THE EDITOR, Sir:
As many students at Hampton School who wish may register for any subject in grade 10, and we only encourage resits where necessary. If the student secures ones in English and math, they are allowed to take up other subjects in grade 11, resulting in 35.1% graduating with nine or more subjects, 44.5% with eight, and only 21.4% with seven or less in 2012.
Also, in 2012, of our 191 grade 11 cohorts, 186, or 97.4%, achieved five or more subjects with English and/or math (as used in the educatejamaica.org ranking). Overall pass rate of 23 subjects for the cohort was 96%, with 100% in 12 of the 23.
Although we recognise that rankings are important, we educate for life and not for rankings, so we place no barriers on our students. Hence, this experiment we started over 20 years ago has now blossomed to the point where Hampton is graduating a larger pool of well-rounded young ladies, the majority of whom return to sixth form, at the end of which they have been achieving 100% matriculation for tertiary institutions for well over 10 years.
We invite all rating agencies to visit Hampton, examine our records, and observe our students at work. It will help them understand why raw exam data cannot be used to evaluate a school.
I salute our exemplary team, led by our phenomenal headmistress, Hamptonian Heather Murray, supported by a faculty of academic, administrative and associate staff, second to none. Second to none also are our 1,200-plus very focused young ladies and their supportive parents, who make the sacrifice for their daughters to receive an outstanding education.
Finally, to Hampton Old Girls' Association (HOGA), for its strong support of its alma mater in scholarships, bursaries, the frequent motivational sessions in which current students are encouraged to make best use of their opportunities. Every school needs an alumni like HOGA.
TREVOR L.A. BLAKE