At StageAbility, we often get asked if we offer our students the opportunity to take LAMDA exams.  The answer is (currently) no and there is an important reason for this. 

Put simply, the study and teaching of the LAMDA exam syllabus is completely at odds with the style of our drama teaching at StageAbility.

StageAbility’s drama classes centre around our students devising their own material, using their imagination and exploring creativity, expressing themselves, working with others in a group and being spontaneous.

Although I appreciate the place for LAMDA and Trinity exams, the repetition of the rehearsal of the exam pieces, and the quest for perfection is not in keeping with what we teach at our weekly drama classes.

StageAbility’s drama classes are energetic, vibrant and ever-changing.  The students often don’t know what to expect when they come in the door every week and they LOVE it.

Having said that, I do see the importance of assessments.  They provide students with a goal to work towards and, when a student achieves a goal, we know that it will give them a remarkable boost in self-confidence.   Studying for a drama assessment also promotes discipline and commitment; a skill which will benefit your child beyond their drama lessons!

So StageAbility has its own set of drama assessments, the StageAbility Diplomas.  They are specifically designed to match StageAbility’s teaching style.  Across the different grades, the students are tasked with writing their own pieces, developing their own characters and performing prepared improvisations.  So much of the syllabus comes from their imagination and uses the performance skills they learn in class.  These diplomas really do motivate and encourage students of all ages and levels of ability.

It is true that our diplomas aren’t officially accredited and cannot earn your child UCAS points like the higher LAMDA grades can, but students have presented the StageAbility diploma syllabus and accompanying marking sheets to support their college and university interviews and been successful.  This is because they evidence commitment to a programme of study and, more importantly, a voluntary and optional programme of study.

Naturally students can be nervous about taking an assessment, but with a little encouragement from their parents and some guidance from their drama teacher, most children will feel able to take their first diploma with us.  Where will it take them?