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Students stage Cinderella
2.44pm - 8th
STUDENTS at Burnt Mill Academy put on a
festive performance of Cinderella.
The show featured acting, dancing and comedy, as
well as a medley of songs from 60 years of pop,
including rewritten versions of hits by the
Monkeys and George Michael.
Philip Watson, lead practitioner of drama, wrote
the bespoke script for the show including
slapstick comedy scenes with two ugly sisters
and music from the school’s concert and rock
He said: "We’ve always had a huge,
inclusive cast of students from across the
academy in our Christmas showcases.
"The challenge this year was to create a
single pantomime with songs, roles, dances and
scenes for everyone."
Students auditioned in September and attended
rehearsals each week to prepare for the
A performance was also put on for children at
the Burnt Mill Academy Trust primary schools -
Cooks Spinney, Freshwaters, Little Parndon and
Students collect coats and food for
STUDENTS at Burnt Mill Academy have
collected coats and food for two
Five sacks of coats have been donated to the
Wrap Up London campaign while dozens of boxes of
food have been handed over to Harlow Food
Students are also volunteering their time to
collect more Food Bank donations from shoppers
at the Tesco store in Edinburgh Way.
Head of Humanities Kayleigh Trainor said:
"We have regularly supported the Food Bank,
but this is the first time we have collected for
Wrap Up London.
"We want our students to be aware there are
people around them who are not as privileged as
themselves, that could include their friends in
school without them even realising.
"It’s showing them that, as a school we
can support people in this way and raising
awareness of the fact more and more people are
turning to the Food Bank for help."
She added: "It’s a way of promoting
active citizenship and showing the positive
impact we can have on our community.
"The response has been really impressive,
especially for Wrap Up London as we had a very
quick turnaround for that collection."
Illicit cigarettes seized
9.41am - 3rd
MORE than 17,000 illicit cigarettes have
been seized from two shops in Harlow.
Officers from Harlow’s Community Policing Team
worked with Essex Trading Standards officials to
search businesses in the town centre on
During the intelligence-led operation, detection
dogs Scampi and Yoyo located the cigarette haul
and 4.5kg of hand rolling tobacco in a vehicle
and hidden with a secret compartment in a shop
Inspector Tony Walker said: "The operation
saw thousands of counterfeit cigarettes removed
from shops that operated illegally while taking
trade away from other businesses.
"We’ve been listening to the community
and in October introduced a 12-week plan to
tackle crime and anti-social behaviour.
"We're already seeing the benefits and have
completed over 200 hours extra foot patrols,
have carried out four dispersal orders, have
arrested eight people and have seen a reduction
in reported crime.
"We will continue our operations throughout
the festive period and have additional plans to
increase our visibility in the New Year, helping
to create a safer community for people to live,
work and visit."
Councillor Susan Barker, Essex County Council’s
cabinet member with a responsibility for Trading
Standards, said: "The importance of this
work cannot be underestimated and it would not
happen without the help and support of the
people of Essex.
"We are finding that more and more criminal
businesses are using sophisticated means to
conceal illicit tobacco, often investing
significant sums of money into their
"We have sent out a clear message that
repeated criminal behaviour of this kind will
not be tolerated and we will continue to work
hard with our partners to clamp down on the sale
of illegal tobacco."
Both businesses have been issued with notices
and the seized cigarettes will be destroyed.
Historic pond area restored
8.03am - 1st
HISTORIC Harlow parkland that has been
part of the town for centuries is being restored
thanks to an £80,000 project funded by Harlow
Council and Essex County Council.
Oakwood Pond, near Princess Alexandra Hospital
in Little Parndon, has been transformed thanks
to a project being completed by Harlow Council
in partnership with the county council,
contractors and volunteers.
The pond and surrounding area has a rich
history, possibly dating back as far as the
1100s as a stew pond for the Canons Brook
monastery and later forming part of the grounds
of Upper House in the 1700s.
In recent years the area has been neglected and
fallen into disrepair. Now the site is on the
way to returning to its former state with the
original parkland being restored, flood
protection for homes in Canons Brook and Fold
Croft in place and the general environment being
improved for both wildlife and local
Work began on the first phase in
It saw excess trees and vegetation removed
opening up the area and reinstating the original
pond for local flooding prevention.
The water supply was re-introduce to the pond by
reconnecting spring water.
New aquatic plants have been introduced and a
diverse range of water, vegetation and
wood-based habitats created for wildlife and
further restore the parkland.
Access has been improved to and through the site
from Upper Park to Harlow Town Centre and the
Disabled access points, fishing platforms and a
new 360m access loop/footpath around the pond
have been installed along with a 30m boardwalk
across a section of the pond.
A number of bird boxes have been installed while
a balancing pond has been planted with reeds to
add to the biodiversity and to filter the
incoming water supply.
The new fishing platforms, available and
suitable for people of all abilities, will also
be used by Stort Valley Angling Society to help
teach young people and people with disabilities
to fish when the pond is ready to be
A special opening event was attended by
councillors, volunteers, contractors and local
Harlow Council environment portfolio holder
councillor Danny Purton said: "Oakwood Pond
will be a place for residents to enjoy once
again and provide educational opportunities for
local people. It is also another great example
of local volunteers and Council staff working
together to improve our town.
"The plan is that this project will pave
the way to make further improvements to the area
in future. Once the water levels have increased
and a natural food supply has been established,
the pond can be restocked with fish.
"This is an area that has unfortunately
been neglected over the years but, by working
together with local organisations like Stort
Valley Angling Society, contractors and our
fantastic volunteers, we can make this place
really special and somewhere for everyone to
School relaunches debate society
8.00am - 1st
A DEBATE society has been relaunched at
Burnt Mill Academy with Year 7 to Year 11
students encouraged to come together to express
The club is also promoted as a way of keeping
up-to-date with current events, to build
confidence, to become part of a team and to take
part in competitions.
Each week students practise their debating
skills. Maths teacher Angus Hally, who runs the
after-school club, said: "Young people are
seen as not being engaged with the world around
them, particularly when it comes to
"The debate society gets them to think for
themselves and to argue their points and is a
great way of getting them involved. They get to
explore some of the things they are interested
"It also helps to develop an incredibly
useful skill which is transferable across their
subjects. In English, for example, it helps to
make their critical thinking much
"Most of the time I throw a topic at them
and they have to debate it on the spot. It’s a
really exciting club."
Students are looking to compete in competitions
run by the Rotary Club and Oxford Schools.