Lessons From Hamlet

communications skills training drawing from the art and science of the performing arts 

This page is a free resource for schools around the world created for (and with)
the staff and pupils at the John Rankin Schools in Newbury in the U.K.

Please note that this page will change and adapt over the coming weeks in response to the input, questions and feedback from staff and students.

Every week [for five weeks] the year six pupils will develop their communication skills and deepen their understanding of peace education, the power of stories and the six values that shape our character:

Bravery, Energy, Creativity, Openness, Motivation and Self Esteem.

They will work with playwright, actor, philosopher and peace scholar Roy Leighton using the 'To be, or not to be speech' to develop the skills of communication and oracy.

The graphic below shows the four areas of oracy we will be exploring.

Source: Oracy Cambridge - Hughes Hall Cambridge Centre for Effective Spoken Communication

Time table

Friday 19th April - The Call To Adventure

Introduction to the What? Why? Who? and How? of communication skills.

Friday 26th April - Acceptance of the Call

Theatre of Peace workshop with Roy Leighton.
Working with the text of Hamlet. What part are you gong to play?

Friday 3rd May - Crossing the Threshold

Deepening our understanding of the the four elements of oracy: Body [physical], mind [cognitive], heart [social and emotional] and soul [linguistic].

Friday 10th May - The Path of Trials

Theatre of Peace workshop with Roy Leighton.
'Rehearsing the revolution' - preparing for performance for others by awareness of our own personal understanding and application of change.

Friday 24th  - Return with the Exilir

Final rehearsal and reflections with Roy Leighton.

Celebration assembly with parents: 'Lessons from Hamlet' 

As part of our celebration assembly on 24th May for parents, pupils and staff we are going to use the 'To be or not to be' speech from Hamlet to show how we are shaped by time, our relationships, our resilience and the results and rewards we strive for. This will support our whole school BECOME programme using story telling and the 'Philosopher's Stone' (see other page on the Undiscovered Country web site). 

What a piece of work is man! 

How noble in reason! how infinite in faculties! 

in form and moving, how express and admirable! 

in action how like an angel! 

in apprehension, how like a god! 


There is an Indian proverb that says that 

everyone is a house with four rooms, 

a physical, a mental, an emotional and a spiritual. 

Unless we go into every room, every day - 

even only to keep it aired - we are not a complete person.

Rumer Godden 

The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune 

The heartache and the thousand natural shocks 

That flesh is heir to: 

To die, to sleep; 

To sleep perchance to dream. 

For in that sleep of death what dreams may come, 

When we have shuffled off this mortal coil,

Must give us pause. 

There’s the respect that makes calamity of so long a life.

The pangs of disprized love, the law’s delay, 

The insolence of office and the spurns 

That patient merit of the unworthy takes, 

When he himself might his quietus make with a bare bodkin?

To grunt and sweat under a weary life, 

But that the dread of something after death, 

The undiscover’d country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns, puzzles the will, 

Than fly to others we know not of?

Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought, 

With this regard their currents turn awry, 

The B.E.C.O.M.E. programmes are available
in a variety of formats:

Keynote address is a lively and thought-provoking one-hour presentation, adapted to the needs of the audience and designed to galvanise your conference or event.

This half-day programme is designed to give you a crash course in designing and implementing teaching as storytelling in your school.

This full-day programme is designed to dig a little deeper into the underlying art and science of storytelling and the power of myth.

This 101 Day programme is designed to give you a complete and in-depth course in designing and implementing Peace Education through story and play in your own establishment.

To book us or to find out more complete the inquiry form below