The Tempest – Rhinegold Publishing

The Tempest


Lenny Henry is to play Othello. This announcement came as a surprise to some critics. Henry himself said that his first experience of Shakespeare at school was ‘… like some lump, ancient language that we didn’t really understand’. He has since ‘come to the conclusion that … Shakespeare is for all of us. These are primal stories about death, revenge, love, passion and politics’

The National Curriculum Key Stage 3 English document recommends studying at least one Shakespeare text. This scheme of work can, with a little imagination, be readily adapted to use with different Shakespeare plays. If your school is one that encourages cross-curricular schemes of work, then this scheme links well not only with English but also music.

The National Curriculum recommendations for music include, at KS3, the use of ‘sound to create mood and atmosphere’ and some simple composition. This scheme uses a soundscape, which could be developed in music. Sea shanties could be sung, used for movement, and students could easily compose their own shanties to suit the needs of The Tempest. 

From a drama perspective, the scheme uses individual, paired, small group and whole-class activities. Students encounter mime, movement, sound, dialogue and guided improvisation. The complete text is not explored. Focus is given to status through the Prospero/Caliban relationship and humour with the drunken seamen and Caliban. Homework is set once every two weeks. Running through the heart of the scheme is the inculcation of self-discipline and cooperation without which, I believe, no progress can be made.


    • Status
    • Physical theatre
    • Working with dialogue
    • Guided improvisation
    • Devised performance preparation

    Number of Lessons: 11

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