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Harris Academy pupils learn about battle to save Welsh all-weather lifeboat in English and maths lessons

PUBLISHED: 10:00 25 July 2019

A group of year 8 pupils from Harris Academy in St John's Wood, who have been learning about plans to downgrade a lifeboat station in New Quay, Wales in their maths and English lessons. Picture: Harris Academy

A group of year 8 pupils from Harris Academy in St John's Wood, who have been learning about plans to downgrade a lifeboat station in New Quay, Wales in their maths and English lessons. Picture: Harris Academy

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Pupils at Harris Academy in St John's Wood have been working to help save an all-weather lifeboat on the Welsh coast - which provides lifesaving services for thousands of people.

The students at the secondary school in Marlborough Road have spent part of the last year learning about the decision to strip Ceredigion in west Wales of its only all-weather lifeboat.

The RNLI announced in 2017 it was going to downgrade the station in New Quay. Protesters said it would leave a 70-mile gap in Cardigan Bay. Last month the charity appeared to postpone the plans, but pupils have spent the term learning about the lifesaving work of the station in English and maths lessons.

The campaign is a personal passion of maths teacher Alexandra Lay. She studied at nearby Aberystwyth University and is a keen kayaker.

She said: "When I first saw a map of the huge gap that the RNLI's decision will leave in Cardigan Bay, I saw an opportunity to teach loci to my Year 8s with a real-life application.

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"As the project developed, my young mathematicians were able to apply their understanding of bearings, loci and speed, as well as distance and time. Through studying all the facts and figures, they began to feel a sense of empathy for the New Quay community and wanted to help save the lifeboat."

The English department saw pupils learning about the history of the RNLI which was founded in 1824. They also wrote letters to its chief executive.

Last month the RNLI said it was going to postpone plans to downgrade the station until 2021, a year after the initial date.

The news was cautiously welcomed by campaign group, the Ceredigion Lifeboat Campaign.

The school plans to take a group to the town, 243 miles away, as a prize for the best project.

Alexandra added: "The pupils are more committed than ever and this is reflected in the quality of their work. The work they have produced show downgrading the lifeboat will be detrimental to seafarers and members of New Quay's local community."

In June an RNLI spokesperson said: "I can confirm that the Mersey will remain on station until the next Cardigan Bay Coast Review in 2021."

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