'Fees are among the best value in the country' - Tatler Schools Guide 2016
Celebrating their milestone 400th Anniversary in 2014, the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools, among the UK’s leading independent day and boarding schools, have invested in new state-of-the-art facilities to ensure they continue to nurture the next generation of talented, high-achieving individuals. For boys and girls, with boarding from 7, the Schools take great pride in being able to offer all of the advantages of single-sex education with a co-ed pre-prep, many joint activities and a co-ordinated Sixth Form. Set in the beautiful Wye Valley in Wales, this family of schools, which is geared up for siblings, encourages pupils to aim high in every aspect of their lives and grow up to become the best possible versions of themselves. Each school has its individual identity, yet joint trips abroad, mixed drama and musical performances and social gatherings ensure boys and girls socialise with confidence. A co-ordinated sixth form timetable also helps with the transition from school to university. Education inspectorate Estyn, Wales’ answer to Ofsted, recently rated Monmouth School and HMSG as excellent in every category – the highest score possible. And thanks to its beautiful scenery and charm, Monmouth was listed in the Sunday Times as the third best place to live in Britain.
Home away from home: The boarding community is an integral part of life for the Haberdashers’ Monmouth family, with around 320 pupils calling the Schools home. Creating a nurturing environment where children feel comfortable, happy and inspired to aim high in everything they do is our main priority.
Girls and boys learn differently, yet regular interaction is vital to develop good social skills and confidence in preparation for life beyond school. Dedicated boarding houses for juniors, seniors and sixth formers at Monmouth School and HMSG offer all the advantages of single-sex education, with time and space planned for prep in each house. And there is always a busy programme of joint activities, sports and excursions at the weekends. Our boarders form lifelong friendships, lovely memories and a strong sense of society during their time here. Over 60% of our boarders are British and we have an exciting cross-section of international boarders from all over the world. All trips to airports are accompanied by a member of staff.
Academic success: With the vast majority of pupils getting their first choice university and 65% of offers to Russell Group Universities, HMSG and Monmouth School recognise the importance of getting the best set of exam results for each boy and girl.
At GCSE level in 2016, 42% of all examinations were graded A* and more than a third of pupils achieved at least seven A*s.
Pupils also performed well in the more challenging IGCSE examinations. 82.6% of biology papers, 82.6% of physics exams, 73.9% of chemistry papers and 78.6% of history assessments were marked at A*/A.
At Monmouth School, 43% of all grades were A*. An impressive 68.6% of all grades were A* to A, 20 boys gained all A*s and As, and three candidates achieved a clean sweep of A*s.
Boys also performed well in the more challenging IGCSE examinations. A*/A grades were awarded to 84.6% of biology papers, 83.1% of physics exams, 78.4% of chemistry papers and 74.5% of history candidates.
A level pupils celebrated a glowing set of results, with almost one in three students gaining all A* or A grades.
Monmouth School enjoyed its best set of results in four years, with 50.2% A* – A grades and three quarters of all grades A* – B.
At HMSG, 57.3% of grades were A* or A – more than double the national average – and the vast majority of girls gained access to their first choice university. 83.0% of grades were A* to B, and the pass rate was 100%.
There is a sport for every pupil at Haberdashers' Monmouth Schools: Sport enhances life outside academia, and the Schools pride themselves on the number of children representing them. More than 70 pupils have national sporting honours and we list former Olympians among our alumni. Rugby, rowing, football, gymnastics, dance, lacrosse, netball and tennis are just a few of the activities which play an extremely important role in school life. Our exceptional staff is dedicated to achieving excellence within a ‘sport for all’ philosophy, ensuring the B and C teams always feel as inspired and important as the A teams.
Plans for the future: At the boys’ school, attention is now being turned to developing plans to refurbish its science department, and the continue upgrading boarding accommodation. Science is incredibly important for both schools, with an impressive number of boys and girls opting to study sciences, maths and computer science at A level.
Having invested in a joint schools’ tennis academy and strengthening links with a local equestrian centre, HMSG is now looking towards developing a performing arts academy.
For more information, visit habs-monmouth.org, call 01600 710 433 for Monmouth School or 01600 711104 for HMSG.
Rhiannon, 12, has been a boarder since January. Her father works for Aramco in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
She said: “I was worried about being away from my mum and dad, but the girls were really nice straight away and the boarding house feels like home now. “The staff are really nice and down to earth. They are fun and talk to you regularly to make sure you are alright.
“It’s an adventure coming to boarding school. “I’ve decided I want to stay for my whole school career. “I like the routines they have and the food is really good.
“We have film nights with the boys in our year at Monmouth School. On a Saturday night they come up to the boarding house. It’s good fun.”
Hadiyah from Saudi Arabia is also in Year 8. Her father works for Aramco and she has boarded at HMSG for just four weeks. She said: “My brother Usman has been boarding in Monmouth since the beginning of the year. “I had no idea what it was going to be like. I was quite nervous about it.
“But the staff are almost like second parents. “They are entertaining and they know what kids are like. “Whenever you feel homesick they always help and we can call our parents whenever we want to.
“At the weekends, there are so many things to do that you don’t feel homesick. “There’s swimming, climbing, we go to town, play laser tag. The weekends are the best thing about boarding. “We have social time with the boys in Year 8 when they come up here to watch films with us. “It’s good to mix with boys now and then – it prepares you for real life and they are always quite funny and silly.
“Boarding is a lot more comfortable for me knowing my older brother is here. “It’s good to know that even if my parents have to move around, I always have this base.”
Usman, 15, is Hadiyah’s big brother. He has boarded at Monmouth School since September this year. He said: “Boarding has been pretty great, I’ve made lots of friends and you never get lonely here.
“There are lots of opportunities available to us.
“The teachers are all really supportive, and the tutoring is very helpful.
“It feels homely in boarding – I think it’s because you bond with people and make good friends through getting involved in all the activities. It creates a family environment.
“The friends I’ve made are really nice guys; they’ve been great. They have been understanding of the fact I come from a different religious background and always give me space when I needed to be alone.
“I miss my family but I have never felt homesick at all here.
“We can go to town and hang out with the girls from HMSG and I visit my sister sometimes, too.
“It’s nice to know she’s nearby.
“My favourite sport here is rugby, but I’m playing cricket now because we play different sports during different seasons.
“All of the opportunities in boarding help create a man out of you.”