School Report | The cream of Claremont, Ferncourt High
Nestled in the hills of Claremont, St Ann, Ferncourt High is on a drive to excellence, and the administrators there are especially proud of the empowerment programme at its Brittonville campus, the first such initiative by a traditional high school.
The programme targets students who were not placed after the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) and were admitted to the high school through the Grade Nine Achievement Test (GNAT) and the Alternative Secondary Transition Education Programme (ASTEP).
In the first cohort to leave in 2010, 27 of the 49 students passed at least one subject at the CSEC level. There was as an 89 per cent pass rate in agricultural science.
The following year, 28 out of 38 students were successful in one or more subjects. Two students were successful in four subjects. There was a 59 per cent pass rate in home economics and 94 per cent in agricultural science.
In the 2013 CSEC sitting, there was an 83 per cent pass rate in home management and 100 per cent pass rate in agricultural science. One student was successful in five subjects.
"Ferncourt is the first traditional high school to implement an empowerment campus programme. We are serious about students not being left behind," principal Lenworth Sterling told The Sunday Gleaner.
Although Ferncourt High is the alma mater of Olympian Novlene Williams-Mills, it is not considered a sporting powerhouse. Nevertheless, the administration uses sports to help in the total development of students and to improve their social skills.
In 2016 and 2017, the boys participated in Headley Cup, T20 and Under-16 and Under-14 cricket competitions. Jordon Pengelley and Rickone Harris were awarded by
the Inter-Secondary Schools Sports Association (ISSA) in 2016 for their outstanding performance in the Under-14 cricket competition.
In 2017, Jerome Palmer placed Ferncourt High back in the top-50 positions when he earned the school a point in the 5000 metres Open Run at the 2017 ISSA Boys and Girls' Championships.
In recent times, the school has been participating in the Touchdown Project, an American football programme which facilitates students who are academically brilliant to gain a scholarship to a college in the United States.
Ferncourt High excels in co-curricular activities related to the 4-H Club Movement. The school's 4-H Club placed first at the parish level for several years, with Sterling named Principal of the Year by the organisation.
The school has also copped a plethora of first, second and their place awards in dance, music and speech competitions organised by and Jamaica Cultural Development Commission.