Understanding Report CardsJanuary 13, 2022
Report cards provide families with an end-of-term view of their child’s progress, as well as an understanding of the skills, vocabulary and technique that they are learning at their current level. Report cards are sent out during the school year following week-long in-class assessments by our teachers.
Ballet training is a constantly progressing physical and artistic endeavour which is never perfected. Professional dancers continually develop and improve on skills learned as students.
Ballet training is multi-faceted, involving knowledge, artistry, performance and physicality. To “know” a skill is only one dimension. To “accomplish” a skill involves not only knowing how to execute the skill, but also how to effectively perform that skill.
For example, a student’s knowledge of a particular movement must include not only that they understand what the movement involves, but also that they present the artistry appropriate for that movement as well as the physical positioning of their body required for that movement.
So an assessment of a movement involves the student showing that they know what to do, how to execute it, how their body performs it, how artistically they can present it, and how well it is done overall.
While our report cards include a numbered score, the meaning of each numerical score is the more important aspect to consider. The number is only a place-holder in the report card for the words. This is not comparable to academic report card scoring, where a hard-working student who applies themselves might regularly achieve a score of 9 or 10. It is important not to confuse academic expectations with ballet achievements which incorporate knowledge, awareness, artistry, physicality and natural ability.
These are our current scores and their meanings:
- 1: Attending
- 2: Needs Improving
- 3: Starting to Improve
- 4: Improving
- 5: Improved
- 6: Quite Good
- 7: Good
- 8: Very Good
- 9: Nearly Exceptional
- 10: Exceptional
Most students will be in the range of Improved to Good (5-7) in their first term of the school year. This is expected as students learn new skills at the start of the school year. There is also a higher expectation at each ballet level in terms of how well they execute a previously-learned skill. If they are doing very well, they may receive Very Good. But if students receive consistently higher scores while in the lower ballet levels, we would normally recommend that they move up a level to be better challenged.
Very few students achieve Nearly Exceptional or Exceptional for any skills These ratings would normally only be applied to students in senior Academy levels who are preparing for pre-professional training at ballet company schools such as Canada’s National Ballet School or Royal Winnipeg Ballet School.