All the world’s a stage
An educational visit is an essential part of learning. Not only does it interest and excite, but it brings meaning to learning as it allows children to see the knowledge and skills they’ve been working so hard to attain in use in real life situations. A school trip is also one of the most memorable experiences of school life and what better way to embed learning than to make it unforgettable.
“All the World’s a stage the men and women merely players,” stated Jaques in Shakespeare’s As you like it.
Year 5 & 6 have indeed been players this term as they studied A Midsummer Night’s Dream in their English and Drama lessons. The pupils have certainly embraced the play and many aspects of Shakespearean language and era. They have debated themes, written poems - notably sonnets about the theme of love - and explored other themes such as family, friendship, duty and hierarchy. Moreover, they have acted out the play in Drama lessons and taken on some of the funniest characters Shakespeare ever wrote.
At the beginning of the unit, the pupils compared theatre now to how it used to be back in Shakespeare’s time, appreciating how different the experience must have been. Of course, this study would not be complete without a visit to The Globe here in London.
The children received a wonderful guided tour of the venue, getting to sit in the Galleries and observe the stage being set up for a performance. Despite the miserable weather, the pupils enjoyed the view because they were not standing in the pit! They learned about the different sections of the theatre, from the pit and the galleries to the stage and back stage and learned alot about the history of The Globe and the experience theatre goers would have had all those years ago.
This was followed up, in the dry warm interior of the theatre by a wonderfully active workshop. The children where they were given an extract of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and were taught to carefully consider how to say their lines, bringing the words to life through intonation, facial expression and body language. They became experts in creating meaning with every syllable and right there in The Globe, really brought Shakespeare back to life!