This morning as thousands of students enthusiastically made their way back to classrooms across the island –– from the long summer vacation –– at least one school had an extra special reason for all the excitement.
At the Christ Church Foundation School, pupils were greeted by a special guest –– Cheryse Greenidge, the school’s first Barbados Scholar in 60 years. The young woman met with students to give them some words of encouragement as they began the new school year.
She advised them never to accept mediocrity and not to aim at just passing their courses. Furthermore, she suggested that they take part in sports and other extracurricular activities, as school was not all about academics. And, best of all, she she offered to the students the secret to her success thus far: motivation.
“You may think that my achievements came with doing nothing but studying; but that is not the case. I personally do not consider myself to be in the group of the very bright, and I believe that most of you will say the same about yourselves. So how can someone not in that category get a Barbados Scholarship? Simply, you have to be motivated.
“You have to be interested in, and dedicated to what you are doing. You also have to sustain your interest until you have achieved your goal,” Greenidge said.
Speaking in Christ Church Foundation School’s auditorium, as principal Robert Cumberbatch and staff honoured her with the erection of a plaque, Greenidge added: “From first to sixth form I really wanted to do well for myself. I knew that in doing so I would make my teachers, my parents and my family proud. I always made sure I did my homework when it was given. I always read over my notes from time to time so that I would not have to cram when a test was due.
“I encourage you to try to do the same, if you too want to do well.
“Motivation,” she stressed, “is key when it comes to studying. If you do not feel motivated to carry out any task, then it is probably never going to get done. This
can be done by keeping your goal of success in mind.”
Additionally, Greenidge explained that to achieve success didn’t necessarily mean one had to give up all one’s social habits. And for top achievers, her suggestion was to say focused, not be easily distracted, have good time management skills and learn to balance work and play.
She also implored first formers to think beyond the age-old “good school, bad school” debate and give of their best at Foundation School.
“I don’t know how many of you first formers cried when you got your results, because you did not want to come to Foundation. Don’t worry. I assure you, you will enjoy your years here . . . . Our school is of a high standard in almost every academic and sporting discipline. Therefore the onus is on you to continue to keep our school at this level or to surpass it. The desire to uplift the name of Christ Church Foundation should be further motivation,” she said.
And principal Cumberbatch, who vowed that Foundation won’t have to wait another half-century for the next scholar from the school, stated that he and staff would forge ahead to bring the best out of each child to ensure that other Barbados Scholarship and Exhibition winners followed.
With an 85 per cent plus pass rate in the recent CSEC, the principal was hopeful Greenidge’s success as well as the achievements of other student will be motivation for the entire student body, particularly the 192 new students welcomed into the school this morning.
At the primary schools Barbados TODAY visited there was even more bustling, as principals and teachers put measures in place to have their little charges settle down. Some tears were shed by those attending school for the first time, and having to leave the comfort of their parents arms for the new environment.
And, of course, there were those brave little regular ones who couldn’t control their excitement in reacquainting with their schoolmates and favourite teachers.
But what they all shared in common was their deportment: well turned out in new uniforms, with shining shoes and loaded bags –– the boys looking sharp with their fresh haircuts; the girls with their adorably acceptable hairstyles.
Just after 9 o’clock, though the average starting time for school was 8:45 a.m., the Charles F. Broome compound was teeming with parents, who were ensuring their charges were all settled in before they left. A few parents even went as far as the classroom door, leaving only after assurances from the teachers.
Parent Kemberly Gittens said she was excited her son was starting school at that Government institution, as it was known for catering to students in “a holistic way”. She noted the little one had settled in well, shedding no tears, and had already stated his intention of taking up the violin as an extracurricular activity.
“He has indicated that he wants to do a lot lot of things here, like cricket and other activities and going through the school making new friends,” said the mum who also has an older son at the school.
Standing outside the gates, another parent, Amie Holder, boasted that her daughters’ uniforms were pressed and shoes polished since last Thursday.
“I got two to deal with, so I had to start early. The only thing left for them to do this morning was to eat breakfast, dress and be ready to learn,” Holder said.
Over at George Lamming Primary, teachers spent the first half of the day talking to students about their expectations of them for the school year. As perhaps at every other school, Class 4 students were being warned of the workload ahead and cautioned they needed to begin putting in the effort from the first week.
At Eden Lodge Primary, a group of infant students were rocking and clapping as they sang the ABC under the leadership of their class teacher. As soon as it was break time, they all dug into their fancy bags where a variety of snacks, fruits and juices –– and water –– awaited them.
As expected, Society Primary School, which has been closed from this term, stood silently on Society Hill in St John.
According to reports, some of those students joined the nearby congregation at St John Primary where students had already settled down, and work was in progress.
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