Out on the playgrounds, they are excelling in sports. In the classrooms, the students are also making the grade. Wolmer’s Preparatory School is scoring on its goals to develop balanced individuals, reflected in the results attained both at the school and beyond.
Tarique Parker, a graduate, is a Rhodes Scholar and others such as Malique Lorraine, Ajania Thompson and Matthew Baker went on to claim a spot in Jamaica’s national Under-15 football team.
The Connolley Avenue-based institution rose from a 37-year slumber to win the Jamaica Independent Schools Sports Association (JISA)/Tastee Prep Schools league football title by defeating Emmanuel Christian Academy 1-0 with a goal from Devaughn Ricketts, in the final played recently at Sts Peter and Paul Prep.
At devotion the following Monday morning, Coach Raymond Leveridge leveraged the achievement as the school celebrated its triumph, noting that it embodied more than sport.
“This means a lot for the Wolmer’s family. We want to ride this wave in our sporting fraternity, in our academic fraternity, to motivate all the youngsters here to keep striving to do their best as the motto says, in everything do the best that you can to the best of your ability. We’re going to enjoy this victory as a school, as a family, as a body, as parents, as students, as well as coaches, ride the wave and put Wolmer’s forth at all times and try to be number one in whatever we do,” said Leveridge.
The joy was echoed by Principal Janet Howard, and Ryan Foster, the school’s new chairman.
Howard said: “This victory means that whatever we do, we’re going to continue to do it to the best of our ability. We may not win all the time in every area, but our aim is to win and to do the best that we can.by TaboolaPromoted LinksYou May Like11 Cancer Causing Habits Ignored by 90% of Peoplehealthtopten.comWhat Does an Egg’s Yolk Color Mean?yourhelthcare.comAthletes cash in on million-dollar bounty at JOA/JAAA Olympic Destiny SeriesJamaica ObserverThis Under-The-Radar Royal Is Winning The Style GameStyleBistroG7 health chiefs to discuss vaccine sharing, animal diseasesJamaica Observer
“Wolmer’s is always achieving, [but] there is always room for improvement. We endeavour to be better all the time, every day and in every way, just becoming better and better, better with our staff, better with our parents, better with our children, better with our offerings, better with our board. Our new chairman is Ryan Foster and he’s driven to achieve.”
Foster, who is also CEO of the Jamaica Olympic Association, said Wolmer’s triumph came as a result of “hard work, dedication, motivation, diligence and resilience”.
“I think the Wolmer’s family, Wolmer’s Boys’, Wolmer’s Girls, Wolmer’s Prep have prided ourselves on developing all-round individuals and I believe this victory will galvanise Wolmer’s Prep for greater things in other competitions such as Prep Champs, which comes up in May,” observed Foster.
“Not only that, PEP exams are also next year in May and this will go well in motivating the boys who are final year students in doing their PEP, which is a first for us and all other Prep Schools.”
They have had much sporting success in recent years, dating back to 2015 when they went undefeated to win the Prep Schools netball league and rally. In 2016, Wolmer’s Prep won the Norbrook Cup and placed third in the Henriques Cup knock-out and Alberga Cup football competitions, after losing both semi-finals 0-1. In 2017, Wolmer’s Prep were Henriques Cup champions and runners-up in the Alberga Cup and Norbrook Cup competitions, at the same time maintaining consistency in swimming by placing among the top three from 2015-17, and third in cricket in 2016.
Wolmer’s Prep’s vast talent brought glory in other areas too, as the school won the Children’s Gospel Festival last year and placed second in the Foreign Language competition. Now they’re in the debating competition and are doing well.
“They just won their round and we hope that they will win, even though it’s a young team,” said Howard.
Noting their overall goal, Howard said: “It’s to maintain the standard that we’ve had, it’s to ensure that when the students leave Wolmer’s Prep, with the team that we have here, we have globally ready students, students who can perform in different cultures.
“These children are gifted and talented and where the nation is going … if we don’t prepare them to be 21st century learners, we’re going to be in trouble,” Howard predicted.
Highlighting their preparation is the fact that 66 per cent of the students who sat GSAT last year ended with averages ranging between the 90-100 percentile and 21 per cent earned between 80-89, with the others averaging between 70-79. Also, 17 students were among the top 1,000 who sat the exit exam.
“The last ranking we did it was based on GSAT scores, but in 2015 we were one of the Golden Schools. Thanks to our teachers and our parents, they really work with the students. We’re expecting the same support for PEP. Though the parents are nervous, they’re the first to sit it. They can become anxious, but we’re trying to keep them calm,” she said.
Howard, who is in her second year as principal — having started her teaching career at Wolmer’s Prep 19 years ago — pointed out that besides the parents, coaches are very aligned with their programme.
“They work hard because here at Wolmer Prep it’s not just about sports; the coaches work with the class teachers, follow-up to see if they’re doing their homework, if they’re behaving in class,” she explained.
“You’ve netballers who had to travel all the way down to St Elizabeth. The parents, the coaches, the teachers ensure that they have a book, they’d be reading and revising because they’re out of school.”
Howard continued: “It doesn’t make sense we focus on the academics and there is no discipline, the total child is not looked at. So if we’re just looking at winning in sports and our boys are not representing us or not representing themselves as children, then that’s a disconnect. A disciplined child achieving makes a good citizen.”