Westmoreland Schools Celebrate

Jamaica News: Two primary schools in Westmoreland are celebrating the results from the first sitting of the Primary Exit Profile (PEP), which were announced on June 21.

In an interview with JIS News, Principal of the Mount Airy Primary and Infant School, Karen Anderson-McKenzie, said she is pleased with the marks earned by the grade six students.

“Overall, I think our students did very well; knowing that it was a new exam, the grades are great,” she noted.

She said there were passes for schools such as Munro College, Jamaica College, Hampton School for Girls, Frome Technical, Rhodes Hall High, St. Hilda’s High School for Girls, Belmont Academy as well as The Manning’s School.

“There were also many surprises (as) students that we thought were struggling did exceptionally well in the exams,” she noted.

Of the 60 students, who sat the exams at Mount Airy Primary, 22 got into their preferred schools.

Top-performing girl of the institution, Andrea Barnes, who received a placement score of 344.8, said she was elated with her results

She told JIS News that she was nervous prior to the exams. However, she soon discovered that “they were not as hard as I was expecting them to be.”

“(I was worried) because it is a new exam and we did not know much about it,” she said, noting that in preparing for the exams she mostly studied with other students.

Fond Farewell for Veteran JIS Photographer Errol Harvey

Andrea said she is happy to have been placed at her institution of choice, The Manning’s School.

For his part, top-perfuming boy Tian Raye Barnes, who earned a place at Munro College, told JIS News that preparation was key to his success.

“I studied hard and got enough rest at night and I feel really good about my results,” he said.

He said he was very nervous going into the exams. “I did not show it, but in my mind I was nervous,” he noted. The top boy earned a placement score of 365.2

Tian Raye’s grandmother, Precious Gayle, said that she was jubilant when she received news that her grandson earned a place at the school of his choice.

“When he told us, we were screaming and shouting ‘go Tian Raye, go!’” she told JIS News.

The grandmother said she sensed no nervousness from him on the day of the exams as he put up a positive front.

Over at Petersfield Primary and Infant School, Principal Susan Rattray Hammond, told News that the results of the exams were as expected. A total of 113 students sat the exam.

“We are happy for the results that we received, we are celebrating as a school because we believe that the results were successful and (I am) grateful for the efforts of the teachers and parents, as well as the students who did their best”, she pointed out.

“(It was) a lot of hard work that went into preparing the students, because we are aware that this particular set of students have been taught in a particular way, and now have to transition into being assessed in a different way, so extra work went into changing the instruction methodologies to properly prepare the students,” she added.

Mrs. Rattray Hammond noted that as part of preparations for the exams, students did extra classes before and after school and on weekends.

“The students that took advantage of these offerings and, as expected, would have done much better, as they got more in terms of how to respond to questions, be critical thinkers and explain their responses,” she said.

The principal also lauded PEP’s scoring method which, she said, allows for greater focus on the student’s critical thinking skills rather than percentage grades.

“ One of the things that I like about this exam report is that it is not hung up on the percentage grades, because we need to move away from the grade and focus more on the child and I like that aspect of the PEP,” she noted.

“I am happy that (PEP) is not grade focused, and the public will have to adjust to that, because our children are more than just grades or percentage marks on a paper,” she argued.

PEP scores were reported using a scaled score.

A Student Summary Report has been provided for parents, which details the performance of their children. This report includes the students’ scaled scores, placement as well as an interpretation of the scores.

Petersfield Primary students earned places at schools such as Belmont Academy, The Manning’s School, Rusea’s High, Frome Technical High and Petersfield High.

The school’s top-performing boy and girl were Jadon Forbes and Tiandra Green, respectively, both of whom were placed at The Manning’s School.

Proud father of the top-performing boy, Richard Forbes, told JIS News that he is happy about his son’s PEP results.

“I am feeling good that he got the school of his choice, the school I attended as well,” he said.

“He was (nervous) about the math, but after doing it he said it was easy,” he added.

PEP replaced the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) as the national secondary school entrance test. It is intended to provide a better and more complete profile of students’ academic and critical-thinking capabilities at the end of primary-level education.


Source: JIS News

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