Beyond ballet: The Academic Enrichment Programme
Students at The Royal Ballet School live full and busy lives, balancing full-time vocational ballet training with a diverse academic and pastoral programme.
At Upper School, our students are supported to achieve their full potential inside and outside the studios, completing a bespoke BA in Classical Ballet and Dance Performance accredited by the University of Roehampton.
Academic Enrichment Programme
Running parallel to the degree programme, students explore further academic and vocational study pathways through the Academic Enrichment Programme. For one hour each morning before Artistic classes, students study towards a GCSE, A-Level, a research-based Extended Project Qualification (EPQ) or a Level 3 online learning course. International students can also complete a high school diploma from their home country or study English as an Additional Language (EAL).
Kristy Rogers, Learning Manager at the School, is responsible for the Academic Enrichment Programme, helping to support students in their studies:
Many dancers have second careers, and it is important to provide our students with options and qualifications to help them succeed. The Academic Enrichment programme offers them possibilities and choices for the future. Students enjoy being able to diversify their studies and choose an area of interest to them in addition to their primary focus of ballet.
Existentialism to the history of art
From maths and psychology to criminology and business studies, students have access to an online learning platform and can choose from countless courses to suit their skills and interests at either Level 3, GCSE or A-level.
On the Extended Project Qualification course, a 5000-word research essay, our students choose a wide variety of topics and achieve excellent results. Recent topics have included existentialism, the history of art, learning styles within violin tuition, obsessive-compulsive disorder in adolescence and the impact of origami on children’s skill development and mental health.
Alongside a team of tutors and resident graduate assistants, Kate Delow, the Assistant Learning Manager, works with Kristy to support the students:
The programme adds variety; it allows students to explore different interests or carry on with a subject they may have enjoyed at GCSE and want to pursue. It’s tailored to each student and provides an opportunity for them to choose a pathway that suits them individually as a learner.
As well as offering bespoke courses, our support can also be tailored to the individual. Some students may need help with time management, others with essay-writing skills – we can recognise what they need at different stages, depending on where they are in their course and their learning style.
More than a qualification
We strive not only to expand opportunities beyond ballet but also to equip our students with the necessary skills to become independent, inquisitive and knowledgeable individuals who can successfully tackle challenges, make informed choices and succeed in all aspects of their lives. We do this through a range of academic, pastoral and cultural activities, including a life skills programme with Kristy and Kate:
Each half-term, we run a Life Skills workshop based on a topic suggested by the students. As they prepare themselves for adult life, they want to learn about pay, tax, national insurance, credit cards, and how to rent property, as well as other life skills such as cooking, first aid, and interview techniques.