The Learning and Performance Network (LPN) is the RSC's long-term partnership programme with schools, communities and theatres across England.
Established in 2006, the programme works through partnerships of schools and their local theatre over a three year period to bring about a significant change in the way young people experience, engage with, and take ownership of the work of Shakespeare.
The LPN is targeted towards those schools and young people who have least access to Shakespeare, cultural provision and the RSC. It offers teachers in-depth training in active approaches to Shakespeare and postgraduate action research. For students, the programme involves dynamic ways to learn about Shakespeare in the classroom, artist-led projects and performance opportunities.
How it works
Every year six schools from around the country are recruited into the Network along with a partner theatre. These 'hub' schools, secondary and primary, each work with up to seven 'cluster' schools from their locality. The LPN is now in its seventh year and 59 clusters of schools (over 400 schools in all) have completed or are currently enrolled in the programme.
From these schools, 101 teachers have completed an action research assignment towards a Postgraduate Certificate in the Teaching and Learning of Shakespeare, awarded by the University of Warwick. Further information on their findings can be found on our Case studies page.
The regional theatre partners work alongside the RSC to recruit schools in their area, lead activity and support the development of the programme. To launch their participation in the LPN, these partner theatre companies and their local hub school host a First Encounter Shakespeare production. These edited versions of a Shakespeare play bring professional productions into the heart of a school and community, giving students and their families the opportunity to experience Shakespeare live.
The sustained relationship with schools in the network enables a dialogue between students, teachers, the RSC and the University of Warwick. This in turn supports rigorous and robust research into the impact of active, exploratory approaches to the teaching and learning of Shakespeare.
The Learning and Performance Network is generously supported by
THE PAUL HAMLYN FOUNDATION.