Grade Two students not up to scratch
Front Page
April 7, 2006
Grade Two students not up to scratch

More than 50 percent of the Grade 2 students at the CW Prescod Primary School were found to be unable to read at their class level in a recently conducted National Diagnostic Reading Test.

In a letter sent to the parents who are directly affected, principal Orde Ballantyne stated: “We need an emergency intervention strategy to arrest and address this important concern.” His letter summed up the results of the test as “startling.”{{more}}

Parents of 49 students were summoned to this strategic intervention meeting at 4 p.m. last Wednesday, April 5, but at the time of the meeting’s eventual 4:15 start barely a handful of the parents were present. “What you are doing now is wrong, it is not working,” charged principal Ballantyne as he outlined the obviously disappointing realities of the students’ performance in the Diagnostic test.

“Our students cannot read and if they can’t read they can’t do an exam,” he continued as the ten or so parents listened attentively. He also challenged the parents to be honest about their ability to help improve the situation. “If you need help come quietly after and ask for it,” he advised.

Deputy Principal of the school Carol Ross said that the school is concerned about the results but is ready to take up the challenge to correct the problem. She highlighted the satisfactory performance of the Grade 4 as a key component of the school’s optimism.

The school launched a literacy centre last April, which was a project done by her as part of the requirements for her BA in Education Administration studies. Since then small groups including Grade 4 students have been benefiting from this centre. “They get personalized teaching, tailored for their specific needs and the results are speaking for themselves,” highlighted Ross.

Jillian Graham, the current coordinator of the centre stated her simple policy: “We see where they are at, they may be in Grade 4 but reading at Grade K level.” Graham, the wife of a pastor, made it a point to mention that it is not just teaching for her but rather ministry. “Some of the students have self esteem struggles and it isn’t made easier when they are unable to read.”