Children’s Shakespeare Festival proves a massive hit with Oldham schoolkids

Date published: 18 July 2022

Around 250 Year 5 pupils from five Harmony Trust schools (Northmoor Academy, Westwood Academy, Richmond Academy, Greenhill Academy and Alt Academy) participated in the Oldham Children’s Shakespeare Festival.

In partnership with North-West Drama, the children explored the tragedy of Macbeth, acting and singing to tell parts of the story in their own words, which led to a performance at Oldham Coliseum in front of peers, family and friends.

The children’s live performances were also recorded and then streamed so they could watch their performances together from the comfort of their classrooms.

Tamanna Begum, the Year 5 teacher at Westwood Academy, said: “I love participating in the children's Shakespeare festival every year as I get to see the children come out of their shell and grow in confidence.

"The children have had fun exploring Macbeth in our drama lessons and it has been amazing to see the outcome they produced at the Coliseum.

"I am so proud of how hard they have worked.”

Antony Hughes, CEO of The Harmony Trust, added: “Our children perform and read Shakespeare like he intended, and it's another example of the breadth of a Harmony education.”

Amelia, from Greenhill Academy, said: "The festival was exciting and positive.

Children from Alt Academy pictured during rehearsals

"When the crowd cheered, my nerves calmed right down.

"I enjoyed merging with the other schools and experiencing how original each school's performance was."

Her classmate Eesa added: "It was brilliant; I loved being on stage and showing the world my talent."

The Harmony Trust is a multi-academy and school-led organisation based in Oldham, Tameside and Derby.

The Trust was set up in February 2014 with its core aim being to raise attainment in local schools. 

The Trust has the highest aspirations for its pupils, parents and staff members.

The Children’s Shakespeare Festivals are large-scale, inter-school festivals, which see participating teachers and their pupils explore a Shakespeare play through compelling drama in the classroom, before bringing together up to eight schools to perform on the stage of prestigious professional theatres.

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