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ISTD exam question


tropicmama
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Quite possibly a random and strange question, but my Google and forum search appears to have no results.  I feel a bit awful and guilty at the moment as we might be the only one who's encountered this situation.  Background: DD takes ISTD ballet, modern and tap during the week through an external provider, but based in her school, and has been doing so for the last couple of years.  Because she is always begging for more ballet classes and the provider in her school only offers them once a week, I enrolled her in a RAD ballet class in the weekend.  She was happily doing this and after about 2 terms, I realised that it might be worth our journey to weekend school more if she also took the ISTD tap class which was held right before her ballet class (which means we travel to the dance school for an hour of dance classes, instead of just half an hour).  After just a handful of tap classes, I believe they want her to take the exam already in a couple months' time, which will be before she will be booked in for the exam in her original school.  I think it was all very quick because DD has already been taking tap in her original school and I would feel awful if she took her exam with her more recent class in a different school, as I feel the foundation of her tap dancing was laid more by the original school.  My question is: has anyone else been in this situation and are you allowed to take an ISTD exam of the same dance genre (tap) and same grade twice for two different schools (I am guessing maybe not, because they are assigned unique ID numbers)?  I just thought I would ask but if it's not allowed, I am completely fine with informing the newer school that she would just wait to take the exam with her original one - I feel this would be the fairer thing to do.  Another reason I am asking is because the original school seem to schedule exams quite far apart time-wise, for example, it has been almost 2 years since she last took her modern exam.  I think this is because as the classes are held after school in their school and for only half an hour each week, quite a lot of the children who attend dance more as an after school club/activity whereas my DD is very passionate about her dancing and I can see her pursuing it for years to come (maybe up to vocational school, given the chance).

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Hi Tropicmama

 

Well this is awkward isn't it.....?

 

TBH the thing that shocks me the most about your situation is the fact that you say the ballet classes are only for half-an-hour! You don't say how old your DD is, but from the content of your email I am assuming she is well beyond the pre-primary/primary stage? If so I would expect a 45 or 60 minute class to be offered depending on the grade.

 

When you enrolled her in the new school, did you tell them she was already taking ballet & tap elsewhere? If so I would suggest you be completely honest with them and have a discussion as to the best way forward. I am assuming that the original school don't know about the new one - however if she does the exam at the new school and starts moving ahead, the tap classes there will become more and more irrelevant. Ballet is a different issue as they are different exam boards, but ISTD progress much faster than RAD in terms of vocabulary so again the situation would not be sustainable longer-term.

 

In answer to your question, yes you are allowed to retake an exam that has already been passed - but why would you want to bother, and incur the extra stress and expense? Obviously if you only get a pass or a low merit the first time, you may want to retake to aim for a distinction - but if you get a distinction first time around, what then? Any retake would be completely pointless.

 

I would advocate honesty as the best policy here if at all possible - and if your DD is ready to take the exam now, let her do so but keep the original school in the loop. If your DD is progressing faster than her peers she should not be held back - a reputable school will want what is best for the child. You never know, they may let her move up to the higher level in tap if she does the exam at the new school.

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Hi youngatheart, thank you so much for your honest and informative response.  I feel better now, as I share pretty much the same thoughts.  Yes, the new school is aware she has been taking tap classes.  I informed them because it would be obvious that she knew the exercises very well.  It has been almost a year since she took her first tap exam.  Yes, her ISTD ballet classes are only half an hour hence, is still only in Primary :(   She is only 7 and yet will be taking Grade 1 and Grade 2 in the RAD ballet simultaneously from this term - which makes her very happy and excited.

 

In relation to the tap situation, I will inform the new school that DD is probably going to be put forward for the primary exam soon in her original school - although goodness knows when this will be.  Perhaps I should ask the old school first when they intend to, as I have a feeling they often wait for the whole class to be ready (not just individuals).  As you said, they might let her move up.  And yes, guilty as charged -  I haven't yet informed old school that DD has been taking additional tap classes with new school, which is very silly of me as I should have anticipated this.  Totally my fault as I have been putting it off since DD started a few weeks before Christmas.  I think I am still a bit "traumatised" from being (nicely) told off for signing her up for RAD ballet classes some time ago!

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Personally, I would explain to the original school that she was taking Rad ballet and participated in tap whilst there. I would then explain she has opportunity to do her tap exam. They may ask you to choose but it seems silly to wait for non-existent date with them. You could then say she will continue with them for istd ballet but do tap at new school, if it is an issue.

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Do the original school do lessons somewhere else at weekends? Or do they only provide lessons for the school? I'm not sure it's ideal to be mixing different syllabi and grades at such a young age if I'm honest although it sounds like progress is very slow at the first school if she hasn't taken primary yet and has been going for 2 years

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I think now is a good time to consider your options, think about where your dd enjoys and benefits from going to the most, and if you feel that she is passionate about her dancing and wants to do more then where is the best place to do it.

 

Reading what you say about the after school club my gut feel is that it won't be enough if she wants to progress at a rate that s quicker and better for her but it's only a hunch based on how you've written things :)

 

Some schools will want to or need to take exams less frequently because it will need to be cost effective to do so. They may want to get the whole class through exams.

 

Other schools will be more tailored towards exams individually where they have the option of more frequent exams.

 

I'd also try and find out what the attitude is towards pass marks if that's possible as some schools might not strive as much for distinctions/high marks as long as everyone moves up a grade whereas other schools might try to get students towards the higher marks where they can so it might be worth thinking about to see what suits you best.

 

Another thing is the availability of classes after the exams so check what's available in both places as classes for the next grade up.

 

And it may seems fair to wait for the original school to do the exams but this could be long overdue for your dd and impact on her enjoyment of being challenged more

Edited by annaliesey
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