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Last Updated: Monday, 14 November 2005, 00:11 GMT
RSC in school Shakespeare drive
Toby Stephens in the Royal Shakespeare Company's Hamlet
The RSC believes children should learn by performing
The Royal Shakespeare Company is to increase its efforts to boost the teaching of the Bard's work in schools.

The company will go into schools and encourage teachers to get children to study Shakespeare by performing his works rather than just reading them.

The project is part of a year-long festival in which every play, sonnet and long poem written by Shakespeare will be staged.

It covers both primary and secondary schools across the UK.

Active participation

The company already works with schools and runs conferences for primary and secondary school teachers on innovative ways of teaching Shakespeare.

"The Royal Shakespeare Company believes that Shakespeare should be taught standing up and saying and with children moving around rather than sitting down," a spokeswoman said.

The year-long festival, called The Complete Works, will be staged by the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford- upon-Avon from April next year.

Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen are among those taking part alongside theatre groups from around the world.

The festival will involve the expansion of the RSC's educational work.

During the event, schools from Warwickshire will present their own Complete Works Festival in The Dell outdoor theatre.

Key recommendations

The RSC will also be joining forces with five of the UK's major drama schools to produce Young People's Shakespeare productions.

Students will produce shortened productions of plays specifically designed for school audiences that will play in Stratford and tour schools across the UK.

The RSC will also launch its own inquiry to consider how Shakespeare is introduced to young people in a series of events and conferences and look at what improvements could be made.

At the end of the festival year it will make a series of recommendations to the government and key policy makers on the future teaching of Shakespeare.

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