Educators excited as CFS model is expanded
BARBADOS.As an experienced educator Barbara Grant has about seen it all in education now.
For over 30 years she has moulded young minds and has seen her share of challenges and innovations. Now, after her over three decades in the teaching fraternity, the Barbadian primary school principal is excited about a new change which is coming to her school at the start of the new academic year in September.
Her school, the George Lamming Primary School – a one-year-old institution which bears the name of one of the Caribbean’s literary giants – is one of eight schools in Barbados participating in the Ministry of Education’s Child Friendly School (CFS) process from the next school term.
Chalky Mount, Christ Church Girls, George Lamming, Mount Tabor, St Ambrose, St Elizabeth, St Giles and Workman’s primary schools along with the St Leonard’s Boys’ Secondary School join the growing list of schools in the Eastern Caribbean which are seeking to embrace the CFS model, which promotes healthy and protective environments for learning and strives to provide quality basic education.
CFS concept can improve discipline
CFS concept can improve discipline“The CFS concept can lead to a change in behavior of both students and teachers, especially as it relates to aptitude and discipline.
“I like the whole school approach very much as it involves the students, the teachers the parents and the community with everyone knowing what the goals are. We are a new school just a year old and this is very timely at this point in the school’s development. We can build our own ethos around the CFS approach as we live up to our motto “Imagine, Create, Achieve,” she says.
Similarly, Cicely King, a teacher for 37 years, is eagerly awaiting the rolling out of the CFS approach at the rural St Elizabeth Primary School which she has headed for the past year.
“We are hoping that through the CFS concept we will achieve a high standard in our students as a result of teachers delivering at a high standard also.
“We are also hoping to reduce any inappropriate behavior. We are currently not having any major challenge in that area but we believe better can become best. We believe it will also lead to students becoming more motivated and self disciplined so that they can set goals for themselves,” Ms King adds.
Parents, community partnerships vital
For her the collaboration between teachers, students, parents and the community is one of the most anticipated aspects of the CFS approach.
“We will not operate in a vacuum, but in an environment where the goals and objectives of the school are understood and accepted by everyone in the school and the community. We all look forward to coming onboard; we are very excited about it and hope through the CFS approach that St Elizabeth will become the school of choice in the parish.
As one of the few male teachers in the primary education system in Barbados, Ricardo Leacock left a training of trainers workshop for CFS teachers invigorated and excited about returning to the Chalky Mount Primary.
“The workshop was very helpful as it taught us a lot about the reinforcing methods we should use. It also showed the different strategies that could be employed to motivate students, especially using methods outside the traditional ones which results over time have shown are not working.
“This whole Child Friendly School initiative is a good one. Schools should always be child friendly. I find it encourages us to use a lot of the things we are using now but the whole approach will fully equip us with the knowledge and skills to do them a lot better,” the teacher of eight years adds.