27th June 2014

From the Headmaster

As usual there are a number of important items of information to draw to your attention as we approach the end of this academic year. I do hope that the recent examinations have provided encouraging news of your child’s academic progress and that the forthcoming reports will reflect involvement in a range of extra-curricular activities. This week, pupils have been engaged in numerous end of term functions. Our speaker at Speech Day yesterday was Bruce Marshall (OS 1974) who, after a career encompassing service in the Royal Marine Commandos and senior positions in Marks and Spencer and Warner Bros., is currently based in Colorado, USA. Audiences enjoyed a very high standard of performance in the annual Music Festival and the Sixth Form drama production. I am very grateful to all those who work hard to arrange these events.

As parents will be aware, much of my time in the Spring Term is spent in meeting prospective pupils and their parents and I am pleased to report that places at Stockport Grammar School continue to be in great demand. The popularity of the School reflects the energy and commitment of our girls and boys together with the confidence that parents invest in our work. We were again pleasantly surprised by a sharp increase in acceptance rates. This will give us a seven form entry into our First Year. There is also considerable demand for places in our Nursery and from external applicants to join our Sixth Form. Naturally we are delighted that so many families place their trust in us and will continue to make improvements to our pastoral provision and extra-curricular programme to ensure that the quality of what we offer each individual pupil continues to improve. We do not intend to increase the size of the School or increase class sizes and our aim remains to recruit six classes of 25 or 26 girls and boys each academic year.

Staffing News

A number of members of staff will be leaving us at the end of the current academic year.

Miss Vicky Barrett has decided to relinquish her post at the end of the Summer Term 2014 to pursue her wish to train for the ordained ministry of The Church of England. She has been on sabbatical leave for the duration of the Summer Term. Vicky joined Stockport Grammar School in 2003 as Director of Studies and she has contributed much to the current strength of our community, most recently through her work as Deputy Head (Pastoral) and her teaching in the English department. Dr Jane Gilbert has chosen to retire from the Biology department on the grounds of ill-health, having suffered from a debilitating back condition for several years. She has co-ordinated our Community Service volunteers and supported many members of the Sixth Form through the tortuous process of university application. Mr Ben Masters will leave his post in the English department at the end of the Summer Term to take up a new position at Exeter School after nine years’ service. We wish each of them, together with those other colleagues who are leaving to pursue new career paths – Mr Antonios Pagkalis (Religion and Philosophy) and Mr Richard Frisk (Physics) – happiness and fulfilment in the future.

Teaching positions at Stockport Grammar School continue to be keenly sought and my Autumn letter will contain details of those members of staff who will join us next term.

Communication between Home and School

We attach great importance to the development of excellent links between School and home. Full details are provided in the current edition of the Parents’ Handbook (‘Further Information’), a copy of which is sent to every parent in the Autumn Term and can be found on the website. Each year group has a Year Head with pastoral responsibility for the pupils through their team of tutors. The Form Teacher sees pupils twice a day, and regularly monitors their progress and well-being. He or she should be the first port of call for most day to day matters concerning an individual’s welfare and progress.

Head of Section – Lower School – Mrs H. Lawson lawsonh@stockportgrammar.co.uk

Head of First Year – Mrs E. Suttle suttlee@stockportgrammar.co.uk

Head of Second Year- Miss S Withington withingtons@stockportgrammar.co.uk

Head of Third Year – Mr A Hanson hansona@stockportgrammar.co.uk

Head of Section – Middle School – Mrs J Smith smithj@stockportgrammar.co.uk

Head of Fourth Year – Mrs A Hicks hicksa@stockportgrammar.co.uk

Head of Fifth Year – Mr N Clarke clarken@stockportgrammar.co.uk

Head of Sixth Form – Mrs J White whitej@stockportgrammar.co.uk

Assistant Head of Upper Sixth – Mr J Russell russellj@stockportgrammar.co.uk

Assistant Head of Lower Sixth – Mrs H Ashton ashtonh@stockportgrammar.co.uk

Mr Howson, the Senior Deputy Head, and Mrs Harris, Deputy Head (Academic), are always happy to offer help or advice to parents. Mr Wallington is available to help with any matters relating to the day to day operation and administration of the school. If you would like to arrange an appointment with the Headmaster, please contact Mrs Baker, the Headmaster’s Secretary, to arrange a mutually convenient time.

I send my best wishes to all members of our school community for an enjoyable summer and a good holiday.

Mr Andrew Chicken

Public Exam Results

AS/A2 results day is Thursday 14th August. Results will be available in the Main Hall to Upper Sixth pupils from 8.30am – 10am and to Lower Sixth pupils from 10.30am – 11.30am. Members of staff will be on hand to offer advice and support.

GCSE results day is Thursday 21st August. Results will be available in the Main Hall to Fifth Year pupils from 8.30am – 10am. Mrs Smith will be available, by appointment, on Friday 22nd and Tuesday 26th August to discuss any matters arising from the results. Please telephone school to arrange an interview time.

On both days, latecomers can collect their results from the School Office until 2.30pm, after which time any uncollected results will be posted first class to the home address we have on record. It is school policy that results are not given out by e-mail or over the telephone but a relative or friend can collect them as long as Mrs Robinson has received a letter of authorisation in advance. You can contact her by email on robinsons@stockportgrammar.co.uk.

We will be taking photographs on both results days for school use, the website and local media. If you do not wish your child to be photographed please contact shneckt@stockportgrammar.co.uk or telephone External Relations on 0161 419 2408 before the end of term.

Sport Facilities

As part of their continued investment in the facilities of the school, the Governors have approved a £1/2m investment in sports facilities with the work scheduled to be completed over the summer holidays. The existing all weather surface, which has been in place for over ten years, will be replaced with a “Tiger Turf” sand dressed surface. Suitable for use by a range of sports, this type of surface is used at many top university sports facilities and at many of the country’s leading hockey clubs. In addition, a new all-weather surface will be installed in front of the Junior School; this will provide access to more play space for break and lunch times and will provide a high quality surface for taught PE lessons.

Bus Arrangements for Friday 4th July

Jones Coaches – SG1, SG2, SG3

The buses will be at school by 12 noon, departing at 12.10pm.

Bullocks – B1, B2, B3, 367

The buses will be at school by 12 noon, departing at 12.10pm.

Holly Coaches – 62A (one bus)

The bus will be at school by 12 noon, departing 12.10pm. The bus will combine both routes.

Metro – Sale/Hale minibus

The minibus will be at school by 11.50am, departing 12.10pm.

New Music Ensembles from September

Please contact Mr Dow, Director of Music on dowm@stockportgrammar.co.uk or Mrs Johnson, Music Department Administrator on johnsonsj@stockportgrammar.co.uk if you would like your son or daughter to be involved in any of the new musical opportunities indicated below. Alternatively, please ask your son/daughter to speak to one of the Music teachers to register their interest.

Guitar Group

Guitarists of all ages are invited to join a new guitar group starting in September. This will be directed by our guitar teacher, Mr Thompson, and will run on Mondays from 4pm until 5pm in the Music department. The group will be open in the first instance to pupils of all levels of expertise and experience learning classical guitar, acoustic guitar or ukulele. The music covered will encompass a wide range including classical, jazz, rhythm and blues, contemporary and flamenco styles.

Percussion Ensembles

Two new percussion ensembles will be starting in September, directed by our percussion teacher Mr Landon. A Lower School percussion ensemble for next year’s First and Second Year pupils will rehearse on Fridays from 4pm until 5pm – no prior grade or experience is required. A senior percussion ensemble for more experienced percussionists will take place during Friday lunchtimes from 1pm.

Beginner Brass Group

Mr Moore will run sessions on Wednesday and/or Friday lunchtimes from September for pupils interested in learning brass instruments. The sessions are aimed at encouraging beginners rather than more established players.

CERN Trip

Pupils taking part in this trip should take their passports and EHIC to Mrs Fenton, as soon as possible, unless they have told her that they are needed for another trip.

Out of Schools Exhibition

The ‘Out of Schools’ Art Exhibition is an annual show that features pupils’ work from schools across the region and showcases the exceptional achievements in Art and Design from early years to college students. The exhibition runs from 27th June to 5th July at Manchester School of Art which is part of Manchester Metropolitan University and is a wonderful opportunity for pupils to be exhibited in a professional context.

The theme of this year’s show is ‘Land and Sea’ to coincide with Manchester Children’s Book Festival and schools were invited to submit work that interpreted the theme in any way. Stockport Grammar pupils included in the exhibition are: Joe Ganley-Yates, Tasia Goodwin, Rebecca Hosfield, Mark Orpen, Amber Ramone, Rebecca Smith, Sophie Stevenson, Sofia Swindlehurst and Xav Warburton.

SPA Leroy Lurve Night

Tickets are now on sale for the fantastic kick-off event of the year, on Friday 10th October. Why not get a table of friends together? If you would like to come along, download the ticket request form hereand return to your child’s form tutor as soon as possible.

School Sports Colours

With the award of Summer Sports Colours fast approaching, parents and pupils may find it useful to understand the system we use to decide on recipients. School Sports Colours (Half and Full) are awarded to individuals who have made an exceptional contribution to their respective sport. The Colours are awarded in three age bands:

Junior (Half & Full) – a reflection of First and Second Year.

Intermediate (Half & Full) – a reflection of Third and Fourth Year.

Senior (Half & Full) – a reflection of Fifth and Sixth Form.

Members of staff who run teams will use a number of criteria when deciding on Colours winners. Key areas used in consideration are: reliability; organisation; willingness; commitment; integrity; enthusiasm; performance; team work; and ability.

Library

The Library is holding various events and competitions as part of its ‘Book Ends’ celebrations to gear pupils up for a summer of reading.

Monday 30th June: Pupils can join Library staff in the gazebo at break for a book giveaway and at 3.50pm for afternoon tea and a story.

Tuesday 1st July: Author visit with Justin Somper, organised in conjunction with the Manchester Children’s Book Festival. Justin Somper will be talking to First and Second Year pupils about his new book Allies and Assassins as well as revisiting his previous series Vampirates. A shorter talk and book signing will also take place in the Library at lunchtime. Any pupils wishing to attend should sign up in advance. A representative from Waterstones will be present on the day selling books for signing priced at £5 (cash only).

Please be reminded that pupils can borrow library resources during the summer holidays. This summer’s reading challenge is called Winning Reads and record sheets can be collected from the Library. We also have copies of the new Fourth Year reading lists; books and films included on these are available in the Library. Happy Reading!

Spanish

To celebrate the end of their first year learning Spanish and to practise the topic they are currently studying on food, Fourth Year Spanish pupils went out for a tapas evening to La Viña on Deansgate in Manchester. The pupils tried a selection of typical Spanish tapas accompanied by some non-alcoholic sangría and finished off with some churros and melted chocolate.

Congratulations

Lauren Hunt has been selected for the England Hockey U16 squad for matches against Scotland in Edinburgh this weekend.

The National Space Centre

The Physics department visited the National Space Centre on Friday 13th June. Eighteen Lower Sixth and five Fourth Year astronomy GCSE pupils had a fascinating master class where they were set problem solving tasks and had a chance to make and launch paper rockets. They were able to watch a show in the large planetarium and then had time to explore the exhibits, which included a simulator of a journey to Mars including take-off and landing.

School Open Events 2014-2015

Our Open Events for the next academic year will take place on Saturday 20th September and Saturday 15th November, between 10am and noon. These events are busy and popular occasions attended by many families and for most it is their first contact with Stockport Grammar School. Our pupils are the best ambassadors for SGS and we expect all of our boys and girls to play a full part in promoting their school. We therefore ask you to allow your child/children to help us with these events. Letters have been sent to parents of First to Fourth Year pupils requesting their help. Please complete the reply slips and return it to your child’s form tutor by Tuesday 1st July 2014. Letters to parents of Fifth and Sixth Formers will be sent at the start of the Autumn Term

Believe (Theatre of Dreams) Film

In September 2011 the school was used as one of the locations for a feature film Believe (Theatre of Dreams). A number of pupils were involved as extras in the film. Starring Brian Cox and Natasha McElhone, the film tells the story of a talented young footballer who makes a transition from a life of petty crime to sporting success with the help of Sir Matt Busby. The film will be on general release in cinemas on the 25th July. The trailer and further information can be found on http://believe-movie.com.

We hope everyone has an enjoyable Summer break before the Autumn Term, which begins on Thursday 4th September. Please check the news pages on our website for regular updates. We would welcome your comments and suggestions, or if you would like to opt out of receiving the email newsletter, please contact the External Relations Office at externalrelations@stockportgrammar.co.uk.

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