When she learned she was among the top ten performers in this year’s 11-Plus Examination, Naleena Gaskin of The Rock Christian School started to “freak out”. When a Barbados TODAY team visited the Strathclyde, St Michael institution, a bubbly Naleena was chatting and laughing with friends.
Naleena divulged that leading up to the examination a month ago “it was really difficult”.
“We had to make a lot of sacrifices; but, all in all, I think it paid off,” she said.
“I feel excited, but when I saw the media here, and I heard my name –– that I was going to be in the top ten –– I started to freak out. I was so happy!” she said.
The St Philip resident, who wants to become a medicinal scientist, will be attending Queen’s College, come September. She was placed ninth in the island with a score of 246.62, A.
“My plan is to do my best [in secondary school]. I have much more to come before me; so this is not the end. I have to start preparing for CXCs, and if I want to fulfil my dream, I have to work hard,” Naleena said.
She had some advice to share with children who are still in primary school.
“If you work hard and put in all your effort you will get to go where you want to go. And no matter what school you go to, you can still become what you want to be.”
Naleena’s mother Dawn-Dew Thompson was relieved the wait for the results was over.
“The plan is to continue the strong work ethic and encourage [Naleena] to put her best foot forward, and to do what she has to do. She wants to become a doctor so it is more hard work from here on,” she said.
And she had some advice for other parents too.
“Work with your child . . . . If they are behind, just help them to get where you know they can go, and where they want to go. Sometimes it calls for extra lessons or lesson care or checking. Be there from day one and do not wait until the last minute,” Thompson counselled.
This year, 21 students –– seven boys and 14 girls –– of The Rock Christian School took the 11-Plus Exam.
Class 4 teacher Hirute Yaicob told Barbados TODAY she knew the competition for the top ten spots was going to be “tight”, so from September last year they “hit the ground running”.
“It was not unexpected because we had very thorough preparation, and Naleena has always been a very diligent and conscientious student. So we were satisfied that she came in the top ten,” said Yaicob.
Adam Munroe, of Trinity Academy Christian School, rounded up the top ten in this year’s 11-Plus with a score of 246.62, A. Like Naleena, he will be attending Queen’s College in September.
Adam, who is aspiring to become a professional footballer and accountant, told Barbados TODAY he was extremely excited to learn he was the top student at his Eagle Hall, St Michael learning institution.
The St Thomas student said his classmates had been celebrating his success even more than he was.
“They have been really ecstatic and congratulating me all the time.” he said.
And, while Adam would have attended extra classes during the week and on weekends in preparation for the exams, his parents Fiona and Marlon said that prior to the results they were not worried about his passing for the school of his choice.
“I knew Adam was going to do well. He has always been consistent. So we knew that wherever he wanted to go, he would achieve it. So we were not nervous,” said Fiona.
“He was still playing chess; he was still playing football. I don’t believe you should pressure them coming up to an exam, because that is when they get frazzled,” she added.
Marlon said his son had traditionally performed well in school, and so it had come as no surprise when he was named among the tree top boys and one of the top ten students on the island.
Class 4 teacher at Trinity Academy, Menell Corbin, said one of her best weapons was to ensure all students were satisfied they had conquered a particular concept before moving on to a new one.
“What we would have done also is that we prepared during the Easter vacation –– do three days per week and make sure we tightened up any screws that needed tightening,” Corbin said.
“I am so excited! I am happy to see the performance of the students, the excitement and the energy. They really worked 100 per cent.”
A total of 21 children ––16 girls and five boys –– took the 11-Plus Examination.