Head Master’s Message 8th November 2019

Can you help?  We are still looking to add to our bank of ad hoc cover supervisors, to cover for staff absence and training.  No teaching experience is necessary.  This is an enjoyable  and interesting and totally flexible job opportunity for anyone who likes young people.   Please contact Francesca Coppola by email at fcoppola@patesgs.org or by phone on 01242 538275 to discuss this opportunity.


  • School Council Election results
  • Pate’s Big House Bake-Off Launched
  • Parliament Week Report
  • Digital Detox Week
  • Pate’s Diwali Celebration – record £3,600 raised for Making £nds Meet
  • Autumn Concert – Thurs 21st November @ 7pm – Tickets available
  • Sports Tour Auction – Fri 22nd November @ 7pm
  • Pate’s Christmas Bazaar – Tues 26th November
  • Peter Pan – 4th, 5th & 6th December @ 7pm – Tickets available
  • Sponsorship opportunities for Peter Pan
  • Outdoor Education / DoE / CCF / Canada 2021
  • Second-Hand Uniform shop open 15th November
  • Sophia Spreckley – Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet Award
  • Calendar & Trips Update

I am pleased that the majority of students took the opportunity to vote in the recent School Council elections.  The voting in most year groups was extremely close, and it is my pleasure to announce that the following students received the most votes and are duly elected to this year’s School Council:

Year 7: Dilisha Karunaratne, Easwar Arun, Lyra Hector

Year 8: Avni Parajuli, Shaun Sunil

Year 9: Oladele Olaogun, Ruben Lombard

Year 10: Erica Rosser, Nathir Kriel

Year 11: Anirjit Roy, Laura Brophy

Year 12: Bryony Tuck, El Stiles, Jon-Luke Harrison, Sai Putravu

Year 13: Alex Roberts, Oviya Anand, Millie Bourke

Congratulations to everyone and best of luck for a productive term of office!

This morning all staff and students took part in our Act of Remembrance.  We gathered in the quad to hear students deliver readings and perform the Last Post, as we remembered those who fell.  Cadets hung a poppy wreath in the hall to mark the occasion.  Also today, the Pate’s Big House Bake-Off was launched in this morning’s assembly by Mr Renton.  Staff are very much looking forward to judging the Technical and Showstopper rounds over the coming weeks!

Parliament Week Hustings: On Thursday lunchtime, 5 Y12 students acted as the current leaders of the 5 main political parties. Will Bowen acted as Jo Swindon, Eleanor Stiles as Boris Johnson, Ollie Griffiths as Nigel Farage, Ben Clarke as Jeremy Corbyn and Ari Strait as Sian Berry. There was fierce debate, mainly focusing on Brexit, but also touching on the environment and the police. We had many insightful questions from the floor where we had students from all year groups represented. The debate finished with a secret ballot where almost 50 people voted. The results were incredibly close but the winners were the Liberal Democrats with 23% of the vote. A special thanks to all the delegates, Miss Cluer, everyone who helped set up, and Theo Haywood and Bethan Avery for organising the vote and chairing the debate.

Digital Detox w/c 11th November: Following the success of our digital detox last academic year we are extending the initiative to a full week per half term.  During the week we challenge students to break away from screen time and try something different. We will make board games and sports equipment available to them in school in the hope that they can break the instinctive use of mobile technologies.   We have asked them to limit their mobile device use to an hour a day by only using their phone for urgent calls and messages, turning off social media notifications and trying to put their phone to bed at 6.30pm.  Without the allure of mobile technologies students report they have a greater focus and better social life.  This TED talk is well worth watching.   We would be grateful if all families could enter into the spirit of the challenge – it would be good to hear any feedback on your experiences.

Pate’s celebrated Diwali in style just before half term, with a rich and varied programme of cultural dance and musical performances.  This event raised a record £3,600 – all of which will go towards Making £nds Meet fundraising!   I would like to thank our organisers, Thrinethra Gowri-Shankar and her family, for their tireless hard work organising this event for the past five years.  This will be Thrinethra’s final year at Pate’s and what a legacy she has left us…  It is my hope that other students will take on the celebration next year and continue what has become a major Pate’s event, with schools and families attending from far and wide.

Upcoming Events

Autumn Concert – Thurs 21st November @ 7pm:  Please join us for our annual Autumn Concert, where you can enjoy a huge variety of musical entertainment – solos, choral and orchestral pieces performed by musicians of all ages.  Tickets cost £6 (adults) and £4 (students) and are available from our Ticketsource website (here).  It is a wonderful evening’s entertainment and one not to miss.  There will be a bar and refreshments provided by our amazing Parents’ Association.

Sports Tour Auction:  On Friday 22nd November we are holding an auction of items to raise money for the South Africa 2020 rugby tour. There are plenty of amazing lots up for grabs, please have a look at the ATTACHED CATALOGUE.  Christmas is just around the corner and this could be an opportunity to get a few pressies bought. Are you interested in sport or leisure experiences? Do you like a bargain? All this and more can be found within the auction catalogue (attached to this message). The auction will be on Friday 22nd, doors open at 7pm in the refectory. If you are unable to attend you can make a silent bid for Lots by emailing the following details:

  • Lot Number
  • Maximum Bid

to mrenton@patesgs.org .  Thank you.

Peter Pan 4th, 5th & 6th December @ 7pm:  When mischievous and care free Peter Pan swooshes in with tales of pirates, mermaids, flying and never growing up, who could resist the adventure ahead?A riot of physical theatre, puppetry, live music and fairy dust. Join Wendy, Peter and the Lost Boys as they battle the pirates and explore the magic of Neverland.   Book early, don’t miss this wonderful show!   Tickets cost £8 (adults) and £4 (students) and are available here.  We are looking forward to welcoming large numbers of you to Peter Pan.  Director, Grace Burnett, is doing a wonderful job of harnessing the talents of around 60 students in Years 7-13 and I am sure that we will see some exceptional performances of visual storytelling that will bring H.M. Barrie’s wonderful play to life.   To help us to cover the production costs for the play, we are asking parents to consider sponsoring the show.  We are looking to raise at least £1000 and really hope that we can achieve this either through a single or multiple sponsors.  If you are interested in helping support the school in this way, please email sarah.cartwright@patesgs.org for further information.  Thank you.

Canada 2021 Trip

Outdoor Education Department will be hosting an information evening for the Canada 2021 trip on Tuesday 12 November in the Outdoor Education Department at 6pm. This trip is open for current Year 10’s and upwards and can be used for the DofE Gold Expedition.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Updates:

  • Silver participants’ meeting on 14 November in OED Classroom 1 at 2pm
  • Gold participants’ meeting on 15 November in OED Classroom 1 at 2pm

Y8 Bronze Duke of Edinburgh participants:  reminder that you need to sign up for your Core Skills weekend (if you haven’t yet done so).The weekends available are 30 Nov & 1 Dec 2019 or 1&2 February 2020.  (The January weekend is full.)  Please follow this link to sign up.

Combined Cadet Force

Our CCF will be participating in the Winchcombe Remembrance Parade on Sunday 10 November: we are expecting a good turn out from all CCF members from Yr10 upwards. Parents & Grandparents are more than welcome to attend to support the Cadets as they remember our fallen. For full details and to register cadet attendance please visit www.pgsccf.com

Second-hand Uniform: We are opening the Second Hand Uniform Shop for parents and students on the 1st and 3rd Friday of the month between 3pm – 4pm in its new home in the Development Bungalow (the building immediately to the left as you come in through the main school gates). Find us there next week, Friday 15th November.  All donations of clean, good quality uniform are gratefully received especially any Canterbury kit – please drop off donations to main Reception. For any enquiries or to make an appointment please contact Jo Pearce on pauniform@patesgs.org

The Deputy Lord-Lieutenant recently came to present Sophia Spreckley (Y13) with her certificate of appointment to a Lord-Lieutenant’s Cadet. This is a prestigious award, with only ten senior cadets  awarded each year from all the cadet units across the County.  Sophia was selected on the basis of her cadet and academic achievements.  The Lord-Lieutenant is the Queen’s personal county representative and one of his many tasks is to organise all the official Royal visits to the County, Sophia will get the opportunity to represent the Cadets and Pate’s Grammar School when she aides the Lord Lt on such events.  Congratulations to Sophia on receiving such exceptional recognition.

Please find attached photo from left to right: Honoury Colonel of the Royal Gloucestershire Hussars Regiment John Penley, Cadet Warrant Officer Sophia Spreckley and the Deputy Lord-Lieutenant of Gloucestershire Caroline Penley.

Calendar Update:

  • Y10 Parents’ Information Evening Tues 12 Nov @ 6.30pm (Hall)
  • Canada 2021 trip – Information Evening Tues 12 Nov @ 6pm (OED)
  • Universities speaker Paul Teulon – Thurs 14 Nov @ 6.30pm (Hall)
  • Ski Trip Parents’ Information Evening – Tues 19 Nov @ 6pm
  • Autumn Concert – Thurs 21 Nov @ 7pm (Hall)
  • Sports Tour Auction – Fri 22 Nov @ 7pm
  • Christmas Bazaar – Tues 26 Nov 6-8pm
  • Y10 Parents’ Evening – Wed 27 Nov 4-7pm
  • Peter Pan – 4th, 5th & 6th December @ 7pm
    Trips for this week:
  • 12th November 2019 – Yr12/13 – Drama Trip 5pm-10.45pm
  • 13th November 2019 – Yr7 ‘The Lion King’ Bristol Hippodrome– 12.30-18.15pm

I look forward to seeing many of you at the parade Remembrance Parade at Winchcombe War Memorial at 10:30 on Sunday.

Russel Ellicott

Head Master