Head Master’s End of Year Message 12th July 2019


  • Pate’s Receives World Class School Award
  • House Drama Results
  • House Drama DVDs now available to order (£10) via Schoolcomms
  • House Sports Matches
  • PA Update
  • Do you have any spare lightweight wood for our production of ‘Peter Pan’?
  • Sports Celebration Award Winners
  • Summer Sports Team photos available to order
  • Pate’s Global Citizens
  • Catering Assistant Vacancy
  • Student Success Stories
  • Diwali Celebration Sun 20th October @ 2 pm – call for ENTRIES & STALL HOLDERS!

Last week Pate’s was delighted to receive the The High Performance Learning (HPL) World Class School Award in recognition of our learning ethos. One of only nine schools to receive this around the globe in 2018/19, this award recognises the very best schools in the world and is designed for those at the forefront of educational thinking. HPL’s Founder and CEO, Professor Deborah Eyre said: “I am absolutely delighted to confer HPL World Class Award Status upon Pate’s Grammar School. This recognises Pate’s commitment to embedding HPL as part of the school’s DNA, as part of its quest to develop world-class learners. Their adoption of HPL, building on past success, is ensuring that Pate’s students are impressive and flexible learners, who I have no doubt will leave Pate’s college-, career- and life-ready.” Although we are not a school to collect ‘badges’, the feedback from the HPL team after their visit was a welcome affirmation of the ongoing hard work of both students and staff alike. The final report concluded that Lessons are imaginative, engaging and demonstrate a wide range of teaching strategies that stimulate students thinking and provide opportunities to develop the full range advanced learning competencies as well as the values, attitudes and attributes required for high performance learning” and that “students at Pate’s are impressive and flexible learners who speak with clarity and passion about their classes, their extra-curricular experiences and their well-founded ambitions for the future”. At the end of a busy year, my thanks go once again to all students and staff in our community for their hard work and commitment to making Pate’s such a very special and unique school.

It has been a thoroughly enjoyable final week of term, much of it led by the students themselves, with first House Drama and then Charity Day on the field yesterday, with the whole school enjoying inflatable fun and games, as well as stalls and an ice cream van!  Congratulations to the Charity team, led by Ben Syiek and Udey Dhaliwal, who raised a grand total profit of £1873.66 in aid of Professor Robert Winston’s Genesis Research Trust.  Fantastic!  In whole school assembly this morning I was proud to announce the winners of the House summer sports competitions:  CRICKET – Y7-9 Gloucester and Y10 Gloucester!  ROUNDERS – Y7-9 Beaufort, Y10 Richmond!  TENNIS – Y7-9 Pembroke, Y10 York!  I was also pleased to announced winners of our sixth form essay competition: ENGLISH winner Nick Frank, HUMANITIES winner Cliona Vaughan-Spruce, LANGUAGES winner Edward Wattine, SOCIAL SCIENCES & TECHNOLOGY winner Leila Watson.  Also in this morning’s assembly we said goodbye to Rachel Cole (Business, Economics, Politics), Janice Moore (Biology), Tom Thistleton (Musician in Residence), Ruth Taei (Head of Humanities), and long serving staff members Mandy Lane (English) and Nigel Hosken (Maths).  They will all be missed as they go off to new adventures.

House Drama DVDs are now available to order on Schoolcomms (£10 each), ready for collection in September.  Our thanks to Tristan Sharman (Y13) for putting together a stunning video of the shows, and also for the producing the behind the scenes short film which was shown on performance nights.   It was a vintage year for House Drama – what an amazing show!  It was great to see over 1300 audience members across the three performances.  Congratulations to RICHMOND, for winning the House Drama Cup with ‘Pink Panther’.  BEAUFORT won Best Music, GLOUCESTER won Best Acting, PEMBROKE won Best Choreography, and YORK won Best Design.

The PA team of helpers raised a record £6,117 serving refreshments and selling raffle tickets for House Drama, which will all go towards Making £nds Meet.  There is always a warm welcome from the PA, at every event they prepared for anything and I don’t believe there is any fast food outlet which could beat them for speed of service!  Pate’s would be a far poorer place without them – please do consider joining the committee or signing up on help rotas, it is the best way to meet other parents.  But today I must give my heartfelt thanks to Laurette Thomas, Chair of the PA who is standing down after six years of tireless dedication to the cause.  During her time as Chair she has taken the PA from strength to strength and I know everyone will agree – staff and parents alike – that it has been great fun all the way!  But what a professional!  She has made the Pate’s PA the coolest club in town – we admire her greatly and we will miss her.

The next shows will be House Music in September, followed by the school’s production of Peter Pan in December.  Miss Burnett has an ambitious set design in mind and we are looking for any spare pieces of lightweight wood, fencing panels or pallets you may be able to donate.  If you have any to offer we would be grateful if you could email Miss Burnett (here) Thank you.

Sports Celebration award winners – Congratulations to all captains who made a speech at last Tuesday’s Sports Celebration Evening and to the students who were awarded players’ player of season awards voted for by their peers.

Summer Sports Team Photos – All the summer sports photos are now available online.  Pate’s sports teams are ready to view and purchase at www.academyorder.co.uk and the access code: PATESSUMMER19

During Activities Fortnight there have been many amazing activities but our Global Citizenship group were rightly proud of their achievements on the Global Picnic day. In triads, they had to plan a healthy global menu on a tight budget, and then shop and cook a feast for 25 people. We had homemade hummus, pitta and falafel, garlic bread with pasta napolitana, bhel puri, chicken wing tikka dippers, mexican beans with homemade garlic doughballs, pizza and crêpes! After our picnic there were fun and games, but then there came the washing up! They had a great time and we were treated to a wonderful meal and were impressed with the students’ ability to take responsibility and their resilience (particularly in the face of broken tin openers!).

Catering Assistant Vacancy: There is a vacancy at Pate’s Grammar School for a Catering Assistant to join the team working in the Pate’s Refectory, on a temporary fixed term contract running from 3rd September to 20th December 2019.  Duties will include the preparing and serving of food to students and staff, as well as general kitchen duties.  There may be some overtime required from time to time, by arrangement and including some evening and weekend work.  Starting salary £9.77 hourly rate (+ holiday pay).  Part-time hours 10:30 – 14:30 (20 hours per week).  Monday to Friday (term time only).  To apply please send a support staff application form (available from our website here), together with a letter explaining why you would like to be considered for the role.  Please email applications to slocke@patesgs.org.  The closing date for applications: 4pm on Tues 23 July 2019.

Student Success Stories:

Congratulations to James Dadd (11B), finalist of MTA’s National Design, Technology and Innovation competition.  This was a great opportunity for James to meet engineers and designers from other schools across the country, to experience setting up a stand, chatting about his product and being interviewed and filmed. His project book was also photographed to be used as an exemplar teaching aid.  My thanks to our Head of DT Daren Brunsdon for supporting James throughout the whole creative process.

Well done to Amal Patel (Y12), and his brother, who have set up a social enterprise, The Last Straw Cheltenham, fighting against the use of plastic straws by selling bamboo and wheat straws to local shops, bars and restaurants.  Please follow this link to the brilliant short film on the BBC Gloucestershire website.  Amazing!

Back in March, Ben Jones from the Bank of England gave a talk to Y12 & 13 Economics students about what the Bank of England does, specifically focussing on the role of the Bank in maintaining financial stability in the UK. Lots of what he talked about was directly relevant to the things that we had studied in our Economics lessons: the government requires the bank to keep the UK’s rate of inflation at 2%, for example, and the bank can either alter the interest rates (decreasing interest rates increases the amount of spending in an economy, stimulating economic growth which results in an increase in inflation) as well as quantitate easing (essentially introducing more money into the money supply).  Although we had learnt about these things in the classroom, hearing someone speak who has to deal with these issues daily gave us all fascinating insight into the real life uses of the concepts that we have learnt – potentially even giving us new career options to think about. He also touched upon the various other things that the Bank of England does: from storing gold bars (at 2p per bar per year, apparently) to printing and issuing all the bank notes in circulation (all 3.6 billion). Most of us were not completely aware of the numerous things that the bank does, and it was interesting to hear about the benefits of having the Bank of England provide these services – rather than the government directly. Following his talk, he took all of the questions we had. These varied from us asking his personal opinion on the morality of the things that the Bank does, to specific topics that we have studied in lessons: such as how he thinks changes in oil prices can affect the economy. Hearing his opinion on issues that we have written essays about was one of the most interesting elements of the afternoon, as we were able to hear directly from somebody who works with the economy directly daily the repercussions of certain events.  Overall, his talk provided us with extra depth in the topics that we study, contextualising them in a way that not only helped us to understand them better, but also giving us an interesting look into a career that we may have not otherwise considered.  Krishan Tait.

Diwali Celebration Sun 20th October @ 2 pm – REMINDER RE CALL FOR ENTRIES & STALL HOLDERS!!  Time flies, and we are now entering into the fifth year of Diwali celebrations at Pate’s. This celebration was featured in the BBC Asian Network show last year, covering the South-West Region. Its popularity grows year by year, and people have already begun enquiring about this year’s celebration. This celebration at Pate’s gives you a cultural experience packed with dance, music, and food.  This year we have the added bonus of fireworks!

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.

Please send us your details to Thrinethra Gowri Shankar – thrinethra.gowrishankar@patesgs.org. If you need any more information, please contact Thrinethra. We are really excited about this year’s show with lots of new varieties added and the planning has already begun.

Sponsorship: Again this year, we are looking for sponsors for this event – if you are interested in sponsoring, or would like to have a stall selling goods, please contact Mrs. Gayathiri Gowri Shankar (here).

Finally, I would like to wish all Pate’s families a happy and relaxed summer break.  I look forward to welcoming everyone back refreshed on Wednesday 4th September.

Russel Ellicott
Head Master