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Principal Blog 4th October 2019

4 October 2019
Principal Blog 4th October 2019

R6 Open Evening

It was great to see so many Year 11 students at the R6 Open Evening last night. There were so many questions asked and so many positive comments too! The application process is now underway so please do get the applications to us! If you missed last night we can arrange visits for you and we are more than happy to chat about your plans for post-16 at R6. It really is a great place to be!

ASC Trip to the Link Centre

The challenges for our younger ASC students this week were accomplished in a visit to Better Extreme’s trampoline park at The Link Centre. We are very grateful to the Better Extreme management for opening up a special session for us, as a ‘normal’ session would have been impossible for some of our students to endure. There was no music playing nor any other attendees, thus reducing extraneous sensory input to the minimum. This meant that our students only had to cope with the challenges we planned for: strange footwear, taking turns (one person per trampoline, exiting sponge pools so others could play etc.), balance and teamwork in an unfamiliar environment.

The session was a great success! One student with balance issues managed an impressive trampoline slam-dunk, and the two students athletic enough to trampoline-bounce up to a high shelf used their position to magnanimously assist those who only managed to jump high enough to cling to it. There were staff-student challenges on the gladiatorial bridge over the sponge pool (with the students winning the bout as often as the staff) and one or two excellent displays of natural gymnastic skills.

There was very little need to encourage students to take part (a frequent issue on an Autism Spectrum trip) as the strict rules (e.g. one person, one trampoline) and familiarity with everyone else present meant each student could advance onto the equipment at their own pace. Before long, everyone was bouncing, leaping or flipping. It was a delight to watch our students gaining confidence and skills in what some exclaimed to be – and not for the first time – “the best trip ever!”

Art Project

Students from TRS have partaken in an Arts Project, sponsored by Swindon Borough Council’s Forestry Commission and Wroughton Parish Council. Ceramic Artist in residence Samantha Silverton worked with the group to produce six signs which have been installed in the nearby Common Farm Woods and Blackhorse Farm. We are doing a ceremonial opening by the Honey Bees sign (accessed behind Wroughton Juns) on Monday 7th October at 3.45pm. Locals are very pleased to see the sculptures as they walk their dogs and pass through the area. Look out for an update next week.

Edinburgh Fringe – My Experience by Ellie Jeffery

Edinburgh Fringe was a clash of fixed routines and improvised activity. Each day started with a plan that never survived til the end of the day, and each one was wildly different, throwing up challenges and incredible, unforgettable experiences. One performance was struck by the disaster of an actor leaving the stage to throw up, and us having to improvise our way through the rest of the show while remaining in our time limit. Another show didn’t go ahead, no tickets sold. It was an important lesson in the reality of Edinburgh Fringe. With hundreds of shows competing for audiences, plastering posters for their show over others, shouting on the streets, all fighting to be the loudest, even the most amazing shows can be left playing to empty seats.

But the highs of Edinburgh far outweighed the lows, making everything worthwhile. The adrenaline rush that hit in each show, the on the edge exhilaration of realising that something in the performance has gone wrong, but knowing that you can trust the people around you to carry on and cover you. The people onstage with me were not only some of the most naturally talented people I know, but I also trusted them unreservedly to have my back in each show.

When I wasn’t performing, I was battling the crowds on the Royal Mile, the busiest street in Edinburgh, pushing rainbow flyers into the hands of passers by, selling tickets like my life depended on it. There’s an insanity on the streets, after Eleven O’Clock passes, you can’t move at more than a mile an hour, and every metre another show is being advertised to you. After a while all the flyers seem to blend together, and after a few days of seeing a minimum of three hours of theatre each day, you feel like if you sit down in one more half empty audience you might combust.

Despite all this, I came away with priceless memories and having learnt invaluable lessons about being a performer, about the creative industry and about theatre making. I saw some incredible shows that I’ll spend the next year stealing ideas from, and I saw a few awful pieces that I will firmly avoid for the rest of my life. I survived a week at the fringe and learnt lessons to help me succeed the next time I visit, which I hope will be soon. Anyone, regardless if they are a performer, a writer, someone who likes to watch musicals or tv shows, someone who likes traditional or contemplate theatre, should visit Edinburgh Fringe.

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