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Primary Schools Across the Nation Invited to Take Part in Interactive Educational Activities Throughout the New School Year


The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s (SBT) learning programme provides Early Years and Foundation Stage through to Key Stage 2 pupils with an unforgettable experience walking in the footsteps of young Shakespeare through hands-on workshops at Mary Arden’s Farm. In acknowledgement of the challenges facing schools, the SBT has maintained prices at the levels set in 2021.

As the new term begins, the interactive learning workshops, developed by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s (SBT) education team, are a unique opportunity for primary school teachers to introduce young children to Shakespeare in an innovative and captivating way, sparking curiosity, and creating a positive first impression and experience with the iconic writer.

‘’For some children, our learning workshops are often the first place they experience Shakespeare and the world he lived in. Through the range of activities, they also serve as a way of igniting curiosity and fostering creativity. Therefore, maintaining our prices and remaining competitive was vital as it allows more schools to offer their pupils an unforgettable and educational trip.

‘’Now, as we embark on a new school term for primary school children across the UK, and as we continue to mark our Folio at 400 celebrations, it has never been a better time to visit Mary Arden’s Farm and get stuck in walking in the footsteps of young William and his mother.’’

Commented Nicola Hawley, primary education manager at the SBT.

Whether bringing Tudors Alive, discovering the worlds of Shakespeare’s Stories in the place of his earliest inspiration, or simply exploring a heritage farm stocked with rare-breed animals, school sessions at Mary Arden’s Farm offer a dynamic and unforgettable learning experience.

Sessions include Planting the Seeds for Shakespeare, which start early years children on their own sensory journey with Shakespeare. Tailored for Key Stage 1, Sharing Shakespeare’s Story invites teachers to immerse their class in the source of Shakespeare’s inspiration through a series of rhymes, games and storytelling. Key Stage 2 workshops include Tudors Alive! that involves pupils spending the day as a Tudor child helping on the farm as well as exciting drama sessions that explore Shakespeare’s plays in fun and interactive ways.

The SBT’s learning team also provide outreach workshops for primary schools located within a 60-minute travel radius of Stratford-upon-Avon, offering an alternative for those unable to visit the farm. Sessions include an energic and interactive storytelling workshop and a hands-on, history-based workshop.

Celebrating 400 Years of Shakespeare’s First Folio

To mark the 400th anniversary of the publication of the First Folio, the book that brought the majority of Shakespeare’s plays together for the first time, the learning team have produced a new Children’s Folio.

Shakespeare’s First Folio, a Children’s Edition includes all 36 plays in the original First Folio in an abridged form that makes performing the works simple for small groups of children. Aimed at 7 to 14 year olds the new Children’s Folio uses only Shakespeare’s original language, so children can experience all the evocative and powerful language and phrases in an accessible way.

‘‘We want to ensure that every child has a positive first experience with Shakespeare. Alongside the learning workshops at Mary Arden’s Farm, we also have the Children’s Folio, which makes it easier for young learners to explore and perform Shakespeare’s most iconic and often unheard-of plays in under 20 minutes. This is a great resource for teachers who want to engage their pupils with the life, work, and times of Shakespeare but who are unable to visit the farm.

‘’We will also be marking the 10th anniversary of Shakespeare Week in 2024. Celebrations will include a series of free online and in-person events and activities open to all schools.’’

Added Andy Reeves, head of learning development at the SBT.

To celebrate the wonder of books, the magic of the plays and the universality of Shakespeare’s language, the SBT is committing to distribute over 10,000 copies of the Children’s Folio directly to schools and libraries along with a series of hands-on teaching resources. Schools are encouraged to request their free copy of the Children’s Folio through the SBT website, with distribution starting in early 2024.

10 Years of Shakespeare Week

The Children’s Folio will also be a part of the celebrations for the tenth anniversary of Shakespeare Week, which will run from 18-24 March.

Over the past decade, the nationwide celebration of Shakespeare’s life, works and times for primary school children has empowered teachers and educators with the confidence and expertise to teach Shakespeare in innovative and accessible ways.

“For Shakespeare Week 2024 we promise an exciting programme of free activities, events, online resources, and live stream workshops that celebrate Shakespeare’s words, works and the times in which he lived.

‘’As part of the celebrations, we will also be working with some of our Shakespeare Hub partner schools to develop performances using the Children’s Folio. Watch this space as we’ll be announcing our plans later this year.”

Commented Sally Gray, Shakespeare Week Project Manager at the SBT, the organiser of Shakespeare Week.

Please see for more information about the SBT’s educational initiatives, access an array of free digital resources and to book.