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  • This week at Pate’s
  • Pate’s successful bid for funding to replace boilers
  • Target 2.0 economics competition Final
  • Second-hand uniform request
  • Ex-Pate’s student Holly Hill to row in women's Boat Race
  • Cheltenham Schools’ Art Open exhibition opens at The Wilson Gallery

It has been an exciting end of term, culminating in this morning’s inaugural House Dance competition - introduced by popular demand (thanks to the School Council). Students from Y7-13 all took part in producing a hugely entertaining show, performed with a typical Pate’s pastiche of talent, culture and hilarious spoof. Congratulations to the winners York! Performing Arts at Pate’s continues to thrive and I was delighted this week that the GCSE Drama practicals were very highly praised by the moderator, with some very high marks already in the bag for everyone involved! My thanks and congratulations to Mr Derbyshire and the casts.

I was sorry I couldn’t be at the Foundation Concert last night, as I had to be at a Head Teachers’ conference in Nottingham. By all accounts it was a superb evening of music from both the Richard Pate School and Pate’s. First Orchestra, buoyed by a two hour workshop in the afternoon with the associate conductor and players from the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, produced a sparkling performance with incredible energy. Big Band gave an excellent preview of material for their Jazz Festival set in April, and a variety of vocal performances brought back memories of the outstanding choral concert last week. My thanks to Ellie Lane and her Music Department for all her hard work rehearsing, driving vanloads of instruments to the Pump Room and conducting a superb evening’s entertainment!

I must also thank Year 7 who conducted guided tours of the school for our open morning on Wednesday. I have received some lovely feedback from our visitors, commenting in particular on how welcoming and pleasant the students were. Also this week we were delighted to welcome Paul Gilbert, Labour Party candidate for Cheltenham into Pate's on Monday. He ran a very inspiring session with our 6th form politics students and answered a range of questions, from voting reform, socialism and current Labour policy to multiculturalism. We are extremely grateful to him for taking the time to come to talk to our students.

I was delighted to receive news that we were successful with a bid we made recently to the Education Funding Agency to replace our existing boilers. These boilers are more than 20 years old and have significantly exceeded their expected life span. Spare parts are now obsolete and the costs of keeping them serviceable are ever increasing. A grant of £170k will enable us to replace all of our boilers and pumps and install a more ‘intelligent’ control system. This will save us considerable future expense and generate energy savings with more efficient boilers. I’m sure you will have now read how concerned we are at the level of our future funding (more in the news this week) and whilst this grant doesn’t directly alleviate our immediate revenue pressures, it is a very welcome at least in helping mitigate the risks of an unwelcome, large bill to repair and or replace our heating system. I would like to stress that this is money that cannot be used for anything else. It is the exact amount required to complete a fully costed project.

The Pate's Target 2.0 team had a fantastic time at the finals in London last week. Reaching the final 6 teams from a field of 288 other schools was an incredible achievement. They spent two days in London as guests of the Bank of England. They were shown the parts of the Bank that few ever get to visit, such as the Monetary Policy Committee's meeting room and the gold vaults. They got to lift gold bars and touch £10m in freshly printed notes. They stayed at a hotel in the City and saw Billy Elliot the musical. However it was no leisure trip; the students had to present their case for monetary policy to three members of the Monetary Policy Committee and the Economics Editor at the Times Newspaper, who subjected them to rigorous questioning, in the very room that the Monetary Policy present their findings to the press. The extremely impressive team from the Perse School, Cambridge, ultimately won the competition but our team were superb. They showed incredibly accomplished economic understanding in very uncertain economic times and the judges congratulated them on their presentation skills, in particular.

The PA are looking for any Pate’s uniform that isn't worn any more, or doesn't fit, for their second-hand uniform sales. If you are doing a sort out over the Easter break, please bring any unwanted uniform items into reception after the holidays; an excellent way to recycle the clothes and provide the school with much needed, extra funds. Excluding council tax and VAT, do you pay tax? If so, by simply completing a gift aid form (available here) when handing your items in, you can boost the value of your donated uniform items by 25p on every £1 of sales. We will reclaim the appropriate amount from HMRC at no extra cost to you. Any questions please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

We heard this week that ex Pate’s student Holly Hill has been selected to row for Cambridge in the women’s boat race on April 11. It’s the first time the men’s and women’s races have been run on the same day on the same stretch of water, so quite a landmark in the event’s history. Good luck Holly!

Upcoming Events next term:

Patesian Players performance of ‘Arms & The Man’ – at the Cheltenham Playhouse 9-11th April @ 7.45pm. Please see their website (here) for full details and tickets. (Patesian Players is a theatre group made up largely of ex-Pate’s students, directed by Rory O’Sullivan, previous Head of Drama at Pate’s.)

Sports Tour Dinner (curry night) Friday 17th April @ 7pm in aid of the sports tour fund and also Baphumelele Children’s Home near Cape Town. Tickets cost £15 each, for a thoroughly enjoyable evening, including entertainment and prize draw. Please click here to download a booking form.

Please do try to visit The Wilson Art Gallery in Cheltenham over Easter to see the Cheltenham Schools’ Art Open exhibition which opens on Saturday 4th April (at 10:30 until 5:30). Congratulations to the following Pate’s students who have been selected to show their work: Matthew Basnett, Kate Evans, Bello Maxwell, Annabell Morgan, Nitya Rayhava, Jasmine Shea, Sydney Valentine and Ellie Williams.


It was an exciting start to the Easter holidays for the students who set off on the ski trip and the Duke of Edinburgh Gold expedition today, and I would like to wish all Pate’s families a relaxing and enjoyable Easter break. We return to school on Monday 13th April.

Yours sincerely

REL Signature

Russel Ellicott
Head Master 

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