From the Rector’s Desk – 03/08/2023

Dear Parents and Guardians,


The light at the end of the tunnel is bigger and brighter and I have little doubt that as all your children head for home they look forward to a well-deserved break away from school. What a term it has been with its incredible array of activities and its many notable successes and achievements. In the final Assembly of the term, we were able to celebrate many of those achievement through various school awards. For various logistical reasons, sports results will be held over until the beginning of next term.
For your diaries, please note that our hockey team is playing in the Super 12 at St John’s this weekend, whilst football will be away in Kwekwe at the CHISZ tournament. Our cricketers will also be in action during the holiday, at the St Georges T20 competition. (17 – 20 August).

Reports are written and as this letter arrives in your inbox you will have had the chance to read them.
Equally, I think it is important that your son also reads it carefully. For the public examination classes, the next three months is crucial. Having written both A Block and VIth Form reports, I am very conscious of what needs to be done between now and November. While the “mock examinations” will have provided
all our candidates with some sort of benchmark, clearly, there is still considerable work to be done. Over the last seven months Mr Ndlovu (Director of Studies) and Mrs Scott-Elliott (Director of Academic Advancement) have invested a considerable amount of time into interrogating the levels of academic rigour in the school. This has been a wide-ranging study and with it has been developed a new academic strategy. This was presented to the Executive Committee at their last meeting (22 July). To unfold over three years, this strategy will cover a wide range of academic issues ranging from staff development and appraisal, through to the investigation of our current curriculum. With a rapidly changing global environment and the advent of the age of AI, our curriculum needs to accommodate these shifts.

Following Mrs Scott-Elliott’s visit to the United Kingdom, and the visit from the HMC accreditation team, there is a view that our classroom and academic spaces were comparable with those in the UK but that we need, in our planning, to ensure that we stay abreast of the changing dynamic in the demands and
needs of tertiary institutions. We also remain conscious of the fact that the Covid “hangover” remains, and that two years of disruption and online learning still casts its shadow over our academic space. There can be no doubt that Mrs Scott-Elliott’s appointment has provided us with extra capacity to make change and to ensure that we provide a strong academic platform for our pupils.

Outside the classroom, it has been a very fulfilling term in so many ways. The production of “Firebringer” offered us an opportunity to tackle a complex and intricate musical. Not out of the “traditional school music book”, Firebringer was challenging, and the production team and cast did an incredible job in
bringing it to life in the Fieldsend Hall. To Mrs Allott and Mrs Mtakwa, alongside Mr Jera, our sincere thanks for pulling this off so successfully. It was a thought-provoking production, full of colour, music, and action. In the last week of term, the World Scholars Cup team were in action in the UK, and we look forward to some more detailed feedback next term.

On the sports fields we have had a good term. Across all the disciplines there have been many successes, and these have been highlighted in the weekly sporting dispatches from the school. Obviously, last weekend saw big crowds at the school, and they were certainly entertained by some outstanding sport. Our fixture against Falcon is highly valued by the community and we look forward to the Falcon family visiting Peterhouse each year. Having Petreans back on campus in significant numbers was also a highlight of the weekend. The ongoing support of Petreans is a key part of our school strategy, and to this end the Crown Foundation was launched in Harare on 27 July. There can be little doubt that this will be a significant move in ensuring the future sustainability of the Group of Schools. The Foundation is, in effect, an endowment fund which will allow benefactors the opportunity of supporting the school in three ways. The first relates to the provision of scholarships and bursaries; the second is to allow the school to build its infrastructural capacity and maintain world class resources; and, lastly, to support the human resources of the school so that we attract and retain the best staff. The Petrean Society, under the leadership of Mr Matt Hosack, are to be commended on this groundbreaking initiative.

I think it would be remiss of me not to mention the success of the Peterhouse Girls’ 1st XI hockey side. They have had an incredible season which culminated in their winning the annual Golden Girls competition in Harare. Similarly, the girls’ Basketball team have also celebrated an unbeaten season; certainly much to feel very proud about.

Without wanting to sound too repetitive, our campaign to tackle substance abuse continues. The measures we have taken this term will form the basis of our continued approach to tackling this issue. Perhaps it should be pointed out that this will inform our approach to discipline in general. There needs to be lines in the sand and the recognition of the reality of action/consequence. Once again, I appeal to you all for support in our efforts to ensure that we create the right environment in which your children can navigate the demands of adolescence.

So, as the Msasas change, the Michaelmas holiday begins; we closed on a sad and sombre note with the passing of Mr Luke Kunatsa. His legacy as a great schoolmaster, mathematician, and mentor will certainly live on through the generations of pupils that he taught. Our condolences and sympathies are
with his family as they come to terms with his passing.

May the holiday be one of rest and recovery, and for those travelling, may all your journeys be safe.

With warm regards,

Jon Trafford


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