School History

Rio Bueno Primary School

The Rio Bueno Primary School might very well have had its foundations laid from as far back as the early 1800s when basic/elementary education gained traction in Jamaica as it was made compulsory throughout more developed parts of the world.  Evidence of this fact is reported in Ogilvie’s History of Trelawny.  Ogilvie reported that in 1837, £50 was granted for the alterations to the Rio Bueno School and an additional £15, to be shared by this school of seventy one (71) boys and ninety eight (98) girls; and Stewart Town School, for providing Books.   The school, like other Government owned elementary schools of that epoch, was under the management of the Anglican Church – the state church.  It was established on the site of the 18th century Fort Dundas - property owned by the Government and given for the establishment of the St. Marks Anglican Church and this school which would come under its management.   The school, as it now appears, is the result of extensive reconstruction which was completed in 1970. 

Throughout its existence the school has catered to students from the communities of Rio Bueno, Calabar, Brampton, Bengal, Braco and even as far east as Discovery Bay and as far west as Duncans.  Up to the late 1960s the school catered to its intake of students at Junior and Senior Levels until it was changed to the All-Age structure which catered to students from Grades One to Nine.  During those times, the school had enrolments of up to 240 students.  At the time of the reclassification from an All Age to a Primary Institution in the year 2000, the enrollment had fallen to 78 students from Grades One to Nine.  The 2000 -2001 school year began with 78 students in Grades One to Six.   The decline in the enrolment continued down to a low of 51 students in 2012.  Between January and July of 2013, the number grew from 55 students to as many as 70 students before falling to settle at 65 students.  There are now 117 students on roll.

The school was among those thought to have failed in fulfilling the mandates of the Ministry of Education; and so was confronted by the possibility of closure in 2009.  According the last National Education Inspectorate Report there was no area of performance assessed that was not deemed unsatisfactory.  Apart from the 2010 – 2011 school year when the school attained Mastery in the Grade Four Literacy Tests, the school has had a history of attainment that is below the national target in this area.  Between 2010 and 2012, GSAT averages in Mathematics, Social Studies, Science and Language Arts all fell below 60%.  Only in Communications Task has the school attained averages of above 60%.   For this year, the school attained averages of above 60% in Social Studies and Communications Task.  From all indications this school is on the rise.  For the first time in it history, the school’s top performer at GSAT was placed at Westwood High School for Girls.  All the Grade Four students who sat the last Grade Four Literacy Tests attained at the Mastery Level.

Right behind the current successes of the Rio Bueno Primary School over the past two terms, is the very vibrant Past Students Association which was formed in April 2013.  The members of this association have committed to uplifting the morale of the school; consequently, they have engaged in such activities as repainting the school, providing classroom fans and water igloos and purchasing of a Jolly Phonics kit to help the school in its thrust to improve literacy.  Alongside this group is the Tankweld Metals Limited, our very loyal corporate community partner in education.  Through their instrumentality our school is able to maintain its infrastructure and ambiance.  Mr. and Mrs. Hopwood and the Bengal Farms have been a constant source of support as well.  Recently, in addition to helping with the maintenance of play fields, they have pledged an annual scholarship of One Thousand United States Dollars to be presented to the boy and girl with the highest averages in GSAT.  With the support of these our trusted partners and our parent body – the Ministry of Education – Rio Bueno Primary will forever attain to new possibilities as we “Purpose to Be.”