The annual House Art competition was held in November, with students competing in Year group challenges during the build up to the announcement of the theme for the exhibition.  The challenges involved Year 7 taking photographs of the school, focusing on unexpected views and angles, whilst Year 8 had a clay challenge, Year 9 an assemblage task, Year 10 & 11 an observational, mixed media drawing, and Year 12 & 13 were tasked with a figure drawing activity.  Based in our Art Gallery, there was a sense of competitiveness between those who had put themselves forward for the challenges and lots of encouragement and excitement from the audience who enjoyed seeing these works of art made before their eyes!

It’s always a challenge for the Art Department to come up with an engaging theme, something that will inspire students and also be able to be widely interpreted, so that there is a diverse range of entries.  This year it had to be ‘JOY’.  We had dresses made from book pages, photographs of pets, drawings of childhood memories, paintings of objects and people, and sculptures of animals, to name but a few.  The House Officials did a super job curating and presenting their individual exhibitions, so that it worked as a cohesive show in the Art Gallery, so that staff, students and parents could visit.


Year 7 House Chess was competed with 20 players using their problem solving and strategic skills to battle it out for House glory. Games were played with risk, intimidation, glory and quiet determination. There were tears of both laughter and loss as games were won in mere minutes, while others went on for well over the lunch hour. As always, this is a great opportunity for students to gain points for their House showcasing the variety of talent we have at Pate’s. The results were tight at the top with it all coming down to the very last game played. Congratulations to our champions, Beaufort and well played to all.


House Dance is a highlight of the school calendar! Not only does it bring the term to a close with a bang, but it embodies the House system at Pate’s. There is immense talent on show and the spirit of collaboration and teamwork is clear for all to see. It is cheering to see whole Houses come together and choreograph a dance that highlights the skills of many and all year groups working side by side to create something memorable. 

This year we had the most participants ever, showing how important this event is to our school. It was a celebration of dance and all our performers should feel proud of their achievements.  

The results were: 

Choreography: Beaufort 
Presentation: Pembroke 
Diversity: Gloucester 
House Spirit: York 
Technique: Richmond 

Congratulations to the overall winners: Richmond!


This year’s was a fascinating competition, enjoyed by a large sixth form audience.  Speakers spoke eloquently on a variety of topics from human rights issues, to capitalism, to football.  Well-prepared and knowledgeable questioners enriched our understanding of the issues, and Chairs hosted with warmth and professionalism.  Thanks to our judges, Trevor Allinson and Emily Cluer, for their expertise.  Judging was difficult and the competition was hard-fought, but Congratulations to overall winners Beaufort for their consolidated effort across the board.  Congratulations to the following individual winners:  

  • Best Speaker – Esme Eagle (York) for her speech entitled “This House would not turn a blind eye to Human Rights abuses in the Qatar World Cup” 
  • Best Chair – Freya Drewett (Gloucester) 
  • Best Questioner – Tomasz Hearfield (Richmond) 

Well done to everyone who was brave enough to take to the stage and represent their Houses, and to the House Official teams who mentored and supported them. 


Each year the House system appoints 4 year 10 mentors for each House. This role continues when the pupils go into year 11. The purpose of this role is to support their House’s year 7s as they start their life at Pate’s and throughout their first year. Every week the mentors go into the year 7 form and do activities with them, they help to organise the annual pizza and onesie evening and are generally just a friendly face to the new students who could be a little daunted by the prospect of secondary school.


Poppy ElliotAbby DundasNatalie WangAmelia GoultySophie Osude
George JonesLeticia AckwanySaud HashimZoe GibsonPenuel Ansah-Johnson
Sophie LaiKeira HazellEvie SollarsRyan KanninkatBecca Morran
Laurel CooperJemima McShaneDora LawarenceEliza BarrowWinifred Brazil

We thank them for all their hard work and wish them luck in this great leadership role


There was great excitement following the announcement of the annual House Bake Off competition. It was fantastic to see the number of pupils who wanted to get involved, with some form groups even arranging mini Bake-Off’s to decide who would be representing them.  The tightly contested Signature Bake round saw the three categories produce either cookies, cupcakes or traybakes. The judging panels, made up of enthusiastic teachers, really struggled to decide on the top 5 for each category. However, those bakers who were selected were then tasked with baking an extravaganza for their Showstopper! For the Juniors (Y7-9) is was a decorated sponge cake inspired by a movie; for the Intermediates (Y10-11) it was a Fantasy Cake; and for the Seniors (Y12-13) it was a triple layered Celebration cake. 

If the judges thought the Signature Bake round was hard to judge it was nothing compared to trying to decide on final winners! After a great deal of deliberation, the final winners were decided and announced in a whole school assembly: 

Junior Champion – Etti Burch, Y9 of Pembroke House 

Intermediate Champion – Carys Collier, Y10 of Richmond House 

Senior Champion –Anna Bowman, Y12 of York House 

All received recipe books and rounds of applause!  Many congratulations to everyone who participated and in particular, our Champions.  


Gabriella Kirkpatrick-De La Fuente and Leah Biju (Beaufort) 

Beaufort had a wonderful time bonding over exciting activities such as tug of war, bushcraft, and rock climbing. They worked together as a team and welcomed new friendships. They broke the ice with shooting and archery and will look back with fond memories. 

Silas Jack (Gloucester) 

Starting a new school for the first time in 10 years was nerve-wracking, but I soon realised how accepting and diverse Pates is; I found friends in no time, thanks to the induction events which created strong bonds of friendship. For example, the orchestra morning was a great opportunity to meet fellow musicians and find my way around the music department, and both outdoor and indoor induction days allowed me to get to know both sides of my peers before we had even sat together in a classroom. Finally, the House Music Competition was a personal favourite of mine as the competitive aspect really drew us together as houses and was incredibly fun. 

Soumiya Arulselvan (Pembroke) 

Purple is my favourite colour and every other thing I own is purple hence, finding out I was going to be part of Pembroke made me more excited than ever! When house music had officially started, and rehearsals were beginning to populate our lunch times I was nervous. I barely knew this school, let alone meeting new people and singing a song I’ve never heard before. It was a lot of new things at once! Little did I know house music was about to change everything. 

Every rehearsal I got closer with other people in Pembroke and our house officials. As I got to know them, I got to understand their passion, what this meant to them and how hard they have worked to bring this together; they had a fire to win! 

Leading up to the day, I felt more of a part of Pembroke and that my voice mattered. We were so excited: we got to spend loads of time with our friends and have a song we all knew off by heart(often stuck in our head and slipped out; leading to a whole group choir in the middle of lunch). The four long days really brought us together like glue. We got to know everyone in Pembroke really well, played games and made new friends. 

We were Pembroke and we were proud. 

We were looking for a way to bring us together; a new way; and to show the rest of the school and parents that in just 3 weeks we were a family, a community. 

We quickly realised Purple was Pembrooke and we embodied Purple. That was us. 

So we drew purple hearts on our cheeks, wore purple ribbons, hair bobbles; anything we had. 

We let our colour shine. 

We are Pembroke and we are proud. 

Natasha Harris (Richmond) 

My first few weeks at Pate’s have been really fun and busy! All the staff are so supportive and encouraging and have made me feel a part of the team very quickly. The outdoor activity induction days were great fun and I got to know lots of friendly people. I felt as though I fitted into the ‘Pate’s Way’ straight away. Arriving at Pate’s without knowing any other students, it was great to meet lots of new people from a variety of different secondary schools and I now have a strong circle of new friends from all over the West of England and Wales!  

Pate’s offered all the A level subjects I had chosen and I have enjoyed the independent learning and depth of study within my courses, assisted by the teachers providing great guidance and knowledge surrounding the curriculum. My first few weeks of timetabled lessons had a good balance of introductory activities and curriculum work. 

By taking part in many of the opportunities offered by Pate’s, I have thrown myself into meeting new people and participating in the wider Pate’s community. The multitude of lunchtime music clubs has filled my week with fun and enjoyment, it was also lovely to see the whole school involved and enjoying the House Music Event in the first few weeks of term. The rehearsals and performances allowed me to ‘break the ice’ through the language of music and feel part of something greater. Pate’s has something for all, and I would encourage everyone to get involved with an extra-curricular activity to enhance their social skills or even just to keep you busy! 

Gabriel Carter (York) 

Lots of people were nervous on the first day, myself included, and the induction days really helped me meet new people and get to know the lots of the externals. On the first day, we enjoyed various thrilling activities such as archery, climbing and bushcraft. Firstly, we went down into the shooting range to make the most out of the amazing shooting facilities OED offers – we had lots of time to chat with the new Yorkies and enjoy the range to its fullest. After this, we had archery, and although I only hit the bullseye once (a lucky shot), it was great fun and the friendly competition made it even more exciting. Later, we got to enjoy the outdoor climbing wall, a refreshing experience that allowed for an easy and quick clip-and-climb experience, allowing us to race each other and practice some techniques at the same time. After the day of outdoor activities, we had an indoor day where we were able to really find out more about each other and socialise, meeting our house officials and finishing off the day with an adaptation of ‘The Wizard of Oz’, performed and written by us. Overall, I had an amazing time and made loads of new friends along the way, and I’d love to do it again.