Many people will know that my pupils have SEN. Their academic ability for reading and writing is around P5 to P8. At the time of this lesson all 10 pupils were boys. To allow for their cognitive level and their gender I was ad-libbing Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet as I went through the play. Only one of the boys can read but they all love a good yarn.

The scene was set. I was about to divulge the wonder of the famous Balcony Scene. Unchained Melody was playing in the background to give an air of romance and the children were hanging on to every word. I was in full flow describing how Juliet had brushed her hair a hundred times to make it shine before bed. She’d scrubbed her face until it glowed (one reluctant boy had his hair brushed and face washed to demonstrate) and she was looking wistfully out of the window. In fact, said I, she looked drop dead gorgeous! What do you think boys? Would you have fancied her when she stepped out on to that balcony to look for Romeo? One bright spark chirped up, ‘Ooh no! She didn’t brush her teeth! Her breath will stink’! The poppet next to him said ‘But did she have her dressing gown and slippers on? She’ll be freezing!’ A third boy said ‘She’s going to get done, her Mum and Dad will come up and tell her off for going outside at bedtime’.

I think the essence of the balcony scene may have been lost on my class of 11 year old boys. However, they gave me and my TAs a good giggle and ensured that we’ll never forget that scene. Bless them, everyone of them!