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  • Pate’s team wins Bank of England Target 2.0 Competition £5,000 prize
  • House Official elections
  • House of Commons Health Questions
  • Pate’s students Homeless Period appeal success
  • British Science Week & Humanities Week – a look back
  • Staff Teaching Vacancy for Head of Personal Development Curriculum (PDC)
  • Calendar & Events:
  •      CCF Update & Annual Inspection – Friday 22nd April 1.30-4.30pm
  •      Sports Tour Dinner – Fri 22nd April @ 7pm
  •      Jazz Night – Tuesday 12th April @ 7pm
  • National Schools Funding Formula consultation – update
  • Please send in your orders for Y7, 11 & 13 group photos
  • Talent Competition winners - Richmond

A number of our staff and students, past and present, paid their respects at Tom Millward’s funeral today. I spoke about Tom’s substantial and hugely positive contribution to school life during his time here and how he touched us all with his cheerful brilliance and love of life. He will be greatly missed.

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Pate’s team wins Bank of England Target 2.0 Final: Six months of study, preparation and hard work paid off for our sixth form team of Sam Cole, Annabel Manley, Jack Sherer-Clarke and Oliver Wallbridge, who won the final of this competition which took place recently at the Bank's headquarters in Threadneedle Street, London. They beat the five finalists (whittled down from the original starting line-up of 271 teams) with their assessment of where to set interest rates to meet the 2% inflation target - in fact our team decided to leave rates unchanged an maintain quantitative easing at £375billion. As part of their prize they were presented with a cheque of £5,000 for the school. Ben Broadbent, Deputy Governor for Monetary Policy, who chaired the judging panel, said: "I cannot say too strongly how impressed we were with their impressive thinking”.  Please click here to see the full article on the Bank of England website. My thanks to Katherine Fey for all her dedication and expertise in supporting the students – this is a stunning achievement. Congratulations all round!

Congratulations to our newly elected House Officials who, having completed applications, interviews and hustings, began their terms of office this week. Please follow this link for full details. I wish them all the very best of luck and I am sure they will have a great time in their roles! Places are limited and, as always, there are other very talented and deserving students who were not elected, but I hope they will be undaunted and continue to be very involved with their Houses, as well as join in with the various committee roles available.  My thanks to Heads of House for doing the impossible job of choosing between them!

We were very excited when Steph Cater (Y12) had her question tabled by Alex Chalk MP at House of Commons Health Questions on Tuesday. Steph did some research on the subject of in-patient mental health services in this country and had a meeting about her findings with Alex Chalk, resulting in his question to the House: “Steph Cater, a 17 year old at Pate’s Grammar School in my constituency, is concerned that mental health in-patient services are distributed unevenly, meaning that those needing treatment can end up being cared for hundreds of miles away from their families. What more can be done to ensure that those in crisis are treated closer to home?” Well done to Steph on this historic moment – perhaps the first of many…

In collaboration with Pate's Feminist Society, a group of students (Amelia Yates, David Ion, Suzie Beckley, Alex Greenwood, Alice Miller, Xena White and Chris Wang) have set up a collection box at school for female sanitary products. They were inspired by an organisation called 'The Homeless Period' which fights against the fact that homeless shelters are given an allowance every year to buy items like condoms but nothing for sanitary products, meaning thousands of homeless women have to battle through their period without any form of protection. This term they managed to collect a total of 153 sanitary items which they will be donating to Cheltenham Open Door Charity. They are all hoping that the recent scrapping of the 'tampon tax', with the acknowledgement that sanitary products are not 'luxury items', will make it easier for homeless women to purchase sanitary protection. I am proud that our students have taken this initiative and are thinking of practical ways to help with local issues. Our thanks to everyone who has supported the project.

British Science Week came to an exciting end last week with DEMO day on Thursday and a Quiz on Friday. During Thursday lunchtime Y13 students demonstrated a range of experiments including the Fire Tornado, Space-time model and Bicycle Gyroscope. During Friday lunchtime teams of Y7 & 8 pupils tested their scientific knowledge in a Quiz, cleverly designed and resourced by Becky Taylor (Y13) - congratulations to the winners, Team Catalyst from 8B (28/30) and runners-up, Team Limpet from 8R (25/30).

Humanities Week of Transformation competition winners: I am delighted to announce the joint winners of the Fair Trade Competition video: 7B - Vyara Ivanova, Sophia Koschalka, Corli More and Alice Williams; and 13G1 led by Adam Connole, who all received a hamper of Easter Fair Trade goodies. The winning videos are playing on TV screen around school. Congratulations also to Caitlin Tilley (7G) for designing the poster to promote the events during Humanities Week. Caitlin has won a Fair Trade Easter egg!  Well done also to all the students involved in the Geographical Association's Worldwise Quiz! This involved 6 local schools and was held at Pate’s. In a very close contest Cheltenham Ladies College were the winners, with Pate's coming second. Well done to the Pate’s team: Jasmine Cash, Rumbi Dhewa, Oscar Godden, Louis Hinds, Ragesh Manoharan, Karam Nijjar, Harry Priddle, Alex Woodsford and Catherine Yuen, who were excellent competitors and hosts. We look forward to competing again next year.

Staff Vacancy – we have a full-time teaching vacancy for a Head of our Personal Development Curriculum (PDC). We are looking to appoint an enthusiastic and dedicated teacher with experience of working in PDC to take forward this highly successful department from September 2016. Key responsibilities will include co-ordinating PDC, as well as our TPM (Tuesday afternoon) enrichment programme; teaching PDC; and some KS4 careers guidance. Please follow this link to download full details and application form, which should be returned with a covering letter before the closing date – Friday 15th April 2016.

Calendar & Events:
Students return to school – Mon 11 April
Jazz Night – Tues 12 April @ 7pm – Tickets cost £6 (adults) £4 (students) – available on the door.
CCF Update: families of our cadets, as well as Y8 prospective cadets, are warmly invited to attend the CCF annual inspection on Friday 22 April 2016 from 1:30pm to 4:30 pm. Come along to watch their display and passing out ceremony of our senior cadets and join us afterwards for refreshments in the Gallery.  Please follow this link to see the latest CCF newsletter.
Rugby Tour dinner and after dinner speaker Terry Fanolua on Fri 22nd April @ 7pm - PE staff have been lucky enough to secure former Gloucester and Samoan international player, Terry Fanolua as the after-dinner speaker for the Rugby Tour dinner on Fri 22nd April @ 7pm in the refectory. Join us for a curry supper with bar and a thoroughly enjoyable evening’s entertainment – tickets cost £15, The proceeds of the dinner will go primarily towards the tour costs (not to the Goedgedacht Trust as stated in last week’s message – apologies). Please click here for a booking form.

We are delighted that the sports tour students raised £1500 during last week’s mufti day – all of which will go directly to the Goedgedacht Trust in South Africa (providing vital health education to local children there).

National Schools Funding Formula – Important Consultation: In response to last week’s message a number of parents have requested more detailed guidance on how to respond to the consultation. Whilst it is not my intention to instruct parents on how to respond, it might be helpful for you to see the responses agreed by, and in the best interests of, Grammar school Heads groups – please follow this link for details. The fact is that Gloucestershire is a poorly funded county and Grammar schools in particular are badly affected. It is critical that we lobby hard to try and bring about much needed change. If you are able to spare a few minutes please follow this link to the online consultation. Thank you.

Just a reminder to send in your orders for the Year 7 & 11 class group photos and the Year 11 & 13 whole year photos.

The last day of term ended with the final House competition of the year, the House Talent Show - congratulations to the winners Richmond!  It was a cheerful and often surprsing spectacular featuring everything from kazoo playing to roller-skating - a very fitting finale for the outgoing House Officials.  The overall winners of the House cup 2015-16 will be announced after Easter... watch this space!  In the meantime, I wish everyone a happy and peaceful Easter break.

Yours sincerely

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Russel Ellicott
Head Master