Jump to content

Upper school advice needed


Coffeemum
 Share

Recommended Posts

Hello everyone. We've reached the stage, rather too quickly, of applying to upper schools for eldest dd. I'd love to have some advice on how many schools is sensible to apply for, how to choose which ones and any information and knowledge of German and the Dutch schools people know/have experience of. Organising dvds/photos and managing audition dates is ever so slightly overwhelming! Any info, small or big is very welcome. Thank you! 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 minutes ago, Coffeemum said:

Hello everyone. We've reached the stage, rather too quickly, of applying to upper schools for eldest dd. I'd love to have some advice on how many schools is sensible to apply for, how to choose which ones and any information and knowledge of German and the Dutch schools people know/have experience of. Organising dvds/photos and managing audition dates is ever so slightly overwhelming! Any info, small or big is very welcome. Thank you! 

Good Luck. first piece of advice I can give is to have a 🍷 or two. 
Then sit down and come up with a budget for the audition process and any possible recalls. 
Don’t forget to incl application and photograph costs as well as overnight stay/travel etc. Costs soon mount up and can spiral out of control. 
Once you’ve decided on a set max budget sit down with your DD for a heart to heart about realities of life. ie every audition counts and not to use the opportunity purely as an experience. She has to be prepared to accept a place offered by therefore become home for up to 3yrs. Not all DD are suited to all schools. No different to academic schools. 
With Brexit happening goodness knows when just think carefully with European Schools unless you have the right nationality. No one has been able to confirm where UK students stand after the UK leave. 
Are you looking for A levels? 

Independent living or Full board? 
Career pathway/aim. Joining a Classical Ballet Company upon graduation or auditioning for different companies/performances that still require ballet as the core skills ie cruise ships W/E shows and touring companies. 

Funding? Self funded or relying on scholarships/bursaries. Fees and additional costs vary considerably. Obviously anywhere within London will require substantially more maintenance than another school based in the rest of the country. Can you makeup any shortfall in funding? 
 

From experience, no two schools offer the same so there’s no direct comparison. Even down to Diploma level 6 v’s a BA (Hons). They are both the same level just one is vocational the other is recognised as more academic pathway. The BA route obviously opens up funding opportunities but may stop any later applications for uni loans. Not that these qualifications are really referred to after graduation, just an indication of your training pathway. I tried the so spreadsheet method and gave up.  If you can answer the questions above it may well help you to incl or exclude schools in the UK like:- 

Ballet West

Central 

Elmhurst

ENBS

NBS

RBS 

Tring 

 

Too many variables, whilst reading the prospectus’s help rely on the old gut instinct. Tends to work. 
 

🍀

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

We had a spreadsheet with schools my DD made research and wanted to apply. The list got reduced and i made enquiries iro applications (cost, fees, requirements and deadlines)...we made professional photos incl. head shot and video (15 mins). All on spreadsheet, so we didn't get overwhelmed. Some auditions we had only as a practice run with no desire to acept offer.

I had a separate spreadsheet wit hall costs broken down worked out on the worse scenario i.e. no funding offered.

The hardest thing was turning down offers due to their deadlines, knowing that we still have more schools to audition for. For example for schools in USA she was selected to attend their summer school. It was very stressful to say no and decline all offers in UK and Europe and wait if she will be lucky in US. At the end it all worked out.

Good luck, i never ever want to repeat such year!

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I second the spreadsheet!  Plus meticulous organisation for photos (folders in file explorer with digital copies of poses and the application form for each school) and printed photos with copies of paper applications for those schools that need paper applications).  At one stage I had folders on the dining table with form, photos and the application deadline visible so I didn’t miss anything.  

 

A shortlist of schools is definitely advisable, as others have said - if you wouldn’t or couldn’t accept a place at any particular school then it’s probably not worth the time and cost to audition there. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much fabulous people. Your advice is breaking down my wall of fear about this stage! 

The spreadsheet is also a golden nugget of a plan, thank you. Its hard with her being away (and me too - I also work in the arts and its not a good mix!) to plan dvds and photos, but if she knows deadlines, it helps. 

She is definitely after a classical ballet training and we definitely need funding! The best outcome would be for her to stay where she is, but there are no guarantees... Yes, the funding issue for Europe is completely up in the air at the moment so I'm very nervous about wasting time and money on those auditions. (and I've no idea how I'd get her over there or if she'd be allowed time off school?!) However, she's very keen on applying to a few. One seems to be. Dvd only, which helps! 

Her teenage stubborn mind is fixed on just a few schools in the UK, and I'd love her to broaden her mind and consider other options in case those few don't work out. I'm just not particularly knowledgeable on others she could apply for. I've not heard of KS dance, for instance and I don't know enough about Ballet West... it's funny how a new stage can take you right back to the not-knowing-anything-Help! Feeling of a few years ago. 

Thanks again for all the help. Xx

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I meant to add, it's good to get more of an idea of the academic side of various schools, too. I'm very hazy on the different courses, where they lead and how it affects funding etc. Her current school offers an A level, (or possibly two?) which is great, but I was surprised so few do. Also, the graduate destinations of most schools is a little terrifying. She has a few healthy plan Bs  which is a bit of a comfort at the moment. It's enough to keep you wide awake all night though.... 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

There is also Kings International based in Hinckly, Leicestershire.  It is a small school and very new but I understand the students are doing very well and are exciting prospects. There is no funding available but I understand would be worth exploring if a nurturing faculty with high expectations is wanted. I have no direct knowledge but a friends dd is in the second year and blossoming under their care and tuition and is being challenged and not allowed to take the easy option! She will be dancing with Ballet Cymre in November / December and also going to an international ballet competition in Italy soon as well.

 

Heather

aka Taximom

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

3 hours ago, Coffeemum said:

I meant to add, it's good to get more of an idea of the academic side of various schools, too. I'm very hazy on the different courses, where they lead and how it affects funding etc. Her current school offers an A level, (or possibly two?) which is great, but I was surprised so few do. Also, the graduate destinations of most schools is a little terrifying. She has a few healthy plan Bs  which is a bit of a comfort at the moment. It's enough to keep you wide awake all night though.... 

Just something to consider.
Reasons for taking A levels? Along side full time vocational ballet training.  If they are to be used as a backup plan for later on, please remember that nearly all uni degree courses require 3 A levels. Having just one or maybe two might not be worth the additional stress anxiety and workload at this point in time.  I appreciate many pupils do take just one or two but I’m not sure if there’s any research as to whether the pupils use these exams in a constructive way in their future career plans. 
Hopefully I’ve explained myself without disrespecting anyone’s choice. Just points to consider in the great scheme of things. 
 

Ps  I’m all for a strong academic education just trying to see it from outside the box. 


 

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Can anyone enlighten me as to value of BTEC/Trinity Diplomas  which we seem to be told equal 2 A levels & even Vocational Dance & Music  & Drama exams which all supposedly carry UCAS points....wether later down the line should a DC choose to follow a more traditional university route, these actually do hold any weight to help gain entry? Or will 3 A levels still be most likely requested/recognised entry requirement? 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

8 hours ago, Peanut68 said:

Can anyone enlighten me as to value of BTEC/Trinity Diplomas  which we seem to be told equal 2 A levels & even Vocational Dance & Music  & Drama exams which all supposedly carry UCAS points....wether later down the line should a DC choose to follow a more traditional university route, these actually do hold any weight to help gain entry? Or will 3 A levels still be most likely requested/recognised entry requirement? 

It really depends on the course and the University you apply to. Courses such as medicine typically prefer A levels but other courses accept a multitude of qualifications. Do not forget the OU also offers degrees/masters and PhDs.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

As Mummytwinkletoes says, it depends upon course and university.  Having sustained a training-ending injury, dd went back to academic school, took 3 A Levels and is now at Uni.  Her UCAS points from RAD exams didn’t count towards her course because it’s not related to dance - but you still list them on UCAS and I’m sure that having RAD Advanced 2 went down well in terms of demonstrating commitment and so on.

 

I believe that if you go on to study dance or a dance related course at degree level then RAD UCAS points, BTEC qualifications and so on do count,  but always best to check. 

 

Having seen how easy it is to get badly injured in FT training and how few of dds peers are now dancing professionally, I would *always* advise having academic qualifications as a backup - but that’s just my opinion. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Only Level 3 qualifications give UCAS points

 

There are 3 different sizes of Btec Level 3 diplomas - The Btec Extended Certificate is equivalent to 1 A level and you study it alongside other subjects.  The Btec National Diploma is equivalent to 2 A Levels and the Btec Extended Diploma is equivalent to 3 A levels and is usually a full time course.

 

My son is currently applying for a Level 3 Btec Extended Diploma in Music and it is accepted for entry to music degrees at almost all universities except, Oxford, Cambridge, Birmingham & Manchester (Birmingham & Manchester accept it if you have A level music as well).  

 

Trinity Diplomas are Level 6 which is a degree level qualification) so they do not accrue UCAS points.  You can top up the Trinity Diploma to a full degree at one of a handful of institutions (Middlesex Uni, GSA (Surrey) & Arts Ed (City University).  Some Universities will allow the Trinity Diploma to be used as credits under prior study transfer schemes.

 

Unfortunately many universities will not accept dance grade UCAS points to make up the total.  For Music we did find a few that will such as  Oxford Brookes plus at least one other I can't remember.

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight
  • Like 4
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...