Career & Education

Sought-after primary schools top grade 4 literacy, numeracy

Sunday, January 14, 2018

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JESSIE Ripoll, Windward Road, Excelsior and St Richard's Primary, four of the more sought-after primary schools in the Corporate Area, topped the 2017 Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Tests for Kingston and St Andrew, with over 90 per cent of their students achieving mastery in both areas.

Alpha, Holy Rosary, St Aloysius, St George's Girls, Dunrobin, George Headley, Half-Way-Tree, Maverley, Mico Practising, Mona Heights, Padmore, Rock Hall, St Francis, St Jude's, St Patrick's, St Peter Claver, Padmore and Stony Hill scored over 90 in the literacy tests, but fell below the 90 mark for numeracy. Of this batch, Alpha Primary came the closest to the 90s tier in numeracy, with 88.3 per cent of its students achieving mastery

Schools like Stony Hill Primary and Junior High fell the hardest in numeracy: while achieving 91.4 per cent mastery in literacy, only 58.6 per cent of the students achieved mastery for numeracy. The other schools which mastered literacy with over 90 per cent managed to clock in with high 70s and 80s on the numeracy exams.

A few other schools had 100 or upper 90 percentile mastery, but had very low grade four sitting (under 30) and school enrolment numbers and were not included in this report.

Of note Maverley Primary, with its batch of 41 grade four students and 599 students on roll, had 100 per cent of its students gaining mastery in literacy, and 78.1 per cent gaining mastery in numeracy.

The results for Kingston and St Andrew show that the schools more sought after by parents consistently performed at the top, with low percentages of their students gaining non-mastery, even while some had very high student-teacher ratios. Jessie Ripoll, for example, had 30 students to a teacher, St Richard's, 38, and Excelsior, 34.

Meanwhile, Education Minister Senator Ruel Reid has expressed optimism with the examination results. In a national broadcast on January 7 to mark the start of the second term of the 2017/2018 school year, Reid said the results from the Grade Four Literacy and Numeracy Tests were “particularly encouraging”.

The numeracy test is designed to provide data on the performance of students after four years of formal learning, and to provide a profile of the individual student for targeted interventions, the ministry explained.

The test consists of five strands of numbers — representation and operation; measurement; geometry; algebra and statistics.

Mastery is assigned to the child who has successfully attained the requisite mathematical knowledge and skills.

Meanwhile, the literacy test consists of three subsets of skills — word recognition, reading comprehension and writing. Mastery is attained by the child who has mastered these three skills.

In 2016, the ministry announced that there was a decline in the national averages by six percentage points for literacy and four percentage points for numeracy at the grade four level.

In response to the decline, Reid said the ministry would be rolling out several examination strategies along with teaching-learning processes to address the matter.

He said the ministry would continue to be guided by the work of the Mathematics Consortium and the National Mathematics and Literacy Advisory Committees. Additionally, the work of these national committees would be further extended by regional committees which would pay keen attention to literacy and numeracy issues in particular pockets of schools in each region.


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