Welcome to our student takeover edition of RSC Education News

Read our Time to Listen Research, where young people talk about the benefits of arts and cultural education. Plus student reviews of our latest Free Schools' Broadcast, First Encounters with Shakespeare and the Shakespeare Learning Zone, and students' experiences of performing with the RSC in Romeo and Juliet.


In the most comprehensive research study of its kind, the RSC, Tate and the University of Nottingham have joined together to examine the benefits of arts and cultural education.

Funded by Arts Council England, and conducted in secondary and special schools in England, the TALE (Tracking Arts Engagement and Learning) study analysed 6,000 responses from young people aged 14-18, tracking students and 63 teachers over three years. 

We chose the title Time to Listen because we wanted to highlight the voices and opinions of young people. Here are just some of the comments they made about the value of the arts in school.

'It might sound strange but it has changed me. I didn't like coming to school and being told what was right and wrong. I know it's only Shakespeare but we came in the room and they said you can read this text and have your own opinions - it was really good, really different.'

'Creative arts subjects teach you to work with others and get along with them no matter what. You get to see the world from other people's points of view'

Time To Listen Campaign Image_2018_Photo by Sara Beaumont _c_ RSC_265229


IT IS TIME TO LISTEN to what young people and teachers say about the power of arts and cultural education.

IT IS TIME TO UNDERSTAND the increasing difficulties state-funded schools face in giving access and priority to arts and cultural education.

IT IS TIME TO MAKE REAL CHANGE by adopting our five key recommendations to ensure every young person can learn in an arts and culture rich school.

Find out more

Our 5 key recommendations

  • All secondary schools should be able to a) ensure that at KS3 the arts have parity with other subjects; b) offer a full range of arts subjects at KS4; and c) confidently talk to students and their families about the value of studying arts subjects.

  • The Ofsted process should ensure the breadth and balance of the school curricululm by specifying in the inspection framework the minimum proportion of curriculum time to be spent studying arts subjects at KS3, and the range of arts subjects which should be offered at KS4.

  • There should be an Arts and Culture premium for all children in schools.

  • Russell Group universities should review their approach to Facilitating Subjects, recognising that studying arts subjects can provide young people with an essential foundation for further study.

  • There should be acknowledgement and appropriate reward in both pay scale and job title for the work of teachers who take on the essential role of 'arts broker

RSC Free Schools' Broadcasts: Student Reviews

As our Free Schools' Broadcast programme moves into its 7th year, we asked William and Charlotte, two of our Shakespeare Ambassadors from Springhead Primary School in Staffordshire, to find out what their class thought of watching Romeo and Juliet.

A group of men and women dance, wearing masks over their eyes

OUR Experience of Romeo and Juliet

The students of Springhead primary in year six watched the streaming of Romeo and Juliet and here are some of our comments.

'The actors are always focusing during the performance and it really helps you understand how their characters are feeling' says Jocelyn.

Brianna also exclaims 'When you've worked on a play, it really helps you to understand it to see it live with music and sound effects.'

Oliver said 'Because of the modern day changes to the play it feels more relatable to our modern world.'

We all enjoyed how children are included throughout the play. Luke liked how there was humour throughout the play even in most of the dark parts and Kaylim enjoyed how all the dead characters appeared as ghosts at the end of the performance.

Megan says 'When watching a live stream it feels like you're in a real theatre, especially Romeo and Juliet.'

Also Ava and Libby like seeing the lines we expressed in Drama being expressed by a real actor.

'I like how actors answer questions we send in because it makes the viewers feel like they're a part of the production.'

Over 95% of our class enjoyed the performance and all cannot wait to see the next live stream!

by William and Charlotte
Springhead Primary School



First Encounters with Shakespeare_ _The Comedy of Errors_ production photographs_ 2018_2018_Photo by Sam Allard _c_ RSC_266113


First Encounters with Shakespeare: The Comedy of Errors travelled to Middlesbrough for performances at Macmillan Academy. Pupils from Macmillan Academy, organised by their Drama Department, took part in the performance. We watched with an audience of Year 7 pupils and we were thoroughly entertained.

The show was amazing, funny and we loved it!

Read the full review


Shakespeare Learning Zone: Student Review

Assia, aged 15, reviews our new online resource aimed at helping 11-18 year olds master Shakespeare.


Shakespeare's plays can be a real challenge for students with their difficult and unfamiliar language and style. The Shakespeare Learning Zone tries to support students with studying Shakespeare's plays so that they can overcome the challenges and really get to grips with them.

The Learning Zone consists of summaries and analysis of key scenes, useful facts, photographs and videos of actors and directors working on performances, and information about the main characters in a range of plays.

Read the full review

Shakespeare Learning Zone

Hearing from the Student

Through our Associate Schools programme, youing people from all over the country were able to perform as part of the Romeo and Juliet company. Here are their responses to the play and the experience of being on stage with the RSC.

'During my time working alongside the RSC I have discovered a range of skills that allow me to express my capabilities as an actor. It has been a brilliant experience for us as young people, as we have been introduced to professional acting through an enthralling and relatable play, although written over four hundred years ago. with students being involved in this play it gives it a modern twist, linking to problems we face today, despite the fact it has been performed again and again for hundreds of years. I am so proud of my fellow students and I. I would love to work with the RSC again.'
Anna, Uxbridge High School

Read more


Romeo and Juliet production photos_ young company_ Stratford-upon-Avon College_2018_Photo by Topher McGrillis _c_ RSC_249317 (1)


Develop your knowledge, confidence and skills in using RSC rehearsal room approaches to unlock Shakespeare's work with students of all ages.

The Foundation level course is ideal for teachers new to Shakespeare or RSC rehearsal room approaches. Intermediate is designed for teachers with at least 3 days experience of rehearsal room approaches and Certification is the final level leading to the award of the Certificate.

Find out more


4 & 5 October 2019, plus 31 January 2020


30 & 31 August 2019, plus 29 November 2019
6 & 7 March 2020, plus 26 June 2020


5 & 6 July 2019, plus 15 & 16 November 2019

Cost: Foundation and Intermediate

£200 Teachers in their first or second year of teaching
£350 RSC Education Members
£400 non-Members (UK based)
£680 Teachers based outside the UK

Lead Associate School_Regional Theatre Partner Training Feb 2019_2019_Photo by Sam Allard _c_ RSC_272825

Comments from participants

'This has revolutionised how I will be approaching teaching Shakespeare. Each of the techniques could be adapted to different ages and levels easily and offered realistic, adaptable ways to help anyone access the plays but also literature in general.'

'I have learnt how to bring a text, any text!, to life for my pupils. I have felt liberated from the constraints of stringent text analysis and got lots of exciting ideas to keep Shakespeare alive and hyper-relevant for a new generation!'

'It was lovely to have the creative headspace to work collaboratively with like-minded positive practitioners.'




Events and Workshops for Students

RSC Education events for young people in Stratford-upon-Avon

Sixth Form Conference: The Taming of the Shrew

Students can take part in a practical and academic investigation of The Taming of the Shrew with these one-day courses designed to explore the language, structure and interpretive choices made in each production.

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Student Insight Sessions 2019

Interactive, pre-show sessions exploring  As You Like ItThe Taming of the Shrew, Measure for Measure and The Boy in the Dress.

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RSC Key 18-25s Summer School

Perfect for undergraduates, gap year students or those interested in in-depth explorations of the Summer 2019 plays in performance.

Read more

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