MCS boasts a huge extra-curricular programme. Full details are available in our Extra Curricular Activities Brochure. Clubs and Societies are a major part of school life at MCS.
MCS has a long-standing tradition of musical excellence.
Music is a integral part of school life and during its long and illustrious history, the school has taught many musicians who have gone on to contribute in widely varying ways to musical life.
The department has a team of dedicated full and part-time staff, while a team of 27 visiting music teachers offer tuition in piano, organ, all the standard orchestral instruments, guitar (acoustic and bass) saxophone, percussion, and voice.
Each term the school enters pupils for Associated Board and Trinity Guildhall music examinations. Results in recent years have been outstanding with most pupils achieving distinctions and merits. A number of pupils are also members of the Junior Music Departments at either the Royal College or the Royal Academy of Music.
We believe that taking part in a musical ensemble is important not only in developing musical skills but also in fostering a strong sense of community within the department. We therefore offer a wide range of ensembles to cater for differing abilities and skills. These include:
- 3 orchestras
- 2 Jazz bands
- Percussion ensemble
- Samba band
- Variety of string and wind ensembles
Each term there are a variety of formal and informal concerts which gives the groups and individuals the opportunity to gain performance experience.
As a choir school, MCS naturally has a very strong tradition of choral singing. The various choral groups include:
- Choral Society
- Madrigal Society
- Close Harmony group
- The Oxford Sixth (a select mixed choir involving some of the best young singers in Oxford)
The groups perform a mix of repertoire and perform throughout the year in a variety of formal and informal musical settings including at the Sheldonian Theatre, the Holywell Music Rooms as well as the annual 'Madrigals on the River'.
All pupils sing regularly in Chapel and each year every pupil competes in the House Singing competition.
Drama is a thriving activity, with many pupils participating enthusiastically both on stage and behind the scenes.
The directors John Caird and Sam Mendes, and playwright Nick Thomas, are old boys, and recent sixth former Jonathan Bailey has starred in the West End and Hollywood.
We now benefit from a collaboration between MCS and the Oxford Playhouse, with whom we jointly employ our Director, Producer and Technician in Residence. This has hugely extended the drama capabilities of MCS, as we benefit from professional direction and facilities and the staging of plays in the Oxford Playhouse.
When at school, our theatre is the school hall (Big School) which has recently been improved by the installation of a computerised lighting system and new scenery and curtains, following generous grants from the Parents' Association.
MCS stages around ten productions each year, with scope both for the serious and the budding actor. There are also plentiful opportunities for pupils to become involved as part of technical crews and production teams.
In addition to specific productions for Lower School and Middle School pupils, the Saturday morning Theatre Academy, led by professional actress-director Joanne Pearce, provides an opportunity for actors of all ages to develop their theatre craft, culminating in a spectacular show on the main stage of the Oxford Playhouse each summer.
Oxford Festival of the Arts
Each year MCS hosts Oxford Festival of the Arts in which a host of events take place in school and around the city.
It takes place in the final weeks of the Trinity Term, and the School, the University and the city join together to put on a fantastic array of events, which is growing in scope year on year.
Highlights of the 2016 Festival include:
- Talks from Sam Mendes, John Simpson, Will Gompertz and Maggi Hambling
- Furious Folly, an outdoor, promenade experience of lights, sound, pyrotechnics and performance commemorating WW1
- A free screening of Glyndebourne Opera's Le nozzi di Figaro on School Field
- Poetry Live with Ben Okri
- Festival Concert in The Sheldonian Theatre with Magdalen College Choir and the London Mozart Players
- A comedy night featuring Joel Dommett, Shappi Khorsandi and Mark Steel
- The Wind in the Willows at the Oxford Playhouse
- A concert of Bach and Big Band at University Church
- A Culinary Arts day
CSO (Community Services Organisation) provides Sixth Form pupils with the opportunity to develop their skills and broaden their experience beyond the confines of the school campus.
Pupils put aside half a day a week to go out into the local community and work within schools, hospitals and care homes.
Sixth Formers also develop and deliver a variety of events both in and out of school, including Primary Schools Challenge Afternoons and Concert Parties.
CSO is rewarding and enriching for MCS pupils, providing an important insight into the adult world and developing a strong sense of team work, initiative and social responsibility.
In addition to CSO and the Arts Festival, MCS has a rich and varied outreach programme of events throughout the year.
Combined Cadet Force
The CCF is available to pupils from the Upper Fourth upwards. They choose one of two services or 'arms': the Army or the Royal Air Force.
Both services offer the pupils chances to practise marksmanship skills, to develop leadership skills and to work as part of a team. However they also offer the cadet additional opportunities unique to the individual service.
Each year cadets have the opportunity to take part in several trips and camps which are heavily subsidised by the MOD. These include:
- summer camps to practise and develop skills
- expeditions including a winter Cairngorms trip
- courses such as scuba diving, kayaking, mountain walking, sailing, power boating, shooting, all leading to a qualification.
Duke of Edinburgh
The Duke of Edinburgh's Award scheme at MCS aims to provide an enjoyable, challenging and rewarding programme of personal development through a variety of activities.
There are three separate awards - Bronze, Silver and Gold - and at each of these three levels there are four sections:
- physical recreation
There is a huge range of activities to enable pupils to tailor a programme to suit them.
The expeditions are always popular and during the last two academic years MCS ran camping trips to the New Forest, the Lake District, the Peak District, Yorkshire Dales, the Ridgeway, the Brecon Beacons and the Cotswolds. Our Gold group participated in expeditions to the North York Moors and Arran.
Clubs, activities and trips
We run a very active programme of clubs and activities at lunchtimes, before and after school, offering something for every taste and talent. These can all be found in our Extra Curricular Activities Brochure at the top of the page.
We also offer a broad range of trips throughout the year and pupils have the opportunity to experience a diversity of places and cultures, enhancing their learning beyond the classroom. See our Current Trips Planner and the Planner for 2017/18 for more information.