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Primary schools making significant improvement in literacy, numeracy

Published:Monday | November 23, 2015 | 7:03 PM

A number of primary schools that were producing marginal results, particularly in the mastery of literacy and numeracy, have shown significant improvements in the 2015 sitting of the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Test, a prerequisite to register for the Grade Six Achievement Test.

Comparing the results to last year's performance, the Ministry of Education said that in the Corporate Area, outstanding performers include Allman Town Primary, which increased mastery in literacy by 18 percentage points (86 per cent); Balmagie Primary, which improved by 14 percentage points (85 per cent); and Swallowfield Primary and Junior High, which rose by 16 percentage points (82 per cent).

In St Mary, Galina Primary and Infant gained 18 percentage points in the mastery of literacy, and in St Ann, Breadnut Hill Primary moved up by 12 points to record mastery by 100 per cent of its grade four students.

In Hanover, Sandy Bay Primary and Junior High recorded a 26 percentage point move in its mastery of literacy (75 per cent); and George's Plain Primary in Westmoreland achieved mastery of literacy by 79 per cent of its cohort, up from 59 per cent.


Chief Education Officer Dr Grace McLean said the improve-ment in these schools is as a result of a Ministry of Education-led initiative dubbed Operation Turn Around, which initially targeted 60 institutions at the primary level, commencing in 2013.

Earlier this year ,another phase was added to Operation Turn Around by engaging volunteer educators to provide instructional support in literacy and numeracy to students in 154 very large primary schools. This component targeted students who were at near mastery in numeracy and literacy to help them achieve mastery.

The volunteer educators provided at least two hours of instruction time to students who were "pulled out" of their regularly scheduled timetable in keeping with the additional time-on-task approach to teaching literacy and numeracy.

Commenting on the schools' performance, Education Minister Ronald Thwaites said the early results from Operation Turn Around were encouraging and showed that targeted intervention by ministry officials, with the support of school personnel, can positively impact education outcomes.

It is noteworthy, he added, that these initiatives are funded from existing resources.