Online Workshop Guidelines

Bell Shakespeare adheres to the highest standards of conduct in our work and the same applies to our work online. This document outlines what procedures and safeguards we have in place for our online programs including To Thine Own Self Be True, Shakespeare Storytime, Shakespeare Seminars, John Bell Scholarship auditions, online Teacher Professional Learning and any other online workshops.

We have implemented the following standards and protocols to ensure that all online workshops are safe and secure while also ensuring effective learning outcomes.

All Bell Shakespeare online workshops are delivered via private Zoom sessions. You can register for a Zoom account for free here. Zoom can be accessed via tablet, smartphone, or computer.

Before the online workshop we will:

  • request that all participants register prior to a scheduled session. Bell Shakespeare will consult with teachers or parents/guardians for guidance in instances where registration is not feasible for young people;
  • generate a unique Meeting ID for each separate session – meaning the same ID is never used more than once;
  • generate a unique meeting password for each separate session – meaning the same password is never used more than once;
  • Send the unique Meeting ID on the day of, or in the days preceding the session, to ensure security; and
  • enable each session with a waiting room, meaning that participants are unable to access the session prior to the host, and will be admitted by the host.

At the commencement of the online workshop we will:

  • mute participants upon entry – audio is disabled as a standard for all participants, however the host will enable audio as required;
  • disable the private chat function – the public comment function will be enabled meaning any comments or messages will be seen by the host and all participants;
  • disable screen sharing, file transfer and annotation functions for all participants, unless required and appropriate;
  • lock the session once all participants have joined, or after a set time, meaning that the session cannot be accessed by others;
  • verbally outline security settings, housekeeping and general protocols at the beginning of each session;
  • indicate if the session is going to be recorded and for what purpose; and
  • ensure that more than one representative from Bell Shakespeare is present in each session.

We ask that all participants:

  • ensure that their audio is disabled unless advised otherwise;
  • ensure that they are using headphones, if possible, to minimize any background noise;
  • ensure that their first name (or preferred name) is their Zoom display name – sometimes this appears as the account holder who may not be the participant (to change your display name, once the session has started hover over your video image and click the three dots that appear, then click ‘rename’);
  • ask questions via the chat function unless advised otherwise;
  • refrain from sharing inappropriate written or visual content in the chat function, including URLs, images, gifs, stickers, emoji and memes;
  • minimise the exposure of unnecessary personal information of themselves or other participants, including photographs;
  • minimise the exposure of unnecessary personal information in their video background or use a virtual background; and
  • display courtesy and respect to the Bell Shakespeare host/s and other participants at all times.

Bell Shakespeare reserves the right to mute, disable the video of or remove any participants displaying inappropriate, disruptive and/or offensive behaviour. Bullying, inappropriate language, inappropriate sharing of content, aggressive behaviour and/or the inability to comply with required conduct will result in the removal of participants from the session.

Advice for parents to support their children as participants:

If your child is participating in our online workshops, here are a few tips to help them (and you!) get the most out of the experience:

  • set up your child’s device in a shared communal space or implement an open-door policy in the home to ensure that you can monitor your child during the session;
  • consider the use of a default virtual background instead of a video background;
  • if possible, ensure that your child wears headphones to block out background noise;
  • be aware that all participants in the class will be able to see your child’s Zoom display name (For optimal security, please avoid using surnames – we suggest first name only or first name and surname initial); and
  • watch the start of the session, if possible – listen to the opening welcome and overview. This will ensure both you and your child understand the expectations of the session.

Child Safe Policy:

Bell Shakespeare places the highest priority on the care, wellbeing and protection of children. All Bell Shakespeare Teaching Artists hold current Working With Children checks. Bell Shakespeare’s Child Safe Policy includes specific requirements for Teaching Artists engaging with Children and Young People through online mediums.

All children working with Bell Shakespeare have a right to feel safe, respected, valued and protected from harm, and children should be made aware of and feel confident in their rights and responsibilities.

A summary of Bell Shakespeare’s Child Policy is available for download by clicking this link.

A copy of Bell Shakespeare’s full Child Safe Policy can be shared on request by emailing


If you have any questions regarding these guidelines or Bell Shakespeare’s online workshops, please contact us at

We look forward to working with you online!