Asfordby school to lead the way in pioneering Shakespeare project

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Asfordby Captain’s Close Primary School in Asfordby, near Melton, is one of 10 schools nationwide to be selected as a ‘lead’ school as part of the Royal Shakespeare Company’s (RSC) national Associate Schools programme.

The RSC Associate Schools programme is a long-term partnership programme that aims to immerse teachers and students in new approaches to Shakespeare’s plays.

Teachers from Asfordby Captain’s Close will work intensively alongside practitioners from the RSC and the Royal Shakespeare Theatre at Stratford, to learn how RSC actors approach Shakespeare in the rehearsal room.

Director of Education for the RSC, Jacqui O’Hanlon, said: “Members of staff will work with theatre practitioners from the RSC to adapt techniques for the classroom - pushing desks to one side, getting the children up on their feet, speaking the words out loud and exploring the plays.

“Both pupils and teachers will work alongside each other in workshops and performance projects, developing their skills and knowledge. They will then recruit and lead a local network of schools who use Shakespeare’s play to lead the culture for learning in their schools.”

The school will work closely with the RSC for an initial two years and then have the opportunity to renew after this time.

Head teacher of Asfordby Captain’s Close School, Julia Hancock, said: “After extensive interviews and discussions, we’ve been selected to be a lead associate school for the RSC. This will enable us as a school to share all the fabulous work we started three years ago in our network, and enable other schools to develop their curriculums, with a real focus on language and engaging children in rich cultural experiences at the core of their learning.”

“We’re bursting with pride to be pioneering this in Leicestershire. We’re also very excited as our nominated regional theatre is the actual RSC theatre at Stratford.”