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Foster creativity

schools encouraged to focus on more than just academics

More schools were encouraged to explore their creativity and not just focus on academics.

This was the message delivered at Roland Edwards Primary School which celebrated its 23rd anniversary with the unveiling of a mural painted by students and an artist.

Addressing the students at the anniversary service held at the St. Peter school, Education Officer Shamin Ally told the students that they were following in the vision of their namesake Roland Edwards in combining the creative with academics.

She pointed to the schools music programme, their participation in the National Independence Festival of Creative Arts, stating that it “prides itself as a professional learning community”.

“The Ministry of Education commends this effort and implores other schools to follow this best practice. Projecting into the future, we expect better things from this school.

“Creativity fuels imagination. It is often an area that is neglected in schools because of the pressure to produce good academic results,” she stated. She further urged the school “to stay on the path of a mixed curriculum of academics and creativity in the form of the creative arts in dance, drama, visual arts and song. This is the way to maximise the fullest potential of each student here today.”

Principal Michael Watson said he believed the school had a lot to be thankful and proud of, stating, “[W]e continue to work towards ensuring that our pupils learn as much as they can every day, developing a culture of collaboration and cooperation between and among the various stakeholders – staff, pupils, community, Ministry of Education, etc.; and having a clear focus on results, whether it’s how pupils perform in their class exercises, end of term or year exams, the Criterion Reference tests, or the 11-Plus Exam. Improved pupil performance is therefore key to everything that we do here.”

This focus on improved student performance, he said, was what led to the introduction of their Programme of Excellence, which saw a number of students being awarded for obedience, completing assignments on time with good work, tidiness, developing socialising skills, resisting peer pressure and conflict resolution skills, from Reception right up to Class Four.

Likewise, the principal praised his students’ involvement in the repainting of the mural which he said had become worn over time and which youth cultural ambassador Petra Haynes had approached the school with an offer to have redone with the assistance of the business community, namely Harris Paints and Jordans Supermarket, and his pupils.

Students Chaela Watts-Clarke, Aleeah Jordan, Shadia St. John, Priah Osbourne-Boyce, Chanara Oliver, Oshanna George and Javont√ Griffith were all integrally involved in the process and were given stars of achievement by the principal for their involvement. (LB)

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