By Christopher Tobutt
Year Nine is a big year for the students at Clifton Hunter. That’s the year when, in addition to the normal core curriculum subjects, they get to choose whether they want to pursue Design and Technology, Arts, or Sciences for the next years of school life. That’s a big decision, but it is made a little easier by the fact that all the students have had some experience of all of these, already; so now they will just have to select one area on which to focus.
Teacher Villence Buchanan explained the purpose of the assembly: “We have Design and Technology, we have the Sciences, and the Performing Arts as options. Every year, Year Nine students have to choose specific options to take in addition to core subjects.
The school is reintroducing Design and Technology to the curriculum, and during the assembly there was a special presentation from some of the students who had been taking part in the flourishing world of fashion design, clothing and textiles. Last year’s big InStyle fashion show, at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel, led by local fashion designer Norma Ebanks, helped incentivize the young designers and models to bring forth their talents, because there was a special section especially for young fashion designers there, and Ms Ebanks has been very busy helping all the students reach their potential by volunteering at the school.
Design and Technology teacher Chermeine Linafay-Baugh is proud of the progress her students have made “Today we are celebrating the year options assembly for the Design and Technology Area and we are showcasing the talents of the clothing and textiles students,” she said. “We are trying to revive the subject back into the school by using the talents that were untilised during the InStyle Cayman Production, and some of the garments have been sold. “They are actually moving on from Year Nine to Year ten and we are going to have to bring them together to decide in a more proactive way what they will want to do for the next two years,” she added.
One of the young fashion designers, Allenger McLaughlin Jr, aged 13 has been designing fashions for one year, “I started doing a class project, and it looked good so I made the design,” He said. Alma Smith, also 13, is another of Clifton Hunter’s young fashion designers: “I have been learning about the social side of it but also the practical side. I have been learning how to take measurements, sewing, and the right fabric to choose if I want to make a specific type of dress,” she said.
Rochelle Ebanks is just 15 years old, but she is already an established fashion designer, and has been designing fashions ever since she was seven years old. “I went to a fashion show in St. Marten, I’ve done many fashion shows here and I am about to do a fashion show in Washington called Washington DC."
Shae Ebanks 14 wants to be a model wearing a beautiful red dress made by fellow student Tatiana. Winsome Campbell, 13 “Being a model helps you show your characteristics; show who you really are,” she said, “and just by modelling, people can tell your personality and your style.”