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Peterhouse Girls

From the Rector's Desk - 30th July 2020

Thursday 30 July 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,

RE: FROM THE RECTOR’S DESK

School starting at a time when we should be preparing to break up, highlights the topsy–turvy nature of 2020. I hope that the July holiday offered you all an opportunity to take a break from the routines and expectations of Digi–school and online learning. Challenge and uncertainty have, in recent weeks, increasingly become central to our vocabulary. The rapid growth in Covid numbers in the country, and the need to manage this process, both on a micro and macro level, have once again reminded us of the fragility of our ability to execute any long-term planning. Once again, I wish to extend my sincere thanks to the school community for embracing short-notice and rapid change.

After two days, both the online schooling platform, and the online examination process, appear to have run relatively smoothly. It was good to receive feedback on how our online platforms were working during the holiday; we were delighted to hear from independent sources that our platforms were internationally comparable, and that they have been an effective way of delivering the curriculum. We will continue to ensure that we maintain this level of delivery, though there may be external factors over which we have no control. In this light, please be aware that there may be some disruptions to the internet on and around the 31st of July; both PHB and PHG academic heads have sent out messages on how this will be managed in the event of a disruption.

By the time this message reaches you, you will also be aware that long-time Peterhouse champion and supporter of the school, Mr Sam Malaba (Grinham 1974), passed away in Harare after a long illness. Highly regarded as a banker, member of the Executive Committee, the Board of Governors, and Chairman of the Finance Committee, Sam Malaba was a fearless man who, throughout his life, showed incredible courage, leadership, and wisdom. His influence stretches back to his time as a boy at the school. A true, and great gentleman and Petrean, his legacy will be long lasting. We as a community extend our deepest sympathies and condolences to Joyce and the whole Malaba family.

Given the potential length of the Michaelmas Term, please note the following Digi-school term dates in your diary. It is important to note that these dates may be subject to change, should the Ministry of Education make a formal announcement regarding the re-opening of schools.
Beginning of Term 07h30 Tuesday 28 July
First Fixture Free 12h00 Friday 7 August – Sunday 16 August (online schooling recommences at 07h30 Monday 17 August)
Half Term 12h00 Friday 11 September – Sunday 20 September (online schooling recommences at 07h30 Monday 21 September)
Third Fixture Free 12h00 Wednesday 4 November – Tuesday 10 November (online schooling recommences at 07h30 Wednesday 11 November)

For our November public examinations, please note that the latest news from Cambridge International is that the examination cycle will operate “as normal”. In addition, the Association of Trust Schools is working on our behalf with both the Ministry of Education and Cambridge to ensure a smooth and uninterrupted examination process; we will keep parents updated on any new information relating to the public examination process. The school has also made application to be a quarantine centre for pupils returning from outside the country. We have submitted the final documentation to the Ministry of Health for approval, and are awaiting their response.

Lastly, in terms of the annual ATS Common Assessment Paper for Form I entrance in 2021, this assessment will not happen for 2021. Grade 7 applicants will already have received news of this change. Letters of Offer for January 2021 will be distributed by Peterhouse on Friday 14 August.

As I close, there is a hint of a return of warmer weather at Peterhouse today, following a couple of frosty and cold weeks.

With the increase of the Covid contagion in Zimbabwe, please stay safe and healthy.

With warm regards,

Jon Trafford
Rector

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