The creative flair at two institutions in the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools’ family has been recognised nationally.
Monmouth School for Girls and Monmouth Schools Pre-Prep and Nursery have been shortlisted in the Creativity section in the 2019 Tes Independent School Awards.
Tes editor, Ann Mroz, said: “Independent education in this country is truly world class.
“It’s one of our great success stories. And those shortlisted for the Tes Independent School Awards are the crème de la crème.
“We received a record number of entries this year and the standard is the highest yet, so to be shortlisted is an extraordinary achievement for any school.”
Monmouth School for Girls’ initiative for Year 9 pupils, known as The Year 9 Challenge, is already hailed as a sector-leading practice by Estyn, Wales’ version of Ofsted.
The linchpin of an innovative school strategy, The Challenge promotes creative thinking, team work and research skills.
The Challenge is an enrichment subject led by four teachers who guide the pupils through an overarching ‘challenge’ or project each year.
Real-life contexts have included a bid for the hosting of the 2024 Olympic Games, a general election, a design for a 21st century school, and a food festival.
Mrs Zoe Harvey, Head of English and Drama, along with Mrs Olwen Davis, Deputy Head (Academic), put forward the application to the judges.
Mrs Harvey said: “We are passionate about pupils understanding how to work as a team, recognising their own strengths and learning how each person contributes to the whole.
“The pupils learn about models of good teamwork such as Belbin’s psychology of team building and develop their own lines of interest and enquiry.
“Last year’s focus was to create a relevant and well organised campaign on the subject of women’s rights and education in commemoration of the 100 years since women won the vote.”
She added: “Pupil and staff feedback has been vital to our honing of The Challenge and through this we have been amazed at the students’ capacity to respond to the ethos of the challenge.
“Finally, because the challenge is not subject specific it underpins cross-curricular co-operation and encourages transferable skills, so learning is dynamic, creative and flexible.”
Headmistress at Monmouth Schools Pre-Prep and Nursery, Mrs Jennie Phillips, says the magic is never far away at Agincourt.
“My team are so committed to providing a unique and exhilarating learning journey for the children bring a true meaning to the term ‘above and beyond’,” said Mrs Phillips.
“Whether it be a huge nest and giant egg appearing on the roof overnight, an enchanted forest suddenly springing into growth or a huge purple submarine coming into dock, the ability to suspend belief is essential to life at Agincourt.”
She continued: “My dedicated team offer a stimulating and challenging creative curriculum, designed to provide a broad foundation for future growth and equip children with the skills necessary to become confident independent learners.”
Mrs Phillips added: “We are proud that two institutions from two Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools have been recognised among the most outstanding individuals and institutions that the independent sector has to offer.”
The winners will be revealed at a gala awards evening for more than 400 people, including government ministers at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London on Friday 1st February 2019.