Jump to content

Help for an unhappy girl


famcandance2
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am sure that after reading some of my posts most of you will know that although my daughter has a place at Hammond, she can't take it up because there are no boarding places and we have also not been able to secure enough funding for her.

We have moved her schools in a bid to get her somewhere that focuses on the arts but the other kids are not of the same mindset as herself and muck about a lot. We are also battling to find a dance school for her to attend. She is desperately unhappy and it breaks my heart. What can we do to try and help her?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Replies 67
  • Created
  • Last Reply

Top Posters In This Topic

Top Posters In This Topic

It seems like you have been battling with this issue for a long time. Maybe it is time to approach the whole thing from a different angle. If I remember rightly, you have focussed exclusively on Hammond which is not working out for whatever reason. If I were in your situation (and I appreciate there may be all sorts of things that need to be taken account of), I would audition to every single school I could think of (Legat, Tring, YDA, RBS, Elmhust etc.) for next year with the sole aim of getting a funded place somewhere. Once you have secured a funded place, then work out the logistics of the other things. It may be that you have to relocate, or one of you does, temporarily with your DD, or if travelling is a problem, there may be other students who could give your DD a lift and you may find other ways around other issues e.g. I was watching Dragons Den and some guy had set up a business where he couriers students' luggage to their university for £22.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would it be possible for you to rent a place on a short term lease perhaps until the boarding issue is sorted out then your DD can take up her place and get started. Was she supposed to join the Hammond this month? Isn't your DS an associate there?

 

If you feel the Hammond is just not working out then I would agree with the advice from Ribbons to audition for as many schools as you can and take it from there. Is your DD interested in classical ballet or a variety of dance or MT? Might be more choice and there are some scholarships available such as a new Amy Winehouse scholarship at Sylvia Young School etc

 

And if you and DD are getting really upset and anxious perhaps you could just give yourselves a breather, stop for a little while and take some time off the dance thing. It won't do any harm and might help you reassess the situation. What I mean is the old saying that sometimes "you can't see the wood for the trees". It has probably been hard for your DD changing schools especially if the new one isn't what she hoped. However she might relax and enjoy school better if she is not worried about this whole Hammond business.

I wish you the best.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Its so hard when the seemingly golden carrot has been dangled and for whatever reason you are not able to grasp it safely. My daughter was at a vocational school and was assessed out last year, she returned to civi street in April. I remember the feeling when she was in Y6 auditioning thinking the world would end if she wasnt accepted - now we have had the chance to see both sides of the coin we feel very much differently. It must be difficult to feel as if you have good opportunities thought if you have not seen the other side of the coin. I do not wish to sound as if I have anything negative about vocational schools, their training programmes are second to none but it is a huge sacrifice and financial burden, lots of hidden costs.

 

If you have good training at home I personally feel the 'important' years to worry about are getting a place at 16 - if you have good training and opportunities at home this is still very much possible, dont loose hope or focus.

 

It is important your daughter attends the right dance school for her which allows her to develop the skills she is passionate about - try not to be negative about not attending Hammond - she has done so well to be selected and obviously has great potential, build on this and attend a school which gives her performance opportunities to build confidence and good basic technique.

 

Such a small minority of the talented children are able to take up full time training - there are many paths to the same end result. Onwards and upwards xxx

Edited by BankruptMum
  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bankruptmum that is so well put. I know it will seem hard Famcandance2 but if you have tried all possibilites eg funding, accomodation etc then there is not else left that you can do. There have been so many student who have not gone to vocational school that have snapped up 6th form places at some of the best vocational schools. I hope you find the best dance school for your daughter, get some private lessons in if you can and don't forget things like dance xchange in the holidays that is run by ex Royal Ballet dancers. Which area do you live in? I can imagine that your daughter will be feeling devestated at not being able to go Hammond, it really is a shame that the school could not find any accomodation for her especially as she is a student that really, really wants to be there. Good luck with your daughters dancing and I wish her every success.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Where are you based? I'm sure that there are enough people on here who will be able to help you find a really good dancing school for your DD to focus her energies onto - when I went to vocational school at age 18 my hours of dancing actually DROPPED from what I'd been doing at my local dance school!

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I was wondering famcandance2, if you managed to secure the boarding facilities would you then be able to secure the funding. Sometimes things happen for a reason and then something much better turns up. I know it might seem devastating at this time but this constant wondering what if, must be having such a negative affect on your dd which will be having an impact on her being able to settle in her new school. I agree with what a lot of posters are saying in that I would find a good local school and allow your dd to settle into her new school. I think it would be really good to try and encourage your dd to look for the positives in her new academic school so that she can feel part of the new environment. Good luck with it all and I hope things turn out well for you and your dd.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the input, it is appreciated. Dd is much happier at her new academic school than she was at the old one, however she gets frustrated when, for instance, in drama, the other kids mess about and don't want to work. They see it as another subject, she sees it as a part of her career plan. She feels she wants to be with like minded others who are working towards the same goal as her. Unfortunately we live in a difficult part of Scotland and there are no good dance schools near us, so there is no opportunity for her to get good training at home. She hasn't danced since her summer school in August and is really missing it. The closest decent dance school would be between 75 and 100 miles away which is a lot when you have to do it more than once a week. Apart from the mileage and cost, it would be difficult to get her to the classes on time due to late school closing times. We haven't tried other schools because my ds is at Hammond and it would have meant trying to split ourselves in two when things clashed. Also, geographically Hammond is the only school that is realistic for us.

Edited by famcandance2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad your dd is happy overall at her academic school; that in itself is a big hurdle cleared. To be honest, I don't know of any academic school where all the pupils are interested in all subjects. It's easier in streamed subjects where (for example) all the top set pupils have a keen interest in the subject. But where subjects like art, music, drama etc are taught in mixed groups like form groups, it's much more common to have a percentage of pupils who have no real interest. That's normal life in most schools! So if she's happy there overall then that's great.

 

Are there extra-curricular activities available at school? Drama clubs etc? They can be lovely because the children are attending voluntarily so it would be a more rewarding experience.

 

The dance situation is tricky. It's almost a vicious circle because to get a place in year 8 or above - as you know - is notoriously tricky, and obviously you need your dd to be dancing and training more to give her the best chance of getting a place next year.

 

It may still be worth auditioning at other schools - it must be horrendously difficult but I know of a couple of families who have had children at different vocational schools.

 

Also, am I right in thinking you probably couldn't get to any associate schemes from where you are?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

She did Hammond associates last year, but it was horrendously expensive as, besides the fees, we had to stay over and then there was the petrol. There are only two associate schemes in Scotland, both of which are by audition and are full. We went Hammond because it was the most reasonable in distance for us and even so it takes us 3-3 and a half hours to get there. Dd is not an only child, besides my ds at Hammond, I have a disabled 21 year old at home. This makes it difficult for us to travel too far. Associate schemes are great but really need to run alongside local regular classes which we can't find.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I was thinking the same. My son attends DSS and although the academics are part of a big comprehensive, the dance training is great with many students now at Elmhurst, Royal, English National and Conservatoire of Scotland. Ken Burke is also set to raise the standard even more. The musical theatre course is also very well respected and many end up in the west end. Kids happily take the train to and fro at weekends, some from as far as Aberdeen. And its FULLY funded by the government. I think it might be a solution! Worth a look at the open day in November.

 

Edited for predictive text errors!

Edited by Belljul
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

sorry famcandance - missed the bit about what academic year she is in?? Agree with some of the others that it is all about what happens at 16 that really counts..... level playing field and all that.....

Sorry that she is having a hard time - maybe this "blip" will spur her on even more if this is what she really wants out of life - I know that my own DD (not at vocational school) has had more than a few disappointments and her dreams have not yet been met, but this just makes her keep even more focused on the end results.

Best of luck

F x

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have already spoken to Ken Burke at the dance school of Scotland. Unfortunately their boarding house is full too and so is the dance course. It is too far to commute every day anyway. He was keen to have her, but he has to abide by what the school says. She may be able to audition for next year, depending on their boarding situation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If I were you, I would definitely audition for there and Hammond again inthe next few months and hope for a place for next year, as sadly it doesn't sound as if this year's going to be possible. Am I right in thinking that even if boarding could be arranged, funding for Hammond was still a problem?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm going to be brutally frank and say that it seems to me that if you want some good dance training and you can't get her a funded place in a vocational school, you've got two choices - travel long distances (for good dance school or associate programme or DSoS), or move house.

 

I know families from Scotland who have done both. Travelling to London by plane or train to RBS associates for example - I think they managed to get most travel paid for by sponsors.

 

Sadly if your can't do either of these options perhaps you'll have to reconsider dance as a future career path for her. I'm sorry if this sounds a bit black and white but sometimes we can't do what we want in life due to circumstances.

 

As we've discussed before, lots of children go on to get into upper schools/colleges at 16 without going to full-time vocational schools, but they do need to have good teaching to keep up.

 

I hope you can find a way to get her the training she needs/wants, but you have some tough decisions to make as a family about whether you invest the time and money needed to get it. I'm sure I'm not saying anything you haven't already considered.

 

Good luck.

 

(I hope this all makes sense - writing on my phone can be an issue!) (from JulieW)

 

 

I have cut and paste Julie's quote from the other thread. I have to say that I agree with her. Presumably one of the associate schemes in Scotland is the one at Dance School of Scotland and having already spoken to someone at the school, could you ask whether she could be accepted onto that? You say thatHammond is the only realistic school for you but as Julie says - lots of children from Scotland attend other vocational schools and fly down each term and as for splitting yourselves in two, well I'm afraid lots of families have to do that. Lots of parents make massive sacrifices for their children's vocational training, including moving, and I guess every parent has to ask themselves how far they are prepared to go? I know it's not easy but unless you are lucky enough to live in London, every person on this board has probably had to overcome similar issues.

Edited by Ribbons
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Meant to also say that some schools will let you start straight away if accepted at auditions in March if they have spaces (quite a few children leave throughout the year for various reasons) and I wouldn't rule out year 11 as I have seen lots of students taken in then, even some from Scotland who even though it doesn't fit with the Scottish system, have been able to do English year 11 academics and end up with GCSEs at the end of it, despite not having done year 10.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for associate schemes, Ballet West have a great teacher in Edinburgh once a month and you don't need to audition for the Edinburgh course. As far as I know there are spaces. Kids get to dance a short dance in their yearly ballet tour and that is great fun for them.

 

Meant to add, that's a shame about the Dance School of Scotland. I would audition every year though as things do change.

 

Edited to add another sentence.

Edited by Belljul
  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I can't add very much at all to the advice already given but if it was my daughter, I would put vocational school on hold for this year and try again next year. The uncertainty is probably not helping your daughter to settle into her new school. She obviously has talent and potential and her training so far must have been good enough to secure a place at Hammond this year. With regard to the messing around by some students, the issue is often resolved when subjects/students are streamed in later years. I will say that even with dada funding, my daughter's 3 years at vocational school cost us a small fortune as there were hidden/extra costs which we didn't factor in at the outset. I'd wouldn't like to think what an unfunded place from a younger age would cost. I wish you both all the very best with whatever you decide to do.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for associate schemes, Ballet West have a great teacher in Edinburgh once a month and you don't need to audition for the Edinburgh course. As far as I know there are spaces. Kids get to dance a short dance in their yearly ballet tour and that is great fun for them.

 

Edited to add another sentence.

 

My understanding is that they wanted people to audition for Edinburgh and Glasgow this year, perth is non-audtion entry, don't know the situation on spaces this year but i'm sure they'll be able to answer if you ask them :)

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you to all for comments. Would just like to say that there have been some negative comments which I have chosen to ignore and also to say that because I have a disabled child at home also, flying or going very far is out of the question, which is why we chose Hammond. Maybe others do this, but perhaps they have the money to do so and also don't have the added responsibility of a disabled child. Sadly for us Hammond really is the only option. Thanks for other positive suggestions, really appreciated.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share


×
×
  • Create New...