Shakespeare Week is a new national, annual celebration, to inspire primary school children and their families through creative and cultural learning experiences.
The first Shakespeare Week will be celebrated in 2014, the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth.
Why launch a week celebrating Shakespeare?
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust passionately believes that Shakespeare is not only for all time, but for everyone, and that having a great first experience of Shakespeare should be a child’s birthright. This is why we are launching Shakespeare Week.
William Shakespeare is the world’s most famous playwright, a household name whose works have been translated into over 80 languages. Shakespeare is a named author on the curriculum in 65% of countries, studied by around half of the world’s schoolchildren (at least 64 million) every year. He has recently been hailed as Britain’s greatest cultural export, and the foremost reason why people are proud to be British. Yet most British children encounter Shakespeare in their teens as a dry subject studied only for exams; many grow up to regard Shakespeare as difficult, and not for them, and in turn are very unlikely to introduce their own youngsters to Shakespeare’s creative influence.
What will Shakespeare Week do for children?
Shakespeare Week will give every primary school child in Britain the opportunity to be inspired by Shakespeare’s stories, language and heritage. The first Shakespeare Week will be celebrated from 17 to 23 March 2014. Schools, theatres, galleries, museums, cinemas and heritage organisations will celebrate different aspects of Shakespeare’s creative influence. The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, and participating cultural organisations, will provide schools with cross-curricular teaching resources to enable teachers to run a range of activities during Shakespeare Week, in and out of the classroom. This site will also provide details of events across the country for schools and families, and, in future, a platform for schools and cultural organisations to share ideas and activities.
What is the Passport to Shakespeare?
Every child taking part through their school will receive a Passport to Shakespeare – an ongoing attainment record that rewards holders with incentives and discounts to attend productions, exhibitions and events run by participating organisations, thus encouraging an evolving relationship with Shakespeare and cultural heritage.