Regional

New curriculum for Airy Castle Primary

Monday, September 04, 2017

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PRINCIPAL of Airy Castle Primary School in St Thomas, Dawn Graham, says the school is looking to roll out, fully, the National Standards Curriculum (NSC) for the 2017/2018 academic year.

“From grades one to six we will be embarking on the National Standards Curriculum. It's now school-wide. Last school year it was grades one and four.

“Last school year you had grades one and four on the programme where you saw topics that would have been taught at grade six being shifted and pulled down to grade four. All of that is gearing up for the PEP — that is the Primary Exit Profile — so this curriculum will be in tandem with the PEP exam. So this year the rest of grades are on board,” Graham told the Jamaica Observer North & East last Wednesday during a visit to the school.

The goal of the NSC is to improve the general academic performance, attitude and behaviour of students, which will redound to the positive shaping of the national social and economic fabric.

Under the new curriculum, emphasis will be placed on project-based and problem-solving learning, with Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics/Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics (STEM/STEAM) integrated at all levels.

The approaches will allow the learners to have hands-on experiences that are similar to real-world situations, making the learning experience less abstract and more concrete.

The new curriculum will allow students to utilise their own talents and experiences in the learning process, while facilitating the increase use of information communication telecommunication (ICT) technologies.

“So it's no longer the RPC that we are using — Revised Primary Curriculum. The NSC is more project-based, child-centred and will include more use of technology,” the principal added.

She said that the nine teachers on staff, as well as her, have been trained over the summer for the curriculum.

In the meantime, Graham said that the school is about 90 per cent ready for the start of the new school year.

Structural repairs to the block that housed its library, computer lab/resource room, and canteen, which had been razed back in February, began last week, Graham said.

Work is expected to be completed in 12 weeks.

The school lost over 2,000 books, 21 computers, three refrigerators, pots, plates, and other valuables in the blaze.

She said that the education ministry is now expanding the area and will be upgrading the utilities that were previously there.

“Things are good for Monday morning; we are not expecting any glitches,” she said.

A total of 36 new students are expected to begin classes today, while 218 are expected to return.

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