Further to my letter this week regarding strike action next Wednesday 1st February, I have answered some FAQs below. Please let us know if you have further questions.
Why has the decision been made to close the school to students on Wednesday 1st February?
The decision has been made to close the school to students because of the impact of the strike action taking place by NEU members across the country. Given the impact on staffing levels here and the uncertainty around planning, it is not possible to make the necessary arrangements for safe operation of the school day.
What work will be put on Google Classroom, and how will my child and I know?
Work will be placed on Google Classroom on the morning of the strike day. Not all classes will have work set, as only those staff reporting for work on the day will be setting tasks on Google Classroom. It is best for students to check Google Classroom in the morning, and then again at lunchtime.
Is the school performance of Sister Act still taking place in the evening of 1st February?
Yes. The evening performance is not affected by strike action.
When will decisions be made about future strike days in Wales?
We aim to make decisions about future strike days a week in advance of the day itself, in order to give families sufficient time to make arrangements. The next strike days in Wales already announced by the NEU are 14th February, 15th March and 16th March. Other education unions are also in formal dispute with Welsh Government.
Taking strike action is not something that any teacher would undertake lightly. Clearly this is a difficult and unusual situation, which will cause disruption, and I thank you for your understanding.
Friends Curry & Quiz Night - could you be the 2023 Champion?
Closing date to purchase tickets is Wednesday, February 1st.
Gwent Youth Question Time
Organised by the Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner, Gwent Youth Question Time is for young people aged 11-25. They have advised It would be fantastic to see students from Monmouthshire at the event.
Their panel is made up of a range of professionals who are eager to find out what’s important to young people in Gwent, and they are extremely pleased to have the support of the Children’s Commissioner for Wales.
Jeff Cuthbert, Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent
Pam Kelly, Chief Constable of Gwent Police
Rocio Cifuentes, Children’s Commissioner for Wales
Dr Jane Dickson, Sexual and Reproductive Health Consultant, Aneurin Bevan University Health Board.
"Have your say on the issues that matter to you!
Gwent Youth Question Time offers young people the chance to ask key professionals and decision makers questions about issues that really matter.
If you have a question about policing and community safety, the cost-of-living crisis, sexual health, and healthy relationships, please come along."
The annual Careers and Higher Education Fair (CHEF) takes place at Monmouth Comprehensive School on Wednesday 8th February 6 - 8 pm.
Over 100 representatives will be present from all major occupational areas, as will all local Further Education colleges and many Universities - including Cardiff, Swansea and Bristol. To coincide with National Apprenticeship Week (6-10 February) we have expanded the number of Apprenticeship Providers and Training Organisations who will be situated in the Main Atrium. Careers Wales will be delivering Apprenticeship workshops during the evening. The school is pleased to be able to welcome back delegates who have been supporting the Fair for many years and are looking forward to seeing many new, exciting stands from many different sectors.
CHEF is aimed at Years 9-13 but all students and families are welcome. MCS also welcomes students from across the region to what will be a major event.
Catching up with the PEA Faculty
Live Theatre experiences
Year 12 have been studying Arthur Millers’ “A View from the Bridge”. As part of their practical exploration of the text they prepared a performance of some extracts of the play. This gave some lucky Year 7 PEA classes their first opportunity to experience some Live Theatre. It was lovely to witness the enthusiasm from both year groups. Year 7 had a go at the ‘chair lift’: an intense moment of the play.
Year 10, 11, 12 and 13 have also had opportunities to come together to watch different theatre styles and practitioners over the first term. They have watched a diverse range of performances that they have then analysed in class to prepare them for their written exams.
Year 12 and 13 Mentors
Year 12 and 13 students regularly attend our KS3 and GCSE lessons to support our younger students. They are invaluable within the drama classroom and student feedback has been so positive.
Daisy, Year 11: “they were really helpful, they have only just done it themselves so they remember what it's like, they used their own experience to help us. I really appreciated the support and the cross between teacher and student”.
The technical side of drama
Design is a big part of drama. Over the last few years we have been developing opportunities for students to design different aspects of theatre. Year 9 have completed set, costume, make-up and prop and puppet design. Their ideas have been really creative and, as a Department, we have been presented with new talent.
We now have a number of students who are opting for technical roles at GCSE and A Level Drama and Theatre Studies. This year we have had a lighting designer, set designer, costume and make-up designer and a sound designer. This required an update of ICT equipment and we have secured a new Macbook pro with exciting software in order to create some complex sound and lighting designs at A Level.
Ruby, our current Year 12 sound designer, is so excited to use it!
Year 7 - Physical Theatre, Alice in Wonderland
Our wonderful Year 7 students have been exploring the Wonderland by using their bodies to create the set, props and characters which we see in Alice. Learning to work in groups is a vital skill, it requires communication, listening and responding to their peers.
Year 8 - Investigating Jo
Year 8 are currently investigating the incident of ‘Jo’. They are interviewing suspects, sourcing evidence, developing backstories, using technology to create cyber trails and CCTV footage.
Year 9 - technical theatre and scripted
As well as exploring the technical side of theatre and design,students have been revisiting their physical theatre skills and exploring “100”, a GCSE style script.
They have been looking at the play from the perspective of a designer, a director and an actor.
Year 10 have been exploring a range of theatre practitioners and styles, practically and watching live theatre, focusing on building their skills and techniques in preparation for practical exams in Year 11.
Year 11 - GCSE drama performances
Year 11 have completed their first performance examination. They used a stimulus for inspiration to create a piece of performance which had to be influenced by a theatre practitioner. The results were amazing - we are so lucky to have such talented students here. Congratulations to all who took part - 40% of their GCSE completed!
Congratulations to Gracie who has been busy preparing for acting auditions, and has just secured a place at Bristol School of Acting to study Theatre Making. Congratulations Gracie, we’re so excited that your hard work has paid off!
Milo, our Year 13 student, has been responsible for coordinating the whole tech team behind Sister Act this year. We are so sad that it is his last year at MCS, but so proud to announce that he has secured a place at Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts to undertake a degree in Music Technology - they are so lucky to have him!
KS3 Drama Club
Our Key Stage 3 Drama Club members spent the Autumn term devising theatre on a topic they are passionate about, to enter in an international Drama competition! “Drama Matters” asked students to create a piece of theatre, with no input from teachers, based around a topic that is personal to them. We saw a range of brilliant work, discussing challenging topics in a mature and skilful way, showcasing their many talents, and it was very difficult to only select one group to take forward to the competition. We would love to pass on our thanks to all who entered, and a huge congratulations to our Year 8 winners, Hamish, Tom, Tomi and Lukas who wrote a very informed, clever and relevant piece showing that young people understand politics and what may happen if different political parties met at a bar. We are waiting to find out if our winning group will continue on to represent Monmouth Comprehensive School in the finals at Warwick University, judged by “Drama Matters” and “Lazarus Theatre Company”. We are honoured to have such brilliant script writers, performers and creative minds in our school, and we do hope our KS3 Drama Club members will audition for our Lower School Production later this year!
Our students are ready to wow you with their talent and hard work! Rachel Harkins is leading the company as Deloris and is supported by a wonderful split cast of female Nuns (owing to the tremendous talent in our school) and a fantastic group of male leads, alongside the incredible force that is the whole cast chorus. The show is set to be a spectacle and one not to miss!
We are in the privileged position to be able to use our students’ expertise to run all our backstage roles within our school productions. For Sister Act we have students running all sound and lighting, and even past students who are now training within the performing industry returning to support with set design and choreography. We also have students making costumes, front of house support, advertising and stage management. What a team! We are so thankful for all their enthusiasm and hard work they dedicate to our Department.
24/7 Absence Line
Reporting an absence
Please note that the direct number to report your child's absence is 01600 775284.
This is an answerphone which is available 24/7 for you to leave a brief message - your child's name, Form and reason for absence.