The World's Largest Shakespeare Classroom:The Day of the Broadcast part 2

Children watching the RSC Schools' Broadcast
Children watching the RSC's Schools' Broadcast
Photo by Leigh Wolmarans © Lings Primary School – Image Licensing

We are very interested to hear how teachers across the UK prepare for our school broadcasts, Lings Primary School share the second part of their story with us.

Leigh Wolmarans Headteacher at Lings Primary School. Leigh is a teacher who has 'fallen into headship'; he is passionate about learning and teaching, and honoured to be at Lings and forever learning!

Act 2 scene 1 – The day of the broadcast is vital as it will be your opportunity to show your students how exceptional Shakespeare was as a writer and to give them a real love of his work, no pressure then! We have found that it is important to check that everything is working first. Once again this is made so simple by the fact that the team at the RSC gives you a chance to check your connection a week before and then support you through the whole process. They are only a phone call away. We sometimes have three different classes running the broadcast and we make sure that all the ICT is running perfectly the day before.

Act 2 scene 2 – Make it an event! We put the chairs out like a cinema, we hype the day up using our Facebook and twitter accounts, we countdown to the production, we dim the lights – we make it a memorable experience. The learners literally bounce in in the morning! We also make sure that we send in questions to the RSC broadcast team and we send in pictures throughout the day. When the learners see one of their questions being asked or their picture being shown then they realise they are part of something special and the engagement levels double!

Act 2 scene 3 – We make sure that we support them in their learning throughout the broadcast. This means that we provide time for them to talk about what they have seen, to ask questions about things they don't understand, to debate parts of the story and to engage with characters. We also give them prompts, which can be as simple as an A4 sheet with all the characters names and pictures. What we don't do is make it a 'death by worksheet' session, we prefer to go for a full scale cinematic experience. The other key to the enjoyment of the day is to let the learners see the interviews. They love listening to their questions being read out and debating the responses that come.

Act 3 – Make sure that there is some sort of reflection based on what happened during the broadcast. This may be a simple question of 'how can we make it better next time?' Or we use writing blogs to get the children to discuss the broadcast and talk about what they saw and what they thought of the production. We also start getting them excited about the next one!

There you have it, nice and simple. We have now completed two broadcasts and are on to our third. We get better everytime in improving the overall experience for our learners. The one thing that will never change is making sure that those minds are ready to have an immersive learning experience like no other!

Do you want to let us know your Broadcast story? Then please email us

RSC School broadcasts are like RSC live Cinema broadcasts, but delivered for free directly to your classroom, connecting you and your students with thousands of other young people across the UK. The school broadcasts are in real time and take place on a specific date and are followed by a live interactive Q&A with members of the cast. The broadcasts started in November 2013 with our production of Richard II with David Tennant. Since then we have live streamed The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Love's Labour's Lost and Much Ado About Nothing(Love's Labour's Won) and we have Henry V to come on 19 November. Over 76,976 young people from across the UK have joined us so far.

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