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Writing project goes down a storm

PLAYS CREATED by 10-year-olds inspired by Shakespeare are helping pupils to improve their writing skills. Directors and actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company have helped pupils in Year 5 at Tiverton primary school in Haringey, north London, and Year 6 pupils at South Harringay junior school in Haringey to write plays based on The Tempest.

The plays were performed for the children by drama students from a local college. The project kicked off in January when the RSC assistant director, Steve Marmion, introduced pupils to The Tempest, which 14-year-olds will be tested on later this year.

Afterwards, the pupils chose which characters to write about. Dee Buchanan, a Y5 teacher at Tiverton primary, said: "My class chose Caliban and asked what he would do if he came across Prospero. We did some soliloquies and they talked about each character's thoughts. Then we put it all together."

The pupils split into groups and the final version was made up from the best ideas. An assistant director or actors visited to do drama workshops based on what they had written.

The project also included a trip to see a West End performance of The Tempest.

John Sharman, a Y6 teacher at South Harringay junior, said: "I thought it would be a difficult play to do, but the children just see it as a fantastic story full of magic."

Play inspired by The Tempest

Caliban's Revenge (Dee Buchanan's Y5 class, Tiverton primary) Caliban wants revenge on Prospero. He finds Prospero's magic book and tries to enslave everyone on the island.

But Prospero has a secret page from the magic book and freezes everything.

They agree to both rule the island.

The Picture (Frances Jordan's Y6 class, South Harringay junior) Ferdinand and Miranda have a son, Adam. They all go to a museum and see Prospero. Sycorax has enslaved Ariel and Caliban in a picture in the museum.

Adam goes into the picture and brings Ariel and Caliban back into the museum. Miranda is angry that her son was put in danger and argues with Prospero. But they make up and go for hotdogs and a drink.

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