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Schools Award FAQs
What is the LAMDA Level 2 Award in Speaking and Listening Skills?
The LAMDA Level 2 Award in Speaking and Listening Skills is a vocational qualification, recognised by Ofqual and the corresponding regulatory authorities in Wales and Northern Ireland. It has been designed to develop the technical skills, knowledge and understanding required for effective oral communication and participation in group discussions.
Why are you launching it now?
We believe everyone, regardless of background, should have the opportunity to develop the speaking and listening skills necessary to access Further and Higher Education, secure employment and participate in lifelong learning. The Confederation of British Industry’s (CBI) Changing the Pace: Education and Skills Survey 2013 and First Steps campaign reported that in terms of preparedness for the workplace, “close to a third of firms are not satisfied with the team working (30%), basic numeracy (31%) and literacy/use of English skills (32%) of young people entering the world of work.” The LAMDA Level 2 Award in Speaking and Listening Skills supports the development of confident and articulate young people, equipped to thrive both both in and beyond the classroom.
Who has LAMDA involved in the creation of this new qualification?
We started developing the qualification in early 2015, with support from leading education, business and third sector figures.
The Faculty of Education at Cambridge’s Oracy Assessment Toolkit, along with the expertise of its creators, Professor Neil Mercer (Emeritus Professor of Education, Life Fellow of Hughes Hall, Director of Oracy@Cambridge) and Ayesha Ahmed (Research Associate, Oracy Project, University of Cambridge), played a fundamental role in shaping our qualification. We also worked closely with Dr Tina Isaacs, Senior Lecturer in Education (Assessment and Evaluation) at the UCL Institute of Education, Enda Donnelly, Director of Qualifications and Learning, at Stratagia Ltd and Liz Fitzsimons, Head of English at Streatham and Clapham High School (GDST).
Paul Hamlyn Foundation generously funded our pilot project in autumn 2015, enabling us to work with 10 schools across the UK to ensure the new Award is robust and fit-for-purpose.
Former LAMDA examinations learner and international best-selling author Neil Gaiman has championed this award from the beginning.
Why did you choose to pilot the qualification before launching?
We wanted to collaborate with heads, teachers and learners across the country to ensure that the qualification would be robust, relevant and fit-for-purpose. One of our key concerns was to create a syllabus that was flexible and easy to integrate into existing schemes of work, which teachers could deliver confidently and imaginatively without any additional training.
Who was involved in the pilot?
John Henry Newman School, Stevenage, Hertfordshire
Kensington Aldridge Academy, North Kensington, London
Morpeth School, Bethnal Green, London
Prendergast School, Lewisham
Prendergast Vale School, Lewisham
Riddlesdown Collegiate, Purley, Surrey
Seven Kings School, Ilford, Essex
St Thomas Aquinas Catholic School, Birmingham, West Midlands
Tendring Technology College, Frinton-on-Sea, Essex
William Hulme’s Grammar School, Manchester
How did you select the pilot schools?
It was a combination of previous affiliation with LAMDA, professional networks and links with Paul Hamlyn Foundation who funded the pilot scheme. We wanted to achieve a good geographical and demographic spread to ensure the qualification has national relevance.
How much does the qualification cost?
The cost of the LAMDA Level 2 Award in Speaking and Listening Skills for a class of 30 students is £1,395, followed by a reduced rate of £900 for subsequent classes. Further discounts may be available for significantly larger groups. This is an estimated £30-40 per pupil, which is comparable to the cost of GCSEs.
What is a Level 2 Award?
Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland are grouped into levels, from Entry Level to Level 8. The qualifications in each specific group are at a similar level of difficulty, but the size and content of the qualifications can vary. The levels are used in education and work to compare different qualifications; they also show how one can lead to another. For more information, check the Register of Regulated Qualifications.
The LAMDA Level 2 Award in Speaking and Listening Skills resides on the Regulated Qualifications Framework (RQF) as a Level 2 qualification. The RQF permits direct comparison between academic qualifications (i.e. GCSEs/A Levels) and vocational qualifications (i.e. LAMDA qualifications and others). The LAMDA Level 2 Award in Speaking and Listening Skills can be directly compared to GCSE (Grades A*-C or new GCSE equivalent).
Do learners have to undertake both units?
Yes. The syllabus comprises two mandatory units:
UNIT ONE: Prepare and Deliver a Speech
UNIT TWO: Group Discussion Skills
However, these can be taken in any order over a period not exceeding two years.
Why is it aimed at Key Stage 3 students?
At the very point when students need to start exploring ideas and reaching for language to develop their vocabulary, their ability to do so is often impeded by self-consciousness. This qualification aims to instil in students the confidence to express themselves, while also providing the foundations necessary for success at GCSE.
Can I teach it at other Key Stages?
Yes the qualification can be used outside Key Stage 3, in a Further Education or adult learning setting for example. However, it is not designed to work outside of an academic or training environment.
What additional training do I need to teach this qualification?
None, but we have created a Teachers' Toolkit to aid centres, teachers and learners preparing for this Award. It is available as part of the licensing fee and will include suggested approaches, activity ideas and sample lesson plans. It should be considered a flexible resource, from which teachers can pick and choose what is helpful. We will continue to update this toolkit regularly, based on feedback from teachers, centres and learners progressing through the Award.
How does this Award differ from other LAMDA examinations?
This is the first LAMDA qualification that can be delivered within core curriculum. As such, it offers everyone the opportunity to develop the skills they need to realise their potential, whatever their background or ambition. Currently there is no other qualification like this available in the UK.
How do I register my interest?
Simply complete our online form here or phone us on +44 (0)20 8834 0579.