Feature
Former Spanish Town Primary School student, Gemeila Jones, was the highest achiever for the school in the 2019 Primary Exit Profile (PEP).
Photo: Contributed

Story Highlights

  • Grade-six students, who are preparing to sit the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) in 2020, are being encouraged by top performers in this year’s inaugural sitting of the assessment to put the nerves aside and focus on preparation.
  • In an interview with JIS News, 12-year-old Gemeila Jones, who was the highest achiever at Spanish Town Primary School, advises the upcoming test-takers to “always pay attention in class, go over your notes and study, take breaks and don`t swot”.
  • “When in the actual exam, be sure to read the questions carefully and think carefully about the answers,” she adds.

Grade-six students, who are preparing to sit the Primary Exit Profile (PEP) in 2020, are being encouraged by top performers in this year’s inaugural sitting of the assessment to put the nerves aside and focus on preparation.

In an interview with JIS News, 12-year-old Gemeila Jones, who was the highest achiever at Spanish Town Primary School, advises the upcoming test-takers to “always pay attention in class, go over your notes and study, take breaks and don`t swot”.

“When in the actual exam, be sure to read the questions carefully and think carefully about the answers,” she adds.

With an overall placement score of 335.3, Gemeila, who now attends St. Jago High School, was assessed as highly proficient in all subject areas.

Out of a maximum of 400 marks, she scored 336 in Mathematics; 352 in Language Arts; 339 in Social Studies, 342 in Science and on the Ability Test, she performed better than 92 per cent of test-takers.

Gemeila tells JIS News that she was nervous the night before the first exam but became more comfortable with each sitting.

She says that while some of the questions were easy “most required more thinking”.

“PEP studies are different from the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) because PEP entails the 4Cs, which are critical thinking, collaboration, communication and creativity, while GSAT is more academic studies,” she notes.

While preparing for PEP, Gemeila did not neglect her extracurricular activities and participated in the fire warden club and the junior school’s challenge quiz team. She also enjoyed reading, watching television and socialising with friends.

Gemeila credits her success to having a strong support system, including her grandmother and father, with whom she lives, and teacher, Mrs. Richards.

“I would like to thank God for giving me the courage, patience and understanding and my family, teachers and friends for giving me the encouragement and support,” she says.

Gemeila tells JIS News that she would gladly help students at her former primary school who are preparing for PEP, by providing support through motivation and encouragement.

Raje Edwards, who has started his first semester at Ardenne High School, also extols the value of preparation and focus.

Top achiever in the 2019 Primary Exit Profile (PEP) at Eltham Park Primary School, Raje Edwards.

 

“PEP is not as hard as it seems, all they (students) have to do is to study hard and focus in the exam,” he says.

Raje was the top performer at Eltham Park Primary School with an overall placement score of 340.6.

The 11-year-old earned 354 in Mathematics; 339 in Language Arts; 347 in Social Studies; 342 in Science; and performed better than 98 per cent of test-takers on the Ability Test.

Raje tells JIS News that Language Arts was his most challenging subject, but notes that overall, he found PEP to be more manageable than his in-class preparation.

He was also active in track and field, football, the junior schools’ challenge quiz and the University of the West Indies (UWI) junior schools ‘quiz.

Raje hails the invaluable support from family and friends, teachers Colleen Hayden and Beverly Bramwell Edwards and tells JIS news that given the chance “it would be my pleasure to help the other set of PEP takers prepare for their exam”.

PEP replaced GSAT as a means to assess the critical thinking and performance abilities of students at the primary level. The Grade Six 2018/2019 cohort was the first set of students to complete the assessment.