How the Festival helped Tyler rejoin mainstream education
My name is Abbey, and I’m a Year 12 student, and I have been doing work experience with Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation this week (20th-23rd June 2022).
I have always been passionate about Shakespeare, and love working with young people, so CSSF felt like the perfect place to do work experience!
On Monday, I started off by joining the weekly meeting and listening to everyone’s plans for the week. The first thing I got to do was have a look at the website and everything on the backstage section which were all so cool! Throughout the rest of the day, I spent time printing off resources and making the packs for the teacher workshops for the festival, and also publicity - including creating my own post!
After battling the train strikes on Tuesday, I joined Alex to do some marketing work. He showed me how he had designed this year’s impact report, and I went on to help him draft an email to go out encouraging people to donate to the summer Big Give fundraiser! I also took a look at some of the resources for students, and helped to edit them for the programmes team. My last job of the day was actually nothing to do with marketing, publicity, or programmes - it was to tidy up the props and costume cupboard! (I’m still a little bit puzzled as to how Shakespeare and a banana costume go together, but there is one in the costume box!)
On Wednesday, I got the opportunity to join a Teachers Workshop! It was so cool to see all the resources I had been looking at on Monday being used for real! The workshop was really innovative and engaging - featuring some great ideas and activities that I’m taking note of in case I do any directing in the future!
Thursday was back in the office after battling rain and train strikes again! I spent the day doing a variety of programmes and publicity - sitting in on meetings, looking at the statistics for social media engagement this week, and writing blogs - including this one!
All in all...
The staff at CSSF were so friendly - I could see not only how passionate they are about what they are doing, but also the real impact they have on young people by making Shakespeare more accessible.
My favourite part of the week has to be the Teacher Workshop on Wednesday because I got to see CSSF’s work (and the resources I printed out and put together) in action! I have really enjoyed everything I have done (even fixing the printer’s paper jam!), but I think getting to see how enthused the teachers were at the end of the day to go back to school and create their Shakespeare play was the highlight of the week!
This week has been really good for showing me what the real world of work is like (rewarding but exhausting!). Working with Coram Shakespeare Schools Foundation for the last four days has made me even more passionate about Shakespeare, and especially the amazing impact his plays can have on young people across the UK. Thank you so much to everyone at CSSF for having me!