The Primary Shakespeare Festival is, at the time of writing, half way through. The 4th and 5th class children’s performances were stunning, and the rehearsals for tonight promise equally great things from 3rd and 6th class.
The key educational element to the Shakespeare Festival is nothing less than the immersion of the children in the greatest products of human civilization. It represents a radical re-imagination of the concept of primary education.
This education includes not only the acquisition of useful skills counting, reading, writing; and not just the honing of mental abilities problem solving, reasoning, enquiry; and not even just the development of good character honesty, resilience, compassion.
It is all those things and more: by introducing the children to Shakespeare, Mozart and Leonardo Da Vinci, as well as Jesus, Buddha and Plato, our aim is also to help the children grow into Renaissance men and women. A Renaissance man or woman is self-assured, inwardly confident and integrated; from a position of strength he or she can intelligently and effectively turn his or her hand to anything: cooking a meal, discovering a cure for cancer, or changing a nappy.
Our graduates over the past decades, and those from our affiliated schools around the world (see our present gang of gap students for incontrovertible evidence!) give encouraging indications that this bold experiment in education is succeeding.