STUDENTS from Chailey Heritage School - part of Sussex charity Chailey Heritage Foundation - took part in the School Shakespeare Festival.

This gave them the chance to perform in a real theatre and the performance took place at The Old Market Theatre in Brighton.

Chailey Heritage School is a special school for children with complex disabilities, including cerebral palsy and multiple learning disabilities.

The drama festival is open to both special and mainstream schools, allowing students and staff at Chailey Heritage School to challenge themselves.

The students spent a whole term rehearsing their own interpretation of The Tempest by playing with movement, music and the language of Shakespeare.

Staff and volunteers built up a close working relationship with the students by supporting them throughout the process.

Drama is an integral part of the school’s curriculum as it helps staff to engage with the children and young people in new and exciting ways, despite their needs.

Helen Dunman, a specialist teacher at Chailey Heritage School, said: “It was great to be able to show people in the local community exactly how creative and talented our students are.

“Everyone performed brilliantly in their particular roles and delighted our audience.”

Drama is very popular with the young people at Chailey Heritage Foundation but the current hall and stage, built in 1958, is totally unsuitable for today’s students.

The charity launched a £2.6 million appeal, The Dream Centre Appeal, to expand their facilities at the main site in North Chailey near Lewes.