Shakespeare Week is a national, annual celebration, to inspire primary school children and their families through creative and cultural learning experiences.
The first Shakespeare Week was celebrated in 2014, the 450th anniversary of Shakespeare’s birth. Shakespeare Week 2015 will take place 16 – 22 March
Why promote 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 launched and promoted 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 been hailed as Britain’s greatest cultural export, and the foremost reason why people are proud to be British. Yet many British children encounter Shakespeare only in teens as a mandatory subject studied 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.
There was some truly inspirational teaching in schools across the UK during the first ever Shakespeare Week. Likewise there were many excellent workshops being run by arts professionals in schools. This video shows a short clip of one such workshop run by Shakespeare at the Tobacco Factory.
What does Shakespeare Week do for children?
Shakespeare Week aims to give every primary school child in Britain the opportunity to be inspired by Shakespeare’s stories, language and heritage. The first Shakespeare Week was celebrated from 17 to 23 March 2014, when over 3,000 schools and organisations took part. Our aim is to reach even more schools and pupils in 2015. To do this The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, alongside a number of participating cultural organisations, are offering schools cross-curricular teaching resources to help teachers to run a range of activities during Shakespeare Week, in and out of the classroom.
What is the Passport to Shakespeare?
Every school taking part in Shakespeare Week can order FREE Passports to Shakespeare for their pupils. The Passport to Shakespeare is an ongoing attainment record that rewards holders for their continuing relationship with Shakespeare.