Your Trial Session
Does my young person have to audition to be able to come to RPA?
We do not audition. All young people are accepted. We see this session as you deciding if we are the right fit for your young person.
I don’t know which class to choose. How many free trials can I have?
You can have one free trial for as many different classes as you wish. Many young people choose more than one class. For our full list of classes, please click here.
What should my young person where?
For your first session, if you are coming straight from school, you can continue to wear your school uniform. If you are coming from home, feel free to wear anything comfortable and flat shoes. Trainers/ballet shoes/jazz shoes (only if you have them already at home) please. Anything that respects your young person’s modesty. Leggings and a top are best, but we encourage all young people to express themselves.
Should my young person bring a drink or snack?
Please do bring a filled water bottle to drink. We don’t encourage snacks at session due to the risk of choking or a stitch, unless your little one has a medical condition where we can monitor them carefully.
What is the format of the class as my young person likes to know what to expect?
With our performing arts classes we have the following routine. Single art form classes and Rapport may run slightly differently:
- Register (we take this in a fun way)
- Rules & Ethos (1 – to have loads of fun; 2 – to not talk when others are talking so everyone feels valued & appreciated; 3 – we will never make you perform in front of people if you don’t want to…but we do ask you to join in and give the activities a try)
- Fun Warm Up Game
- Singing, dancing and/or drama activity (as per the young people’s desires/needs)
- Sharing/performing of the activity (as per the young people’s desires/needs)
- Feedback and Drama Star!
Do parents stay and watch or do we drop and go?
Shyness/reassurance – Normally parents do not stay for class but sometimes if there is a space for parents to wait (we try and arrange this for classes not in a school), parents can stay so little ones feel reassured that parents are near. A fiddle or soothing soft toy can also be brought to class if needed. Clearly, these toys are for reassurance only and are not to be thrown or be a distraction to other young people in class.
What happens after the free trial if we would like to continue?
Once your young person has attended their trial session, Meghan, in the admin office will email you to find out if you enjoyed it and would like to continue. If you wish, you can pre-empt this and send us an email letting us know how it went and how you would like to proceed. We will then send you payment details and a link to set up your monthly direct.
Where can I buy an RPA t shirt or hoodie?
If you choose to sign up after your free trial, we ask you to wear a RPA t-shirt. Hoodies are also available. You can purchase one here.
How much are the classes?
Prices vary depending on the length of the class; if room hire is charged; the requirement for assistants and the specialism of the class. Click here for prices
How do I pay for the sessions?
After your free trial, once you have decided whether you would like to join us, we ask you to sign up via direct debit. Our Finance lead, Steph, will send you an invoice and a direct debit mandate (DDM) via Go Cardless to complete online. You will receive two invoices close together. The first invoice will be for payment up to the end of the month and the second invoice will be for payment to be taken on the first of the month in advance. Please complete the direct debit mandate online and please don’t forget to ✅ the recurring payment box to authorise us to request payment every month. If you forget to tick the box we will request you complete another DDM.
How do you calculate the fees?
Our classes are term time only but our payments are monthly to make payments easier for parents. We calculate this monthly amount by taking the session fee x 38 weeks of the academic year (these weeks are sometimes less due to elections/bank holidays & notified TD Days and are taken into account) divided by 12 months of the year = monthly payment. (E.g. £6.54 x 38 /12 = £20.71).
Why do I pay the same monthly fee when there is a school holiday?
We only charge for academic weeks when there is a class but we spread the fees out evenly throughout the calendar year.
What is a pARTICIPATION fee?
When it comes to performance time, we do ask for a participation fee for each young person. This goes someway to helping us cover the venue and technical costs. The fee is approx. £20 per child.
Can someone else pay for my young person’s fees?
Yes, often Grandparents wish to pay fees and we are set up to administrate this. Please forward the Direct Debit Mandate (DDM) onto them and let us know if there will be a different name and email address on the DDM. If you are a Young Carer; Looked After Child or receive Pupil Premium, other organisations/institutions may wish to pay your fees. If this is the case, please ask them to get in touch with us in the office and we can invoice an academic year ahead at a time.
We also offer gift vouchers if you wish to give RPA sessions to a special someone.
Can I pay by cash or standing order?
Sadly, we are not set up to take cash and standing orders add additional administrative costs to our finance lead to audit so sadly no we are unable to take cash or standing orders.
Do you take childcare vouchers?
Yes we do, We can take Tax free Childcare Vouchers and Private CCV for school classes and venues where we are there for more than 2 hours.
I don’t seem to be receiving RPA emails?
Please add firstname.lastname@example.org to your ‘safe senders’ list otherwise we may end up in your spam folder. We follow all GDPR guidelines and protocols. Sometimes if we can’t get hold of you, we may send you a text.
How can I get hold of my young person’s RPA leader in an emergency?
You will have your RPA Leader’s mobile number on your introduction document. Please do keep the number to hand in case you are late for pick up/need someone else to contact your child or you need to contact your child urgently in session.
Are you on social media?
We are on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, YouTube and TikTok. Please do follow us as we post lots of fun updates and live videos. We would really appreciate you spreading the word for us so we can help as many young people as possible by liking, commenting and sharing our posts. Thank you 🙏. We do not accept friend requests from any young people due to safeguarding.
How do I contact the RPA office?
Do email the office at email@example.com or telephone 01793 792983 or text/WhatsApp 07799 691328, then one of the team can sort out any queries for you.
When can I watch my young person perform?
We invite our family and friends to a sharing at the end of each term. If we are in a school we try and also do an assembly at least twice a year. Whether parents are invited to the assembly is up to the school, however, families are always invited to the rehearsal as a sharing.
Will my child be in any public performances?
Yes. We perform publicly at least three times a year in a public venue E.G. Swindon Arts Centre or The Wyvern Theatre. This may take on the form of a film or a live performance.
Does my child have to perform?
No. It is our assumption that all young people would like to be involved in the performances. We will let you know the dates as soon as they are booked. We NEVER push young people to perform and there may be additional reasons why parents may choose for their young people not to perform (age/availability/time of the performance/ young person does not feel ready, etc.) but we encourage all young people to be involved in some way so they feel empowered and feel the joy of live theatre.
Will my child miss out if they cannot perform at the shows?
No. If your young person cannot perform at the public events, we still involve them in all areas of the creative and rehearsal process and ask parents to come along and watch the rehearsal if it is in a school. Sadly parents cannot watch a rehearsal in a public venue.
What can I do to help my young person feel more confident performing at the next performance?
We ask parents to take their young person to watch the performance if they cannot be involved to give them the confidence to know what to expect the following year, when they may be ready.
Do you need help backstage?
We welcome parents to come and be chaperones during performance and tech rehearsals. We ask that you are willing to undertake a DBS check for safeguarding and we always reserve auditorium seating to ensure you get to see your young person perform.
Which uniform do I choose for my young person?
There are different uniforms for the different sessions. Please see your introduction document for the correct uniform to wear. Please don’t purchase this until after the first session so you know your little one will enjoy it.
What name or nickname should I request for my young person’s t shirt?
Each top is personalised with your young person’s chosen name or nickname. We like our young people to feel included and have a sense of belonging. You can have anything on there that your young person relates to, as long as it isn’t offence (clearly!)
What should my young person wear on their bottom half?
On their bottom half they can wear whatever they like and really express themselves. We just ask each young person to protect their modesty and not wear any heels for health and safety reasons.
My young person identifies as a different gender. What uniform should they wear?
Our uniforms are gender neutral and we accept all young people with the way they wish to present themselves as we believe this empowers young people to celebrate their uniqueness. Wear whichever uniform that suits their own personal identification.
Do you have any spare uniform?
We do have some preloved uniform which you can borrow. Clearly the names may not be the same but just contact the office and we will do what we can to help.
Can I donate my young person’s outgrown uniform?
Yes please. Any donations of uniform are gratefully received. Please just hand them to your young person’s RPA leader.
Safeguarding & Integrity
What is your policy on safeguarding?
Our leaders and admin team all regularly receive safeguarding training from Swindon Borough Council or our Independent Safeguarding Consultant, Sarah Turner.
As a parent, will you contact me if you are concerned?
We have robust procedures in place that are regularly reviewed. If young people seek assistance from RPA our first port of call will always be parents unless we feel that the young person will be in danger.
What is your policy on bullying?
We do not tolerate bullying in any form and always treat all young people, adults and leaders equally regardless of gender, sexuality, ethnicity or disability. This list is not exclusive. We also robustly ensure equality of opportunity for all.
To view all our policies, please scroll to the bottom of this page.
What do I do if I want to cancel my young person’s place with RPA?
If you sadly decide to leave us, we ask for 30 days notice and written notification via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. It always helps us to know why you may be leaving in case we can make improvements but also maybe meet your needs elsewhere, which is why we will ask you to complete a cancellation form.
Year 2 & Year 6 Transition
When your young person starts the transition to leaving infant, junior/primary or secondary school, we offer them a transition to a more mature group for their age.
My young person is in Year 2, what happens next?
At the end of Year 2, if your young person attends a Reception – Year 2 class, they will be given a graduation certificate and an invitation to attend our Year 3+ class, which potentially could be on a different day. If your young person attends a Reception – Year 6 class, there is no need to graduate until Year 6.
My young person is in Year 6, what happens next?
In the summer of Year 6, we introduce young people to Rapport to introduce them to other Year 6’s from RPA who may be attending their new secondary school but also to introduce them to years 7-11 (Rapport) who are already attending their new secondary school. We do this in the form of a performance project at our annual performance where the Year 6’s perform with Rapport. It is a wonderful transition project and gives a sense of reassurance and belonging to Year 6’s so they always have a friendly smile from someone in their new school. The performance project is an opportunity to find whether your Year 6 young person would like to progress to Rapport and for parents to try out the logistics of getting them to a new venue. Participation in the performance project does not mean they have to join Rapport. All year 6’s are given a graduation certificate whether they move onto Rapport or not.
Range of Classes to Meet a Variety of Needs
My young person wants to specialise in a single art form. What can you offer?
RPA runs a range of classes. Most young people start off with performing arts and then either continue that into Rapport or around the age of 8 start to specialise in a single art form.
If you think you may wish to specialise in a single art form, please click here. for our range of classes and email the office to arrange a free trial. You can try as many single art forms as you wish, free of charge, before deciding on the one that suits you best.
Do you offer any additional awards that my young person can work towards?
Yes, we offer Discover, Explore, Bronze & Silver Arts Awards. We are an Arts Award Centre and we also have assessors within RPA. For more information on Arts Award, please click here
Do you run any residentials?
Yes. We run two weekend residentials a year. One for 8-11 years and one for 11-17 years. We have great fun with performing arts and engaging in our natural environment. For more information, check out our website.
Do you run anything in the school holidays?
Yes. We run weekly workshops in school holidays with all your favourite RPA leaders. With an emphasis on fun and friendship all combined with a love for performing arts. For more information, please check out our website.
My young person is looking for work experience in performing arts. Can you help?
For any young person who attends RPA or Rapport, we offer a limited number of work experience opportunities to extend and further investigate a career in the arts. We work well with local secondary schools to offer this opportunity.
My young person is doing the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. Can you help?
Yes. Many of our young people participate in the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award at school. We help facilitate the fulfilment of the volunteering and skills based sections of the award. Preference is given to young people who already attend RPA & Rapport.