Teachers' comments on the value of Shakespeare - image  on https://www.johncolet.nsw.edu.au

Teachers’ comments on the value of Shakespeare

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The children’s efforts with Shakespeare always inspire us. From the moment we begin rehearsals they are full of enthusiasm for every aspect of putting on their play. The children are constantly offering suggestions  – perhaps where to stand, a way of doing a particular action … they take ownership from the beginning.

The value of  a Shakespeare performance for the students is manifold. Firstly it gives them the finest English language to learn by heart. The plays allow them the opportunity to connect with the subtlety of what Shakespeare is saying. They also have the opportunity, over time, to experience various play genres from comedy to tragedy. The rehearsals and performances teach them courage, resilience in the face of disappointment, patience, being able to work independently, humility and how to accept praise and much more. Team work and cooperation are an important part of Shakespeare plays. The children learn they can rely on each other and form a trust which allows them freedom to be themselves on stage.

Each child grows in character and confidence throughout this time; many facing challenges, overcoming fears and delighting in success and just giving for the sake of the audience.

Above all the children have enormous fun and as soon as their Shakespeare Festival finishes they are asking what play they will be doing next time!

Elizabeth McDermott
Lea-Ann Connell