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I'm planning for next year; my & the school are going to fall out & I'd like to minimise it

(35 Posts)
KatyMac Thu 09-May-13 08:14:15

DD is hoping to go to performing arts/dance college in Sept 14; she will start auditioning in Sept/Oct 13

This will be her final GCSE year, so time off will be difficult.
She wants to do as many auditions as possible
I'd rather she does as few as possible while giving her the best possible chance
I'm sure school would rather she wasn't off at all wink

Next year she is doing:
2nd yr of Maths
2nd yr of Eng Lit
2nd yr of Eng Lang
2nd yr of Science

Entire Drama BTEC
Entire Business BTEC

She 'should' already have GCSE Spanish, Geography & Music and she has BTEC Dance

Is it worth suggesting she drops the Business so she can use that time to make up any lessons she has missed?

marriedinwhiteagain Sat 11-May-13 23:15:33

I'm totally confused tbh. My mother was a ballerina and whilst at the royal Ballet school all girls were expected to study hard and matriculate - in those days that was as rigorous as the EBacc.

Your daughter isn't even at dance school yet so I don't really understand the issue. I would have thought top priority is foundation quals even if that means a year off next year. There is no substitute for good GcSEs or equiv.

You do realise how competitive the performing world is don't you? And that your dd will need sound quals or vocational experience to see her through the lean times?

Picturesinthefirelight Sat 11-May-13 23:27:24

If successful Katymacs dd will probably end up with a Level 6 diploma do the talk of extra quals are a bit not applicable. Many if the colleges offer teaching diplomas or a levels alongside the professional training or the diploma can be topped up to a degree.

As she knows my dh teaches in one if the schools she may be applying to. The school should be accommodating in the same way as they accommodate uni interviews for a level students. It's just that Katymacs dd is doing it two years early.

Just don't give them the choice. When an audition comes through write a note saying R will be absent on x date due to a college audition (or csll it sn interview if you think that sounds better)

DowntonTrout Sat 11-May-13 23:34:53

I too would encourage her to keep all her GCSE and BTECH courses going. She will need them. From what I know, the colleges prefer students to have a really sound academic background.

I know it is hard. The audition process is enough to send you mad! My Dd is at theatre school in London, she auditioned last year and they were very strict about the academic side. There is no let up on lessons for the children already performing in shows either. Admittedly my Dd is younger than yours, so at an actual school, not college, but they never stop reminding them the importance of academic qualifications as there are no guarantees in this industry. It is a very harsh environment for them to be in, but you already know that.

Good luck to your DD. it will be a wonderful and exciting experience for her if she gets there!

KatyMac Sun 12-May-13 10:40:58

If she were at vocational school the day would be split up in to sections & DD would do (say) class work, followed by vocational stuff - probably all on the same site or at least planned properly.

DD does 8:00 (when she leaves) until 3:15 (gets home) then travels about 25 to class, 5 nights week for between 2 and 4 hours plus classes on Saturday (30 miles) and Sunday (150 miles) - on 2 nights she moves between 2 sites to get the classes she needs

& I think 8 GCSEs plus 1, 2 or 3 BTECs is a really sound academic background.

Iggi, DD & her family discuss and debate the sort of issues dealt with in the class over the dinner table and on car journeys - currently they are 'doing a project' in citizenship (the companion class) on anything. She had picked the history of Musicals before we decided Spanish vocab was more important

DowntonTrout Sun 12-May-13 11:13:51

Yes, sorry, I had not added it up to 8 GCSEs and 2 or 3 BTECHs.

Her schedule sounds frightening and not a million miles away from where we were with DD, without her being at GCSE stage, which is why we made the decision to let her try for her school in the first place. It would have been impossible for her to continue at that level outside of school, with singing, music, drama and dance disciplines, and something had to give.

DD will not do the full range of academic subjects that they would expect at a mainstream school either. As it is condensed into 3 days. I think it's 8 GCSEs plus the vocational qualifications. The only thing she really misses is sport, all the dancing more than makes up for it exercise wise, but she misses the taking part. At least everything is now on site and she lives and breathes it. The 200 mile commute each way every week is the only downside, but she uses that for homework anyway.

I actually can't imagine how she is maintaining her academic side alongside her dancing Katy. Your DD is obviously extremely driven and talented and I really hope she is able to get through the audition process and find a place. FWIW- lots of people thought we were mad, many still do, muttering about daughters wandering the backstreets of London.<shrug>. We're in a place now where everyone gets it because they areall doing the same.

KatyMac Sun 12-May-13 11:25:13

Unfortunately DD 'got' dance too late to try for vocational; she started in Sept 11 and has moved amazingly fast & would have been ready to go vocationally at Yr10 but we knew nothing about it at that stage - we are kicking ourselves now. She had an MDS at a CAT but it didn't work for her (age wise)

It is hard, the train commute does some work the car journeys does Music revision and Spanish vocab with some maths stuff; but next year will get harder anyway without the auditions and because we don't really know how good she is, she must audition for more than is normal

DowntonTrout Sun 12-May-13 11:54:13

Lots of the colleges prefer students who haven't been down the vocational schooling route though. We may well be in a more difficult situation at 16 precisely because we have done this now.

It may be that where DD is currently ends up being too musical theatre based for the long term. A year ago we had not considered this and now here we are. We were close to going down the chorister route at a music school but that was limiting too, in cutting out the other areas. It would have been wrong for her. We did a whole term of travelling to London for Saturday classes to try and figure out if it was a, feasible and b, whether she was likely to be "good enough".

How many places is she applying to? What is the back up plan in case she has to apply next year? Can she stay where she is for 6th form or will she be leaving anyway? (hopefully it won't come to that- just asking.)

KatyMac Sun 12-May-13 12:15:44

No sixth form at school

Local college only does a subsidiary level 3

All the other colleges 'locally' would be too far to travel to daily (mainly because of the lack of public transport). So as back up (but she may not get in):

Stageworks in St Neots is a possible
Tiffany's looks good (but costs more)


Urdang, Millenium & Bodyworks are top; Tring, Bird & Laine are scary. DD's teacher wants Arts Ed, Brit, Performers or The Centre

She didn't get the right feeling about Hammond & Stella Mann. London Studio Centre was fab but is from 18

& there are so many more out there

DowntonTrout Sun 12-May-13 12:38:02

So at least 10 1st round auditions, plus all the recalls if she gets through, plus funding ones? That could easily add up to a full 4 weeks off school. I see why you are concerned. If they fall on the same day of the week for a number of weeks she could end up missing whole chunks of subjects.

No advice then I'm afraid. Auditioning for one school was enough to give me heart palpitations! Good luck.

KatyMac Sun 12-May-13 13:13:26

Palpatations.....Hmm I live there; never mind thinking about the funding

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