JGHS climbs up inspection ranks

| 02/06/2021 | 34 Comments
Cayman News Service
John Gray High School, Grand Cayman

(CNS): For the first time since the baseline inspections report published in 2015, which found that all government schools were under-performing, largely as a result of the poor quality of teaching, the John Gray High School has achieved a ‘good’ grade in its latest inspection. The school moved up the education ranking in every category and even achieved an ‘excellent’ grade in two of the judgment areas.

As government schools continue to face criticisms over a catalogue of issues, John Gray is demonstrating that government education can improve. Inspectors who had in the past raised concerns about numerous areas praised the school for the “strong improvements in attainment and progress”.

One of the excellent grades was for leadership. The other, which bodes very well for Cayman’s future, was for “students’ civic and environmental understanding”. The school was graded ‘good’ in almost every other category, including progress and attainment in English, the quality of teaching, the curriculum and even students behaviour, contrary to public assumptions. Inspectors said there had been a “dramatic fall in the number of major incidents” relating to behaviour. They also noted a decrease in exclusions and better overall attendance.

“Students displayed positive behaviour around the school and in lessons,” the inspectors stated in the summary. “The broad range of curriculum and extra curricula activities enrich students’ educational experience. Civic and environmental understanding are promoted well by the school and as a result, students understand and are proud of the distinctive features of Caymanian life and its relation to local and global environmental issues.”

The inspectors added that not only was the behaviour of students good in discussions, they showed a “sophisticated and sensitive understanding of those who found conforming difficult and brought stresses from home into school”.

Inspectors said John Gray was a good school that has made significant improvements, most important of which were the increases in students’ achievement.

“More students achieved well, with a good number exceeding international standards in examinations and in their classroom work. Attainment was particularly strong in English and there was a good improvement in standards in mathematics and science,” they found. “There were also high standards in other subjects and in extracurricular activities such as music, drama and physical education. The curriculum was broad and catered for the interests and needs of almost all students.”

No area at the school was graded ‘weak’. A few were categorized as satisfactory, such as health and safety and the learning environment, but that was largely due to the state of the aging school campus rather than school policy. The long-awaited new school is still under construction.

Although attainment in both maths and science was graded ‘satisfactory’, it was an improvement on the past grade of ‘weak’ and progress was rated ‘good’, moving up from ‘satisfactory’ at the last inspection. .

The inspectors made some specific recommendations, in particular for the school to raise attainment for the low ability students, including special educational needs or disability (SEND) students, who are still not achieving their potential through the support programme. More than 20% of students at the school have special needs.

The inspectors also directed the school to ensure “communication between school and home is consistent and effective so that parents can better support their child’s learning and increase the use of new technology to facilitate contact between parents and the school”.

JGHS was last inspected in 2018. It has 1,100 students aged between 11 and 16. 776 students are Caymanian and 220 are on the special needs register. The head teacher is Jon Clark.

See the full report in the CNS Library

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Comments (34)

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  1. Racquel says:

    As a past student and now a parent of children that has gone through the system, I must congratulate all of the teachers and principal of JGHS. Especially the teachers of the GAP program for a job well done.

    May God continue to bless and sustain you all.

    • Plain Talk says:

      I know this writing is kinda late for the haters are gone on to hate on another topic, poor souls.

      It is truly disheartening to see what unconscientious adults will say when they really have no critical thinking skills. The berating of the school by many though somewhat deserving does not contemplate the children. The disparaging comments as written in most cases not only demeans the ability and efforts that have and are taking place by parents, teachers and indeed by many children who on reading some of the stupidity on here will no doubt feel that their combined personal efforts are not generally appreciated. We need to understand and recognize that there has been stellar efforts to arrive at today’s gains particularly in the atmosphere that has been prevalent in the policy directives on education in the past eight years, which has had significant effects on curriculum and morale.

      Notwithstanding there is a clearer path being created which all who really understand where we are and know where we need to be , to have a system of education that seeks consistent quality;: need to embrace the required processes to make it so by any means necessary.

  2. World says:

    Great job to all teachers and leaders at JGHS. As a past student (1993) and now a parent of students at the school. I can say the teachers work hard and diligent.
    May God bless and sustain you all.
    Well done!

  3. Good is not Good Enough. says:

    I graduated from JGHS in the 1980’s. The vast majority of my classmates went on to tertiary education and are now partners at law and accounting firms, or they are running their own successful businesses, or they are in senior management positions, etc. The true test for the current class of students will be their future success. We should not accept “Good” as good enough. Cayman is very unique from the perspective that there are world class organizations here. How many Caymanians are at the top of those organizations? Why are we not focused on making sure our own people have the quality of education that would propel them to leadership positions in the various industries in their own country? I’m not talking about giving them leadership roles because they are Caymanians. I’m talking about educating Caymanians to the level that they can EARN those positions, based on their own merit. That should be the goal of our education system. Not “Good”, but “Excellent”.

    • Anonymous says:

      God, I would hope that more than 30 years out of high school you would be in relatively senior positions…

  4. Not buying it. says:

    I’m not buying it. The “Inspectors” in this instance was the Office of Education Standards, a government entity with no independence and therefore could be influenced or pressured by government leaders and members of Parliament into issuing favorable reports to win public favor and support. I put much more value in the Auditor General’s inspection of public schools, because they are independent of government. Public education in this country (which educates the vast majority of Caymanians) is too important and needs to be independently evaluated.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let’s face it, no matter what the inspection report concluded, you’d disagree unless it was in line with your prejudiced views.

      After having gone through several inspections myself, I can assure you they are not sugar coating anything.

    • Anonymous says:

      2:54. Why didn’t you both to get the facts before responding.

      Fact the Office of Education Standards is not part of the Ministry of Education and is part of the Portfolio of the Civil Service to ensure independence.

      Fact the majority of inspectors are parachuted in from the UK including the lead inspector.

      This is a world class achievement stop posting without facts.

  5. Candid says:

    With all the money in Cayman, it does not make sense that this has been going on for a long time. Only about 6% of kids from these schools qualify for tertiary education. Talk about creating for the future a permanent Caymanian underclass!

    • west baya says:

      true. when i went to high school there wasn’t much morale among us when it came to college. it was just “lets do the bare minimum to graduate”, hopefully that culture is changing.

    • Anonymous says:

      Keeping them dumb has been the strategy of the last 5 or 6 administrations.

  6. Anonymous says:

    With all due respect to the congratulators – Yes, improvement is good but this is no great achievement! This is the least performance level of a high school with the budget of JGHS!

    I say “it’s about time!!”

    Please don’t edify the Minister or Ministry – one of the primary reasons it’s taken so long to reach this basic performance grade is the BS that emanates from the Ministry level!

  7. Anonymous says:

    Great news, well done!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Very good news.

    What is not good:
    More than 20% of students at the school have special needs.
    Is that the case in all High Schools? If not how come?

  9. Anonymous says:

    No pressure on CHHS now.

    It’ll be interesting if the school out east doesn’t match JGHS. A flagship project that could be proven to be a folly!

    Anyhow, well done to JGHS. It has been on an upward trajectory for a while now. Despite some negative press over that time, this shows that those stories just detract from all the positive stuff that’s not publicised.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sure chhs will report good news as well. If you worked at the school you would have known the reason for its previous failure. Idk how the Cayman Islands employed a woman with a history of failing schools in the UK to lead their flagship school.

    • Anonymous says:

      Who are we going to blame for this?

      Oh yes maybe the inspectors got it wrong. Zzzzzzzzzzz

      Wake up world class in action.

  10. Anonymous says:

    This is an amazing achievement. Okay I will say it a world class achievement.

    So JGHS Prep and CIS are all in the same league.

    Congratulations to the Minister Chief Officer head of education the principal teachers and students. You have made as proud. Very proud.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’ve been into most of the High Schools as part of a volunteer program…

      …kids at CIS are some of the worst in terms of respect and behaviour I have dealt with.

      There are a lot of good kids at JGHS and Clifton. Hopefully progress keeps being made because they are starting well back in the race due to past problems with our school system.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Well done JGHS !! These are iur kids !!

  12. Anonymous says:

    Fantastic news. Principal. Clarke, senior leaders and teachers have worked tirelessly to improve JGHS. They deserve these rankings. Cayman can be very proud.

    The SEND recommendations are accurate. Programme coordination can be disorganised and inconsistent. Our pupils deserve better.

    Onwards and upwards.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Will we see this shared via WhattsApp? I bet not. Only the bad stuff gets shared…

  14. Anonymous says:

    This is great, massive congratulations.

    Turns out you should save the money by avoiding St Ignatius if you’re local

  15. Daphne Orrett says:

    I’m feeling extremely grateful and proud…!!! Congratulations to Principal, Teachers, support staff, Parents and Guardians… and, of course, our STUDENTS of John Gray High School…🙏🌸🙏 You deserve that soon-to-be-completed High School Campus…!!!!♥️ GOD bless our Caymanian young people…!🙏💕🙏
    Extremely grateful to Ministry of Education for all your loyal support…!!!

  16. Anonymous says:

    Absolutely fantastic news. Great collective effort from all involved. Mr Clarke is a true leader and has put this school on the right path to success.
    Things will only get better once the world class new facility is finished for beginning of term 2022.

    • Anonymous says:

      Agreed. Any step in the right direction is a good step. This isn’t only great news for the students involved, it’s great news for Cayman. Keep stepping in the right direction!

  17. Anonymous says:

    So there are officially 324 expats in John Gray. In addition, a number of the Caymanians at the school will not in fact be Caymanian (but may have Cayman passports), or will lose their status on their 18th birthday. It is at least good that the misconception that only Caymanians can go to government school is being put to rest.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I meant You’re lol

    Perhaps i went to JGHS

  19. Anonymous says:

    When your bottom on the list, the only way you can go is up.

    • Anonymous says:

      Did you mean to ‘say’ “when you’re bottom on the list…”?

      Just for clarity, there is a level below “satisfactory” which the school achieved at the previous inspection.

    • Anonymous says:

      Judging by your grammar, it seems that the school YOU went to didn’t teach you properly.

  20. JGHS Alumna Class of 2017 says:

    Proud of our teachers, admin staff, principal and most importantly- our students! Keep up the great work guys.

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