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Museums and Schools

Sharing Shakespeare's Story

Sharing Shakespeare’s Story is a project funded by the Department for Education with Arts Council support, and is part of the Museums and Schools initiative that is taking place across the country. The Museums and Schools programme is a national initiative set up with the objective to increase school pupils’ engagement with culture and to ignite young people's curiosity, encouraging a lifelong passion for culture and learning. For more information about the Museums and Schools programme, the Arts Council's Chief Executive Darren Henley's blog about the initiative also includes the link to the evaluation of our project in the national context.

Museums and Schools

“This has changed not just my present but my future as well.”

— Pupil

In total over 4,000 children from more than 40 different primary schools from Birmingham, Leicestershire, Warwickshire and Worcestershire have spent a day guiding in one of the Shakespeare Family Homes as part of the Trust’s Museums and Schools project. The children acting as guides have an outreach visit with practitioners from SBT's primary education team where they learn more about the works, life and times of William Shakespeare and take part in hands-on activities, including making a wax seal using a replica of the WS ring. A few days later the children take up their roles and share their new-found knowledge and skills. They bring with them other pupils from their school whom they actively engage with Shakespeare’s story. Over 14,000 children have seen their peers in action and have followed a programme of activities which includes writing with quills.

Throughout the project the children engage with visitors from all over world, sharing their knowledge about Shakespeare’s life and times with great enthusiasm, energy and expertise. The children are frequently praised by the huge number of visitors to the Trust’s properties, and the project itself has received excellent feedback.

“Each student was professional and knowledgeable and really made our visit ‘come alive’. We cannot emphasize enough how much they added to our visit and how impressed we were.”

— Visitor
drawing of William Shakespeare by Madihah from Anglesey Primary School
Madihah (Anglesey Primary)

The project continues after the visits to Stratford as the children contribute to an online exhibition and have the option to undertake Arts Award Discover. To date, over 1,200 children have completed Arts Award Discover with the Trust in this way – a fantastic achievement for all involved.

LEGO Shakespeare by Shaun from Park Lane Primary School
Shaun (Park Lane Primary)

Part of the legacy of this project is the creation of an online exhibition featuring the children’s responses to some of the items in our Collections. Thus far there are over 700 entries, including some amazing sketches of the Bard himself! 

A particular favourite with the children is the Lego bust of Shakespeare!

"Both the children and the adults who have come, have gained a deeper understanding of life in Shakespeare's time ...The guides in particular will remember their time at SBT properties for the rest of their lives and ... we know that the impact will be immense."

— Teacher

William Shakespeare was an ordinary boy from Stratford-upon-Avon who grew up to do extraordinary things. So far over 14,000 children taking part in Sharing Shakespeare’s Story have been given an amazing opportunity to engage with the Bard and to do their own extraordinary things. As one teacher said of the experience, “It is sowing the seeds for children’s cultural, literary and historical experiences and understanding”.

ACE M&S and Arts Award logos in a row

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Where the story began Relive Shakespeare's love story Walk in Shakespeare’s footsteps