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Bermuda public school system 2016 external examination results

Monday, October 31, 2016

The Ministry of Education is pleased to release today the 2016 external exam results for the Bermuda Public School System. The results reflect student achievement for the 2015/16 school year in the Cambridge International Examinations at the primary 6, middle 3, and senior school years in Mathematics, Science, and Language Arts.

The Cambridge Checkpoint results revealed that:

At the Primary 6 (P6) level - 83% of students scored at level 2.0 and above in Language Arts; 54% scored at level 2.0 and above in Mathematics, and 86% scored at the 2.0% and above in Science. 

Similarly, at the Middle School (M3) level – 66% of students scored at level 2.0 and above in Language Arts; 49% scored at level 2.0 and above in Mathematics, and 83% scored at the 2.0% and above in Science. 

The Checkpoint exams are diagnostic in nature specifically designed to highlight the areas where greater interventions are needed to improve student performance in preparation for their International General Certificate Secondary Education (IGCSE) exams at the senior school level. The Cambridge Examining Board considers that achieving a level of 2.0 reflects a basic acceptable understanding of the Cambridge curriculum.

The Minister of Education, the Hon. R. Wayne Scott JP, MP stated: “The Checkpoint results are both encouraging and enlightening. I commend our P6 and M3 teachers and students who worked hard during the year to achieve these results. However, it is important to keep in mind that Bermuda is the only public school system that participates in the undertaking of the global Cambridge International Examinations (CIE). Thus, when compared with the average CIE scores, our public school students at both the P6 and M3 levels continued to score competitively on average, in both Language Arts and Science. However, there are still some challenges in student performance as it relates to Mathematics”.

At the P6 level, the Bermuda national average score was 2.2 in math compared with the CIE average score of 3.9. At the M3 level, the Bermuda national average score was 2.2 in math while the CIE average score was 4.4. The Department of Education set a national threshold standard of 3.0 for its students.

Minister Scott added: This year all students were challenged to write the Cambridge extended math level exams. The mathematics results clearly revealed deficits in key conceptual areas. Nonetheless the results of the extended math level has helped to identify P6 and M3 students who should continue to sit the extended math exam, or sit the core math exam or follow a different success path altogether in mathematics”.

At the senior school level, students sat a total of 1,310 external exams at the IGCSE, General Certificate Secondary Education (GCSE) and Advanced Stage (AS) levels during the 2015/16 school year. Of the total, 68 IGCSE exams were sat by middle school (M3) students. Overall, the exams covered, English, Mathematics, Science, Social Studies, Foreign Languages, Business & Technology, Arts and Physical Education. Overall, there was an 89% pass rate for students who achieved a grade of A* to G; and, a 33% pass rate for students who were successful in a grade of A* to C.

The majority of students were successful in passing the core subjects with:

  • a 99% pass rate with grades A to G or 352 students achieving the English IGCSE;
  • a 56% pass rate or 337 students awarded the Mathematics ICGSE; and,
  • 84% pass rate or 337 students successfully obtaining a Science IGCSE.

Senior students also performed well in selected academic (non-core) subjects, some of which included:

  • All 37 students who sat examinations in Art & Design, Dance, Drama and Music successfully achieved their IGCSE;
  • Of the 65 students who took the IGCSE exams in accounts, business studies and information & communication technology, there was a 97% pass rate; while,
  • There was a 100% pass rate for the 45 students taking exams in geography, history and citizenship studies.

During the past two years the Department of Education has been focusing on the effective delivery of a culturally relevant and engaging curriculum of high quality in the classroom.  The System is now in its second year of utilizing a common framework of teaching mathematics and literacy. There is continuous application of the inquiry learning method and widespread use of teaching in the classroom through problem solving and standards based instruction and assessments. Additionally, elements of the Multi-tier System Support framework have been introduced to support teachers in establishing a positive school climate and response to intervention for student success.

However, the Minister of Education emphasized: The Department of Education will always work towards doing better to prepare our students for these external international examinations. The knowledge gaps in Mathematics are recognized and technical Officers are now seeking alternative pathways of success in this core subject which continues be a struggle for our students; as reflected historically in the Checkpoint exam results. Moving forward there is the possibility of introducing a new success pathway in that students can acquire an international mathematics certification through a multi-level City & Guilds offering which serves as an intervention tool for students while pursuing an IGCSE in mathematics”.

Currently school principals are making presentations of the Cambridge External Exam results to parents or their respective Parent Teacher Association (PTA) and Parent Council.

The general public is encouraged to visit the Ministry of Education website where the Cambridge International Examination results can be found after all presentations have been made by schools to parent bodies.

Presentation from the Ministry of Education regarding Cambridge Exam results