Laurie King (FP)

Chief Education Officer, Laurie King believes a spirit of togetherness is evident at the Blackman and Gollop Primary School.

Mr. King emphasised this yesterday as he addressed the 2012 graduating class of 54 students, at the newly amalgamated school at Staple Grove in Christ Church. ??Reflecting on the graduation theme: Together We Aspire, Together We Achieve, Mr. King said it was a realisation and celebration of the amalgamation of the South District and St. David’s Primary Schools.

"The fact that the word ???together’ is repeated therein suggests the importance placed on the notion of shared responsibility and collaboration among staff," he said, adding that "the underlying idea was whatever they endeavoured to do; they endeavoured to do it together".

He told those gathered that research suggested that teachers’ common bonds, sense of purpose and collaboration could have positive effects on student achievement; leading to reduced classroom behavioural problems and improving the general ethos of the school. "Through collaboration, professional relationships are established which tend to withstand differences of opinion and the challenges that may arise with curriculum innovation. The accomplishments of a proficient and well-organised group are widely considered to be greater than the accomplishment of isolated individuals," Mr. King explained.

The development and success of the school, he noted, could not be fully realised unless all parties involved could enjoy a cordial and healthy working relationship. "Therefore, the teachers, ancillary members, parents and other stakeholders must agree on what they want to achieve and work together to make it happen," the Chief Education Officer emphasised.

As Mr. King commended the school’s principal and staff, he told them an organisation could not realise its full potential without a clear sense of purpose and positive interaction among employees, and that a greater level of success could only be achieved when there was a working relationship between the school and central administration. Noting that the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development depended on the cooperation of its employees – principals and teachers – to carry out the mandate and mission of its headquarters, the Chief said: "Invariably, we promote good working relationships among our technical staff and all school administrators. Together, we can achieve much for the cause of education in Barbados."

The staff at Blackman and Gollop Primary School was called upon to continue striving for excellence and to deliver quality education to the nation’s children. "Aspire to be a school of renown and exception, providing a safe and comfortable environment for your charges and all members of staff creating a culture in which you believe all children can learn and utilise all relevant data to plan for the diverse needs of students," he said.

The school was also commended for its academic and extra-curricular success and the care provided to its students during the first year of the school’s life. Mr. King noted: "It is this overall pastoral care, coupled with the academic and social pursuits which will enable the Government to achieve some of the goals of total development of the children.??

And, the Blackman and Gollop Primary School was also praised for providing well-rounded citizens with the necessary orientation, attitudes and??skills needed to make them life-long learners in the society.

There was also some advice for parents who were urged to attend the Parent Teacher Association meetings and to discuss their children’s progress and problems with the teachers. Mr. King said, "Together, you can be a forceful influence in the formation of their character. You too are a part of their educational process." He urged that they monitor children’s performances and provide opportunities and an environment for them to concentrate on their homework…"

To the graduating class, Mr. King said: "Combine perseverance with a determination to succeed from the beginning; the habits of cooperation, respect for discipline and authority which you learnt here will help you to appreciate that privileges mean responsibility and a good citizen always accepts his/her responsibility. The habits of punctuality, honesty, and reliable attitudes to work will help you in your varied activities."


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