George Town Primary school still weak on mathematics

An Office of Education Standards report has found that while George Town Primary School is improving in certain areas, mathematics still need some work.

George Town Primary School still needs work on how it teaches students mathematics, but it is satisfactorily addressing the other issues inspectors recently raised, according to a new report.

A follow-up report published Thursday, Sept. 20, by the Office of Education Standards said the school was improving on five of six deficiencies identified in a survey conducted in January. George Town was rated satisfactory in meeting the various abilities of students, providing regular extended writing exercises, extending the scope of reading assignments, providing clear objectives and an adequate pace in lessons, and grading work promptly with clear indications of the improvements that need to be made.

“Inspectors noted some improvement to the quality of teaching in mathematics,” the report said, noting that new strategies had been put into place by the administration to address weak performance by students. And while students in Stage 1 (Years 1-3) showed signs of improvement, “students’ progress was found to be more erratic and subject to the greater range of variability which was noted in teaching in Key Stage 2.”

Inspectors said goals set for individual student achievement had not proven effective and “the number of students anticipated to achieve at the expected level in 2019 in Year 4 to Year 6 was noted to be low and not significantly better than previous years.”

As a consequence, the progress on this issue was rated weak by the inspectors. That assessment means the school will once again be inspected in six months to see how it is doing.

The survey follows a yearlong assessment of all the primary schools during the 2017-2018 school year. Inspectors looked at progress made since a series of inspections in 2014-2015. This academic year, inspectors will visit the three government high schools and the private schools in the Cayman Islands.

The number of George Town parents participating in a survey conducted by inspectors went from 43 in January to 70 for this report. The additional respondents seemed to be more critical in their assessments.

In January, 86 percent of parents said they thought George Town was providing a good education for their children. This time, only 78 percent felt that way.

Among the 23 teachers and staff members surveyed, the trend was just the opposite, with 100 percent saying they felt the school was providing a good education for students. That compares to a January survey in which 93 percent of 15 faculty and staff said the same was true.

The full report can be found at www.gov.ky/portal/page/portal/esahome. Click on Publications and then click on the George Town follow-up survey.