Penrice Elizabethan Fair

On Tuesday 10th of July, the sun rose high above the trees, casting long shadows over the bunting and marquees on the fields at Penrice.

The smell of baking bread hung in the air, mixing with smoke from the clay ovens, before drifting across the field on a gentle breeze.

Minstrels broke into a spirited rendition of Greensleeves and a hawk rose high into the sky; a copper silhouette etched on the steel blue. Penrice Academy’s first Elizabethan fair was open for business.

Determined to engage students with all things Shakespeare, the MAble team at Penrice teamed up with Westcountry Falconry; the jesters at Higher Being Performers and the jewellery maker ‘Steel Maiden’ to recreate the sounds, sights and feel of an Elizabethan fair on the Sports Field.

Opened at 9am by St Austell Mayor, Councillor Gary King, the fair was quickly in full swing as four hundred primary and secondary students immersed themselves in watching hawks and jesters before taking part in activities including calligraphy, archery and baking bread.

Over 1500 young people visited the fair throughout the day, including Year 6s from local primary schools who were celebrating their KS2 SATs results in a unique manner.

Mrs Gurd, Assistant Principal and newly appointed MAble co coordinator, said: “This was a wonderful celebration of literature and history. It’s so important for the community of St Austell that primary children are included in events such as these, to give them a fantastic insight into what high-end learning is like.”

All elements of the day’s curriculum had an Elizabethan twist, with PE groups playing Battledore, scientists becoming natural philosophers and geography classes exploring the boundaries of the known world.

It’s been a year that’s already seen Penrice Academy pushing boundaries when it comes to experience inside and outside the classroom, with immense sporting success, an Evening in Space – complete with fire and rockets – and an exclusive lecture from the BBC’s Blue Planet Producer Johnathan Smith.

The purpose of the day was summed up in the words of a Year 8 student: ‘Who knew that Shakespeare could be so cool?’

See more pictures from the day in our gallery.