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Monkseaton High School: Wikis


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Monkseaton High School
Type Comprehensive School
Headteacher Paul Kelley
Location Seatonville Road
Whitley Bay
Tyne & Wear
NE25 9EQ
Ofsted number 108642
Students 761 (242) Sixth Form
Ages 13 to 18
Coordinates: 55°01′53″N 1°27′51″W / 55.0314°N 1.4642°W / 55.0314; -1.4642

Monkseaton Community High School is a mixed, comprehensive school situated in Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, England for 13-18 year olds. There are 850 students on roll, 250 of whom are in the sixth form. The school has initiated or led a number of local and national initiatives aimed at raising standards.

Monkseaton High School is noted for its innovations in degree study in schools[1] and primary modern languages.[2]


Previous Building

The current school is now scheduled to be demolished. (November 2009)

It had four main buildings:

A large development in the mid 1990's concerning the construction of the glass pyramid which encloses what was once a courtyard area in the centre of the main building. (A-Block) This area is an open plan learning area, encompassing a library, with 3 computer 'zones' in which classes can be tutored. The most recent redevelopment was the refurbishment of the C-Block language rooms. As well as the 3 main blocks, there are four prefabricated mobiles which provide additional classroom and office space.

New Building

To address problems of the current ageing structure and its poor design. A new school has been constructed to the rear of the current complex. Construction was started in April 2008, and the building was handed over at the end of September 2009, completed on time.

Originally based on a dRMM design for the ideal school, the design has evolved into a building which is of a revolutionary design in terms of other secondary education buildings. A large amount of input was provided by members of staff and students in the inception of the design. To avoid the same problems currently experienced. Lessons learned from projects within the current building have also been integrated into the current design; such as the use of toilet pods, much like what is onboard an aircraft to reduce congregation and vandalism.

The buildings exterior bears many design traits to similar buildings recently constructed by Dewjoc, notably the Newcastle University Devonshire building.

The Laura Spence Affair

In 2000, Monkseaton High School became a focus for the national media during the Laura Spence Affair. This was a major political argument about elitism in University of Oxford admissions procedures, centring around Magdalen College's decision to reject Monkseaton student Laura Spence's application to study medicine. Laura had been accepted by every other university she applied to, including Harvard University, where she was offered a £65,000 scholarship. She became an Academic All Ivy at Harvard [3] and returned to the UK to continue her studies in medicine at Cambridge after completing her bachelor's degree at Harvard.

All England Cup victories in 2006 and 2007 and 2008

Monkseaton High School football academy won the all England Cup in 2006 involving 2836 6th form teams across England. Monkseaton won the cup alongside the league cup DIV1, league cup DIV2, county cup, north England cup and Churchhill cup, playing 33 games, winning 32 and drawing 1 on the first game of the season. Monkseaton beat London Academy 2-1 at the Meadow Lane.

In 2007, Monkseaton once again won the cup, defeating Milburn 4-0. Accounts of the approach to football at Monkseaton appeared in The Sunday Times. And in 2008 won it again beating Gateshead College 1-0 [4]

Secular school proposal

Headmaster Paul Kelley has proposed that Monkseaton High School become the first secular state school in the country. This would imply ignoring the requirement for a daily act of worship, which he feels is inappropriate at a school. Kelley said that the proposal, made during the latter days of the Blair premiership, was rejected as "politically impossible". [5]

Trust School

Monkseaton became England's first Trust School in August 2007. The partners in the Trust are the school itself, Microsoft, Tribal Education, North Tyneside Council and the Chair, Professor David Reynolds. The focus of the Trust is applying technology and neuroscience to education at the school and creating, testing and sharing solutions for better ways of learning.

Spaced Learning

Monkseaton has developed spaced learning, based on the neuroscientific discoveries of Douglas Fields at the National Institutes of Health in the USA. Spaced Learning is delivering learning in a pattern of three repetitions separated by 10 minute gaps that distract the learners from the subject, and has been reported widely in the media as "8 minute lessons". [6]


  1. ^ Young Applicants in Schools and Colleges Scheme The Open University, accessed 2008-05-19
  2. ^ Monkseaton Online - Primary Languages
  3. ^ "2003-4 Spring Academic All-Ivy Team". Ivy League Sports. The Ivy League. 2004-05-26. Retrieved 2008-05-19.  
  4. ^ Griffiths, Sian (2007-05-27). "Kicking off in America". The Sunday Times. Times Newspapers Ltd.. Retrieved 2008-05-19.  
  5. ^ Crisis of faith in first secular school by Anushka Asthana, The Observer, September 23, 2007
  6. ^ Monkseaton's web site


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