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Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Hubs for Primary Schools

Creative learning experiences inspired by Shakespeare and delivered by experts

From April 2018 until March 2022 the Trust is using National Portfolio Organisation funding to support an exciting outreach initiative; Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Hubs for Primary Schools. The Trust has already established regional Shakespeare Hubs in the following areas: Merseyside, Birmingham, Oxfordshire, London, Nottingham, the North East, Bristol, Greater Manchester and the Isle of Wight. A further three Hubs will be established over the next year.

Hubs North East
A showcase event at the Whitley Bay Playhouse hosted by the acclaimed children’s poet Michael Rosen and including performances and debates by children from the North East.

Each Hub comprises six to eight schools, with each school receiving exciting, creative learning experiences delivered by commissioned arts professionals, all with a Shakespearian twist. Every school also receives ongoing support and training, including Continuing Professional Development (CPD) for teachers delivered by the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and other commissioned professionals. 

The project provides a platform for children to share their experiences, sometimes as experts, teaching their peers. In addition there are opportunities to complete an Arts Award. By 2021 the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust will have provided memorable learning experiences for 20,000 children. Membership of the Shakespeare Hubs is fully funded.

Hubs mono print art 2020
Clay tiles depicting some of Shakespeare's characters created by pupils in Birmingham as a part of the 2020 Hub Activity.
Hubs Birmingham
A Romeo and Juliet inspired Bollywood dance delivered in partnership with Sampad, culminating in a performance at Birmingham's Moor Street Station to launch the Shakespeare Week 2019 celebrations.

What was especially lovely was to see some of our children of South-East Asian origin enjoying the dance workshop - for some of them, this was the first time that they had experienced an art form originating from the heritage/countries of their parents/grandparents.

— Blakesley Hall Primary School, Birmingham

An integral part of the project is the chance to showcase children’s creative work inspired by Shakespeare’s stories, language and heritage.  

Hubs Nottingham 2
An immersive experience delving into the worlds of Shakespeare’s plays delivered by Nonsuch Theatre in Nottingham.

It has brought our community together being able to link with other local schools and (...) has given the teachers who were nervous about teaching Shakespeare a clear, easy and creative way to engage the children.

— Sir John Sherbrooke Junior School, Nottingham
Hubs House of Illustration puppets 2020
Masterclasses facilitated by the House of Illustration in the London Hub to create paper articulated puppetry and models that led to theatrical performances of Twelfth Night.
Hubs SAMPAD photo 2020
Nottingham Hub children working with Sampad to produce a Bollywood dance inspired by Henry V

To support this exciting programme of activity, teachers were invited to attend a range of related CPD activity. In these practical workshops teachers were able to explore innovative ways to engage and inspire children to discover Shakespeare in the primary classroom. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust’s intention in establishing these Hubs is to collaborate with teachers and partners to influence, at a national level, the teaching and perception of Shakespeare in primary schools. This is in line with our charitable objective.

Isle of wight hub picture
Working with the New Carnival Company the Hub on the Isle of Wight created masks, headpieces, props, banners and flags to use in creative interpretations of The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Macbeth.
Bristol Hub art work
A graffiti mural inspired by Romeo and Juliet created by the Bristol Hub with street artists Graft.
Hubs North West
As Creatives bringing Shakespeare’s stories dramatically to life in Merseyside.

Collaboration with Little Angel Theatre was a brilliant way to instil confidence and excitement about the text

— Torriano School, London
Hubs Oxford
Exploring A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Oxford with The Story Museum and working with artist Ros Ingram to develop a response to the play. Exhibited in Stratford-upon-Avon during Shakespeare Week.

Find out more about joining our Hubs.

Hubs and art council

Tools for teachers and students

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This is where the story began Experience the sights, sounds and smells of a working Tudor farm. Relive Shakespeare’s love story Walk in Shakespeare's footsteps The home of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna