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Arts Award Shakespeare Challenge

Trinity College London and the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) have been working in partnership since 2008 on a special edition known as Shakespeare Challenge. This has resulted in over 1500 Arts Award Shakespeare Challenge special edition certificates being achieved, exploring a wide range of Shakespeare plays and giving young people the experience of working with script writers, creating characters and devising productions based on Shakespeare’s works.

From 31 December 2018, we will no longer be offering Shakespeare Challenge special edition certificates. If you are a centre or adviser who is currently working on a Shakespeare Challenge Arts Award, then this will be available for you to complete and submit for certification or moderation until then. Your moderation must take place by 31 December 2018.

Anyone interested in using Shakespeare as inspiration for their Arts Award can continue to do so in the future and will be provided with a standard Arts Award certificate rather than a special edition one. The RSC is currently exploring how it can continue to formally recognise those schools that do focus their Arts Award experiences around Shakespeare’s plays. They will be announcing more information about this in the Autumn term 2018.

'We are delighted that so many young people across the country have achieved the Shakespeare Challenge Arts Award. We’ve been really impressed by the calibre of the work produced over the past ten years. We look forward to continuing to offer Arts Award experiences to the schools, colleges and young people that we are privileged to work in partnership with.'  Jacqui O’Hanlon, RSC Director of Education.

If you have any further questions in relation to your Arts Award delivery, please contact us on artsawardenquiries@trinitycollege.co.uk


Until 31 December 2018, advisers can request to receive Special Edition certificates when making a moderation booking for Explore through to Gold, or placing an order for Discover certificates.

N.B - Follow the steps below for moderation or certification:


Place a moderation request as normal through the adviser portal selecting the levels at which you wish to moderate, then when confirming your young people’s details via the mass enrolment spreadsheet select the Arts Award level under ‘Exam suite’ and the Shakespeare Challenge option under the ‘Examination/product name’ column.

Discover and Explore

When confirming your young people’s details via the mass enrolment spreadsheet select the Arts Award level under ‘Exam suite’ and the Shakespeare Challenge option under the ‘Examination/product name’ column.

Resources to support you

For ideas and inspiration download our mapping and ideas resource.

For advisers delivering Shakespeare Challenge Special Edition read our guidance notes.

If you are delivering Shakespeare Challenge at Bronze level then we have created some Bronze portfolio templates that may support young people to gather their evidence.

Keep checking this page to find out more as this programme develops and as more opportunities come online. artsawardenquiries@trinitycollege.co.uk or call 020 7820 6178.

Stand up for Shakespeare

The Shakespeare Challenge recognises the approach to teaching and learning Shakespeare as celebrated through the RSC’s Stand up for Shakespeare Manifesto. The aims of this campaign were to encourage more young people to Do Shakespeare on their feet, See Shakespeare Live and to Start Shakespeare Earlier.

To speak to one of the RSC’s specialist education team 
call 0844 800 1113 

Arts Award also works closely with Shakespeare Schools Festival.
Click here for our briefing on how you can link the two programmes.