Values and skills

...more than a school, a way of life.

The School is guided by these core values:


  • Consistency of actions and values. Maintenance of social, ethical and school standards; adherence to one’s code of conduct and principles.
  • Honesty: Engages with people in an open and forthright manner, represents information accurately and completely. Does the right thing, even when no one is looking.
  • Keeps commitments: Does what one says one will.
  • Trust: Behaves in such a way as to earn the trust of others through consistency in words and deeds.
  • Authenticity: Stays true to one’s value system in the face of adversity.
  • Sportsmanship: Has a desire to win balanced by humility and is able to concede defeat with grace.


  • Positive regard for self, others, the environment and property with a no-harm attitude to all.
  • Well-mannered: Courteous towards people and their feelings. Being polite in all interactions.
  • Tolerant: Maintains human dignity – Treats people as equals; recognises and accepts what is unique about them.
  • Considerate: Thoughtful to others and their feelings.
  • Self-respect: Stands tall, feels proud and values oneself.


  • Makes a conscious choice to take on an activity or accomplish a goal. Then engages both head and heart in working towards achieving the desired outcome with a firmness of purpose.
  • Goal focused: Strives to achieve goals.
  • Reliable: Demonstrates a level of dependability and predictability.
  • Disciplined: Does what one can, even if it is difficult, to achieve the goal.
  • Tenacious: Does not give up easily and looks for ways to overcome hurdles.
  • Hardworking and diligent: Sees a task through to completion.
  • Responsible: Accepts consequences of one’s actions.


  • Non Nobis Solum – Not for ourselves alone: To put others needs before one’s own.
  • Compassionate: Feels empathy for others.
  • Humble: Is not vain and has a strong rather than a big ego.
  • Considerate: Thinks how one’s actions will affect others.
  • Kind: Is friendly, generous and warm hearted.
  • Self-controlled: Is able to control one’s emotions and needs, even when under pressure.

Team Spirit

  • The willingness to put the success of the team above one’s own. All for one and one for all.
  • Co-operative: Works effectively and willingly with others to achieve the best outcome.
  • Loyal: Helps and speaks up for others. Is steadfast.
  • Energised: Creates enthusiasm that keeps one’s own and others energy high.
  • Inclusive: Creates a sense of belonging for the whole team.
  • Fun: Introduces fun when appropriate to increase engagement and energy levels.
  • Informal relationships: Fosters relaxed relationships whilst respecting essential order, to minimise communication barriers.

The development of skills:

Pupils often follow a project-based approach to learning.  Work on authentic learning tasks provides the context for learning.  In Grade 6 and 7 the use of their devices is an integral part of this approach.  Project-Based Learning teaches students 21st century skills as well as content. These skills include:

  • Collaboration, group participation and leadership skills
  • Critical thinking and questioning skills
  • Communication and presentation skills
  • Organisation and time management skills
  • Research and enquiry skills
  • Self-assessment and reflection skills
  • Productivity and accountability

The pupils typically work together toward a common goal. Performance is assessed on an individual or group basis, and takes into account the quality of the product, the depth of content understanding demonstrated, and the contributions made to the on-going process. Assessment is varied and includes orals, digital presentations and Web 2.0 tools.

Our Mission

Somerset House is an independent preparatory school that strives to provide an excellent all-round education for children preparing them thoroughly for their futures.

Our Philosophy​

Somerset House is a family school and is welcoming to all. Somerset House endeavours to teach us all to live unselfishly, considering others. Non Nobis Solum. 

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We are firmly committed to recognising and developing each child’s individuality and potential.

We embrace change as a challenge and an opportunity, whilst respecting tradition.

We choose to provide a unique small school environment for a stimulating and demanding academic programme, emphasising child-centred education, deep-thinking and the development of life-long learning habits. 

We are a caring, Christian based environment, where self-esteem is nurtured, initiative is encouraged and children are able to develop self-discipline while maintaining an awareness and concern for others. 

We understand the valuable role that the arts, sport, extra-mural activities and leadership play in the development of rounded children. 

We are committed to the development and retention of top quality staff and to remaining up to date with appropriate educational and technological progress. We will allocate financial resources responsibly to ensure the delivery of world-class educational standards. 

We are committed to playing our part towards building a better South Africa. 


Somerset House is special in that it seeks to embrace a modern, dynamic, diverse and changing world while underpinned by sound values.

Somerset House is an independent school which makes its own decisions regarding curriculum and learning, while taking cognisance of national and international trends in education.

Somerset House is a disciplined environment where effort, participation and excellence are honoured.

Somerset House has a specialness and smallness which in this day and age is quite unique. The historic buildings and natural grounds are appreciated by all.

For seventy years Somerset House has remained a caring environment based on Christian values where self-esteem is nurtured, initiative is encouraged and children are able to develop self-discipline while maintaining an awareness and concern for others.