One of the areas that the Robyn Academy is very proud of is the range of dance awarding bodies with which we are accredited to work with rather than being solely aligned to one body. This involves more preparatory work from the teaching staff, but has many advantages for the students including a selection of the most stimulating work and differing challenges.

At the Robyn Academy rather than monotonously practising exam work week in week out, we tend to focus on the core basics and then work intensively towards examinations. This does mean that when the school is working towards exams it is important that your child attends as often as possible and puts in a little extra practice. To date this has resulted in a 100% pass rate for examinations in Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre. These examinations are conducted by The Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing (ISTD),Royal Academy of Dance (RAD), British Theatre Dance Association (BTDA), International Dance Teachers Association (IDTA), The London Academy of Music & Dramatic Art (LAMDA) and Trinity College London.

Exam Entry

Exams are not compulsory and there are regular opportunities for the student to progress, (on average 3 times a year). Children are selected for entry to the examinations by their teacher when it is considered that the examinations will be of benefit to the child. Parents are reminded that it is the stated policy of these examination bodies that a child who is unprepared or unable for the requirements of a particular examination will fail. In order to avoid such a negative experience ever occurring we ask that you keep the following in mind:

  • Children will be selected for entry to the examination by their class teacher.
  • Parents will be asked to confirm that they wish their child to enter.
  • Parents will agree to support the teacher in preparing the child for examinations by being responsible for any additional learning and practice that is required to be done at home and attending any additional classes or rehearsal where requested.
  • Teachers will retain the right to withdraw a child from the examination where it is considered that the child has not attained the appropriate level for the examination or has failed to attend the extra practice sessions.
  • All of the exam dates for 12 months in advance along with the registration dates are posted on the website and will be included in monthly newsletters.

Exam Levels

Many parents are confused by the range of examinations which are on offer which is why we have provided a quick guide to enable you to understand what the different exams are and what they offer.

The Robyn Academy will always offer all students the opportunity to gain recognition for their hard work and effort. Whilst not all students will attain the high level of technical proficiency to succeed in a QCF graded examination; there are numerous other opportunities in terms of medals, assessments and awards, which provide an alternative achievement.

QCF Graded examinations (ISTD, RAD, BTDA,LAMDA, IDTA & Trinity College)

All accredited graded examinations now form part of the QCF (Qualification Credit Framework); this means that the required level of attainment is set across all the accredited examination boards (ISTD, RAD, BTDA, LAMDA,IDTA & Trinity College). Only examinations from Grade 1 upwards are included in this framework. This type of examination requires a lot of dedication and study. Graded exams are only taken from the age of 7 years. All graded examinations are marked Unattained, Pass, Merit & Distinction.

All QCF exams which we offer carry credits which count towards further education qualifications. Further information can be found at the following website which is useful for understanding all of the government´s vocational grades. Ofqual Explaining the national qualifications framework

Pre-Preparatory-Primary (ISTD, RAD, IDTA & BTDA)

These exams form the foundation of the graded structure and are taken from the age of 5 years. Students need to be both knowledgeable and technically proficient to gain the examinations.

Rosettes & Baby Mime Medals (IDTA &BTDA)

At the Robyn Academy from the age of 2 years we offer medals and rosettes as a way of introducing students into the discipline and structure of examinations. All baby and rosette awards are taken with the class teacher present and assessed as a working class.

Rose & Crystal Awards

These awards are intended to be used as a stepping stone between the grades, they offer beautiful trophy´s and are very popular with the students.

Performance Medals Awards

Medals are particularly beneficial to the students who participate in competitions and festivals and are awarded for performance quality. Costumes are required for all medals.

Class examinations and Assessments level 1-8 (Cecchetti & RAD)

Not all students have the physical requirements to achieve the demands required of the Graded structure; this should not deter any budding dancer from progressing to the next level. The class assessments are designed to encourage dancers of all abilities the chance of dancing for pure enjoyment.

Entrance Fees

The awarding bodies charge a fee for each entry into the examination and typically require notification and payment of the entry up-to 3 months in advance. Once the fee is paid, this is non-refundable unless a doctor´s certificate is provided.

Exam Days

On the day of exam there are a number of key points to bear in mind.

  • Exam timetables will be emailed to you via the school system. Please do not interrupt teachers during lessons as it is impossible to remember the timings for over 200 exams.
  • Please arrive at least 45 minutes before your allocated examination slot as sometimes the schedule runs more quickly. If you miss the examination slot, unfortunately no other accommodation can be made on the day.
  • If you are not confident in putting your child´s hair up and wish to book an appointment to have this done then please book in advance. Prices are £5 for full hair in an exam style with all clips, grips and ribbon or £2.50 if you have your own hair accessories.
  • No jewellery of any kind is allowed for exams. (If your child is unable to remove earrings then please cover them with plasters)
  • No underwear is allowed under leotards for examinations
  • Your child will be allocated a number for the exam. Pin on numbers will be provided by the academy to aid the examiner in identifying the student. Please make sure you have the correct number / colour ribbon for your child 10 minutes before the exam and that you hand it back quickly afterwards.
  • Check you have all the right uniform before the exam day.
  • If you are missing uniform, please contact the office immediately. You can order uniform via the uniform order forms.
  • Leather ballet shoes can be cleaned with leather soap or saddle soap.
  • RAD Exams require Satin Shoes, Character Skirts & Character shoes as well as the required leotard and socks.
  • BTDA performance medals require costumes as per festival guidelines.
  • Exam days become very busy please help by only brining one adult per child and no other children than those dancing.
  • Please remember that we are limited on waiting room space, please only bring the required items for the examination.
  • Please take your rubbish to the nearest bin and not leave it all over the floor.
  • Please respect that the teachers time is very tight on exam days, I will be busy with the children taking exams. If you have any concerns or questions please try where possible to email or talk to the teachers before the day.