Good evening, dear readers.
I just wanted to take a moment to thank all of you who have been faithfully reading, commenting and sending your queries and kind comments about how helpful this blog has been to you.
I also thank you for your patience and loyalty, since this busy mom has lessened the frequency of her blog posts. As I have said before, this is a labour of love freely given, but my family and my work need to be priority, I appreciate your understanding.
I wish you and your family a 2016 that is the fulfillment of your dreams, the happiness you deserve and I wish you strength and grace under pressure when Life challenges you. May God go with you.
A question was asked about student visas for foreign nationals to attend school in Barbados. I will try to write a proper article during the week. For now, please check the following links:
Advice on the process:
Please note, there has been an addition to the school calendar. The Ministry of Education has announced that there will be NO SCHOOL ON WEDNESDAY, JANUARY 6, 2016 to accommodate the launch of the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of Independence.
Here are some important dates to remember for the rest of the school year. This page will be modified as new information emerges. Please note that additional dates to consider such as Sports Days will vary from school to school. Bank holidays shown in red.
Term 2 begins: Tuesday, January 5, 2016 (for students)
Wednesday, January 6, 2016 – NO SCHOOL – Official Launch for 50th Anniversary Independence Celebrations
Thursday, January 21, 2016 – NO SCHOOL – Errol Barrow Day
Dates for the different zones (TBD) – NAPSAC ZONAL PATSY CALLENDER CHAMPIONSHIP (Your child’s school may be closed)
TBD – NAPSAC QUARTERFINALS (Check with your child’s school)
TBD– NAPSAC SEMIFINALS (Check with your child’s school)
TBD – NAPSAC FINALS (Check with your child’s school)
Term 2 ends: Wednesday, March 23, 2016 (for students)
Term 3 begins: Tuesday, April 12, 2016 (for students)
Thursday, April 28, 2016 – NO SCHOOL – National Heroes’ Day
Monday, May 2, 2016 – NO SCHOOL – May Day (observed)
Tuesday, May 3, 2016 – COMMON ENTRANCE EXAM – Public Secondary Schools will be closed.
Monday, May 16, 2016 -NO SCHOOL – Whit Monday
Term 3 ends: Thursday, June 30, 2016
9 WEEKS SUMMER HOLIDAY
Just in case you did not get the opportunity to attend the 11 plus Town Hall Meetings this year (the final meeting was this evening at 5pm at the St. Michael School), here are a few important points to note. Additional information is also available here
Examination: Time and Structure
The examination takes place on Tuesday, May 3, 2016.
It begins at 9:00 a.m. with the Essay, which takes approximately 30 minutes. The English paper begins around 9:40 a.m. and is for 1 hour and 20 minutes. It is in two parts. The first section is 70 questions worth 1 mark each. It mostly consists of multiple choice and underlining the correct answers. The second section consists of 15 questions worth two marks each. It is important that we as parents remind our children the importance of writing in complete sentences. It turns out that if your child has a correct one-word answer that the student will receive NO MARKS for that answer.
There will be a half-hour break for snacks (nothing too heavy to eat so the children can concentrate better), then there is the Mathematics paper, comprised of three sections. Part A = 20 questions for 1 mark each. These are basic knowledge and this is the simplest section. Part B measures the student’s ability to comprehend what he/she is doing. This “comprehension” section has 25 questions worth 2 marks each. Of course, this section is a little more challenging. Finally, Part C, the most challenging section, contains 10 questions worth 3 marks each. It measures the child’s ability to reason. Remind your child of the importance of showing his/her working in the columns provided. If the child has the wrong answer but the working makes sense, a mark or two may still be attained.
Early sitters and deferrals
In order for a child to sit the exam early (i.e. not 11-years old by August 31, 2016), that child needs to have maintained a score of 85% or above in both English and Maths for all three terms in Class 2 and all three terms in Class 3. Parents may receive an Early Sitters form from the school’s Principal.
Deferrals are allowed up to age 12, however, the student must be scoring less than 20% in English and Mathematics. Deferrals may also be considered if the student suffered prolonged illness, e.g. for over a month. Parents may receive a Deferral form from the school’s Principal.
Non-nationals MUST have a student visa or be a citizen by descent. The cost for a student visa is $300. Note that if a student has been in Barbadian schools without a visa, for example for four years, ALL monies would need to be paid before the examination, i.e. $1,200.
Choice of School Forms
Also, the Ministry may make the forms available online this year. All forms are to be given to the Principal NOT the Ministry of Education.
“Special Request” forms are available if needed. Special need examples include:
Vision – request for examination papers with larger print (no medical report needed). Parents of students who are fully visually impaired must give early notice so that the exam can be prepared in Braille.
ADHD – child put in other room so he/she can focus better and is less of a distraction for other sitters.
Uncontrolled diabetes (if child has to eat every 30 minutes, e.g.) – put in separate room.
Dyslexia – extra 15 minutes per paper. Medical report required (psychological evaluation).
Problems with hands – writers can be provided but request should be made early in advance (6 months the latest). If a child breaks his/her hand close to the exam, an alternate exam will be administered once a doctor reports that the hand is sufficiently healed.
Examination results are normally available in June.
Ladies and gentlemen, it has truly been my pleasure to write for your information and your entertainment. What brings me even more joy is your encouraging feedback and hearing about your experiences in beautiful Barbados, my home, now OUR home.
One reader, an American mother with two wonderful toddlers, has made it safely to our shores a few weeks ago and has been documenting her journey with vivid photos in her own wordpress blog https://thedailysnorkel.wordpress.com/. The pictures are breathtaking and I enjoy her realistic and sincere commentary. She also offers tidbits such as how to handle driving on the left-hand side of the road for the first time. It is worth a long look, so please visit. I wish her and her family well, and I look forward to more readers sharing their experiences with us.
Have an enjoyable Friday and weekend ahead.
Good evening, loyal readers. I apologise for being so late with the list this year but I am swamped and recovering from the flu. Keeping it short tonight. Here are the dates and locations for the town hall meetings for parents and guardians whose charges will be sitting the 2016 Barbados Secondary Schools’ Entrance Examination. All meetings begin at 5pm.
Thursday, November 19, 2015 – Cuthbert Moore Primary School, St. Helen, St. George; Bay Primary School, Bayville, St. Michael.
Saturday, November 21, 2015 – Blackman Gollop Primary, Staple Grove Christ Church; Wesley Hall Primary School, King Street, St. Michael
Sunday, November 22, 2015 – St. Lucy Primary, Trents, St. Lucy; St. George Primary, Constant, St. George.
Tuesday, November 24, 2015 – Western Light Church of the Nazarene, West Terrace, St. James; George Lamming Primary School, Flint Hall, St. Michael.
Thursday, November 26, 2015 – A. Dacosta Edwards Primary, Ermie Bourne Highway, Belleplaine, St. Andrew; Eden Lodge Primary School, Eden Lodge, St. Michael.
Saturday, November 28, 2015 – Princess Margaret Secondary School, Six Cross Roads, St. Philip; St. John’s Primary School, Glebe Land, St. John.
Thursday, December 3, 2015 – The St. Michael School, Martindales Road, St. Michael
First of all, I apologise to all of you who sent me emails or comments and have waited a month or more for my response. I am now playing catch up so please check your emails or the appropriate comments sections for updates. In some cases I have been able to answer right away and for others I have sent off requests for further information.
Thank you for reading and thank you for your patience.
Good evening readers. Please see this link for calendar updates in regards to NAPSAC and the Common Entrance Examination.
Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination (Common Entrance) 2015 – Secondary Schools Ranking and Percentages
This year’s BSSEE will take place on Tuesday, May 5, 2015. I have been getting questions about percentages to get into certain secondary schools. This list is incomplete (no statistics for Alma Parris, Darryl Jordan Secondary or. Grantley Adams Memorial) but here is what has been accumulated thus far from different sources. Out of zone requirements are in bold print. Also notice that the rankings are slightly different from what was obtained from last year’s town hall meetings.
1. Harrison College (90-95%; 95%+) – Zone 2
1. Queen’s College (90-95%; 95%+) – Zone 1
3. St. Michael School (85-90%; 90%+) – Zone 3
4. Combermere School (80-85%; 85%+) – Zone 2
4. Christ Church Foundation School (80-85%; 85%+) – Zone 3
6. Lodge School (70-80%; 80%+) – Zone 3
6. Alexandra (70-80%; 80%+) – Zone 1
8. Deighton Griffith (65-75%; 75%+) – Zone 3
9. Alleyne School ( 60-70%; 70&+) – Zone 2
10. Coleridge & Parry (55-65%; 65%+) – Zone 1
11. Graydon Sealy ( 50-60%; 60%+) – Zone 3
11. Lester Vaughn ( 50-60%; 60%+) – Zone 2
13. Ellerslie (45-55%; 55%+) – Zone 1
14. Springer Memorial (50%+) – All Zones
14. St. Leonard’s Boys’ (50%+) – All Zones
16) Frederick Smith Secondary (30-40%; 40%+) – Zone 1
17) Parksinson Memorial (25-40%; 40%+) – Zone 2
17) Princess Margaret Secondary (25-40%; 40%+) – Zone 3