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Head Master's Message w/c 8th June 2015

Headlines:

  • Summer term activities
  • Cricket Week
  • Arts Week
  • Dates for your Diary
  • Making £nds Meet Appeal
  • A Night at the Musicals – Wed 24th June @ 7pm
  • Sports Celebration Evening – Tues 30th June @ 7pm
  • Trips Update – re Y7 Normandy and Ski Trips
  • Maths Challenge
  • Chernobyl Children's Clothing Appeal
  • School Gateway Update

GCSE and A Level exams have resumed this week and Y7-10 internal exams will take place during week commencing 15th June. Once exams are finished, a truly action-packed remainder of term lies ahead with many trips and activities crammed into the calendar. Summer sports House matches will take place throughout the term and rehearsals begin for all those involved in the annual House Drama competition (House Officials will be sending out rehearsal schedules to parents shortly – thank you for your support in enabling students to take part in this end of term extravaganza!).

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 8th June 2015

Head Master's May Half Term Message 2015

 

HEADLINES:

  • Parents’ Fundraising Presentation and Update – Tuesday 23rd June @ 5.30pm
  • Ski Trip 2016
  • Extra-curricular clubs reminder
  • Lost Property – final call!
  • Current Vacancy – German Foreign Language Assistant
  • Sports Update
  • Pate’s Reading Challenge
  • Gloucester Academy of Music summer courses
  • National Youth Theatre success

Half term has arrived, bringing some much needed respite from GCSEs and A Level exams.  Our young musicians set off for Cardiff this morning, very excited at the prospect of the concerts and sightseeing Ms Lane has organised for them and I am very grateful to her for providing such a fabulous opportunity that they will never forget.

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to the many parents who have given up their valuable time to attend our finance presentations. It’s not pleasant listening but I hope you will agree (and the feedback received certainly suggests that is the case) that we have a very real and better alternative in our ‘Making £nds Meet’ Appeal.  We are aware that there are still many parents who would like to attend, so we will give the presentation again on the Tuesday 23rd June at 5.30pm. To help us prepare sufficient seating, please, if possible, book a place in advance via Ticket Source here.  Please note, that the year 11 Alton Towers trip is estimated to return to school at 6.30pm so hope that parents picking up from this might be able to attend the presentation in advance. The initial response has been encouraging; thank you to all those who have already returned their donation forms or donated via Virgin Money Giving. However there is still a long way to go, so please do help if you can. Further links and information available here - please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you have any further queries. I look forward to providing an update on how much of the shortfall we have eaten in to, after half term. 

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Read more: Head Master's May Half Term Message 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 18th May 2015

HEADLINES:

  • The class of 2015 – Leavers’ celebrations
  • Sports News
  • Upcoming Events
  • Trip Launch – German Exchange
  • Current Vacancies
  • Chernobyl Children's Lifeline Link appeal for clothing
  • Home to School Travel Update
  • Connected Economists Magazine download

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Today is Leavers’ Day, a day of celebration for our Year 13s. They started the day with a full cooked breakfast and the whole school enjoyed their special awards assembly and citations. To quote the lyrics from this year’s Leavers’ Song, “All Star”, they have so much to do and so much to see, and we will certainly miss them, but hope they will join us for our Y14 Christmas reunion, as is now tradition. It was lovely to welcome Y13 parents into school last night for farewell drinks and to thank them for their support, not least, as Joe said in his speech, the many hours spent ironing as those school shirts over the past 7 years!

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 18th May 2015

Head Master's message w/c 11th May 15

 HEADLINES:

  • This week at Pate’s
  • Important note regarding communications with parents (Schoolcomms)
  • Performing Arts Update
  • Art Department News
  • Trips Update
  • Travel to School Update
  • Student extra-curricular achievements
  • Sainsbury’s Active Kids Vouchers due in
  • Berkhampstead School 70th Anniversary celebrations

We had blustery Sports Day finals this week but the students were stoic and fought a very close battle for the House Cup. The final winners were not known until the relays – congratulations once again to Gloucester on a very close win, beating Richmond by only 1 point! Please click here for details of the record-breakers (8 in all) as well as the individual sports awards. Well done to all who took part in such challenging conditions and my thanks to Simon Dandy and the PE staff for organising such a professional and enjoyable competition.

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Head Master's Message w/c 4th May 2015

 HEADLINES:

  • School Funding
  • Pate's Music - Pate's at Jazz Festival on Sunday
  • Sports Days - Tuesday & Wednesday
  • Pate's Amnesteam announced Final Winners of Amnesty International Youth Campaign Award
  • Performing Arts at Pate's
  • Sport at Pate's
  • Lost Property

Following my recent email inviting parents to come to school to hear a presentation about the impact of the education sector funding cuts on Pate’s, please can I urge you to take a few minutes to read the recent article in the guardian (link here). Pate’s is not in any way protected from these cuts (and cost increases) and maybe I can clarify 3 widespread misconceptions:
1. We have had no funding from the Pate’s Foundation for 3 years.
2. Recent building works and improvements to the site are as a result of successful (and hard fought) bids to specific pots of money that can only be spent on those projects…and we are checked!
3. Political leaders have stated that education funding is ‘ring-fenced’. This only applies to a part of school funding for years 7 to 11 and does not include 6th form funding at all. The real picture is very different.
To hear more, please sign up to the forthcoming funding presentations:
13th May, 7pm in the refectory – click here to book your place
19th May, 7pm in the refectory – click here to book your place
If you can’t make either of these, please get in touch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will find another opportunity. If you have already signed up, thank you and please try and encourage others to attend. This really is important.

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 4th May 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 27th April 2015

 HEADLINES:

  • Election fever at Pate’s
  • Leavers' Concert Wednesday 29th April @ 7pm (Pittville Pump Room)
  • Upcoming events
  • Trips Update
  • Communications Update
  • Teacher Training Opportunities
  • Message from the School Library
  • Handball regional champions!
  • Young Entrepreneurs Final - results

Election fever is hotting up at Pate’s. We are extremely lucky to have such a politicised student body and it’s been a joy to see students from all year groups across the school getting excited about the General Election. As a school we are delighted to take advantage of this election fever and so are holding not one, but two elections on the 6th May (Leavers Day for Years 11 & 12)…one day before the real thing. So there will be one election for lower school (Years 7, 8 & 9) and one for Years 10,11,12 & 13. In true cutting edge Pate’s style, both will be held via digital democracy in an online vote.

IMG 1218 Heads

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 27th April 2015

Head Master's Message w/c 20th April 2015

HEADLINES:

  • Funding Presentations – 13th & 19th May
  • Upcoming Events
  • Ski Trip Update
  • Announcement regarding a new communication/payments system for parents
  • Pate’s Amnesteam in final 3 nominees for Amnesty International award
  • Sam Cole (Y12) winner of Cambridge politics essay competition
  • Year 7, 11 & 13 group photographs available to order

I hope you have had a chance to read my email invitation to the forthcoming presentations about the financial situation facing Pate’s. Please do come. Just as a reminder, the presentations are taking place on Wednesday 13th May and Tuesday 19th May, starting at 7pm, in the refectory. It would help us arrange appropriate seating if you could book places in advance for your preferred date, using the links below, although this is not essential. Students are welcome.
Book a place for the Wednesday 13th May here.
Book a place for Tuesday 19th May here.
Further information is also available on the website here.

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Read more: Head Master's Message w/c 20th April 2015

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.

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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

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