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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Below you will find details of the instrumental lessons offered at Monmouth Comprehensive School. It is designed to ensure that Parents and Students are informed of all aspects of the service.



Instrumental Teachers

Violin - Mr Michael Coultas

Lower Strings - Mrs Emma Archer

Viola - Mr Nick Steel

Flute - Mrs Julie Gibbons

Clarinet/Saxophone - Miss Aimee Winston

Brass - Mr Sean O’Neill

Percussion - Mr Pete Morgan

Guitar - Mr John Whipps

Voice - Mr Ian Dollins

Finance Officer Susan Stitt

Staff may be contacted by telephoning the main school switchboard on 01600 775177. If it is not possible for staff to respond immediately, a message may be left and staff will return your call at the first opportunity.

Information for Parents

The provision of Instrumental Lessons is a Partnership Agreement between Parents and School to offer the widest opportunities for students to broaden their Music education. Students gain greatly from the study of an instrument, both intellectually and socially through membership of ensembles.

Lessons take place throughout the school day and are completed on a rotational basis throughout the term. This ensures that students do not continually miss the same lessons. There are rare occasions where students lessons may be scheduled during part of a lunch or break time. Students are taught in various groupings according to ability.

Parents agree to:

Pay a contribution towards the cost of the service

Provide an instrument (These are sometimes available to borrow from School or Gwent Music Support Service. It is also possible to purchase instruments at a discounted price. Please ask your instrumental teacher or Miss Patterson for more information)

Buy music as required (Parents are reminded that the photocopying of music is illegal)

Pay for Graded Examinations

Pay for an accompanist at Graded Examination where required

Encourage regular attendance at lessons

Encourage regular practice at home

Encourage attendance at Orchestra and other ensembles as appropriate

Encourage attendance at School concerts and other events

Encourage attendance at District and County ensembles as appropriate.

Tuition will only be arranged for Students who return the Parental Agreement. If you subsequently withdraw then you will be liable for the annual fees unless there is a reserve list of students waiting to take up the place. 

The School agrees to:

Provide a regular service of tuition and ensemble opportunities – A minimum of 25 sessions per year

Monitor students’ attendance and progress

Provide an annual written report and an opportunity to discuss progress with the teacher.

Arrangements for Graded Examinations

Graded Music Examination are an important aspect of student’s music education and development. The Examinations are accredited by QCA and the higher grades count towards points for UCAS University entrance.

When a student is ready to take a Graded Examination, parents will receive a letter from their instrumental teacher with information and a form from Gwent Music Support Service. This form should be completed and returned with the appropriate fee to Gwent Music Support Service by the closing date.

The School acts as a Centre for Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music (ABRSM) examinations twice a year in December and May. This is when most students will take their examinations. ABRSM examinations are also held at other times in Monmouth town. Percussion and Brass Trinity/Guildhall examinations are usually held in Newport. Parents and students are expected to find a suitable piano accompanist for Graded Examinations which will be at an additional cost unless specified by their instrumental teacher. 

Commitment from Students

Students are expected to:

Attend lessons regularly and promptly as per the rota situated in the Music area and published on the school website

Inform subject teachers of the need to leave their lesson as soon as the lesson begins, not just when the instrumental lesson is due

Produce the Music Pass, if asked, while out of class

Return immediately to class after the instrumental lesson and ensure any work missed is made up

Carry out regular practice at home

Take Graded Examinations when appropriate

Attend School Orchestra and/or other ensembles as appropriate

Participate in School concerts and other events as required

Give full support to District and County activities where appropriate

On the rare occasion it may be impossible to attend an instrumental lesson, the teacher concerned must be informed BEFORE THE LESSON either personally, or by leaving a note in the teaching room.  Failure to adhere to these expectations may result in the lessons being discontinued. If more than two consecutive lessons are missed or three lessons in a half term, a letter will automatically be sent home to inform parents of students absence.

Timetables will be displayed on the music lessons notice board outside Room 58 and will also be on the school website from September.

Care of Instruments while in School

As students have to move around the campus a great deal during the day, the School provides limited space for students to store their instruments. This is only possible with the co-operation of all those who use the facility.

Instruments should be labelled clearly with the student’s name on the outside AND the inside of the case.

Instruments should be left tidily in the storage spaces in the Music area so that no damage is caused to other instruments. Please put smaller instruments on the shelves so there is room on the floor for larger ones.

Great care should be taken to ensure the correct instrument is taken home – other students may have similar cases.

Instruments are left at owner’s risk. The School will not take responsibility for loss or damage to any instrument.

Instruments should not be left in School overnight, at the weekend or during the school holidays.

The school strongly advises that parents insure all instruments. Please keep a note of the instrument’s make and serial number.


Students have the opportunity to join the various groups according to their instrumental and vocal expertise. When they reach the required standard, they have the chance to audition for membership of County and National Ensembles. Several students have recently represented the school at National level. For further information please contact Gwent Music Support Service –

Participation in ensemble performance is an important aspect of a student’s musical development and all students are strongly encouraged to join whichever groups may be applicable to them.

Orchestra – All students are invited to join the Orchestra. Rehearsals take place on a Friday from 3-4pm which then allows students to have a break before Gwent Music ensembles later in the evening.

Choirs –We have Glee club that runs on a Tuesday after school for students in Years 7, 8 and 9. A senior vocal group runs on a Wednesday after school for Year 10 upwards.

Band Night – This is an opportunity for those interested in more popular music to work independently to form their groups/bands and work on music of their choice.

Strings, Woodwind, Brass and Percussion – The instrumental teacher’s tutor these groups and membership often varies depending on the performance being prepared.

If students are participating in any Gwent Music Ensembles it is expected that they must attend and support their School groups and Orchestra in line with County Policy.

Important Musical Dates 2015/16

These events have already been arranged for this year. In addition, the School is often invited to participate in charitable concerts in the town and wider community. Other musical events often happen throughout the year. Parents and students will be notified of these as and when they occur.

Thursday 10th September – Awards Evening

Thursday 24th September – Open Evening

Wednesday 16th December – Carol Service

Thursday 16th June – Summer Showcase

Students will be made aware of which events apply to them.  Parents and friend are always encouraged to join the audience on these occasions to support the students in showcasing their collective talents.   


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