Primary and secondary headteachers have written to commend our classroom approach to Shakespeare ahead of the symposium on 22 June.

Ahead of the Headteachers' Symposium Raising Achievement and Aspirations through Shakespeare on 22 June, primary and secondary headteachers from around the UK have put their names to a letter praising the effect of our teaching strategies on student literacy and confidence.

We have been working with all of the schools for at least two years, and teachers have noted how beneficial the experience has been for the young people involved. The letter recommends the symposium as a starting point for teachers keen on bringing these techniques into their own classrooms.

The letter reads:

What if Shakespeare could help your pupils find their voice and dramatically improve their literacy skills?

As primary and secondary headteachers from across the country, we have seen first-hand how investigating and performing Shakespeare’s text has accelerated the development of our pupils’ own spoken and written language, particularly with those young people who find language difficult.

Our schools have been working with the Royal Shakespeare Company for between two and ten years, developing classroom approaches that empower young people to bring complex language to life in the same way that actors do in a professional rehearsal room.

In addition to developing their literacy skills, we have seen how building our pupils’ confidence with Shakespeare has helped them to feel more engaged in their school, their learning and their community. We believe this has built their resilience and confidence to take their place in the world.

We urge you to join us, the RSC and IVE, on 22 June for Raising Achievement and Aspirations through Shakespeare, a one day symposium in Stratford-upon-Avon, to find out how these approaches can make a difference in your school.

On the day you will:

• Hear evidence from our schools about how we have raised standards by embedding rehearsal room approaches in a knowledge-rich curriculum

• Experience rehearsal room approaches to Shakespeare with RSC and IVE practitioners

• Find out how this work has been commended by Ofsted and underpinned by research conducted by the University of Nottingham, the University of Warwick and IVE

• Take away practical ideas and actions to implement immediately in your school.

The backs of two women's heads as they look at printed pieces of paper
Headteachers will take part in discussions and interactive sessions.
Photo by Steve Tanner © RSC Browse and license our images

The letter's signatories include:

Anita Jefferies, Headteacher, Archibald Primary School, Middlesbrough
Julia Hancock, Headteacher, Captain’s Close Primary School, Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire
Gary Fullwood, Executive Head Teacher, Heathfield Primary School, Nottingham
Leigh Wolmarans, Headteacher, Lings Primary School, Northampton
Anita Bath, Headmistress, Sacred Heart Catholic High School, Newcastle upon Tyne
Carl Thornton, Headteacher, St Paul’s C of E Primary School, Nuneaton, Warwickshire
Niki Jones, Deputy Head, Welcombe Hills School, Stratford-upon-Avon
Damien O’Keeffe, Head of School, Bradford College, West Yorkshire
Antonella Lupton, Headteacher, Crook Primary School, County Durham
Kate Greig, Headteacher, King Ethelbert School, Birchington, Kent
Azita Zohhadi, Headteacher, Nelson Mandela School, Birmingham
Brian Anderson, Headteacher, Springhead Primary School, Stoke-on-Trent
Michelle Dunleavy, Headteacher, Treviglas Community College, Newquay, Cornwall
Rod Sims, Head of School, York High School, York
Jon Watson, Headteacher, Canterbury High School, Kent
David Dickson, Executive Head Teacher, Eastbury Community School, Barking, Essex
Bryan Maywood, Principal, Launceston College, Cornwall
Melanie Haggerty, Headteacher, Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Primary School, Blackpool
Ged Fitzpatrick, Headteacher, St Mary’s College, Hull
Nigel Clemens, Principal, Uxbridge High School, Middlesex

Places for the symposium can be booked from £65 per person. Please go to our education pages for more details.