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  1. I think all parents/guardians with children at vocational schools - especially those that board , would welcome transparency on issues as important as this whichever school they attend. We put our trust in these schools to nurture, care, train and educate our children. At the end of the day - they are exactly that ...... children !! They deserve nothing less than for parents working alongside dance teachers, academic teachers, boarding staff & school heads etc to be able to talk openly about problems in order to resolve them. Surely this is in everyone’s interests - the school, the parents & most of all the students. I don’t think this can be achieved with a culture of schools being defensive and not acting quickly and parents feeling they can’t approach the school for fear of repercussions. I agree with Tulip, that maybe the events surrounding Tring should act as a catalyst for change ....... it’s sadly too late for some students (and we all hear & know of these stories - not restricted to Tring) - but hopefully lessons can now be learnt across the vocational schools.
  2. There may be another positive in all of this - in that it might go some way in showing students that if they feel bullied or emotionally affected by the actions of others - be it another student, teacher or Houseparent...... that if they have the courage to speak out - that this issue is hopefully now more likely to be addressed properly. It saddens me to hear that young people working hard to follow their dreams to try & pursue a dance career have had to deal with this. It should be amongst the best years of their lives with lots of happy memories - unfortunately for some - it must be the exact opposite..... and I wonder how many students have felt like this. I think all the vocational schools can learn from this and work towards ensuring their students reach their full potential in a nurturing , respectful environment. I like to think this is possible anyway !!
  3. So sorry to hear that Mrs Moo - we went through that awful phase too whilst DS was at primary school with both verbal and latterly quite severe physical abuse. We were so lucky to have a very supportive head teacher who stamped on it - but it took threatening police intervention in the end. I used to dread DS going to mainstream secondary school and what he would have to face there. We were very lucky to be offered a vocational place and the bullying is now just a horrible memory for him. Remind your son of how these people are just jealous and that he will have a richer life experience through dancing at whatever level he takes it to. Talk to your headteacher and stamp on it before it gets out of hand. There should be zero tolerance to it. Give your DS a big hug and tell him this time will pass and he’s not alone in this. Maybe consider private lessons if you can’t find associate classes and keep trying for a vocational place. On a personal level - I really feel for you ...... good luck with it all and you are welcome to DM me if you need a broad shoulder xx
  4. Shannon and Peter Parker used to run the “Midlands Associates” based in Ollerton, north of Nottingham. Our DS used to really enjoy the Sunday sessions there - with Peter often taking the boys to one side to teach them separately. Our DS is now at vocational school so I’m not sure if this scheme is still running - but maybe worth looking into 😊
  5. Hi, I’m sure if you let the school know & boarding staff - you can take your DC out after the open morning has finished. We usually take our DS out for lunch & spend the afternoon with him 😁
  6. That’s a shame, I’m sorry to hear that Pictures & hope your DD regains her confidence very soon........ the highs and lows of vocational training never end !! x
  7. So looking forward to watching the show on Saturday Dancing Unicorn and it’s lovely that they’ve incorporated a tribute to Errol Pickford . DS says the show is amazing !!
  8. There are no words Primrose to describe how utterly heartbreaking your sons story is. A beautiful young man who had his whole life ahead of him. My husband and I are so so sorry and hope you & your family find even just a little strength from the support of your ballet forum friends. Signed & verified Take care xxx
  9. Does anyone know what time the last end of term dance show finishes on Saturday 14th July ? Was wondering if they do a matinee and an evening performance on the last day or just a matinee ?? Thanks all 😊
  10. Hi ArucariaBallerina - just the boost you needed at just the right time . Well done you for not giving in despite your recent disappointments. Full scholarship to boot !! Delighted for you 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼x
  11. Ive never understood this myself, but it seems to be often the case. When our DS auditioned for all 4 vocational schools a few years ago - it was really apparent to him in the finals that he was the only boy who wasn’t an associate somewhere. At the time - we didn’t know that associate schemes existed and it certainly wasn’t encouraged by his dance school. I can understand totally why teachers would be reluctant for their students to train with multiple schools for their general classes, but associate schemes and productions like EYB and MTB for example (in my opinion) offer fantastic experience - new friendships with like-minded DC (especially boys who might be the only boy at their dance school ), having to adapt to different teaching styles and with EYB/MTB etc - the opportunity to train, rehearse & perform in a full on ballet production ....... surely this experience can only benefit the students ? There does remain the reluctance of some dance teachers to encourage this - it crops up from time to time on this forum and I’ve never managed to work out why !! Surely it’s a win, win all round . Teachers should be able to see their student improving & gaining confidence, students should be able to enjoy & experience something a little different to their normal classes & parents shouldn’t have to act all cloak & dagger !! Maybe I’m missing something 🤪
  12. That’s a good idea pictures !! wasnt sure if you could carry on with the lessons (Lamda/vocal) without sitting the exams . That’s something we could consider x
  13. Yes Sarah - you’re right, he always seems to have a lot going on and that is something we are looking at . We’re going to review things term by term . He had some health worries from historical health problems last term and further surgery was being considered . Thankfully it’s been decided surgery is not in his best interests at the moment . This was a major worry for him. When I take a step back and look at the whole picture - it’s no wonder he is struggling !! He is usually master of putting a brave face on which is why he can be hard to read . Maybe he hasn’t the energy/ capability of wearing that brave face at the moment & it has become more apparent to us. ......... we’ll do whatever is needed to take the pressure off . He seems better for just getting everything off his chest. He even smiled at me this morning saying “stop worrying mum - I’ll be fine” - we’ll trust his judgement I guess until we have reason not to xx
  14. I think this thread has also highlighted that even when a DC is fundamentally happy with the school , dance training , teachers and academics coupled with actually doing well & achieving goals - it isn’t easy - it can be fabulous at times, stressful & challenging at other times . This is compounded I think by boarding and that feeling of no escape !! Useful for other parents & DC to know that everyone struggles from time to time .....even if appearances would never suggest it. Yesterday - all we felt as parents was everything going pear shaped, a subdued son who was expressing serious doubt about continuing. Why was he feeling like this despite doing so well with great reports & loving dancing ?? The posts on here have really helped us to look at things from different perspectives which led to a really open discussion with him. We now understand the reasons why he’s feeling this way - even he feels it just simply a bit of a “bump in the road” and that it’s something he wants to work through. Thank you to all the forum members Xx
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