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Free Teaching Resources, Careers Advice, Workshops & Projects from The Old Vic

By Tom Sanderson
Last updated: July 2020
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The Old Vic education hub provides teaching resources for schools, students, parents and young creatives. Here's everything you need to know about their new education hub and how to access The Old Vic teaching resources, plus careers advice and schemes your students can get involved in. All available for free!

Want more FREE resources, tips & guides?

We’re here every step of the way to help you find the best teaching resources, activities, virtual school trip ideas & more.

The Old Vic Education Hub – The Quick Overview

The Old Vic education hub includes behind-the-scenes insights, careers advice, education packs, educational videos, online workshop and guides.

Activities include:

  • Career Advice
  • Educational Videos
  • Online Workshops
  • Teaching Resources

Suitable for: Upper KS2, KS3, KS4 & KS5

Subject links: Citizenship, Art & Design, Drama, English, Music & PSHE

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The Old Vic Education Packs

You can download and use all The Old Vic’s previous education packs and teaching resources.

Packs include information and background to the shows plus rehearsal diaries, interviews and classroom activities. They also include Key Stage suitability plus their direct subject and curriculum links.

Show education packs currently available:

See all of The Old Vic Teaching Resources.

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Take a look behind-the-scenes of The Old Vic

Students and teachers can watch exclusive videos taking them behind-the-scenes of past Old Vic productions.

These educational videos feature big names such as Tim Minchin, Annie-B Parson, Kate Prince, Emma Rice and Lyn Gardner. Videos explore everything from directing and devising to composing and theatre criticism.

Educational videos currently available:

See all the available Old Vic Behind-The-Scenes Videos.

See all The Old Vic’s videos on their YouTube channel.

The Old Vic’s Inside Guides

Take a look at The Old Vic’s Inside Guides for information, interviews, advice, practical tips and exercises. Their current packs focus on directing and playwriting.

See The Old Vic’s Inside Guide To Playwriting.

See The Old Vic’s Inside Guide To Directing.

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The Old Vic’s Online Workshops

Take part in one The Old Vic online workshops. You can learn more about directing, playwriting, music and more – all available for free.

Introduction to Directing

This workshop has been designed for GCSE and A Level students taking part in their Schools Club programme. However, anyone with an interest in directing is welcome to take part.

This workshop will help students understand what a director does and gets them to think about the kind of director they would want to be. It also gives tips and exercises to work with text and the opportunity to create their own director’s concept.

The directing workshop is broken down into sections with a short video introduction in each. Students will then find a creative exercise for them to try at home.

The online workshop is free to access. Students will just need a pen and paper or a computer to make notes as they go.

Take a look at The Old Vic’s Introduction to Directing Online Workshop.

Writing Music

Ear Opener is a new series of free video masterclasses from the Clod Ensemble that demystifies the process of writing music.

Aimed at anyone who wants to write their own music – in whatever style you’re interested in – Ear Opener gives accessible explanations of the tools people who write music use everyday, and honest discussion about the creative process.

The workshop features interviews with amazing musicians across the spectrum, including legendary producer Brian Eno, saxophonist Cassie Kinoshi, TV & film composer Isobel Waller-Bridge, rapper Lowkey and Radiohead guitarist Ed O’Brien.

Find out more about The Old Vic’s Writing Music course.

The Old Vic Theatre Makers Mini Masterclass

Between September and December 2020, The Old Vic Theatre Makers company are being joined by a series of guest practitioners who will be leading masterclasses in their creative practice.

Each creative has made a mini masterclass, with a takeaway exercise for anyone with an interest in that practice.

Find out more and take part in The Old Vic’s Theatre Makers Mini Masterclass sessions.

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The Old Vic’s Schemes for Students and Young People

OV Pen Pals

New for 2020, as part of this year’s online The Great Get Together, inspired by Jo Cox, The Old Vic is launching OV Pen Pals.

The new scheme aims to connect members of their Matinee Idols programme with primary school children through letters, emails and phone calls. Once matched, every two weeks, Pen Pals will be set creative challenges to complete together.

Find out more about The Old Vic’s OV Pen Pals scheme.

Find out how to get your primary school involved in the project.

ALSO SEE – 100+ Free Home Learning Teaching Resources, Teaching Ideas & Activities

The Old Vic Careers Hub

Do you have a student that wants to work in theatre? The new careers section on The Old Vic education hub will give them information on directing, composing and playwriting – all for free from The Old Vic team.

The hub includes Careers Advice, online workshops and Teacher Resource Packs for their Old Vic productions.

See The Old Vic Careers Advice page.

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Front Line Online

Front Line Online offers young people aged 19-25 based in Lambeth a series of free online digital sessions with two highly experienced theatre practitioners.

The programme will take place over six weeks in June and July with weekly mentoring sessions and creative workshops that use drama and theatre techniques.

Front Line Sessions will cover:

  • Teamwork and customer service
  • Difficult Conversations in customer-facing roles
  • CV and interview skills and cover letter writing
  • Goal setting, achievements and next steps

Front Line Online has been designed to support young people to confidently take their next steps into employment. Whether that is through increased communication and teamwork skills or learning how to confidently approach an interview.

Participants will also be invited to join The Old Vic’s Alumni Network, giving them access to masterclasses, tickets and further opportunities at The Old Vic and other cultural organisations.

Front Line requires no previous experience and The Old Vic particularly welcomes applications from anyone not in education, employment or training.

Applications are now open. Young people can apply via a short online application form or via video submission.

See more information about The Old Vic’s Front Line Online scheme and find out how to apply.

Take the Lead

Take the Lead is a free employability programme from The Old Vic for students aged 15–18 that uses theatre techniques and creative workshops to build on five core skills: communication, self-management, self-belief, teamwork and problem-solving.

This programme is created in collaboration with schools and businesses and draws on The Old Vic’s expertise as a theatrical institution to support young people to take ownership over their next steps after school and prepare them for the working world of the future.

Take the Lead includes three main engagements for selected schools.  

Learn your Part – 2 hour in-school workshop

How do we use our physicality and words to communicate and work with others. Your students will explore the tools that actors develop in the rehearsal room.

Build your Company – 2 hour in-school workshop

How do we work together using our skills and those of our team mates to create and present an innovative pitch? Your students form their own theatre company and pitch the next Old Vic production.  

Take to the Stage – 2 hour in-school workshop

How can we practically apply the skills developed on the programme to help prepare us for the working world? Your students explore how to communicate their skills and strengths when applying for their next steps; including CV writing tips, how to create your own elevator pitch and interview guidance.

The programme will take place between January and May 2021.

Take the Lead participants will also be invited to a follow-up employability event hosted by The Old Vic. Students will be able to sign up independently for this weekend event which will feature a guest host, exciting guest speakers and a performer as well as employer stalls, employability skills workshops, CV drop-in station and a networking session.

Partner schools will also benefit from:  

  • A welcome video with Take the Lead ambassadors  
  • Students will be supported by a Prompt Book, an additional learning resource  
  • Teachers will be further supported via an online Meet and Greet and an online CPD session as well as a teaching resource pack

How to take part

This programme is designed for students in Year 11–13 at secondary schools within the M25. The programme is free of charge and open to students studying any subject (you don’t have to be studying drama).

Deadline to apply is 16th November.

Head to the Take the Lead page on The Old Vic’s website to find out more and apply.

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Hear more information from The Old Vic 

If you’d like to hear more from The Old Vic and their schemes, you can sign up to their school’s newsletter.

You can also apply to be part of The Old Vic’s Schools Club, giving you access to free theatre tickets, bespoke workshops, backstage tours and further teaching resources.

See more information about The Old Vic’s Schools Club and how to apply.

Sign up to The Old Vic’s School Newsletter.

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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

Want more FREE resources, tips & guides?

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