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How should Shakespeare be introduced in Primary School

Discussion in 'Primary' started by sarah120171, Feb 29, 2016.


Should Shakespeare be studied as part of a Primary school curriculum.

  1. Yes

    10 vote(s)
  2. No

    8 vote(s)
  1. sarah120171

    sarah120171 New commenter

    I am a trainee teacher in my second term of training. I am currently conducting research for my enhanced studies assignment and am exploring how Shakespeare can be effectively introduced into primary schools.

    I am very interested in opinions about whether Shakespeare works in primary and whether it is more effective to introduce it using athematic approach or if it can work as a stand alone topic.

    I would very much appreciate any experiences and views you are happy to share with me and strategies that you have found has moved children's learning forward.

    Thank you in advance.
  2. Studyzonetv

    Studyzonetv Occasional commenter

    When my head told us last year we were going to be doing Macbeth as our year 6 production, I thought she was mad! However, I have to say, the production was fantastic. This year we're doing Romeo and Juliet.

    I certainly think Shakespeare can be covered in a primary school, but only have experience of acting it out rather than reading it...but then, wasn't that what Shakespeare intended?
    JL48, Msz and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  3. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Definitely should be introduced in primary. I've used Shakespeare stories (Orchard Myths) with all of years 1 - 6 and all have enjoyed them.
    I do a bit of reading aloud with a bit of acting and then breaks for art work and some writing.
    Sometimes a whole week around one story, for book week and so on. Sometimes just a more active storytime. Sometimes a whole term's literacy, art, DT, geography, history based on a play.

    Primary children should leave primary school with an enthusiasm and appreciation for Shakespeare, then it is up to secondary English teachers not to ruin that!
    Msz and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  4. Jesmond12

    Jesmond12 Star commenter

    How should Shakespeare be introduced in Primary School?

    Good morning children, good morning Mr Shakespeare, good morning everyone.

    Somehow I don't think that is the answer that you were looking for but I thought it was funny
  5. Msz

    Msz Established commenter

    Shakespeare always very popular it's a matter of picking the right play to appeal to age group.
    Look at Shakesoeare for kids.
  6. Landofla

    Landofla Established commenter

    Not at all in my opinion. So boring. I'm not one for doing something just because...
    JL48 likes this.
  7. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Shakespeare is sooooo not boring!

    Year 3 have gone home today talking about whether or not Henry V will win the battle of Agincourt tomorrow. They know he has 4000 men and the French have 20 000, so he hasn't a hope. However they also know the play is called Henry V and so surely he must have won. Talk about a cliffhanger!
    They have written a diary entry as Henry V on his ship crossing the channel, hoping to win back the lands his father gained.
    They are going to re-enact the battle tomorrow...what's not to love?!
    Kartoshka, Msz and Lara mfl 05 like this.
  8. JessicaRabbit1

    JessicaRabbit1 Senior commenter

    Did MSND with Y6 last year, using Pie Corbett approach - learning and stepping the story. I made a huge tree for the classroom with lights and we had mischievous fairies that left messages for the children - even in Y6 they loved it secretly! We made adverts for love potions and wrote newspaper reports. Did lots of acting. It was my first time teaching Shakespeare and we all enjoyed it.
  9. Maths_Shed

    Maths_Shed Occasional commenter

    Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou
  10. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    we've just done the Tempest with Year 4. We found a 30 minute animated version online, but with the original words intact if shortened. The children loved it. The school librarian was overrun with children asking to read more Shakespeare. I've found children love plays of just about any sort. I've taught Macbeth several times in different school to equally good effect.
  11. redlamp2

    redlamp2 Occasional commenter

    Ben Jonson is way more interesting
  12. jenny_talwarts

    jenny_talwarts New commenter

    Pericles goes down well with primary classes too and has the advantage that they won't encounter it again at secondary school. Obviously you have to be selective! Questions about incest with Year 4 is probably not what you want! But the same is true of many themes in Shakespeare plays that you wouldn't introduce in a primary setting.

    You can link Pericles to other 'riddle' stories - like 1001 nights and the opera Turandot. You could even link it to the tale of the rioters in The Pardoner's Tale and the three brothers story from Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.
  13. Miss-Becky

    Miss-Becky New commenter

  14. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Ooooo I like the idea of the stop-motion animation...
  15. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    stop motion animation is fab, you shouldn't need to elan on a secondary for that, lots of free apps for tablets and cheap little cameras and free software for PCs
  16. JoyceClarke

    JoyceClarke New commenter

    Woww its seems interesting introducing Shakespeare topic in school. I think you should go for it as, it will definitely going to increase students knowledge about history.
  17. missied

    missied New commenter

    A fantastic introduction to his work. They tour and will come into school (for a fee of course)
    Have a great website (or used to)

    Leon Garfield books are good too - tell the story
    Marcia Williams books tell the stories too in cartoon style
  18. Milgod

    Milgod Established commenter

    But that's more history than Shakespeare.

    History, as everyone knows, is amazing.
  19. caterpillartobutterfly

    caterpillartobutterfly Star commenter

    Maybe...but if Shakespeare is a way to extend the history curriculum, then it must be a good thing!

    They also love Twelfth Night and Midsummer Night's Dream.
    And are looking forward to celebrating on 23rd April along with the rest of the country.
  20. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    we linked the Tempest to a unit on Vikings via getting lost in a storm at sea, being on an island the setting was not a problem for Year 4s to worry about.

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