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I was wondering what types of conditional offers anyone has had for courses this year especially anyone doing scottish educational qualifications, highers. My DS is about to start his higher subjects and I'd like to be sure he's doing enough highers to be offered a place without making him do so many that studying will interfere with dance practice. Any advice and ideas of offers out there would be great. Many thanks.

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Hi there scottishDSmum. I know the students that attend the Dance School of Scotland do 3 highers in 5th year and another 2 in 6th year. That way they can still do dance exams, auditions, etc. and hopefully leave with enough highers to allow them to follow an academic career if they wish.

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Those dance institutions in England which give conditional offers usually specify two A level passes (no particular grade) or equivalent.  So really you need to find what value a Scottish Higher has compared to an A level.  Does one Higher equal one A level or a proportion thereof?  Perhaps your academic school may know, if any of their pupils apply for non-Scottish universities within the UK, they must know what is required. 

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I was told a Scottish Higher is roughly the equivalent of an AS level and the Advanced Higher is the equivalent of a A2 (A level) and certainly if you look at the UCAS points awarded to each qualification then that would seem to make sense. A* at A level is 140 points - going down to just 40 for an E grade, AS is 60 points for A grade. An A at Advanced Higher is 130 points with the lowest grade at 72 points.  Highers range from 80 for an A to 36 for a D.  I can't help with the question of what is needed but the Dance School of Scotland sounds like it offers a sensible number.

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I have seen 2 people on another forum say that for Urdang they needed 200 and 320 UCAS points respectively - with a bit of discrepancy over the higher offer as she was stating a difference between what it said on the offer letter (200) and on the response from UCAS (stated minimum grades added up to 320). This is this year from Urdang and the 2nd person is overseas. London Studio Centre state a minimum of 280 UCAS points in their course requirements but at least 2 A levels or their equivalent must be included in this tally. It cannot be just UCAS points gained from dance or music exams for example. A friend going to Trinity Laban last year needed 2 A levels - but just to have passed them. I think all the degrees require you to have passed English and Maths GCSE (or equivalent) with a minimum grade C.

I hope this helps. I think you would need look up any courses your DS might be interested in and look at UCAS points values to work out how many Highers he would need to meet those requirements comfortably.

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My DD is at the end of 4th year too ScottishDSmum (currently sitting 7 Nat 5's) and has selected 5 highers for 5th year, with a view to at least a further 3 in 6th year, with possibly 2 Advanced Highers.  She attends a normal Academic school and dances 20+ hours per week on top of this.

 

As her school cannot support her in her dancing aspirations we have a very tight schedule for her to get from school to the studio which is supported, along with whatever time off she needs for exams etc.

 

They have recognished that while she is very academic, her heart is in her dancing and that we are supporting her to do whatever she can to achieve success in this area.  However she has a 'Plan B' which requires her to achieve academically if she has any chance of following that route - if needed (she's interested in law/politics with languages/history as her preferred University route). 

 

I would suggest speaking to your DS's school to assess what they believe is a balanced workload for him.  I meet with DD's PS teacher once a term to review her workload and this has really helped them to understand and work with us to get that balance.  (DD's also has a maths tutor as this was proving a stress point for her - the difference in having this extra resource has allowed her to relax in this area.)

 

You say he's thinking of the degree when he's 17/18 so presume he's planning to stay on for 6th year - so he has plenty of time to gather some Higher's.  If he does 3 a year then he could come away with a decent academic fallback.

 

Feel free to IM me if you want to chat on any specifics.

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