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. Lesson plans give clear learning objectives and detailed instructions – so you can concentrate on teaching
  2. Photocopiable pupil worksheets supplement practical work
  3. Accompanying PowerPoint presentations keep pace and focus throughout each lesson

What do teachers say about this resource? (11105)

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

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