How working with RSC Education improved the reading, writing and self-confidence in a group of KS1 disadvantaged pupils.

Jennifer Jenkins, Lead Teacher at St Paul’s CE Primary School, was inspired by the work of RSC Education to raise the aspirations and achievements of 5 disadvantaged boys in Year 2.

All 5 pupils had left Year 1 working below the expected standard and their response to any written tasks were often "I can’t do it." Jennifer therefore decided to start an intervention group that was centred around the use of RSC rehearsal room approaches.

This approach seemed to spark an enjoyment that they had never expressed before. Jennifer says, "The boys’ enjoyment at speaking Shakespeare’s words, and their enthusiasm (sometimes a little over-enthusiasm!) in their approach to tableaux and exploring the text, developed over time, as they became increasingly used to this way of working, which was very different to other intervention groups they found themselves in."

Over time. this dramatically improved their self-confidence and their ability to participate in wider class discussions. "One of the most uplifting aspects of the intervention for the boys was that it elevated them to a more ‘expert’ status in the class setting, something they did not experience in other aspects of the curriculum as ‘low achievers."

With this newfound confidence, the students then wanted to share their experiences and knowledge with their parents. "The boys were able to talk about their learning with their parents, often pleasantly surprising them with their knowledge of plot and quotations from the plays. I observed two of the boys sharing their workbooks with their parents at parents evening, pride evident on their faces and those of their parents," says Jennifer.

The success of this intervention group has shown St Paul’s CE Primary School that RSC rehearsal room approaches can break down barriers and ‘"lift the ceiling' on what we can expect from young people when it comes to Shakespeare."


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

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