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RBS Summer School 2017 changing weeks?


JanJas
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This is my first post...so I hope I get it right!:) My 12 year old daughter has a place on the RBS Summer Course this year for week 4. This particular week has become very difficult for us as a family to manage - I'm wondering if anybody has a daughter who would like, or who needs to, swop from week 2 to week 4? Or if anybody knows how the RBS would react to a request for a week change? 

 

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You could try asking them but it is very unlikely that they would be able or willing to find a young dancer the same age/sex as yours to change.

 

You are doing the right thing by asking on here.  You could also post on the RBS Facebook page??

Edited by angel
Forgot how to spell Facebook???
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Pas de Quatre - thanks for the thought -  I've tried to contact them by phone but no answer as yet - just thought that if I could offer a solution to the problem they might be ok with it....but you're right - I should really talk to them first - I don't think I'll use the Facebook idea after all - but all suggestions welcome! You have to apply so long in advance for the Summer School - so many things can change in-between! One of the many factors (but not the main one) for wanting to change the week is that my daughter - we are from Devon - does not know anyone else going on week 4 - so finding a friend in the area (week 4) would be a small piece of our puzzle.

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Totally agree with pas de quatre. I would contact them first. I know a few years ago we were on waiting list and I phoned and asked if we were likely to get a place! The answer was 'we try and match up children by age etc. So if a 12yr old dropped out then they would find another 12yr old to take the place in the room'. So they may be able to swop you like for like in the week you want! Its worth a try. 

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Unless they are already at WL, I would guess that the majority of children going there for the summer school will be on their own too. It's hard enough for a UK child to get a place, let alone get a place for their friend too! You say it's not the main reason for wanting to swap weeks, but just a thought, if it helps ....

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4 hours ago, Pas de Quatre said:

Actually, I would have thought the reverse.  RBS may take offense if you try to arrange anything without contacting them first.   

By all means try contacting them and IF you are lucky enough to find that someone the same age as your DD drops out at the last minute, then you will be very lucky indeed. 

 

I don't see how a discreetly worded message saying please inbox me if you would be willing to swap would offend anyone

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I wouldn't worry at all about knowing anyone. My dd didn't know anyone when she went last year aged 10 and she made such amazing friends she still keeps in touch with them. What did help a little was finding a couple of mums on here who had children going the same week and the girls messaged each other in advance once or twice so they recognised one other. However most knew no-one, mainly because there's a lot of international students, but everyone made great friends xxx  hope that reassures you. 

Id also say it was good for my dd to go without a friend as otherwise I have no doubt that she'd have stuck with her friend and not have had as inclusive experience xx

Edited by Balletmum55
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Hi Balletmum55 and others -  thank you for your kind words - that's all good to know - I'll show my dd your posts.

I've tried to phone again this afternoon, but I've found out they are out of office until Monday - so I've just emailed them and got the same response... I'll have to be patient! I'm trying to get through to the outreach and access co-ordinator - Ana Carlson - I'm assuming this is who best to speak to (her name and contact details were on the bottom of the letter with the offer of the place on week 4).

I quite understand that it must be a logistical nightmare for the RBS to organise all the students in suitable groups so I'm not really expecting that a change can be made - but it's always worth asking just in case things can be done to ease the situation for my dd. We would bend over backwards to get her there (and indeed if we stick to week 4 it's" bend over backwards with bells on" - like it must be for many parents!) but we have the added complication that she is (understandably) extremely anxious about going so far from home without any familiar faces or friends (she's knows someone from her MA class who is week 2, she has a number of friends on the waiting list for week 4).

Does anybody know at what point the parents are asked to leave their children after the drop off on the Monday? And then what happens next? Especially in terms of making friends etc. What do the staff do to make sure all the students feel ok, especially the very anxious ones?

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Ahh Janjas, my daughter was worried in advance and had never boarded before, and she didn't sleep the night beforehand with nerves. But as we drove through the park the excitement took over (and I suspect a little bravado as she didn't want to look nervous!) and she couldn't wait to start. 

As I remember, the parents registered the children and then they were allocated numbers for rooms/dorms. They had to give in their pocket money etc and told which group they were in for classes.  It was all very organised and all the children were very firmly still with their parents.  By the time we got over to the dorms and unpacked with our dd, we helped her make her bed and met her room mate. The children and parents all had a little informal chat in their corridor and exchanged names etc. We then all went across to a talk in one of the studios about the week and what the children could expect. At this point my daughter had forgotten I existed as she was excitedly making friends, but still numerous children stayed with their parents. 

We were able to go to the PTA shop in the cafeteria and bought a water bottle, notebook etc and had some refreshments. Then as I recall we went back up to the rooms and said our goodbyes. 

We weren't rushed out at all (apart from by my dd!) and the tears I anticipated never came. 

 

In terms of helping with homesickness, in anticipation my dd took a notebook to write about her day (but she hardly got time to fill it in as they're kept so busy!) but I also asked her close friends and family to do her a little good luck card for each day she was there so she could read one each night (I labelled them with the days!) TBH she was so busy having fun though that she forgot to text or call me but she did like opening the cards and reading some kind words. 

 

They get up early, have a good breakfasts, have full days of class, rush back to shower, eat and then have various activities every night like a movie night, bbq, disco (with funny dance off!) etc,  so they don't have time to miss home. I got the odd text to say she was having the best time of her life but basically heard nothing all week. 

 

I really wouldnt worry, the housemistresses were also very kind and took the phones off the children at night so they couldn't be up late texting etc, and apart from 1 little boy, I believe there was very little homesickness as there's such a sense of excitement, mixed with exhaustion from full days, that they just don't have time. 

 

Shes going to absolutely love it!! It was an experience we'll both always remember and I'm sure you'll be the same xxxx 

Edited by Balletmum55
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Thank you so much Balletmum55 - I've just shown dd the posts and she is feeling a lot better about the whole thing :) (funny how dd listens to other people and not to me!!) - it was quite distressing seeing her working herself up to a frenzy about "being left all on her own without us, with no friends, for a week" on top of the fact that week 4 is so difficult for us as a family!  And it's all a few months off yet anyway! And we're soon having to pay all the fees! If she can put herself into a positive place (looking forward to the experience) then all the effort to get her there will be more than worth it.

I'll still see if there's a possibility of changing weeks if the RBS get back to me -  because you never know unless you ask. I'll post again to let you know what happens in the end. Thanks again xx

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Just mildly curious....did you apply for week 2 but get offered week 4 instead or did the logistical difficulty occur after applying for week 4? Interested to know as on application I seem to recall having to 'choose' a particular week whilst at the same time thinking please consider her for both age appropriate weeks....she'd so love to just once be at White Lodge that any week would do!! As it is she's wait list & again, I do hope they consider her for either of the weeks not just the one ticked on form, should there be the unlikely occurrence of a place coming up! Still crossing fingers of course :-)

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Hi Peanut, 

I ticked the box saying week 4, thinking at the time with all the info I had then that was our best option....how things change! Anyway, there must be a few others like me who have been wobbling at the last minute for all sorts of reasons.... just before paying the fees, so I'm sure waiting list places will become available for some, fingers crossed for you and your dd. I'm still going to ask if it's possible for a week change, but miraculously, now my dd has read the posts on this forum, she is calming down considerably so the other logistics can be faced more rationally!! The power of forums!! :)

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Glad to hear the power of reassuring words on the forum has worked to calm your DD - she has secured herself an amazing opportunity & whichever week you go for in the end it will be one of the best of her life I am quite sure!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Just a quick update to say I eventually spoke to Ana Carlson this last week - she was very supportive but said that changing weeks is not really possible (I did expect this to be the case). She says that the staff are very used to anxious children and that parents are with them for a good few hours whilst the settling in process takes place. So now we've ruled out the changing week idea, and DD is in a positive place, at least we know we HAVE to get the other stuff sorted to make it all happen - sometimes it helps when the options are narrowed down - you just have to do it somehow! Thanks for all the helpful friendly input from the forum x 

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Balletmum55 couldn't have described the experience of dropping the dc off better! That was exactly our experience. And I was definitely more worried than DS (also aged 10 at the time). He didn't even Skype us until the Friday and I was due to pick him up on the sat!! Hope it works out for week 4, JanJas.

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