Ready to take centre stage

Two girls acting on stage

ACS International Hillingdon students flourish in partnership with LAMDA

A new partnership between ACS International School Hillingdon and one of the oldest drama schools in the UK, London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA), is helping students to blossom in various performing arts disciplines, so they are ready and confident in careers both on and off-stage.

ACS Hillingdon students taking part in the Speaking in Public drama programme learn skills in speech-writing, improvisation, and live performance, whilst the Shakespeare course also on offer covers elements of traditional Elizabethan theatre with enhanced interpretation and performance skills.

Designed to offer insight into the world of theatre and performing arts, areas of study – which can include voice and body language, character development, stage skills, audition and interview, script adaptations, direction and production – provide students with a platform to develop their love of the arts alongside a range of personal strengths.

At the heart of their learning is extended research, critical thinking and collaborative working – all promoted by ACS International Schools’ International Baccalaureate programmes, which also encourages students to become independent learners.

LAMDA supports students in a creative approach to the course. Alongside honing their acting skills, students can also learn different methods and practices through a variety of artistic approaches, in fields such as set design and costume.

As part of the IB Career Programme (IBCP), ACS Hillingdon will run school-based Film and Theatre courses alongside the LAMDA PCertLam and Grade 8 programmes. These courses will be offering core academic programmes in conjunction with industry-level practical skills-based classes, which include make-up and prosthetics, staging, sound design, and VFX and animation.

The benefits of taking part in drama classes and the performing arts are well documented, and it’s widely acknowledged that acting helps students not only with their stage skills but also boosts their self-confidence for future high pressure moments in situations such as job interviews, negotiations or debate, for example.

"Our students cover an enormous variety within the LAMDA performing arts course," said Lisa Blair, High School Principal, ACS Hillingdon.

It’s essential for our young people to feel positive about public speaking and through this engaging course students deliver both prepared and impromptu speeches. Physical and vocal skills are developed throughout the course with the aim of reaching and engaging audiences.

“Additionally, the Shakespeare course helps our students develop the mindset necessary to understand and communicate a Shakespearean text to an audience using interpretative and technical skills, alongside knowledge of the performance process.” Giaccomo Grilli Blair, ACS Hillingdon student, said:

“The LAMDA course has been a unique learning experience. Not only have I deepened my knowledge and understanding of Shakespearean language, and public speaking speech presentation, but I am now so much more confident in projecting my voice and focusing on the different ways I can communicate my message or lines on stage. It’s a liberating feeling, and I know the skills I have learnt as part of the LAMDA course will be really useful to me as I move on to university and beyond. I have really enjoyed the drama and speech work, and would thoroughly recommend it to other students.”

The current course is a LAMDA Level 3 qualification and participants are examined by the external body at LAMDA. In future, examinations may be taken at ACS Hillingdon campus.

For more information, visit www.lamda.co.uk