Co-Curricular

Co-Curricular

High quality teaching and learning is matched by a broad Co-Curricular programme which ensures that all Queen’s College pupils receive an all-round and balanced education. The skills acquired through sport, the visual arts, music, performing arts, outdoor pursuits and a myriad of other activities become increasingly valuable in the 21st Century. The school motto Non scholae sed vitae discimus (we educate not just for school but for life) is as important today as it was 175 years ago. The ability to work in a team, develop leadership as well as being able to work independently becomes ever more important in a rapidly changing world. It is always encouraging to see Queen’s College students who are happy and relaxed as they strive to fulfil their potential in preparation for entering a modern world with confidence and resilience.

The Co-Curricular programme aims to complement the academic curriculum and provide ‘something for everyone’. It gives opportunities for Queen’s College students to experience a variety of engaging activities. The programme aims to develop different skills and experiences and encourage students to challenge themselves and pursue their passions.

On every day of the week, there are allocated Co-Curricular sessions where the students participate in a variety of activities that include active, creative, cerebral choices.

OUTDOOR EDUCATION

OUTDOOR EDUCATION

At Queen’s Outdoor Education is an umbrella term to describe a wide range of learning in the outdoors.  This includes adventure education, personal and social development and environmental awareness.  We intend to embrace all of these key areas in producing a programme that fosters leadership, teamwork and communication skills as well as enhancing pupil’s health and well being.  We aim to instill an appreciation of the environment around us and enable pupils to challenge themselves and learn to manage risk in order to help develop resilience and initiative.

There is a wide range of outdoor activities on offer at Queen’s, led by a number of qualified and highly experienced members of staff. There is a packed programme on offer during the week and trips go further afield every  weekend.

Students wishing to pursue further interests in Outdoor Education, also have the chance to study for a BTEC in Sport and Outdoor Activities as one of their sixth form study options.

Paddlesport (Canoeing & Kayaking)

This caters for everybody from the novice to the experienced Grade 4 paddler. There are regular sessions in the school pool to improve basic skills and eskimo rolling technique for all year groups.  Queen’s also specialises in Canoe Polo and has a team which competes in the South West Canoe Polo league. Weekend river trips are run regularly to a wide range of rivers on Dartmoor, Exmoor and North Wales.  During the summer months there will also be regular surf kayaking trips to the North Devon and Cornwall coasts.

CLIMBING

Climbing takes place for all year groups throughout the year at a number of local climbing walls, and then when the rock warms up in the summer, pupils are regularly taken to some of the limestone crags of the Mendips, South Wales and South Devon or the granite Tors of Dartmoor. There are also trips each summer to the sea cliffs of Cornwall, the sunny beachside crags of Portland and the Gower Peninsula.  Pupils will have the opportunity to gain nationally recognised NICAS and NIBAS awards.  Although climbing is generally recreational, students who want to take things further can compete in a number of climbing competitions during the year. 

 MOUNTAIN BIKING

Pupils are lucky enough to be only 15 minutes away from the Quantocks where there is some of the best natural cross country riding in England. Queen’s has a number of very active mountain bike clubs for different year groups and a full fleet of trail ready bikes.  During all three terms pupils of all abilities are able to experience a range of riding venues from the free flowing single track and technical downhill of the Quantocks to the purpose-built trails of Haldon Forest, Ashton Court and the Forest of Dean.  During the darker months, night riding is offered to the more experienced students.

ARCHERY & CLAY PIGEON SHOOTING

Archery has become a very popular activity at Queen’s and is available on a weekly basis for all year groups in the Senior School.  Clay pigeon shooting has also been introduced this year for some of the older students.

TEN TORS

We enter three teams into the Ten Tors challenge each year.  This is a unique event on Dartmoor that sees teams from years 9, 10 and 12 walking between 35 – 55 mile routes over a weekend.  It is the largest youth participation event in the country with approximately 3000 students taking part.  The students walk without the assistance of staff so training takes place throughout the year in preparation for the event in May.  Many pupils have described the event as one of the most memorable experiences of their time at Queen’s.  It’s tough but a fantastic experience.

EXMOOR CHALLENGE

This is a single day event that runs along the same lines as the Ten Tors but it is a single day event and we enter teams from Year 7.   After training during the Spring and summer terms the students navigate their way around a 16 mile course on Exmoor.

SAILING

Year 7 sail at Wimbleball Reservoir during their integration day and sailing activities are also arranged on Sundays during the Summer and Autumn Terms.  For the enthusiast there are opportunities during the Summer term to complete nationally recognised RYA sailing proficiency awards.

CAVING

This takes place occasionally and allows pupils to experience a totally different world underground. The limestone caves of the Mendips are 45 minutes away and South Wales also provides many extensive cave systems to explore.

DIVING

PADI Open Water and Advanced Open Water  diving courses are run in the school pool. There are also trips out to local reservoirs (Vobster on the Mendips) and the South Devon coast as well as occasional overseas expeditions to Gozo and Tenerife during the holidays.

RIDING

Groups of students are able to ride on a bi-weekly basis at a local trekking and riding centre. Many local pupils have their own horses and achieve significant success not only regionally but nationally in show jumping, dressage and one day events.

EXPEDITION GROUP

Every year the Queen’s Expedition Group takes on a Challenge during the Autumn and Spring half-terms. These challenges involve journeying either on foot, in canoes or on bikes and have recently included the Welsh 3000s in Snowdonia and the Coast to Coast Cycle Challenge (Ilfracombe to Plymouth – 102 miles) in two days. Other Expeditions have included the River Dart Source to Sea – walking and open boating and cycling the Taff Trail from Brecon to Cardiff Bay.

Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE)

Queen’s College is a centre of excellence for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme. The three levels of awards, Bronze (6 months), Silver (12 months) and Gold (18 months) are divided into four sections: volunteering, expedition, skills and physical recreation.

All pupils in Year 10 are encouraged to do Bronze. Half the year group continues with Silver in Year 11 whilst in the Sixth Form there are around 40 pupils going for Gold. A considerable number of Queen’s College students have achieved their Gold Award, an outstanding achievement, and students who have reached this level are highly regarded by universities when applying. 

Walking, open canoeing, mountain biking and memorable camping expeditions take place over some stunning regions of the United Kingdom – Dartmoor, The Lake District, Exmoor, The New Forest, River Wye, Scotland and Northern Ireland. The School also has a community service section where pupils are involved in community projects such as mill stream restoration, helping on the sensory garden, organising Prep School activities and volunteering for the School’s sustainability programme.

OVERSEAS EXPEDITIONS

The Outdoor Education department also runs a number of overseas kayaking and climbing expeditions each year. This includes:

  • Summer kayaking expeditions that go to a range of locations including the Arctic, Norway, Austrian Alps and the French Alps. 
  • Climbers travel to Spain or Majorca in the October half term in search of unpolished bolted limestone and a tan!

Music

Music

Queen’s College has an enviable reputation for music and we strive to produce work of the highest calibre. Our musicians are highly valued and contribute enormously to school life. With multiple ensembles including chamber music, orchestral training, jazz, rock, musical theatre and choirs, there are a wide range of performance opportunities for students of all standards. The energy and enthusiasm of our staff ensure that music is thriving at Queen’s.

Our facilities are excellent, with a spacious, purpose-built Music School complete with multiple practice rooms, class teaching rooms and music technology suite. This adjoins the Queen’s Hall auditorium;  a 570 seat, fully equipped concert hall, complete with Steinway Model D concert grand piano and 30-stop pipe organ with mobile console, as well as state-of-the art lighting and sound systems.

Queen’s has excellent instrumental teaching support with a highly qualified team of 17 visiting teachers who cover every aspect of orchestral and band, playing from double bass to piccolo; there is also a skilled line-up of keyboard teachers specialising in jazz, modern and classical music. Many students work through the grade system and each term we act as an exam centre for music exams. We are very proud that so many of our top musicians reach diploma level while still at school.

The department supports the local community with pupils encouraged to see their musical talent as a way of contributing to the wider community. Musicians make frequent visits to sing and play in a range of venues in the local area, from carol singing in residential homes to formal concerts and services in churches. In addition, our musicians take part in the vibrant local music festivals and achieve outstanding success in all areas.

Queen’s has developed a reputation for thriving chamber music, with students performing in a variety of ensembles such as string quartets, wind quintets and small vocal ensembles. These groups also benefit from our varied concert programme.

Furthermore Queen’s is highly renowned for its superb productions of musicals, two of which are produced each year. As well as singing and acting, musicians have the opportunity to play in the pit orchestras alongside professionals.

Recent productions include Sister Act, High School Musical, For Queen’s and Country and Annie, all of which received outstanding critical acclaim.

MUSICAL GROUPS

There is a wealth of musical ensembles to join at Queen’s, catering for all ages and abilities. Whilst retaining our key ensembles, we always explore new musical avenues and opportunities and ensure that the musicians of Queen’s have the best opportunities to develop not only exclusive musical skills but the plethora of soft skills associated with music that will serve them for the rest of their lives. The following list is not exhaustive but gives an idea of the breadth of opportunities available:

Instrumental

  • Chamber Orchestra
  • First Orchestra
  • Middle School Orchestra
  • Pit Orchestra
  • String Orchestra
  • Djembe Group
  • Music Tech Club
  • Swing Band
  • Wind Band

Choral

  • College Choir
  • Senior Girls’ Chorus
  • 7 and 8 Choir

Performance Opportunities

Whatever musical interests a pupil has, we have a wide variety of concert opportunities throughout the year for both soloists and ensembles.

  • Chamber Concerts
  • Concert visits to local Churches / performance venues
  • Choral Evensongs
  • Informal and Tea Time Concerts
  • Open mic evenings
  • Large Ensemble
  • School Plays / Musicals playing alongside professional musicians
  • Christmas Concert
  • Summer Concert
  • House Singing
  • House events in the QC Arts Festival

Orchestra in Residence

In partnership with Queen’s College, the Southern Sinfonia, the highly renowned professional chamber orchestra is our orchestra in residence. The Southern Sinfonia has an outstanding reputation across the south of the UK for the international standard of its playing. The partnership aims to benefit the wider community in Taunton and beyond with both Queen’s and the Sinfonia keen to involve people of all ages in a range of musical opportunities. A series of concerts are held in the Queen’s Hall throughout the year, along with associated events and workshops open to musicians from across the region.

Sport

Sport

Queen’s College sports programme is athlete-centred and we pride ourselves in being able to offer the highest level of coaching in all our activities. Our aim is to engage and challenge all pupils to be their best self through a breadth and depth of sports and physical activities. Sport, PE and physical activity has the capacity to enrich lives, by building physical and mental health, and boosting academic achievement.

We see ‘Sport for Life’ as being essential and we seek to give every pupil a positive experience of physical activity. We aim to enthuse pupils to look forward to participating in sport and consequently understand the importance it plays in a balanced and healthy lifestyle. Pupils are then in a position to develop their own skills and develop physical attributes so that they become more successful, healthy and confident.

The College’s games programme places a significant emphasis on team activities and the recognised social and moral skills that are developed through participation in these. We want pupils to learn to pull together when the going gets tough and to understand how to communicate positively with each other. We do, however, recognise that the resilience and independence fostered through overcoming challenges in individual activities is unique and consequently opportunities here are also substantial. We are passionate about enabling as many of our pupils as possible the opportunity to participate regularly in competitive sport so that they can pursue excellence and strive to be the very best they can be.

APPROACH

We believe in early sports diversification and late specialisation. This ensures that a wider pattern of movements, skills and knowledge are developed, leading to well-rounded athletes who possess the movement strategies that are transferable across multiple sporting environments. A wider participation across a breadth of sports is beneficial for long term success, injury prevention and wellbeing.

CURRICULUM PE/GAMES AND RECREATIONAL CLUBS

Our new, innovative daytime PE curriculum enables all pupils to gain a level of competence in a wide range of activities. These include team, individual and essential life skills, such as swimming as well as developing an understanding of diet and nutrition. This practice is proven to engender active habits for life, as well as helping to avoid sporting specialism too early. There is an emphasis on individual athletic development, where pupils’ performance is tracked through a series of simple tests. The programme aims to improve the physical literacy of every pupil, which in turn improves performance levels in all sports.  

This programme complements the afternoon Sporting programme which focuses more on team sports, taught and coached by a team of experienced and dedicated specialist teachers.

In addition, there are after-school recreational clubs allowing pupils to further extend their sporting experiences.

REPRESENTATIVE SPORT

Representative sport is the most visible part of the sporting life of the college, and we believe it provides a valuable opportunity to teach students the importance of responsibility, team work, perseverance and resilience. As such, we wish to provide every pupil with the opportunity to represent the school competitively, within both team and individual sports, in a regular pattern of fixtures, as well as inter-house sports competitions. 

ACHIEVEMENTS

Queen’s College has had an enviable record of success in recent years. Our hockey teams have regularly reached the national finals and we have been fortunate enough to have students (and former students) performing at Professional and International level in Hockey, Rugby, Cricket, Athletics, Cross-Country, Swimming, Triathlon, Canoe Polo, Rowing, Bobsleigh and Polo. 

HIGH PERFORMANCE ATHLETES

We are committed to providing top class support to our high performing athletes. Identified students who demonstrate sporting potential are invited to work 1:1 with our Head of Strength and Conditioning as part of our Athlete Development programme. Additional work with relevant Heads of Sport, ensure that the athlete is developing both physically, psychologically and technically throughout their time at Queen’s.

FACILITIES

At Queen’s we are fortunate in being able to provide some exceptional sporting facilities. Our superbly maintained playing fields extend to over 30 acres and provide 6 rugby pitches, 6 cricket squares, a 400m grass athletics track, along with mini rugby and football pitches. We also have 2 astro-turf pitches (with warm-up pitch) providing us with superb hockey facilities, 22 tennis courts, an outdoor Cricket facility and 4 outdoor netball courts. Within the indoor sports complex we have a large sports hall, an indoor swimming pool and a cardiovascular / dedicated strength and conditioning gymnasium.

The following list is not exhaustive and tries to represent the main opportunities provided:

  • Athletics
  • Athlete Development
  • Badminton
  • Basketball
  • Circuit training
  • Cricket
  • Girls Cricket
  • Cross Country
  • Football
  • Girls Football
  • Hockey
  • Netball
  • Parkrun
  • Recreational Running
  • Rugby
  • Rugby 7’s
  • Girls Rugby
  • Swimming
  • Recreational Swimming
  • Tennis

In addition:

  • Aikido
  • Clay Pigeon Shooting
  • Croquet
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Golf
  • Table tennis
  • Yoga

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PERFORMING ARTS

PERFORMING ARTS

Queen’s College is well known as a centre of excellence for the Performing Arts. Led by a team of highly dedicated practitioners, all of whom have professional experience, Queen’s College presents various large-scale productions every School Year.

We have recently appointed a new Artistic Director for the Performing Arts Department – Mr Ian Trafford, an experienced actor and director. In September, Mr Trafford with the support of the rest of the Performing Arts team will embark on an ambitious year of productions including an array of musicals, plays and dance shows for students to get involved with.

In the Autumn term, Year 10-13 will be able to take part in Shrek: The Musical and Animal Farm for those who prefer pure drama and political theatre. In the Spring Term, the focus will turn to the dance shows, ‘Zodiac’ and ‘The Carnival of the Animals’, these will involve performers from across the whole school. Additionally, in the spring term the slap-stick non-musical comedy Treasure Island will be open to Year 7-9. Finally, in the summer term, Year 6-9 will have the opportunity to perform in a production of the award winning musical Honk!

There are also plans for a brand new touring company at Queen’s called ‘The Wyvern Theatre Company’ this year we will tour a production of the ‘Tempest’ around local theatres and schools in Somerset and beyond. Mr Trafford has hopes to one day take the company to the Edinburgh Fringe!

We are tremendously fortunate to have some of the best facilities in the country for Performing Arts and the College is well known for its specialism in the area. The Queen’s Hall, a fully equipped 500-seat theatre complete with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, is used for all major productions as well for rehearsals and practices.

The Wyvern Hall with heated wooden floors, mirrored wall and retractable seating for 120, is an ideal performance area for dance and there is also a purpose-built, blacked-out drama studio with retractable seating for 75 used for Drama lessons, theatre in the round and more intimate productions.

At Queen’s we are keen to encourage all pupils who have an interest in being on the stage and we are proud to involve a huge number of pupils of all abilities in our productions. A number of pupils enjoy working behind the scenes in set design, costumes, lighting, sound and make-up.

Queen’s prides itself on achieving a production quality far above that which is normally associated with the ‘school play’. All the production staff have had experience of professional theatre and we very often draft in professional dancers, musicians, designers and technicians who are shadowed by the pupils.

Productions benefit from superbly researched period detail and expert application of make-up and wigs.

CREW CLUB

A popular weekly ‘Crew Club’ operates weekly. Pupils keen on the technical aspects of theatre are encouraged to get involved in programming lighting boards or creating recorded ‘soundscapes’.

AUDITION TUITION

Queen’s Performing Arts staff will give one-to-one tuition in audition technique and we have an outstanding record of achievement of success in Drama School and National Youth Theatre auditions.

SPEECH AND DRAMA

At Queen’s we offer the opportunity to participate in weekly Speech and Drama lessons with a specialist teacher. In these private or group sessions, students will have an opportunity to hone their public speaking and acting skills. We offer tuition for The Poetry Vanguard Exams as well as LAMDA Exams. Many pupils will participate in the annual Taunton Speech and Drama Festival and most are awarded merits and distinctions. These sessions and opportunities allow pupils to develop confidence and public speaking skills which will prove crucial in later life.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Queen’s College is a centre of excellence for the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award Scheme – an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding programme of personal development for young people which is of the highest quality and widest reach.

The three levels of awards, Bronze (6 months), Silver (12 months) and Gold (18 months) are divided into four sections – volunteering, expedition, skills and physical recreation. All pupils in Year 10 are encouraged to complete Bronze, half the year group continues with Silver in Year 11 whilst in the Sixth Form there are around 40 pupils going for Gold. In total 370 Queen’s College students have achieved their Gold Award, an outstanding achievement, and students who have reached this level are highly regarded when applying to university.

Walking, kayaking, mountain biking and camping expeditions take place all over country – Exmoor, the Lake District, New Forest, River Wye, and even Northern Ireland. The School also has a community service section where students are involved in community projects such as mill stream restoration, helping on the sensory garden, organising Junior School activities and volunteering for the school’s sustainability programme.

Model United Nations

Model United Nations

Run by the Sixth Formers at Queen’s, Model United Nations is an extremely strong society with members from Year 9 through to Year 13.

Simulating actual United Nations situations, students attend conferences at other schools throughout the South West, acting as delegates representing a specific nation or person through committees.

There is a lot of expertise in MUN both in the College and in specific year groups and in the past the students have organised their own conference, QuMUN to get students in the area involved and aware of world issues.