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.
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.
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.
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.
GCSE IN FOOD PREPARATION & NUTRITION
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.