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Glenthorne High (Sutton) Performing Arts-selected places

(12 Posts)
Trampoline Wed 17-Jul-19 21:54:30

Hi there - I've been reading some useful threads from a year or so ago about the lack of clarity around the allocation of the 24 selective music/drama/dance places at Glenthorne High School and I wondered if anyone who has been through the process could shed some light on it please: A) are the children assessed across all 3 disciplines or can they choose between them? B) does anyone know if this then counts towards the final score (which would appear to be out of 50)? C) are most children who go through this process experienced in performing arts - my child can sing, is a decent dancer but has had no dance training and is good at drama - but doesn't play an instrument and has not sat any music or dance exams. Would she be wasting her time? It is not clear how formal or informal the assessments are, whether they are looking for natural ability or experience, what they involve/how long they are etc - so it's a bit of a stab in the dark! Thanks so much for any input - and any views on the school overall would be much appreciated too. We are out of catchment and would have to apply for the selective Arts place in order to get in.

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NewModelArmyMayhem18 Thu 18-Jul-19 08:11:30

@Trampoline, I think to stand a realistic chance of getting in your DC would need to apply across all three performing arts disciplines and be very good (and trained) in all areas. DD applied (but only did the drama test) and passed but it was of little positive consequence because the 'all singing, all dancing, trained since they were five types' got top marks (and the places). Maybe that's how it should be but it doesn't allow for raw emerging talent IMO. Call me cynical but DD is naturally a good singer and good at acting (other people's opinions including teachers), so we thought she stood a fair chance of getting a place. Not so. It was a waste of her time, energy and gave her false hope. And because she only applied to do one skills test rather than all three (which many must have done), the odds truly were stacked against her from the off.

Clearly the ones with formal acting/dancing/instrument/singing training will be more confident and will have been schooled as to how to best present themselves in assessment conditions. The others don't really stand a chance in comparison.

There have been other threads about the Glenthorne performing arts selected places and I'm pretty confident that all those who got in (with full marks mainly) had training across at least two if not three areas.

The school has a very good reputation and the best exam results of the comprehensives in Sutton.

Good luck!

MarchingFrogs Thu 18-Jul-19 15:19:51

Looking at the admissions policy for 2019 entry, the places are awarded on aptitude for the performing arts. The Admissions Code is clear that if schools select on either aptitude or ability, the tests used must be designed to test for the one or the other. cf e.g. aural tests for musical aptitude / tests of agility and hand/eye coordination for sporting aptitude, as opposed to playing a grade 8 piece perfectly / playing a particular sport at County level.

Tests for selection

1.31 Tests for all forms of selection must be clear, objective, and give an
accurate reflection of the child’s ability or aptitude, irrespective of sex, race, or
disability. It is for the admission authority to decide the content of the test,
providing that the test is a true test of aptitude or ability.
1.32 Admission authorities must:
a) ensure that tests for aptitude in a particular subject are designed to
test only for aptitude in the subject concerned, and not for ability;

JoJoSM2 Fri 19-Jul-19 20:37:15

Having said that, having been practising singing properly since age 5 will develop your aural/vocal ability better than listening to the radio and singing in the shower...

NewModelArmyMayhem18 Sat 20-Jul-19 07:31:52

JoJoSM2 I totally agree.

Trampoline Sat 20-Jul-19 15:22:42

@NewModelArmyMayhem18 @MarchingFrogs and @JoJoSM2 - thanks so much for taking the time to send me your input, much appreciated.

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NewModelArmyMayhem18 Sat 20-Jul-19 18:43:21

I wonder if the school collates a break down of how many applicants for the PA places do have training. Might be worth asking under the FOI Act? No harm in trying.

JoJoSM2 Sat 20-Jul-19 19:12:46

It’d be interesting. Not sure how reliable it would be, though, as what constitutes ‘training’? For example, how would you approach someone who’s been in the church choir for a few years? Or plays two instruments to a high standard so no singing training but highly musically trained?

NewModelArmyMayhem18 Sun 21-Jul-19 09:07:28

JoJoSM2 I guess you are right. Maybe it would be easier to what the record is for children getting in without any form of extra-curricular PA training (and agree that singing in the church choir probably would be construed as such). Of course they may choose not to collect any such data.

I seem to recall from previous threads about this, that a considerable number get almost full marks (and the places). I'm fairly confident from what was said, that those DC did have previous 'training'.

Carshalton Girls also offers aptitude places for music and sporting ability but the school isn't as highly sought after as Glenthorne (nor the external exam outcomes similarly impressive).

JoJoSM2 Sun 21-Jul-19 09:21:12

Tbh, I’d imagine that scholarship children do need to offer a lot and can’t imagine that they’d be convincing in auditions unless it’s been their hobby for years and they’d been developing their talents.

I didn’t know Car Girls offer music and sporting places. It’s a pleasant enough school but no competition to some of the others in the area.

OP, is it the performing arts that you’re after or just looking for options of getting into desirable schools?

JoJoSM2 Sun 21-Jul-19 09:24:57

Actually, even if you admit children on aptitude, it makes sense the school would prefer those that have demonstrated their interest and commitment in the area over the years. They’re more likely to show dedication and get involved with things once admitted.

Trampoline Mon 22-Jul-19 09:18:55

@JoJoSM2 I think you're right and that's how it should be - I just wondered if it was actually approached in this way. Our ideal choice would be co-ed (limited co-ed choices local to us), and with a child who is strong at drama/dance/singing (but with no formal training) I wondered if this was worth a punt - or would it just be putting her through something with zero realistic chance of being offered. I think she'd love access to the programme once in. That was also one of my other questions actually, from their website it seems like, for drama, this involves one lunchtime club per week, dance classes are after school and music is on Sat mornings? So it sounds more like extracurricular rather than within the curriculum but would love to know if that's the case - I'm going to contact them. Thanks for all of your input.

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