At St Mary Magdalen's we have been involved in National Shakespeare Week. This has been very exciting, not least because it has enabled the children to focus on the words and language of the finest playwright of the English language.
The children's enthusiasm and focus throughout the week has been truly fantastic and their class presentations on Thursday were very well received by parents and children.
Yr.5 explained some interesting facts about William Shakespeare, his life and works. The children learnt that some of his poems were called sonnets that these were written as love poems.
Yr.1's production was Macbeth which had been produced in the classroom and showed the children's own interpretation of the play. It had been filmed and edited by Mr Pinks with the added authenticity of bagpipes as the backing track. The children were delighted to see their names in the credits after the production. Furthermore they had chosen their own costumes, made the scenery and changed some of the language into words that the children could understand. Shakespeare would have been proud of these budding actors!
Yr.2 showed some very dramatic acting from the scene where Hamlet becomes insane and sees his father's ghost. Their production was well-managed with the children wearing costume and theatrical make up. Future Shakespearian actors in the making perhaps!
Yr. 3 delighted us with Midsummer's Night Dream, one of Shakespeare's comedies. In this play the Human World (ruled by law) and the Fairy World (ruled by magic) collide, producing lots of entertainment and humour. The children read and analysed extracts from the play.
Some impressive acting followed with Yr.4's interpretation of murder, treachery and magic from Macbeth. Narrators provided an explanation of the plot for the benefit of the audience.
Chloe from Yr.5 closed the class presentations by explaining the main characters and plot from The Merchant of Venice, then Yr.6 ended the series of performances with their audio sound script from a scene in the forest from A Midsummer's Night Dream. They used their own voices to produce the noises and sounds familiar to this setting.
All-in-all a rewarding week for all concerned and one which, we hope, will stimulate the children's interest in quality literature and the arts more generally, and which will enrich their lives now and in the future.
Literacy Subject Leader