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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Faculty of Humanities

Faculty Leader: Mrs R Porter

The incorporation of Geography and Geology, History and Classical Civilisation with Religious Education and Philosophy and Ethics encompasses the full range of Humanities within one area.  We aim to promote a shared vision of creating a plethora of opportunities for students to study topics and joint projects across these disciplines in a variety of media. A number of field visits and extra-curricular activities throughout the year will further enhance students’ learning and enjoyment of these diverse subject areas.


Subject Leader: Mr A Curnow

Geography is a unique subject! It bridges the worlds of science and social science and seeks to interpret the ‘real world’ for students of all ages and abilities. Particularly important is the opportunity for all students to take part in fieldwork. Geography is a popular and successful option subject at GCSE and in the Sixth Form.


In Year 7, students follow a skills based integrated curriculum that covers the subject areas of Geography, History and RE. The course gives students the opportunity to bring their own experience to bear in discussions and allows for choice within set tasks so as to stimulate interest and enthusiasm for learning. The course takes students through topics ranging from ‘Our Stories’ to ‘Life on the Edge’.

In Years 8 and 9, students follow a modular course that covers the full range of the diverse and exciting subject. At all times students will be challenged on their thinking and opinions on topics that vary from the Geography of Sport, to the rise of China and the impact of tectonic hazards such as earthquakes.  Students will develop skills that will enable them to understand the constant changes taking place in the dynamic world around them. Fieldwork opportunities include visits to the Olympic sites in London.


The course challenges students to look at the world around them and to see the way that it impacts upon peoples’ everyday lives.

In Year 10, students study the themes of Water, Living in an Active Zone and Climate Change as Physical Geography units. In Human Geography they cover Globalisation, Development and population. All students are entered for an external exam on these units at the end of Year 10. As part of the Course, residential fieldwork in Northern France will allow investigation of the sustainable use of the seas, tourism and urban land use patterns, together with river landforms.  Year 11 concentrates in greater depth on the themes of Tourism, Retail and Urban Change and The Living World. Coursework is carried out in Year 11 and students sit the end of course external exam.


The modular course enables students of all abilities to succeed in the subject. In Y12, students study Climate Change and Tectonic and hydrological Hazards as part of the Physical Geography unit.  In the Human Geography unit they study Population changes and issues as well change in urban and rural settlements.

In Y13, students study Globalisation and Climatic Hazards, then a detailed unit on the future Sustainability of our lifestyles.

Regular fieldwork, such as to Cardiff or local river work enhances and supports the varied teaching programme. As part of the fieldwork package, an overseas fieldtrip to Southern Italy, along with the Geology and Classics Departments, will allow the investigation of tectonic processes. The extensive computer facilities and use of internet research means students may read work by university lecturers in Kenya when studying the problems of drought in Africa.


Subject Leader: Mr A Curnow

Course Leader: Mrs R Fry

Geology is concerned with the structure, evolution and dynamics of the Earth. It is at the forefront of environmental, scientific and social issues of the 21st century. It includes the study of metals, oil, water and hazards – earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides and dinosaurs. Laboratory and field work encourage accurate observation, recording, analysis and evaluation – the essence of science education and Geology’s attractiveness to students.

Fieldwork is undertaken on the South Wales coast and in 2012 also included a trip to Iceland, along with the Geography and Science Departments. For 2013, fieldwork is planned for Southern Italy along with the Geography and Classics Departments, enabling the investigation of tectonic processes.


Subject Leader: Mrs R Porter

History is a popular subject at Monmouth Comprehensive School. We believe that understanding our past is vital to understanding our present and to forging our future. Taught by a passionate and committed team of historians, we offer our students a unique doorway to exploring their past through the use of a vast variety of media and learning opportunities. To support our classroom learning we run a number of key field trips and have an exciting range of original artefacts literally allowing students to touch their past! We believe such variety allows our students to build a range of essential skills from literacy and communication to critical thinking and citizenship as well as understand the thought processes of our ancestors in order to help make independent judgements.


Here, our students can explore and discover History in a local, national and international context. Year 8 students compare the reputations of Henry V and Richard III through their ‘Shakespeare’s Kings’ module, voyage to the New World, assess the International Slave Trade and gain an overview of women’s history within the wider context of warfare. Year 9 students embark on an independent project on the fated Titanic, communicate as soldiers through letters from the World War One trenches and psycho-analyse Hitler’s profile. Our field trips to two local castles, the Imperial War Museum and to the World War One battlefields of Belgium and France further enhance our students’ experiences of History.


Currently well over 50% of Year 10 and 11 students study History. The course allows students to enhance their understanding of the wider impact of momentous events in twentieth century European History: examined units focus upon life in Nazi Germany, American Foreign Policy and the Civil Rights Movement 1929 to 2000 and the impact of the Communist Revolution in Russia 1914 to 1924. The Controlled Assessment component promotes the analysis of a range of sources and interpretations in order to make informed judgements on key issues of life on the Home Front in Britain during the Second World War.


There are a number of teaching groups in each year. Our course allows students to further their understanding of the history of Europe from 1878 to 1989, including in-depth studies of the two World Wars, the Cold War, the formation of the European Union as well as Fascist Italy, Nazi Germany and Stalinist Russia. The British History component focuses upon Welsh and English history from 1830 to 1848, and considers the extension of the franchise, urban and social protest, factory reform and public health issues.

In Year 12 students visit the Houses of Parliament and the Welsh Assembly. Every two years the Department organises a week-long field visit to Berlin and Poland in order to study the impact of the Third Reich and the Cold War. In addition, there may be an opportunity for a joint Year 12 and 13 History and Classics visit to Rome.


Now in its fifth year, this unique course offers students the opportunity to explore history in its ancient context. Understanding the Classical Worlds of Ancient Greece and Rome is vital to our understanding of Western European thought and being as we know it. In Year 12, students will gain an understanding of ancient culture, society, values and politics through the medium of Greek Tragedy, including Aeschylus’ Agamemnon and Sophocles’ Ajax, and through Homer’s epic, The Odyssey. At A2 students will study Romano-British history as depicted in the literary and archaeological record as well as comparing the heroic ideal of Virgil’s epic, The Aeneid and Homer’s Iliad in their literary and cultural context. Visits to the British Museum and to the internationally renowned local archaeological sites of Caerwent and Caerleon further enhance this option. A perfect accompaniment to many courses!

There is also an opportunity for energetic young Classicists to pursue an after-school option of G.C.S.E. Classical Studies, focussing upon everyday life in Classical Athens and Sparta as well as life and thought in Rome through Ovid’s magical Metamorphoses and in Athens through Sophocles’ poignant tragedy of Antigone.


Subject Leader: Mrs S Perry Phillips

The beliefs, practices and values of several world religions delivered in a dynamic and thought provoking way has led this subject to be extremely popular in the school.

All students are encouraged to think about the different beliefs that people hold throughout the world. This equips young people with the knowledge and skills to live in a pluralistic, multicultural society.


Students are given the opportunity to investigate topics on The Power of Religion, Judaism, Rites of Passage, Evil and Suffering, Islam and Prejudice and Discrimination. The use of IT is encouraged to support autonomous learning and to investigate issues further. As far as possible learning is supported by video and artefacts of the different religions studied, with an emphasis on experiential learning.


Religious Studies at GCSE is an objective and academic study of people and how religion affects their lives in this country and abroad. Moral issues and fundamental questions of life and death are an integral part of this study. Assessment will be by means of two written examinations.

All students have Religious Education at Key Stage 4. This is covered in the ‘Learning to Lead our Lives’ course and gives students the opportunity to explore moral issues through various viewpoints of different religious teachings. All students are encouraged to develop their own opinions about the different moral issues as well as to appreciate that others may hold different views.


At A Level, students follow the Edexcel specifications for Philosophy and Ethics giving them the opportunity to explore fundamental questions of human existence.

Religious Education does not attempt to lead students towards a particular faith but it teaches tolerance of the differences existing between people. 

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