The Ballard Prep experience is designed to provide a nurturing, learning environment with a progressive transition through from Year 3 to Year 8. The Prep School is divided into Lower Prep and Upper Prep.
Lower Prep (Years 3-5) seeks to develop thinking skills within a caring environment. Upper Prep (Years 6-8) enables pupils to make the key transition to encourage independent learning in a nurturing, academic environment; ready for the further challenge of GCSEs and beyond.
Even though the focus is on academic life, all of the Prep School is fully immersed in the Ballard all-round experience in Sport, Arts, STEM and community.
Lower Prep is located in a self-contained area of the school, where small class sizes and form-based teaching emphasises its family feel. Pupils feel happy and safe and are enthusiastic about learning. This allows us to stretch them academically and to develop their key life skills, which are so important to their future. Pupils relish their additional responsibilities such as helping Pre-Prep pupils with their reading (mentoring) and monitor duties.
A greater sense of independence comes with access to more specialist teachers in different areas of School, combined with a full-range of activities and opportunities. A progressive development of interdependence and responsibility ensures a smooth transition into Upper Prep.
Upper Prep academic subjects are taught in sets and pupils benefit from having GCSE teachers across all departments as well as access to all their resources and facilities.
Pastoral care is paramount and the School strives to provide a secure and happy environment as pupils transition into teenagers. Tutors remain with their class throughout the three years, building strong personal relationships, teamwork and understanding.
Academic development is combined with a fantastic range of vocational and extra-curricular opportunities, which are part of the full Ballard experience. This all benefits development of independent learning skills, resilience and resourcefulness.