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Shakespeare Week

23 March 2014

From 16th – 21st March, a unique initiative took place at the British International School, Abu Dhabi called Shakespeare Week! Shakespeare Week was an innovative educational project aimed at generating a love for reading by bringing Shakespeare to life vividly for all 1250 children at the school.

Theatres, museums, galleries, cinemas and over 2000 schools in the UK took part. At BIS Abu Dhabi, students had a range of ‘off timetable’ activities taking place, including a Shakespeare quiz, bookmark competition, screening of gnomeo and juliet, and a classroom door decoration competition amongst many other things.

‘I really enjoyed Shakespeare week and learnt lots of facts about him. For example, he had 3 children and two of them were twins. The play l learned about was Macbeth. He was a jealous person and had a wife who desperately wanted to be Queen. My favourite part of the whole week though was dressing up as a character from one of Shakespeare’s plays. It was great to see everyone in different clothes, even the teachers!’ Malak Elahangi, Year 5.

The activity ‘drop everything and read’ (DEAR) generated lots of excitement. DEAR involved students walking around school with a whistle to signal that you should be reading. Anybody caught without a book in their hand was in trouble!

A number of Shakespeare flash mobs also sprung up around school with some wonderful re-enactments of famous Shakespeare moments taking place. Mrs Wallace, Principal of the school was actually going about her regular duties when a group of year 8 students burst into her office to act out a scene from Hamlet.

‘Shakespeare Week has been a great way to exemplify our High Performance Learning approach. We have had children as young as 5 years old engaging with Shakespearian plays in a way that they understand and is relevant to their learning and development. It has been a huge success for us’ said Mrs Wallace.

The week culminated with a dress up day where teachers and students came to school dressed as Tudors or characters from Shakespeare’s plays.  The British International School plans to hold Shakespeare Week again next year and hopes that other schools in Abu Dhabi might also take part