The school was buzzing with sword fights, ‘hey nonny nos’, and the three witches conjuring up spells as Roche pupils immersed themselves in Shakespeare Week. The annual event is planned for maximum creativity, using plays, poems, and sonnets to explore language and ideas.
An actor from The Globe gave an original interpretation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream for Reception, Year 1, and Year 2, where the characters were personified by different kinds of shoes. The shoe ‘playing’ Oberon, for example, came across as ‘strong and stable’.
Year 3 looked like something out of Romeo and Juliet as they learnt Tudor dancing, performing with a partner to traditional English music. They particularly enjoyed the quick dances.
Year 4 learnt to make their stage combat look as convincing as the fight between Mercutio and Tybalt (but the swords were made of foam), and Year 6 did a workshop on The Tempest and a tour of The Globe.
The Master of Dulwich College, Dr Joseph Spence, brought the week to a close by judging the children’s performances in a Shakespeare competition: “What I love about the way it’s done here at The Roche School is that it is for all ages, and anyone who’s ready to stand up and deliver can do so.”
The benefits of the bard were highlighted by the Head Teacher, Ms Adams: “When I see children choosing to enact scenes from Shakespeare in the playground, I know that we are doing something right. When they eventually move to secondary school and face the texts’ more academic challenges, they won’t feel daunted because they are learning to love him now.”