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Teaching Shakespeare in the 21st Century

             In 2010, OFSTED produced a report about creative approaches to teaching and learning with a focus on raising standards. They visited 44 schools, 19 of which were secondary schools that had received good or outstanding from their most recent inspection. Where creative approaches to teaching and learning had the biggest impact and the greatest improvements shown was in schools that were considered to be in challenging circumstances: "(schools) with a higher than average proportion of pupils eligible for free schools meals, low attainment on entry and high rates of pupil mobility ΜΆ showed the greatest improvements in: pupils' ability to draw discerningly on a range of data and work collaboratively to solve problems; their reading and writing; their speaking and listening; and their personal development." (Ofsted, 2010) .
             This report contained a case-study where students in one of the schools studied Macbeth and not only performed the play to an invited audience, they also participated in producing costumes, designing and building the set (while working alongside professionals). Ofsted praised the staff at the school in question for providing a learning environment of the highest quality as the students showed that they were confident and had positive attitudes. The findings from this case-study is proof that a holistic experience with high expectations transfers into positive outcomes for the students. I don't find it surprising that when students are aware that their efforts will be received by an audience – be it an audience of parents and carers, or simply inviting members of SLT to see the efforts of the students – it will motivate and impact pupils in a positive manner. A holistic learning experience is recognised for leading students to a broader understanding of the whole topic but 'doing' does not always ensure learning; though in my eyes it certainly helps to facilitate.

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