The People

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

Head

John Huggett

John is an experienced and passionate educator and comes from a family of educators. John closely understands the role of the educator in our society and the importance of making significant contributions in this profession. John matriculated from St Stithians College, after which he completed a Bachelor of Education Degree at the University of Port Elizabeth. He worked in education in the United Kingdom for some years and upon his return to South Africa, joined the staff at Wynberg Boys High School in Cape Town before moving into the realm of independent schools, joining the staff at St Peter’s Boys Preparatory School in Johannesburg as a day scholar House Master. John’s passion for pastoral care was valued and developed and he was appointed as a Deputy Head at Cordwalles Preparatory School for boys in Pietermaritzburg. Thereafter, he was appointed as the Deputy Headmaster at Grayston Preparatory School in Johannesburg. In January 2017 John was appointed the Head of Treverton Preparatory School in the KZN Midlands and joined Somerset House as Headmaster in 2021.

John has a passion for educational leadership and believes in moving beyond excellence to significance. His leadership style is relational, as he seeks to reveal and grow the potential in all who enter his sphere of influence. John’s emphasis on stewardship has been evident in all the roles that he has played, leaving institutions and people better than he found them. Believing in an all-round education, John strives to balance the academic, sporting, cultural and emotional spheres of the school that he leads. John places value on the concept of family and providing a positive, nurturing environment for our children that is also safe and inclusive. He strongly supports the development of children who are thinkers, who should be able to demonstrate cognitive flexibility and agility and who must be at ease with manipulating knowledge and information to synthesize new ideas and strategies. John has been described by some of the referees as “an inspiring leader and a leader amongst leaders”.

Board of Governors

The Board is responsible for determining the strategic direction and overall ethos of Somerset House. Board members are not necessarily current parents of the school. They are the custodians of the school’s mission and involve themselves in the determination of the strategy and structure of the school. They ensure that policies and plans are consistent with the school’s mission. The Board ensures that the executive management implements the strategy and operates ethically. The Board also ensures that Somerset House has adequate systems of internal and external control, both operational and financial. It is responsible for the setting of the Annual Tuition Fees. The Board selects the Headmaster, ensures succession and gives guidance on the appointment of senior staff members.

Management Team

The day-to-day operational functioning of the school is managed by the Headmaster and staff.

Staff

These are the people who make the school what it is on a daily basis. They are committed to the school and work hard to ensure excellence in all areas.

Administration, Finance and IT

Pre-Primary (Oakwood)

Pre-Primary Teaching Assistants

Junior Prep Teachers

Senior Prep Teachers

Specialist Teachers

Prep School Aftercare

Oakwood (Pre-Primary) Aftercare

Educational Support

Music Department

Sports Department

Interns

Facilities Management

Housekeeping Staff

Kitchen Staff

Other

Other non-academic functions like grounds, catering, cleaning, maintenance and security fall under the Facilities Manager. The school also outsources some non-academic functions. We employ many sports coaches on a part-time basis. We also have a number of Facilitators that work to assist pupils in the Classrooms. These Facilitators are contracted by the parents.

Mission

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. 

Philosophy

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.