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best activities for primary school girl please?

(36 Posts)
thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 11:43:27

My DD is age 6.5 and has so far shown skill in music (can play drums quite well and a bit of piano so far but would have a go at anything) sports (always winning stuff) and fancies the idea of tap although have only found ballet locally so far.

Problem is I can only afford one or two lessons/activities for her as they are priced at £60-£360 (suzuki) a term. Just wondering what I should prioritise? Do any instruments or sports feature significantly in getting scholarships to good secondary schools? We live in East London if that colours opinion at all.

Thank you!

RaisingGirls Wed 24-Apr-13 12:08:20

I was going to suggest Brownies. Opens the door to a lifetime of different activities and is excellent on your cv/ucas form by the time you get to that stage.

She'd get to mix with other girls not necessarily at her school, so widening her friendship group, as well as being in a "girls only" environment.

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 12:58:47

Ok, thanks for that x

CockyFox Wed 24-Apr-13 13:07:10

I know you probably won't think of this activity as for girls but I can't rate Kick boxing enough. DS and DD do it it is fantastic for concentration, teaches respect, great exercise and of course self defence. I imagine the same is true of any martial art we chose kickboxing as the instructor really impressed us.

Our Brownies is only £22 a term, for an hour snd a half each week, very good value. Have you considered drama? Very good for confidence and complements music.

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 13:13:09

No it is an exciting looking sport. I am totally against gender-stereotyping I would add. I am foreign myself and I really am depressed by the old-fashioned attitudes I have encountered with girls and sport even in the big city of London. My daughter plays tennis, football, basketball in school and she is usually the only girl on the pitch, the other kids always boys. People seem genuinely surprised when she scores goals etc. It is so bizarre?!

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 13:14:28

Re: music - I am thinking of piano lessons but someone told me that violin players get more scholarships - not sure if this is true?

CockyFox Wed 24-Apr-13 13:31:52

I don't know about scholarships but I know my brother has always found being able to play piano an advantage in his career as a prinary school teacher.

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 13:34:46

You can sing along while you play piano :-)

carriedawayannie Wed 24-Apr-13 13:35:20


thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 13:38:04

Have just asked for girl guide info from their website. Are they non-denominational? They seem to meet in churches sometimes.

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 14:53:27

On a similar err.. note, I am also wondering how many hours on average you can expect/encourage a child aged 6-8 to practice an instrument per week?

KathySeldon Wed 24-Apr-13 15:13:16

As far as music scholarships go - chose an unusual instrument like bassoon, french horn, trombone, oboe. However, a second instrument will be necessary too and piano is a good one for that.

I would expect 10mins practice (preferably every day) at that age.

Mind you, the instruments I mentioned above would be a bit old for her yet. But if she learns piano now, she should pick up another instrument quicker later on.

My nearly 8 dd does violin, cricket and tennis.

KathySeldon Wed 24-Apr-13 15:13:50

Oh, and theatre arts.

Wow sounds a lot actually!!!

iseenodust Wed 24-Apr-13 15:14:52

Brownies does include church parade.

Wildlife watch is the junior arm of the wildlife trust and is free. (Think springwatch in action!) So making/putting up bird boxes, building dens, butterfly survey, pond dipping, getting to know about and usually hold small mammals, creepy crawlies, owls, you get the picture. It's usually lively, mixed and is great for creating an interest in the environment/wildlife/science.

Round here cricket is mixed under age 9, costs £2 per week for training and team matches are free.

Look also into tennis (see LTA mini tennis website). There may be free courts near you. DS plays tennis and his lessons are cheaper than swimming lessons at the council pool and have a much better coach ratio. You only need a racquet and trainers, no other kit.

ThreeBeeOneGee Wed 24-Apr-13 15:16:48

I would say Brownies would be my priority, along with an instrument. Team sports will probably be available at school for free. DS2 qualified for a music place at a selective secondary school without learning an instrument (apart from recorder). He sang at his audition.

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 17:47:42

Thanks for these good tips everyone.

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Wed 24-Apr-13 19:35:48

I have just seen this site - are these the cricket clubs you are going to?

KathySeldon Wed 24-Apr-13 20:36:20

we just go to our local cricket club where we live. Outdoor training in the summer, indoor from about feb half term until Easter if I remember correctly. Matches as and when.

thankGodTheSunIsFinallyOut Thu 25-Apr-13 10:46:31

OK, thank you.

SanityClause Thu 25-Apr-13 11:13:06

At DD2's school, music scholars must have two instruments to grade 4 or 5 standard at a minimum. Drums would be fine, so long as it includes orchestral percussion. They also have to audition. Scholarships are not always awarded, and are only about 10% of fees, anyway.

Sports scholarships are awarded to very talented people. In DD1's year, the scholarship went to a girl who is very good at all sports and had competed for the junior school in Cross Country, Netball, Swimming and Hockey, as well as Gymnastics, where she is nationally ranked in the top 20. Again, the scholarship is 10% of fees.

The amount of money you save in getting a scholarship is barely likely to cover the cost of the music tuition or sports training. So, let her do the activity because she enjoys it, rather than to get a scholarship.

Re practise, 10 mins per day is unlikely to get you to grade 5 standard within the 3 or 4 years she has to achieve this, if she wants a scholarship. There are no easy ways to get really good. The only way to get to Carnegie Hall is practice! <kaboom tish>

littleducks Thu 25-Apr-13 11:22:56

Can she swim? Swimming was a priority for us sports wise.

Perhaps whilst she is still young you could send her to a sports camp in the school holidays, instead of regular lessons these can be good for exposure for a variety of sports.

Brownies can be great but the waiting list is often long.

Are music lessons available at school? You could maybe start there and add in extra tuition later, our school loans out the instruments cheaply which I think would reduce the cost.

raisinggirls Thu 25-Apr-13 23:00:02

Brownies are non-denominational, churches are just usually convenient places for meetings, and not all attend church parade ever. There are girls of all faiths and none in Guiding.

I can't recommend it highly enough as an all round activity for girls.

If she is 6.5, she may well get onto a short waiting list for one of your local units as Brownies start at 7 years old (Rainbows are 5).

Taffeta Thu 25-Apr-13 23:06:59

My 6.5 yo DD has tried....French, ballet, tennis, swimming, gymnastics, multi sports, Rainbows, horse riding, recorder, cricket and tap. NB not all at the same time, over the last few years to see what she likes.

Rainbows is the standout. Her, and my, favourite by a country mile.

Gubbins Fri 26-Apr-13 09:25:52

She's six! Focus on what's fun, and what she enjoys, not what's going to stand her in good stead for a scholarship. If you choose what instrument she plays based on that then it's quite likely that she won't enjoy playing it, it will be a fight to get her to practice, and you could put her off playing music completely.

Take her to some concerts, play her some records and let her decide what instrument she likes the look/sound of.

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