Students and staff of John Gray High School, along with invited dignitaries, held a special assembly Wednesday morning, packed with music, song, speeches and congratulations as they marked the first time the school has received a ‘good’ rating from inspectors.
Earlier this month, the Office of Education Standards issued its report on the 1,100-student school, based on assessments carried out in April and May.
Governor Martyn Roper, Education Minister Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson and Parliamentary Secretary for Education Katherine Ebanks-Wilks were among the guests invited to take part in the assembly.
The governor began his speech saying “You are John Gray, we are John Gray, I am John Gray”, a reference to the school’s student-led identity campaign, before acknowledging the hard work the school’s faculty, staff and students had undertaken to improve standards.
“It is an outstanding achievement to be rated good, the second highest of the four ratings” he said, adding that he believed the school was now “on the road to excellent”.
Throughout the assembly, the audience was entertained by the JGHS Pop Band and Dream Team Steel Pans.
After their performance, O’Connor-Connolly instructed the steel pan players to pick up their pans and move them to the front of the school gym where the assembly was being held and play another song, to demonstrate that even with an unexpected change of location and instruction, “the end result was equally as good if not better”, she said.
She said she and members of the Ministry and Department of Education looked forward to returning to the school to celebrate an ‘excellent’ rating in the future.
Some of the loudest cheers of the morning in the school gym were reserved for individual staff members as their faces appeared on a specially produced music video.
Following the assembly, officials, including school principal Jonathan Clark, unveiled a sign outside the school that highlighted its ‘good’ rating, and dignitaries, staff and students posed for photographs before the sign.
In its June report, the Office of Education Standards stated that “Almost all aspects of the school have improved with increased impact, particularly in relation to improvements in students’ attainment and progress in English, mathematics, and science.”