Shakespeare in schools module planning project

Dr Tom Rutter, Lecturer in Shakespeare and Renaissance Drama in the School of English, tells us about his project which has received support from the Engaged Curriculum funding stream.

Students meet sixth formers at A University outreach event.

Students meet sixth formers at a University outreach event.

This initiative will support a group of students to plan (in 2014-15) a project that will first run in 2015-16 on the LIT3052: Project Module convened by Dr Brendan Stone and Dr David Forrest. The students will be funded to take part in discussions with staff and pupils from High Storrs School, Sheffield about how undergraduates from the School of English might support the teaching of Shakespeare in schools within the parameters of LIT3052.

In Spring semester 2014-15, up to six undergraduates from the school of English will be recruited to do the following:

  • As student ambassadors, participate in a Shakespeare-themed event for High Storrs sixth formers at the University of Sheffield in late June 2015. Through presentations given by members of the School of English, and through group discussions facilitated by the student ambassadors, the sixth formers will be given a taste of how Shakespeare is taught at university level.
  • Build on the relationship created at the University of Sheffield event by going into High Storrs soon afterward to observe teaching and discuss with staff and pupils how students from the School of English might help support the teaching of Shakespeare at High Storrs and, perhaps, beyond.
  • On the basis of their findings, formulate the details of a project to run on the LIT3052: Project Module in 2015-16 that will involve students from the School of English (these may or may not be the students working on the Shakespeare in schools module planning project) supporting the teaching of Shakespeare at High Storrs and possibly beyond: for example, through participating in lessons, through creating online materials, etc.

This plan is in keeping with the University’s definition of the Engaged Curriculum as ‘combining academic rigour and disciplinary knowledge with opportunities for students to learn with and from external partners’ – in this case, a local school. Its impact will outlast the funding period by leading to the design of a project that will be embedded on an undergraduate module in 2015-16, and could be sustained beyond that (depending on the nature of the project).

As at January 2015, I’m in the process of agreeing a date with High Storrs, and preparing to advertise the prospective module to students who might be interested in taking it in 2015-16. Tom will be bringing us more updates as the project progresses.

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