Macbeth Performed in Style at the Academy

March 2018

Macbeth Performed in Style at the Academy

Year 7 students from King James have been involved in bringing William Shakespeare’s work to life as part of a prestigious national project run by The Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

The RSC has teamed up with 200 primary schools around the UK to give students and teachers the opportunity to make their English lessons more interactive.

Students at King James worked alongside 10 primary schools from the local area to perform allocated scenes from Macbeth. Each group rehearsed and performed a different scene at their own school, before coming together to demonstrate their learning and the grasp of the language in a two-day Macbeth Festival, which was held at King James. Parents of all of the children taking part visited the Academy to watch the performance and support their child’s learning.

Mrs Mafham, English Teacher at King James explained the value of the project, “This opportunity allows learning to be fully interactive for our pupils, and this helps them to feel more connected to the characters and therefore understand the text better."

"As part of the project, I took part in training days with the RSC myself, and this has given me some excellent ideas on how to further bring Shakespeare to life in the classroom. As I continue to teach his work, I will be able to use these ideas to make even more of an impact on the class and hopefully encourage their love for literature up until their GCSE’s. Students have really enjoyed the hands-on approach this has brought to their literature lessons and it was great to see them working with younger students and creating something they could all be proud of.”

Fiona Clayton, who is the RSC Programme Lead for Associate Schools, was present throughout the event. She said, “The aim of the project is to make Shakespeare enjoyable for young people in schools. Students often find Shakespeare boring and difficult because they struggle to relate to his plays, but by making lessons interactive and training teachers to make these lessons fun, but still educational, students get the chance to perform the plays and appreciate the wonderful work of our most famous poet and playwright.”

This annual event is an excellent way to bring students of all ages together and allow them to develop a variety of skills. Pupils in Years 4-7, who take part in the performance, develop confidence alongside skills in team working and acting; and older students at King James take on a variety of sound, lighting and stage management roles.

Overall, the 2018 RSC Project was a resounding success, much enjoyed by the participants and the visiting parents.

Written by Year 13 student, Megann G

King James I Academy, South Church Road, Bishop Auckland, County Durham DL14 7JZ