Beaming head

QC principal on cloud nine after CAPE results

On a high from the school’s success in this year’s National Academic Awards, Queen’s College (QC) Principal Dr David Brown said there was no real secret to getting there, except for a strong work ethic and the desire to excel.   

The Husbands, St James institution captured 15 of the 26 scholarships and 11 of the 19 exhibitions announced yesterday by Minister of Education Ronald Jones.

Brown told Barbados TODAY it was the unrelenting effort of the students, as well as the school and its support system that led to these achievements.

One of the initiatives was the Drive for Improved Quality Academic Success (DIQAS) programme, which set specific targets for students.

“It urges the students to pitch their academic performance at a higher level. Let me give you an example. At the CAPE [Caribbean Advanced Profiency Examination] level, which the scholars and exhibition winners come from, grades one to five at CXC is a pass, but we are not recognizing grades four or five. We ask students to aim for grades one to three as the only acceptable grade. So, if you get a four or a five you pass, you haven’t failed. But we want you to aim for grades one to three.

“At the CSEC [Caribbean. Secondary Education Certificate] level, grades one to three is a pass. We tell students aim for grades one and two. So, if you get a grade three at the CSEC level, you pass. But the school lift the standard up to grade one and two and at the CAPE level with one to three,” Brown explained, adding that this was also the case in the junior school, where a culture of “academic excellence” was being inculcated in the pupils.

“Fifty per cent is a pass but we ask students to aim for 65 per cent. If I see on your report that you got 65, you pass. But then I will ask the fella, don’t forget our initiative. We ask you to aim higher.

“So as far as I’m concerned, this DIQAS initiative has really lifted the academic standards and once students aim for it, they will do well. I am looking forward to the days when I drop grades three at both the CSEC and CAPE and only ask that one and two be the only acceptable grades,” he said.

Last year when the results were announced, QC only garnered two scholarships and seven exhibitions, a sharp fall from the 15 scholarships and 14 exhibition it had secured one year earlier.

Brown is predicting that the school will again be in top contention in 2018, when the Barbados Scholarships and Exhibitions are announced.

“We’ve gotten these scholarships and exhibitions [and] we’re on track to do well next year again . . . .They have indicated by their results in Unit One in Lower Six, that they are on track next year. If these people who perform this year in Lower Six, the same in Upper Six next year, 14 [scholarships] and 20 for exhibition,” he predicted.

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