A talented Irving Wilson
Students of The Irving Wilson School once again showed their special skills and talents as they took part in the Horticultural Society’s Annual Flower And Garden Show over the weekend. Principal Wendy Blackman told Barbados TODAY that the students continued to excel in their craft and they were hoping for bigger things in the future.
With the flower show in its third year, this is the second time the school has taken part. The Irving Wilson School booth, showcasing jewellery and coal batik products, was sponsored by the Barbados Investment & Development Corporation (BIDC) this year.
“The response has been very good; and I guess people respond better when they hear the students are special, and we have a visually impaired student doing batik. They wonder how the child is making it; but she is very good at what she does,” said Blackman.
“Sales . . . have been very good, especially [on Saturday]; we had a lot of our things sold. [Sunday] was slow, but we are thankful and we are hopeful that from this exercise . . . we will get persons coming into the school and ordering our stuff,” the principal said, adding that some people had already expressed satisfaction with the level of work.
There is a mixture of hearing impaired and visually impaired students who take part in the programme.
“We have the deaf and hearing impaired, plus the visually impaired students, who are very good at this drawing and putting together the items and the drawings and things for the coal batik,” said Blackman.
Out of a total school population of 48 students, 15 of them are involved in the jewellery and coal batik programme.
The principal said the students were very confident in their work and were already looking forward to BMEX 2015.
“We went last year and won third prize, and we are hoping to improve on that. We may come first,” she added through giggles.
“They are very confident and comfortable with what they do here in the jewellery making. That is why we brought out those students to give them the experience of being here with other people, and to see what others are doing in the market, and let them know that they are not the only ones in the market; and let them know they have to [improve] what they are doing, [that] it can’t stay at one stage.
“So they are looking at the competition to see what they need to do to make themselves viable in the market,” explained Blackman.
And the funds raised at the weekend flower exhibition, said the principal, will go back into buying more materials to be used for future projects.
“What we are trying to do at the school is introduce more skills to our senior students, so that when they go out there at the end of their school life, they will be able to be employed in a similar area or become self-employed,” she said.
The Irving Wilson School is celebrating its 55th anniversary this year. Blackman said over the years the school had seen a shift in its population.
“From 2010 we introduced students with autism at the school. Since then our numbers in the deaf and blind have been decreasing, and [we] seem to be having more children with autism now. We had space in the school so the Ministry [of Education] introduced students with autism into the school. Now we have 17 students with autism . . . out of the 48,” she added.