The early sitters turned in the best 11-plus results at Hillaby Turners Hall this year, as ten-year-olds Chayan Knight and Jewel Nicholls took top honours.
Chayan scored 96 in English and 90 in Mathematics for an overall score of 236.38, with an ‘A’ in Composition, while Jewel got 95 in English and 97 in Mathematics for a total of 239.39, also with an A.
Though they were the youngest of the 58 students from the school who sat the exam, Chayan and Jewel’s accomplishments were generally expected.
Chayan’s mother Juanita said it was at her son’s insistence that she and his father Barry had decided to allow him to take the exam a year earlier than scheduled.
“We at first figured that he could hold back another year but he was insistent and said, ‘no daddy and mommy, I want to do it’ and we said, ‘well, if you think you can do it, well go ahead, give it a shot’,” she reported.
His first choice of a secondary school was Queen’s College and his second was Christ Church Foundation, which his sister attends,
However, his parents said all that mattered to them was that their son did of his best.
“We’re thankful he got through and it paid off. All the hard work he did and the sacrifices he made . . . . It didn’t matter what school he got into, but he did really well,” his father said.
The proud parents are now planning a surprise celebratory event for the ten-year-old student who is heading to Queen’s College.
Jewel’s parents were not present when the Barbados TODAY team visited the school. However, her aunt Harriette Jemmott, who is a senior teacher at the school, said the entire family was proud of the early sitter who had been studying ahead of her age group from Infants A.
“She has always worked well . . . so good things were expected of her,” said Jemmott.
“She’s just a normal child and sometimes you have to get on her case when other things are happening and she should be working, you have to say, ‘well look Jewel girl you got homework – get to it’ ,” she explained.
Jewel had set her sights on following in her older sister’s footsteps and attending Harrison College and was able to achieve the lofty goal she had set for herself.
“I am very glad that I passed for the school I want . . . I saw how well my sister was doing at Harrison College so I wanted to be like her and she is kind of like a role model, so I wanted to be kind of exactly like how she is,” the reserved student.
Principal Angela Edwards also reacted to the results, saying, “I am extremely proud of the early sitters.”
She was also very pleased with her school’s performance in English but acknowledged that only three of her students scored in the 90s in Mathematics.
“I know that most of them [the students] have been working hard and they have done their best. I expected better results in Mathematics but they all told me that the Maths paper was difficult, so I have to accept what they are saying,” she said, adding that a review would have to be done of the Mathematics programme ahead of September.