Engaging with Shakespeare: Scheme of Work for KS3 English

Who really was Shakespeare? What were his passions and imperfections, successes and scandals? What can we infer from his life and work? ‘Engaging with Shakespeare’ enables KS3 students to answer these questions. Twenty hour-long lessons bring Shakespeare’s work to life and prepare students for further study of Shakespeare at KS4 and beyond!

This would act as a brilliant introduction to Shakespeare which could then be built on and developed in KS4 when a Shakespeare play is studied in depth

J Hathaway, Head of English, Glenalmond College & Peer Reviewer

Explores extracts and ideas from:

  • Twelfth Night
  • As You Like It
  • Macbeth
  • The Merchant of Venice
  • The Tempest
  • Sonnet 99
  • The Taming of the Shrew
  • Othello

Working through a full Shakespeare play can be a real challenge for KS3 classes. Instead, this stimulating scheme of work encompasses key passages and themes from some of the Bard’s greatest works. Drawing on a wealth of material, it encourages students to analyse Shakespeare’s attitude to race, gender, life and death, and how this compares to contemporary and modern attitudes to these pertinent topics.

  1. 19 concise lesson plans give clear learning objectives and detailed instructions – so you can concentrate on teaching
  2. 26 photocopiable pupil worksheets supplement practical work
  3. 21 accompanying PowerPoint presentations keep pace and focus throughout each lesson

What do teachers say about this resource? (11105)

Very thorough and in-depth resource covering both language and literature key skills, using a wider range of reading as well as key themes and concepts from Shakespeare’s work. I loved the structure of the resource and accompanying PowerPoint - very clear learning journey... I particularly liked the wider reading aspect, covering more modern types of literature (e.g. Carol Ann Duffy) as well as 19th century texts. I loved that there were different forms of literature included and that the end of unit assessment was a language assessment... It develops the key skills needed for moving up to key stage 4, I thought that the focus on inference was very useful for English Language GCSE, as was the task on drawing out the P-E-E structure... PowerPoint was visually engaging whilst containing the right amount of information to prevent cognitive overload. Everything was well structured, with later tasks building upon previous skills... It matches the curriculum really well, focusing on reading and writing skills. I would be very happy to use this resource in my own department.

S Kinsey , Teacher of English & Peer Reviewer

I really like this scheme of learning - I think that each of the lessons is really cool - a perfect introduction to Shakespeare.

I really - and I mean really - enjoyed the ideas that were included; especially Shakespeare's treatment of women and explorations of religion and attitudes toward various groups at the time.

I really think it is valuable for teaching Shakespearean context and I think it’s exemplary for considering things which are often tacked on at KS4. Students will be able to explore wider context clearly and with a critical eye as they pass through the scheme.

It’s super valuable to teach students the Context that they need to succeed at GCSE and also to think critically about the world around them, what we teach and why we teach it. It offers students the opportunity to explore less-known plays and how/why they are included in the spec.

K Emmerson, Teacher of English & Peer Reviewer

A well-organised and thoughtful resource designed to introduce KS3 pupils to Shakespeare and a range of issues related to both his life and his work.

I liked the range and breadth of the resources. It touched on both issues relevant to Shakespeare and his life and times but also used that as an opportunity to consider other texts and issues both from today and also from other periods of history.

The resource contains some carefully constructed activities designed to promote critical engagement with some rather meaty issues, but it does this in a very accessible way. The educational value of this resource lies in the drawing together of a wide range of texts and information to allow such critical engagement to take place.

This is a resource aimed for KS3 pupils, but this would act as a brilliant introduction to Shakespeare which could then be built on and developed in KS4 when a Shakespeare play is studied in depth. It allows teachers to sow the seeds of Shakespearean knowledge that can then be returned to later on.

J Hathaway, Head of English, Glenalmond College & Peer Reviewer

An extremely comprehensive and well-written resource which gave an excellent insight into Shakespeare and his works whilst exploring a wide range of texts from other sources, both old and modern. It covers all curriculum areas of reading, writing, speaking and listening and some innovative teaching methods which encourage interpretation and debate... I particularly liked the slides, which were very attractive and covered main points well. I liked the fact that the resource contained a comprehensive scheme of work which catered for students of a range of abilities and learning styles. The wide range of texts was impressive, as was the fact that all key areas of the curriculum were covered... It provides an insight into Shakespeare and his works whilst allowing learners to come to their own conclusions based on study, inference and debate. The scheme of work indicates how individual lessons combine to provide learners with all the resources and knowledge needed to complete the final assessment. It also deals with the topics of sexism and racism in historical and modern context... It matches and interprets the KS3 specification extremely well. Specs are designated to individual lessons and tasks, covering a broad range of curriculum areas. It even provides assessment tasks and guidelines for marking which are graded.

D Massey, Tutor & Peer Reviewer

The lesson structures and SOW are good and make a good starting point for teachers to prepare lessons on this topic.

The themes of Shakespeare’s attitude to his wife and the overall theme of attitudes to women at the time of writing the plays are covered in depth and detail in the lessons and there is a good range of material to use so that students can explore these themes in detail.

I found the breakdown of the lessons and the SOW helpful and it is a good starting point for teachers as there are opportunities to build on this and add further suggestions and ideas.

The resource helps students to develop skills in reading and critical evaluation of Shakespeare’s work and his intentions as a writer. These skills are integral to both GCSE and A Level and would develop the students’ understanding of Shakespeare to a higher degree.

The use of a range of extracts and the development of skills of inference gives students insights into society at the time that Shakespeare lived.

M Linney, Teacher & Peer Reviewer