Thu | Oct 29, 2020

Primary school students pass CXC English

Published:Thursday | October 1, 2020 | 12:10 AMShanna Monteith/Gleaner Writer
Khyreice Gordon.
Khyreice Gordon.
Andrene Morgan
Andrene Morgan

Two 12-year-olds are among students in St Thomas who are celebrating passes reflected in the recently released Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examination results.

Andrene Morgan and Khyreice Gordon, past students of the Morant Bay Primary School, both clocked grade II passes in the English course.

Sharing their sheer delight at the way in which they performed, both students explained that their teacher and families played a huge role in helping to build their confidence and supported them along the way.

Equally excited and proud of the achievements are the girls’ parents.

Admitting that even when she had shared her initial doubts at the idea of her daughter sitting an exam meant for students some five years her senior, Sherica Thomas told The Gleaner that Khyreice was confident in her ability.

“When she came and said ‘Mummy, I’m going to do CXC English’ I was like, Khyreice, you have PEP to understand. I don’t think you want to take on CXC right now, but she said ‘Yes, I can do it’. When I spoke to her teacher, she also said she believed Khyriece could do it so I agreed to make the sacrifice and told her to make me proud, like she always does. I took the leap of faith and we worked together,” she said, adding that the long road ended in merriment.

Renae Thomas and her daughter Andrene also made a good team in ensuring a pass.

According to the mother, “I always tell her that she has what it takes but she sometimes has doubts because she feels like I’m the only person who sees that in her, but with the help of her teacher, everything completely changed in her and helped her confidence.”


The much-respected educator, Devmarie Blake-Brown, who both parents referred to as the wind beneath their daughters’ wings propelling them to this great achievement, described both her students as high achievers.

“Andrene is a very disciplined, talented and goal-oriented student. Her work is often meticulously done and is usually of a high standard. Khyreice is confident and self-assured with a willingness to participate in any activity. She is also a very intelligent student whose speech usually uses vocabulary that is above her peers.

“As a teacher of CSEC English for several years, I have often used my students’ writings as model pieces to assist and motivate my adult learners with Paper 2 of the exam. Then I had an epiphany – if I could use these writing pieces, then the kid author could actually sit the exams and be successful. So one day, after teaching a language lesson, I casually asked three girls what they thought of the idea. They were excited and willing so I took the next step of having a formal conversation with each parent to get their consent. Quite naturally, the parents were, at first, nervous about the idea, but after pointing out that this was a subject I have been volunteering to teach for several years and I would tutor the kids for free, two parents eventually consented,” Blake-Brown shared.

Commending her young students on the attitude they had towards preparing for the exam, the teacher said, “They were very positive about it and seemed not in the least daunted by the mammoth task I was giving them. They rarely missed any of the classes and were sometimes the motivation for my other English students (mostly adult learners). They also approached all tasks with a determination to do well. I felt inspired by them as the teacher because it usually is not easy to juggle so much activities, but they were never deterred from our united goal to get a Range I or II in the exam! I applaud their success, but most important, I believe they now understand that there is no limit to what they can achieve, and others can be inspired by their story.”

In addition to their CSEC victory, both students were successful in their Primary Exit Profile exams, with Andrene passing for St Hugh’s High and Khyreice for Morant Bay High School.