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We are starting to think now about what dd wants to do in two years time.

 

After our visit to Move It it dd is a bit clearer in her mind & several of the musical theatre colleges she is drawn towards take students at 18 though there are a few that take at 16.

 

She is however quite set on taking A levels in particular science (she does not want to do Btec)

 

The list of places we know about are Tring, Hammond, Abbots Bromley, Arts Ed (but only maths no science)

 

Are there any other that we arnt aware of. Alternatively any schools close to local dance schools offering advanced classes in sufficient quality/quantity who would be sympathetic to the workload?

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According to their website they like students to take 1-2 AS or A2 levels alongside the dance course. However this might not be enough for a science related degree course. It's rare for a dance/vocational school to offer more than 2 A-levels.

Edited by drdance
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Might be asking how they spread the workload, hours doing BTEC compared to A levels. Then look at number of hours other schools allocate per A level. For the distant learning A level dd studying they recommend 700 hours of studying - hard to fit in when there are no self study lessons during the day and school day doesn't finish until 6.15 pm. It is getting a little fraught the closer we get to the exam.

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Have you looked into the entry requirements to study physiotherapy as a mature student, which I presume is the situation your DD would be in? I don't know about physio specifically, but I know that lots of university courses will accept mature students with different qualifications to the standard A levels they would want from a typical 18 year old school leaver. Whatever dance qualification she goes on to do, plus of course life experience as a dancer may possibly be considered favourably so that would take some of the pressure off 're A levels.

I don't want to put you off, but science A levels alongside serious dance training is a huge undertaking. My DD dropped biology after AS levels as the workload was huge. Her other A levels are arts and humanities and whilst they are not easy, compared to the biology they are much more manageable. And she is only dancing "seriously" at a local dance school - I imagine it would be even harder at vocational school. I'm sure it can be done - and my DD is not super academic which obviously affects things - but to give the effort required to achieve highly in both vocational studies and a full set of science A levels would be very tough I think, and I suspect the changes to the exam structure will make it worse rather than better.

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I would have dismissed Btecs until my non dancing son took one, has gone from strength to strength, so maybe not the end of the world if you end up taking one if everything else fits?

 

Picking UEA at random: the BCS in Physiotherapy specifies they want DDD with 6 biology modules as an entry requirement.  It also states that they screen first on personal statement, and presumably this is where your daughter, like all dancers, can stand out.  My understanding is that personal statements are becoming more and more important, and our children's life skills, able to demonstrate determination, teamwork, motivation and a host of other characteristics will hopefully make them strong candidates.

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DD has friends that went to BOA and did A levels alongside the btec in dance.  One in particular took sciences as her back up option/undecided what she really wanted to do option was paediatric nursing.  She found the workload ok - especially for the year 12 when the demands for the btec were less than for year 13.  It would be worth investigating further.  Certainly the workload is considerably less and the hours per day less than if your DD was at Hammond for year 12 doing A levels alongside the diploma.  This friend had a good hour commute to BOA each day and she would still be home before my DD each night and DD had only a 15 min walk.

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In year 12 - on the dance course rather than MT, 2 of DDs friends, who did not do A levels, were there until 4 pm on an Monday, (because of maths GCSE retake class), 4pm on a Tuesday and Thursday and they finished at lunchtime  on the remaining days.  I think A levels were held either on a free afternoon or after school ie 4-5pm.  They have a large intake each year across all the courses so they do have options to play around with to suit each individual.  The girl doing sciences, for instance took biology to full A level in 1 year and took AS chemistry as that fit her timetable well.

 

All the children from this area who have gone to BOA have continued taking classes at their local dance school and been back after the hour commute in time for a 6pm ballet class. - with the exception of when they have their own BOA performances going on.   The commute is really more of an issue in the mornings as it means a very early start - and you do have to remember that they only take a percentage from outside their catchment area.

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Again, you would need check with them what was offered Pictures. When DDs first friends went there were options to study advanced ballet grades still along the btec and take exams but her friends were still in intermediate so they could not do that. But that teacher had left and there were no advanced ballet classes when her next set of friends started - but I do not know what the situation is currently.

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Pictures, not sure if your dd is planning to study physio straight after completing A'levels or not. If she's wanting to find a dance/MT job first and then go to uni later it's worth noting that they require academic study to have been undertaken within the last 2 or 3 years before starting the degree.

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Yes, Millie3 is right. You normally have to completed academic study "recently". A friend of mine became a physiotherapist after many years in the performing arts (musician). She did A-levels in one year (hard work, but she thought doable) at her local FE college (was supported by her husband as she did these!) and then got one of three places on the physiotherapy course reserved for mature applicants at King's, London. 

 

To take on a physiotherapy course, you need to get as much work experience - voluntary is fine- as you can. It is a very competitive course. My nephew has just started at Sheffield Hallam. He got 2A* and an A at A-level (maths, biology, chemistry), so you need to be sure you can do well enough at the A-levels to get in, otherwise you might find you'll be short-changing the dancing and the A-levels.

 

Another line of approach would be to forget the A-levels and do an Access course, taken after any dance training/dance career. An Access course in Science or Health Studies (one-year-course, I think) should be OK, but you need to check that universities will accept the course you're doing - it will need a high component of biology. Another friend of mine got on a university course to study medicine after doing an Access to Medicine course, and is now a doctor. This works well for subjects with a high vocational component, such as nursing. I know two people who became social workers, for example, this way. Neither had A-levels at all, and universities were happy to accept the Access course (in Social Work) instead.

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Can I join with others in suggesting that A Levels at ages 16-18 might not be the necessity you think they are. I know this goes against the grain of 'Qualifications, qualifications, qualifications" but bodies for ballet won't wait. Brain training in an academic sense, can wait. And dance training isn't necessarily not brain training!

 

As others have said, entry for mature students (defined as anyone over 21) can be quite different than for pupils straight from A Levels. And BTecs can be excellent qualifications. They don't have the emphasis on writing (which can be an issue in the subject I teach at university), but they are seen as excellent extended technical & practical training. 

 

I think this will also depend on your DD's likelihood of being accepted into a reputable vocational dance training school. If she's not accepted into any of the reputable ones in this country, then sadly, she (and you) probably needs to rethink strategies for dance as a profession, obviously. And then A Level study comes back into play.

 

But if she's accepted into a high level vocational school, then maybe she could really go for that, and pick up other aspects of her training later. 

 

If I ruled the world <hums Harry Secombe> I'd set up an education system where people could opt in and out of particular kinds of post-compulsory education as their lives and careers demanded. So retraining at 40 if it's needed. And so on ...

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In many ways I wish she wasn't so academic (got her IQ wrong in my previous post its 138 but combined with asd brings its own problems)

 

She's very set that the places she wants to apply to (Bird, RCS, Mountview, Arts Ed) mostly only take age 18 plus so she has to do something between 16-18.

 

At least starting to think about it now gives us time to investigate options.

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