From the time a child starts at Great Ballard School, they are given the opportunity to try many varied activities to help them to develop in all areas; academically, sporting, musically, in the Arts and importantly as considerate members of a community.
All children will benefit from the full range of timetabled lessons, both the core subjects which will eventually be examined at Common Entrance , such as English, Maths, Sciences, Geography, History and R.S.; French and the wider subjects including cooking, technology, art, music (both on a class and individual basis), drama and environmental studies. (Individual Music lessons are arranged usually on a revolving basis during the school day)
Every effort is made to include all children in inter school sports matches at some time during the year and they will also participate in inter house competitions in athletics and swimming as well as the team sports. There are also house competitions in music, general knowledge and technology among others.
Each form has an annual concert and play, where the focus is very much on giving every child a chance. Some children will have huge potential, others may have more modest talents in these areas, but all will ‘have a go’. Each form will also give two assemblies during the year; children work with their form teacher to provide a ‘Christian message’ while also benefiting from another opportunity to perform.
There are a range of day and residential trips. Even from Nursery, the children will have short trips out to local places of interest and once the children move into the main school,from Form 3, there will be opportunities to experience residential trips. Form 7 go to France for eight days where not only do they experience the week away but also have the opportunity to do some valuable preparation for their Year 8 Common Entrance and scholarship exams. F orm 8 enjoy several days of outward bound after Common Entrance, before embarking on a varied course of further education, challenges and activities, while also finding the time to put on a major production like ‘Annie’ and an evening review for their parents.
Form 8 are also invited to a formal dinner with the staff, learning how to reply to a formal invitation and greatly enjoy the chance to dress up and celebrate their time at Great Ballard.
Other than the performances mentioned, there will also be opportunities to take part in plays as part of the drama group, talent competitions and poetry recitals, while senior children also have the opportunity to debate. Many children also choose to take part in local festivals perhaps for music or speech and these are always well supported and enjoyed.
Senior forms are also involved in activities like team building, leadership, initiative and study skills. There is a school council, with representatives from year 1 (age 5) to year 8, with the Headmaster as chairman and there is also an eco-schools committee. There are, as well, opportunities for our children to take part in “inter-school” challenges and workshops such as Road Safety, Science and Maths which are always enjoyable.
Friday afternoon is the main activity time with activities such as silk painting, golf, card making, judo, mountain biking, photography and many more taking place over the terms.