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Peterhouse Girls

From the Rector's Desk - Term Dates

Thursday 3 September 2020

Dear Parents and Guardians,


Following the announcement by cabinet on Tuesday 1 September, that schools writing Cambridge examinations are to re-open on 14 September, some adjustments to our term calendar are now necessary.

Please note the following:

- The Digi-school half-term break will now commence after lessons (12h20) on Friday 4 September.

- Candidates writing IGCSE, AS, and A2 examinations, will return to school on Monday 14 September – the finer details for this return will be circulated to parents as soon as the Ministry of Primary and Secondary Education has published the Statutory Instrument for the re-opening of schools.

- Digi-school for D, C, and B Block, will re-commence at 07h30, Tuesday 15 September.

- The original half-term dates, 11-20 September, will now fall away so as to accommodate the return of public examination classes to school.

- It should be noted that Grade 7 at Springvale House will return on Monday 28 September.

For our out-of-country families, please note that the school has quarantine facilities; these facilities are only available for pupils. In addition, if you are intending to return to Zimbabwe we are required, by the Ministry of Health, to submit all your travel details, with full names, passport number, date and point of entry, for clearance to enter Zimbabwe. Please email these details, as a matter of urgency, to the Secretaries at your respective school by end of day, Monday 7 September. As per the correspondence of 2 September, if you are intending to transfer your examination venue to a centre in your country of residence, you will need to contact and make arrangements with that local examination centre, and then forward those details to the Directors of Studies at Peterhouse Boys and Girls before 15 September.

After five months of e-learning, the prospect of a return of pupils (examination classes) to the school is greatly welcomed and anticipated. Nevertheless, it is important to stress to those returning to school, that the environment they left in March is not the same now. The school has established clear protocols for managing Covid, which includes the wearing of facemasks, social distancing, changed teaching spaces, boarding, and dining hall arrangements, in recognition of, and with respect to, the “new normal” induced by the Covid pandemic. Returning pupils will also be required to come back to school with digital devices they have been using in digi-school.

Equally, it is our intention to “lockdown” the school and restrict, as far as possible, the movement of pupils outside the planned floating/Fixture Free weekends.

- There will be a floating weekend from Friday 2 October to Monday 5 October, and then a Fixture Free from Wednesday 4 November to Tuesday 10 November.

- With this in mind, please note that Saturday 19 September and Saturday 26 September will be teaching days, and consequently those weekends will be closed weekends.

There is much to be done in putting the polish to the final preparations for the 2020 examinations, and staff will have high academic expectations of the pupils returning to the school. As already indicated, the finer details of the actual return of pupils to the school will be circulated early next week.

Over the last fortnight, our debating teams have been hard at work. In the virtual debate against Arundel, our teams enjoyed considerable success, with both Sharonose Mandudzi and Gashirayi Muhwati being recognized for the strength of their performances. This week our debaters were in action against Hellenic; I was fortunate enough to listen into the junior debaters, and was impressed by the strength of their debating skills. In addition, the Gavel Club is looking to establish a link with a club in Canada. Such is the degree to which technology has allowed us to extend our reach, and this is another example of extension work being done by staff to ensure that we capitalise on our e-learning platforms.

It has been a long haul to getting the school re-opened, and I would like to extend my sincere thanks to every Peterhouse family who has walked the path with us over the last six months. Digi-school has served us well, and it has kept our academic programme alive. It has been a very convoluted time for families, and we greatly appreciate and value the work parents have done in support of digi-school; it added a whole new dimension to parenting! Nevertheless, the reality of the success of digi-school rests with the staff, who were thrown out of their comfort zones and expected to adopt a whole new pedagogy; this they did with an amazing appreciation for the needs of their pupils, and in real recognition of the fact that we needed to ensure continuity and stability in our teaching and learning. The journey continues, undoubtedly, with some new twists and turns. We look forward to a strong and positive end to the year.

In closing, thank you for your patience and understanding as we have, in recent weeks, navigated some rather choppy and unpredictable waters.

With warm regards,

Jon Trafford