Ella’s story

Ella joined Ballard in Year 4, becoming an academic scholar in Year 7. Here is her story so far…

“I love that, at Ballard, I can be smart without having to hide it. At other schools you can be picked on, or called a nerd, but here it’s seen as a good thing. When I joined I was immediately challenged academically, particularly in Maths and English. I instantly felt at home, everyone was so friendly and they got me. The range of lessons, facilities and specialist teachers helped me start my fantastic journey at Ballard.

Ballard is so intellectually stimulating, there is so much to do and we learn so many important skills to help us in and out of the classroom. Highlights for me include our weekly ‘Apprentice Challenge’ in Year 5, the Leadership and Gifted & Talented days and pitching our innovative breakfast cereal in the Dragons’ Den. Team-building days, mentoring younger pupils, becoming a Year 8 prefect as well as reading at the Remembrance Service are all great memories. I was also delighted to follow in the footsteps of our other scholars – reaching the top 8% of the country for the Townsend Warner History Prize.

There is a plethora of opportunities across all four pillars: STEM, arts, sports and life. The arts are an important part of life at Ballard. I loved Harp Club and I’m now studying Grade 5 cello . I was Narla in the ‘Lion King’ and Wendy in ‘Peter Pan’. Sports at Ballard are very inclusive and we do really rather well, I have won athletics and swimming medals.

I’m a big fan of all the extra-curricular activities; jewellery making, volleyball, pops orchestra, even with COVID restrictions, we still have a variety, including DofE Bronze Award, volunteering at St Barbes Museum as a young curator and can’t wait for the expeditions. Ballard also supports me with all my activities out of School, swimming for the Sea Scouts and taking time-out for filming.

I love all the trips: from learning the physics of rides at Paulton’s Park in Year 4 to speaking French throughout our Year 6 Normandy trip. My favourite, so far, was Bude – it was incredible and our year group got even closer.

So why come to Ballard?…because Ballard includes everything. Anything you want to do, you can do it at Ballard. I have made so many friends, the teachers are fantastic, and the School, the place itself, is wonderful.”

Ella, Year 9.