A new report says East End Primary School has made mostly “satisfactory” progress in the past three years on recommendations that were made after an inspection during the 2014-2015 school year.
Evaluators with the Office of Education Standards found that changes in staffing assignments and additional teacher training and support have led to improvement in student performance, which has been low, in the early grades at the school. The report also said more improvement is needed in the upper grades, especially in Year 6.
When inspectors visited the school at the end of 2017, the report said, year-end reading assessments showed “only around half of the students left the school achieving the expected levels. In mathematics, similarly, only around one third achieved the required level. There were no examples of achievement at the highest level in these two subject areas. In writing, levels of achievement at Year 6 remained well below the Cayman Island[s] average and significantly below the U.K. norm.”
Public schools are on break this week, and no one answered the phone at East End Primary when a reporter called for comment.
Writing was noted as a problem across all grades, in particular with Year 6.
“Students’ progress was judged to be too slow and achievement for the current academic year had only shown limited improvement from previous years,” the report said. “The school requires a clearer strategy and more effective arrangements to ensure good progress in writing.”
Overall, the report was complimentary to many of the changes that had been made since the last inspection, particularly in areas where teaching resources were realigned.
The report noted “the principal had established a clear structure to the timetable for all classes and set an appropriate time allocation for each area of the curriculum. In all classes there was sufficient time given for English, mathematics and science as key subjects.”
It also praised the principal for designating lead teachers for literacy and mathematics. These teachers help coordinate the curriculum and mentor staff in teaching the core subjects.
While improvements have been made in addressing the needs of challenged students – the report notes that one-third of the student population has been assessed as having “additional needs” – those who are capable of excelling are not getting that opportunity.
“Over the last few years,” the report said, “there were too few students who had achieved above the expected level despite indications from profile assessments that they were capable of such levels of achievement. In order to raise achievement even further, the senior leaders and staff should review provision for able students and plan more effective intervention strategies in Key Stage 2 classes.”
A parent survey that was included in the report showed a high level of satisfaction with the school. Of the 27 parents who took the online survey, 80 percent said they were pleased with the school’s quality of education.
In November, parents protested the placement of a temporary teacher they considered unqualified by refusing to send their children to school, effectively shutting down East End Primary for two days.
A sizable portion of the parents surveyed, 24 percent, disagreed that parents were actively involved in the work of the school, and 27 percent did not believe students at the school were well behaved.
The report said inspectors would continue to monitor student progress at the school. If performance scores at the end of the year show a decline, they said they will reinspect the school within six months.
A copy of the full report can be found online at www.pocs.gov.ky. Click on the ‘Publications’ link under the heading ‘Freedom of Information.’ Then click on the ‘Office of Education Standards’ link.