PUPILS in their final year at St Nicholas School in Chippenham are learning life skills in a house.

The special school, which caters for students with complex learning difficulties, rents a semi-detached home on the Oaklands residential area.

In preparation for them leaving the school’s sixth form, the students spend their final year in the house learning practical skills, such as vacuuming, washing up, making a cup of tea and gardening.

They are shown how to do the tasks by the staff, and instruction sheets are on the walls.

This is the second year of the project. Six students are at the house this time and they are encouraged to be fully involved in how the house runs.

Teacher Phil Medlow, who works at the property along with teaching assistant Caroline Elms, said: “They put up the notice boards by using spirit levels and drilling holes and putting in rawl plugs.

“We tell them that what their mum and dad are doing around their house, we do those things here.”

The students also go to Trowbridge College once a week to learn carpentry.

Through the tasks they do, the students will gain a certificate in Life and Living Skills awarded by the OCR.