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Jun 8, 2018

City’s Haley Thurton, O.W.’s Ricardo Umana Joint-Top of P.S.E.

Hummingbird Elementary of Belize City has consistently produced top scorers at the P.S.E.; but this year, students at the private primary school, over performed clinching five of the top ten spots of the exams, including the number one student, Haley Thurton who tied with Rolando Umana of La Inmaculada School in Orange Walk.  At Hummingbird, we found happy students rightfully celebrating their achievement. Thurton tells News Five’s Duane Moody that she felt she would pass, but taking the top spot has taken her by surprise.


Duane Moody, Reporting

The Ministry of Education has released the preliminary results for the national exam. Some seven thousand two hundred and seventy-one students registered for the test, but on March eighteenth and then on May fourth, only seven thousand and eighty standard six students sat the entire test. It assessed the children on their grasp of curriculum content and skills in the areas of English, Mathematics, Social Studies and Science.

The top spot was taken by thirteen-year-old Haley Thurton of Hummingbird Elementary School in Belize City with three hundred and eighty-four of a total of four hundred points. Thurton tied with Rolando Umaña of La Inmaculada School in Orange Walk, but was ecstatic about ranking first in the country.  So what’s the key to scoring high on the exams?


Haley Thurton

Haley Thurton, 1st Place, P.S.E. 2018

“I’m surprised, but I do feel good. I am very happy.”



“For you, this was not something you were expecting.”


Haley Thurton

“No, not really.”



“Were you at least expecting top twenty-five?”


Haley Thurton

“I was pretty confident that I would pass at least.”



“Now Haley, you have to tell us. How did you get this great result? What did you do? What kinda work did you put in?”


Haley Thurton

“Well I didn’t study too hard. Really it was just the work that we were given in class and just rest and proper health and stuff.  For the first day [of the exam] I was a little nervous but I calmed down throughout the day and I got my work done. You shouldn’t worry too much about your grade. Just try to get what you know done first and then go over the stuff that you don’t know too well and just be very confident in yourself.”


Taking third place was Gerson Makhwani from Mary Hill RC School in Corozal. Hummingbird would go on to snag the next four top stops, including Sofia Solano, Khalil Espat and the daughter of Prime Minister Dean Barrow, Salima Barrow—she came sixth overall.


Sofia Solano

Sofia Solano, 5th Place, P.S.E. 2018

“I feel satisfied with the score I got. As a class, we prepared a lot and our teacher was a big part of that. She prepared us with everything that she had. I didn’t expect to do this well, but I am satisfied that I got this score.”


Khalil Espat, 7th Place, P.S.E. 2018

“I did not expect to do so well, but I am feeling kind of good about what I did. I think I prepared and in the end it paid off well and I did good in P.S.E.”


Duane Moody

“That’s seven overall compared to thousands like yourself that took that exam. Talk to us about your strategy going into the exam.”


Khalil Espat

Khalil Espat

“Well, I think I could have studied more; I could have studied more. I did study of course, not as I could have. I think that my number one strategy for doing well was what I had learned in standard six because our teacher taught us well. She taught us strategies on what to do in P.S.E. and so in the exam room I just put all that what she had taught us into work and now seeing my results, it did work.”


There were many other schools that had placements in the list of top twenty-five students both from public and private institutions in Toledo, Cayo, Orange Walk and Belmopan. Also in the city, Belize Elementary School, Bernice Yorke Institute of Learning and Holy Redeemer also made it on the list. Twelve-year-old Bernice Yorke’s Ariel Peters came eighth overall.


Ariel Peters

Ariel Peters, 8th Place, P.S.E. 2018

“When I first came in this class, my sister scared me and told me Miss Ali was a beast. She said that you need to be prepared because her tests are way harder than P.S.E. and that was true. So what I did over the summer was study all my science books from page to page and then the next summer I did the same thing just in case. Then for preparation me and my classmates, we partnered with each other and we help study with flashcards and books.”


Duane Moody for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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