A record sixty-two Meriden students have recently undertaken Speech and Drama and Effective Public Speaking exams through the International Music Examinations Board. Eight girls were awarded A+ in the rigorous assessments which encourage personal development in music, speech, drama, theatre arts and performance. Metilda You earned an A+ in the Associate Diploma in Effective Public Speaking examination; the following girls undertook Speech and Drama examinations and achieved A+ in their respective grades: Demi Arronis, Grade 7; Lyla Chen, Pre Grade 1; Cheng Cheng, Grade 8; Mahek Jain, Grade 7; Isabella Morkos, Grade 5; and Liliane Spratt, Associate Diploma.
IMEB exams are challenging, involving both prepared repertoire and improvisational content. In 2020, Meriden students from Year 1 to Year 11 have chosen to undertake Speech and Drama as a cocurricular activity, attending weekly lessons with a specialist tutor.
Isabella Morkos, Year 7, said Speech and Drama provides significant benefits to both her performance at school and her confidence in a broader context.
“I take away from Speech and Drama strong public speaking skills, which help me whether I’m doing an assessment in class or just making conversation with another person; I know how to present in a friendly way, with the right pitch and the right pace, and so on,” she said.
Students Cheng Cheng, Year 10, and Liliane Spratt, Year 11, agree. Cheng said the IMEB course is fun, allowing her to engage with a broad variety of texts and laying the groundwork for the development of skills in subjects like English, in which she recently used her polished speaking skills to produce a podcast for an assessment. Liliane Spratt said the course is proving valuable because it has further developed her ability to understand character, control her voice and breath and produce high-quality theatre performances. Speech and Drama has provided Liliane regular opportunities for the deliberate practice of these skills which she says will serve her well in HSC English and Drama next year.
Meriden’s youngest high achiever in this round of exams was Lyla Chen, Year 1.
“I do Speech and Drama because I like to act,” she said.
“It has helped me at school because when I am speaking in class, I do what Mrs Brennan has taught me and use a clear voice and lots of expression.”
Mrs Rachel Brennan currently tutors all Meriden girls in Speech and Drama through the Music Academy, supporting their growth through the IMEB syllabi.
“The goal of the syllabi is to help students develop into creative and confident communicators,” she said.
“These are invaluable skills when it comes to undertaking job interviews with confidence, meeting new people and articulating their own thoughts and ideas.”
“The various syllabi are flexible in that units can be tailored to the needs, abilities and interests of each student and the girls can choose texts that appeal to them and expand their experience with various styles of poetry, prose and drama.”
Mrs Brennan said Meriden’s Lateral Learning principles – which develop skills such as confident communication, critical thinking and research and deep engagement with literature – set the girls up for success in the IMEB units.
“I have found Meriden girls to be enthusiastic learners who are keen to tackle challenges and are confident in their ability to hone existing skills and master new ones,” she said.
“They are very good at independent learning and the IMEB courses require them to undertake their own research, then write analyses and design performances, and they do these tasks in confident and creative ways.”
The Meriden community congratulates all girls who undertook IMEB examinations in this session.