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Peterhouse Boys

Academic Overview

Academic Overview

Peterhouse prides itself in the excellent quality of its academic education. Boys and girls, of all abilities are encouraged to demand much of themselves with the aim of reaching their full academic/intellectual potential. At all levels whenever possible pupils are streamed or set so that the brightest can be stretched/extended and the less bright can be given appropriate support and guidance.

Pupils are encouraged to think for themselves and to take responsibility for their own learning rather than rely on their teacher. Teaching staff in turn are expected to create a dynamic and creative environment for learning and to demand much of their pupils and tutees.

In addition to their main A level choices pupils are able to follow either an ICDL or Global Perspectives course, which are both examinable.
The Senior Master (Academic) coordinates all matters academic and is responsible for ensuring that Peterhouse keeps abreast of all the latest developments in education.  Peterhouse Boys accepts pupils with a wide range of academic abilities.  Those requiring extra Mathematics or English (reading or spelling) have remedial lessons in their first year and some continue with this into their second year.    

We recognize that some of our pupils are not as academically gifted as others, so we cater for them by offering them a slightly more limited range of subjects. This gives extra time on the timetable and the pupils are given extra lessons in English and mathematics.

Academic Structure
D Block (Form 1) comprises 4 streamed classes that have a full range of subjects offered.  Class sizes are rarely above 24.  C Block (Form 2) comprises 4 classes (set according to ability in English and Mathematics).  At the end of the year choices are made for IGCSE (Cambridge International Examinations). Boys are set to ensure class sizes are kept as small as possible.  B Block (Form 3) is the first year of preparation for CIE – IGCSE. A Block (Form 4) CIE-IGCSE examinations written by all boys. In the Vth Form 3 A level subjects are studied. At VIth Form 3 A level examinations are written.

Educational Trips
We feel that an all-round education involves experience beyond the classroom, so a number of exciting educational trips are taken either annually or periodically, both inside and outside Zimbabwe.

A Level Geographers and Biologists regularly attend a camp at RIFA in the Zambezi Valley in early August, looking at various aspects of ecology and river landforms and processes.  Our IGCSE and A level Travel and Tourism classes take advantage of the well developed infrastructure for Tourism in our country, and make a number of visits to resorts both locally and further afield in Zimbabwe.

Art is a very practical and creative subject, and our department frequently takes pupils on trips to art galleries, sculpture gardens and parks.  Our own conservation area of Gosho Park provides plenty of scope for both artistic and scientific field trips, and is close enough to allow short duration trips during lesson times to look at a specific feature of the park. Over the past few years we have run cultural, History and French trips to Europe. 

Tutor System
The tutor system employed at Peterhouse Boys is designed to give each pupil a sense of belonging.  The tutor groups are composed of between 10 and 16 pupils in the same year group and House.  Each group is assigned a Tutor, who usually also carries out pastoral duties in the boarding House where his tutees live.

The Tutor Groups meet formally at least  twice a term during the day, and on a number of other occasions in the evening in the boarding house.  The tutor acts as a link between the pupil and his Housemaster, and regularly discusses academic progress with the pupils on an individual basis, thereby being able to pick up on problems in the pupil's academic life early on in their careers. 

Quite often the tutor will meet with pupils to discuss other things, such as social problems, concerns over family problems etc.  In addition, the tutor will often discuss important social issues with the group, on such topics as drug abuse, smoking, binge drinking etc., in an effort to instill social awareness into the group. 

The Alpha Programme (Curriculum Support)
The Alpha Programme is designed to identify, support, guide and give confidence building extra lessons to the D and C Block boys in Mathematics and English.  
Career Guidance
A Careers Library is open to boys of all ages.  An “Occupational Interests” test is done in B Block and in A Block and the boys are made aware of the importance of good grades in a wide range of subjects.  In the Upper School the boys are encouraged to find for themselves the most suitable courses in their chosen areas. 

Help is given in the completion of Application Forms for Universities and other further education centres.  Visiting speakers from different professions are invited to address the boys, particularly during the first term.
Pupils are made aware of specific requirements in particular fields of study: 
1.   All medical fields require chemistry and two other sciences
2.   Engineering requires mathematics and physics/chemistry and one other subject
3.   Agriculture prefers biology and chemistry
4.   B Comms usually require some level of post IGCSE mathematics
5.   BA degrees have very few restrictions.