Literacy changes working but slow

A literacy change at most government schools seems to be working although it is in its early stage.

Examination results for John Gray High School reflect a six per cent increase in the number of students achieving five plus high grade passes compared to last year, Education Minister Alden McLaughlin has announced.

‘This is still not good enough and still below the 60 per cent average rate hoped for,’ he said.

In Cayman Brac high grade passes were achieved by 71 per cent of students in mathematics and 76 per cent in English compared to John Gray High of 28 per cent in mathematics and 51 per cent in English.

Questioned why Cayman Brac grades were so high, Mr. McLaughlin said it was mainly due to class size, individual attention, a smaller community and greater parental support.

‘It is going to take time for the new curriculum plans to have an effect on Cayman,’ he said.

The class sizes in Grand Cayman are not bad and he did not see that as a major factor. A major factor is a range of abilities in the classes in the comprehensive system and the way teachers are required to teach not just in Cayman but across most jurisdictions.

Mr. McLaughlin said research done and what experts say is that the system was just fundamentally bad, which is why they were shifting to something far more different.

‘The new curriculum and school plan will reflect these changes which will enable teachers to teach different and be able to address what is called differentiated learning or personalised education and be able to focus more on individual abilities and needs of the students in the classroom rather than requiring the slowest learner in the class to keep pace.’

He also said teachers had bought into the changes which would not be effective without their help.

Examination results for this year’s John Gray and Cayman Brac High School students are published in a new format.

The Ministry of Education has published the results in tabular format for download from the Ministry’s website at

For parents and guardians who do not have access to a computer, hard copies can be request by telephone.

It is hoped by government that the use of this new format will make annual comparisons of results considerably easier and more meaningful in the years to follow.

This he said was indicative that the new strategies put in place over this academic year by the school Principal Debbie McLaughlin and her staff were starting to become effective.

The summary reports published will also focus on results for English and mathematics, reflecting their importance as core curriculum subjects.

Overall figures shown on the summary will reflect the numbers and percentages of students achieving a pass at any level.

Summery results for English and mathematics will reflect the number of students taught the subject, those who achieved a pass at any level, numbers entered for examination that could result in a high grade pass and number of students that received a high grade pass.

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