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 late October and running until the end of March, the Performance and Pedagogy project is an opportunity for students enrolled on any of the 4 MA programmes in the English and CLS Department at Warwick to enhance career prospects and gain experience in teaching, devising theatre, classroom management, Widening Participation and course design. This project is suited to an MA students with a proven interest in practical theatre and education who shows an ongoing intellectual commitment to these areas. To support their involvement in this project, the successful MA student will receive a £4,000 bursary.
The project begins in earnest in late October. After induction, the tutor will initially observe lessons in their host school and meet the two Year 8 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 and planning for the performance module. After Christmas, when the tutor returns for the second term, they will take full responsibility for teaching their new performance module. The first part of the module is intended to be a practical exploration of the themes, characters and language of the play through a ‘No chairs’ approach and the second part of the module provides the opportunity for pupils to create their own performances inspired by work produced in earlier practical lessons. The project culminates in a showcase of these performance pieces to an audience of parents and carers at the Warwick Arts Centre in late March – usually 1-2 weeks after the end of Warwick’s term. Throughout the course, the MA student 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 this point we expect all teaching to take place in school, but this may subject to change depending on the ongoing impact of COVID.
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 Year 8. If the school timetable allows, the bursary recipient will teach both classes on one day and also meet with the link teachers for planning and feedback meetings; however, it is possible that instead they may need to attend school for two part days each week. 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.
The school is located in the north of Coventry, approximately 30 minutes from the city centre by bus. The bursary recipient will be responsible for organising and funding their transport to and from school.
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 participate in an interview with teachers from our partner school, a member of academic staff and our Widening Participation Officer.
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.
Please apply using this link Applications for 2022/2023 are now open and will close on Tuesday 17th May. The interview date will be Monday 13th June.
Should you have any questions, please contact Charlotte Pearce (Widening Participation Officer) charlotte dot pearce at warwick dot ac dot uk
Lizzee Leedham, former Performance and Pedagogy bursary recipient
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.