Like the thousands who came before us and the countless others who will come after us, the Upper 6 body of Naparima Girls’ High School will always appreciate the nurturing environment of our second home on the hill. Regrettably, we leave this towering beacon of excellence overlooking the city of San Fernando but without a doubt, it has fully prepared us for exciting future experiences.
Looking back on the past seven years, we cannot help but wonder where the time has gone. The first day of Form 1 saw the entry of name tag wearing scholars brimming with youthful enthusiasm. Our shirts were buttoned all the way up and our skirts were as long as the walk from our classes to the dreaded gymnasium. We become the new batch of seeds from that proverbial tamarind tree, taking root in the soil of the positive learning environment characteristic of Naparima Girls’ High School.
We never doubted or undervalued the novelty of such a prestigious institution. We were the year of centenary celebrations that bore witness to the construction of the “New Building” from its first brick to completion. We were undaunted by the multitude of subjects on our curriculum. We were the most spirited year group during Sports Day, Interhouse and Carnival festivities. We were the year actively involved in countless extra and co-curricular activities. A vast array of group projects taught us the value of teamwork and the importance of communication. We became experts at walking in two lines in uniform. Trips to the Bowl and the cinema taught us road safety, while narrowly avoiding bad marks instilled in us the value of humility. Undeniably, such memorable moments were instrumental in the growth of those shy seeds into sturdy tamarind seedlings.
In Forms 4 and 5 we put forth lush leaves and a network of strong branches. We successfully juggled new subjects like Additional Mathematics and Economics, strengthening the bonds of friendship between us with the sharing of innumerable past papers, notes and answers. We were heartbroken at being separated into 4 different classes but relished the autonomy of the Bell Room and the relative privacy of the entire form 5 block. New experiences like joining the President’s Award Scheme, Junior Achievement and laboratory experiments filled our days with enjoyment. For the first time, some of us even had sanctioned free periods – priceless opportunities to socialize, sleep and access the library’s vast resources.
Unlike some students, we can boast that our school not only cared about facilitating academic success but maintaining our general health and well-being. This was exemplified in excursions like the Form 5 Retreat. It was a perfect day of rest and relaxation where we picnicked in the grass and played lawn tennis before the stress of CSEC examinations. We can also boast that our school facilitated a moving farewell church service and luncheon and that we definitely had one of the “most lit” graduations. This fuelled us to excel at the CSEC level, breathing a collective sigh of relief on the last day of exams. We were free to unwind for a few months until the rigours of CAPE, tertiary education or gainful employment began.
Although Form 6 saw the transplantation of some of those tamarind seedlings to other verdant gardens, those who remained capitalized on the opportunity for additional cultivation. We finally got the tie to complete the uniform and the youthful enthusiasm of our Form 1 days intensified on entering the two-year national scholarship marathon. Liming sessions in the cafe and waving gallery were punctuated by our newfound Prefect, House Captain and Head Girl responsibilities. We finally had the authority to give bad marks and gentle admonitions like the Form Sixers we looked up to for what seemed like eons. We could drive to school, leave early with parental permission and the “smallies” actually listened to us during supervision! Without a doubt, our camaraderie strengthened as we worked together to bring Sports Day Cover Designs and marching uniforms to fruition. IAs took the place of SBAs, weighing us down but the unwavering support from our dedicated parents and teachers motivated us to keep going. We bore the sweet fruits of success in CAPE Unit 1 and hope for an even better harvest of scholarships when the academic year is done.
We have become little tamarind trees who will always cherish the life lessons learned from our home on the hill. We will go out into the world as pillars of diligence, courage and humility, beautifying our surroundings and forever connected by the threads of our shared Naparima history. Most importantly, we would like to thank Naparima Girls’ High School sincerely for seven years of nurturing and supporting us holistically.