Trips outside the classroom can often enhance students’ learning and enjoyment of a subject. Here, we take a look at visits that complement the Key Stage 3 National Curriculum for English in reading, writing and speaking and encourage pupils to develop an interest in the subject.

Children dressed up at Shakespeare Centre

Source: Amy Murrell

Children taking part in a costume workshop at the Shakespeare Centre.


The current National Curriculum for KS3 English outlines that pupils should be taught to ‘develop an appreciation and love of reading’ through reading a wide range of fiction and non-fiction, including Shakespeare.

The Shakespeare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon offers two workshops specifically targeted to Key Stage 3 students that prove an insight into the world and plays of Shakespeare.

Brush up your Shakespeare looks to bring Shakespeare to life for children, as they discover facts about the playwright, explore his schooldays and learn about his plays in the First Folio.

The session aims to expand students’ understanding of the Bard, and take that understanding back to their reading in the classroom.

Spotlight on Shakespeare explores the literary and historical context of the Shakespeare plays of your choice. Students will discuss the language use and effects, identify ideas and issues that are present in the plays and imagine the staging of scenes.

Spotlight on Shakespeare also includes a short performance from the resident acting troupe, Shakespeare Aloud!

The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust provides downloadable teacher guides and activity booklets which can be used before and during a visit. Free familiarisation visits for teachers are also available.

For more information contact or visit


For teachers looking to take a small group of pupils on a writing trip, the charity Arvon offers residential writing courses for groups of up to 16 students. The courses take place at one of Arvon’s centres in Yorkshire, Shropshire or Devon and are tutored by two published writers as well as a guest writer.

Arvon gives students the opportunity to practice their writing skills in various different forms. Schools are given the flexibility to choose whether they would like the focus to be on prose, poetry, drama or a combination.

The course includes group workshops and individual tutorials. Students will read or perform their best work to the other students on the final night and may collectively produce an anthology of their writing.

Alongside improved writing, literacy and language skills, Arvon also suggests further benefits can include:

- Expanded imaginations

- Enhanced creativity

- Engagement and enjoyment in learning and raised achievement

- Development of self-esteem, confidence, social skills and team working

- A new passion for writing.

Moreover, as part of the trip students get to experience independent living as they are given the responsibility of cooking their evening meal.

For more information call 020 7324 2562, email or visit


Theatre Workout is a West End workshop and events company that provides bespoke theatre workshops for school groups. These can target the curriculum in a fun and inspiring way, combining Drama with English.

Workshops can be targeted towards Shakespeare, Storytelling or Acting for Theatre. There are opportunities to focus on voice and speech techniques, look at how intonation, tone and volume, as well as gestures and movement can alter a performance or presentation, and learn the art of storytelling.

The performance-based workshops can also be tailored towards a play or musical of your choice and offer games and exercises to encourage pupil participation.

For more information visit!education/c1c6k.