The Senior School Pastoral Care Program is underpinned by a strong Year Level and House structure and is supported by a Christian philosophy. In the Senior School, pastoral care is currently managed through the horizontal Year level system led by the three Heads of Year. Students belong to small groups in the care of a Tutor. With their Tutors and Heads of Year, students engage in a varied tutorial program that incorporates life skills, cultural extension, reflections on career paths and personal development.
The pastoral care of students in the Senior School occurs in many contexts and settings throughout the school day. It occurs formally and explicitly through the Tutor system and interactions with classroom teachers and informally through the day-to-day interactions between students and students, and between students and adults.
Activities in the Senior School Pastoral Care Program are designed specifically to address the needs of students in Years 10 - 12 and to assist them to develop trans-disciplinary and life skills that will prepare them for life as independent learners and effective citizens. The Senior School Pastoral Care Program uses the same five groupings contained in the Aims and Objectives of the School which are grouped in the following five categories:
To support the Spiritual component of our Pastoral Care Program, the Senior Chaplain leads students, as a cohort, in worship in our beautiful heritage-listed Chapel and as a Senior School, in the Valmai Pidgeon Performing Arts Complex (VPAC). Students regularly contribute to the design, music and delivery of these services. Throughout the year, six House Co-ordinators work with our senior students to facilitate House-based activities such as the Interhouse Choral Festival, Swimming, Cross Country and Track and Field competitions.
The Senior School leadership structure provides opportunities for growth towards adult responsibilities. The positions have been developed over many years. Student leaders include School, House and Boarder Captains, Prefects and Convenors in Year 12. In addition, Somerville House students enjoy many informal opportunities for leadership through a rich co-curricular program in sport, music, community service and culture.
Each year the senior student body elects School Captains, House Captains and Prefects to lead the School. Boarder Captains are elected to serve the boarding community of approximately 100 girls. Also part of the Student Executive are nearly forty Year 12 Convenors, who co-ordinate committees in areas as diverse as Archives, Media, Somercircle, Community Service, Music, Art and Drama.
The Principal and the Head of Senior School select approximately twenty-five to thirty Year 11 students each year for the Golden Key Club. These students undertake a training program at the start of the year and act as guides and hosts to visitors and families interested in enrolling their daughters at Somerville House. In addition, these students facilitate the Peer Tutoring Program whereby Senior students volunteer their time to tutor younger students during lunchtimes and after school.
Through their initiatives and personal qualities, student leaders contribute to the ongoing life of the School and develop invaluable skills in planning, negotiation and project management.
Somerville House provides a wide and diverse range of Co-curricular activities as an integral part of the educational experience. The Co-curricular program caters for students' diverse abilities and offers them the chance to form life-long interests, outside the academic field.
All students are encouraged to participate in our Co-curricular program which provides opportunities in a wide range of activities that include sporting, cultural, musical, social and personal areas. It is expected that students would participate in school co-curricular activities over club and private participation where the school is able to provide the opportunities. Through these activities, each student has the opportunity to develop her potential - spiritually, socially, physically and culturally.
There are a number of opportunities for parents to familiarise themselves with Somerville House including the Information and Orientation Sessions conducted in October/November prior to the year of entry.
There are also a number of functions to help welcome parents into the start of the new school year including our Information Sessions for the various sub-schools or year levels, as well as our 'Welcome to Parents' function. New parents are encouraged to attend a wonderful social evening of reacquainting with other parents as well as meeting new parents.
As well as parent groups that support co-curricular programs in the School, parents are also encouraged to become involved in the activities arranged by the Middle Years Support Group.