High School Culture | Somerset College
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Somerset College has a vibrant and innovative cultural programme.

The College has a Visual Art, Design, Music, and Dramatic Arts departments as well as an active and competitive Debating Club. The four departments each have full time and part time staff that run their disciplines as subjects and also organise extra-curricular events and activities. The students are actively involved in the cultivation of culture through the Cultural Portfolio. This portfolio is headed by two student leaders and includes representatives from other grades. The portfolio is overseen by a senior staff member from one of the cultural disciplines and is responsible for the on-the-ground running of the numerous cultural activities. In this way the students take a large responsibility for actively promoting and organising our performance and exhibition based culture at the school.

Visual Art

The Visual Art Department at Somerset College is a place where students are encouraged to be highly innovative and current in their artistic expressions. The incredible results of their hard work have been confirmed, not least by a consistently high standard average in Matric, of which we are very proud, but also by the fact that many of our past students successfully gain acceptance into reputable tertiary Art and Design establishments and follow successful creative careers thereafter. Read more




Somerset College has a vibrant and pro-active Design Department. We strongly believe the ability of creative problem-solving will be of great benefit to all the students irrespective of their career choices. Novel and adaptive thinking, a design mind-set, collaboration, new media literacy and empathy are all skills they will learn in this dynamic subject. Read more

Dramatic Arts

Extra-Curricular Drama activities:
Auditions for the school’s annual theatrical production is open to all students. The different directors aim to bring plays to life in unique ways, often presenting the play texts through fresh and challenging means.

The Inter-House Play competition is the flagship Drama event of each Artz Daze (a celebrative display of our students’ prowess in the three Arts disciplines on offer, namely Drama, Music and Art).  The play competition is a popular platform for whole-school participation, coordinated play making, and community building. Every year the participants build on the creative experiences of the previous year, thus keeping the performances fresh, inventive and of a high standard.




“I must despise the world which does not know that music is a higher revelation than all wisdom and philosophy” – Beethoven

Our main objective at the College is to encourage participation in music within a department which promotes excellence, and is open-minded to all genres of music. We provide students the opportunity to take music as a subject or as an extracurricular activity. Read more.



Success in debating lies not only in winning, but in the ability to analyse accurately, structure an argument and a speech quickly and to deliver one’s views and insights convincingly as part of a seamless team. It is an important skill that helps one with oral presentations and similar occurrences, and might play a role in one’s choice of career. To develop debaters’ skills regular club meetings are devoted to learning the basics of debating and discussing current affairs to heighten the students’ awareness of the world around them and the way in which such knowledge could be employed in a debate.

Training sessions are often held with groups from other schools and involve experienced trainers, including officials from the University of Stellenbosch Debating Society. In previous years several successful teams and individuals came from the Somerset College debating groups: the 2009 Boland Junior Champions; the 2011 Boland Senior Champions; and two Western Cape representatives at the National Championships.

Debating is more than a general chat about life and stuff; it is not a free-for-all shouting match between people holding different points of view. It is a highly stylized, highly challenging intellectual game, requiring high level listening skills and the application of subtle verbal techniques.