June 24, 2014
Barrouallie remedial reading programme reaps rewards

With the implementation of the Caribbean Primary Exit Assessment (CPEA), primary schools are looking for different ways to engage their students so that they can be successful.

On June 13, the official report on the first sitting of the CPEA in St Vincent and the Grenadines {{more}}showed favourable results; most primary schools were able to achieve a pass rate over 80 per cent.

Barrouallie Government School was one of these schools, and they not only recorded an 83 per cent pass rate, but also had two students placing in the top 11 spots.

Head teacher, Vibert Pierre feels that the school’s unique preparation process is testament to this achievement.

“There is a success story that I would really like to share here,” Pierre told SEARCHLIGHT on Monday.

“When the children were in Grade 5, at the end of the last school year, I realized that quite a number of them, about 20 of them, were unable to read well. That, we realized, would have been a barrier to their success in examinations.”

The head teacher explained that in August 2013, the school implemented a remedial reading programme for a number of Grade 6 students, which bore great results.

“We had two weeks of intensive reading, remedial reading programme, where we divided children into three groups, the strongest of them were in one group, the average and the weakest of all were in another group. We had four teachers. We worked with them for the three weeks intensively. Reading, phonics comprehension and what happened, we were amazed at the progress of those students, the interest that they showed and they improved at the end of it.

“What we did is that when they went up to Grade 6 now, we kept them in one class. We kept all of them in one class and we introduced a remedial reading period on the timetable; so, every day after lunch for 30 minutes, they continued their remedial reading and we were amazed as to how the children, they were motivated to work. As a matter of fact, that B class had a better attitude than a lot of the students in the A class and from that B class of 17 students, nine of them were successful. This for us is an achievement because we were able to see value added to their lives,” Pierre said.

Among these students was young Brian Lee, who told SEARCHLIGHT that he was happy that he was able to do well in the CPEA.

According to Pierre, Lee was one that was really struggling with his reading.

“He was so motivated that he did well in his exams. He was successful,” Pierre said.

“He has not reached to the point where he is comfortable with his reading as we would like him to be, but I think he is at a point where he can be instructed and move from there.”

Lee placed 556th for boys and was 1,237th overall.(BK)