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School being really horrible about dds dancing

(88 Posts)
Ledkr Thu 11-Apr-13 14:38:45

My dd is 11 and goes to dancing twice a week.
Tuesday and Wednesday. Tuesdays are really hard as she goes to guides straight after do not home until 8.45.
I'm not pushy and she loves what she does. Dies the odd festival in groups and takes her exams.
The school know this as she gets lots of homework and I've had to tell then Tuesdays are difficult.
So this term they are rehearsing for the y6 play.
Dd has a small non speaking part (chorus really)
They scheduled the rehearsal for Tuesdays 3-5 so I e mailed to say I will have to get her at 4.30. It seems this has really annoyed them.
I had a call saying I had to prioritise the school and I said as I pay a lot for dance she needs to attend class.
I feel I'm compromising by leaving her there until 4.30 then rushing her to dancing while she eats in the car.
The teacher has made a couple if remarks to dd about her not going for the full time which has upset her.
So today we get another e mail to say there are now two rehearsal days the other is a Wednesday hmm so she will need to be picked up even earlier which will go down like a lead balloon.
I feel as if they think her dancing is trivial and should always take second place. I wonder if they would feel the same if she was playing for a sports team or having a piano lesson?
Anyone have any experience if this?
I've had to e mail again to say Wednesday is no good either. I feel like a right pain in the arse.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 11-Apr-13 21:28:27


I think we would have to change teachers if dds piano teacher suggested she went to school to learn. Also, if we suggested she went to school rather than have her music lessons the teachers would ask her to leave.

Everybody is different and places their own importance on what they want to learn and how. Be that following a prescribed route or a more personal approach.

plinkyplinkyplink Thu 11-Apr-13 21:32:21

I don't suggest that they go to school. It's nothing to do with me - that's the parents' decision that they talk to me about.

If a piano teacher asked a school-age child to leave because they had a school commitment, they wouldn't be in business for long!

morethanpotatoprints Thu 11-Apr-13 21:47:48


As I meant above though, it depends on the teacher and the pupil. I would hope dds piano teacher would ask her to leave if anything became more important, as I would any of her music teachers. Both to her and to them there is nothing more important.

Now I know this isn't a run of the mill situation, but neither is the OPs dd. She sounds like a talented dancer and who knows she may be a famous dancer one day. It may be her chosen career, and it needs to be developed young. School and homework are not always necessarily the most important things in life.

clam Thu 11-Apr-13 21:55:18

I think it's unnecessary to set homework 5 nights a week at primary level, SATs or no SATs. At my school, we set it on a Friday to be handed in the following Wednesday. That allows for families who prefer to keep their weekends free, as well as those who have busy weekdays.

Even at secondary, my own dcs rarely are set pieces that have to be handed in the following day. They invariably have time to plan when to do it throughout the week. Ds is now doing AS levels and works every evening, but not necessarily on deadline tasks.

morethanpotatoprints Thu 11-Apr-13 22:05:12


Why do schools set homework though and if it is so important why don't all schools set it? Sorry must add respect for teachers, on the whole they do a very good job.

Hulababy Thu 11-Apr-13 22:14:29

DD's school made a big change to the way homework was organised a few years back - no next day homework given out any more. Makes a huge difference for the children as thy can plan the best days for them to do the homework, rather than trying to cram it into a spare 10 minutes and rushing it and making a poor job.

For some children their after school activities are very important to them and it is the case that for some it may end up being incredibly important to their future careers.

DD's school does do a big show and the Y6s are expected, where possible, to be available one night a week from Easter to June. However, this is known about well in advance (from Y3 parents know what the Y6s commitment is, as it gradually increases with each year group) but if there are genuine reasons that means a child can't attend it is worked around. It may mean they have a lesser part in the show, but that can't really be helped. They do practise in school time as well, but there is the weekly commitment after school to consider.

Alibabaandthe40nappies Thu 11-Apr-13 22:15:14

morethan am I reading correctly that your 9 year old no longer goes to school so that they have time for their music?

That strikes me as a little eggs in one basket. What happens if she doesn't make the grade?

I agree with freddie BTW. I sometimes feel that MN is a strange parallel universe!

SwishSwoshSwoosh Thu 11-Apr-13 22:47:56

Alibaba - I guess no one would ever make the grade if they didn't prioritise music, some people do leave mainstream school to pursue a special interest. Not many, but a few. As long as they also learn other subjects and are happy, where is the harm? Not everyone is happy doing the same thing.

morethanpotatoprints Fri 12-Apr-13 12:22:52


Yes, she left school at the end of last year. Please don't get me wrong I'm not saying that everyone with a particular talent for something should do this. I was just giving an example that sometimes an extracurricular activity can be a person's curricular. In our case it seems to be worth more than life itself for dd, she has been like it since age 2. We have grown up children who were encouraged with music and not interested. She plays 4 instruments and basically practices during the morning and does educational stuff in the afternoon. it is also good as she gets to see matinee concerts and compete or travel to concerts, auditions etc during term time and normal school hours. It works for us and a lot of thought and research went into it before we agreed to it.

lljkk Fri 12-Apr-13 19:31:06

Stick to your Guns, Ledkr. If I were you I'd be counting down the days until end of summer term.

lljkk Fri 12-Apr-13 19:31:57

Pretend you're Margaret Thatcher & really enjoy conflict, embrace the opportunity to practice standing your ground.

Ledkr Fri 12-Apr-13 22:00:51

Ha ha I shall channel maggie yes.

Sparklymommy Sat 13-Apr-13 07:52:19

My DD1 is 10, in Y5. I have explained her timetable before but for those of you that don't know I shall re-iterate. Mondays she dances from 4:30pm till 7:30pm. Tuesdays dance 4pm til 6:45pm followed most weeks by a performance in a local theatres variety show (she has to be there at 7:45pm and leaves at 9:30. Wednesdays dance from 4:30- 8:30pm. Thursdays tutoring 4pm-5pm (for 11+. This is mainly for verbal reasoning as it is not taught in school). Singing 6pm til 6:30. Friday dance 4pm -6:30pm. Saturdays are dance classes from 12noon til 3pm followed by festival group rehearsals some weeks til 7pm. Sundays we usually have off, except for anhour in the evening when we hire a studio for her to practise festival solos. Her school homework is set on a Wednesday for handing in on Monday. Her tutor gives her lots of homework too but she has the full week to complete it. She usually does this on a Saturday morning and fits in a few ten minute tests during the week when she can. Dd1 doesn't complain, and has always done this much. She is top of the class at school for maths and science and above average for English.

We have never had a problem with the school and have always explained how committed Dd is to her dance. She competes in near enough every holiday and always has done since she was tiny. If her dance was affecting her academics would we cut back? Maybe. But at the end of the day she is very sure that she wants a career in performance so it's a case of having to work for it.

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