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We are proud of the examination success achieved by Pate’s students who regularly secure amongst the best results in the country. We make the process of learning as stimulating, challenging and exciting as possible both in and outside the classroom. We harness the best of 21st century teaching to sustain our traditions of academic rigour and achievement. Our students gain outstanding examination results, but more importantly they become exceptional and passionate learners. We embrace new technologies, not only to support teaching and learning but because media and technological fluency are key attributes of success as today’s children grow into society’s leaders of the future. Our students make guided choices about their curriculum and we tailor the curriculum to meet their needs. As an Academy we have the freedom to decide the best qualifications for our very able students and we will keep our curriculum model under review to ensure our students benefit from the best opportunities available whilst preserving a commitment to the longstanding academic values of a Grammar School.

Years 7, 8 and 9

Students joining us in Year 7 study Art, Computing, Design and Technology, Drama, English, French, Geography, German, History, Mathematics, Music, Personal Development, Physical Education and Games, Religious Education and Science. As they progress through their first three years, they also have the opportunity to start learning other languages (Spanish, Latin, Mandarin.) On Tuesday afternoons we further enrich our curriculum with a wide range of additional learning activities from cookery and climbing to yoga and bushcraft! Year 9 is a transition year when in most subjects students meet some GCSE skills and content. During Year 9 our information, advice and guidance program helps students in deciding which subjects they will choose to study right through to GCSE.

Years 10 and 11

Students take all their external GCSE qualifications at the end of Year 11. All students have a core diet of English Literature, English Language, Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Physics. They can then choose four options subjects from the list below on top of the non-examined subjects of PDC (Personal Development Curriculum), Physical Education and Games. Tuesday afternoons and termly Flexible Learning Days provide extra opportunities for enrichment activities and careers advice.



Mandarin Chinese

Business Studies





Physical Education

Design and Technology


Religious Education




Our student-centred system means we give free choice, under guidance of the pastoral and academic teams, as to which GCSEs a student would like to follow. We then build the curriculum around them. We feel this is the best approach to meet the needs of each individual.

Years 12 and 13

The Sixth Form years offer exceptional opportunities for academic progress and self-development. Our curriculum meets all aspects of the Study Programmes for 16-19 year olds. Our young adults epitomise all that is best about our school. Patesians in the Sixth Form have significant opportunity for leadership and service through volunteering, being elected or being appointed to positions of responsibility such as House officials or participants in our Charity Challenge. They are role models, inspire others and promote the school and our values to so many audiences. All Sixth Form students find work experience which has recently included shadowing MPs in Parliament, placements in Europe and working in a wide range of professions such as the Law, Medicine and Accountancy. Guidance on options, careers and university choices begins in the junior years and is of the highest quality. We have a dedicated experienced and well qualified Careers and Higher Education staff team. Almost all students choose to go on to university and over thirty students obtain places at Oxford or Cambridge in a typical year.

Our students are also well prepared for life when they get to university and, on their return to Pate’s for reunions, comment that they were better placed to tackle the challenges of university-style learning than their peers from other schools.  Even after our students leave us, our alumni programme enables us to continue to offer support and benefit. We offer a lifetime commitment to our students.

The majority of our students begin year 12 on four advanced level courses, usually moving onto three in year 13.

Our aim is that they become mature, confident young adults with a secure framework of moral reference, outstanding personal characteristics, enthusiastic and ready for the challenges and opportunities of adult life.