Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
beaglemum

Is this fair?

Recommended Posts

10 hours ago, Canary said:

It’s a shame if RAD are still moderating exam results, I’m not sure moderators should be impacting on UCAS points and I also feel they are demonstrating that they are not trusting the examiner to do their job, an examiner who they may have trained .

 

Moderation is an integral part of all public examinations -  I mean in education in general, not only in ballet. I'm sure that in order for RAD exams to be accredited by OFQUAL then they are obliged to have a system of moderation. Otherwise they couldn't guarantee fairness and consistency in marking.

Edited by The_Red_Shoes
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My mistake I thought moderators in the academic world saw samples of students work as opposed to RAD moderator changing the exam result without seeing the school or students work.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the RAD system of moderation is much fairer and more transparent than LAMDA drama exams for example. 

 

RAD state

 

“Adjustments are made only where a consistent pattern of over- or under-marking is evident across the whole tour, which cannot reasonably be explained by a drop or increase in standard across all candidates; for example, where all candidates at a certain grade have dropped an average of 10 marks. It is for this reason that the common misconception that moderation means a school gets ‘locked in’ to a certain profile which can never change is wrong. However, moderation does not aim to remove any and all discrepancy of any kind: the examiner’s professional judgement will always remain the basis for results issued.”

 

so it’s not based on one school alone, but across all schools that particular examiner has examined at during that exam season. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I came across this document about a year ago and thought get it explained the process very well. There are several stages that are gone through before marks are adjusted, including looking at the examiner involved standardisation report. 

 

https://media.royalacademyofdance.org/media/2019/01/11124829/20170316informationforteachersonexamsmoderation.pdf

Edited by Picturesinthefirelight

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, The_Red_Shoes said:

Moderation is an integral part of all public examinations

 

And happens at universities as well, both internally, and via the system of External Examiners. So - totally normal - and necessary!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Picturesinthefirelight said:

I came across this document about a year ago and thought get it explained the process very well. There are several stages that are gone through before marks are adjusted, including looking at the examiner involved standardisation report. 

 

https://media.royalacademyofdance.org/media/2019/01/11124829/20170316informationforteachersonexamsmoderation.pdf

 

Whoever wrote this report had far too much fun making up fictitious examiner and school names.

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, balletgremlin said:

 

Whoever wrote this report had far too much fun making up fictitious examiner and school names.

Strong is the force in this one 😄

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 28/12/2019 at 21:37, annaliesey said:

I was just about to say that Taxi about UCAS. A lot of theatre or ballet organisations don’t get it when students are keen to do an exam because as Meadowblythe says, they don’t care too much anyway. 
 

but for the op, the key word I’m picking up on here is “favouritism” and I can completely understand the negative effects of this. 
 

whilst I also agree “comparison is the thief of joy” and “get rid of any beliefs of fairness” I also don’t think that anyone should put up with a sub standard experience through favouritism. It’s really harmful and fuels lots of self doubt and feelings of inadequacy. The aim is really to get your niece feeling good about what she’s doing regardless of what others are doing but also making sure she’s getting an equal proportion and quality of teaching. 
 

im sure there’s a few of us who can think of times where favouritism has made our own dcs feel rubbish. I personally don’t have a problem with favouritism UNLESS it takes away from someone else. Then it’s a huge problem. In those cases, forget what you hear about not comparing because you do need to compare the quality and proportion of training being given that your sister is paying for. 
 

I had a situation once where a favourite pupil was having private lessons to get extra tuition on a non voc exam grade and then the teacher was using her to “teach” the non favourites whilst she caught up on admin and parent conversations! In that case, yep, I said something. 
 

Can you tell us more about the impact on your niece? What is it that seems unfair? 
 

it would be great if she could find a way to be inspired, motivated, and learn from the ft stage school kids without paying those extortionate fees! :) 

 It is 'favouritism' on such a large scale and I was chatting to my sister yesterday and she said that its looking like DN will be leaving soon as it has got worse recently. 

This only came out after a conversation the other day as it is narly time to go back after Christmas and DN said that she isn't enjoying it as much.

I think that it would be interesting to hear the conversation when my sister tells them why she isn't coming back 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, beaglemum said:

 I think that it would be interesting to hear the conversation when my sister tells them why she isn't coming back 

Trust me, it really isn't worth saying anything. Walk away and don't look back. 

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really hope your sister is able to be honest & say it as it is (I know often it’s easier to just say what they want to hear rather than give a full on critique) 

A dance school I was once associated with had one of those super talented kids who was pushed up to dance with older ones. I think single handededly that DC was reason why so many of the early teens left one by one those classes as they felt inferior/fat by comparison to this pre-pubescent protégée of the teacher. (This kid also had a particularly irritating habit of sitting in box splits & smugly looking around the room at those regular kids just doing their best to stretch within the boundaries of their own facility) Class sizes have never returned to previous numbers even after this DC left for vocational school. Once they give up dance it’s hard to ever attract them back & of course any siblings/friends etc are not likely to be encouraged to join that school either. I think teachers can become a little wowed by their ‘stars’. Yes, important to nurture talent & give them the training & support needed for success but it is important to not lose sight of the bread & butter fee payers & reason why they have a school & are teaching in first place....I do think it is precisely for this that associate schemes began.... these talented ones can then get the push up/extra classes etc to supplement their training without detracting from rest of their peers in regular classes. But it is hard I appreciate to ‘manage’ the expectations/complexes etc of all....the teaching at this school was excellent with many years of exam success, fabulous shows & many going on to top vocational training and ending with careers as dancers & teachers. However, in previous decades it seemed to manage that alongside keeping many many local teens fit, active, creative & happy far better IMHO. Of course, I suspect the Instagram images of nothing less than perfection have not helped in keeping classes full of ‘normal’ kids.....as well as the general decline in youngsters doing stuff beyond school/home sadly....

I wonder if there is a golden key to reverse this all too steady trend for smaller class sizes & fewer ‘regular, not ever gonna be pro dancers’ kids taking up/sticking with dance? The trend for so many more adults to re-start dance they have given up as a child/teen or to take up for first time suggests that dance is a joyful rewarding hobby....how best to engage our youth with this whilst still producing the stars of tomorrow? 

Edited by Peanut68
Typos
  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I hope the DC in original post finds a happy nurturing environment in which to flourish & enjoy their dance! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

For moderation to be fair then exams could be taped. We tape all practical exams in Uni so moderators can actually watch. I do not see how RAD moderators can properly assess. Dd1 Russian ballet exams are taped and they cost far less than her RAD ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The RAD is the largest ballet examining body in the world. It is the examiners and not the students who are being moderated, in order to ensure that their marking is consistent with one another. The entire examining tour of an examiner is reviewed and compared - see link to RAD explanatory document above.

 

It is perhaps not ideal but I'm sure that it is the best that can be achieved.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30/12/2019 at 16:28, Peanut68 said:

I really hope your sister is able to be honest & say it as it is (I know often it’s easier to just say what they want to hear rather than give a full on critique) 

A dance school I was once associated with had one of those super talented kids who was pushed up to dance with older ones. I think single handededly that DC was reason why so many of the early teens left one by one those classes as they felt inferior/fat by comparison to this pre-pubescent protégée of the teacher. (This kid also had a particularly irritating habit of sitting in box splits & smugly looking around the room at those regular kids just doing their best to stretch within the boundaries of their own facility) Class sizes have never returned to previous numbers even after this DC left for vocational school. Once they give up dance it’s hard to ever attract them back & of course any siblings/friends etc are not likely to be encouraged to join that school either. I think teachers can become a little wowed by their ‘stars’. Yes, important to nurture talent & give them the training & support needed for success but it is important to not lose sight of the bread & butter fee payers & reason why they have a school & are teaching in first place....I do think it is precisely for this that associate schemes began.... these talented ones can then get the push up/extra classes etc to supplement their training without detracting from rest of their peers in regular classes. But it is hard I appreciate to ‘manage’ the expectations/complexes etc of all....the teaching at this school was excellent with many years of exam success, fabulous shows & many going on to top vocational training and ending with careers as dancers & teachers. However, in previous decades it seemed to manage that alongside keeping many many local teens fit, active, creative & happy far better IMHO. Of course, I suspect the Instagram images of nothing less than perfection have not helped in keeping classes full of ‘normal’ kids.....as well as the general decline in youngsters doing stuff beyond school/home sadly....

I wonder if there is a golden key to reverse this all too steady trend for smaller class sizes & fewer ‘regular, not ever gonna be pro dancers’ kids taking up/sticking with dance? The trend for so many more adults to re-start dance they have given up as a child/teen or to take up for first time suggests that dance is a joyful rewarding hobby....how best to engage our youth with this whilst still producing the stars of tomorrow? 

Beautifully said.
 

Across a few schools in our local area there appears to have been a large cohort accepted at various US and MT colleges over the past few years. Probably won’t happen again for some considerable time. All stemmed from the individual pupils not by the teachers selecting them. Most recent intake (Sept’19) literally wiped out the senior class of one ballet studio for pre-professional training all except for one young lady who was accepted into Medical School. Following the footsteps (en pointe obviously) of other past pupils who are now Dr’s whilst maintaining their dancing. Which is now treated as the norm. The Dance school supports everyone one in their chosen field. 
 

Looking at the other pupils in the school they all enjoy dance but as a hobby and are nurtured and treated no differently by the teaching staff. Every pupil deserves respect, the same level of training and attention as those that pursue vocational training. Their parents all pay the same bill so expect the same service. 
 

The younger generation are now using their past seniors as a role model, not necessarily to pursue dance but as a motivation to do well in all their studies and how to balance the love of dance with their Academic studies to ensure they have choices in their future and more importantly remaining fit and healthy. 
 

Graduates regularly return to talk to the younger pupils, joining in classes, taking their own regular classes or masterclasses/makeup sessions. It’s a family as we joke, probably like so many others, our  children appear to spend more time at the studio then they do at their own home. Never too big or too professional to know where your roots are. 
 

As there have been so many it’s also made it, that not one pupil is classed as special and therefore not given too much additional attention from the teaching staff.
 

Regular attendance, studio etiquette with respect, 100% effort 100% of the time by everyone who walks through the doors whilst also retaining a relaxed atmosphere. Which could be seen as a challenge in itself but also is an excellent lesson for us all in life, using the expression ‘you are unique just like everyone else’. 🙆🏻‍♂️🙆‍♀️☺️  
 

Ps. Without that last lesson the children that are seen as ‘protégées (by their local dance schools) could be in for a serious reality check later on in life. 
 

 

  • Like 3

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Did anyone else notice that the candidates in the example that scored 70 and were in the +4 category were actually bumped up by 5 to 75 and Distinction?

Does this mean that the RAD don’t actually award a score of 74, (maybe it applies to 54 and the pass-merit boundary as well)? 

On 30/12/2019 at 00:35, Picturesinthefirelight said:

I came across this document about a year ago and thought get it explained the process very well. There are several stages that are gone through before marks are adjusted, including looking at the examiner involved standardisation report. 

 

https://media.royalacademyofdance.org/media/2019/01/11124829/20170316informationforteachersonexamsmoderation.pdf

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This reminds me of when I was 12 and started at a Ballet School in Manchester. We all did the RAD class on Saturdays. However, there was also a Monday night Coaching Class for an hour; for an extra £40 a term mind you, on top of the £40 a term already being paid for the one hour a week on a Saturday. It was quite obvious the "Monday Night Ladies" were the centre of attention, even in the Saturday classes. The teacher selected which student to stand wherever in the centre. The "Monday Night Ladies" were nearly every week chosen by the teacher to all be on the front row. The "Monday Night Ladies" were always selected to enter any RAD exams before the others. They often demonstrated to the rest of the class on Saturdays particular steps or combinations, and we were all left for quite long periods watching them. There was nothing to do but to be in it to win it. As soon as my mum could afford it, I too was taking the Coaching Class. Usually in the second term of each year. Many took the extra day from the first day of being moved up into a new grade after the exam. We could never afford it. £80 a term, for my mum, who only got about £38 a week to live on, was some serious money.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
On 30/12/2019 at 17:28, Peanut68 said:

how best to engage our youth with this whilst still producing the stars of tomorrow? 

 

Thing is, we all know that  "the stars of tomorrow" will quickly outgrow the standard "2 lessons a week in a church hall" type of school. And it's about perspective: the child sitting in straddle splits you mention needs to do that** to keep up her body. She might have been looking scornfully at other students in the class - or not. The other students may have assumed that, projecting their own insecurities. Who knows? It's actually quite tough being the "phenom" in a context where ordinariness is the norm ...

 

What is perceived by others as favouritism may well be a teacher desperate not to hold back a talented young person, whose parent may disapprove etc etc etc. 

 

Edited to add: the school @balletbean describes sounds amazing - what a wonderful combination of care for the exceptionally  talented and for those who simply enjoy learning to dance. What is the magic ingredient? It sounds as though it's a case of success breeding confidence and generosity. So often, lack of generosity is a result or a symptom of feeling pushed, starved, or lacking in resource.

 

** Well, actually s/he doesn't need to, as it's not safe, but that's a different topic!

Edited by Kate_N
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 hours ago, Lisa O`Brien said:

This reminds me of when I was 12 and started at a Ballet School in Manchester. We all did the RAD class on Saturdays. However, there was also a Monday night Coaching Class for an hour; for an extra £40 a term mind you, on top of the £40 a term already being paid for the one hour a week on a Saturday. It was quite obvious the "Monday Night Ladies" were the centre of attention, even in the Saturday classes. The teacher selected which student to stand wherever in the centre. The "Monday Night Ladies" were nearly every week chosen by the teacher to all be on the front row. The "Monday Night Ladies" were always selected to enter any RAD exams before the others. They often demonstrated to the rest of the class on Saturdays particular steps or combinations, and we were all left for quite long periods watching them. There was nothing to do but to be in it to win it. As soon as my mum could afford it, I too was taking the Coaching Class. Usually in the second term of each year. Many took the extra day from the first day of being moved up into a new grade after the exam. We could never afford it. £80 a term, for my mum, who only got about £38 a week to live on, was some serious money.


I appreciate that was pretty yuk, but at least the Monday night class was open to others? I suppose the flip side of your story is that the dance teacher was trying to show the benefits of the extra class and sell it to others. 😀

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 30/12/2019 at 16:06, beaglemum said:

 It is 'favouritism' on such a large scale and I was chatting to my sister yesterday and she said that its looking like DN will be leaving soon as it has got worse recently. 

This only came out after a conversation the other day as it is narly time to go back after Christmas and DN said that she isn't enjoying it as much.

I think that it would be interesting to hear the conversation when my sister tells them why she isn't coming back 


I hope that your sister can be honest but I’d set expectations now that it will fall on deaf ears simply because schools that practise this level of favouritism will already have lost students and seemingly don’t care enough to change :) 

 

maybe she can be honest without burning bridges too 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
20 hours ago, DeveloppeD said:

Did anyone else notice that the candidates in the example that scored 70 and were in the +4 category were actually bumped up by 5 to 75 and Distinction?

Does this mean that the RAD don’t actually award a score of 74, (maybe it applies to 54 and the pass-merit boundary as well)? 

 

Can't remember which exam, but I seem to recall my dd getting a 74 on one occasion. She was well cheesed off!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My dd has been on the other side of this, as the only vocational level student in her classes. Whilst the girls were younger they were happy to accept her as one of the class. Once she got to about 10 and was dancing with teens they started to ostracise her and her classes became pretty uncomfortable. She’s now at vocational school which has solved the issue, but there wasn’t anything her teacher could have done to keep the older girls (and their parents 🙄) happy. They perceived it as favouritism and it really wasn’t, it was just making sure that dd could do a class at the right level! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It can be a situation fraught with difficulties.  Over the years I have had several pupils go to Associate classes and then go on to Vocational school/dance degree courses.  Usually it all went smoothly, they always stayed with their own age group for at least one class and then added more with older pupils, and sometimes even with a class below, simply to get the hours in.  Rarely was there any resentment as it was clear these dancers were putting in the extra effort.  Only once was there a problem when a talented girl started bullying younger ones.  Eventually she got so bold she did it in class so I and my pianist witnessed it.  I had to suspend her and it all came out.  Other parents had been afraid to say anything because they thought she was favoured and protected.  Sadly this happened after she had already gained a place for a degree course starting at 16.  She should have been happy and kind to everyone, but it seemd to have the opposite effect!  Her parents flatly refused to believe she had done anything wrong so she left my school a few months early.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Kate_N said:

 

Thing is, we all know that  "the stars of tomorrow" will quickly outgrow the standard "2 lessons a week in a church hall" type of school. And it's about perspective: the child sitting in straddle splits you mention needs to do that** to keep up her body. She might have been looking scornfully at other students in the class - or not. The other students may have assumed that, projecting their own insecurities. Who knows? It's actually quite tough being the "phenom" in a context where ordinariness is the norm ...

 

What is perceived by others as favouritism may well be a teacher desperate not to hold back a talented young person, whose parent may disapprove etc etc etc. 

 

Edited to add: the school @balletbean describes sounds amazing - what a wonderful combination of care for the exceptionally  talented and for those who simply enjoy learning to dance. What is the magic ingredient? It sounds as though it's a case of success breeding confidence and generosity. So often, lack of generosity is a result or a symptom of feeling pushed, starved, or lacking in resource.

 

** Well, actually s/he doesn't need to, as it's not safe, but that's a different topic!

Thank you. The school is actually the oldest (est 1940’s) with probably the decor in the changing room to match 😉 but the ethos remains the same. Love of dance. The original Principal (there’s only been two) always said ‘you may not all turn out to be ballerinas but I will teach you how to walk down the aisle on your wedding day’. Bless ‘er. ☺️

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, annaliesey said:


I appreciate that was pretty yuk, but at least the Monday night class was open to others? I suppose the flip side of your story is that the dance teacher was trying to show the benefits of the extra class and sell it to others. 😀

And there is another good point too.... School’s do need to fill classes & ‘sell’ their services for teachers to make a living afterall 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mixing primary school age with young teens is a recipe for disaster as there’s such a huge difference in physical and emotional maturity. It’s not necessarily just about perceived favouritism. As an adult I’d be happy to dance with teens but not younger and I’m obviously less flexible etc than all of them🤣 a class at a similar standard/ maturity/ learning ability/ commitment etc is likely to be more successful and more enjoyable and rewarding. Tricky for teachers to manage, particularly in smaller schools with less classes 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Peony said:

Mixing primary school age with young teens is a recipe for disaster as there’s such a huge difference in physical and emotional maturity. It’s not necessarily just about perceived favouritism. As an adult I’d be happy to dance with teens but not younger and I’m obviously less flexible etc than all of them🤣 a class at a similar standard/ maturity/ learning ability/ commitment etc is likely to be more successful and more enjoyable and rewarding. Tricky for teachers to manage, particularly in smaller schools with less classes 


There’s not a lot of choice in a small school where there’s usually only one class of each grade, especially when you get to vocational grades! Dd took her IF at 11, before some of the 14 year olds in the same class. The numbers are so small that the teacher couldn’t possibly have split the grade into age groups. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When my dd started dancing in a class with much older teens (she was about 11) they were lovely and really sweet with her, and took her under their wing. 

 

It was the ones a year or two older than her that she'd leapfrogged who didn't like it much. But fortunately she didn't come into contact with them all that often.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
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
Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...