Page 1

park life m a g a z i n e

Issue One

•

Winter 2013

Inside this issue: CATS Preview Moroccan Adventure Awards Evening Children in Need Week Drum Roll Please Under the Alpine Skies A Day for Remembrance CSI: Archaeology Club Way of the Warrior

MERRY CHRISTMAS AND A HAPPY NEW YEAR


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

Valley Park School Presents by arrangement with The Really Useful Group Ltd

OL SCHO

ON

I UCT D O R

P

11 February – 14 February 2014 at 7.30pm The first Valley Park Production this year will be Andrew Lloyd Webber’s musical interpretation of T.S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats”, which includes the hit song ‘Memory’. It will be held in the school hall, and rehearsals are well on their way, as you can see from the photographs of the students as they practice a dance routine for the song ‘Jellicle Songs For Jellicle Cats’. Director Mr Gleadall is producing this show ‘in the round’, so performances will take place in the centre of the hall, with audiences viewing the show from different perspectives.

Tickets: Adults: £7.00 • Children: £5.00 • Family Ticket - 2 Adults & 2 Children: £20.00 Group Rate - 1 FREE ticket for every 10 purchased

To book please call Box Office: 07805 178664 Performed entirely by students Music by Andrew Lloyd Webber based on ‘Old Possum’s Book Of Practical Cats’ by T.S. Eliot Orchestrations by David Cullen & Andrew Lloyd Webber Original production by Cameron Mackintosh Ltd. and The Really Useful Group Ltd. 2


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

children in need week

park life m a g a z i n e

contents

Issue One • Winter 2013

4

the beautiful game

21

Valley Park students always throw themselves into Children in Need, and this year was no exception. James Gladwin and Rob Wilkinson report...

The Valley Park Football Academy is being launched in September 2014 with the introduction of state-ofthe-art 3G football facilities.

drum roll please

way of the warrior: warhammer club

6

Josh Stillwell always dreamed of breaking the world record for the longest snare drum roll. This year’s Children in Need week at Valley Park saw his dream come true. Taking a break for only 5 minutes every hour, Josh drum-rolled for 9 hours, 20 minutes and 6 seconds, beating the previous world record by over an hour. a day for remembrance

7

On the 9th of November, Stefan Crowhurst travelled to Belgium for a memorial ceremony about the First World War. Park Life asked him to write about his experience... awards evening

8

Each year, Valley Park celebrates its’ top achievers by honouring them at an Awards Ceremony. Awardwinner Kyle Siwek reports on the evening... meet the council

10

Valley Park has just launched a new iteration of the School Council, aptly named Student Voice, and has recently elected its members. Park Life attended their meeting to gather more information... moroccan adventure

12

How did you spend your holiday this year? Sunbathing on the beach? Reading a book in the shade? Well, nine students from Valley Park School climbed a mountain in Morocco - and that was just for starters. in focus: diversity in action

In the cut-throat world of Warhammer, no one player is ever ensured a place, but dedicated gamers Martin Holloway, Jonathan Ayten, Cullum Grant and Ben Hammett have recently proved themselves on the battlefield... inside the taylor building

24

Since the announcement of our new build, there has been growing excitement about this state-of-the-art complex. Our Headteacher, Mr. Ashdown, shared his enthusiasm with Sophie Clarke about the building’s progress... CSI: archeology club

26

On Wednesday, 13th November the grisly body of a rapidly-decaying person unknown was found on Miss Broadhurst’s classroom floor. She was shrewd enough to call on the expertise of students from the Archaeology Club in years 7 and 8 who are known for their excellent deduction skills and experience in forensic archaeology.

acknowledgements: A big thank-you to all contributors. In no particular order: E Broadhurst, J Barfield, G White, Z Baker, I Kemp, L Mallinson, A Greenhood, C Crittall, J Ayten, D Hollingsworth, R Lucas, K Siwek, C Penfold, D Best, C Horne, W Annis, E Ryall, S Bosley, D Spry, S Clarke, S Crowhurst, J Gladwin, R Wilkinson, J Stillwell.

16

Focus Days are an important part of the students’ curriculum, and so far this year there have been a diverse range of trips and visitors to enrich their learning experience. under the alpine skies

22

18

During February Half Term last year, 42 excited students and six members of staff set off on a skiing adventure, discovering new thrills and friendships along the way. Sarah Bosley revisited her memorable trip...

FOR MORE NEWS & ARTICLES: Why not subscribe to Valley Park News? Go to www.valleypark.kent.sch.uk/43/news and click on the RSS Feed icon. Alternatively, follow us on Twitter or Facebook by clicking the icons on our homepage.

3


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

children

Right: Mr Cartwright, Miss Smith & Miss Downing emerge victorious from the ‘Staff in Your Eyes’ doors.

in n eed we e k Reporters: J Gladwin, R Wilkinson

Valley Park students always throw themselves into Children in Need, and this year was no exception. James Gladwin and Rob Wilkinson report... Entrepreneurial Flair With entrepreneurial flair, the Year 13 Music group, as part of their BTEC in Music Performance, organized a week of events that raised £3,021, which went towards funding projects working with children and young people aged 18 years and under who are experiencing disadvantage through illness, distress, abuse or neglect. Cake Sale Success On Monday, the ever-popular Cake Sale raised £163, then Tuesday’s activities saw the team run games such as ‘Guess the Intro’, ‘Guess the Bear’ and ‘Guess the Sweets’. Drum Roll On Wednesday, drummer Josh Stillwell’s successful Guinness Book of World Records attempt was streamed live on the school’s website. Students could also watch Josh in person in the Gallery or keep up to date via the school’s twitter stream (@VPSchool). Pat Marsh, a presenter at BBC Radio 4

Kent, tweeted to show his support. For more on this story see page 6. Staff in Your Eyes After Thursday’s ‘Guess the Teacher’ game, Friday’s event was ‘Staff in Your Eyes’, a spoof of TV show, ‘Stars in their Eyes’. Staff sung songs dressed as pop-stars old and new. Super-Cree Host of the event, Head Boy Cree Rose-Young, was dressed as Superman and introduced each act. Mr. Barton amazed the crowd with his drumming, playing to the school band’s cover of ‘In The Air Tonight’ by Phil Collins. Jay-Z and Beyoncé Mr. Lisbon and Miss Sosimi paired up to perform as Jay-Z and Beyoncé. Other performances included Spice Girls Mrs Helsdon, Miss Barfield, Miss Aelberry, Miss Fry and Mrs Houlihan. Miss London was Katy Perry, dance teachers Miss Smith and Miss Downing were ‘The Lulus’. Re-Light the Winner The winner, however, was Head of Sixth Form Mr Cartwright as Gary Barlow with his rendition of ‘Re-Light My Fire’.

The Children in Need Week team. Back row from left: Oliver Safavi, Jakob Moore, Aiden Wallis Middle row from left: Louis Jones, Josh Stillwell, Cameron Waghorn, Savannah Kuypers Front: Samantha Sharpe


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

5


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

Josh Stillwell always dreamed of breaking the world record for the longest snare drum roll. This year’s Children in Need week at Valley Park saw his dream come true. Taking a break for only 5 minutes every hour, Josh drumrolled for 9 hours, 20 minutes and 6 seconds, beating the previous world record by over an hour. “During a music lesson, we had discussions about a Children in Need fundraising week. Many ideas were thrown about, but the one that caught my attention was to have

drum

roll please Reporter: J Stillwell

a day of world records. Initial ideas included eating as many crackers as possible or eating baked beans with a toothpick, but I took the opportunity to ask about something I’ve always dreamt of doing; breaking a world record - The world’s longest snare drum roll.” “The morning arrived and so many emotions were going through me. I felt as if none of this was happening; it just didn’t feel real. The first hour went by and I doubted everything, but as soon as I started the second hour I knew I had hope. My main motivation throughout the day was the amount of support I had from staff and students. I even had support from BBC Radio 2’s Chris Evans and BBC Radio Kent’s Pat Marsh.” “It took about a week for it to sink in. There are millions of drummers worldwide, but only I can say I hold the record for the longest snare drum roll! “ “After the world record I was promised an endorsement from Mapex drums. I now receive discounts on drum gear. It was worth it just for that!” Josh is still waiting for official recognition of his world record but he is confident that he will be the world record holder. Park Life would like to extend their congratulations to him for this extraordinary feat.

6

Josh Stillwell, who broke the world record for the world’s longest snare drum roll


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

a day for remembrance Reporter: S Crowhurst

Above: Stefan Crowhurst stands to attention as Prince Phillip joins the Memorial Service.

Below: On his return home, Stefan appeared in the Kent Messenger.

On the 9th of November, Stefan Crowhurst travelled to Belgium for a memorial ceremony about the First World War. Park Life asked him to write about his experience... Eurostar to Brussells I travelled on the Eurostar to Brussels where we met representatives of the school with which we’re twinned, and travelled to Ghent, where we had a guided tour of the Historic city. 99 years to the day On the 10th November, we visited the Passchendaele Museum, a memorial to those who fell at the battle of Passchendaele, exactly 99 years to the day of our visit. It was cold, the rain driven sideways by the icy wind, and our guide told us this was the same weather the soldiers experienced on that fateful day. Those Who Fell On the 11th November, we visited the Menin Gate in Ypres for a special service for those who fell during the First World War, and to deliver soil collected from Flanders Fields back to England for a ceremony next year.

Sandbags The soil was carried in sandbags provided by the same factory which made them during the First World War. Students accompanied a Belgian soldier, who carried the sandbag to a horse-drawn carriage. When all the sandbags were loaded, the carriage drove off to the army barracks and we lined up under the Menin Gate. Prince Phillip I was one of twelve British and Belgian students who met Prince Phillip and Prince Laurent of Belgium. I felt very privileged to be part of this memorial, especially as I found my Great, Great Grandfather in the death register of the First World War. Wellington Barracks Next year, I’ll take part in another Memorial service at Wellington Barracks in London, where the soil will be put into a memorial garden. I look forward to showing our Belgium hosts around Kent and London. I hope to make it as memorable for them as my trip to their country.

7


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

awards evening Reporter: K Siwek

Each year, Valley Park celebrates its’ top achievers by honouring them at an Awards Ceremony. Award-winner Kyle Siwek reports on the evening... Subject Awards 120 nervous but excited students gathered in the Sixth Form Common Room, waiting for their turn to go on stage and receive their award. All the students received a certificate for their achievement, before shaking both Mr Ashdown’s hand and that of the Guest Speaker, Major David Bradley, who suffered near fatal wounds whilst serving in Iraq, and now uses his experiences in combat and subsequent recovery to bring to life the importance of leadership and personal motivation. Special Awards As well as the subject awards, six special awards were given out for very unique students. The Rider Cup given to the student with the most courage and determination was given to Nicole Packer. The Clarendon 8

Academies Cup, given to the student who shows most entrepreneurship, was given to Joshua Fenton. The Paul Carter Award, given to the most diligent student in Key Stage Three was Carys Morgan’s honour to accept. The Governors’ Award, given to the Key Stage Four student who most represents the spirit of Valley Park, went to Danielle Spry. The Key Stage Five Award, given to the KS5 student who most represents the spirit of Valley Park, went to Lucy Clements. Finally, the Headmasters Award was given to Lewis Sage. Awe-Inspiring After the Special Awards an aweinspiring speech was made by the guest speaker, who talked to us about his experiences during the War in Iraq, the various challenges he has faced following his injuries, and what he has learned about making Choices. Memory As always, music played an important part in the event. The

Right: The Guitar Quartet, encompassing (from left to right) Aiden Wallis, Craig Barden, Tommy Gilmour & Joe Anderton, play “Bring Him Home” from “Les Misérables”.

“Major David Bradley gave an inspirational speech”

Below: Danielle Spry (centre) accepts The Governors’ Award, given to the Key Stage Four student who most represents the spirit of Valley Park. Pictured with her is guest speaker Major David Bradley, and the Chair of Governors, Mrs Judi Taylor, after whom our new building is named.


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

senior choir sang a medley of “Danny Boy” and “You Raise Me Up”, the Guitar Quartet played “Bring Him Home” from “Les Misérables”, and the event concluded with a fantastic performance of ‘Memory’ from the upcoming production of CATS, sung beautifully by Maisie Barden, who is playing Grizabella. Inspirational Mr Ashdown commented, “It was wonderful to see everyone so happy, and Major David Bradley gave an inspirational speech, his theme of choices being most appropriate to the evening.” For more about our upcoming production of CATS, see the inside cover and turn to page 20 for an article by Danielle Spry. 9


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

council Reporters: R Lucas, K Siwek

Age

Form

Age

Form

12

8L

13

8V

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

I wanted to change things about school

To improve my debating skills and to add to my CV.

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

A better school through making peoples’ lives happier.

To have a wider choice of activities in PE.

Student Voice “The Student Voice was formed in late September 2013,”said Roddy Lucas, a Student Voice representative. “Its main objective is to listen to Students and hear what they have to say. We then feed their ideas and problems back to the rest of Student Voice and change things... within reason.” Elections

Age

Form

Age

Form

12

8K

11

7K

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

To get more confidence and help others.

I want to make a difference, not just to the school, but to different charities.

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

I want to make the school even better.

To make everyone feel as if their voice is heard.

Laptops “The most requested changes were new laptops for year 8 and 9, but we were also asked about possibly extending the dance changing rooms.”

ISOBEL KEMP

ISABELLE CROW

“So far we have been electing our chairman and secretary,” continued Roddy. “We’re also asking what people like about their school and one thing they’d like to change.”

MIA SHAW

ELLA CLIFFORD

Valley Park has just launched a new iteration of the School Council, aptly named Student Voice, and has recently elected its members. Park Life attended their meeting to gather more information...

HARVEY FRANCIS

RODDY LUCAS

meet the

Age

Form

Age

Form

12

8R

11

7Y

Fact File

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

“To introduce you to some of the student voice representatives we have created fact files on them.”

I was a Student Council member at Primary School and really enjoyed it.

I’d like to speak for people who are afraid to say what they want to change.

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

To help students have an input into the school’s future.

I would like to make a difference to school life.

10


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

ERIN POWELL

FRANCES COOPER

KYLE SIWEK

LORI MALLINSON

Age

Form

Age

Form

Age

Form

Age

Form

12

8R

12

8R

13

8K

12

8Y

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

I would like to help make the school a better place.

I had a few ideas in Year 7 but there was no council then.

I wanted to get more self confidence.

I joined because I know I can make a difference.

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

If my children go to this school I’d like to be able to say I did that or changed that.

Last year we didn’t really get a say in many decisions that the school made.

I’d like more lunchtime activities & a nature reserve for students to manage.

I want to improve my public speaking skills.

KERIS O’HARA

EMILY MANSER

GEORGE SINDEN

KINGSLEY KINGDEN

Age

Form

Age

Form

Age

Form

Age

Form

12

8V

12

8P

12

8L

11

7C

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

I wanted to be heard

I wanted to put my ideas out there.

I really wanted to help make Valley Park friendlier and better.

I like making decisions.

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

To make the school a better place and give students a say.

I want to make students’ time here more enjoyable.

I want to create more fun for everyone!

I want to help make decisions for the school.

ANGUS WESTGATE

JOE HOWELLS

FREYA GODDEN-WOOD

INDIA FRANCIS

Age

Form

Age

Form

Age

Form

Age

Form

12

7K

11

7C

11

7V

12

7R

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

Why did you join?

I wanted to be part of something huge.

I want to stand up for what is right.

To improve the school so it’s a happy place for everyone.

I wanted my voice to be heard.

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

What would you like to achieve?

To improve our school so it is the best in England.

I want to make the teachers feel more relaxed.

To have more events & posters

I would like to build a treehouse for students. 11


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

moroccan adventure Reporters: C Penfold, D Best, C Horne

How did you spend your holiday this year? Sunbathing on the beach? Reading a book in the shade? Well, nine students from Valley Park School climbed a mountain in Morocco - and that was just for starters. Mount Toubkal The intrepid explorers set off from Gatwick on the 18th July, and landed in a scorching Marrakech five hours later. They stayed for eleven days, during which they climbed mount Toubkal (4100m) in the Atlas mountains.

cal popula Helping the lo 12

tion clear and

rebuild a road.


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

“I was thrilled when I reached the summit and I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

“The four-day ascent of Mt Toubkal was a tough physical challenge,” said Miss Best, one of the staff who accompanied the students on the trip. “Reaching the summit was amazing; the ascent was mentally challenging and at times I was concerned we weren’t going to reach it. “ Altitude “The altitude was a major factor in the physical challenges that we faced, but through determination and sheer hard work we eventually made it. The views were stunning and the feeling of accomplishment was incredible. No amount of training could prepare us for how hard those 4 days were, but it was definitely worth it.” “The final climb to the peak of the mountain definitely made us work way past the limit we normally would,” said Year Nine student, Charlie Horne. “I was thrilled when I reached the summit and I would do it again in a heartbeat.”

Personal Development “Morocco was far enough away to be exciting and to provide a real change of culture, but not too far away so as to make the cost prohibitive,” said trip organiser Mr Penfold. “It was more to do with personal development than a holiday. Students had to manage the team’s budget and make decisions on where to stay and how much to spend on food.” “It was all about looking after yourself, being aware of your surroundings, and it taught them what it’s like to live in some countries, pushing yourself physically beyond what you think you’re capable of doing.” Prior Training Although at times the trip was hard work for all concerned, it was very worthwhile. The cost was £1,500 but this included prior training in Wales for all students, flights and accommodation, food, guides and pretty much everything else. Continued overleaf

The team reach the summit of Mount Toubkal in the Atlas mountains.

Continued overleaf

13


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

They stayed in two different guest houses, a hotel and in tents on the mountain. They helped the local population clear and rebuild a road. But it wasn’t all hard work. They also spent some time at the coast where they went shopping, played beach football, and had a fantastic final dinner in a restaurant. “The food was very good, but we had to make sure everything was very clean and pay particular attention to

personal hygiene in order to ward off illness,” said Mr Penfold. Camel Trek On one memorable occasion they went on a camel trek across the coastline. “It was very hard to get used to mounting and dismounting the camels,” said Charlie, “but it was a great experience!” Miss Best wasn’t so keen. “I wasn’t comfortable getting on an animal that

ime.

el-ride of a lifet

ed for the cam Getting prepar

14


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

nearly tips you off before it can stand up!” she said, “but after encouraging the students to reach the summit I couldn’t let them down!” Eye-Opening The students got a different taste of Moroccan culture when they went

“it was one of the best trips of my life.”

Sometimes, yo

u just need to

shopping in Marrakech. “The Moroccan people were lovely and welcoming,” said Charlie, “but the shop keepers were very sneaky and tried to trick you into buying everything on the stall.” “The change of culture was not a complete shock,” said Mr Penfold, “but certainly eye opening!”

cool down, whe

“I would recommend Morocco to everyone,” said Charlie, “it was one of the best trips of my life.”

ther you want

to or not!

15


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

in focus

Right: Miss London conducts the Scholars’ Choir as they sing traditional carols for Canterbury’s Christmas shoppers.

di versity in ac ti o n Reporters: W Annis, K Siwek, E Ryall, D Hollingsworth

Focus Days are an important part of the students’ curriculum, and so far this year there have been a diverse range of trips and visitors to enrich their learning experience. Holocaust Survivor History students from Years 10 and 13 were privileged to listen to Janine Webber, a holocaust survivor from Lvov during October’s Focus Day. Janine gave them a clear understanding of the Holocaust and what it was like to live through it. Her main aim was to spread a message of tolerance and acceptance. Whilst the day was themed around Janine’s story, carefully prepared workshops

gave

the

students

background information on antiSemitism, the Nazis and the Holocaust in general. Centrepiece Janine’s talk was the real centrepiece of the unit, which students are studying in their scheme of work. The story of her parents’ deaths, along with her grandmother and brother, was very moving. It allowed students to understand the way of life millions 16

of Jews faced during World War Two. Students were also able to relate this to modern day events, such as the Syrian crisis and Afghanistan. Reflection

Right: Mary Tate and Year 7 students collect materials to make habitats for wildlife.

Students finished by reflecting on the day’s learning and what they thought of Janine’s story. Many said she was brave, whilst other students said it had taught them to respect others and helped them to realise there is always someone worse off. Valley Park Scholarship students went to Canterbury during December’s Focus Day. A Canterbury Tale Scholars from Years 7 & 8 went to Canterbury to perform in the Cathedral. The Scholar Choir performed seven traditional songs without any accompaniment. They performed for 30 minutes between 12:00 and 12:30 in the Cathedral, following a performance next to BHS in the Square. Mr Gleadall said, “the scholars were outstanding in their performances, both in the Square and the Cathedral, and we are very proud of their work.”

Right: Miss Aelberry and Year 10 Student Aaron Frith comment on one of the exhibits during the Imperial War Museum visit.


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

Year 7s and 11s teamed up to make the environment in our school more eco-friendly for our wildlife in their focus day activity. Eco-Schools Project Working with them on the EcoSchool Project was Mary Tate, a volunteer from the Medway Valley Countryside Partnership, which is based at Sandling. “Woodlands around us are undermanaged,” she said. “Being a volunteer with Medway Valley Countryside Partnership is important to help keep our river paths and the adjacent environment clean and litter free.” Slow-worms Year 7s made homes for Slow-worms (legless lizards that look superficially like snakes) by finding carpets that provide a warm place for them to sleep. “They’re creating habitats which help animals co-exist within our school environment,” said Miss O’Neil, who helped run the activity. “It allows them to have safe homes’. 17


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

Left: First Day on the Beginner’s Slope

Left: The ski slopes at La Pendana.

Left: Learning with a Professional Italian Ski Instructor.

18


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

under the alpine skies Reporter: S Bosley, D Spry

During February Half Term last year, 42 excited students and six members of staff set off on a skiing adventure, discovering new thrills and friendships along the way. Sarah Bosley revisited her memorable trip... Folgaria-bound Early one February morning, we embarked on our 1,740 mile journey to Northern Italy for a week of skiing. Our destination was Folgaria in Italy. This beautiful town is nestled in the heart of the Italian Alps and is an incredible resort, both for beginners and advanced skiers alike, and offers gentle learner slopes and thrilling advanced courses. Overnight Drive After driving overnight through France, Belgium, Germany and Austria we arrived at our home for the next seven days; a beautiful hotel only two minutes walk from the slope and a short coach journey from Folgaria. We split into two groups: the ‘experts’ who have been skiing

several times and the ‘beginners’ who were just finding their feet on the slopes. Ski Instructors Each group spent the next six days skiing with professional Italian Ski Instructors, learning to improve their technique and enjoying the amazing mountain scenery. As an experienced skier myself I found it astonishing to watch the beginners improving day by day. Those who were apprehensive on the first morning soon overcame their fears and embraced the beauty of the bright, white mountain-tops and the clear blue alpine skies. Aprè-Ski In the evenings we had a pizza night at a local Italian pizzeria, shopped in the breathtaking village of Folgaria, and on one memorable occasion, all 42 of us celebrated Danielle Spry’s 16th birthday by throwing her a party. “It was so much fun!” said Danielle. “Everyone was dancing to the music and enjoying the continued overleaf19


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013 continued from previous page

birthday cake. I don’t think I’ve ever laughed as much as I did that day - I was surrounded by my friends and the teachers were great too!” Other nights were spent relaxing in the hotel’s communal area getting to know each other and relaxing from the day’s exhausting activities. As a year 11 student it was interesting to interact with people from younger year groups as well as the people from my own year. I formed new friendships that I’ll cherish for a long time to come. Unforgettable On Friday evening, after a full day of skiing, we boarded the coach for the long journey home. We brought back more than we came with, as we all have unforgettable memories.

Valley Park Ski Trip 2014 Want to go skiing?

s p ry s k ie r I’d been skiing once before and found that I picked it up quickly. I started in the intermediate group, but I was moved up to the advanced group within a few days where I raced down the black run regularly - which was scary at first but with adrenalin taking over and the competitive streak within me, I wanted to challenge myself and constantly improve. I quickly gained confidence with the excellent help of my instructor, who taught me so many skills and spoke fluent English. At the end of the week, we all took part in a competition and did several races (slaloms and downhill). Afterwards, there was an awards ceremony where they announced the winners. My advice is to keep fit before going and strengthen your leg muscles. Five days worth of skiing does tire you out. I found it very useful to go to the dry ski slopes, but don’t panic if you find it hard - it was a lot easier on the real snow. Wrap up warm and enjoy! It was an amazing experience and I’m going skiing again next year with my family. It’s something I want to continue throughout my life. I’m so glad that I went.

On 14th February 2014 we set off for another week in Italy. The trip has grown yet again with 50 students and 7 staff involved in this year’s trip. There are still three places available! If you’re interested, talk to Mr Smith as soon as possible. It’s well worth it! 20

Above: Ellie Gravestock skis her way back to the Hotel Martinella.


the beautiful game

Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

badges, first aid courses refereeing qualifications.

and

Trial

va l l e y pa r k

football academy

The Valley Park Football Academy is being launched in September 2014 with the introduction of state-of-the-art 3G football facilities. Aiming for Success It will provide Sixth Form students with the opportunity to study a course developed specifically to focus on football and students’ personal development as players. Successful candidates will study and learn all aspects of the ‘beautiful game’, whilst competing in District, County and Nationwide football competitions. Academy players will play at least one competitive game each week against other school and academy teams. Daily Training Sessions Students will have daily training sessions, complete FA coaching

To gain a place in the Football Academy, students will have to pass a trial to demonstrate a required level of footballing ability. Highly Regarded The course is highly regarded by both universities and employers, as it is a nationally recognised level 3 course. Students may progress to a career in football or sports, e.g. Professional footballer, Football coach, Football manager or P.E teacher etc. Exciting Addition “The Valley Park Football Academy is a very exciting addition to the already extensive curriculum offered in the Sixth Form,” said Mr Smith, who is heading up this new venture. “VPFA will provide students with the opportunity to develop their footballing ability while gaining a nationally recognised BTEC qualification.”

If you wish to discuss this exciting new opportunity, please contact Mr Smith at footballacademy@valleypark.kent.sch.uk. 21


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

way of the warrior: warhammer club Contributors: J Barfield, G White, C Crittall, J Ayten In the cut-throat world of Warhammer, no one player is ever ensured a place, but dedicated gamers Martin Holloway, Jonathan Ayten, Cullum Grant and Ben Hammett have recently proved themselves on the battlefield... Warhammer World Warhammer Club has grown in size since it was formed 6 years ago, thanks to funding which secured sufficient kit for beginners. Membership, ranging from years 7 to 10, has grown in size recently, so this year they’ve put forward two teams for the school’s league. The winner will receive an invite to play in the semi-finals at Warhammer World in Nottingham.

22

School’s League Team One played against Maidstone Grammar School on Saturday 9th November at the Games Workshop in Maidstone. Play started at about 10.30 in the morning and they battled through to late afternoon. Supported by Miss Barfield and Mr Grant, the boys fought hard against more experienced players to secure a win for Valley Park. Semi-Finals Zak Bird, Zack Brightman, Sam Swann and Matt Swann are in the running for Team Two. They will face their unnamed opponents in February, in the hope that they too will achieve a place in the semi-finals.

Above: Jonathan Ayten & Cullum Crittall decide the fate of their troops on the roll of a dice. Right: Care and craft are at the heart of Warhammer Club’s dedicated members.

“it’s hugely fun, and makes your brain think logically and tactically.”


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

Tried-and-Tested Mr White, our new Cover Supervisor, has recently joined the ranks, and brings his experience of the game to aid our weekend warriors. “It’s good to see that this game is still going strong 25 years on,” he said. “A whole new generation is experiencing the thrill of planning a strategy, trying it out and then discovering that no plan survives intact with the enemy as your tried-and-tested troops explode right before your eyes!” Slightly Mad

“I really enjoy it,” said Cullum Crittall, who joined 2 years ago. “It’s a good way to socialise. I was shocked when we won the local heats because the people we were up against were very tough to draw against, let alone beat!” Tactically Fantastically Jonathan Ayten joined in April 2012, after seeing the club in action from the corridors of A Block. “One Friday I decided to try it out,” he told Park Life, “and I watched a very interesting strategy game involving a huge arsenal of heavy tanks and soldiers. From then on I loved playing Warhammer, simply because it’s hugely fun, and makes your brain think logically and tactically.”

“I still find the myriad of rules quite perplexing,” said Miss Barfield, who has supported the club for four years. “Many of my colleagues think I’m slightly mad spending Friday evenings with ‘the boys’, but I leave at 5pm relaxed and refreshed ready for the next week.” Come on Girls Miss Barfield has one plea, though. “Presently I’m the only female in the group. Come on girls - let’s show the boys how to play Warhammer without arguing!” Warhammer Club runs every Friday from 3.05 to 4.30pm in A6. It is a table-top battle strategy game that can be seen as a cross between chess and random chaos. The randomness is introduced via a dice, which is thrown to work out the outcome of actions such as attacking and defending.

23


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013 Main Photo: The scaffolding is down and the Taylor Building is on schedule for completion.

The building will have wider corridors to prevent congestion between lessons.

Mr Ashdown explains to the Governors how spacious the new library will be.

The new Sixth Form Centre will have individual interview rooms for consultations.

24


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

inside the taylor building Reporter: S Clarke

Since the announcement of our new build, there has been growing excitement about this state-of-theart complex. Our Headteacher, Mr. Ashdown, shared his enthusiasm with Sophie Clarke about the building’s progress... Wider Corridors “The Taylor Building will consist of three floors; two with classrooms, plus a new Sixth Form Centre and library,” said Mr Ashdown. “The building will have wider corridors, so as to help prevent congestion between lessons and fits all the modern building regulations for accessibility.” Private Canteen “The expansion of the Sixth Form facilities will encourage more students to join Valley Park’s ever-growing Sixth Form,” he continued. “The new work areas and the private canteen will allow Sixth Form students to study and socialize in an area that is created for them.” “The larger library will give students more room to work, revise and gather resources. The

classrooms will incorporate brand new technology and spacious work environments for everyone.” Under-Floor Heating “It will also feature under-floor heating, sensor-activated lights which react to the environment - turning off if there is enough natural light in the room - plus WiFi throughout. “ Mr Ashdown hopes the Taylor Building will encourage more students to use that end of the school, as before it was rarely occupied at lunchtimes. One Big Campus The exterior of the building will be just as spectacular. “The landscape will feature new pathways, trees and benches for students to sit during break and lunch, and will give the feeling of one big campus between Valley Park and Invicta.” “The Taylor Building will be a big asset to all year groups in the school,” concluded Mr Ashdown, “and will comfortably facilitate the growing student body in a new and exciting way. “

25


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

Archaeology Club members discuss conflicting theories. Clockwise from top: Ewan Cartwright, Tom Winnett, Angus Westgate, Tallulah Rennie, Zoe Aker, Sam Wouldham, Tom Wouldham and Harvey Francis.

“The Pathological evidence shows he sustained an injury to his ribs and prematurely lost some teeth” Miss Broadhurst runs the Archaeology Club every Wednesday from 3.15-4.15pm in C2. Preliminary sketches were made to accurately record the scene as they found it.

26


Park Life Magazine • Issue One • Winter 2013

CSI:

archeology club Reporters: Z Baker, I Kemp, L Mallinson and A Greenhood

On Wednesday, the 13th November the grisly body of a rapidly-decaying person unknown was found on Miss Broadhurst’s classroom floor. She was shrewd enough to call on the expertise of students from the Archaeology Club in years 7 and 8 who are known for their excellent deduction skills and experience in forensic archaeology. Preliminary Sketch The twenty-strong team of students found the body encircled by various artefacts, all from different time periods. Much to their horror, none of the clues led to the same date. They cornered off the room with forensic crime scene tape and made a preliminary investigation of the scene, starting with a quick sketch - looking carefully at where the artefacts laid in relation to the body. Conflicting Theories Working as a team proved difficult at first, as there were many conflicting

theories. For each of the artefacts there were differing conclusions as to how he died; the evidence was inconclusive. He may have lived in the 19th Century due to a surviving handpistol found with him or lived in the 20th Century due to artefacts such as a First World War Tommy helmet. Pathological Evidence The Pathological evidence shows he sustained an injury to his ribs and prematurely lost some teeth - not due to old age - as the alveola (tooth sockets) in the mandible (jaw bone) were still open and not covered over with new bone growth. Hula Hoops The forensic archaeologists had a lot of fun uncovering the clues and using them to formulate their own conclusions. Although the crime scene was difficult to interpret, team effort, Hula Hoops & Orange Juice saw them through. 27


park life m a g a z i n e

For the feature on our annual Ski Trip, see page 18 ‘Under the Alpine Skies’

Park Life Magazine Issue One  
Advertisement