development.

Crackley Hall retains the small-school feel that makes it so special, but with a wealth of opportunities, often delivered by larger schools, that stretch and challenge all. It's a place where the children are individuals who are very well known to every member of staff. Our children are very happy and this matters so much to us.

We look forward to welcoming you to Crackley Hall and Little Crackers Nursery soon.

Robert Duigan


Two Reception Classes For September 2021

Crackley Hall School will be adding a second Reception class for pupils starting in September 2021 after seeing an increase in the demand for places at the popular Kenilworth Prep school.  The new Reception class will enable more children to benefit from the school’s specialist tailored approach.

Applications for places in Reception in 2021 have started early, with high levels of interest from parents with children at the school’s own nursery, Little Crackers, as well as other local nurseries.

Comments Headmaster, Rob Duigan, “We normally limit our intake in Reception to one class and grow the cohort into two classes per year group at a later stage, but we are already receiving a high level of registrations so we have decided to offer a second Reception class in order to meet the demand. This will hopefully come as good news for prospective parents as pupils will enjoy smaller class sizes and Crackley’s proven approach to individual nurturing at the start of their school years.”

Parents who are interested in Reception for 2021 or in other Year Groups are encouraged to contact Jenny Vaughan, Admissions Secretary on 01926 514410 or by email to discuss the admissions process.

Crackley Hall was rated excellent in every area in its last ISI inspection and is a Junior School of the Princethorpe Foundation.

Crackley Hall Will Have Two Year 3 Classes This September

Crackley Hall School in Kenilworth is planning to split its Year 3 class in September 2021 to enable more children to benefit from the school’s specialist tailored approach.

Comments Headmaster, Rob Duigan, “Crackley Hall has always been a popular choice for parents, particularly in recent years, and splitting Year 3 next year will afford more children the opportunity to benefit from a Crackley Hall education. The move is good news for both prospective and current pupils, who will enjoy small class sizes, and the school’s proven approach to individual nurturing that helps children into their first choice of secondary school, whether independent or local grammars. We’re confident that there will be plenty of interest, especially post the pandemic as a return to on-site schooling replaces months of online learning.”

To register interest for Year 3 and for places in other years, please contact our Admissions Secretary, Jenny Vaughan, on 01926 514410 or by email at who would be delighted to assist you.


Little Crackers Nursery Is Friendly, Caring, Nurturing And Brilliant Preparation For School

The resounding feedback from parents at Little Crackers is that the nursery is friendly, caring, nurturing and brilliant preparation for school.
Little Crackers has just completed a parental satisfaction survey. Current nursery parents were asked to fill in a short online questionnaire that covered all aspects of the nursery provision, from the activities and accommodation to the staff and communication with parents.
The results were very positive with parents clearly valuing the input of our qualified early years teachers and the nursery staff. They also ranked the specialist teaching their children receive in subjects such as French, PE and Music highly, along with the benefits of outdoor play in Forest School. 100% of the respondents judged the overall quality of provision on offer and the range of activities as good or excellent and all respondents stated they would recommend Little Crackers to a friend.
Parental comments included: ‘We love how wonderful the ladies are at making our son love every minute of nursery’ and ‘Thank you for looking after our children so well’.
Comments, Sue Glen-Roots, Assistant Head (Head of Early Years and Key Stage 1), “Parental feedback is so important to us and these recent survey results are a great endorsement of all that the Nursery team do. We will be closely looking at the feedback to see how we can improve further.”

Super Science Lockdown Learning At Home

It has been wonderful to see all the different topics being studied in Science across Key Stage 2 during the latest lockdown and the effort and energy the children are putting into their learning at home.

Junior 6 explored the reflection of light, they created experiments to prove that angles of incidence equal angles of reflection. They even discovered that light can go around corners if your mirrors are positioned just right!

While our budding scientists in Junior 5 carried out a dissolving investigation, completing a practical and then writing their experiment up. 

Junior 4 have been learning about how vibrations cause sounds, how sounds travel and how sounds can change pitch and loudness. Last week they used their understanding of how high and low sounds are made, to create their very own instrument.

Then in Junior 3 the children investigated magnetic force, rummaging around their houses to find various materials and then separating them into magnetic and non-magnetic piles.

There is no stopping our super scientific study at home!

LAMDA Distinctions All Round For Crackley Hall Pupils ​​​​​​​

All 54 Crackley Hall pupils who took the London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) examinations in the autumn were awarded the highest grade possible, a distinction.

The children who are now in Junior 2, Junior 3 and Junior 6 studied for the examinations in their Drama lessons in school last year.

Teacher Nicki Wildey, explains, “The children worked so hard for their exams but then had them cancelled at very short notice due to the lockdown.  Since then they have continued to work tirelessly to polish and perfect their performances.”

The examinations finally took place when the children returned to school in September and the children took the Solo Introductory Stage Two, Solo Introductory Stage Three and Speaking Verse and Prose Grade 1 examinations respectively.

The children are judged on interpretation, technique and knowledge. They have to consider their diction, expression and movement.

Nicki Wildey continues, “What’s brilliant about the LAMDA exams is that they equip the children with communication skills which will serve them throughout life. They not only promote an appreciation of literature and poetry, but also help unlock their imagination and creative-thinking. All the children’s hard work and extra practice certainly paid off. We are delighted with this super set of results, some of the best the school has ever seen.”

Congratulations to all of the children, Crackley Hall School is very proud of you.

Super Self Portraits In The Style Of Romero Britto

Back in December Junior 3 loved finding out about the life of world-famous Brazilian pop artist Romero Britto and what inspired and motivated him to become such an acclaimed artist. 

Together they explored his bold use of colour, striking geometric shapes and clearly defined lines before setting about creating their own vibrant and joyful self-portraits.

They were even lucky enough to receive a special video message from the artist himself, causing such excitement amongst the children. A huge thank you to Romero for that wonderful surprise.

We hope you all enjoy seeing their finished pieces here:

Reception’s Big Garden Birdwatch

Reception has been exploring the topic of birds, linking into the RSPB's 'Big Garden Birdwatch' which took place Friday 29 to Sunday 31 January. The children had a wonderful week of bird-themed live lessons and enjoyed lots of exciting associated activities.

In their 'Understanding the World' lessons, the children investigated how important it is to feed garden birds in the winter, they went on to make a fantastic array of bird feeders for their gardens and then undertook their own 'Birdwatch', recording the results on a checklist. They were all super spotters with the children identifying Blue Tits, Finches, Robins, Sparrows and Blackbirds to name but a few.

In English the children carefully labelled Robins, enjoyed writing about their favourite birds and learned and performed a bird poem with actions en masse in a live lesson which was no mean feat! Having signed up to the RSPB's Birdwatch, the class also looked at a range of bird information cards together, expanding their knowledge further.

Their Art lessons saw some incredible creations with great artwork made from paper plates – including a particularly stunning Parakeet.

Mrs Convey was very impressed by her class and said, "The children embraced all the activities and challenges wholeheartedly. I was really thrilled with their enthusiasm for the wildlife on their doorsteps!"

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Junior 6 Meet Their French Pen Pals Through Teams

There were big smiles and plenty of ‘Bonjours’ all round, when Junior 6 had the opportunity to meet their French pen pals face to face.

Crackley Hall’s specialist language teacher, Madame Tatton, used her existing links with Ecole La Rédemption in Lyon, her home town, to set up pen pals for the pupils in her Junior 6 classes. The children have been writing letters and really enjoying getting to know a little bit about each other, but what with the pandemic, and the approach of Christmas, the post has been more than a little slow!

So together with the teacher from Ecole La Rédemption, Madame Creux, Madame Tatton organised a face to face meet up for the pen pal friends via Microsoft Teams.

The children were delighted to have the chance to see and speak to their new friends and took turns asking and answering simple questions. It was a great opportunity to listen to and speak French to a native speaker. They asked about each other’s favourite sports, lessons, hobbies and colours putting into practise vocabulary from the topics they have been learning in school.

It was a super session and a lovely language learning treat for the Junior 6 pupils.

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Stay ‘n’ Play Goes Virtual

Although Little Crackers Nursery has remained open throughout the pandemic, the nursery staff have been missing out on meeting up every Wednesday in term-time with all their Stay ‘n’ Play, toddler group, families. So, with social distancing restrictions set to continue for the foreseeable future, the toddler group’s organisers Gail Buswell and Mary O’Brien decided to offer virtual videos to help entertain all those lovely little ones at home.

In November they launched Stay ‘n’ Play At Home, a series of fortnightly videos featuring favourite activities such as: settle down for story-time, join in our sing-a-long and get creative with craft. Each video offers mums and tots the chance to take part in activities that will entertain and support early learning and as the sessions are shared as a video, families can choose to join in with all or part of each session at a time to suit themselves.

Gail explains, “The sessions are great fun and although we can’t meet up in person, through technology I know we can keep the spirit and fun of our toddler group going.” Mary added, “It has been fun putting the videos together and they contain activities we always have on offer at Stay ‘n’ Play. So, we hope everyone will enjoy them.”

So far Gail and Mary have produced seven videos and we have been delighted with their popularity. If you know someone you think might be interested in joining our Stay ‘n’ Play community and receiving the video links, especially as we are now back in lockdown, then please ask them to contact Jenny Vaughan on or on 01926 514410.

We hope to resume Stay ‘n’ Play in its familiar format as soon as it is safe to do so.

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Filming Four Nativities Was Fantastic Fun

What fun the children had filming the nativity plays. Of course it was a socailly distanced Chrsitmas for us all this year but we weren't going to let that stop the fun and planning started early for four, yes that's right four, nativity productions.

Filming took place in the school hall and also this year out on location – in a real stable (the outside classroom) and even included a real pony! You can’t get more magical than that!

Nursery performed A Bundle of Joy, a story of about Grumble, a very grumpy donkey. The children really enjoyed learning all the songs and dances that help tell the story of the birth of Jesus and Grumble’s realisation that life isn’t so bad after all.

Reception’s nativity was The Angel Who Nearly Missed It All and the children put on an excellent show. The angel chorus really did rehearse for hours to be ready to spread the joyous news and we met a whole host of familiar characters as we followed Late Angel's dash to join in the fun.

Junior 1 performed Noisy Nativity, filled full of songs, actions and plenty of excitement, as the story unfolded the children discovered that Christmas is not just about presents. It was a lively retelling of the story of Jesus’ birth.

Junior 2’s nativity was It’s A Miracle, and it was a story of wow and wonder. Set in heaven and on earth (the playground) it captured all the beauty and wonder of the true Christmas story.

We couldn’t resist sharing a few photos of their wonderful productions.

A huge well done to all!

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Crackley Hall Pupils Are Prize Winners In The ISA Midlands Art Competition

Former Crackley Hall pupil, Cadie Hardwick, was awarded first place in the Independent Schools’ Association’s Midlands Region Art Competition. Her entry, 2.20am, a watercolour on paper, depicting the sinking of the Titanic, which she produced last year when she was in Junior 6, was placed first in the Key Stage 2 Art 2D Individual class.

Fellow former Junior 6 pupil, Neve Anderson, who is now in Year 7 at Princethorpe College, took second place in the Key Stage 2 Art 2D Individual class with her painting on card, a poignant reflection on this year’s events, View From My Bedroom.

Other award winners from the school included Elizabeth Edkins who received a highly commended in the Key Stage 1 2D Art class for her colourful oil pastel, After Georgia O’Keeffe and last year’s Junior 3 for their watercolour on paper, After Henri Rousseau, their work was awarded second place in the Key Stage 2 Art 2D group category.

It was a super set of results for the young artists and we congratulate them all on their success.

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Crackley Pupils Take On The Primary Maths Challenge

The Primary Mathematics Challenge (PMC) is a fun and exciting mathematical challenge aimed at pupils in Years 5 and 6.

The PMC is not designed to be just another test in the school year, instead it encourages enthusiasm, boosts confidence in mathematics and shows how questions can be asked in different ways. The problem solving it requires is hugely important as a means of helping pupils develop their reasoning skills.

The PMC is designed to make pupils think outside the box. The questions asked are not necessarily subjects that have been covered in the curriculum by this time, but the questions can create a great starting point and lead to discussions later in the year. The questions are not heavily reliant on formal mathematical knowledge, but can be solved by logical reasoning.

At Crackley this year we had 18 Year 6 pupils and 14 Year 5 pupils take the Primary Maths Challenge with pupils awarded Gold, Silver and Bronze certificates and the best scores submitted to go through to the next round!

Well done to all pupils who took part!

Junior 2 Take A Virtual Visit To The Zoo

In the Michaelmas Term Junior 2 took part in an informative virtual session with the Education Team at Twycross Zoo.

The class have been studying habitats so to develop their knowledge and understanding, they took a quick trip around the world. They investigated the mountains, the grasslands, the oceans, the deserts, the rainforests and even the arctic. They considered the climate in each habitat and the adaptions that the animals who live there have made to survive successfully.

They had plenty of questions and found out many fascinating facts. Did you know that Orcas talk a different language in different parts of the ocean, or that unlike in a cartoon, a tortoise or turtle can’t jump out of its shell?

They finished their lesson finding out about the importance of recycling and the impact that can have on the rainforest.

Huge thanks to Twycross Zoo for facilitating such a fantastic virtual session for the children, they enjoyed it immensely. 

Enjoy Reading The Pinnacle And Minnacle

The latest editions of the Pinnacle and Minnacle have just been published. They showcase exceptional work by pupils from across the Foundation and are an inspiring read.

They are a testament to the dedication of pupils and staff continuing with their studies in the face of the ongoing pandemic restrictions. Including Oxbridge and Arkwright success, stunning sketchbooks and musical collaborations, Maths and Physics awards and creative writing challenges, the magazines showcase flair and ingenuity across a wide range of subjects and year groups.

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

Why not enjoy our celebration of their studies in The Pinnacle and The Minnacle.

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