Year 6 Stratford-upon-Avon Residential - Amesbury School
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School News

We left for Stratford early on Wednesday 12 February, arriving in good time to have lunch before the workshop at the RSC. The focus of the workshop was to explore aspects of Shakespeare’s ‘Romeo and Juliet’ in more depth. Pupils learnt how an appreciation of context and some background knowledge of a play adds to a performance. Many pupils impressed with their understanding of Shakespeare’s language which we had begun to study before the trip. The leaders of the workshop emphasised how timing and tone affects meaning when delivering lines.

‘Suit the action to the word, the word to the action.’ (Hamlet)

At The Birthplace Trust, we learnt the details of Shakespeare’s childhood through a tour of his house, seeing for ourselves the conditions in which he lived. We all appreciated his father’s glove workshop would have been ‘pungent’ (to say the least) as leather in those days was treated using urine!

We arrived and happily settled into our dorms and literally inhaled our delicious supper that evening. The staff at Blackwell commented on how well the children ate (and how much!) and how sociable they all were. After our post supper review of the day, we settled down to playing board games which proved very popular.

The weather was mostly kind on Thursday morning as we kitted up for the morning activities of crate stacking, archery and zip wire. These were all very popular and there was much discussion over lunch about the correct technique needed in archery and how scary it had been for those who had chosen to attempt the zip wire upside down!

The afternoon in Stratford proved to be a highlight of the trip: the walking tour with Helen and John was immensely interesting as was the Backstage Tour of the Royal Shakespeare Theatre and the Swan Theatre. Many of Year 6 were fascinated by the facts they learnt including the treatment of a sore throat in Tudor times was to dangle a frog down one’s throat as the frog saliva was found to have antiseptic qualities (this is where the phrase ‘having a frog in your throat’ comes from!) and the fact that the RSC make all their own props (including wigs and beards) on site. One pupil commented during the Backstage Tour that ‘this is the most interesting thing I have ever done’ which was echoed by many others.

‘All the world’s a stage, And the men and women merely players.’ (As You Like It)

We were very proud to receive such positive feedback from our tour guides about our Year 6’s: they thanked us for the enthusiasm and interest the children had shown through their excellent listening and the number and quality of questions asked and answered. Thank you Year 6 for showing Stratford your brilliant qualities and for being such fun!

‘Be patient, for the world is broad and wide.’ (Romeo and Juliet)

A sincere thank you also goes to Mr Hamilton, Mrs Glazebrook, Mr O’Reilly, Miss Forder and Mrs Kean for your energy, commitment and endless humour on the trip.

Mrs Bayne, Co-Head of English

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