Wed | Dec 12, 2018

Creative Kids clobber GSAT

Published:Friday | June 8, 2018 | 12:00 AMSyranno Baines/Gleaner Writer
Haedi-Kaye Holmes (front centre), principal of Creative Kids Learning Academy in St Andrew, celebrating with students after receiving the the 2018 GSAT examination results yesterday.

It did not come as a shock that her students managed to register a class average in the high 90s for this year's Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT), and in so doing, secured 100 per cent placement at traditional high schools.

This has become the standard at Creative Kids Learning Academy ever since the very first cohort sat the exam in 2008.

However, founder and principal of the institution Haedi-Kaye Holmes was quick to admit that there were initial challenges for the current crop of high achievers who had "varying abilities".

"They didn't start off with 90s and 100s, but we were determined as a group of teachers to get them where they needed to be," declared Holmes, who also teaches mathematics and English at the academy.

"So what I did was on Saturdays and Sundays, I broke them up into groups of four or five, and I would come at 8 a.m. and leave at 6 p.m., and this went on from January to March. I wanted to ensure that I was able to give everyone the contact time needed to zero in on their weak areas. So one group would come from 8 to 10, the other from 10 to 12, and so on," she added.

The senior educator noted that 18 students sat the exam this year, and of that number, four girls were placed at Campion College, two at Immaculate Conception, two at St Andrew High, while the boys had multiple passes for Wolmer's and Jamaica College.

But while the institution is big on academics, Holmes argued that the academy prides itself on providing a small, relaxed environment geared at developing the whole child.

"We as teachers try to instill certain values and morals in them that will see them want to be their best possible self," she told The Gleaner. "Yes, the bookwork and high grades and all that is fine. But I could tell them to study and we can teach them and do as many classes as possible, but if they don't have that drive and fire inside, it's not going to happen," said Holmes.

She further told The Gleaner that her expectations of a 90 per cent average and more would carry over to next year when the GSAT is replaced by the Primary Exit Profile.