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.
Between November 2016 and March 2017 thirty children at a time from 18 different primary schools in North Warwickshire and Birmingham will spend a day guiding in Shakespeare’s Birthplace and at the site of his New Place home. These are children who may not ordinarily have the opportunity to visit Stratford and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and their teachers are very excited about the project and the opportunities it offers for their pupils.
Pupils acting as guides have a ‘familiarisation day’ where they meet the staff and visit the sites. This is just the beginning! A few days later the children return to take up their roles as guides, bringing with them 150 other pupils from their school who are invited to come and see them in action.
‘I felt nervous and proud. It was like a miracle to be able to guide’— Pupil
As well as seeing their friends guiding, these children follow a programme of activities including a visit to the stacks to see some of our wonderful Collections, writing with quills and making a wax seal using a replica of the WS ring.
This project continues after the visits to Stratford, as the children are asked to contribute work based on our Collections for an online exhibition. Part of the legacy of this project is to encourage schools to participate in Arts Award. Our intention is that by the end of the project 540 children will have completed Arts Award Discover - so watch this space!