Feature
Students from the Catherine Hall Primary, Infant and Special Education School’s Special Education Unit perform during the school’s Open Day, which was held at the institution in Westgreen, St. James, on June 4.
Photo: Serena Grant

Story Highlights

  • The Catherine Hall Primary, Infant and Special Education School in St. James, was a sea of blue and white on June 4, as scores of students, parents and members of staff celebrated the institution’s annual Open Day.
  • An air rich in school spirit encompassed the multifaceted Westgreen-based school as students loudly sang school songs and cheered on schoolmates who performed during the event.
  • The compound was dotted with displays of projects done by students throughout the academic year 2018/2019 as well as those done by members of the school’s clubs.

The Catherine Hall Primary, Infant and Special Education School in St. James, was a sea of blue and white on June 4, as scores of students, parents and members of staff celebrated the institution’s annual Open Day.

An air rich in school spirit encompassed the multifaceted Westgreen-based school as students loudly sang school songs and cheered on schoolmates who performed during the event.

The compound was dotted with displays of projects done by students throughout the academic year 2018/2019 as well as those done by members of the school’s clubs.

Members of the Catherine Hall Primary, Infant and Special Education School Cub Scouts perform a drill during the school’s Open Day, which was held at the institution in Westgreen, St. James, on June 4.

 

In an overview about the day’s activities, Principal of the school, Dudley Jennings, told JIS News that “we are celebrating Open Day with a difference, with a view of looking at all aspects of school life – cultural, academic, social and others”.

Mr. Jennings also noted that the event, after an extended lull, celebrated a strong resurgence some five years ago, and there has been no looking back since.

“It’s now a calendar event, and the teachers, as much as possible, have their input. The children and even the parents look forward to it; it’s a motivational thing for the students,” he said.

“When they can look back to see that their work is actually recognised and is being displayed, it does something for them,” he added.

The Open Day festivities also served as an avenue to strengthen the partnership with parents and guardians and promote the school to prospective parents.

Students and teachers of the Catherine Hall Primary, Infant and Special Education School flocked to the Jamaica Information Service (JIS) booth, where they were assisted by Manager of the JIS Montego Bay Regional Office , Tashion Hewitt Stennett (second right); Office Attendant at JIS, Paulette Reid (right); and Technical Officer at JIS, Jermaine Stewart (third right). Occasion was the recent annual Open Day, which was held at the institution in Westgreen, St. James, on June 4.

 

“It shows that something is happening [here], and it also allows for a greater partnership with the parents, so they know that at least the children are here doing something that they can come to look at,” Mr. Jennings noted.

For her part, teacher and Open Day Committee Chairperson, Mel-Andre Luke-Cole, outlined that the day is dedicated to showcasing the hard work and enthusiasm of students.

She said that in addition to performances, the students’ displays were to give parents an idea of what they have been doing throughout the school year so far.

Members of the Catherine Hall Primary, Infant and Special Education School Brownies march during the school’s Open Day, which was held at the institution in Westgreen, St. James, on June 4.

 

Parents in attendance were pleased with the proceedings as their children not only put on a show but, through colourful displays, showcased academic and artistic pieces.

One parent, Brian Rose, noted that the Open Day presented a great opportunity to view the projects that the students have worked on throughout the academic year.

“I think it is a very good event. It is a good opportunity for the teachers to showcase the work that the students have been putting in. When you look around you see projects that students have done from as early as September (of last year), which demonstrates that the school is not just about academics [but] they help the students holistically,” he said.

He also noted that the performance, as well as seeing the various clubs represented throughout the day, were great additions to the festivities.

Students from the Catherine Hall Primary, Infant and Special Education School watch the proceedings of the school’s Open Day, which was held at the institution in Westgreen, St. James, on June 4.

 

Another parent, Amelia Powell, said the school’s Open Day was “Informative, and showcased a lot of what the school has to offer socially, academically and culturally. They showcase the different clubs that the school has; it is a very interesting and fulfilling event”.

Meanwhile, students who were fully immersed in the day’s activities lauded the event.

Grade-five student, Laila-Jai Rose, said the Open Day served as an inspiration to students at the institution to “do things that they think they cannot do. You can also learn a lot of things from the event based on the displays that have been put up”.

Meanwhile, grade-six student, Jeneilia Johnson, said the event had a wealth of cultural information, as well as gave students the chance to “see what the children in other classes have been doing throughout the school year”.

Grade-four student, Kaleigha Dennison, said the Open Day helped the student body to “learn more about the school and gave us a chance to show our talents”.

The day’s activities also included a drill from the Catherine Hall Primary, Infant and Special Education School Cub Scouts and a march on the school compound by members of the school’s clubs.