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Museums and Schools at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Creative learning experiences for Primary aged pupils that share Shakespeare's story at the SBT’s historic properties.

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust has been delivering amazing learning experiences for Primary aged pupils as a part of the Museums and School project since 2016. The project is funded by the Department for Education with Arts Council support, and is part of a nationwide initiative to connect museums with local schoolchildren.

Over the seven years that SBT has received Museums and Schools funding, the Trust has been increasing school pupils’ engagement with culture, igniting young people’s curiosity and encouraging a lifelong passion for heritage with a programme of onsite, outreach and digital activity.

Annually, over 3,500 children from 40 primary schools across the West Midlands engage with Shakespeare’s life, times and works through the diverse programme of funded activity.

Museums and Schools

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

— Pupil

Schools that are able to visit our sites can choose from an exciting programme of activity. Pupils can visit our dedicated Primary learning space at Mary Arden’s Farm and take part in our hands-on history workshop, Tudor Time Travelers, and our interactive drama sesion, Telling Tudor Tales. These workshops are also offered with a Christmas twist during the Autumn term for those schools that want to add a bit of festive magic to their experience.

Or pupils can come to Shakespeare’s Birthplace and New Place to take part in our guiding programme. The children that attend this extraordinary day become part of the SBT visitor experience team and guide their peers as well as members of the public from across the world around Shakespeare’s family homes.

To support these onsite offers, SBT has also developed a digital and an outreach offer. Our digital bundles are packed full of engaging video content, activities and interactive resources on Shakespeare’s life and some of his most famous plays. These can be followed up with an online live interaction with one of our Primary learning team or access to a treasure trove of resources and facsimile collections items in our loan box. Schools can also request an outreach session with one of our fantastic learning practitioners.

“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

All our Museums and Schools are also encouraged to take part in Arts Award Discover by completing our bespoke Shakespeare booklets.

William Shakespeare was an ordinary boy from Stratford-upon-Avon who grew up to do extraordinary things. So far over 21,000 children have been given an amazing opportunity to engage with his life, works and times, and to do their own extraordinary things through our Museums and Schools programme. As one teacher said of the experience, “It is sowing the seeds for children’s cultural, literary and historical experiences and understanding”.

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.

Tudors Alive MAF

"Added to [pupil] culture capital ... the children were very engaged and loved all of the activities, and they will be able to draw upon this experience in future lessons."

— Teacher

Our Museums and Schools programme is currently at capacity. If you would be interested in joining it in the future, please send an expression of interest to [email protected]. In your expression of interest, please include your most recent pupil premium and free school meal percentages, and your school postcode so we can assess your eligibility.

ACE M&S and Arts Award logos in a row

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