“The good quality of leadership throughout the school is driving the development of teaching and learning…”
Ofsted Inspection Nov 2007
Study Visit to Jamaica
The League of Exchange for Commonwealth Teachers is responsible for funding study visits to various countries each year. The study visits are “intensive programmes of school visits, meetings and discussions with educationalists and policy makers, which give participants the opportunity to experience the best of Commonwealth education”.
Mrs Pienaar, (Tanbridge House School – Advanced Skill Teacher) was fortunate to be selected as a team of 10 teachers from across the country to visit Jamaica during February. The shared focus of the study visit was looking at Raising Boys’ Achievement. The visit enabled the team to observe different strategies used to improve the engagement of boys. These strategies will be shared with staff at Tanbridge as part of the school’s involvement in the National Education Breakthrough Programme in Raising Boys’ Achievement.
During the week the team was based in the busy harbour town, Ocho Rios on the northern coast of Jamaica. It was very interesting to observe the stark contrast between the wealthy tourists from the cruise ships setting foot on shore every other day and the students attending schools with very limited resources.
The team involved teachers from the primary and secondary sector and it was therefore possible to share successful ideas from all key stages. The secondary team spent their week at Ocho Rios High School. The school has to accommodate over 2000 students in a very limited space and the school is therefore operating on a shift system. The first shift is from 6.50 am – 11.50 am, with the afternoon shift running from 12.00 – 5.00 pm.
“It was an amazing opportunity to visit this beautiful island. Everywhere we went we were received with open arms in true Jamaican style. This study visit has allowed me to engage in very useful conversations about education, not just with the locals but also with the team members. I found the de-brief at the end of each day incredible valuable in shaping ideas to be used in my own teaching. Watching the sun set over the clear blue Caribbean sea, whilst sipping an ice cold drink obviously helped!” Mrs Pienaar.