Primary school children welcome plans to study Shakespeare
CHILDREN across Gloucestershire as young as five are to be taught about Shakespeare to mark the Bard's 450th birthday next year.
The plans have been backed by Education Minister Michael Gove and the week would encourage children to learn about the cultural legacy of William Shakespeare.
Children would be encouraged to cook traditional Tudor meals and learn about his work, life and about the age in which he lived.
Quite rich, famous and with an earring is the image children at Charlton Kings Infants' School painted of William Shakespeare when questioned about him.
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The pupils had some knowledge of Shakespeare through reading adapted children's stories based on his plays with their teacher Pauline Travers.
But headteacher Judith Pandazis thinks it is a good idea to teach them more.
Judith, who has been teaching at the school for nine years, said: "I think actually Michael Gove talks a lot of sense.
"I think Shakespeare's plays are very powerful just like the Bible stories we do.
"He said about teaching poetry to children and people thought it would be above their heads, but we start off with nursery rhymes.
"It is the same with Shakespeare, you keep it basic.
"I think it could be very relevant to teach the pupils provided the information we teach was adapted to be appropriate for their age." The children at Charlton Kings Infants' agreed that they would like to study Shakespeare and discussed why he was still important today.
Judith said: "We think the stories are so powerful and the children are eager to learn more."
Schools across Gloucestershire already teach pupils about the Bard through English and drama lessons, but Gove champions the idea of teaching children at a much younger age.
He said: "Shakespeare's language is our language. It's our inheritance."
The pupils at Charlton Kings School were enthusiastic at the idea of performing a Shakespeare play instead of the usual school pantomime and said they enjoyed reading his work. Geraint Lloyd-Lee, seven, said: "His plays are so fantastic."