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aiming Hurtwood : advice on schools before sixt form!

(37 Posts)
shs69 Wed 07-Mar-18 11:41:12

Hi,
Thank you all for your advice in a previous post. I read a lot.
We aim now to join Hurtwood for sixt form for our daughter, currently y 8; she is
- top set academics
-scholarship dance, drama, art
-she likes to create fashion and textiles, we aim to study languages for native speakers as she is tri lingual.
- she is a fencer and a swimmer, she likes karate.
- all rounded exceptional education needed but environment, avoiding schools with reputation for bullying, patronizing, hard pushing.
- she is enjoying learning "for his own sake" and she does it because it is in her nature and we want a school that cares for her with exceptional pastoral and can support her in her strong talents, no matter how many they are. We don't want a school that only focus on computer and photocopies, we want a school where 12 year old learn to love books and use books to learn (revise on nice history, geography etc books not only photocopies or internet pages!!) and gradually learn to introduce computers.
No computers or ipads under her eyes all day.

question: before Hurtwood will be better for her Bedes, Millfield, CLC, Brighton College or WA?
Please can I hope in some advice before the 20th of March?
We are visiting the schols in the next 3 weeks.
Many many thanks!

shs69 Wed 07-Mar-18 11:44:18

I forgot to add Kings Canterbury

MrsSnitch Wed 07-Mar-18 12:03:08

Choose the right school for her now, not with an eye on potential 6th form. A lot can change between now and then.

MrsSnitch Wed 07-Mar-18 12:05:28

And I think you are being unrealistic if you expect a school not to use computers - many schools have their textbooks, Prep etc on iPads.

Zodlebud Wed 07-Mar-18 12:05:37

Have a look at Queenswood. Covers everything you have listed and is a truly lovely school.

goodluck26 Wed 07-Mar-18 12:18:28

please post if you find one (especially all the high fee ones you mention) that doesn't use i pads or the like. Not much point resisting that one- its the way of the world and the kids need to learn to prioritise and live in it....

shs69 Wed 07-Mar-18 14:43:12

of course they have to learn to use Ipads but I want text books to be taken home, they are great help and inspiration if you want to revise or go further, I am thinking about history books, science, geography... In her prep we only see ipads and photocopies, never a text book come home.
And at that age they need to write more on paper not only on computer, they need to learn how to write with a pen before using and concentrating only on computer. Huge difference in written skills between my eldest, abroad with no computers at school till the age of 10 and the young one "polluted" by the use of computers in class and for tests since y3.....
wild use of the computer can come later on, not necessary on early years....

LIZS Wed 07-Mar-18 14:46:43

Ime text books are simply designed around the exam board, not for giving a breadth beyond the curriculum. A lot of additional resources are now online.

shs69 Wed 07-Mar-18 14:49:36

by the way, the question was: my daughter is talented in many fields, I mean she prepares grades, Lamda etc and her art is amazing; she was selected by a former Ballet etoile so I am looking for a very high academics, dance, theater, Art because she doesn't want to drop anything before A levels/IB.
She saw Hurtwood and she said it will be the perfect school for her, but where is the right place to be to nurture all her talents plus her 3 languages before joining Hurtwood?

AlexanderHamilton Wed 07-Mar-18 14:54:02

Tring Park

MrsSnitch Wed 07-Mar-18 16:52:59

Most children will follow dance/drama to a high standard outside of school unless they go to a specialist school like Tring Park or Sylvia Young where the academic standard may not be up to scratch. Most of the top private schools will have good drama and art but dance is usually pursued elsewhere.

WRT Hurtwood, it is great but always good to have a backup in case a)they don’t want her b) her interests change in the intervening years or c) you find it impossible to pay for the most expensive school in the country

goodluck26 Wed 07-Mar-18 17:07:41

MrsSnitch is right. You can't possibly expect one school to do all that for one child. If she is in year 8, I assume in a prep school if you are considering all those boarding schools, then surely she's well on the way to knowing where she's going on to for year 9. No doubt on loads of scholarships if she's that talented??
Also, you are hitting your head against a brick wall if you want no IT in year 8 and above. My DD's in years 10 and 11 have learnt to use textbooks online and some hardcopy. Par for the course these days.

Mary21 Wed 07-Mar-18 17:22:41

Family member recently left Bedes . They were very impressed with the pastoral care. Known for its Dance.

shs69 Wed 07-Mar-18 17:41:52

how's Art at Tring Park?

shs69 Wed 07-Mar-18 21:09:20

Thank you to you all, I will visit Bedes and then decide; we are in a well known prep school at the moment in Somerset but her dance is suffering because the local dance school can just offer one hour/week of ballet and one hour modern no private lessons....
Mrs Snitch, I agree, this is why I am looking now for a great Independent school she will continue to be in if she is not taken at Hurtwood...
Here in Somerset very hard to find a nice dance school after classes, offering lot of hours of dance, most schools are isolated and care for a large number of students, so they offer a lot of classes from ballet to musical theater and singing but not lot of lessons available for each grade and subject.... and DD is very busy at her independent school, Saturdays included most of the times.
This is why I was thinking to relocate anyway next to London, at max one hour, and yes she is waiting for many scholarship results... maybe next week we will know.
if I relocate around London where is the best dance and theatre school in the area for lessons after school?
many thanks

MrsSnitch Wed 07-Mar-18 21:36:48

Italia Conti or Laine might be worth a look for extra curricular dance. However unless your daughter aims to make a career out of dance I’m not sure you need to do more than a couple of hours a week on top of demanding school schedules

AlexanderHamilton Wed 07-Mar-18 21:42:09

We found that academic independent school & high level dance didn’t mix very well.

sendsummer Wed 07-Mar-18 22:58:16

shs sounds as though she would fit well into a career of theatre design.
Hard fact is that multitalented pupils can never keep all options you mention to a high standard together with high level academics especially if you also worried about the language teaching. (When you say she is trilingual, I guess it is no longer the case for her written work?)
She cannot train in musical theatre or dance with an eye on a career in either plus do art / textiles to a high level plus have a very academic school. She can of course have fun in all of them but make academics and art her priority or choose to go to a specialist school for dance and musical theatre whilst compromising her academics. Or go to a state school with short days and fill the rest of the time with the extras at high intensity.
Be realistic to help her.

Zodlebud Wed 07-Mar-18 23:08:18

It now seems as if dance is the main focus of your search? If she is in Y8 and only doing two hours a week due to a lack of dance provision in your area then she is behind many other children her age (4-6 hours a week is not unusual and at a vocational school it would be more like 12-15 hours). If she has natural talent then this won’t go against her but it will make things a lot harder.

IMO (I work with children in performing arts), if dance is your thing and you truly want to commit to it then there are very few schools in the U.K. that can provide dance to the level required to be a professional. If you also want top academics then the list is even smaller. Tring Park is probably the only school I feel delivers both great academics and vocational training. None of the schools you have listed would be anywhere close to delivering what you seem to be after.

You should also remember that in the world of performing arts that it is your talent and look that get you places. Audition experience, technique and training can get you part the way there. It is perfectly possible to go to “normal” schools and still go to drama and dance school at 18+.

The dance provision in your area does appear poor but boarding school is not going meet all your needs.

Sunshine5050 Wed 07-Mar-18 23:16:43

I think if you read a previous post from OP her dd is at the prep part of Millfield, the top sports school in the UK. OP do keep us posted re the scholarships you are hoping to receive as your dd is obviously very talented but as the other posters have said the top academic boarding schools can't offer a serious career in dance for the teenage years.

shs69 Sun 11-Mar-18 00:32:49

Hello. Thanks again for your precious advice. 3 days ago she got an all-rounder scholarship and they would like to talk to us. In the letter they say she did very well also in Drama, Art and Dance. I suspect they can' t allow her to be a scholar in all 3... I mean to do you work on all 3. She is not very interested on games but it is Millfield and she will just be allowed to drop 2 terms of them in favour of the dance. Today we went to an open day at Bedes and saw Legat.
Anyone knows if we can do the 3 subects at gcse and then At A levels? Yes she is perfectly trilingual. Born in France and there on a bilingual school till 3 years ago. Mother and father of 2 other different nationalities. I am a teacher and she follows the French program at home. She writes and reads lot of books in all 3 languages.
Is Bedes the best option? And is Hurtwood a nice choice? They seems to do from dance to textiles to drama to academics at the top....
We plan to take2 language Igcse in y10.
She really wants to do it all and I am not sure I'd Millfield is the right place.. shelves Millfield and this is the problem.
Not surely drama and Arcade at the top there.....
Only few days to decide if going to Needs. The testing/tasting day is the 20th...
Is this school very high academic and top Art and drama??? Help!!!

shs69 Sun 11-Mar-18 00:46:26

How extraordinary! I am writing from my tel. And this machine has changed many words after I read them! Dd likes Millfield. She Does not réalise that it is not the right place for all her talents. But coming from a non UK school we discovered them thanks to Millfield so she is grateful but not experienced about the system.
I have a friend from Royal Ballet. She did a brilliant career but then married abroad and left all. Divorced and now translator have g hard life with 2 kids.... We would like to take 2 more years to understandwhere she would like to go... We also have an offer from Kings Canterbury.... But I don' t think there is a school of dance there....

sendsummer Sun 11-Mar-18 08:39:14

shs69 congratulations to your DD, and all rounder scholarship is fitting from her many talents. I also find it very impressive that despite all the extra activities she has the time to follow the CNED programme, basically two lots of schoolwork. You will not get a non French school that offers language teaching to CNED standard.
Did King's Canterbury not offer her a scholarship?
Maybe auditioning for Legat will help clarify what she wants. You obviously know that dance is a precarious career even for the most talented.

Sunshine5050 Sun 11-Mar-18 08:39:50

OP, your dd is happy, she has an all rounder scholarship to a top UK school where she can board or live at home, it's a school full of exceptionally sporty children with parents who have strong opinions. It has a whole program geared towards dance in the senior school. Im sure if you share your concerns with Millfield they will help. There isn't a school that will meet all your aspirations for your dd but her happiness has to be central to your search. (Also at my dd's school they have stopped all mfl speakers taking GCSE's early in the language spoke at home, i think it's something to do with university applications but I'm not sure).

MrsSnitch Mon 12-Mar-18 08:12:45

THere is absolutely no need (or actually capacity in the curriculum) to do dance, drama and art at GCSE. Doing this combination at 6th form, at a Hurtwood or anywhere else, guarantees she will not be able to access the top universities you appear to believe your daughter might be capable of entering.

I would be extremely wary of putting all your focus on the arts side of things. Allow her to enjoy her interests but not to the exclusion of all else at this stage. She might not want to continue dancing etc in her later teen years and it sounds like she is not really at the stage you might expect at her age if professional dancing might be an option. It’s always best in my view to keep the academic doors open as she is far more likely to be able to make a living that way

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