BBC Learning taking schools on a 2012 journey from Shakespeare to swimming

Category: Learning; News
To help teachers and schools to make the most of 2012, BBC Learning has brought all the BBC Schools 2012 activity together in one place.

The portal - - is a single point where teachers can find information and discover all the 2012 resources available to them.

There’s access to School Report, World Class Assemblies, Twin for 2012 and Off By Heart Shakespeare, along with a Greek Hero adventure game in which users can roam around Olympia and take part in the Olympic Games. There are also interesting facts about the origins of the games, the Sacred Truce and the ‘nastiest’ Olympic events.

From Olympia to ‘wild’ swimmers, BBC Learning’s 21CC London team will work with schools and members of the public across the UK to produce a range of multimedia content throughout 2012. This will include working alongside The Big Splash to create a series of films to encourage people to get swimming.

There will be four films following the stories of ‘wild swimmers’ who will share their love of being outdoors in the water - in pools, rivers and seas - everywhere from Brighton to Dartmoor to the Gower.

The team will also work with 8-12-year-olds to create a number of animations which will sit on the CBBC website. They will follow the swimming adventures of four aquatic animals aimed at encouraging children to take the plunge.

BBC Learning’s Off By Heart Shakespeare- part of the BBC's Cultural Olympiad -is an exciting new recital contest that will get thousands of teenagers up on their feet reciting some of Shakespeare's most well-known speeches. At regional heats in autumn 2011, students will perform a speech and also have the opportunity to join a behind the scenes acting workshop where they will experience Shakespearean language like never before.

Eight finalists will battle it out at The Royal Shakespeare Theatre in a bid to be crowned Schools Shakespeare Champion in a televised final. A documentary programme following the story of the finalists will kick off the BBC Shakespeare Season which is part of the 2012 Olympics Shakespeare Festival. Visit to find out more – including free downloads.

BBC Learning is also working in partnership with The RSC to launch digital resources for teachers and secondary school students. These will provide unique insights into Shakespeare’s work through world class productions and workshops with the cast.

Three of Shakespeare’s most widely studied and performed plays – Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth and A Midsummer’s Night Dream - are ‘unlocked’ by exploring the three pivotal scenes that contain key moments for character and plot development. Through a series of short films, language, character development and dramatic devices will be explored – the core of the GCSE English Shakespeare curriculum.

The workshop films underline the fluidity of Shakespeare’s writing and show what makes these plays endlessly fascinating and how reinterpretation keeps them alive. Audiences will see how actors and directors apply their own interpretive choices and develop characters and scenes.