Lightcliffe Academy: On Hardy’s character trail

editorial image

An enthusiastic group of year 10 and 12 Lightcliffe Academy students arrived in Dorset on a beautiful warm spring afternoon and immediately embarked on the trail of Hardy’s fictional character, Tess Durbeyfield.

Beginning at Shaftesbury with a panoramic view of the spectacular Vale of Bakemoor, where the story begins and the Durbeyfield family home.

Luck was in - the group were invited by the current occupants into the cottage in Marnhull where Hardy imagined the Durbeyfield family to live, and benefited from a very informative talk about the history of the cottage.

After discovering the field where Tess dances with the ‘Cerelia’ group relaxation followed in the family room of Pure Drop Inn with contemporary diet cokes (never available in Hardy’s time!). Then moving on to locate the ‘abandoned’ spot in the churchyard where she buried her infant ‘Sorrow’. The visit was packed with experiences of Hardy and the environment which inspired his works, including poetry and prose. As students acquire an understanding of the choices novelists make for the setting of their stories, they gain a deeper appreciation of the author’s purpose.

Hardy’s work wanted the landscape to reflect the mood and fortunes of his characters and was careful to place them in suitable locations.

Students will be completing their complementary written pieces over Easter, which will include the photographic evidence that they collected of some of the memorable and atmospheric places visited connected with the life and works of the author.

This will include Stinsford Church where only his heart is buried and Stonehenge - the suitable scene of Tess’s capture at the end of the novel.

Pupils present their wearable technology

Lightcliffe Academy escorted a group of year eight and nine students to Leeds Beckett University to present their creation as part of Premier Farnell’s Wearable Technology Challenge.

The team were exceptional representatives of school in their confident presentation, which was a fitting culmination of hard work and innovation.

Their model was promoting safety awareness for girls and the group presented a dress adorned with electroluminescent gadgetry.

They used their coding expertise to create a control belt that lit up and was designed to act as a subtle message to alert friends of an uncomfortable situation.

In addition to the light up trim, the technology allowed it to dance in time with music. A decorative broach was added which acted as a timely reminder to catch that last train home.

The presentations were followed by a workshop on the unusual properties of materials, where students were introduced to thermochromic, phytochromic and other smart materials.

The team further enjoyed a STEM (Science, Technology, English and Maths) themed tour of the Campus and demonstrations of motion capture photography and the development of a new vending machine.

The project and the event proved to be an outstanding introduction for students to see how science, design and technology have a real world application, which was coordinated on behalf of school Ahead Partnership and chemistry teacher Mr P Kelly.

Staff take on another gruelling challenge

Members of staff at Lightcliffe Academy are keen to keep up their annual tradition of gruelling challenges for charity, with this year’s efforts making a return to the favoured bike.

Nicola Rawnsley, head of technology, has convinced a number of willing souls to train again, this time for a 150 mile loop of West Yorkshire.

They need to be fit and ready by 20 May with two overnight stops planned to complete the route over three days. All money raised is intended for Martin House Children’s Hospice, Wetherby and donations can be made to justgiving/lynneharris. Previous challenges have included walking the Three Peaks and cycling from Morecombe to Bridlington.

Celebrating students achievement in literacy

Lightcliffe Academy is very proud to celebrate the achievements of 14 students who have just completed the latest Grow@KS3 programme.

The programme was designed by the Institute of Education, University of London and piloted at Lightcliffe Academy.

It is an accredited school-based literacy programme for students in year seven, with literacy skills at National Curriculum Level 4c or below. It aims to produce independent and highly motivated learners, whose literacy improves every time they read and write.

All 14 students presented examples of their work including readings and creative writing. They were presented with their certificates of achievement Deputy Headteacher, Mr Stucke.

Girls team reaches cup final

Last Monday evening a group of Lightcliffe Academy students competed in the girls Rugby County Qualifying rounds.

The girl under 13s team competed at the event which was hosted by Baildon Rugby Club.  

The team won four out of their five games which means they have now achieved a place in the Yorkshire Cup Final to be held at Wetherby RUFC in April.

Most of the students took up rugby for the very first time in September, under the guidance of PE teacher Miss Drury which is a fantastic achievement for them.