The school's speech and drama lessons provide tuition in spoken English, poetry, reading aloud and acting. The lessons have given confidence to many pupils across a broad range of abilities. Children learn to develop presentation skills, especially reading and speaking to an audience with good clarity and diction. Such skills will, of course, benefit their confidence in all situations including participating in class activities. Tutorials are fun and interactive. They include the use of improvisation, props, costumes and even stage make up for the brave! In time children can build their abilities to handle various presentation situations including mastering scripts, using the telephone and presenting in the media. Learnt pieces can be used for examinations, school productions and auditions.
Format and timetable of tuition
Tuition takes place on Wednesdays in a variety of formats. These include private (individual), shared (2 pupils) or group lessons (3 to 6 pupils). Shared and group sessions are arranged for children of similar age and can, therefore, work on group pieces. Each session is 30 minutes long. Children from throughout the school, including Lower Kindergarten, may participate. Pupils will receive 30 lessons each academic year, normally divided into three terms of 10 lessons each, depending on term dates.
Tots Drama and Speech Club
The youngest children enjoy the Tots Drama and Speech Club. This is very much fun based and is open to children in Kindergarten and Lower Kindergarten. The sessions help develop speaking with clarity and good diction and improving vocal and facial expression. Fun speech exercises extend to acting out short plays including Shakespeare! This encourages children to see that poetry, books, plays, other languages and even Shakespeare can all be fun and interesting.
London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts Examinations
The option is available from the age of five for pupils to also enter the LAMDA examinations at the end of Summer Term. LAMDA is accredited by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and has a wide syllabus. It dovetails with the National Curriculum for English and can eventually complement the speaking and listening section of the English GCSE. Whilst this may still seem some way in the future, building good foundations now can be of benefit later. If pursued all the way to LAMDA’s higher level qualifications, between 20 and 90 points can currently be claimed under the UCAS tariff for University Entrance.
Mrs Vanyj (pronounced Vanay) trained for three years at The Italia Conti Academy until 1984. She has since run her own Drama and Speech School for over 20 years and also tutored communication skills in independent education for more than 10 years.
How to register
If you would like your child to attend any of the sessions descibed above please contact the school office on 01484 426432 who will, in turn, contact the Speech and Drama Tutor to establish the availability of places.