The Woodroffe School at the Mill

Please click a picture to see it in more detail.

The work shown are examples of posters created using a combination of Adobe Photoshop and traditional methods


Between September and November last autumn, over 200 students from Years 8, 9 and 10 at The Woodroffe School visited the Mill to look, listen, learn and reflect. The various groups considered the mill through the subject areas of Art, Drama, Physics, History and Food Technology.

Following the school's successful bid to become a visual arts college in September 2004, its Director of Arts, Mrs Dot Wood, thought a cross-curricular project based on the mill itself would be a worthy venture. The students' overriding theme of Man and Machines was chosen to celebrate the school's long-standing partnership with the Town Mill.

The students followed the whole process, from water and wheat in to ground meal out. The artists drew and photographed; the drama students listened to noise - and silence; the physicists talked about forces and energy; the historians grasped how vital the Mill had been to Lyme in times past; the foodies tried eating un-ground wheat then went away with bags of flour they had watched being prepared.

Back at school a diverse range of work was produced, with the most interesting pieces digitally enhanced in the new digital arts suite using Adobe Photoshop and the school's new Apple Mac computers.

The fruits of all this learning were represented in the school's successful art and design exhibition in the Mill Galleries, its fifth annual art exhibition to be presented there. The work ranges from beautifully observed, interpreted and rendered drawings of the mill setting and its machinery, to models, informative displays and a video of a highly-disciplined evocation of the milling process using only bodily movement, sound and minimal language.

The exhibition is an impressive insight into the efforts of talented young learners and to the value of education that involves all the senses and direct experience. This project was the first time that the Art Department has worked with other subject areas for the art exhibition, and demonstrates how the arts can contribute to and support other subject areas within the school - a key feature of the school's visual arts college status.

This joint activity has been a team effort, within the school and between school and mill, and everyone involved seems to have enjoyed it and learned from it. Now we are considering how we can build on this foundation.

Pieces from the Woodroffe School's Art Exhibition are now on display in the Lyme Regis Community Health Centre.