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Sandys Secondary Middle School reports 2011 GCSE successes

Sandys Secondary Middle School yesterday announced two of its students had scored A grades in GCSE maths.

School principal Tim Jackson said a total of 19 students aged 13 and 14 sat the secondary-level exams in June at the Berkeley Institute.

Nineteen middle-school students sitting a GCSE exam is far from the norm, Mr Jackson said, since students typically sit GCSEs at the end of their second year in senior school.

“Most outstanding was the fact that two of the students received A’s,” he added.

Another two middle-schoolers got B grades. There were five at C, six with D’s, one E and three U’s.

The Sandys GCSE students have earned a place in advanced mathematics class at the Island’s two public high schools.

A principal at Sandys for five years, Mr Jackson said it was important to push high-performing students.

“I thought it would be in the best interests of the students, the school and Bermuda.”

Mr Jackson credits much of the maths students’ success to after-school studies.

Any middle-schooler who qualifies for early GCSEs is expected to take on extra classes.

Sandys parents have also supported the Sandys Academy of Mathematics, inspired by maths teacher Leyde St Leger.

“If you allow students to believe they can’t, they won’t,” Mr St Leger explained.

“They don’t have to be gifted in math. When they came into class, from day one I tell them what’s expected. At their age, they’re much smarter than I could be. It’s just having someone to tell them they have no limits, no boundaries that they’re going to pass this exam. And they do.”

The teacher, often called Mr Saint by his students, said that the Sandys Academy of Mathematics (SAM) was instigated by parents.

“They wanted an after-school activity along the lines of the Centre for Talented Youth, but without travelling all the way into town,” he said.

The Sandys programme caters to students keen on learning high level mathematical concepts.

Starting next month, the school plans to build on its GCSE success by enrolling some of its students in the IGCSE programme, in English as well as maths.

Asked for Government’s figures for GCSE results, a Ministry of Education spokeswoman said the numbers were expected within a couple of weeks, after parents and students have been informed by schools.

Useful website: www.moed.bm.

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Published September 17, 2011 at 2:00 am (Updated September 17, 2011 at 8:08 am)

Sandys Secondary Middle School reports 2011 GCSE successes

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