THE GAME is afoot – to quote Shakespeare.
And a new computer game aims to help introduce Shakespeare to teenagers.
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust (SBT) has launched a digital game to support the teaching of the Bard to 13 and 14 year-olds.
It is primarily aimed ay Key Stage 3 pupils who will be required to study two Shakespeare plays under the revised curriculum.
Playing for Shakespeare has been developed by the educational charity following its research into the experience and needs of teachers covering the playwright in the classroom.
Around half of pupils at Key Stage 3 have no prior knowledge of Shakespeare’s life and works when they are taught his work aged 11.
And the number is likely to increase from September 2014 as the Tudors will no longer feature as part of the national curriculum for primary schools.
The Playing for Shakespeare game aims to allow pupils to get to know Shakespeare’s world without the need for knowledge of a specific play.
The game revolves around the young central character, Nicholas, as he explores the Elizabethan theatre world. Pupils follow Nicholas’ adventures as he is invited to star in some of Shakespeare’s greatest plays, working from a script, and getting to grips with verse structure and Shakespeare’s creative way with words.
Elizabeth Dollimore, SBT Outreach and Primary Learning Manager, said: “Playing for Shakespeare is the result of 18 months of research with more than 100 teachers and trainee teachers across the country.
“The biggest difficulty that teachers reported was the attitude of pupils to Shakespeare; many pupils believe that Shakespeare’s work will be difficult, and perceive it as irrelevant to modern times. We also found that Shakespeare’s language can be challenging for teachers as well as pupils.
“Working with teacher training colleges and established teachers in their placement schools, we have created this game as a fun, interactive way to break down those barriers and make Shakespeare accessible.”
Visit www.playingforshakespeare.org.uk for further details.