Shakespeare at Heritage: Enriching Literature and Drama

In the realm of literary figures, William Shakespeare inevitably graces every list of the ‘best authors of all time.’ And at Heritage, immersing students in the world of Shakespeare is a distinctive component of our English and Drama curriculum. From Years 6 to 8, pupils read and collectively act out a Shakespeare play annually, ensuring each class member is actively engaged, no matter the size of the role. This unique approach not only deepens their understanding of Shakespeare’s language but also fosters an impressive level of enjoyment and familiarity with his works.

By the time pupils leave Heritage, they’ve studied five Shakespeare plays, reaping numerous benefits. This immersive experience enhances language and literature skills, oratorical proficiency, confidence, teamwork, and a profound sense of accomplishment. Drama Teacher Mrs Burden notes that exposing young pupils to original Shakespearean text at this level, where they take on uncut roles and memorize extensive passages, is unusual to see prior to Sixth Form.

Recent research from the Royal Shakespeare Company also reinforces the impact of this type of ‘rehearsal room’ approach to Shakespeare, demonstrating significant improvements in language skills and acquisition, leading to enhanced SATs and GCSE English scores in surveyed schools.