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Anna C

Questions about the practical aspects of life at Vocational School

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I've created this thread for general questions about life at Vocational School.

 

Edited to add: this thread is intended for questions about the practical aspects of life at Vocational School, e.g. Contact with your children, boarding, food, weekend leave-outs etc.

 

I apologise for not tagging all schools but tags are limited in number. If anyone has questions or info about life at schools not listed, please do post anyway.

 

Please do not ask about auditions/audition procedures in this thread.

 

Thanks,

 

Spanner

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Guest balletmum16

Thanks SandP! As a parent if a dd who is doing the audition rounds this year I'd like to know about free weekends, holidays, phones etc as I think this is information we both need to consider if she's lucky enough to get a place. I wonder if anyone could tell about 'visiting hours' at tring and elmhurst and opportunities for phone calls? The 'homesickness' thread is terrifying me!!

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At Elmhurst the children can go home any weekend except the "closed weekend" before the summer show.About once per half term there is a leave out weekend when the kids go home on the Friday afternoon - the time of this varies.On these leave out weekends the children are not allowed back in school before 6pm.It works out as a home visit either leave out or holiday about every 3 weeks.On other weekends the children can go home after their dance classes on Sat am.The finishing time for these depends on grade ; for my DD it was 12.30 in year 7; 10.30 years 8 &9.Phones are not allowed in the main school building.The children get their phones back after afternoon classes but generally don't use them till mid evening after prep dinner evening dance etc.The phones are handed in at bedtime which gives a finite time for parents to get on with their evenings without wondering if their DC is going to call.The children have their phones most of the weekends.The school has wifi so it is possible to communicate by other means eg Skype/ FaceTime until the wifi is switched off generally about 10. All I can say about holidays is they are never long enough!

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Hi ! Some dc go home every weekend after saturday morning RAD classes ! We live too far away so dd stays and takes part in the activity program ! In house activities and trips are available ! Week days Dd has an opportunity to call us from 6:30pm (has her phone earlier than that but too busy) to 8:30pm when she hands it in ! They have their phones all weekend after rad classes !in my experience the houseparents are fab ! They all have a mobile and are available to sort out any problems ! Taking your dc out of school during working hours is by permission of the artist director like with any school ! Imo homesickness is very individual ! Some dc who go home every weekend can still suffer ! We have been extremely lucky with dd ! On the one accasion she did struggle one of the other mums very kindly took her out for the day as we couldn't get there ! Hope this helps ! Feel free to pm me ! I remember feeling very anxious about the whole journey and unfortunately didn't discover this forum until after ! Good luck to your dd xx

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Guest Autumn days

This sounds like a great idea but I can imagine that, if ALL questions about life at vocational school are in the same thread, it will become very long indeed and cover such a diverse range of topics that t will be very hard to sift through and find what you are looking for!! Just a thought! If you are going to do things his way, could you possibly list all the schools and discriminate between upper and lower schools?

 

Edited to add that the thead already covers phones, visiting times, exeats, best time to audition, MA auditions

Edited by mum in a spin

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I created the thread for Balletmum16 to ask her question about phones, weekend leave outs, and questions about the practical side of being away at Vocational School. It is not possible to retrospectively add tags. What I will do is edit the title to make the topic clearer.

 

I have also created a thread here: http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/4999-questions-about-lower-school-auditions/ and moved the audition questions to that thread.

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Spanner - can your open another - something along the lines of "To audition or not - at what age" and move the relevant postings from here. Then we can get this one back to the topic in the new title. I can't do it from my phone.

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Spanner - can your open another - something along the lines of "To audition or not - at what age" and move the relevant postings from here. Then we can get this one back to the topic in the new title. I can't do it from my phone.

I was just doing that as you posted Julie. :-)

 

Audition questions here please folks: http://www.balletcoforum.com/index.php?/topic/4999-questions-about-lower-school-auditions/

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I have a question about what help DC get from houseparents? Are they left alone to do their homework, pack their bags, remember about all project they need to work on, remember what time to be somewhere etc. Of course they all should be independent and responsible but it might be hard at the beginning, especially if they are DC with "artistic personalities", deep in their thoughts, not down to earth... ( that's my DD :-) ).

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They are never left alone ! At dd school all the year 7 children are in the same house and support and guide each other ! I found the houseparents to be very experienced in organising and supporting the children ! Its us mums who do the panicing ! Have you cleaned your teeth etc ! They become organised very quickly ! X

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I have a question about what help DC get from houseparents? Are they left alone to do their homework, pack their bags, remember about all project they need to work on, remember what time to be somewhere etc. Of course they all should be independent and responsible but it might be hard at the beginning, especially if they are DC with "artistic personalities", deep in their thoughts, not down to earth... ( that's my DD :-) ).

At WL all students go back into the classroom for an hour prep each evening during the week to do their homework, with a house parent supervising.  They should pack their own bags, however some students do leave this for their parents to do when they get their at the end of half term or term, but they soon learn that this means they get home later.  As far as timetables, at WL this is the students responsibility to get to classes on time and meetings.

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On the whole they are supervised pretty closely in year 7 (at Elmhurst) but it is amazing how quickly they become organised. We did have a slight problem with DS remembering to go to his music lessons or booked physio sessions but by the end of year 7 it had all fallen well into place and year 8 was much easier all round. They mature hugely over the course of year 7.

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Wow!  Spannerandpony, you've been a busy bee on here today - it must have been quite a job setting these threads up and finding appropriate links, etc.  Thank you :)

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Thank you all for reply. It's good to know that they are looked after so well by houseparents. But also worrying that (as they are not allowed to use phones till evening) I won't be able to send a text saying "don't forget you have...piano/physio/flute... at...pm today". Just

hope they will learn to look after themselves and

their belongings. At the moment it's a big

problem for my DD! She forgots about

everything but ballet dancing. Hope some of

your DC were the same and then they matured

quickly in year 7...

 

Also, I didn't realised that children can go home every weekend! I thought it's possible only once every 3 weeks when there are no RAD lessons on Sat. Buy I guess that patents are allowed to visit any time, even midweek if needed.

 

One more question: what if a child is unwell? Do they need to be collected immediately if they are sick? May not be easy for working parents specially If hey dont live close. Do houseparents also look after sick children? If children are unwell, not taking part in lessons

etc and can't go home are they allowed mobile

phones during the day?

Edited by Happymum

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I suspect they do quickly learn as I am sure that quite apart from the houseparents, friends will also look out for each other. Most academic schools do not allow the use of phones in school, or actually ban them so I don't think not having a phone during the day at vocational school is any different. In any case I think you would find that all the soundproofing for the various studios also affects mobile phone signals. My DD was older when she started and so had a phone but she soon found she often could not send or receive texts until she left the school buildings.

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Guest balletmum16

Thank you all for the information x

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Was going to say but phone lost post that mobiles are not allowed during the school day at most academic schools either.

 

I have hesitated in replying on this thread as dd is a day girl so I am going a bit by hearsay but at the school she attends phones are allowed in the boarding house but not on the school grounds. (Which means dd isn’t allowed a phone at school.) The school rules state they have access to the school phone if needed during the day.

 

I believe phones are taken off boarders 15 mins before bedtime to ensure they go to sleep.

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They usually try to keep them at school if unwell happymum unless they are really poorly. They can sleep in the med centre with staff on all night. The medical staff at Elmhurst are really great. They only have to go home if very contageous or really ill. Also, yes they can go home every weekend but only after rad classes so it makes for a short weekend. You don't have to do rad though although I think everyone seems to.

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If it's a tummy bug they are very quick to send them home as they don't want it spreading through the school. 

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With regards to Elmhurst, parents, relatives etc., are free to collect their children after scheduled classes on a weekend and take out for day trips, etc., they are not allowed 'in-house' though as it can disruptive and sometimes upsetting for those who dont have visits, also they respect the privacy of other children etc.,  There was also a restriction in that you couldnt return them before 6pm as the rest of the house could be out on a visit.  Not sure if this still existis.

 

Although mid-week visits can be arranged, there usually isnt time in their scheudle once they have finished tea, had prep time etc.

 

Year 7's are left to do their own packing home - its wonderful trying to make sense of their cases when they return!  It does seem to impreove as years go on.  Basically they usually start packing about week before term finishes as there is little prep to fill time, they just throw things in as and when they dont need them any more  - packing is finished when the room is empty!  Even noticeboards, academic books need to return home at the end of Winter/Easter/Summer terms.

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With regards to reminder texts about lessons etc. even as a day girl at Hammond I have no clue about that as music lesson timetables go up on the notice board each week & can change

(Dd got her piano lesson time wrong the 2nd week & missed it)!

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It does get a bit scary letting them get on with managing their own time- especially after all those years of thinking for them and calling to remind them !

As far as I can tell my DS - who sounds every bit as scatterbrained as your Dd happy mum - is being reminded to go to all his various lessons, make his bed , put out the washing etc and is well looked after when under the weather !

If I lived close enough I could go and fetch him at weekends or spend Saturday pm with him , but to be honest he wants to go on the lovely trips and outings with his friends that have been organised by the school!

I won't see him till half term now and actually it's getting easier already , not to worry about him !

He could call me every evening , but chooses not to !

Older children have helped him out with sewing shoe elastics etc.

it helps that the number if children in each year is small !

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This is my first post and i was hoping for some help. My DD is currently year 8 at a vocational school in England. Until

last year she had followed the graded exam path and had aways been awarded a distinction. Last year ( year 7 ) she didn't have any exams and today she was informed she is on the maybe list to complete her intermediate foundation exam.

How ever some of her year group had already completed this before attending vocational school. Her friends at her old ballet school have all started there intermediate foundation course.

So my question is.... Is my DD falling behind.

Oh and can i just say although i havn't posted before i have followed this wonderfull forum for the last couple of years and some of the advice has been invaluable. So thank you everyone.

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Hi balletdancer

 

I'm quite inexperienced as my dd has only just started year 7. Her previous dance school only starts children on inter foundation between the ages if 12/14

 

From what she tells me all the year 7s except those who have already taken the exam are starting in the inter f class. Think there are only a couple who have hine into the inter class. There are year 8s in that class who have been studying that syllabus for a year now who are being assessed as to whether they are ready to take the exam. Also one or two if the year 7s who have studied the sullabus for a year at their old dance schools may be assessed too. She thinks there is 1 yr 8 girl who was assessed as not unite being ready for pointe last year who is about to go in pointe now.

 

At the induction day it was made clear that they didn't expect any of the new year 7s to have studied inter foundation before.

 

So I'd say it founds like your dd is on track.

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