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Hi everyone 

My DD attends normal school at the moment and takes dance after school - she’s year 10 at the moment. She’s very keen to attend a vocational school for sixth form - but me and DH have agreed that A Levels still have happen! We’ve all agreed that Tring Park is probably the best option (although we’re open to others) and I was hoping people could share their experiences of life at tring, specifically the environment and the 6th form dance course. Thanks!

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My daughter also wants to combine vocational 6th form with A levels & the options are very few & far between. 

 

We made a shortlist of places that offered this & came up with the following:

 

Hammond

Tring

Abbotts Bromley

Bede/Legat

Arts Ed

 

Bede was crossed off the list for financial reasons & Tring as she didn’t get the right vibe for her. She is not a classical dancer &     their MT course is unfunded. We felt she was unlikely to be offered a place on the dance course. 

 

She was offered a place at AB but for MT not Dance (10% scholarship which wasn’t enough financially) & Hammond (funding finals are this week). She decided to withdraw from Arts Ed as the likelihood of her getting one of the four scholarships (across all disciplines) was unlikely. 

 

If you you are in the position to pay fees you do have more options but generally A level options are more limited at these schools & you usually choose the school for the dance not the A levels. Tring & AB offered the widest range but other aspects weren’t right. Places, especially funded places are very limited & so it’s sometimes a case of the school chooses you not the other way round. 

 

 

 

 

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Please don't get *too* hung up on A levels - I am assuming that you are thinking more of a fallback plan such as university.  There are many qualifications other than A levels that are accepted by universities, and many that fit comfortably alongside a dance career and training.  

 

It may also be that you consider putting university on hold for a year or two to enable your daughter to get funding, qualifications and other things in place, having given dance the best shot.

 

You don't have to have A levels to go to university, and you don't need to be 18 when you go.  

 

If Tring works for you, wonderful, but it may be worth having a slightly longer list, especially if you are not in the fortunate position of being able to privately fund a place.

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8 hours ago, meadowblythe said:

Please don't get *too* hung up on A levels - I am assuming that you are thinking more of a fallback plan such as university.  There are many qualifications other than A levels that are accepted by universities, and many that fit comfortably alongside a dance career and training.  

 

It may also be that you consider putting university on hold for a year or two to enable your daughter to get funding, qualifications and other things in place, having given dance the best shot.

 

You don't have to have A levels to go to university, and you don't need to be 18 when you go.  

 

If Tring works for you, wonderful, but it may be worth having a slightly longer list, especially if you are not in the fortunate position of being able to privately fund a place.

These are very wise words. 

 

DD much to the amazement of her teachers and school friends is doing a Btec in performing arts (plus A level English  but that independent to her college ) As I have said in the other thread that is similar to this, she will end up with the equivalent of 3 A levels from her Btec, hopefully equivalent to straight A’s if she gets straight distinctions. She is looking at degree course rather than level 6 diploma at 18. 

We looked at Tring but she wasn’t ready to go away at 16, she was at a non vocational school doing dance after school and got straight A/A*/8 at GCSE last summer, so very academic. It has without doubt been the right decision for her. Her course is full time and she absolutely loves it. Her attitude to A levels was that they never go away, you can do them when ever you feel like it. The one she is doing she only recently started. Which is also the same for degrees and university, they will always be there. 

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Thanks everyone. I must reassure you that tring isn’t our only option - just a preference 😂 we’re also interested in arts ed, Italia Conti and elmhurst to name a few. If you don’t mind me asking, how have  your DDs coped with the competitive environment? Thanks again- this is all really helpful stuff; pointetoes that’s a great attitude about a levels and uni always being there. 

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DD slimply loves being with like minded people. They all had to audition and all want to be there which instantly takes away a large chunk if not all of the competitive environment.If anything  DD has found it less competitive. 

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I agree in principle about A Levels being something you can do at any time, but this does depend on subject, what you'd like to study at Uni, and which uni you're interested in.  With languages, for example, it is very much a case of "use it or lose it" post GCSE.  Also, a BTEC, Level 6 diploma or Foundation degree in dance or performing art may well be enough to get you into Uni but I suspect it does limit you to a smaller pool of unis and studying or topping up your degree in a limited subject range - e.g. dance, or teaching dance.

 

This is fine, even great, for many people, but not only is the dance world incredibly fickle and competition for dancing jobs is hugely fierce these days but even the strongest dancers physically can suffer serious injuries, become ill, or even burn out and want to stop dancing.  If at that stage you already have good A Levels in what the Russell Group call "enabling subjects", this does mean that you're not tied to dance, should you want or need to change path completely.  

 

Obviously there are pros and cons but personally I think it's wise to think of all the possibilities.  

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7 minutes ago, Anna C said:

I agree in principle about A Levels being something you can do at any time, but this does depend on subject, what you'd like to study at Uni, and which uni you're interested in.  With languages, for example, it is very much a case of "use it or lose it" post GCSE.  Also, a BTEC, Level 6 diploma or Foundation degree in dance or performing art may well be enough to get you into Uni but I suspect it does limit you to a smaller pool of unis and studying or topping up your degree in a limited subject range - e.g. dance, or teaching dance.

 

This is fine, even great, for many people, but not only is the dance world incredibly fickle and competition for dancing jobs is hugely fierce these days but even the strongest dancers physically can suffer serious injuries, become ill, or even burn out and want to stop dancing.  If at that stage you already have good A Levels in what the Russell Group call "enabling subjects", this does mean that you're not tied to dance, should you want or need to change path completely.  

 

Obviously there are pros and cons but personally I think it's wise to think of all the possibilities.  

Anna C yes that is a very fair point. DD is very academic so it’s a tough decision! 

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the examples I had in mind were less to do with level 6 dance, more with other qualifications you could take alongside - one example is a student who studied for basic accountancy qualifications whilst attending a dance degree.  The fallback is that if dance does not work out, the accountancy route could be pursued.

 

A dance Btec may also be "enough" to get you onto prestigious courses in related areas - I'm thinking of institutions such as LIPA, Central, Rose Bruford,,BSA which have a wide range of courses and excellent employment records.  It isn't going to get you into medical school and the point about languages is well made.  

 

There are threads elsewhere on whether a level 6 qualification precludes university funding, including anecdotal evidence.

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