How RSC Rehearsal Room Approaches gave pupils at Archibald Primary School access to first-hand sensory experiences.

The Head That Wears A Crown Rehearsal Middlesbrough_2015_Photo by Rob Freeman _c_ RSC_167201
Rehearsals in Middlesbrough, featuring young people from various schools, including Archibald Primary School, 2015. Photo by Rob Freeman.
Photo by Rob Freeman © RSC Browse and license our images

Archibald Primary School is located in a deprived area, where a number of pupils don’t have the range of experiences to draw upon that many may take for granted. Teachers can therefore become overwhelmed with the job of teaching pupils to write with flare, passion and creativity.

Archibald Primary recognised that the key to raising these standards was to provide pupils with a sense of real experience. Their experience with the RSC has helped them achieve just that. A KS1 teacher claims that RSC rehearsal room approaches have "'opened the door', providing pupils with the experience and the opportunities to use new language which they are able to transfer into their writing … reading the quality of the writing, witnessing first hand pupils writing with flare for sustained pieces of writing, we saw the impact on pupils’ aspirations, attitudes and achievements."

This has had a particularly strong impact on those pupils that were previously seen to be disengaged in lessons: "Pupils who had once been reluctant writers or those who ‘didn’t know what to write’ were passionate and eager to write, desperately wanting to include this new vocabulary which they had been submerged with in the rehearsal room."

Archibald Primary have managed to put RSC rehearsal room approaches at the heart of their curriculum, and underpin everything that they do. "If we truly wanted to see the impact of using rehearsal room techniques, it needed to be more than three Lead Teachers using these techniques in their own classroom. For it to work, it had to be a whole school approach. Working with practitioners captivated our staff. Some members of staff, who can be difficult to engage commented that it was the best CPD they had accessed and had made them reflect on the way that they teach.  On reflection it is difficult to even to begin to remember how we taught without these techniques. Engaging with the RSC partners has transformed the way we teach, has impacted positively on standards in our school and transformed our whole school identity," their KS1 English Teacher explains.

The transformative teaching of Shakespeare has now become a part of Archibald Primary’s identity, and they have successfully managed to share this message with their cluster of Associate Schools.


This is an edited version of the full case study. You can read the full version here: Archibald Primary School Case Study