Nadisha Hunter, Staff Reporter
FOUR YEARS after Bermaddy Primary School in Treadways, St Catherine implemented its intervention strategies to improve learning at the institution; it is reaping rewards with more than a 30 per cent improvement in both literacy and numeracy standards.
This after the institution, which has a population of 232 students, failed to meet the required standards in different subject areas in previous years.
Phostine Brown, senior teacher, said, with the poor results, it was not business as usual. She noted that the institution introduced a number of learning programmes to boost performance.
But she said the outcome from the strategies employed not only met the Ministry of Education's target of 53 per cent for the school, but exceeded it.
The school has reached an 85 per cent literacy rate in 2012, up from 42 per cent in 2011 and 78 per cent in numeracy, up from 41 per cent in 2011.
"The school benefited from the literacy and numeracy programme that was put in place by the Ministry of Education. We were fortunate to get both literacy and numeracy specialists in 2008 and, just by working with them, we were able to put in a number of programmes which helped a lot," she told The Gleaner.
Brown said some of the strategies included a mathematics club where the students are taught different strategies to work different mathematics problems, a reading club, and hosting mathematics and reading competitions.
The school also implemented the learning to read early 1-2-3 programme, which helped students from grades one to three to get the full grasp of literacy before moving on to grade four.
"We were able to keep them motivated and we realise that they developed their own interest in the subject. They practise mathematics more, and most of them will tell you that mathematics is their favourite subject.
"We were able to get some parents involved and they did their part, because we realise that, once we have parents involved in the life of the students, they perform much better," she continued.
Brown said all teachers were willing to to provide extra lessons for the students at no cost.
"Even when we have (extra) lesson classes, it is free of cost, because we are situated in a farming community and most parents don't have it. So we give of our time and try to meet the individual needs of the students, because one size doesn't fit all," she added.
Brown lamented the limited resources that the school has at its disposal. She however, noted that the teachers are highly committed and use their personal resources to remedy the situation.
Grade-four teacher Paulette Haslam said her first approach in working with the students is to foster a good relationship so that they are comfortable to interact with her.
"We worked together and with the limited resources, I drew on the other teachers for resources. Most of the students didn't have the book, but I let them do a lot of sharing. All in all, we spent a lot of time working with them to get them to improve their weak areas.