Tring School For Performing Arts / any current or recent parents who an give me a view, please?

(21 Posts)
BCBG Sun 15-Sep-13 21:21:23

I would really appreciate some balanced input! DD is 11 and has her heart set on drama as a subject and possible career - she is certainly very able and her current prep school supports her aims. She is very dyslexic and wants to take a drama scholarship to her next school. She is currently in the private sector and weekly boards, mainly because the school she attends provides her with very high levels of dyslexia support. We are now going though the process of choosing a senior school. One that has been recommended to us is Tring but I know little about it although I have studied the website and I can see that it is far from just being a dance school these days. One concern DH has is that DD is very successful academically provided that she has support, and so he doesn't want her to underplay her prospects academically by going to a school that might distract her with other stuff hmm but she is very focused and determined for an eleven year old and I dont think she is likely to change her mind between now and tertiary education to be honest. One interesting statistic I was given was that nearly a quarter of pupils at Tring are dyslexic, so she would be less of a singularity than at some schools we have looked at. She is also Dyspraxic and struggles with sports (although takes part happily) and so the lack of sport wouldn't be a problem for her. BUT it is three hours away from us minimum, and a world I know nothing about, and I worry. Er that's it. blush grateful for any perspective from the inside - we have said we will take her to the Open day next month. Thanks

1805 Sun 15-Sep-13 23:17:11

Watching with interest. dd only 8 but already decided on her career. I have thought maybe at 11 we'll look more closely at Tring if that's still what she wants. We thought Tring as it has a decent academic record. Am also interested in pupils/parents views.

dd a bit quirky and not really settled into state primary or private education. Am wondering if Tring or somewhere similar may work for her.

BlackMogul Sun 15-Sep-13 23:44:04

I looked at it for my DD when she was approaching 11. I decided a standard school with strong dance and drama was a far better option for various reasons. All the dance, ballet etc, is done in the mornings. After lunch they do their lessons for academic study. This may have changed as I looked a few years ago. I knew a teacher there as well so I took her views on board too. It suits some children a lot but you are training for a job and you must remember this. It may also be a job your DC does not get whilst others around them are being offered parts. The school, a few years ago, was very much in need of an overhaul and, if you are anticipating paying full fees, there are many private schools with better theatre and teaching facilities, not to mention sport and boarding accommodation. I think the teaching for the theatre is outstanding, but we noticed a distinct lack of youth on the academic teaching front as so many were part-time. There are no sports facilities and the pupils were not allowed to play sport. I would also say 3 hours is way too far for you to travel to school. Are you really going to be able to do his journey to and fro? There is litte to do in Tring. Having said all of this, it obviously suits quite a lot of children but they have to be really dedicated and so do you. They do take children into the 6th form and this is a route favoured by several people I know. I think many parents there will know it is the right place for their DC's but I was not prepared for the intensity of it. You have to really want it!

BCBG Mon 16-Sep-13 08:22:39

Hmm, more food for thought! The distance would affect me popping in - DD would have to board, something she is almost certainly going to have to do anyway. As a matter if interest, are there other schools you would recommend ? We have looked at a few in the South East - but for example Kings Canterbury offers only very limited dyslexia support.

BCBG Mon 16-Sep-13 19:48:12

Bumping please for anyone else who knows Tring? sad

Mutteroo Sat 21-Sep-13 16:49:23

I'm sorry I'm unable to advise on Tring. Might be worth starting a thread on the local site? I would say one thing about a boarding school being 3 hours away. We lived 35 mins away on a good day, 1hr away on a bad day from my DS's senior school & that was far enough for us. Because we were local, DS was able to spend most weekends at home & it was easy for us to pop in for special events. A six hour round trip is going to be awfully hard work for you! DS also wanted to attend a performing arts school when he was 11. A year later he decided that dance was not his main ambition & he wanted to enjoy other activities. DS went to a school which had fantastic dyslexia support plus & he gained outstanding GCSE results last year. Couldn't really ask for a better school for him.

Is your DD looking to move in year 9 & which schools have you looked at so far? I note you mention Kings Canterbury; is this a local school for you? If people know roughly where you're looking, you may get more responses?

BCBG Sat 21-Sep-13 22:19:10

Mutteroo - thanks for the reply - really helpful! DD has three older siblings who all boarded at Kings so I know what you mean about proximity. We are on Sussex/Kent border. Most of Sussex options are too sporty (compulsory cross country for example) for her. Would you mind telling me where your DS is, please? We have looked at Hurst, Ardingly, Benenden, ruled out Eastbourne. Going to look at Bedales. Open to suggestions!

BlackMogul Sat 21-Sep-13 22:47:55

Queenswood near Potters Bar is in the good schools guide for drama and it is also good for music. Dance is offered too. Don't think it awards Drama Scholarships in year 7 but does later on. Worth next to nothing though. Not sure about dyslexia support. Girls do get on performing arts degrees from there and DDs friends are at Guildhall and one went to New York to study performng arts. This school is still a long way from home and it is really flexi boarding. No-one except overseas students stay in school at the weekends. You would have to consider if this would work for you. It is very sporty but the theatre is great and so are the drama staff. I think a lot depends on whether you want drama at a normal school or a performing arts school which is training for a vocation. Many children do well by going to Stagecoach on a Saturday!

KatyMac Sun 22-Sep-13 21:17:05

You will get a lot of info from parents with children at Tring on the Ballet Co forum

manicinsomniac Mon 23-Sep-13 15:43:00

I work in an independent in commutable distance from Tring and our headmaster actively encourages parents away from it. I think the reason is that it is considered poor academically and that many other independent schools are outstanding in the arts.

I teach performing arts and briefly considered the school for my Y6 daughter but I don't think it would be the best for her all around, even if she does choose to go down that path. It's also very, very expensive, even for a private school, and scholarships are obviously harder to win for drama/dance/music than they are in an ordinary private school.

Honestyisbest Tue 24-Sep-13 22:05:10

friends DD did brilliantly at Tring. She's just finished performing arts Uni in London and walked straight into a job in musical theatre. She loved Tring, excellent pastoral care too.

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 24-Sep-13 22:35:39

I know a couple of people who have had children at Trung and as Katymac says there are lots on balletcoforum

My dd has just started Year 7 at a very similar school to Tring. We turned down a place at a selective private school for her to go there and dont regret it one bit

The academics ate good (18 in her year group) though there are compr

Picturesinthefirelight Tue 24-Sep-13 22:40:07

Compromises (French only in yr 7 instead if free choice of French, German or Spanish. Double science not triple. They take 8 gases, one less than at the academic private school

They assessed them academically last week via cars & have identified dds academic abilities so will push her.

The hours are long (though longer for dd as a dancer then for the drama students. At dds school the drama students do PE but the dancers don't & it's organised a bit differently. A vocational chads most mornings for a double period, then academics until 4pm then vocational 4-6 (4-5 for the drama students & not every night)

She just fits in there. She is so happy & motivated.

We would have considered Tring but we couldn't afford/didn't want her to board so far away.

BCBG Wed 25-Sep-13 12:39:58

Off to see it on Friday - armed with questions! Thanks for all your responses so far.

MILLYMOLLYMANDYMAX Wed 25-Sep-13 12:57:58

Dd goes to one of the London private performing arts schools although Tring is nearer to us. We didn't even bother looking at it after seeing the fees for just the day pupils. There was no way on this earth we could afford it. Dd is doing brilliantly in her school where dyslexia is considered the norm for people wanting to do performing arts. Her school do have weekly boarders and children commute from Birmingham to Brighton on a daily basis.

Picturesinthefirelight Wed 25-Sep-13 13:07:15

Gosh I just checked & it's almost £1000 per term more expensive than dds school.

BCBG Thu 26-Sep-13 20:41:15

MILLYMOLLYMANDY is yours a day school? Sadly we are on the South Coast so London not an option sad

BCBG Thu 26-Sep-13 20:41:51

Sorry just saw you said weekly boarding blush...do you mind naming the school?

ThunderbumsMum Thu 26-Sep-13 20:46:00

I think children have to audition for Tring, which is quite off-putting.

Picturesinthefirelight Thu 26-Sep-13 21:35:17

Of course they have to audition like dd had to audition for her school. It's a stage/ballet school, part of the governments Music & Dance Excellence scheme.

It's meant for children who are very talented & dedicated more do than usual.

BCBG Fri 27-Sep-13 19:43:42

MMM thanks for PM - very helpful smile... yes I have no idea what an audition process entails so I'd better find out fast! Sadly commuting is not an option for DD so boarding it will be. She is certainly very dedicated, and as for talent, who knows. She is certainly a stand out against her peers but she could be bottom of the heap at a vocational school, as I have tried to explain.

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