RSC launches recognition scheme for teachers tackling Shakespeare

Written by: Emma Lee-Potter | Published:
Recognition: Teachers during an RSC-run workshop. Educators using RSC rehearsal-based techniques will be able to get certificates recognising their work (Image: RSC)

Teachers will get the chance to be recognised as experts at teaching Shakespeare – thanks to a new series of certificates launched by the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC).

The Teaching Shakespeare certificates are designed for teachers at all stages of their careers.

They give teachers the opportunity to use the RSC’s rehearsal-based techniques in the classroom. These techniques have been adapted for schools and include strategies like pushing desks to one side, getting students up on their feet, speaking Shakespeare’s words out loud, and exploring texts to unlock their language and meaning.

The first courses to obtain the Teaching Shakespeare certificates will start in November this year.

New teachers and those new to teaching Shakespeare will be able to start at foundation level. Teachers who are already familiar with the RSC’s approaches but want to extend their knowledge can begin at intermediate level and then progress to the final certification level. Everyone who completes the Teaching Shakespeare programme will receive an RSC certificate that acknowledges their level of expertise.

“We’re really excited to be able to offer teachers a support structure for their work with us,” said Jacqui O’Hanlon, the RSC’s director of education.

“We already work with teachers all over the country, many of whom are hugely experienced and have real expertise in the most effective ways to teach Shakespeare to children and young people.

“Using these approaches in the classroom reveals a new way of learning that fires imaginations and motivates young minds and this new certificate means that those teachers can now be officially recognised and rewarded as specialists.”

Carol O’Shea, head of reading development at King Ethelbert School in Birchington, Kent, has taken part in a number of training days at the RSC and is firmly in favour of the new certificates.

“The certificates in teaching Shakespeare will provide an excellent step-up for classroom teachers of English,” she said.

“They can benefit not only from the inspiration that is always the outcome of active approaches to training, but also from gaining a further professional qualification for their portfolios as teachers.”


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