Ballard Arts

‘Inspiration, imagination, innovation’

The Arts are at the heart of Ballard School with a team of specialist staff teaching from Pre-Prep up to GCSE. Ballard offers a strong Arts curriculum, an exciting range of extra-curricular opportunities, an excellent track record in GCSE results and state-of-the-art specialist facilities.

We continually strive to provide our pupils with the very best and most exciting experiences in Arts education, whether pure Art or Performing Arts. Our strength in this area has been recognised in numerous awards including our current Artsmark Gold, ISM Gold Award for GCSE Music results, Education Business Award for School Music and ISA Award for Performing Arts.

Whether it be on stage, in the studio, as a member of the Orchestra, Sound and Lighting team, Theatre Production team or within visual arts, there is something for everyone here at Ballard. We firmly believe that all pupils deserve the chance to experience the benefits of an enriching Arts’ education.

Participation in the Arts is widely recognised as being beneficial to the development of confidence, collaborative skills, creativity and problem-solving, attributes which are all highly valued in the workplace, not to mention the sense of achievement and enjoyment gained from learning a new technique, completing a complex task, being part of a production team, dance group or music ensemble.

We are lucky to have strong links within the wider Arts’ community with regular workshops and trips across all our disciplines. Whether it is a workshop on Graphic Art or Warhorse puppetry; a chance to get on stage with the English National Ballet or performing in the Royal Albert Hall for Classic FM Live; the breadth of opportunities at Ballard is astounding.

Individual lessons in Music and Speech & Drama further support pupils wishing to pursue these and our results in these fields are excellent. Pupils gain accreditation in ABRSM, Trinity, Rockschool, LAMDA and New Era individual exams and we also give opportunities for completion of Arts Award in Year 5 (Explore), Year 9 (Bronze) with the potential to progress to Silver.

Our inclusive philosophy ensures that all pupils, at all stages of the School, will have the opportunity to participate in regular musical, dance and dramatic productions, concerts and other performance events, while our most able pupils are stretched and challenged through our Scholars’ programme and range of enrichment opportunities and links to professional artists and organisations.

Earlier in the year we had two whole-school productions which gave all our children the opportunity to work and perform together. Our biennial dance show in February was a delight for parents and pupils alike and our whole-school production of the musical Beauty and the Beast in the summer was spectacular. We are really looking forward to the upcoming Upper Prep drama production of Peter Pan and in the summer our Senior School will be ‘Singing in the Rain‘!

Bespoke Education

NURSERY

At Ballard, we believe in using our pupils’ innate passion for dance, music, art and drama to develop key skills including confidence, team work and controlled movement. Our Nursery and Kindergarten pupils have a wealth of opportunities in the Arts including access to our dance studio and Performing Arts Centre.

This year pupils performed in both the nativity and our Magical Mystery Tour with a wonderful Teddy Bears Picnic dance, choreographed and led by our dance teacher.

PRE-PREP

In Pre-Prep, the Expressive Arts at Ballard are taught by both form tutors and specialist teachers for music and dance within their curriculum. They also have access to our amazing facilities, Peripatetic Music and Speech & Drama teachers.

Specialist teachers offer them the skills and confidence to help make our pupils shine. From understanding the difference between a minim and a crochet to learning choreography, Ballard Pre-Prep pupils rise to the challenge. All pupils are encouraged to have a go by their teachers and peers.

We have an annual nativity and production. Our latest Performing Arts treat was our Magical Mystery Tour. Pupils worked as individuals, in pairs and groups entertaining their parents, peers and staff with exceptional performances.

Some recited poetry, some danced and others acted out scenes from The Wizard of Oz. Many got into the spirit by dancing along whilst singing some incredibly tricky songs – ‘Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo’ and ‘Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious’ but all loved it!

Art

With all the creativity enjoyed in Nursery, our pupils love art in Pre-Prep. They have a huge array of materials and ideas available to them and they are encouraged to flourish and create  independent art work – letting their own creativity continue to shine.

As they progress through Pre-Prep, they develop their skills and are able to use more complex techniques and can undertake trickier projects, which are often overseen by our specialist art teachers.

This year our ceramics teacher worked alongside form tutors to plan out a very complicated project creating personalised post boxes! Using rollers and cutters, the pupils created their boxes out of clay and personalised them with their initials using their own Plaster of Paris stamp before painting them.

Dance

Dance is timetabled in the Ballard Pre-Prep schedule each week. Wherever possible we work with other departments on cross-curricular topics, emphasising what they are learning in the classroom. For example, by exploring the words and phrases in movement to bring a poem to life in a literacy lesson. Pupils develop fundamental movement skills, become increasingly competent and confident and access a broad range of opportunities to extend their agility, balance and co-ordination, individually and with others. They have a lot of fun learning, creating and performing dances together.

We get involved in World Book Day, which includes a dance down our catwalk for all our fabulously dressed pupils!

All children participate in performances, including the annual Nativity and Summer Showcase. This year’s Magical Mystery Tour showcased a variety of dances from Nursery’s Teddy Bears’ Picnic to a beautiful dance to the music from Moana using colourful scarves.

For those who are keen to do more, there is a dance club open to all boys and girls in Years 1 and 2. They are offered opportunities to perform at various events in School and also within the whole-school biennial dance production. The last production Eureka was a fantastic experience and performance for all involved based on ‘Eureka’ moments throughout history. Dance scholars from the senior school often support our younger pupils in their dance club and the opportunity for these pupils to work and perform alongside older dancers provides both inspiration and challenge.

Music

Pre-Prep music at Ballard is all about fostering a sense of enjoyment and achievement, building confidence, co-ordination and collaborative skills through a variety of fun activities.

Pupils receive weekly curriculum music lessons with our specialist staff in the music department building. We expand their musical understanding through a range of fun, practical learning tasks including singing, musical notation and instrumental work. Whether it is learning the difference between minims and quavers on a glockenspiel or strumming an electric guitar our children love music.

All children participate in performances, including the annual Nativity and Summer Showcase.

Many of our Pre-Prep pupils take up individual music lessons with our specialist teachers. They also have the opportunity to perform alongside our older pupils, many of whom act as mentors to our younger pupils.

LOWER PREP

In Lower Prep, Expressive Arts is introduced to the curriculum alongside Art, Dance and Music, all taught by our talented specialist teachers. These lessons cover everything from drama and group singing to focus and spatial awareness. They help prepare our pupils for our productions, giving them the confidence they need to perform on stage. We also have achieved 100% success in Arts Award.

A starter scheme for Instrumental Music provides bespoke learning opportunities for all Year 3 pupils. We believe that by giving our younger pupils access to all our GCSE equipment reaps rewards for both pupils and School.

We ensure that our pupils have a firm grounding in the basics before building on their knowledge and growing confidence to push them to the next level. For example, Year 3 start music technology in our iMac suite with Garageband and Logic software and by the time they reach Year 5, they can use Sibelius.

There is also a plethora of opportunities for extra-curricular Arts activities in Lower Prep. Talented pupils may sit Arts scholarships in Year 6 for entry into Year 7 in Art, Dance, Drama, Music or the Performing Arts.

Art

Art in Lower Prep is included in our cross-curricular teaching topics wherever possible. All Art at Ballard is taught by our specialist teachers from Year 3 upwards, creating incredible opportunities for our younger pupils.

At Ballard, we work on projects which include many Art disciplines. This way the pupils learn all the formal elements of Art but are encouraged to experiment with them rather than just copy. This develops their confidence and allows us to push them even further.

We teach them to think smart and to be independent. To think like an artist, there is a ‘three before me’ guideline – think, look and ask your neighbour before asking the teacher in order to encourage their creativity.

Year 3 recently created tonal observations of cultural masks, which involved all of the following techniques: mixed media, printing, stencils, pattern making, tonal work and shading. Year 5 had to think about texture, technique and experimentation with their ‘feathers’ project.

Expansive clay work is encouraged, which is way ahead of other local schools. Year 3 created incredible Pharaoh masks which brought their Ancient Egypt topic to life. Year 4 created lifelike, and almost life-sized, iguanas in an array of beautiful bright colours.

Dance

Lower Prep pupils receive a course in dance from our specialist dance teacher in our well-equipped dance studio. They continue to apply and develop a broad range of skills, learning how to use them in different ways and to link them to make actions and sequences of movement. They enjoy communicating, collaborating and creating movement vocabulary with each other. Pupils develop an understanding of how to improve their performance and learn how to evaluate their work. They grow in confidence and recognise their own success.

In addition to the dance programme, Lower Prep pupils also enjoy an ‘Expressive Arts’ programme, working across dance, drama and music to prepare a range of performances including an annual production. Recent opportunities have included a colourful production of Suessical and a range of related workshops on a ‘Mayflower Theatre Day’. Pupils complete their ‘Explore Arts Award’ through the ‘Expressive Arts’ programme.

We also run a through-school dance production for pupils in Years 1-11 in alternate years, where everyone is welcome to participate and perform. The last production Eureka was a fantastic experience and performance for all involved based on ‘Eureka’ moments throughout history. Dance scholars from the senior school often support our younger pupils in their dance club and the opportunity for these pupils to work and perform alongside older dancers provides both inspiration and challenge.

Music

Lower Prep pupils at Ballard receive weekly music lessons from our specialist teachers in our well-equipped music building and specialist Music Technology Suite. Pupils study a modular curriculum including composer focus, composition skills, musical notation and a range of fun, practical activities.

It is well-documented that learning an instrument early on in life can help develop pathways in the brain and develop important skills. At Ballard, all pupils are encouraged to learn an instrument and pupils in Year 3 will receive a term’s free individual tuition to get them started on an instrument of their choice.

Ballard’s inclusive music policy ensures that all pupils in Lower Prep have opportunities to perform in a range of events including our Carol Service and class performances. For pupils who wish to enhance their music experience further there are numerous ensembles on offer, including a chamber choir, instrumental ensembles and a harp ensemble.

Mentors from the Senior School often support our younger pupils in their music-making and the opportunity for these pupils to work and perform alongside older musicians provides both inspiration and challenge.

In addition to the music programme, Lower Prep pupils also enjoy an Expressive Arts programme, working across music, dance and drama to prepare a range of performances including an annual musical production. Recent opportunities have included a colourful production of Seussical and a range of related workshops on a ‘Mayflower Theatre Day’. Pupils in Year 5 complete their Explore Arts Award through the Expressive Arts programme.

UPPER PREP

Upper Prep has access to all our specialist Arts staff, equipment and facilities. Productions alternate each year between musicals (e.g. Aladdin Junior) and plays (e.g. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

All Ballard pupils in Year 8 take the English Speaking Board exams and routinely pass with flying colours – many with Distinction. They also each have an interview with the Headmaster, helping hone their life skills.

Our Arts scholars are encouraged to perform regularly at weekly recitals and in our Performing Arts Scholars Evening. New scholarships are considered in Year 8 in preparation for entry into Year 9. There are opportunities across all our disciplines: Art, Dance, Drama, Music or the Performing Arts.

Art

Art in Upper Prep is thematic using different disciplines across a number of projects. These become more complex and new techniques are introduced, pushing our pupils to explore and create.

Year 6 created mixed-media fish. Using real fish as their models they were able to study the colours and textures using touch as well as sight. They used real cloth for their tablecloth project, which involved printing, blending, glitter, building up different layers; so they had to think ahead. Clay work continues to be important with Year 6 creating a wonderful array of colourful sea monsters.

Year 7 created stunning silk banners of jungle animals and birds as well as acrylic paintings where technique was key to a life-like image. Formal observation drawing of brightly-coloured, wooden toucans and parrots reinforce learning on how to draw and shade tonally.

Year 8 learnt how to draw their own self-portrait and had a workshop with a graphic artist who showed them how to create their own cartoon characters. They also created large clay vases inspired by Klimt, Chagall and Andrea Pratt as well as creating wire Picasso faces and canvas painting using acrylics.

Dance

All pupils receive half a term of dance teaching in their PE programme. This continues to develop their skills and knowledge in performance, composition and appreciation. Pupils work with each other around a theme and develop key skills such as; communication, teamwork, problem-solving and self-improvement. Pupils develop self-confidence and self-esteem and an ability to respond creatively to challenge throughout the dance lessons.

We also run a through-school dance production for pupils in Years 1-11 biennially, where everyone is welcome to participate and perform. The last production Eureka was a fantastic experience and performance for all involved based on ‘Eureka’ moments throughout history.

Our established Visions Junior Dance Company, which is open to those who wish to develop their Dance skills further, perform in a number of opportunities within School and the wider community throughout the year. This is open to Year 6-8 through audition or invitation.

Drama

All pupils in Upper Prep follow a Drama programme based on National Curriculum strategies.

At Ballard, we believe that Drama is a key subject and that the skills taught in Drama, such as creativity, confidence, concentration and co-operation, are assets in all subjects and in all areas of life.

Drama at Ballard is also fun and a firm favourite with many of our pupils. Upper Prep put on a superb performance of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory last year.

We know that Drama promotes self-esteem, social skills and communication skills, it also stimulates the imagination and allows pupils to explore issues and experiences in a safe and supportive environment.

All pupils will have developed many of the skills needed to take Drama at GCSE, if they wish to choose this option.

Music

Upper Prep pupils at Ballard receive weekly curriculum music lessons from our specialist teachers in our well-equipped Music building and specialist Music Technology Suite.

Pupils study a modular curriculum including composer focus, composition skills, musical notation and a range of fun, practical activities. Pupils at this stage of the School begin to develop composition skills including song writing in our specialist music technology suite on industry standard software and have the opportunity to record their work.

Pupils benefit from a range of ensemble opportunities across the School providing the chance to work alongside older musicians to stretch and challenge them. These include varied choirs and vocal groups, a harp ensemble, hand bells, and numerous instrumental ensembles. Regular trips and performance opportunities including concerts and musical productions further enhance their musical experiences.

SENIOR

At Ballard, all Arts subjects are available to take at GCSE and we have consistently strong results in all subjects. Senior pupils have outstanding opportunities to perform in both plays and musicals as well as the biennial dance show. Scholars have additional opportunities in recitals and our Scholars’ Showcase.

Senior pupils continue to experience the Arts out of school with visits to galleries and theatres as well as our trips to Venice (Art) and Music tours. Visiting artists and performers run workshops for our pupils; for example, we have hosted a talk about careers in the arts from the Mayflower Theatre.

Alumni return to help our pupils too, whether running a workshop or performing in the orchestra or choir, they pass on their knowledge and experience.

Art

 

Our Senior Art focuses on extending the pupils’ capabilities even further. The continuity of this approach gives them confidence to take Art beyond GCSE, whether at A Level or at Art College.

Visiting artists provide illuminating workshops for our pupils. Visits to galleries at home and abroad give our pupils the opportunity to discuss and develop opinions of art movements and different genres.

Individuality stands out and again we challenge all our pupils to think smart, to use materials in a clever, original and creative way and more importantly, not to follow the crowd. We want to see well-rounded young men and women leaving the art department.

 

Dance

Pupils in the Senior School have a wide range of opportunities on offer to them in the Dance department. Our Pre-GCSE dance course prepares our pupils to develop new skills in dance alongside analytical skills, leadership skills, knowledge and understanding of the art of Dance as pupils plan, work and do. Within this course in Year 9, all pupils are offered the opportunity to take their Bronze Arts Award.

They work as a group to create a group dance, which this year was performed in the Scholars’ Showcase. They had a fantastic trip to the Mayflower Theatre for a dance workshop on stage with an English National Ballet teacher and dancer from The Nutcracker. This was followed by a private back stage tour, looking at the costumes, watching a company class and finishing with a Q&A session with the dancers. This gave an incredible insight into the life of a professional ballet dancer. Finally, we watched the matinee performance of The Nutcracker, which inspired them all to achieve their Bronze Arts award.

Additionally, each year all Year 9 pupils are challenged by a visiting professional dance artist in a workshop environment. This year we had a Rambert artist who taught repertoire from A Linha Curva, which is a GCSE Dance prescribed work.

It is this variety of opportunities which leads not only to great success at Arts Awards but also at GCSE and beyond. We have had a 100% pass rate at GCSE Dance A*- C for several years.

We also run a through-school dance production for pupils in Years 1-11 biennially, where everyone is welcome to participate and perform. The last production Eureka was a fantastic experience and performance for all involved based on ‘Eureka’ moments throughout history.

Dance scholars from the Senior School often support our younger pupils in their dance club and the opportunity for these pupils to work and perform alongside older dancers provides both inspiration and challenge.

Our established Visions Senior Dance Company, which is open to those who wish to develop their dance skills further, perform in a number of opportunities within school and the wider community throughout the year. This is open to Year 6-8 through audition or invitation.

Drama

GCSE Drama is now a thoroughly academic subject, with emphasis on analysis and theatre criticism in the written paper as well as performance and technical skills.

Each year group will perform in two major productions; one a popular play and the other a devised piece, which is entirely their own work from concept to performance. Themes for the devised work have included diverse topics such as sexism and mobile phones.

They will also see a variety of live theatre productions during the two-year course, to reinforce their knowledge of the theatre and support their written work. Most importantly, however, they learn to love going to the theatre for its own sake!

The two-year course is demanding and challenging, but a huge amount of fun is to be had, with pupils frequently carrying on with their love of Drama into college and beyond.

If you are looking for a subject which facilitates group work, develops lifelong friendships, encourages autonomy and independence and boosts self-esteem and confidence, GCSE Drama is that subject.

Music

Pupils in the Senior School have a wide range of opportunities on offer to them in the Music Department. Our pre-GCSE and GCSE course is designed to prepare pupils for the next stage of their music education and the wider world of the music industry, whether it be contemporary or classical.

Pupils work extensively in the Music Technology Suite mastering the use of industry standard software for composition and sound production. There are opportunities to learn about recording processes and work within the sound and lighting team for productions. In addition to the wide-range of ensembles available to all pupils, there are specialist ensembles for pupils in the Senior School including a chamber ensemble and chamber choir.

Pupils benefit from regular outside performance opportunities designed to extend their experience of music performance in both the classical and contemporary field and our musicians benefit from close links with local professionals. Senior musicians perform at local events and embark on European tours, most recently to Barcelona where they performed in Montserrat Abbey and Barcelona Cathedral. They also work closely with younger pupils, mentoring ensembles and gaining invaluable skills in directing and arranging.

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Ballard School

Fernhill Lane, New Milton, BH25 5SU

Tel: 01425 626900 Email: admissions@ballardschool.co.uk