There’s a little jewel in the historic parish of St John, shining brightly in its picturesque surroundings but yet to be discovered by many.
In the quiet community of Glenburnie, lies the St Margaret’s Primary School. It’s small in size but big on success.
And yesterday, as Governor General Sir Elliott Belgrave spent some time with the bright-eyed boys and girls who rolled out the red carpet for their distinguished guest, he could not contain his admiration for the school of just 160 students.
“This is a small primary school when compared to other primary schools in Barbados . . . . I note with much satisfaction and delight that this school is doing extremely good work,” he said.
Sir Elliott was referring to the school’s outstanding results in the 2016 Barbados Secondary School Entrance Examination. St Margaret’s students attained a 100 per cent pass mark in English and 83.3 per cent in Mathematics.
And, according to Sir Elliott, that was not unusual.
“The record shows that the pupils here always do well and I would wish that those schools which do not do as well would seek to emulate the full example of St Margaret’s. If you can find out what it is, I would not hesitate to spread the word around,” he said.
Heaping praises on both teachers and students, the Governor General said principal Glendene Hayde confirmed his notion that the school’s success was built on the backs of its teachers.
“I heard from the principal herself who said that the teachers are dedicated and they do not hustle home at three o’clock in the afternoon.”
So pleased was the island’s Head of State with the school’s performance that he told the gathering, which included district education officer Celeste Murray, that while his visits to the island’s primary schools were normally designed to motivate students and teachers to give of their best at times, his visit to St John was to thank the school’s past principals for their work and congratulate the current staff for their outstanding achievements.
However, he urged the school not to take its success for granted.
“I would respectfully urge that you do not sit on your laurels, but continue to work hard so that the students who pass through the portals of this school know that they have a goodly heritage,” Sir Elliott said, as he encouraged the students to do it for the sake of the parish’s former representatives, the late Sir Errol Walton Barrow and David Thompson, as well as current MP Mara Thompson.
The Governor General did not leave without being treated to special performances in his honour.
In a well-coordinated display of talent ,Class 2 students thrilled Sir Elliott with the poem, I’m A Bajan, while both teachers and students sang the catchy jingle, 50 Years of Barbadian Pride.
The school choir then crowned the brief ceremony with their renditions of Beautiful Barbados, Barbados is a Beautiful Island and the Governor General’s favourite song, The Ashgrove.