Good evening, everyone:
I have been away for a long time but note that all email and comment responses are now up-to-date so you can check your email/comment section.
I will try to post a Q & A at a later date since some of the questions asked fell into the same category and others may benefit.
I wish you well and belated New Year’s greetings.
Good afternoon and congratulations to all of the students, parents and teachers who worked hard and sacrificed for the success of this year’s exam. Normally I post on Results day, but as you know, my day job is demanding, but better late than never.
Just know that whatever school is on the table for September, that is the school where the path of excellence continues.
God bless and keep pressing forward.
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.
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
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
It is that time of year again, when parents all over the island of Barbados are given an opportunity to be educated about the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination (BSSEE) and to ask for any clarification they need from Education Officers who are au fait with the process. This opportunity takes the form of town hall meetings, which occur island-wide during the months of December and January. If you would like to get an idea of issues that are addressed, click here.
For further information on dates and locations of the meeting, please see the schedule below as was issued by the Ministry of Education, Science, Technology & Innovation. All meetings convene at 5:00 p.m.
The next meetings will be in January. They are:
Tuesday, January 6, 2015
DaCosta Edwards Primary School
Eden Lodge Primary School
Saturday, January 10, 2015
Princess Margaret Secondary School
Wesley Hall Primary School
Sunday, January 11, 2015
St. John’s Primary School
St. Joseph Primary School
Thank you for your emails and I apologise for the delay in my responses. I have just completed answering the last of the backlog from the last couple of months so you may check your email for my answers to your questions. If you have any follow-up questions, please feel free to ask.
The majority of questions this time around have been in regards to doctor recommendations. Please note that questions about doctor recommendations will be answered privately and will not be published for the protection of the doctors themselves. (View this link)
Thank you again for reading and I wish you and yours all the best for the season.
In this morning’s (June 12, 2014) edition of the Nation newspaper, Minister of Education Ronald Jones congratulated all of the students who sat the Common Entrance examination but expressed concern about the need for the challenges students face in Mathematics and English to be addressed. It was noted that out of 3,729 students, there were only 22 who gained 100% in Mathematics. This does not discount the efforts of any of the other children, since all children who sat the exam should be commended for reaching this milestone.
The names of those 22 were not mentioned but special congratulations to you all the same.
Also, kudos to the top performers in English, whose names were published:
Rehanna King – Eagle Hall Primary School
Jamilah Best – Hindsbury Primary School
Kacie Corbin – St. Winifred’s School
Jamie-Lynn Taitt-Gibson – Charles F. Broome Memorial School
Aria Kellman – West Terrace Primary School
Yohance Lewis – St. Cyprian’s Boys’ School
Teshara Walton – George Lamming Primary School
Aisha Waterman – St. Gabriel’s School
Leanne Alleyne – Hindsbury Primary School
Shamoya Carty – Wills Primary School
Thelema Grannum – Hillaby Turner’s Hall Primary School
Oluwatomi Oredein – People’s Cathedral Primary School
Sunshine Talma – Wills Primary School
Good job, children. Well done.
OK. So I awake this morning to questions about transfers.
As far as I recall, transfers are not allowed in the first year after the examination. Reallocation is only considered on humanitarian grounds, such as if a student lives in St. Lucy, passes for St. Leonard’s Boys’ School in St. Michael but suffers from motion sickness, then an exemption can be made.
While this rule may frustrate some parents, I want to share with you the advice that I gave my child before sitting the examination. “I know you worked hard, so wherever you go, I will be satisfied. If it is not a school you wanted, there is no need to worry. Just forget any distractions, buckle down and continue to work hard, and the world is your oyster. You can do anything, be anything.”
Yes, there are rankings, but if a child goes to any school and has a good work ethic, he or she will be successful. I went to University with students whose alma maters were the full spectrum of secondary schools. Some had gone to secondary schools at which Barbadian society may turn up its nose, but they excelled there, went on to 6th form schools or Barbados Community College, then University and are quite successful in life, in some cases, more successful than those who had gone on to more prestigious schools when they were 11.
Not only do children develop at different rates, but going to the school one does not want can actually make one work harder for what one wants. There is no need to be discouraged. The Common Entrance is not the end, in fact, it is just the beginning. The work truly starts now.
Of course, if you consider all I said before to be hogwash, you can always apply for a transfer next year.