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29/05/20

Students, are you looking to try something different over the weekend? Here’s something for you... https://t.co/Z6G5y8Vsju

27/05/20

Retweeted From NYO_GB

We’re sorry to share this... but we’ve got some news. Sadly, we are unable to go ahead with the live performances we had planned this summer. Instead, we'll be coming together digitally for an exciting musical project so we can continue to share music as widely as possible 🎵 https://t.co/71UsMFZhXy

27/05/20

Retweeted From VIAT

There have been some amazing entries to our Transition Project so far! Well done everyone! You can see all the fantastic submissions so far, and find some inspiration to create your own, on our dedicated website. Full details here: https://t.co/D5a8ttd3L7 https://t.co/89dGDsYFsb

27/05/20

We’ve received some emails this morning from new students worried they’ve missed out on this... Fear not, you absolutely haven’t! Keep sending us your masterpieces, there was no closing date! 👍 https://t.co/Fuxag3NDkV

27/05/20

Retweeted From Mr Fuller

can our Computing students help on this one? https://t.co/WyGinoexUi

26/05/20

we love your students’ masterpieces too 😀

26/05/20

Are you joining us in September? Have you sent us some work for our Transition Project? Mrs Hutchinson has had fun today - follow the QR code for more (let us know if you can’t remember the password!). https://t.co/8XodQWBGI4

26/05/20

Retweeted From ArtWorldRecords

We should know in the next few days!!

26/05/20

Retweeted From Rob Biddulph

Did your (hopefully) world record breaking whale 🐳 🌈 make THE DOUBLE GRID? Thanks again to everyone who drew along with me yesterday. Wasn’t it nice to all be doing something cool together at the same time? 1/3 https://t.co/howCE9H5sf

25/05/20

Don’t forget to send us your 🐳 drawings if you took part in . This one is Lily’s - well done, Lily! https://t.co/77tE7bQrXb

25/05/20

Week 4 - the final week - of is here - get busy with the last 2 challenges and send us your videos! https://t.co/kPzCvQdZka https://t.co/IQgcsa5rh0

24/05/20

Retweeted From NCSC UK

Girls! If you have a love for technology, why not take the first steps towards your future career? Learn new skills needed to enter the cyber security or computing workplace with our online coures: https://t.co/ARWyaayIhv https://t.co/sGcjOZvdzx

23/05/20

We look forward to introducing you to our new neighbours, 👍

22/05/20

Wow! Welcome, neighbour... 😊 https://t.co/8eDiBEOekK

22/05/20

Looking for a half term activity? Why not cook a favourite meal/cake/dessert/breakfast and upload the recipe to our recipe collection! Full details here: https://t.co/pVXCb7LQCj https://t.co/yYE5lwdu9z

22/05/20

Wondering what to do over the break? Try this challenge... https://t.co/ow1MlJs0Gv

22/05/20

Lovely, Mrs Armstrong! 🐳 https://t.co/0S4bjl7MUU

22/05/20

Retweeted From Mrs MH

to all our teachers, you're doing an amazing job in tough times https://t.co/X8fvU5k4II

21/05/20

That’s okay, parents were allowed to join in too! We hope you enjoyed it! https://t.co/ZWle4bRw29

21/05/20

Well done Megan and Hannah - we particularly like the top hat! 🎩 https://t.co/kGowh2xBDv

21/05/20

Well done Mrs Hitch - a brilliant example. Hope you had fun! https://t.co/KpWMRiVhe3

21/05/20

Brilliant Hannah and Emily! We hope you enjoyed it - lovely pictures 🌈 https://t.co/lqWHFNxNV2

21/05/20

Lovely! Thank you for sharing - we hope you enjoyed it. Fingers crossed the world record attempt was a success... https://t.co/wD7ZSysmBb

21/05/20

Ah well done, these are brilliant! Glad you had fun, and we hope it’s a confirmed world record! https://t.co/nsl4A44K7b

21/05/20

Well done, Elisha! Did you enjoy it? We did, and we hope we’ll be seeing many more students’ (and some teachers’?) whales this evening, too! https://t.co/S12rGiExCR

21/05/20

Our thanks to Mr De Jong for making, supplying and delivering some visors for use by this week. You are a 🌟 Mr De Jong! https://t.co/YKvejebo5s

21/05/20

Retweeted From National Careers Week

Still time to get involved with https://t.co/eWjs6tTjFD

21/05/20

Well, here's a skill you don't see every day, ! Our Health & Welfare Support Manager can do this with great verbal dexterity... https://t.co/yvPw6L6WLa

20/05/20

An evocative image from William in Year 9. Sometimes no words are necessary! https://t.co/TR5674Hecg

20/05/20

Well done, Hannah, this looks great. What a great skill to have! 😋 https://t.co/VsZE328Izs

20/05/20

Many congratulations to our poetry competition winners - see their winning poems by visiting... https://t.co/fjXZR4va0e

20/05/20

Retweeted From Rob Biddulph

It’s nearly time. Have you registered at https://t.co/5BNxvXUac0 yet? https://t.co/NZC6i4EQH7

20/05/20

Today is ! Show off your skill in a 20s video or photo, and share with . To get you started, here’s our Careers Advisor showing us the Crow Pose! https://t.co/ONvWDrPsfM

20/05/20

Aren’t they just! Thank you! 👏

20/05/20

Here's the second of this week's blog posts dedicated to , this time from our Health & Welfare Support Manager. https://t.co/Z4bNwwdBfp https://t.co/2CCnrMoZ5Z

20/05/20

Retweeted From MMK Mind

They've been doing a fantastic job! Thanks for injecting some positivity into our lives while we all work from home. 💙

20/05/20

We are glad you like it, thanks for sharing! We’re v proud of our

20/05/20

Thank you very much, we are very proud of our 🎵 🎶 - that would be telling 😉

19/05/20

We are so proud of our 😊

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.’