CHILDREN of military and civilian MOD personnel at Brunei’s Hornbill School took part in an exciting week of workshops bringing Shakespeare to life.

Globe Education practitioner Tom Davey and head of learning Georghia Ellinas used teaching and rehearsal techniques from Shakespeare’s Globe in London for students from years 1-6 during their week-long visit.

Tom said: “I worked with every year group in the school. With the older groups, I used text from A Midsummer Night’s DreamHenry V and Macbeth. I know that at GCSE level they will be required to have a personal response to the themes, characters and language of the play and I wanted to empower them to start make these old plays their own.

“They worked in a physical way, using movement games, reflecting all the while on how a character might be feeling and the impact of the language on others. I was extremely impressed by their ability to reflect on the language in a serious way and I really enjoyed our discussions.”

The children weren’t the only ones to take part in the workshop. Teachers also received drama lessons and parents were invited to take part in a shared learning programme with their children to show how drama activities can develop children’s speaking, listening and writing skills at home as well as at school.

“I wanted to support the staff at Hornbill in their efforts to encourage confident speaking at the school, particularly in front of an audience,” said Tom. “It was an extremely rewarding week and I was well supported by the brilliant staff and children.”

Simon Brown, from Hornbill School, said: “Throughout the week there was such a positive atmosphere within the school – learning, personal challenge, engagement and joy were palpable. The week has left both children and staff with a new understanding of how Shakespeare can be brought into the primary classroom in an accessible, fun and non-threatening manner. It has certainly provided a strong foundation to build on.”

Georghia added: “A very important part of our work is training teachers in using drama approaches in the classroom, and all the techniques we show them can be used for other plays as well as poetry and stories, which they find very useful. We also work with parents to provide them with ideas and approaches they can use at home to reinforce what they are learning in school.”

The Globe Education team has had a lot of interest around the world, with storytelling taking place at the Globe, in schools in England, in USA, Paris and France last month.

Georghia said: “The sessions are interactive and the audience are involved in various ways to create the atmosphere and play some roles at key moments in the play. Henry V is currently being told in a number of infant schools across London and it is one of the most popular ones we do.”

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