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Senior School Headmaster’s Blog


  • MOOCs

    Like all schools, SGS has moved to remote learning. Staff and pupils have grappled with new technologies and new ways of teaching and learning.

    Wednesday 22nd April 2020

  • Weighing A Pig Doesn’t Make It Any Heavier

    Testing is something that teachers think a lot about. What is the purpose of testing? How often should we test students? What is the best way to do it? How much lesson time should be given over to testing when it could be used for teaching? Are UK children over-tested compared to pupils elsewhere in […]

    Tuesday 3rd March 2020

  • What Should We Teach?

    “Bitzer,” said Thomas Gradgrind. “Your definition of a horse.” “Quadruped. Graminivorous. Forty teeth, namely twenty-four grinders, four eye-teeth, and twelve incisive. Sheds coat in the spring; in marshy countries, sheds hoofs, too. Hoofs hard, but requiring to be shod with iron. Age known by marks in mouth.” Thus (and much more) Bitzer.

    Thursday 6th February 2020

  • Degree Classifications Must Change

    The percentages of top grades at GCSE and A-level are now more or less static from year to year bringing a welcome relief from the annual chorus of ‘it was harder in my day’.

    Tuesday 14th January 2020

  • What Makes Great Teaching?

    At school in the early 1980s one of my favourite teachers was the magnificently named Dr Cattermole who taught Chemistry with spectacular flamboyance. A man who seemed to have become his own caricature, Dr Cattermole’s battered visage was entirely consistent with a complete disregard for even the most obvious of precautions for his own safety; […]

    Thursday 28th November 2019

  • Creativity

    How do we promote creativity at SGS? Creativity is a key skill for future employment, as technology threatens repetitive or predictable jobs, but an appreciation of creativity is also part of being a well-educated human.

    Wednesday 6th November 2019

  • Universities

    At the recent HMC (Headmasters’ and Headmistresses’ Conference rather than the Honda Motor Company or the Halal Monitoring Committee for those who have googled HMC!) Conference I found myself feeling sympathy for university admissions tutors, not an emotion I have often experienced in this context.

    Monday 7th October 2019

  • Cats, Curiosity and Care

    ‘Curiosity killed the cat’ is a continuing cause of crossness. Five minutes with a group of 5 year olds will convince even the most traditionally-minded of adults that harnessing curiosity and the plethora of questions that it produces is central to efficient learning; suggesting that curiosity and active enquiry is dangerous would be disastrous as […]

    Tuesday 10th September 2019