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21/02/20

When Park Life Digital launches on Monday 2 March, get ready to be a bit more interactive... https://t.co/9tg3weLWBS

20/02/20

Just over a week to go for our second Dementia Café event on March 6th! There are still places available. Click here to book your place: https://t.co/lsctKuce8t https://t.co/HiVfk8qlTy

18/02/20

If you're used to receiving Park Life Magazine through the post, then get ready for a little change, because on Monday 2 March, we're going Digital... https://t.co/GB7HdVYRJP

17/02/20

Retweeted From VIAT

Would you like to join our friendly team? We are looking for an IT Manager - you can find all the details here... https://t.co/NVtRnXZ34b

17/02/20

Retweeted From VIAT

Do you have experience in website content and social media? Come and join our team in this exciting term-time role! https://t.co/BviP2p3Z2c

17/02/20

Well done to all our Bronze Award winners last week - we hope you’re as proud of your achievements as we are. https://t.co/ZIVL61gMie

13/02/20

The launch date for issue one of Park Life Digital is Monday 2 March. The countdown has begun... https://t.co/vQTBBMSXx5

13/02/20

There are only a few seats remaining for tonight's performance of Legally Blonde, so book now to avoid disappointment! 01622 656161 https://t.co/09M8TzHhWZ

12/02/20

After a successful Christmas Party event, our sixth form Decaf (Dementia Café) team are organising another event on 6th March between 11am and 2pm, including a clay workshop. Book your free tickets now: https://t.co/lsctKuce8t https://t.co/BainWPzCKH

07/02/20

School music groups “The Chapters” and “Accord” have participated in Regional Festival this afternoon in Islington. Well done everyone! https://t.co/UINbvi41JA

07/02/20

6th Form students attended the Apprenticeship Fair at Mote Park this morning, hosted by . They engaged with local & national businesses, learning first-hand about the latest opportunities available.

06/02/20

Good evening, please would you call us tomorrow, or send us an email? We completely understand that some students’ journeys are inflexible owing to public transport so would like to discuss. Thank you.

06/02/20

Employers! Follow the hashtag between 12-2pm today and join in the conversation!

05/02/20

Follow the hashtag between 12-2pm today and join in the conversation!

05/02/20

Here's an apprenticeship focused parent/carer pack - just for you.  https://t.co/JGmTGBAQqI. Download the quick apprenticeship guide in 7 translated pages including Arabic, Latvian, Pashto, Romanian, Urdu, Polish and Punjabi https://t.co/HnpWHVQpY7

05/02/20

VP Alum, Sam Noakes, delivered a punchy year 10 assembly yesterday morning. Sam, a professional boxer, was recently signed by boxing promoter . He spoke about his at Valley Park and the importance of finding your passion and working hard to achieve it.

04/02/20

Our super stars, showing off how it’s done! https://t.co/QQnkbfsqGP

04/02/20

Opening night is only a week away for our latest production, Legally Blonde. Tickets are selling out... https://t.co/cHVTTvftDe

04/02/20

Year 7 students took part in the Kent Police ‘Is It Worth It?’ School Tour this morning to talk about online safety in a fun and interactive way. https://t.co/mTk15YGyfD https://t.co/4g2ZFpGTCp

04/02/20

Did you know, from April 2020, the National minimum wage for apprentices will rise from £3.90 to £4.20 but many employers will pay a lot more? Check out some of these amazing apprenticeship salaries: https://t.co/qKlPQ4OqpE

04/02/20

These five famous people studied an https://t.co/PfkG25QYkW

03/02/20

Thank you and we are excited to be getting started!

03/02/20

Want to attend an apprenticeship-related event locally and get connected to local employers? Discover opportunities and get involved: https://t.co/LCZs7vtmuA https://t.co/oA6r0IbTu2

03/02/20

Read about three who work for Kent County Council here: https://t.co/YILuUfx9XT

03/02/20

On 28 January, a group of Year 12 Psychology students went to the University of Kent to participate in a ‘Students as Researchers’ workshop with the School of https://t.co/0vk1zhjsMk https://t.co/cDgxTpPhy5

03/02/20

On 24 January, Psychology students had an inspiring talk from counsellor Janina Malyon. They saw how theoretical concepts are used beyond the classroom to support people with mental health disorders. https://t.co/M6v67RUZSJ https://t.co/gjzdPlZ8jz

03/02/20

An is real work (it’s certainly not just making tea), with the opportunity to gain qualifications up to degree level. Want to know what sectors you can undertake an apprenticeship in? You can find out here: https://t.co/5kD2hgLqQ7

03/02/20

Our scholars have turned their creativity into subject-specific works of art. We can’t wait to see the end results! https://t.co/ZN40s2eIYi

31/01/20

Fire up your career with thousands of employers offering apprenticeships right now https://t.co/ofGH2IK8rb https://t.co/MJa7J3vtiW

31/01/20

Next week Valley Park School are getting involved with , helping our students to . To start you off, you can find a quick-guide to apprenticeships here: https://t.co/RglK5D7T6k

30/01/20

Year 9 Health and Social Care students have been completing their “Baby Egg” project. Here’s a small selection of their antics. https://t.co/v9NaVaudwo

30/01/20

Our year 12 BTEC Diploma in Sport students were provided with an invaluable introduction into studying in a higher education environment last Friday, when they participated in a number of fitness tests at Canterbury Christchurch University... https://t.co/4r6lZ447qb https://t.co/3ARbePAhpj

29/01/20

With superb conduct throughout their mock exams since we returned in January, Year 11 started to unpick key revision points from the mocks on yesterday’s Focus Day https://t.co/cybSzah0Be

28/01/20

Another powerful day with - what an inspiring story https://t.co/ylC6qTbNkX

28/01/20

Maidstone Wind Symphony competition entries are coming along nicely https://t.co/z84pJxp4vT

28/01/20

Only two weeks to go until the first night of Legally Blonde. Tickets are selling out, so be sure to get yours! https://t.co/ejn0nYCULX

28/01/20

It takes so many different elements to make up a school, but our form tutors are vital. A survey of students last week told us that students feel their form tutors solve their daily problems. https://t.co/SFA2ysooSa

28/01/20

Finding out about Prime ministers in Year 9 today during Focus Day https://t.co/w1tch3Mto6

27/01/20

Would you like to join our brilliant team? We are currently looking for an Admissions Officer - you can find all the details, and apply, here: https://t.co/iUFWXAoPiV https://t.co/1NtLVRY5kr

27/01/20

Delighted to hear our facilities described as outstanding by during our recent vocational review https://t.co/qfKJlX0Qlg

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.’