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Peterhouse Boys

Newsletter

Thursday 3 June 2021

Dear Parents and Guardians,

RE: FROM THE RECTOR’S DESK

During the latter part of 2020 there was much debate around what 2021 might look like, and true to form, the first part of this year can best be described as, ‘bizarre’. At Peterhouse, the dust is now starting to settle after what has been an extra-ordinary term. In time, I suspect the historians will write that it was a term of many surprises, twists, and turns; with these came high levels of unpredictability, stress, and anxiety. The capacities of every member of our community have been stretched, and to this end, I would like to pay tribute to the pupils, staff, and parent body, for your understanding, support, and willingness to embrace the complexities of managing the school this term. There have been some tough decisions, and educationally, we know that we have been extended beyond the normal. In addition, the Group’s Executive Committee have, in the background, been tremendously supportive in helping us navigate turbulent seas.

Notwithstanding this, an enormous amount of academic ground has been covered over the last 21 weeks. In conversations with staff, there is a sense that we are in a good place, and that, while demanding, the extended term has provided us with a tremendous opportunity for laying a very solid academic foundation for the year. In this term’s reports there is much invaluable advice, and I would ask that this be reflected upon in preparation for the start of the Trinity Term. The threat of a third Covid wave hangs like a shadow over the second half of 2021, and as such, the progress made thus far is critical to ensuring our ongoing academic success. The end of term saw a good number of pupils rewarded for their classroom endeavours. From a Cambridge perspective, the mid-year examinations have gone smoothly, and the last examination will be written on 10 June. We look forward to some encouraging results.

Congratulations to the following boys who qualified for Commendations in the Term Mark Order:

F/VI Charles Moscrop 
P/VI Abilio Bulha Antunes 
P/VI Hritik Kala 
F/A Malvern Donga 
F/A TJ Gwaziwa 
F/A Takunda Mhete 
F/A Stephen Molife
F/A Tanaka Mutandwa
P/A Liam Kirkman
G/B Will Kunatsa
F/C Anoshamisa-I Chisenga
F/C Takudzwa Dhafana
S/C David Weller

While the competitive sports programme has been severely curtailed, we have enjoyed some activity. Sports Day provided an excellent opportunity for individuals to show off their talent, and it was good to see a number of long-standing records broken on the day. Overall, Paget came out on top, completing the day with some excellent form in the relays. In other competitions, Mtandazo Nyashanu came 1st in the 400m event at the Amen Academy Athletics Championships, held recently at the National Sports Stadium.

Recently, our Zimbabwean Rowers enjoyed a highly successful trip to compete in South Africa. To add to this, Kayla Kalweit, Done Erasmus, and Stacey Dunstan have been selected to represent Zimbabwe at the U19 World Rowing Championships in Bulgaria. James Weller will represent Zimbabwe at the Royal Canadian Henley Regatta in August. Additionally, Lara Weller, Kayleigh Weeks, Danielle Kaschula, and Joel Royston have all been included in the RAZ Junior Development Squad. Similarly, our triathletes continue to excel, and in recent competition, Matthew Palmer (U19) came 4th, George Ascott (U17) came 2nd, and Tyler Steenkamp (U15) also came 2nd. George Ascott has been selected to represent Zimbabwe at the 2021 Africa Triathlon Championships, Sharm El Sheikh, being held in Egypt from the 11th – 13th June.

Congratulations to Steven Saul, Brian Bennett, David Bennett, and Tendekai Mataranyika, who have all been selected for the U19 Zimbabwe Cricket team; they will be preparing for the 2022 ICC Under 19 Cricket World Cup in the West Indies.

Congratulations to Darshan Bhana-Niranjan who finished 3rd overall in the Harare District Fishing Championships. Darshan had qualified for selection for the High School Angling World Championships in the USA, but was ineligible due to his young age.

Over the last three weekends, Mr F de Kock, alongside Outward Bound Zimbabwe (OBZ) Instructors and Housemasters, has run some very successful leadership exercises in Calderwood Park. Designed to extend both cognitive and physical abilities, it was very encouraging to see pupils across the age groups tackle the challenges in such a positive and constructive manner. Perhaps the most striking observation was the amount of banter and laughter associated with the completion of each of the challenges.

Culturally, it has been a rich and remarkable term. A lot of the focus has been on participating in the 2021 NIAA Eisteddfod. Our entries have been highly commended, and at a recent awards ceremony, Peterhouse musicians walked away with no fewer than six trophies. The Peter Bosley Cup for boys’ vocal challenge, and Blythe Kruger Cup for best U18 male singer, was won by Mahlon Muzhiki. The Greta Muir Trophy for best Lieder singer and accompanist duet, went to Charles Moscrop and Mr T Jera. The Sander Trophy for most promising 17–20 year old singer went to Charles Moscrop. The Caledonian Floating Trophy for best Madrigals Choir went to the Peterhouse Senior Madrigals. In addition, the school also received five Honours Grades and six First Plus Awards. To round off what has been an incredibly productive and successful term in the Music School, the combined Schools’ Choir produced outstanding performances at two recent choral Eucharists. Sadly, given Covid regulations, these were enjoyed by small congregations.

The first round of the boys’ Inter-House debating competition took place recently, and the finals next term will be between Founders and Ellis (Juniors), and Founders and Paget (Seniors). Whilst on the topic of debating, congratulations go to Charles Moscrop on being selected to represent Zimbabwe at the World Schools Debating Tournament in late July; Mrs Rutendo Mudiwa will manage the Zimbabwe team.

At Peterhouse Girls, the Inter-House drama competition produced some powerful individual and House performances which made the adjudicator’s task particularly difficult. Congratulations go to Meagan de Kock on being awarded best actress, and to Eland for winning the overall competition.

From an organisational perspective, please note the following two points:

1. Our Cellphone Policies have not changed, and no phones are allowed in D Block, “brick” phones only are permitted for C and B Block, and “Smart” phones are permitted for seniors and A Block. In class, the move is towards the use of laptops, and towards the end of the holiday the school will provide the ideal specifications for laptops should you still need to purchase a device. Our approach to “blended learning” continues to unfold, and with the appointment of Michelle Scott-Elliott as Director of Academic Advancement, this will become more visible.

2. In the later part of the term we experienced a significant rise in the amount of “tuck” finding its way into the school. While appreciating that this may have been a way of compensating for the extended term, please note that it creates real operational problems for House staff.

The upcoming holiday is well deserved. We continue to view the unfolding of the year positively, but remain ever conscious of the influences of the Covid pandemic which will continue to shape decisions. It is our hope that every future decision is made with the best interests, including the safety and well-being, of our Peterhouse community at heart. With an ever widening vaccination safety net, we look forward to a progressive return to educational normality. The Trinity Term will open on Monday 28 June for Staff Development. Pupils will be required to return to school on 29 June.

By the time this letter reaches you, I hope you will have had the opportunity to start catching up with your children. They have shown amazing resilience, and are now well deserving of their June holiday. Please stay safe this holiday.

With best wishes and warm regards,

Jon Trafford
Rector

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