Shakespearean drama at Bishop Road Primary

October 26 2018
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Bishop Road Primary School pupils have been studying Shakespeare during the autumn term.

 It falls under part of an inspiring whole school project, ‘Rhythms and Patterns in Language’ in which all classes are exploring language and vocabulary. 

Year 2 teacher, Sam Webber, said: “This interesting new project began with a flourish at the start of the term, with an INSET day run by the Royal Shakespeare Company. As a school, we are thoroughly enjoying learning from arguably Britain’s greatest playwright and wordsmith.”

All teachers received invaluable training on dramatic approaches to engage children and enable them to explore the language, themes and characters within Shakespeare’s plays. With everyone actively involved, staff investigated plays starting with the key themes, setting and basic storyline of the play. They then moved on to examining specific scenes and key language used, allowing characters and their actions to be discussed and analysed. An enjoyable day was had by all and the teachers left with skills and knowledge to inspire their pupils when exploring Shakespeare’s plays.

In Reception, Year 1 and Year 2, the children have been learning about King Lear. With the use of drama and performance, they have explored themes such as the kingdom, leadership, family and loyalty; they have also learnt about characters and the vocabulary used to describe them. Eagerly, children have acted out key scenes to investigate characters and the narrative of the play. There has been a focus on the poetic language used within the scenes, as children have been learning lines and understanding the meaning behind the language. The children have been able to develop their writing skills as they acquire and apply new poetic language inspired by Shakespeare. 

In Years 3 to 6, the children have been studying the play A Merchant of Venice which includes some challenging themes and ideas. Through drama, the children have explored the conflicting worlds of Venice, key speeches and the powerful language used that clearly depict the characters’ emotions and feelings about values such as justice, mercy and equality. Exploring these ideas through performance, the children have been inspired to write eloquent and expressive diary entries, letters, newspaper reports and poetry which display a strong understanding of the characters and their predicament.