Henry IV school screenings

13 February 2014

RSC Invites Schools To World's Biggest Shakespeare Lesson

Children from all over the UK are invited to take part in the world's biggest Shakespeare lesson when the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) streams Henry IV Parts I and II direct into classrooms up and down the country this summer.

The RSC's school broadcasts series began last year with a stream of Richard II which reached over 31,000 students and made the RSC the first UK theatre to broadcast its work directly and free of charge into schools up and down the country. As well as the opportunity to see the production in their own classrooms, the broadcast gave thousands of young people their first experiences of theatre, Shakespeare and the RSC. 87% of participating students were new to the RSC's work, 57% were seeing Shakespeare for the first time and nearly a fifth of students were seeing their first play. The broadcast series is a major element of Young Shakespeare Nation, an initiative which aims to ensure future generations have unlimited opportunities to enjoy and be inspired by Shakespeare and the RSC's work.

Reinforcing recent comments made by Maria Miller, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, about new technologies helping the arts to reach new and more diverse audiences the broadcasts demonstrate the powerful impact that new technologies and technology partnerships can have on developing young audiences. 99% of teachers participating in the Richard II broadcast felt that after seeing their students' reaction to the production they were likely to progress their students to seeing live theatre.

The RSC school broadcast series is made possible through a collaboration with Ravensbourne, a university college for emerging film-makers and platform designers. Their brief has been to create an exciting, interactive platform from which students can watch Shakespeare in performance as well as post questions through. In addition to the technology to stream the performance directly into classrooms and designing the broadcast website, Ravensbourne students also run the live studio from which the creative team at the heart of the production respond to student questions and comments in a Q&A session that takes place before and after the stream.

Registration for the schools broadcasts is simple – log on at onscreen.rsc.org.uk/education. To register schools will need their full address, contact details for a teacher, the approximate number of students watching the broadcast and their key stages. The RSC Education Department will then be in contact regularly with updates and resources leading up to the broadcast.

Jacqui O'Hanlon, the RSC's Director of Education, said;

“We are delighted with the response to our school broadcast series and that our technology partnership with Ravensbourne is enabling us to reach schools, teachers and young people who might not ordinarily access our work. Young Shakespeare Nation is a new initiative that aims to give a whole new generation of young people more opportunities to enjoy the RSC and Shakespeare's work. The school broadcasts series is central to this and key to making that ambition become a reality. It is a relatively new way for us to be working but in terms of how it is helping us to reach new audiences and more young people than ever before, its potential is extraordinary – and they don't even have to leave their own classrooms to do it”.

In addition to the actual broadcast, RSC Education is developing a suite of resources for use by teachers and students before and after the screening that will help them unlock the plays and deepen their understanding of language, plot and character.

Henry IV Part I will be broadcast into schools on Friday 6 June 2014 with Henry IV Part II following on Monday 30 June 2014. Both events will run from approximately 09.30 to 12.15pm including a 30 minute interval and the live Q&A will run from 1– 1.30pm following a break for lunch.

With their focus on friendship and father/son relationships, and featuring fantastic battle scenes, the Henry IV plays are a perfect introduction to Shakespeare in performance for KS2 primary pupils. For secondary pupils, both plays explore the themes of honour, leadership and responsibility, making them ideal for study by either KS3 or KS4 students as well KS2 pupils.

The broadcast will be a filmed version of Gregory Doran's stage productions of Henry IV Parts I and II which will play in repertoire in the Royal Shakespeare Theatre, Stratford-upon-Avon from 18 March – 6 September 2014.

Shakespeare teachers' packs, including resources from the first schools screening of Gregory Doran's Richard II, are available here: www.rsc.org.uk/education/online-resources/shakespeare-teachers-pack.aspx  

Find RSC Education on Facebook: RSCTeachers
Follow RSC Education on Twitter: @RSC_Education


For further information, please contact Jo Hammond. Jo.hammond@rsc.org.uk 07739 330294.

Notes to Editors

About RSC Education:
RSC Education leads the way in transforming experiences of Shakespeare for young people. Our approach is rooted in a 130 year history of making theatre in Stratford-upon-Avon and sharing that wealth of skills and knowledge with teachers and students across the UK.

RSC Education is committed to building long-term relationships with schools, teachers and young people across the UK – and particularly those who might not ordinarily experience our work. Young Shakespeare Nation is our vehicle for providing future generations with unlimited opportunities to enjoy and be inspired by Shakespeare and the RSC's work. Supported by The Prince's Foundation for Children and the Arts, through teacher professional development, live broadcasts, live performance, special events, workshops and a whole host of online support materials, Young Shakespeare Nation will give more young people than ever before more ways to enjoy and relish the challenge of all 36 of Shakespeare's plays.

For more information and ways to get involved visit: http://www.rsc.org.uk/education/young-shakespeare-nation/

The work of RSC Education itself dates back to 1948 when we held our first summer school for teachers. We were the first theatre company to introduce Shakespeare to primary age children and more recently, became the first theatre to broadcast its productions directly into schools and classrooms all over the UK. Each year we reach over 400,000 young people and work with approximately 1,100 schools.
For more information visit http://www.rsc.org.uk/education/

Ravensbourne is a university sector college innovating in digital media and design. It has a community of approximately 2,000 students and offers vocational digital media and design courses from pre-degree, undergraduate and postgraduate to professional short-course level. Ravensbourne champions the creative exploitation of digital technology through innovation and collaboration. It is driven by industry standards and supported by the latest high-performance technology, producing highly employable and enterprising graduates. It has a strong track record in graduate employability and business creation. Today Ravensbourne also hosts more than 100 creative technology businesses alongside its student community who utilise its leading edge technologies, media resources and collaborate with its student body and industry partners.


Contact us & FAQs

Ticket Hotline

0844 800 1110
Mon-Sat, 10am-6pm

Email newsletter

Sign up to email updates for the latest RSC news:

RSC Members

Already an RSC Member or Supporter? Sign in here.

Teaching Shakespeare