St. Mary’s College opens for new academic year

The St. Mary’s College has opened for the academic year with staff and students finalising their class schedules and will officially begin today. 

Deputy Principal of St. Mary’s College, Sina Fitu, told Samoa Observer in an interview that their preparations for the new school year is on track.

She said a total of 380 students will be attending the educational institution this year. 

Year 13 enrolment is normally 50 students, but Mrs. Fitu said due to the students performing well last year, this year will see 55 students enrol for Year 13. 

She said service training and teacher development programmes were put in place last week, to help develop methods and strategies for staff.

“We invited people from the University of South Pacific and Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture for our seminars, workshops and in-service training for our staff to prepare the teachers for this year,” Mrs. Fitu.

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The school held its annual church service on Wednesday to officially mark the opening of another year. Today all level students will attend school but official class subjects will begin next Monday. 

The deputy principal said there are new school initiatives, which will give their students a whole new learning experience. 

“We have seen the big improvement in all the subjects compared to the previous year. But this year we are going to cut down the class periods from eight to six and one study period. So class periods will no longer be 45 minutes but an hour,” she said and explained that the rationale behind the move is to utilise class time for each subject. 

Other new educational learning packages for this year include individual spelling bees, read-a-thons, Old Girls Association tutorials, writing activities, a new library, and international day celebration.

The schools new approach is focused on collaborating with students, as they work hand in hand, added Mrs. Fitu.

St Mary’s College also supports the school net system for all schools, due to the helpful and resourceful material that it provides. 

“The school net system has helped our methods and strategy of teaching our students. Instead of just teaching them the concept for the duration of class period, we have involved more critical thinking. Teach but have them think for themselves to do the rest,” she said.

Also they are encouraging students to give feedback as an analysis, which she said promotes critical thinking and problem solving amongst students. 

“I have seen student’s creativity and intellect far from what I know as a teacher. And this year we want to expand that knowledge for students, break the confinements and have them explore every aspect they can learn,” Mrs. Fitu added while upholding their Christian values.

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