English students at The Sixth Form College, Solihull have been immersing themselves in all things Shakespeare this term, with a series of visits and seminars focusing on Much Ado About Nothing, Love’s Labour’s Lost and Othello.

The students have been to watch the RSC at Stratford perform the two comedies and also travelled up to Manchester recently to watch a Frantic Assembly production of Othello at the Lowry Theatre. They also took part in an Othello workshop at Keele University with Drs Rebecca Yearling and Nick Seager.

Their focus on Shakespeare’s famous tragedy culminated in a workshop in College with journalist and Shakespeare expert Jerome Monahan this week. This was a drama-based workshop of active approaches designed to explore not only Othello but also Love’s Labour’s Lost and Much Ado About Nothing, while exploring their broader cultural and playhouse contexts. The workshop was designed to inspire the students to creative and interpretative responses of Shakespeare’s work, to aid them with their OCR Extended Project qualification which is the intended outcome of the Shakespeare Academy Programme.

The College’s Shakespeare Academy is a specialist enrichment offered to very able students with serious ambitions to study English at university. The final project they produce (their Extended Projects) is highly regarded by universities and instrumental in encouraging offers of places on highly prestigious and competitive University courses.

Therese Down, Curriculum Leader for English at the College said: “The students have been fantastic this year. We have had 100% attendance on all of the Academy’s trips and theatre visits and I am very excited at some of the innovative and original artefacts already taking shape in preparation for their Extended Project Qualifications.”

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