2015 Public School Graduation & Exam Results

October 30, 2015

216 graduates scored a GPA of 2.0 and above, representing a 92% pass rate for the 2014/15 school year, the Ministry of Education said. The graduates were 37% male and 63% female, seven students graduated with distinction [GPA between 3.67- 4.00], 16 students graduated with honours [GPA between 3.32 - 3.66] and 57 students achieved a GPA of 3.00 – 3.31.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday, Education Minister Wayne Scott said, “With me today is the Acting Commissioner of Education Dr. Freddie Evans, Director of Academics, Dr. Llewellyn Simmons, and Director of Education Standards and Accountability, Dr. Lou Matthews. We are here to provide an overview of the 2015 Public School Graduation and External examination results.

“Before the results are shared, let me first speak to the transformation of education that is occurring in Bermuda’s Public School System. As we enter our fifth year of using the Cambridge curriculum, we now have a much better view of what teaching models have worked effectively and how to more effectively deliver a quality education which our children deserve.

Slide presentation from the press conference:

“Upon reflecting on the 2010/15 Blueprint for reform in Education, one of its key strategies was to ensure that the curriculum was of high-quality; that it was effectively delivered to ensure student success; and, that the curriculum was culturally relevant and engaging for all students,” continued the Minister.

“The Department of Education is strategically implementing system initiatives to improve our public schools. These initiatives were launched for the Bermuda Public Schools during the 2014/15 school academic year.

“Following our experience in delivering the Cambridge curriculum, we are now in the second year of implementing the three-year Middle School Transformation Plan, and the National Mathematics and Literacy Strategies.

“We have also introduced a Multi-tier system of support framework for academic and behaviour support in schools, expanded on our priorities for Special and Inclusive Education, and introduced an Inquiry Framework for Teaching and Learning for Preschool, P1 and P2 teachers.

Panel from the slide presentation above on graduation rates:


“At a recent UK Conference, “Cambridge Leadership in National Assessment”, held in September this year, one of the questions raised was, “How do the world’s most improved school systems keep getting better?” It was found that specific interventions need to occur equally at every performance level stage in an education system. Such include:

  • building the instructional skills of teachers,
  • building the management skills of principals,
  • conducting on-going assessment of students,
  • improving data systems,
  • facilitating improvement through the introduction of policy documents and education laws,
  • revising standards and curriculum,
  • ensuring an appropriate reward and remuneration structure for both teachers and principals

Panel from the slide presentation above on exam results:

bermuda-school-system-presentation-2015-12-638 exam
Minister Scott continued, “Several of these interventions are systematically being implemented in the Bermuda Public School System through professional development training and through the implementation of system-wide initiatives.

“The Department of Education continues to focus on the quality of teaching in every classroom with emphasis on teaching our students how to learn through inquiry and problem solving. The first year implementation of the National Strategies for Mathematics and Literacy has focused on utilizing a common framework for teaching mathematics and literacy across all schools at every level.

“Overall efforts have also stressed the importance of ensuring that a positive school climate is enforced that is conducive to student learning, achievement and success.

“To effect the implementation of these system-wide initiatives, every preschool administrator, primary school and middle school principal have been equipped with school improvement plans relevant to their respective schools.

20-minute video of the full press conference

“The School Improvement Plans align directly with the overall system initiatives that have been established. All School Administrators and Principals will be responsible to ensure the school improvement plans are implemented at their respective schools with the intent of systematically monitoring success via the submission of semiannual reports.

“Let me close by saying that through the implementation of these system-wide initiatives, the Ministry of Education is taking a more strategic approach to providing equity across the entire school system, so that every child is afforded a high quality education.

“We recognize that the positive effects of these initiatives will be long-term; and will continue to provide the professional development and training needed to fully support our teachers and school leaders as they role-model the transformational change and openly engage our students in preparation for ultimate success.”

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Comments (19)

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  1. spoons says:

    Well done to the students who worked hard and achieved. But these are not good statistics by any means. Private schools reported A* – C pass rates of 82-93%, compared to the 33% reported by the Ministry. Any school in the UK that records a pass rate of 30% (A* to C) and below is placed in Special Measures. So the entire educational system in Bermuda, at high-school level, is borderline Special Measures (if you want further information about what this actually means for a school, see http://www.ofsted.gov.uk). Parents need to start asking the questions, 1) What are private schools doing so right, and why isn’t this being replicated in government schools? 2) Am I doing everything I can to help my child learn? 3) Do I set a good example elsewhere for my child? 4) Is my child respectful of teachers and their school? 5) Are my child’s teachers outstanding practitioners?
    There is a reason for the continued poor performance, but nobody wants to own up to it….

    • Research says:

      Do you understand the difference between private schools and public schools? Do you realize that private schools get to choose which students enter their walls and which students get to sit the GCSE exams (usually the only ones who will guarantee passes?) Do you also realize that private schools get to pick which GCSE board to use (usually the easiest one) while public schools are forced to use the more challenging Cambridge board for English, Math and Science? Do you also understand that public schools are comprehensive schools which means they must take ALL students who then take the GCSE? No excuses just facts…and the answer to your question #1. Just compare oranges with oranges.

      • spoons says:

        What on earth are you talking about when you say “easier exam boards?” Exam boards would not exist if they were deemed to be unequal. Are you kidding me? If you think the 5 questions I asked in my above post are wrong in any way, inform me. Don’t rant on about how the exams children sit in government schools are somehow harder than those in private schools. That just complete rubbish. Oh BTW, I am a teacher and have taught in some of the roughest secondary schools in Britain. So I understand. Completely. Parents, schools and students all have a role to play in education failure. But I maintain, 33% is ABSOLUTELY unacceptable.

  2. Onion juice says:

    Not bad even with scholarship cuts.

    • jt says:

      You have no clue. None.

    • Not Good says:

      A 33% rate (A to C) on GCSEs (minimum grade of a C is required for any reputable university)coupled with males comprising only 37% of graduates is not good.

      To put in to perspective the worst school in the UK registered a 35% rate two years ago (don’t know most current rates).

      These results, while better than previous year’s, is not good now and does not bode well for the future for many of these kids as they will be totally unprepared to survive in a service based economy such as Bermuda’s.

    • Jimmy says:

      Compared with the international averages, this is very poor performance.

    • BDA Pink says:

      I thought Minister Scott increased scholarships this year? Good job Minister Scott. Stay focused on the task of improving the public education system. Have noticed some improvement since you became Minister.

  3. aceboy says:

    Not bad? Your standards aren’t very high. Dreadful results in my opinion.

    What the heck is a “G” grade? Anything below a C is a fail.

  4. Andrew says:

    Serious? Only 37% of males graduated? Scary numbers there.

    • jmz522 says:

      I think they mean 37% of the 216 graduates were male, not a 37% graduate rate for males.

      You would have to take the 80 male graduates of the class (216*0.37) and divide that by the number of males enrolled at the beginning of the school year to determine male graduate rate.

      • Andrew says:

        Its still scary..guess the rest of the males dropped out of school? Shouldn’t it be more like 50/50?

    • watching says:

      Its not 37% of the males. it said 37% of the graduates were male.

  5. Family Man says:

    On the Cambridge Checkpoint scale of 0.0 – 6.0, a level 2.0 represent only a basic level of understanding of the subject matter. Anything less is considered poor.

    46% of Bermuda public school students cannot even attain a level 2.0 in math. Roughly half of Bermuda’s public school students do not have a basic grasp of math. Sadly Bermuda’s economy is heavily dependent on math related occupations, actuaries, accountants, underwriters, fund managers.

    Fortunately by the time graduation comes along they must have all buckled down to study hard because now 92% of Bermuda’s public school students achieve a high enough score to graduate. Amazing. They’re now ready to enter a work force in areas that require a high degree of competence.

  6. Skittles says:

    Oh my goodness, When will we stop considering A*-G a pass?
    Anything below a C is NOT A PASS! Stop the lies so we can actually address the issues

  7. Optimistic says:

    Even though these are not the greatest pass marks for all of the students, at least some students are making the grade I.e. 33% pass rate for A*-c. If this 33% can do it, the rest of the students can do it too with more motivation and ambition. Sometimes success starts out small but a continue push in the right direction can reveal bigger successes. People should try and be a little more positive and encourage the kids. When the kid hear the constant put downs this can make them feel like they cannot achieve. Let’s not forget that public schools have a greater dynamics of children from different backgrounds who may also have some social and economical challenges. I reiterate if some of their peers can do it, they can do it too. Public schools can put out some amazing students who go on to take up great careers, the will and drive just had to be there. Keep pushing forward students. There is hope.I believe the ministry is heading on the right direction. Students sometimes you may have to be prepared to seek success and opportunities on your own and this does not make you any less than your private school counterparts.

  8. d realist says:


  9. acegirl says:

    Whilst the increase in pass rate A*-C is encouraging, the overall results are not something to celebrate. As said before a couple times by other people anything below a C at GCSE/IGSCE is not considered a pass and will not gain you entrance into any credited university in the UK. The fact that year after year shools and the ministry are telling parents and students that D-G marks are considered a pass could be part of the reason the pass rate remains so low. This level of results would not stand anywhere else in the western world and the education institutions and teachers would be investigated and potentially shut down.
    It was also mentioned that private schools pick and choose which students enter and sit the exams, however this is a false statement. A teacher can only advise a parent that it may not be worth their child sitting the exam and this is because of the fact that parents independently pay for their students to take them. Also students at private schools take at least 6 GSCE/IGCSE compared to the 3 or 4 that are sat at the public school which makes the two widely different. And before any says anything about privedge and class, I would like to say that they are irrelevant. I will say that I think the ministry of education needs to sit down and have a think about why the public school results are so low considering that Bermuda is a wealthy country with resources to improve itself.

  10. Everett Outerbridge says:

    Congratulations to all those students that put in the hard effort to do their very best. It is my belief that things will get better. I also believe that we should not forget the simple basic things such as providing more homework opportunities for students. It appears that students in private schools are provided with more opportunities to work and to learn at home with their parents, who are the child’s first and most important teachers. There is a lot to be said of the old adage, “practice makes perfect.”