HISTORY OF SCHOOL
The school was established in 1963 as a Senior School at a time when the government was concerned about improving the quality of education at the upper level of the existing All-Age School. Pioneering this new move in education was Mr. Stewart, the then Principal of the school.
The institution became a Junior Secondary School in September 1966 and was raised to the status of New Secondary School in 1974. Many changes took place over the years including the addition of a new block to accommodate the Grade 10-11 Programme which was introduced in 1974. This programme was specially designed to extend the school leaving age to 17 years and to provide training in the vocational programmes.
The “Shift System” was simultaneously introduced with the Grade 10-11 programme to facilitate the then population explosion and the corresponding overcrowding of students. In 1984, the concept of the “Extended Day” was introduced. However, it did not serve its intended purpose and a return to “Straight Day” was achieved in September 1985.
Extensive refurbishing was done to the entire infrastructure in 1996. A new block, housing the Science Laboratory, Vice Principal’s Office, Industrial Technique Workshop, and the Guidance and Counselling Unit [now housing the Information Technology Laboratory] were added. The Urban Development Corporation and Inter American Development Bank funded this work. The school was upgraded to Comprehensive High School in September 1998, and to High School status in September 2000.
As of September 2007, student enrolment stood at over 1,600, with an Academic Staff of 67, Ancillary Staff of 15, and an Administrative Staff of 9, including Laboratory and Library Assistants, and a School Nurse.
Since its inception, the school has been governed by a Board of Management. Distinguished persons who have served as Board Chairmen over the years include: The Rev. Calvin Golding, Mrs. M. Harewood, Rev. W. Barrett, Mr. W. Sirjue, The Rev. W. Johnson and Mr. Norman Reid. Mr. Roger Allen, a local businessman is the present Chairman.
In recognition of Mr. G. W. Stewart’s contribution to the development of Education in Jamaica, the Ministry of Education, Youth and Culture officially announced the renaming of the Savanna la mar Comprehensive High to the Godfrey Stewart High School on Thursday, May 18, 2000.
Since 2000, all categories of staff have increased: Academic Staff – 71, Ancillary Staff – 18, Administrative Staff - 11(with National Youth Service Support Staff) including Technical Vocational, Information Technology and Library Assistants, a School Nurse and a Dean of Discipline.
In September 2009, the school became a participant in the Mutual Building Societies Foundation (MBSF) “Creating Centres of Excellence:- a joint venture of the Jamaica National Building Society (JNBS) and the Victoria Mutual Building Society (VMBS) to implement social development project which serve as models for effective partnerships that lead to sustainable national development.
Since its inception, the school has had the majority of admissions from the three neighbouring primary schools- Savanna la mar Primary, Sir Clifford Primary and Unity Primary, with the main criterion for admission being the attainment of age 12. Incoming students are usually at the lower end of the academic continuum with only 18 – 25% of them functionally literate.
Godfrey Stewart High School in partnership with all stakeholders, is committed to creating a culture of excellence through the provision of quality education for all students, to providing diverse experiences and opportunities that will inspire students to achieve high standards in their personal and academic development, thereby equipping them for a changing world.
School Vision Statement
The vision of Godfrey Stewart High School is to work in partnership with all stakeholders to become a model learning institution, operating in a safe and supportive student-centred environment that caters to the holistic development of all students and embraces the policy of equal opportunity for all.