Photos & Video: Somersfield Building Completion

June 20, 2019 | 10 Comments

Somersfield Academy hosted a roof wetting ceremony and reception on Wednesday [June 19] at their newly constructed Centre for International Education which will house the school’s International Baccalaureate programs and more.

A spokesperson said, “Somersfield Academy has become Bermuda’s first International Baccalaureate World School to offer the IB’s two secondary-level academic programs – the IB Middle Year’s Program [MYP] and the recently authorized IB Diploma [DP].

“The IB Diploma Program is a two-year course of study in the junior and senior secondary years that provides students with, arguably, the most academically rigorous and internationally respected course of pre-university study.”

Head of School, Carlos Symonds, shares that “It is an exciting time for both Somersfield and for Bermuda with this enhancement to local educational options! Starting with our primary level Montessori and finishing with the “double IB” [MYP and Diploma] at the secondary level, the school now provides an unparalleled learning blend and continuum that rivals the finest pre-university program combinations available anywhere!”

The spokesperson said, “The Diploma will be offered in the school’s new state-of-the-art Centre for International Education, Leadership and Technology. The just completed, innovative, Cooper Gardner designed structure, tucked into the Vesey Street hillside, enjoys expansive over-land views of the Devonshire campus, adjacent marsh, and beyond.

“In addition to flexible classroom spaces, the new building boasts a spacious student center with student collaboration rooms, study corrals, a dedicated resource library, as well as art and advanced technology spaces.

“A multi-purpose studio for both music recording, as well as video and still photography is planned; and the building’s large “Gallery” offers another flexible, multi-use space for presenting both the visual and performing arts for the whole school.”

According to Charlie Judd, Secondary Division Head, “Expanding our program to include the IB Diploma is a logical extension that enables us to continue to empower students to positively affect change in the world.”


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Kate Ross, the new Head of the IB Diploma Programme & DP Coordinator continues: “We are committed to producing knowledgeable, inquiring, caring, open-minded students. As an IB World School, Somersfield Academy will continue to uphold its uniqueness, while cultivating students capable of intercultural understanding and mindful attitudes necessary to appreciate a diverse range of viewpoints.”

“The school’s unique balance of a Montessori and IB learning experience prepares students to thrive. Both programs are highly stimulating and engaging, and inspire independent socially conscious thinkers,” emphasizes Janice Outerbridge, the Montessori Children’s House Division Head.

“From the age of 3 in Montessori, students are required to be innovative, take initiative, and manage their time effectively, while being the leaders and innovators of tomorrow.”

“With the addition of the IB Diploma, Somersfield Academy reaffirms its position as the island’s leader in inquiry-based, student-centered teaching and learning! We look forward to welcoming our first cohort of IB Diploma students this September. We’re taking it to the top!” exclaims Principal Symonds.

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Comments (10)

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  1. B4Premier says:

    Private schools are building state-of-the-art facilities with matching innovative programmers, their students are winning most of our significant scholarships and enrollment numbers are steady.

    Public schools are struggling to provide safe buildings, academic gradings are incomprehensible to teachers and parents, strikes are always a possibility and centralized administration is clearly not functioning.

    Where would you prefer to send your child to school?

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      The people at the DOE should be able to answer that question very easily. After all, as they say, “it is a no brainer “.

    • PBanks says:

      I’d prefer not to have to spend a bucketload of money, but thanks to those in charge of public education (whatever combination of Govt, ministry, depts, BUT, you like) there’s little confidence that they won’t screw something up.

  2. Joe Bloggs says:

    My, my, what started out as Montessori Academy at Tivoli near 30 years ago has come a long way. Congratulations!

  3. In the back room says:

    We should close some public schools and use the money to expand private schools. Public school students need a wake up call big time. Who is going to do it? Or even tell them or guide them in the right direction ,?

  4. Poof Dah says:

    It’s not the buildings and not money that makes the difference. We all know that the Min.of Education spends much more per child than the private sector. Anyone that has been to Berkeley of Cedabriddge know they have more tech and hardware at their disposal than most private schools. So why do many Bermudians take second jobs or make other sacrifices to send their kids to private schools?

    Accountability!!!! The ministry of Education and the government has an agenda which on paper is an honorable one at first glance. They want Bermudians first and some might argue Bermudians only. And that in theory is fine. The problem is that they are satisfied with Bermudians that meet the minimum qualifications. Don’t get me wrong, we have some awesome hard working teachers in the public schools. However “qualified” should not be enough to secure a job for life.

    What I mean is, let’s take the field of mechanics for example. Would you say that every qualified mechanic is equal? Would you trust any qualified mechanic with your car. No, because we all know just because you passed a few courses doesn’t make you a great mechanic! The same can be said for the field of computers, accountants,plumbing.electrical and Just about every other profession. Additionally just because you are a qualified teacher doesn’t make you good teacher. It just means that you passed the classes. Teachers in the public school system are not held accountable for anything. There are some that go above and beyond and then there are others that are happy to do the minimum. It doesn’t help that the teacher’s union will back them on any issue , anytime whether they are right or wrong. They know they have a job for life even if they’re doing a bad job! At worst they will be shifted from school to school while our children suffer. In the private sector the administration, the trustees and the parents all have input. When they don’t perform, or don’t get results, or act in any way that maybe deemed inappropriate they are asked to resign or dismissed.

    Unfortunately we don’t hold public school teachers to the same standards and the parents PTAs administration and the ministry of education don’t seem to expect the same out of their teachers. How many teachers do you see shifting from the private school system to the public school system? Almost zero. Being a teacher in the private school system is certainly not easier by any means. However I believe the teachers feel more appreciated, and believe and know that they are making a difference.

    I have had children in both the public and private sector and I can tell you there is no comparison. The public education system has too many layers with too many administrators and decision makers and input from politicians. it takes too long to make any kind of change or get rid of any bad apples.

    it is time to scrap the public school system, scrap ministry of Education as we know it, remove medical interference, and move towards charter schools that can focus on tech or the arts or different areas of interest for all the difference students that we have. They are given a budget and are required to perform. Don’t perform, you lose your contract.

    • Pork & Bean says:

      And there you have it

      • Swizzlestick says:

        So, you are a strong advocate for the privatization of Publicly funded Services such as Education. Businesses should run Education programs. After all businesses understand what our capitalist economy requires …

  5. Pork & Bean says:

    Somersfield Academy – job well done!

  6. Realist says:

    Amazing when the private school sector aims to do something visionary they get it done! And it didn’t take years to complete this building.

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