Shakespeare Ambassadors

The Shakespeare Ambassadors at Newburgh are passionate about Shakespeare, they believe the arts matter and want their voices to be heard. They celebrate Shakespeare, performing and encourage other young people to join them. They are responsible for the running of the whole school Shakespeare performance by introducing and giving positive feedback to classes, celebrating their artistic efforts. They drive projects such as the Newburgh talent show and encourage all children to perform and succeed. We believe by giving children important leadership roles within school that they will take the learnt skills into their future and become great achievers.

Newburgh as an RSC Lead Associate School

Research consistently shows that young people who experience an arts-rich education are more likely to do well at school, be more employable and become more active engaged citizens. We have been a Lead Associate School with the RSC since 2017. Being an RSC Lead Associate School means that we are making an impacting on children’s experience of Shakespeare and the arts. Not only the children in our school, but children in our associate schools’ group. In 2022 we were awarded an Artsmark Alliance Platinum Award from the British Art Council UK in recognition of our commitment to provide arts and cultural opportunities over a number of years. 

Implementation in school

We use the RSC’s rehearsal room techniques to introduce Shakespeare’s plays. It’s very practical, fun and specifically planned so children who are perhaps lacking in confidence, are supported and have a positive experience of Shakespeare. The themes of Shakespeare’s play are very engaging to children. There’s death, love, deceit, marriage, murder, suicide, revenge, inequality, justice, power, verbal abuse, knife crime, democracy and choice. All of these themes are still relevant today and it’s a way in to discuss these themes and explore them at an age appropriate level in a safe environment.

Each year in the spring term the whole school, EYFS to Year 6, will focus on the same Shakespeare play. At the end of the half term each child in the school will go on stage and perform in a scene from the play. This topic and experience unites the school and the Newburgh community. We know that children transform during this topic as performing a play requires them to develop resilience, self-confidence, communication, responsibility, it expands their vocabulary and all of the skills that they develop filter in to other areas of learning such as maths and writing. The quality of written work in particular increases as the children are invested in the plot and can empathise well with the characters thoughts and feelings.

Our pupils in year 5 have the opportunity to experience and take part in the RSC playmaking festival by performing their scenes on stage at a local theatre with our Associate Schools. In the past we have performed The Tempest, Romeo and Juliet, Merchant of Venice, Much Ado about Nothing, Julius Caesar and more! This exciting challenge allows children to work together as actors to discuss lines, possible artistic representations for characters actions and use their music skills to create sound effects to add to the impact of the scene. Children take ownership of this process and are able to develop and build on the ideas of others to create an outstanding performance.