Any advice to parents who want to enrol their child on SOTA?
I believe that for this art form, the best way to prepare is to cultivate a love for reading. Our daughter did not enrol in any writing class/workshop outside school, but she loved books and read a lot. This exposure allowed her to find her creative voice, tell stories from a unique point of view, and think/write outside the box. As for the portfolio, I suggest that you keep the pieces that she writes in her spare time as a hobby, and the essays from school that stand out. They will come in handy. My daughter’s portfolio included past works from school and personal hobbies, and new ones written especially for the SOTA application. It took her about 4 months to put together everything.
It’s best to prep early. For my first child, we started late with less than 6 months of prep and she threw away all her drafts and experimentations. She ended up with scraps that we could find to put into a sketchbook. My second child started much earlier to create 10 artworks based upon observation and imagination.
The child does not need to have a ballet background, be it boy or girl. All the children will start basic ballet training from Year 1, even if they already have ballet training. This includes the boys. My daughter did not have ballet training prior, she auditioned with a Chinese dance piece, and she was only doing it at the CCA level at her primary school.
How is your child coping with his/her studies at SOTA?
Be prepared for longer hours in School for self-directed group work and CCAs. These long hours in School are not required by the School but it is usually the Child who wants to stay back for self-practice or group work.
How do you know that SOTA is the school for your child?
It’s more important that coming to SOTA is what your Child wants, not just you projecting your aspirations on your Child. Of course, you need to guide the child to find out as much as possible about the SOTA environment, curriculum, etc. and facilitate an objective consideration for a decision to apply. But the Child needs to fully embrace the choice. Sharing from my personal experience, I first heard of SOTA from a friend's daughter who very passionately expressed how she loved school and is very happy in the environment. That piqued my interest because I seldom hear of teenagers being “Happy” with school. As parents, it is a common desire to provide our children with an environment where they can thrive and develop to their fullest potential. But on top of that, what we really want most is for our children to be Happy. To be in an environment where they thrive emotionally & socially too. I think SOTA offers this unique environment.