Speech and Drama
Introducing Speech and Drama to Dauntsey's
After teaching Drama and Theatre Studies to pupils for six years at Dauntsey’s, I was delighted to introduce Speech and Drama to the school. As Head of Speech and Drama, my aim is to offer lessons which challenge pupils in a supportive environment, tailoring lessons to suit pupil’s individual ability whilst building on their existing skills through exploration of inspiring and age appropriate play texts.
Lessons of Speech and Drama are available to pupils across the school; students can choose to study Acting, Devising or Shakespeare. These lessons may be used to work toward graded exams at their own pace, to simply develop performance skills or to prepare audition material for Drama Schools or University. Lessons are thirty-five minutes in length and delivered once a week, with the option to attend them alone, or with a peer completing the same syllabus and grade.
We offer two exam days a year, one in the Autumn Term and the second in the Summer Term. We are extremely proud of our pupils achieving 100% pass rate in June 2021, with 83% securing a Distinction!
LAMDA within Lower School
Pupils within the Lower School will find lessons of Speech and Drama fun, engaging and accessible, building core skills such as expressing themselves and speaking fluently. Typically, Grade 2 would sit nicely with a First Form student, moving up a Grade a year, in line to achieve Grade 8 before graduating Dauntsey’s in the Upper Sixth. However, students may have already completed higher grades in their Primary setting and may be ready to tackle a more challenging grade; learners can enter at any grade, with the ability to ‘skip’ a grade if their ability suits.
Upper School Speech and Drama
Speech and Drama lessons go hand in hand with GCSE and A Level study of Drama, nurturing performance skills and a breadth of knowledge in play texts from a variety of genres, styles and periods. Developing a devised piece and performing an extract from a text is a requirement for both GCSE and A Level Drama, and so completing additional Speech and Drama lessons can only be beneficial to a pupil’s academic study. At A Level, pupils are also required to perform a monologue or duologue, and so those who have prior experience preparing for LAMDA exams may feel better prepared.
Pupils may, however, simply complete Speech and Drama lessons for personal enjoyment or as an additional ‘string to their bow’. Lessons do not only develop subject knowledge, but foster an ability to present themselves to others, develop fluency in reading and ability to memorise and recall. Lessons may be used to develop a portfolio of pieces to be used for auditions to Drama School or to read Drama at University.
UCAS and Duke of Edinburgh Award
LAMDA is recognised to award qualifications on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) in England by the Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation (Ofqual). Grades 6, 7 and 8 are included within the UCAS Tariff, meaning points can be gained to aid university applications within the UK, thereby providing a tangible reward for the hard work and commitment pupils have applied. Six points would be awarded for a pass at Grade 6, whilst a distinction at Grade 8 would earn thirty points (the equivalent to a C at A Level). In addition, completing lessons of Speech and Drama can be counted towards the ‘skills’ section of the Duke of Edinburgh award.
Further information on the Speech and Drama programme and examination fees can be found here.
LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art)
LAMDA is the oldest Drama School in the UK, founded in 1861. Since the 1880s, they have been helping learners across the world develop into confident speakers, with the principal aim being to provide the opportunity to nurture self-assurance, self-expression and creativity.
LAMDA offer examinations in a range of Speech and Drama disciplines from Entry Level through to Grade 8. Over a hundred thousand people take LAMDA exams every year; we are delighted to offer such an exciting opportunity for the pupils at Dauntsey’s to become a part of this, developing knowledge and skills which will assist them through their schooling career and life beyond the school gates.