GDST Juniors: where learning comes to life

As part of Guided Home Learning, GDST juniors have enjoyed a wealth of cross-Trust collaborative events created in partnership with some of the UK’s most iconic institutions

GDST Junior school students have enjoyed a spring term packed full of exciting and inspiring cross-Trust events held in partnership with some of the country’s most venerated institutions.

The GDST has long-running relationships with the Royal Institution and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. Annual day trips to both these iconic venues have long been part and parcel of the Junior school experience. The Coronavirus pandemic changed everything, but technology meant that rather than the students travelling to the venues, the RI and Globe came to the GDST as part of Guided Home Learning.


More than 1,000 girls logged on for a time-travelling, country-hopping online storytelling of Shakespeare’s The Winter’s Tale


Technology has increased the GDST’s reach during this past term, matched only by the Trust’s ambition to provide a fun, exciting and inspirational way of teaching the core subjects of English, Maths and Science.  Rather than tens of girls taking part in events, hundreds have joined the exclusive online events, made possible by the GDST’s relationships with these organisations.

The GDST Globe project was an exclusive project put together by the education team at Shakespeare’s Globe theatre for GDST girls from Reception to Year 6. It kicked off with an interactive, time-travelling, country-hopping online storytelling of The Winter’s Tale for girls in Years 2, 3 and 4 and more than 1,000 Junior school pupils logged on. The aim was to make Shakespeare accessible to the youngest pupils, nurturing an enthusiasm for theatre and drama through live performances and fun interactive follow-up activities. The Globe project continued right through the Spring term with a performance of  The Tempest, adapted for girls in Reception and Years 1 and 2, and culminating in a retelling of Henry V for Years 4, 5 and 6.


Thousand of GDST pupils have had front row seats for spectacular science demonstrations at the Royal Institution that would be too dangerous to do in school


Will Wareing, Deputy Director of Education at the GDST, said:

“These retellings of well-known Shakespeare works are really accessible to our junior school pupils. The workshops are fun and informal, exploring key themes and encouraging girls to get physical in their interpretation of the stories.”

The thrill of live action was not limited to drama though. Throughout February and March, GDST girls in Years 3-6 were able to join in with some spectacular science courtesy of the presenters from the L’Oréal Young Scientist Centre at the Royal Institution, who put together a series of exciting virtual science workshops. Pupils participated in exciting experiments from home;  they saw rainbow fire and optical illusions and heard crashes and bangs as part of this series of fun and interactive sessions which all used equipment they could find at home. They all had had the opportunity to join in with the presenters and ask questions, too.

Alex Farrer, the Head of Junior Science at Wimbledon High School, said:

“Whilst we were disappointed that the national lockdown prevented the annual Junior Science Day from taking place at the Royal Institution, it provided us with a very exciting new opportunity. The RI was able to open to us virtually, giving thousands of GDST pupils front row seats for a series of bespoke science shows on a range of topics such as Fire, Light, Sounds and Chemical Reactions. Each show has been full of fabulous demonstrations that wouldn’t have been possible to see at school as they were way too dangerous. The shows have created a real buzz and excitement around science and have had such a wide reach. Everyone is looking forward to the grand finale show on 27thApril. Thank you, RI, – you have made science simply spectacular!”