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A document entitled “A New Curriculum for Schools in the Cayman Islands, 2006, Overview, Aims and Guiding Principles” was circulated to all schools in July 2006. The document, which sets out the broad aims and outcomes for the proposed revised curriculum, was produced by a taskforce that comprised teachers and other stakeholders.

The document was circulated amid much publicity on the radio and in the local newspapers. The chair of the curriculum review, Helena McVeigh, participated in a phone-in radio programme about the review and undertook a presentation for a Rotary group.

Stakeholders were encouraged to give feedback on the document through an on-line questionnaire that included space for written comments. The deadline was 30th September.

In addition to the questionnaire, the two new curriculum development officers, Clive Baker and Favourita Blanchard, visited all government and a sample of private schools to present the document and explain how the curriculum was being developed. They also spoke with PTAs and students.

Members of the taskforce who were responsible for producing the curriculum overview document were keen to maintain an oversight of the curriculum developments by becoming a steering committee. This committee met to review the feedback from the consultation and agreed on the final version of the Overview document. Other stakeholders- representing the national PTA body, Chamber of Commerce and Human Resource Personnel Association have been asked to join this group. The committee will oversee the revision of the national curriculum and the curriculum development officers will report to this group for consultation at each stage of the process.

Results of the consultation

In all, there were 120 responses to the questionnaire, with 114 of these on-line. The vast majority of the responses were very positive and in agreement with the proposals in the document. All but one respondent considered the review to be necessary, and 88% strongly agreed that it needed to be carried out. The results are attached.

A breakdown of those who completed the on-line survey is given below:

Stakeholder group Number (%)
Parent36 (32%)
Member of Public30 (26%)
Teacher 25(22%)
Educator 18(16%)
Student 5(4%)

Many respondents- 54 - chose to add written comments. A summary of the most common ones is given below:

General comments/ suggestions


  • Several respondents suggested that subjects should not be taught in a discrete way, but should be more integrated.
  • Many responses reflected a belief that the curriculum was overcrowded.
  • It was said that more opportunities to celebrate aspects of Caymanian culture were needed in the curriculum.
  • Some respondents called for more Religious Education, whilst others advocated less.
  • There were requests by several respondents for the introduction of foreign language in primary schools, but also concerns that many students have poor English skills and should not be taught a foreign language.
  • More emphasis was suggested for student-centred approaches.
  • Respondents called for improvements in provision for students with special educational needs.
  • There were several comments to do with the need for community service and citizenship education and also that they need to be instilled in society.
  • Respondents called for more focus on technical and vocational education.
  • There were suggestions for adopting the International Baccalaureate framework.
  • Respondents called for the inclusion of moral education as a specific area of study.


  • Several respondents commented on what the document had to say about assessment. Some expressed the need for continuous assessment as well as standardized testing.
  • Respondents said that there was too much testing.


  • A few respondents suggested that the age at which children start school should be raised to five years (instead of 4 years 9 months).
  • One response requested that the school day be lengthened.
  • There were calls for smaller class sizes.
  • ‘Every child can achieve excellence’ was considered too vague and/or not realistic for all students – clarification of excellence was required or an alternative phrase.
  • The context and historical perspective was not considered sufficiently detailed.

The points raised by stakeholders were shared with the Steering Committee (formerly the taskforce) and in several cases agreed with. Changes were made to the Overview document in light of the Steering Committee’s decisions.

A summary of the main changes to the draft document is given below:

  • More detail was added to the sections on the historical perspective and the context of the Cayman Islands.
  • We added a sentence after the description of the “Educated Caymanian’ to indicate that these qualities should apply to students of all nationalities who are taught in the Cayman Islands.
  • A paragraph that described the consultation process was included.
  • There were some minor changes to the lists of learning outcomes for students and some statements were moved under different headings
  • We retained the phrase, ‘Every child can achieve excellence’ after much discussion but added an explanatory sentence.
  • We removed the sentence about the overloading of the curriculum, since the meaning was already clear from the preceding sentence.
  • We replaced the words ‘key skills’ with ‘literacy, numeracy and ICT’ to make the meaning clearer.
  • We attempted to be consistent in the use of terms, such as ‘learning outcomes’, rather than ‘standards’.
  • A little more detail was added to the section on assessment.
  • There were some changes and additions to the subject lists: for example, ‘moral education’ was added for the primary years, ‘citizenship’ was added to the secondary list and ‘social studies’ was used for both primary and secondary subjects.
  • We added an overarching motto- “World class education for all”- as requested by the Minister.

(NB Not every respondent completed every question, which is why the numbers do not all come to 114)

Do you think that a review of the Cayman Islands national curriculum is necessary? Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree8274%
Strongly Disagree11%
Does the rationale for revising the curriculum make a convincing case for why the change is necessary? (page 4) Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree5754%
Strongly Disagree11%
Do you agree that there is enough detail about the context of the Cayman Islands? (page 6) Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree1111%
Strongly Disagree22%
Do you agree with the overall aim of the new national curriculum? (page7) Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree4646%
Strongly Disagree22%
Do you agree with the list of learning outcomes for students? (pages 7 & 8) Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree3737%
Strongly Disagree11%
Do you agree with the general principles for the curriculum? (page 9) Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree3636%
Strongly Disagree11%
Do you agree that the suggested motto - ‘Every child can achieve excellence’ - (page 9) is the right one? Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree4040%
Strongly Disagree11%
Do you agree with the guiding principles? (page 9) Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree2728%
Strongly Disagree11%
Do you agree with the suggestion for how the curriculum should be taught? (page 10) Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree3133%
Strongly Disagree33%
Do you agree with the suggestions for how students will be assessed? (page 11) Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree3032%
Strongly Disagree22%
Do you agree with the suggested subject areas for primary years? (page 12) Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree3537%
Strongly Disagree22%
Do you agree with the suggested subject areas for secondary years? (page 12) Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree3638%
Strongly Disagree11%
Do you agree that the next steps are the right ones? (page 13) Number of Responses Percentage
Strongly Agree3234%
Strongly Disagree11%