The world's largest youth drama festival

  • 1,500 students marked a very special evening

    Celebrating 16 years of the Festival

    On the 7th November 2016, we celebrated a landmark moment as the 250,000th young person stepped onto our stage. Since our launch in 2000, we have seen young people from Aberdeen to the Isle of Wight, Belfast to Bromsgrove, Pembroke to Peterborough take on Shakespeare, achieve greatness and show the world what they are really made of.

  • A story from one of our 2016 Festival schools

    Special school students exceeding expectations

    "Our pupils got so much out of tonight, and of course the whole process. The Festival has not only challenged and stretched them but us too as practitioners. This has enabled us to see our pupils doing amazing things that we didn't think they could be capable of. Our dancers where questioned when I submitted our cast list as being too 'high risk' a cohort of pupils; they can on occasion display extremely challenging and violent behaviour. SSF has helped to show their true potential and highlighted the importance of letting our pupils have a go and to be truly aspirational." Teacher-Director, Riverside School, Bromley

  • The story of Vaila's production during the 2015 Festival

    A Student-Director wowing her teachers

    "While venue directing at Loch Gelly on Wednesday I saw the best version of Macbeth I have ever seen. The show felt professionally designed and the use of music and lighting significantly enhanced what was already a terrific production. What makes this so much more impressive is the fact that the director was a 17 year old student, Vaila. After the dress rehearsal I took her aside, along under the supervision of her teacher who listened from a short distance away, and told her how brilliant the production was. I said I would be happy to give her future advice and guidance to help her as she starts her further training or career in directing. Her teachers at this point were quietly crying with joy and looking at their young student with so much pride. They later told me that they believe in her talent and to have a professional confirm it was a thrilling experience for them. Vaila also then began to cry as the teachers hugged her. This was the highlight of my Festival, as SSF touched lives and made a real difference to a community and school from a small town of Coupar in East Scotland." SSF Stage-Director

  • A special guest at on of our performances

    Jeremy Corbyn surprises Festival performers

    Schools performing in the Festival at the Pleasance Theatre in Islington received a surprise visit from Jeremy Corbyn, who gave SSF a resounding round of applause. He took his seat in the audience to watch Morningside Primary School’s Romeo and Juliet and to support schools performing in his constituency. The casts received high praise from their special guest and had the opportunity to meet him with their families and teachers. Jeremy Corbyn also showed the SSF team how much he remembered from his own Shakespeare education in school. Taking on the role of Macbeth, he teamed up with a Year 5 Lady Macbeth cast member to perform a scene in the theatre foyer.

97%
of teachers told us they developed strong leadership skills

We train and support teachers from primary, secondary and special schools to work actively and ambitiously with Shakespeare.

About our impact
95%
of special school teachers saw an increase in their students' resilience

We believe Shakespeare is for everyone. Every year children from very different backgrounds come together to perform on the same stage.

About our impact
79%
of special school teachers saw an increase in their students' confidence

We believe Shakespeare is for everyone. Every year children from very different backgrounds come together to perform on the same stage.

About our impact
87%
of teachers would strongly recommend the Festival to a colleague

We train and support teachers from primary, secondary and special schools to work actively and ambitiously with Shakespeare.

About our impact
As a result of the Festival process,
97%
of teachers are confident working with Shakespeare

We train and support teachers from primary, secondary and special schools to work actively and ambitiously with Shakespeare.

About our impact
As a result of taking part in the Festival,
97%
of teachers think they will stay in teaching for longer than 5 years

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
98%
of teachers developed a strong relationship with their students through the Festival process

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
97%
of teachers told us their students were better able to express themselves

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instil curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
86%
of teachers reported that their students' academic attainment improved

We work to promote educational attainment - especially in literacy, literature and the performing arts.

About our impact
93%
of teachers told us the Festival improved their teaching

We work to promote educational attainment - especially in literacy, literature and the performing arts.

About our impact
86%
of teachers said that their students' behaviour improved as a result of the Festival

We work to promote educational attainment - especially in literacy, literature and the performing arts.

About our impact
95%
of teachers stated that students were more enthusiastic about learning

We work to promote educational attainment - especially in literacy, literature and the performing arts.

About our impact
86%
of teachers reported that attainment in English improved

We work to promote educational attainment - especially in literacy, literature and the performing arts.

About our impact
10%
of participants have English as an additional language

We have used the power of Shakespeare to improve the life chances of thousands of the most disadvantaged young people in the UK and with children with special educational needs.

About our impact
11%
of participants have a statement of educational needs

We have used the power of Shakespeare to improve the life chances of thousands of the most disadvantaged young people in the UK and with children with special educational needs.

About our impact
12%
of participants are eligible for free school meals

We have used the power of Shakespeare to improve the life chances of thousands of the most disadvantaged young people in the UK and with children with special educational needs.

About our impact
27%
of participants are minority ethnic

We have used the power of Shakespeare to improve the life chances of thousands of the most disadvantaged young people in the UK and with children with special educational needs.

About our impact
More than
1,000
schools participate in the Festival

We work nationwide - from Aberdeen to Aberdare, Carlisle to Clacton.

About our impact
Our young people will perform in front of
65,000
people nationwide

At our core is our Festival - the world’s largest youth drama festival.

About our impact
In 2018 we will work with up to
30,000
young people

At our core is our Festival - the world’s largest youth drama festival.

About our impact
96%
of teachers said that their students were resilient as a result of the Festival

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
95%
of teachers reported that their students were better able to empathise with each other

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
99%
of teachers said that their students increased in confidence

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
97%
of teachers agreed that their students were better at working together as a team

Every year we help thousands of young people from across the UK become better at teamwork, more confident and more ambitious.

About our impact
94%
of students are more likely to seek out new opportunities

With us, young people change their attitude to learning; we instill curiosity, empathy and pride.

About our impact
More than
250,000
young people have taken part in the Festival

At our core is our Festival - the world’s largest youth drama festival.

About our impact

SSF is a cultural education charity that exists to instil curiosity and empathy, aspiration and self-esteem, literacy and teamwork - giving young people the confidence to see that all the world is their stage.

Learn more about us