Parent, Students and Teacher Handbook
Welcome to Bristol Ballet School
Bristol Ballet School was established in 2017 by Principal Candice Morton-Smart and is founded on the values of artistic professional dance training. BBS offers a comprehensive training programme of Ballet, Contemporary Dance, Modern Dance, Repertoire and Choreography.
To nurture exceptional, versatile and creative dancers through high standards of our training.
To provide dancers with skills needed to succeed in the dance profession and to help make valuable contributions to dance world community.
This handbook aims to help parent and support students navigate their way through their dance training with Bristol Ballet School.
Term and Conditions…………….1
General School Information ....................................2
Term Dates and Timetabling ………………………4
To report an absence or late arrival in school ...........................6
First Aid ........................7
Fire Safety ............................8
Health and Safety ...............9
Attendance Policy …………10
Code of Behaviour .................................12
Equality and Diversity...................................................14
Data Protection ................................................15
1. Bristol Ballet School Terms and Conditions
Please familiarise yourself with the following Rules, Regulations, Terms and Conditions relating to our School.
Observance of the following Rules, Regulations and Policies is implicit in the acceptance of a place in the School.
Ensure you fully understand and have read the Schools Policies, Rules and Regulations before attending any classes.
All School Policies, rules and regulations must be upheld by teachers, students, parents and guardians at all times.
All Parents/Pupils must have completed a registration form before attending any lessons and must receive notification from the school of a placement before any classes are attended.
The signed registration form acts as an agreement between Bristol Ballet School - The students, parents or guardians.
2. General School Information
School opening hours
Monday 5:00 pm – 8.30 pm
Tuesday 4:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Wednesday 5:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Friday 3:00 pm - 8:00 pm
Saturday 8.30 am – 4:00 pm
Sunday: Closed except for private lessons
Bristol Ballet School comprises two studios.
Henbury and Brentry Community Centre - Machine Road, Henbury, Bristol
St Matthias, Machin Road
The studios are used by others, after you have finished lessons all students should leave the space clear and tidy.
Before you leave the studios make sure you:
Have taken all belongings with you
Have removed all rubbish
Please note that food and drink is not permitted in studios – only water in a bottle
Reception area and Cafe
These spaces are open to the general public and are also used by other hirers.
The Cafe at H&BCC is now open and selling very reasonably priced food and drinks. Please do not bring any food or drinks purchased outside and consume within the cafe area.
Please remove all rubbish.
3. Bristol Ballet Schools Staff
A list of all members of staff at Bristol Ballet School is available from our website
Miss Candice Morton-Smart - Principal – Artistic Director - Director of Finance and Operations
Miss Candice is Bristol Ballet School's Ballet Teacher, teaching the weekly ballet lessons throughout the year as well as specialist pointe classes and repertoire. She oversees the artistic work in the school, teaches Contemporary and Modern Dance lessons.
Student and Parent Support
Students and Parents should contact Miss Candice if they need speak about an issue.
4. Term Dates and Timetabling
Our Term and Holiday dates are published on our website, in our Newsletters and posted on our Notice Board at the beginning and end of each Term. Please refer to our Website frequently for any updates or changes. We try and stay in line with school terms as much as possible, though we cannot help circumstances which may change this.
The School year is divided into three terms; the Autumn Term (up until the Christmas break), the Spring Term (up to the Easter break) and the Summer Term (lasting until the Summer holiday).
Term dates can be found on our website and other important dates such as assessments, exams, class awards and performances will be communicated to you via newsletters or emails.
Please note that timetables are subject to change. In the event of a timetable change, you will receive a notification from the School Administration to your email address.
Occasionally teachers may not be able to attend at short notice due to illness – sometimes it is possible for another teacher to cover the class, but not always.
Agreement - All fees must be paid on or before the due date of invoice of each new term.
Fees are non-returnable and will not be remitted for absence.
At least one full Terms notice of the intention to remove a student from any of our classes is required.
The School will then send a letter or email acknowledging we have received this notice
- VERBAL NOTICE TO A TEACHER WILL NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BE ACCEPTED
6. Absence or Late Arrival in School
It is expected that students have 100% attendance.
If you have a high fever or have been vomiting, then you should not attend school - In this case, you need to let School know.
You must inform school via email - bristolballetschool.com
If you arrive late in School, permission may be granted for you to join in the class, but only if it is safe to do so.
We insist that all students do not go home without their parents or guardians and will be kept within the school grounds with a teacher until collected.
Once students are outside of the school it is the responsibility of their parents or guardians to ensure their safety.
The School will ensure they have to hand emergency contact details for all students, never share private or personal information, misuse or exploit any student.
All personal details are kept safe and we do not pass your information on without permission.
7. First Aid
First Aid boxes are located in the Kitchen
If an accident or injury should occur and first aid needs to be administered, the school will contact the Parent or Guardian. The school will provide guidance and support and clear procedures to follow should an emergency or injury become apparent. All injures will be logged in medical and injury log books. If students hurt themselves in class or feel unwell at any point, they should tell their teacher or member of staff immediately.
Although every care is given to avoid injury, if an injury does occur during or after the class the school/teachers will not be held responsibility.
It is the responsibility of parent or guardians to inform the school of any medical history, injuries or allergies your child has. Also please make sure your teacher is aware of any medication taken by your child.
Ice Packs – Kitchen
Ice and ice bags are available from the Kitchen. When you have finished with your ice, make sure that you empty the bag into the sink to melt away.
We will ensure all members of staff and volunteers have a Criminal Records Bureau check carried out and there is a First Aider on site.
8. Fire Safety
It is vital that you familiarise yourself with where the fire exits and fire extinguishers are. Please read the fire instructions carefully. If you have any questions, please ask a member of staff to help you.
In case of a fire during your time at school please do not stop to collect your belongings but proceed quickly and calmly to the nearest fire escape. Once out of the building you will have to go to the meeting point - The schools CAR PARK (exit through the main doors and turn right). Everyone will meet there to register.
Do not re-enter the building until you are told to do so by a member of staff.
9. Health and Safety
Good health is paramount if students are to be able to achieve the strength, stamina and the standard of technique required for good careers in the dance world. It is essential for students to take an intelligent and healthy approach to looking after their physique, their day to day health and they're training.
In case of accident during class time, students should follow the teacher’s instructions. In case of an accident during student rehearsal or private practice, students should seek out the nearest member of staff before taking any other action.
Smoking and Illegal Substances
Bristol Ballet School operates a no-smoking policy in the school and grounds.
BBS takes a very serious view of any student found to be in possession of illegal substances and will where necessary report such findings to the police.
Students are required to attend their classes as outlined in the Attendance Policy. Students that are injured should continue to learn by observing and making notes on their classes.
Uniform Requirements - Students
Bristol Ballet School has a simple school uniform. It is designed to be inexpensive, easy to get hold of and to maintain. We realise it is not always possible to send students to class in the correct clothes.
However we do hope that every effort will be made to do.
Why do we have uniforms?
Once a student is settled in a class, all our classes (except Baby Steps) have set requirements for what to wear.
There are two main reasons for this; discipline & practicality.
Dance is a discipline. We are teaching children very specific skills, in a structured environment with clear expectations of behaviour and wearing a uniform encourages children to associate their uniform with the mentality of the class.
Before they enter the studio, they are already in “dance class” mode. Their teacher is presented ready to dance and pupils should be too.
Practically, correct technique can only be seen or adjusted if we, the teachers can see bodies and alignment, hence a uniform of leotards, tights and chiffon skirts rather than jogging bottoms and hoodies! Neat and tidy hair is very much part of the package. Observing the rules of the class in terms of uniform also prepares children for performances & costume requirements, examinations and auditions.
New Starters : Please feel free to let the student dress in comfortable and suitable clothing (this also includes their foot wear).
After a one full term of training at the school, the official uniform should be purchased.
We asked that all student come to class in the correct dance wear.
It is extremely important that children are dressed in the regulated school uniform, they are presentable, hair is neat and tied off the face in a bun.
At the discretion of the teacher, students will be asked to remove/replace items of clothing that are not appropriate to the class, such as T-shirts and tracksuit bottoms.
Please note that students seeking amendments to the clothing code due to concerns in relation to their cultural background or religious beliefs should email the Principal.
Footwear – In class, students are expected to wear clean and appropriate footwear. For safety, when walking around the building, students are required to wear outdoor, ballet or jazz shoes; bare feet are not permitted.
Uniform - Teachers
We asked that all teachers arrive presentable with hair neatly pulled off the face in a bun or a clean ponytail.
Leotard and tights - Long or short ballet teachers skirt, ready to teach.
Modern and Tap
Legging and T-shirt.
Please come to class in the correct dancewear and footwear.
It is extremely important that you set a good example to the pupils you are teaching.
Students, parents or carers should use the designated male, female or family changing areas. If you are not sure which room to use, please check with a member of staff.
Young children using the changing facilities and toilets should be supervised by parents, carers, or staff at all times.
For health and safety concerns outside doors must be closed after entry and studio doors must kept closed once classes have commenced. Please ensure that all students arrive and leave fully clothed and not just in ballet attire. If you are collecting a student please come into the centre or school.
Any clothing found left in studios or common areas will be placed in the office or looked after by the schools principal. You should make sure that all your personal property is marked clearly with your name. Students should make sure that they keep their personal possessions on them.
The school cannot be held responsible if items go missing or stolen.
Students, Parents or Guardians should not enter the dance studio before classes or when classes are in progress without prior permission.
Permission for a parent/guardian/friend to come in to school to watch a class must be requested in advance from the school Principal and the class teacher. If permission has not been granted for a guest to attend, they will not be permitted to watch class.
Parents will be invited to watch classes on the last week of term.
No mobile phones inside of the studio.
Exams, Assessments and Private Lessons
RAD exams and assessments are offered at the school, this is at the discretion of the class teacher. If your child is selected for an exam you will be notified by email or letter.
All exam students will need to attend extra exam coaching lessons. These lessons will be charged separately.
Exam students class attendance will be monitored. Students who fail to attend classes and coaching lessons may be withdrawn from examinations.
If you would like to arrange private lessons parents must email the school with the lesson date and time.
Students wishing to attend auditions or classes at a different school should contact the Principal of the School in order for permission to be granted.
All food is to be consumed in the Cafe. Eating is not permitted anywhere else in the building, particularly the reception area and the studios. For reasons of safety and cleanliness, chewing gum is not allowed in the building.
Some physical contact between teacher and student may be necessary during class. This is unavoidable due to the nature of dance. Physical contact may be necessary whilst demonstrating or correcting a students posture or alignment and is used to prevent injuries and accidents from occurring. It is important to point out that it is not possible to teach dance to high standards without teachers making physical contact to help correct students; this needs to be understood and accepted at Bristol Ballet School.
1O. Attendance Policy
Training to be a dancer requires a regular intensive and rigorous programme of physical fitness and technical training.Regular attendance in class has been identified as a key factor in being successful as a dancer. If students are absent, they break the patterns required for successful learning, and have a disruptive effect on both the teacher and the learning of others. Bristol Ballet School firmly believes that all students must take on the self-discipline required for prompt and regular attendance at all scheduled classes and effective use of private study time if they are to be successful as dance artists.
Regular attendance is imperative. Students should attend class on a weekly basis. Students who fail to attend on a regular basis have the potential to risk injury and the development of the individual student could be affected. When unable to attend due to ill health, parents or students are required to personally email the School on each day they are absent.
If you wish to withdraw from Bristol Ballet School, you should speak to the Principal of the School. Leaving without telling anyone, or simply failing to turn up, is not sufficient notification of a withdrawal. Students, Parents or Guardians are required to give one full term's notice in writing if they wish to stop any classes or leave the school. Failure to give the appropriate notice may result in a full terms fee being charged. Bristol Ballet School reserves the right to refuse entry to students, parents or guardians if these regulations are not fully respected and adhered to.
12. Code of Behaviour
Bristol Ballet School’s Code of Behaviour below should be followed by Parents, Students and Staff to ensure our reputation and training remains at a high level.
Show respect for others and the work of others
Always be on time
Care for people and their property
Wear the correct school uniform
Look after your surroundings and tidy up after class
Adhere to the school’s attendance policy
Adhere to all safety practices (including no bare feet outside studio)
Demonstrate tolerance toward others’ personal beliefs and respect differences
The school abides by The Child Protection Act 2004 and actively discourages any inappropriate behaviour. We will not tolerate any behaviour that results in discrimination, racism or bullying.
Bristol Ballet School is actively committed to safeguarding the health, safety and protection of all its Teachers, Students and Members of Staff.
We uphold the principles of equal opportunities and will foster a clean, supportive, safe, secure and nurturing environment.
Bristol Ballet School will not tolerate bullying behaviour and/or harassment include:
Insensitive jokes or pranks
Insulting or aggressive behaviour
Ignoring or excluding an individual
Constantly undermining or undervaluing effort
Lewd comments about appearance
Displays of sexually offensive material – e.g. emails with offensive attachments
Requests for sexual favours
Speculation about a person’s private life and sexual activities
Threatened or actual sexual violence
Violence of any kind towards a student, parent or any member of staff
The school will give verbal and written notice if these Rules, Regulations, Terms and Conditions are not adhere to by students, parents, guardians or teachers.
Code of Behaviour: Classes
Attendance – Students are required to attend their classes as outlined in the Attendance Policy. Students that are injured should continue to learn by observing and making notes on their classes.
Code of Behaviour: Environment
For reasons of safety and cleanliness, chewing-gum is not allowed in the building.
Litter – All litter should be placed in the bins provided.
Noise – Noise around the building should be kept to a minimum, so as not to disturb other students and staff.
Smoking – The School is a non-smoking building. Smoking is therefore not permitted anywhere within the building.
Photography and Filming
Under the Data Protection Act 1998, photographs or film will not be used for any other purpose.
Photography and Filming is NOT allowed without prior permission from the teacher of the class or principal of the school.
While at the School, photographs or film may be taken of students, to be used in promotional materials, including on our websites - Written or verbal consent will always be obtained beforehand.
If Parents or Students do not wish to be photographed or filmed, or if these regulations are violated, it will result in the removal of all evidence of the photography/filming.
Parents and Students are not permitted to film or upload footage of classes, rehearsals or performances to YouTube or any other site, without the prior permission of the Principal or a Teacher of BBS, and all other persons who appear in the footage.
Prohibited behaviour in emails and Social Media
Posting misleading or inaccurate information
Posting inappropriate images
Posting confidential or non-public information
Use the internet, social media or email for the purposes of harassment or abuse.
14. Equality of Opportunity
Bristol Ballet School is committed to encouraging diversity and promoting of equal opportunities by not discriminating against individuals on the basis of race, colour, ethnic or national origins, culture, gender or gender reassignment, marital or civil partnership status, disability, class, sexual orientation, age, pregnancy and maternity, trade union activities and political or religious beliefs or religion. The primary purpose in promoting these values is to ensure that no employee, job applicant or student receives any less favourable treatment because of reasons listed above.
Equality and Diversity
We encourage students to tell us about any disabilities, impairments or conditions at the earliest opportunity so that support can be put in place. Promoting equality and encouraging diversity in our staff and student bodies is at the heart of the values of the School and brings an enormous strength to what we do in providing training at the highest level.
Our School focus on nurturing resourceful and versatile individual dance artists with highly tuned technical, creative and performance skills.
15. Data Protection
The Conservatoire and your School are each a ‘Data Controller’ of your data, and each hold and otherwise process ‘personal data’ (which may include ‘Special Categories of personal data’) as defined in the General Data Protection Regulations (2018) about applicants and students which is provided to them by you (or which is otherwise received from third parties) for their own, separate purpose(s), in accordance with their respective Data Processing Statements.
These Policies, Rules and Regulations have been updated and reviewed on the 05/01/2023.