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Peterhouse Boys


Curriculum CIE A Level

Each year we produce a prospectus for ‘A’ level study to help parents and pupils know exactly what is involved in choosing their subjects. Each Head of Department has written something about his ‘A’ level course, pass rates, qualifications needed and suitable combinations of subjects.

From a timetabling point of view it is important that we know what subjects pupils want to study next year. Please take time to discuss the alternatives with your son or daughter prior to choices being made in the first few weeks of next term.   Clearly some of these choices may be changed when the IGCSE results are known.

When the exam results come, we weight them by giving them the following values:

A*  =  6    A  =  5     B  =  4    C  =  3.

To qualify to write 3 A levels, a pupil should ideally
pass  at  least  6  subjects;
pass  English  Language  as one  of  the  6;
obtain at least 23 points in the best 6 passes, and
have  a  viable  ‘A’  level  package.

It is possible for pupils who do not qualify for 3 ‘A’ levels to take 2 ‘A’ levels and an “AS” examination, but the nature and character of the candidate will be taken into consideration before we offer that opportunity.

Please take some time during the August holidays to read through this prospectus and discuss the options with your son or daughter.

Our Careers Advisor has provided additional information about choice of subjects and advisable combinations, in an address to the pupils during the last week of the Trinity Term.

In addition to the traditional three academic subjects, all pupils in V Form will take AS English Language in November 2013. As well as providing an extra qualification, it also gives the pupils valuable reading, writing and comprehension skills that are useful across the curriculum. Pupils will also take one other subject of a vocational or skills based nature during their V Form year, and further details of these will be provided next term.

You are making a very important choice, one that must benefit your son or daughter. It must suit your son or daughter, even if it does not necessarily suit you! We hope that this prospectus will be helpful to you.

Mr Howard Blackett

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’ or ‘commerce’.   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:
All  medical  fields require chemistry and two other sciences (maths is a science for this purpose)

Engineering  requires mathematics and  physics/chemistry and one other subject

Agriculture prefers biology and chemistry

B Comms require some level of  post  IGCSE  mathematics

BA / B Soc Sci / Humanities degrees  have very few  restrictions.

Architecture 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!!

Miss P A  Mansfield
Careers  Advisor

The Syllabus

A Level Accounting will be examined in the form of two sections.  ‘AS’ is based on the ‘core’ content  and ‘A2’ level on  the ‘extended’ content  with  greater depth  and understanding.   The ‘AS’ course consists of a study of  the accounting system – bookkeeping,  accounting principles and control systems and preparation of different financial statements including the final accounts of sole-traders,  partnerships, limited companies, clubs and societies and departments.   Interpretation and analysis of accounts using ratios as well as costing involving absorption costing and break-even analysis is covered.   The ‘A’ Level course builds on the above as well as more complex company accounts involving capital reconstruction and further ratio analysis.    Budgeting and cash flow statements are also covered.        

Entry Requirements

In addition to the general ‘A’ Level requirements, B 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.   There is some advantage for an Accounts pupil to take Business Studies as well, as there is some overlap between the subjects.   Considerable mathematical ability would also 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.

Past Results
The overall pass rate has quite high in recent years with 100%. 

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 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.

Biology has remained the most popular pure science studied at ‘A’ Level in the school.   The department now boasts splendid state of the art laboratories.

The Syllabus

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 Experiment Design and Application skills paper, in addition to the traditional Practical paper.  The syllabus is divided into two sections, the Advanced Subsidiary ‘AS’ and the Advanced level.   In the Fifth Form, pupils complete eleven core topics.   In the Sixth Form year pupils will proceed with the A2 Syllabus where they study five core topics and five application topics.   Examinations are taken at the end of the Sixth Form year and these are aimed at pupils wishing to major in the  sciences.

Entry Requirements

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 96%.


The Syllabus
In Fifth Form pupils will cover the Business Environment.  Business units, Personnel management, Production, Communication, Leadership and Motivation.   Pupils in particular will develop their ability to think critically and be able to apply some of their knowledge to real business situations and problems.   In Sixth Form pupils will study Sources of finance, Collection of data and presentation, Marketing, Accounting, Interpretation of final Accounts, Budgeting, Costing and Investment appraisal. 

Entry Requirements
In addition to general ‘A’ Level requirements, B grade or better passes should be obtained 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  Accounting and Mathematics.   However, it  goes  well  with  any  A Level  subjects.

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, CIMA and 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.

Past Results
Results  have  steadily  improved  in  recent years  with  the overall  percentage  pass  rate  increasing  to  100%  for  Business Studies  in  2011.

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 covered in the fifth form) and the A2 level (Sixth Form).   Although we cover most of the AS theory work in the Fifth Form, we have not fully prepared them for the practical exam our pupils do not sit for the exam in that year.   They sit for all the five A-Level papers at the end of Sixth Form.   This arrangement has proven to be very successful for us; our pass rate has consistently been above 85%.   The staff in the department are confident that this track record will be maintained in the future.
In 2007 CIE  changed the exam format slightly so as to incorporate more sections, which require application of  knowledge rather than just recall of  facts.   This makes the subject more interesting and better prepares 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 enrol 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.


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.  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.

The Syllabus
In 2013, the department will be introducing A Level Applied Information and communication Technology (ICT) for examination in 2014. Applied ICT will equip 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. The department will continue to offer ICDL to all interested Vth form pupils.

Entry Qualifications
An A or a B grade is required 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 have done well in ICDL will be considered for Applied ICT. A general requirement is a passion for IT.

Post ‘A’ Level Benefits
Applied ICT will provide a good foundation for further studies in Information Systems / Computer Science and most university courses have an IT component.

General Advice
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.


The number of  pupils taking this subject average around  twelve  per  year  and  this  enables  the  staff  to  give  individual guidance.
During the first year, pupils will cover the core content that includes exposure to modern technologies and the use of computers in industry and as a tool for drawing and research. Basic making skills using a variety of materials will be taught.
In the second year, pupils will specialize in either Graphic Products. They will undertake a coursework project in an area of interest that should coincide with their chosen specialization.

Entry Qualifications
Pupils who opt for this subject will develop and sustain their own innovation, creativity, entrepreneurial skills, critical analysis and appreciation of good  design.   There are no special requirements for entry  into  this  subject,  although  those  who  have taken the subject at IGCSE will initially enjoy a distinct advantage.    It is essential that the pupils develop the ability to communicate clearly through sketching, so those who enjoy Art may have an advantage.

‘A’ Level Selection
Design  Technology  is a complimentary subject to Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry,  Biology, Geography, Business Studies  and Art  at  ‘AS’  or  ‘A’ Level

The assessment for the ‘A’  Level  involves  two  written  examinations  and  one  course work project.   One paper will examine the core, the second, the specialism opted for.  The project  portfolio may be useful in gaining admission to  Design courses at university.

The course offers much opportunity to experience and understand industrial  practices  and  utilize  critical  evaluation  skills  relevant  to   technical, environmental  and  social  issues.

Post ‘A’ level Prospects

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

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.

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 an internal examination at the end of V Form, before proceeding to A level the following year.

Entry Qualifications
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 requires A levels for entry into further study in most disciplines, but perhaps more specifically in Teaching, Business, Law and Politics.

Previous Results

2012 is the first year that the subject will have been examined for a number of years, , but results from the early 1990s were usually 100% pass rates.

General Advice

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.

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, all at the end of the A-Level year.   The choice of texts covers all three  literary  genres:   drama,  poetry  and  prose.   Texts range  from  reasonably  easy  to difficult.

How Do I 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.  

Any Advice?

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 our life.


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.

Compatibility 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 for those 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 (6 periods per cycle).  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.

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. We have a reasonably well stocked departmental reference library, with another good selection housed in the school library.   Our basic textbook is good but inadequate on its own.

The Syllabus
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  ‘A2’ syllabus is advanced topics of a similar nature studied in Sixth Form, and we encourage our candidates to write both components at the end of VI Form.

Entry Qualifications
An A or a B grade at IGCSE  is required, while it is preferred that 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.

Previous Results
These 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!

General Advice

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”!

There will probably be two classes in V Form, studying  European  History.   In VI form they move on to a choice of African History or the Cold War.

The Syllabus 
Pupils will sit for two papers; European History 1789 to1939 (which is compulsory) and either History of Tropical Africa 1855 to 1914, or the Cold War.   In the first paper we focus on the key developments that shaped European history beginning with the French revolution and continuing up to 1939 (rise of dictators).   The second paper covers either a period of rapid change in African history, or the Cold War since 1945.

Entry Requirements
In addition to the general ‘A’ level requirements,  B grade or better passes should be obtained 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

The course is beneficial to pupils wishing to take tertiary literal courses such as Education,  Law  and  Business Studies.

Previous Results

We  achieved a 100% pass rate in 2011, with 5 pupils gaining “A*” grades.
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.


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.

AS Level
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.

A  Level
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.

The Syllabus
The syllabus builds on concepts covered at IGCSE level, covering them in greater depth and puts more emphasis on theory rather than the practical aspect of Physical Education. Four components are completed in each of the two years of the course. One component per year is practical coursework based on the pupil’s two chosen sports. Assessment is based both on the coursework and two written examinations.

Entry Requirements
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 the IGCSE, but it would be an advantage.

Tertiary Education Prospects
This would be a useful subject for anyone wishing to study Sports Science or Physiotherapy at University. It also exposes pupils to skills needed for the coaching and administration of sport.


Pupils should also be aware that although Physical Education 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.

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!

The Course

In addition to the traditional topics in Physics, Peterhouse offers such fascinating applications as Medical Physics, Electronics and Telecommunications (including cellular technology), all of which are important in the technological revolution.

IGCSE  Requirements
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.

Career Prospects

‘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.


The Syllabus
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.

Entry Qualifications
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.

Previous Results
Previous results have been good (100% last year for the AS course) 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.

General Advice
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.


Peterhouse offers a course to our V Form pupils who plan to be involved in the hunting, guiding or tourism industry in Zimbabwe.  The course occupies the same amount of time on the timetable as do A level subjects. It covers the syllabus required to write the learner Professional Hunter / Guiding exams set by National Parks.
It would suit the sort of pupil who has a love of the bush and wildlife, and is looking for an alternative to normal mainstream tertiary education.

Syllabus and Exams

There is a lot of practical work required involving bush trips. Places that we have visited this year include the Save conservancy, Nyakasanga, the Snake Park, Kuimba Shiri, Imire, Gonarezhou, Chivero  and Rifa camp and we have spent a lot of time in Gosho Park. There are also two practical outings involving the use of firearms, safety and target practice. All pupils  attend the ‘Short course’ revision week at Bolton Atlantica near Chivero about a month before the exams are written – this is in the August holidays. (Some of the above will incur an extra cost, not included in normal school fee payments)

Exams are set every February and September by National parks, and our pupils would write  in the September of the VI form year. The exam consists of 4 papers: Habits and Habitats, Firearms, Law and a General paper. The standard is high and pupils would need to put in a considerable amount of hard work to complement their practical knowledge. If all exams are passed in September, then time would be spent in preparation for the Canoe paper which is also set by National Parks.

Career Path

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 / Guide to gain the experience needed for the final proficiency test. Obviously a pupil who has studied for these exams would be in a better position to apply for an apprenticeship than someone who has no background. However a pupil taking this option would only be able to do two other A level subjects so if they intend to go on to university both of the other A level would count to gain entry into University, as the Learner Hunter / Guide certification is not considered as an academic qualification. The course ties in well with Travel and Tourism, Geography and Biology.


In general, pupils will write three A levels at the end of Sixth Form.   In most subjects pupils do not write AS at the end of Fifth Form, as they invariably do not do so well. Exceptions to this are in Art, Physical Education and Mathematics.   Individual cases in other subjects will be considered on their merits, if parents make a specific request, during the first term of V Form.
The subject combinations for 2013 are as follows, and a pupil will be required to choose one subject out of each of three of the four columns.

Column1 Column2 Column3 Column4
History Business Studies Business Studies Accounting
Maths French Chemistry Art
Travel & Tourism Geography Design & Technology Biology
Physical Education English Applied ICT
Learner Hunter Guide Physics Geography Divinty

Please note that AS Level Physical Education and A level Travel and Tourism are not on the South African Universities prescribed list of subjects, so a pupil opting for the subject and intending to continue their education there will rely on their other two subjects to gain entry. They are however fully acceptable elsewhere in the world.

In addition to the major subjects shown above, all pupils will study English Language to AS level at the end of V Form,, and a pupil will be required to study one other subject in V form in order to develop vocational skills, or their skills in critical thinking and problem solving, vital tools in both further education and the world beyond. Further details of this will be made available later in the year.
Subject choices will be made during the first few weeks of next term, but of course are not binding until the IGCSE results are known. 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)


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 another science 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.
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.