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Head Master's Easter Message 2015

 HEADLINES:

  • 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.

 SchoolsArt

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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Head Master's Message w/c 23rd March 2015

 HEADLINES:

  • Funding
  • This week @ Pate’s
  • Newly elected House Officials
  • Charity Committee have raised c£12,200 this year
  • Outstanding Sports News
  • Events Update
  • Trips Update
  • Staff Vacancies – Cover Supervisors
  • Achievements
  • Valuables in school

As I have mentioned previously, Pate’s along with many other schools is facing significant financial pressures. It was with a small element of relief that I read the BBC news article this week (here) regarding poorly funded schools, even if only that these facts are starting to hit the news. Pate’s is a poorly funded school and next term you will receive much more about the situation we are in and what we are doing about it.  In the meantime I cannot hope to thank the Parents' Association enough for the part they play in helping us. But I would like to try…… particularly after a record breaking Spring Fair. A huge thank you to the Parents’ Association committee, their army of volunteers and students who worked so hard on Saturday to raise an incredible £6,200. Without everyone buying raffle tickets, donating mountains of cakes, chocolate and other prizes, plus volunteering their time to help, it wouldn’t happen. Thank you especially to the Year 7 and 8 parents for supporting their children who ran a wonderful array of stalls with innovative games and LOTS of cake! The money will go towards vital school funds and every penny raised helps in our battle to deal with the financial shortfall we are facing. We look forward to giving news of how Spring Fair funds are helping us, meanwhile I would also like to pass on thanks from the Art department, Chemistry department and Tech Crew as a result of recent donations from the Parents’ Association enabling the purchase of a UV lightbox, a ‘real’ periodic table and 2 spotlights. Our Parents' Association is one to be truly proud of; if you have any ideas or suggestions for fundraising events or want to join the list of hugely valued volunteers please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Still on a similar theme, I would also like to thank all those who are supporting the Annual Fund. We are delighted at the success of this and will be providing an update after Easter, linking it to the issues raised above. If you are not already supporting it, can I urge you to do so? It is so important to us. A donation form can be downloaded here, or online donations can be made via Virgin Money Giving | Pate's Grammar School, using credit or debit card or PayPal. If you would like further information on this or have any queries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 23rd March 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 16th March 2015

HEADLINES:

  • Spring Fair tomorrow 10:30-12:30
  • Minibus drivers needed
  • Upcoming Events
  • Trips Update
  • Scottish Universities talk
  • Economics & Business Finalists (again!)
  • Sports success in Judo and Girls Football
  • British Sports Journalism Awards

School is a hive of activity today with parents setting up their café, stalls and activities for tomorrow’s Spring Fair, which will take place in the hall, the gym and the Art Gallery. Thank you to everyone who has sent in donations and raffle ticket money. I look forward to seeing many of you at the fair tomorrow between 10:30 and 12:30.

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 16th March 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 9th March 2015

Headlines:

  • ‘Manners Fortnight’
  • Outstanding Pate’s musicians (past & present)
  • Parents’ Association
  • Upcoming Events
  • Trips Update
  • Message from Pate’s student Amnesty group
  • Young Engineering Talent – Paige Hulatt (Y13)

Today our ‘Manners Fortnight’ drew to a close; students in Year 7&8 were awarded points by staff over the fortnight for general pleasantness, politeness and thoughtfulness. The overall winning House was Gloucester, though the scores were very close! It has been good to see the students (and staff) giving more thought to good manners and consideration of others. Having raised awareness of the all-round benefits of being more polite, thoughtful and kind to each other, I hope students will continue the momentum and also remember to apply it all areas of their lives, including how they behave on the school bus and wherever else they might be. The power of a smile cannot be underestimated!

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 9th March 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 2nd March 2015

 

Headlines:

  • Romance Academy today for Y9-13
  • Spring Fair Sat 14th March 10:30-12:30
  • Second hand school uniform and kit
  • Upcoming Concerts at Pate’s
  • Performing Arts Update
  • Trips Update
  • CCF Update
  • Outstanding achievements – past and present Pate’s students

It has been a busy first week back and I would like to start by congratulating the sixth form on having completed their mock exams this week! Today we were visited by Romance Academy, who ran interactive sessions for students in Years 9-13, looking at how young people today can best build and sustain healthy relationships. Romance Academy is a revolutionary project that tackles the tough issues around teenagers and relationships and it was good to see the students proactively engaging in discussions around some difficult issues. Please do ask your children all about it – we strongly encourage parents to take an active interest and keep the dialogue going long term. For further information please visit the Romance Academy website (here). Also today Y8 have really enjoyed a science show by Tomorrow’s Engineers, involving them in hands-on engineering experiments. We look forward to welcoming them back again for more hands on science fun during British Science week (commencing 16th March).

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 2nd March 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 16th February 2015

HEADLINES:

  • Pate's gifted linguists speak at European Parliament in Strasbourg
  • Rowan Williams & Spirituality week
  • Swimming Gala results
  • Mozart Requiem 18th March – rehearsals for parents and staff
  • Economics & Business - competition successes!
  • Trips Update
  • Easter Drama Workshops
  • ‘Hamlet’ - Review, plus photographs for sale
  • And finally…

I have had the privilege of spending the last couple of days in Strasbourg with our Euroscola Competition winners on their trip to European Parliament in Strasbourg for the exciting Euroscola parliamentary event, where they presented an introduction to Pate's in an official EU language other than English and spent the day discussing European Integration in working parties and committees with young people from a multitude of other European countries. Please follow this link to see their presentation, which was streamed live around the school today.  Well done to Emma Charlesworth, Joseph Crossley, Annabelle Dufour, Tara Goatley, Pietro Gribaudi, Isabel Ion, Natasha Ion, Katie Lawrence, George Penny, Natasha Steels and Rosie Towle.

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 16th February 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 9th February 2015

HEADLINES:

  • Sixth Form Play reviews & tickets
  • Student safety awareness
  • Orchestral Concert – Tuesday 10th February @ 7pm
  • Valentine’s Mufti day - Friday 13th February
  • Lost Property on display Tues 10th – Thurs 12th February

I had the privilege of watching the first night of ‘Hamlet’ performed by Pate’s sixth formers last night. Every member of the audience was enthralled as the play in three parts, with three casts, was performed with such pace and intensity, culminating in some truly action-packed and unforgettable scenes. There is still chance to buy a ticket for Friday or Saturday night, via the school website (here) – you will not be disappointed!

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 9th February 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 2nd February 2015

 HEADLINES:

  • Pate’s in the League Tables
  • ‘Hamlet’ (Sixth Form Play) - Thurs-Sat 5th-7th February @ 7pm
  • Concerts at Pate’s
  • Calendar / Trips Update
  • Free tickets for Cheltenham Town FC vs Tranmere Rovers Sat 28th Feburary

The League Tables were published this week, and for the first time in three years our GCSE results have been included. Although it was bizarrely comforting to be right at the bottom of the pile at the time when we studied the (non-league tabled) iGCSE, it is also nice to be nationally recognised for what we are doing here at Pate’s. Please read the BBC News article (here), which looks at the ‘best 8 points scores’ across all schools in the country. We are delighted with our placing, and also that we are the third best state school in the post-16 tables. 

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 2nd February 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 26th January 2015

Headlines:

  • Sixth Form Open Evening – Tues 27th January (early finish at 2pm)
  • Sixth Form Play, ‘Hamlet’ - Thurs-Sat 5th-7th February @ 7pm
  • Staff Vacancies
  • Trips Update
  • Second Hand Uniform and Kit
  • Politics debate – Sixth Form visit to Cheltenham Ladies College

I am very much looking forward to our Sixth Form Open Evening on Tuesday 27th January. Mrs Hooper and I will be talking to our own Year 11 families about life in the Sixth Form (5pm in the hall), as well as welcoming hundreds of families from other schools (7pm onwards) who would like to consider Pate’s as an option for Sixth Form. My thanks to the many parents who will be organising transport for our sixth form tour guides on the night. Every year we are inundated with compliments about how friendly and engaging our students are and it is no wonder that so many new students want to join us.

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 26th January 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 19th January 2015

 HEADLINES:

  • Languages Week
  • Politics at Pate’s
  • Staff Admin and Teacher vacancies
  • A message from CCF
  • Survey from our students
  • Trips & Calendar Updates

Crossing language and culture boundaries has never been more important or more relevant than it is in today’s world and in our whole school assembly this morning Mrs Attwood, Head of Languages, showed an inspirational short film and spoke to students to tell them about how the school will celebrate next week’s Languages Week. To start the week we will be welcoming students from other local schools to take part in special events and students should expect a continental flair in the refectory all week!

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 19th January 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 12th January

HEADLINES:

  • Annual Fund Update
  • Admin Vacancy – Assistant Exams Officer (part-time)
  • Message from Patents
  • Upcoming Events
  • Trips Update
  • Young Enterprise – latest project
  • Outstanding Achievements

As we start the new term, I would like to thank all of you who have supported/are supporting the Annual Fund, ‘Riding the Rapids’ 2014-15, the associated Piano Appeal and the Parents’ Association. I would also like to add additional thanks as a result of an anonymous donation directly in support of the ‘Tech’ aspect of the Annual Fund specifically to purchase a set of radio microphones and their associated battery packs. This is incredibly kind and provides a fantastic additional resource for our performing arts department and our tech capability generally. With extremely challenging financial times ahead such acts of generosity provide me with a great feeling of hope and determination that we can keep Pate’s special. I am very grateful for all of your support. ‘Riding the Rapids’ has so far raised £26,639 – THANK YOU.

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 12th January

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