fbpx

A Complete Guide To The National Theatre’s Free Teaching Resources

By Tom Sanderson
Last updated: October 2020
The Golden Hinde Interactive Powerpoint - Early Years Resource Image

Here’s everything you need to know about the National Theatre’s education offering including a round-up of how to watch their productions through the National Theatre Collection and the links to all of the National Theatre’s free teaching resources.

Production shot from the National Theatre's National Theatre At Home production of One Man, Two Guvnors

The National Theatre’s Free Teaching Resources – The Quick Overview

The National Theatre’s main offerings to schools include their new National Theatre Collection, their accompanying downloadable education packs and educational videos.

All of the National Theatre’s opportunities are free for UK state schools (fee-paying schools pay to get access to the National Theatre Collection). The library of resources, activities, performances and teaching ideas are accessible for students of all ages and across a wide range of subjects.

Activities include:

  • Education Packs
  • Educational Videos
  • Free Online Productions
  • Free Online Course
  • Free Online Exhibitions
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: KS1, KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5
Subject links: Dance, Drama, English, Music & PE

The National Theatre Collection

The National Theatre Collection has 29 productions you can stream into your classroom including Shakespeare, Greek Theatre, Comedies, European Classics, American Classics, Adaptations of Novels and New Writing. Titles include hit productions from the National Theatre as well as the Young Vic, Donmar Warehouse and the Bridge Theatre.

Shows are also accompanied by supporting teaching resources, rehearsal insights and short films. All to help you connect the production with the curriculum and aid students’ understanding of play texts, including the theatre-making process.

Turner Contemporary Banner Advert

Productions available on the National Theatre Collection:

  • A Streetcar Named Desire (Young Vic)
  • Antigone
  • Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Young Vic)
  • Consent
  • Coriolanus (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Dara
  • Frankenstein
  • Hamlet
  • Jane Eyre
  • Julius Caesar (Bridge Theatre)
  • King Lear (Donmar Warehouse)
  • Les Blancs
  • London Assurance
  • Macbeth
  • Medea
  • One Man, Two Guvnors
  • Othello
  • Peter Pan
  • Romeo and Juliet (adapted for younger audiences)
  • She Stoops to Conquer
  • Small Island
  • The Cherry Orchard
  • The Deep Blue Sea
  • The Winter’s Tale (adapted for younger audiences)
  • Translations
  • Treasure Island
  • Twelfth Night
  • Yerma (Young Vic)
  • wonder.land
Production shot from the National Theatre's production of Frankenstein on The National Theatre Collection

How to sign-up to the National Theatre Collection

The National Theatre Collection is available for free for all UK state schools and currently available as a free trial to all other educational institutions. 

UK State-Funded Schools.

You can easily sign-up to access the NT Collection via an online form on the JCS Online Resources website. Once verified, you will be provided with a username and password (one per school) to access the platform.

Sign up to the National Theatre Collection through JCS Online Resources.

Find out more about the National Theatre Collection for UK State Schools. 

Banner Ads 01

All other Schools & Educational Institutions.

If you are a teacher at a fee-paying school or another type of educational institution, you can sign-up through the Bloomsbury Drama Online website.

There is a free trial available, after which point the Collection is available on subscription and as a one-time purchase.

Sign up to the National Theatre Collection through Bloomsbury Drama Online.

Find out more about the National Theatre Collection for fee-paying and other institutions.

In-school & remote access

During this unprecedented time, the National Theatre has opened up the license to the NT Collection. Teachers and students in UK state schools can access the platform from home for free.

Students will be able to access all productions, plus accompanying learning resources and other educational content.

Find out more in our complete guide to the National Theatre Collection.

National Theatre Teaching Resources A Taste of Honey Education Pack Image

National Theatre’s Free Teaching Resources

The National Theatre’s free teaching resources, educational videos and projects are all available to download and use for free!

National Theatre Education Packs

National Theatre education resource packs are available to download for free for parents, teachers and students.

The site has over 60 free teaching resources from past National Theatre productions including A Taste of Honey, Hedda Gabler, His Dark Materials, Translations and War Horse.

See all of the National Theatre’s Free Teaching Resources & Education Packs.

National Theatre Educational Videos

The National Theatre’s YouTube channel hosts a vast range of educational videos relating to their past productions. The channel also includes insights and explanation videos exploring Voice, Puppets, Devising and more.

See the National Theatre’s Educational Videos.

Turner Contemporary Banner Advert

The National Theatre’s New Views Playwrighting Course.

New Views is the National Theatre’s free playwriting course for 14-19-year-olds.

This online course, written by playwright Jemma Kennedy, is accessible to young people, students and teachers, for free.

Schools can also sign up to an in-depth programme that includes CPD for teachers and in-school workshops with professional playwrights.

Find out more about the National Theatre’s New Views Playwriting Course.

National Theatre Podcasts & Interviews.

The National Theatre has a collection of interviews with actors, directors and playwrights that you and your students can access for free.

You can listen to interviews on your Podcast app, or watch their range of recorded talks on their YouTube channel.

Learn more about the National Theatre’s Podcasts & Interviews.

Round-up of opportunities for Primary Schools

The National Theatre Primary Programme works with local primary schools across Greater London and schools across the UK, offering a range of projects for Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2 classes throughout the year. The programme offers many opportunities for enrichment with a focus on creativity across the whole primary curriculum.

Primary schools can get access to:

  • Let’s Play
  • Primary Theatre: Hamlet
  • Make Theatre Days
  • Primary Resources

See all of the National Theatre’s Primary Schools Offering.

Turner Contemporary Banner Advert

Round-up of opportunities for Secondary Schools

The National Theatre works with teachers and schools across the UK to open access to the arts, encourage young people’s creative ownership and sharing insights into the National Theatre’s backstage and on-stage work.

Secondary schools can get access to:

  • NT Collection
  • Archive
  • New Views
  • Secondary & Further Education Resources
  • Teacher CPD

See all of the National Theatre’s Secondary Schools offering.

National Theatre Young People workshop

Opportunities for Young People

The National Theatre offers a range of free opportunities and activities that you can share with your students.

16-21: Writing for Theatre

Whether you’re totally new to playwriting or have many drafts in your drawer, this course will help you sharpen your ideas and turn them into theatre.

This FREE course for 16-21 year olds will be delivered online via Zoom.

Find out more about the Writing for Theatre course.

16-21: How to be a Producer

Have you ever wondered what a producer does and how they do it? Are you passionate about theatre, music and art and want to create cultural events that inspire others? 

Save the Date: this online course for 16 – 21 year olds will take place across evenings in February 2021.

Find out more about the How to be a Producer course.

Newsletter Sign Up Banner 1940x500 1

Young Technicians 2021

Are you interested in lighting, sound, video and automation? Are you aged between 14–18? Then our technical theatre workshops could be for you!

Save the Date: This online course will run from January – March 2021

Find out more about Young Technicians 2021.

National Theatre Online Exhibitions image with past production wigs

National Theatre Online exhibitions

The National Theatre has brought their exhibitions online, and available for you to access for free. Here you can browse through past productions, theatrical techniques and learn more about the history of the National Theatre.

Find out more about the National Theatre’s online exhibitions.

Costume at the National Theatre

This exhibit explores the work of that department and the skills that go into making the world of a play.

View the Costumes online exhibition.

Staging Children’s Stories

This exhibit shines a spotlight on theatre created for children and their families, exploring how children’s stories have been adapted and produced at the National Theatre since 1980.

View the Children’s Stories online exhibition.

Newsletter Sign Up Banner 1940x500 1

Shakespeare at the National Theatre

This exhibit tells the story of Shakespeare at the National Theatre through eight landmark productions.

View Shakespeare at the National Theatre online exhibition.

Black Plays at the National Theatre

This exhibit tells the story of how black writers and directors have used theatre to explore issues at the heart of society, establishing themselves as a vital part of the National Theatre’s repertoire.

View Black Plays online exhibition.

Greek Tragedy at the National Theatre

This exhibit explores how the challenges of staging Greek tragedy have been met on the National Theatre’s stages through four themes; performance space, setting, chorus, and masks.

View the Greek Tragedy online exhibition.

Bright Young Tings

A photographic exhibition from the National Theatre Archive’s Michael Mayhew Collection is a rare snapshot of the work developed by black theatre practitioners between 1979 and 1982.

View the Bright Young Tings online exhibitions.

An Architectural History of the National Theatre

This exhibit tells the story of the architects who tried to build the National Theatre, before Denys Lasdun’s landmark three-auditorium complex was finally opened in 1976.

View Part 1 of the Architectural History online exhibition.

View Part 2 of the Architectural History online exhibition.

The National Theatre's Barber Shop Chronicles Production Shot

Summary

From watching a production on the National Theatre Collection to their free courses for young people, the National Theatre offers a wealth of opportunities to still connect with this world-class theatre.

They offer resources suitable for all ages and most of what they offer can be accessed by everyone for free.

For more information on National Theatre’s Education Offering, see their Learning Page.

Virtual School Trip Ideas Post Statue Social image

Take a virtual school trip!

See our complete guide of 40 Virtual School Trip Ideas You Can Do For Free. The list features virtual school trips broken down by subject, Key Stage and opportunities.

See the full list of 40 Virtual School Trip Ideas You Can Do For Free.

For more free resources, see our Complete Guide of Free Teaching Resources, Teaching Ideas & Educational Activities. The list features over 100 resources broken down by subject, Key Stage and opportunities.

See our full list of Free Teaching Resources & Teaching Ideas.

Also see…

28 Shows You Can Watch Online For Free

100+ Free Home Learning Teaching Resources, Teaching Ideas & Activities

20 Free Drama Teaching Resources, Lesson Plans & Teaching Ideas

52 Free English Teaching Resources, Lesson Plans & Teaching Ideas

Advertisement 

Turner Contemporary Banner Advert

Get the latest news, education resources, tips & guides – for free!

We share the latest educational resources, news, tips and guides to help you connect the arts and culture with the curriculum.

Latest News, Tips & Guides.

Advertisement 

Latest Teaching Resources & Teaching Ideas.

Get a quick, weekly round-up of everything you need to bring your next school trip into the classroom.

Sign-up to our newsletter and get access to all the information, news, free teaching resources, ideas and activities to help you bring your next school trip into the classroom.

It's free to join, and you'll have exclusive access to perks and offers you won't find anywhere else!

  • Free teaching resources & lesson plans
  • Free teacher toolkits with everything you need
  • Free teaching ideas & activities
  • Full information on virtual school trip ideas

Plus you'll also receive:

  • Our exclusive tips & guides
  • Free, unlimited advice & support
  • Amazing offers, discounts & invitations

Sign up today and join thousands of other teachers who already have access to these exclusive perks!

We 100% respect your privacy, protect your data and you can unsubscribe at any time. For more details, please read our Privacy Policy.

The School Trip Community Blue Statue

Sign up to our weekly newsletter for more FREE resources, news, tips & guides.

Get a round-up of all the latest, FREE resources and activities - helping you connect the arts and culture with the curriculum.

Welcome to The Community!