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26/10/20

Have you entered your pumpkin? Check out the last newsletter for details! https://t.co/rRQ72ep8Po

24/10/20

🎶 https://t.co/peUx5EOcpM

24/10/20

The Autumn break is here! Thank you to all members of our community for your support over the past term and we look forward to seeing everyone back, refreshed, next term. https://t.co/RbrklyRNot

22/10/20

Retweeted From National Online Safety

With children as young as 13 being treated for online gaming addiction and classifying gaming addiction as a mental health condition, it’s something that needs to be discussed. 🎮 Find out the good, bad & ugly of online gaming in our latest blog >> https://t.co/zeMsKEiJz9 https://t.co/Ze746dFHsl

22/10/20

Retweeted From National Online Safety

Download the guide, become a legend⚔️ For this week's , our guide focuses on the extremely popular battle arena game 'League of Legends'. Learn about the potential risks for children & how to tackle them as a parent / carer >> https://t.co/QT5WhaYFTd https://t.co/6rxYcRzR7x

22/10/20

Are you considering joining us in September 2021? Here is a message for you from our Head Boy and Head Girl: https://t.co/VIDuzBtxBI

21/10/20

Are you hoping for your child to join us on a scholarship from September 2021? Don’t forget to complete the separate scholarship application form and return it to us by 2 November. More information here: https://t.co/A14Y7W4c9S https://t.co/seQIwUWvBc

20/10/20

Well done to the members of our Sixth Form who wrote to Mrs Hutchinson to highlight students’ wish for a water dispenser and to request some inspirational art work in the common room. What would you suggest? https://t.co/JfJ5X5QeQ6

20/10/20

This finishing touches are being added to our brand-new campus sports hall, aren’t we lucky? https://t.co/PXE8OtCvlJ

20/10/20

It’s katsu curry today in the canteen! Always a popular choice, and we are delighted to be hosting a celebratory meal for our Year 7s this week, to mark the end of their first term with us! https://t.co/RxAlja3ZgG

19/10/20

Book of the Week is back! https://t.co/sdv8qppmau

17/10/20

Mr Sargent is counting the ballot papers... who will be the year group Reps for Student Council? 🤔 https://t.co/rgr7SCMA1n

16/10/20

Did you see our Decaf team virtually receiving their award this evening? Catch up here... https://t.co/PcbbbZYRsm https://t.co/63RIKY4ddg

16/10/20

Congratulations to Mrs Prebble, Ms Lowe, Mr Eacott and the whole Decaf team this evening - a well-earned award for all your hard work https://t.co/A6v0mF3VtF

14/10/20

Retweeted From Miss Smith

First Interform today with the team. ⚽️🏐 Such a good turn out from the Year 8’s - a real community feel with lots of respect shown by all participants. A positive experience for them all! https://t.co/MayGuj0zXt

14/10/20

Yesterday was Ada Lovelace day. But who was she? https://t.co/M1dfDDyWEZ https://t.co/Pzg3NYCc0X

13/10/20

The new issue of our online safety newsletter is now available... https://t.co/8BtomF76hX

11/10/20

Great to hear it went well!

11/10/20

We are pleased to hear it went really well!

09/10/20

Coming soon... the prizes arrived today! 👏 https://t.co/Jdw4o2Earp

09/10/20

Year 12 Computer Science students took part in a Cyber Discovery Virtual Workshop this morning. https://t.co/FDGoM1iLrs https://t.co/9dZwMLpXg1

08/10/20

Thank you - we loved having you and learned so much!

08/10/20

Retweeted From FrancisKnight

What does genuine engagement look like? Our artist visited , Maidstone to run workshops with Art Scholars introducing the concept of public art. They created sculptures out of paper based on the history of Springfield Mill, a new development https://t.co/UTuYRB8o1E

08/10/20

Have a read about how our students are learning about Maths in real life - https://t.co/jzKGHUrqcU

07/10/20

Retweeted From National Online Safety

A guide to get ‘hooked’ on 👀 This week’s is all about Persuasive Design. From addiction to notifications to limitless scrolling, our guide provides all the facts to help your kids be less glued to their devices!📱 Download > https://t.co/t0ZXb4MIAi https://t.co/NFx3q3Srkb

07/10/20

A new blog post by our Literacy Coordinator, Miss Thompson. https://t.co/nuX9IeqWzP https://t.co/aw8ToviNGl

05/10/20

Throwback to May when Mrs West showed off her for - another one coming up on 7 October... students check your email for how to take part! https://t.co/AQUysAx2mq

04/10/20

saw this and thought of you 💭 https://t.co/ycyyscKKZF

04/10/20

Retweeted From Department for Education

If your child develops symptoms, here’s what you need to do. Only book a test if you develop symptoms. This will help make sure people who need a test can get one. For more information visit: https://t.co/wIRNMYE87A https://t.co/lfIAi610O5

02/10/20

Here it is - the online version of our Open Days tour: https://t.co/cJ4LmD28aI. Thanks to everyone who has visited us over the last couple of days, but you needn’t miss out if you couldn’t make it! https://t.co/kZarDccJ6Z

02/10/20

Retweeted From Kent Youth County Council

We are looking for new members! Do you live or go to school in Kent? Are aged 11-18yrs? Enjoy a challenge and want to work on youth issues to benefit young people across Kent? If so, register your interest at https://t.co/6985FIYuYm https://t.co/ztq0lpYYBL

02/10/20

He is usually in Mrs Hutchinson’s chair... 💤

02/10/20

We have a small number of cancellations for this afternoon’s Open Event. If you’d like a last minute booking please call us on 01622 679421. https://t.co/hhDNlLmacE

02/10/20

If you didn’t manage to book for a tour on our Open Event days this week, we will be releasing all materials via our website very shortly. https://t.co/YpqZnlJFNG

02/10/20

We are getting ready for our second day of socially-distant open event tours today. Looking forward to meeting you if you’re coming and we are getting ready to release the tour online for anyone who couldn’t make it. https://t.co/PPLnCqJIdB

02/10/20

Hi, would you DM us with your availability in terms of time and a contact phone number? Thank you.

01/10/20

Are you joining us on Friday? Don’t forget the information below. If your camera doesn’t offer a QR code reader, it would be a good idea to download one 📲 https://t.co/0uDn9sau9j

01/10/20

Retweeted From Miss Smith

Students keep asking us when their club is running/ what day it is on and most of the time I have forgotten too... The department and I have created a board with all the clubs running from term 1 to make it easier to remember/ more visual for them ⚽️🎾🏀 https://t.co/Pu9INC5tQM

01/10/20

Visit https://t.co/2dea5g4uzK to pick your time!

01/10/20

Open evening by QR code tour is going well. Thank you to everyone who has joined us! https://t.co/gEbgwg6aOq

Zorro

Our production of Zorro was the UK amateur premiere, which originally debuted in London’s West End in June of 2008, receiving rave reviews. Zorro, ‘the fox’, was created in 1919 by Johnston McCulley for his novel ‘The Curse of Capistrano’. It was the first of 65 immensely popular tales in which Zorro fought injustice in Spanish California’s Pueblo de Los Angeles. 

Since then, Zorro has appeared in films, TV shows, plays, ballets, operas, novels & comic books, and this musical version retells the dramatic story with spectacular sword-fighting and incredible magic – all set to the famous red-hot Gipsy King beat brought to the stage with the authentic colours of traditional flamenco.

One of the challenging parts of Zorro was staging the sword-fights, with students who had no real experience. Fortunately, we had the capable sword-arm of fight director Gary Andrews, who came in on three occasions to teach students the art of sword-fighting for the stage...

Swordfighting workshop016

Five-Point System

Gary Andrews, who has been directing fights at schools and theatres for around 20 years, assessed the students’ ability by teaching them the footwork, guard positions, attacks and parries that make up basic fencing. He then taught them the basic five point numbering system used to annotate moves. 

‘Each part of the body corresponds with a number so it makes instruction a lot more accurate,’ said Craig Barden, who plays Ramon in our production. ‘It helped me find confidence in my ability and fluency in my technique.’

‘The system goes clockwise around the body,’ explained Mr Andrews. ‘The right leg is number 1, right shoulder is 2, head is 3, left shoulder is 4 and left leg is 5. So, if I say “attack 2,1,2,4,3” the actors know the sequence and target of the attacks - and defences!’

Replicas

Students were lucky enough to use Mr Andrew’s professional sword replicas, which helped them get into character.

‘Apart from fighting imaginary monsters in my childhood with a plastic sword, I had never done any sword-fighting before,’ said Harry Harding, who plays Diego De La Vega. ‘It was a thoroughly enjoyable experience which gave me an idea how heavy the swords would be when we do the show.’

Tricks

Each fight was choreographed taking into account the ability of the characters (Zorro is an expert, the soldiers are less competent) and the story the fight should tell: is it an easy victory, a comical action sequence or a dramatic showdown? 

‘We also take into account where the audience is,’ said Mr Andrews, ‘so we show the fight from the best angle to hide all the tricks we use to make it seem real!’

Adrenaline 

After plenty of practice at half-speed, students found the fight movements becoming more automatic, so they increased their ‘performance speed’ to about 75%.  

‘This is usually fast enough for an audience seeing the fight for the first time,’ added Mr Andrews, ‘but performance adrenaline usually adds another 15% or so!’

Muscle Memory

‘Having practiced the sequences many times,’ said Harry, ‘my muscle memory knows what to do when we fight so I feel very prepared. Mr Andrews was an excellent teacher and he was very laid back when we made mistakes.’

Not a Good Look

‘When I was eight I used to play sword fighting with my cousin,’ said Craig, ‘which resulted in me sustaining an eye injury. Not a good look! Luckily this experience taught me how to get sword fighting right without being an idiot this time!’

Tweak

Mr Andrews paid a further two visits to Valley Park. ‘I usually come back a week or two before the show opens,’ he said, ‘to polish the fight and make sure no bad habits have developed – or to tweak any moves that are not quite working.’

Focused

‘I can honestly say that your students were amongst the politest, keenest and most able I have taught,’ said Mr Andrews. ‘They were quick learners and very focused, and I’m sure that this will lead to a really great show.’