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Peterhouse Boys

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 AS course in English language, French language or Global Perspectives.
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 support 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 Assessment 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 CAIE – IGCSE. A Block (Form 4) CAIE-IGCSE examinations written by all boys. In the Vth Form 3 or 4 AS level subjects are written. 3 of these are taken on to A level in VIth Form.

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 A level Travel and Tourism classes make a number of visits to resorts both locally and outside the country..

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 areas of Gosho Park and Calderwood Park provide 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 parks. 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 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 once a fortnight 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. Age appropriate careers related topics are discussed in our life-Skills programme, and in addition in the Upper School the pupils are encouraged to find for themselves the most suitable courses in their chosen areas, assisted by frequent visits and talks from universities and employers.
In addition, help is given in the completion of Application Forms for Universities and other further education centres.

The Alpha Programme

Academic – ALPHA (Academic Learning, Progress and Higher Achievement) programme

The Peterhouse Group ALPHA programme is a holistic approach to the academic education of pupils at all levels and of all academic abilities which ensures that they receive the support, encouragement and guidance they need to reach their full potential.

Specifically the ALPHA programme means that:

i. the setting/streaming of pupils is carefully managed (lower sets/streams are usually smaller in size);

ii. the academic curriculum is as flexible as possible e.g. pupils at PHB/PHG are able to follow an appropriate course of IGCSE/A levels;

iii. pupils’ aptitudes at PHB/PHG are identified via objective testing i.e. CAT4 tests in C Block;

iv. extra tuition/academic support is given to pupils as/when necessary at PHB/PHG and in particular to pupils in examination year groups (i.e. A Block, Vth and VIth form);

v. extra lessons are provided at SVH to assist children with their spelling, handwriting, reading, bonds, tables and maths.

vi. at PHB/PHG pupils’ academic progress is carefully monitored via a well-structured academic tutorial system; and

vii. at SVH pupils’ academic progress is carefully monitored by their class teacher.

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Curriculum D & C Block

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

The Department
The Art Department has two full time teachers. There are three Art studios and a Ceramic Room. The staff in the department are very creative and innovative. They encourage the boys to be creative and appreciate Art.

In D and C block the pupil take up Art for half a year. Art is a practical subject and it involves problem solving projects. The Department strives to keep the lessons exciting all the time. 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. By the time the boys reach the end of C Block they would have acquired the basic skills of perception and depiction of shapes. They also learn 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

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Curriculum IGCSE

Core: English Language, English Literature (sets 1-3), Mathematics, Biology, Life-skills



The Accounting department has four experienced teachers, who have been teaching the subject for ten years or more. The subject is taught from four classrooms. Teachers have access to data projectors and smart boards, and the department is well equipped with recommended text books.

Pupils start doing this subject at B Block (form 3). In both B and A Block there are eight lessons per ten day cycle (4 single lessons and two doubles).
The aims of the IGCSE Accounting syllabus are to enable students to develop:
• Knowledge and understanding of the principles and purposes of accounting for individuals, businesses, on-trading organisations and society as a whole
• An understanding of accounting principles, policies, techniques, procedures and terminology
• improved skills of numeracy, literacy, communication, enquiry, presentation and interpretation
• Improved accuracy, orderliness and the ability to think logically
• An excellent foundation for advanced study.

Course Structure
B Block
Lent Term - Accounts and Data
Trinity Term - Accounting Procedures
Michaelmas Term - Financial statements

A Block
Lent Term - Financial Statements
Trinity Term - Analysis and Interpretation
Michaelmas Term - Principles and Policies.

The syllabus provides both a foundation for further study at A Level and an ideal preparation for the world of work.
The course is examined in two papers of equal weighing (Paper 1: Short-answer questions and structured/data response questions and Paper 2: Questions arising from a given case-study).

P Chirombe: Head of Accounting and Business Studies

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Curriculum CIE A Level Prospectus


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; and
• 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; and
• 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 IGCSE 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; and
• 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, Global Perspectives or French Language, all of which are examined at AS level at the end of the 5th form year.

Mr Jon Trafford

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CAMBRIDGE  RESULTS 2021 - received January 2022