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Jostin Wilson’s unique opportunity

There’s something to be said for the advantages of small class sizes, but can you imagine being the lone student in a classroom with your teacher? When it comes time to answer questions, you’re the only person to call on, and there’s no hiding; when you don’t understand something, you can’t seek out a peer later for help, because it’s just you and the teacher. This is the unique position Jostin Wilson, a 16-year-old 11th-grade student at Lyford Cay International School (LCIS), finds himself in during his music class. It’s just Jostin and his teacher.

It’s a dynamic Jostin does not mind – he’s the first student to take advantage of LCIS offering the fourth program of the International Baccalaureate (IB) — the Career-related Programme (CP) — giving students innovative ways to explore professions of interest. The program combines the academic rigor of the IB’s world-renowned curriculum with real-world application.

The two-year program, which they began at the start of the 2018/2019 academic year, encompassing grades 11 and 12, lets students participate in internships, personal and professional skills courses, foreign language acquisition and an in-depth project that investigates ethical issues in their career fields. At the end of their studies, students will receive their high school diploma and a professional certification, giving them a head-start on university and their careers. LCIS is currently the only school in the Caribbean to offer this pathway to graduation.

Jostin, the son of John and Simone Wilson, who sings and plays the piano and wants a career in music, said CP was perfect for him and he has been impressed with the skill development allowed by the program.

“The Career-related Programme has taught me a great deal about the music industry, and I am now venturing into acting and drama. The CP is the best program for students interested in getting a jump-start on their career,” said Jostin.

At LCIS, music and art are offered as extracurricular activities to students after 10th grade.

“Music is what I want to make a career. I want to be a singer and producer, so I couldn’t really afford for them to take music away from my schedule,” said Jostin, who says he likes rock music as well as rap. “And then they offered the Career Programme for people who want to have a career that’s different from normal academic schedule, so that’s why I chose the Career Programme. With CP there’s certain classes that I don’t take, so in the meantime that’s when I would go to music. It’s usually a 40-minute period, but sometimes we have double blocks, so just about three times per week, and one of them is a double block.”

In the IB system, the CP was first offered in 2012 for the 16 to 19-year-old age range. It joined the Diploma Programme (DP) that was first offered in 1968, also for 16 to 19-year-olds; the Middle Years Programme that was first offered in 1994 is for the 11 to 16 age range; and the Primary Years Programme, that was first offered in 1997, is for ages three to 12.

The CP was specifically designed for students wishing to engage in career-related learning while gaining transferable and lifelong skills in applied knowledge, critical thinking, communication and cross-cultural engagement.

As the pilot student at LCIS, Jostin said his advice to anyone enrolling in the CP Programme going forward is to not use it as an easy way out. He said it’s just as hard as the DP, but in different ways.

“It’s a lot of work,” he said. “For me at least, I’m [currently] the only student in the program, so when my teachers give me homework I can’t slack off, because I’m the only person.”

He said that, on his first day, being the only person sitting in the classroom was intimidating, because he didn’t have anyone to ask for help. However, in the same token he has his teacher’s undivided attention, which he said he uses to his advantage.

Jostin recently completed his Royal Academy of Music’s Music Theory Grade 2 exam, which included basics of notation; terms and signs; simple time signatures; major and minor keys and scales; and rhythm writing. He passed with distinction.

“They {teachers) helped me get there, because as I’m the only student, they just kept giving me more drills and more drills to get me prepared, so hopefully I’m at grade four [which includes the C clef; ornaments; and chords in context] or maybe even grade five [which includes everything in grade four as well as transposition, by graduation.]”

Four months into the program, Jostin thinks he’s a more balanced student because of it.

“With the DP Progamme, which has been the normal course for all these years, [when art and music is only offered as an extracurricular activity after 12th grade], you have less of an opportunity to express yourself, and since I have music I use that as an outlet, that I don’t believe many of the other students have.”

CP coordinator Ryan Connolly said he was excited about the possibilities of the program.

“This program allows us to tailor an education towards a child’s specialized needs and interests, further enhancing the rich and engaging educational opportunities that LCIS has to offer,” said Connolly.

LCIS students entering the program in September 2019 can prepare for careers in the fields of music and finance by earning qualifications from the UK’s Associated Board of Music and the Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, respectively. The school is in the process of expanding the program’s offerings over the next two to five years by adding strands in technology, hospitality and environmental studies.

LCIS, which was founded in 1962, was the first school in the Caribbean to offer the IB Career-related Programme.

With the upcoming groundbreaking of a state-of-the-art secondary campus, scheduled for the first quarter of 2019, and its growing academic programs, LCIS officials say they continue to refine and revolutionize its educational experience. They added that the school’s commitment to enhancing its educational offerings is why it continues to inspire excellence among its diverse student base, ranging in age from 18 months to 18 years. LCIS is taking applications for the 2019-2020 school year. Financial aid and scholarship packages are available to qualified Bahamian students. Parents interested in applying can email admissions@lcis.bs or visit www.lcis.bs/admissions.

Shavaughn Moss

Lifestyles Editor at The Nassau Guardian
Shavaughn Mossjoined The Nassau Guardianas a sports reporter in 1989. She was later promoted to sports editor.Shavaughn covered every major athletic championship from the CARIFTA to Central American and Caribbean Championships through to World Championships and Olympics.
Shavaughn was appointed as the Lifestyles Editor a few years later.

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