Nadisha Hunter, Gleaner Writer
Guy's Hill Primary School in St Catherine has made huge strides in improving academics through several intervention programmes implemented at the institution.
In giving an overview of the school's achievements at a graduation ceremony recently, principal Joyce Tennant-Stewart outlined several efforts that have borne fruit in the results of the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT).
Tennant-Stewart said the intervention programmes started from as early as 2005 when the school started a gender-grouping experiment to test the theory that grade-six students would be do better if they are grouped according to gender.
"Having conducted this programme for four years, the overall performance of the control group of both boys and girls has allowed us to conclude that student of grade six of the Guy's Hill Primary School when grouped according to gender are more academically focused," she said.
Tennant-Stewart said she hoped to extend the experiment to incorporate students of grade four in order to improve the results of the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Tests.
She noted that the school, in its drive to reap good educational rewards, also ran a second GSAT experiment on the students. That experiment, in the form of a night camp, required students sitting the exam to be taught for several nights until after midnight.
The school also restructured its reading programme to improve examination performance in the language-related subjects.
Tennant-Stewart, who will be going on pre-retirement leave after six years at the institution, said the school has developed during her tenure.
She said the staff has made much improvement in getting qualified. In 2004, one teacher was at the institution with a university degree and two were reading for degrees. Now, there are seven teachers with university degrees and 10 studying. Two teachers have since earned master's degrees and one of them has be moved on to become principal of another primary school.
She said the school also assists students excel in their education through various scholarship programmes.
Tennant-Stewart said these programmes were initiated by The Gleaner's editor-in-chief, Garfield Grandison, in 2005 when he was a guest speaker.
"Since then, we have taken this scholarship fund from one kind guest speaker to past students, businessmen, school board members, staff members and even to strangers. Approximately 50 students have benefited from scholarships," she added.
The principal called for parents to assist the school by playing their part to improve students grades in various examinations.