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ENBS or Tring Sixth Form?


Mazurka05
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Hi. This is my first post. My 15 year old DD is trying to decide between ENBS or Tring sixth form for this September. We know very little about ENBS in particular and are feeling very time pressured into making a decision. I know they are very different schools but we’re interested to know more about the courses, teaching, pastoral support, accommodation, post graduate destinations etc. DD is young for her school year and we are concerned about her living independently in London so would prefer her to live somewhere like Queen Alexandra House - do most of the ENBS first year girls usually live there? If anyone has any advice or comments, it’d be much appreciated. 

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6 minutes ago, Mazurka05 said:

Hi. This is my first post. My 15 year old DD is trying to decide between ENBS or Tring sixth form for this September. We know very little about ENBS in particular and are feeling very time pressured into making a decision. I know they are very different schools but we’re interested to know more about the courses, teaching, pastoral support, accommodation, post graduate destinations etc. DD is young for her school year and we are concerned about her living independently in London so would prefer her to live somewhere like Queen Alexandra House - do most of the ENBS first year girls usually live there? If anyone has any advice or comments, it’d be much appreciated. 

Hi. My DD attended an ENBS SS a couple of years back then returned for the audition workshop. During that workshop the parents were invited to a Q&A with the faculty. Free to ask any questions from a parents perspective. Accommodation/commute etc was top of the list. The faculty member stated that the commute takes approx 45mins across London each way. 2x tube rides and a 10min walk between the school and Queen A Hse. They expressed that this was the norm for company members. I remember this comment well as my DD has a July birthday so would have been young just like yours as well as obviously thinking that they were too young to be company members so why link the two together. 
Could she cope if the transport network was shut down for any reason? 
Not coming from city living could she handle the public transport system on a daily basis along with cooking, shopping, laundry and in fact everything independent living requires? 
Costs. The school quoted £11,500pa for maintenance on-top of the fees. No doubt has risen quite considerable like everywhere else since then. 
Lessons started at 8.30am that required pupils to be warming up at 8am. Days ended at about 6/6.30pm! 
We decided to walk away from ENBS for that reason. 
The school works well for many and has done for years. No one can deny the standard and expectations are incredibly high and congratulate anyone being offered a place, just wasn’t for us for the reasons given above. 
 

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My ds walked away from offers in London for similar reasons, even though he is confident travelling around London independently. He decided for himself that he would rather be in a school environment, with staff who knew him well and could provide support holistically, rather than having to live independently at just turned 16, especially considering the pandemic situation!

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30 minutes ago, meadowblythe said:

You might also wish to consider the academic aspects of each school - how important is the opportunity to study for A levels?

 

You beat me to it, meadowblythe.  Tring offers A Levels, ENBS doesn’t (as far as I know).  Given my daughter’s journey, I would *always* recommend A Levels or equivalent so that you have an academic backup, given the likelihood of injury, the scarcity of paid jobs in ballet companies, or even burn-out where the student wants to change paths.

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My DD lived very successfully in Queen Alexandra House and travelled to ENBS by bus (which is free). The students mainly travelled together or in small groups but by DD became very adept and confident travelling around London by bus or tube quickly. 
QAH is a little shabby but comfortable and the staff there are excellent and caring. 
Breakfast could have done with being earlier as it doesn’t start until 7.30am so the  ballet girls were always waiting at the door for it to start and generally grabbed toast on the run. There was only one day a week when they struggled to get back for dinner on time. On that day they generally ate out on the way back or cooked themselves in the communal kitchen (one on each floor). 
 

Laundry times at QAH were allocated, each floor to different times, by DD always managed to do hers pretty much when she wanted to. She always tried to do one lot mid week and another at the weekend. She never had any problems coping. 
 

This was all three years ago so things may now be different, but they never needed to be in school before 8.20am and warm up time was given in class. 
 

My DD didn’t stay at ENBS long due to injury but life at QAH and living independently in London has very happy memories for her.
 

 

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With hindsight and due to an unhappy experience, we very much wish our DD had taken her Tring offer rather than ENBS. But it was not unhappy in any way due to living arrangements or capability to live in London independently. 
 

My DD would definitely have stayed in vocational school had she been completing A’levels as well, but she is very academic. Doing both is not for everyone but would have been better for her. It’s personal choice. The days at ENBS are very full, any academics would have to be completed independently (online maybe?) in the evenings or at weekends, there were a couple of students who did this. 

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3 hours ago, Farawaydancer said:

My ds walked away from offers in London for similar reasons, even though he is confident travelling around London independently. He decided for himself that he would rather be in a school environment, with staff who knew him well and could provide support holistically, rather than having to live independently at just turned 16, especially considering the pandemic situation!

 

My DD made the same decision last year, although she chose to walk away from a place at Central rather than ENBS, as she was definitely not ready to live independently in London as a very young 16 year old.  A year on, she is very glad she made the decision to stay on for Upper School where she was already known and is having the best time she says.  I'm just thankful she has no regrets!

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Thanks for all your replies and for the welcome to the forum, Jan. 


My DD is currently at vocational school so is used to long ballet days but it’s everything else like the daily commute and having to look after herself at just turned 16 that concerns me the most. And this on top of the pressure of the ballet which is exhausting enough by itself.
 

I’d prefer her to do A levels if she could but am of the view that she could always do them at a later date if 
needed. 

 

Loulabelle, it’s good to hear a positive experience of living independently in London, thanks. 

 

We have much to think about...

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So helpful to read all the advice, my DD is currently at a vocational school and has an offer for London. We are considering both options, with her having an elder sibling who is not a dancer, but who has attended a London university, she is definitely swaying towards the London offer for the opportunities and lifestyle- that she is wanting to experience with her not having the university experience. I’m a little concerned with her only being 16 not 18. But I do not want her to have regrets, she knows a few older students at ENB, they all seem to absolutely love their experiences and some have gone on to fantastic opportunities, I think we will support DD and let her go to London, such a great offer that I don’t want her to regret at a later stage, good luck everyone x

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 22/04/2021 at 23:37, Sunshine girl said:

Very unexpected Dada offer for DD, but think her mind is already made up on another school now. There seems to be movement out there on waiting lists, good luck to all who are still waiting x

Is this movement for the waiting this ENBS? xx

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