Welcome to Crackley Hall and Little Crackers Nursery's Admissions e-newsletter.  Including updates and information, it gives you a wonderful feel for school and nursery life, tells you about forthcoming events which are open to prospective pupils and their families and has plenty of helpful advice about the admissions process, particularly for those who are looking at entry in September 2021.

The newsletter is issued twice a year to coincide with key admissions periods, the next edition will be published in Autumn 2021.

If you have any questions, feedback or comments please feel free to email the team at admissions@crackleyhall.co.uk.



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 admissions@crackleyhall.co.uk 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 admissions@crackleyhall.co.uk 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: https://vimeo.com/488505370

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 staynplay@littlecrackers.co.uk 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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Crackley Hall and Little Crackers Open Events

Virtual Open Morning

Saturday 6 March 2021 - 10.30am to 11.30am 

On Saturday 6 March 2021 Crackley Hall will be holding a Virtual Open Morning to give prospective families an insight into school life at Crackley Hall and Little Crackers and the firm foundations the school and nursery give children for their future learning.

From September 2021 the school will be having two Reception classes after seeing an increase in demand. There is also availability for places in Year 3 next year and some places available in other years. The final deadline for applications is Friday 21 May 2021.

The nursery has recently undergone a refurbishment and places are currently available in our Badgers (Pre-school), Hedgehogs (3s) and Dormice (2s) age groups.

For more information and to register for the virtual open event please contact Admissions Secretary, Mrs Jenny Vaughan on 01926  514410 or email on admissions@crackleyhall.co.uk.

Open Evening - To be confirmed

Tuesday 11 May 2021 - 5.00pm to 7.30pm

We are very much hoping that this will be an in person event and that prospective families will be able to look around the school and nursery and meet staff and pupils.

If you have any questions or need further information then please do contact our friendly Admissions Secretary, Mrs Jenny Vaughan on 01926 514410 or email on admissions@crackleyhall.co.uk. More information is also available on the school website www.crackleyhall.co.uk/admissions-crackley

Foundation Senior School Open Event

Wednesday 9 June 2021 - 6.30pm to 8.30pm 

Princethorpe College's Summer Open Evening will take place on Wednesday 9 June from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.

This will be a carefully managed opportunity for prospective pupils and their families to visit the College and for the Headmaster to address visitors. The evening will operate on an appointment only basis.

Light refreshments will be available.

Please do spread the word amongst friends and family, as all are welcome at the Open Event.  

For further information on admissions to Princethorpe College please contact the Registrar on 01926 634201/262/297 or email the team at admissions@princethorpe.co.uk

The senior school entrance examinations for Princethorpe College, for entry in September 2022, will take place this year on Saturday 6 November 2021 from 9.30am to 3.30pm.



Old Princethorpians' Events Calendar 2020-21

The OPs' events calendar offers plenty of opportunities for past pupils, former parents, staff and friends of the Foundation schools (and legacy schools) to catch up.

This year some events are being run virtually, but we hope the popular Pub Meet and Summer Reunion will be able to go ahead.

All alumni, former staff and parents of Princethorpe College, St Bede's, St Mary's Priory, St Joseph's School, Crackley Hall, Abbotsford and Crescent School are welcome to participate in any or all of the events.

Click here to download the calendar or visit Princethorpe Connect to sign up to events and join our online alumni community.


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 on admissions@crackleyhall.co.uk. To request a prospectus pack please click here.

To download our current Crackley Information Booklet click here.

Reception 2021

External applicants interested in a place in Reception need to register as soon as possible.  Once we have received your completed Registration Form and accompanying fee of £50 (non-returnable), you will be invited to bring your child in for a taster session in pre-school. Subject to availability and a satisfactory taster session, offer letters to external candidates will be sent out first class on Friday 5 March 2021 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 26 April 2021.

Current Reception to Junior 6

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

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 would normally be invited for a Taster Day. Unfortunately we are unable to host Taster Days at the moment due to the current government restrictions. Instead, your child will be invited to an informal chat with Mr Duigan at a mutually convenient day and time.

We will also ask for your child’s most recent school report to support your application and will seek a reference from your child’s current school. Following receipt of this information, confirmation of a place being offered would be made in writing. 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 2021 is Friday 21 May 2021. All incoming pupils need to have completed the admissions process by Friday 11 June 2021 to enable the applicant to attend our planned 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.

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 admissions@crackleyhall.co.uk or telephone her direct line on 01926 514410.

Princethorpe Admissions Cycle For September 2022 Begins

The Foundation's senior school Princethorpe College is now accepting registrations for September 2022 entry.

The Entrance Exams for Year 7 to 10 entry will take place on Saturday 6 November 2021 and Princethorpe College is hoping to welcome prospective pupils and their parents to an Open Evening on Wednesday 9 June from 6.30pm to 8.30pm. This will be a carefully managed opportunity for prospective pupils and their families to vist the College and for the Headmaster to address visitors. The evening will operate on a appointment only basis.

If you have any questions about the College's admissions process or are interested in coming to visit the school, please contact the Registrars on 01926 634201 or 01926 634262 or by email at admissions@princethorpe.co.uk.



Frequently Asked Questions – Crackley Hall

We understand that prospective parents may have many questions that they would like to ask ahead of applying for a place for their child at Crackley Hall.  We have included those most frequently asked, but should you have a query that isn’t covered here, please call Jenny Vaughan (pictured), our Admissions Secretary, on 01926 514410.

Q: Will my child need to take an entrance exam for Crackley Hall?

A: Whilst we do not have a formal entrance examination for Crackley, we wish to ensure that every child will fit into school life and engage with our stimulating and varied range of activities and our ethos.  We ask prospective parents to meet with Mr Duigan, the Headmaster, and normally ask for children to join us on a taster day which can be arranged for a mutually convenient date. During the course of a taster day, we ask children in Years 2 and above to take papers in English and Maths although we will look at the taster day as a whole when offering a place. 

Q: Are there set joining points within the school year?

A: No, where places exist, we take children throughout the school year according to the preference of parents.

Q: What is the average class size at Crackley Hall?

A: The average class size is 18 pupils. Where class sizes exceed this we provide additional teaching support to ensure the same high standards and level of personal attention for each child. Our teacher to pupil ratio is 1:11 and our adult to child ratio is 1:8.

Q: Do you have to be Catholic to join Crackley Hall?

A: No. We welcome children from all faiths and cultural backgrounds. The Catholic ethos of the Princethorpe Foundation underpins the school and is central to its character as a caring and friendly environment where children are encouraged to be the best that they can be. The Crackley community includes Catholic children whose families wish their children to be educated within a Catholic setting but also other Christian denominations and children of other faiths or no faith.

Q: What makes Crackley Hall special?

A:  We talk a lot about the ethos of the Princethorpe Foundation and it is not just talk; it really is the basis of all that we do at Crackley Hall and parents often comment on the friendly atmosphere when they visit. We encourage the children to be kind to each other and to show respect for their peers and teachers, which in turn creates an environment where they are free to try their best and to develop their talents. The school has grown in recent years, but the family feel where each child is known as an individual remains. This combines with the highest standards of teaching and tuition from specialist teachers in Music, Drama, French, Sports, RE and Mandarin. 

Q: My child is a high achiever; how will Crackley benefit him/her? 

A: Children who demonstrate a high standard academically will be supported to further develop their abilities. A structured Able, Gifted and Talented programme operates through the school, ensuring that we meet the needs of children not just academically but also in other areas such as sports and performing arts. Sometimes parents worry that because their child is quiet or falls in the middle ground, they will be overlooked – this is not the case at Crackley as we strive to develop the potential of all children and to develop their talents.

With the support of our senior school, Princethorpe College, we have introduced the Junior da Vinci Programme to stretch children and to engender the idea that any child can be a gifted or talented student if they work hard. The programme encourages children to develop a growth mind-set and to take an active part in their own learning.

Q: My child may need additional support – what can Crackley Hall offer?

A: Our learning support team, which includes a Speech and Language therapist, works with children providing extra help at whatever level they need from 1:1 support to inclusion in small groups to hone their skills in specific areas, such as communication and language, numeracy and co-ordination.  

We are quick to recognise children who may need extra support and we try to 'catch' them before they begin to struggle. This means that class teachers refer children to our Learning Support Co-ordinator as soon as they are concerned. In this way we try not to miss anyone and to keep all children’s self-esteem high. We welcome input from parents and are very happy to discuss any concerns they may have.

When a child needs support that is additional to, or different from that provided for other children of their age, then we follow the Special Needs Code of Practice fully. This includes the process of applying for an Education, Health and Care Plan where required, so that parents are fully involved and children get the support they need.

Support for a child may entail 1:1 teaching for which there is a termly charge. Children who require this teaching will receive a structured, cumulative, multi-sensory learning programme tailored to their individual needs.

Should your child need any additional learning support, please indicate this on the registration form.  He/she will then spend some time with our SENCo during the taster day.

Q: What extra-curricular clubs do you offer?

A: We offer over 47 different lunch-time and after school clubs that cater for all interests – see the section on clubs, sport and music within this update. 

Q: I am a working parent – do you offer wrap around care and holiday provision?

A:  We offer free ‘early bird’ supervision from 7.45am and paid-for after-care until 6.00pm.  We run a holiday club subject to demand, in all school holidays apart from the Christmas week.

Q: If I have two or more children joining, will I get a discount?

A: Yes, families with more than one child at either Princethorpe College or Crackley Hall School receive a discount of 5% for a second or third child and 10% for a fourth or subsequent child. The discount does not apply to Little Crackers, although children in our Nursery may qualify for Nursery Education Funding.

Q: Do you accept childcare vouchers?

A: Yes, we take vouchers from most of the major schemes, which may be used against after-school care or holiday club.

Q: Do you operate a bus service to Crackley?

We do not currently operate a bus service, however should you accept a place we are happy to pass your details on to current parents in your post-code so that you can explore lift-share opportunities.

Q: When do I need to apply for a place in September?

A: We always advise the sooner, the better as classes fill up.  Children need to be registered by Friday 21 May 2021 in order for their application to be progressed for our Induction Morning in June. Our prospectus pack includes a registration form and once you return it to us with the registration fee, we can start the admissions process.

Q: If I apply, when will I hear about a place?

A: Once you have completed and returned a registration form, we will contact you to arrange for you and your child to meet Mr Duigan.  We will also ask for a copy of your child's latest report and request a reference from your child’s current school, when we have this information we will advise whether we will offer a place.  

Q: Will joining Crackley Hall give my child priority for joining Princethorpe?

A:  Crackley children do not automatically gain entry to Princethorpe and whilst in Year 6 take the Princethorpe examination paper.  However, they are well prepared for the examination and have a high success rate as a result.

Uniform And Dress Code

Uniform is compulsory for Crackley Hall pupils and helps to create a sense of shared identity, community spirit and a pride in oneself and in the school.

Uniform can be purchased from the School Shop located at Princethorpe College.

Normally the Uniform Shop is open from 3.30pm to 4.30pm Monday to Friday during term time. Additionally during the summer holidays the shop is open on selected dates on an appointment only basis.

A uniform list is available in the Crackley Hall Information Booklet that can be found on the Admissions page of the school's website here.

Music, Drama, Sport And Extra-Curricular Clubs At Crackley Hall

Music and Drama

Music is an integral part of life at Crackley Hall and at Little Crackers Nursery where the children benefit from a music and movement class each week.

Mrs Olden is our specialist music teacher and every class has one hour of music a week.  In Junior 1, every child learns to play the recorder and to read music and to play with others. 

In addition, children are encouraged to take part in private lessons with our experienced peripatetic teachers. 

We have a thriving choral group, chamber choir and orchestra and there are many opportunities to sing and play at school and at external events such as Young Voices in which the school has participated for many years.

Drama is also a core part of life at Crackley Hall and children develop their skills in choral speaking, improvisation, public speaking and performance.  From the annual LAMDA Communication and Drama Exams to local drama festivals and in-house performances, there are many opportunities for children to develop their confidence and poise through drama. Some of our children have even taken part in professional productions at the RSC and in the West End.

Our end of year music and drama production is always unmissable and gives the children the opportunity to participate in a show of professional quality in a real theatre.


Our success in competitive sports is testament to the importance of physical education and the promotion of an active lifestyle at Crackley Hall. 

Whether children want to take part in an individual pursuit such as athletics or swimming or a team game such as netball or rugby, they will be encouraged by our enthusiastic and committed staff led by Mrs Vaughan, Head of Sport, to find an activity in which they can develop their skills and confidence. 

Our curriculum and programme of clubs take in a wide range of activities including dance and gymnastics.  We are lucky to have spacious playing fields and we also use the sports facilities at Princethorpe College and The University of Warwick.


Our extra-curricular programme is extremely popular at Crackley Hall and we encourage children to find something that they will enjoy. From sports to singing to creative arts, with 47 different clubs, there is something for every taste.

Our current clubs include rugby, netball, climbing, chamber choir, cookery, yoga and midfulness, lego, chess, ballet, karate, Irish dancing, Mad Science, football, silk painting and orchestra and homework club. Some of these clubs are run by teachers and are free of charge whilst some are from external providers.

Foundation Term Dates 2021-22

For those who like to plan ahead the Foundation Term Dates are:


Michaelmas Term 2021  
Monday 6 September to Tuesday 14 December 
Half Term

Saturday 16 October to Sunday 31 October  
Lent Term 2022  
Wednesday 5 January to Tuesday 5 April 
Half Term

Saturday 19 February to Sunday 27 February 

Trinity Term 2022 
Monday 25 April 2022 to Wednesday 6 July
Half Term

Saturday 28 May to Sunday 5 June 2022 


Nursery Admissions

Admission To Little Crackers Nursery

We take children from age two through to pre-school as space allows. The nursery day currently runs from 7.45am to 6.00pm, 51 weeks a year, to cater for the needs of working parents.

Places are available on a term-time only basis or all year round.  Flexible morning and afternoon sessions are available and government nursery and employer childcare vouchers are accepted.

We have dedicated nursery staff for our Dormice (two-year-olds), Hedgehogs (three-year-olds) and Badgers (four-year-olds).  Each group has its own leader and dedicated staff so they and the children get to know each other well.

A minimum of two sessions a week is recommended for two-year olds and four sessions for over three-year olds.

It is a good idea to register your child well in advance as places get booked up early, particularly for the Dormice.

If you are interested in your child attending Little Crackers we would recommend that you contact Mrs Jenny Vaughan, our Admissions Secretary, who will make an appointment for you and your child to meet with Mrs Clare Bird, the Nursery Manager to discuss availability.

To secure a place, simply complete a Registration Form with your required sessions and preferred start date and return this with the accompanying fee of £50 to the Admissions Secretary. You will then receive confirmation in writing that we can offer a nursery place with an acceptance form for you to sign. If the sessions you require are not available your fee will be returned.

Prior to starting, you and your child can attend a number of short settling in sessions, typically two or three, where you will meet your child’s key worker. A start date, from which point sessions are billable, will be agreed with Nursery staff at the settling-in sessions.

Little Crackers Availability

If you are interested in a place at Little Crackers for your son or daughter we advise you to enquire in good time as places are limited and tend to get booked up early.

We currently have some availability across all age groups on both a term-time only basis and all year round. 

For further details on the places available, please contact Jenny Vaughan, Admissions Secretary on 01926 514410 or email admissions@crackleyhall.co.uk.

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