Office of Education Standards inspectors have given a ‘satisfactory’ rating to the Theoline McCoy Primary School, formerly Bodden Town Primary School, in their report released in December.
The rating means that the 269-student school has reached the minimum level of quality required for the Cayman Islands.
However, the Office of Education Standards report found that students’ attainment in English, mathematics and science was weak, compared to international standards.
The inspectors recommended that standards of achievement in all core subjects should be raised by “ensuring that all teachers have high expectations of what students can achieve, whatever their starting points and plan appropriately to meet their needs in lessons, particularly the more able and those with special educational needs”.
The report also called for greater consistency in the quality of teaching “by regular and rigorous monitoring and the sharing good of practice to raise students’ standards of achievement”.
While the report found that standards of both teaching and learning were satisfactory, the level of assessment was found to be weak.
Cayman Learning Centre
The Office of Education Standards also released its report on an inspection of the Cayman Learning Centre, which has 10 full-time students in classes from Year 5 to year 9, as well as 45 students enrolled in its after-school programme. The inspectors gave a ‘weak’ rating to the centre.
Students’ attainment and progress in all three core subjects of English, mathematics and science were weak, inspectors found, as were the levels of learning and assessment.
Other key areas judged as weak were “curriculum, leadership and self-evaluation and improvement planning”, the report noted.
The inspector found that students’ behaviour for learning, civic and environmental understanding, teaching quality, health and safety, and support and guidance were satisfactory.
The facility, located at Pasadora Place, was registered as a school in August 2019, before which it had operated as a home tutoring centre providing remediation support to students in literacy, numeracy and behaviour modification.
School inspections are undertaken at least once every four years, when a team of inspectors visit each school for between two and five days. The next round of inspections is slated to begin this month.
Schools can receive one of four ratings – excellent, good, satisfactory, or weak.
Footsteps, a private primary school on Eastern Avenue, George Town was given an overall ‘good’ rating by the OES.
A relatively new school, Footsteps has 35 students who are taught by four teachers and an additional three support staff. According to the OES, several students were taught or tutored in 2019 prior to the school’s official launch in September 2020.
Despite the difficulties posed by lockdown measures, the OES reported, “only a few students fell behind”, and those received support upon their return to school for the September semester.
The OES found that the students demonstrated a positive attitude to learning, and the curriculum provided “broad, balanced and enriching experiences”. The school’s connection with the community and parents was also noted as a key strength.
Students’ attainment in English, mathematics and science was rated as satisfactory. The OES has recommended that, along with monitoring and evaluation processes, the school also improve the use of ICT (information communication and technology), integrating it more effectively into the planning and delivery of lessons.
Hope Academy also received an overall rating of ‘good’ from the OES.
The school’s leadership was praised as being a key strength in its overall evaluation.
“Support and guidance were judged to be excellent with most of the quality indicators judged to be good,” reads the report in part. “Almost all aspects of leadership were judged to be good but the school’s ability to provide additional space to support students’ physical scientific skills was limited.”
At the time of the report 106 students were enrolled across the school’s primary and secondary grades.
The report said, “Almost all students’ made good progress in English, mathematics and science”, judging attainment in those subjects “satisfactory” in relation to international standards.
While the OES report noted that there were “no weak areas”, it said the school’s “curriculum health and safety together with staffing and resources were judged to be satisfactory”.