Above: As Somerset College implements new plans, they also elect new leaders. The new learner leadership team of Somerset College is, from left to right: James Visagie, deputy head boy, Noa Lou Brawermann, head girl, Beverly Kelosi, deputy head girl, and Sean Irwin, head boy.

Somerset College is launching a new online learning programme aimed at the gr. 8 students of 2021. 

In creating the online learning programme, Somerset College has paved the way for gr. 8 students, who are best suited to online learning, to pursue either a South African NSC or an international qualification without the boundaries of a traditional teaching environment.

This exciting opportunity makes it possible for students from all over the world to become fully registered students at Somerset College and to pursue their education in an environment known for its academic excellence.

Various online learning opportunities exist, but the Somerset College online learning programme’s daily virtual classroom experience with specific teacher-student engagement, sets the offering apart. This point of difference ensures that students in the online learning programme are part of a classroom experience albeit online. Google Classroom, with other online applications, has made the offering of the online learning programme possible.

The innovative use of online tools has had extensive trials during the 2020 school year as Somerset College seamlessly navigated the move from real-time classroom teaching to online education necessitated by the Covid-19 pandemic. The online learning programme timetables will be completed in line with the College’s current daily schedule. Students participating in this programme will be part of the Engage communication portal where lessons and times will be available.

Online assessments, including tests and examinations, will be graded and full academic reports will be issued every term. It is important to bear in mind that the programme is purely an academic offering. No extramural activities or the College’s outdoor education are included in the curriculum.

As with the traditional Somerset College teaching offering, the parent-teacher relationship is of utmost importance and regular online parent-teacher meetings will also take place with the Online Learning Programme.  An attendance register will be completed in every lesson and absentees will be followed up on, with both students and parents.

Subjects to be included in the gr. 8 Online Learning Programme are as follows: English, Afrikaans, Mathematics, Science, Biology, History, Geography, Economic Management Sciences, Information Technology and Art and Design.

The Somerset College online learning programme is indeed an exciting opportunity worthy of consideration by prospective gr. 8 students who see themselves as being better suited to online learning. It is important to bear in mind that the online programme is not a tutoring service for students following a home schooling route. It is, in fact, a full curriculum presented online via a virtual classroom with real-time engagement between teachers and students. To apply visit www.somersetcollege.org or email admissions@somcol.co.za
– Somerset College