Jump to content

Press Release: Elmhurst: Trainee Classical Ballet Dancers jump for joy at GCSE and A-Level results

Jan McNulty

Recommended Posts








Media release: Thursday 22 August 2019 – Today, Elmhurst Ballet School, the associate school of Birmingham Royal Ballet, reflects on another successful year for its GSCE, General Certificate of Secondary Education examination results.


In 2019, students move from Elmhurst’s Lower School to Upper School with the following GCSE success:  88% achieved Grade 4 and above (equivalent to A** - C in the former grading system) including English & Mathematics.

In addition to their daily dance training, the majority of Year 10 & 11 students take five full GCSE courses in the core subjects: English Language, English Literature, Mathematics, Science and Dance. Three further subjects are selected from Art, Music, Geography, History, French, Italian, Drama and Religious Studies.


The GCSE success follows the news that Elmhurst’s sixth form students achieved 100% pass rate in their A Levels. A Level studies are completed before students move into their final year with Elmhurst Ballet Company to bridge the gap between school and professional life. Elmhurst also recognises that A Levels complement and enrich the school’s vocational training and in the event of a career cut short by injury or a change of aspiration, they constitute a reliable insurance policy and, if desired, a pathway to under and post graduate study.


Jessica Wheeler, Principal of Elmhurst Ballet School, said:We are thrilled to see our GCSE and A Level students achieve so highly in their recent exams. Although their dance training schedule is extremely busy, these results stand up against students nationally. We are extremely proud and send huge congratulations to all students receiving their exam results this summer.


Elmhurst is non selective academically and only admits students based on their potential to become professional ballet dancers. Year on year we continue to enjoy exam success and this is down to the sheer hard work and dedication of the students and their teachers.”


Academic tuition at Elmhurst is delivered by an experienced faculty of well-qualified, specialist teachers. This aspect of Elmhurst’s work is as important as the school’s vocational dance offer. Form Tutors monitor the progress and welfare of each student, and pastoral care is provided through an extensive network of academic, residential and vocational staff.  Internal academic assessment takes place throughout the year and parents receive regular written reports and attend annual parent-teacher evenings for each year group.




Notes: Elmhurst Ballet School is based in Edgbaston, Birmingham and will celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2023. It is a world-renowned centre of excellence in association with Birmingham Royal Ballet and prepares talented young dancers aged between 11 and 19 to become the thinking dance professionals of the future. The school nurtures individuality through a holistic approach to training, education and health, which helps students to become independent, collaborative and versatile artists, ready to take their professional places on the world stage. Elmhurst’s dance training is of the highest quality and is delivered by current and former dance professionals. This training is enhanced by opportunities to work with Birmingham Royal Ballet, visiting choreographers and dance artists. Elite but not elitist, Elmhurst believes that talent is classless and its exceptional training opportunities should be available to young dancers regardless of their financial, social or cultural backgrounds. Whilst Elmhurst is an independent school, typically some 80% of students benefit from Government support to train at the school.



Twitter: @ElmhurstBallet // Instagram: @elmhurstballetschool // Facebook: Elmhurst Ballet School

Photo credit: Elmhurst Ballet School, Year 11 in 'Réves de Jeunesse' by Lee Robinson. Photography Andy Ross

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not surprised by this as Elmhurst has always had fairly high academic standards.

one of the conditions that my mum allowed me to audition for Elmhurst when I was 11 ( albeit a long time ago now when they were still based in Camberley in Surrey ( so could have been a day student) was that she thought they had high academic standards.

In order to receive one of the Grants though to go there you had to pass the 11 plus ......back  in those days. 

Unfortunately I did not ( passed this strange 13 plus exam instead which existed in those days). I went late to Grammar school. 

whether if I had been truely exceptional at ballet they would have overlooked this I will never know but I needed the Grant as my parents couldn't afford the fees otherwise. 

I was very sad initially not to go ....it was all so exciting at the time....but soon enjoyed my new secondary school and still did lots of ballet so was fine. 

I also realised for the first time just what the competition was some of those girls were just so good.....but did not give up on having another go until I was nearly sixteen .....this time by the Rambert route as my dance teacher had connections. But deep down I think I knew since I was eleven that I was not going to make it as a dancer. 

But as a parent I think it's always good to know that your children are being well educated academically as well as enjoying the benefits of all the Dance.



  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Both my DC have achieved 2 excellent A levels at Elmhurst. I can not fault the support they received from the academic staff, even revision classes at weekends and being available during the holidays. It’s incredibly tough to balance a full dance and academic workload but they have to have a plan B. But for now DS is starting his dream job in Florida tomorrow 😀 It’s so hot here 🥵

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

4 hours ago, LinMM said:

Oh that's lovely to hear! Wishing him all the luck! Are you in Florida with him at mo ....you said it was hot!

its just that it's pretty hot here in Uk today!!


Im in Florida for a week settling him into his apartment. It’s a beautiful, friendly place. He is very lucky 😊

  • Like 3
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
  • Create New...