From the Rector’s Desk – 12/10/2023

Dear Parents and Guardians,

We are now well into the examination season following the start of the Cambridge examinations on 2 October. This week saw the onset of the more intense phase of the process with up to one hundred and sixty candidates writing papers at any one time. While still very early on, the consensus is that the papers
have been consistent with expectation. We hope that this will remain the case throughout, understanding that any allowances made for Covid over the last three years will not be part of this year’s assessment process. The exams continue through to Friday 18 November when AS Biblical Studies will be our last
paper for 2023. There can be no doubt that the start of “Study Week” heralded a very significant shift in the tone of the school. In the run up to the examination there has been an intense revision period and subject teachers have provided considerable support, outside of normal lessons, to pupils who have sought help. I believe it poignant that while there are extensive networks that provide “extra lessons” outside the school, here at school, the staff have, under the guidance of the Director of Studies, offered considerable support to our examination candidates. Obviously, we look forward to some good results in early January.

After nearly a year in its construction the “new pool” on the site of the old volleyball courts at PHB is now in full use. The days of trying to create a water polo pool using the old diving well are over and we are delighted with the addition of our new facility. Interestingly, the last gala in the “old pool” marked the
end of an era where all our records were measured over 33 yards. Those records will now stand forever as we move our swimming into an internationally standardised 25m short course pool. Our water polo facility will also allow us the opportunity to host tournaments at an internationally recognised level. From an engineering and construction perspective the pool and astroturf have been major undertakings. The school has been very fortunate to have had the support of a highly professional project team as well as two excellent construction companies in Bitumen World (Astro Turf) and Lues Construction (Pool). We
are indeed grateful to all those who have supported us in these projects. Obviously, there remains some peripheral work to be done in the surrounds of both projects. We are hoping that, by the start of the new academic year, with the assistance of some good rain, these projects will be concluded.

We were privileged this week to welcome the Bishop of Harare to the school. The Rt Rev Dr Mutamiri presided over the 2023 Confirmation Service in the Boys’ School Chapel. In reminding the confirmands of their affirmation of faith the Bishop emphasised the power of prayer in building their relationship with
God. Forty-four boys and girls, supported by their parents, were confirmed in a very poignant service. We are grateful to the Bishop for his time and for sharing his message on the obligations that come with confirmation.

On the admissions and marketing front the school has, as a first, hosted 2024 D Block parents to a welcoming function at both PHB and PHG. The idea is to offer incoming parents and families the opportunity to collect their new school packs as well as to meet the key staff who will be responsible for the settling of their sons and daughters next year. If you were unable to attend, please do not stress, the school will communicate with you regarding the collection of your packs. We have been under considerable pressure for D Block places in 2024 and both schools have full intakes. On marketing, our thanks go to all those Bulawayo families who supported our visit last week. To our current parents, we continue to be very grateful for the work you do on our behalf whilst, for those new to Peterhouse, we hope that your time with us was both informative and useful.

On behalf of the Parents’ Association, may I remind you of their upcoming Annual General Meeting. The meeting is scheduled for Thursday 9 November. More information will be circulated from the Association Committee in due course. It is important to note that there are a number of positions on the Committee up for election. Nominations have been received and the vote for new committee members will take place at the AGM. During the course of this week the Petrean Society Committee held its termly meeting.

It is certainly very evident from their discussions that a considerable amount of work is being done to build the connection between Petreans and the school. In the next couple of weeks the Petrean community will be welcoming our 2023 Leavers. There can be no doubt that, as they leave the school, they do not sever ties but rather reinforce them through the global network of Petreans. A number of functions for Petreans are in the offing: In London, the UK branch will host their annual Black-Tie Dinner on 25 November. I will be fortunate enough to attend this function where I hope to update them on events in the school as well as provide insight into the establishment of the Crown Foundation. There is also a function scheduled for the beginning of December in Harare – watch this space for details.

The mercury continues to rise as we move deeper into October. Even in Marondera it is hot!! We look heavenward for signs of rain, but it would appear it is still some time off. For your diaries, please note that Speech Day for PHG is on Saturday 28 October and for PHB on Sunday 29 October. Our Leavers
Services are on Wednesday 1 November for the girls and Sunday 12 November for the boys. Our Group Carol Service is on Sunday 26 November and the Marondera Combined Schools Carol Concert is on Monday 27 November.

We hope that as the weekend starts, those pupils who can get home will enjoy a welcome break from the demands of school routine. Obviously, the examinations continue, and the pressure remains on them in terms of expectation.

With warm regards,

Jon Trafford


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