A thriving independent school in Liphook has struck gold with its commitment to the stage.

Highfield and Brookham Schools has performed plays penned by the Bard at public theatres for seven years as part of a scheme run by the Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation.

As a result, the prep, pre-prep and nursery has secured Shakespeare Gold School status.

Having successfully staged The Tempest at G Live in Guildford, the school’s busy thespians, led by head of drama Sarah Baird, show no signs of stopping there.

For the past seven years, children in Year 7 have performed classic Shakespeare plays such as Much Ado About Nothing, Henry V and Romeo and Juliet to appreciative audiences in Guildford and Basingstoke.

Such is their dedication to Coram’s Shakespearean cause that in 2021, with the Covid-19 pandemic having closed theatres, the young actors took to the woods on the Highfield and Brookham estate to stage an adaptation of Macbeth.

Highfield headteacher Suzannah Cryer, who set the ball rolling with the Coram Foundation in 2016 while head of drama before passing on the baton to Mrs Baird, said she was “immensely proud” of the school’s golden achievement.

“Having been immersed in drama for many years, I know only too well how challenging it is to put on a stage play,” she said.

“It is testament to the outstanding skills and dedication of Mrs Baird and the enthusiasm, talent and devotion of the children who perform that the school has secured this accolade.

“School life is always busy, so to turn around a play of the magnitude of anything written by Shakespeare in just a few short weeks, with so much to consider on and off the stage, is nothing short of phenomenal and I take my hat off to Mrs Baird and her Year 7 charges.”

The Shakespeare success perhaps is no surprise as Highfield and Brookham prides itself on each year group – from nursery to Year 8 – putting on at least one performance each school year.