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For parents with children auditioning for secondary schools this year who are not necessarily yet "in the know" I thought I would mention YDA in London whose 2015 academic results have been published by the Local Authority. YDA is a small private vocational day school but it has some scholarship and boarding places. 

89% of last year's Yr 11s attained 5+ GCSEs at A-C compared with an authority average of 62.6% and a national average of 53.8%. YDA was also rated as outstanding in its last Ofsted and it has a strong and growing reputation for its training and great vocational results. Last year's leavers went to a range of top upper schools including ENB and Elmhurst.

 

I should just say I have no interest in plugging the school other than my child attends and is happy there.... 

 

 

  

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The fees at YDA are a lot less than the fees at other vocational schools though, @£3800 per term I think. 

And as far a I am aware they often give scholarships to talented children who couldn't afford the full fees.

 

Plus, they have just had their most recent lot of GCSE results and achieved the highest in the London Borough, beating schools such as the London Oratory, which is selective. For a small school that has range of mixed ability intake academically this is amazing.

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The London Oratory is not a selective school in the sense of being academically selective. However, it selects according to commitment to the Catholic faith and you have to work pretty hard to get your son in; parents apply from a huge area of London. As a result, its intake is more advantaged than it would be if it operated as a 'normal' comprehensive. However, to have better GCSE results than the Oratory is still very impressive.

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You're not really comparing like with like. With schools with a very small intake, the figures are distorted: one child's results can skew the figures hugely one way or the other. While the figures may be "accurate", they are not necessary "fair" in comparison with other, larger schools, whether that be the London Oratory or elsewhere.

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That's true Rowan although I believe I'm right in saying YDA has always had results above the national average despite being completely non-selective academically. 2015 was amazing at nearly 40 percentage points above the average but I think 2014 was also at least 20 points above.

 

I do agree though league tables only show so much and they don't show the most important thing - whether or not the children are happy. 

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  • 1 month later...
  • 11 months later...

Question to those who have auditioned for YDA and for those with DC already there.  Just had a call from one of DD's friends Mum's asking what I knew about YDA from the Forum - note to self must ask her to join us when I call her back!   :unsure:

 

How many audition sessions do they usually have and how many get through to finals and for how many places in each year?  There weren't many there this morning so she is assuming they are auditioning again later today.  They are in east London so would have quite a way to travel so were interested to know what times of the day they start and finish and what is the balance of dance and academics.  Some were held back for pointe work so do they expect you to have started yet.  If you do get to finals what else will they ask you to do?  I think that was all.  Thank you. 

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Hello June Dancer

 

My Daughter is in year 7. I think from the final audition they offered 3 girls places, (two went to other schools) and 1 boy. There were another five girls who auditioned later and they offered places to. There are now 10 in year 7 but 3 of those are year 6 students who will repeat a year. Two year 7 boys and 5 year 7 girls. They keep classes small for year 7 (and maximum in any year is only 12) as they only offer if they see people they really want. They tend to add to the group in older years I think.

 

She loves it there, they do 3 hours of ballet a day, plus body conditioning on tues and thurs, tap and jazz on friday. Academics are very strong but there is a lot of homework! Most days she finishes around 5/6pm and they start at 8.30 mon wed fri, 8 for body con on tues and thurs. Pointe work some had started before September but some hadn't. The classical training is very strong, with great exiting destinations for upper schools each year. A lot of students are also Mid or senior associates with Royal. From year 8 there are also Saturday classes for those who aren't Royal associates.

 

Some students travel from both inside and outside London every day, and there is weekly boarding for those who are further afield. In year 7 there are 3 students who board currently.

 

Let me know if any more questions!

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