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STEM providing tree of knowledge for St Martin’s Secondary School students

STEM providing tree of knowledge for St Martin’s Secondary School students


The St Martin’s Secondary School (SMSS) believes that faith and discipline are necessary for students to excel in academics.{{more}}

The all-boy institution, which was established in 1961, focuses on instilling in their students the values they feel are necessary for the young men to transition successfully from the classroom into the workplace.

To this end, the SMSS is hosting a Science, Technology, Mathematics, Engineering (STEM) project; they are one of the first secondary schools in St Vincent and the Grenadines to do so.

Head of the Information Technology Department Petrus Gumbs told SEARCHLIGHT that the school is trying to broaden the students’ horizons by exposing them to possibilities outside of the classroom.

“What the STEM project is all about is showing the kids that what they know is what is important for them in the job market, so there’s a reason for them to learn what they are learning right now,” he said.

Through STEM, the institution will soon implement a Robotics programme, in which the students will build robots to carry out simple tasks.

Additionally, some of the boys are a part of a Game Development Programme in which they create exciting computer games for their age groups.

“By learning all this stuff at an early age, it gives us an advantage towards others where, in the future, we can actually help them to understand the process,” fourth form student Troy Halbich said.

While technology is an important aspect of the curriculum at the SMSS, clubs and extra-curricular activities are very much a part of the institution.

With 410 students on roll, the school’s students divide their time among a variety of clubs including the Heritage Club Drama Club, Asthma Club, Modern Languages Club and Peer Counselling.

Lucy Theobalds, the school counsellor, noted that the school offers a holistic approach to both academic and extra-curricular activities.

From inception, the SMSS, which is run by the Roman Catholic Church, has included Religious Knowledge on the timetable.

“We have Religious Knowledge on the timetable…. Emphasis is placed on faith and discipline; that’s part of our motto, “Success through faith and discipline”,” the counsellor said.

Although the school caters to boys from all religions, Theobalds noted that there has never been an occasion when a student opted not to be a part of the religious knowledge class.

After 52 years, the Roman Catholic institution continues on its mission to assist boys who come from a marginalized background in obtaining a sound education.

“We at St Martin’s School are still providing for students who cannot afford financially,” Theobalds revealed. “We give them their daily meals, we pay some school fees, we assist with buying books, buying of clothes and we do that on a yearly basis”.

This academic year, a new principal, Wendell Edwards, was introduced to the school.

Although his tenure has just begun, Edwards noted that most of the students at the schools are focused and goal-oriented. He also stated that his staff of 22 teachers are “excellent” and are “prepared to give of their best to see that the institution keeps on climbing”.

The principal told SEARCHLIGHT that his mission, as well as that of the students and parents of the SMSS, is to restore the institution to the top ranks in extra-curricular and academic standards.

“We are concentrating on rebuilding and it is our aim, our vision, that in the short and medium term, for the school to rise to the top again,” Edwards said. “I can assure you that the teachers have given their commitment. The parents as well…have also given their commitment that they are going to work with us in the rebuilding process”.

The school’s curriculum includes the mainstream courses that are offered

at the secondary school level in St Vincent and

the Grenadines. In addition to these subjects, courses such as Technical Drawing and other industrial arts subjects have been introduced in pursuance of the school’s

goal of preparing their students for the world of work and living.

As they embrace the core values of honesty, ambition, respect and pride, the SMSS stands by the saying of past headmaster Brother James Dries that “Boys will be boys, but St Martin’s boys will be gentlemen”.