A COLLABORATION between the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC), Stratford’s Welcombe Hills School and electronics giant Samsung has scooped a top education award.
The BETT awards accolade, in the ‘Collaboration With A School’ category, was awarded for a two-day Romeo and Juliet school takeover last summer delivered by the school and RSC Education using Samsung technology.
The awards recognise excellence and innovation in the use of technology in the classroom, and judges were particularly impressed by the impact the project had on the whole school, with more than 180 pupils at Welcombe Hills, which caters for children with a wide range of additional needs, participating in the project.
Samsung Gear VR and Gear 360 cameras and the use of multi-technologies transported the pupils directly into the world of Romeo and Juliet.
Children designed costumes on interactive Samsung Flips, created their own soundscapes on Samsung Galaxy tablets.
Different areas of the school were also transformed into Friar Lawrence’s apothecary, a bustling marketplace and the tomb where the star-crossed lovers meet their tragic end.
As well as extracts from the text, a series of touch switches, props and interactive projections throughout the school allowed pupils to physically explore the play’s language, themes and setting through site, smell, taste, touch and sound.
The project was developed by the school’s ‘Shakespeare Squad’ – a team of 20 pupils at the school who meet once a week as part of the school’s ongoing work in the RSC’s Associate Schools Programme powered by Samsung.
Jo Bradley, assistant headteacher at Welcombe Hills, said: “Shakespeare’s plays are timeless and the extraordinary storylines and powerful characters naturally appeal to our young people.
“The school was buzzing with excitement. The pupils were challenged and inspired. Teachers found new, creative approaches which could be used across the whole of the curriculum and we demonstrated how we could use Shakespeare as a catalyst to progress in all other curriculum areas.”
Jessie Park, at Samsung Electronics UK, said, “We are honoured to be recognised for our work with the RSC and Welcombe Hills School at the prestigious BETT Awards.
“It was rewarding and humbling to see our technology open up opportunities for all of the students to engage in the activities and we’re grateful for everyone’s passion in making this programme possible.”