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9 hours ago, Peanut68 said:

Well, it certainly seems as though the school in a relatively short time has turned around really the only 2 issues that sadly were of concern to us when there....

The new boarding sounds exactly what was required & I recall a conversation where for older years, genre streaming was suggested! At year 7 so many start out with a ballet dream but by year 10 those wanting to focus in on ballet as a career were a very small minority & the timetable & then felt very much for the all rounder. No complaints at all about teaching or opportunities beyond those that have now been addressed it would appear so bravo to Hammond! 

I know we were so pleased when we heard! DD is very ballet-focused so means she’ll be in a smaller class with others who share the love. She’ll still do the other genres (tap, commercial etc) but only once a week I think. There are some kids in her year with really strong commercial/ musical theatre skills so will help them focus on their strengths, too. All good news for upper school audition prep! 

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50 minutes ago, margarite said:

I know we were so pleased when we heard! DD is very ballet-focused so means she’ll be in a smaller class with others who share the love. She’ll still do the other genres (tap, commercial etc) but only once a week I think. There are some kids in her year with really strong commercial/ musical theatre skills so will help them focus on their strengths, too. All good news for upper school audition prep! 


I’ve heard nothing about this, but that’s likely to be my dd thinking that it’s not an interesting thing to mention, if she’s actually aware of it at all! 

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27 minutes ago, Farawaydancer said:


I’ve heard nothing about this, but that’s likely to be my dd thinking that it’s not an interesting thing to mention, if she’s actually aware of it at all! 

We heard at Year 9 parents evening earlier this month. Am guessing we heard first as it’s starting for Year 10 from September 2021 so DD’s year is the first to be affected by it. They have to make their genre choice in the summer term. They’ve just chosen their GCSE options - this framework has been overhauled, too. 

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3 hours ago, margarite said:

I know we were so pleased when we heard! DD is very ballet-focused so means she’ll be in a smaller class with others who share the love. She’ll still do the other genres (tap, commercial etc) but only once a week I think. There are some kids in her year with really strong commercial/ musical theatre skills so will help them focus on their strengths, too. All good news for upper school audition prep! 

Shame this had not been the case back in our day when being realistically the only ballet focussed kid felt very isolated, unsupported (especially by peers), frustrating (for some staff too) & caused huge anxiety as it was clear there was nowhere near enough hours/focus/advanced training for Upper Schools audition preparation....particularly as Hammond US clearly had no Classical pathway necessitating being successful at auditions elsewhere. 

So pleased the school has addressed this as they have the facilities & the staff to provide the best for all their pupils with this new re-jig. 

Couldn’t agree more how having the great all round training is a huge added bonus for all in younger years (skills they will have for life) but do feel that by year 10 it has to hone in on specific genres to make the most of each individual’s talents. 

It sounds win win for Hammond & Pupils - so pleased for all now there & future pupils! Onwards & upwards! 

Good luck to your DD Margarite too x

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Oddly, my daughter had the opposite experience. It really does depend on the year group.  She was in a cohort of very classical dancers.  She knew by that point that her strengths lay in different directions but it appeared that everything was geared towards the classical students.

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Same here, the reason we left Hammond was because of not enough ballet in upper school! I really hate to criticise Hammond, but that was our only reason for leaving.
 

Having said that we’re more than happy with where we are. Things happen for a reason. 😁

 

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Our email just in. My DD (for yr8 entry) hasn’t got an MDS place. Says she still has a place but would have to be self funded. No mention of a waiting list so think all places must’ve been accepted? Not to worry, a good experience and nice to be offered a place even if she can’t take it up. 

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2 hours ago, Jewel said:

Oddly, my daughter had the opposite experience. It really does depend on the year group.  She was in a cohort of very classical dancers.  She knew by that point that her strengths lay in different directions but it appeared that everything was geared towards the classical students.

The younger years are very much classical emphasis as a) that is pre-requisite to be a recognised school for government MDS awards....also a training that has strong technical ballet provides an excellent foundation for almost every other dance & performance genre (plus many many general life skills such as discipline, timing etc too!) 

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1 hour ago, Dancemumk8 said:

Our email just in. My DD (for yr8 entry) hasn’t got an MDS place. Says she still has a place but would have to be self funded. No mention of a waiting list so think all places must’ve been accepted? Not to worry, a good experience and nice to be offered a place even if she can’t take it up. 

Very well done to your dd for being amazing enough to be invited to the funding audition. Great achievement and experience. X

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47 minutes ago, Carlymay said:

Just missed out on mds bursery offered..not sure how much year 8 entry well done to all there all amazing x

My DD will be gutted but it’s good to learn young that there are set backs but to keep on keeping on. No idea if there are any waiting lists, nothing mentioned in the email about MDS recall. Then I get another email inviting us to a zoom welcome session, guess that’s automated if we were to be able to self fund this - which we can’t! 

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2 minutes ago, Dancemumk8 said:

My DD will be gutted but it’s good to learn young that there are set backs but to keep on keeping on. No idea if there are any waiting lists, nothing mentioned in the email about MDS recall. Then I get another email inviting us to a zoom welcome session, guess that’s automated if we were to be able to self fund this - which we can’t! 

You will get all the welcome emails etc until you formally decline the offer of a place.  The school were great last year and gave us until the absolute last minute (2nd Sept)  to let them know that my dd wasnt going as we were trying to raise funds ourselves, which during the pandemic proved difficult.  We were even offered a small bursery from the school at the last minute but for a number of reasons we decided she wouldnt take up her place.  She was gutted but knows everything happens for a reason. All you dd and ds are amazing to get  this far and i am sure that they will continue to grow and develop as dancers, going onto great things.  My dd was for year 10 last year so cant apply again until upper school but she has decided to take these 2 years to work on her technique and look at all her options for upper school, of which Hammond may well be one of them but there are so many great training places out there so also using these 2 years to do as many workshops, seminars, classes, summer schools etc to try out other schools to see which ones she wants to apply to and she is keeping her options open.  As someone on here has said before "All roads lead to Rome", there are so many ways to reach the same goal!! 

Congratulations to all who have been offered MDS and bursery and well done to all who made the recall, you should be extremely proud of yourselves!! xx

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You will notice that a number of posts have exceptionally been removed.

 

The Forum has been made aware that the school has asked for MDS awards not to be made public.

 

One of our Moderators was messaged by several members asking for posts to be removed and she spent about half an hour going through the thread and hiding all the relevant posts she could find.

 

It is fortunate that our Moderator happened to be checking the forum and found the DMs fairly quickly.

 

Please note that if you have concerns about posts you should use the report button as this means that it will be brought to the attention of all moderators so there is more chance of prompt action.  Our Moderation committee are all volunteers who have lives away from the Forum.

 

BalletCo Forum Moderators

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33 minutes ago, cotes du rhone ! said:


Why would a school do that ? 


I’m not sure, it’s odd. There’s no confidentiality clause attached to an mds award. There might be for school bursaries though which is different. 

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I thought it was a bit strange, especially as people are posting anonymously. The school has always asked parents not to discuss funding  with other parents in their child’s year, which is sensible I think. The kids know to be discreet, too.  But posting anything here is a bit different and there’s never been an issue before 🧐

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22 minutes ago, margarite said:

I thought it was a bit strange, especially as people are posting anonymously. The school has always asked parents not to discuss funding  with other parents in their child’s year, which is sensible I think. The kids know to be discreet, too.  But posting anything here is a bit different and there’s never been an issue before 🧐

If one school stops parents sharing their exciting news and helping/supporting other parents through the process then they will all follow suit. The audition season has just got a bit boring if there is no results 🤨

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1 hour ago, cotes du rhone ! said:

If one school stops parents sharing their exciting news and helping/supporting other parents through the process then they will all follow suit. The audition season has just got a bit boring if there is no results 🤨

 

I don’t know but I assume people can still share whether their dc has been offered a place, just not funding details. 

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3 hours ago, margarite said:

I thought it was a bit strange, especially as people are posting anonymously. 

 

I have found at times it is surprisingly easy to identify people that I know on  the forum - so posts aren't really anonymous. Also if you look back through previous messages you can easily see which year group someone's dc is in.

 

 

 

 

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55 minutes ago, glowlight said:

 

 

I have found at times it is surprisingly easy to identify people that I know on  the forum - so posts aren't really anonymous. Also if you look back through previous messages you can easily see which year group someone's dc is in.

 

 

 

 

Yep agreed, but unless one actually asks that person directly if they’re a particular user - it’s only ever an educated guess. 

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I think its quite understandable as they do not want children within a year group to know who is funded (or how) and equally who is not. There are posts on this thread, as there are all years, suggesting maybe mds are only ever given to year 7 - which is incorrect as those with children at the Hammond or those that have been on this forum for years know - but the school will not want false information circulating - especially if they get a phone call from an upset parent of an unsuccessful year 8 ,9 or 10 applicant.

 

There is also the issue of anonymous postings and being able to identify a person or their child. I agree that sometimes it is just an educated guess - but many parents/children actually meet at the auditions and recalls and are actually known to each other - even if its only by number or colour of leotard and where they stood in the room. 

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Our experience would be that students share quite freely, within a year group, whether they are on a MDS or not. It might have been a sensitive subject for some but the students didn’t appear to see it that way. Some of those not on MDS were applying to re- audition for the award the following year, which was possible in some Vocational schools. Not sure if that still happens.
 

 

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38 minutes ago, valentina said:

Our experience would be that students share quite freely, within a year group, whether they are on a MDS or not. It might have been a sensitive subject for some but the students didn’t appear to see it that way. Some of those not on MDS were applying to re- audition for the award the following year, which was possible in some Vocational schools. Not sure if that still happens.
 

 

This was our experience too.

The Dc know exactly who is on an MDS/Dada and who has extra funding/support etc. 

On anonymity, the ballet world is small and Instagram etc makes it smaller as Dc put themselves out there. Personally I feel that the beauty of posting on here is that, for that reason, people can be identified and that gives some form of protection from nasty and unpleasant comments that are so rife in the internet/ballet world. 

My concern with silencing of parents from sharing their happy news is that this is the start of the vocational ballet journey of isolation. Personally this is how we felt. Afraid to talk to the school about issues, afraid to talk to other parents about concerns or problems 😢 On reflection we felt isolated and sad 😞 The ballet bubble has left a huge knot in our chests that won’t go away. This sadly, in my experience, is many parents and dcs experience. 
So congratulations to the yess 🎉 Shout it from the rooftops if you want too !! And a sorry for the nos 🤗 but you may have just had a lucky escape 😅

 

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Plenty of private schools ask people not to disclose any financial information, and many also say that they will never make your child aware of any bursary or discounts. I quite understand that having an MDA is like having a scholarship and as such should be celebrated. On the other hand parents who need financial assistance may not want their children to feel like second class citizens. 

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1 hour ago, Flower said:

Plenty of private schools ask people not to disclose any financial information, and many also say that they will never make your child aware of any bursary or discounts. I quite understand that having an MDA is like having a scholarship and as such should be celebrated. On the other hand parents who need financial assistance may not want their children to feel like second class citizens. 

 

It's not really the same though is it.  It's more akin to having a means tested student loan.  It's a government funded scheme very unlike a bursary which is based on income alone.  The amount you get depends on your income but the actual allocation of awards is purely on merit.  None of the MDS funded music schools have restriction on people taking about MDS awards.  

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It is possible this is not to do with keeping silent about if you have MDS or not at a future date, but something else entirely.. last year there was no problem about sharing, I can only presume that complaints have been made to the school this year, possibly unsuccessful applicants asking why they did not get when someone that danced with their child did and they are as good as each other... not saying that happened but I could see that as a reason to ask people not to talk about it at the moment. In my view the school is very open and funding has never been a taboo subject between pupils. 

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We were asked by a couple of members to remove posts that related to the award of MDS.

 

Perhaps the school were unhappy that the information had been shared?  When I was in work, although pay scales were published, we were very much discouraged from telling people where we were on those scales.

 

The other thing to consider is that students may be identifiable from the details given.  The BalletCo Forum advises parents not to publish information that may result in their child being identified.

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52 minutes ago, Jan McNulty said:

We were asked by a couple of members to remove posts that related to the award of MDS.

So those awarded MDSs from RBS, Elmhurst and Tring shouldn’t share their happy news on here either ? Or is it just Hammond ?

 Knowing that the posters children may have also applied for the other schools the members may request that these are removed also. 
It’s sad because I quite like to hear parents and dc so happy at the beginning of their journey, remembering how it was for us in the early years ☺️
 

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