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Petrean Events

Petrean AGM 2022 - Agenda and Link

The Petrean AGM will take place online - Saturday 2nd April 2022 at 1200hrs [Zimbabwe time]
[apologies for the lateness of this link - the mailshot crashed last night]

To join the video meeting, click this link: https://meet.google.com/obv-wyte-hht?pli=1&authuser=2
Otherwise, to join by phone, dial +1 401-592-7095 and enter this PIN: 380 383 695#

A few meeting regulations, which we ask you to adhere to:

  • Please enter the meeting with your microphone on MUTE, and your camera turned ON.
  • Please also enter the meeting with your username as follows: Full name, house and year you left Peterhouse, [i.e. JOE BLOGGS [E92] or [PHG02]
  • This is so that we can recognise you as a Petrean. (any 'unrecognised' participants will not be allowed access to the meeting)
  • There will be a side chat bar, where you may ask questions, which the Chairman will attempt to answer at the end of the meeting.

 

63rd / 64th AGM for the years 2021/2022

PETREAN AGM AGENDA

Saturday 2nd April 2022

Please connect to the meeting with this link -  https://meet.google.com/yfh-rhaa-pmm

  • Welcome - MH
  • Apologies - CG
  • Proposal of 2020 Minutes MH
  • Rectors Report Apologies by the Rector. Note: Report is tabled and taken as read.JGT
    • Chairs Report MH
    • Financial Reports MKB

    • Election of New Offic eBearers:-
      The Petrean Society Standing Committee
President of the Society - The Rector   Jon Trafford Rector
Secretary of the Society - The Development Officer   Corralee Greeff DEVOFF
School Rep - Group Marketing Director   Alison Coetzee PHG 02
 
Chairman of the Society   Matt Hosack E 99
Vice-Chairman of the Society   Stuart Carlisle P 91
Treasurer of the Society   Mukudzei Borerwe P 05
Committee Members
  1 Sarah Brider PHG 07
  2 Andrew Moore; G 07
  3 Gordon Brown S 91
  4 Rich Linnell E 00
New Proposal MH 5 Nyasha Bamhare G 99
New Proposal Tari / MH 6 Isabel Samkange PHG 05
         

 

  • Any other business
  • Meeting Closure

PETREAN AGM

RECTORS REPORT

2 April 2022

It is with considerable pleasure that I welcome you to the 2022 Petrean AGM. At the outset, please accept my apologies for not presenting this report in person. Regrettably, there has been a clash between the Petrean Annual General Meeting and the first 2022 Executive Committee (EXCO) meeting. Subject to the completion of the business of the Executive Committee I hope that I might be available to field questions.

Since the last AGM, held in November 2020, the school has weathered the Covid storm and some rather unusual, official, decisions making. It would be fair to say that 2021 was an extremely challenging year for our school community. This will become evident in this report. With that said, I am pleased to report that the start of 2022 has been better and we are gradually seeing a return to “educational normality” in the country.

At the start of 2022, we find ourselves in a reasonably healthy position with respect to numbers. Despite the impact of Covid and the ongoing economic challenges inherent in living in Zimbabwe, PHB opened the year with 457 boys; PHG with 435 girls and Springvale House with 197 pupils. We continue to remain attractive in the market place and we enjoyed an oversubscription of places for our 2022 intake. Attrition rates remain relatively low, although we are noticing a new trend of VIth Formers writing the June A-Level Examination so that they can gain entry into overseas universities in September.

The Cambridge examination results, for both 2020 and 2021, exceeded our expectations. Obviously, these were written against a background of considerable disruption and constant shifts between online and formal schooling. In broad terms, in 2020, more than half of the academic year was done online. In 2021 this was slightly less. The difference in 2021 was that the academic calendar was mangled and the government’s unwillingness to recognize online learning resulted in the school enduring two exceptionally long terms of over 20 weeks. (Mid-January – June and late July to December). Notwithstanding these disruptions in 2020 and 2021 we achieved the following results:

Examination 2020 % pass 2021% pass
A Level 99 % 100 %
AS Level 95 % 97 %
IGCSE 88 % (PHB) 91 % (PHG) 89 % (PHB) 91 % (PHG)

In reflecting on the public examination results reference is made to the impact of Covid to the school. Obviously, the academic programme was reinforced by the introduction, during lockdowns, of online schooling. While not ideal, the digital classroom did serve its purpose, but sadly, impacted negatively on our commitment to providing a broad holistic education. There can be little doubt that the academic staff have undergone, in the last two years, one of the most significant educational paradigm shifts in recent times. The willingness of the staff to embrace these disruptions and changes has been quite remarkable. In my November 2021 EXCO report, I did indicate that the staff are the “real heroes” of successes enjoyed by Peterhouse in 2020 / 21. Their adaptability, resilience and sheer hard work speaks volumes about their professionalism and commitment to the school.

Perhaps one of the most frustrating aspects of managing Peterhouse in 2021 was the raft of decisions made by the authorities in managing the Covid pandemic. These decisions, often heavy handed and made at the 11th hour put the school under immense pressure particularly from parents. Decisions to “lockdown boarding schools” and prevent access of parents to their children heightened tensions already inherent with management of the Covid pandemic. The lack of recognition of online learning resulted in two 20 + week terms. While 2022 has started with a more pragmatic approach to schooling the shadow of Covid and the potential for a return to strict lockdowns remains.

The co-curricular programme has been most impacted by Covid. Very little sport, at an inter-schools competitive level, was played in 2021. This was replaced by internal competition which meant that most of the inter-house competitions did take place. On the cultural front activities which could be done virtually did take place. The most remarkable of these was the 2021 NIAA Eisteddfod which was an entirely virtual competition. The school produced some remarkable performances which paid real tribute to the Music School’s ingenuity and creativity. Fortunately, the Lent term of 2022 has seen a return of competitive sport. It would be fair to say that the absence of competitive sport has had an impact on our pupils. Nonetheless, our summer sports teams have shown much promise and produced some excellent results. By way of example, the 1st XI Cricket team enjoyed a very successful trip to South Africa winning four of their six matches. In the cultural space, this year’s NIAA Eisteddfod returned to being a “live” performance competition. Once again, the school enjoyed many accolades and we will, for the first time in two years, host a Highlights Concert at Peterhouse.

On the Petrean front, I have had the privilege of being able to attend, in 2021, a number of Petrean Branch functions. These include:

  • A Victoria Falls Petrean social function, was nicely attended.
  • A Zambian Petrean function in Lusaka. An informal function that was very well attended
  • A Johannesburg Petrean evening. Once again, this was a great evening that brought together a good number of Gauteng Petreans.
  • A Harare “Wine Evening”. It was so encouraging to meet up with so many local Petreans and to re-connect the school with those closest to us.
  • The Petrean Golf Day at Royal Harare was a bumper day of golf and good fun.

2022 starts from where we left off in 2021 and the Petreans have already hosted a function on the new mini Links Course at Royal Harare. The Petrean Sports Day, which has been postponed for two years, returns to the school on 3 April (the day after this AGM). We hope that Reunions which have also been put on ice due to Covid lockdowns will, we hope, also return to the campus this year.

The Zimbabwe, Zambian, South African and UK Branches also have further plans for social events this year; all part of reviving the branch network and reconnecting Petreans with the school.

At home, the Race and Discrimination task team presented their report to Senior Management which included the Chairman of EXCO. A very comprehensive report allowed the Committee to share their work and findings with School Management. At the outset, there was an agreement that much had been achieved by the school over the years in tackling racism and discrimination. In a briefing by the task team, in its conclusion, made reference to the following quotation from Forbes:

We live in an era where the perception of a brand is no longer reliant on the quality of a product. Instead, the brand's reputation is reliant on perceived value to its customer and expands further whether or not a product works.”

Aligned to this statement the Committee concluded that, “the Peterhouse Group of Schools is a brand and therefore whatever perception exists about the brand is reality. Many of the issues raised on social media have more to do with how Peterhouse is perceived and are not always a true reflection of what is going on on the ground. Consequently, not all the perceptions raised are entirely accurate. However, there must be an acceptance that the negative and not necessarily acts of blatant racism outlined (such as prejudice, stereotyping, conscious and unconscious bias) do exist and that Peterhouse needs to continue to appreciate that it must continue to act responsibly in these space so as to maintain its transformational agenda in addressing all matters that are discriminatory.

Aside from the many distractions over the last two years, Peterhouse continues to strive at holding its position as a leading African independent school. We recognize the importance of maintaining tradition whilst remaining contemporary and striving to be cutting edge in educational thinking. We will recover from the trials and tribulations of Covid and in this regard, we continue to look boldly into the future. To this end, a number of significant development projects are on the horizon. These will add further to our capacity and resources. The Petrean Committee under the very able leadership of Matt Hosack will be sharing, in due course, some really exciting new ideas that we hope will further cement the connection between the school and the Petreans.

I close in thanks to Corralee Greeff as Head of Development; she does some amazing work in managing and driving the activities of the Petrean Society. To Matt Hosack and his Committee; it has been my pleasure to work alongside you. I do think the next year will be a very significant one for the Petrean Society. To all Petreans, I value your ongoing support of the school. The welcome I have received from so many of you over the last has been overwhelming and I look forward to being able to connect with more of you in the coming year.

Conditur in Petra.

Jon Trafford, Rector, 2 April 2022

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