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secondary school with performing arts (independent)

(49 Posts)
duckedoff Tue 26-Nov-19 09:05:38

looking for a secondary school commutable from North London for ds.
Loves singin, Music, conducting and composing. Loves to perform, has performed on West end as well as in a few movies. He is very Quirky and thinks outside the box.He is very academic but not at all sporty. Woukd prefer a normal school and not a Sylvia Young! can anyone recomend anything?

BubblesBuddy Tue 26-Nov-19 10:00:26

Harrow. Ticks all the boxes.

TheatreTaxi Tue 26-Nov-19 10:15:13

I was in a similar position with my DS - he's done a lot of professional theatre including WE and wanted a school with really good performing arts opportunities. We are also North London, and considered the following:

- City of London Boys - 11+ and 13 entry, very good academics, appears to have good drama, school has own theatre, great music, has experience of pupils working professionally, doesn't offer drama scholarships.

Forest School - 11+ and (small) 13+ entry, co-ed, less strong academically, supposed to have good drama, has its own performance space, looked at me like I had two heads when I asked about whether they were supportive of pupils performing professionally.

Emanuel School - south of the river near Clapham Junction but commutable, 11+ and (small) 13+ entry, co-ed, reasonable academics, looks to have good drama and offers drama scholarsips, has quite a few pupils who perform professionally and seems supportive of this (e.g. online systems for catching up on missed work).

Whigift School - also south of the river in Croydon, 11+ and 13+ entry, boys only, good academics and drama, offers drama scholarships, has pupils who perform professionally and appears supportive of this, very sporty school generally.

Dodgeitornot Tue 26-Nov-19 12:09:16

Have you spoken to their performing arts teacher? I'm assuming he goes to somewhere like NLPAC or one of the other performing arts places in North London. The principal will no doubt know where a lot of kids go on to and im sure it's not all going to tring.
I know people who were in your situation and went to the local school so they could continue at their performing arts place after school and on weekends.
South of the river will be a horrible commute but I would also try and see if a latymer music space would be something he could go for. He would only need to be in the top 900 scoring children academically speaking if he was good enough in music.
Alternatively, depending on where in North London you are, Highgate and UCS have really impressive drama and music.

Seeline Tue 26-Nov-19 12:17:32

If you are looking south of the river, there is also Trinity school in Croydon. 10+, 11+ and some 13+ entry, boys until 6th form. Very strong music department, especially singing. Also a very active drama department. School have been supportive of boys performing in the West End. Lots of opportunities for singers to participate in professional environments - operas, concerts in top London venues.

School is academic. Lots of sport if you want it, but not forced beyond standard PE lessons if not.

XelaM Tue 26-Nov-19 12:45:16

The Bulls theatre (High Barnet) has a school. My daughter once performed on their stage and they have a school that goes to the age of 16. Not sure how academic it is though

carolinelucaseshandbag Tue 26-Nov-19 14:51:06

For Latymer he'd most likely need grade 8 to be considered for a music place.
Which PA school does he go to, and what do they recommend? Definitely try and stick with north of the river, commuting everyday throughout secondary would be quite painful.

cakeisalwaystheanswer Tue 26-Nov-19 15:54:54

I have DCs in London schools and other than moving abroad the number one reason for DCs changing schools IME is that they want to do more drama, music etc. I know nothing about this stuff because none of mine are interested but the usual story is that regardless of having a drama scholarship etc there just isn't enough at any day school for those who really love it. Artsed in Chiswick has been the most popular destination but Bedales is also a popular choice (boarding), I have never visited either so can't comment. I know you have particularly said that you don't want a drama school but from your description of your DS I wouldn't rule it out as he fits the description of many I have known to move.

Dodgeitornot Tue 26-Nov-19 16:13:53

I would disagree with the grade 8 for latymer. The guidance says grade 5 and there's 20 spots. I know children who got in with grade 4. There's hardly many 10 year olds with a grade 8 in their instruments.

Needmoresleep Tue 26-Nov-19 16:49:43

West London but accessible from parts of North London.....Latymer Upper. Drama is well resourced and quite impressive.

Mominatrix Tue 26-Nov-19 17:10:16

For Latymer he'd most likely need grade 8 to be considered for a music place.

I agree that this is not true. I know a boy with a music scholarship and he has never done any grades. He is very musical and focuses on rock and pop thus never did any grades.

carolinelucaseshandbag Tue 26-Nov-19 18:53:49

Dodgetornot at the open evening this year we were told grade 4 minimum but that most children have grade 8. I was shocked confused

Dodgeitornot Tue 26-Nov-19 20:00:48

There is a huge bulge year this year and last so it may be but I think that is not the norm and definitely hasn't been in the past.

XelaM Wed 27-Nov-19 00:33:58

Went to see Latymer's production if "Blue Stockings" last week and it was fantastic and very professional.

JoJoSM2 Wed 27-Nov-19 08:24:01

Bedales also sprung to mind for me.

JoJoSM2 Wed 27-Nov-19 08:26:08

Or if you’d consider state, then the Brit School would be spot on but again, not commutable from N London.

Moominmammacat Wed 27-Nov-19 08:56:04

Most children applying to Latymer have Grade 8 at 10? Very unlikely ... I once saw some ABRSM statistics which showed the ages of exam entrants ... it just doesn't happen, or not very often at least ... "For entry at 11+, candidates should be at Grade 5 on their main instrument, for 16+ they should be at Grade 8." says the website. Far more realistic ... I do hate these myths.

carolinelucaseshandbag Thu 28-Nov-19 10:25:52

@Moominmammacat I agree, but that came out of the mouth of a Latymer music teacher so confused

Mominatrix Thu 28-Nov-19 11:00:07

carolinelucas, see my message above about my son's friend who received a music scholarship last year and has NO grades. I'd take the music teacher's advice with a large pinch of salt.

Dodgeitornot Thu 28-Nov-19 11:37:05

That music teacher is on crack. I highly doubt a child of grade 8 standard at 10 would choose to go to latymer anyway. Their music is good but not good enough for an 11 year old preparing to take a diploma, that's a crazy thing to ask for. I've only ever heard of one girl getting a grade 8 in violin at age 10. She was from north London conservatoire and it was in the local paper.

Zodlebud Thu 28-Nov-19 11:44:36

If you would consider weekly boarding from 13+ (with a school bus service to and from London), then you should absolutely look at St Edwards in Oxford. Their music and performing arts is beyond amazing - better than anything I have see elsewhere.

CruCru Thu 28-Nov-19 12:42:33

It’s a bit off topic but wouldn’t most large(ish), well known independent schools have pretty good music and performing arts?

People near me with older children seem very keen on:

City Boys
Highgate
St Paul’s
UCS and
Westminster.

None of these schools are easy to get into though.

Comefromaway Thu 28-Nov-19 12:50:02

* I highly doubt a child of grade 8 standard at 10 would choose to go to latymer anyway. *

This. A Grade 8 at 10 child would be off to Chets or Purcell or similar.

OP, would you consider boarding. Hammond, Tring & Arts Ed have music/drama programmes and although they are specialist schools are very different to places like Sylvia Young (nothing against Sylvia's but just a different type of ethos/training).

Moominmammacat Thu 28-Nov-19 14:23:45

Dodgeitornot, what is a north London conservatoire?

Dodgeitornot Thu 28-Nov-19 14:58:22

Used to be called north London colourstrings. North London conservatoire is their new name. They are quite intense and many of their kids are grade 8 standard by y8/9 but grade 8 in y6 is very very rare. I'm sure they are similar to any other music school in London, this is just the example I know.

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