Head’s Weekly Message – Friday 15th March 2019

Stranger Danger Alert:  Two days ago a Y5 boy was approached by a stranger and he tried to take his bag from him.  The child ran to school and although shaken, is ok.  This happened as the boy was leaving the Honeybourne Line, Cheltenham, near the Waitrose Bridge towards Market Street.  The man was in his early 20s, white, dark hair, black hoodie (with hood half up), some facial hair, dark joggers and dark trainers.  He was about 5’9”.  If you have any further information or wish to report any suspicious behaviour please ring the Police on 101, quoting incident number 102 of 130519.   Please do reinforce the stranger danger message to your children, about being observant and keeping mobile phones out of sight.


  • Spring Fair – fun and fund raising
  • Students’ Climate Change Activism
  • Jessie May Trust update
  • Staff vacancies for Cover Supervisors
  • Can you host our Chinese Visitors
  • Choral Concert – Wed 27 March @ 7.30pm in school hall
  • Tour Dinner – Fri 26 April @ 7pm in Refectory
  • Calendar Update
  • International Women’s Day Feminism Debate
  • Sixth Form Politics Speaker – Mark Huband – Wed 20th Mar @ lunchtime
  • Teatime Piano Recital – Wed 20th Mar 4-5pm (Recital Room, Music Dept)

Prizes were awarded in assembly this morning to some of the students who ran stalls at the Spring Fair last weekend.  Congratulations to the following students: Avni Parajuli and Luke Sargent (7R) who raised the most money on their ‘Ring a Drink’ stall (£96.10); Joel Osborn (7Y), plus friends and family, who won the ‘Most Quirky’ Award for their human fruit machine (pictured below); and Sebastian Taylor (8Y) who played the violin continually for the full two hours!

I would like to extend my most sincere thanks to the whole PA Spring Fair Organising Team for their monumental efforts to put on the most wonderful occasion last Saturday. It was a joyous success now having raised approximately £11,500, a staggering amount, (plus a gorgeous bench). Thank you to everyone who rallied to the call to help and support. You can still make a donation on School Gateway up until Sunday evening. All proceeds go towards Making £nds Meet and specifically to support the Languages Department. You can also still get your hands on a digital copy of the GCHQ Foreign Language Quiz. Just email pachair@patesgs.org and donate £1 (or more if you fancy) through Virgin here, cash to Reception or the PA account (emailed earlier in the week).  The funds raised are a huge boost to our vital Making £nds Meet Appeal but also the occasion itself provides a wonderful fun atmosphere allowing our entrepreneurial year 7 and 8s to demonstrate their creativity. The opportunity to hear the Jazz Orchestra was a massive bonus and again a great variety of external stalls. Kitchen operations were something to behold! Huge congratulations to everyone involved and again THANK YOU!

Also in assembly this morning we were treated to some handbell music (‘Somebody That I Used to Know’), played by the Pate’s Handbell Team.  It was such good fun and the audience was rapt!  Well done to them, they did a great job and have since received a number of requests from other potential handbell ringers!

Student Concern re Climate Change: “As the Eco Society, we have written a letter to Alex Chalk expressing our views and growing concerns with the Government’s attitude and lack of action towards climate change. At lunchtime today, we gathered hundreds of signatures of pupils across years, and teachers, in support of the letter, and these too will be sent to Alex Chalk. We also took clips of students speaking short slogans about why they support the climate change action – to later put together in a powerful video. We hope through this action we can make a difference to the Government’s attitudes towards climate change.”  (Flo Lazenby on behalf of Ecosoc.)

On Tuesday a representative from the Jessie May Trust visited Pate’s to celebrate the money that was raised for them from the Valentine Charity Event. The photos show Helen receiving the check for £678 as handed over by the BioSoc charity team. The event in total raised £1,356, with the other £678 going to the Save the Children’s Yemen Crisis Appeal. 

STAFF VACANCIES for Cover Supervisors: We are looking to add to our pool of cover supervisors.  A cover supervisor may be contacted on an ad-hoc basis, sometimes last-minute, to cover for staff absence, or help out with invigilation or events.  The rate of pay is £10.57 per hour.   The deadline for applications is Friday 5th April.

Can you host our Chinese visitors?  We are continuing to forge closer relationships with our Hailiang partners in China and are keen to offer Chinese students the chance to come and immerse themselves in our culture and way of life.  We would like to offer these students the opportunity to experience life at Pate’s with everything it has to offer.  We know from past experience that Chinese students really enjoy and appreciate this opportunity. To this end we are offering the chance for families to host students, ideally in pairs, in May/June (excluding half term).  A full daytime programme will be organised and school lunches will be provided.  Remuneration will be paid per student.  If you are interested in hosting please email Francesca Coppola, PA to Head Master here for full details.

Choral Concert – Wed 27th March @ 7.30pm in the school hall:  Will Todd’s Mass in Blue is a dynamic, uplifting, and highly popular jazz setting of the Latin mass. The work features driving grooves and blues harmonies, with provision for short saxophone solos and great moments of musical interplay between soprano soloist and choir.  There will also be performances from the Boys / Girls and Chamber Choirs and vocal solos, including student organised duets and an exciting new collaboration of the Boys Choir and Chamber Choir, under the new direction of Stephen Parham-Connolly (ex-King’s Singer).  Don’t miss it!  Tickets cost £8 (adults) and £5 (students) and are available to buy online via the school website on Ticketsource.

Tour Dinner – Fri 26 April @ 7pm in Refectory: Please join us for our Tour Dinner and meet Maryka Holtzhausen, our speaker and guest for the evening. Maryka has over 100 caps, representing the South African netball team in 3 Commonwealth games, as well as World Series and Quad series competitions. She is the Captain of our local Vitality Netball Superleague team Severn Stars, based at the University of Gloucestershire. It’s a great opportunity to meet an international athlete, enjoy an evening with friends and get an insight into our South Africa Hockey and Netball tour. All welcome.  Tickets cost £15 and are available to buy online via the website on Ticketsource.  Tickets include a choice of curries, entertainment, bar and raffle.  PLEASE BOOK HERE.


  • Tues 19 Mar @ 6pm – Normandy trip Parents’ Information evening (PAB)
  • Tues 19 Mar @ 6pm – German Exchange Parents’ Information evening (Refectory)
  • Wed 20 Mar @ lunchtime (6th form centre) – Sixth Form Speaker Mark Huband Politics Talk
  • Wed 20 Mar 4-5pm – Teatime Piano Recital 4-5pm
  • Thurs 21 Mar – Y7 Pizza & Onesie Night 3.40-7.15pm
  • Sun 24 Mar 7-9pm – Choral Concert rehearsal (hall)
  • NB: Choral concert rehearsal 24th Mar is for SVG and the parent/external singers only, and not for Boys and Girls choir. However, on the 27th of March (concert day) there will be Boys and Girls required for the 4-6pm rehearsal along with SVG and the externals.
  • Mon 25 Mar @ 6.30pm – Y12 parents’ talk ‘The UCAS process’ PLEASE BOOK HERE.
  • Tues 26 Mar – Y7 Parents’ Evening 3-7pm
  • Wed 27 Mar – Choral Concert 7.30pm (Pate’s school hall) PLEASE BOOK HERE.
  • Thur 28 Mar – Sports Teams Photos (timings TBC)

International Women’s Day Feminism Debate“Last Friday lunchtime, a debate was held on the question: “Is there a need for Feminism?”, led by Year 12 Politics students. The discussion raised various arguments about its encouragement in Western culture today and the influence of other ideologies, such as Egalitarianism, taking off at the same time. The debate also included points about the reasoning as to why only 30% of young people call themselves a feminist and its lack of prevalence in perhaps Middle Eastern countries, where the level of inequality is greater. Overall, an insightful discussion and debate allowed for a successful celebration of International Women’s Day at Pate’s.” (Cliona Vaughan-Spruce, 12Y2)

You are welcome to come along to our teatime piano recital on Wednesday between 4 and 5pm in the Recital Music (Music Department).



Russel Ellicott
Head Master