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Flawed mindset

A secondary school principal says that many of the expectations for children who “transit” from primary to secondary school are “unrealistic”.

Speaking this morning at the presentation ceremony of the Psychiatric Hospital’s Mental Health Spelling Competition at Prince Cave Hall at the District “A” Police Station, Matthew Farley, head of the Graydon Sealy Secondary said that “for the first time in my experience at a secondary school” he had to refer a first former who had only spent four months at the Paddock Road, St. Michael school to the board of management’s disciplinary committee.

That student brought to school an axe and cursed teachers.

To be dealt with

He said this was a problem that had to be dealt with and reiterated that most of the problems stemmed from the community.

Farley also said: “In many instances there seems to be the expectation that primary school children will automatically make the transition, and by some process of osmosis they will develop the magical powers to grow up. It does not happen like that. The reality is it does not happen like that.

“It is a process that requires careful planning and preparation at all levels and with all stakeholders involved. Students meet the increased expectations for achievement and behaviour, students are also subjected to more rigourous grading policies, more copious homework assignments and at the same time social expectations increase and peer relations become more complex, students encounter a larger and more diverse students population where conformity and social competence are stressed,” Farley said.

He noted that when the youngsters move to the next level of their education, it was expected that they had basic time management and organisational skills as well as certain basic social graces and understood how to comply with simple rules.

The principal told the students that teachers did not expect “to baby you” when they reached secondary school. Additionally they expected them to have the basic skills of reading, spelling and writing. (DS)

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