On Wednesday 18th January we travelled to Eton College to run a Teaching Shakespeare in the Primary Classroom training day. We worked with 28 teachers from both state and private primary schools; some from the local area and some who had travelled from inner-city London.
We ran a series of workshops which explored the many different aspects of Shakespeare’s life and how this can be brought to life in the primary classroom. Teachers heard all about the range of Shakespeare Week resources which are available online and how they can be linked together to create a week of Shakespeare celebrations for the whole school. The teachers then had a chance to try some of the hands-on activities themselves. They enjoyed making hornbooks, writing with quills, creating lavender bags, trading Shakespeare insults and dressing up as plague doctors! Val and Pete Cubitt ran a wonderful Drama workshop where teachers brought A Midsummer Night’s Dream to life through active introductions, vocal exercises and physical theatre.
The feedback from the teachers was tremendous:
"It has been an absolute joy to be inspired by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust. Wonderful talented team, excellent ideas to use, so motivating. Thank you."— Tilehurst and Flimwell C of E School
Many of the teachers even signed up to Shakespeare Week before they had left the building!
It was a super day and a real pleasure to work in such beautiful surroundings and to share Shakespeare’s life, work and times with such enthusiastic teachers.