COVID-19 Update: We've provided information below on how our online lessons work.

Online Lessons

Online lessons at Shakespeare Academy consist of:

  • OpenLearning
  • Zoom (where your tutor will give some lectures)
  • Handouts (which you can print at home, or request to be mailed to you)
  • Required texts (where applicable; e.g. for a course on Romeo and Juliet, you’ll need the Oxford School edition)

Our traditional courses have all been designed to run for 20 hours. Recently, we have renovated our courses so you can complete them both synchronously (in your scheduled class with your tutor) and asynchronously (in your own time). This method will maximise your learning (and fun)!

The timing of the previous 20-hour courses now look like this:

  • 15-20+ hours to complete in own time (we have many activities and material for ambitious students)
  • 10+ contact hours with the tutor, including
    • 5 hours on Zoom
    • 5+ hours on OpenLearning for marking, facilitating discussions, and answering questions

We’ll give you an example of how a week’s lesson will look like.

Before Class

Every Monday at 6am, your lesson for that week unlocks. To prepare for a Romeo and Juliet class, you’ll have:

  • A section from the drama/play to read
  • Videos to watch
  • Reflection questions to answer
  • Quizzes to answer
  • Time to prepare a list of questions for your tutor during your scheduled class

During Class

During this time, you, your tutor, and your peers will be online via Zoom. Here are some activities that will take place:

  • Sharing your pre-class reflection questions
  • Asking the tutor questions you have
  • The tutor providing a mini lecture and/or analysing Shakespeare’s text
  • Focusing on a specific theme in Romeo and Juliet (e.g. fate)
  • Finding, sharing, and discussing the best quotes that are most relevant to the above theme

After Class

After class, you’ll have some homework to complete based on the class lectures and discussions. Homework activities will include:

  • Writing an opinion piece of how your lesson has influenced your understanding of the topic
  • Writing an essay on fate based on the quotes gathered in class

Each of your lessons will build your skills and help you achieve the learning outcomes of the course (and help you enjoy Shakespeare more!).

We have put together a trial lesson on OpenLearning for you here. If you are a current student, please contact us for the access code to complete the course for free.


Every year, over 70,000 students across NSW sit two compulsory HSC exams for English, the results of which make up 20% of their ATAR. But not every student is confident about these exams, and many find their compulsory English subject the most difficult and stressful during their HSC year. Often, their negative reactions to English are caused by systemic problems: students were never given the proper tools with which to succeed, or never had enough practice to consolidate what they did learn.

At Shakespeare Academy, we address these problems by employing a unique structure to our classes, which then provides students with the most helpful tools and opportunities for useful feedback. Indeed, we strive to challenge and break two stereotypes:

  1. Shakespeare and other English literary classics are difficult to understand and enjoy;
  2. ‘Young people’ in the early twenty-first century don’t possess the qualities to excel at and appreciate a variety of English literature

To achieve this, our goal is to provide students with the necessary tools to learn about all aspects of English language and literature, and to help students understand what they learn.

Additionally, Shakespeare Academy operates with the following missions in mind:

  • To invite students of all ages, abilities, and backgrounds to engage with English literature;
  • To foster a love for the written word;
  • To broaden students’ minds and imaginations through stories;
  • To encourage curiosity about the world around them, as well as the worlds and people from different times and cultures;
  • To equip students with the proper skills and vocabulary required in the analysis of English literature; and
  • To provide students with life-long skills in verbal and written communication

We look forward to sharing with you our expertise in and passion for English literature!

We have also compiled the following documents for your information: