Combermere Slipping!

Submitted by Jefferson

Combermere School

It is with great befuddlement that I write about the accomplished Combermere School. For hundreds of years this institution has produced influential citizens like the late Right Honourable David Thompson, former West Indian cricketer Rev. Wes Hall, author Sir Frank Collymore, UNESCO award winning film director and cultural historian Owen “Alik” Shahadah and President of the Senate Kerryann Ifill.

Combermere School offers an excellent music program, are the holders of countless cricketing trophies thanks to the Head of the Physical Education Department Mr. Michael Small, Mr. Roderick Estwick (cricket coach) and Mr. Michael Worrell (athletics coach). Combermere has approximately fifty-four trained teachers including one Guidance Counsellor; most of them possess bachelor degrees with at least three acquiring doctorates. However it is with great disdain that I write about this educational institution that was once rated as number three on the island and is currently failing our inquiring young minds. Let me start with the Principal who has a taken a lackadaisical approach to managing this school that is occupied by teenagers who are academically sound and street wise. Mr. Vere Parris is an invisible principal and he is definitely imperceptible during the lunch break when children are engaging in various unimaginable activities. He operates the school remotely from the confines of his air-conditioned surroundings. It is essential for Combermere School to obtain a leader as vigilant and dynamic as Mr. Vincent Fergusson (former Deputy Principal of Combermere, current Principal of Coleridge and Parry Secondary School). Mr. Parris is known as a courteous gentleman but not one who is a strong disciplinarian or a firm believer in Combermere culture even though he is a former Combermerian.

The practice of being an absentee Principal has trickled down to some of his teachers who have inherited the practice of being fifteen minutes late for forty minute classes (but of course the principal wouldn’t know unless he has a periscope), they have a reputation for not taking class registration and failing to teach lessons that are on par with the CXC syllabus and that of the other older secondary schools thereby forcing students to seek lessons elsewhere and costing parents hundreds of dollars per month. The Combermerians who are capable of gaining national awards are forced to enroll at Harrison College, Queen’s College and Barbados Community College in order to gain academic recognition. In fact, when last has Combermere even earned a Grade 1 at CAPE Level furthermore a national award? Shameful!

The teaching fraternity at Combermere School is providing little guidance, are poor facilitators and lack pastoral care for the budding leaders and pioneers of this country thus stunting their progress. Mr. Parris needs to rethink his management style recruit his vibrant, innovative, respectable teachers like Mr. Mayers and create a competitive atmosphere for students that have become somewhat lawless and undisciplined; he needs to encourage them to positively engage their creative minds and assist them in becoming worthwhile citizens and not just be able to say I went to “Cawmere.”

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212 Comments on “Combermere Slipping!”

  1. Gabriel October 14, 2015 at 4:23 PM #

    I am putting on the table for consideration we return to single sex schools at primary and secondary level.Back to Up Boys(fa-doh)Harrison for boys,Queen’s for girls.St Mich for girls,split Foundation again,Lodge for boys,Alleyne for girls,CP boys,Alexra girls.Girls especially at secondary level tangling with the boys’ heads.At primary its another story but its frightening if you hear the principals’ experiences at primary.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Gabriel October 14, 2015 at 4:25 PM #

    What are your forecasts for Monday’s Federal elections in Canada.Trudeau or Harper?Nuff ‘o we bajans got children and family there.


  3. David October 14, 2015 at 5:02 PM #

    Surely Hants is not supporting Trudeau who is advocating running a deficit :-)


  4. pieceuhderockyeahright October 14, 2015 at 4:27 PM #

    @ Gabriel

    De ole man agree with you 101% it is a failed experiment which disadvantaged already faltering males who jes unnerstanding whu de boy part does do and trying to get it jine wid girl parts.

    The lower head ruling the upper head where the one that wants to get empty is ruling the one that is empty and needs to get full.


  5. Hants October 14, 2015 at 5:40 PM #

    @ David, can’t supporter Harper or Mulcair. lol

    @ Gabriel, It is too close for me to predict.Hope this helps.


  6. Gabriel October 14, 2015 at 7:04 PM #

    Word is:
    Trudeau,pro pot,pro choice,untested,pro rich,pro privileged
    Harper,pro jewish,pro US,pro monarchy,pro tax the top,pro middle/working class,economist,experienced in government.


  7. Hants October 14, 2015 at 7:09 PM #

    I am sure the teachers will be working hard to come up with “solutions”

    “FRIDAY, OCTOBER 16, is Teachers’ Professional Day, and principals and teachers have been encouraged to plan activities for their own self-development “

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hants October 14, 2015 at 7:12 PM #

    @ Gabriel ,

    Harper is pro rich and anti Barbados.


  9. Curious onlooker October 14, 2015 at 8:05 PM #

    Good evening

    I agree that combermere is not what it used to be @David and others but I will Co tinge to stress the fact that the whole education system is not as good it used to be and I don’t believe combermere is below st. Michaels I believe it’s ranked similarly.

    When I set common entrance persons who entered combermere gained similar are slightly more marks to those who went to sms

    I will consider sharing the sight with my school friends


  10. Curious onlooker October 14, 2015 at 8:24 PM #

    So do you all have statistics of grades etc at st.Michaels and Cs and qc/hc or is it just here say and perception


  11. Gabriel October 14, 2015 at 8:40 PM #

    Good point Curious.What do the stats say?Its a closely guarded secret and information that taxpayers have been asking for for years and years.BU has already encouraged you to share the site and to comment on your experiences.Welcome.


  12. Gabriel October 14, 2015 at 8:42 PM #

    Was it not Harper who had registered an international business here.?


  13. Hants October 14, 2015 at 8:46 PM #

    @ Gabriel,

    No. It was former Liberal Party leader and PM Paul Martin.

    Word is that Harper and the Conservatives are opposed to tax havens.


  14. Gabriel October 14, 2015 at 9:07 PM #

    Ok.Harper was once a Lib and subsequently broke away and joined a few other parties before settling down with the ProCons.His record of leadership should be a factor to be considered as opposed to Justin who seem to be gaining traction largely on Pierre Elliot’s name and popularity.Quebec might be a factor in the outcome.


  15. Curious onlooker October 14, 2015 at 9:24 PM #

    @gabriel what is your view of the schools ranks etc


  16. Gabriel October 14, 2015 at 10:11 PM #

    What about the Thomas Mulcair NDP factor.


  17. The Corporal October 14, 2015 at 10:15 PM #

    Combermere isn’t slipping its already slipped the school’s best days are long gone when a buffoon in the form of Reverend Morris is on staff don’t anticipate exceptionalism. Combermere’s hold out from its halcyon is cricket. It continues to dominate that sport at youth level. A dedicated cricket coach a luxury its counterparts don’t have give it a leg up.

    Its academic performance is ordinary with institutions like QC, HC, Lodge, Foundation, Deighton Griffith and St. Michael’s recording better results than the notorious Cawmere. The puerile clan antics of Cawmarians leave alumni of other schools puzzled and amused. With sixth forms established at St. Michael’s, Springer, Foundation, St. Leonard’s with CP, Alexandra upcoming the dye is cast for the former University of Waterford.


  18. Gabriel October 14, 2015 at 10:27 PM #

    The 2 colleges are still very popular choices in the CE as well as holding their own in final results.Cmere seem to be less popular and sms appear to be rising in its place.In the absence of hard data we cannot be sure if impressions are misleading.What is known is that using scholarship/exhibition awards as yardsticks to compare the 4 oldest 6th form schools,HC and QC have over time consistently won their fair share with BCC getting a toehold in recent years.Cmere as seen here is not sending out winners and in that respect is a let down to its alumni.We know Lodge never recovered its former reputation since its demise in the 70/80’s.How do you see it?


  19. Curious onlooker October 14, 2015 at 11:15 PM #

    Lol @gabriel I think it’s just perception who knows I 10_20 years st.Michaels maybe up for discussion and what was lodge like in the 70s/80s and before


  20. Curious onlooker October 14, 2015 at 11:16 PM #

    @corporal I’ve never read so much folly


  21. Simple Simon October 15, 2015 at 12:35 AM #

    @The Corporal October 14, 2015 at 10:15 PM “the dye is cast.”

    Die NOT dye.


  22. Simple Simon October 15, 2015 at 12:39 AM #

    @Curious onlooker October 14, 2015 at 8:05 PM “When I set common entrance…”

    Sat NOT set

    @Curious onlooker October 14, 2015 at 8:05 PM “I will consider sharing the sight with my school friends.”

    Site NOT sight


  23. pieceuhderockyeahright October 15, 2015 at 3:18 AM #

    @ Simple Simon

    Fools rush in where angels fear to thread…

    Thar you go agin jes like Barry barrelling through…

    Belligerent of any overall purpose, jes try to show your teaching skills…

    You think that the lawyer Gabriel and all the rest of us walking Thesaurii were not aware of the homonyms?

    The idea oh wise one beyond your years was to see how to court a faction that is blatantly absent from the venue

    We ole donkeys seem somehow to have missed the pint (purposely mispelt to prove the point)

    Thou donkey, newest replacement for the other banned donkey, the very sentence carried the sentiment that is being aggressively pursued but with your usual blinkered vision, you jump in and effect the verbal assault.

    Well done!!


  24. Bush Tea October 15, 2015 at 6:19 AM #

    @ Piece
    …but, to her credit, she DOES admit to being simple and childish..


  25. de Ingrunt Word October 15, 2015 at 6:43 AM #

    @Curious, actually if you take away the emotion you may accept that Corporal’s remarks loudly proclaim exactly what is wrong at Combermere and by extension our education system.

    Consider his remark that: “It continues to dominate that sport at youth level. A dedicated cricket coach a luxury its counterparts don’t have give it a leg up.”

    If you accept that as being mostly correct and then ask older heads about the time of James Millington who filled a similar role as a violin instructor and music teaching maestro at your beloved school, you will appreciate that the critique offers the alpha and omega of the problem:

    ——– Purpose, will, determination and hard-work fueled with eager youth and most importantly excellent leaders with the skill, fortitude and disciplinary intent to create stars.

    That Curious is what is missing at your institution.

    Why have your leaders not sought to replicate the same ethos as that of the cricket program and like the music team before that?

    Some of the other institutions certainly use the same process across their ENTIRE school.

    And @Corporal, generally one ‘buffoon’ cannot shift exceptional people from their path. Any grouse you have with the man is likely irrelevant to the school’s rise or fall.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Gabriel October 15, 2015 at 8:57 AM #

    Cmere excelled as Ingrunt pointed out in Music thanks to the teaching and training skills of Jimmy Millington; Cricket thanks to the teaching and training skills of West Indies pace bowler Frank King and batsmanship by Ronnie Hughes and his advisers;Hockey thanks to the teaching and training skills of Jack Adams.I agree again with Ingrunt’s QED.Put this same discipline and keen sticktoitiveness and Cmere will place its name on history’s page like any other school will,using the same approach.

    Liked by 1 person

  27. de Ingrunt Word October 15, 2015 at 9:42 AM #

    I would question the cricket assertion @Gabriel. Yes the school did ‘excel’ there too but in terms of absolute ‘competitive advantage’ certainly the school did not ‘dominate’ the school league back in the heyday when HC and Lodge were also in 1st Div (as far as I read, anyhow).

    In the other areas they certainly were quite dominant as memory and readings guide me. But as has been championed here, ‘change’ is vital. So as the other schools have now gained their 6th form independence we need to continue to revisit the entire educational system.

    Your earlier call for a return to single sex schools is a tough call for me although I readily appreciate the problems that modification caused.

    But in light of this 180 change back to the 6th form within schools and away from the Com College collective then maybe that too should be reexamined. I say somewhat because as I recall Maj. Barker at Foundation and his counterparts at St. Michael, CP and Alexandra’s were always seeking that privilege.

    Incidentally I would actually leave our two best schools (HC and QC) as co-ed – they will continue to perform admirably regardless and there is much to be said about interfacing with members of the opposite sex at an early age .

    The realignment starts with the others back to their former selves at lower school. Coed would still be allowed at the CAPE level.

    If for no other reason a realignment is needed so that other schools have some semblance of a chance to wrest the annual athletics’ prize away from Springer (LOLLL). Talk about dominance!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Hants October 15, 2015 at 9:55 AM #

    @ Gabriel, Mulcair is a good leader but his party is third in the polls……

    Trudeau and the Liberals still in front but….


  29. Hants October 15, 2015 at 10:00 AM #

    The best way to improve secondary schools is to drastically improve the standards in Primary schools.

    Doan have to read n spell fuh wunna.

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Curious onlooker October 15, 2015 at 4:25 PM #

    I’m not accepting nothing unless we get statistics


  31. The Corporal October 15, 2015 at 10:01 PM #

    Simple Simon October 15, 2015 at 12:35 AM #

    @The Corporal October 14, 2015 at 10:15 PM “the dye is cast.”

    Die NOT dye.

    Correct you are Simple S a typo got in the way of Julius Caesar’s famous words, lol. Are you one of those runt height Cawmarians with their head near to their anus like Arttaxass?


  32. Simple Simon October 16, 2015 at 1:07 AM #




  33. Simple Simon October 16, 2015 at 1:09 AM #

    Intelligent, young, tall, slim, very good looking, non-Combermerian.

    All good qualities.


  34. Gabriel October 16, 2015 at 5:46 PM #

    Re-posting for the fa dohs(up boys)who might visit:Kathleen Noott,widow of the Major died earlier this week,age 99.They both maintained very close links with their treasured boys to the end.


  35. David October 17, 2015 at 6:30 PM #

    These are the marks required for 11+’, what are you thinking?


  36. Curious onlooker October 17, 2015 at 6:40 PM #

    @David those rankings are not right qc is higher than hc cp is way higher than Dwight on st. Michaels is the same aspace combermere
    Those are just some of the things I corrected


  37. Curious onlooker October 17, 2015 at 6:56 PM #

    Deighton griffith********** not Dwight


  38. Curious onlooker October 20, 2015 at 6:28 PM #

    The minister of education said statistics are available about cxc results over theat few years based on each school also cape statistics are available


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