William Shakespeare, and more specifically Hamlet is the focus of a stimulating set of workshops for each of the three Year 6 forms during our current Carousel Weeks. The children began by acting out the ghost scene, in which Hamlet meets his dead father and learns of his father’s probable murder at the hands of Claudius, his ruthlessly ambitious brother. The children truly relished this activity.
Following on, the enthusiastic Year 6 pupils re-enacted The Murder of Gonzago, the ‘Mousetrap’ play, modified by Hamlet to help him establish the truth about Claudius. They learned about the amazing characters: about the spymaster Polonius and Ophelia, his unfortunate daughter, and about the ‘with friends like these, who needs enemies’ Rosencrantz and Guildenstern. They appreciated the loyalty of Horatio, the wit of the Clown/Gravedigger, and reflected on Hamlet’s indecision, his impulsiveness, his craft and eventual fate. They picked their way with increasing excitement through the chain of events towards the play’s dramatic, and tragic, denouement. With supporting video clips, they produced writing, artwork and a news report, while acting out key scenes from the drama.
This was a very productive and enjoyable week’s work for all! One Year 6 pupils commented, “I absolutely loved delving into Shakespeare and having the opportunity to act out some scenes. It really was fantastic fun!”
The Shakespeare series of workshops forms part of a carousel undertaken by all Year 6 pupils during the latter half of the Summer Term as they approach the end of the time at King’s St Alban’s. In addition to the Shakespeare week, pupils also spend a week immersed in Science and another in Information Technology (IT). This year’s cohort have been particularly enthusiastic in their approach to each of the diverse subject, ensuring that they get the most out of each and every activity.