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EMC CPD Online: An Active Approach to Shakespeare – Building the Personal Response

Course content

How do we encourage students to engage positively with Shakespeare? How do we provoke discussion? How do we promote curiosity and excitement about engaging with complex text? This course will take on the challenges of teaching Shakespeare, using rehearsal room inspired, active approaches which have been adapted (and tried and tested) for online participation. The activities will help students to build personal responses, enabling them to reflect on the resonance of the plays in their own lives, and will develop their ability to justify and explain their responses using textual references. The course will focus on Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth but the activities can be adapted for any Shakespeare play. We will have time to reflect together on the challenges and opportunities of using this active approach in the classroom.

Session 1: Engaging with the Text (10-11.35am)

  • Building enthusiasm and encouraging close reading.

Session 2: Character (11.50-1.15pm)

  • Developing techniques to explore characters and their relationships.

Session 3: Rhythm and Rhyme (2-3.30pm)

  • Active approaches to exploring Shakespeare’s verse.

Further details

  • This course will be limited to 30 participants.
  • This is a very interactive course and you will be asked to unmute your microphone and, preferably, to turn on your camera.  If you would like to take part but will not be able to unmute your microphone, please email to discuss whether the course is suitable for you
  • Due to the interactive nature of this course (with people encouraged to have their cameras on at various points) this course will not be recorded.


  • Course materials will be sent the day before the course in the email with your joining instructions. Please either print these out or have them available on screen during the session.
  • After the session you will receive the PowerPoint presentation, any resources used on the course and a £10 voucher to use against any purchase on

Course tutor: Tom Davey

Tom Davey is an education practitioner and a RADA trained actor. His acting career includes two years at the Royal Shakespeare Company playing lead roles. Tom has worked as an education practitioner at the Royal Shakespeare Company, The Young Vic, Shakespeare’s Globe, and the London Shakespeare Workout Prison Project. During that time, he has worked with thousands of school children of all ages on Shakespeare’s plays as well as with students, teachers and professional actors. This work has taken him to many places in the UK as well as California, New York, Brunei, Germany, France, Switzerland, Belgium, Malta and China. He is passionate about the impact that rehearsal room activities can have on building personal responses to Shakespeare’s text and providing positive experiences for teachers and pupils.

How to book your place

Bookings for this course will close at 8am on Monday 1st March, or when capacity is reached, whichever is the sooner.

  • This course must be booked online. If you pay by card that is a big help to us as a small, not-for-profit organisation. Please only ask to be invoiced if required by your school. If you need to pay by invoice, you must be signed into a 'School User’ account.
  • To book a place on this course, first sign in to your account on the website, or register one if you need to.
  • Click ‘Book online’ (right-hand column) and fill in the name and email address of the person attending the course. The joining information and post-course email will be sent to this address.
  • If you are booking for more than one person, repeat the process.
  • Then hover over your basket (top right) and click checkout. You cannot update number of places booked from within your basket. If you want to book another place on the course, return to the course page and go through the same process.
  • Once you have booked your place, you will see a screen ‘Your order was a success!’ You may want to make a note of your order number. You will also receive an automatic acknowledgement of your booking.
  • Your email with all the information you need to join the session will be sent out on Tuesday 2nd March. You will be sent a reminder on the day of the course. Please check your junk or promotions folder. Still no luck? Email



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