Senior

From aspiration to achievement

Great Ballard is an inspirational setting for the next stage of your child's education. We are passionate about finding opportunities for all pupils to build their self-confidence, to challenge themselves and to find areas in which they can excel. These are crucial years, where our key aim is to keep our eye on the future and on the skills young people really need to be a success, both in exams and in the wider world. Our small class sizes, academic monitoring, outstanding pastoral care and forward-thinking curriculum ensure our students have the best foundations to flourish.

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Academic

Our aim is always to be inclusive and to tailor our approach to meet our students' needs. Education is about opening doors and each student's ambition becomes our goal. Small classes, quality teaching and high expectations form the backbone of our academic success.

Aspire

Years 7 and 8

Years 7 and 8 are based in the senior part of the school but retain their own character and Prep School ethos. Our specialist teachers ensure high academic aspirations in the classroom as students look towards their GCSE choices, but we also offer a full timetable of creative and physical subjects, maintaining an emphasis on community activities and personal wellbeing time to ensure the best outcomes for all.

Achieve

Years 9-11

In Years 9-11, the focus switches to preparation for GCSEs over three years, allowing enough time not only for the demanding new syllabuses, but also for the retention of curricular breadth and the holistic principles that underpin our 4H school. Year 9 will be focused more on the skills required at GCSE level rather than the specific curriculum content, ensuring that students who join us from local Prep Schools can adapt quickly. Those pupils will be able to choose their GCSE options before starting with us. Pupils also have the option to study for a project qualification to aid them in becoming inquisitive and independent learners.

A unique curriculum

Our tailored and forward-thinking curriculum supports every student to achieve their best, while also introducing them to real world learning experiences and equipping them with the skills to flourish beyond Great Ballard.

Building learning power

As part of our unique curriculum, all senior students continue to benefit from timetabled lessons in computer skills and technology, learning how to utilise IT effectively in their studies and how to present their ideas. They also follow our Learning2Learn curriculum, with lessons that teach them how to motivate themselves and become independent learners. This tailored programme covers revision and homework strategies, how to extend learning and develop a growth mindset, as well as how to communicate ideas, how to initiate projects, how to collaborate and how to evaluate successes.

Leadership

Pupils are given opportunities to practise presentation and leadership skills both within school and in the wider community. Our Senior pupils are trained as peer mentors and are encouraged to be role models within our school, leading and organising assemblies, events and meetings. As they move up the school there are increasing opportunities for work experience and a programme of careers and future schools talks. From Year 9 onwards all students are given the opportunity to take part in the Duke of Edinburgh Award Scheme.

4H skills and diploma

Our Senior pupils are challenged to develop skills based on curiosity and problem solving; teamwork and communication; self-awareness, empathy and reflection; resilience and self-care. They work towards our Aspire Diploma, awarded at the end of Year 8 and our Achieve Diploma, awarded at the end of Year 11. They are encouraged to use these skills to tackle issues within the school and wider community and take part in a range of charity and entrepreneurial projects.

4H activities

In the Senior School, pupils have time apportioned each week for activities that develop crucial life skills and contribute towards their 4H diploma. Alongside creative and practical activities, students will have the opportunity to do Duke of Edinburgh, Service and Leadership, the extended project qualification (EPQ), communications and technology, environmental science and Agents for Change.

Wellbeing and pastoral care

We believe wellbeing is the foundation that allows the real learning to happen and Great Ballard has always been known for its outstanding pastoral care, built on positive relationships. All pupils have both a form tutor and a champion chosen by them, who remains a consistent source of support and encouragement through to the end of Year 8. As students move into Year 9, the champion is replaced by an academic mentor, who guides and nurtures them, supporting them on the path to GCSE.

The wellbeing of every student in our school remains a priority throughout their time here. We have timetabled wellbeing sessions in which pupils are given support to understand and manage their emotions and relationships. Senior pupils are also trained in communication skills and as peer mentors to help them play a productive role in our community.

Sport and fitness

Senior School pupils continue to pursue excellence in both team and individual sports and they make use of the school pool and its idyllic 30 acre site. While the emphasis on competition is not lost, there is an increasing focus on the health benefits of sporting activity. It is our ambition that every student leaves Great Ballard enjoying sport and recognising the role that physical exercise can play in shaping healthy, happy lives. Students all have a personal fitness plan that encompasses mental and physical health and nurtures their well-being through a tailored approach. Some pupils will choose to study PE to GCSE level, but all will experience it as part of a curricular unit called MAP which includes cookery, nutrition and gardening.

“Every student has an individual fitness plan and leaves us understanding the role that sport plays in shaping healthy, happy lives.”

Achieving their goals

Small class sizes, and engaged and empathetic staff, ensure we know every student and family well. Alongside ongoing teacher assessment, we use standardised testing to monitor each pupil's potential and progress, allowing us to understand their expected levels of achievement and to put support in place to ensure their best outcomes at GCSE.

Students and parents receive attainment and effort grades every half term. As well as their actual attainment grade, students are given a challenge grade. Challenge grades show potential, based on nationally standardised data, and they encourage students to work towards aspirational yet achievable targets. Our excellent learning support department produces individual learning programmes and pupil passports to support those with learning needs, while our 'Go Beyond' scholarship programme provides stretch and a tailored programme for those identified as gifted and talented.

“Great Ballard pupils are confident, empathetic and motivated.”

Matthew King, Head
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Transition

The Great Ballard journey is all about preparation, for the next steps in school and ultimately for the world beyond. In Years 7&8 we encourage our students to aspire. The broad, outward facing senior curriculum helps them to better understand their world and equips them with the habits and skills to thrive within it. Our tailored approach for each student delivers the confidence they will need to turn aspiration into achievement as they progress through their three year GCSE course. And with each term closer to the end of their time at Great Ballard we increase the focus on life skills and leadership and the amount of careers advice we provide. We support them fully in taking their next step, helping them to find the very best schools and colleges to build on the successes they achieve with us. Students will leave on a variety of different journeys but all with the same confidence and ambition to live healthy, happy and purposeful lives.

Senior School staff

Clare Thomas
Head of English, Assistant Year 8 Form Tutor
Dawn Richardson
Head of Maths, Assistant Year 7 Form Tutor
David Cuthbertson
Head of Science, KS3&4 Coordinator, Assistant Year 9 Form Tutor
Jessica Stanley
Games Teacher
Joanne Sykes
Head of Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Year 9 Form Tutor, PSHE Teacher
Adrian Thomas
Head of Art & DT
Rebecca Coomber
Head of Humanities, Year 7 Form Tutor
Becki Lendrum
Head of Sport, Pastoral Co-ordinator, Y7-9
Hayley Johnson
Head of Curriculum, Teaching & Learning
Sally Brooks
SENCo
Emily King
Cookery Teacher
Madeleine Willis
English as an Additional Language (EAL) Teacher, German Teacher
Brian Dallimore
Head of Music
Spencer Leclercq
Sports Coach, Teaching Assistant
Thomas Beglin
Computer Science Teacher
Katherine Mustafa
Drama/ LAMDA Teacher
Katie Jerwood
Geography & RS Teacher

Need to know

When can I come and visit?
When can my child start?
What fees will I pay and what do they include?
What are the timings of the school day?
Registration at 8:15am
Lessons of 40 minutes
10 lessons per day
Morning break of 30 mins
Lunch break of 50 mins
Lessons end at 4:30pm
Clubs/Prep until 5:30pm
What wraparound care do you provide?
We offer a breakfast club from 7:45am and a tea club until 6:30pm – both of these are subject to an additional charge and need to be pre-booked in advance through the school office.
We also offer a good range of after school activities between 4:30 and 5:30pm each day – for example, STEM, Mountain Biking, Cricket, Coding,  Debating, Spanish, Gardening, Drama, and Agents for Change.
Where can I find out more about the 4 H approach?
What uniform and equipment will my child need?
Do you run a school bus?
We do offer a minibus service, employing our own drivers who are well known to the children. Our routes are based on current demand and cover the following areas: Chichester, Eastergate, Bognor Regis, Yapton, Angmering, Arundel, Pulborough and Petworth. We run nine trips per week, mornings and afternoons (excluding Wednesday afternoons) and offer a flexible approach to booking based on the needs of our families using the service.
What if my child needs extra support?
Our excellent Learning Support department produces individual learning programmes and pupil passports to support those with learning needs. We keep a very close eye on the progress of every child and if we had any concerns, you would be contacted by Sally Brooks, our SENCo, who would arrange a meeting to discuss any additional support your child requires and how best this could be provided to meet their specific learning needs.
What GCSE options are available?
Core subjects:
English Language
English Literature
Maths
Science (Double/Triple award)
French/Spanish

Options:
Geography
History
RS
Art
PE
Music
Computer Science
Do you have Saturday school or weekend fixtures?
No – we very occasionally hold weekend events, but you would be given sufficient notice and this would be the exception and not the rule.