Somerset College is a non-denominational Christian school located in Mudgeeraba, Gold Coast, Australia. It is classed as an IB World School and offers the Primary and Middle Years Programmes and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme.
Somerset College was opened on 27 January 1983 with 158 pupils, ranging from Years 1 to 8. The first headmaster was Rod Wells. The current headmaster is Dr Barry J. Arnison who was appointed in 1986. The current deputy head of the Senior School is Bev Gallus, and the current head of the Junior School is Virginia Lamb. The first Year 12 students graduated in 1987. Somerset College celebrated its 25th year in 2007 with all students and teachers linking hands in a circle, as was done on the first day.
The school consists of 2 sections:
- The Junior School (Preschool-Year 7)
- The Senior School (Years 8-12)
Each section has its own administration; however, Dr Barry Arnison is headmaster of the entire school.
In the Junior School (with the exceptions of Years 6 and 7) each Grade consists of two classes, each with their own teacher. Physical Education, Music and Visual Arts are taught by speciality teachers, while all others are taught by the class teacher.
Years 6 and 7 are much like the former years, with the exception that Humanities (Geography and History), Science and English (and Maths in Year 7) are taught by other class teachers. The students usually stay in their own rooms while the teachers rotate.
Year 7 is regarded as the transition year to Senior School and as such, the students attend several Senior School functions to prepare them. At the end of the year, the students attend a Transition Dinner in which they dance with an assigned partner.
Unlike the Junior School, students move from class to class and have different teachers for each subject.
In Years 8, 9 and 10, students must participate in certain classes. In Years 9 and 10, students may choose "elective" classes, which allow them to have more freedom.
In Years 11 and 12, all classes are optional with the exception of certain classes. The students then choose more electives and for the first time, may have "spares" in which the students have no classes and may work on homework.
Every student attends Pastoral Care with their House Tutor. During Pastoral Care, the students talk with their House Tutor and other students. Each Pastoral Care group contains around 3 students from each year level (e.g. 3 from Year 8, 3 from Year 9...) and each student remains in the same PC group until they leave the school.
Students at Somerset College are separated into five competitive houses: Andrews (yellow), Franklin (purple), Laver (green), Starkey (red), and Veivers (blue). Each house is named after a person who was particularly influential in the Mudgeeraba area. Each year, the school has three major inter-house sporting events: the Swimming Carnival, the Cross-Country Carnival and the Athletics Carnival. In addition, an inter-house chess competition is held annually. The different sections of the school conduct their own carnivals: one for Preschool-Year 3, one for Years 4-7, and one for the Senior School.
Houses in the Senior School operate almost independently of the Junior School, with the exception of House and School Chapels.
Each house has 2 Senior House Captains (one of each gender), 2 Junior House Captains, 2 Senior House Vice-Captains and 2 Junior Vice Captains. There are also 2 School Captains and 2 Junior School Captains.
There are also several other leaders of various Student Committees.
Somerset College students (except those in P-3) participate in the Associated Private Schools Association (APS) sports seasons. The Winter season takes place within the second term and the Summer season takes place during the forth term. Selections for each season take place in the final weeks of the term before (i.e. Winter selections during Term 1). Sports played during the Winter season include Rugby, Hockey, Soccer, Tennis and Volleyball. Sports played during the Summer season include Cricket, Touch Football and Softball. During both seasons, development sports are available, in which the students learn the skills of a certain sport, but don't compete.
The schools registered with the APS in 2007 are
- Somerset College
- Emmanuel College
- All Saints Anglican School
- Trinity Lutheran College
- A.B. Paterson College
- St. Stephen's College
- King's Christian College
- Coomera Anglican College