Training Our Teachers to Deliver Next-Level Shakespeare Learning

Amazement, unreal, champion…

What do these words have in common?

They are among the estimated 1,700 words that Shakespeare invented or introduced. More than 400 years after his death, Shakespeare and his works continue to have a strong impact on the English language and on western culture, providing inspiration for operas, pop songs, Broadway plays and much, much more. Considering his indelible influence, studying Shakespeare is hugely important in helping our students understand the world around them today.

To create the most exciting and insightful Shakespeare learning experiences for our students, we have an exclusive worldwide partnership with the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) to offer professional-level training from the world's premiere Shakespeare theatre company.

Kicking off our sixth year of partnership was the highly anticipated Drama professional development programme (Teacher CPD) that we offer annually to our Drama and English teachers.

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This year, 18 teachers across our Dulwich family of schools and Dehong sister schools spent 12 hours over 3 days being trained online by RSC practitioner Dr Maria Evans. Through bespoke courses developed for our contexts, our educators were led to explore the:

  • principles of RSC's rehearsal room approaches and their use in the classroom;
  • characteristics of Shakespeare's language;
  • exploring Shakespeare's works through a contemporary lens;
  • adapting text for classroom needs;
  • performance opportunities and creating performance in the classroom.

In the age of COVID-19, one crucial theme explored throughout the three days was about innovating drama learning and bringing it into online and blended contexts.

“The workshop activity of killing Caesar on-screen was a wonderful way of doing it online without losing its visual impact. Instead of worrying about how to teach Drama online, maybe it's better for us to think about how to integrate multimedia as part of the performance. It will be interesting to interweave the multiple zoom windows into a performance.”
-- Audrey Sim, Head of Drama, Dulwich International High School Zhuhai

By "training the trainer", our teachers are better equipped to bring world-class teaching practices that ultimately benefit our students.

“After taking this course, I feel confident in enabling all of my students to understand and examine the many layers of Shakespearean language through the varied, creative and engaging approaches shared.”
-- Marie Hodge, English Teacher, Dulwich College (Singapore)

We were delighted to hear Dr Maria Evan's raving reviews of our teachers as well. She said: “I've twice had the pleasure of leading drama PD with Dulwich and Dehong teachers. There is something very special about the dynamic in the workshop environment - be it a physical or zoom space - characterised by great enthusiasm, professionalism and creativity. There is a willingness to rise to any challenge, from pedagogical to technical. And there is a quality and depth to the teachers' reflections that means I often come away having not only led the learning of others, but deepened my own learning along the way. Quite simply, they're a joy to work with.”

The drama pd was just the first of many exciting events we will be hosting with RSC Learning; we cannot wait for the many more world-class learning opportunities our students and teachers will experience this year!