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14/06/24

The house colours are finally here. pic.twitter.com/LH3CG0D7FE— Valley Park School () June 14, 2024

13/06/24

Tomorrow's exams are... pic.twitter.com/tbnNJiWeXr— Valley Park School () June 13, 2024

13/06/24

Arts Week 2024 is getting nearer - have you got your tickets yet? https://t.co/2X6Pi72TlU pic.twitter.com/bXNoNSoK5G— Valley Park School () June 13, 2024

13/06/24

Our Year 10 Performing Arts class absolutely smashed their Unit 1 exam! They performed numbers from Dear Evan Hanson & Come From Away. Mrs Austin is so proud of all of them! #wearevalleyparkperformingarts#smashedit pic.twitter.com/uKpYvuh2kQ— Valley Park School () June 13, 2024

12/06/24

Tomorrow's exams are... pic.twitter.com/bdQCiHzppx— Valley Park School () June 12, 2024

12/06/24

Tickets are available for our Year 5 Transition workshops next week, starting on Tuesday 18 June with Forensics, Speed Racers and Dippy Divers. Read more: https://t.co/BrPqsXr1vt pic.twitter.com/woYbk7Xmdd— Valley Park School () June 12, 2024

11/06/24

Tomorrow's exams are... pic.twitter.com/6tV6ZvbQLS— Valley Park School () June 11, 2024

10/06/24

The poster says it all...The Sixth Form Art Showcase is back.#wearevalleypark#wearevalleyparksixthform#wearevalleyparkartshowcase#artshowcase pic.twitter.com/cVAe6cFDxX— Valley Park School () June 10, 2024

10/06/24

Tomorrow's exams are... pic.twitter.com/rCY6TnCu8J— Valley Park School () June 10, 2024

10/06/24

In form time, Year 12 students added glazes to our DeCaf guests' pottery. We look forward to delivering these to them later this term. #DeCaf#dementiacafe#wearevalleyparkarts pic.twitter.com/DaWYNTWC1x— Valley Park School () June 10, 2024

10/06/24

On Friday 7 June, a crack team of year 8 students competed in a nationwide STEM challenge day at the University of Greenwich Medway campus. Read more: https://t.co/IzV8KKY2BU pic.twitter.com/x7nc50S6P9— Valley Park School () June 10, 2024

10/06/24

Valley Park School House Launch this week! What were the house names you selected? What colour is each house? What house will you be in? pic.twitter.com/M20H39qEJc— Valley Park School () June 10, 2024

10/06/24

Valley Park School House Lunch this week! What were the house names you selected? What colour is each house? What house will you be in? pic.twitter.com/Vr7mqVJeGB— Valley Park School () June 10, 2024

09/06/24

Tomorrow's exams are... pic.twitter.com/n8c1yNYGBw— Valley Park School () June 9, 2024

09/06/24

If a student’s attendance at the end of Term 5 was below 90% this means that they have missed at least 15 days or 75 hours of learning. pic.twitter.com/OgDwXCbxPZ— Valley Park School () June 9, 2024

07/06/24

Valley Park School House Lunch next week. What were the house names you selected? What colour is each house? What house will you be in? pic.twitter.com/ZzFFw7JVh3— Valley Park School () June 7, 2024

06/06/24

Tomorrow's exams are... pic.twitter.com/rAf9PJDWuL— Valley Park School () June 6, 2024

05/06/24

Tomorrow's exams are... pic.twitter.com/RzhXpF9W1T— Valley Park School () June 5, 2024

05/06/24

Our SHUSH (Second Hand Uniform SHop) is open tomorrow during Year 10 Parents evening between 4.30pm and 6.30pm. pic.twitter.com/xGq2hSWfoT— Valley Park School () June 5, 2024

04/06/24

Tomorrow's exams are... pic.twitter.com/CJKts374IA— Valley Park School () June 4, 2024

03/06/24

Tomorrow's exams are... pic.twitter.com/7MYrPWNvXk— Valley Park School () June 3, 2024

03/06/24

The Hamlet cast had a brilliant afternoon rehearsing for the RSC associate schools performance on 24 June. They met the production team & rehearsed their section in the Studio. We're so excited for the performance! Tickets available here: https://t.co/WUdg06H5dV pic.twitter.com/aTYExjx5xR— Valley Park School () June 3, 2024

23/05/24

Back to the Musicals rocks it, and if you’re not here, then you don’t even know it! pic.twitter.com/JyeJX3THla— Valley Park School () May 23, 2024

23/05/24

Tomorrow's exams are... pic.twitter.com/vdXmWx0R0C— Valley Park School () May 23, 2024

23/05/24

tickets are now available! Visit our website for info on each event, and book your places! https://t.co/2X6Pi73rbs pic.twitter.com/6Pq3UNHUG2— Valley Park School () May 23, 2024

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.’