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Irvin Wilson School students being prepared for life

by Shamar Blunt
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The range of life skills programmes at the Irvin Wilson School will continue to be expanded to prepare students for life after they leave the institution, assistant teacher of the Independent Living Skills programme Juna Wiltshire has promised.

She gave the assurance when she spoke to media personnel during a live cooking demonstration for the students on Thursday.

Wiltshire explained that the school, which provides education for children who are hearing and visually impaired as well as those with autism, is seeking to significantly improve students’ life skills.

“The Independent Living Skills programme is a programme set to help the senior students of the school –13 years old and above – to give them the skills that they need to be able to survive in today’s society; to give that hands-on experience so that they can be able to be as independent as they can possibly be,” she said.

“The programme is also catered based on the students’ needs and what they enjoy doing. They enjoy helping at home, they enjoy helping at school, so we just want them to be able to function as best as they can.”

Wiltshire explained that having the cooking demonstration by private chef and culinary artist Lisa Powlett was the idea of one of the school’s main donors, Janal Browne.

“He was asking about ways in which he can assist and we were talking about the Food Prep and Cookery Programme and the Independent Living Skills Programme. He said he knew this chef who was an up-and-coming chef who was really great with children. He wanted to find out if it was possible if she could come and do a demonstration for the students in the Food Prep and Cookery Programme…. That is how everything came together,” she said.

Powlett, who prepared a pasta and bolognese dish, said she was impressed with the students’ interest.

“The interaction was absolutely amazing. I was shocked to see that the kids were so eager and willing to learn and [be] hands-on. That, for me as a chef, was just mind-blowing,” she said.

Browne, who previously helped organise a kite flying event at the school, and facilitated the donation of educational materials as well as a new stove to assist students in their food prep classes, said such donations were needed to provide opportunities to help the children expand their skill sets.

“This school has been neglected at various times and we really feel that they [students] should be able to have an opportunity in life to have a skill set, and that is what we are about – raising the skill set at the Irvin Wilson School,” Browne said. (SB) ]]>

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