About 180 new students were given some of the ropes to coping with secondary school life during their orientation at the Alexandra School this morning.
Additionally, their parents who stayed for the first hour, were given an orientation of their own in the do’s and don’ts concerning their children’s educational future.
Principal Orson Alleyne told the students they should strive for excellence, as they were entering an institution known for its high standards and success.
“For many years this has been the beacon of the north … and I want you to strive for excellence,” he told the students, adding that their marks at Common Entrance in the 70s and 80s had already established a benchmark for where they should aim.
As such, the principal told the first year students that they had a pass mark of 70 per cent and that was the lowest they should aim for as the school continued to focus on opportunities for success.
“You have a good start and having achieved that, I would be disappointed if you were getting in the 40 and 45 at the end of this first term. We are going forward, building on the foundation that is there.” But he told them that bad behaviour, disrespect of their peers, teachers and other staff, as well as bad deportment would not be tolerated, warning parents as well that such was the culture of the school.
It was a matter also touched by Acting Guidance Counsellor Shernelle Clarke, who apart from outlining tips to deal with the transition from primary to secondary school, told the adults that they needed to be there, physically and emotionally for their children and wards.
The transition would take time, she said, but parents could help by ensuring the children got acquainted with the bus route, or even found positive older students to travel with. She even suggested parents could travel with the students on the first week and talk to them about what to do if the bus was forced to travel off-route or any other such incidents.
Warning parents to get to know their child’s friends as well, she urged where there was conflict in the family between parents, to not allow it to escalate to the point where the child was caught in the middle.
Conflict between parents where the child was used as a pawn, she told them, often resulted in behaviour and other challenges at school, and additionally, if there were issues with a teacher, to never disrespect that teacher in front of the child because that too could lead to problems.
Year head, Wendy Green, told students their journey was now starting and along the way they would learn skills to help them reach their full potential, which at the end of the day was the intention of education. (LB)