To be or not to be, that is the question. Nothing comes from nothing. How do I compare thee to a summer's day? Hell is empty and all the devils are here! We know what we are, but not what we may be. Exit, pursued by a bear... Can you think of any other famous quotes from the bard?

Every year we celebrate Shakespeare Week in March, and this year was no exception. Between 15th – 19th March, we started the week with students having a whole-school challenge to match the quotations and photos displayed all around the school to the correct play. It was a tricky challenge, but it was fantastic to see so many students take part – with several students getting all 20 correct, it was brilliant to see so much curiosity about Shakespeare.

Shakespeare week 1
Can you guess the play?

Shakespeare is part of our curriculum in English for every year group in Key Stage 3, but this week our English department kicked it up a notch with every class having additional Shakespeare themed lesson. Firstly, our Year 7s embraced the bard with watching a preview of The Tempest, and hypothesised what the play might be about, enriching their vocabulary by learning lots of new words, including tempest. Whilst in Year 8, for never was a tale of more woe than this of Juliet and her Romeo. They had fun recreating the play through modern eyes and writing it in modern language.

Meanwhile in our A Level literature class, we have just finished King Lear, and are now analysing the different monologues and soliloquies throughout the play.

Our two A level students prepared videos of themselves reading an impressive monologue by King Lear and a soliloquy by Edmund.

Year 9b and 11b embraced their dramatic side and acted out a shortened version of Romeo and Juliet, and Twelfth Night. The students fully embraced the roles allocated to them by doing all the different voices with passion and enthusiasm (as naturally we reversed the gender roles, with Romeo being played by a girl, and Juliet being played by a boy).

Enjoy a range of photos of these performances below … especially the ukuleles, Ms. O’Regan’s classroom being turned into a shipwreck, and board pens being used as makeshift swords.

Here is a selection of photos of Year 9b acting out Romeo and Juliet, the passion and commitment which went into this performance was outstanding, a huge commendation to every student in this class.

Finally, not even our Year 10s on Zoom could escape a bit of Shakespeare, with a Zoom performance of Julius Caesar, which had some shocking twists and some interesting pronunciation of Latin.

Shakespeare week 2

On a final note, a huge well done to all students who took part so enthusiastically this week, embracing Shakespeare fully. In fact, some Year 7s and 8s asked Mr. Eve if they could do more Shakespeare, and 11b and 9b have demanded we get to act out another short play next week. The English department is of course looking forward to embracing the student’s passions going forward.