“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 Taylor, 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 Basheer 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 Carter and the York House Official Team 



Fiona Wang (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 Nair (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 Schmidt-Martin (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 Chourasia (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 Gadgi (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.