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Performance and Pedagogy information 2024/2025


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.

Project structure

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.

Time commitment

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 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, Critical and Cultural Theory or Environmental Humanities.

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 2024/2025 are now closed.

Should you have any questions, please email Alex Breeze, Widening Participation Officer (English and Comparative Literary Studies)

Megan Rechtien, Performance and Pedagogy bursary recipient 2023-2024

My experience working with the students through the 'No Chairs Shakespeare' approach was both informative and rewarding. To a lot of students, approaching Shakespeare is a daunting task with understanding the language and the meanings. By placing the lessons within the drama context, it allows for the students to look at the text through another lens than just being some play that they have to read for class. Instead, it became an exploratory experience that allowed for students to really examine The Taming of the Shrew past the language and into the themes and better understanding the characters.

The teachers I got to work with were amazing as well and very welcoming! Any questions or concerns I had; they were there for me throughout the entirety of the process. They provided helpful feedback throughout and were always willing to jump into help me during the lessons when needed. Warwick was super helpful as well with providing helpful resources for me in addition to advocating for me. They also brought in students from the University to help during the day of the showcase who were able to work with the students on their performances while I ran the technical rehearsals.

Getting to see the work that the students devised in its completion at the Showcase was an immensely rewarding experience. What I like about this program is that the students get to take the world Shakespeare provided and turn it into something of their own. Getting to place their interpretations of the characters in their own narratives and in a way that made sense to them. In addition, getting to see the more nervous students overcome their fears of performing in front of others is an experience that they will have for the rest of their lives.

I would recommend applying for this bursary to anyone who is interested in teaching.