One of Ballard’s founding principles is that we are a Family School. No matter what your age or ability Ballard’s holistic ‘can do’ approach to education works well. Many families comment on how well their children do at Ballard, despite the very different personality types and interests.
Ballard is a through-school with pupils aged 2-16 years and there are opportunities for pupils to mix and work together, giving them confidence and building relationships up and down School. This is accentuated through our mentoring programme, house system, weekly assemblies, productions, clubs, school council and many other through-school initiatives.
Staff are an integral part of our family: they get to know the pupils as individuals and ensure that there is always someone available to help, encourage and guide the pupils. This means that pupils feel supported and enables them to ask questions or try new things without the feeling that they may be judged.
We also offer many opportunities for parents and other family members to come into Ballard and get involved whether it’s for a workshop, an assembly, to sing in the choir or to be part of the FOBS (Friends of Ballard School) committee.
This is a crucial part of our success at Ballard. Our mentoring scheme matches older pupils with younger pupils across all areas of school life. For example: our senior Sports Elite often help out at clubs and fixtures; a senior pupil and music scholar helps run our Upper Prep harp ensemble; and Lower Prep pupils help Pre-Prep pupils with their reading.
This not only allows the younger pupils to learn from their mentors and see them set examples, but grants the older pupils the chance to develop key life skills as they lead and guide.
Ballard is committed to keeping learning fresh and fun for our pupils. We make our lessons engaging and informative, using lots of different techniques and styles to encourage our pupils to push themselves.
We believe that learning is not just bound to the classroom but should be part of everyday life, for example by using fun computer programmes such as “Mathletics”, pupils are challenged to beat themselves and their peers whilst improving their math skills.
An advantage for Ballard teachers is the ability to be able to teach outside using the outdoor classroom and our extensive grounds. This allows the teachers to give the pupils a break from the classroom, stretch their legs and give them the opportunity to learn in the fresh air.
What better way to learn maths than by orienteering outside or to discuss philosophical theory sitting in the shade of one of our oak trees.