As part of the UK-Russia Year of Language and Literature 2016, the British Council in cooperation with the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia is pleased to announce a "Shakespeariad": a series of creative challenges and competitions inspired by Shakespeare. The Shakespeariad incorporates a National Schools Olympiad, open to all Russian schoolchildren, with winning students travelling to the UK for short study trips.


In April 2016, five hundred finalists of the National Schools Olympiad in English and Art participated in the first Shakesperiad competitions. From these finalists, six winners were selected by a jury of British Council and Ministry experts:

  • Alexandra Zhirnova (Moscow)
  • Alina Lopteva (Belgorod Region)
  • Olga Tumurova (Buryatia)
  • Liya Khuzina (Chelyabinsk Region)
  • Stepan Baranov (Novosibirsk Region)
  • Elena Taranina (Khakasia)

The winners will travel to the UK in Summer 2016 to study English and academic subjects in Moreton Hall and Itchen Sixth Form College.

National Schools Olympiad Partners

Established in 1913 by the Lloyd-Williams family, today Moreton Hall is proud to be one of the UK's highest achieving independent girls' schools. Moreton is seen as a forward-looking school where academic success and extra-curricular achievement are valued equally. The school is known for being small, friendly and open, not cluttered by petty rules, but with a clear set of values agreed upon and respected by all members of the school community. Every pupil is nurtured and encouraged to fulfil their potential – the aim is to stretch the most able and support the least confident, informs and guides the learning process.

Itchen Sixth Form College, based in the city of Southampton, has been providing education since 1906. For over 16 years, the school have enjoyed welcoming international students who have added to the vibrancy of the college. Itchen has become one of the most popular sixth form colleges for international students according to the Association of Colleges. The student population is around 1,400 in total. Of the overall population, 10% are international students, and this, we feel, allows an optimal mix and benefit for all our students.


On 25 April 2016, British Council and Ministry of Education and Science of Russia invited Russian teachers to join the Shakespeare Day – and conduct a lesson dedicated to life and work of the great playwright.

All educators participating in the Shakespeare Day had an opportunity to take part in the competition for the best «Shakespearean» lesson plan and win one of three UK trips. The lesson might be in Russian or in English, on topic of life and works of the playwright, his place in history, and various interpretations of his heritage.

To assist with the preparation of the lesson plan, British Council and the Royal Shakespearean Company offer the Shakespeare Lives! School Pack which help integrate the elements of Shakespearean sonnets and play into the study process.


In September 2016, over two million school students will test their knowledge of Shakespeare through specially designed National Schools Olympiad challenges in English, Art, Literature and World Art & Culture.

In April 2017, twelve winning Olympians will be awarded short-term study programmes at some of the UK’s leading schools.


For Russian Shakespeare fans not eligible for the Schools Olympiad, the British Council is pleased to offer various stimulating creative challenges in March-December 2016. This part of the «Shakespeariad» launches in March with several contests that offer the chance to win a trip to the UK.

  • Illustrated Shakespeare School Competition (7+) – completed
  • England, Shakespeare and I – completed
  • To Be or Not To Be? Photo Competition – completed
  • Creative Essay Competition – completed
  • Shakespeare Essay Competition – completed
  • Poet Spot Competition – completed
  • Talk Your Way to London Competition – completed
  • Crossword competition with ITEC – completed
  • Shakespeare Limericks Competition – completed
  • Shakespeare Would Love It — Culinary Competition – completed
  • Re: Shakespeare Competition (18+) – completed
  • Competition "Young Shakespeare" – completed
  • Like Shakespeare Competition – completed
  • Book Trailer Competition – completed
  • Shakespeare Inspiration Photo Competition – completed


The general partner of «Shakespeariad» is the Ministry of Education and Science of Russia. For the full list of the partners, please follow the link.