The Shakespeare Family Homes
Shakespeare Centre Henley Street, Stratford upon Avon, Warwickshire, CV37 6QW
MONTHS OPENJanuary, February, March, April, May, June, July, August, September, October, November, December
Listed under: Day Trip Destinations | Art and Design | Technology | Picnic Areas | Outdoor Education | Museums | Historical Heritage | Crafts | History | Geography | English | Citizenship | Business Studies | Wildlife and Nature Reserves
What we offer
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is uniquely placed within the ‘Shakespeare world’ and offers an exceptional Shakespeare centred experience. With outstanding archive and library collections and inspiring educational programmes designed to deepen understanding and enjoyment of Shakespeare's works and times.
We care for five wonderful houses linked directly to Shakespeare, each with its own theme and rich in educational value. Together they create a vivid picture of Shakespeare's life and times.
Schools can either enjoy a visit to just the Shakespeare houses or combine it with one of our award winning courses or workshops.
What makes us a great choice?
Whether you’re introducing Shakespeare to children at KS1 and KS2 or expanding the knowledge of KS3 to KS5 students, we offer a range of hands on, informative and inspiring courses to bring Shakespeare and his works to life.
What is typically included?
COURSES AND WORKSHOPS BY KEY STAGE
KEY STAGE 1
William at home – A fascinating window onto William Shakespeare's world in Stratford-upon-Avon
In a hands-on session led by our experienced team your pupils can discover:
- What his house was like and how he dressed
- What his family would have eaten
- What work his father did
- Why Shakespeare became so famous
William on the farm – An adventure back in time to the Tudor farm where the Shakespeare's grandparents lived and worked
As part of our real Tudor farm experience your pupils will discover:
- Which animals and crops were farmed
- How Tudor food was prepared and cooked
- What it was like to live in a Tudor farmhouse
KEY STAGE 2
All About Shakespeare
Your visit to Shakespeare's Birthplace begins with a fun, illustrated talk that will help your pupils gain the most from their visit to the house where the world's most famous playwright lived when he was a boy.
A Time and Place...
Are you studying the Romans or Saxons? At SBT we hold a rich collection of artefacts that vividly bring these periods of history to life. Come and learn about settlement, burial pits, clothing, food, money and how people used to live. Learning through discovery your children will become archaeologists for the day.
Rich Man, Poor Man
This session has been redesigned with the new National Curriculum in mind. Using clues from primary resources, including original documents and artefacts from our Collections, your children will become history detectives and solve the riddle about Thomas Lett's life.
Bring your pupils to spend the day as a Tudor child helping on the farm in Wilmcote. This living history experience gives children a unique opportunity for learning outside the classroom at Mary Arden's Farm (the childhood home of William Shakespeare's mother).
Best Will in the World
During energetic workshops, led by one of our very experienced actors, your pupils will have the best introduction to enjoying Shakespeare's works.
KEY STAGE 3 and 4
Brush Up Your Shakespeare
- Discover facts about Shakespeare's life and times
- Explore Shakespeare's schooldays
- Discuss the nature of play-going in Shakespeare's London
- Learn about plays in the First Folio
- See images of Shakespeare's plays in performance
- Consider Shakespeare's place in the world's cultural heritage
- Compete in a Shakespearean qui to win a Shakespeare Insult badge!
Shakespeare's Language – Words, Words, Words
- Explore Shakespeare's creation of character and voice
- Learn about tone and genre
- Focus on vocabulary, word choice, and phrasing
- Contrast verse and prose
- Compare speeches and speech acts
- Consider theatrical effect
Spotlight on Shakespeare
- Explore literary and historical context
- Discuss language use and effects
- Discover original stagecraft
- Direct characterisation
- Imagine staging scenes
- Identify ideas and issues
- Examine the writer's craft
Shakespeare – Off the Page
- Explore multimodal presentations of chosen play
- Discover how text informs design and directorial choices
- Discuss the representations of character, theme, and ideas
Our A-Level talks and workshops have been designed to suit the needs of students working towards examinations set by AQA, Edexcel, OCR, Pre-U, WJEC. and IB
Set text talks
Two interactive, illustrated talks with a break for students to talk informally with the lecturer, and explore relevant material displayed from our library and archive.
Theatre text in context
A 90-minute interactive, illustrated talk covering original performance conditions including the social, cultural and historical context of the play in relation to its performance history. Pupils will also learn about the contribution of directors, designers and performers.
Theatre text in action
A 90-minute practical exploration of original performance conditions, covering contemporary approaches to text versus original performance conditions, cue scripts, props and movement, staging concerns, and performance styles in public versus private playhouses.
A-level study days
Two interactive, illustrated seminar talks, supported with relevant material displayed from our library and archive. All events end with Q and A.
English Language Learners
A 30-minute active workshop led by drama practitioners, using music and dance to create the perfect Shakespearian welcome to Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of William Shakespeare.
Shakespeare in 30 minutes
This interactive EFL session introduces your students to Shakespeare, his life and times, and to some of his timeless stories in a short and fun way.
For intermediary learners:
Do you know Shakespeare?
Participants will begin by collecting facts about Shakespeare. Who was he? What do we know about him? Using pictures, illustrations and artefacts from the playwrights life, the group will then be encouraged to differentiate between facts and assumptions about historical events and life in Renaissance England.
An interactive introduction to the theatre in Shakespeare's lifetime. With the help of a replica of museum items, models of an Elizabethan playhouse, and a vocabulary sheet, students will be equipped to talk about the differences between Shakespeare's theatre and theatres today.
Blood, guts and gore
Always thought Shakespeare unappealing to teenagers? How about a slightly different take on his plays? This session concentrates on the gory side of Shakespeare – blood, guts and gore. Students will learn about some of the darker sides of Shakespeare's world – execution, poisoning, disease and murder!
For advanced learners:
Shakespeare's Influence on Modern English
Why should English language learners study Shakespeare when they’re already grappling with modern-day usage and terminology? Be surprised by how many people today are still speaking Shakespeare without realising it!
Our team frequently works on collaborative projects with The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Shakespeare Institute, The University of Birmingham, The University of Warwick, The English Association, and The English-Speaking Union.
Sessions can be combined to create a Shakespeare short course tailored to your own needs.
Full details on all our courses together with charges are available from the Group Visits team.
Group Sizes Catered For
School groups must have a minimum ratio of one adult to every ten children. In this context, a child is any young person in primary or secondary education, including students at sixth-form college or equivalent in their country.
One adult will be admitted free of charge with every ten young people.
Large groups will be accommodated but we do ask them to split into parties of about 25 when going through the Houses.
Materials, Resources & Information Provided
The Learning Department has developed a range of educational resources for use in the classroom and to enhance a school trip to Shakespeare's family homes. These can be found on our website:
Photography, Filming & Audio Restrictions
Non-flash photography is permitted within the houses. Video and audio recording is not permitted.
Risk Assessment Details
Assistance in preparing the visit risk assessment - free familiarisation visits are available to teachers (please request this at the time of your booking).
Education Officer Information
Trade and Education Development Manager: Debbie Beardall
Please e-mail for latest costs: email@example.com
(Groups paying for their tickets up to 2 weeks in advance can save an additional discount on our standard group rates).
First Aid Information
Yes, it is advisable also to provide first aiders within your groups.
There is a Gift Shop at all of the Shakespeare Houses, except Harvard House; but to save time, themed gift bags can be ordered in advance for collection on the day – full details available on request.
There are additionally cafes at Shakespeare's Birthplace, Hall's Croft, Anne Hathaway's Cottage, and Mary Arden's Farm. Menus and information about group bookings available upon request.
Accessibility & Disabled Facilities
The Shakespeare Houses are historic sites and physical access around some of the Houses can be limited, however our staff are happy to assist in any way possible. Please discuss your needs with the Group Visits team so that they can ensure we are able to provide the experience you are looking for.
Opening Hours & Information
Please see our website for fiull Details, http://www.shakespeare.org.uk/visit-the-houses/group-visits/education-group-visits.html
A-level study day – ‘A fantastic experience for both students and teachers. Very informative and engaging. Thanks.’ - The Sutton Academy
Theatre Text in Context – ‘Excellent and engaging – again. Thank you and see you next year!’ - John Henry Newman School
Tudors Alive – ‘The children really enjoyed the day and have learnt lots. It was very well organised and the staff were very helpful and friendly. A super day. Thank you.’ - Astwood Bank First School
Rich Man, Poor Man – ‘The sessions were very well organised with stimulating activities. Every aspect was valuable and I would recommend the whole trip. One child told me this was his best day ever at school.’- Finham Primary