The St Gabriel’s School graduates of 2016 closed this chapter of their lives with a bang. Displaying their talents in the performing arts, the St Gabriel’s Junior 4s (J4s) celebrated their achievement under the theme Looking Back . . . Moving Forward.
Principal Angela Blackett told the graduates: “We hope that your years at St Gabriel’s have equipped you with the tools you need to strive for success as independent learners.”
Hoping too said tools would the students productive and fulfilled citizens, Blackett advised them that while socializing with friends was important, a healthy balance of hard work and self-discipline would reap success.
St Gabriel’s performed exceptionally well this year in the Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination, producing the 2016 Top Boy in the island, Zachary Gill.
Of the 56 students who sat the examination, 35 gained places in their first and second choices, while 21 gained their third.
The school’s mathematics mean was 75 per cent, remarkably higher than the national mean of 48 per cent. Sixty-eight per cent was the national mean for English; the school surpassed it with 86 per cent.
Zachary was also Top Male in the school after scoring 100 in mathematics and 98 in English; Kandi Douglas was Top Female.
Guest speaker Andrei Cross, a former swimmer, gave three cheers to the graduands, parents and teachers. He defined transition, such as the graduates would be experiencing, as “an event that changes our lives, our relationships, our routines, our roles and expectations of the future”.
Likening the secondary school transition to swimming, Cross said everyone was afraid at first, but eventually make their way from the 25-metre to 50-metre pool, and from swimming for their school to swimming for their country.
In a chant, Cross asked: “St Gabriel’s, what we do?”
And the graduands responded: “We make waves!”
The keynote speaker assured them that through any pressure, lack of confidence or frustration faced, they would continue to make waves, adding that setting realistic goals and knowing limitations would make the transition easier.
Cross ended by telling the J4s: “Your ability to control your mindset, your emotions and how you view your past experiences will help you approach future expectations.”
The students entertained in the auditorium for the final time with vocal and violin solos, a sextet presentation, drama and a dance number. The sextet performed Shakira’s Try Everything, accompanied by a xylophonist and Male Music Award recipient Elim Arthur on the violin.
The drama, under the graduation’s theme, featured an energetic dance battle, including breakdancing and ballet.