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Trinity school in Croydon and the BRIT school(16 Posts)
Hi, DD is in year 11 and has been looking at sixth forms recently. We live in SW London. I have suggested the BRIT school to her two years ago, and ever since she has had her eye on this school to go there for the musical theatre course starting in year 12. However, my colleague has a son in Trinity School Croydon in year 12, so the year above, and since the school is in the same area as BRIT, I suggested that DD should look at it as well. Surprisingly (since the two schools are so different), DD was very interested in the co-ed sixth form there and wanted to apply immediately after some more research into it.
Since Trinity is a private school, we can only afford it if she gets the maximum scholarship along with a small bursary, however this is possible to do. After attending their virtual open evening this month, we decided to send in our application. The only thing is, the entrance exam date clashes with our flight date to have a short family holiday in Cyprus at the start of November and they can't arrange a new date for her, so we are working that out currently.
DD is also working on her application to the BRIT school, and is hoping to send that in soon.
She is currently at an all girls grammar school, so we think with both of these schools being mixed she will have a better environment to socialise with boys, and both a private and a creative approach will be beneficial to her in different ways.
Has anyone heard of either of these schools and whether or not the sixth form students are happy there? If anyone can contribute anything, that would be much appreciated thanks
I work with children in the performing arts (well did prior to COVID) and the MT stream at the BRIT Sixth Form is beyond competitive to get a place at. They have huge numbers apply and audition and you need to be a very strong triple threat performer to get a place.
If you live outside the admissions area postcodes then you need to be absolutely exceptional.
Many, many young adults do get places though. I’m not trying to put you off, just trying to manage expectations (I know nothing about your daughter - she might be fabulous and you live in the admissions area).
You also seem fairly confident that she would be able to receive a scholarship of maximum value to Trinity. Again, these are highly competitive so please do have a backup plan if she doesn’t get offered one. Could you remortgage to cover the two years of fees for example?
DSs went to Trinity from Y7 and we're happy there. I found it a lovely school.
I do think that scholarships are very competitive though - if it's a drama one you are after then I think there are separate requirements whilst academic ones are offered on the basis of the exam. They do have a very generous bursary scheme.
I know quite a lot of students at the Brit on the MT courses at both 14+ and 16+ . They all seem very happy there - but they are all obsessive in their interest in that area and have been for years.
It is exceptionally competitive - especially on that strand - and most of those I know who are there are strong in all 3 disciplines and have West End credits etc.
Dd didn't apply to the Brit school as a. we are outside the area and b. she didn't think their standard of dance was high enough. A friend was offered a place but didn't take it up, I think she went to Arts Ed instead.
If she wants a career in musical theatre has she looked at other vocational schools and colleges such as Arts Ed, Urdang, Tring, Emil Dale etc?
@Comefromaway I think the appeal of the BRIT school is that it is free. Tring Park is over £24k per year (although eligible for Dada funding) vs the £18k per year at Trinity where the OP is looking for a full 50% scholarship plus a bursary.
The BRIT school is pretty unique in the fact it’s free. If only more schools like this existed.
My DS has just left T after 8 very happy years, and DD has just started in the 6th form having been at a girls school prior to that. She is living it, and is far happier having boys for friends than the girls at her old school. She has settled well.
T has excellent music and drama facilities. They also pride themselves on the level of scholarship/bursary assistance they provide. However, they are fiercely fought for. What type of scholarship would your DD be trying for?
I do know some students at the BRIT. They are very happy, and do well. I'm not sure you could find two more different schools in terms of approach and style though.
Urdang is free and Emil Dale is also free though there is an optional £4,200 per year for extra training which includes singing lessons
The BRIT is very woke and fabulous. Trinity is very different in respect of behavioural and other expectations.
I am surprised that your DD doesn't feel drawn to one or other extreme.
@Zodlebud hey Zodle you clearly know your onions on this, so just checking (for when you’re back on duty) that you also know ELAM?
@MatildaonaWaltzer I didn’t- thanks for the info!! I only know of those places that the children I work with go to so have never come across it.
I did know about the low level fees for Emil Dale but by the time you have added in accommodation costs (and not everyone is comfortable with the idea of a 16 year old living away from home), the costs soon rack up.
Urdang is another great free option at 16 but is probably even more competitive than the BRIT school due to reputation.
Outside the London area though, places like this are few and far between.
There are a lot of excellent private dance schools further north that are lining up with colleges to provide funded high level performing arts btec/UAL etc courses. There is BOA of course, though I know a lot of people not impressed with them. LIPA seems to be doing very well and students seem satisfied, then there are a couple of dance/musical theatre colleges around the Milton Keynes area, Nottingham, Staffordshire etc.
LIPA is the only “big name” one though, and those that specialise in dance aren’t always the best for MT though.
Education in the arts is rapidly declining In the state sector I’m afraid. Two of my local state schools have pulled dance from the curriculum in the last few years and one has just announced that this is the last year they will be running GCSE and A-level drama.
Many parents simply can’t afford to pay for dance, singing and drama lessons outside school, and not all these classes provide quality training anyway.
Sorry, it just frustrates me a little that without money many talented children aren’t able to access training, and there is a big north south divide when it comes to quality of training and available professional work (with a great majority of castings requiring children to live within an hour of London).
Sorry, OP, we have derailed your post slightly. Hopefully though it has highlighted just how competitive MT is though because of the scarcity of free training.
My daughter graduates this year and she is planning on staying north as so much more is happening up here now. She plans to live in Manchester.
She made a conscious decision not to go to London to train and has not regretted this.
Thank you all so much for your kind contributions!
Just to add a possible back-up in the same neck of the woods, the Norwood School is very strong on performing arts (staff are ex-Brit) and has a sixth form. Obv not at level of Brit in cache and Trinity in facilities, but still good for a motivated student and fosters links with industry. Could be worth a look as the Brit is crazy competitive (my friend's daughter goes there now, doing well and is applying for MT at 6th form, and still doesn't feel confident of getting a place) and the Trinity money situation sounds like a longshot, although all the best in going for it - another friend teaches there and it is excellent, although not worth bankrupting yourself for, esp for arts a-levels, alas.
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