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Does attending the right Drama school and or other extracurricular activities actually help your child get into the right Secondary school of your choice ?

(27 Posts)
MANT Fri 28-Sep-12 10:40:46

Apologies for my rather long and open ended question. I am new to the application process of getting my young children into a good secondary school. I have read several posts and several application forms (manily high achieving top London Catholic schools).

I often hear parents talk of sending their children to top Drama schools and certain Scouts groups yet when you read the application forms for say applications to CVMS or London Oratory ( I have boys) there is no mention or consideration of such attendance to certain Drama schools.

In short I am confused. It seems being a devout Catholic attending mass with a child having being baptised before 6 months and having made his first holy communinion isn't enough thesedays. I know some of the criteria has changed in say CVMS ( distance to home), but throwing in Drama school attendance has now really confused me.

Can anyone throw some light into my confusion and forgive my naivity.

Many thanks

titchy Fri 28-Sep-12 10:47:11

Assuming you're talking about state schools these other parents are talking out of their proverbial arses. Attending particular extra-curricular groups not absolutely NOT make any difference in admission to any school.

Some schools may offer a limited number of places based on aptitude (music for instance), but these are tested in such a way as to not be biased against people who cannot access music lessons for example.

FoofyShmooffer Fri 28-Sep-12 10:59:06


If its a state school admission is based purely on criteria set down by the LEA and no amount of extra curricular will make a difference.
Certain faith schools will require 'church points' or evidence of church attendance and involvement (brownies and scouts could be included in this)
Some schools labelled as 'Sports college' or 'ICT college' may want evidence of outside interest in these. Some.
I can't speak for private/indie.
The only thing you can do is dig for information.
The thing is though it's all 'certain' 'some' and 'may'
If you want to know about a specific school just ring them.

MANT Fri 28-Sep-12 11:01:48

Thanks titchy.
I totally agree but when I questioned them they looked at me in surprise ! They were talking about state schools ( although I am aware that several of these parents are very wealthy (unlike me) and could easily afford private education- so maybe they did have their 'private school hats on' and are indeed talking out of their bums. I was starting to think that I was from another planet. I heard these comments from parents at a Drama school my son attends ( he loves drama which is why he attends).

Anyway thank you for making me feel normal again !

FoofyShmooffer Fri 28-Sep-12 11:02:34

Our first choice for DS is a Sports college with a strong Performing Arts curriculum. . He attends Drama school but does no extra curricular sports.
Neither of these points will influence his admittance.
He needs to be RC and live within a certain distance. That's all.

MANT Fri 28-Sep-12 11:04:14

Thanks FoofyShmooffer.

I think I will do as you say and 'dig' for info.

mimbleandlittlemy Fri 28-Sep-12 13:54:56

Attendance at Cubs/Scouts used to help with the points for places like the Oratory and Cardinal Vaughan, but that was removed a while ago and it's now on ballot anyway so I think they just haven't caught up with the new news.

MANT Fri 28-Sep-12 15:13:04

Okay things are starting to make sense now. Ballot how would that work then ?

meditrina Fri 28-Sep-12 15:18:08

For a ballot, children are prioritised according to the criteria bands, then in the category where oversubscription kicks in, names are drawn at random to tie beak.

MordionAgenos Fri 28-Sep-12 17:36:07

I don't see how attendance at cubs and scouts could influence admission to a catholic school. These activities are not traditionally associated with catholic parishes - no church I have ever attended has had either a cub, scout, brownies or guides pack associated with it. When I was at school all my friends who were brownies or guides attended packs linked to CofE churches.

SecretSquirrels Fri 28-Sep-12 17:43:40

Criteria laid down in admissions policies and apart from grammar schools the child's ability in drama or anything else is irrelevant.
Surprising what myths abound though. A colleague of mine swore blind that if his DCs failed to get in the (50 miles away) grammar he knew for a fact that he could get them in any local school because he is a consultant and his wife is a GP. hmm

FoofyShmooffer Fri 28-Sep-12 18:38:00


When I said faith schools I actually meant CofE.
Cubs/ scouts would have absolutely no bearing on admittance to an RC school.
I know that a well thought of CofE Secondary near us gives points for cubs etc on admittance.

MordionAgenos Fri 28-Sep-12 18:40:49

But the OP was talking about specifically catholic schools as she made clear. And she mentioned scouts. Which was why I was hmm

madwomanintheattic Fri 28-Sep-12 19:18:37

Points for cubs? Really?

<falls down>

Foofy, pm me with the school - I just want to read their admissions document grin
I don't even live in the UK, but I fancy a 'well, I never' moment... grin

madwomanintheattic Fri 28-Sep-12 19:19:24

Points for cubs!

Brilliant. That's gotta be easier than chatting up the vicar.

titchy Fri 28-Sep-12 19:40:03

Won't happen anymore madwoman but I wonder if successful applicants got a badge grin

madwomanintheattic Fri 28-Sep-12 20:18:49


MANT Fri 28-Sep-12 21:38:01

Yes - at times this application business as serious as it is, does seem to be a joke. My overseas (and very Catholic family) where over 90% of the population is Catholic can't believe how competitive it is to gain a place for Catholic school in the UK.
I do see Secretsquirrels point and think there is a myth ie " if I am an influential professional with money my child will get in to my school of choice", how people believe this works I do not know as the application forms quite rightly do not ask for income or occupation.- well at least I hope they do not !

Millais Sat 29-Sep-12 09:13:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

olivevoir58 Sat 29-Sep-12 09:49:42

Though CVMS are renowned for sailing close to the wind with their admissions. Heard a truly shocking story only yesterday in relation to entry for looked after children.

MANT Sat 29-Sep-12 11:56:56

Please do tell ? Surely a parent didn't place their child into care to beat the ballot system ?????

AngelEyes46 Sat 29-Sep-12 12:02:44

Yes olive tell us. Re: points Coloma in Croydon (up till this year) asked what your dd did for the parish and examples were given, member of guides, brownies, alter server etc. There was more points allocated to what the parents did though.

Copthallresident Sat 29-Sep-12 14:08:57

I know my neighbours go to great lengths, doing the flowers, polishing the silver etc etc to up their points score in the Oratory lottery of goodness ballot. Amazing how many 10 year old boys suddenly become enthusiastic alter boys etc . OP may be interested in this background

MANT Sat 29-Sep-12 14:44:03

So now we have to get the Old Mr Sheen out. I wonder if those wealthy parents at Drama school will send their domestic staff to help - I just can't imagine them on hand and knees srubbing floors with a feather duster on the other wink.

Seriously I do appreciate the info Copthallresident and it doesn't surprise me at all.

MANT Sat 29-Sep-12 15:10:14

I have seen the criteria at London Oratory; I have been a reader almost all my life is this enough for 2 points ? The list is so unbeleivably longconfused . Seems unreal although I definitely believe in it's cause. I thought I was a devout Catholic but after reading this I feel inadequate- I actually had to bring up my own family too! Apologies if I sound selfish blush. The list included several activities my own mother is involved in and I certainly believe in charity for others but with 3 children I couldn't do more than I am now
Involvement in parish activities:
(a) Assisting in the Liturgy: for example by reading, singing in the choir or playing
an instrument, altar serving, cleaning, flower arranging.
(b) Assisting in parish pastoral work: for example by visiting those in need, participating
in parish groups such as St Vincent de Paul, Catholic Women's League, Union of Catholic
Mothers, Legion of Mary or similar prayer groups or societies.
(c) Assisting in parish administration: for example housekeeping and maintenance of
church property.
Involvement in wider Catholic Church activities:
(a)Assisting in or membership of organisations or groups
(b) Voluntary work: by visiting or helping the sick, housebound or disadvantaged.

Points allocated for service are:
Service over the three years 2
Service of less than three years 1
No service 0

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