Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College

Students from Broadoak Mathematics and Technology College taking part in a workshop

Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College in Weston-super-Mare joined the Learning and Performance Network (LPN) in 2010 with an aim to improve the prospects of its students by providing them with 'opportunities to express themselves and their ideas in ways which go beyond examination success'.  

The LPN programme was led by two young and enthusiastic teachers; Georgina Britton (English/Co-ordinator) and Emma Thayer (Head of Drama). For the third year of their LPN programme, Georgina and Emma wanted to explore Shakespeare through film, creating further performance opportunities for their cluster of local schools but involving a new art form. 

Thirteen teachers from the cluster took part in INSET with an RSC Education Practitioner in February and March 2013. During these sessions they took part in active work on Romeo and Juliet and explored how these practical approaches might be used for creating performance for film. The teachers then worked on creating a scene from the play with their students, meeting again to discuss project management issues prior to filming. Over three days in April 2013, each school group was filmed in the drama studio at Broadoak by a member of the RSC's video department. 

On 23 May, two screenings of the final film were presented at The Odeon Cinema in Weston-super-Mare to an audience of over 1000 students, teachers and the wider community. The response was overwhelmingly positive and every participating student was given a dvd of the film to keep.

What has changed? 

  • 13 school staff, many of them new to Shakespeare, experienced training in active approaches
  • 127 young people encountered Shakespeare in performance, many for the first time; 127 young people learnt about film making working alongside a skilled professional
  • Approximately 500 members of the local community saw the film, some watching Shakespeare for the first time

'For me, my greatest desire as a teacher is to want to see children achieve, to feel self-confident and to enjoy learning and I really feel they'll be inspired to want to do it again, they won't feel afraid and they'll be able to laugh and enjoy Shakespeare.'
Roxanne Gibb, Teacher, Oldmixon Primary School.

'I think learning Shakespeare in an active way is a lot better because you get to take part in it first hand and you experience different ways of learning it as opposed to just reading the script in a class line by line.'
Student, Broadoak Mathematics and Computing College

'If people said we were too young to do Shakespeare, I would say 'no' because any age of children could do it because really all they need to do is just let their heart go.'
Primary pupil, Oldmixon Primary School.






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