Our school

From a great past to a great future

From the moment you walk through the door you will know you are part of the family. It’s a family whose roots were planted a hundred years ago but whose values are as relevant today as they ever were. At Great Ballard we continue to build the brightest futures on the firmest foundations.

Our school's ethos is all about:

Nurturing confidence in pupils and allowing them to become the very best versions of themselves
Encouraging curiosity, invention and ambition
Putting kindness, empathy and service at the heart of its vision
Ensuring no-one feels 'invisible'
Giving all pupils a voice, and showing them how to use it
Valuing inclusivity and focusing on what pupils can do and not just what they can’t
Seeing leadership in all pupils and valuing role models
Keeping pupils safe and happy but always encouraging them to look beyond the bubble
Prioritising the Head, Hand, Heart and Health of every pupil

The Four H approach

Everything we do at Great Ballard prioritises the Head, the Hand, the Heart and the Health of every student in our care. It’s a vision that ensures our education is as holistic, relevant and purposeful as it can be.


Ambitious, tailored teaching focuses on individual progress and encourages intellectual curiosity and future-ready problem solving.


Practical approaches to learning embed collaboration, creativity and communication and foster a diverse range of real-world skills.


Empathy and service foster a sense of belonging and self-worth, inspiring students to lift others and lead positive change


Mental and physical wellbeing provide the foundations for confident, spirited learning and vigorous, constructive lives

“Great Ballard is a family in which everyone matters and no-one is invisible.”

School history


Great Ballard School was founded in 1924 by Ivor Poole, a choral scholar from King’s College Cambridge, and was based initially in New Milton Hampshire. With the onset of the Second World War, the school premises were commandeered by the Canadian forces so  Mr Knight had to find a new home.


A temporary solution was found when we were welcomed at Clayesmore School, Dorset in 1940 before a move was made later in the year to Stowell Park in Gloucestershire where the school remained until 1947. Lord and Lady Vestey who owned Stowell Park, kindly moved out into one of the farmhouses on the estate for the duration of the war and Great Ballard moved in.


In 1947 Norman Knight thought he had found the ideal solution at Cordwalles, Camberley, Surrey, where the Queen had done her ATS training, so the school moved and enjoyed their new home surrounded by countryside.   However, in 1960, Camberley Council took over some adjoining land to build houses and the school was to lose its country feeling. As this had always been part of the ethos of the school since its foundation in 1924, another move was sought.


The final move took place in March 1961 to Eartham. Eartham House became the home of Great Ballard School and is still its home today upholding the original ethos and values started back in 1924 by Ivor Poole. One important change to the school is that it is no longer just a boarding school for boys, it offers day and boarding opportunities for both boys and girls with all children being given the same opportunities.

John Chedzoy rescued the school from certain closure at the end of 1990 as his grandson was so happy at the only Prep School in the area which would accept a child with a disability. Great Ballard is now owned by John’s daughter, Sue Jay, and her family are directors of the company.
Vincit qui se vincit
Conquer yourself conquer anything

Healthy habits

Learning healthy habits helps young people to live better lives. It's commonsense then that fitness, nutrition and horticulture should be part of the curriculum. All pupils at Great Ballard learn how to live healthy, sustainable, active lives and to appreciate the effect this has on their wellbeing.

Leadership team

Matt King
Head of School
Hannah Ward
Business Manager
Hayley Johnson
Academic Deputy Head
Sam Hird
Head of Pre-Prep
Dan Joseph
Pastoral Deputy Head
Tom Anderson
Head of Adventure, Prep Pastoral Lead

Board of Directors

Sue Jay
Chris Jay
Terry Hockley
Non-Executive Director
& Company Secretary
Mike Piercy
Non-Executive Director

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meet us

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