Research suggests that young people get the most out of Shakespeare's plays when they experience rehearsal room approaches.

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Research suggests that young people get the most out of Shakespeare's plays when they experience rehearsal room approaches. The work we’ve developed with schools over more than a decade empowers young people to bring complex language to life. It does this by approaching the text in the same way that our actors do in a professional rehearsal room: making language truly meaningful through investigation and performance.

We and our partner schools have built up a body of evidence about how those approaches can raise aspirations, attainment and change whole school communities.

Here you can explore

Featured Research: RSC Schools' Survey

Following work undertaken by the University of Warwick, we now have robust research that indicates the positive impact our way of working with Shakespeare has on young people, their teachers, schools and wider community.

The findings show that rehearsal room approaches to studying Shakespeare can significantly improve student language skills and acquisition. In particular, some of the schools surveyed reported increased SATs and GCSE English scores. 

The full report is available here but below is a short summary of key findings:

  • 95% of teachers said that working with us resulted in their students becoming more willing to contribute ideas and opinions in class. 
  • 94% said that the work was a catalyst to helping young people ‘find their voice’ – improving pupils’ language skills and confidence to use language (reading, writing, speaking). 
  • 95% of teachers reported an increase in student confidence and self-belief.
  • The way of working was of particular benefit for boys previously considered to be ‘disengaged’ or low-level learners. 
  • 97% confirmed that working with the RSC, a regional theatre partner and other local schools had significantly improved their students’ engagement with Shakespeare.
  • 96% agreed that the long-term and sustained nature of the programme (schools sign up for a minimum of two-years) was vital to achieving positive outcomes.

The research also revealed that our approaches were especially helpful in preparing students for the new GCSE exam.  Furthermore, the Headteacher of one primary school reported that KS2 SATS results in English Grammar, Punctuation and Spelling (EGPS) rose from 41.7% to 96.7%. 

Read the full report


Shakespeare for everyone

Help us make Shakespeare and theatre-going vivid, accessible and fun for young people. As a charity with £4m to raise every year the support of our audience is vital in making those first experiences really count.  Please consider making a donation. 

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