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Senior School Headmaster’s Blog

  • 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. I was heartened to read a newly published report on the subject and find how many of the recommendations we […]

    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

  • Holidays

    The long school summer holiday is under scrutiny again with renewed interest in reform sparked by the considerable variation now that individual maintained sector schools are free to set their own term dates. The number of schools taking advantage of this freedom seems to have grown steadily, despite the undesirable consequence of parents finding that […]

    Friday 5th July 2019

  • Creative Subjects

    One of the highlights of this stage of the academic cycle is seeing the tangible results of a year’s worth of effort by students in the creative subjects. A dazzling exhibition in Art and soon a similar display in Design & Technology, together with performances in Music, remind the entire school community how much talent […]

    Tuesday 28th May 2019

  • Farewell

    We are just about to bid farewell to the Upper Sixth year group. Hopefully, the students will spend the next few days in further independent revision before showing their best academic form in the exam room in a couple of weeks. The Fifth Year and the Lower Sixth are also about to depart on exam […]

    Monday 29th April 2019

  • Mathematics


    Rightly or wrongly, examinations are partly a test of memory. Pupils must thoroughly learn vocabulary, factual details in case studies and technical terms to the point that they can be recalled without effort. Beyond simple recall of information, pupils need to completely understand but also remember techniques for solving problems and recall ideas and their […]

    Monday 25th March 2019

  • Studying Online

    Studying Online

    When I started teaching Physics (some considerable time ago) I would occasionally make use of an Open University video clip to illustrate some particular point at A level. The characteristic brass fanfare still summons up visions of blurry pictures of OU lecturers with unusual facial hair and a curious dress sense. This was the cutting edge […]

    Monday 4th March 2019

  • Potential Fulfilled

    It is quite understandable that we hope that children will ‘fulfil their potential’. As a parent, it is a comforting thought that my children will achieve as much as they possibly can, supported in this endeavour by home and by school: none of their human talents will remain dormant or even underdeveloped. Part of my […]

    Monday 28th January 2019

  • Class Sizes

    Class Sizes

    One of the top three questions I am asked by prospective parents is ‘How big are the classes?’.  The other two are concerned with university destinations for Sixth Form leavers and with pupils’ happiness within the school.

    Monday 7th January 2019

  • Pupils at SGS

    Independent Schools – Dispelling the Myths

    I talk to a huge number of prospective parents at this time of year as families ponder the choice of secondary schools for their sons and daughters to enter next September.

    Monday 3rd December 2018

  • Homework

    ‘Why do we have to do homework?’ asked one of my more outspoken Fourth Year (Year 10) Physics pupils as I announced the details of the assignment. Impressively, the pupil followed up with the assertion that Finnish pupils do better than UK pupils without doing any homework.

    Monday 12th November 2018

  • Dr Stone with pupil

    Choosing a University

    The university application round is in full swing; at Stockport Grammar School many of our Upper Sixth students have now made an application with most of the rest to be completed over the next few weeks.

    Monday 8th October 2018

  • Senior School Headmaster - Dr Paul Owen

    The Fruitful Five

    Character education is a crucial component of a good education. A large research study of good repute looked for the character traits that correlate most highly with success in life; success in its broadest sense in terms of relationships, well-being and achievements as well as the easily measured financial aspects. The study identified the top […]

    Monday 17th September 2018