Vision and Mission
Our vision is to provide affordable, high-quality English language education to Sri Lankans around the country. We specialize in creating unique programmes of study guaranteed to suit the needs of any individual or group desiring advancement in the vast field of communication.
We offer a range of learning programmes including Speech and Drama, Effective Communication, Spoken English and Written English. Our courses are designed to cater specifically to our domestic learning needs and environment, as are the original publications we provide our students.
Our goals include using drama in classroom situations in order to develop language skills and confidence in a variety of situations. We also focus on helping our students to recognize their personal strengths, express their individual creativity and discover their particular talents. Lessons are planned in order to provide individual attention to all students, as well as building teamwork and social skills within group situations and activities.
With a staff of over 180 teachers spread around the island, we provide easy accessibility to our classes and maintain a controlled fee structure that allows for equal opportunities for all Sri Lankans who are interested in developing their knowledge and skills. Our students range from 4 year olds to mature adults, who want to enhance their professional development.
The Wendy Whatmore Academy (WWA) is the largest local independent institution that conducts Exams in the specialized fields of study we offer. Our examiners and teachers travel around the country, taking our system of education to all and sustaining a high standard in the qualifications we promote.
Syllabuses for all our subjects are based on models of learning endorsed by Trinity Guildhall, the premiere institution of its kind in London, England.
- Principal: Mrs. Wendy Holsinger
- Vice Principals: Mrs. Yasmin Mohideen, Ms.Tamara Holsinger
- Director: Mr.Monte Holsinger
- Registrar: Mrs. Daphne de Bruin
- Exams Secretary: Mrs. Annesta Abeyratne
Mrs. Wendy Whatmore started the WWA in 1940 with just five pupils. The success of these pupils at the exams held by the Trinity College of Music and Speech, London, attracted more pupils and also roused the interest of both Government and Private Schools in the subject of Speech Training.
In 1947, the Fellowship diploma of Trinity College (London) was awarded for the first time to a candidate in the Far East– Mrs. Whatmore. The second and third Fellowships followed nine years later and were also secured by students of this Academy.
Soon the Academy had a staff of London qualified teachers, who had also been trained by Mrs. Whatmore in the special methods she had devised for teaching Sri Lankan children. The Academy also began conducting local exams in all grades, based on the requirements and standards demanded by Trinity College. A panel of highly qualified and experienced examiners conducts these practical exams annually, in the subjects of Speech and Drama, Effective Communication and Effective Text Speaking, Spoken English, Verse and Prose, Acting in Paris and Written English.
Some earlier schools to include Speech training in the curriculum and to present students for examination, include Lindsay Girls’ School, Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya, Visakha Vidyalaya, Good Shepherd Convent and St. Bridget’s Convent. The Galle and Matara Convents were the first outstation schools to follow suit. Today, we are affiliated with even more local schools and some International schools as well.
On the death of Mrs. Whatmore in 1989, the reins of management of the school were taken over by her daughter Wendy and her husband Monte Holsinger. Under their guidance the Academy has expanded and now runs over a hundred and eighty Speech training centers around the Island. Many of these centres are in and around Colombo, and some of the outstation branches include Trincomalee, Batticaloa, Anuradhapura, Matale, Nikaweratiya, Kandy, Kurunegala Galle, Matara, Marawila and Negombo.
Wendy Whatmore Born in Matara in 1918, Gwendolen de Kretser began writing poetry at the age of nine, and was a frequent contributor to the Junior Page of the weekly newspapers. When submitting her poetry for publication, she took on the name ‘Wendy’, inspired by the book ‘Peter Pan’ by J.M.Barrie. Educated at Holy Family Convent, Bambalapitiya, she authored the school’s song, which is still in use today. Her first marriage was to Davenall Whatmore, and this is how she became known as Wendy Whatmore.
On leaving school, she took up a career in Speech and Drama and founded the Wendy Whatmore Academy in 1940, when she was just 22 years old. In 1947, Wendy Whatmore was the first teacher in what was then known as the ‘Far East’, to receive a Fellowship – the highest qualification in this field – from Trinity College of London.
Wendy Whatmore published many anthologies of poetry during her lifetime. ‘The Heart of a Child’, first published in 1983, contains 115 delightful poems on a variety of themes that children love, and includes her most famous poem ‘Island Spell’. She also started a theatre company called Theatre Lovers, and directed many groundbreaking productions in Colombo, including My Fair Lady, The Importance Of Being Ernest, The Boyfriend and many more.
She continued to teach and direct productions for the WWA until her death in 1989. Her daughter Wendy Holsinger took over the role of Principal at that time, and remains so to this day.