The Upper School Staff is composed of a team of over 100 highly qualified specialist teachers. Approximately 50% of them coming from abroad and are native English speakers.

All our pupils are placed in tutor groups. The Tutor is responsible for the wellbeing of the pupils under his care and of offering them academic guidance. The Personal and Social Education (PSE) teachers are responsible for establishing the formative themes implemented throughout the Upper School and for the orientation of pupils. These themes are age appropriate and are designed to respond to the ever-changing needs in the pupils’ socio-psychological development. The Head of Year is in charge of coordinating the work of the tutors and PSE teachers. They also supervise the progress of each pupil in their year group and are responsible for communicating and working together with parents for the pupil’s wellbeing.

New methodologies

All teachers in Upper School participate in collaborative projects where they can choose an area of focus, which broadly fit under four themes:

  • Educational technology Teachers at Markham stay up to date with their IT skills by learning about a variety of software and hardware (such as of SMART boards, visualisers, Google Classroom, etc.) to then incorporate technology into their teaching methods. One group of teachers set up a Google site that explains how to use Google tools in the classroom. They are also learning to use Google Classroom to share resources with students, and enable them to give feedback on submitted work.
  • Educational research Teachers need to know how memory works in order to best teach students.A group of teachers is currently looking at Cognitive Load Theory and its implications on how we teach in order to maximise student learning. By being aware of this research, teachers have changed their practice to remove possible distractions, provide models for students to analyse, and bear in mind the limitations of the working memory. Teachers in this group have also started working with students, explaining to them how their brains work and what they can do to help themselves maximise their potential learning.
  • Improving teaching Teachers continuously improve their teaching methods to enhance the education the students receive. One group of teachers is testing differentiation in the classroom, which involves teaching to challenge the highest achievers whilst supporting the lowest achievers within the same classroom. Teachers review tasks accessible to all students and evaluate how they can adapt their current resources to support and challenge students as necessary.
  • Improving learning When students leave Markham they should have a secure knowledge base, but also the skills to be successful in their futures. One group of teachers is focusing on helping students learn to reflect, both on their behaviour and learning. In reflecting on their learning, students are better placed to improve the quality of their own work. In reflecting on their behaviour, they develop important self-management skills and become more aware of how they behave in class.

Within these groups, teachers may choose what they wish to try out. They can focus on new trends and methodologies and hold regular feedback sessions where they share their learning with other teachers. We encourage teachers to observe other teachers’ classrooms to see how these new methods can apply to their own teaching.

The most successful learnings are shared with the whole-school teaching community in an end-of-year fair where they present their year-long projects.

On-going training

Our teachers regularly attend training seminars and exchange programmes ensuring that the latest educational methods are applied in their everyday teaching. A professional development plan, mentoring programme and a teacher training initiative are available for all members of our teaching staff.

We also support our staff’s ongoing training in the following ways:

  • we organise yearly In Service Education and Training (INSET) trainings where international teacher trainers are invited to speak a focus topic
  • in monthly departmental meetings staff discuss how to improve teaching and learning
  • we host a dedicated staff library with specialist material
  • the Teaching and Learning newsletter is shared with all staff. It includes the latest educational research
  • we have a Teaching and Learning website for staff that includes resources and information to help them stay up to date
  • there are departmental blogs where teachers share ideas and hold useful discussions with their peers