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22/04/21

Welcome back to Cucina! We are so glad to have you back, providing us with lovely meals just like Tuesday’s chicken katsu and stir fry! https://t.co/H8jOmT5D5q

19/04/21

The first blog of the new term... https://t.co/rjeDSovd7i https://t.co/XASqauLk7R

14/04/21

Retweeted From Valley Park School

Today is the day for another Covid LF test for our students, and we hope this is reassuring now that some restrictions have started to be lifted. Don’t forget to let us know your result - thank you! https://t.co/j8VRquzMbG

07/04/21

Today is the day for another Covid LF test for our students, and we hope this is reassuring now that some restrictions have started to be lifted. Don’t forget to let us know your result - thank you! https://t.co/j8VRquzMbG

06/04/21

Flashback to last week, when we had the pleasure of hosting the immunisation team... as always our students were exemplary in their attitudes towards the team and their immunisations. Thank you Mrs Jones for organising it all so well. https://t.co/QpgoZL5Znf

06/04/21

Retweeted From VIAT

Would you, or someone you know, like to train to teach?Come to one of our allocated sessions on Wednesday 30 June 2021, at the School of Science & Technology Maidstone, to find out about the courses that we offer through the Trust. More information here: https://t.co/Duw2yziCvx https://t.co/oPoVPZtOIi

02/04/21

Retweeted From NHS

Parents and support bubbles of school children can now get rapid Covid-19 tests twice a week. Order yours now. Around 1 in 3 people who have Covid-19 have no symptoms, and could be spreading it without knowing.

02/04/21

Wishing our community a safe and happy break. Thank you for all your support this past term 😊 https://t.co/lgPUooZ7m0

31/03/21

Would you like to join our friendly team? We are currently looking for Lead Practitioners in English, Mathematics, Computer Science, Business Studies and French (MFL), to start in September. You can read all the relevant information, and apply, here: https://t.co/P46YUYUIfI https://t.co/Zt1A7MOIOd

31/03/21

Retweeted From Valley Park School

Don’t forget, today is the day to test at home for our students. You have been sent a link through which you can report the result to us. Thank you for helping us to keep our school as safe as we can. https://t.co/g76q1S5OkZ

29/03/21

The weekly blog post from our headteacher is here... https://t.co/TdregVI57Y https://t.co/wBKl0kweE9

25/03/21

Thank you, we are very proud of our performers! 👏👏👏

25/03/21

A new blog post: A Poem For Our Time: https://t.co/0ZLgeEMuJi https://t.co/EZto7EIjJK

24/03/21

Despite the challenges, our Year 9 students are continuing to work towards their Bronze awards. Take a look at some of the delicious dishes the students have been cooking up as part of learning a new skill! https://t.co/0foyfIJTSG

24/03/21

Don’t forget, today is the day to test at home for our students. You have been sent a link through which you can report the result to us. Thank you for helping us to keep our school as safe as we can. https://t.co/g76q1S5OkZ

22/03/21

The Music department has organised a Spring Concert this Thursday at 4pm, live on YouTube: https://t.co/71rIHeTYii https://t.co/XdETI3UwIo

20/03/21

It’s Census day tomorrow - students do you know why, and the part you play? https://t.co/PykN3cTMo8

18/03/21

Thank you !

18/03/21

Don’t forget to donate your £2 for tomorrow’s non-uniform day! https://t.co/qTeSW4xJtD

15/03/21

A positive list from our headteacher this morning... https://t.co/BCwd9l6dly

15/03/21

Our new virtual choir project is in aid of Comic Relief, and is a cover of the ELO classic, "Mr Blue Sky" https://t.co/uTbok4fZIk - so like, share, and donate! https://t.co/KBsWJGlwN5 https://t.co/GN30yZUqoo

12/03/21

Rest-assured, no-one is leaving us, but it would be a great time for someone new join us at our wonderful school! https://t.co/g2qTpsq6v0

11/03/21

This is brilliant! Well done, Topaz class - we can’t wait to see you in the virtual flash mob! https://t.co/AavhZL0r6x

10/03/21

How wonderful to see! Well done Amethyst, we can’t wait to see you in the flash mob! https://t.co/mtlO2cfzYs

10/03/21

Our Year 11 students have painted their feelings about what it’s like to be back at school... we know how you feel! 😊 Welcome back! https://t.co/ACtTAolAwP

08/03/21

Have we become masters at expecting the unexpected? https://t.co/wyGWUWqaMT https://t.co/H0xIZVgBvl

08/03/21

A massive thank you from Miss Adkins and her students to the psychologists who gave up their time to talk with them last week. It’s been such a great opportunity for them to see how psychology is used “in the real world.”

08/03/21

Apologies - we sent out a new link over the weekend and will double-check that it’s okay again today.

08/03/21

Good morning. The daily LF test is currently not able to be used as an alternative to isolation, in the event that someone is identified as a close contact of someone with Covid-19.

05/03/21

We love the message conveyed here in this video from . We cannot wait to have our whole community together again, we’ve missed you! https://t.co/JKFp1VEGeN

05/03/21

What can double the chance of a child becoming good at reading? https://t.co/jrqWmmDakA https://t.co/0CUhniQ2Pt

05/03/21

If you have been inspired by this week’s activities you can download your own career action planner to help get you start planning your future. https://t.co/7qyXCBkCAk https://t.co/iE25cs2VGE

05/03/21

Phew! Fortunately Teams is working as usual 😊 https://t.co/1vEHDmmBLW

05/03/21

We have some IT network issues this morning and it will likely affect our live lessons, unfortunately. Our IT Team is working hard to fix the problem and we will let our families know what the impact is shortly. Apologies.

04/03/21

And we’re off! Join our auction on our YouTube channel right now! Good luck everyone... 🖼 https://t.co/Wg0jtLDhRU

04/03/21

has teamed up with to create an interactive What’s your story? activity booklet. It’s been designed to help primary school children discover more about careers in publishing but perfect for Y7 too. We love it! https://t.co/QNQ1ClxZHP https://t.co/me22jcEiP7

04/03/21

programmes are happening this summer! Sign your teen up today to learn new skills, gain confidence, stay away from home and make a real difference this summer! Places are limited so don’t miss out. Visit https://t.co/4NgngzYqTF https://t.co/dBNEoBzevb

04/03/21

According to our Art Auction page there's only 8hrs 49mins 50secs, no wait, 8hrs 49mins 20secs, no wait... let's just say we're excited! What's more, professional artists Jack Durling and Mr Doodle have donated pieces - Have a look at our auction page: https://t.co/ILFkXSrs65 https://t.co/CpFKoPQnnj

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.’