Birdy - from Cert courses (002)

As an English and Drama teacher for nearly three decades, I have had my fair share of Shakespeare training. I have directed The Tempest, Macbeth and A Midsummer Night's Dream and taught Shakespeare texts to Key Stage 3 and 4 English students. I recently took part in an online RSC event and was reminded of things I learned long ago as well as introduced to new techniques, what I particularly enjoyed was getting up on our feet over Zoom in our kitchens, so when I heard about the Certificate Courses I knew instantly that's what I wanted to do.

I travelled to Stratford-upon-Avon in March to participate in the Certificate in Teaching Shakespeare: Foundation Course, over two days. There, I joined 20 Drama and English teachers at The Clore Learning Centre, led by the marvellous Kat, Maria, and Conrad.

I was struck by how easy it is to use with disengaged learners

Day 1

A playful, insightful exploration of The Tempest. We were up on our feet in seconds, and it pretty much stayed that way unless we needed to sit and talk and write our reflections of which I gained insight and saw how well it would work in schools. I was struck by how easy it is to use with disengaged learners, only using small chunks of text in a fun way, not getting bogged down with meaning. It is a refreshing and playful way to analyse Shakespeare and higher end learners would be equally challenged too.

A particular highlight for me was having supper together at the infamous Dirty Duck before watching The Tempest, starring Alex Kingston as Prospero. It was a stunning production and the washed-up debris on the shore a constant reminder of the sorry state of our planet. 

    Prospero reaches her hand up to fist-bump ariel, who is sitting on a wooden frame above her.
Photo by Ikin Yum © RSC Browse and license our images

Day 2

We chatted about the show and responded physically to the characters' mannerisms and movement we saw on the stage the previous evening and then delved into Macbeth.

Day 3

We will reconvene in June to share our practice in schools in terms of how the students will have responded to and understood the text using the RSC rehearsal techniques, we will continue to explore further and deeper with Romeo and Juliet.


When I have completed the Foundation Course I am looking forward to progressing my training with both Intermediate and Advanced levels of the Certificate in Teaching Shakespeare. I will use my experiences from the RSC and my teaching career to offer workshops to support KS3 and KS4 English classes using techniques and approaches I have learnt from my years of experience and recent training to engage students with Shakespeare's plays.

I will encourage them to explore the characters, language, and themes using the exercises. My aim is to create a supportive and playful environment that allows students to experiment and discover their own interpretations of the text and help develop their confidence and analytical skills.

I am really looking forward to bringing the playfulness we encountered to young people over the next few months and have enjoyed learning new ways of working with Shakespeare.

Birdy - from Cert courses (002) 

Kirsten Lane

I am a qualified Drama and English teacher of 27 years and an experienced director and performer.  My degree is in Performance Arts with Religious Studies from Cheltenham and a PGCE in English & Drama from Bretton Hall. I now work as a Drama and English practitioners, offering bespoke online and face to face drama education sessions to students and teachers.

Find out more about Kirsten's work as a practitioner Drama Educator and Facilitator ( 

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