Launched in 2014 with the aim of supporting Widening Participation in local Coventry schools, the Performance and Pedagogy project places an MA student at a host secondary school where they devise and deliver a performance-based module that examines a play by William Shakespeare. Starting in October and running until the beginning of April, the Performance and Pedagogy project is an opportunity for students enrolled on any MA in the English and CLS Department at Warwick to enhance prospects and gain experience in teaching, devising theatre, classroom management, Widening Participation, and course design. This project is suitable for MA students with a proven interest in practical theatre and education who show an ongoing intellectual commitment to these areas. To support their involvement in this project, the successful MA student will receive a £8,000 bursary payable at the start of the academic year after enrolment has been completed.
The project begins in earnest at the start of the autumn term. After induction, the tutor will initially observe lessons in their host school and meet the two classes they will be teaching, quickly graduating to a supporting role in which they will take responsibility for portions of the lesson before leading entire lessons. During the first term the tutor will work closely with their school link teachers and host classes, following the school’s English curriculum as they develop and begin to introduce a performance-based module of their own devising. After Christmas, when the tutor returns for the second term, they will then lead their classes through the new module over a period of six weeks, examining a critical aspect of the play through performance. Throughout the course the MA student tutor receives support and training from both Warwick and school teaching staff, although tutors will find themselves in the position of leading classes in a very short space of time, and should therefore be prepared to take an active role from the start. At the end of the project the tutor will lead their classes in a sharing event at the Warwick Arts Centre, where pupils showcase their own drama pieces created in response to the play.
The Performance and Pedagogy project represents a serious professional commitment, with the MA student tutor responsible for developing and delivering an ambitious performance-based scheme of work targeted at pupils in school year 8. The student tutor can expect to be in school for at least half a day per week across two full academic terms, with at least as much planning and preparation time required outside of school hours. Additional training and development sessions take place at key points in the course with a member of academic staff and the Widening Participation Officer at Warwick.
Criteria for success
We are therefore looking to recruit a tutor who is genuinely enthused about the idea of introducing younger learners to the insights and experiences offered by a performance-based approach to the study of drama. Prospective tutors should feel confident about leading a class, possessing effective time management skills and experience in theatre and performance. Ideally, applicants should have some prior teaching or leadership experience. Past examples have included martial arts instructor, school mentor, youth theatre volunteer and director. Other teaching and mentoring experiences, such as supporting a younger sibling or volunteering in the community should also be clearly identified. Successful applicants will then be invited to an interview day at the University of Warwick in June, where they will be invited to participate in teaching-related activities and individual interviews.
Eligible MA programmes are: English Literature, World Literature, English and Drama, or Critical and Cultural Theory
The successful applicant will be required to complete a DBS (Disclosure and Barring Service) check. The Disclosure and Barring Service helps employers make safer recruitment decisions and prevent unsuitable people from working with vulnerable groups, including children.
Applications for 2019/2020 have now closed
The closing date for applications is Monday 20th May with interviews scheduled to take place on Tuesday 11th June.
Should you have any questions, please contact charlotte dot pearce at warwick dot ac dot uk(Widening Participation Officer) or on 0758 0966 704.
Lizzee Leedham, Performance and Pedagogy bursary recipient 2018/2019
Taking part in the 'No Chairs Shakespeare' Performance & Pedagogy project has been absolutely wonderful. The school were extremely supportive and the link teacher was highly experienced with the project and the texts. She worked closely with me at every turn to support my lesson planning, the structure of the ten weeks of rehearsal and coordinating with Warwick University. Warwick University was also extremely helpful, booking the Warwick Arts Centre, liaising with the school and the backstage technicians for the actual showcase performance. They could not have been more helpful.
We tackled Taming of the Shrew with a top set group of year 8s: the outrage was almost palpable. Far from "not getting" Shakespeare, they were enthusiastic in their questioning and fathoming of the text and issues arising from it. They wanted to put on their own performances challenging Shakespeare's text or responding to it. Their modern day versions carefully and cleverly put the text in new contexts and showed how issues which we might think archaic are, sadly, still relevant today. Some real passion for performance and analysis was uncovered, but every student who took part achieved something wonderful just in getting up in front of the audience and their peers to perform. I could not have been more proud and found the whole experience highly rewarding. I would recommend it to anyone with a love of performance and pedagogy.