A celebration of the 400th anniversary of the release of Shakespeare’s first folio of works is being planned across the Trust.

Anna West, from Saint Benedict Catholic Voluntary Academy, in Derby, is leading the programme as part of the Stronger Together project which she leads on – bringing schools together through performing arts.

Primary schools will perform a Shakespeare play in a day, which is linked to their KS2 literacy curriculum for Year 5 and 6.

The aims of the project are:

* Developing oracy

* Develop an understanding of drama techniques

*  Develop an understanding of the life and times of Shakespeare and Elizabethan England.

* Develop an understanding of key themes and ideas in Shakespeare’s works.

* To support the study of key themes and characters for GCSE English set texts

* To act as a bridge between KS2 and KS3

An artist will be allocated to each school and during the day they will explore script and devised work around key themes and ideas in Shakespeare’s work.

At the end of the day each school will have a 15-minute performance that schools will share with either parents, schoolchildren in an assembly or both. Each school is celebrating in a slightly different way.

In advance of the day each school will be provided with a small scheme of work in the form of a PowerPoint that they can use to understand the life and times of Shakespeare’s work and explore the use of voice.

These resources also include a video of a Shakespeare actor who gives them an insight into the life and times of when Shakespeare was writing. At the end of each clip he sets them a small challenge to fact find some information by the next day.

Secondary schools are all having a half day visit from an actor who has worked for the Royal Shakespeare Company and is developing bespoke workshops for each school based on what they have specified they wanted. This has been in partnership with the English department and is mainly supporting targeted areas of the KS4 examined text work.

At Saint Benedict the whole of Year 9 will visit Derby Theatre over two days and experience a carousel of street dance, drama and music and rap which link to key scenes and themes in Romeo and Juliet.

This promises to be a wonderful event!