Jamaica Information Service (JIS) – Copping the highest average in the Grade Six Achievement Test (GSAT) at St. Jude’s Primary School, was an objective that Head Boy John-Mark Tapper knew was possible, as long as he studied hard and remained focused.
The twelve-year-old scored 96 per cent in Mathematics, 98 per cent in Science, 100 per cent in Social Studies, 99 per cent in Language Arts, and 12/12 in Communication Task.
He is now set to begin a new chapter at one of the country’s most prestigious institutions, Campion College.
Speaking with JIS News, John-Mark said after hearing the good news of his excellent results he was elated.
“I feel great. It’s a wonderful achievement,” the student who has been on the Principal’s Honour Role for the last five years said.
The path of preparing for the exams was not easy for him or his mother, Ms. Marsha Walker.
He told JIS News that, not only did he have to remain awake until 10 o’ clock at nights to study with his mother, but he also had to stay late at school each day and give up his desire to play a sport.
“I was a member of the quiz team, so I had to train for quiz and [study] for GSAT, which was hard to do, but I managed it. I love to play sports like football and cricket,” John-Mark said.
“Most nights, I would probably go to bed by 10:00 to 10:30, because my mom would be quizzing me on the stuff I get to study. She took me to the special places [such as] National Heroes Park to know about the heroes,” he added.
The St. Jude’s Primary School student also expressed appreciation to his grade-six teacher, Mrs. Nicholette Robinson Pennicott, who was instrumental in preparing him for the exams.
“At school, my teacher made us do projects and experiments to know every detail about the different topics. At home, I tried to recall the questions and answers over and over in my head until I got it fully,” he said.
For her part, Ms. Walker, who is also a teacher-in-training at the St. Jude’s Primary School, said it was not easy for her to prepare her son, and was elated that they are now reaping success from their labour.
“I feel good and I am thankful. St. Jude’s has always done well. As a matter of fact, I never really worried about him passing. From grade one, he was always the top student in his class, so he just had to apply himself. I never felt nervous… I feel good and I am thankful. That is the greatest part,” she stated.
Meanwhile, Mrs. Robinson Pennicott told JIS News that she was extremely proud of John-Mark and is pleased with his performance.
“I’m feeling so happy that John is our top student. He got 96 [per cent] for the Mathematics, and he is a very good mathematics student. I was expecting him to get 100, but he has done very well and I am proud of him,” she noted.
Principal, St. Jude’s Primary School, Ms. Susanna Ainsworth, said the school’s administration is excited about John-Mark’s performance and is hopeful that he will be awarded a scholarship.
“I just want to congratulate him for the hard work. He has done well throughout his tenure at St. Jude’s Primary [and] I want to thank all my staff and colleagues who have worked with him throughout grade one to grade six,” Ms. Ainsworth said.
In 2013, former Head Girl, Latonya Clayton, was awarded the Top-Performing Girl from the entire cohort of girls across the island who sat GSAT in that year.
By Ainsworth Morris, Jamaica Information Service