External Exams

9 07 2013


As I write this post I have just completed one full day of external LAMDA examinations with my Yr9 students and I still have three days to go.

The course was restarted last year – having been brought to a stop some time ago due to the cost of entering students.

I was informed by the examiner today that it is extremely rare to find a LAMDA course in a state secondary school and I am extremely proud of all that we have accomplished with our amazing students. We have created a diverse course incorporating the LAMDA specification as well as introducing students to a wide range of genres and techniques that will prepare them for future study of Drama and Theatre. We do not make it easy for them and include topics such as: Staislavski, Brecht, Musical Theatre and Shakespeare all in one year taught at a standard more typicaly associated with A-Level. The kids respond extremely well and so far they have exceeded our expectations.

That said – the examination process is exhausting!

Spending an entire day with sweaty, anxious students in this extreme heat is in itself a challenge. Taking on the multiple roles of; teacher, mentor, counsellor, friend, ally, to name but a few is definitely taxing.

I have had so many memorable moments already delivering this course. Like the time I let my own T-Shirt to a student who had forgotten to bring his “actors blacks”; or the time when I had to drive a child to and from his exam because he couldnt make it to school. There are several occassions I can recall when I could have washed my hands and declared that it was not part of my job role to resolve the ridiculous position I was placed in but these decisions have never caused me to experience a sense of regret; I want to see all of my students achieve and succeed.

Despite the fact that my students currently think I am the “Wicked Witch of the West”, I am very proud of them although they will never truly appreciate how desperately I want what is best for them.

Good luck LAMDA bunnies – you are amazing; although you will never truly come to know how much I care about each and every one of you you and how much I do to ensure that you achieve the success that you deserve.



13 08 2012

I do not expect as a general rule to post twice in one day; however, earlier I wrote about my frustration at having to wait for the results of my LAMDA exam. I have been waiting anxiously for almost 6 weeks to find out how what grade I and my students achieved and was starting to worry that I wouldn’t hear anything until September when I return to school after my holiday to Mexico.

It looks like the Academy may be following my Blog because my prayers have been answered and less than 2 hours after publishing my post an email from LAMDA appeared in my Inbox.

It seemed to take an eternity for the attachment to open.

The results are in and I passed!

Score: 92/100


My students also received fantastic results and have made me extremely proud.

I couldn’t be happier  🙂

Exam Results

13 08 2012

It is that time of year when thousands of children are spending a torturous summer waiting for the results of their GCSE or A-Level exams.

For a number of reasons I was always going to be fairly nervous about the 2012 results. I have taught two sets of exam students this year, my gorgeous Yr-9 LAMDA students and an equally fabulous GCSE class and I am anxious to find out how they got on, but it is also my first ever year of taking students through to the exam stage.

However I have the added pressure of waiting for results of my own. Back in the summer 2011 my Head of Department decided, in her infinite wisdom, that it would be a great idea to put me through my LAMDA Gold Medal exam. The premise was that it would enable me to empathise with my students, give me firsthand experience of the process which would in turn help me to plan my future delivery of this course, and it also had the added bonus of providing me with good evidence for my annual performance review demonstrating  my commitment to my ongoing professional development. It seemed a long way off at the time and I would have lots of time to prepare so I agreed.

However the time went very quickly and in the weeks leading up to the exam I actually felt physically sick. It was an acting exam in which I had to perform 3 monologues from different periods of theatre history and then be interviewed at degree level about my characterisation, knowledge of the social, political and historical context of the extracts and how I engaged with the work of a theatre practitioner during the rehearsal process. This is enough to make anyone nervous but as it has been over 10 years since I last took an exam I felt a little out of practice and as the first candidate to be examined I would have nobody else’s experience to draw upon.

I was also the centre co-ordinator and had to spend a lot of 1:1 time with the examiner including some very awkward lunch breaks during the three days he visited my school as well as making sure my students were in the right place at the right time in costume and not losing the plot due to their own nerves. The great thing was how this enabled me to build rapport and empathise with my students as it was one of those rare occassions when the expression “I know exactly what you’re going through” rang true.

Following my exam I had hoped that the examiner might take pity on me as a member of staff and give me some indication of how I had scored but he was the consummate professional. When the only thing we had in common was LAMDA it was difficult to find topics of conversation.

The results are due to be released within the next week and will be posted to me at my school, but as I leave for Mexico early on Thursday morning it may be a while still before I find out if I passed.

So like thousands of 16-18 years olds across the country I wait with baited breath and I just have to hope that I did enough on the day…