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GSAT success - Retirement Primary shines

Retirement Primary reaps GSAT success

BY RENAE DIXON Observer staff reporter dixonr@jamaicaobserver.com

Monday, July 07, 2014    

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Retirement Primary in deep rural St Ann continues to beat the odds to reap success in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) although the institution operates on a multi-grade system. The school achieved a 75 per cent average which saw all the students being placed at one of their choices for high school.

The students' success has once again highlighted the hard work of the three teachers and principal at the school, and is a particularly high moment for the headmistress Beverley Bailey who goes on pre-retirement leave in September.

Bailey, who has served the school for 25 years, said she was elated by the students' performance.

"I am really proud of them. They did well," she told the Jamaica Observer North East.

According to Bailey, some of the students came from other institutions and were behind, but she was happy that through hard work they were successful at getting a placement at one of the schools of their choice.

Top overall student Ronaldo Dixon will be heading to York Castle High School, while top girl Sasha Kay Campbell has been placed at St Hilda's High School.

Teacher of grades five and six Camille Campbell said she was overwhelmed by the results.

"I don't even have words to express. I am overwhelmed," she said, adding that she was surprised by the results of some of the students as she was worried about a few of them.

Meanwhile, Bailey said the students have continued a trend of great performance, as last year the school was one of the top GSAT performers in the parish.

Persons have been continuously surprised by performance of students, many of whom come from very humble backgrounds. Additionally, the teachers have continued to get great results despite having to teach multiple grades.

Even the principal has to double as a teacher for grade four.

"I am always impressed with what is coming out of Retirement in spite of the limitations," chairman of the school board Rev Athlone Harrison said during the school's recent graduation exercise. As the school board tries to make the environment at the school more conducive to learning, Rev Harrison said work will be carried out at the institution over the summer holidays to get the appearance of the school on par with the performance of its students.

He said the property which is now open will be fenced and a play area created for students.

Bailey, as she goes into retirement, says she is looking forward to the school getting a principal who will achieve even more than she was able to in her tenure.

"I leave the reigns for someone else to do a better job," she said.

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