Shakespeare leads to Stewards teaching award

Communities / Wed 7th May 2014 at 09:23am

Stewards Academy has been awarded The Prince’s Teaching Institute (PTI) Schools Leadership Mark.

THE aim of the PTI Schools Leadership Programme is to encourage schools to consider whole-school approaches to leadership, staffing and the curriculum that help to develop the quality, rigour and challenge experienced by pupils of all abilities and backgrounds.

Each school undertakes an action-based research project that will be of benefit to all participating schools.

The three year action research was led by Clare O’Sullivan and the English department of Stewards Academy and was rooted in the idea of setting aspirational challenges and broadening pupil frame of reference. It all began with the creation of a six week unit of work entitled: “Shakespeare on Love”. Pupils in year 9 were challenged to study six Shakespeare plays in six weeks!

The unit takes a thematic approach to teaching Shakespeare, focusing on aspects of love. From love at first sight, to obsessive, possessive love and of course, how far one would go for the sake of friendship. Pupils explore archetypal characters, context and language. They gain an understanding and appreciation for theatricality and stagecraft. Performance is central and pupils are asked to “walk” the plays to develop empathy and consolidate opinions about characters, their actions and the overall plot.

Ultimately, the unit addresses the need to transform pupil attitudes to literature through inspirational teaching and aspirational learning, dramatically increasing rates of progress towards externally set examinations. Pupils gain in confidence and interest along the way; teachers are able to fully exploit their creativity and resourcefulness, indulge in collaborative planning and team teaching; and all involved, feel invigorated and enthused for whatever changes or pressures lay ahead.

Headteacher Rhonda Murthar said, “Stewards is proud to be a recipient of the PTI Leadership Award in recognition of the work of our English department. Inspirational teaching and a love of your subject is at the heart of the work of the PTI and so this recognition means a lot to us.”

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