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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 2,900 children from more than 40 different primary schools in the West Midlands have spent a day guiding in Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Hall’s Croft, Mary Arden’s Farm and at Shakespeare’s New Place as part of the Trust’s Museums and Schools project. The children acting as guides have a familiarisation visit with SBT practitioners 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 7,500 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
Madihah (Anglesey Primary)
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.

Shaun (Park Lane Primary)
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!

“We all had a wonderful time and the children learned so much about Shakespeare and the times he lived but also about history, research and being information givers to others; it was an invaluable experience.”

— Teacher

William Shakespeare was an ordinary boy from Stratford-upon-Avon who grew up to do extraordinary things. So far over 10,400 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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This is where the story began The Farm is now CLOSED for winter but will re-open on Saturday 14 March 2020 Relive Shakespeare’s love story Walk in Shakespeare's footsteps The home of Shakespeare’s daughter, Susanna