Head Master’s Message 20th September 2019




  • *Historic Revival of Holst Opera tomorrow @ St Andrews Church, Montpellier 3pm*
  • Reminder re details regarding arrangements for House Music performance week
  • Diwali 20th Oct – call for performers & sponsors
  • Teacher Training Taster Day Monday 30th September
  • Job Vacancy – Catering Manager
  • Calendar & Trips Update

Assembly was led this morning by Jamie Burrell (9P) who is our representative in the UK Youth Parliament.  Jamie launched ‘Make Your Mark’, which is a youth consultation giving all students the opportunity to choose which topic they would like to be put up for debate.   Ballots will take place in form time next week. Also this morning Flo Lazenby (Y13) shared news of today’s climate change action day, raising awareness of the issues.  More to follow on this.

I attended the first performance (performing again tomorrow afternoon in town) of the school’s historic first revival of the Holst Opera Lansdown Castle (The Sorcerer of Tewkesbury) – what an incredible experience!   This comic opera was composed by Gustav Holst and performed with friends in 1893, when he was a sixth former attending what is now Pate’s Grammar School.  This is an astonishingly good production and thoroughly entertaining and I would urge you to watch tomorrow (Saturday) at St Andrew’s Church, Montpellier, Cheltenham (3 til 4pm).  If you possibly can, you will be very glad you did!  Incredible performances by sixth formers: Owen Brook, Ben Crossley, Ben Gilchrist, Amy Howard, Hannah Hughes and Ollie Keitley – huge congratulations to them and to Ellie Lane and Warwick Cole and family for making it possible.   There will be refreshments before and after the performance kindly provided by our PA.  Admission is free with a retiring collection.  Twitter@PatesMusic

Making £nds Meet Update: We are thrilled to announce that once again, with your generous support, we’ve achieved our Making £nds Meet target of £200,000 for Goal 18/19! A big “Thank you” to everyone who has helped us reach this rather ambitious target, we just couldn’t do it without you.

We are now focussing on our next challenge of raising a further £200,000 for this academic year Goal 19/20 – and will need your continuing support to get there.

News of additional funding for schools has been in the headlines recently but in reality this will not be coming our way in the near future; we need to move full steam ahead with our Making £nds Meet campaign to fill the funding shortfall in the meantime.

Please join us if you can, details of how you can donate can be found on the Making £nds Meet section of the school website here

If you’d like to chat about how to give please email alex.gregory@patesgs.org or call 01242 538285.

Diwali Celebration Sun 20th October @ 2 pm (5th year!) – REMINDER RE CALL FOR ENTRIES & STALL HOLDERS!!  This celebration at Pate’s gives you a cultural experience packed with dance, music, and food.  It is time to call for entries, so if you would like to perform in the show, please send the following information before 15th September 2019:

  • Individual / Group Name:
  • Item: Indian Dance / Musical Instruments/Music vocal:
  • Brief detail about your performing item:
  • Participant’s name:
  • Lead contact details:

(We now have comperes for the show)

Last year, we had a mums dance and music it was an extraordinary hit, so we are including Mums/Dads dance again this year and calling for entries. This year, we are including new Indian classical/semi-classical dance styles and music in the programme.  We are planning to have an opening group song after lighting the candles at the very beginning of the show. If you are interested in singing, please send your details.  To sign up (or for more information) please send us your details to Thrinethra and Gayathiri Gowri Shankar – thrinethra.gowrishankar@patesgs.org and gee_shankar@yahoo.com
Sponsorship: Again this year, we are looking for sponsors for this event – if you are interested in sponsoring, please contact Mrs. Gayathiri Gowri Shankar (here).

Our next Teacher Training Taster Day is on Monday 30th September.  If you or anyone you know is Interested in becoming a teacher and would like to know more, please do come along.  Booking is essential – simply email info@odysseyts.org.  This is a great opportunity to explore teaching, spend time in the classroom and discover the training options available in Gloucestershire.

Job Vacancy:  A reminder that we have a vacancy for an experienced Catering Manager to work Monday-Friday 08:00-14:30, term time only.  Please follow this link for full details and job description.  How to apply: please download a Support Staff Application form from our website (here) and email it to jobs@patesgs.org with an accompanying letter explaining why the role appeals to you and what qualities you would bring to it.  Deadline for applications: 4pm on Monday 23rd September.   Interviews will take place during week commencing 30th September.  If you have any queries or would like to discuss this further, please contact Stephen Locke, Bursar, by emailing slocke@patesgs,org.

We were delighted to welcome Femi Oluwole to Pate’s Sixth Form on Friday last week. Femi is the co-founder and chief spokesperson of Our Future Our Choice and a regular guest on mainstream media such as LBC, Talk Radio, and Good Morning Britain, appearing alongside Nigel Farage and Piers Morgan. Femi gave up a career in human rights law to set up OFOC following the referendum in 2016 and tours the country to engage with voters and promote discussion around the issues that surround the referendum.  He spoke to our sixth formers about Brexit and the Future, including the implications of a No Deal Brexit, the Irish backstop, diplomatic relations, peace and security, globalisation and the legal, social, political and economic impact of Brexit. Our 6th formers had an opportunity to ask questions in a vibrant Q&A.

“Politicians failed this country by not giving them the facts about the EU that I learned in law school. I’ve worked in the field of European human rights since 2015, seeing first-hand the value the organisation brings to this country. By anyone’s maths, the population that will be dealing with Brexit in just 5 years’ time will be one that voted remain in 2016. That’s an injustice I can’t ignore. It’s why I quit my traineeship at the EU agency for Fundamental Rights, because, even though it was my dream role, if I didn’t do everything in my power to prevent Brexit, I would never forgive myself.”  Femi Oluwole

Calendar Update:

  • Sat 21 Sept – Holst Opera 3-4pm (St Andrews Church, Cheltenham) Refreshments will be kindly provided by the PA.
  • Tues 24 Sept – Parents’ Info Mtg for Norway Trip 6-7pm in Gallery TO BE RESCHEDULED
  • Wed 25 Sept – HOUSE MUSIC Matineé @ 2pm
  • Wed 25 Sept – HOUSE MUSIC @ 6.30pm
  • Thurs 26 Sept – HOUSE MUSIC (+ adjudicator) @ 6pm
  • Sat 28 Sept – Pate’s Society AGM and Lunch from 12 noon
  • Tues 1 Oct – EARLY 2PM FINISH (school Open Evening) Buses arrive early
  • Thurs 3 Oct – Y12 Parents’ Social evening 5.30-7.30pm
  • Tues 8 Oct – Y7 Reports published
  • Wed 9 Oct – Parents’ Assn AGM 7-8.30pm (Art Gallery)
  • Sun 13 Oct – Peter Pan all day rehearsal 10a, til 4pm
  • Tues 15 Oct – Music Recital @ 7pm (Hall) Tickets will be released nearer the time
  • Thurs 17 Oct – Y7 Parents’ Social evening 6.30-8.30pm
  • Sun 20 Oct – Diwali Celebration 2-5pm Tickets will be released next week
  • Wed 23 Oct – School finishes for half term at the end of the school day

I look forward to seeing many of you at House Music this week.  An incredible 1500 tickets have been sold for the three performances, and there are still some tickets left for the matinée (here).  We are looking forward to 5 amazing sets!

Russel Ellicott
Head Master