From the Rector’s Desk – 15/06/2023

Thursday 15 June 2023

Dear Parents and Guardians,


As this letter arrives in your inbox the annual CHISZ Conference is drawing to a close. Hosted in Victoria Falls, this year’s theme was centred around “Transformational Thinking”. The conference speakers have highlighted some of the key issues affecting education. Two of the most significant conversations have centred on “Transformational Leadership” (Rachel Nyaradzo Adams) and “Transformational Parenting” (Gavin Keller). I will unpack these discussions in greater detail in subsequent newsletters.

As we move into the second half of the term it is important to reflect on what has already taken place. Like a stuck record, I continue to highlight concerns with respect to the use of illegal substances in the country. During the course of the last three weeks we have initiated a number of visible and real interventions. We have conducted random testing using a professional testing agency (Lancet), a process we intend to continue based on “reasonable suspicion”. We have also embraced a further professional intervention mechanism in the form of trained dogs in search of illegal substances. These measures should not be interpreted as addressing a significant problem within our pupil base but rather as another way in which we can act in a more proactive manner in managing growing concerns around illegal substance abuse and vaping. The school is adopting a multi-pronged approach to raising drug awareness amongst our pupils. At conference, Dave Martins spoke in depth about illegal substance use in the country; he provided us with some background and useful data on the current profile of substance usage in schools in Zimbabwe.

Our sports teams have had a particularly active first half of term and it is pleasing to note the number of provincial and national players that are coming from our ranks in all disciplines. There have been some encouraging performances which reflect the hard work and commitment of both players and coaches. The second half of term is no less active; once again I ask you to follow the weekly, updated, calendar.

On the academic front, the mid-year examinations start next week. For our public examination classes this is a particularly important time given that the “mocks” will provide a useful benchmark into their academic progress. During the early part of the year there have been many conversations around academic rigour and ensuring that our candidates realise their potential. Alongside Mrs Scott Elliott, the Directors of Studies have invested much into seeking better ways to reinforce our academic structures. This is ongoing as we begin to unpack a new academic strategy for the school.

The break from inter-school sport this weekend will help the school catch its breath in preparation for the full and varied calendar of events leading up to the August holiday.

With warm regards,

Jon Trafford


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