Students of the Hill Top Preparatory School pose for our photographer before heading into the Combermere School to sit the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination today. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Principals and teachers, who accompanied their charges to the Springer Memorial Secondary School on Government Hill today to write the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination (BSSEE), are confident their preparation and pep talks will pay off in the end.

Reading teacher at St. Giles’ Primary, Marsha Hunte, speaking to the Barbados Government Information Service about her school’s approach to the exam, said along with all students being well prepared, “those who needed extra help were given it”.

She noted there was intense preparation and a mock exam, taken at Springer School, and stressed that specific needs were met through the use of skilled remedial teachers. As a result, she said, they remained confident that this year the school could lift their standard.

Positive that there would be improvements, Ms. Hunte said: “Remedial teaching was done where some children went to different teachers for help with Comprehension, Reading and Mathematics. They were well prepared. I am a reading teacher at the school and I worked hard to ensure they would reach their maximum potential. There were small groups where you could focus in on the challenges and we worked in close association with class teachers.”

Principal of Warrens Primary, Kim Davis-Edwards, describing the five students entered this year for the exam as “excited and anxious”, said it was an eagerly awaited moment that was preceded by talks filled with encouragement, so she knew they would do their best. “We let them know they would do well and whatever they do we will be proud of them,” she said.

Parents and teachers congregating outside the Combermere School this morning before the Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

Meanwhile, Blackman and Gollop’s Principal, Petrona Holder, said her charges were “anticipating sitting the exam”. Explaining that she had emphasised to them that the BSSEE was yet another stage in their life, Ms. Holder said: “They have prepared for it; they know the goals they have set for themselves and what has to be done. We know they can achieve more than is expected.

“But at the end of it all, we want them to be satisfied. I have said to them it is not where you go but it is how you perform when you get there. Education is a long journey; it doesn’t begin and end with the Common Entrance Examination. It is a lifelong endeavour.”

Two hundred and forty students from eight primary schools sat at the Springer Memorial Secondary School. The examination, which was taken by over 3,330 students, was written at 22 public secondary schools.

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