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Post 16 Schools


balletla
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Following on from the Vocational Schools thread and the ENBS vs. Elmhurst thread and Spanner's request to start a new thread, I would be interested to hear of experiences of post 16 schools such as ENBS, Central, Northern etc. that don't have as much exposure as they don't have an under 16 school. I am also interested to hear of the others as well e.g. there have been some fascinating insights into Tring's 6th form in the Graduate Destinations thread.

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There are quite a few very good home study A level courses available online. You get a tutor available online and also via the telephone, but you need to be focussed and follow the study plan. Be aware that you have to buy certain recommended books (dependant on the topic you choose) and also the exam entry fee is extra.

 

Here are a couple of recommended sites:

 

http://www.icslearn.co.uk/qualifications/a-levels.aspx

 

http://www.oxfordhomeschooling.co.uk/course/a-level/

 

These courses are approx 18 months long and we have been advised by a current student at ENBS who is home studying 2 A levels that this is a lot of hard work after a full day at school and they recommended doing 1 at a time.

 

I hope this information is useful.

 

LTD

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I was really surprised to fid out that they do neither A'Levels nor a degree course (even a Foundation degree?) at ENBS. That must be unusual - I know at Central and Rambert it's a degree course, and am I right in thinking that Elmhurst and RBS Upper School offer A Levels?

 

 

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I was really surprised to fid out that they do neither A'Levels nor a degree course (even a Foundation degree?) at ENBS. That must be unusual - I know at Central and Rambert it's a degree course, and am I right in thinking that Elmhurst and RBS Upper School offer A Levels?

ENBS students study for the first 2 years the Level 5 Diploma in Professional Dance awarded by Trinity College, London. On successful completion of the third year, students are awarded the Diploma in Professional Dance. This qualification is comparable in terms of the professional performance skills acquired by honours degrees and graduate diplomas.

 

I hope this helps.

LTD

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I did read some time ago now that Central are having a brand new building. If I remember correctly it is being built in the southwark area of London and will include student accommodation on site, which really appealed to me. I thought it was due to be ready this year but I have not heard any more about it.

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This is the Elmhurst info from their website about A levels:

 

http://www.elmhurstdance.co.uk/sixth-form-academic.html

 

Students also do a Level 6 Diploma in Professional Dance: "Sixth Formers study for the National Diploma in Professional Dance, awarded by Trinity College, London. This is a Level 6 qualification, which is recognised on the new Further Education Qualification Framework as the vocational equivalent of an honours degree. It consists of modules that are assessed both internally and externally and moderated externally throughout the three-year course."

 

I'm not sure if they still do A level Dance too.

 

I know it's important to consider what A levels are available but we quickly came to the decision when ds was applying for upper schools, that as his goal and reason for looking at these schools at all was to become a professional dancer, then the most important thing was to look at the dance training, facilities and prospects. It may be hard (and costly) to do academic qualifications later, but it is possible. A levels were way down on our list of priorities at this stage.

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I think that all schools offering DADAs have to offer the Trinity dance qualifications. I would also suggest that although a school may offer A levels, the quality of the academics varies from school to school - my son found that he was way behind his contemporaries at the vocational school he currently attends, compared with his previous one. The range of subjects on offer also varies - not being gifted in Art or Music, I do wonder what he would study at some institutions!

 

Of course with the end of Dadas (bites knuckles in anguish) this may all change.

 

A related point: before heading off down the A level home study course it is worth checking you can find an exam centre - many will not take external candidates, even if known to them. This might be a rural quirk and not a problem in London, but I couldn't find a single centre in the county for non-dancing-older-DS to resit his exams using list provided by an exam board.

 

meadowblythe

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Ah yes Meadowblythe - I'd forgotten that the DaDA and the Diploma went together!

 

My son opted for doing the Business GCSE rather than one of the A levels - so he's got A levels in Music and Dance and is now finishing his Diploma. Ultimately, if he wanted to do a degree course as a mature student the A levels won't matter too much - I work at a college where we take mature students dependent on their experience (as long as they've got some level 3 qualifications) rather than which subjects or how many points they actually got. Of course it would be different if he wanted to go to uni right now, but even then he'd be able to show that he had good reason for not studying 3 or 4 A levels. Would all depend what degree you wanted to do and whether you'd need specific subjects.

 

Re-taking exams is tricky - as you say most places won't take you just to sit the exam, but if you wanted to do an evening course you could (I'm toying with the idea myself - shame that I don't get anything off the fees despite working there :angry: )

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I think I read it in the dancing times. Have had a quick search on the web and could not find any new info. But there was plans for a whole new building and accommodation for central. This link is for the plans if it works if not google central and new building

www.e-

.co.uk/.../central_school_ ...

Edited by janice and ellen
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Plans for a new building for Central have been being talked about for many years. A friend of ours who finished at Central about 5 years ago initially thought she would be moving half way through her course! I know the plans for the complex at Southwark which included privately-run accomodation had planning permission turned down a couple of years ago. I was under the impression that this was resolved on appeal although I might be wrong. As Lottie has said there is no news amongst current students about a move and I suspect it may have been postponed/abandoned in light of the current economic climate. I remember dd telling me over a year ago that she thought it wouldn't go ahead because the current entrance hall had been spruced up!

 

Edited to add:

 

The plans were approved see:

 

http://www.e-architect.co.uk/london/central_school_ballet.htm

 

however it states building is due to start 2009 and be completed 2011!

Edited by spooky
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I'd forgotten about this business of the new premises. We thought it was on the near horizon when ds auditioned 3 years ago, and I was hoping if he got a place there that they'd move into it sooner rather than later - but disappointing to see it didn't happen at all :(

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I am going to try and tell you about our experiences of Central. This is how it is/was for my DS.

 

Central is part of the Conservatoire of Dance and Drama offering a Foundation & BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Dance and Performance. The auditions are held in December and January with finals being held at the end of March.

 

If you get a final audition there is an open day that you and your DS/DD are invited to go to where you meet the Director, Head of Studies and the Senior School Administrator and your DS/DD will meet some students. Out of all the auditions DS had, Central was the only one that talked about their students as 'men and ladies'. At all the others the students were 'children'. Central look at their students as adults.

 

At the time of the Final audition there is a Physio assessment, but not necessarily on the same day as the audition. You hear quite quickly after the final audition and then have to accept the place within a few days after that, if you want to go. A few weeks later you then receive a big pack with several forms to fill in and return (term dates, uniform lists etc). There is an orientation day towards the end of the summer term, which was very useful for DS to attend, as he met fellow students starting in September.

 

In DS's year there are 40 students.16 men and 24 ladies. Several students are from abroad. The men in his year are from London Senior Ballet, White Lodge, Hammond, Legat, Dance School of Scotland, RBS SA, Central Associates and local dance schools.

 

The week is Monday to Saturday starting at 8.45am and the students are expected to be warmed up by then. Each day in the morning they have a long ballet class, plus Pointe for the ladies, and then Contemporary three times a week and Par de Deux twice a week with lots of other classes throughout the afternoon and finish about 5-6pm. On a Saturday there is just a mixed ballet class.

 

The A levels available are Dance, English, Art, French and Music depending on numbers. The lessons for these seem to be spread out during the afternoon and early evening, including on a Saturday after the ballet class.

 

The first two years are the Foundation degree and you do know that your DS/DD will have to audition for the third year for the BA (Hons). The students will have signed an acceptance form to accept their place on the Foundation course which also clearly says about entry into the third year. (We accept that what will be will be and will cross that bridge when we come to it.)

 

All the staff my DS has met and been taught by are very helpful and approachable. The students are expected to talk to their tutors about any problems that they are having.

 

Accommodation: We have been lucky that DS has had a year in the YMCA Barbican. All the first year students staying at the YMCA were put on the same floor with more on other floors. It's catered so has been piece of mind that DS has been fed. He's only has to buy lunches. Unfortunately this place is CLOSING in September 2012 as the lease is up and London Corporation/whoever owns the building want it back. Others of DS year have lived further out.

 

It has been difficult finding somewhere else to live for September as DS is under 18 and a lot of places do not allow under 18's. I have found out that it can vary from each London Borough as to whether they allow under 18's or from each landlord depending if they want the responsibility of under 18's in their property. DS wanted to find a flat with others but had no time to go and look as too tired in the evening to do much else but rest and sleep. I have found two places - what I call - private run student flats - where there are a number of flats together and they share a kitchen and bills are included. We've chosen one and have now booked it. It's within 15 mins walk from Central. DS didn't want a tube or a long journey there and back each day.

 

Yes accommodation is expensive as it is Central London and if you don't want something really awful you have to pay the high price. The further out you are the longer commuting time you have along with everyone else.

 

The ones opposite Central, I have tried to find them on the internet but with no success and do not know if they allow under 18's. Has anyone got a link?

 

Hope this is helpful for those wanting to find out more about Central. :)

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Thanks for the link to the accommodation opposite Central. Have requested information so should be able to find out if it takes under 18's and how long the lets are - for future reference. It's looks very compact!

The place where DS will be next September is slightly bigger, a shared kitchen with lots of space and an area of 'garden' to sit in.

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Thankyou ever so much Lottie. My daughter will be starting Central in September and the information you have provided has anwered a lot of our questions. My daughter will not be 16 until the very end of June. So far we have secured a place at Hyelm in Hempsted, realisticaly is that too far out the way do you think?

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My DS is also in first year at Central. I would echo the information provided by Lottie above. I would also like to emphasise what Lottie said "All the staff my DS has met and been taught by are very helpful and approachable. The students are expected to talk to their tutors about any problems that they are having". In my view this is the strength of Central compared to two other vocational schools that we have experience of. My DS was very young when he moved to London last September (even younger that Tulip's DD will be this year :unsure: ). However, all the staff at Central have been incredibly reassuring and supportive. My DS's ballet teacher and his assigned tutor (not sure if we can mention names) is particularly supportive and talks regularly to my DS even if it just in passing in the corridor later in the day. Because of the distance we live from the school we had not visited the school until last Friday when we were invited with other parents to watch a class. Despite being quite a busy class i.e. approx 16 boys (I think a couple were missing that day) and seated parents the class was very calm, hardworking and lovely to watch. I can completely understand why my DS is very happy and settled at Central.

 

The only negative we have is accommodation, My DS has a long (and quite expensive) daily commute to school. We have reserved a place at Hyelm in September but my DS is not keen on this option as he feels it is still too far away from the school. I will post another comment on the other thread, but I like the sound of the accommodation that Lottie has secured :) I really need to get my DS into action when he gets back to find an alternative to Hyelm.

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Tulip. Hyelm was one we looked at last year but went for the Y as it's closer.

We had applied to Hyelm for DS for September 2012 but were refused a place 'as he was already living in London'.

It is possible to travel there and back to Central by tube or bus but would take 30-40mins, from memory. Have a look at the Transport for London website and the journey planner there.

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