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White Lodge


Spax
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Gosh there must be a thousand threads on this subject! Maybe someone more able that I can find some links!

 

"Over my dead body" were my sentiments on sending my child to WL based on horror stories I'd heard whilst I was in training (back in the 80s!) , my personal experiences with some students who'd been at boarding school since 11, the infamous assessing out system at White Lodge and the fact that at the time I thought 11 was too young for a child to be "hothoused" in anything particular activity.

 

Thank goodness for a head mistress friend who gently pointed asked well what happens if he really wants to go? Would he regret it when older? I also met a lovely lady at the time whose son had turned down White Lodge for year 7, and when he decided afterall he'd like to go, was never successful at subsequent auditions.

 

My DH and I were saying only the other day that notwithstanding the ballet training, we really would not have found a better place for our son's education anywhere else. The academic staff genuinely care about the students and my son thrived even in the subjects he struggled with at primary school because the class sizes are so small. No hiding at the back!

 

Obviously they are there because of a talent for ballet and it was wonderful for my ds to be with like minded children with whom he made friends for life. He was very happy at White Lodge despite its ups and down (you get that anywhere) and even three years after he has left both academic and vocational staff show a genuine interest in his progress whenever I attend teachers day.

 

But everyone is different, My son really needed that training from an early age whereas others may well be better off waiting, if they can as some students are better off going in later years. I had a pupil attend from year 10 onwards thus missing the stress of annual appraisals (once in year 10 you are guaranteed year 11 too). He caught up very quickly and got into Upper School.

 

It really depends (assuming the child is gifted enough for a place) on the individual . But don't be too influenced by other peoples experiences, either good or bad.Its always best to make up ones own mind based on ones own experience/knowledge. Had I listened to others my ds would have missed out on an enriching journey that has ended up in worthwhile employment.

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My son (10yrs) applying for 2013. He is JA and loves performing (ROH tonight in Swan Lake) and is beside himself that he won't get in. I would have liked him to wait like his sister, until 16 and do a BA Hons course at Central or Ballet West but he wants to go now. Or of course RBS!

I feel better now and will be a lot happiet now if he gets in, thank you.

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Definately preferred it to associates. Would probably not have continued on after school lessons- its hard finding good training for boys. And peer pressure is greater too.

 

Academic results are in annual report, sure this is on website somewhere.

 

My ds left with 9 gcses (all grades B-A*) and one As. But this is unusual in that he was allowed to study for an extra subject in his spare time. (That was his A*! :) )

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I'm on my phone do can't put links to other threads at the moment but will try to look later. I agree with everything hfbrew said (that often happens ;-) ) and or boys were there together until my soon was assessed out.

 

Couple of bits of advice that immediately come to mind though. Manage his expectations - he might not get in (more don't than do, even out of the JAs) and he needs to consider that and have an alternative. And consider Elmhurst too - he needs to want to do ballet, not just go to White Lodge.

 

Don't want to dampen your enthusiasm, just being realistic.

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I know - it's a real rollercoaster ride one way or another. We went into it thinking he should give it a go - it'll never happen :D Then were delighted when it did until reality set in for a bit on the financial side of things.

 

My daughter then auditioned 2 years later (she looked just right through JAs until the last few months when she started hitting puberty) - and she didn't get MAs or WL - upset at the time, but she soon got over it (and she was lucky to get to visit her brother there I suppose).

 

Then a year later our youngest son auditioned - but he wasn't really into ballet in the same way - he just really like the school (and I think he probably thought it would be like Hogwarts!). He didn't get in and at that point first son was assessed out and went to Elmhurst, so it was probably a good job the youngest didn't get in - would've been a bit tricky taking him there when his brother was so upset about leaving!!

 

Good luck with it all.

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Hi Spax, my son is at vocational school year 7 (not WL)! It's a rollercoaster ride from beginning to end, with no way off really , once it starts! From ds point of view he's happy and it's all that he dreamt of!

 

I can't help feeling sad that I've lost that daily contact with him, coming in from school with his siblings, making a noise, teasing the dog, playing football, taking him to dancing 6 days a week, where a lot of my social life was! It still feels like a loss to me and I guess it will for a long time!

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I know what your mean about that feeling of loss Evie - you have to adjust to a different kind of relationship with them as there are few of us who ever expected to send our children to boarding school. I think there's a thread about that somewhere too!

 

And remember that you can get off the rollercoaster - we all have a choice, and some do choose to get off - but I know what you mean

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We had 3 of the senior boys come to our pub in Oxfordshire (1 boy and his dad who has something to do with Elmhurst live near us) drinking guinness! They said they saw my son in the paper and recommended he go to Elmhurst. They love it there!

Might audition him there as well, will talk to him.

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