Students at a Walthamstow primary school spent a week learning about the life and times of Britain's most famous playwright

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Year 2 pupils – all aged 7 (left to right) Amy, Nehir, Dolly, (behind) Ahmed, Bailey, Shakira, Nirrushan, (front) Zayne and Rachel taking part in an Active Shakespeare workshop at Henry Maynard Primary School Year 2 pupils – all aged 7 (left to right) Amy, Nehir, Dolly, (behind) Ahmed, Bailey, Shakira, Nirrushan, (front) Zayne and Rachel taking part in an Active Shakespeare workshop at Henry Maynard Primary School

Centuries after Britain’s most famous playwright penned Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet and The Tempest school children as young as six have been learning about his life.

The children of Henry Maynard School spent the week getting to know the work of William Shakespeare and learning about the very different London which he knew.

Speeches from the plays inspired students at the Maynard Road school in Walthamstow.

Assistant headteacher Pauline Casbolt said that it has been a whole school effort.

“We have had a whole week dedicated to Shakespeare in this the 450th anniversary year of his birth,” she said.

“The hope was that the children would leave the workshops with their heads buzzing with Shakespeare’s language and a real curiosity about Shakespeare’s plays and his life and times.

“We have staged performances of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with teachers playing some of the fairies.”

Specialist Jerome Monahan from education consultants TT Education was brought in to help.

He said: “It would be easy to think his plays and language might be a bit intimidating for these age-groups, but not if made entertaining and engaging.”

Year Two teacher Giulia Dilalio said: “The children loved the activities.

“It was interesting to see how quickly the children developed their language skills by learning phrases and whole lines.”

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