Stockport Grammar School

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Stockport Grammar School
SGS Emblem.png
Motto Latin:Vincit Qui Patitur
He who endures, conquers
Established 1487
Type Independent day school
Public School
Headmaster Andrew Chicken
Chairman of Governors Christopher Dunn
Founder Sir Edmund Shaa
Location Buxton Road
Stockport
Greater Manchester
SK2 7AF
England Coordinates: 53°23′27″N 2°08′38″W / 53.3907°N 2.1440°W / 53.3907; -2.1440
Local authority Stockport
DfE number 356/6018
Students 1517
Gender Co-educational
Ages 3–18
Houses 4
Colours

Black & Gold

         
Publication The Stopfordian
Taking Stock
The Old Stops' Review
Former pupils Old Stopfordians
Website www.stockportgrammar.co.uk

Stockport Grammar School is a British co-educational independent school located in Stockport, England. Founded in 1487 by former Lord Mayor of London Sir Edmund Shaa, it is the oldest operating institution of learning in the North of England.

The Good Schools Guide wrote of the school that "the pupils’ overall achievement and their learning, attitudes and skills are outstanding. Pupils are exceptionally well educated and the school fulfils its aim to enable boys and girls from a wide range of backgrounds to realise their potential which gives them the best possible start in life."[1] Stockport Grammar School was identified by the Sutton Trust as one of 10 schools nationally having a significantly higher acceptance rate to university than other institutions with similar A Level results.[2]

History[edit]

Foundation[edit]

The Main School's West Face. The photo (left) was taken after construction in 1916. The photo (right) was taken in 2012.

The school was founded in 1487 by Sir Edmund Shaa, the 1482 Lord Mayor of London. Sir Edmund made his will on 20 March, exactly a month before his death, which provided for a school and a small chapel in St Mary's Church in Stockport. The school was endowed with funds to maintain a priest who chanted masses and taught grammar.[3] Alexander Lowe, the mayor of Stockport, left the school a permanent home in Chestergate in his will. The school became increasingly successful with pupils being accepted at the ancient universities of Oxford, Cambridge and St Andrews, while the curriculum became increasingly broad with the rudiments of Greek joining a study of Latin, the Christian religion, writing in English and arithmetic.[4][not in citation given] 5 years after the Worshipful Company of Goldsmiths met to discuss the possibility of transferring the school to a different site, new buildings open where Greek Street meets New Wellington Road. As well as paying for the building, the Goldsmiths also increased the salaries of the headmaster and usher and paid the running costs.[3] While the headmaster taught Latin and Greek, the usher attended to reading, writing, arithmetic and English grammar. He and the headmaster were the sole teachers for some 150 pupils for a school day which lasted from 8am until noon and again from 2pm till 5pm.

Current site on Buxton Road[edit]

The Greek Street building became unsuitable for the demands of a modern school, so the governors look to locate to another site - where the school remains to this day. Despite the difficulties the First World War presented, the new school was completed in just 20 months, and the move to Buxton Road took place during the Christmas holiday of 1915. Classes have been held there since 20 January 1916,[3] and the formal opening ceremony was performed on Saturday 29 January by Colonel George Dixon, chairman of the Cheshire county council.[4][not in citation given]

Move to coeducation[edit]

Path to Convent Site

In September 1980, after 493 years of the education of boys, 66 girls joined 83 boys as the new intake at 11 while 22 girls entered the Sixth Form. Provision had also been made for 25 girls to join the Junior School at age 7 plus. Some short time before negotiations to purchase the former convent site had been concluded and this had been formally annexed. Thus began a period of the school’s history which would see a major change in approach and direction.[citation needed]

An early catalyst along the path to co-education had been the Labour government’s decision in 1974 to phase out the direct grant status of schools such as Stockport over a seven year period commencing in 1976. The impact on the financial structure of the school became quickly apparent and in March 1975 the governors announced that they would go independent and launch the Stopfordian Trust to provide bursaries that were increasingly being requested by entrance exam candidates.[citation needed]

By 1978, another factor began to influence the debate. The school, now over 600 strong with a regular 3 form entry into the senior department was desperately cramped and any additional building could only now take place at the expense of playing field space. In late 1978 it became clear that the whole of the convent site was available and an offer to buy would be accepted subject to surveys and discussion of associated issues. The contract was signed in March 1979 at an agreed price of £250,000 although it was immediately obvious that a considerable amount of repair and remedial work would be necessary over the next years. The acquisition of the convent buildings meant that, in theory at least, the immediate overcrowding problem was averted but there was still the issue of cost and fees.[citation needed]

The other related aspect of the discussion revolved around the possibility of accepting girls. Apart from the educational opportunities that could now be offered the financial benefits were very attractive and persuasive. There was a strong argument, and at least a moral commitment, to take some of the convent sixth formers when it closed. There was a demand from existing parents, and prospective ones while Old Stopfordians with both sons and daughters were keen to take advantage of any changes to the entry. In the event, the governors decided to increase numbers annually in stages to about 1000 pupils. This would enable the costs involved in the convent acquisition to be accounted for. Annual entry was to be divided equally between boys and girls. This decision placed the grammar school firmly in the earliest group of major independent schools that had chosen to go co-educational.[citation needed]

The school site[edit]

The Mile End buildings 1916-1980[edit]

View of the Hallam Hall across the Old Quad

The construction of the present buildings over twenty months and on budget was a remarkable feat during war-time Britain. The exterior of the West Front has remained virtually unchanged since the time. The Hallam Hall, seen from across the Old Quad below was named after the Mayor of Stockport and major benefactor Ephraim Hallam. This was originally the School’s main library but due to the expansion of the School site, which included a new, multi-resource 14000 book library, the hall was converted into an entertainments room. Throughout the year, many events are held there such as guest talks, music recitals, drinks receptions and Christmas dances.[citation needed]

The main school building was constructed with a Victorian neo-gothic style of architecture, drawing similar appearances to that of Keble College, Oxford, which incidentally was built during the same time period. Other buildings which have been constructed since then have mostly remained continuous with the general style of the main site, particularly the muted red brick and distinctive yellow limestone bands which feature heavily on the main building.[citation needed]

Post-1980 Expansion[edit]

New Library and Learning Resource Centre

Since becoming co-educational in 1980 the school has developed and grown rapidly. Acquisition of the adjacent convent school site, that is now the English and music block, allowed the enclosure of the playing fields and the creation of several football and rugby pitches, as well as the inheritance of the convent's swimming pool. In 1997 land was bought to extend the junior school, and in 2001 a new sports and technology centre was built featuring a gymnasium and sports hall. Food technology and textiles technology classrooms were also erected. The building further includes a design technology workshop featuring state-of-the-art equipment able to perform computer aided design and computer aided manufacture. The sports hall also holds an indoor climbing wall named after alumnus mountaineer Peter Boardman, squash courts and gives access to the school's swimming pool which is overlooked by a cafeteria area. In September 2005 a new library and learning resource centre was opened with more than 14,000 books, and also new physics labs and an information technology suite. A nursery was opened in 2006. With the purchase of the playing fields at Dialstone Lane, the school site expanded its site to almost 60 acres, one of the largest in Greater Manchester.[citation needed]

New Woodsmoor building 2013-[edit]

In 2011, planning permission was received to erect a new teaching block on the Woodsmoor side of the site,[5] to replace the Woodsmoor hall and labaratories that were demolished in 2010.[6] The build was completed in June 2012, and the "black and white tower" and classics block were demolished later that year.[citation needed]

Extracurricular Activities[edit]

The school offers over 200 extracurricular activities to its pupils,[7] with the Independent Schools Inspectorate rating the school's extracurricular provision as "outstanding" in 2011.[8]

Duke of Edinburgh's Award[edit]

The school is its own Duke of Edinburgh's Award operating authority.[9] In 2010, the school issued its 1000th Duke of Edinburgh Award,[10] a milestone which was marked by the visit of Prince Edward, Earl of Wessex.[11]

Model United Nations[edit]

The school has hosted a biennial Model United Nations (MUN) conference since March 2006. At 2008's conference, Labour MP and former home secretary David Blunkett was the school's guest speaker. At 2012's conference, Senior Liberal Democrat MP, Andrew Stunnell was the guest speaker.[12]

Pupils have also attended MUN conferences in many locations, including Yale, Belfast, Edinburgh, Paris, Genoa, Bath and Cambridge.

Expeditions[edit]

The school runs a series of expeditions to places such as Venezuela, Vietnam, Uganda, Namibia and Rwanda.

House System[edit]

The school has four houses – Arden, Nicholson, Vernon, and Warren – into which all pupils are divided for the purposes of competitive sport and quizzes. Each year all four house compete for both the Fallow Shield (sporting success) and the Brown Cup (academic success). The houses encourage integration of all pupils into school life. Sport is not the only competitive activity for the houses, there is also chess and the competition of gaining the highest charitable amount.

Origin of the Houses[edit]

The four Houses were created initially in 1924 for competition in games and athletics with the undistinguished names of North, South, East and West. These were replaced in 1949 with rather more appropriate names of distinguished local families associated with the School in the past.

Arden[edit]

Arden House Coat of Arms

The Ardernes were an important county family deriving from Sir John de Arnerne who lived in the 18th century and who received a great estate within the Earldom of Chester. Subsequent marriages constantly added to the Arderne estate until they included a great part of Bredbury, Romiley, Werneth, Offerton, Stockport and Alvanley. Ralph Arderne helped to defend Manchester against the Royalists in the Civil War. John Ardern (who changed the spelling of the family name), an Old Stopfordian, went to St. John’s College, Cambridge in 1728 and later became High Sheriff of Cheshire and his son Richard Pepper Arden was appointed as Lord Chief Justice of England with the title Lord Alvanley at the end of the 18th century. The Ardens had two local residences. Their town house was Underbank Hall, a fine half-timbered mansion (now the National Westminster Bank) and Harden Hall which once commanded a moated in Reddish.

Nicholson[edit]

Nicholson House Coat of Arms

The Nicholsons were a very numerous, though not a powerful family, who in the 16th century lived in the Reddish district. Their names occur frequently in the early Parish Registers which were first begun in 1584. Their main home was Wood Hall, Sandy Lane. The family originated in Cumberland (Cumbria) and, after a century or two at Reddish, the main branch moved on to become landowners in Essex, but left behind numerous relatives. William Nicholson, born probably in 1561 was a former Master of the School. He attend Caius College, Cambridge in June 1581, then changed to Jesus College, where he took his B.A. in 1585 and M.A. in 1588. No-one can say when he was appointed Master of Stockport Grammar School because the records of the Goldsmiths’ Company are missing from 1579 to 1592, but it is likely to be 1587, after the death of Francis Low. He died in office and was buried at Stockport in September 1597. He was a man of substance, his will showing connections with other county families. He left money to pay for an “Usher” or assistant in the School as well as dictionaries and other books, which would of course be valuable in those days.

Vernon[edit]

Vernon House Coat of Arms

The Vernon family belong to a wealthy, prolific and widespread English family with 11th-century origins in Vernon, France. William de Vernon arrived in England at the time of the Norman conquest and was granted lands in the County Palatine of Chester under the patronage of Hugh d'Avranches, 1st Earl of Chester.[13] His son Richard was created a medieval Baron and settled at Shipbrook, near Northwich, Cheshire. Branches of the family flourished and its influence spread beyond Cheshire over the following centuries, partly as a result of judicious inter marriage. They were large benefactors of the School around the time of its founding, and out of the four houses, have the longest historic association with Stockport Grammar School. Vernon House are the current holders of the Fallow Shield.

Warren[edit]

Warren House Coat of Arms

The Warren Family were both rich and powerful being Lords of the Manor of Stockport from the time of Sir John de Warren in the 14th century until 1835 when they sold out their manorial rights to the Corporation. The Warrens of Poynton were for centuries benefactors of the School. Sir Edward Warren, Baron of Stockport, gave additional increments to the Masters of the School over and above the salary paid by the Goldsmiths. He was High Sheriff of Cheshire in 1598. John and Edward Warren in 1705 arranged for a payment out of the manorial rates to be given to the Schoolmaster and Edward Warren, Lord of the Manor of Stockport in 1711 gave a considerable area of Great Moor to provide a permanent income for the Schoolmaster, the Mayor of the Town and the poor. Hugh Warren, 1669 - 1733, son of Judge Warren and bother of Edward, benefactor, attended the School under Headmaster Timothy Dobson M.A. as did doubtless other Warren of whom records now remain. The Warrens lived at Poynton Hall of which nothing now exists. Their town house was Millgate Hall, a fine Tudor mansion in Newbridge lane taken down in 1927.

Fees[edit]

The school governors review the fees for the junior school, including the nursery, the senior school and sixth form each academic year.[14][15]

The school offers limited fee assistance to those parents on low incomes.[15]

Publications[edit]

The Stopfordian[edit]

The school's annual publication is The Stopfordian, now a full-colour comprehensive review of the school year,[16] which was first published in 1929. This makes The Stopfordian one of the longest-running school publications in the United Kingdom. A predecessor, named simply Stockport Grammar School Magazine, dates back to 1899.

Taking Stock[edit]

The school have published Taking Stock, a short glossy newsletter rounding up recent news and photographs,[17] every term since 1996.

Old Stops' Review[edit]

Old Stops' Review, a new annual magazine containing news from ex-pupils,[18] was first published in 2011.

Old Stopfordians[edit]

Former pupils are known as "Old Stopfordians", not to be confused with simply Stopfordians (the demonym of Stockport being "Stopfordian"), or the former pupils of Bishop Stopford's School at Enfield, who are also known as Old Stopfordians.

Pupils automatically become members of the Old Stopfordians Association on leaving the school. The association runs regular reunions and there is a strong network of Old Stopfordians who provide careers advice, work experience and support to current pupils. The association also run a number of social occasions during the year, including an annual dinner,[19] and its members are encouraged to attend several of the school's regular events, including its founder's day and Christmas carol services.[20]

Stopfordians Lacrosse Club[edit]

The Old Stopfordians' Association operate Stopfordians Lacrosse Club, who currently play in the North of England Men's Lacrosse Association Premier 2 division.[21] The team play their home games at Disley Amalgamated Sports Club.[22]

Notable Old Stopfordians[edit]

Headmasters[edit]

  • 1496 Sir John Randall
  • 1509 Sir Randall Hulton
  • 1521 Sir George Bamford
  • 1534 Sir William Chorlton
  • 1534–1543 Scholemaister of Stopport (name unrecorded)
  • 1557 Sir William Chorlton (reappointed)
  • 1559 Leonard Harrison
  • 1564 Thomas Leigh
  • 1565 John Brownswerd
  • 1579 Bamford
  • 1587 Francis Lowe
  • 1597 William Nicholson
  • 1597–1598 William Lingard
  • 1601 Kirke
  • 1601 Lang
  • 1601 Nicholson
  • 1601–1602 John Cobb
  • 1604 Thomas Bower
  • 1609 Luke Mason
  • 1610 Walter Pott
  • 1623 Thomas Rossen
  • 1625 Reginald Pott
  • 1627 Edmund Clough
  • 1628 John Pollett
  • 1630 William Plant
  • 1633 Samuel Edwards
  • 1634 Bradley Hayhurst
  • 1645 Randall Yarwood
  • 1647 Thomas Peirson
  • 1651 Rev Thomas Coombes
  • 1668 Rev Daniel Leech
  • 1669 Rev Joseph Whittle
  • 1673–1674 Rev Samuel Needham
  • 1683 Rev Timothy Dobson
  • 1691 Rev George Esclome
  • 1692–1693 Rev William Dickens
  • 1703 Rev Joseph Dale
  • 1752 Rev William Jackson
  • 1792 Rev George Porter
  • 1792 Rev Elkanah Hoyle
  • 1829 Rev William Newstead
  • 1832 Rev Thomas Middleton
  • 1847 Rev William Gurney
  • 1860 Rev Charles G Hamilton
  • 1887 Rev William A Pemberton
  • 1903 Alfred E Daniels
  • 1929 Christopher Herman Gilkes
  • 1941 Frederick H Philpot
  • 1962–1979 Francis Willoughby Scott
  • 1979 Hugh Wright
  • 1985 David Bird
  • 1996–2005 Ian Mellor
  • 2005 Andrew Chicken

References[edit]

  1. ^ "The Good Schools Guide". 
  2. ^ "Sutton Trust". 
  3. ^ a b c "Stockport Grammar Junior School". educationbase.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-10-25. 
  4. ^ a b Stockport Grammar School | Stockport Grammar School. facebook.com. Retrieved on September 7, 2012.
  5. ^ Stockport Metropolitan Borough Council, notice of planning decision. stockportgrammar.co.uk. Retrieved on January 20, 2012.
  6. ^ New building | Stockport Grammar School. stockportgrammar.co.uk. Retrieved on January 20, 2012.
  7. ^ Twitter / @stockportgs: We've got a new section on. ... Twitter.com. Retrieved on January 19, 2012.
  8. ^ Independent Schools Inspectorate Stockport Grammar School Standard Inspection. isi.net. Retrieved on January 19, 2012.
  9. ^ Duke of Edinburgh's Award | Stockport Grammar School. stockportgrammar.co.uk. Retrieved on January 20, 2012.
  10. ^ Cheshire Life Single Issues - January 2011 digital edition. Cheshire Life Magazine. Retrieved on January 20, 2012.
  11. ^ Cheshire Independent Newspaper | Local Community Newspaper for the Cheshire Area. The Cheshire Independent. Retrieved on January 20, 2012.
  12. ^ Greenhead News - The Newsletter of Greenhead College. Greenhead College. Retrieved on January 20, 2012.
  13. ^ Earls of Chester. Retrieved on January 23, 2012.
  14. ^ Fees | Stockport Grammar School. stockportgrammar.co.uk. Retrieved on January 23, 2012.
  15. ^ a b Fees | Stockport Grammar School. stockportgrammar.co.uk. Retrieved on January 23, 2012.
  16. ^ Stopfordian magazine | Stockport Grammar School. stockportgrammar.co.uk. Retrieved on January 20, 2012.
  17. ^ Taking Stock newsletter | Stockport Grammar School. stockportgrammar.co.uk. Retrieved on January 20, 2012.
  18. ^ Old Stops' Review magazine | Stockport Grammar School. stockportgrammar.co.uk. Retrieved on January 20, 2012.
  19. ^ Old Stops | Stockport Grammar School. stockportgrammar.co.uk. Retrieved on January 31, 2012.
  20. ^ Events | Stockport Grammar School. stockportgrammar.co.uk. Retrieved on January 31, 2012.
  21. ^ English Lacrosse NEMLA Premier 2, lacrosse tables and lacrosse standings. League Republic. Retrieved on January 31, 2012.
  22. ^ Lacrosse. Disley Amalgamated Sports Club. Retrieved on January 31, 2012.

External links[edit]