Prospectus

The best school for my daughter?

What a difficult and sometimes confusing decision this can become!  Parents who have chosen Trust Schooling for their children know that it is going to be more expensive, and expect a commensurate standard of teaching and facilities.  Beyond this though, there is a need to choose a school which accords with family values and aspirations, and where their children will be happy.
The very best school?  That’s largely a matter of opinion and preference.  The very best for your daughter?  That’s your choice, and this prospectus should help you make it.

Chisipite

Named for a spring on the original farm bought by Mr Jenkinson soon after the first world war, its first real landmark was the spacious farmhouse.  Completed in 1920, it was just in time for the birth of Betty, who would become the first pupil in 1929, when, after the death of Mr Jenkinson, his wife Maisi opened a school offering tuition, fresh eggs and vegetables!
Over the ensuing eighty years and more, Chisipite has become a leading girls’ school characterised by high academic standards and a caring atmosphere.  Serving the day scholar community, it is governed by a Board which consists mainly of current parents of the school.  There have been only five Heads of School in its history.  Chisipite is a founder member of the Conference of Heads of Independent Schools of Zimbabwe. 

Staff and Curriculum

Once a girl becomes part of the school, she finds herself in a caring environment of experienced, loyal and capable staff.  Class sizes are limited, and apart from the classroom teachers, the school is staffed with specialists in art, computers, Shona, sport, music and remediation.  The overall pupil: staff ratio is 20:1, and this allows a variety of activities and interest to be actively pursued.
We are conscious of the necessity to allow every girl to progress academically so far as she is able.  Although the syllabus is based on the national curriculum, every effort is made to broaden their horizons and interests, regardless of whether or not this will be examinable.  Chisipite offers a rich cultural life, with art and music being regarded as especially important.
Our educational equipment includes the most modern interactive boards, with internet available in the classrooms.  A glance at the sport facilities offered, including two pools with diving facilities and five hard courts, shows the importance given to sporting activities.  It should be noted that winning a match is not regarded as more important than good coaching, good manners and enjoyment. Our representative teams regularly make a good show
Grade 1 and 2 day scholar girls are not permitted to stay on the grounds over lunch, and for them attendance at afternoon activities is not compulsory.  From Grade 3 onwards the variety of activities available increases rapidly, as the list below shows.  Attendance at one sport a term is compulsory from Grade 3 but most girls are heavily involved in clubs, sport and cultural activities.  We currently offer;

Athletics Choirs – Junior & Senior Tennis
Infant Singing Hockey Recorders
Basketball Orchestra Netball
Marimbas Swimming Beginner Violin
Diving Drama Duathlon
Gymnastics Golf Art Club
Archery Garden Club Chess Club
Environmental Club Scripture Union Classical Ballet (Dance School)
Shona Club Modern Dance (Dance School) Technology Club

There is no streaming of classes, and formal exams are only completely in place by Grade 5.  Nevertheless, the teachers require every effort to be made by their pupils to attain the standard set, appropriate to their ability.  There is formal homework, and an expectation of parental interest and involvement.  The relationship between the school, child and parents is a strong one, and teachers may be approached with a minimum of formality, at school outside teaching hours.  The Head is often available to parents without appointment.  Formal consultation days are held, and a twice yearly written report is provided.

Discipline and Leadership

As one would expect, a high standard of behaviour and good manners is expected.  This is not unlikely as you may think during your daughter’s wilder moments, as the ethos of the school is one of caring and consideration for others.  Every Grade 7 girl takes part in the smooth running of the school, as part of their leadership development training.
There is a strong feeling of what is morally correct and acceptable, and the girls are supportive of each other.  Miscreants are initially dealt with through discussion and explanation.  On occasion girls see the Head, and rarely, parents too are asked to discuss the matter with him.

Where to next?

Our Grade 7 leavers are well prepared for their Senior School career, and leave us for a variety of schools – sometimes beyond borders but usually in Zimbabwe.  The large majority of girls aspire to Chisipite Senior, which although a separate school has obvious strong links.  It should be noted that entry into most of the top Trust Senior Schools is by examination, and although our candidates have an excellent record, there is no school which offers automatic entry. 
 

Criteria for enrolment

Entry in Grade 1 is determined by established criteria, which at present include neither testing nor interviews.  Applications are accepted from birth and places for categories such as daughters and granddaughters of past pupils of the Junior School, and siblings are given preference.  You are advised to apply as early as possible.  Before accepting the offer, parents should satisfy themselves that their daughter is ready for school and able to cope in a formal class situation.  You should also familiarise yourself with the fee structure.

Please feel free to visit the school without need for an appointment so as to see us in everyday action.

 

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