Sunday July 1, 2010
Fifty-one students of Berwick Primary School in Crawle, Riversdale, St Catherine, were among the 48,200 students who sat the 2010 Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) in March. Of this number, eight have been placed at primary and junior high schools, while the others attained grades which earned them places at other high schools such as Old Harbour, St Catherine, Charlemont, St Jago, McGrath, as well as Bog Walk, which are the first choice of several of the students.
According to Sonia Bird, principal of Berwick Primary, the 2010 results have been the best since 2004, when she assumed the position at the institution.
“We have come a long way. When we talk about literacy and numeracy, the school was basically challenged in those areas. Children’s attendance at school was low; we had a problem with punctuality,” she told The Gleaner.
However, the school moved swiftly to address some of these issues.
“We have put in place a breakfast programme which is funded by the Nurses’ Association of England. As a result, we have seen where children are now coming to school regularly and basically on time.”
She continued, “We have in place, too, our school’s literacy specialist and we have cluster-based literacy and numeracy specialists who have been working here from the Ministry of Education.”
Additionally, noted the principal, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) donated 10 computers to the institution last year.
She said consequently, the students’ readiness for the examination was boosted, as they got the opportunity to browse the GoGSAT website which provides examination preparation and online help to inspire confidence in students in grades four, five and six.
“As a matter of fact, this year, too, is the first I have seen the social studies and the science grades looking so good. Last year, they were very low, and I would say that GoGSAT has contributed to that success as well,” she said.
Commending the successful GSAT students, the head mistress said she was especially proud of the top boy, Kevon Walker, and top girl, Rasheen Harris
“I am proud to say that they have done well. They are children from poor and humble beginnings and they are well behaved,” Bird said.
Rasheen earned a place at St Jago High, where she hopes to continue on the path to becoming a doctor.
“I study in the evenings, in the nights and holidays, because I want to make my parents proud,” she told The Gleaner.
Kevon, who said he was fascinated by the sciences, will be among the batch of first formers at St Catherine High in September.
“I love St Catherine High because I want to go to Spanish Town to stay with my aunt and nephew,” he smiled.