[Updated] Minister of Education Dame Jennifer Smith released the school exam results this afternoon [Nov 29], saying that 95% of senior school students graduated.
Minister Smith said: “The Board of Education has set a graduation target requiring students to have a minimum grade-point-average of 2.0 [the equivalent of a 70% average across their subjects and a minimum of 104 credits – 62 credits in required subjects and 42 credits in elective subjects].
“Ninety-five percent of our senior school students graduated. This means that 217 out of 229 senior school students achieved a minimum grade point average (GPA) of 70%.
“In the 2011/2012 school year, a total of 1,212 external examinations were taken by five hundred and six (506) public senior school students in the subjects of English, Mathematics, Science, Foreign languages, Business Studies, Information & Communication Technology, Physical Education, Family Studies and The Arts (including Art & Design, Drama, Dance and Music).
“It is of particular note that the number of students sitting external examinations in 2012 doubled over the previous year as a result of all S2 students sitting the Cambridge International Examinations in English, Mathematics and Science. Two years earlier than they have in the past. An overall pass rate of 89% was achieved, with 28% attaining a grade of C or higher.
“In addition to the Cambridge examinations, senior students also had the opportunity to sit external examinations from Assessment and Qualifications Alliance (AQA); and Edexcel.
“Primary and Middle School Students participated in the Cambridge Primary and the Cambridge Secondary 1 Checkpoint examinations. Both examinations are diagnostic and provide feedback on individual strengths and weaknesses in the curriculum areas of English, Mathematics and Science.
“The Cambridge curriculum has provided useful information about strengths and weaknesses, and where improvement is needed.
“Eighty-nine percent (89%) of Primary 6 students achieved grades between satisfactory and excellent in English; 70% achieved grades between satisfactory and excellent in mathematics; and 85% achieved grades between satisfactory and excellent in Science. [The Board of Education has set a goal for 75% of students to perform at level 3 or above by 2015].
“You should note that primary students are performing just one level below the worldwide Cambridge International average in both English and Science.
“At the Middle Three level (M3) 74% of our students achieved grades between satisfactory and excellent in Cambridge Secondary 1 Checkpoint Examinations, in the subject of English; 60% achieved grades between satisfactory and excellent in Mathematics; and 74% achieved grades between satisfactory and excellent in Science. We note that we have work to do to raise the number of students achieving at grade 3 and above.
“The Bermudian 2012 results are closely aligned with the international scores in Science and English at the primary level. Of 8,850 international candidates 74% obtained grades between 3.0 and 6.0 in English – 67% of Bermudian candidates obtained the same grades. Just 7% points off.
“Of the 8,862 international Science candidates, 60% obtained grades between 3.0 and 6.0 – Bermudian candidates scored the exact same percentage.
“In Mathematics, 72% of the 9,006 international candidates obtained grades between 3.0 and 6.0 compared with 47% of Bermudian candidates. This is obviously an area needing improvement. It is also important to note that we also have accelerated students.
“I am pleased to report that seventeen (17) Sandys Secondary Middle School students passed the IGCSE English examination and thirteen (13) passed the Mathematics examination. Now, I would like to share the results of Senior School Students who sat the external IGCSE and GCSE examinations.
“In English, there was a ninety-one percent (91%) pass rate with thirty-eight percent (38%) at grade C or better. Three hundred and twenty-five (325) students took the examination.
“In Mathematics there was a seventy-four percent (74%) pass rate with eight percent (8%) at grade C or better. Two hundred and ninety-nine (299) students took the examination.
Minister Smith continued: “In Science there was a ninety-five percent (95%) pass rate with twenty-five percent (25%) at grade C or better. Two hundred and seventy-eight (278) students took the science examinations (which included Coordinated Science, Combined Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Environmental Management).
“In Foreign Languages there was a one hundred percent (100%) pass rate with sixty-eight percent (68%) at grade C or better. Fifty-three (53) students took examinations in French and Spanish.
“The Arts recorded a ninety-eight percent (98%) pass rate with forty-one percent (41%) at grade C or better. Ninety (90) students took examinations in Art, Art and Design, Dance, Drama and Music.
“Business and Technology recorded a ninety-two percent (92%) pass rate with eight percent (8%) at grade C or better. Sixty-three (63) students took examinations in Business Studies, Media Studies and Information & Communication Technology.
“In Physical Education there was a one hundred percent (100%) pass rate with sixty-eight percent (68%) at grade C or better. Thirty-one (31) students took the examination.
“Family Studies also recorded a one hundred percent (100%) pass rate with just three (3) students taking the examination in Food and Nutrition. The next figures are a summary of the subjects taken at the Advanced Subsidiary (AS) level.
“In AS English there was an eighty-nine percent (89%) pass rate with thirty-four percent (34%) at grade C or better. Fifty-six (56) students took the AS Examination.
“The introduction of the Cambridge Curriculum for core subjects in 2010 was in response to Recommendation 9 of the Hopkins Report.
“According to Cambridge International Examinations, a predictor of seventy-five percent (75%) of students worldwide will achieve ratings between satisfactory and excellent. Bermuda’s P6 students exceeded the worldwide predictor by 13% and 4.8% in English and Science respectively.
“In Mathematics, they performed 10.4% points below the worldwide predictor compared to their counterparts in 160 other jurisdictions.
“Before I conclude, I must note that Cambridge does not normally refer to ‘passes’ and ‘fails’ in the context of the IGCSE. The grades they issue are intended to recognise what candidates know and can do.
“Different grades recognise the different qualities of performance. The only outcome Cambridge regards as a failure is a U (meaning ungraded). An ungraded outcome occurs when the candidate’s level of performance falls below what can be reliably recognised in that examination.”
Update 9.02pm: Shadow Education Minister Dr. Grant Gibbons said: “I’m pleased to hear that the number of students sitting external examinations doubled over the previous year and would like to commend our teachers at Berkeley and CedarBridge who worked with all our students to get them prepared.
“We also congratulate those students who did well, especially those scoring in the A to C grades. Unfortunately, the overall results reported by the Minister were well below our expectations, particularly in mathematics where only 8% scored at grade C or better.
“Overall in 2011, 54% of all students sitting the exams received a grade of C or higher. This year, just 28% did. We understand that more students took the exams this year, but the overall result shows we are moving in the wrong direction.
“The Minister says that Government is making progress on education reform. The external exam results say otherwise.”
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- Dr Gibbons: Education Information Is Inadequate | Bernews.com | December 3, 2012