FOREWORD BY THE RECTOR
This document has been produced to help parents and pupils know exactly what is involved in choosing subjects at A level. The specific subject information, written by Academic Heads of Department, includes the course content, previous pass rates and the qualifications needed for entry into the subject concerned together with suggested/suitable combinations of subjects.
The selection of A level subjects is of critical importance and can have a long lasting influence on university applications and career choices.
To parents I would like to say the following:
• Please take time to discuss the implications of the choices made with your son/daughter.
• The selection of A level subjects should be heavily influenced by the ability/aptitude of your son/daughter and not by the aspirations you may have for him/her – you must guard against pushing you son/daughter in a direction which you rather than he/she wants!
To pupils I would like to add:
• Do as much research as you can into the various options and make sure that you understand the consequences of the choices you make.
• Do not be influenced by the choices which your friends are making – it is important that you make choices for your own benefit.
• Above all else choose subjects which interest/stimulate you.
A level choices need to be made by half term, but it is possible to make changes to these choices following the publishing of IGCSE results.
When the exam results come, we weight them by giving them the following values:
A* 6 points
A 5 points
B 4 points
C 3 points
D 2 point
E 1 point
To qualify to take 3 A levels, a pupil should ideally
• Pass at least 6 subjects at IGCSE level including English Language
• Obtain at least 23 points in the best 6 passes.
• Have a viable A level package.
It is possible for pupils who do not qualify to take 3 subjects at A level to take 2 subjects
at A levels and one subject at AS.
In addition to taking 3 A level subjects, in order to broaden the academic curriculum at 5th
form level all pupils in the 5th Form will take a course in English Language or Global Perspectives both of which are examined at AS level at the end of the 5th form year.
Howard Blackett MA (Oxon)
CAREER PATHS GENERAL INFORMATION
You should choose a career based on the subjects you enjoy studying. There are many years of study to come - you should enjoy them!!
Try to narrow down the field of choice to ‘arts’, sciences’, ‘commerce’, “engineering’ etc.
The modern trend in the universities is they prefer the students who lack the experience, not to have made rigid career choices while as yet unfamiliar with the areas of specialization and the job-market trends. A broad base of subjects is preferable.
Be aware of specific requirements in particular fields of study:
1 All medical fields require chemistry and two other sciences (maths is a science for this purpose)
2 Engineering requires mathematics and physics/chemistry and one other subject
3 Agriculture prefers biology and chemistry
4 B Comms require some level of post IGCSE mathematics
5 BA / B Soc Sci / Humanities degrees have very few restrictions.
6 Architecture often requires physics
If in doubt, ask or find a prospectus in the Careers Room, or look on-line.
Be involved in your future career choice - don’t follow the crowd.
Only you can truly choose what you want to do with the rest of your life.
The rest of us can only offer options!!
P A Mansfield
AS Level (5th Form)
1. The Accounting System: A Recording Financial Information; B Accounting Principles; C Control Statements
2. Financial Accounting: D Preparation of Financial Staements; E Capital (Equity)
3. Financial Reporting and Interpretation: H Interpretation and Analysis; I Company Financing
4. Elements of Managerial Accounting: J Costing Principles and Systems; K Budgeting
A Level (6th Form)
1. All may be examined at A Level
2. Financial Accounting: D Preparation of Financial Statements; E Capital (Equity); F Business Purchase; G Published Company Accounts
3. Financial Reporting and Interpretation: H Interpretation and Analysis; I Company Financing
4. Elements of Managerial Accounting: J Costing Principles and Systems; K Budgeting; L Standard Costing; M Investment Appraisal
In addition to the general ‘A’ Level requirements, a C grade or better passes should be obtained in English and Mathematics. Preference may be given to pupils who study Business Studies at ‘A’ Level and who may have passed IGCSE Accounts already. Considerable mathematical ability will be needed. Although the syllabus assumes no prior knowledge of Accounts, pupils who tackle Accounts must be numerate, logical, consistent hard workers and accurate. If you dislike working with figures then this is not the course for you.
POST ‘A’ LEVEL BENEFITS
These are the same as for Business Studies but with greater emphasis on the Accounting function. This course is invaluable for any progression to a commercial degree and professional accountancy firms express great interest in students with good passes here.
Any business needs owners and bookkeepers! Job opportunities for accountants after training and qualifying are numerous. Knowledge of accounting is useful if you hope to be a successful business man.
The overall pass rate has quite high in recent years with 100% in the year 2014. We intend to maintain this performance.
Head of Department : Accounting
ART AND DESIGN
Art and Design is a mode of expression and communication. It is concerned with visual perception and aesthetic experience, and forms a language in addition to those used by literary, mathematical, scientific and factually based subjects.
A-level Art and Design involves a considerable amount of coursework. At present the area of study which we undertake is Painting and Related Media. In this course drawing and painting feature prominently, covering a wide spectrum of media and techniques. Printmaking, basic design, and sculpture are also introduced into the course.
Pupils are encouraged to make well-founded assessments of their own and other artworks. Direct contact with art and artists in Zimbabwe is of particular importance, resulting in meaningful visits to local galleries, artists' studios and workshops.
In the Fifth Form assessment is made on both the coursework and a controlled test (timed exam). In the Sixth :Form there is no controlled test but two areas of study have to be undertaken: practical coursework and personal studies, where individual in-depth investigations are made of the work of influential artists and craftsmen in Zimbabwe.
The preferred requirement for A Level is a B grade pass at IGCSE.
We hope to make the course an enjoyable and discovering experience for anyone who joins us.
Head of Department (Acting) : Art and Design
Biology has remained the most popular pure science studied at ‘A’ Level in the school. The department boasts splendid state of the art laboratories.
The syllabus builds upon the concepts covered at IGCSE, although in more detail and with greater emphasis on application than memory. Practical work assumes greater significance now, with an additional Planning, Analysis and Evaluation paper, in addition to the traditional Practical paper. The syllabus is divided into two sections, the Advanced Subsidiary ‘AS’ and the Advanced level A2. In the Fifth Form, pupils complete the AS syllabus. In the Sixth Form year pupils study the A2 Syllabus. Examinations are taken at the end of A2 and these are aimed at pupils wishing to major in the sciences at tertiary level.
In addition to the general ‘A’ Level requirements, ideally, “A” grade passes should be obtained in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics at IGCSE. Certainly a candidate with no background in chemistry will struggle with this subject. Those who opt to study the subject together with Chemistry and Maths will be better prepared to pursue Life Sciences at tertiary level.
POST ‘A’ LEVEL BENEFITS
Successful completion of the course assists pupils in embarking on careers in Agriculture, Conservation, Dentistry, Food Science, Horticulture, Medicine, Microbiology, Pharmacy, and Radiography.
Results have fluctuated with the wide range of abilities of pupils attempting this subject in recent years. The pass rate has ranged from 82% to 100%.
Head of Department : Biology
AS Level (5th Form)
1. Business and its environment: Enterprise; Business Structure; Size of business; Business objectives; Stakeholders in a business
2. People in organisations: Management and leadership; Motivation; Human resource management
3. Marketing: What is Marketing? Market research; The marketing mix
4. Operations and project management: The nature of operations; Operations planning; Inventory management
5. Finance and accounting: The need for business finance; Sources of finance; Forecasting cash flows and managing working capital; Costs; Accounting fundamentals
6. Strategic management: No topics at AS level
A Level (A2) 6th Form
1. Business and its environment: Business structure; Size of business; Enternal influences on business activity
2. People in organisations: Human resource management' Organisation structure; Business Communication
3. Marketing: Marketing planning; Globalisation and international marketing
4. Operations and project management: Operations planning; Capacity utilisation; Lean production and quality management; Project management
5. Finance and accounting: Costs; Budgets; Contents of published accounts; Analysis of published accounts; Investment appraisal
6. Strategic management: What is strategic management? Strategic analysis; Strategic choice; Strategic implementation
In addition to general ‘A’ Level requirements, B grade or better passes are preferred in English and Mathematics. A pass in Business Studies at IGCSE is useful background.
PREFERABLE ‘A’ LEVEL SUBJECT SELECTIONS
Along with Business Studies it can be an advantage to study Mathematics and Accounting.
However, it goes well with any A Level subject.
POST ‘A’ LEVEL BENEFITS
Material taught in this course is a useful grounding for various B. Comm degrees, where post IGCSE Mathematics is also invariably required. Although not a prerequisite, pupils may start these type of degrees with an advantage having studied Business Studies. Professional commercial diplomas (such as CIS, CIMAand ACCA) include much of the material studied broadly in Business Studies.
Pupils with a pass in this subject make useful management trainees and will have a good basic knowledge from which they can build their own businesses in entrepreneurial fashion.
Results have steadily improved in recent years with the overall percentage pass rate of 98% in 2014.
Head of Department : Business Studies
Chemistry at A level is challenging but also very exciting for those who have a genuine interest in science. The course is designed to set a sound platform for the study of Pure Chemistry and related subjects at University. Chemistry is a requirement for those wishing to study Medicine, Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Dietetics, Chemical engineering, Veterinary Science and many other areas.
THE SYLLABUS AND EXAMINATIONS
At Peterhouse we are following the Cambridge syllabus, which is divided into two parts AS Level (which is examined in the fifth form) and the A2 level (examined in Sixth Form).
CIE has made changes to both AS and A2 syllabus for exams to be taken from 2016 onwards. More topics have been incorporated into the AS syllabus while some A2 topics have been replaced by new ones. This makes the subject more interesting and better prepared the pupils for the real world. We have welcomed these changes and believe that they are a step in the right direction for the development of the subject.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS / SUBJECT COMBINATIONS
Pupils may enroll for A level Chemistry with an “A” grade in IGCSE Chemistry and Mathematics. Pupils with B grades in either or both subjects will be considered if there are available places, and if their IGCSE class teacher approves.
Chemistry being a pure science is best combined with other pure sciences especially Physics and Mathematics.
There is much new material to be learnt in ‘A’ Level Chemistry and hence no one can hope to do well without some hard work. We recommend an hour of study per day outside lesson time each weekday as a general guideline for those aiming for top grades. We aim and usually manage to finish the syllabus by mid-June, just before the mid-year exams, which gives us much time for revision.
Head of Department : Chemistry
GENERAL DEPARTMENTAL INFORMATION
The Department runs one class per year at ‘A’ Level. We have some of the most up-to-date facility available at schools in Zimbabwe, allowing our pupils to benefit from the technology on offer. Pupils are required to write the AS Applied ICT examination in Vth form and AS/A2 examinations in VIth form if they pass. Pupils who fail the AS examination are required to rewrite the examination in May/June of their VIth form year. Pupils who fail again will not be allowed to write A2 examinations. The department is equipped with 100 computers in four networked IT rooms. We are also connected to the Internet so that pupils can gather electronic resources from the World Wide Web.
Applied Information and communication Technology (ICT) equips pupils with the IT skills needed in both IT-related careers and other professional fields. Some Universities require A Level Mathematics for admission to study Computer Science. Pupils are therefore advised to study A Level Mathematics if they plan to study Computer Science or Information Systems at University.
An A or a B grade is preferred in IGCSE ICT or Computer Studies. A pass in Mathematics is vital, and passes in any science or commercial subjects are also desirable.
Pupils with good grades in Mathematics and who havedone well in ICDL will be considered for Applied ICT. A general requirement is a passion for IT.
POST “A” LEVEL
Applied ICT will provide a good foundation for further studies in Information Systems / Computer Science and most university courses have an IT component.
The syllabus encourages students to become effective and discerning users of ICT. It helps them to develop a broad range of ICT skills, knowledge and understanding.
Students gain an understanding of the structure and use of ICT systems within a wide range of organizations, including the use of a variety of computer networks. As a result, students learn about ICT systems life cycles and how these affect the workplace. They also gain an understanding of the wider impact of ICT on society. Having your own laptop at school, with a reasonably fast processor (Dual Core recommended) and large memory (2GB RAM) will be a distinct advantage.
Pupils should also be aware that although Applied ICT is a recognized subject world-wide, at this time South Africa does not have it on its list of prescribed subjects. A pupil wishing to further their education in South Africa would need to rely on their other subjects for admission. Although once past the hurdle, individual faculties do take the subject into account.
Head of Department : (IT academic)
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY
The number of pupils taking this subject average around twenty per year and is shared between two teachers. This enables the staff to give individual guidance to pupils taking the subject. The course of study in the first year culminates in AS qualification to successful candidates. This will be extended to A Level qualification in their second year. Design and Technology is a complementary subject to Mathematics, Physics, Geography, Art and Design as AS and A Levels.
Pupils who opt for this subject will develop and sustain their own innovation, creativity, entrepreneurial skills, critical analysis and appreciation of responsible design. Holders of IGCSE Design and Technology, and those pupils with a sound background in Art, Mathematics and Science will certainly enjoy a distinct advantage. It is essential that the pupils who choose to do the subject develop the ability to communicate clearly through drawing.
During the first year, pupils will be expected to cover the core content that includes exposure to modern technologies and the use of computers in industry. Pupils will also use Computer Aided Design programmes to generate drawings, and spend time in the workshops acquiring experience and skills inn working with a variety of resistant materials. This will prepare pupils for one written examination paper and a coursework project which culminates in the production of a model in order to get an AS qualification.
In the second year, pupils will specialise in either Graphic Products or Product Design in preparation for A Level examinations. They will also undertake a coursework project in an area of interest that should coincide with their chosen specialisation.
The course offers much opportunity to experience and understand industrial practices and utilise critical evaluation skills relevant to technical, environmental and social issues. Some pupils may use their Design Portfolios to help in gaining admission into Design courses at Colleges and Universities.
POST ‘A’ LEVEL PROSPECTS AND USES FOR THE SUBJECT
The subject meets the needs of pupils ranging from those who are perhaps not yet sure about their specialist areas and those who wish to enter Interior, Graphic, Architectural, Product or Industrial Design. It will also be useful in any of the Engineering fields
Head of Department : Design and Technology
The Department has a team of qualified and experienced teachers for the subject, and there are excellent resources in terms of textbooks. The school library houses DVDs, videos and reference books on a number of topics, and the department itself is building up a similar resource base.
OUTLINE OF THE SYLLABUS
The course encourages an academic approach to the study of religion, and is divided into two main sections. Firstly the Prophets of the old Testament (pre-canonical and pre-exilic prophets), and secondly the four gospels. The course also expects the pupil to apply their knowledge to real life situations in the world today. Pupils will write the AS examination at the end of V Form, before proceeding to A level the following year.
Pupils should have obtained B grade IGCSE passes in both Religious Studies and English Language. We recommend that Divinity is studied with other humanities subjects such as History or Geography, and also English Literature.
POST A LEVEL PROSPECTS
As with most A levels, Divinity can be used as one of the required A levels for entry into further study in most disciplines, but perhaps more specifically in Teaching, Business, Law and Politics.
The pass rate for 2014 was 100%.
In Divinity the pupil is expected to develop skills in critical interpretation, evaluation and analysis. There is also a lot of reading, writing and debating in the subject. It is not necessary for a pupil to have or practice a religious faith, but must have an open and literal approach to matters of religious sensibilities.
Head of Department (Acting) : Divinity
A-Level English is a Literature course. Language is not formally studied but good style and clear expression are needed and Language errors are corrected in essay work. We study eight texts ranging from Shakespeare up to the twentieth century.
Candidates write four papers, two (papers 3 & 4) at AS level in V Form and two (papers 5 & 6) in VI form at A2 level. The choice of texts covers all three literary genres: drama, poetry and prose. Texts range from reasonably easy to difficult.
HOW DO YOU QUALIFY?
The English Department accepts most candidates who wish to study A-Level English. A pass in Language is essential, and literature must have been studied to an acceptable level. If you do not enjoy reading or if you find writing difficult, do not attempt this course.
WHAT OTHER SUBJECTS SHOULD YOU CHOOSE?
Almost anything. English will help you with most other subjects where copious notes are needed – one’s expression improves and insight and perception are developed.
WHAT CAN YOU DO WITH AN A-LEVEL ENGLISH PASS?
With one or two other subjects it gains one entry into University. It is useful in any general Bachelor of Arts course and is crucial for LAW and very helpful in ACCOUNTS or JOURNALISM – TEACHING, too.
WHAT ARE THE RESULTS LIKE?
Results have been very good over many years at Peterhouse with 100% pass rate most years. However, it is very difficult to attain A grades. Only the very best candidates do so.
If you are thinking of choosing English you should enjoy reading, writing and participating in class discussion. There is nothing worse than a candidate who never says a word. It is an exciting course with some lovely books and will instil a love of Literature which should give you pleasure all your life.
C D Zaayman
Head of Department : English
GATEWAY TO THE WORLD
With the rapid development in the world it is important to be able to communicate in many languages, so as to be functional in a modern society. French gives you access to the Francophone world. It broadens your career opportunities. Access to careers in the Hotel Industry, Travel and Tourism, the United Nations, the banking sector, IMF, ADB, and Medecins Sans Frontieres become easier if one has studied French.
COMPATABILITY WITH OTHER SUBJECTS
For a pupil who is clearly “Arts” inclined the choice of French as a partner to, say, English and History is obvious. Some sixth form pupils have discovered that French is an invaluable source of supplementary materials forthose doing Literature in English. With the introduction of Travel and Tourism in the B Block, 5th and 6th Form French becomes an obvious choice to compliment the subject. Similarly French compliments Business Studies to enable one to work in both English and Francophone environments. Courses such as Certificate in French will be introduced to complement the Travel and Tourism course that is on offer at Peterhouse at the moment, which will be a useful tool
for the hospitality industry.
AS FRENCH LANGUAGE
In addition to A level, AS French Language is offered over a period of two years (8 periods per week). This will enable you to excel at your career of choice because you will have the added advantage of speaking a foreign language. In addition to this, the DEFL and DALF (French Language Diplomas) will be offered over the two year period.
Those pupils who love French but want to do Sciences can also take up AS French Language course over two years, perhaps as a fourth subject. Pupils studying History and English are encouraged to do the AS French Language course as it will help them in their career later on in life.
More than 200 million people speak French on the 5 continents. French is the only language other than English that is taught in every country. Speaking French also opens up study opportunities at renowned French Universities and Business schools.
L S Mudiwa
Head Of Department : French
GENERAL DEPARTMENTAL INFORMATION
The department has four classes per year at ‘A’ level. These classes are not necessarily concurrent and pupils may opt for the subject in different combinations. Our basic textbook is good but inadequate on its own, and independent research is encouraged. The Internet should be widely used for this purpose.
The ‘A’ level Geography is very contemporary. It occupies a pivotal position in the understanding and interpretation of social, economic, political and environmental conditions and change, from micro, to local, to national, to regional, to international scale, with a good historical perspective. It stresses the complex and varied interactions between man and his environment, and the management of this impact to achieve sustainable development.
Candidates follow the AS syllabus in Fifth Form which consists of core topics in both Physical and Human Geography and their interrelationship. The AS examination is written at the end of Vth Form. The ‘A2’ syllabus is advanced topics of a similar nature studied in Sixth Form, and our candidates write this component at the end of VIth Form.
An A or a B grade at IGCSE is preferred and pupils should have a pass in Mathematics and a B grade or better in English Language.
POST ‘A’ LEVEL PROSPECTS
As a subject on its own Geography does not lead directly to career options, unless one considers the academic field. However, the real benefit of the subject is its opening to a variety of careers in the natural and human sciences. Past pupils have found it useful in their careers in environmental
management, ecology, geology, rural and urban planning, horticulture, tourism, and of course, teaching. All in it is a useful and flexible subject.
Have generally been good, despite the subject sometimes being chosen by academically weaker pupils. Having said that, high grades are possible even for a candidate starting the subject with only a “C” grade at IGCSE, but obviously this is harder work!
It must be appreciated that the subject matter covered is very wide, and it is expected that the pupil applies him or herself in independent study.
Thought and analysis comes from the pupil through additional reading, use of I.T. and videos and through discussion. It is not teacher-centred but pupil-centred. It is also expected that pupils participate fully in various field trips which are organized from time to time. It is by no means an “easy option”!
C R Tswatswa
Head of Department : Geography
GENERAL DEPARTMENT INFORMATION
Currently there are three experienced and dedicated teachers taking the two AS and two A2 classes.
OUTLINE OF THE SYLLABUS (The Origins and Development of the Cold War, 1941-1950)
The new syllabus commenced in 2014 and pupils no longer sit for three hour exams.
Pupils set two papers on European History Syllabus (9389) of 1 hour and 1 hour 30 minutes duration at AS Level. The two Options are, Component 1: The Search for International Peace and Security, 1919-1945 and Component 2: Modern Europe, 1789-1917. At Advanced Level the pupils do two papers which are Component 3: The Origins and Development of The Cold War, 1941-1950 and Component 4: Europe of the Dictators. The pupils write 2 Papers of an hour and 1 hour 30 minutes.
In addition to the general ‘A’ level requirements, B grade or better passes are preferred in both History and English Language at IGCSE level.
PREFERABLE ‘A’ LEVEL SUBJECT SELECTIONS
Along with History it is useful to study English and any other ‘Arts’ or ‘Business’ subject. A useful third choice for pupils is Geography or Divinity.
POST ‘A’ LEVEL PROSPECTS AND USES FOR THE SUBJECT
The course is beneficial to pupils wishing to take tertiary literal courses such as Education, Law and Business Studies.
We acheived a 100% pass rate in 2013, with 3 pupils gaining A* grades. We acheived a 100% pass rate in 2014 at Advanced Level, with 2 A*s, 5 As, 3 Bs, 4 Cs and 1 E grades.
INFORMATION FOR POTENTIAL PUPILS
This is a course for students who enjoy History. The experience of key figures in history makes interesting studying and often offers lessons in modern life. This course does however demand serious commitment with at least one essay per week being written and considerable reading being essential.
Head of Department : History
While it is true that Mathematics is required for many disciplines these days, it is not true that all students are capable of the insight and algebraic manipulation which are required at this level.
The basic requirement to begin an ‘A’ level course is a grade A at IGCSE. Lesser qualifications (i.e. grade B) may be considered but it has been found that those who were not capable of an A grade at IGCSE find the course increasingly difficult as time goes on and achieve at best a pass with a low grade.
In some cases pupils who opt for Mathematics at A Level are found to be struggling, and are offered the ‘AS’ syllabus over two years. This route is also a good option for those who need Maths purely to meet entry qualifications for tertiary education. All enrolled for the full A level course will write the AS at the end of V Form. Those failing at that stage will not continue to the full A level, but will instead join the final year of the 2-year AS route.
The syllabus that we follow contains four papers – Pure 1, Pure 3, Mechanics 1 and Statistics 1. This gives a good spread of modern elementary mathematics and a good introduction to university mathematics. The AS portion is Pure 1 and Statistics 1.
Regardless of the grade obtained at AS level, pupils will write all four papers in their final sitting as better grades are normally obtained by this route.
Head of Department : Mathematics
Our department currently has two Physical Education teachers, who both read for a degree closely related to the Physical Education as a subject. The two members of staff also teach in other departments; Biology and Geography. In regards to the facilities within the classroom environment , the Physical Education department has two rooms; one of which houses a Smart Board that is used for the teaching of theory. Both members of the department are knowledgeable and enthusiastic about academics and sport; and are involved in sports at a high level.
STYLE OF TEACHING
Our department is continually looking to make effective use of the technology available and as such attempt to use media where appropriate to enhance the learning environment.
Currently, staff will begin with, and see through a class from the start to the end of their A level syllabus. The continuity hopefully brings with it the best possible results for the boys, who have the time to develop a good working relationship with their teacher.
In addition to general V Form entry requirements, a pass in IGCSE Biology is required. A pass at IGCSE Physical Education is not a prerequisite, and indeed we currently have pupils in V Form doing well without IGCSE, but it proves advantageous to have a good grounding in the subject knowledge.
THE AS AND A2 CURRICULUM
The A level syllabus is much harder than that experienced at IGCSE level. Concepts and content are built on from IGCSE however the style of questioning by the examiner requires more analytical reasoning. There is no continuity between the two syllabi; the AS content differing to that of A2.
One should also be aware of the weighting of assessment, with seventy percent of the overall mark obtained from theoretical knowledge, twenty percent from practical activity (in which it helps to be a top performer) and ten percent from written/oral presentations.
TERTIARY EDUCATION PROSPECTS
Those who wish to pursue a career path relating to sports or sports administration will find this subject useful. Some universities, now actually have Physical Education as a prerequisite to enter a chosen degree. Sports science, Physiotherapy, Occupational Therapy, Nursing are areas where this subject is likely to prove useful. Pupils should also be aware that although Physical Education is a recognized subject world-wide, however, at this time South Africa does not have it on its list of prescribed subjects. This does not mean that you could not gain entry to a university but are likely to only be entered into a specific area that relates to Physical Education.
Head of Department – Physical Education
Physics naturally blends with all science subjects. It is strongly recommended at ‘A’ Level for the career minded in the Industrial Sciences. Pupils who have the skills and interest to spend some time experimenting, formulating hypotheses, applying computing skills and solving problems should consider Physics. It is not a purely abstract subject, but has many practical applications. It is an important subject today due to our reliance on technology. It is research in Physics that has led to the development of these technologies. The world would be a very different place if previous generations of physicists had not developed computers, fibre optics and satellites!
In addition to the traditional topics in Physics, Peterhouse offers such fascinating applications as Medical Physics which includes various imaging techniques and other diagnostic methods, Electronics and Telecommunications (including cellular technology), all of which are important in the technological revolution.
An A or B grade in Physics or an A grade in Physical Science is required. Only pupils intending to study post IGCSE Mathematics will be allowed to study Physics as it has a large Mathematical component. In addition an interest in Physics and a high degree of commitment are essential to cope with the demands of a rigorous approach to practicals and problem solving processes.
STRENGTHS OF THE DEPARTMENT
The Physics Department is well equipped to meet the demands of the latest syllabus including access to the Information Technology laboratory. It boasts two new laboratories and new equipment especially in Electricity, Magnetism and Electronics. It has achieved commendable results in recent years with the pass rate remaining over 80% for the past seven years, reaching 100% on two occasions.
‘A’ Level Physics provides a foundation for further studies in numerous fields such as Architecture, Engineering, Medicine, Research and Education. An increasing number of Physicists have entered careers in Agriculture, Astronomy, Crime Detection, Defence Industries, Electronics, Instrumentation, Mining, Telecommunications and many more.
Head of Department : Physics
TRAVEL AND TOURISM
The syllabus, completed over two years, comprises three papers and a coursework project. Being a practical subject a number of case studies are included, involving outside visits to tourism establishments and visiting guest speakers. This provides an interesting aspect to the course and assists with overall perception of the industry.
The coursework project is on Event management. This involves the class working as a team to plan and stage a live event. Wide use is made of the Internet to keep abreast of changes in the fast growing industry, and to research case-studies.
An IGCSE pass in English Language is necessary, and prior knowledge of Business Studies and Geography are advantageous. A pass in Travel and Tourism at IGCSE would be an advantage.
POST QUALIFICATION PROSPECTS
The tourism industry globally is gaining popularity every year and currently contributes approximately ten percent of global GDP. As such, opportunities in the industry are excellent and varied. Alternatively, students may opt for a business related university degree, specialising in event management or hospitality. For example, some former pupils are now working as event managers for FIFA, having completed their degree programmes.
Previous results have been good, with more and more pupils going on to attend international hotel and catering colleges and universities. Generally those students who are less academic cope very well with the syllabus content and achieve good passes.
This subject is a very practical and excellent option for those considering a career in the tourism or related industries, such as wildlife or hospitality. It gives pupils broad insight into the industry with field trips, lectures from industry professionals and interesting subject matter. Pupils should also be aware that although Travel & Tourism is a recognized subject world-wide, at this time South Africa does not have it on its list of prescribed subjects. A pupil wishing to further their education in South Africa would need to rely on their other two subjects for admission, although having overcome this hurdle, individual faculties do consider the subject.
Head of Department : Travel and Tourism
LEARNER HUNTER/GUIDES LICENCE
Peterhouse offers a course to our Vth Form pupils which carries on into the VIth form year for those who plan to be involved in hunting, guiding, tourism or conservation in Zimbabwe. The course occupies the same amount of time as do the A level subjects. The syllabus covers all the topics required for the National Parks Learner hunter/guides licence. It would suit a pupil who has a love of the bush, wildlife or an interest in Conservation and may be done in conjunction with Travel and Tourism.
SYLLABUS AND EXAMS
There is a lot of practical work – we have a practical session every week and through the year have several bush trips with Professional Hunters and Guides. Pupils will learn skills such as making biltong, camp cooking and mechanics as well as gain a good knowledge of the animals, birds vegetation and habitats of Zimbabwe. We visit a number of wildlife and conservation areas, and spend a lot of time in Gosho Park and Calderwood Park.
We also have practical outings visiting a local farm and Cleveland for firearms, safety and target practice. The pupils are required to do a First Aid course before they can register for their exams. (Some of the above will incur extra cost not included in school fees).
Exams are set by National Parks, and consist of 4 papers – Habits and Habitats, Firearms, Law and a General Paper. The standard is high – the work is not too difficult but there is a large amount of information to cover - pupils will need to put in a considerable amount of hard work to complement their practical knowledge. We also offer the syllabus for the learner Canoe guiding paper which is set by National Parks.
Once these exams have been passed, pupils can apply for a Learner Professional Hunter/guides licence and then work an apprenticeship with a Professional Hunter or Guide to gain the experience needed for the final Proficiency test with National Parks. Obviously a pupil who has studied for these exams would be in a very good position to apply for an apprenticeship, have a good background knowledge of the bush and have a good idea of what is involved in the industry. Should a pupil wish to go on to university, 2 relevant A level subjects must be passed to gain university entrance. One of our past pupils has started a course in Game Management at university in South Africa leading to a Diploma. This can be converted to a degree in Game Management with one more year of study.
Anyone wanting to go into Ecology or research or work in Conservation in Zimbabwe would benefit from the background this course gives and the LHG course ties in well with Travel and Tourism, Geography and Biology.
(Conservation Officer, Peterhouse group)
THE ‘A’ LEVEL TIMETABLE
In general, pupils will write three A levels at the end of Sixth Form. Ahead of this pupils write AS levels in their subjects at the end of Vth Form. This gives the pupils something definite to aim for in the Vth Form, and should they attain a high grade, this mark can be carried forward to A level the following year. The subject combinations for 2015 are as follows, and a pupil will be required to choose one subject out of each of three of the first four columns.
|Column 1||Column 2||Column 3||Column 4||Column 5|
Please note that A Level Physical Education, A level applied ICT and A level Travel and Tourism are not on the South African Universities prescribed list of subjects, so a pupil opting for one of these subject and intending to continue their education there will rely on their other two subjects to gain entry. However, once basic entry to South African Universities has been gained, individual faculties do recognize the above qualifications. The subjects are fully acceptable elsewhere in the world.
In addition to the major subjects shown above, all pupils will study either English Language or Global Perspectives in Column 5 to AS level at the end of V Form.
Subject choices will be made at the start of Michaelmas Term 2015, but of course are not binding until the IGCSE results are known in January next year. Pupils may not be allowed to choose a subject if there is doubt whether they will reach the specified level at IGCSE.
A P Griggs
Senior Master (Academic)
SUMMARY OF ‘A’ LEVEL SUBJECT REQUIREMENTS
The following is a summary of the requirements of individual ‘A’ Level subjects. These have been decided by the respective Heads of Departments with their experience and knowledge of the various ‘A’ level syllabuses and they are intended to help direct pupils away from subjects they will not cope with and towards those subjects they will perform well in. Clearly flexibility will have to be applied where the IGCSE results of a pupil differ widely from those predicted and where a particular
department is over or under subscribed. These requirements are additional to the basic requirements, stated in the Rector’s Foreword, to qualify for an ‘A’ level place.
ACCOUNTING - B grades in Accounts (if attempted) and Mathematics.
ART - B grade in Art.
BIOLOGY - B grade in Biology, and anotherscience pass is an advantage.
BUSINESS STUDIES - B grades in English Language and Mathematics.
CHEMISTRY - A grade in Chemistry and Mathematics.
COMPUTING - B grade in Mathematics and Computer studies
DESIGN AND TECHNOLOGY - Some experience and interest in Art and Design
DIVINITY - B grade passes in English and Religious studies
ENGLISH - B grade in English Language.
FRENCH - B grade in French.
GEOGRAPHY - Passes in Geography and Mathematics and a B grade in English Language.
HISTORY - B grades in History and English Language.
MATHEMATICS - B grade in Mathematics, or a C grade at EXTENDED IGCSE to take Maths to AS level over two years.
PHYSICAL EDUCATION - B grade in Biology, and a B grade in IGCSE Physical Education is desirable, but not essential
PHYSICS - B grade in Physics or Physical Science. Post IGCSE study in Mathematics.