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The Hammond Year 7 entry

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Hi, we are considering The Hammond for my daughter for 2024. It would be based on whether we got funding or not. I have a couple of questions I am keen to see if anyone can answer please.

  1. Has anyone regretted sending their child there?
  2. How has the academic side of things been. Daughter is very academic and just want to make sure she still achieves good grades. 
  3. Has anyone had a child do the dance route who has a passion for being on the west end? This is her passion but they don’t offer funding. She is also a very capable dancer but long term her goals is to perform on the west end. She currently does local shows and has played several large roles. Just wondering if she continues with this throughout her time at school would this be enough for when she wants to focus on musical theatre at higher education?

Any other tips of advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

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Hi, @Mumoftwogirls2023, For year 7 to 11 age, another school to consider if interested in a musical theatre career is Tring Park (previously called Arts Educational School at Tring) who have also had some talented ballet graduates (eg former RB principal dancer Adam Cooper) as well as numerous successful musical theatre graduates. Besides Arts Educational, the historically affiliated senior school, another good school after GCSEs for musical theatre is London Studio Centre in north London, who have had some talented ballet graduates (in RB & ENB) as well as many success musical theatre graduates - their forte is musical theatre training.


Both schools have had many musical theatre performers (including eminent stars) receiving their training with them. Unfortunately I don’t have any personal experience with Hammond School to answer your question directly, but have heard good things as well as the occasional negative thing.


I think if serious about musical theatre as a career, she will definitely need specialist dance/singing/acting and stagecraft training from age 16 after GCSEs; before GCSEs, it’s possible to continue studies in secondary school full time and as long as she has ballet, tap, jazz, singing, acting lessons from good teachers after school (speaking as one who had to negotiate the “dance or academics” question years ago). It’s good to continue the performances on stage. Hope that helps a little! (Edited after sending because I only  saw “year 7 entry” at the end)

Edited by Emeralds
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1.  No regrets for the first 7 years, I do regret not pulling her out when things changed towards the end.


2.  Started off ropey in Year 7 when the year group was small and classes mixed ability.  Much improved in later years.  Some low quality science teaching but the teacher involved is no longer there.  Achieved excellent GCSE's and A levels.  


3. Yes, that was always the intention.  Many from the lower school dance course used to go onto musical theatre courses.  However I know there have been a lot of  changes recently so I don't know if that has altered the focus or not.  

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If your DD is desperate to go away to vocational school and she can’t get the training outside of that then it’s worth trying Hammond and Tring.  However, with MT there really isn’t any need to go away to train from 11 years old. 

My youngest son is currently training on degree course at GSA on MT course.   He stayed at our local secondary school but had fantastic training from his wonderful drama and singing teachers outside of school.   He started dancing at 15 when he said he wanted to be a professional actor/singer (he never wanted to do it earlier as his elder brother was training to be dancer so he did swimming and taekwondo).  He got away with starting dancing late because he’s a boy and luckily for him he has a lot of natural ability. 

I do think it is important to do a more intensive 6th form though as the competition is so strong.  My son went to Emil Dale for 6th form doing BTECH in  performing arts. There are some other good colleges offering this type of training - look at Tring, Arts Ed, arts1, EDA and there are others, but I would avoid local colleges that are general education facilities offering a BTECH in PA (we did that for 6 months prior to the first covid lockdown and they were pretty rubbish even though they had good ratings - they just can’t compete with the professional colleges for teaching hours, quality of teaching and progression stats).  Luckily, my son started at the local college, and  I realised very quickly it wasn’t good enough and he had his place secured for EDA before the Christmas break. He went to EDA with grade 8 singing and grade 7 drama and 1 year of jazz dance training. Lots of performing under his belt from festivals, a good weekend drama school who did fabulous shows and was a member of NYMT. 

His year at EDA were incredibly talented and all but 3 of the 43 students got offers of degree or diploma courses to continue their training (I think 2 dropped out Along the way and one decided at the end they wanted to do something else).  Nearly all of his current class mates either did full time performing arts courses at 6th form or did a foundation course (EDA, Arts Ed, GSA, etc) after A’levels. 2 were at the dance school of Scotland, one went to White lodge but mostly they did local secondary schools. 

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My DD did GCSEs at local high school, and A levels at local 6th form college, combined with a lot of dancing at our local dance school, an associates scheme at a nearby (ish) performing arts conservatoire (for 6 yrs), plus additional singing and drama lessons. We were lucky that we had such great teachers close by. 


She has just started her musical theatre degree course at Bird College. 

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My dd is currently there. 

1. Only regret is that the school’s lack of organisation drives me mad, but other than that dd is so very happy there that we’ve never regretted it. 

2. Dd is also very academic and has had excellent support and teaching, is on track to achieve the highest grades. 

3. MT is the plan for many Hammond students and the broad dance curriculum supports those aims well. In y10&11 they can choose either a ‘classical/contemporary’ or ‘MT/jazz/commercial’ route, to support them applying to appropriate schools. It’s the upper school destination that is the really crucial part when it comes to careers. 

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