Thank you for all your inspiration and support!

Year 11 pupil

Thank you for a very useful Options evening – we were very impressed by the huge care, thought & effort the whole team puts into helping teenagers choose a balance of exams tailored to maximising their potential. Amazing – thank you!

Year 9 Parent



Ballard’s Senior School has its own mini-campus within the School grounds and our objective is to help produce well-rounded and well-qualified young women and men, ready to progress to their first choice venue for further education.

An attractive range of GCSE subjects is offered and the School has a consistently enviable record of results. GCSE clinics are offered within School time and as an after-School activity to support the revision process. Year 9 pupils are guided through all of the GCSE options available to them and support and assistance is given to pupils and parents to aid GCSE selection.

Please click on the link to read our Futures Booklet for guidance on your GCSE pathway@Ballard

Whilst still offering the all-round Ballard educational experience, the pace and intensity of academic rigour moves up a gear in the Senior School. Purposeful teaching supported by sensible discipline and pastoral care provides the supportive foundation to enable pupils to thrive.

Small class sizes and individual attention are still at the cornerstone of the Ballard experience. Tutors remain consistent, providing stability and building strong bonds with each pupil throughout this crucial time.

Morrisby testing, our Year 9 challenge week, rotary interviews, financial planning and PSHE life skill sessions are just some of the things Ballard provides to help its pupils develop into competent, well-rounded individuals.

There are extensive extra-curricular opportunities and trips across all areas of the curriculum and beyond. These include, amongst others, Duke of Edinburgh, foreign exchanges, Sports Ball, community projects, New York trip, concerts, skiing, and the end of Year 11 Prom.

Ballard’s Senior STEM pupils are industrious and their projects varied. They help in the lighting and sound box for our productions as well as building some of the sets. Previously they created a flying carpet (moving platform) for our production of Aladdin.

Senior pupils helped develop the Ballard Sailtrainer – an innovative concept which simulates dinghy sailing on dry land. They also retained the New Milton Pedal Car Junior Championship and finished 14th overall out of 39 against the adult teams.

Pupils in Year 9 also take part in the CREST bronze award which has previously looked at life in space.

Business Studies

At Ballard we study the Cambridge IGCSE which is internationally recognised by schools, universities and employers. Thousands of students use Cambridge qualifications to gain places at universities around the world. IGCSE Business provides proof of an understanding of business concepts and the techniques across a range of different types of businesses.

Our pupils learn to understand different forms of business organisations, the environments in which they operate and business functions such as marketing, operations and finance. They also analyse and appreciate the role of people in the success of any business.

At Ballard we aim to give our pupils lifelong skills when they take Business Studies. These include: the ability to calculate and interpret data; communication skills needed to support arguments with reasons; the ability to analyse business situations and reach decisions and judgements.

In Year 10 our pupils undertake a Dragons Den challenge, creating a brand new product or adapting an existing one to sell to their selected audiences. They look at everything from finances to marketing before finally presenting back to the dragons and their peers. This year the ideas ranged from a specialised shock absorber for skateboards to a travel App which “does it all”!

Design & Technology


GCSE Design & Technology is flourishing at Ballard with GCSE numbers at an all time high. We have three full GCSE classes with almost 40% of pupils being girls. Our Top Achiever this year (who was a female pupil in Year 11) got full marks in the GCSE NEA and achieved a grade 9.

Pupils link their designs to realistic outcomes such as undertaking independent research visits, customer analysis, market research, 3D modelling of ideas and testing. Recent results are testament to the thorough teaching and learning at Ballard and moderators regularly commend us on this.

During their time studying Design & Technology pupils will create a strong portfolio of work that they can use during their College and University applications.



ICT & Computing



Year 9 Computing at Ballard School is a foundation year for GCSE, providing preparation not only for Computing GCSE but also ensuring that the pupils are able to make full use of IT in all their subject areas.

In Years 10 and 11, pupils may opt for a full GCSE in Computer Science or alternatively may choose an IT skills course, which allows them to keep their skills up-to-date and gain a certificate at the end.




Senior pupils at Ballard are given the opportunity to follow GCSE Statistics (from Year 9) as well as the IGCSE Mathematics (Edexcel).

Our more able pupils are encouraged to diversify and add to their armoury of statistical skills for use in other subject areas such as Business, IT and the Sciences (as well as gaining an extra GCSE qualification), whilst other pupils are given more time to focus on their core Maths skills.

Our Senior pupils are also able to take part in the UKMT Maths Challenge and exceptional pupils are invited to study Additional Mathematics GCSE (OCR) which leads into Maths and Further Maths A Level.


Ballard pupils start their Science GCSE in Year 9 following the AQA combined Trilogy course. At the end of Year 9, pupils get the chance to choose whether they wish to study for the separate Sciences and get three GCSEs in Biology, Chemistry and Physics or remain with combined Science, where they will achieve two GCSEs.

At GCSE, the pupils will have three separate specialist teachers for each of the three disciplines. Both routes have no controlled assessment, but the pupils will have to undertake a number of compulsory required practical activities which they are assessed on at the end of the course by terminal exams.

Pupils have access to online materials and a digital textbook on the ‘Kerboodle’ website but, again, we also like to engage their minds in creative ways. One class recently created DNA in their lesson using sweets.

We have had many stories of Alumni who have carried on their studies in Science to further education and beyond. Recently we learnt of one who is currently in her fourth year studying medicine at Cardiff University. Another alumnus is studying radiography at Portsmouth University, and he has returned to school to talk to pupils in their PSHE lesson about his studies and a career in radiography.


Food Preparation & Nutrition

At Ballard, the senior course ensures that pupils learn the planning, preparation and practical skills required for GCSE.

Other areas include:

  • Recognition of target groups and special diets, researching and analysing data.
  • Generating and selecting dish solutions and product evaluation
  • Product making and planning
  • Use of tools and equipment
  • Mixing, shaping, preservation, finishing methods, cooking methods
  • Properties of food, nutrients and their nutritional value
  • Sustainability of ingredients
  • Safety and hygiene in the production of a food product
  • IT applications to enhance practical work
  • Scientific function and physical characteristics of food ingredients and their applications
  • Knowledge of health and safety in the food industry.


Years 10 and 11 pupils will study the AQA GCSE in Food Preparation & Nutrition. They will be expected to plan, prepare and make a range of high-quality products. This will take the form of a report, together with practical work with food, leading to a final food exam making three dishes (35%).

They will be expected to write a report on the functional, physical and chemical characteristics of a food (15%). They will also sit a written exam worth 50% of the total marks.

At Ballard all Arts subjects can be taken 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.

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.


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.


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’ Evening performance. 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 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.

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.


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 students frequently carrying on with their love of Drama into college and beyond.

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


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.

At Ballard we continue to provide opportunities for a wide-range of sports but also encourage fitness and training. Our huge range of activities (25) widens the appeal of sport to everyone.

With a specialist sports’ academy, sports’ prefects, sports’ scholars, and exceptional mentoring and coaching opportunities we promote excellence in sportsmanship, independence and team play throughout.

For this age group pupils are encouraged to coach younger pupils alongside the PE team to develop empathy and understanding of what is needed to be successful in sport and the wider world. By providing this opportunity we see children flourish both as mentor and mentee with the older pupil in particular gaining a deeper understanding of the game.

Having opportunities to compete at a wide-range of sports at School gives them the confidence to extend their abilities and compete for development squads and senior teams.

The development of club links is incredibly important and we see many pupils strive to win places in representative teams for district, county and national level.

We also offer GCSE Physical Education where most pupils start the course in Year 9; focussing on their selection of a mixture of team and individual sports.

Academic Life comes to the fore in the Senior School, with GCSE exams and decisions on next steps. Year 9 Challenge Week helps our pupils focus on Life beyond Ballard, building on the life skills Ballard instils from an early age. Whether it is leading others or using team work to problem solve, Ballard pupils rise to the challenge.

Rotary interviews and Morrisby testing in Year 10 also lay foundations for the future and a rigorous election system helps select the new Head Boy, Girl and deputies. Prefects and House Captains take their duties seriously and many pupils become mentors and role models for those lower down the School.

There is a real sense of camaraderie at Ballard and those who join us in Year 10 quickly feel part of our family. With a huge range of opportunities open to all including the Duke of Edinburgh awards, pupils enjoy Ballard Life to the full. Our trips programme adds to this enjoyment with New York and Kenya particularly popular. Other highlights include The Sports Ball and Leaver’s Prom.


In the Senior School at Ballard all pupils study English Language and Literature and every opportunity is taken to enhance pupils’ learning with visiting speakers and theatre visits. Excellent exam results are a result of hard work expected of pupils in conjunction with the support of well-qualified, experienced, specialist staff.

Pupils are encouraged to be independent learners through a variety of activities including our Year 9 Ballard Challenge Week, where they have to research and present their project to external judges. They also have the opportunity to visit the Battlefields on a cross-curricular trip that offers real insight in to the conflict poetry they will be studying at GCSE.

We have run our own Carnegie reading challenge and decided which of the national finalists we thought should win; interestingly our results didn’t match but it created great debate and discussion and for some it renewed an enthusiasm for reading and introduced new genres and authors.

Year 10 made a trip to the Imperial War Museum to complement their study of conflict poetry and produced some very strong creative writing course work as a result. They have worked hard on the new syllabus and we are delighted that the whole year group have either met or exceeded their rigorous target grades.


Geography is a valued GCSE subject at Ballard and the most popular option subject. Year 9 are prepared for the GCSE course with the study of coastal geomorphology, population and climate change. Again we use practical observation and activities wherever possible, showing rather than telling.

We study the effects of local rapid cliff erosion at nearby Barton-on-Sea. A coasteering trip to the Isle of Purbeck involves pupils clambering across wave-cut platforms, jumping from sea stacks and swimming through wave-cut caves. This helps to recall the processes that made each feature.

We study AQA’s Geography syllabus, which consists of Physical and Human Geography and geographical applications (fieldwork, map skills and statistics). Again, we try to make the geography as kinaesthetic as possible; we use ball games to help our pupils remember the processes of erosion and transportation in rivers and the use of stop-frame animation and plasticine to explain how physical features change over time.

Many of our pupils go on to study Geography at A level and university. Geography has been found to be an employable subject with graduates due to the wide-ranging skills learnt.

We are very proud of our GCSE results in the department with 100% of pupils achieving a Level 5 and above in 2019 with 58% of pupils achieving Level 7-9 (A to A*).


Year 9 work is designed to lead directly to the GCSE History course. We look at the story of the UK from the Industrial Revolution through World War 1, Liberal Reforms, Women’s Suffrage and the Home Front.

Visits may include Whitechapel, Christchurch, SeaCity and the trenches. We also invite a range of visitors into Ballard to tell their stories. Pupils are encouraged to do their own research, especially when the course covers topics within living memory. Recently, our Head Prefect team, worked with a local historian to create a talk on the Indian Army in New Milton which they presented at the New Milton Remembrance Service.

The Department studies the Pearson Edexcel GCSE course. The topics covered are:

– Crime and punishment in Britain, c1000–present and Whitechapel, c1870–c1900: crime, policing and the inner city.
– Early Elizabethan England, 1558–88.
– Superpower relations and the Cold War, 1941–91.
– Weimar and Nazi Germany, 1918–39.

Modern Foreign Languages

In Year 9 pupils are prepared thoroughly for the challenges of studying an MFL at GCSE. Although language learning is optional beyond Year 9, our high uptake and impressive exam results are testament to the quality of teaching and learning taking place within the department.


Religious Studies


The syllabus studied in the Senior School is much more philosophical in its nature. Theories evolving around theism, atheism and new atheism are all fully explored. Furthermore, many of the social and ethical issues are examined from various religious perspectives.

Intellectual curiosity is encouraged and supported by events such as Christian Focus Week, as well as our weekly Christian Union meetings in the Lower, Upper and Senior parts of the School.