“And the winners are…York!” 

It’s hard to recreate the sheer joy of that moment – the realisation that all our hard work had led to an amazing result. There was screaming, cheering, jumping up and down, and a general release of pent-up tension well deserved after the events of the past few weeks – but we’d had a great time along the way! 

As the conductor of the ‘We are Young’ choir in York, I’ve had some ups and downs throughout the House Music process, as I’m sure other House Officials have. My favourite moment (apart from when we won, of course) was probably when the choir sang with the band for the first time, and it was in that moment that I realised that we had done it – we’d arranged, taught, and organised a musical performance – and it actually sounded good! 

I was also able to take part in the ‘Halo’ choir, which gave me the opportunity to experience what House Music is like from the perspective of the younger years. I just want to say a massive thank you to all the students who took part in House Music for York; you guys were great fun to work with! When I first listened to the completed orchestra, I was stunned – they sounded incredible. Thanks to the amazing work of our conductor, Sebastian, they put on the performance of a lifetime, invoking powerful emotion through an extraordinary arrangement, leading to York winning the Best Orchestra award, and Sebastian talks about his highlights below:

The first stage of the process in arranging the music for the orchestra was to choose the sections I wanted from the “How to Train Your Dragon” soundtrack and imagine the transitions between them. Scoring the music for the instruments available was the first major challenge given the scale of the original score, although I was grateful for a good selection of brass and wind instruments this year. The music was a steep learning curve for the musicians in the orchestra, but their dedication and discipline both in rehearsal and in personal practice resulted in a performance that we were all proud of. It has been great fun to work with the orchestra and to watch the music become steadily better with each rehearsal – I would like to thank them all, along with the York Officials, for their hard work. It has been an excellent experience to be a part of the House Music team, and an honour to be able to bring York a victory, especially in the presence of such stiff competition from the other Houses. 

The quality of performance on show that night was astounding, and any of the other Houses would’ve equally deserved the victory after the amazing show on Thursday night. Pembroke’s ‘When I Grow Up’ and Richmond’s ‘This is Me’ were successful in the choral categories, and rightfully so, as an amazing demonstration of talent was on display from both Houses. Beaufort’s ‘One Day More’ won Best Orchestral Arrangement, and Gloucester received the award of Best Choral Arrangement for their choir ‘The Things We Lost in the Fire’, and their conductor Adel received a special mention for his conducting, which was spectacular. Overall, York was crowned the victor in a moment I will remember for a long time, along with belting out the lyrics to the songs whilst waiting for results, all the bloopers in rehearsals, and the fabulous time we had working together to put on the best performance we could. Thank you and well done to everyone, and especially to you Yorkies! 

Gabriel and the York House Official Team 



Fiona (Beaufort)

My first weeks at Pate’s have been really exciting and sometimes a bit scary. The teachers and students are all welcoming, extremely supportive, and kind no matter which House they are in. The induction day we’ve just had was very fun and I enjoyed it a lot. It was particularly helpful to learn everybody’s names and to experience some of Pate’s’ extra-curricular activities. My favourite activity was climbing because although it was quite hard on my first go, it got easier, and at the end of it, I wanted to do it again. Also, letting go of the wall when I got to the top was terrifying, but I got used to it after a few tries and it was quite nice just floating in the air.

Tanvi (Gloucester)

The induction process for Year 7 students marks the exciting transition from primary to secondary school, and is designed to ensure a smooth and supportive start to their new educational journey. At Pate’s, it begins with a warm welcome from school staff, where students and parents are introduced to the school’s facilities, policies, and expectations. Soon after this, the Head or Assistant Head of Year will come into selected local primary schools and meet with pupils from that area. The group of new students will get to know each other, more about the Head/Assistant Head of Year, and more about Pate’s as a community. Throughout the induction period, new pupils can get an insight into the different extracurricular activities and languages they will be able to get involved with at different taster sessions, such as the Mandarin and Music taster sessions. Following this, students come into school and meet their classmates, Year 11 Mentors, and Year 13 House Official Links. Mentors and Links play a vital role in offering guidance and support to aid newcomers to settle in comfortably. To help the new pupils with the shift between two schools, on the first day of term, the school is opened exclusively for the incoming Year 7s and Year 12s. On this day, they meet their Form Tutors, receive their timetables, and go on a quest around the school! Another exciting event that comes up within the first term is House Music, where individual Houses come together and put on a performance for everyone to enjoy. The induction process sets a positive tone for the academic year ahead, emphasizing a sense of belonging, and building a supportive learning community.

Annie (Pembroke)

Induction has been so fun and the House Officials are lovely. I think it’s great that we have House Music right at the beginning of the year, because we already have a great idea of community and teamwork. It’s amazing that so many of the events at Pate’s are lead by the students. They are all so hardworking and dedicated. 

Tanusha (Richmond)

After arriving at school, we were separated into two groups and started our first activity – archery. As it was raining, we stood under a shelter while the others shot their arrows. When we ran out of arrows, we counted our points (white = 1, black = 2, blue = 5, red = 6, and yellow = 10). During the activity, we were able to get to know each other more, since we supported each other when we missed our shots. It was also a great way to sharpen our skills, as we kept track of our scores and tried to improve each time we shot.

After archery, we moved on to shooting in OED. We watched as the instructor explained how to aim and shoot using the grid on the lens of the air rifle. Once we understood how to aim, we loaded our rifles and started shooting at the target that was 10 feet away from us. While the four shooters fired their rifles, the rest of the people played splat with the Mentors until break.

When break ended, we followed the House Officials to the gymnasium to do rock climbing. Once the teacher had explained the basic techniques, including hand and foot placement, balance, and coordination, we harnessed ourselves to the ropes and started to climb the wall. We struggled at first, but eventually got the hang of it. After a few minutes, we were able to summit the wall and celebrate our success. It was a great experience that ended with us feeling accomplished and proud of ourselves.

The last activity of the day was bushcraft, where we learned the fundamental skills for survival in the wild. The teacher showed us how to start a fire with flint and steel, build a shelter, and how to hold a knife without causing any injuries. When we tried to ignite a small piece of wool, we quickly realised that it was not as easy as it looked, but we managed to light it after a couple of attempts.

This induction day was a fun way to meet our classmates and get to know each other better, while also ensuring the whole experience was enjoyable for everyone. We participated in various entertaining activities, which created a warm atmosphere. It was a great way to break the ice and start our first year at Pate’s on a positive note. 🙂

Ryan (York)

Both the induction day and House Music were fantastic. There are so many things to do and enjoy! I would definitely say that they were the highlights of my start to secondary school. Now, if you are like “oh well and?” Well dear reader, you must read on because if you are saying that your state of mind is kind of well… GONE CRAZY!! So, as I said before, I would read on to get your head back to normal, and if you are interested, then it is quite obvious that you will read on. Now then, let’s get in to this!

Induction Day

On the day, I woke up nice and refreshed remembering one thing; it was induction day. I quickly had breakfast, got ready, and happily walked to the bus stop; after all, it was going to be an amazing day. When I reached school, I hurried to my form room. After some explaining from our helpful and kind House Officials, we went outside to do our first activity.

Our first activity was sort of like problem solving, but much better, and when I say better, I mean better! We got to find out how to get out of a tangled circle, how to get an empty gas tank out the circle using only a rope, and many more exciting things. It ended up being one of the best activities.

As soon as we finished that, we had something which, at first, I thought was a bit dangerous, but it ended up totally fine. Can you guess what it was? SPOILER! IT WAS SHOOTING. It was obvious wasn’t it? We were put into groups of 4 and yes, the shooting was loud. It was really fun as I could almost feel the slow movement of the bullet spinning to the aim and bursting through the paper.

After that was break. Of course it was not as fun as the actual activities but then, we couldn’t eat biscuits then could we?

Next was climbing and I’ve got to say, even though I may have done it many times before, it felt like it was new as ever, probably because of the steep walls. It was quick climb up the wall for the sides, but the middle ones were quite hard. Eventually, I made it up to the top, and right by the time I had reached the top, I had a deep sense of pride; after what felt like years of hard work, I did it.

Then was lunch, which obviously was the best activity (just joking!), but it was still great!

Just like shooting, archery was an aiming sport. It was really fun as I could finally learn how people actually use a bow and arrow. For some shots, I even felt like a famous athlete trying to win gold. Only gold. I even got the bullseye! Not bad for first try huh? Anyway, we all just loved it.

Then came my absolute favourite – tag archery. Just hearing the name made me know that it was going to be a great activity. As they say, save best for last! We were split into two teams, and played two rounds of intense fighting for victory. I was almost feeling like I was going to sweat to death in the helmet, but eventually, after winning the first round and drawing the second, our team won! It was really amazing, fun, and exciting.

House Music

House music was really fun. The rehearsals were absolutely amazing as our entire choir started to learn our new song; it was ‘We are Young’. There was also another choir, singing ‘Halo’. There was also our House’s orchestra. They were just so good; no wonder they won Best Orchestra! The time we did our actual show was even better. Although I was worried that I would make a mistake whilst singing, I managed to quickly overcome that and had a great time singing. The time while we were not singing was still absolutely fine. We got to have a completely free time, buying sweets and drinks from the Refectory, watching others perform, and chatting to our friends. In the end, York (our House) won! It just made my start to Year 7 even better. Even if we did not win, I still would have enjoyed it, as we still tried and did excellently.


What is it?

The chess tournament consisted of an unusual format; each House had 4 players, who played two games against randomly assigned opponents. A win would gain a point for your House team, with draws counting for nothing. This made the tournament very intriguing, because of both the unique format, and the fact that the playing order was only known to us on the day, so we did not know who we were playing beforehand. In the end, it was incredibly close, with just a point in it!

What is it like to play in it?

I was nervous days before the tournament, especially as I knew many of the participants from Chess Club, and I knew they were all very good. I spent loads of time thinking about strategies to win, and getting myself worked up into a frenzy!

On the day, our whole chess team was late for the tournament (due to an overrunning Period 4) and this added to my nerves. To make it worse, my opponent played the one move I was hoping he wouldn’t play, and it felt like my heart was going at 200 beats per minute!

What happened?

Everyone began all guns blazing, and a ferocious battle took place across all ten boards. After about half an hour, many games had ended, and the standings were starting to take shape. Many games were adjourned (paused mid-game to be continued the next day) and we all had sleepless nights, thinking about our (sleepless) knights on the board! In the end, York just managed to get the last valuable point they needed to clinch it, with 6 points out of 8, just edging out Pembroke and Gloucester, who both scored 5, with Beaufort scoring 2 and Richmond 1.

Tarun (7Y)


Taking part in this year’s House Bake Off has been so much fun and I have really enjoyed it. We started with the ‘Signature Challenge’, which for me was traybakes, so I made my 100-hour brownies – which take ages but are definitely worth the wait! There was a huge range of different bakes on display, including winter themed cupcakes, flapjacks and many, many traybakes, which were on sale at break with all the proceeds going to charity. Having tasted many of the bakes myself, the standard was amazing, and everyone looked like they were really enjoying tasting all the bakes!
I was lucky enough to get through to the ‘Showstopper Final’, which for me was a celebration cake. I decided to make a birthday chocolate cake with raspberries on the top and Matchmakers around the side, which was something I would have loved to get for my birthday! There was also the theme of ‘Movies’ for Years 7-9, where Ashton won, and ‘Fantasy’ for Years 10-11, where Carys won. I was lucky enough to win the senior section and York won overall! I have loved taking part in Bake Off this year, and as always am amazed at the talent of everyone taking part, as the cakes looked absolutely incredible. Well done everyone!


Each year, House Art is another amazing part of the House system, and this year’s edition was no exception. It’s made up of two main parts: the preliminary rounds, and the whole house presentation.  

The newer of these two parts is the preliminaries. Two people are selected from Years 7, 8 and 9, as well as 4 from Years 10 and 11 and four from Sixth Form (per House), and given a chance to make their own art piece within a 1 hour time frame. Each category is told the type of art they’ll be making, but aren’t told what the theme is until the beginning of the round. Year 7s took photos with the theme of light and dark, Year 8s used clay to make magical beasts, Year 9s made 3D art, Year 10s and 11s drew still lifes of pears, and the Sixth Formers had to make an art piece answering the question, “What will Pate’s look like in 50 years?”. The results of these intense 1 hour periods were some fantastic ad hoc artwork, with loads of variety and clever uses of the theme. The results of the judging however were a lot tighter, with Beaufort and Gloucester going into the second round neck and neck.  

The second round of the event is open to the entire House. The theme was ‘Connect’, and anyone could enter an art piece to be displayed on their House’s art board in the gallery for all to see. This round gave everyone in the House a chance to make their own art, and with more time and a broad theme, people were able to make the best of their set of skills and interpret the theme in their own way. The art on display included everything from a drawing of a human heart of hands, to a bike wheel made of wooden dominoes. 

In the end, there could only be one winner, but my goodness was it close. The House to take the cake in the end was Beaufort, winning the event by only a singular point. However, the event as a whole was another huge success, with all Houses coming together to put up incredible displays in the art gallery which were loved by all that visited the exhibition.


Participating in House Public Speaking was such an amazing experience, especially as a student who joined the Sixth Form in September. Standing in front of my peers and teachers, I felt a mix of nerves and excitement but also a sense of House spirit, especially when we won the overall trophy! The event taught me valuable communication skills and boosted my confidence. The supportive atmosphere during the House Public Speaking competition allowed me to express my thoughts and ideas with conviction. The event not only honed my public speaking abilities but also inspired personal growth, reinforcing the importance of effective communication in various aspects of life. Overall, House Public Speaking was a memorable event that equipped me with essential skills for the future.



The final day of term saw the return of House Dance. The hours of preparation by the House Officials and the rehearsals they lead delivered a fantastic showcase of talent, creativity and spirit.
Everyone taking part did themselves and their Houses proud, from excellent solo and small group numbers, to giving it everything in the whole House dances. Well done to every participant, it was a spectacular way to end the term!
Special recognition went to the following:
Dancing Technique – Evie from Richmond
Choreography – House Official Dance from Beaufort
Diversity – Year 11 Form Dance from York
House Spirit! – Kit from Gloucester
Presentation – Year 12 Dance from Pembroke
Winner of House Dance 2023: Richmond
Here is an insight into how Richmond prepared for the competition:
The House Dance preparation began weeks in advance, with the Richmond house official team carefully selecting songs and an overall theme. All dances fitted the concept of ”Empowering Women“, with music written, sung or inspired by powerful women. The vision for this was to uplift a wide range of cultures and personalities, while remaining cohesive under an important idea. Our whole house dance was to ”Dance the Night“ from the recent Barbie movie – not only was this a fun and upbeat song to get everyone moving, but it also represented the feminist message of Barbie, that the whole House responded to! All of Richmond worked hard to get ready in time at rehearsals lead primarily by our Year 8 link, Lauren Atkins – who choreographed the whole house dance – and the House Officials were blown away by everyone‘s enthusiasm and talent at our dress rehearsal. Finally, the big day arrived – and Richmond smashed it! Thank you so much to everyone who was involved – we defended our title as reigning House Dance champions!
Marla & Tomasz