Upper School Learning Faculties

At Monkton Prep School our subjects fall within a Faculty Structure. Each Faculty is headed up by a Faculty Lead who steers the curriculum development and vision for learning in their area from the youngest to the oldest children.

All pupils, from Early Years right the way through to Year 8, are able to explore each subject by embarking on a cohesive journey through the school, and to understand all the threads which weave between the different subjects.

Humanities and Languages

Connecting Teaching to the Wider World

Our specialist teachers in the Humanities Faculty aim to inspire students to love exploring the languages, places, cultures, stories and breadth of belief across the world. Our curriculum is explicitly diverse and richly packed with writers, characters and historical figures who both reflect and have the potential to inspire our students. 

We seek to connect our teaching to the wider world and provide our students with memorable learning experiences. In-class learning is balanced with practical sessions that might include making concrete in the old golf course bunker, re-enacting a battle, watching a play or going out on a field trip to undertake some research. Students from Years 1-8 have the opportunity to take part in our annual Poetry Slams and we also host visits from authors and poets. 

Modern Foreign Languages are a key part of our Humanities offering at Monkton Prep. From Kindergarten to Year 5 children have a weekly French lesson. From Year 6 to Year 8, we offer more lessons each week and children have the opportunity to learn both French and Spanish. We also offer Italian as a lunchtime club for our younger students. 

Monkton Prep has a Christian ethos and we undertake in-depth studies of Christianity in Religious Studies lessons across each year group. Balanced with this, each Year group also studies world faiths. Our aim is for children to have space to examine their own beliefs and contrast them with others, and… something.


STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Developing the Innovators and Inventors of Tomorrow

At Monkton, we are preparing today’s children to become the innovators and inventors of tomorrow. STEM refers to an integrated approach to teaching and learning covering Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics.

Through STEM, students develop key skills including: 

  • problem solving
  • creativity
  • critical analysis

STEM learning encourages pupils to develop important life skills through enrichment and to engage with the wider community in practical, enjoyable and meaningful ways. In an ever-changing, increasingly complex world, it is more important than ever that our pupils have the opportunity to combine knowledge and skills to solve problems, make sense of information, and know how to gather and evaluate evidence to make decisions.

At Monkton, STEM-based education teaches children much more than scientific and mathematical concepts; we provide pupils with an opportunity for hands-on learning which has real-world applications. Whether that’s through Maths lessons using our outdoor classrooms, ‘Spectacular Science’ events or building lawnmower engines in Mechanical Engineering, children at Monkton experience STEM as a highly engaging and exciting journey of discovery. 

We also take part in the UK National Maths Challenge, hosting the Junior Maths Challenge with local primary schools. We have  organised  “Spectacular STEM” sessions for pupils, which have included designing and making Balloon racers and Solar cookers. Our most recent project is beginning restoration work on a vintage Massey Ferguson T35 tractor!

Regardless of the future career path chosen by our pupils, the skills they develop through STEM learning will go a long way in preparing them to be innovative, flexible and creative in their chosen careers.


Expressive Arts

At Monkton Prep School we aim to help our pupils develop their skills and abilities, intellectually, emotionally and socially. Our motto for the Expressive Arts is to enable all pupils to achieve more than they first thought possible. We aim to instil in every child the joy of performing and encourage all to continue their experience of the arts beyond the classroom. 

Find out more about the Music, Drama, Art & Design and Dance faculties here:


During the early years, children listen carefully and respond physically to a wide range of different kinds of music. They play musical instruments and sing a variety of songs from memory, adding accompaniments and creating short compositions with increasing confidence, imagination and control. Notation is introduced as early as reception and they explore and enjoy the way sounds and silences can create different moods and effects.

In Year 1 they are introduced to the violin and cello as part of whole class tuition. In year 2 they explore the ukulele. Year 3 & 4 experience the recorder as part of their creative arts afternoons.

In Years 5-8 the subject builds from the work started in the early years with skills being further developed. A greater emphasis is put upon performance skills and a more challenging level of composition is expected. The elements of music are reinforced through practical and listening work. Singing continues to form an important part of the curriculum and is positively encouraged. Part singing is encouraged in the upper years. 

A range of topics are covered in all year groups ranging from World Music, Medieval, Minimalism, Blues, Rock and Pop. These are all explored through practical music making. They improvise, and develop their own musical compositions, in response to a variety of different stimuli, with increasing personal involvement, independence and creativity. Pupils are encouraged to notate their compositions where possible and to spend time revising and reflecting upon their work.

Music making is both challenging and engaging. In addition to this we aim to enhance the pupils’ understanding and enjoyment of music, through an active involvement in listening, composing and performing. Music is a subject that is accessible to all, providing opportunities for excellence at all levels of intellectual development and in all phases of education. In addition to this, other qualities and standards, such as discipline, respect, co-operation and supportive encouragement must be maintained at all times.

Outside of formal lessons, music making is actively encouraged. Instrumental tuition on a variety of instruments is provided by visiting instrumental teachers, and extended curriculum activities allow pupils to further extend their musical knowledge and skills. Pupils can take formal examinations following the ABRSM or Trinity exam boards. Monkton School is a regular visitor to the Mid-Somerset Festival entering both ensembles and individuals. It’s no surprise to hear music as you walk down the corridors at Monkton; you will find children singing, composing music, playing their instruments in a one-to-one lesson, or taking part in a rehearsal. Music is a part of our day and a part of our life at school.


Drama is taught weekly from Reception to Year 8. We place great emphasis on respect for each individual within the group, and collaboration is a key focus in every lesson. Drama can also help children develop an understanding of their emotions and establish empathy with others. It encourages teamwork and co-operation and nurtures positive friendships.

The curriculum exposes our children to a variety of theatrical genres whilst encouraging them to assert themselves confidently and explore their imaginations using a range of different dramatic techniques and skills. These include mime, freeze-framing, hot-seating, voice projection, performance poetry, devising, writing and performing monologues and script. Main productions in the Michaelmas term are for Years 1-4 and Year 7; Year 5 & 6 work towards a musical in the Lent Term and Year 8 in the Summer term. When working towards a performance, pupils will be expected to learn lines and adopt and sustain a role. The children’s experiences are further enriched by cross-curricular collaborations. Recent productions have included Matilda, Guys and Doll, Pirates of The Curry Bean and The National Youth Theatre play ‘Tuesday’.

Drama lessons at school are complemented by drama clubs, both for Lower and Upper School children. Children are also able to join the school’s LAMDA programme, where they can further develop their speech and performance skills. Trips and visits are also organised to support an area of study where possible and pupils. Monkton School is a regular visitor to the Mid-Somerset Festival entering both ensembles and individuals. 

Art and Design

Art and Design are the physical creative hubs of Monkton and are a key part of the curriculum from Year 3 upwards. The pupils are taught and gain hands-on experience in a wide variety of materials and techniques and build up broad and very transferable skills along their learning journey through Monkton. As with the STEM faculty, there is an emphasis on many of the PSB values which these subjects are excellent at providing. These range from individual working skills, teamwork and communication, collaboration and leadership, and a host of others.

Our faculty works closely alongside several other departments with Art often contributing to the Expressive Arts faculty and Design collaborating with STEM. This co-curricular approach builds both cross-curricular learning as well as a multifaceted style of teaching which builds and consolidates the pupils’ learning pathways and provides a much richer experience. There are several projects throughout the years that have a specific emphasis on linking the learning objectives to other subjects, such as the Year 5 Space Explorers project and the Year 6 Gravity Racers to name but a few.

With technology changing and evolving ever faster and with the necessity to keep at the cutting edge, the faculty has invested heavily in ensuring that every pupil is able to access and experience a wide range of tools and techniques that not only allow them to produce exceptional quality work but also use those skills to enhance their work in other subjects as well. It is this practical and life long skill set that the Art and Design faculty excel at providing for every pupil.

All children are naturally highly creative and, at Monkton, we nurture and encourage every pupil to both explore existing and historic skills but to also develop and generate their own styles and creative flair that is as unique as they are. With future job markets looking more and more at skills that prioritise innovation and problem solving, the Art and Design faculty excel at providing opportunities to extend and hone these vital abilities. The vast majority of the Design projects focus on innovation and problem solving that the pupils must investigate and then generate their own ideas and the Art department brings their interpretive and analytical skills to life with their range of media and techniques as well as historical investigation and study.

As the faculty focuses on investigation and problem solving, we reinforce a culture of celebrating learning whether through success or learning from challenges we encounter. We encourage pupils not to focus on what they got wrong but to self-reflect on where they did well and how they can improve for next time and what learning they achieved at each stage.

There are several highlights throughout the year in both events that are held as well as activities that are offered to the pupils. There is a celebration of achievement at the end of each year with displays of what the pupils have done in both Art and Design which showcases the work that the pupils have created through their final year. There are also many Art competitions that are held as well as the Greenpower Challenge where our pupils build electric racing cars and compete against teams from around the world. These events and activities are a wonderful opportunity to allow pupils to develop their individual and team skills and represent the school across a wide range of disciplines.



Dance is taught to all years within the context of school productions, off timetable days, as well as through the increasingly popular lunchtime clubs. In doing so we enable our pupils to become more confident, creative and expressive.

In addition, Dance is taught as an elective strand as from 2023.