WB primary school makes history with IBB approval

| 21/03/2012

50494_136956563033_7168_n.jpg(CNS): Sir John A. Cumber Primary School in West Bay has become the first government school, not only in the Cayman Islands, but in the entire Caribbean region, to receive their International Baccalaureate (IB) authorisation for the primary years programme. Government officials said Tuesday that this stamp of approval by one of the most respected education organisations in the world is truly a historical achievement. The education said he was committed to achieving a world-class education system in Cayman and this was “a true testament to the significant progress we are already making towards that goal.”

The school has achieved the criteria to be called an IB World School within the IB’s Primary Year’s Programme (PYP).  The PYP draws on research and best practice from a range of systems, knowledge and experience from international schools “to create a relevant, engaging, challenging and significant educational framework for all children,” the organisation states on its website.

The ministry’s chief officer described the authorization by the International Baccalaureate as a mark of quality assurance. “Achieving this IB World School status enables us to say that SJACPS has been measured up against schools across the world, and has met comparable standards. We look forward to more of our primary schools achieving this international recognition in the near future,” Mary Rodrigues said.

She explained that to become an IB World School, there is much more to the process than simply filling out forms and ticking boxes. The first stage involves the school applying for candidate status where they submit evidence of curriculum planning, staff development plans and commitment to international mindedness.  Once candidate status is awarded the school is given targets and a Link Consultant who helps them to meet the requirements to apply for authorisation.

Once the school feels that they have reached the targets and are ready to apply for authorization, IB visits to ascertain the schools preparedness to implement the IB programme.  This involves watching lessons, attending several meetings and interviewing the whole school community.
Through the visit to SJACPS, IB found matters arising which the school then had to address before authorisation could be achieved.

“The school did just that,” Rodrigues noted, “and through the hard work and dedication by the staff and students of SJACPS they achieved this most prestigious certification”.

Going forward, SJACPS will have an evaluation visit in three years, where the International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) will ensure the quality of their programme. This again is a most rigorous process where the schools will have to achieve further requirements.

Principal of the school Joseph Wallace said the school was very proud of the achievement.
“We’ve worked very hard over the last three years to meet the standards set by the IBO,” he said as he thanked those involved and added that there would be challenges to maintain the status but to improve the learning experiences of students.

Shirley Wahler said the focused and dedicated leadership of the school under Wallace was key to the success.  “I encourage the entire community to celebrate this success as a sign of what we can achieve if we have the vision and the commitment to work for positive change,” she added.

Rolston Anglin said as both a member of the West Bay community and a past student of the school he was proud to recognise what had been achieved by the district primary school.
“I congratulate Mr. Joseph Wallace, his team and all the students and parents of Sir John A. Cumber Primary School on this outstanding accomplishment,” he added.

The International Baccalaureate is a non-profit educational foundation which is focused on the student.  They offer three programmes for students aged 3 to 19 years which aim at developing intellectual, personal, emotional and social skills to live, learn, and work in a rapidly globalising world.  IB was founded in 1986 and currently works with 3,356 schools in 141 countries where their programmes reach over 1 million students.  For more information on IB please visit their official website: www.ibo.org.

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Comments (24)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    1.  It's not the program that counts but the attitude of the kids and the parents.

    2. All that glitters is not gold.

    3. Check back in 5 years and you'll see the same results – West Bay is not going to miraculously transform.  Takes a lot more than just one program to do that.

    4. This program shall also be abandoned in less time than it takes to say abra cadabra.

    5. Ever see those gangstas in those gangsta videos with those big chains around their necks?  Talking about this program somehow feels like that – putting a big gangsta chain around your neck.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Congrats to Mr. Wallace, Mrs. Vaghn (who has been working very hard on the program) and to all John Cumberites!!!! Pay no tAttention to the negative comments, move forward in positive strides. Remember, we do do it in the best interest of the children.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Doesn't Savannah Primary already have this? So how is John A. Cumber Primary School the first government school. 
    If Savannah doesn't havent then I think some parents have been duped into believing that they had. 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Heartiest congratulations are certainly in order. Now the Minister and Department need to 'pull finger' and get the other primary schools and the middle and high scholols into the IB programme! My daughter did years 11 and 12 at a Canadian IB school and it was an amazing and enlightening experience, for not only her but for all of the family. IB is head and shoulders above the American Advanced Placement programme and it is recognized world wide! GO IB, CAYMAN!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Thats great news.

    You are bound to come more than qualified tobe  a politician and maybe even the prem.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Currently three other primary schools are IB candidate schools. Savannah Primary, Prospect Primary and Red Bay Primary have all done siginificant work to become  IB World Schools. Ask the parents who have students at those schools and they can tell you…Soon there will be four, and then more.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to all the households that not only enroll their kids, but pack their lunches, and actually see that their children attend, and study at school.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to ALL TEACHERS AND PRINCIPAL. You deserve all the praise!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Way to go WEST BAY!!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Good stuff current JACP Principal & Staff. Bet Mr. Crawford is smiling – wonderful legacy!! RIP Mrs. Kidd. Congrats Mr. Anglin, Mrs. Rodrigues & Team.

    Former JACP Parent

  11. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations on earning this prestigious status. The students will certainly benefit from the level of education that will delivered via this cirriculum. It will be in the best interest of the country to strive to achieve this status within at least one government run junior high and high school, so these students can continue with this standard of education, and hopefully earn the sought after IB diploma along with their high school diploma.

    This is an excellent program, and the country will certainly benefit from this investment.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr. Alden McLaughlin, the SJACP Teachers and Mr. Wallace – Principal.  Thank you for using the West Bay School for the Pilot program, now Rolston you need to make sure that ALL the Primary schools follow suit.  Alden you and the former Ministry did a wonderful job in introducing this program to Cayman.  If only the current Minister Mr. Anglin and yourself had just put unnah heads together and achieve more, we would had had more successes by now.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Awesome job, JACPS.  I hope in the near future the rest of the primary schools as well as the High Schools aim towards getting the approval of the IB program.  I think it's a wonderful program, but the only problem I foresee happening is at the primary level our children are learning a new way forward in learning and the teachers are learning a new way of teaching but when they move on to high school, well back to the old ways.  So it would be helpful if this program continued through out. 

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree with the comments noted above- that if there could be some work in progress towards getting it in the middle & high school levels.  Very exctied, proud and feel so happy for our primary school students who will benefit from this very prestigious and world recognised programme. 

      Thank you to all who worked so hard in the MOE & Dept of Ed. to get this certification.  I would like to add for any persons who question why only one school and why only WB and not the others.  I think we should see it from another angle that maybe it was phased this way because I beleive if all schools were implementing at the same time it may have another set of growing pains.  In time

      I'm positive all of our primary schools will be aligned under the same programme.  Very excited for JACPS students and teachers.  10 thumbs up!

  14. Anonymous says:

    That programme(IB) is “THEE” best! I was gonna take that in Canada for the high school / college years. Cause with that I could have been accepted into any college I wanted to go to!

    Good stuff!

  15. Anonymous says:

    Well to my amazement someone in government has done something positive in relation to education. All those responsible for the introduction of the IB programme are to be commended.

  16. Anonymous says:

    And what about all other Govt schools? Are they not just as important?

  17. Anonymous says:

    Congrats  to the Teachers & Students of Sir John A. Cumber Primary keep up the good work.

  18. Anonymous says:

    This is a fantastic achievement that cannot be downplayed. However, I must express my dismay that our Minister for Education did not see it fit to have ALL primary schools working towards this goal.

    • Anonymous says:

      9:18 He said in his report that all schools will be getting the same as Sir John A. Cumber School! 

      • Anonymous says:

        What you need to remember is that, if it is good, West Bay will get it first.


        • Anonnymous says:

          Ooops! Sounds like West Bay Primary was chosen for the pilot programme by the former education minister? 

          • Proud SJACPS parent says:

            For all the negative people responding, 

            SJACPS, Red Bay, Prospect and Savannah all started the program around the same time.  As far as I am aware, all the schools were offered the oppurtunity to commence this program and those were the schools that embraced the challenge whilst others thought it too much of a challenge.  Those other schools that  took up the offer are in the process of being certified as World Clas IB schools but have not finished the race as yet.  Remember in everything there is a 1st, 2nd, 3rd etc.  Everybody cant come 1st.  It has nothing to do with being a Bushite etc.  Remember this program was implemented by Alden McLaughlin ( a George Town and PPM member) 3 years ago when the PPM were in power so that is unfair to say because of being a Bushite we got it first.  

            As a parent to children that attend the school, I know firsthand the hard work that everyone; the teachers, the students and the parents, have been putting in to achieve this milestone and goals set by IB. That achievement should not be discredited by some small minded and negative persons.  You should be ashamed of yourselves for implying anything untoward.


            Congrats SJACPS for a job well one!!!


            I look forward to working with you for many more years!!

        • Anonymous says:

          It doesn't necessarily have to be good, but as long as it is free it goes to the Bushites first.