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Teaching and Learning

Teacher with a pupil in an Art lesson

A great school requires great teachers. Here at Stockport Grammar School we are determined to attract and retain teachers of great skill and commitment. We train them up to excel in all areas of their teaching.

Highly qualified, experienced and caring

All SGS teachers come to the school as experts in their fields, qualified to at least degree-level. Over 40 also hold advanced degrees at masters and doctoral level.

They are encouraged and resourced to continually develop their subject passions and hone their teaching practice. They attend conferences and courses, read academic papers and books, pursue academic qualifications and share good practice.

Most importantly, our teachers care for their pupils and are committed to the personal and academic development of each one of them.

Inspired by multiple traditions and modern insight

It is helpful to identify the sources of the philosophy, methods and values which guide our teaching – a powerful mix of long tradition and contemporary experimental insights.

From Aristotle, one of the ancient Fathers of Western Philosophy, we inherit a fundamental understanding of three essential components of effective teaching: logos or knowledge, pathos or care and ethos or professionalism. His analysis has stood the test of time. For over two millennia the best teachers have found knowledge, care and professionalism to be the essential ingredients of effective teaching. SGS teachers seek to apply the benefits of Aristotle’s insights in every interaction, every lesson, throughout every day.

However, traditional wisdom is not enough. Today there is a large and fast-growing body of research in fields such as psychology and cognitive science which has added enormously to our understanding of how learning actually happens and how it is most effectively brought about. This knowledge is collected, analysed and disseminated to SGS subject teachers by members of our Teaching and Learning Committee. SGS teachers are also encouraged to make use of our professional development library and journal subscriptions to continuously hone their teaching-methodology.

As well as from Aristotle’s teaching, our strong sense of care for our pupils comes from our 500 year-old Christian-humanist tradition. This tradition, which has become firmly embedded in our culture, teaches us that every human being who comes into our care has inestimable, unconditional and intrinsic value. It also sets our moral compass by which we confidently teach our pupils what is right and proper.

Empowered by technology

Another aspect to the modern world that informs our teaching is information technology.

Firstly, whiteboards, laptops and tablets enable a degree of interactivity and analysis unimaginable to previous generations. We seek to make the fullest possible use of these tools to promote effective learning without losing the personal touch which we regard as essential.

Secondly, we recognise that the world into which our students will emerge is likely to be ever-increasingly moulded by – and dependent on – technology and big data. It is vital that not only do we give our students the skills and confidence to thrive in the computing landscape, but also to challenge and shape it according to the values they have received.

We are confident that, via our educational approach rooted in tradition, informed by science and geared for technology, your child will be given the best possible chance to develop a life-long love of learning, grow into the best possible version of themselves, and be well prepared to meet the challenges of our fast-changing world.

This is just a quick overview of our teaching approach here at SGS. If you have any questions or if you would like to discuss this further, please contact Mr Ian Kendrick, Deputy Head (Academic).