Updated: Jan 28
Students of Success Roman Catholic (RC) Primary School, of Church Street, Laventille, are enjoying the expanded benefits of remedial literacy as four of their teachers have completed training in the acclaimed Arrow teaching method. The words of Standard Two student, Joshua Bruce, reflect the overall enthusiasm felt by the school.
He said: “I am doing better in school and I am enjoying reading much more. I am happy that I did the Arrow training and my parents and teachers are proud of me. Now that we have Arrow teachers in school all the time, we can ask them to help us whenever we need it.
“I feel like I can achieve anything I want and I’m not scared to learn new things.”
Teachers Lemoy Lamming (First Year/Second Year), Juelin Phillips (First Y/Second Year), Alicia Joseph (Standard One) and Julia Ramkissoon (Standard Two) completed the intensive training at the school and are now equipped to offer the benefits of the Arrow teaching methods to all the students.
Previously, the programme was administered by tutors attached to the Arrow Foundation.
No one is more proud of the improvements being seen than the school’s principal, Dianne Neptune.
She said: “This programme positively impacts on the students who participate and they show noticeable improvement in both their reading and spelling skills.
“In fact, when a member of the Curriculum Division of the Ministry of Education conducted an assessment pre-and-post-training, students had improved these skills from six to eight words to a phenomenal 20 to 25 words.
“The change isn’t only in terms of academics though, as these students grow in confidence and self-esteem, which results in a more positive attitude to school and increased enthusiasm in the classroom.
“They also show marked improvements in their behaviour and they are much more disciplined and obedient,” explained Neptune.
“With us having ARROW-trained teachers full-time now, I look forward to even more students benefitting and improving themselves holistically. With the continued support of the ARROW Foundation and sponsors like Angostura Limited, our students will continue to soar to ‘Success’ and achieve their highest potential,” Neptune added.
The teacher training is the second phase of an ongoing partnership between the ARROW Foundation and Angostura Limited and its specialised teaching initiative with the student population and teaching staff of Success RC. The programme was started at the school in 2014,and since then, some 50 students have celebrated their successful completion of the ARROWstudy programme.
Giselle Laronde-West, Senior Manager, Public Affairs and Communications, Angostura Limited said: “We take corporate responsibility seriously and one of our core areas is community investment, of which education is a key priority. Our partnership with the Arrow Foundation is proving to be revolutionary in terms of unlocking the potential of young people and the results at Success RC speak for themselves.
“It is even more significant because this school is in our fenceline community of Laventille and this project is directly in line with the Prime Minister’s Laventille School Project aimed at improving literacy amongst students. This adds to the other educational projects we are doing in the area, like the Heroes’ Foundation Youth Development Programme, the Primary Schools’ Library Enhancement Project and several Back-To-School Programmes.”
Through the Arrow Foundation/Angostura partnership, Success RC will be licensed to conduct the remedial teaching programme for a further two years, with the added benefit of now having school-based Arrow-trained tutors.
First-Year teacher, Lemoy Lamming, had a very personal perspective on the Arrow training.
He said: “I can testify that even before the students complete the Arrow training they exhibit significant improvement in their reading and spelling ages. My own son, Patrick, did the training and his teacher indicated to me that he improved significantly, including his handwriting. Using the computer is interactive and it helps them to focus and concentrate, increasing the overall effectiveness.
“This brain-based technique with use of self-voice really empowers the students to improve themselves. Now that teachers are seeing the benefits, they want all of their challenged students to take part in this revolutionary remedial training.”
The local Arrow Foundation is a non-profit organisation operating since 2004 and is led by directors Christopher and Cornelia Bonterre.
Since its launch, hundreds of students from schools across T&T have been able to improve their academic performance through the Arrow Programme.
Based on their superlative results, the Foundation has been able to expand its reach through support from organisations including Angostura Limited, bpT&T, RBC Royal Bank, Methanex Trinidad Limited, Citizen’s Security Programme and Atlantic.
Christopher Bonterre explained the added benefits in terms of student behaviour, “Support from companies like Angostura provides us with the impetus to continue to meet the educational needs of the nation’s children.
“Arrow’s focus is on raising self-esteem through literacy improvement, which is also vital to addressing behavioural problems in students.
“A lot of the aggressive behaviour found in our primary and secondary schools is rooted in students’ academic failure and the resulting frustration.
“When students are able to read and write they feel better about themselves, allowing them to engage others without feeling frustrated.”
Developed more than 40 years ago in the United Kingdom, Arrow stands for Aural Read Respond Oral Write. It focuses on remedial work in reading, spelling, dictation, speech and listening skills and assists students who experience academic challenges by transforming their entire approach to learning.
The computer-based learning applies use of the self-voice—a recording of the learner’s own voice while reading—which forms the basis of the multi-sensory learning approach.
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