Spiritual and Pastoral

The Somerville House spirit will be felt the moment your child walks through the front gates. Whether a Pre-Prep, Junior, Middle or Senior School student, your child will be supported in a safe, caring environment, based on Christian values, as they take their first steps in learning to be a strong, independent person. 

The School’s Pastoral Care Program encourages the qualities of individual initiative and personal responsibility for the development of personal and academic resilience. Students are further assisted through the School’s higher-than-average teacher-student ratio and its commitment to the continual improvement of teaching methods and practices through its Staff Professional Development Program. 

School years mark a vital phase when children develop emotionally, spiritually and physically. At Somerville House, support structures are put in place to assist them during this formative phase of their lives.

Extensive care is available through our Positive Pastoral Care and Wellbeing Program, our Christian Education Program and Chapel Services. The Dean of Students, together with the Heads of Year and Homeroom Tutor Teachers, mentor and monitor student wellbeing. Registered nurses are available through our Health Centre.

Spiritual

The spiritual life of the School is central to all that is done at Somerville House. The Teachings and example of Jesus Christ are a template for the values by which we operate in all areas of School life, from the classroom to the boardroom, from the sporting field to the Music program, in our relationships and in our ethics.

Worship is central to the life of the School and opportunities are provided for formal worship through School assemblies, Year Level Chapel services, annual Sub-School Family Worship Services and weekly services for our Boarders. The worship program is supported by Christian Education classes from Pre-Prep through to Year 12.

It is the goal of the spiritual activities within the School to develop in students an understanding and appreciation of Christian beliefs and practices based on the bible and Christians traditions. The culture of Somerville House encompasses a community to act as a community of care, modelling on the servant leadership of Jesus Christ, encouraging moral responsibility and personal involvement in service to the wider community. 

By being part of this community, students see the practical outworking of faith in Jesus Christ. Christian Education is a core subject for all students with one to two lessons provided each week depending on Year level. 

Students explore five main areas of study:

  • Revelation - A significant study of the Christian Scriptures, including their composition and teaching.  
  • Reasons - Investigates apologetic dimensions of faith including reasons for belief and ethical responses to modern dilemmas.
  • Relationships - Focuses on personal development, and basic relationship skills.  
  • Religions - Examines major world religions and relevant minority religious groups.  
  • Response - Encourages students to formulate personal convictions and express them through action. 
Chaplaincy

Somerville House operates under the governance of the Presbyterian and Uniting Churches. The School provides opportunities for members of our community to engage meaningfully with the Christian gospel and nurture a sense of ‘relationship with God’ as individuals. Chaplains, teachers, students and parents conduct ministry in the School, with the Chaplains assuming overall responsibility.

Chapel Services

Students participate in worship and teaching during Chapel services and Assembly devotions. Day students in the Middle and Senior Schools meet for worship in Year levels or House groups approximately twice each term, while Boarders worship each week in the School chapel. Assembly includes Christian reflection. Chapel services and Assembly devotions include songs, Scripture, prayer, and teaching.

Christian Fellowship Groups

Students may further their understanding and commitment to the Christian faith through fellowship groups SUPAClub in the Junior School and Somercircle in the Middle and Senior School. These groups meet for faith exploration, discussion and other activities during lunch times. Social functions, camps, community service activities and leadership training also occur outside School hours.

Christian Education

The worship program is supported by Christian Education classes from Pre-Prep through to Year 12. The program covers biblical themes and contemporary issues, focussing primarily on the life and teachings of Jesus Christ and their application to life in a complex and demanding world. Students also learn about other world religions and belief systems in a context of understanding and respect.

Pastoral Care - Positive Wellbeing

Positive wellbeing at Somerville House encompasses all students, staff, parents and members of our community.  We focus on positively shaping the future of young women: the way they think and perceive themselves and others and the world around them. We strive to educate them to initiate ideas and meet and challenge the modern complexities of their future. Our approach is both proactive and reactive, strengthening character and strategically building skills to manage life’s challenges. 

Somerville House exercises an unwavering commitment to nurturing students into well-rounded, confident and knowledgeable global citizens. Our Positive Wellbeing Framework draws from our motto, Honour Before Honours and blends academic learning with character and wellbeing, preparing students with skills for a life of meaning and optimism. The Framework guides the School’s Wellbeing and Pastoral Care programs across the School from Pre-Prep to Year 12 Day and Boarding students.  It focusses on the holistic development of each student, intellectually, emotionally, socially, culturally and spiritually. At its foundation is a commitment to Christian values, beliefs and teachings. 

The positive wellbeing of our students and staff is a priority at Somerville House. The Positive Wellbeing Framework considers the needs of students in the Junior, Middle and Senior Schools, and staff from all areas of the School. It incorporates pastoral care programs managed by the Dean of Students, Chaplains, Head of Boarding, Assistant Head of Junior School, Heads of Year, Junior School Co-ordinators, the School Psychologist and Careers Counsellor in Student Services, and the Health Centre Manager and Registered Nurses. 

The Positive Wellbeing Framework is embedded throughout the School. It follows our Christian values and teachings, in our expectations of self, our communication and relationships with others, within our pastoral care programs, and within the nurturing culture and opportunities offered for engagement.  Positive wellbeing is evident within our culture at Somerville House, in our interactions, activities and celebrations.