Scholarships - Excellence Programmes

We award scholarships in recognition of the unique contribution that those who combine passion and talent can make to school life. We want our scholars to raise aspirations, model perseverance, and demonstrate the power of embracing failure.

In turn, we offer scholars a pathway on one of our excellence programmes; these are designed to stretch our scholars beyond their current levels of performance with the aim of establishing that higher level as their norm. 

There are number of important principles we apply:

  • Affordability of fees is a matter for parents and not their children: we no longer offer fee discounts on the basis of scholarship awards. Bursaries are designed for those who need assistance with fees and are not in any way connected to scholarship awards.
  • Development of excellence requires resourcing: we will invest the funds which would have been used for fee remission into the excellence programmes.
  • Passions ebb and flow: we want to have the flexibility for pupils to join and leave the excellence programmes on a regular and well-structured basis.
  • High performance can be affected by uncontrollable factors: we want to remove as much as possible the high stakes nature of scholarship assessments without removing the expectation of admitting high performers to our excellence programmes.

We don’t have a scholarship assessment week: we don’t want to impose our time scale on prospective pupils who might better demonstrate their passion and talent at another time. So, for those who join us from beyond the Monkton family of schools, we will assess the suitability of candidates as part of a taster day or other visit to the school, as well as references from their current school. We would ask you to confirm your interest no later than 6 months before the potential admissions date.

For those joining from Monkton Prep, our well established links between Senior School teachers and the Monkton Prep excellence programmes means that pupils engaged with these programmes will be assessed over the course of Years 7 and 8, and, for those making good progress, invited to join the parallel excellence programme in Year 9.

Some may not be ready yet to join an excellence programme, so we welcome applications throughout a pupil’s journey through the Senior School so that if they reach the required level at a different point in their school career, they can join whenever that happens to be.

There is an annual review which allows all parties to reflect on a pupil’s progress on the excellence programmes; as some join others may leave, reflecting the priorities of each individual at any one point in time. If priorities change again, a pupil may choose to re-apply at a later stage.

Scholarships and the associated excellence programmes are a great example of Monkton thinking differently; they uniquely celebrate passion and talent whilst avoiding the potentially corrosive effects of high stakes assessment, locked-in awards and fee reductions. 

Our Excellence Programmes


The programme will provide scholars with

  • Exposure to a breadth of areas of study that they would not necessarily encounter within the syllabus
  • Opportunities to explore subjects at a depth beyond that which is typically learned in the classroom
  • Enrichment opportunities to work collaboratively and as role models to their peers and younger students
  • Opportunities to be coached and mentored 

These opportunities will include participation and engagement in a variety of settings, including: lectures and conferences (such as the Bath Educational Trust Gifted and Talented Conference), group discussions, practical work, project work (such as the Higher Project Qualification), trips (such as to Oxford University and the Houses of Parliament), regular scholars meetings and essay competitions.

All members of the Academic Excellence Programme are expected to be both role models and ambassadors for the academic life of the school.

Year 12 academic scholars will mentor younger students via the school’s Academic Mentoring system. Year 10 academic scholars will be expected to complete the Higher Project Qualification.

Art and Design

The Art and Design department offers Excellence Programmes across both disciplines and students will need to specify either an art or design pathway that they would like to specialise in during the application process.

The award will be based upon either a portfolio or assessment of current work.

We are looking for forward thinking, curious students who relish creative challenges. They should have a strong visual vocabulary and the ability to provide solutions to creative problems. 

Whilst technical mastery is impressive, the willingness to explore and develop ideas is equally important.

The Art and Design Excellence Programme will include:

  • Exclusive development time with art and design teachers.
  • Access to specific talks and workshops: this could include in-depth workshops in laser cutting, concrete casting, drawing, painting or whatever the scholar is interested in developing.
  • Specific machine training.
  • An annual exhibition in the school gallery.
  • All materials.
  • Access to a mentoring system.
  • Access to department trips and visits. 

The expectations of the Art and Design scholars are:

  • Students with an interest in excellence, in whatever discipline they choose.
  • To be ambassadors for their subject.
  • To embrace challenge.
Expressive Arts

Monkton’s Expressive Arts Excellence Programme, will be offering a range of exciting opportunities in Drama and Music.

For the forthcoming year, we have in place a visit to Bath Spa University’s film studios, where students will experience acting with a full film crew.  In Music, Jon Boden, lead singer of the award-winning band Bellowhead, will come to give a bespoke masterclass focusing upon performance, followed by the opportunity to see the band live in concert.  Other plans for this year include work with a BAFTA-nominated composer, and a Production Arts trip to one of the UK’s leading voice-over and post-production houses.

These sit alongside other opportunities for our students to experience, network, work with and be inspired by professionals, venues and experiences which are all but inaccessible to most.  Our industry links into performing, composing, recording, film, TV, audio and publishing are unique here at Monkton, and we will continue to find exciting and stimulating ways for our students to grow in understanding and expertise.



Through involvement in the excellent programme, scholars will learn how to push at their boundaries and will be better prepared to maximise their enjoyment and performance in sport beyond school.

Guidance will be provided in areas contributing to current and future competitive success and/or long-lasting health and well-being. These areas will include topics such as Fundamental movement skills, Nutrition, Goal-setting, Performance preparation and Performance lifestyle.

Regular athletic profiling opportunities will give our students the chance to gain feedback on their progress in order to inform future training and competition targets.

Each half term there will be a workshop to develop knowledge in key areas. In addition, scholars will receive a weekly group strength and conditioning session, supervised by one of our qualified Sport staff in order to work on targeted areas of their athletic profile to improve performance in one or more sports, prevent injury or aid recovery and rehabilitation.

Individually tailored games programmes will be created to support older athletes with higher loading where appropriate.

Future opportunities may include sports training camps and involvement in mentoring schemes as we continue to build our links with athletes and organisations beyond our school community.

Those members of the programme will, by definition, become role models for other Monkton students. Their actions will inspire and motivate others around them on a daily basis both inside and outside of a sports setting. An attitude that commits fully to developing in sport will result in positive behaviours around and outside the school that others will aspire to.