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  • Student Wellbeing Committee
  • Visiting Speakers this week
  • School Funding Petition
  • Trips Update – Y13 Berlin trip launch
  • Parking cars in the locality
  • Calendar Update
  • NB: Y10 Parents’ Info. Evening Tues 13th Oct @ 6.30pm (not 7pm as previously advertised - apologies)
  • Travel share opportunity – Forest of Dean area

This morning’s assembly was led by our sixth form Wellbeing Committee, who spoke about their upcoming launch event next Wednesday (in PDC classrooms), when students have been invited to take some time out of their busy schedules to learn more about how they can look after themselves in school, as well as enjoy their surroundings. There will be a strong focus on self-confidence, plus how students can get involved in caring for our wild area and pond, as well as recycling in school. I am delighted with their ideas for engaging students in such positive ways and look forward to working with them over the coming months.

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We were delighted to welcome former Attorney General, the Rt Hon Dominic Grieve QC, to Pate's today, who delivered an enlightening and fascinating talk to our Sixth Formers. A wide range of topics were discussed from the European Convention of Human Rights; Europe; Devolution within the United Kingdom; to the developing situation in the Middle East. We are hugely grateful to Mr Grieve for taking the time to enthral our students and answer their challenging questions. Our extended thanks go out to Rachel Jenkins in Year 13, who was instrumental in organising the event, which was also attended by external students from Dean Close.

We were privileged to host Roman Mysteries & P K Pinkerton author Caroline Lawrence at Pate’s this week. She gave a fascinating account of her books and shared her writing secrets with our lower school students.  The talk was also attended by students from two other schools, and her passion for Classics was truly inspiring! If your child was as inspired as we were and would like to purchase a book, which will contain a signed book plate to mark the visit, the school library is taking orders for a number of her titles – please click here for details and order form.

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School Funding Petition: I am glad to say that there are further campaigns to raise awareness of the unfair allocations of funding to schools and to add pressure to rectify the situation. The f40 represents a group of the lowest funded education authorities in England where government-set cash allocations for primary and secondary pupils are the lowest in the country. The ten best funded areas of England have on average received grants of £6,300 per pupil this year, compared to an average of £4,200 per pupil in the ten most poorly funded areas of England.  As the gap between the ‘haves’ and the ‘have nots’ remains and in some cases continues to widen, f40 is campaigning to change the way the government allocates funding to local authorities and schools.  The f40, with the help of MPs and local authorities, is currently coordinating public petitions in each f40 Parliamentary constituency affected by poor school funding. This is a one-off opportunity for parents to make it clear to the government that unfair school funding will not be tolerated any longer. The petitions will be presented in Parliament later this year.  The links below correspond to areas of Gloucestershire. I urge you to support this campaign for fairer school funding by signing the relevant sheet for where you live and either returning it to School or sending it directly to the address on the petition.

I would also like to add that although I am confident that we will make progress with our continued lobbying and campaigning, I am not confident that anything will happen in time to help our predicted shortfall for the next academic year. I am desperately seeking your support to take this matter into our own hands and tackle it head on! It will take a huge effort and ‘all hands to the pump’ and it needs to happen now, if we are to protect your children’s education. If we wait for politicians to ‘get round to it, it may be too late… too late for your son or daughter. Please support our Making £nds Meet appeal by making a donation here.

Trip Launch: The Berlin Experience (Y13) Cross-Curricular Modern Foreign Languages, History & Politics, Geography and RE Departments - 10th–13th February 2016. We are thrilled to be able to offer another 4-day Berlin immersion experience opportunity to our Year 13 students after a hugely successful and enjoyable trip last year. The Berlin Experience will offer a multitude of benefits for our Year 13 students and will particularly support the A2 German course, A2 Politics and German-related modules in the History A2 course. This trip is also a fantastic opportunity for A2 Geography with links to Globalisation and development along with some key Religious Studies topics alike. Please click here for full details and reply slip, which should be returned with £150 deposit by 19th October.

PLEASE PARK CONSIDERATELY… Please spare a thought for our neighbours who live in the school vicinity. It has been a very busy term so far with a number of large scale events, as well as the daily school traffic, and we have received some complaints from local residents. Please never block driveways or block cars in and always allow enough journey time to park offsite and walk in if necessary. The next event we have scheduled is the Higher Education & Careers Fair on 4th November; we can’t guarantee being able to park on site and I would be grateful if you would keep this advice mind if you are planning to attend. Thank you.

Calendar update:
Y10 Parents’ Information Evening – Tues 13th October @ 6.30pm in the hall – including important new information on changes to entry into the sixth form.  (NB not 7pm as previously advertised)
Y7 parents’ social evening – Thurs 15 October @ 7pm
Jane Overbury, our Art Technician in school, is holding an exhibition of her work in the Gallery beginning with a private viewing on Wednesday 14th October 6-8pm. Parents and students are invited to come along enjoy Jane’s gorgeous watercolours over a glass of wine or juice.
Sound of Music whole cast rehearsal Sun 18th October 10 til 4 (Hall)
German Exchange Parents’ Info. Evening Tues 20th October @ 6.30pm in Gallery
Y11 Drama Practicals Wed 21st October @ 4-5.30pm in PAB. All are welcome.
Half Term – Thursday 22nd October. Students return to school on Monday 2nd November.
Higher Education & Careers Fair Wed 4th November 6-7.30pm in the hall & gym (drop in, no booking required)
Diwali Night fundraising event – Saturday 7th November 5-7pm in the hall. Parents are invited to join us to celebrate Diwali Festival of Lights with an evening of Indian Classical Dance. There will be a bar available and a selection of Indian food on offer. Please click here to buy tickets - family tickets £20, adults £8, students £3 (also available to buy from school reception). We are very grateful to the Gowri Shankar family for so generously organising this authentic cultural experience in aid of our Making £nds Meet fundraising campaign. Thank you for supporting this fundraising event.

Travel-share Opportunity – we have been contacted by a family living in the Forest of Dean area who are keen to establish a lift-share (even if means meeting at A40/A48 roundabout!). Please contact the school office (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) if you would like to find out more details.

I am looking forward to welcoming back old boys and girls for their 50th and 60th anniversary school reunions at Pate’s this weekend. My thanks to Shirley Park for organising all of our school reunions so seamlessly and for working so hard to keep our alumni in touch with what is happening in school and how they can get involved.

Yours sincerely

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Russel Ellicott
Head Master