Somerset House is an independent school which makes its own decisions regarding curriculum and learning, while still taking cognisance of national and international trends in education. The school is also aware of the requirements of quality assurance bodies like UMALUSI and IQAA (Independent Quality Assurance Agency) and always seeks to deliver good quality education through sound educational practice. Preparing children for a future which is changing, demands that we focus on teaching children ‘how to learn’ rather than just ‘what to learn’. Skills acquisition is thus very important while content provides context.
Somerset House engages in a process of bench marking to ensure that standards are understood and maintained. This in turn informs decisions regarding curriculum and staff development.
Somerset House places emphasis on language skills. This is vital as sound progress in all subject areas is dependent on strong language and communication skills. The Junior Prep (Grade 1 – 3) have adopted a phonics programme from the Oxford Reading Scheme called Floppy Phonics. This will help to enable the learning and teaching of reading and writing. A firm emphasis is also put on Guided Reading sessions to enhance the reading skills. Mathematics is a priority subject due to its importance in further study. Mathematics is a core learning area and there is a large emphasis on mental maths skills and establishing the foundations for understanding maths.
The Natural and Social Sciences are taught through the Life Skills learning area in the JP; this is based on various themes being taught throughout the year. Natural Science is taught through a uniquely modified curriculum based on international standards, due to its importance as a choice subject in High School. There is also a strong Social Science offering which is integrated with media, information technology and knowledge management as part of the learning experience. A full cultural offering of Music, Art and Drama is also offered.