From the Headmaster
By Craig Bassingthwaighte, Headmaster
It has once again been a busy yet enjoyable first semester at Somerset. We have a few staff changes and updates heading into the holiday break.
Craig Bassingthwaighte, Headmaster
A very warm welcome and welcome back to 2020 for the Somerset community. Over this week we had 205 new students, 130 in the Junior School and 75 in the Senior School, begin their journey at the College and we certainly hope theirs will be as rewarding as ours.
We started the year with a record enrolment of 1,522 from Pre-Prep to Year 12. On behalf of the College Board, I thank you for your continuing support of Somerset as we enter our 38th year. It was quickly apparent that the students settled very well to their classes.
After 25 years of outstanding leadership and service, including 11 years as Deputy Head, six years as Deputy – Academic and eight years as Dean of Studies, Dr Michael Brohier will retire at the end of Semester One.
Dr Brohier has served the College wonderfully well in so many ways, establishing programmes that enhance the student experience. Dr Brohier was Chair of the Somerset Celebration of Literature, building that signature Somerset event into the city-wide festival we call Storyfest. He was integral in the establishment of the IBDP here at Somerset, a first for Queensland and one of the leaders in Australia. The introduction of the Diploma further solidified Somerset’s reputation as an academic leader and innovator.
In recognition of his service, I am delighted that the Board has agreed to my suggestion that the Senior Learning Centre be renamed The Dr Michael Brohier Learning Centre.
On a personal note, I want to thank Dr Brohier for his loyalty, support and friendship over the past 12 years. His passion for Somerset has benefitted our students, our parents and ourselves. He is much loved because of his holistic approach to life and I have learnt much from him.
I am sure that you will join with me in wishing Dr Brohier and Mrs Brohier all the best as Dr Brohier transitions to a well-deserved retirement. I have been able to twist his arm and he will continue his work with Wordsmiths and Storyfest. We will ensure that there are appropriate times for members of the College community to come together to celebrate Dr Brohier’s wonderful contribution.
It was Dr Brohier’s desire that I communicate this decision in this manner. We will advertise tomorrow to begin the difficult process of replacing one of the Somerset pillars.
We welcomed the following new staff:
• Miss Samantha (Sam) Brodar (Class of 2011)
Administrative Assistant – Academic and Curriculum Services
• Mrs Made Budjasih Cleaner
• Miss Janie-Marie Burgess Teacher – Senior School (English)
• Ms Sally Forsythe Teacher – Senior School (French)
• Miss Isabelle Garland Intern - Sport
• Mr Patrick George Teacher – Senior School (English)
• Mr Brent Harrison Teacher – Senior School (Mathematics)
• Mrs Bridey Hawley Teacher – Senior School (Science)
• Miss Corina Jeflea Teacher – Senior School (Business)
• Mr Nic Langevad Logistics Assistant
• Mr Dean Marais (Class of 2007) Head Coach – Basketball
• Miss Alexandra (Alex) McMahon (Class of 2014) College Nurse
• Mr Andrew Michael Teacher – Senior School (Physical Education)
• Miss Danielle (Dani) Miller Receptionist
• Mr Kai Neo Intern - Events
• Mr Nicholas (Nick) Scott Teacher – Junior School (Year 2)
• Mrs Georgia Skinner Teacher – Junior School (Year 3)
• Mrs Jane Stewart Teacher – Junior School (Year 6)
• Miss Ruby Waters Intern – Events
• Miss Madeleine (Maddy) Wilks GAP Staff
Welcome back to Mr Greg Juniper and Mrs Sarah White after some periods of leave.
There have been a number of changes to responsibilities for 2020:
• Mr Spencer Attoe Head of House – Veivers (Acting)
• Miss Luisa Navanteri Year 11 Co-ordinator
• Mrs Leanne Reed Head of Department – English (Acting)
• Mrs Anne Rowe Head of Year 7
• Mrs Taneka Rudnev Teacher Assistant – Junior School
• Mrs Annette Tayler Teacher – Junior School (Learning Enhancement)
We were very pleasantly surprised with the Class of 2019 OP results, receiving very good press especially around the OP 1 statistic below.
Some other press ranking highlighted the demise of the system with schools and their handful of kids recording ridiculous stats. For example, one school with an OP1-5 of 50% had 30 students eligible from a cohort of over 200.
• 10 OP 1s
• 24% OP 1-3
• 37% OP 1-5
• 97% OP 1-15
As noted before, this means that we finish the OP system from 1992 to 2019 with the single most common OP score for Somerset students being an OP 1.... 264 students have achieved this in that time.
International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme scores were also very good, the best in some years. The growth in numbers for the programme for 2020 with cohorts of 15 in Year 12 and 20 in Year 11 are a far cry from the single digits of a few years ago and bodes well for the future. The work we have done in bringing rigour to this programme is bearing fruit. There was high correlation between predicted and final grades.
• All 16 students received a Diploma
• One score of 42 which is OP 1 equivalent
• Median score of 33 which is OP 6 equivalent
• All benchmarks were higher
I look forward to meeting all parents at the Parents' and Friends' Social Function on Friday 7 February 2020 from 6.30pm to 9.00pm on the Sports Facility Concourse to celebrate the New School Year This function is a wonderful opportunity for parents new to the College and those returning to meet each other and the staff. Please make this highlight function a priority on your calendar!« Back to IndexNext article in this edition »