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Tutumuchmum

Assessing out process

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I also have never heard of anyone being assessed out of Mids, but I have known some who were put on "monitor".  This meant there were areas where they were having problems.  When it was one of my pupils it was just due to her growth spurt and she regained strength and stayed on. 

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Posted (edited)

My son is boys Y7 MAs, and it is possible to be assessed out of Mids. It might not happen v often, but they have been told that it can if they are not where they should be, or not meeting the standards of behaviour expected of them. It is not just about the dancing, it is about IMHO as much about whether they fit within a certain image as they move through the training program.

 

 

With our MA group, the parents were all booked in after Christmas with the class teacher for a report on how our child is doing, strengths, weaknesses, concerns, any questions etc

 

One of the posts mentioned AD knowing and watching the classes; whenever AD is going to be in the building, the class is forewarned as he always watches at the viewing window. He also watches unannounced as well.

Head of Associate programs always watches the class and takes notes on every parent watching day, undertakes the boys assessments and regularly watches at unannounced times throughout the terms.

 

I am talking about specialist boys MAs, I cannot speak for other MA classes.

 

AD WL said to parents last week on finals day for Y8,9,10,11, our selection process is about whether or not you are right fit for the Royal Ballet to train.

 

In my son’s interview, the person interviewing him spoke a lot about if you are offered a place, you will be representing our brand and will have to behave accordingly. Yikes!

 

It also said to me that selection is not solely based on talent. I used to think it was, but I don’t anymore. And the flip side of this, is that for me ‘assessing out’ is not based solely on lack of talent, but so many more things, many of which we will never fully know.

 

 

Edited by Motomum
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1 hour ago, Motomum said:

My son is boys Y7 MAs, and it is possible to be assessed out of Mids. It might not happen v often, but they have been told that it can if they are not where they should be, or not meeting the standards of behaviour expected of them. It is not just about the dancing, it is about IMHO as much about whether they fit within a certain image as they move through the training program.

 

 

With our MA group, the parents were all booked in after Christmas with the class teacher for a report on how our child is doing, strengths, weaknesses, concerns, any questions etc

 

One of the posts mentioned AD knowing and watching the classes; whenever AD is going to be in the building, the class is forewarned as he always watches at the viewing window. He also watches unannounced as well.

Head of Associate programs always watches the class and takes notes on every parent watching day, undertakes the boys assessments and regularly watches at unannounced times throughout the terms.

 

I am talking about specialist boys MAs, I cannot speak for other MA classes.

 

AD WL said to parents last week on finals day for Y8,9,10,11, our selection process is about whether or not you are right fit for the Royal Ballet to train.

 

In my son’s interview, the person interviewing him spoke a lot about if you are offered a place, you will be representing our brand and will have to behave accordingly. Yikes!

 

It also said to me that selection is not solely based on talent. I used to think it was, but I don’t anymore. And the flip side of this, is that for me ‘assessing out’ is not based solely on lack of talent, but so many more things, many of which we will never fully know.

 

 


I’m sorry, but I disagree with this. I can’t speak for MA’s as I’ve never heard of any ‘ actually’ being assessed out. I guess in any school or institution where you are not behaving appropriately or representing the establishment in an appropriate way,  then you might be asked to leave.

From a WL point of view, especially in yr 10, it is very clear to EVERYBODY  what happens when the class sizes swell to a disproportionate size with new exclusively international students of an extremely high standard who will be ready to replace the WL students in upper school. Believe me, it has nothing to do with ‘ not representing the school in a good light’ or ‘looking or behaving in a certain way’. It is all about talented students who have received excellent training abroad and reached a higher standard.

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Thank you for your replies everyone, we have had parent contact and no concerns have been raised and we've not been made aware of any issues following any class etc so fingers crossed she will be fine. 

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I do know someone who was assessed out of MAs a few years ago. It isn't common, but can happen.

 

On 05/03/2020 at 12:24, valentina said:


I’m sorry, but I disagree with this. I can’t speak for MA’s as I’ve never heard of any ‘ actually’ being assessed out. I guess in any school or institution where you are not behaving appropriately or representing the establishment in an appropriate way,  then you might be asked to leave.

From a WL point of view, especially in yr 10, it is very clear to EVERYBODY  what happens when the class sizes swell to a disproportionate size with new exclusively international students of an extremely high standard who will be ready to replace the WL students in upper school. Believe me, it has nothing to do with ‘ not representing the school in a good light’ or ‘looking or behaving in a certain way’. It is all about talented students who have received excellent training abroad and reached a higher standard.

 

Again, this sounds like it comes back to a topic that has been much discussed on the forum, that the standard of training abroad is often higher than in the UK. It seems very unfair on UK students, what can they do if there is a different level of training internationally than in schools here? And why are the UK schools not achieving this level of training for local students?

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10 minutes ago, KeepDancing!! said:

 

 And why are the UK schools not achieving this level of training for local students?

I am sure it is multifactorial as there are seldom simple answers to this kind of question.

But were I to hazard a guess I would say that a big factor is that in the UK, vocational schools endeavour to provide a reasonably rounded general education alongside their dance training, in not much more time than the standard school day. In some countries, children who have been identified as talented within the arts or sports etc are "hot housed" only in their identified field. Actually its not just in sports and the arts. One of my sons was fortunate enough to represent England in the international finals of a STEM competition a few years ago and met young people from all around the world. The level that some of the teams were at was astounding for their age but talking to them it was very apparent that this was more or less ALL they did.

Plus some countries have very different attitudes to child welfare than we do,which enables them to do things very differently. 

It may produce "better" dancers, musicians, runners and even engineers to do things differently, but at what cost to the human beings?

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Posted (edited)

Hmm. I'm sure there are many, many people out there; children and adults, who do not care if their cost as human beings is diminished or damaged somewhat, as long as they get "the prize". I imagine for such minded people, they would worry about it's consequences long after having achieved their ambition.

Edited by Lisa O`Brien
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Posted (edited)

Came across this article in another thread elsewhere in the forum, seemed apt to share it on doing dance as  if you read through it,  gives two  examples of how different countries train their young dancers.

 

https://balletassociation.co.uk/pages/reports-2020-jessica-clarke

 

Apologies to the mods if we aren't meant to double post links but wasn't sure how to divert people onto the original thread! :unsure:

 

 

Edited by wildflowers
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Thanks Wildflowers, thats an interesting insight but did anyone else think it sounded like it had been written by a child? Or perhaps one of the students who doesn't have English as their first language? Or perhaps I spend too long reading scientific journals! 😂

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Yes I thought it sounded as if translated from another language or written by a non-native speaker. 

 

Very interesting though. I can't imagine it can be healthy for a child to be at school/ballet from 8am to midnight! 

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3 hours ago, Pups_mum said:

I am sure it is multifactorial as there are seldom simple answers to this kind of question.

But were I to hazard a guess I would say that a big factor is that in the UK, vocational schools endeavour to provide a reasonably rounded general education alongside their dance training, in not much more time than the standard school day. In some countries, children who have been identified as talented within the arts or sports etc are "hot housed" only in their identified field. Actually its not just in sports and the arts. One of my sons was fortunate enough to represent England in the international finals of a STEM competition a few years ago and met young people from all around the world. The level that some of the teams were at was astounding for their age but talking to them it was very apparent that this was more or less ALL they did.

Plus some countries have very different attitudes to child welfare than we do,which enables them to do things very differently. 

It may produce "better" dancers, musicians, runners and even engineers to do things differently, but at what cost to the human beings?

Very well explained pups mum....I too was wondering about the ‘child welfare’ as we’ve all seen horror clips on uTube etc of so called pro teachers pushing kids far beyond what we wouid deem acceptable in terms of stretching, hours worked etc. Even physical abuse - I do recall canes being used to ‘tap’ legs to straighten in my young years (1970’s.... guest Russian teacher!!) & can quite believe this type of thing may well still be ‘the norm’ in some studios....I do hope not though...

I often wonder how these hot houses youngsters develop once out of clutches of over ambitions parents/teachers/mentors/sponsors & can make their own choices & life decisions.....

Am thinking of parallel examples of ‘winderkinds’ who to my mind often change tack quite forcefully....

would it be fair of me to suggest looking at Charlotte Chirch, Vanessa Mae, Milley Cyrus? 

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Although it tempting to conclude the international students have been hot housed, I don’t think that’s necessarily the case, at least not in a damaging sense that is mentioned above. Obviously they have had a different sort of training, possibly put in a lot more hours and had more experiences of competition and pressure. 
Personally, I believe its more a case of taking a seriously talented student and making the contract of teacher/ pupil work to its max, where the teacher and pupil are working collaboratively to produce the very best in that pupil. If a school knows they can adopt and  consistently rely on adopting a higher standard student, then the commitment to the original teacher/ student contract may not be so necessary and the commitment may weaken. Especially where a student starts with a reasonable criteria but develops problems along the way, not necessarily changes in body shape,  but other issues which need time and a great deal of work and perseverance to correct, from BOTH parties.

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4 hours ago, drdance said:

Thanks Wildflowers, thats an interesting insight but did anyone else think it sounded like it had been written by a child? Or perhaps one of the students who doesn't have English as their first language? Or perhaps I spend too long reading scientific journals! 😂

 

3 hours ago, Millicent said:

Yes I thought it sounded as if translated from another language or written by a non-native speaker. 

 

Very interesting though. I can't imagine it can be healthy for a child to be at school/ballet from 8am to midnight! 

I found the report interesting and appreciate the time that Liz Bouttell took to write it and The Ballet Association for publishing it, for free online.

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Do bear in mind that the reports are pretty much a reflection of what's said during the interview, so the fact that neither dancer was a native English speaker might explain it.

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Thanks Wildflowers, that was a very interesting piece. It does highlight, not for the first time, just how intense the training in some places abroad is, and the students have got so far ahead (whether or not you agree with the methods) of UK students by an equivalent age.

I think most here agree we wouldn't want a regime of 5 hours sleep and dancing till midnight for our children, however, the relevant issue in some ways isn't that, it is that the school here, (in the article's case RBS) take those incredibly advanced students in and polish them up for entrance into the company. UK students who have been at their training establishment from 11 years old following their 'approved' way of training, will of course find it very hard to compete with that. Of course no one is saying adopt a regime equivalent to that the two students followed prior to coming to RBS, but there is a double standard at play here, and I don't know how we get around it. 

 

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I’ve always thought that U.K. vocational schools should be regarded as normal educational schools with additional dance training, rather than dance schools with additional educational training. 

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Some sports training for young people is much more in intense in UK than ballet training.  A few of my pupils also do gymnastics and they spend many hours at the gym.  A nephew  who did A-levels last year is a serious swimmer - i.e. swims in the Nationals and had his first international comp recently.  Even while still at school, from mid teens he was expected poolside at 6.00 am every weekday for training before school, with several training sessions in the evenings too.  Weekends were taken up with more training, in the water, or on dry land and also going to competitions.  We've often joked in the family it makes ballet seem a doddle.

 

So perhaps to our eyes some of the foreign training is too much, but I do think there is scope for British Vocational training to do more!

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And worth bearing in mind that many who have trained intensively from a young age won’t “make it” either. We just don’t hear about them so much.

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I’m sceptical that children are training intensively for so many hours that they only get a few hours sleep on a routine basis. If it were the case I think their bodies would be so badly damaged they probably wouldn’t be dancing at the end of it. It doesn’t appear from the outside that children at the vaganova, POB schools etc are doing anything like that amount of dance either?

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Schools like Vaganova and POB have their own established training systems. Students are also ruthlessly assessed out of those schools. It seems to me that many intensively trained  young dancers come from countries where there isn’t a world-famous national school available to them, or countries where home schooling is very normal.

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The inference here is that RB aren’t training their students for enough hours, what I’m asking is are they training for a lot less hours than equivalent schools such as vaganova? I agree with you, about the drop out rate at the other schools, maybe this is just to be expected rather than a failing on the schools part? POB and The Russian schools seem to have much more stringent controls on height, physique etc, I think the royal ballet school has a slightly different ethos and doesn’t just train for what the company wants and needs but also expects their dancers to go to other companies. There are many countries who drive their children very much harder academically than we do ours but it’s not at no cost- mental health suffers and also less tangible effects such as less self motivation and ingenuity. 

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Posted (edited)

As many on this forum have commented already it’s not just about the quantity of hours a dancer does but also about the quality of teaching and training they receive. 

Edited by Katniss
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Here is POB school timetable - from their website. I’ve no idea how this compares to the U.K. The hours don’t look excessively intense to me.

 

Students have their education divided in two parts each day: in the morning, from 8 am to 12 am, the students attend academic classes and in the afternoon, they have ballet classes.
The students have a lunch break with a meal they necessarily take at the School restaurant, then the ballet lessons start at 1.30 pm, with a break and a snack at the restaurant between 4.30 pm and 5 pm. They can have one or two classes of 1h30 each every day, apart from rehearsals.

 

 

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The difference in quality of teaching at a certain establishment between boys and girls is obvious to all.  Hence the reason for most  boys going through the school and graduating into upper school. Nothing to do with hours.

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, valentina said:

The difference in quality of teaching at a certain establishment between boys and girls is obvious to all.  Hence the reason for most  boys going through the school and graduating into upper school. Nothing to do with hours.

I’ve always thought this was more a numbers game. There are many more girls dancing than boys so many more to choose from if you only want the best? Also shape, etc is slightly less of an issue for majority of boys as they have not finished growing so they give more the benefit of the doubt than they do girls?

Edited by Waitingmum
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Posted (edited)

I think, as Peony says, different schools have their own ethos. 

At many of the top (private) ballet schools in Australia the hours are longer than many UK vocational schools. 

Distance Education and home-schooling allow more flexibility around the academic hours  i.e. when you choose to get  your work done.

Also, you can get through some subjects or school years at a slightly slower or faster pace than in mainstream schools (within reason).

 

As a parent, one has more control over your young dancer's training and wellbeing!  For example, you have input into who works with your child for any solo or special event training.  You can ask for a change in your child's schedule if they need to catch up on academics, a lesser load or time off for injuries or if they are going away for: a competition, an audition, an intensive or family time.

 

So, you are paying for it (!) but as a parent there is a lot more levers to pull  - than  national and some vocational schools allow - in order to determine the path for your individual child.

 

Edited by DD Driver
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