D & C Block Curriculum


In the first two years of your child’s journey at Peterhouse they will be required to try the full range of exciting subjects available to them before making the ‘big decision’ of their IGCSE subjects. This includes getting involved in the engineering department.

Maths, English, Science, Geography, History, French, Shona, Divinity, IT, DT, Music (in C block this is an option against DT), Art, Life-skills.

Subject Information

The Art Department has two full time teachers and there are three Art studios and a Ceramic Room. These creative and innovative teachers will guide and encourage your boys every step of the way.

In D and C block the pupils take up Art for half a year. Art is a practical subject and it involves problem solving projects – we strive to keep the lessons exciting and innovative. Over the two years the boys learn basic drawing skills, art history, painting and craft. Observation from first hand studies is encouraged to improve the pupils’ perception of proportion and perspective and by the time the boys reach the end of C Block they would have acquired the basic skills of perception and depiction of shapes and of course the skilled use of colour.

Course Structure

D Block
Lent Term – Colour theory, Drawing skills, Art History
Trinity Term – Craft, Observation, Photography
Michaelmas Term – Composition in colour, Lettering, Still life/ Observation

C Block

Lent Term – Figure drawing, Design, Art History
Trinity Term – Abstract, Still life, Craft, Photography
Michaelmas Term – Perspective, Observation, Design, Still life/ Observation

G. Masanga: Head of Art Department

The department has three innovative and dedicated teachers each with a varied background and specialised skills. We have two large and well equipped workshops that specialize in resistant materials processes. There is also a smaller multi-purpose workshop used for basic workshop processes, all our workshops are sufficiently equipped to allow pupils at the higher levels to realise both small and large projects.


At the junior level Design and Technology is taught as a series of modules that are designed to take the pupil through the basic skills needed in design activities. The subject is compulsory for pupils in D and C Blocks but after two years they can either drop it or choose to continue with the subject as one of their IGCSE choices.

In the D and C Blocks pupils are allocated two double lessons per week for one and half terms per academic year. Pupils are introduced to designing as an activity with a bias towards practical work. Pupils will start with a Graphic Communication module focusing on both freehand and use of drawing instruments to construct basic 2D, 3D views including rendered views of simple objects. Basic 2D CAD drawing will also be taught.

Pupils will also engage in practical based modules on working with woods, metals, plastics and one involving Systems and Control. The Systems and Control module will introduce pupils to basic terminology and practice involving Structural and Mechanical design.

Later, they extend their ability to communicate through drawing to include the discipline of preparing orthographic views in working drawings.

The grounding experience over the two years covers all the basic knowledge and practical skills to prepare pupils to extend themselves within their focus areas at IGCSE

T Mhete : Head of Design & Technology Department

The Divinity Department has three teachers all of whom also teach in other Departments as well. Peterhouse is a Christian School in the Anglican tradition, so it is important that pupils have a good grounding in this subject.


In D Block, the course begins with a brief look at the overview of the Bible, its contents, how it came to us, and whether we can trust it. It then moves on to look in some detail at Old Testament stories. Some time is spent looking at the New Testament with special reference to the Gospels and Jesus. Later in the course we examine World Religions.


D Block

Lent Term – Background to Divinity, overview of the Bible, its structure and its contents
Trinity Term – The overview of Old Testament through key people in following people groups: Patriarchs, Judges, Kings, Prophets
Michaelmas Term – The gospels and Jesus, other Religions

C Block

Lent Term –  Reliability of the Bible
Trinity Term – Overview of the Old Testament
Michaelmas Term – Overview of the New Testament with special reference to the Gospel of Mark

LT Makwindi – Head of Divinity Department

There are seven full time members of the Department, teaching in a suite of classrooms equipped with data projectors and white-boards. A variety of textbooks – all endorsed by the University of Cambridge – are used in the Department; both rich old texts and newly published textbooks are referred to; thus the Department ensures that all the elements of language are covered adequately.


In D (Form 1) and C (Form 2) blocks, there are ten lessons per two week cycle; English teachers emphasize that competence in English is essential for pupils to achieve in all aspects of school life and in their future careers. The curriculum that is followed is the Cambridge Checkpoint framework, although other sources and vital life skills are taught in addition to the Checkpoint syllabus.

Checkpoint English enables learners to communicate confidently and effectively and to develop the skills to respond to a range of information, media and texts with understanding and enjoyment. Learners who follow this framework will develop a first language competency in English based on a curriculum designed to be successful in any culture and to promote cross-cultural understanding.

Vocabulary extension is an integral part of every lesson. To improve written communication, spelling, punctuation and correct syntax, rules are taught and pupils are expected to learn and apply them when writing independently. Guidance is given in the use of different writing genres such as letters, articles, reports, summaries and the writing of narrative, descriptive and discursive compositions. Informal guidance is given in all English lessons, to develop oral communication skills such as body language, correct pronunciation, clear diction, volume and tone. These are all vital skills that are the foundation to successful IGCSE results.

Reading is considered a very important part of the boys’ education. Once again, teachers make sure that the boys realize that a competent reader will be at an advantage in all spheres of life.

Teachers make sure that pupils are aware that silent reading is used for a variety of purposes and that they are taught the different reading methods to suit the purpose. Boys are also given the opportunity to read to an audience. A variety of entertaining, interesting and uplifting poems, short stories, autobiographies, novels and plays must be chosen to capture young boys’ interest and hopefully encourage the habit of reading for pleasure as well as for instruction. All D Block to A Block classes each have a supervised reading session in the Megahey Centre. Each class has one session in two weeks. During this 45 minute session, pupils select novels, plays and poems that they like and read them. They finish reading their texts during their own time and they can change their personal readers any time. These sessions are meant to complement the teaching that is done in class – mostly by enhancing the pupils’ vocabulary.

Boys are encouraged to question, research and adopt their own informed opinions on various adolescent centred topics. They express their ideas either in writing or orally, in groups or to the class.

The above course has been designed not only to build on skills learnt at primary school and prepare the pupils for the IGCSE course, but to also help them function successfully in life.

Tonderai Michael Nzanga: Head of the English Department

The French department has 3 very experienced and dedicated teachers. One of the teachers teaches Travel and Tourism. This has also helped the French department as the use of French in the travel industry is easily explained to the pupils. Another teacher is a qualified Level one NILD therapist. This enables the department to be able to cater to students who are slow learners as well as those who learn differently. We have three classrooms. The staff who teach in the Department are all enthusiastic about their subject, and they encourage boys to develop an interest in the language and to use it around them and in the wider world.

We aim to make the learning of French as enjoyable as possible and to provide learners with a rewarding experience to language learning and to develop their confidence to communicate in French. We also aim to stimulate every pupil’s interest and enjoyment of learning a modern foreign language in a safe place of learning.


We use a range of teaching resources including the “Mission” text book which is enjoyed by pupils and staff alike. We further supplement this resource with our own worksheets which include a variety of texts and ICT equipment which enhances learning.

Topics are taught through the four skills of listening, speaking, reading and writing. Pupils are encouraged to participate actively in lessons.

We incorporate fun activities into the lessons such as singing French songs, playing language games, watching extracts of French clips on YouTube and using the interactive white board.

We encourage pupils to use ICT in French and allow students to access Duo lingo, a French language learning App that pupils can access both at home and at school.

The target language, French, is used in all lessons and setting occurs at entry into d block. The setting is based on end of year examination results plus continuous assessments during the course.

Pupils receive regular homework and are formally assessed at the end of every topic.


This course offers an introduction to the basic elements of the French language. These basic elements include usage of vocabulary, grammar, listening and speaking skills. Students learn the new language through participation in a wide range of activities. Reading and writing with attention to basic sentence structure is an integral part of the course. Emphasis is placed on learning about the culture of French speaking people around the world. Topics include family, friends, school, café, foods, shopping, summer sports, and travel. Studying a modern world language such as French is beneficial for improving a student’s vocabulary in both English and French, communication skills, cultural awareness, standardized test scores, and is attractive on a resume when applying for a job, especially in the 21st century global workplace.

A summary
D Block

Lent Term – Basic communication skills
Trinity Term – Listening and Speaking
Michaelmas Term – Reading and writing

C Block

Lent Term – Vocabulary
Trinity Term – Formal Communication
Michaelmas Term – Real life situations

Sylvia E. Gombedza : Head of French Department

The Geography Department has four full time teachers, plus two others who also spend part of their time teaching in other Departments. We have a suite of four dedicated classrooms, and also a reference/resource room, plus a Stevenson’s Screen Weather Station, and a remote electronic weather station. The staff who teach in the Department are all enthusiastic about their subject, and we encourage boys to develop an interest in the Natural and Built environments around them and in the wider world.


In D Block there are five lessons per cycle, and in C Block there are six lessons, all normally taken as single lessons. Geography is a content subject, as well as a practical one, so we try to keep the boys interested by making their lessons as varied as possible.

Over the two years our pupils learn about the Geography of their own country, both the Physical and the Human aspects. We also begin to look regionally and globally, by looking at aspects of the Geography of our neighbours in southern Africa. A lot of basic concepts are introduced at this level, including weather and climate (making use of our weather station), landforms, population and settlement dynamics.

In addition to the purely factual knowledge, Geography is a subject that teaches skills. Map reading is a skill that boys learn in their first two years at Peterhouse, and then build on as they move up the school.

Field-work is also important, whether it is going out to draw a map of a part of the school, or going further afield into Gosho Park to look at a granite landform.

By the time they reach the end of C Block, boys have acquired a good working knowledge of the world around them, and are well equipped to take the subject further up the school curriculum.


D Block

Lent Term – World geography
Trinity Term – The geography of Zimbabwe
Michaelmas Term – Skills, Map Reading

C Block

Lent Term – Map Reading
Trinity Term – Landforms
Michaelmas Term – Human Geography

CR Tswatswa : Head of Geography Department

There are three full time & one part time teachers of the History Department, and we teach the subject throughout the school. We are constantly updating our resources, and endeavour to make the subject come alive, so that the pupils will want to continue it throughout their school career.


In D Block there are five lessons in two weeks. We organise visits to historical sites such as Tsindi Ruins and Great Zimbabwe. There are also the San paintings in the nearby Gosho Park.

Our syllabus focuses on Africa, especially early Zimbabwean History. We aim to arouse interest and historical appreciation in the boys. The recall of facts and logical understanding is encouraged in our D Block.

In C Block there are five lessons in two weeks. We make use of the internet facilities in one of the lessons per cycle. We aim to impart historical knowledge and understanding. The boys also acquire research skills. We view this Level as crucial in the preparatory stage of the IGCSE course. The recall of facts and understanding is encouraged.


D Block

Lent Term – What is history, Evolution, Stone Age, the San, Khoikhoi & Bantu migration
Trinity Term – State formations in Southern Africa
Michaelmas Term – Nguni and Ndebele States

C Block

Lent Term – Slave Trade and Industrialisation
Trinity Term – Zimbabwe, Bolshevik revolution
Michaelmas Term – French revolution and World War 1

F. Mukucha : Head of History Department

The IT department has four IT laboratories all in the Gibb’s Centre. The department is supported by two technical staff; the IT manager and a technician who are responsible for maintenance and technical support. The IT labs are equipped with state of the art computer equipment and full broadband internet access. Three of the IT labs have overhead projectors and one has a SMART board. Internet access is closely monitored using classroom management software, firewalls and a reliable hotspot server.


The department ensures that pupils are equipped with the necessary skills to use technology in their studies and life after school. Our curriculum is also structured to provide pupils with a solid foundation for IGCSE Computer Science and ICT in addition to covering the ICDL syllabus in D and C Block. The department has two full time members of staff who have years of experience in teaching the subject. Teachers in the department are constantly looking for innovative ways of delivering lessons. Pupils are also allowed to access educational websites for learning purposes and download any valuable materials. Personal printing is allowed and pupils are charged to their accounts.


D Block pupils are introduced to ICDL modules taught in D and C Block.
The top two sets in C Block pupils can write ICDL examinations if they pass the assessments. Pupils will only be entered for the examinations if permission is granted by parents. All pupils who register for ICDL are expected to achieve at least the ICDL Base certificate at the end of two years.
Pupils can study IGCSE ICT or Computer Science depending on their interest and ability.

The basic course structure is as follows:

D Block Term 1 – Computer Hardware and Software, File Management and Word Processing
D Block Term 2 – Computer Networks, ICT in everyday life, Word Processing, Presentation Tools
D Block Term 3 – Information Security, Presentation Tools, Spreadsheets and Internet/Email

C Block Term 1 – Computers and The Law, Word Processing II, File Management II
C Block Term 2 – Spreadsheets II and Presentations II
C Block Term 3 – Databases and Internet/Email

R Ziko: Head of IT Department

Maths teachers aim to provide pupils with the Mathematical knowledge, skills and understanding needed for the continuing of their education for life and work. It is hoped that these youngsters will recognise the power of Mathematics and to be able to apply it appropriately. We allow gifted pupils to be stretched and weaker students to work at their own pace in classes of similar abilities through streaming. It is possible for a pupil to be in Set 1 Maths and Set 4 for other subjects and vice versa depending on how they perform in our setting tests at D Block and exams.


Pupils start D block from different backgrounds, with different levels of competence. They are streamed into four sets. Class sizes range from 20 to 26, set 1 being the largest and the smallest being set 4. A considerable amount of practical work is done in the course, to stimulate the pupil’s interest.


D Block

Lent Term – Sets, Directed Numbers, Algebraic Processes, Equations, Fractions, Time, Factors and multiples, Symmetry, Measuring angles.
Trinity Term – Directed Numbers, Fractions and percentages, Arithmetic, Geometry, Graphs,
Michaelmas Term – Directed Numbers and substitution, Equations, Mensuration (area, perimeter), construction.

C Block

Lent Term – Laws of Indices, Formulae- Change of Subject, financial mathematics, Scale drawing, Angles of elevation and depression, Graphs, Algebraic Multiplication.
Trinity Term – Factors, Algebraic Fractions, Ratios and proportion, Similarity, Statistics, Quadratic equations.
Michaelmas Term – Mean, Median Mode, Consumer Arithmetic, Volumes and density, Square roots, Inequalities, Travel Graphs.

L Kunatsa: Head of Mathematics Department

Junior science has four enthusiastic and dedicated teachers with three Lab technicians to support the practical side of our teaching. We have well equipped and resourced labs to give learners a solid grounding in science skills.


In D Block, we have 10 periods in a cycle, two doubles and six singles. There is a similar set up in C Block. The course is dedicated to the acquiring and nurturing lifelong science skills such as observation, measurement, recording of results, processing of results, analysis of results, making deductions from results, evaluating methods used and making conclusions which are informed by evidence. Through these experiences, boys develop knowledge and understanding of basic scientific concepts and principles as well as the ability to handle information and solve problems. Pupils develop attitudes relevant to the study of science such as accuracy, inventiveness, inquiry and objectivity. Experiences also promote awareness on the benefits and detrimental effects of science.


D Block

Lent Term – Use of apparatus, measurements and presentation of data; microscope, graphs, drawings, cells and organisms, digestion, photosynthesis
Trinity Term

States of matter, atomic structure and periodic table, elements, compounds and mixtures, physical and chemical changes, Acids, bases and salts, preparation of salts and rates of reactions,
Michaelmas Term – Measurements and units; Length, time, mass, weight, density, energy and pressure

C Block

Lent Term – Circulatory system, transport in plants, gaseous exchange, respiration, reproduction. Chemistry-Periodic table, rates of reaction, metals and reactivity series.
Trinity Term – Physics- forces and motion, energy, light, magnetism, electrostatics and electricity
Michaelmas Term – IGSCE Biology introduction – Characteristics of living organisms and classification, cell structure and organization,

P.Fantiso: Head of Physics Department

The Shona Department has two teachers, who share their time between Shona and Divinity. We have now managed to stock our Department with text books and audio resources in the last 2 years. The staff who teach in the Department are enthusiastic about their subject. We emphasize the importance of Shona as a subject just like any other language subject.


The subject is only offered at D and C block for both L1 and L2 speakers. There are three lessons per cycle, generally taken as single lessons. Shona is a content subject, as well as a practical one, so we try to keep the boys interested by making their lessons as varied as possible, we try to take them on field trips to places relating to the syllabus such as Seke rural village where boys get to know what surrounds a Shona Home. There are no external exams at the end of the two year course but the L2 boys produce an audio CD where they record themselves conversing in Shona. At the end of the two year course boys should have mastered the following:

  • Cultural identity especially for the L1 because Shona is their mother tongue.
  • It helps in their career opportunity for example, translation of any important documents into Shona. Most Non – Governmental Organizations [NGO] require people who are multilingual like in Media, Health, Rural Development Projects, Peer Educators, etc.
  • Zimbabwe is a multi-cultural society with mainly the Shona and Ndebele speaking people. It is therefore vital for L2 Shona to learn and appreciate the people around them and this can only happen when one knows the people’s language.
  • Communication is a basic need therefore it is important for any citizen of this country to be able to communicate in the language.
  • Preservation of any culture comes through learning the language and given that there are so many mixed marriages today and the Shona syllabus touches on these cultural issues as well.


D Block L1 – Language, grammar, culture, Literature
D Block L2 – Language, grammar, culture, oral
C Block L1 – Language, grammar, culture, literature
C Block L2 – Language, grammar, culture, oral, Field Trips

TB Chirara: Head of Department -Shona


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