Welcome to Monmouth Comprehensive School

Dear Parents and Students

Welcome to Monmouth Comprehensive School

In our school we encourage everyone to have the highest expectations of themselves and each other as together we Learn to Lead our Lives.

We are proud of our students’ academic achievements.  Just as importantly, we are a school that cares.  We believe that students need to feel comfortable and secure in order to learn and, as a school, we put as much emphasis on creating a supportive and happy environment as we do on academic success.  We achieve both.

I look forward to working with you to ensure the very best learning and life for the young people in our care.

Vaughan Davies

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In Year 7, students follow a skills based curriculum led by their Form Tutor and teams of teachers from subject areas. The curriculum is built around five projects and has a focus on learning skills.

Students gain expertise and are assessed in key areas of skill and competence to become more confident and independent learners.  This transitional year provides support to all students in their learning journey through the school.

In Years 8 and 9, students follow a programme of study designed to introduce them to all the main areas of the National Curriculum and provide a solid foundation for further work. 

Students explore the world of work and begin to make links with potential subject choices and careers.  They also develop entrepreneurial skills in team enterprise.


In Years 10 and 11 everyone must continue with the core subjects.  During the 2014 review of secondary education, it was determined that the core in Wales would be comprised of English Language, Mathematics and Mathematics-Numeracy, Double Science, Welsh and PE.

The newly developed Welsh Baccalaureate sits at the heart of the Welsh qualifications system.  It seeks to inspire and challenge 14-16 learners to fulfil their potential.  This rigorously assessed and graded qualification underpins learner's choices in Key Stage 4 and is becoming a required qualification across Wales for 2015.





Welsh is available as a full course or short course GCSE. The Integrated Curriculum, which includes Religious Education and Personal and Social Education is taught for 2 hours per week. (Religious Education can be taken as a full Religious Studies GCSE).  Learning is accredited through the Welsh Baccalaureate.

Games and Physical Education

At least 1 lesson per week. Many students do PE as an extra GCSE subject (full or short course), and some do Dance.

Students continue to develop an understanding of work related education, with a particularfocus on working with employers and voluntary organisations in the community. As students move through bespoke careers guidance, support is provided to help with potential education and career choices.

The Welsh Baccalaureate

All students follow the Welsh Baccalaureate programme. This qualification rewards students for their continual skills development in and out of lessons as well as success in their Core and Option subjects.

To fulfil the requirements of the National Welsh Baccalaureate, students will be graded in four challanges as part of the Skills Challenge Certificate component of the qualification.  these four challenges are:

  • Individual Project:  This is an independent, research-based assignment on an individually selected subject.  Learners demonstrate the knowledge and skills to produce a written investigation or an artefact/product supported by written reseach.
  • Enterprise and Employability Challenge:  To develop enterprising skills and attributes and enhance employability.
  • Global Citizenship Challenge:  To understand and respond appropriately to a global issue.
  • Community Challenge:  For learners to dentify, develop and participate in opportunities that will benefit the community.

The Skills Challenge Certificate is graded A*-C and has the equivalence of one GCSE.

All students will also need to have the following to achieve the qualification:

  • GCSEs:  GCSE English Language and GCSE Mathematics-Numeracy.
  • Supporting qualifications:  For example, other GCSEs and/or vocational qualifications.


In addition to the core, students take from three to six other subjects, depending on the amount of Science chosen. Most subjects are studies for five lessons per fortnight for two years, to GCSE, BTEC, NVQ or CoEA. Some students may opt for a reduced number of GCSEs and take advantage of extra study support on offer.

* There are 25 hour lessons each week, on a fortnightly cycle.


It is vitally important that students do not overspecialise at this stage. Experience has shown that many young people change their minds between the ages of 14 and 16. By keeping a balanced choice, they make sure that they have not shut the door on future options. Whilst expertise and enthusiasm in one area is valuable, versatility and adaptability will be important in a fast-changing world. A student may find a subject hard or unappealing at 14, but grow to see its value as they later develop their ability and interest in it.

The School recommends that most students study:

• at least one humanity (History, Geography, Religious Studies or Business Studies)

• at least one technological, vocational or creative subject (Art and Design,Business Studies, Catering, Child Development, all Design and Technology subjects, Dance, Drama, Information & Communication Technology or Music)

• and gives strong consideration to continuing with at least one language; French, German or Welsh – or to starting Spanish as a new language.


During Years 10 and 11, students have the opportunity to personalise their curriculum. Students select their pathway from a wide range of options and qualification types.  In recent years, over 98% of Year 11 students have gained 5 or more Level 2 qualifications at grade C or above. This percentage is well above the National average and continues to improve. The minimum level for going on to A Level, advanced vocational courses or direct entry to many careers is five or six of these ‘higher grades’. Whatever the qualification, every student will have to complete course based tasks that count towards their grade from the earliest stage of their course. Full commitment and attendance are essential and are the norm at Monmouth.



Most of the two year courses in Years 10 and 11 lead to the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE).  This is graded from A* to G for each subject.

Last year, 98% of Year 11 students gained 5 or more GCSEs at grade C or above.  This percentage is well above the national average and we aim to continuously improve it.  The minimum level for going on to A Level, Advanced Vocational Courses or direct entry to many careers, is five or six of these "higher grades".

Achievement at lower grades than this can represent a considerable achievement for some students and equip them to study vocational courses at Colleges of Further Education or entry into employment.

Level 1 / 2 Awards

These are genuinely vocational courses that have been running successfully for many years.  they are highly valued by employers and Institutes of Higher and Further Education.

The Level 2 Award is equivalent to one GCSE at grades A*-C.

The Level 1 Award is equivalent to one GCSE at grades D-G, the Level 1 Certificate two GCSEs at grades D-G and the Level 1 Diploma four GCSEs at grades D-G.

There is an element of external assessment (17% or 25%); the remaining assessment is based on assignments that simulate real paid work, or investigate actual places of work.  They are a chance for all students to learn and demonstrate skills in a different way from GCSE.

Entry and Introductory Level

For students who find GCSE too academic, or BTEC First Certificate too demanding, we have an outstanding record of success in Entry Level courses and the BTEC Introductory Diploma.  Students who achieve these will be well equipped to go on to Further Education, training or employment.


Core Programme

The Baccalaureate offers a wide and diverse programme of study that develops independent learning skills required for Further Education and the workplace.

The majority of students will select three advanced courses to study alongside the Welsh Baccalaureate.  We understand that because of their pathways aspirations, some students will wish to study four advanced courses plus WBQ and these students will be supported during their transition process.

The Integrated Curriculum in the Sixth Form is constructed around a series of 'challenges' through which students devleop a range of transferable study skills required to be successful in Further and Higher Education and the world of work.  The 'dissertation style' Individual Project enables students to extend their skills beyond A Levels and BTEC Diplomas.

The Sixth Form provides a wide range of subjects at AS and A Level and BTEC Qualifications in Engineering, Business, Sports Science and Health and Social Care (equivalent to one, two or three A Levels.


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