Share this page

Home Education at The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

See what is on offer for home-educated children at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust

Nicola Hawley
KS2 History Detective

An integral part of the educational offering at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is a provision for Home Educators. We run workshops featuring bespoke and interactive activities at the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon and at Mary Arden’s Farm in Wilmcote. These popular workshops, based on our award winning formal learning programme for schools, are attracting record numbers of bookings, excellent feedback and large numbers of returning participants.

I was very impressed with the balance of verbal instruction and hands-on activity. The style was very accessible to children who are not used to a classroom setting.

The workshops, especially tailored for Home Educators, offer a diverse range of learning activities that bring Shakespeare and British history to life in practical and creative ways. Our learning programme is accredited with the Sandford Award ensuring quality, safe educational experiences for children and families.

Great – appreciated the depth of knowledge and enthusiasm for the group and in-depth Shakespeare. Look forward to the next one – they’re brilliant!

One of our most popular workshops for Home Educators is Rich Man Poor Man. Using clues from primary sources, including original documents and artefacts from our Collections, children become history detectives and learn how to address and devise historically valid questions using a range of sources. They also take part in a carousel of historically related activities e.g. writing with quill pens, making wax seals, finding out about the plague, identifying mystery objects from the past, handling real Elizabethan coins and shopping with ‘old money’. A highlight of this workshop is a visit to the Trust’s strong room (vault) where original documents and artefacts are held.

Rich Man Poor Man magnifying glasses

We have recently added a new workshop to the repertoire available for Home Educators:  Getting to Know Will. This hands-on workshop is a fascinating window into William Shakespeare’s life in Stratford-upon-Avon, allowing children to learn about the Bard from cradle to grave. The session captures imaginations as children discover what life was like for William as a schoolboy, actor and playwright. By taking part in a series of interactive activities, children learn why Shakespeare is as relevant today as he was 400 years ago. All participants have the opportunity to experience Tudor school activities, including writing with a quill and making a hornbook, find out about the plague, make lavender bags and dress up as a Plague Doctor.

It was full of kids my age that were really friendly. The activities were engaging and I learnt lots.

At the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust we also hold a rich collection of artefacts that vividly bring the Roman and Saxon periods of history to life. The workshop A Time and Place continues to prove very popular with Home Educators as children discover the amazing finds in our Collections. In this session children learn about settlement, burial pits, clothing, food, money and how people used to live. Learning through discovery, children become archaeologists and this session captures the imagination as they examine primary evidence to understand and interpret the past. In the hands-on workshop children search archaeological residues and uncover evidence of food eaten through the ages, unearth artefacts in our dig boxes, take part in a Rot or Not Challenge, connect artefacts and events in history using an interactive timeline and identify and examine real Saxon and Roman artefacts from our handling collection. 

This was a great session. So much information, but presented in an accessible and enjoyable way.

New for Home Educators in 2018 is the opportunity to take part in a living history experience at Mary Arden’s Farm (the childhood home of William Shakespeare’s mother): Life on a Tudor Farm. In this workshop children (wearing replica period clothing) discover what life was like on the farm where Shakespeare spent some of his childhood, make bread in the farmhouse kitchen, watch a falconry session and undertake some of the jobs that William and his brothers and sisters would have done on the farm. This immersive session is a truly unforgettable experience that will bring history to life for children.

Life on a Tudor Farm

Was a really fantastic day. Thank you so much. We will come back for the next one. My son thoroughly enjoyed it.

All of our workshops for Home Educators are staffed by experts at delivering education to children and are carefully designed to be hands-on and engaging. Each workshop includes a visit to one of the Shakespeare family homes and an opportunity to walk in William’s footsteps.

We are always happy to help you plan your visit so please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like any additional information. To be notified of new courses and other events relevant to Home Educators, please sign up to our mailing list to receive regular updates.  You may opt out of receiving these updates at any time.

This was a great session. So much information, but presented in an accessible and enjoyable way.

I look forward to welcoming you to the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust!

Recommended blogs

See all blogs