Dame Jennifer Smith
Dame Jennifer Smith
FRIDAY, NOVEMBER 26: Dame Jennifer Smith, Education Minister, and Vincent Ingham, deputy chair for the Board of Education, today shared test results and graduation rates for Bermuda's schools.

Mr. Ingham said: "The graduation results show that of the students enrolled at the start of the 2009-2010 academic year, CedarBridge had a 99% graduation rate, while Berkeley had a 98% graduation rate. If we calculate the graduation rate using S1 as the denominator, CedarBridge had a graduation rate of 86% while Berkeley had a graduation rate of 79%."
 

Dame Jennifer said: "At the Senior School level, 76.06% of S1 and S2 students demonstrated proficiency in the English Language Arts; while 22.96% demonstrated proficiency in Mathematics."

Full statements below. 

Dame Jennifer Smith
Good afternoon, I think by now you all know that education is my passion.

That said, when I assumed the role of Minister of Education, I was quite aware that getting our education system back on track would present its share of challenges.  But I also knew that there was a solid foundation on which to build. That foundation includes dedicated Ministry professionals, principals and teachers who understand that delivering a quality education to all our students is a national priority.

I am glad that – as a key player - the Board of Education understands and supports this priority.  In fact, The Education Act 1996 gives the Board the responsibility to “evaluate, in conjunction with the Commissioner of Education, the performance of schools….” therefore, it is fitting that joining me today is the Deputy Chair of the Board Mr. Vincent Ingham and Commissioner of Education Mrs. Wendy McDonnell.

Ladies and gentlemen, one of the ways to measure the progress, skill level and aptitude of our students at each level (primary, middle and senior) is to administer proficiency tests in the core areas of study, such as English, Mathematics, Science and the Arts.

Over the past two school years, the Terra Nova Second Edition, the Bermuda Criterion-Referenced Test (BCRT), the General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE), City and Guilds, the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), the Assessment and Qualification Alliance (AQA), the National Centre for Construction Education and Research (NCCR), Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3), and EDEXCELL (functional skills) have all been used in reporting student performance in Bermuda’s Public School System.


Today, I will announce the results of the various assessments at the primary, middle and senior levels and Mr. Ingham will present the 2010 Graduation results.  The Commissioner of Education, Ms. Wendy McDonell will answer any questions you may have.

For the benefit of background I think it’s important to explain the various criteria used to measure student performance.

The TerraNova Second Edition is a norm-referenced test administered to students in Primary 3 through to Senior 2. The areas of assessment are Reading, Language and Mathematics, based on general skills and concepts at each grade level.    

The Terra Nova is used for two primary purposes:

Ø  To track performance against an external educational student body in broad academic areas;

Ø  The results are used as a basis for the design and evaluation of strategies introduced to improve performance.


Results:

The combined score for Reading, Language and Mathematics ranks our Primary 3 students at the mid-point against their US peer group.  Grade levels reporting at the mid-point or higher, include P 3 and P 4 for Language and Mathematics, P 5 for Language and P 6 for Reading and Language.  The 2010 Terra Nova results at the primary level indicate no change.


The M 1 results in Mathematics and Language were lower than last year; while the M 2 and M 3 results for Mathematics and the M 2 results for Language were higher than expected.  M 2 and M 3 results for Language were at the middle or higher ranking. 


At the senior level, the news is less heartening. No year level reported a score at or above the mid-point.  However, students at this level undertake a barrage of tests and the Terra Nova is not one students consider crucial to graduation requirements.


The Bermuda Criterion–Referenced Test (BCRT) is a criterion referenced test designed to measure a student’s knowledge of the Bermuda Public School Curriculum in English Language Arts and Mathematics. 


The four achievement levels used are:  Advanced (scores ranging from 85% to 100%), Proficient (scores ranging from 60% to 84%), Partially Proficient (scores ranging from 45% to 59%) and Novice (scores of 44% and lower).


Results:

As a note, 66.97% of Primary School students (P3-P6) demonstrated proficiency in English Language Arts; while 75.66% demonstrated proficiency in Mathematics. Within the grade levels, more than 70% of P 3 students are proficient in English Language, Arts and Mathematics; more than 70% of P 6 students are proficient in English Language Arts; and more than 70% of P 4 students are proficient in Mathematics.


At the Middle School level, 99.58% of M1-M3 students demonstrated proficiency in English Language Arts.  As a note 41.73% of students demonstrated proficiency in Mathematics.  System wide, more than 70% of M 1 students demonstrated proficiency in English Language Arts.


At the Senior School level, 76.06% of S1 and S2 students demonstrated proficiency in the English Language Arts; while 22.96% demonstrated proficiency in Mathematics. 


The BCRT test scores indicate a mathematics concern at the middle and senior levels.  The Terra Nova test scores highlight a concern with the transition from P6 to M1. 

 Together, these results give a picture of areas where our students are doing well and areas that need to be targeted for improvement.

Ladies and gentlemen, I know that Bermudians recognise the transforming power of education.  Simply put, the future belongs to those Countries who can best educate their people.  

While our challenges are many, I don’t believe they are insurmountable.  Rather, I believe that we must all be held accountable for making every school a great school and ensuring excellence in education for every student.

I will now hand you over to the Deputy Chair of the Board of Education, Mr. Vincent Ingham, to give you the results of the Senior School assessments.



Thank you.

Deputy Chair of the Board of Education

Mr. A. L. Vincent Ingham

Thank you Minister,

 

The Board of Education is indeed a key player with responsibility toevaluate, in conjunction with the Commissioner of Education, the performance of schools….” 

 

We envisage the establishment of processes that will ensure a consistent standard of reporting and we are taking steps to introduce monitoring, assessment and accountability models that will realize continuous improvements in our education system.

 

Before presenting the results I would like to first share some background information pertaining to the external exams that are currently offered in the school system.

At the end of the 2009-2010 academic school year, both Senior Schools [Berkeley Institute and CedarBridge Academy] sat the following external exams:

 

  • The General Certificate of Secondary Education (GCSE)
  • The Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT)
  • The Assessment and Qualification Alliance (AQA)
  • City and Guilds
  • The National Centre for Construction Education and Research (NCCER)
  • Internet and Computing Core Certification (IC3); and
  • EDEXCEL (Functional Skills)

 

The EDEXCEL examinations consisted of Drama and Science; while the AQA assessments are in Art& Design, Food and Nutrition, Business, English Language and Literature, French, Mathematics and Spanish.

The NCCER is an international technical certification created to develop industry driven standards in the construction field.

 

The Results

Two hundred and fifteen students from both senior schools sat a total of 266 GCSE examinations, 259 examinations received a passing grade, and there were 7 failures and 10 no-shows.  Two hundred and fourteen examinations received a grade between A and C.

A total of 57 students sat the English Language Arts exam, with 51 passing.  Five students sat the English Literature exam with 4 of them passing. Seventy-nine students sat the Mathematics exam and 70 passed.

One hundred students obtained the NCCER core certificate.  Of this number, 6 received a certificate in Carpentry and 22 a certificate in Electrical. 

 

The graduation results show that of the students enrolled at the start of the 2009-2010 academic year, CedarBridge had a 99% graduation rate, while Berkeley had a 98% graduation rate.

 

If we calculate the graduation rate using S1 as the denominator, CedarBridge had a graduation rate of 86% while Berkeley had a graduation rate of 79%.

 

Viewing the 2010 senior school Grade Point Averages, the data shows that of the two hundred and thirty-four students who graduated, 84% (198) of them graduated with a GPA above 2.0. 

 

And, the good news is that more students from the class of 2010 graduated with GPA’s above 2.0 than in 2009. 

 

It is very important in the Board’s view to report our results on an annual basis.

 

Today we have shared information on the results of our senior schools. In the future we plan to expand this view to include the performance of all schools.

 

Clearly our approach to reporting must be based on the results of standardized instruments that give us a clear picture of the performance of students at all levels, and the performance of each school in satisfying both academic and social development.

 

We are pleased to see that our senior schools are recording some level of success and that many of our students see the value and benefits of a solid educational foundation.

 

We are appreciative of our principals, teachers and parents who have all played a key role in the success of our children to date.