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private lessons for children at vocational school


tutoo2much
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I was really suprised to read children at voactional schools have private lessons. Would be interested to hear if this is common practice and whether it is to make up for deficiencies in the teaching or the child? Who decides this is necessary?

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I'm no expert, but I suspect people won't like to admit that they're doing this, or have done this, apart from the very few on this forum who have mentioned it. I would guess that most of the schools will have policies that don't allow extra private lessons outside their establishment, unless with their permission... And do the schools give permission? I'd be surprised. But I'd be happy to be proved wrong.

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I don't suppose that they do give permission because the request itself effectively amounts to a criticism of the school's training and, IMO, rightly so. What is the point of the DC going away to school, with everything that this entails, if the parents have to pay out yet more money for additional lessons outside school? (I feel the same about parents hiring private tutors for their privately educated children). I suspect that the parents don't tell the school and arrange the lessons in the holidays or at other times when the DC is away from the school.

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I haven't had cause to do this myself yet - but I don't really see why a vocational student having one to ones to address a specific issue is any different to a non-vocational student doing this? Yes, the regular classes a vocational student has are of a high standard, and yes, they are often more frequent than a local studio schedule, but the teacher still can't spend large portions of their time being hands-on with one particular student. That is sometimes what is needed! Also, the school holidays for vocational students are long. I would definitely think of scheduling some privates during holidays just to keep her dancing.

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We've never done it ourselves, but I can see why people might consider having some extra private lessons - as Regattah says is could be useful to get to grips with some specific issues that aren't being dealt with in a large-ish class (and if they had the chance they may well rather do that with their vocational school teacher - but in reality it would probably be easier to do it at home in the holidays). You might feel that you're not at the top of the class, but would like some help to get there, or maybe you just want to keep dancing in the holidays.

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In a one to one lesson, a teacher has got the time to explain things more clearly to a student. Explenation through touching and talking and demonstrating can be given. This one to one time is soley for that student, with no interuption. In normal classes it is impossible for a dance teacher to give this amount of time to just one student. My daughter has had some private lessons and they have been hugely beneficial to her. I know she is at vocational school, but these children are moving at such a fast pace, that in my oppinion if your child request this need and you can afford it and it is not tiring the child out, then go for it.

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I am sure you do, we did not wait around to be told yes or no, my daughter wanted some one to one. There is a ex dance student at my daughters school who gives private one to one lessons, but again permission has to be given by the director of dance. Our private teacher has years of experience and has been a principle ballerina, she also costs the same. I know of a lot of students who do not get permision to have private lessons. At the end of the day all decisions should not be removed from parents and students, especialy when some students are given permision and others are not.

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I've known of children taking weekly private lessons outside their top vocational schools, unbeknownst to the school; I was really surprised when I first learned this. What would the penalty be if it was discovered? Why would some children get permission and not others (if permission was sought)? Do the schools know this goes on and they just turn a blind eye? I'm not criticising anyone at all for doing this, I'm just curious about the schools' attitude.

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I think many vocational school students like to keep in touch with their 'home' ballet school and teachers and will have lessons in the holidays largely to maintain contact with a teacher who supported them in their initial journey or even encouraged them to audition. It's a good way of showing how they have progressed. But for many it is also a good chance for some one-on-one and to get some attention. Some vocational school classes are very big - around 18 girls. It is such a competitive atmosphere and a private lesson is a good chance to work on one particular aspect they may feel will help them keep up when they go back to school.

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Sue you have explained this so well. If the school found out perhaps you would be told off, who knows. Or perhaps they could address the reason why children have to seek outside classes. Everyone has their own reasons for doing what they do.

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Some MA teachers keep in touch with their students too! This does suprise me as they must know what is expected at a Vocational school. Blind Eye is an understatement I think.

 

Lots of children audition for other vocational schools too - we actually asked Mr Kelly (Elmhurst) if you needed to seek permission for this (not that its something she ever did). He said it should be treated no differently than asking for permisison to attend summer school. However he did add that he personally felt that if a student was at his school and auditioned elsewhere then they were obviously unhappy so therefore he would most certainly want to know about it. Not aware anybody confesses to auditions either - which I think is very funny because everyone sees each other there!

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Yes there are a lot of orthodontist appointments around the time of the WL auditions! Can't believe the schools are not aware of it.

 

Hehe a lot travel to Bristol as well for the WL auditions as its generally a leaveout weekend - why arent people honest and upfront, if its not considered the done thing then dont!

 

Its almost greed and not being satisfied with what you have in my opinion - sorry if this offends and I am sure there are cases which are genuine but these can be discussed with the current school and be done out in the open.

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Only time we were a little sneaky for time of school was for DS to take his driving test which he failed! Next time we were honest and he passed.

 

Regarding extra classes outside of school something we have never done until now. We have though heard of some going home every weekend to take class. DS current teacher has encouraged DS to take class during holidays as he feels it's to long a break without something to keep them in shape.

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I would not put it across as greed, more the case of working hard, being focused, trying to work on sorting out bad habits/or trying to engage certain muscles. These issues can be adressed effectively during a one to one session, thus not taking up more time from the class teacher or the other students. Why would you call this being greedy bankrupmum. It is not the case of being dis-satisfied with what you have got, it is more about addressing an issue that must be sorted out or it will get worse. If you or rather your child has been in this situation then you will understand fully why some people have to go for a private lesson. Don't some children have private lessons that cost more money for festival dances, to perfect technique and perfomance, is that wrong too?

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I would not put it across as greed, more the case of working hard, being focused, trying to work on sorting out bad habits/or trying to engage certain muscles. These issues can be adressed effectively during a one to one session, thus not taking up more time from the class teacher or the other students. Why would you call this being greedy bankrupmum. It is not the case of being dis-satisfied with what you have got, it is more about addressing an issue that must be sorted out or it will get worse. If you or rather your child has been in this situation then you will understand fully why some people have to go for a private lesson. Don't some children have private lessons that cost more money for festival dances, to perfect technique and perfomance, is that wrong too?

 

You make a very valid point Tulip, I was referring to the behaviour of a small few who continue to audition regularly at various vocational schools whilst at a vocational school - it appears they arent satisfied, if they were why audition? As I stated I wasnt referring to those who have to look at alternative school for finanacial, assessment results etc.

 

With regard to private lessons I just firmly believe that there should not be the need if a vocational student is only home for a weeks holiday to seek teaching from external sources - different in longer holidays perhaps. If there is a specific problem with regards to technique etc. then the schools should be addressing it and advising accordingly which is probably why the ask for permission to be requested so they no exactly what their students are doing - thats what parents are paying for.

 

The need for private lessons occurs for those not in a vocational school because often they are in a very mixed ability class in the dance schools, and the needs/focus of some pupils will benefit hugely from this one to one attention.

 

Rest and relaxation is extremely valuable requirement for these busy students.

Edited by BankruptMum
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Sometimes, if a student is identified as having a particular 'weakness' in a specific area but the class teacher is too busy to help remidy this then i think it is ok to go back to an old dance teacher for help or advice.

 

My DD very occasionally see her old ballet teacher for a regular class in the holidays and will have private 'audition' lessons this summer to prepare for 6th form auditions. At DD's school this does not appear to happen and the dedicated ballet dancers are left to get on with it as best they can whilst other "at home" dancers or day pupils are intensively coached by private teachers (not from DD's school) when approaching this milestone.

 

T

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My dd had private lessons purely because she was not any where near the required standard she should have been at for her upper school auditions. I could not remove her from her school because she had started her GCSEs. It was a shame really as she was offered a funded place at YDA but again because of her GCSEs I couldnt move her. People choose to do private lessons for lots of different reasons. Without private classical lessons I am certain that my dd wouldnt have done so well at her auditions. Private lessons afforded my dd to do pointe work and she was shown how to use specific muscle groups.

I dont think I am greedy by allowing my dd to do private lessons, and no I did not seek the schools permission either as without a doubt the answer would have been no. I did also try to speak to the school about poblems we were having but were not dealt with in a positive way.

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I feel my comment on being 'greedy' has been incorrectly commented on as I was referring to students already at vocational schools auditioning year in year out for alternative vocational schools.

 

It didn't in any way make reference to those seeking private lessons.

 

 

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It could be that they are fee-payers auditioning for funded places elsewhere, or they were previously on short waiting list and want to try again, or their best friend is there, or it is nearer home, etc etc.

 

Presumably the auditions are open to anyone, so I see no reason to prevent it.

 

If course, if they continually keep re-auditioning and don't get in, perhaps they should be content with what they already have!

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I don't see why students shouldnt keep auditioning if they feel they can do better elsewhere. Why not - see what the competition is like and how they compare. They'll probably come up against it somewhere along the line! It's not such a bad thing for the schools to know either. I think if I ran a school I would want to know about it if a lot of my students were auditioning elsewhere - maybe there could be some improvements that could be made.

As Taxi4B says there are lots of reasons for trying elsewhere and for some it can be geographic location as much as anything.

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I was under the impression that if children at vocational schools have specific issues then that is what the school is there to sort out and they arrange specific coaching for that child within the school. I find it incredible that having spent £30k on a school place, that there are needs not being met by the school. Otherwise, what is the point of vocational school?

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Can I ask what sort of coaching can be given in a private lesson to prepare for sixth form auditions. My dd did not go to vocational school until sixth form but neither did she have any private lessons or coaching. The only time when she had one-to-one teaching was for a few weeks before her intermediate and advanced exams and this was only because she was the only pupil taking these exams. Also do your local teachers never take a holiday themselves? Even if we wanted classes over the holidays all of our local schools are on holiday themselves!

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In my experience, local teachers certainly do take much-needed holidays, but their terms are usually in line with state academic schools, so they will still be teaching for a few weeks after Vocational Schools have broken up, and start again a week or two before the start of the Vocational Term.

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I think that as schools reserve the right to say they can no longer offer training to a child, then they should not be too sensitve about children auditioning elsewhere.

 

Maybe it would be better for children to have auditioned elsewhere before they find out they have to leave anyway. Somehow I would prefer to be going to a funding audition after having done the first round, rather than ringing around asking to be allowed to attend final auditions!

 

And of course children who are assessed out have missed the chance to audition for some associate schemes.

Edited by tutoo2much
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So, in addition to the "under the counter" private lessons, exactly how does a child audition elsewhere without a school's permission or knowledge if they're at vocational school? Or do the schools happily sign forms, take photos or write references? Audition application forms need a teacher's signature at the very least. Is part of the reason for private lessons to get another teacher on side who can help? I am beginning to get the impression from reading this thread that the vocational schools are gilded cages!

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I did not have any problems with dds teachers signing the forms to audition. However understandably they will not do the audition photos for you or give any help in that department. I dont think people have private lessons to get another teacher on side. I think it really is just to give their children a one to one lesson with a teacher who can help their children develop and overcome any issues they may be having.

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Rowan- What do you mean by a gilded cage?

 

I thought a vocational school was where a parent sent a child so they did not have to stress or worry about the child's dance training. They would get the right amount of lessons from inspirational teachers, who would know them well enough to help them work on any issues they had. They would be able to reach their potential, whatever that was.

 

Parents would still be left with other things to worry about, homesickness, funding etc

Edited by tutoo2much
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