The spirit of the Renaissance was brought to life in the first major entertainment event term, masterminded by Head of English, Caroline Paice. The evening, inspired by the passion for learning in the sixteenth century, was an exciting and collaborative way for teachers, parents and students to share their interests and take part in a variety of hands on activities from across the curriculum.
The science department demonstrated the wonders and gruesome truths of scientific discovery with a Leonardo da Vinci anatomy workshop, even creating authentic-looking pen and ink diagrams.
Parents, students and teachers put their artistic talents to the test by helping to create a giant fresco masterpiece using eggs and powder paint, imitating the paint used in the Renaissance, one of the oldest techniques in the world. They also joined in life drawing sessions of student models in Elizabethan dress who posed with props to reflect the age.
Throughout the evening, students played period music from the dining hall minstrels’ gallery, to complement the costumes, food and decoration which even included a papier-mâché ‘roasted’ pig’s head sculpture.
After reading about the history and theatre of the age in a specially created ‘Shakespeare’s World’ exhibition, everyone could try their hand at generating Shakespearean insults – such as the alliterative ‘flap-mouthed froward flax-wench’ – and complete to write an Elizabethan-style sonnet.
There was even the opportunity for a sneak a preview of this year’s upcoming whole school production of Shakespeare’s ‘Twelfth Night’ (Performances on 11, 12 and 13 February 2013).
“There was buzz in the air all evening and it was inspiring to see so many people involved in trying something new,” said Headteacher Kathryn Pullen. “The evening also brought together science, English, art, drama and music in a way that shows exactly how our girls are not and should not be limited by any narrow academic boundaries in their enjoyment of learning.”