Tears, smiles and fanfare – students start a new school year
Public school children returned to the classrooms amid much fanfare yesterday with the start of the new school year.
Keisha Douglas, the principal of the Berkeley Institute, said the return to school went smoothly with 136 students enrolled for the year — 119 of whom were enrolled in the new signature learning programmes.
Of those students, 70 are enrolled on the Health and Social Care signature, 49 are on Financial and Insurance Services signature and the rest are entering as “non-track“ students or unaffiliated with the signature learning programmes.
Ms Douglas said yesterday: “It’s running smoothly — we had a great first day. Our new students were clapped in by alumni, family and friends at 8.45am, we had welcome assemblies and Patrice Frith Hayward gave a motivational speech entitled Your Purpose.
“Today we are doing student workshops so tomorrow we are ready to lift off — teaching and learning starts tomorrow.”
Ms Douglas said there is a good mix of male and female students on the signature learning programmes and added that she was confident there would be more interest in the financial programme in the future.
Diallo Rabain, the Minister of Education, joined members of the Berkeley’s board at the opening of the school yesterday as well as alumni and members of the Learning First team that helped to design the signature learning programmes.
Ms Douglas said that the return to school was much easier now that Covid-19 restrictions had been eased.
She added: “It was much smoother this year. The processes were much better.”
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Kennelyn Smith, principal of Victor Scott Primary School, said her students were welcomed back with a big sign courtesy of the PTA and they were treated with a 360-degree photo booth session in the morning.
Ms Smith said: “We had an awesome first day. Our theme this year is We are Too LEGIT to Quit and LEGIT stands for Learner, Engaged, Growing and Intellectually Together. We are persevering with passion and purpose.
“The children had an awesome morning assembly at 11am catching up on the summer vacation, we introduced new staff and we had one of our most prominent community partners, Dr Stanley James, of Premier Health and Wellness, come in and make a sizeable donation to the school.
“It was much easier [in terms of the relaxed Covid-19 protocols] and we are excited to get back to some of our normal activities.”
Trina Cariah, principal of West End Primary School, said her students were excited to return, especially since the Covid restrictions have been partially lifted.
She said: “Most of the students were in good spirits, there were a few tears. However, by the end of the day everyone was upbeat.
“The staff are prepared and ready for a productive successful year. This year’s theme is SWAG: Students Winning And Growing. That will be our focus throughout the year.”
Warwick Academy, as a private school, went back to school last Tuesday. Jane Vickers, the director of development, said: “We are back to sport, music, drama and activities and all is very well in the world.
“The students are happy and all is great. Everyone was asked to do a lateral flow before they started and as far as I know there are no students out for Covid.
“The sport teams are practising, our school play rehearsals are under way, our choir is starting, music is being made and you can here and see the excitement in the school.”