Lancashire Special School & Fleetwood Schools Drama Celebrations & Film
Rachel Gartside, a RSC actress and education advisor, has been developing students’ confidence by using drama. Working with nine local schools, The Grand Theatre, and the Royal Shakespeare Company. They are performing Mid Summer’s Night Dream for the 400th-anniversary celebrations.
Each school in the cluster has chosen a little chunk of the play and are going to share this. Every school will film their individual part that they have acted out. All the individual contributions will be part of an afternoon and evening film performance where parents and class staff can celebrate their children’s productions.
It is premiered at Larkholme Primary School Fleetwood in June.
Rachel praised the children’s enthusiasm and said it gives them a great sense of achievement.
Drama helps by enabling understanding the characters and events in the play. New learning and understanding come through the use of new expressive language and role play.
The senior class enjoys wearing costumes, using props and learning actions. Some students have learnt to recite lines. Every student has gained increased confidence.
The focus is on how they deal with their feelings by using some of the words that come from Midsummer’s Night Dream. These are in the same language spoken four hundred years ago. It explores the many different contexts of the play and celebrates its famous words.
Rachel says all pupils have the right to speech and understand how these words make us feel. By making children feel confident, they can speak something that is old-fashioned, may appear boring or perhaps has nothing to do with us. It is a vital part of our English heritage.
The purpose is to get the students to feel the language and the meaning behind the words. When the hobgoblins are teasing the four young lovers lost in the woods, they speak the words that those characters speak. Teachers agree that Shakespeare’s is excellent for teaching effective speaking and listening skills.
The biggest thing and the most enabling about drama is its ability for creating connectedness to be characters in the story. By imagining ourselves differently and by putting ourselves in some else's shoes learners have experiences that they might not get a chance to have in their ordinary lives.
The Mid Summer’s performance is about being heartbroken and confused. They help pupils learn about common human experiences. Within the story and the play, young people can practice what that feel like in a safe space.
The most enabling thing about working in drama for Rachel Gartside is its ability to deliver deep empathy that is created by actively acting and being in the stories you are playing in.
Nicky Jackson, a Red Marsh Special School English teacher, praised the children’s enthusiasm and says it gives them a great sense of achievement.
Videography and editor Fraser McMillan https://www.linkedin.com/in/fwmcmillan