Academics

The Dominican Convent High School provides a broad and balanced curriculum designed to meet the needs of girls with varied interests, inclinations and abilities. At the end of the third year of secondary education, girls take English (compulsory), Shona and History (both optional) examinations for the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council. At the end of the fourth year, girls take examinations for the International General Certificate of School Education (IGCSE) in various subjects, including those for which they would have taken ZIMSEC exams the year before.

These examinations are set by Cambridge International Examinations (CIE), which is part of Cambridge University. Upon achieving satisfactory results in their IGCSE examinations, most girls proceed to do courses at Advanced Subsidiary (AS) and Advanced (A) levels.

The Form One and Form Two groups are split into three classes, according to their results on the entrance examination. The Form Three and Form Four groups are split into three classes (Arts, Business and Science) according to their combination of subjects for the IGCSE exams. In Lower and Upper Six, the girls are split into Arts, Business and Science according to their combination of A Level subjects.

Starting with the Form Two group of 2018, Form Twos will be writing Check-Point Examinations. The subjects to be examined are Mathematics, English and Science.

The support given by the girls’ highly experienced teachers, as well as optional remedial lessons and opportunities to consult these teachers all give each girl the best opportunity to do well and excel in her subjects.

Subjects offered to Form Ones and Form Twos

  • Art and Design*
  • English Language
  • Fashion & Fabrics*
  • Food & Nutrition*
  • Foreign Language French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Science
  • Music

Subjects offered at IGCSE/Ordinary Level

  • Accounting
  • Art and Design
  • Biology
  • Chemistry
  • Commercial Studies
  • English Literature
  • Fashion & Textiles
  • First Language English
  • Food & Nutrition
  • Foreign Language French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Information & Communication Technology (ICT) (New)
  • Mathematics
  • Music
  • Physical Science
  • Physics
  • Religious Studies (Bible Knowledge)
  • Travel & Tourism

Subjects offered at Advanced Subsidiary Level

  • English Language
  • French Language
  • General Paper

Subjects offered at Advanced Level Accounting

  • Art
  • Biology
  • Business Studies
  • Chemistry
  • Computer Science (New)
  • Divinity
  • Economics (New)
  • French
  • Geography
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Physics
  • Travel & Tourism (New)

ACADEMICS AT IGCSE/O LEVEL

For learners, Cambridge IGCSE helps improve performance by developing skills in creative thinking, enquiry and problem solving. It is the perfect springboard to advanced study. The syllabuses are international in outlook, but retain a local relevance. They have been created specifically for an international student body and avoid cultural bias.

Cambridge IGCSE develops learner knowledge, understanding and skills in:

  • Subject content
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to new as well as unfamiliar situations
  • Intellectual enquiry
  • Flexibility and responsiveness to change
  • Working and communicating in English
  • Influencing outcomes
  • Cultural awareness. *

*Information taken from the Cambridge International Examinations website: www.cie.org.uk

(Please note that all subjects offered as part of the curriculum for Form Four students are IGCSE Level subjects except for Religious Studies, which is a Cambridge International Examinations O Level subject).

ACADEMICS AT AS & A LEVEL

Subject Choices at AS & A Level

GROUP 1 GROUP 2 GROUP 3
SCIENCES CLASS BUSINESS CLASS ARTS CLASS
BIOLOGY ACCOUNTS (advanced) ART
CHEMISTRY ACCOUNTS (beginners) COMPUTER SCIENCE
COMPUTER SCIENCE BUSINESS STUDIES DIVINITY
MATHEMATICS COMPUTER SCIENCE FRENCH (A LEVEL)
PHYSICS ECONOMICS GEOGRAPHY
GEOGRAPHY GEOGRAPHY HISTORY
AS ENGLISH LANGUAGE MATHEMATICS LITERATURE IN ENGLISH
AS GENERAL PAPER TRAVEL & TOURISM AS ENGLISH LANGUAGE
AS FRENCH AS MATHEMATICS COMPUTER SCIENCE
AS ENGLISH LANGUAGE
AS GENERAL PAPER

Entry Requirements

Admission into Form 5 is dependent on the following:

  1. Applicants should have at least 6 A grades at IGCSE level or 6 A grades at O’ level ZIMSEC.
  2. Applicants should have passes in Maths and English.
  3. Students from other Countries will be assessed on an individual basis.
  4. To be considered for admission into a specific subject’s AS/A Level class, applicants should have at least a B grade in that subject at IGCSE/O Level. This applies to all subjects excluding Beginners’ Accounts, Business Studies, Travel & Tourism, General Paper and Divinity.

 

Curriculum

The syllabuses prepare learners for university study, which is why universities worldwide value and recognise Cambridge International AS & A Level qualifications.

Cambridge International AS & A Level develops learners’ knowledge, understanding and skills in:

  • In-depth subject content
  • Independent thinking
  • Applying knowledge and understanding to new as well as familiar situations
  • Handling and evaluating different types of information source
  • Thinking logically and presenting ordered and coherent arguments
  • Making judgements, recommendations and decisions
  • Presenting reasoned explanations, understanding implications and communicating them logically and clearly
  • Working and communicating in English.

Cambridge International A Level is typically a two-year course, and Cambridge International AS Level is typically one year. Some subjects can be started as a Cambridge International AS Level and extended to a Cambridge International A Level.

Learners use Cambridge International AS & A Levels to gain places at leading universities worldwide including the UK, Ireland, USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, India, Singapore, Egypt, Jordan, South Africa, the Netherlands, Germany and Spain.*

*Information taken from the Cambridge International Examinations website: www.cie.org.uk

Much of the information on careers suitable to complement A-level subject choices was derived from www.successatschool.org.

Post-A Level Benefits

Group 1

Studying A Level Biology usually opens doors for students to study biomedical sciences, chemical engineering, dentistry, dietetics (studies in food and nutrition), physiotherapy, optometry, veterinary science, materials science, nursing, occupational therapy, nursing and midwifery, pharmacy, sports science, psychology and speech therapy.

Studying A Level Chemistry usually opens doors for students to study analytical chemistry, chemical engineering, medicine and healthcare science, clinical biochemistry, forensic science, pharmacology, research science, and toxicology.

Studying A Level Geography is an advantageous subject to have studied to prepare for a career that involves the environment, planning, or collecting and interpreting data. Popular careers for people with geography qualifications include town or transport planning, surveying, conservation, sustainability, waste and water management, geology, environmental planning, tourism and weather forecasting. One can also venture into charity, international relations and research needed by government and private institutions.

Mathematics is recommended for computer science, engineering, accounting, chemistry, biology and life sciences, medicine/nursing, dentistry, business studies, management studies, finance, architecture, geology, psychology, surveying and even philosophy. The subject is also crucial for studying advanced apprenticeships in accountancy, technology and engineering subjects. At the Dominican Convent, students have the option of either writing A Level Mathematics, or AS Level Mathematics. The latter is only possible if the subject is taken over a period of two years.

Physics is especially useful for jobs that involved building things and developing new technologies, and is recommended in order to study biochemistry, biology, chemistry, medicine, dentistry, nursing and other practice-based medicine courses, architecture, engineering, computer science, geography, earth and environmental sciences, maths, materials science, pharmacy, sports science, surveying, psychology and teaching.

A Level Computer Science opens doors for a career as a web developer and programmer, games developer, systems developer, systems analyst, network engineer, digital marketer, database programmer, and database administrator.

Students are advised to take up AS English Language regardless of their subject combinations as this subject improves their command of the English Language, which can work as an advantage for them when applying for university places and jobs in the future. In addition, certain countries require students to have at least a pass in AS English Language when applying to study for any program offered by a university within that country.

AS General Paper is of great advantage to students, also regardless of subject combination or career path. The study of the subject encourages students to foster connections between various topics and pieces of information, to develop their critical thinking skills, and to apply creativity to solving problems, often through an interdisciplinary approach. Such skills are necessary in today’s ever-changing world, whether one is working in science, business or the humanities.

 

Group 2

Studying Accounting at A Level or beyond can lead to a job as an accountant, chartered accountant, budget analyst, internal auditor, chief financial officer, payroll clerk and bookkeeper.

A Level Business Studies is an advantage to employers who look for candidates with a sound knowledge of how a business works. Possible career choices include management, marketing, finance, accounting, banking, retailing, manufacturing and local government.

Economics lends itself to a wide variety of careers and not necessarily those in finance. Some of the career options include becoming an economist, chartered accountant, investment analyst, financial risk analyst, management consultant and government officer.

If one studies Travel & Tourism at A level and goes on to obtain a degree, he or she can become a holiday representative, tour manager, tourism officer, tourism information centre manager, travel agency manager, event organizer, marketing executive, outdoor activities/education manager, hotel manager, or customer service manager. At the Dominican Convent High School, Travel & Tourism is offered both at O and A Level. Lower and Upper Sixth students are free to take it on as an O Level subject to supplement their A Level subjects.

 

Group 3

Art can prepare a student for a career in sculpting, fine arts, graphic design, architecture, fashion, interior design, industrial design, video editing, photography, film, video and media studies, and radio/television and film production (as an illustrator, for example).

Divinity students usually go on to study teaching, business, law and politics.

French is a good subject to take up at A-level if you are considering a career in linguistics, law, international relations, business or news correspondence. Students are encouraged to take it up at AS Level to give themselves a competitive edge in their careers, especially if they are studying Arts or Business subjects at A Level. At the Convent, students can choose to sit for AS French at the end of Lower Six if they are not pursuing the subject up to A Level. A Level French students write both the AS and A Level components of the examinations at the end of their two-year course. Students are encouraged to take lessons and sit for the DELF and DALF (French Language Diplomas) at Alliance Française in order for their level of competence in French to be recognized at universities in France and various other Francophone countries.

History is a good subject to take up to prepare for a career in law, politics, the public sector, business, marketing, economics, teaching, academia, insurance, religious studies, languages, classics and archaeology.

Literature in English is good for any job that involves communication, writing and/or literary knowledge. These include advertising and marketing, writing and journalism, law, consultancy, business, teaching, performing arts, academia, government, linguistics, foreign languages, media and design, and freelance writing.

Share This