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Academics in 6th forms


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I know that various schools offer either degree or diploma level qualifications in the 6th form but could anybody tell me what the work for this actually entails? Is it all practical work or do the students have to complete written work for this as well and if so, in what sort of subjects?

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No there is written work too. They covered subjects such as dance history and costume as far as I remember (at Elmhurst). I think there is some sort of extended project/dissertation as well plus essays. The diploma at Elmhurst is a higher level one so requires work supposedly at degree level .


I'm afraid I don't remember the practical aspect. I'm sure someone with more recent experience will answer but i'll ask my son next time we Skype.

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At Northern Ballet School, my dd had some non- practical classes (maybe one per week) and they had to complete some written work which was marked as part of her diploma. The bits I remember are:


An essay on some aspect of the history of dance.

They had to do a survey and analyse and write up results - I think dd did something about people's attitudes to musical theatre

They did an outreach project - creating a performance piece with children from local primary schools and performing it at The Bridgewater Hall. They had to plan the project an liaise with the school themselves. After this was performed they had to write a report about it.

They also had to maintain a folder which had their notes from the theory classes they did (physiology, health and nutrition etc) and they had to keep a record of performances they went to see, performances they were in, CV's, auditions etc. This was maintained over the 3 years and had to be handed in for marking at the end.



BUT - most of the course is practical.

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It seems to vary from place to place. A friend whose daughter is at Laines says its all practical- I found this out when her DD was injured and I suggested that she could at least complete the written work of the course only to be told there wasn't any!


My DS on the other hand found himself having to spend far more time on the contextual studies side of the Dance Diploma at Tring than he did on his three A levels. His pretty substantial file was found in the nick of time lurking in his room,( where he said it wasn't!) last week and he had spent much of his tour with BTUK writing his final essay- although he now has a professional contract for the foreseeable future he did want to complete the Diploma nonetheless.


As already said, its all to do with dance related studies- nutrition, history, reviews, personal statements, performance and rehearsal logs, reviews etc. Even tax returns are covered! All this in addition to practical work such as appraisals, performances and workshops.


All very important to a dancers training. People outside of the dance world don't necessarily apprciate that its not just about attending a ballet class everyday!


However much of my DS time was wasted by the fact that these days many courses seen to be about the skill of sourcing information rather than actually acquring knowledge. He wrote several pieces of work that his teacher said were of distinction standard but for the fact that much of the time he couldn't prove where he got his considerable knowledge from. Considerable time was wasted sourcing information that he already knew from his WL days and the fact that he has been immersed in a dance background all his life!

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True. And I do think that if you've knowingly used a source then it must be credited. Nonetheless listing sources is a quite different skill to actually learning. Had my DS copied and pasted facts this actually would have been acceptable as long as he (quite correctly) listed his sources. His own work, in his own words couldn't always be accepted although were he to put it on line , some other student could use it!


Sometimes the source of information might just come from the student!

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We found that too - Josh just has a good knowledge of the subject matter he wrote his project on - but had to dig around to find books/websites that confirmed what he already knew!


Back to the original question - I know very little about what else he's had to do for the diploma except that there seemed to be endless reviews to write of every performance they went to see much to his annoyance :blink:

Edited by JulieW
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