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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?

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

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

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 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 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 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 11:13:51

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 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 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!

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)

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?

Iggi101 Sat 11-May-13 22:20:28

I'm loving the "giving up ethics as there isn't an exam in that" wink
I think in far too many careers people have given up thinking about ethics!

KatyMac Sat 11-May-13 20:22:56

I know Eviltwins, but I get ideas to propose from MN and hear both sides of the argument. It helps me decide what is realistic and what I'm being a pratt about (and I'm often being a pratt wink)

The teacher has said he'd love to work with her on this; but he is worried (to some extent) about the others on the course - as he won't know until the class list is finalised whether he thinks it will work or not; but having '2' performing arts BTEC is potentially pointless - however doing the work without the qualification might take additional pressure off.

Mummytime she has 3 years of BTEC first - but I will suggest that to her when she is qualified.

EvilTwins Sat 11-May-13 20:00:24

You need to find out exactly what the BTEC is. You refer to it as BTEC drama, but that doesn't exist. If it's BTEC performing arts, then it will be the new generation spec which means 3 units- one is individual showcase, which she will be able to do without any disruption to others if she's absent. The other two are preparation, production & performance and then a skills one. I'm teaching acting skills to my class but there is no reason she can't do dance skills if either her school teacher or her dance teacher is happy to assess her performances (or videos of her perfomances) and she herself is able to do her portfolio work either when she is in school or at home.

You need to talk to the school rather than ruminating on MN where none of us actually know what is possible. If I was your DD's drama teacher, I would be doing everything possible to support her. I go to my own students' out of school performances and write witness statements etc so that their work out of school can count towards their assessments in school.

UniS Sat 11-May-13 19:35:44

Drama may be the one to skip. Much group work required , not fair on others if she is erratic attender. She IS doing plenty of performing art out side school. UNLESS- any of the colleges expect her to have an exam pass in that subject.

Business I think could be quite useful. There is more to making a living as a dancer than just dancing, some knowledge of business and an understanding of where to GET more knowledge could be handy.
Science- keep it up. Again, relevant to dance even if she can't see it now.

mummytime Sat 11-May-13 19:35:31

I would suggest you encourage her to do some study whilst dancing. Maybe an OU unit, or some other part time study. From friends who have worked as Dancers there is a lot of sitting around (in airports, backstage etc.).
The school sounds as if it is being quite accomodating.

KatyMac Sat 11-May-13 19:29:10

It's the schools best attempt at Flexi schooling and it's sort of working

KatyMac Sat 11-May-13 19:28:24

Yep dancing; she can dance until she is about 30; then she will return to college & do Alevels/access courses and uni

She is doing close to 18 hours dance a week plus the attendant travelling so coursework/homework and revising are tricky. So she has given up PE/Games as she probably does enough exercise and citizenship/ethics as there isn't an exam in that.

Maths, 2xEnglish, Science, Geography & Spanish are my requirements for her to leave home; we'll start again when she is 30

Vivacia Sat 11-May-13 09:06:15

Oh dear, why is she already working out of lessons like that? Also, do you mean that you are compromising because you are supporting your daughter's dancing ambitions, or some other reason?

KatyMac Fri 10-May-13 21:10:54

Well currently she spends about 2 or 3 hours like that a week (in the corner of the form teachers room I think, or occasionally the library)and when she gets stuck she moves on to another subject until I (or my dad) can sort it out for her. It's not ideal, but it's working

We do a lot of compromising

Vivacia Fri 10-May-13 20:52:45

But doesn't that lead to problems about who would supervise her, who would set the work, who would mark it, who would help her when she was stuck etc? Surely there's more to learning than just working through a workbook?

KatyMac Fri 10-May-13 20:48:44

They use a lot of workbooks and computer thingies which she would be able to work through during the time

Vivacia Fri 10-May-13 18:10:59

How would she be able to catch up on missed lessons by dropping Business?

KatyMac Thu 09-May-13 20:45:05

Only one of the colleges she is looking at has announced it's dates (lots & lots of dates)

Maybe that is the way to go

I don't know how many invite you on a specific date

LIZS Thu 09-May-13 19:38:39

Are you sure you don't need to register early and the dates aren't already set ? Presumably she won't get through all the initial auditions or even then be invited to do funding ones. Agree about her need to be reliable for group work, if much of that takes place in Autumn then it would be unfair to compromise others.

noblegiraffe Thu 09-May-13 19:34:16

The school might look more kindly on the request to drop Drama if you highlight the issues it will cause for other students. It really wouldn't be fair on them if she knew from the start she was going to miss rehearsals.

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