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 Post subject: Pates
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 6:49 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:27 pm
Posts: 62
I'm delighted that dd is in with a chance of getting a place and she's determined she wants to go, but I have some niggling worries - one of the main being that she is not into sports at all, apart from dancing - but she is not athletic and not competitive. Will that be a problem? The other is money - I know the bus is not going to be cheap, what are the other costs like? I will try and ask these questions when going on Thursday, but if anyone can already throw some light on them that would be great.


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 Post subject: Re: Pates
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 7:43 am 
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Last edited by Glos_Mum on Sun Oct 06, 2013 12:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pates
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 8:54 am 
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Joined: Tue May 18, 2010 12:16 pm
Posts: 22
Bemily, my eldest DD is not at all sporty and we had similar concerns to you before she started. Last week, she said to us 'sometimes I have to pinch myself to believe that I love school so much'. She isn't in any of the school sports teams but amazingly still enjoyes PE and some social netball, etc. There are plenty of other girls who aren't sporty and I don't think that there is any pressure to perform on the sports field. My daughter laughs about her lack of ability and still loves supporting her more sporty friends when they play. There are so many other things to get involved with at Pates that I don't think this is an issue you need to worry about at all. Expensive school trips are optional and over subscibed so she wouldn't be only one not going if you chose not to apply. Our DD came from a local state school, we don't drive a 4x4 and we decided that the lower school ski trip was beyond our financial reach. She didn't mind a bit. The bus is expensive but apart from the odd day trip, we haven't felt any other major finanical demands.

Glos_Mum, Our DD is a clever girl but I am under no illusions that she is a genius. I have never felt that she has been 'hot-housed' at Pates or asked to do more than she was capable of. She struggles more in one particular subject but gets the help she needs and copes more than fine in the rest. I think that most children there are in this category. I think that you are right in that there is so much hype surrounding Pates when at the end of the day, it is just another excellent school of which we have many in Gloucestershire. Because our daughter is so happy there, she is thriving and we are delighted that her sister will be joining her next year.


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 Post subject: Re: Pates
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 9:43 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:35 am
Posts: 44
Ooops I just wrote a long worried post and pressed back on the mouse accidently so it's gone. Nevermind, it was probably boring anyway!

I have looked at the Bennetts coach that picks up around Gloucester to Pates and it is a possibility though it would mean a fairly long walk to get to. Does anyone know the cost of this or other ways to get over to Cheltenham? The public bus drops off at GCHQ but would be easier for him to get in the morning from the bus station. Does anyone know of other children who do this and then walk down Princess Elizabeth Way? He's such a young unworldy child that I still can't quite imagine he will mature enough over the next year to let him do this but it's the only way so he's going to have to learn and I'm going to have to get used to the idea!

He has asked me to find out if there is a chess club too. I'm sure that this sort of thing might be discussed on Thursday but I can't go and even if I arm my husband with these questions he will likely forget to ask them. I'm so annoyed that I can't go, it would have been lovely to meet you all and see the school from a different angle, when we went to the open evening we enjoyed ourselves but we didn't get attached because we didn't realise he would do well enough to get in!


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 Post subject: Re: Pates
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:56 am 
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Joined: Mon Feb 07, 2011 12:25 am
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Lassett, I'll be going to the meeting on Thurs. If you have any questions i.e. chess, just pm me and I can put them forward for you and pass on what I learn.


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 Post subject: Re: Pates
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 10:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 21, 2009 2:09 pm
Posts: 276
It seems there are quite a few of us in the same situation: a bit surprised our DCs have the option of a place and worrying whether they will fit in! I am lucky in knowing quite a few children who have gone to Pates over the years and if I think back to what sort of kids they are, then yes they are all bright, but I wouldn't say they all stood out if you know what I mean.

So we will go to the tour on Thursday and decide then. DS2 hasn't seen Pates yet and I will tell him the major thing to focus on is whether he thinks he will be happy there. Interestingly, my view is that Pates is less sports-focused than some of the other GSs. I always had the impression that it catered well for more your arty / bookish / loner / independent-type of child....


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 Post subject: Re: Pates
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:08 am 
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Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:00 pm
Posts: 406
We may be completely mad because SHS is literally a 10 minute walk from our house, but DD loved Pates sooo much on the visit and we were very impressed. I did not get an impression that you have to be sporty. DD is drama/art/science orientated. She has also been obsessed with learning mandarin for some years and was thrilled to find a school that offers it. I agree with Cairo, it seems really good at focusing on your child's individuality.

With my teaching hat on, I admire the concept of 3 years for GCSEs. They intersperse the slog with creative education and give our DCs a chance to get to grips with their subjects in greater depth.

Don't know about from Gloucester, but coach from Stroud to Pates is £1450 per year, which you can pay as £120 a month. We are a very low income family but Grandparents are offering assistance. Mr. Fenton indicates that there is sometimes support from school for paying for the trips if your income is very low.

I get worried about DD travelling off on her own too. She is very small for her age (she and DS in Y4 get mistaken for twins all the time or sometimes she as his little sister!) but she is very sensible and mature and a black belt at Tae kwon Doe. I also worry about the length of time on the coach, then homework or keeping up with her friends here.

Looking forward to revisit on Thursday if my class teacher can spare me. It will be weird looking at other parents and wondering who may be on the forum. :?:


Last edited by aargh on Sun Oct 16, 2011 5:43 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Pates
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:15 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 16, 2010 9:35 am
Posts: 44
Thank you very much ThisandThat, I will have a think over the next day or so and let you know any questions which I think my husband is likely to forget. It is very kind of you to offer. :D

Cairo, I have the same impression as you about the sports issues. One of the reasons I am pleased for my son is because he is very un-sporty and I felt that at an all boys school he would be one of the few who had no interest or ability in any sports. I think because it is mixed (not saying that girls aren't equally sports mad) there may be more opportunities for those uninterested in sports, my son would rather spend all day doing anything else.


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 Post subject: Re: Pates
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:20 am 
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Joined: Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:46 am
Posts: 71
We were in this position last year and hadn't even looked at Pates before the tests as didn't really consider it a probability.

DD1 got in, and from all accounts fairly well so we went to have a look and she fell in love with Pates. As I was forced to go to a school I didn't want to as a child then I felt that we needed to do all that we could to enable her to go there.

We live near Stroud and with a group of other parents in the area have arranged for the Bennetts bus that used to start at Whitminster to come to the outskirts of Stonehouse to do a pickup, yes it's not cheap but cheaper than driving her there every day.

We do actually own a 4x4 but it's on a SORN as it needs a lot of work and the only reason we have one is because we have a mobile caravan for our holidays. The girls have only ever been abroad once to Disneyland Paris by coach and that was paid for by my parents. We probably won't be able to afford the ski holiday, but there are other cheaper bits they can do.

DD is not particuarly sporty, but does love her dance and is happy to have a go at the rest although has said she has no intentions of ever being in a sports team.

She does however love virtually everything else about Pates (they all have the odd lesson they are not keen on). Being the only child going from her school was a bit of a worry but she has already made very good friends with lots of the others not only in her form but some of the others as well.

Just hoping now that DD2 who will be taking the test next year can get in as well.


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 Post subject: Re: Pates
PostPosted: Sun Oct 16, 2011 11:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Oct 24, 2009 8:15 am
Posts: 59
Location: Gloucestershire
My ds is now in year 8 at Pate's and we too were shocked when he got into the top 120 and had similar feelings as to whether he would fit in/cope etc. I did not need to worry - there really is something for everyone. It is nothing like the hot house that some people think - they work hard -yes but they also play very hard. What other school has every Tuesday afternoon "off" where the children attend clubs run by 6th formers? Anything from first aid, sailing, climbing wall, frisbee to drama, football etc.

There are also clubs running at lunchtimes - art, science, languages, geography, badminton etc. There was chess club last year which my ds went to but I don't think it has started up this year yet. The only thing my ds does after school is rugby.

Your child's form is their house and there are house events in everything throughout the year - music, drama, all the sports, art, swimming, public speaking ... so even if they are not in the school teams they can still participate for their house if they want (encouraged but not compuslory).

My ds is loving school. He is not a genius by any means and is not in any school teams but he will give anything a go and give it his best shot. He loves the house events.

Trips - as has been said before - they are oversubscribed so your dc will not be the only one not to go. My ds didn't go on any last year.

There is excellent home school communication - an email home weekly from the head of year 7.

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