St Mary’s has had, for many years, a special relationship with RADA – the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art. This has involved the school and the academy collaborating in a number of projects, including workshops on Physical Theatre, Voice and Audition Skills. In September 2007, a new year-long course was established for the UVI Form – The RADA Advanced Communications Skills Course.
The first of its kind in any school in the UK - or indeed anywhere - the focus of our St Mary's RADA course involves communication and presentation skills for the 21st Century. This course is 'tailor-made' for St Mary's, with its emphasis on the individual. Though, of course, famous for Theatre and Drama, RADA's portfolio includes the training of professionals in Law, Business, Government and Politics (even at Cabinet level!) We aim to utilise RADA expertise to promote and develop in our students the high level communication skills now regularly sought in the university and career markets.
The main course content is delivered in small sized groups, while individual tuition is also available. For those students who have a more dramatic or literary interest, there is an option to take the RADA 16+ Gold Medal Shakespeare Certificate. The course is delivered by experienced St Mary's staff who undergo professional training at RADA in London and by visiting RADA experts who monitor the progress and supervise the assessment of students.
There are inherent advantages for the students in terms of UCAS, for example - with universities increasingly looking for ways in which to differentiate between top academic students - the experience and qualification gained from this RADA course should prove to be significant advantages. Offered to the girls in the UVI Form only, our aim is to build upon the experience and the maturity of each girl, while giving her invaluable training as she approaches her university life and professional career.