We love Monty

After the success of the 2019 visit from the Paws the Pressure Therapy Dogs, Somerville House is pleased to welcome Monty the Dog as the face of the Little Paws Big Impact program.

Taking Somerville@HOME

Somerville House students are moving beyond the traditional 3Rs in the newly launched Somerville@HOME academic program.

COVID-19 UPDATE

We are all responsible for joining the fight to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Connections Vol 18 - publication delayed

A taste of country hospitality

Chicken and vegetable stir-fry and sticky date and pear muffins were just some of the recipes prepared, cooked and enjoyed together on Sunday (8 March) at the Back-to-Basics cooking classes at Somerville House.

120 years of academic achievement

Today (Saturday 14 December) we are very proud to announce the OP (Overall Position) results of our Year 12 Class of 2019. Somerville House as a long-standing tradition of academic excellence and this year’s results achieved by the Class of 2019 are no exception.

View All

Thursday 12 March, 11.00am

Thursday 12 March, 11.00am

Yesterday (11 March), the World Health Organization (WHO) have declared coronavirus a pandemic, and the Australian Government has added Italy to the list of travel restrictions, alongside China, Iran and South Korea. 

Queensland Health and the Australian Department of Health are working tirelessly to manage and contain the impact of this virus for Australians and Queenslanders alike. They are regularly updating travel advice via https://www.smartraveller.gov.... as new information emerges.

As a school community, please continue to remain alert, but not alarmed.  Update from the Principal's Office with some more information about the approach that Somerville House might need to take if a COVID-19 case is identified in our school. 

If a case is identified in our school, Queensland Health will work closely with us in managing our response and our actions will be taken with community health at the centre of our decision making.

If there is a confirmed case at Somerville House, it is likely the School will need to close for a period to allow the health authorities to assess the situation and to perform contact tracing as required to identify visitors, students and staff who may have come in contact with the COVID-19 case. You may have already seen this happening in other states where confirmed cases have been identified and reported in the media.  

We will then conduct specialised cleaning of our facilities as required to ensure our school is safe for students and staff to return when clearance is given. A closure is likely to include any on-site services such as Outside School Hours Care (OSHC) and other facility hirers.

Continuity of learning is extremely important to us and, as in other disaster and emergency events, we would work with online learning materials and virtual classroom capability that can be used by teachers to support your child’s learning.  

If your child develops flu-like symptoms, please:

  • keep your child at home;
  • avoid close contact with others such as touching, kissing or hugging, or any mass gatherings, especially those involving other children;
  • see a doctor or contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) immediately;
  • seek medical advice if your child has other underlying medical conditions; and 
  • call ahead to the medical centre or doctor’s surgery, advising of your child’s symptoms and the closure of our school.

It is also important to continue to encourage your children to:

  • wash their hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, particularly before and after eating, and after going to the toilet;
  • use alcohol-based hand sanitiser if soap is unavailable;
  • cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or the inside of their elbow; and 
  • dispose of tissues in the bin immediately.

Further advice and information about the coronavirus is available on the Queensland Health website: http://conditions.health.qld.g...

As a community, during this preparation phase, it may be timely for families to consider their own family and care arrangements should school closure be necessary.

Again, while you can be reassured that we are taking all necessary measures to contain COVID-19, it is important for me to keep information flowing to parents/carers and staff to ensure we are all informed and prepared as a community, should this public health issue come into our school.

Please be assured that Somerville House will continue to monitor updates from the Australian Government, Department of Education and Queensland Health closely, and we will provide updates as details come to hand.  

Sunday 15 March 2020


Sunday 15 March 2020

A reminder to the Somerville House community that we are all responsible for practising good sneeze and cough hygiene, and social distancing as preventative measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19.  Please join us in the fight against this virus.

  1. Wash your hands frequently for at least 45 seconds with soap and water regularly.
  2. Cover your cough and sneeze with your elbow.
  3. Dispose of tissues promptly after use.
  4. Use alcohol-based hand sanitiser regularly, if soap is unavailable.
  5. Where possible, avoid contact with others, staying more than 1.5 metres away from others.

We will continue to take all precautions as recommended by the Australian Government to ensure the safety, health and wellbeing of our parents, students, staff and supporters.

​Monday 16 March 2020

Monday 16 March 2020,

Update from the Principal's Office in response to the Prime Minister’s briefing issued at 1.30pm yesterday afternoon so that parents are aware of the arrangements at Somerville House.

The following aspects have been confirmed by the Prime Minister:

  • Schools will continue to remain open, acting on the advice of health authorities in relation to any identified COVID-19 cases.
  • All international travellers must self-isolate on arrival in Australia for the 14-day quarantine period.
  • Social distancing will be used as a key measure to contain the spread of the virus.
  • Mass gatherings of 500+ people are not to be held
  • Non-essential gatherings must be questioned whether necessary, considering health issues.

In recent days we have seen the continued spread of COVID-19 around the world and here in Australia. The guidance we are receiving from the Queensland Health Department continues to emphasise good personal hygiene practices, as well as minimising close contact among groups of people, as means of restraining the spread of COVID-19.

What does this mean for school activities at Somerville House?

Assemblies will be live-streamed to classrooms.  There will be no whole school, year level or house group assemblies.

  • Apart from reducing all large gatherings, from today (Monday 16 March) we will educate and implement the following strategies with our students in classes:
  • Practise social distancing measures, whenever possible, by staying 1.5m away from others.
  • Avoid kissing, hugging, shaking hands and other forms of contact.
  • Avoid visiting any people in aged care facilities or hospitals, or people who have compromised immune systems due to illness or medical treatment.
  • Collaborative style of group work will cease from today.
  • Distance will be placed between desks, where possible, to observe the social distancing measures.

How do we educate our students about good hygiene?

  • Good hand, sneeze and cough hygiene posters are around the School, in bathrooms and at every sink.
  • Reminders to regularly wash hands with soap or use the hand sanitizers which are available in every classroom.
  • Demonstrate to students how to cover their mouth with their elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing, with immediate disposal of used tissues.
  • Avoid touching your face and mouth.

What should parents do if their son/daughter is unwell?

  • Unwell students must remain at home and seek medical advice. Students cannot return to school until s/he has fully recovered.
  • If your child or a family member has taken a COVID-19 test, your child must remain at home until the test result is known. Please inform the School with the test result outcome.
  • Please use the standard absence email/phone line to advise of absence, with relevant detail if waiting on COVID-19 results.

What should parents do if their son/daughter has compromised health, regardless of COVID 19?

  • Parents should consult medical professionals about the suitability of your daughter attending school in this climate.
  • If parents are concerned and have medical advice to remain at home, please contact: 
    • Junior School - class teacher or Assistant to the Principal-Pastoral Care
    • Senior School - Head of Year or Dean of Student Wellbeing.
  • Every effort will be made to contact you over the next week, to discuss your daughter’s circumstances, and the academic measures available to assist your daughter.

What is happening to events scheduled on the School calendar?

  • Information as to whether the event is proceeding/cancelled/postponed will be advised on a case-by-case basis.
  • Notification will be issued by a variety of channels – including email, the Somerville House app, social media channels, Honour Roll newsletter and the website.

What will happen to our Co-Curricular events?

  • A decision about the QGSSSA fixtures is imminent.  Andrews Cup events have been cancelled or postponed.
  • Parents are asked to monitor our various communication channels for relevant information.

Tuesday 17 March 2020, 10.00am

Tuesday 17 March 2020, 10.00am 

Yesterday (16 March), our Pandemic Management Team held a meeting to review all community events, co-curricular activities and calendar events planned for the remainder of the term.  We plan to advise you of decisions regarding postponements or cancellations of our scheduled calendar events on a weekly basis. As a key decision-making body, the Pandemic Management Team has devised a set of guiding principles to determine the rationale for each decision, with a commitment to reducing the spread of the virus. For this reason, we have taken the decision not to proceed with a number of events. Our strategies are based on the advice of health experts, and include physical distancing, reducing mass gatherings, and reducing the mixing of students (with consideration to reduced after school activities and inter-school activities). 

As advised in yesterday’s communication, we have moved all full school / house / year group assemblies to be live-streamed from VPAC. Our Chapel services will also be live-streamed to the relevant year levels. We will reschedule other large in-school gatherings and events in consideration of the requirements for social distancing practices. In the case where a decision is taken to reschedule an event to a later date, we are mindful that our annual calendar is already full and that there is a possibility that a further six months’ disruption is ahead. It is vital that we try to limit the opportunities for community transmission of the virus, and this has influenced our decision making in relation to keeping student, staff and parent gatherings at a minimum. We will continue to update you on a weekly basis on the status of calendar events. A decision in relation to the QGSSSA (and external bodies) sporting activities will be made by Wednesday 18 March.    

If District and Regional sports trials are cancelled or postponed, students will be individually advised as information comes to hand. Updates will be posted to Twitter via https://twitter.com/SomerSport

The table  outlines the status of scheduled calendar events from Tuesday 17 March to Tuesday 24 March. We acknowledge that these decisions will disappoint our students and their families, but seek your understanding of the necessary measures that will safeguard the health and wellbeing of all members of our Somerville House community.   

Zonal Chess Competition

Tuesday 17 March

Cancelled

Andrews Cup Touch and Tennis

Tuesday 17 March

Postponed

Year 11 Exams

Tuesday 17 March

Continuing

QGSSSA Cross Country BSHS meet

Tuesday 17 March

Cancelled

Touch Trials 16 - 18 composite

Tuesday 17 March

Individually advised

Resource and Rail Information Night

Tuesday 17 March

Cancelled

P&F Executive Meeting

Tuesday 17 March

Continuing

Senior Softball QGSSSA EOS function

Tuesday 17 March

Continuing

Year 12 Geography compulsory work

Wednesday 18 March

Cancelled

Year 3 and 4 Chapel

Wednesday 18 March

Live-stream from VPAC

QGSSSA Cricket Round 7

Wednesday 18 March

TBA

Intro to Entrepreneurship

Wednesday 18 March

Continuing

Foundation Board Meeting

Wednesday 18 March

Cancelled

QDU Debating

Wednesday 18 March

Continuing

Australian Entrepreneur Summit

Thursday 19 March

Continuing via live-stream

Met East Football trials

Thursday 19 March

Individually advised

Volleyball Support Group AGM

Thursday 19 March

Continuing

Junior School Mindfulness

Thursday 19 March

Continuing

Staff Wellbeing Meeting

Friday 20 March

Continuing

School Captains Meeting

Friday 20 March

Continuing

Year 10 Chapel

Friday 20 March

Continuing via live-stream

Autumn Fixtures - QGSSSA

Friday 20 March

TBA

OGA Current Families

Friday 20  March

Cancelled

BWPI summer finals

Saturday 21 March

Cancelled

Equestrian training

Saturday 21 March

Continuing

Rowing Picnic

Saturday 21 March

Cancelled

Tennis Season Celebration

Saturday 21 March

Cancelled

Brisbane Girls Chess Prep to Year 12

Sunday 22 March

Cancelled

Somerville/BBC boarders

Sunday 22 March

Cancelled

Boarders’ Chapel

Sunday 22 March

Continuing

Met East Basketball trials

Monday 23 March

Individually advised

Choral Festival rehearsal & PC sessions in PC time

Monday 23 March

Pastoral care time will operate in tutor groups in lieu

Cross Country QG Meet St Aidan’s

Monday 23 March

TBA

Hockey Support group

Monday 23 March

Continuing

Year 12 English lecture

Tuesday 24 March

Continuing via live-stream to classrooms

Junior School Parent-Teacher Interviews in classrooms

Tuesday 24 March

Postponed

Cross Country Support Group Meeting

Tuesday 24 March

Continuing

Met East Hockey trials

Tuesday 24 March

Individually advised

​Tuesday 17 March 2020, 5.00pm

Tuesday 17 March 2020, 5.00pm

Although there is no new information regarding school closures, Somerville House has been planning for the continued provision of education for your daughters. Teaching staff have been working together to determine the best way forward for their subject or year level and have been considering both short-term and long-term options. Heads of Department and classroom teachers have been working to ensure continuity of learning for all students, regardless of their internet capabilities. Our staff will use platforms already familiar to our students to deliver engaging lessons.     

We have devised a two-phase approach should the suspension of face-to-face lessons be necessary.     

Short-term Suspension 

Junior School 

Each morning, your daughter will receive communication from her classroom teacher, providing an outline for the day. Where possible, the teacher will engage with the girls online to ensure they have the chance to ask questions and connect with the teacher.      

Senior School

Each morning, your daughter will be contacted and advised of the day’s activities and notices. She will be instructed to follow her normal timetable and access My Subjects for instructions and lesson materials. Teachers will use platforms and resources best suited to their subject and students’ competency with technology. Group communication will be prioritised so that students can connect with and assist each other, in addition to ongoing contact with subject teachers.  

Long-term Suspension

At the end of Term 1, our PMSA professional learning day will be allocated to additional staff training in online lesson delivery and the use of educational applications. If necessary, the School will deliver this program remotely to expand teachers’ educational toolkit and skills in relation to eLearning, so they are best equipped to address the needs of their students in the longer term.  Additionally, we will be providing activities and information to maintain community and assist students in maintaining a connection with peers and teachers. Offline activities to minimise screen time and maintain physical and emotional wellbeing will also be provided. 

Student Wellbeing

The Junior School classroom teachers and Senior School Heads of Year will be available to your daughter during any closure if she wishes to speak to them about anything that is concerning her. Additionally, our School Psychologist will be available for remote appointments.    

As a school community, we will all be learning collaboratively and remaining flexible in this unprecedented situation. A dedicated feedback channel will be implemented to ensure you and your daughter have an avenue for contact if she has any difficulty.

Saturday 21 March 2020

Saturday 21 March 2020

As we finish what has been an extraordinary week, I sincerely thank you for your ongoing support and co-operation in these challenging and evolving circumstances.  In recent days, I have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback from our community, concerning the School’s response to the COVID-19 situation.    

As per previous communications, we are continuing to prepare for a possible mandatory school closure.  Our teaching staff have been working together to determine strategies for their subject or year level, with consideration to short-term and long-term scenarios.  Teachers in Years 7 to 12 have been using our learning management system, MySubjects, as a place to store each lesson summary. Teachers have been collaborating to run sessions via our learning platforms so that we can remain flexible in our response to this situation.   The School is in the very best position to continue to support the learning of our students in the event of a possible school closure.   

We are preparing to launch our new academic program Somerville@Home.  Please take a moment as a family to view my short video relating to Somerville@Home.  For Junior School students, rather than MySubjects, you will utilise Seesaw for your platform.

We are in this together.  Thank you for actively showing understanding, kindness and empathy to all in our school community during this rapidly evolving and unprecedented situation.  

Monday 23 March 2020

Monday 23 March 2020 

Senior School 

Update in response to the Prime Minister’s briefing issued yesterday (22 March), so that parents with daughters in Years 7 to 12 are aware of the arrangements at Somerville House. Our Head of Junior School has issued a separate communication to parents of students in Prep to Year  6.

 
The outdoor and indoor gathering restrictions announced by the Australian Government do not apply to schools. However, Somerville House will continue to implement  a range of  measures as outlined in previous communications.
 
Students and staff must self-isolate for 14 days if they are returning from overseas travel or have been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19. They must not attend school during this isolation period.
 
I have previously indicated that teachers continue to provide face-to-face curriculum delivery. Our teachers are under immense pressure to continue delivery of their lesson plans, in addition to building their online teaching skills and other duties.
 
The Somerville@Home learning mode will be implemented in the event that the School campus is mandated to close its doors.
 
In the interim, a student who remains at home will have the responsibility to:

  • Ask a friend in each subject to collect any materials distributed in her classes.
  • Submit any assignments due while she is absent, directly to her subject teacher, via email attachment.
  • If a Year 11 or 12 student has any in-class assessments during her absence, she will be required to sit the comparable assessment task (in line with QCAA requirements), on her return.
  • Students in Years 7 to 10 will be able to sit the assessment on their return for feedback purposes. 
  • Refer to the summary of each lesson on MySubjects or OneNote, according to her class teacher’s preferred platform.

Tomorrow (24 March), we will introduce the Somerville@Home academic program to our Years 7 to 12 students.  For Prep to Year 6 students, communication will be provided by the Head of Junior School, as there will be some age-appropriate modifications to specific learning platforms.

In the coming days, the Principal will share with all parents the Somerville@Home Protocols  so that they are also aware of the guidelines for parents, in supporting their daughter’s home learning program.
 
Over the coming months, many in our community will become affected by the virus, directly or indirectly.  The School has planned for several scenarios so that we can remain flexible in our response.  We are placed in a very good position to support the learning of our students in the event of a mandatory school shut-down.

Junior School 

Junior School teachers have been steadily working with students honing their skills in readiness for Somerville@Home.

Although many students have already been completing homework tasks using a variety of online platforms to support their learning, on Tuesday (24 March), we will be conducting a whole Junior School practice Somerville@Home session. Teachers will assign an activity for students in Prep to Year 6 to complete as part of their usual homework, providing them with the opportunity to use their year level platform with parent support as necessary.

  • Prep to Year 4 – Seesaw
  • Year 5 – Seesaw/MySubjects
  • Year 6 – Seesaw/OneNote

Should your daughter have any difficulty accessing the homework task, please contact her class teacher via email. 

School Books

Today, Junior School students have taken home some additional items (workbooks) in their school bags. We would ask that girls do not bring these items back to school or complete any of the work/activities until directed to do so by their teacher. We would like to use these resources in conjunction with our online learning platforms in the event that the school needs to enact its Somerville@Home program. 

Tomorrow (24 March), guidelines tp parents will be send so that parents can support their daughters in engaging with Somerville@Home. While we do not currently have any advice that school closure will occur, we simply want to be prepared if it does.

Wednesday 25 March 2020

Wednesday 25 March 2020 

Details of how Somerville House will operate for the remainder of the term:    

Somerville@HOME Protocols for students and parents were communicated with parents and students via email.  

The anticipation surrounding the unfolding Australian Federal Government’s mandated responses to COVID-19 has created new challenges for us all.  We aware of the impact that this situation is having on students, parents and teachers alike.  Thank you again, for your ongoing understanding that our decision-making is in response to changing information. 

Our priorities remain the health, wellbeing and safety of our school community, while maintaining the high-quality provision of education for our students. 

For Junior School parents,  please refer to the communication that you have received from the Head of Junior School concerning the student free days and the specific details of Somerville@HOME in the Junior School.   

Student free days – Senior School students only

If your family does not have alternative care arrangements for your daughter, and you are planning for your daughter to attend school this Thursday, Friday and next Monday (26, 27 and 30 March), please note the following information:

  • the drop-off and pick-up procedures remain as per usual.
  • the girls should wear sports uniform/house shirt.
  • all students should assemble on the School oval at 8.25am each morning.
  • there will be no tuckshop available, so please provide morning tea and lunch.
  • students should bring their own stationery, reading materials, activities and school-provided laptop each day to assist with good hygiene practices.

Please note: we will enforce our current mobile phone guidelines during these three days.

Assessment and Somerville@HOME – Senior School students only

At today’s Pandemic Management Meeting, a decision was made that all test-based assessment has been put on hold until further notice. All assignments still need to be submitted electronically, where possible.  For subjects where this may not be possible, the teacher will provide your daughter with alternative arrangements for submission. 

For students who have remained at home until this point in time, assessment can be completed at a later date for feedback purposes only.  Specifically, for Years 11 or 12, if a student has any in-class assessments during her absence, she will be required to sit the comparable assessment task (in line with QCAA requirements), on her return.

Tuesday 24 March 2020

Tuesday 24 March 2020

A short video was shared with the School community via email outlining the School's plans for the end of Term 1, in response to the evolving COVID-19 situation.   

In summary: 

  • Tuesday 24 March - communication to community advising that the School will move to an online learning program from Tuesday 31 March, and the last day of on-campus learning will be Wednesday 25 March. There will be no academic program offered for three days, as a professional learning program will operate for staff, as per the program below:
  • Thursday 26 March - student free day, with teachers preparing online resources 
  • Friday 27 March - student free day, with teachers preparing online resources
  • Monday 30 March - student free day, with teachers preparing online resources
  • Tuesday 31 March - Day 1 Somerville@HOME
  • Wednesday 1 April - Day 2 Somerville@HOME 
  • Thursday 2 April - Day 3 Somerville@HOME 
  • Friday 3 April  -  student free day.  All staff on special leave given the unusual times.  

Note – from Thursday 26 March – School remains open for those families who do not have the ability to stay at home and care for children due to work commitments, and to ensure essential workers are able to continue in the job they are doing.  Those students will be supervised at school. When the Somerville@Home academic program commences on Tuesday 31 March, the students will continue to be supervised at school, while completing the program as if there were at home.

From Thursday 26 March until Monday 30 March, the teaching staff will be unable to respond to individual email communication, due to the professional learning program. Somerville@HOME Protocols will be shared with the School community in the coming days.  

Thursday 26 March 2020

Thursday 26 March 2020 

This update is provided in response to Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s announcement today that schools would move to student-free days from next week; however, children of essential workers are still able to attend school. 

Somerville House Plan

Somerville House will continue to operate for the remainder of the term as outlined below:

  • Friday 27 March - student free day, with teachers preparing online resources
  • Monday 30 March - student free day, with teachers preparing online resources
  • Tuesday 31 March - Day 1 Somerville@HOME
  • Wednesday 1 April - Day 2 Somerville@HOME
  • Thursday 2 April - Day 3 Somerville@HOME / last day of Term 1
  • Friday 3 April – school holidays commence 

The School will remain open until Thursday 2 April for those families who cannot stay at home and care for children due to work commitments, and to ensure essential workers can continue in the job they are doing.  Those students will be supervised at school until Tuesday 31 March, when the Somerville@HOME academic program commences.  From Tuesday 31 March, students will be supervised while completing the online learning program, as they would at home.

Students in Years 11 and 12

We expect to receive advice from the QCAA about the ATAR study program, and we will provide you and your child/ren with an update on this as soon as possible.

Boarding Arrangements

Our Boarding House remains open until Friday 3 April to allow for Boarders’ travel.  Our boarders will be supervised in classrooms, as they complete the Somerville@HOME program.

Somerville@HOME

This is a very new academic program for our students and staff. Next week’s off-campus learning days will provide the Pandemic Management Team with valuable feedback, which will be reviewed in the event of forced closure and the subsequent need to continue with our remote blended learning program.

The School plans to re-open at the commencement of Term 2; however, we will also prepare to continue the delivery of Somerville@HOME if required and advised by the Australian Federal Government. 
 
We have planned for a range of scenarios to ensure that we remain flexible in our response to this pandemic. Thank you again for your ongoing support and co-operation in these challenging and evolving circumstances.