The monthly meeting of the Education Committee took place on Wednesday, 16 January 2019.
The Committee was introduced to new Advanced Skills Teacher (Mathematics), Steven Powell. Steven, who spent three years on Ascension Island with his parents as a child, expressed his love of teaching and noted particular expertise in behaviour management, developing pupils problem solving skills, and effective use of IT in the classroom. He also has experience setting up and improving intervention programmes for numeracy. Throughout his career, Steven has been responsible for mentoring newly qualified and trainee teachers and was the lead trainer for maths trainees during his previous employment.
French Advisory Teacher, Jennifer Ratcliffe, and Maths Advisory Teacher, Rex Pondsford, updated the Committee on their experiences at Prince Andrew School (PAS) to date. Their report back was positive all round, although both teachers shared some specific suggestions for consideration. These included procuring the GCSE French listening resources that accompany the textbook for the new GCSE French specification, and introducing an acknowledgement of how each student has progressed compared to their baseline on entry to PAS.
PAS Head Teacher, Penelope Bowers, provided members with an overview of the School Behaviour Policy and shared some behavioural challenges experienced during the last school term involving a small number of students. These included verbal and physical bullying, and being disrespectful to members of staff and other students. It was noted that a review of the policy is necessary and any suggested amendments will be presented to the Committee for approval within the first quarter of 2019.
Members were also asked to consider the need for a policy to address student requests for repeating academic milestones. This is for instances where a student could not achieve their full potential due to circumstances beyond their control. The Committee requested the collection of more information in this regard and asked that the matter be tabled for further discussion at the next meeting.
Head of Inclusion, Vyona Young, presented the Committee with an update on inclusion in schools, including the reintegration of pupils on alternate education provision.
Source: St Helena Government