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Pate’s Progress Inside: Pate’s students visit NASA Girls’ Sports Tour to South Africa Midsummer Nights Dream Issue 26 Spring 2010

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Pates ProgressIssue 26 Spring 2010

Inside: Pates students visit NASA Girls Sports Tour to South Africa Midsummer Nights Dream

Spring Term 2010Sat 30 Jan Tue 2 Feb

Forthcoming events at Pates....Welsh National Opera in school hall Berlin Wall Lecture

Thur 4 Feb Charity Comedy Evening with David ODocherty Fri 5 Feb Wine and Cheese Tasting Sports Tour Fundraising Tues 9 Feb Concert Ensemble Evening Thur 11 Feb Charity Valentines Day Events Wed 24 Feb Lunchtime Musical Concert Dance Evening Fri 26 Feb Parents Association Quiz Night Sat 27 Feb Orchestral Concert in school hall Mon 1 Mar Geography GIS Master Class Sat 6 Mar Sun 7 Mar Competition at Pates

National Festival Music for Youth

Wed 10 Mar Spring Concert Sat 27 Mar

Over the coming months and years education will become a political and economic proverbial football and I do fear that our opportunities to provide the extras that make such a difference will be threatened by cuts across the public sector. I see that funding difficulties will be an issue for all schools but I do hope that the local politicians will be vocal in their support for selective education.

As we look to the future, we should cherish all that is so good about our school. It was pleasing that, at a university reunion event for Patesians last year, a number of former students told me how the teaching they received at Pates meant that they started their university studies considerably ahead of their peers from other schools.

nd so it is now 2010. The last decade has flown by but some things remain constant the grammar school remains committed to providing our unique blend of education maximising academic learning, enabling happy school days and supporting personal development as children grow into young adults. All manner of government initiatives and educational innovations have come and gone. Any teacher not keen to learn more and try different strategies to improve isnt worthy of the status but equally fads and gimmicks should be treated as such. One massive change over the last decade has been the place of computers so that the teenage digital natives at Pates now have ICT provision, e-learning support and a technologically rich environment that continues to develop apace.


The Head Master Writes......

Wed 17 Mar Middle School House Debating Tue 30 Mar Jazz Evening

Parents Association Spring Fair

Despite political and economic uncertainties, I believe that we can all look forward with confidence so that the next decade at Pates can be just as successful as any in the past. That is because of the superb staff, supportive parents and governors but mostly because of the calibre of young people at Pates. It is a privilege to spend time with them. I would urge any former students to be in touch come back and visit as my guest and please do drop me a line to tell me what you are doing now. It would be super to hear from you and I would be really pleased to share news with others through future editions of Pates Progress.

You are warmly invited to these events, please contact us for more information.

Wed 31 Mar Pates Lecture Sir Brian Pitman

How to contact us ... Pates Grammar SchoolPrincess Elizabeth Way Cheltenham Glos GL51 OHG Tel: Fax: Email: Website: 01242 523 169 01242 232 775

[email protected]

Shaun Fenton Head master

Ellie Binnie on top of Cleeve Hill

In this issueOn the cover...Winter skills 2009 in the Cairn Gorms


4 5

4 - Trip to NASA 5 - Music at Pates - Youth Film Critic Awards 6 - Outdoor Education, CCF and trip to Ontario

6 8



- Link Ethiopia 8 - Make your Mark Challenge Building Development 9 - A Taste of China Partnerships in Learning


9 13

10 - Alumni - A new teachers rst impressions of Pates 11 - Girls sports tour to South Africa


13 - Sport 15 - Midsummer Nights Dream 16 - Art at Pates



Science Department visit to NASA

Take o......

n October, 56 students spent three days at the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. Among the highlights of this was the day spent on the Astronaut Training Experience. We took part in training activities, received lectures on the structure and engineering behind the space shuttle and carried out a full-size Shuttle Landing Simulation, which was amazing. Some of us even got the opportunity to touch a tyre that had been on a space shuttle! At the museum everyone took the opportunity to touch a piece of space rock that was on display, we can now say that Pates has touched the moon!


I really enjoyed the NASA trip! It was amazing because we learnt so much but it was really fun. I learnt how the world is going to generate electricity when we run out of fossil fuels and I found out so much information about rocket launches and rockets. I really enjoyed going on all the simulators in the Astronaut Training Experience because we got to understand how the astronauts trained and what it was like to be in a real rocket. I enjoyed doing the role play of a rocket mission because we experienced how hard it was for the astronauts to control the rocket and how many different things they had to do at once. I also loved the theme parks because we got to spend two whole days on roller coasters! Overall, the NASA trip was great fun. Pippa Matthews 10G

We were taken to the two main launch pads at Cape Canaveral and were able to see both the Space Shuttle Atlantis, which was rolled out while we were in Florida, and the new NASA rocket, which had a successful launch the week after we returned to the UK. Although the launch had had to be postponed from the day of our visit, we were fortunate to be there on the only occasion when there have ever been two different types of spacecraft in the hanger at the same time, an historic moment. We visited the Astronaut Hall of Fame and had a very interesting guided tour around all the exhibits; we were amazed by just how small, cramped and fragile the space capsules actually were. In fact we came to realise that the early missions were no more than sending

men into space riding on a missile. We suddenly realised that astronauts do not have a glamorous job, but an incredibly dangerous one. The solid rocket boosters of the shuttle are enormous and, again, we were able to appreciate that these were full of an explosive fuel. Although we knew that fuel was dangerous, seeing it up close combined with the sheer size of the spacecraft made it take on another dimension, something you cant imagine when just watching a launch from a distance on a TV screen. We had lunch with Space Shuttle pilot John McBride, who was able to answer lots of questions, and we had group photos taken with him. We also saw an IMAX presentation of life on the International Space Station and enjoyed a space shuttle launch simulation. We had an airboat ride on the everglades, but, unfortunately, didnt see any alligators, however the bird life was very good and we did see a Bald Eagle and its enormous nest. No trip to Florida would be complete without a visit to a theme park and we went to Universal Studios and had a fantastic time on all the rides and simulations. Overall this was a fantastic school trip; we learned so much about space travel and the difficulties and complexities of applying science to problem-solving. We were really inspired by what we heard, so much so that some of us are thinking hard about our university courses already, so that maybe in the future we can be involved in the space programme in Europe or America.


Lunchtime Concert in Cheltenham Town Hall


he invitation to perform at Cheltenham Town Hall as part of their lunchtime concert series was an excellent opportunity for some of our most able musicians to showcase their talents outside school. Despite the torrential downpour there was a good audience who clearly enjoyed the fantastic


n Wednesday 4th November over 100 musicians from across Years 7 13 came together to raise 600 for the charity Link Ethiopia, in the schools annual Charity Concert. The evening showcased pupils of all standards, opening with a rousing performance of Dvoraks Sonatina Symfonika from First Orchestra. Equally valued however was Training Orchestras performance of several childrens songs, with many members starting lessons only this term. Training

Charity Concert

performances, some were even moved to write and express their appreciation. Three chamber ensembles framed the concert in the form of a senior flute group, Year 12 string quartet and Year 12 sax quartet. All three ensembles provided slick performances. In addition to this, there were several stunning solo performances. The youngest performer, Rebecca McNaught (cello), performed Kol Nidrei accompanied by her brother Jonathan. Her performance was impressive by any standard, her tone quality and sense of line, outstanding. Jonathan later performed two solo piano pieces, and, as we have come to Orchestra also featured Robin Hedley 7G, Pates first harpist! Year7 also featured heavily in Junior Vocal Group, singing Hallelujah and I Dreamed a Dream, while their older counterparts in Senior Vocal Group performed two songs from the musical Guys and Dolls. Both halves of the concert were brought to a toe-tapping conclusion, with performances from Junior and Senior Jazz.

expect, shaped two technically demanding pieces with impressive maturity. William Percy performed another, very different staple of the cello repertoire. The deceptively simple character piece The Swan leaves no room for the slightest error, and Williams beautiful performance was flawless. We also heard from Susie Bagnall (soprano) who provided a committed rendition of Pieta Signore with remarkable support and shape. Tomoya Forster showed how beautiful the alto saxophone can be and why he is shaping up for a career in music!


Lights, camera, action: my day at the Young Film Critic Awards

n 13th July, 13 budding sinologists embarked on a long journey (about 20 hours) to China. We arrived a day later in Beijing. As soon as we stepped outside the air conditioned terminal, the sticky heat truly hit us and we took many days to recover. For the next few days we would stay in a campus with thousands of other students from the UK and the USA. We saw the sights and explored the city, visiting the must-see places such as the Forbidden City, the Great Wall and Tiananmen Square in the rain. Despite the growing casualties to swine flu and the looming prospect of quarantine, our group managed to escape Beijing on 19th July and travelled across China to Shanghai. We spent two weeks in Shanghai on a language course, which really improved our Mandarin. In the afternoons we toured the sights of the city, including the Oriental Pearl TV Tower and the older parts of the city. We also had a try at haggling in the markets to

Chinese horizons


buy surprisingly cheap designer clothes and went to restaurants which served many weird and wonderful foods. One day we went to Suzhou, a less built-up city nearby. This included a boat ride around the Venice-like canals and a trip to a traditional opera house, where Fran, our very own concubine, and Elliot took part in the show. At the end of the two weeks in Shanghai, we went back to Beijing and stayed in a five star hotel as a prize for being brave during the swine flu outbreak. We visited the Temple of Heaven, went on a rickshaw tour through old Beijing and did a last spot of

he music departments contribution to the Africa day involved a singing workshop and a drumming workshop. Our drum and percussion teacher Sam Gerard kept 25 Year 9 pupils enthralled as they put together complex polyrhythms on the new African drums. In the room next door the singers mastered four part harmonies in a variety of African songs. The whole day came together in the hall as both singers and drummers gave the rest of the school a taste of African Music.


African Drumming

shopping before finally beginning the long journey home


George Wright Year 13

entered the young Film Citic Competition and as my favourite film of 2009 is Slumdog Millionaire, I wrote a review of that. A few weeks later, I was surprised but very pleased when Mr Allinson told me that I had won the secondary school category. On Thursday 15th October my Mum and I took the train to London, the home of the BAFTA building, where the awards ceremony was being held. It was a very grand building, full of gold and marble. We were given VIP passes. We then went to the awards ceremony in the Princess Anne theatre which was hosted by Blue Peter presenter Joel Deffries. It began with a short trailer for National Schools Film Week (15-23 October.) The awards were presented by figures from different areas of the film industry. The biggest excitement came

when Joel announced who would present the Film Club awards to me Tom Felton, who plays the villainous Draco Malfoy in the Harry Potter films. Some of the younger children, evidently confusing him with his character, cowered in their seats and the little boy sitting next to me waved an imaginary wand at him! Tom presented me with a trophy and a certificate. Afterwards, I had photos taken with Tom and he autographed my certificates. Unlike his character, he was very friendly and down-to-earth in spite of being

famous. I wondered about asking him if his famous and brilliant quote I like geography. I like to know where places are (on a poster in D212 along with the words of Confucius, Gandhi and Einstein) still holds true for him, but decided against it. I was very proud to have won a national competition. I didnt have the chance to make a tearful Kate Winslet-style acceptance speech, but I would like to thank my Mum for taking me to London, Mr Allinson for telling everyone about the competition and the Film Club and Film Education staff for organising such an exciting day. Rosemary Collins Year 12


Ontario Tiger venturer 2009

n Sunday 12th July 2009, cadets from Pates Grammar School CCF set off from Cheltenham to Crowborough, Sussex, in search of knowledge, fun and exploration. The week of excitement kicked off with adventurous training, getting all the cadets pumped up and ready for the next four days of hardcore effort and enthusiasm. As always, every day was packed with opportunities to learn, have fun and develop skills social, physical and leadership. A personal favourite day of mine was field craft, which involved running around, getting dirty and firing lots and lots of rounds! As well as field craft, the day down on the ranges also proved to be one of the best. On previous Annual Camps range days have just been shooting, however this year there was a bit more variety, such as an assault course, air rifles, laser tag and even paintballing, which

Annual Camp 2009

n October I enjoyed a CCF field day and camp out. During Friday every new recruit from both the Army and RAF sections journeyed to Cleeve Hill where our activities were based. We were divided into groups, each led by a NCO from Year 12 or 13. First there was a station where we were told about D of E and were briefed about the award system, the requirements and the benefits of it. Next we were reminded of how to prepare our food and given a taste of the new ration pack contents. Many of us were surprised to see Marmite, Tabasco sauce and Lucozade sport drink flavouring items that made the ration pack more flavoursome and enjoyable! On the top of the hill we learnt about navigation and how to use it effectively and accurately. We put our skills and knowledge to the test by completing a few navigation tasks on the hill. We persevered through the cold conditions, enjoying the new experiences. The most popular activity was abseiling. Lt Col Woodall led the abseiling, making sure everyone was

CCF Field Day

Outdoor Education


safe while at the same time ensuring everyone was having fun. We also learnt about first aid. Lastly, we learnt how to use and look after tents, which will be a vital skill in future expeditions and camps. The next day we woke up to prepare our breakfast rations of food, left a lot of us slightly bruised, but definitely wanting more! On the final day, the competitions got off to a good start in the march and shoot, with Pates dominating the opposition and gaining our first victory of the day. This was not to be the only success. Our patrolling section came a close second, and Hattie Nicholas topped it off by winning the prize for the best archer on camp. Annual Camp is always a highlight of the CCF calendar, which leaves me with only one thing to say bring on Annual Camp 2010. training programme very well, eager to pick up the skills needed for the two expedition phases. Sunny days were interrupted by heavy downpours and much of camp life took place under tarps. Groups learnt to cook on open fires, a skill that is little practised in the UK. Much fun was had lighting these fires with birch-bark and fire-steel. John Albinson, former Professor from Queens University (Kingston, Ontario), joined one of the teams on the Crotch Lake circuit. Johns experience and campfire talk gave the team a real insight into canoe-life in Canada. The Mawaska River, despite taking up only two days, proved to be the highlight of the trip. A late spring and a particularly wet July meant that the river was very high. Kinston, Ottawa, Toronto and Niagara all provided

such as bacon, beans and beef. Next, we were briefed about our rota for the day, which included a session on how to prepare and look after your kit and polish your boots, before receiving our CCF kit. As well as the kit issue procedures, we revised and practised the drill that we had learnt over the first few weeks of Friday night sessions. We spent time on the field navigating and practising our new skills. The whole event was very exciting and made us all very eager to continue with our CCF and to get stuck into the opportunities it has.

Ellie Wilson 9R


Relaxing a er an action packed day

Jen Cockett 12B1 R&R opportunities for the groups. The highlights were many but the street performers in Ottawa and the Blue Jays game stand out (especially the commentary from our waiter in the Hard Rock Caf who gave us a commentary while we dined in stadium side seats).


ates Grammar School took part in an exciting wilderness canoeing experience in Ontario, Canada. The two parties rolled through Desert Lake, North Frontenac, and engaged with the



t has been a busy and exciting start to the school year for the Art Department, with many visits to galleries and museums taking place, and House Art taking over the Gallery.


Within the first couple of weeks of the new school year, Year 10 spent the day at Nature in Art at Twigworth, gathering resources and ideas for their first coursework project, Natural Forms. Students took part in a wire sculpture workshop, met Robert Cox, the artist in residence, and sat in the sunshine sketching from sculptures within the grounds. A week later, Year 12 and 13 students travelled to London to visit the Tate Modern and Tate Britain. Students were able to experience a wide range of traditional and contemporary artwork, and to select artists that will influence their personal projects. With a range of work exhibited within these galleries, all students came away inspired and buzzing with ideas, looking forward to getting back into the classroom to start their own masterpieces!


ife drawing classes have begun in earnest, taking place once every two weeks for Year 12 and 13 students. Pates is one of only a few schools in Gloucestershire that provides this opportunity to its students, an opportunity that is paramount in improving students drawing skills, enabling them to create an exciting portfolio of work in the process.

small group of Sixth formers went to hear Antony Gormley the sculptor who created the Angel of the North - and Quentin Blake, among others, talk about their work and their personal, creative processes. This was such a fantastic day (for students and staff!), highlighting


In October, Year 9 visited the Pitt Rivers Museum and the Natural History Museum in Oxford. These are two fascinating, exceptional museums with over five million artefacts and specimens, including dinosaur skeletons, fossils, shrunken heads, textiles, jewellery, ceramics and weaponry almost too much to pack into a single day!

sculpture and photography. The involvement of students throughout the school in this competition must be commended; we have been inundated with high quality entries once again. For the first time the competition was opened up to staff, proving that it is not just the students who are creative! And, as if we couldnt fit anything else into an already packed year we have had our Artist in Residence, Simon Packard, during December, and Year 11, 12 and 13 students will be jetting off to New York in February half term!

different facets of art and design and the possibilities within these. We returned with autographs and the feeling that we would just like to sit down with Quentin Blake and have a cup of tea with him! During House Art, the Gallery was bursting at the seams, full of work responding to the theme of Viewpoints with every House displaying a range of drawing, painting,


n 2009, Link Ethiopia was set up as part of the current Year 9s Year 8 Leadership and Community lessons. Our task was to set up a project within either our local area, country or with an international one, in order to help people and contribute to an outside community. In my group, 8RY of last year, we decided that we would like to make a difference to the lives of those outside our country. We felt that it would benefit others by giving them support and introducing them to another culture; consequently it would be a valuable experience for us and we could develop skills that we could use in later life, such as fundraising and leadership. When carrying out our research we found Link Ethiopia. Link Ethiopia was founded over 10 years ago and has dedicated its work to helping and supporting the education system in Ethiopia. When we looked into the current education system in Ethiopia we were shocked to discover that not every child is fortunate enough to go to school; facilities within the current schools are very basic and the resources are inadequate for the students. Tana Haik is the school we have been linked with. It is home to 4199 pupils, with a total of 37 classrooms and class sizes of over 65! As it is not possible to fit all the students into the school in one go, the school operates a shift system where half of the students come to school in the morning and the other half in the afternoon. The aim of the link is for both Pates and Tana Haik to have regular communications with students from another

Link Ethiopia

World Links


The team headed by Mr Bruce


ates has just set up a link with a secondary school in Ethiopia called Tana Haik and much of the money raised on Charity Day this year went towards providing Tana Haik with its first computers for the 4,000 students to use. To give Pates students a feel for the cultural differences and issues facing students in Africa, the day before Charity Day saw our African Flexible Learning Day where students across the whole school were engaged in activities related to Africa. Assembly began with students learning how to greet each other in Swahili and then Nicki Storey, a former student, gave an inspiring presentation about her time in Ethiopia working with charities. Students then dispersed across school to a huge range of different activities for the middle part of the day. Year 7-10 students were involved with: African art print work and making masks African Music - singing and a drumming workshop. Scrap Recycling making toys and jewellery out of aluminium cans, wire and bottle tops African Safari making presentations about some of Africas wildlife and conservation issues. Water for Africa making systems to raise and purify water. Drama - stories from Africa,an African drama workshop.

Africa Flexible Learning Day

culture and background to help us understand what it is like being a student in a very different country. In the future we hope to set up an Internet blog with them. We also hope to raise money to provide extra resources for the students of Tana Haik. Currently they only have one computer used for administration, but that is about to change! We are all very proud to say that Pates has succeeded in raising over 2,000 so far for Tana Haik, which will provide some computers for the students to use and training for the teachers. At Pates we take for granted the facilities we have and the opportunities we are given. The computers will provide basic skills that will help set students up for life,

contributing to their university success. On Wednesday 15th July 2009, the Link Ethiopia team alongside Mr Bruce, our teacher link cocoordinator, and the rest of the teachers at Pates organised an Ethiopian day for students. Many African-related activities took place, which involved all the students and they spread awareness about the link. A huge thank you goes to Mr Bruce and the rest of the teachers at Pates for their help and support during the preparations and the running of Ethiopia day and also to the students at Pates for taking part and contributing to helping our link school.

Ellie Wilson 9R


Shanty Town in families, students built their own shanty house out of cardboard on the field and then had a role play exercise where they were set different challenges and tasks to do. A Newspaper in a Day 25 students produced a fantastic 16-page newspaper looking at African issues and reporting on all the activities going on around school. The Sixth Form spent the morning in a mock United Nations, set up in the hall, where groups of students represented different countries around the world and discussed the issue of aid, using currant buns unequally distributed to represent the relative wealth of the different countries! In the afternoon there was a series of workshops covering a variety of African issues, including AIDS, street children, African politics and African films.

Finally, at 2:45pm the whole school came back together in the hall for a celebratory showcasing of all that had gone on during the day, with photos, video, interviews and performances highlighting all the fantastic work that had been produced in the preceding four hours! This final gathering clearly did justice to an impressive day where Pates students showed once again how impressive they are in throwing themselves into new challenges, grappling with difficult issues and working together across age group and year group boundaries to produce extremely high quality outcomes.

Make Your Mark Challenge 2009


Economics and Business Trip Frankfurt You like it in Frankfurt?ur enthusiastic and ardent tour guide revitalised our excitement for the banking city of Germany, the financial capital of Europe. We werent only introduced to the banking history of the city, but also the cultural and historical account of the beautiful city. The economic relevance of this trip involved visits to the European Central Bank and the Frankfurt Stock Exchange, while our visits to the Opel car factory and Possmann applewine factory increased our business knowledge. Entering the European Central Bank (ECB) involved a high degree of security but once inside we were educated on the main tasks of the ECB. Today, the Frankfurt Stock Exchange is an international trading centre, which is also reflected in the structure of its participants, of whom some 140 of around 300 market participants come from abroad. As well as receiving an idiots guide to the structure and workings of the Stock Exchange, our visit involved observing the trading floor from the visitors gallery. Overall, the economic relevance of the trip was extensive; introducing us to two large European establishments which directly relate to the UK economy. Valuable business experience was gained from our visits to the Opel factory and Possmann factory. The history of applewine in and around Frankfurt Main, Germany goes back over 1,200 years. Frankfurt Main represents the heart of German applewine culture. Our guide at the factory revealed the fermenting process

ear 12 Economics and Business students took part in the annual national enterprise challenge, along with 73,000 other students, as part of Enterprise Week on Monday 16th November. The brief this year was to Develop a cool creation with low carbon credentials based on a local inspiration. Six Pates teams spent the day in school creating a new invention or innovating an existing product or service. They had just over four hours to develop their idea, research competitors and estimate their first year profit, before having to pitch to judges within school. The winning school team, led by Henry Bradley, developed an electrical goods

recycling service called Skippy Scrappage. Mark Milton, Oscar Miller, James Fesemeyer The service provided a number of skips and Mohammed Moolla. around Cheltenham for people to be able to recycle their old kettles, toasters, TVs, etc, free Mrs Howell of charge and more conveniently than using landfill. Revenue would be generated from the metal weight within each skip, which was estimated at 8 a cubic metre, and from advertising space on the skips. Skippy Scrappage were entered into the national Make Your Mark competition and were selected as Regional Finalists, held at The Watershed Media Centre in Bristol on Friday 27th November. Despite a professional pitch and great acting by Oscar Miller, they narrowly The team in full swing in Bristol missed out on reaching the national final. The team consisted of Henry Bradley (Captain), Karim Tair-El-Bar,



for the high-quality applewine. This was followed by a tasting session of the wide variety of applewine produced at the factory, complimented with a round of pretzels as well.

echoes the production of Vauxhall cars around the world. We left Frankfurt in the early hours totally overwhelmed by the historical and cultural essence of the modern banking city

Say cheese

Building Development at Pates


Our final activity was our visit to the Opel car factory in Russelheim. Adam Opel was the founder of the brand, which has produced sewing machines, bicycles, motorbikes, cars and even refrigerators under the family business. It is owned by General Motors and

and content that we had all had such a wonderful and educational experience. We were asked frequently You like it in Frankfurt? and yes we did!

Dana Singh 13BG

e have now started a 5 million building development programme to update the school buildings and facilities. Twelve projects have been identified and these include a new Fitness Suite, a re-organisation of the Science Laboratories, Information Technologyenhanced classrooms, and new Food Technology, Drama and Outdoor Pursuits classrooms; but the flagship project is a new Sixth Form Centre and Refectory. The development will be funded by a mixture of Government funding and support from the Pates Foundation, from which we already have 3.5 million. However, we need to raise and additional 1.5 million through our own efforts. We have already reached 100, 000 in gifts and pledges through the generosity of many individuals, for which we are extremely grateful.

Building Work Already Completed


Mrs Park

ver the last two summer holidays, two of our science labs have been redesigned and refurbished . The labs now have smartboards, multimedia projectors and modern, movable furniture to allow a flexible learning environment. A Fitness Suite has also been constructed in the attic space above the changing rooms. There has been extensive development of our Information Technology resources and infrastructure. We now have a new server room with significant upgrades to server performance and storage capacity, which has given us a resilient, reliable highperformance network to serve our school community and its ever growing use of ICT.

The new IT suite


Partnerships in Learning

travel and extra-terrestrials as 35 Year 9 pupils, with Mrs Harding and Mr Head, attended a lecture at St. Edwards School, organised by the Institute of Physics. 2009 was the International Year of Astronomy (IYA) celebrating the 400th anniversary of Galileos use of the telescope to study the night sky. The IYA is intended to stimulate interest not only in astronomy but in science in general, with a particular slant towards young people. The show involved hands-on demonstrations, giving students the opportunity to do some astronomy themselves using some of the most advanced telescopes in the world. The main points that we took from the lecture were that due to progress in technology astronomers can now observe things further and further away and, therefore, further back in time; astronomical observations can be used to learn more about

How to Explore the Universe A tale of telescopes, time

Learning and beyond

the origins and future of the universe; modern telescopes can be used by astronomers to look at the universe in ever greater detail. The lively lecture was presented by Dr

Andrew Newsam, a Reader in Astronomy Education at The Astrophysics Research Institute, Liverpool John Moores University, where he specialises in turning sets of astronomical data into a collection of useful numbers that can be used in science. Dr Newsam is also Director of the National Schools Observatory (NSO), a project aimed at giving school children the opportunity to make their own observations alongside professional astronomers on top-quality telescopes. Due to the late arrival of our coach, we were fortunate to benefit from the opportunity to ask lots of extra questions, which were answered with enthusiasm.

A Taste of China comes to Patess part of our Inter-State School Partnership (ISSP), we hosted our first event of this academic year. Around 80 students from five local schools, Pates, Winchcome, Pittville, Bournside and Christ College, participated in an action-packed day entitled A Taste of China. The students who took part were all studying languages from Years 9 and 10. During the course of the day, they attended a variety of

he Cheltenham Independent and State Schools Partnership (ISSP) is managed by Pates Grammar School. This project aims to enhance the aspirations of gifted and talented pupils from seven Cheltenham schools towards higher education. 2009 was a very busy year with over 14 separate events, including a sports science day, an engineering day, a science day and a spy day. The year culminated in a summer school held at Dean Close Junior School with the theme The sky is not the limit. 120 Year 10 pupils were treated to a programme of events, including visits to


Oxford University, Londons Royal Society and Airbus, Bristol. On the final day, the pupils used their new-found expertise to rise to the Flying Start Challenge of building an aircraft powered by an elastic band; the winners designed the aircraft that stayed airborne for the longest time.

J McKechnie


students an opportunity to ample typical Chinese snacks. This they did with trepidation but most reported that the Zongzi, which is a special kind of dumpling usually made of glutinous rice and wrapped in bamboo, was delicious! The day was a huge success and our very grateful thanks go to the Chinese Children and Parents Association for providing a wonderful array of activities which really gave all involved A Taste of China.


workshops ranging from Kung Fu to Origami to Mandarin for Tourists, all equally challenging and enjoyable. As part of the event, all students and tutors enjoyed a fantastic Chinese buffet lunch to help everyone fully immerse themselves in the Chinese culture. A Chinese Caf ran throughout the day, demonstrating the tea ceremony and giving

Sharon Stratford

he Pates Lecture Series continues to attract nationally renowned speakers. Recently we have enjoyed the visits of social entrepreneur Lord Mawson. Professor Burland of Imperial College London, lead engineer in the project to stabilise the Tower of Pisa, Anne Widdecombe MP and Sir David Pepper, Director General of GCHQ. In October, the Pates Lecture was delivered by David Davies MP. Grammar school educated, David Davies has had a distinguished career. He has been Minister of State at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (1994-1997), Conservative Party Chairman and Shadow Deputy Prime Minister. Between 2003 and 2008 he was the Shadow Home Secretary

David Davies MP Pates Lecture Autumn 2009


Professor John Sharpey-Schafer - Cheltenham Grammar School 1949-1957uring my time at Cheltenham Grammar School I was awarded one third of the Upper Sixth Physics prize (a dictionary!) for being the first boy at the school to get over 80% in all three physics papers and in the practical exam (tough in those days!). I also managed to squeeze into Kings College at Cambridge. I left Cambridge for Liverpool in 1960 to do a PhD in nuclear physics. In 1964 I gained my PhD, was appointed to a lectureship and became the leader of one of the two largest research groups in nuclear physics. In 1966/7 I had a years leave-of-absence at the Chalk River Laboratories of the Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. I learnt all about the new high resolution gamma-ray technologies they had developed. I was very privileged indeed at Liverpool to supervise 25 PhDs, six of whom are now professors, six are leading research scientists


in the Shadow Cabinet, under both Michael Howard and David Cameron. Davies had previously been a candidate for the leadership of the Conservative Party in 2001 and 2005, coming fourth and then second. Recently he has also been a vocal supporter of grammar school education. On 12 June 2008, in a surprising and controversial move, Davies announced his intention to resign as an MP, and was immediately replaced as Shadow Home Secretary. This was in order to force a byelection in his seat, for which he intended to seek re-election by mounting a specific campaign designed to provoke wider public debate about the erosion of civil liberties in the UK. As a backbencher he has continued to campaign for civil liberties. His principled stand probably damaged his career in politics but he believed in the issues too much to stand by.

At Pates, David Davies talked about the erosion of civil liberties in the light of the rise of anti-terror legislation. He also challenged Pates students that their privileged education here implied that they needed to make a difference in their communities or professional life later even if, as in his case, standing up for their values harmed their own career prospects.


David Davies MP with the Head Master and old boy, Mark Coote, prospective Parliamentary Candidates for Cheltenham

Dream Realised

and the rest are scattered about industry. Together we had great successes. In 1983 and 1986 we made major discoveries of a very elongated form of nuclear matter superdeformed nuclei. These discoveries and their follow-ups made a major new test of the quantum theories of nuclei. They have established nuclear spectroscopy as a leading science and the technologies and resulting physics are a major part of most of the new developments currently proposed in our subject. I moved on to become the Director of the National Accelerator Centre outside Cape Town in July 1995. I managed to save the laboratory from closure in 2001 and changed its name to iThemba Laboratory for Accelerator Based Sciences (iThemba LABS) in 2002 and I retired in 2005.

Since then I have been lecturing on quantum mechanics and nuclear physics to a Graduate School (MSc) that I set up with the two Historically Black Universities of Western Cape and Zululand. I am now back into research and I am currently supervising three PhD and several MSc postgraduates.

Football fan and Pates old boy Jon Palmer has landed the football followers dream job. For the last three years Jon has been the chief football writer for the Gloucestershire Echo, in effect the voice of the Robins. After a journalism degree at Southampton University, Jon did some freelance work before taking over from the legendary Derek Goddard at the Echo. During his time there, he witnessed Cheltenham Town secure one promotion and one relegation and has taken coverage of their exploits to new levels in his paper. A goalkeeper in his football days at Pates, Jon has also found time to write two books about the clubs history, Cheltenham Town FC, 50 Greats and Cheltenham Town FC Classic Matches. Jon is now highly respected by the players and backroom staff at the Robins. Football is not just his job, it is his passion.

was asked to write a short paragraph about my first thoughts of Pates. A question my friends, family and past pupils have been asking me a lot over the last few months is hows the new school? After some thought I always reply different. This is as succinct as I can be about such a change as Ive experienced in coming to teach here. In almost every way it can be, Pates is the polar opposite of my last school. In some ways thats a good thing and in others, a bad thing (mostly its a good thing!) I was considering my task shortly after the short Remembrance Day service on Wednesday the 11th of November. The event itself was a sort of microcosmic encapsulation of many of the features that make it special to teach here. The service involved no adults except for one teacher to ring the bell on the hour from within the school. Students arrived quickly and quietly and arranged themselves in the quad with the minimum of direction. A talented young man sounded the Last Post beautifully in front of all his peers as representatives of the CCF stood by with flag and wreath. The school stood in contemplative silence and after the end of the two minutes, remained in silence without further instruction

A new teachers first impressions

John (right) with a Jolly Miller in Tibet.


until the wreath had been laid. Moments later, a simple nod from the Head was all that was required to send the students quietly back to continue with their lessons, many of whom stopped to thank and congratulate the young man who had played for them. When I sat down I considered the fact that in not a single one of the schools I have known in my time could any of that have happened. The Pates experience for me has been in a large part dominated by the maturity and professionalism of most of its students, their ability to manage themselves, their talents and their willingness to share them with the school community, and their emotional intelligence. This one event brought all these facets of the school together. It was a beautiful experience.

Mr Declan Flemming


Memorable, Humbling and Emotional

Tourist trips included taking a Peninsular Tour down to the Cape of Good Hope, the most poignant, moving and thought-provoking being a visit to the prison known as Robben Island. Here, a former prisoner escorted the group on a tour of the facility where political prisoners were held during apartheid, the most famous captive being Nelson Mandela, who was held captive for 27 years, some 19 of these To help get over the long flight, the first day saw a being on Robben Island. Mr Mandela was an short visit to a cheetah sanctuary but this was anti-apartheid activist and became the followed by the first netball match against the countrys president in 1994 in the first fully Western Provincial Team Pates experienced an representative election following the early defeat in this fixture but, after dusting off the abolishment of apartheid, cobwebs, the team showed promise for the rest of the forthcoming matches. Then came the most emotional and humbling fixtures of the tour, the Township Tour, playing against Langa Netball and Belhar Hockey Clubs. Belhar Hockey Club was formed only four years ago, with the sole incentive of keeping young male and female children off the streets and free from the risk of drugs. They turned up in the back of a local church meals on wheels van as they had been unable to afford the taxi fares to the fixture. The girls, aged between 12 and 16, showed tremendous commitment and courage, and a determination to try their best. Even though they were losing 2-0 quite early on in the fixture, they kept their heads high.

The twenty-four-strong tour began their 16 day campaign in Cape Town, in what was reminiscent of a typical British winters day: rain, wind and floods! The newspapers were full of reports of the worse rainfall in 50 years. This prompted memories amongst the accompanying staff of the 2007 Australia tour, when the news on the other side of the world was the unprecedented UK summer flooding, particularly in Gloucestershire.

he Pates Grammar School U16 development squads returned from South Africa in August after undergoing some challenging, highly emotional and culturally life-changing experiences.


Over the next few days, the Pates tour interspersed tourist visits with matches. The squad bounced back during their second fixture with an emphatic victory against Bergvliet High School, both at netball and on the hockey field.

No sooner had the girls come off court, than the squads were back on the coach and travelling across town to play hockey against Wynberg Girls School. Pates started promisingly, going into an early lead and maintaining this to a half-time score of 1-0. However, Wynberg used the second half as a practice opportunity for their own upcoming tour to Malaysia and put their Senior XI against the young Pates team. The girls did well with the final score being a credible 2-1 to Wynberg. After the fixture had ended, the Pates squad "Robben Island was intense, enhanced by the presented the club with kit, sticks and equipment that we had taken out with us from fact that our tour guide had been a prisoner the school collection before the tour. Their there" Jess Stamp reaction was extremely touching, as their coach To celebrate the end of a memorable first day in burst into tears. One of the Pates girls, Maddie South Africa, the squads enjoyed some cultural Leitch, understanding and responding to their evening entertainment at Moyos, where they pleasure and their plight, then responded by sampled South African cuisine and were taking the astro boots off her own feet and introduced to African dancing. adding these to the gifts.

e then headed off to the suburb of Langa, completely different from any other suburb that we had visited on the tour. Walking into the village sports hall, we were inundated by lots of children within minutes of our arrival. They were seeking the opportunity to gain attention and be photographed by the girls.


Girls Sports Tour to South Africa 2009lessons. At the end of the matches we went to Big Mammas House for some more African cuisine.

A flight to Durban marked the beginning of the second stage of the tour. Commencing with a visit to Hluhluwe on safari, hoping to see the Big Five buffalo, rhino, elephant, leopard

and lion - as well as see the hippopos at St. Lucia. What a memorable experience enhanced by the aptly named Hawk Eye of Mrs Dandy, who could spot any animal within a one kilometre radius.

"The safari was fantastic, and the whole trip was an amazing experience" Holly Hill

We were victorious in these fixtures, though I think that the girls all learned some much more valuable The first match was in Pietermaritzburg, another transfer required, and that is when the outbreak began! We were struck by a severe sickness bug that ended with over two thirds of the squad being affected and culminating in a temporary doctors surgery being set up in the base. The match against Voortrekker High School became a friendly fixture, as we could only field 9 out of the 24 strong squad, with Pates being victorious in the hockey. The tour ended up with three wins for hockey and two wins for netball from the four contested fixtures each team had. At the end of tour meal, Charlotte Armer was given the Best Tourist Award, with Holly Hill being awarded Best Hockey Tourist and Emma Gabbott being awarded Best Netball Tourist.

"The view from Table Mountain was fantastic and unforge able" Katrina Amos

Finishing off the tour back in Durban we arrived with, by then, 24 fit and healthy girls, ready for our last remaining fixture against Northlands High School. Pates had two convincing wins on the netball courts before transferring to the astro turf for what proved to be a hard fought hockey match. Wanting to end the tour with a clean sweep, Pates fought all the way to the bitter end scoring the match winner with just three minutes of the game remaining.

The girls have returned with some unforgettable memories and experiences that will live with them forever. They have returned focused towards their sport, resulting in a term which has seen the most successful results the school has had for many years in the county rounds of the National Schools Tournaments for hockey and netball.

Playing against the South African Teams was a really good experience Kat Coleby


nspired by an excellent all round display from Man of the Match Stefan Franklin, the U15 cricket team repeated their 2008 triumph by beating County Champions Cotswold School in the district final in July. Pates reached 134 for 9 in 30 overs. Franklin top scored with a blistering 45 and a valuable 50 run stand between Xander Seddon (31 not out) and Joe Sharp (19) helped set a useful target. Cotswold were always in trouble, as tight bowling by skipper Callum Carson, Matt Williams and a three wicket haul from Franklin reduced Cotswold to 15 for 5, 38 for 7 and an eventual 87 all out.

Stefan leads U15 cricketers to repeat final victory.


Dream trip for Lions Mascot Max!ates rugby player Max Rooley was given the sporting trip of a lifetime when he became the winner of an HSBC Daily Telegraph competition in May. A lunchtime phone call from mum Claire confirmed that Max was to be the British Lions official mascot for the first test in Durban in June. Maxs best memory is being on the pitch in Durban before the start, taking it all in. I couldnt believe the noise in the stadium, it was totally awesome. Even a narrow 26, 21 defeat at the hands of the Springboks could not dampen the memory of a fabulous trip.



John Berry

Carson and Morrisstand a school cricket record

Callum and Stefan with District Cup


ear 8 rugby centre and goal kicker Joe Gare has hit excellent form for the schools U13 team. Up to the middle of November he hit 25 conversions, three penalties and scored six tries for a total of 89 points so far. Joe practises his kicking at lunchtime at school and also at his club, Coney Hill RFC. At present, his record is an amazing 90%.

Goalkicker Joe in excellent form!

chool sporting records are difficult to assess but it is believed that the 1st wicket stand of 158 this summer by Callum Carson and Mark Morris is a record for any wicket in Pates history. Carson (108) hit 10 sixes and Morris (50) made their mark in a County Cup victory against Wydean for the U14 team. This is Carsons second century for Pates, after a 112 not out against Sir Thomas Richs U13 team last year.

ates teams have produced some expansive and winning rugby while playing with outstanding team spirit. The fixture list has become more challenging this season with Cheltenham College, Bishops Hereford and Cokethorpe all additions to complete a strong set of fixtures. The U13s and U14s have fielded both A and B teams and beaten some strong rugby schools, winning over 85% of their fixtures. The U15s still have an unbeaten run going back to December 2008 but unfortunately went out of the National Daily Mail Cup on tries scored, after drawing 18-18 with rivals Chosen Hill. With 60 senior players, the 3 teams have trained hard and improved both their performance and understanding of how to win games. The 2nd XV, in particular, have had an outstanding season. The 1st XV have had a good run in the Daily Mail Cup. The senior squad is busy fund-raising for their July 2010 tour to Argentina.

Rugby continues to flourish at Pates

Max coming out on the pitch with Paul OConnell


Girls netball



squad of 11 girls from Year 10 and 11 represented the school at the county round. This meant the team qualified for the finals as winners of their group and met Farmors School in the semi-final. They won the match, meaning that the team had qualified for the regional finals! All the team played some brilliant netball throughout the afternoon. In a tense final against Cheltenham Ladies College the match was drawn at full time. After two minutes of extra time, the score was 8-7 to Cheltenham Ladies College! At the U14 County Tournament, the squad

nearly matched this success. Losing only one match out of seven in their section meant the team qualified for the semi-final. A win here would have meant qualification for regionals but they narrowly lost out to a strong Dean Close team. At the U18 Tournament, Pates went through to the semi-finals as second in the group. Pates had to play an extremely talented Hartpury side, who went on to win the final against Chosen Hill in convincing style. Overall this was the best performance from Pates teams in recent years; in every County Tournament Pates played in the finals, and qualified for the Regional Round in the U16 age group.

Will sets personal best in English schools 800 metre final14

Year 10 student Will Paulson set a personal best 800 metres time (2.03.28) in the Junior Boys final at the English Schools Championships in July.

The Team

he Pates U13 Aegeon Team Tennis team of Mary Hartley, Rhiana Hande, Gemma Ford and Millie Stone repeated last years success in winning the county round of the National Schools Competition and travelled to Bristol to play in the regional round. Here, unfortunately, they had to play Talbot Heath School in the quarter final the team they lost to in the final last year. This is a school with a tennis centre of excellence attached, so it was always going to be very difficult to beat them! The team is pictured in the new team tennis school hoodies. They now look forward to another successful summer season.

Girls Tennis


ixth former Harry Sharp teamed up with former Premier League footballers Barry Hayles and Elvis Hammond during Cheltenham Towns 2-1 win at Western Super Mare in July. Replacing Justin Richards in the 71st minute, striker Harry had one shot saved by the home goalkeeper, while another effort sailed wide. The Pates student teamed up with Robins legend Julian Alsop in a 4-4-2 formation. Harrys selection was reward for being named Man of the Match in a supporters team which took on the League Two club in May. Harry is now playing in the schools 1st rugby XV as back row forward. Harry scored two tries in Pates 33-7 victory in the Daily Mail Cup first round win at Newent in September.

Super Sub Harry helps Robins to pre season victory


The Volcano backs Girls RoundersPates Argentina Rugby Tour

t has been a good start to the hockey season for the girls, with all teams losing only one match and drawing three to date. The U18, U16 and U14 hockey teams have played in the National Schools Tournaments this term. The U18 team played four matches, winning two, drawing one match and losing to Dean Close, which made the team runners-up in the section. We then played a cross-over match against the winners of the other section Cheltenham College, unfortunately losing 0-2 in a hard, fast-paced game. They were eventual winners, beating Dean Close 1-0 in the final. A great achievement nontheless for the girls to reach the semi-finals. The U16 team played seven matches all counting towards qualification in a round robin league. The team played some exciting hockey and allowed only three goals through during

Girls Hockey

ith the building work for the new fitness suite complete, fundraising for equipment has begun. Just before the October half-term the first of the fundraising events took place, in the form of a non-uniform day and a sponsored run (or walk). Both proved very successful, with all pupils (and many staff) getting involved. Despite a drop of rain in the air, the run was very successful with participants completing the one kilometre in a style of their choice. This ranged from running, walking, carrying a friend, walking on all fours, and many more entertaining fashions. Most importantly, however, lots of money was raised through the generosity of Pates associates. A very successful Auction of Promises, evening was held in November. This rare occasion of Pates raising money for Pates permeates from the eagerness to get the

Fitness Suite


fitness suite up and running as soon a possible. Once this happens, the suite will play an integral part of the Physical Education curriculum, as well as offering fantastic training facilities for both our keen athletes and those merely wanting to keep fit.



the day, winning three, drawing three and losing one match to Cheltenham College, the overall winners. The girls were a very successful third. The U14 team played four matches in their section winning three and losing only the first match to Cheltenham College 0-2. We then played a cross over semi-final against the winners of the other section Dean Close, who had won all their matches convincingly. The match was very close and the girls played some lovely flowing hockey, beating them 2-1 to take them into the final. We had a long and hard match against Cheltenham Ladies College, unable to put our chances away in normal time. The girls had to play extra time, again finding it hard to realise our chances against a well organised defence. They finally put the ball in the back of the net, winning 1-0. They are the U14 County National School Champions and qualified to play in the regional round in November.


loucester and England rugby winger Lesley the Volcano Vainicolo was on hand recently at Sainsburys Tewkesbury Road, Cheltenham to support the schools rugby tour fundraising. Several of the tourists were bag packing to add to the tour funds, when Lesley spent time with them, asking them about the school and the tour, posing for photographs and contributing generously to the tour fund. Pates Grammar School rugby thanks Lesley for his generosity and wishes him and his family well.

During the U12 District Tournament matches were played against Bournside, Cotswold, Balcarras and St. Edwards. Pates won all their matches apart from a draw to St Edwards 55. This led to a joint win in the league with St. Edwards sharing the trophy as District Champions. The U13 District Tournament was held at Balcarras School. In Pates section matches were played against Chosen Hill, Christ College and Winchcombe. The squad won all their games in the section going into a three-way final with St. Edwards and Bournside. The U13s played beautifully winning the games 13-4 and 13 -3 respectively to be crowned District Champions. The U14 District Tournament was held at Pittville School and Pates played against Pittville, Bournside, Winchcombe and Cotswold in their section. They won all their matches apart from a close defeat to Cotswold 4-6. This enabled them to qualify in second place and play Cheltenham Ladies College in the semifinal. Pates won this tight fought match 5-3, which meant they again met Cotswold in the final. This time, Pates were victorious, winning the game by 8 rounders over 20 good balls and becoming District Champions.


A Midsummer Nights Dream by William Shakespeare Directed by Rory OSullivan.or A Midsummer Nights Dream, OSullivan Productions wove an exotic garland with which to enchant its audience. The greenwood was entwined with Hollywood and more than a hint of vaudeville to create a captivating show. Dance, Jazz and the classical theatre was sprinkled with some glittering comic performances to render us under its spell. Gemma Wheeler (Helena), George Orman (Lysander), Becky Masding (Hermia) and Oscar Miller (Demetrius) were the earnest and bemused lovers reduced to mere play things by the fairies. Their conflicts and confusions were acted with aplomb by this tightly rehearsed quartet. Excellent physical comedy and witty delivery marked out the ensemble, whose romantic twists and turns formed a strong strand in the production leading us to their eventual nuptials. The greenwood juxtaposed that of 20th century America but in both the path of true love proved equally topsy-turvy. The lovers woes were initiated by the lively and mischievous Puck (Zach Mobley) whose intercessions on behalf of the commanding Oberon (Will Valori) were dextrously performed. Oberons proud Titania (Georgie du Mello Kenyon) remained stately and aloof until falling under the unlikely spell of the affable Bottom (Patrick Reid). The mechanicals were another highlight. Borrowing inventively from some great Hollywood prototypes, they provided the added pleasure of spotting the inspiration for each. Luke Rollason (Quince / Groucho Marx) took charge of his band of players with verve, a cigar and that walk. Luke Skears (Snug / Chico Marx) was an Italian American with an excellent sideline in lion impersonations. The barking delivery of Jamie Park (Robin / Harpo Marx) was a good joke for those with (or without) a familiarity with the role model. Sam Lawrence (Snout / Irish American) brought dignity to his wall whilst Daisy Follett (Flute / and a hint of Jackie Coogan) played both back yard tom-boy and star-crossed lover with sparkle. Transformed into Pyramus and Thisbe she and Bottom rounded off the lovers wedding celebrations with a masterly serving of ham and slap-stick. Theseus (Mike Stephenson) and his Hippolyta (Rosie



Sargeant) ruled the court like Hollywood glitterati. However, we were not convinced that they had persuaded Egeus (Duncan Mitchell), a crusty old southern general, of the merits of Hermias match. Philostrate (Fred Derbyshire) remained throughout the courts dry and unflappable butler. Titanias fairies (Mia Nashe, Jamie Horseman, Jaina Patel, Susie Bagnall, Lucy Smith, Maisy Ainsworth, Alice Gwynn & Amy Jackson) and her page (Paurakh Paudyal) brought grace and

elegance to the proceedings with dance and exquisite acapella. The chorus (too many to mention but you were great) danced their legs off and flapped with the best of them, while the jazz band (Tomoya Forster, Jack Riley, Emily Alsworth, Ned Falconer & Will Weir), directed from the piano by Jonathan McNaught, accompanied Shona Pratts feisty vocals; opening most appropriately with Cole Porters

Lets Do It which everyone obviously did. The Pates audience is in danger of becoming complacent. Every November the production values of the previous year seem to be topped. Time, enthusiasm and unsung effort produced such a show. Mike Williams & Clive Yates constructed a large slice of woodland on the stage which cleverly incorporated a slide for the delight of the fairies (dance co-ordinator Lizzie Fortin). Debbie Reids choreographic expertise was plain to see as were the efforts of the whole production team on Jack Andrew and Rebecca Etheringtons well managed stage. No Pates show happens without the techies (Dan Bishop, Finlay Shakespeare, Josh Price, Tom Roles, James Melvin, Tom Hayward).

Their cool when the lighting board failed five minutes before curtain was considerable. Rory Lucas (lighting) had it stripped down and fixed before we noticed; fantastic. As were the costumes, sets and make-up (Felicia Britton, Lotti Wilkinson, Hannah Robson, Frankie Patterson & Savannah De Villez). However, we save last applause for Rory and Jackie OSullivan who bring together the schools considerable talents and make it all happen.


Nigel Gardner