absolutely lovely, the staff are friendly and outgoing, the campus is stunning, and a great school. I was accepted into my top university in the UK, am so grateful for the background they have given me.
I really really love it here, everybody is so supportive and there is always so much going on. I joined the school in grade 10 and stayed to do my AS and A levels, I am really grateful I had such a fantastic environment to grow up in
Somerset College. Where should i start? Well, let me begin with my experiences throughout Somerset College when i was a student there in 2017-2019.
I entered Somerset College being greeted with friendly security guards who smile and wave and always checking for the Somerset College logo sticker on the bottom right hand corner of every cars windscreen. This ensures that everyone who enters Somerset College is apart of the Somerset College community, if you are unable to acquire a sticker (which can only be acquired by the receptionist) you must sign you name and license plate off on the register that the security has at all times. On a less serious note, my first day with my parents dropping me at Somerset College, I could see how they were quite flabbergasted at the beautiful scenery before them (as seen by their wide eyed twinkle). The view of table mountain on the double sized rugby field(s) was spectacular, only to be paired with the perfect yellow shade that the sun provides its students with. Speaking of students, often my parents were greeted by students at Somerset College who were well dressed and groomed in uniform saying “hello mam and sir”. This was shocking to my parents as many young students have never gone out of there way to stop and greet let alone making way for them to walk before them. Moreover, the scenery and beautiful manners of Somerset College students is only one part to the excellency that Somerset College offers.
The academics are a whole other part of the school that is easily seen through the classes that are only 45 minutes each. This is much better than an hour lesson. Did you know that the human brain is able to absorb the most information during the first 20-25 minutes of a lesson? Hence why Somerset College has created the perfect environment with classes ranging from under 25 students to ensure individual attention whilst paring students with the correct amount of time for each period for a 20 minute lesson with a 5 minute break and another 20 minutes for the remainder of the lesson. This allows students to absorb as much information as possible. I myself can say this has certainly worked for me.
Educators. The teachers of Somerset College are extremely enthusiastic with regards to the subject they teach. This is witnessed seen by the students as we enter class and the passion in the words and way in which words exit the mouths of educators is just infectious! Students leave class feeling ready and motivated to do their homework and projects, but most importantly, feeling confident in knowing LEARNING HAS TAKEN PLACE!, which as we know is of utmost importance when choosing a school for your child. Educators encourage students to the best if their ability and will even go as far as to print extra notes that the educator have prepared themselves to summarize the work in a easy to understand mind map for students from their own funds just so that students can have extra help. Now if that is not commitment to helping a student, I don't know what is? Students are thus pushed to positively challenge themselves and each other in a healthy way so that we keep one another academically fit for tests and exams. Somerset College has pushed me to work harder than before in order to stand out from the rest of the students. Somerset College makes it compulsory for students to do 20 hours of community service from their grade 10-12 years in order to help you stand out on your university application.
Aside from the academics, we must have an equal balance to school spirit and sports right? Well, Somerset College has a variety of sports such as Netball, Waterpolo and Soccer to name a few. These sports not only have excellent players who compete internationally, but also have players that have reached Western Province level in rugby, netball, lifesaving and many more sports in my first year alone at Somerset College. This shows the level of dedication that students have to their sports.
Of course, shall we not forget the students and cheer culture at Somerset College as without them, there would be no one to motivate and believe in the players. Somerset College has a many war cries and cheer songs which students practice in the hall during their break times to ensure that they generate enough spirit and power to be felt by the players. The energy that is being generated is felt as a community at Somerset College and can be felt through the air and the vibration in the ground through the linked stomping feet of the masses of students on the stands. The cheering nature of the students is what truly pushes players to perform at their best.
Additionally, the culture of Somerset College is to help and nurture. Somerset College has many clubs such as the Eco Club which invites students to protect the Earth from pollution, the Interact Club which connects with schools all over the world and offers exchange programs for students wishing to experience South African culture. These are just two of my favorite. I was part of the LGBTQA+ Club which had straight allies as well. This club was tailored at being a safe space to interact and speak about your experiences as a queer individual. This was necessary for me as I felt alone during my time as a gay male in high school. Although, the introduction of The LGBTQA+ Club had given me the freedom and expression to be who i am and made me comfortable in my own skin. These are just a few of the many clubs and societies that Somerset College offers.
Bullying is an issue throughout the world, I can certainly say that Somerset College deals with issues immediately once notified. I can honestly say that i have experienced bullying at Somerset College. Now, depending on the severity of the bullying, a student is either sent to do community service such as picking up litter in rural communities, spending time with the neighboring rural community children and make them sandwiches, reading to them or just to listen and play them. This exercise is effective in two ways: the bully learns to accept people for their differences and to realize not everyone has the same privileges, hence causing the bully to think about their actions and how it affects others. Community service also helps to uplift the underprivileged community. A harsher punishment would be that students are to be suspended for a week or longer depending on the severity of the bullying. In my case the bully was suspended and I was told that the student was taken out of class and interviewed in isolation. I can to this day guarantee that the said bully has not once said or done anything harmful towards me for the remainder of my time at Somerset College. This clearly shows the degree of professionalism and confidentiality that the school handles issues with.
Lastly, what would a school be without a little food shop to cater to the nutritional needs of its students. Somerset College has a food shop that has mainly healthy snacks and savory snacks to cater to students, so that we are healthy physically and psychologically. The shop also offers vegetarian, vegan and kosher options to students to accommodate for all. The prices could be a little less, but the food is still worth it.
I can conclude by saying that Somerset College would be a great school for parents wishing to have their child grow up in a safe school were they are challenged and taught to be respectful whilst developing necessary skills to flourish outside of school. If this is what you want for your child, Somerset College should be your first choice.