Our Partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company
In 2013 we as a school applied to the Royal Shakespeare Company (the RSC) to become part of their Learning Network and work in partnership with them to educate; not only our students and staff, but also students and staff from other local Secondary and Primary Schools.
We were successful in our application and the next three years were full of exciting visits from Directors, Actors and Theatre professionals.
Our staff were trained to deliver Shakespeare through active learning techniques (workshops and performance) and the experience gained working with the RSC has been invaluable.
Over the 3 years we have had the opportunity to work with professional actors, directors and writers and our engagement with Shakespeare has spanned many subjects including English, Drama, Art and Humanities.
Due to the amazing success of the partnership it has been decided by the RSC that our school should be given the honour of being an Associate School.
Our staff continue to receive training from members of the RSC and we continue to use active learning techniques in school. As a result our students' understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s work continues to grow.
This year our school is working with students from Eldwick Primary in a collaborative performance of The Tempest which will be performed in school to an audience of friends and family at the end of June.
Our 3 Year Partnership Activities:
- Three Plays: To launch the partnership, our students performed a series of three plays - Much Ado About Nothing, Othello and The Winter’s Tale, with Julia O’Keeffe (RSC Regional Co-ordinator) working with our students running after school workshops.
- Alhambra Workshops: Julia O'Keeffe also ran a workshop at the Alhambra on a Saturday for KS2 and KS3 parents and students to attend.
- Live Streamed Performance: We were privileged to watch a live performance of Richard II starring David Tennant which was live streamed from the RSC in Stratford. We invited students and staff from our cluster schools to join us from across Bradford.
- Active Learning: We integrated active learning into our curriculum across the school whilst developing our online community and sharing schemes of work/practical work developed by our staff with our cluster schools.
- RSC Performance at BGS: Staff/Students from across Bradford came together for a second time to attend a live theatre event watching The Taming of the Shrew. The RSC director and actors also ran a workshop after the performance which was extremely valuable to the students and staff. The performance was also open to families and the wider community to attend with two ticketed evening performances which were very well attended.
- Teaching The Teachers: In September our LPN (Learning Performance Network) staff plus Julia O’Keefe from Bradford Theatres visited the RSC in Stratford for training.
- Performance Rehearsals: Our students and our cluster schools began rehearsals.
- Incorporating Active Learning into Lessons: Year 8 began studying The Tempest and Year 9 began studying Macbeth in Drama lessons.
- Voice and Movement Workshops: Led by the RSC at Bingley Grammar.
- Alhambra Workshops: Student/Parent workshop led by the RSC aimed at introducing Shakespeare in preparation for GCSEs.
- Residential Trip: Residential Trip to Stratford (including 2 student leaders) looking at set design, costume and marketing.
- Shakespeare in Kenya: Trip to the Jamhuri High School Kenya to develop international links with students and teachers and introduce them to the works of Shakespeare.
- Live Streamed Performance: We watched our second live streamed Shakespeare play, the sequel to Love Labour’s Lost, Love Labour’s Won (Much Ado About Nothing).
- Cluster School’s Workshops: Love Labour’s Won (Much Ado About Nothing).
- Festival Week including Elizabethan Day: Live Jousting/Falconry/Archery/Fencing with the backdrop of Othello, stage combat and directing workshops linked to Othello and finally an RSC evening performance in school for friends and family.
- RSC Residential: A group of students were taken to Stratford for a two day residential. They became leaders of the RSC festival for this year looking at the marketing, stage design and costume design (being minimalistic).
- Staff Awards: Our LPN staff were awarded their PG certificates in Shakespeare by David Tennant.
- Alhambra Performance Rehearsals: Auditions and Rehearsals began for Alhambra performance of Midsummer Night’s Dream. The students were trained by our staff and also the RSC Director, Robin Belfield who came to do workshops with the students.
- RSC Performance at the Alhambra: Bingley Grammar students plus hundreds of students from our cluster schools performed A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Alhambra theatre to friends and family.
- RSC Regional Schools Celebrations: A group of Bingley Grammar and Cluster School students took part in the RSC Regional Schools Celebrations performing at the RSC in Stratford.
- Elizabethan Day: Live Jousting/Falconry/Archery/Fencing with Shakespeare workshops.
In 2016 Bingley Grammar School was awarded the 'Business in Schools Award' for our highly successful partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company.
During our three year partneship we were a 'hub' for schools in the local area and so far our partnership has benefitted over 4000 students.