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Peterhouse Girls

From the Rector's Desk - 26th June 2020

Thursday 25 June

Dear Parents and Guardians,



Subsequent to our half-term break, events with respect to term dates for the rest of 2020 have unfolded quickly. It is now common knowledge that the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education have announced a return to school, on 28 July, for those pupils writing public examinations in November 2020.

As a Group of Schools we have had exhaustive conversations with both Ministries of Education and Health on our return to school. Equally, we have been working closely with the Association of Trust Schools (ATS) with regard to guidance on the matter. Adjunct to this, we also appreciate the importance of our examination classes being able to write their ‘mock examinations’ in good time, and so fulfil registration deadlines with Cambridge International. Consequently, we have taken the decision to cease online teaching after lessons on Friday 3 July, until the re-opening of schools on Tuesday 28 July. This break from teaching, although earlier than we had anticipated, will allow both staff and pupils to consolidate and prepare for the second half of the academic year.

The information that we currently have calls for a phased return of pupils to school.
Our public examination classes (A Level; AS Level and IGCSE) will return to school on Monday 27 July, in preparation for the start of their ‘mock examinations’ on Tuesday 28 July.
For Peterhouse candidates resident outside Zimbabwe, the school is currently exploring ways of establishing convenient examination venues.
For the rest of the school, online learning will continue from 28 July.

The information that we have to hand provides the following dates for pupils to return to school:
Mon 27 July PHB/PHG Examination Classes (A, AS, and IGCSE candidates) SVH; Grade 7
Mon 17 August PHB/PHG Form 3 (B Block) SVH; Grade 6
Mon 7 September PHB/PHG Form 1 and 2 (C and D Block) SVH; Grades 3/4/5
Mon 28 September SVH; Grades 1/2
Nursery School

We are very conscious of the fact that the timing of this announcement provides short notice of an adjustment to our 2020 teaching timetable. We have explored a number of term date options, appreciating that the current Covid 19 environment makes forward planning very much a moving target. Our decision to have a break from the online classroom on the 3rd of July is premised on the best possible option for our schools now. We do appreciate that this decision, coupled with such short notice, puts pressure on families.

To our public examination classes (A, AS, and IGCSE candidates), please note that the ‘mock examinations’ will begin on 28 July, and end on 7 August. An examination timetable will be distributed in good time for your preparation plans.

Normally there would be a structured lead-in to Mock exams where pupils would be in class, but this will not be possible on this occasion. Please encourage exam candidates to take their revision very seriously over the ‘holiday’ period, as the Mock exams are important in finalising November examination entries at all levels, and also in providing accurate predictions for university applications for our VIth Form.

More detail on the mechanics of the return to school will be circulated in due course. We are due a Ministry of Health inspection on Friday 26 June; this is a statutory requirement for schools.

In terms of reporting, there will be no ‘end-of-term’ reports in July, given that we have just completed a Mid-Term Mark Order. Nevertheless, the examination classes will receive a report following their ‘mock examinations’; for the rest, there will be a Mid-Term Mark Order, and end-of-year report.

Obviously, for our out-of-country parents, cross-border movement continues to be restricted, and given the spike in Covid cases, linked to cross border traffic, this restriction is likely to remain in place. Nonetheless, we are very conscious of our responsibilities to our community, and will continue to seek ways in which we can ensure that no-one is disadvantaged by not being able to return to school.

Please stay healthy and safe.

With warm regards,

Jon Trafford