At Whitchurch we are proud to offer LAMDA sessions to our pupils.
LAMDA exams are designed to develop the skills required for effective oral communication and public presentation. LAMDA teachers prepare children for these to measure their progress in speech and drama. This gives children a sense of achievement, improves communication skills, increases self-confidence and helps them develop strong social skills.
Our LAMDA co-ordinator Jayne answers some of your queries and questions below:
You only do Grade One at Whitchurch
False! LAMDA have suggested appropriate ages for each grade and we’re pretty much sticking to those guidelines. That means that if you continue with the pattern of doing one grade per year, it’s possible to leave in Year 6 with Grade 3.
Why can’t children do it every term? They love it!
We are really happy to hear that, but it would mean they speed through the grades too quickly and will be expected to handle material that is too advanced for their age. In addition to guiding the students through to getting a qualification, their mental health and confidence are of the utmost importance to us, so we would rather stick to the age appropriate grade and for them to get an amazing result and therefore the confidence to stay with the journey. However, as we have had such an incredible demand for students who did the first two terms wanting to do it again, we’ve come up with the scheme where they can do the same grade in a different subject. This enables them to get two qualifications a year and different experiences.
My child’s friend is doing a higher grade
There are always exceptions to the rule. We have students who have shown incredible aptitude for learning and tackling challenge; we also have nervous students we need to challenge and motivate with a higher grade. We also have Whitchurch pupils who have previously done LAMDA at Stagecoach from a younger age and we’re continuing with the grade progression whilst still keeping within the guidelines by offering different subjects. Please trust our ability to work out what is best - we are always open to communicating our decisions.
Year 6 can’t participate in LAMDA
When Mrs Rowley and I worked out the logistics in the first term, she believed Year 6 had too much on to have LAMDA added to the mix but we have sinced reviewed our offer, especially with the large turnover of Year 5s who did LAMDA in the Spring term. When the booking process opens for September, we will first invite those who did LAMDA in Autumn 2022 to do the next grade; priority will then be given to Year 6s to continue their journey from Spring 2023 (or any ‘new’ Year 6 pupils who want to work towards a grade). In the Spring and Summer it will then be open to new and returning students across the rest of the school. We operate for 4 days a week every term, giving the opportunity to 48 students a term - that’s 144 students a year!
My child didn’t enjoy LAMDA
This one hurts but we accept that it’s not for everyone. In some instances, with good communication between us, the school and home we can turn around a feeling and address an anxiety to come up with a different approach for those who struggle. The key to success in LAMDA is for the whole community to get involved. Obviously we do the lion’s share of the work by choosing the subject, pieces and guiding students through the process to reach LAMDA’s criteria. At home, they need support and encouragement to memorise and practise pieces.
We don’t need you to direct or know exactly what questions to ask - leave that to us. We’ve noticed the difference in the students who have support and cheerleading from the entire community (including the amazing Whitchurch staff!) rallying around and listening to the poems, speeches or monologues and giving some positive praise. Ask questions about the subject matter, characters and words - just taking an interest will help to boost children’s confidence on the road to the exam.
I’ve had a few parents express how tricky it’s been to get their child to practise, show them or explain what they’ve been doing! As long as we know this, we can work out a solution! As much as we understand the criteria LAMDA are looking for inside out, there is always a student whose results really surprise us. Many of those students who expressed a worry have done really well! At the end of the day, we are humans not robots and what happens in that room is between the student and the examiner and their opinion on the day.
Why do the results take so long?
Whitchurch pupils are so lucky to have a dedicated learning space and expert tuition for a fraction of the price of private lessons, not to mention the admin of exam entries being done for you. However, when it comes to LAMDA we are out of control of the timetable of exams, which examiner we get and the time is takes to receive results and certificates. It is a minimum of 6 weeks from exam date for results - certificates usually arrive 1-2 weeks later. I then work with
Mr Thompson-Lawrie in getting in for celebration assemblies ASAP! We all believe that recognition is an important part of the experience and are so proud of the result so far.
Why isn’t Jayne teaching anymore?
With an increasing number of students and needs, I’m making sure the background works smoothly between school and teachers and that the exams run without fault. I am also there to cover illness for the teachers I entrust to keep the lessons going. I’m very much still involved!
If you have any further questions or queries please get in touch by emailing: